Another great cruise on the Carnival Pride

Carnival Pride Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 4
Helpful Votes: 63

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Carnival Pride

7 Night Bahamas (Baltimore Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 08, 2019

Ship: Carnival Pride

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 4115

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We had another great cruise on the Carnival Pride (cruise to the Bahamas 12/08/19 - 12/15/19). The ship might be older and smaller, but it looks fantastic and the crew does a wonderful job in keeping everybody happy. We especially appreciated the Christmas decorations and music throughout the cruise.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
The cruise terminal (Cruise Maryland) is the easiest port we’ve sailed from. We arrived when folks from the previous cruise were still getting off of the ship (11:45am). As always, we drove up to the luggage carts, dropped off our bags, turned the corner and paid ($15/day) for parking. Within a few minutes, we were checked in and through security. This was the first time we did not have to wait in line to get our Sail & Sign Card from behind the main counter. Instead, before we got to security, our sail passes (printed at home on our computer) were scanned and our passports were verified before we went through the security line. Since we were early, passengers weren’t allowed on the ship yet, so we had to wait about 20 minutes. Once onboard, we went to the Mermaid Grill (the buffet) for lunch. Our rooms were ready a short time later (around 2pm) and our suitcases showed up outside the door around 2:30 pm.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Main Dining Room: Our Waiter, I Nydman (not sure if I spelled that right) and Team Waiter Loganathan (Table 202) did their best during our early seating dinner. I have to admit, though, I was less than impressed with our dinner service. For example, we typically sat down right at 6pm, but while other tables had bread and drinks immediately, we didn’t get bread for at least another 10 -15 minutes. And, when nearby tables got their main course, we were still waiting for appetizers. Often, appetizers came sporadically. The first night, my appetizer arrived first, but I was finished before everyone else got their salads. We always had to flag someone down for drink refills, and once our food came, nobody ever came back to see if we needed anything. I bring these examples up, not to complain about about our wait staff, but to highlight that they simply had too many tables to serve. I’m not sure why, but they had between 5 and 7 tables with 35-40 people. Other waiters did not appear to have that many people to take care of. While we still enjoyed the food and the dining experience, we have never experienced this kind of slow service on any of our 15+ cruises. In addition, we had planned to attend the 7:30 shows in the Taj Mahal theater, but we missed the show several night because we weren’t done with dinner (at the other end of the ship) until 7:45pm. I do want to compliment our Team Waiter Loganathan, who always had a big smile and did everything he could to satisfy our requests. On our 2nd sea day, we ate at David’s Steakhouse. The food and service is the best on the ship and is well worth the $38 charge. My only ‘complaint’ is that I couldn’t eat more, because the food is delicious and the portions are very generous. We ate breakfast in the main dining room for a majority of the cruise. We find the atmosphere less hectic than the buffet and the food is always good. Breakfast service was also slower than previously experienced. My father-in-law asked for a danish to eat with his coffee and (twice - on 2 separate days) it took almost 25 minutes before it arrived. It often took us over an hour to finish because of the slow service. On the last sea day, we paid $5 each to attend the Dr. Seuss ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ breakfast. (We signed up on the first day of the cruise in the Atrium.) We had lots of fun seeing the characters (Thing 1 and 2, the Cat in the Hat, Sam I Am and the Grinch), but the service was also unusually slow. We were skipped while they were serving parfaits and had to ask three times before someone came back. We also had to ask several times before we got our coffee and tea. Our orange juice never arrived. Then, everything arrived all at the same time. I’m not sure what the mix-up was, but we watched as other tables got food and drinks long before we did. It appears like Carnival is cutting back and the waiters have too many tables assigned to them. We hope this was an anomaly and is not what we’ll experience on future cruises. Other than that, we had great experiences the Mermaid Grill (buffet). Besides Guy’s Burgers (the best burgers at sea!), the Pizza Pirate (fantastic thin crust personal pizzas made fresh) and the Blue Iguana (had a great burrito on the first day), the salads and other entrees (Asian, Italian, Caribbean and a rotating menu at the carving station) kept us full. We also tried the soft serve ice cream (just outside the buffet) a couple of times. The buffet was crowded most of the time, but we were always able to find a seat quickly.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Casino: Much less smoky than on our two previous trips on the Carnival Pride. Either people are smoking less, or they finally figured out how to improve the air quality. (Note: our clothing still smelled like smoke after spending about an hour in the casino, but it really did seem much better than before.) Trivia: We attended a couple of holiday-themed trivia sessions in the Piazza Cafe. It was crowded, we didn’t win, but it was fun. Towel Animals: On the last sea day, there are dozens of towel animals, mostly by the main pool. It’s worth getting up there early to take some pictures. Serenity: After we returned to the ship in Nassau, we went to the Serenity (adults-only) pool area for a couple of hours (Lido Deck 9, behind the Mermaid Grill). It was quiet, peaceful and relaxing.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The cruise director (Dr E) on the Carnival Pride was great. He seemed to be everywhere, kept us informed about what was happening via ship-wide announcements several times a day and added some fun to everything he participated in. The shows were good, though we had seen several of them on previous cruises. We did miss a couple of shows because of the slow service in the main dining room. We especially enjoyed the Christmas show in the afternoon of the last sea day.

Children's Programs

We did not bring any kids on the cruise.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Excellent (except for the slow dining room experiences explained above). Everyone in the port (luggage handlers, security, check-in staff) was pleasant and efficient. Our Stateroom Steward (Salman) called us by name, kept the stateroom very clean and made extra towel animals for my mother-in-law. I went to guest services on day one, where the line was short and my request was quickly resolved.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
For an older ship, everything (elevators, lights, automatic doors, TV, air conditioning, bathroom water, etc.) is in great working order. The crew was always cleaning and painting something to keep it looking good. As we’ve seen on previous December cruises on the Carnival Pride, the ship was decorated very nicely for Christmas. We also liked the spread-out design of the buffet.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Our room was ready before 2:00 pm and our suitcases showed up before 3pm. We had an obstructed view cabin on deck four, with large windows. Our view was good, as we could see between the lifeboats. (My in-laws could not really see any water because their view was completely blocked by the lifeboats.) My wife and I had plenty of storage space. There is enough room under the bed for a couple of large suitcases. Be advised there is only one electrical outlet near the large mirror/desk. TV on the cruise was ok (a few movie channels and some news), but we had no sports to watch on the cabins. To see any football, we had to go to one of the lounges or the casino. We had ordered a 12 pack of bottled water and it was delivered to the room as requested (quite reasonable at less than $4, which is much less than the $30 charge on Royal Caribbean). We also received 2 large bottles of water and some pins for being VIFP members and returning cruisers.

Ship tip

Try the Serenity Pool area behind the Mermaid Grill (buffet). It was very relaxing. Aso, we enjoyed the Dr. Seuss ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ breakfast on the last sea day. We signed up in the Atrium as soon as we boarded in Baltimore. ($5 extra fee + tip.)

Ports of call

Baltimore, Maryland Did not visit port

Only passed through to get to port.

Princess Cays (Cruise Line Private Island)

5 out of 5
We’ve been to Princess Caye several times before. This was the best visit yet, thanks to incredible weather. We walked on the beach, relaxed in the lounge chairs and had a good barbecue lunch (burgers, chicken, salads, lots of great fruit). It was a very pleasant day.

Nassau, Bahamas

5 out of 5
We’ve been to Nassau many times before, so we typically do not do excursions here. But, since our Freeport excursion was cancelled, we selected the Ardastra Gardens Zoo & City Tour. We were very pleased with the excursion. Our bus driver was professional and informative. He showed us around the city and stopped a couple of times for photo ops and shopping. Ardastra Gardens Zoo is small and charming. My wife and mother-in-law stood with flamingos, fed parrots and held a boa constrictor.

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island

4 out of 5
Unfortunately, our ‘Garden of the Groves Sightseeing & Shopping Tour’ excursion was cancelled because not enough people signed up. We were looking forward to seeing the progress made in the Gardens after the hurricane a few months ago. And my wife wanted to visit some of the stores in the Port Lucaya shopping center. (Yes, we could have visited these places on our own, but we chose to stay near the port since the boat left at 1:30 pm.) There were enough stores right off of the ship to keep my wife and mother-in-law busy for about two hours.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
In the past, our disembarkation luggage tags were delivered to the room. By the time we realized they were now distributed next to guest services, only the late departure times were available. Bottom line is that we waited for about two hours in the Taj Mahal theater until we were allowed to leave. There was some confusion about where we could wait (someone said we could wait on the theater main floor on deck two, but then we were told to go to deck three). We actually got released about 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Customs was backed up for a while, but we only waited about 15 minutes. Our suitcases were waiting for us in the terminal and we were on our way home shortly after that.

Traveler Photos

Lighthouse near port Carnival Pride Atrium decorated for Xmas Flamingos in Ardastra Gardens Zoo Carnival Ecstasy passing by Carnival Pride in Freeport (from obstructed view cabin) Cabin 4115 Carnival Pride Parrot in Ardastra Gardens Zoo Towel Puppies on display on Carnival Pride - last sea day Flamingos in Ardastra Gardens Zoo Carnival Pride docked in Nassau David's Steakhouse on Carnival Pride Carnival Pride Atrium (looking up)
Was this review helpful? 18

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing