December 2013 - Carnival Pride to Caribbean - Bahamas
This cruise was a 'we just had to get away for a week cruise' No special thought put into it, and with very little funds to pay for it. I had heard about Walmart Cruises before, not that Walmart offer or sell the cruise, just that the expectation of what you get for your money is similar to shopping at the box store.
We got a text message and telephone call from Carnival the morning we were due to set sail stating boarding would be delayed due to the late arrival of the Carnival Pride into Baltimore. 'Here we go' I thought as we commenced our drive to the port. My suspicions were founded when on arrival we were treated like cattle herded through the boarding process. Lines were everywhere with many of those using lame excuses to get to the front of the line infront of those who had already stood for hours.
On finally boarding, I was in horror seeing the interior decoration of the ship, whoever decided to use the 'Munsters' house as inspiration beats me. Renainsance Barouqe is not the way to go, thankfully the ship is due a refit in the near future, if there is a Valhalla of ship interiors this is it, Dark, Dank and Dingy. The trick is to stay outside on the decks as much as possible to prevent the paranoia of the ceiling mermaids reaching down and plucking you up into its bowels.
Lines are everywhere on this ship, lines to board, lines at each and every meal, lines to get into the Comedy club, even lines get a late night pizza and breakfast ommelette, thankfully there are sufficient rest rooms around the ship! Now I know why the cruise directors teach line dancing, to keep the passengers entertained in the meal lines.
Having said all of that, the cruise was a blast, those fellow cruisers were for the most part, social, friendly and entertaining, there were those who just dont see the need of respect for others and jump lines or hog the breakfast tables knowing full well others who already have plated their food need somewhere to sit and eat.
As always Kudos to all the ships staff, from our anytime meal waitress, Chardonez from Thailand, and Kelvin our stateroom steward, both of whom went over and above to make the cruise a memorable experience.
Disembarkation was a nightmare due to overzealous and beaurocratic Homeland officials, requiring the passengers to wait in line for as long as two hours to disembark, not the fault of the cruiseline but worthy of note. The cruiseline would benefit from not allowing those, who opt to disembark with their own luggage to go first, as many are totally overloaded and hold up the lines as they scurry back and forwards to manhandle their suitcases. In conclusion, this was not a Walmart Cruise, you get what you pay for and it's up to you to make the most of it. I would recommend Carnival Cruises to everyone, I can't wait to go again.