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Another Pride Review from a Different Perspective

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Well, I am officially back home in North Carolina after my much-anticipated cruise aboard the Carnival Pride (June 20 – 27). I know there have been many many terrific and DETAILED reviews of the Pride since it began sailing from Baltimore and I will in no way try to out-do any of them. However, I know that those reviews were my favorite way to prepare and get excited about my cruise, so I thought I would do my part for you lucky people who haven’t sailed yet.

 

First, i’ll say that i’m only 19 years old (almost 20) and traveled with my family (sister, aunt, uncle). Obviously, this means I didn’t book or pay for this cruise and it also means I will probably lose a lot of credibility with some people, which is perfectly fine. But I’ll also say that absolutely love love love cruising and cruise ships, not to the point that I want to go on cruises, but to the point that I would love to someday work in the industry (I’m an upcoming junior majoring in Naval Architecture Marine Engineering). In short, I’m pretty much a major cruise ship nerd. Anyway, this will be my first review like this and I’ll try to be as specific as possible and hopefully add some photos along the way (if I can figure out how).

 

Oh, and I apologize in advance if this takes a really long time to complete since I’ll probably only type at night (gotta love a summer job, right?) or if I make any grammatical errors, etc. but I’m pretty sure I’ll be more worried about not boring you all with an essay.

 

I’ll also try to answer any questions I can, keeping in mind I’m not old enough to do EVERYTHING on the ship!!! :D

Edited by ChampionCruiser

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for some reason I cant read the review I am looking at this specific cruise ship and am 18 years old and will be going with family. dont know if you are a guy or a girl but I am a guy. This will be my first cruise. The only thing i am worried about is meeting people my age, would you say there were a decent amount of older teens when you went on the pride and how were the ports? also because I am 18 i guess i cant go into the teen lounge but can I get in the adult club and is it worth it. where will I find people my age? is carnival better or royal sorry for so many questions.

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I agree with Camperhawk--another perspective is a good thing! Looking forward to reading your review.

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I also agree with having a different perspective. Will be waiting for your review. We sail on the Pride in Sept. and very much looking forward to it.

 

Eileen

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I am seriously considering the Pride for next summer and my son will be just a couple months shy of 19 when we sail, so I am VERY interested in your 19 year old perspective! Thanks so much for sharing your age and your review! I am subscribing to your thread right away!! Please post pics if you can!!

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We are on the Pride in just 11 short days. I have been soaking up any and all Pride reviews. Looking forward to your perspective. Not sure why you think you would lose credibility just because you didn't book or pay for the cruise. You sailed, and now you're giving us your opinion. That's all that matters! :)

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for some reason I cant read the review I am looking at this specific cruise ship and am 18 years old and will be going with family. dont know if you are a guy or a girl but I am a guy. This will be my first cruise. The only thing i am worried about is meeting people my age, would you say there were a decent amount of older teens when you went on the pride and how were the ports? also because I am 18 i guess i cant go into the teen lounge but can I get in the adult club and is it worth it. where will I find people my age? is carnival better or royal sorry for so many questions.

 

1. I'm a guy

 

2. We saw plenty of teenagers on board. I couldn't go to the teen lounge since that is only for 15-17 year olds but we saw many throughout the ship, especially at the pools, etc. It would be nice to have planned activities for our age group but you shouldn't have a problem meeting people your age.

 

3. I went on the Grand Turk-Half Moon Cay-Freeport run and we loved the ports. I'll write more on them later, but I will say that HMC was definitely my favorite port so far.

 

4. I love both Carnival and Royal. The newer RCCL ships are more active than Carnival ships with the ice skating rink, rock wall, roller blading, etc. but I spent more time on Carnival's waterslide than all of those things. I think everything else on Carnival's and RCCL's newer ships are basically identical (shows, food, service, etc.) I would decide by itinerary.

 

5. The open decks/ pools (including adult pool) is where I saw most teenagers, especially on sea days. Otherwise, I would look in the FunTimes for activites that would appeal to you and other teens, such as the deck parties, etc.

 

Hopefully I answered all of your questions!

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We are on the Pride in just 11 short days. I have been soaking up any and all Pride reviews. Looking forward to your perspective. Not sure why you think you would lose credibility just because you didn't book or pay for the cruise. You sailed, and now you're giving us your opinion. That's all that matters! :)

 

Thanks! I was referring more to my age and not being a "seasoned" enough cruiser but i'm glad that doesn't matter :)

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I'm anxious to read your comments as well.

 

We cruise the Pride in a little over a month, and our daughter will turn 19 during that week. Her younger brother can still use the teen club (only 16) but she will be more on her own in that in-between age zone...too old for clubs, too young for all adult activities.

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Thanks everyone for the comments!

 

Well, here I go:

 

BACKGROUND

Like I said, I cruised with my aunt, uncle, and sister (17), the same group I have always gone with. While we all love to cruise, I’m definitely the most excited about it so I was pretty much in charge of picking our ship and trip. This was my seventh cruise, having sailed on Commodore, Disney, Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Obviously, we like trying different lines and this was our first time repeating (my first gold card :)) but I chose the Pride because it was the only ship sailing from the east coast that stopped at totally new ports for us. I also liked the fact that she is part of the Spirit class, which seems to be loved by everyone and the eight hour drive to Baltimore wasn’t bad at all since we are used to nine to Port Canaveral and eleven to New Orleans.

 

We’re from the mountains of North Carolina and my sister and I absolutely love the beach, so we were more than ready to leave this:

 

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For this!!!!!:

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Woo! So I finally figured out how to upload pictures. Now i'll upload more on line and continue later!

 

oh, and my camera is just your average digital camera (Nikon Coolpix S4000) so the pictures won't be amazing but hopefully you'll get the idea:D

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hey there, welcome back!!! (which i always feel odd typing, because who wants to be back!)

 

anyhow, looking forward to reading about your time on the carnival pride, and welcome 'a different perspective'... :)

 

PS, congrats on figuring out how to post pics! :D

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Okay, I think it's time to get started...

 

PRE CRUISE

 

 

So, after booking nearly a year in advance, Friday, June 18th FINALLY came! We decided to head up a day early to spend Saturday in DC since I had never been. We left home around 2:00 and had a pretty uneventful ride to Fairfax, VA (besides a tractor trailer accident along the way). I truly never realized how big Virginia was until I had to ride across the entire state! But we finally arrived at the Best Western Fairfax around 10:00 and were all extremely tired. I didn’t take any pictures of the hotel but it was nice with a nice pool (with a lifeguard on duty). There was no continental breakfast, though, which was a little annoying.

 

We woke up early on Saturday and were on our way to the metro station by 10:00 after breakfast. This was also a first for me and I was surprised by how “safe” the metro seemed…I guess I was expecting a lot worse after everyone told me to watch myself. Anyway, we got off at the Smithsonian station ready to have a fun and very touristy day in the nation’s capital. Our first stop was the Museum of Natural History, which I have wanted to visit since I was a kid because of the dinosaur section (I used to be able to spew tons of facts about dinosaurs…but not anymore :rolleyes:) and I wasn’t disappointed. The museum was huge and it took a lot longer than we expected to walk through all the halls (by the end we weren’t even trying to read anything). By around 2:00, though, it became really crowded and we were ready to move on while we still had energy, which was drained quickly in the 95 degree weather.

 

 

 

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After fighting the crowds out of the museum, we walked towards the Washington Monument (which looked a lot closer than it really was) and walked around the national mall, stopping at the WWII, Lincoln, and Vietnam Memorials as well:

 

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For anyone who doesn’t know, this walk is (again) longer than it looks (it looks long to me), and the walk back after a day of walking walking walking is ten times worse.

 

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So yes, we were hot, tired, and sore after walking around for six hours or so and I was ecstatic when we finally got back to the metro station. I know one day in DC isn’t nearly enough to see much at all, but for a first timer I was pretty pleased with all that I saw, but if I ever go back I will definitely spread the sightseeing over multiple days ;)

 

After getting back in our car, we drove to find something to eat, got lost, eventually found a restaurant (Champs), somehow made it back to the hotel, and called it a day. By this time it finally started to sink in that I would be on a cruise ship the next day and so I got less sleep than I probably needed. Thank God we had two sea days to recuperate!

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Both locations are cool to me!!! I like the trees especially in the fall but I like the water too. I'm doing you same itinerary, so can't wait to see your take...have about 1 1/2 months to go and can't wait!

 

DC is great but can be rough during the summer heat and humidity. You definitely could spend a week alone in DC at the monuments and museums and still not see it all....I should know, I have lived around all of those my entire life ;)

Edited by wone3

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"I didn’t take any pictures of the hotel but it was nice with a nice pool (with a lifeguard on duty)"

 

Something interesting I learned on my trip to DC last year was all public- use pools in Virginia must have a lifeguard on duty. The guy at our hotel pool said it was the easiest (but rather boring) job you could have.

Edited by Biffer1997

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Enjoying your review..pictures are great:) I used to live in Western NC...so love the comparison pictures..although the mountains are beautiful..I'll take Grand Turk:):)

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Thanks! I was referring more to my age and not being a "seasoned" enough cruiser but i'm glad that doesn't matter :)

 

Since my son is 17 (almost 18), I'm interested in your age perspective as well! Thanks again

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Glad you got to see a little of D.C. Your pictures make it look particularly good. Walking around the mall can be exhausting, particularly in the summer heat. Looking forward to hear your take on the Carnival Pride, which I sailed on early this year and really enjoyed.

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"I didn’t take any pictures of the hotel but it was nice with a nice pool (with a lifeguard on duty)"

 

Something interesting I learned on my trip to DC last year was all public- use pools in Virginia must have a lifeguard on duty. The guy at our hotel pool said it was the easiest (but rather boring) job you could have.

 

That is interesting. That was (I think) the first hotel i've stayed at that had a lifeguard.

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Wow this whole detailed review thing takes longer than I thought!! But it's worth it since I get to relive my cruise :)

 

Here I go again...

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 20: BALTIMORE

 

We slept in as long as we possibly could Sunday morning before excitement overtook us and we had to get out of bed. Our planned “leisurely” morning turned out to be a sprint to get to the ship ASAP! We ended up leaving the hotel around 10:00 and stopped only for breakfast at McDonalds. After that, we were on the road again, but for a quick hour long ride this time (we were glad we drove nearly the whole way on Friday). We were worried about finding the ship in Baltimore (even though I go to school in New Orleans, we are definitely NOT city people – we like two lane roads with only a few cars!) but it was extremely easy. Just get on I-95 and follow the cruise terminal signs to exit 55.

 

Though we all had our eyes peeled, it was my sister who had the honor of spotting the whale tail first:

 

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And this is where we really began to get excited! A few minutes and $115.00 later we were parked and ready to board our home for the next seven days.

 

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Edited by ChampionCruiser

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Even though I kinda knew what to expect as far as embarkation, we were all pleasantly surprised by how smooth the process was! We were directed to a short line to go through security and another short line to get our sail and sign cards. After that, we were given zone 14 tickets and were seated by 11:45. This was the first time I was issued a zone number and seating area for embarkation and I much preferred it to standing in a long line. It was about 12:40 when the boarding process began and it didn’t take long for our zone to be called (I was too excited to look at the time though).

 

After climbing the gangway, you enter on deck 2 in the atrium. My first reaction was “wow”. No, it wasn’t as big as the Mariner of the Seas’ or as glitzy as the Glory’s, but I could tell that the Pride was a beautiful ship the second I stepped on board. I actually told my aunt that it didn’t look like a Carnival ship (which our cruise director Kirk later mentioned as well). I know some people find the ship too dark and the décor unfortunate but I thought the entire ship was amazing. I’m sure I’ll post more ship pictures later…

 

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We made our way up to the lido buffet restaurant (Mermaid’s Grill) and to our surprise easily found a table for the four of us. We ate a quick lunch and then my sister and I went to explore the ship (while the other two waited with our bags) though we didn’t see much before the announcement was made early that we could go to our staterooms.

 

Our cabin was 5214, port side, and was just your average Carnival balcony cabin (which works for us). I chose this cabin because it was part of the “jut out”, meaning you didn’t see a lifeboat when you looked down from your balcony. We were really glad we chose a port cabin for this cruise since it offered better views of both Grand Turk and Freeport. I have absolutely nothing to complain about in regards to our cabin!

 

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When we got down to our room, we were surprised to see ALL of our luggage waiting for us outside of the door (another first) so we spent the time before the muster drill or “safety briefing” organizing the room. We had no problem fitting all of our clothes into the storage spaces and our suitcases fit perfectly under the bed.

 

At 4:00 the ship’s horn blew telling everyone to go down to their lifeboat station. Like others have said, you don’t have to wear a lifejacket anymore but you still have to stand on deck shoulder to shoulder in the hot weather. This really isn’t a big deal as the drill doesn’t take a long time, but I do prefer the way Princess handles it, where everyone is assigned to a public lounge instead of the promenade.

 

After ripping the safety briefing off like a band aid we were ready for our vacation to officially begin. We headed up to the lido deck to wait for sail away. After 4:30 rolled around the sail away party started so we danced and goofed off a bit but wanted to know why we hadn’t left yet! We kept looking over the ship to see if luggage was still being loaded and I took some more pictures while waiting.

 

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I see our car!

 

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Waiting on the last bit of luggage to make it on board.

 

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We leave on our first cruise in 17 days with two teenage girls. I look forward to reading the rest of your review as we have the same itinerary and will share with my girls.

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.

 

After ripping the safety briefing off like a band aid

 

 

 

 

 

LOL . . . I like that expression.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post your review, looking forward to the rest.

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Great review:D We leave on the 18th and are so excited. I wish I had known that the port side had the better view in Grand Turk. I picked starboard because I thought the trip down the Chesapeake Bay would be interesting. Thanks for taking the time to write your review:)

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Wow you're right. I've never been on the Pride or looked at pics but the few pics you posted spawned my interested so I searched for more pics of the ship and it is beautiful! I think i might be doing my next cruise on this ship.

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Woo for the weekend! Now I should be able to go at a much faster pace :)

 

So I’ll pick up where I left off…

 

It was just after 5:00 (if my camera's time is correct) when the ship began pulling away from the pier. We stayed on deck long enough for me to take a few pics before we went back to our stateroom to start getting ready for dinner.

 

 

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On our way we ran into our room steward (Novi) who introduced herself and asked us our names. I was a little surprised because of recent reviews that said the stewards were impersonal now. I don’t know if we were just lucky but Novi was far and away the best (and sweetest) we’ve ever had. She always greeted us by name and was VERY prompt the two times we called her. Again, no complaints whatsoever :)

 

While everyone was getting ready, I stayed out on the balcony to say goodbye to Baltimore.

 

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Even though I was a little bummed that we were at dinner when we passed under the bridges, I still got to see a few cool things, like Fort McHenry:

 

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And my favorite, this cute little lighthouse. It reminds me of my favorite children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse :D

 

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At 6:00 on the dot we made our way down to the Normandie Restaurant (which, again, is beautiful) for the early seating. We always choose early dining when possible and we prefer traditional dining over “freestyle” variations based on our past cruises.

 

After reading other Pride reviews I thought the first night would be open seating for all but we were all pleased to find out that this wasn’t the case. We were directed to our table (177) just like every other night. Our waiters were Larry and Moulten (sp.?) and both were terrific, especially Larry. We all agreed that service in the dining room was on par with nearly all of our cruises; only RCCL was better in our opinion.

 

Before I go any farther, I’ll go ahead and apologize here: I have no food porn :( Even though I thought about bringing my camera, I was much more interested in eating my food than admiring it :rolleyes: Oh well….but I will say that I never ordered a dish that I didn’t enjoy. This night I had the appetizer portion of the Chicken a la Grecque (good), the Flat Iron Steak (very good), and the Crème Brulee (very good). I also tried my aunt’s Warm Chocolate Melting Cake and I thought it was HORRIBLE! I’m not a big fan of chocolate to begin with, so I wasn’t expecting much but it was WAY too rich for me. This was actually the only night anyone ordered it on the entire cruise so I guess it wasn’t only me...

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After a great dinner we basically killed time until the Welcome Aboard Show at 10:30 (one show only). I went back to the cabin to get my camera and snapped a few pictures before sunset:

 

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I took a ton of pictures like this throughout the week…

 

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My sister and I then went to take pictures of the sunset. We did this every single night and this was (unfortunately) the best. I thought the Caribbean sunsets would be better. Oh well!!

 

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Well sunset was at 8:32 and I honestly don’t remember what we did for the next two hours besides look through the Fun Shops. But we got to the theater (Taj Mahal) early to get a decent seat. The show was pretty good but it definitely wasn’t a must-see. It featured Kirk our cruise director (who we loved) and two comedians: Tommy Drake (hilarious) and Peter Fogel (not so much). The Pride’s singers and dancers also performed a little.

And that pretty much wraps up my first day on the Carnival Pride. After the show we all went back to our cabin (lame I know) where we found our first towel friend and my sister and I read on the balcony for a while (this was a great way to end every day).

After day one I could tell it was going to be a great cruise!

 

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