Exceeded Expectations!

Carnival Pride Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Contributor Level: Third Mate
Experience: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Bahamas & Grand Turk (Baltimore Roundtrip)
Sail Date: May 26, 2013
Ship: Carnival Pride
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 4 years ago
We had heard from friends that cruising was a great vacation, so we thought we would give it a try. Bottom line, it was great – and we are looking forward to the next one! We really appreciated not having to figure out where to go, how to get there and when to leave. It is all there! Being “unplugged” and “taken care of” was probably the best features. Some details from our perspective –
General operations – They certainly have this down to a fine science! Everything is organized and planned out so that there is minimal waiting. Getting on board and to the room was very easy – going to dinner, going to excursions, and then getting off the ship is very well done. Fortunately we live in Maryland, so we were dropped off at the port and did not have to pay for airfare or parking – couldn’t get any better!
Room – not having ever gone on a cruise, it was hard to determine what kind of room to get. We decided on a balcony room, and it was a good decision! As we talked about our “next” cruise, we wanted to determine if the balcony room was worth it, so I asked the guest services if I could see other rooms. They recommended that I “tour the ship” after all the rooms were empties for disembarkation on the morning we got back to port. So, I took a little trip and visited several rooms on a couple of different floors. The interior room is OK if all you do is sleep in there, it would be very confining for a whole week – reminded me of a dorm room. The ocean view rooms were a bit better, but the extra cost for a balcony was well worth the experience of the private time, fresh air, sea spray and open feeling it gave the room. We definitely will be getting the balcony anytime we cruise in the future. We actually got an extended balcony, so we were able to “stretch out” as we read and enjoyed the views. In our travels, we have usually been in one hotel for a few days then on to another, so we never really unpacked. This time, we emptied our suitcases in the ample closet space and felt right at home. The best part – and it comes with any room – is the twice daily room cleaning! Leave for breakfast, come back and the room is clean! Leave for dinner, come back and the room is clean! It was so relaxing!!!
FOOD – Cruise ships are known for the food, and we were quite satisfied. Some “seasoned” cruisers said that food on other cruise lines is better, but we did not have any complaints. Not sure that it is worth the $$ to go on a more expensive cruise just for the food – we can do that in our city! We had the “early” dinner and heard from many that we choose right. The “any time” dinners were a bit miffed with the service. We had the same waiters every night, they knew our names, and were like old friends from the time we first sat down. We did pay extra to dine at the David’s Steakhouse – and it was worth it! What a great dinner! The only issue we had was we were seated next to a family and we had to ask the waiter to ask the kid to turn down his Pokemon game….. Drinking… initially I was a bit apprehensive that there would be just a lot of drunken people everywhere. I was wrong. There may be, but it was not apparent – lots of people enjoying drinks, but not obnoxious drunks! Drinks were a bit expensive, so we only had a few in the bar, by the pool and with dinner. We took advantage of bringing our favorite wine with us and plastic wine glasses.
Entertainment – This probably was the least great thing about the cruise. We don’t do the casino thing, so can’t comment on that aspect. The nightly shows were OK, but could have been a bit better. The comedy club was good and bad – just depended on the comedian. We enjoyed having the multiple venues for music in the “bars”, poolside, and in the atrium. The pools are OK, but they need to be either bigger or have more of them. The adult only “Serenity” is a great place to relax, but the Hot Tub was too small. Guess that is the advantage of going on a newer and bigger ship. However, there is something for everyone on the cruise, and you only have to “walk” to get there!
Excursions – We were fortunate that we had friends who had just gone on this cruise a few months prior, and they gave us information about the excursions. We were going to just stay on the ship when in Port Canaveral – but decided to take the shuttle to Cocoa Village – not worth it . Weather was stormy, so the persons who went to the beach were also a bit disappointed. In Nassau we did the jeep tour – again, it was raining, so it was a better choice than the beach, but there is really not much to see in Nassau to tour…. But driving a jeep on the “wrong” side of the road was fun. The tour guide was great! We used the remaining couple of hours to walk to get some of the “real” Bahamian food and then did a little shopping. In Freeport we did the Kayak / Beach tour – and it was FABOULOUS!! The van drops you off at the mouth of the creek at the Ocean – what a beautiful view. The creek is shallow (1-3ft) and clear. You could see the fish and the shale on the bottom. We kayaked for about 1 hour – easy meandering up the creek to the stopping point. We then had a “nature walk” through the tropical forest to the beach. It was gorgeous – a private beach that was beautiful!! We had about an hour at the beach, and they served a picnic lunch. This certainly well worth the $$ - we would do it again.

Summary – This was so much better than our expectations – and we have fairly high expectations with vacations/restaurants/travel. It is so relaxing to have your “hotel” take you to the places you want to visit! We certainly will be cruising again. We loved the “mix” and “equality” of people on the ship – it was great meeting new cruisers and veteran cruisers who shared “tips” with us. We would like to know what you get for the increased price of the other cruises because this was pretty great! This Carnival Cruise out of Baltimore was good for our first trip – and we will be sailing on Carnival again – maybe even this very same cruise – we met many repeaters!!

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5


3 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5

Ship Tip

Sunrise Garden at the front of the ship is a quiet "get away"

5 out of 5
3 out of 5
Really depends on your excursion and the weather!
5 out of 5
Good "city" adventure
5 out of 5
Good "beach" venue
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