June 2016 - Carnival Pride to Caribbean - Eastern
We had a spectacular time on the cruise. Our party consisted of three couples and 6 children ranging in age from 8 - 15. Our first day at sea was rainy, but there was plenty to do inside the ship so no one in our group was bored. We spent most of the first day in the Red Frog Pub or out in the lounge playing trivia.
Grand Turk was amazing - I went scuba diving through Blue Waters Dive Shop (not through Carnival) and we only had 4 people plus the dive instructor on our trip. It was excellent. The rest of our group snorkeled with sting rays at Gibbs Cove (booked through Trip Advisor). Their excursion turned into a private event, as they were the only ones on the island. They had a terrific time.
Half Moon Cay was awesome!! It was the most beautiful beach we have ever visited. I highly recommend reserving a cabana for the day on Half Moon Cay if you have a fair complexion. We did not and we regretted it. By the end of the day, despite slathering ourselves with 70 SPF, we were fried. FYI - You have to pay for drinks even if you are a member of the on board Cheers program. Drinks are not included on the island, but lunch is. You are able to rent innertubes and rafts from a hut on the beach. You can also book a massage prior to arriving at the island (which I highly recommend). There are plenty of chairs, so don't plop down in the first ones you see. We walked down to the last sets of chairs away from the crowds and had a fabulous time.
At Freeport we booked the All Inclusive Beach Day through Carnival. The kids had a blast playing on the floating trampolines in the ocean and renting jet skis (jet skis not included in all-inclusive pricing). The drinks were okay, and the lunch was decent.
We ate dinner in the dining room every night. We choose "your time" dining, because we didn't want to be pinned down to a dinner time, but we should have chosen a specific time. We had a party of 12 and it took forever for the staff to seat us together in "any time dining". The meals were outstanding.
Katie at the Alchemy Bar is outstanding. She makes the best drinks. If you like bourbon, ask her to make a "bad boy". We loved the Punchliner comedy club, and the kids enjoyed the Seuss at Sea breakfast. The kids also liked the night time movies by the pool.
It was an outstanding vacation.