Overall it was a great first cruise for my family. The ships crew was great. The ship is in need of an overhaul/updating but not so bad as to detract from the fun. I think the Pride is a great first cruise. Princess Cay was great and although the people were nice, I would probably not go back to Nassau and most definitely not go back to Freeport. I do think on our next cruise we will explore different ships and ports.
5 out of 5
Embarkation in Baltimore was easy and the staff at the port are very efficient in getting the large group of people on the ship.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Main Dining Room - The food was wonderful and our waiter "Yudi" was awesome. Yudi and his team made dinner each night an "experience". Gabriella and Maya the hostesses were excellent as well.
Buffets on the Lido Deck - all of the buffets were great. There was a variety of excellent food and the presentation was wonderful. The Mexican buffet burrito's were freshly made and they have a salsa bar, "Great"! Guy's Burgers also freshly made and juicy with the extensive toppings bar was "Excellent"! The 24-Hour Pizza was Great and a late night favorite for the kids! The Chinese, Deli, Carving Station and Italian Buffet's were also excellent. Of course the 24-Hour Ice Cream machines got a lot of use! Can never have too much Ice Cream!
Specialty Restaurants - the kids had Sushi at Bonsai and it was freshly prepared and good quality.
We did not eat at David's Steak House. We went in to see it and it is a beautiful looking restaurant and would make for a nice romantic dinner.
Redfrog Rum Pub
5 out of 5
We had a great time at the Redfrog. The band "Beasts from the East" with Federico on guitar, Carolyn and Jack on vocals, keyboardist and bass player (sorry I forgot your name guys), were awesome. One night they did a jam session with the Liberty Trio, Olga on violin, and again I apologize I forgot the name of the Chelo and Bass players. The two bands combined were so awesome, I would go back just to listen to them.
The Liberty Trio would also play every night in the atrium lobby and we would sit and listen to them before dinner. It was so relaxing! They are wonderful.
5 out of 5
Kids went to Club 02 almost every night and had a blast. We went to the comedy club, saw shows in the Taj Mahal and listened to music in the Redfrog and atrium lobby. The comedians were very funny and tailored their performances to the audience with early shows being family friendly and late shows geared toward adults. The shows at the Taj Mahal were fantastic, the performers were great and the production lighting, sound and stage was excellent.
5 out of 5
We walked miles and miles on the outdoor track/deck. We found it to be more conducive to relaxation being outside in the sea air. I did use the treadmill in the indoor gym one day but the movement of the ship was just enough to make my pace awkward and I had to keep one hand on the handles. The gym was well appointed with lots of equipment.
5 out of 5
Loved the stage shows in the Taj Mahal. Performers were great.
The Liberty Trio was fantastic!
The Beasts from The East were fantastic as well, shout out to Federico & Jack!
5 out of 5
Kids loved Club 02. They made some new friends from different states.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Michael our room steward was the absolute Best! Five minutes after we met him he knew all of our names and his attention to detail was fantastic. Since we had two adjoining rooms, one for us and one for the kids he made sure that each one was fun and special. He left us towel animals every night. We all looked forward to getting back to the room to see what kind of animal he left in each of our rooms.
Yudi our main dining room waiter was fantastic. We looked forward to having dinner each night at his table. He and his teammate, Nyooman, made each meal special.
Gabriella and Maya the hostesses always gave us a big smile!
We even got to meet and speak with the Captain's and crew. Capt. LaFauci, Capt. Mazzei, Chief Engineer Maurizio, Christian, and several of the other Navigation Crew. They were all great. It amazes me how easy they make their jobs look. They take this hundred ton giant ship and park it in a port with such grace. I made sure I was on deck just to watch them pull in and out of each of the ports. Truly Amazing!!!
3 out of 5
The ship's layout and design were good and the common areas were clean. The staff does an amazing job of keeping the areas clean.
The reason I gave only 3-stars for this category is that the ship is beginning to show it's age. My understanding is that the Pride is 17-18 years old and it is in need of some deferred maintenance and an update. There were areas on the Lido deck where the tile floors were all coming up and cracked. I'm not talking one or two tiles but 20-30 foot sections. The Serenity Deck floor was in rough shape. It had water trapped under the floor and you could see there were holes drilled into the flooring so when you stepped on it dirty brown water came out of the holes and some of the seams. The exterior of the ship in and around the balcony's had rust and some of the steel was rusted through and flaking off. In other areas the decorative trim was peeling off and in need of repair/replacement. With all that said I will tell you it didn't appear to diminish the good time everyone was having. I am writing this review not to knock the ship but rather to give an honest review. I am in the hospitality industry and I tend to focus on the details. My educated guess is that as Carnival launches it's new ships, the consumers will be more and more critical of the older ships in the fleet, and this ship, The Pride, will be pulled out for an overhaul.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. Our Steward, Michael made sure the room was spotless. Housekeeping is clearly an area where the people make the difference.
The Carnival Pride makes for an excellent "first time cruise". My reasoning is that if you haven't been on a cruise before you will not be comparing the Pride being an older ship, to any of the newer and larger ships you will see at your ports-of-call. The ship is a bit older and in need of updating but nothing so severe that it takes away from the fun you will have on board. Second reason the Pride is good for a first time cruise is that it's size is very manageable and you won't feel overwhelmed. Lastly, the crew is super fantastic and I truly believe they are what makes the Pride an excellent ship!
We did the Atlantis excursion. The excursion was way overpriced and not worth the money. Also, they pulled a bit of a bait-and-switch at the last minute when we were already off the ship. We had paid for two water park tickets and two beach passes as me and my wife weren't going on the slides. They called our name when we got off the ship and told us that because my kids were under 18 that we had to have an adult pay for a water park ticket even if we weren't going on it. It was a $100 up charge. It cost us $650 for a family of four. Atlantis is a nice resort but you are captive and everything is extremely expensive. It is very apparent that Atlantis controls Nassau. On the drive from the port to Atlantis you notice that there is a lot of poverty and abandoned buildings.
The port is very industrial but for the few restaurants and t-shirt shops right near the ship. Freeport suffered severe damage from the hurricane and it hasn't recovered. There is nothing to do close by so we had to take a taxi to Junkanoo Beach. On the close to 20 minute drive over you could see the closed and boarded up hotels. Junkanoo Beach and the adjacent beaches are just ok. There are vendors that walk up and down the beach selling stuff. They vendors were all very nice and my wife bought some handmade bracelets and a necklace. Our taxi driver was also very nice. I'm glad we were able to give a little financial support to the local economy as I think they really need it. Other than having met a few nice people I would not return to Freeport.
4 out of 5
A little bit hectic if you are taking your own luggage off the ship as you have to wait in certain areas that can be crowded. Overall not too bad though. Amazing how efficiently they can get several thousand people off the ship and through security.
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