April 2016 - Carnival Pride to Caribbean - Eastern
I want to start by saying our primary reason for choosing this cruise is convenience. We live in Western New York (7 to 8 hour drive) and have relatives in Maryland we can stay with before and after the cruise. This is a big time and cost saver for the travel part of the vacation.
Our cabin was an extended balcony on the rear of the ship and was very nice. The extra room was nice but not worth the extra we paid. We will stick to regular balcony in the future.Room service was erratic. The first day they were 1/2 hour late and the next day they were about 10 minutes early (1/2 hour window).
Your Time dining was terrible! You had to get in line about 1/2 hour before they opened the doors or you would get a restaurant pager and be called when they could fit you in.This hardly qualifies as "Your Time Dining". We have done "Your Time Dining" on other Carnival ships and have never had to wait for a table. Service in this section was very erratic. The place settings were only complete one night out of 7. In one area we were told to keep our used silverware for the next course, in another area everything was replaced with each course. With the exception of one waitress, the staff was good, It seemed that they were a little overwhelmed many nights trying to keep up with the constant flow of guests in and out of their sections. We did notice that the one waitress that had some type of attitude disappeared about half way through the cruise. While we didn't complain I would assume others must have. The "Your Time Dining" on this ship needs a complete overhaul!
Dining on the Lido deck was challenging because it is all so good! Blue Iguana was delicious, Guys was great, The buffet always had something interesting, the pizza was good, The deli was great, Fruit, Endless desserts. I loved the layout too! I never had to wait in a long line except for an omelette. One more omelette station would have been nice.
Entertainment was nice. Always something going on. Cruise Director Steve seemed to be everywhere and just oozed enthusiasm. The band "School of Groove" was one of the best bands I have ever seen anywhere. The range of the two lead vocalists was unbelievable and the musicians were some of the best I have had the pleasure of listening to. In contrast, the big production musical numbers were terrible. I am not a big fan of this type of entertainment anyway, but this was pretty bad. I heard several guests refer to them as "The Yellers". The implication being that singing louder doesn't make your voice any better.
All in all we enjoyed this cruise and most of the staff that took good care of us. Because of the value of it being so close and having almost no travel costs, this cruise came in "Just Good Enough" and we have decided to celebrate our 35th Wedding Anniversary on the Pride in a couple of months.