Trip of a lifetime

Carnival Pride Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 31

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Carnival Pride

14 Night Southern Caribbean Carnival Journeys (Baltimore Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 06, 2019

Ship: Carnival Pride

Cabin type: Suite

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

As stated above, the cruise exceeded our expectations. We love the decor and enjoyed the artwork. The only thing that we wish would change is the push to spend $, whether it’s in the spa, their shops, or at the Ports. That does take away from the positive experience. Nevertheless, we would highly recommend the Carnival cruiseline, and their ship the Carnival Pride.

Embarkation

3 out of 5
Long wait at beginning but all staff were cheerful and it was well organized. Once we were through the security the process went quickly. The only suggestion I would have is that there was little direction once we were onboard. We didn’t know where to go, where our room was, what we should do, etc. ...but figured it out! 🙂

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Buffets were excellent and their staff were always cheerful and respectful. They are all extremely hardworking. The Normandie restaurant (main dining room) was pleasant but we didn’t find the food any better. It was just nice to have a different experience. Ie: be served our meal, have a glass of wine and slow down in enjoying our meal. Although the staff were always very pleasant we did not find them as good at the Normandie as at the Buffet. On more than one occasion we had to repeat our order or straighten it out. On another subject, we also found them lax in their rules. While, on one hand we really appreciated the easy going attitude everywhere we went on the ship, in the dining room we did not appreciate seeing people wearing ball caps, in muscle shirts and flip flops (although the flip flops are not a big deal to us), and occasionally in a swimsuit with a coverup. Besides the fact that ball caps, muscle shirts and swimsuit coverups do not belong in a fine dining restaurant the message we received from this being allowed was that rules don’t really apply, in the restaurant anyways. We also tried the Afternoon Tea at the Normandie which I highly recommend. I do think though that it is a shame that you must pay extra for any tea other than green or Lipton orange pekoe, having experienced high tea at other places. Again, the staff was a little disappointing, not returning to offer more sandwiches, pastries, top up our hot water or ask if we wanted anything else after they had brought it to us once.... and there was no fruit offered at that point. I suspect that because we arrived in the second half of the hour they were intent on clearing up and preparing for dinner. I would still return, and highly recommend. David’s Steakhouse has a beautiful decor and the service was good. We were, however, quite disappointed with our meat and would not pay the extra to eat there again. Again, the beef that we had at the Buffet was better than from David’s Steakhouse. Also, we wanted to purchase the wine package but were told that although we could use our wine coupons at the Steakhouse we could not purchase them there. That was disappointing, and staff did not offer to help us obtain the package or have the coupons sent up. We would have walked down to the restaurant below to obtain the coupons but for the fact that we thought that our time was restricted due to a full slate of reservations in that restaurant. Besides we were trying to just enjoy a quiet evening to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and didn’t want to disrupt the evening or have any fuss. In the end though I did not purchase even a glass of wine, choosing water and tea instead. They missed the opportunity to make more money and to earn more of a tip. Chef’s Table was an incredible experience, amazing tastes and food, and exceeded our expectations. I give it 6 stars out of 5; highly recommend. Guy’s Burger Joint, as always, excellent. The Blue Iguana was excellent. Bonsai, the sushi place, we did not try but heard people raving about a few of the side dishes. It never looked like many people were in there and that is a shame because we head that it also was excellent.

Lido Marketplace

5 out of 5

This staff, along with the kitchen staff in the galleries must be some of the hardest working staff on the ship! Many times I witnessed them going above and beyond by also making people smile or laugh, thereby brightening up somone’s day. What a gift.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Something for everyone, from quiet places to read (Sunset Garden was one of my favourites), games, educational workshops, dance classes, waterslides, ping pong, mini golf, the casino, outdoor movies or an entertainment show. The fitness Center is very good as well.

Serenity Adult-Only Retreat

4 out of 5

One of our very favourite spots, and it would have received a 5* if it weren’t for one problem...again, something that we heard occurred to others as well...and that is the problem of others saving more than one spot, for hours at a time, even when they were not being used. It is not the fault of the staff, they were great..it was the attitude of some of the guests. Very discouraging. In addition, the “Serenity Lounge” was often not a place of serenity, being quite loud but we didn’t let that deter our enjoyment of a wonderful space on the Pride. We also easily found times when it was less crowded.

Photo Gallery

3 out of 5

No sales pressure, which gets 5*...but we found it quite frustrating trying to find our photos, and heard this repeatedly from others. There must be a better way.

Guest Services / Shore Excursions

5 out of 5

Didn’t always have the answer but always endeavour to seek it out, to assist as best as they canard to provide the best customer service.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
An extremely hard working group. Would enjoy a little more variety in the stage shows. Ie: perhaps a play? I should share that when speaking with more experienced cruisers we got the impression that they had seen some of the shows, hypnotist, comedians a number of times and therefore weren’t interested in attending the shows again. Overall we had a lot of fun at the different entertainment venues.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Overall, our experience was that this ship aims to meet your needs, promptly, professionally and cheerfully. We also found that if there is any issue at all they address it immediately, and then follow up to ensure that all is resolved and that the issue has not continued. I hesitated over giving this category 5 stars only due to the service in the Normandie restaurant but in the end I think they staff overall deserve a 5+ hands down.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Always spotless; constantly being maintained.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Beautiful. A place that we could comfortably retreat to for quiet. Beyond our expectations. We loved it. One small thing..I ended up cleaning out all of the drawers because there was crumbs, hair, etc from previous guests. I didn’t mind as I don’t think the crew have enough turnaround time to include cleaning out drawers. Also, we would have liked a coffee machine in our room but the absence of one did not affect our enjoyment of our suite. The hair dryer stopped working and it was replaced promptly. We did have a few issues with a neighbour who liked to take his party out to his balcony, but that is the only time that we heard anything. The rooms are well built; great soundproofing. (I’m a light sleeper and this is often a problem when I travel). There was also plenty of closet space. We were able to unpack and put suitcases away. We had all that we needed , and more, in this suite. It is a luxury to get a suite (it was a free upgrade and our first time for suite or balcony) but if you can ever afford it it is worth the extra. We valued the time spent on the balcony, privately; I even slept out on the chaise lounge two nights, and we often awoke to the sight of the water, having left our curtains open. Priceless, particularly if you love the water as we do.

Ship tip

Skip the spa; it is extremely over priced and once you go they become relentless in approaching you to return for more services. Most services add 18% or 20% gratuity but one of their offered services adds 25% gratuity, that you must pay whether the service was good or not! Otherwise, I would say “let go, go along for the ride and enjoy all that is on the Pride for your enjoyment!”

Ports of call

Baltimore, Maryland

3 out of 5
The port itself needs improvement, particularly for disembarking where you have to wait outside no matter the weather. We walked around the downtown area the day before we boarded the ship. It has many interesting places to visit.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

3 out of 5

St. John's, Antigua

5 out of 5

St. George's, Grenada

5 out of 5

Castries, St. Lucia

4 out of 5

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

3 out of 5

San Juan, Puerto Rico

4 out of 5

Grand Turk Island

5 out of 5

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Smooth sailing, and well organized, until we were through and were then required to wait outside in the cold for our ride. What if it had of been snowing, as forecast?
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