June 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Baltimore Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Pride
This was our fifth cruise but first on Carnival. We were worried that it wouldn't be up to Royal Caribbean standards but were presently surprised. First we really liked the casual dining (Mermaid Lounge). It is set up like a food court with different stations for different types of food (Deli, grill, Italian, Carribean, etc). This made it very easy to find what you wanted and to try different types of food each day. We also enjoyed the dinners in the main dining room (Normandie). The food and service was excellent. The staff made an effort to learn our names and likes and the food was always served quickly and hot. We went to the main show each evening and thought the talent level was up to par with what you would see at a major city dinner theater which is to say quite good. We also liked the comedy club. It was a nice space and the fact that they did both family and adult shows allowed us to take the kids to a couple shows. During gaps in the day I enjoyed going to the Red Frog Pub and playing foosball and shuffleboard with the kids while enjoying a nice cold pint of Thirsty Frog. The small splash zone was fun although the large green slide was broken most of the week and we never got a chance to go down it. Playing miniature golf in a 50 mph wind was also an interesting experience. The ports of call were all very good. Grand Turk was amazing in that the snorkeling was great right off the beach, and the beach is right off the ship pier. We bring our own snorkeling gear so we basically snorkeled for 4 hours for free. The stop in Freeport was too quick (8:00 AM to 1:30), but we took a private taxi to Banana Bay beach and had the entire beach to ourselves. All in all Carnival did and excellent job, and I'd recommend definitely recommend it.