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wxtrix

Pride New Year's cruise: a quick trip report with pictures

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we're just back from the Pride's New Year's sailing and we had a great time. we'd taken the Pride 3 years ago and really liked it, but this trip surpassed that one, and for 2 reasons: the passengers and the crew/staff.

 

about us: we're a 50 year old couple. we traveled by ourselves, and this was our 4th cruise, and our second on the Pride. we live in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia so the port is just 90 minutes from our home and it makes the Pride even more attractive to us.

 

our room: we had a aft wrap suite. we had this cabin on our last Pride cruise and I chose it again on purpose. Carnival was running an incentive on bookings from West Virginia, so I ended up with a 20% discount on the fare which was pretty awesome.

 

here are some photos of the cabin (4228--truly the best cabin on the ship (along with its sister cabin at the other end of the hall):

 

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our steward was Oka and he did a great job.

 

next up: our thoughts on the ports and a few photos.

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cruise5.jpg

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the cabin has a separate bedroom and living room, a dressing room, a walk-in closet, and a large bath with double sinks and a whirlpool tub.

 

you can see it in this photo:

 

cruise31.jpg

 

it's the large balcony on the deck just above the Promenade deck on the port side. you can see the sister cabin on the starboard side a little better from this angle. of all of the Vista suites, these 2 have the deepest balconies as well as an overhang which gives you privacy and shade. it's an awesome cabin for a very reasonable price.

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a few photos of the ship and some comments about the shipboard experience:

 

the disappointing stuff:

 

--so little music, especially before dinner. in 2009 it seemed there was a lot more room in Florentine's and Raphael's before dinner. there was virtually none (karaoke doesn't count).

 

--the service at David's was awful. we were first given a crappy table next to the curtains that could not be opened because the pulley was broken. huh? why sit us at a window table if we can't see out the window, especially as it was dark and we had a view of Atlantis. the restaurant was empty so it was just weird. when my husband ordered his steak, he was told he shouldn't order it the way he wanted it (he ordered it rare, which should not be an issue in steakhouse). he was told that the rib eye would have unmelted fat that would make it chewy, which is a response that really doesn't sit well on a number of levels. I had the shrimp cocktail on my last cruise and I remembered that it came with some kind of avocado salad on it and I had sent it back last time for plain shrimp, and I specifically asked about it. I was told it was plain shrimp. it came out with avocado salad on it. when I asked for plain shrimp the server made a face and said 'you want PLAIN shrimp?' in a very rude way. we were told the dinner would take 2 hours; 45 minutes into it we were being asked if we wanted dessert. when we responded that we'd like some time before we ordered so we could finish our bottle of wine, the server said "it takes 7-10 minutes to prepare dessert so you need to order it now". the food was very good but the service was just terrible. I'm not sure I'd pay again if it means having such rude servers.

 

but that was really it re: the disappointing stuff.

 

the good stuff:

 

--the overall service of the staff is way way up from where it was in 2009 (and it was pretty good then). we always do a version of 'anytime dining' on our cruises and this was by far the best experience we had with that. the hostess learned our names immediately and greeted us by name starting with the second night. we had the best wait team we've ever had--Heshbon, Mohammad, and Ronald. they put the staff at David's to shame. they too learned our names and Heshbon would be sure to stop and chat with us when he on duty on the Lido deck.

 

--we did the wine tasting at David's and it was enjoyable. the sommelier was approachable and personable and the food and wine were both good. she was also the exception to the bad service at David's as she came to take our wine order and remembered us and welcomed us back.

 

--free champagne as we boarded! a nice way to start.

 

--the Cheers program--it worked, it saved us some money, and it will bring us back to Carnival. the only thing I don't like about it is that the servers miss out on tips if people don't bring cash or know enough to change the amount on the slip to include a tip (which is what we did). so if you read this and you sign up for the Cheers program, remember to tip your servers and bartenders. :)

 

--the people: the crowd on the Pride was even more diverse than it was on our last Pride cruise and it was just awesome. every time I sat down on the Lido or on the Serenity pool deck, or on a couch or chair somewhere the people around me started chatting with me. we did lunch in the Normandie one sea day and spent 2 hours chatting away with one of the couples. we were docked next to the Ecstasy in Nassau and everyone cheered for her passengers and wished them a happy new year as they sailed (for Freeport, where we caught up with them), and then when the NCL Jewel sailed about a half hour later, they got a warm sendoff too. it was just, for the most part, a great group of passengers there to party and have fun.

 

--we don't care for the production shows and in general I find blue comedy kind of unfunny, so I can't comment on how they were.

 

 

a few photos:

 

up on the top deck while underway on the second sea day:

 

cruise14.jpg

 

 

 

the balloon drop at midnight in the atrium:

 

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the Serenity area on the aft Lido deck (we really loved our HAL cruise b/c the Noordam had an adults only area in the same place and I was pleased to see this upgrade on the Pride):

 

cruise16.jpg

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the ports on this sailing were Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Freeport. although we usually take excursions, we decided to just enjoy the empty ship on port days (because on sea days it was a little crowded as the ship was packed full to gills).

 

in Florida we had a great view of both the resupplying of the ship and also we could see the Kennedy Space Center complex and the Disney Dream (4000 pax--I can't even imagine what that is like).

 

 

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sunset at sail away:

 

cruise17.jpg

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there were 4 ships in port in Nassau--the Fascination, the Ecstasy, us, and the NCL Jewel. our first cruise was on the Jewel's sister (the Pearl) so we were able to compare the 2 ships. it's such a beautiful port. I did go and walk around and checked out some of the jewelry stores, but then it was back on board to enjoy the sunshine and empty ship.

 

sailing in:

 

cruise19.jpg

 

while docked, with the Fascination on her way in:

 

cruise13.jpg

 

the mandatory 'ship canyon' shot:

 

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we only had a short time in Freeport--the area where the cruise ships dock has grown a lot since the last time we were there:

 

cruise20.jpg

 

the Ecstasy again, right off our balcony:

 

cruise22.jpg

 

our last warm day sunset:

 

cruise23.jpg

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all good things must come to an end.

 

sunrise in the Chesapeake Bay:

 

cruise24.jpg

 

the Bay Bridge at dawn:

 

cruise25.jpg

 

 

 

debarkation was hassle free. we had priority and were in group 2. they gave a our own place to wait to be called, and we were called about 10 am. on one side they were debarking the people carrying off their own luggage and we had our own separate line. it was easy to get a porter, and we were on the road by 10:45.

 

if 2013 is good to us we'll be back for New Year's in December, and hopefully this summer too.

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Thanks for good review.

We also had a bad experience at Davis's in 2011. Have been on Pride a lot and had a fabulous experience there 2002 - service, portions, and food quality really went downhill - - liked the meals more in the dining room.

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we also sailed for new years eve on the pride. it was the family's first cruise, and we loved it including our 21 and 19 year olds. We partied on the Lido deck to start the new year, and while it was a little brisk, there were lots of people and energy. Would have loved to spend 2 days in Nassau and not even hit Freeport.

 

would definitely do it again!

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I also was on the cruise and loved Davids on the first night.... we liked it so much we went a second time..... sorry about your disappointemnet in Davids.... I will post a full review of my own later today or tomorrow so much work to catch up on first

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--the Cheers program--it worked, it saved us some money, and it will bring us back to Carnival. the only thing I don't like about it is that the servers miss out on tips if people don't bring cash or know enough to change the amount on the slip to include a tip (which is what we did). so if you read this and you sign up for the Cheers program, remember to tip your servers and bartenders.

You already are tipping them, an automatic 15% gratuity on every drink. Personally, I think that's plenty.

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You already are tipping them, an automatic 15% gratuity on every drink. Personally, I think that's plenty.

 

I caught that too. I can understand tipping extra for exceptional service, but don't say they don't get a tip with the cheers program.

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LOL! well I guess we gave out a few extra bucks then. I didn't see a gratuity on the slip and I wanted to make sure people were tipped. in the end, no big deal for us. :)

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in the end, no big deal for us. :)
And I bet y'all got some stellar bar service! :D

 

There was a female sommelier at David's in 2009 when we sailed on Pride. We really enjoyed her tasting class. Wonder if it's the same person?

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And I bet y'all got some stellar bar service! :D

 

I have to say that we did, indeed!

 

There was a female sommelier at David's in 2009 when we sailed on Pride. We really enjoyed her tasting class. Wonder if it's the same person?

 

maybe? a blonde Eastern European woman whose name is escaping me at the moment.

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a blonde Eastern European woman whose name is escaping me at the moment.
Sounds like the same one. She's the main reason we ate two nights in the steak house. Happily, we had really good service both nights. :)

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Sounds like the same one. She's the main reason we ate two nights in the steak house. Happily, we had really good service both nights. :)

 

we had good service in 2009, too, which is why this trip was so disappointing. oh well, next time might be better. and as for rude service on a cruise--hey, you're still on a cruise! :)

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We enjoyed sailing along with you and the other New Year's Cruisers this year on the Pride. We had an Ocean Suite and enjoyed having the extras, (although few!), that come along with that. The extra space was enough for us, and the whirlpool tub in the bathroom was greatly appreciated. (The engineer had to come and repair it the first day however since it was not "whirling" at all. Took him about twenty minutes, and then all was well.)

 

The free champagne upon boarding was a nice touch. Dinner in the MDR was very pleasant as we really enjoyed the tablemates they had matched us with. The food was all right, but several times little things were forgotten and sometimes the food was only warm but no real deal breakers there for us. If you come home hungry from a cruise, shame on you.

 

We toured the Kennedy Space Center and being Space Geeks from way back were very impressed. In Nassau, we went to Atlantis, checked out the grounds and the aquarium, and then spent some time at Senor Frog's--always fun people watching there. We really liked the Tall Ship Adventure on Freeport.

 

We attended several shows in the Taj Mahal, typical cruise stuff, but Legends is always a great deal of fun. NYE in the Atrium was great--we looked down on the hard core revelers from the second balcony. Someday we hope to have the aft wrap on any ship. Balcony time is the best! We enjoyed Kirk and his sidekick, Gumbie. Thank you for your review.

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we had good service in 2009, too, which is why this trip was so disappointing. oh well, next time might be better. and as for rude service on a cruise--hey, you're still on a cruise! :)

 

We had a nice meal at David's in December, but ordered cheesecake and wanted to take half of it back to the room for later. We waited and waited for someone to come to our table, and when she did, she said very rudely that we were not allowed to take our food with us! We had done that on a previous cruise, AND while we were there we saw people taking food out of the restaurant. Needless to say we were not pleased.

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we're just back from the Pride's New Year's sailing and we had a great time. we'd taken the Pride 3 years ago and really liked it, but this trip surpassed that one, and for 2 reasons: the passengers and the crew/staff.

 

about us: we're a 50 year old couple. we traveled by ourselves, and this was our 4th cruise, and our second on the Pride. we live in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia so the port is just 90 minutes from our home and it makes the Pride even more attractive to us.

 

our room: we had a aft wrap suite. we had this cabin on our last Pride cruise and I chose it again on purpose. Carnival was running an incentive on bookings from West Virginia, so I ended up with a 20% discount on the fare which was pretty awesome.

 

here are some photos of the cabin (4228--truly the best cabin on the ship (along with its sister cabin at the other end of the hall):

 

cruise12.jpg

cruise11.jpg

cruise7.jpg

cruise8.jpg

cruise4.jpg

cruise6.jpg

 

our steward was Oka and he did a great job.

 

next up: our thoughts on the ports and a few photos.

 

DH and I are considering the PRIDE for our next cruise. He decided we needed the AFT wrap since we haven't been able to cruise in a while. I have heard others say that they really like 4228 and 4237. I like them because they are the largest, have the largest balconies and are closest to the water, however, was concerned about the noise from the connecting rooms.

 

Did you find that you could hear noise from the connecting staterooms?

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DH and I are considering the PRIDE for our next cruise. He decided we needed the AFT wrap since we haven't been able to cruise in a while. I have heard others say that they really like 4228 and 4237. I like them because they are the largest, have the largest balconies and are closest to the water, however, was concerned about the noise from the connecting rooms.

 

Did you find that you could hear noise from the connecting staterooms?

 

when we were in the living room we could hear the people in the stateroom where the connecting door is. however, in the bedroom we did not hear anything from the cabin on the other side (not a connecting stateroom). plus there are 2 doors to the bedroom that you could also close off to further dampen any noise from the connecting cabin, but the layout of the cabin really takes care of it.

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wxtrix,

 

Thank you for the prompt reply. At this point, I don't care which cabin I am in. I just want to be on the ship...NOW!

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Thank you for your review. We sail her in 25 days. Can you tell me if the lido mid pool was open at all during this cruise on the way to/from FL? I heard that sometimes the pool is covered by the enclosed roof and the water is heated. On all our other cruises, the pools were drained at night and filled fresh in the morning so when I heard this, I knew it was info that i wanted to ask someone recently on the Pride. Thank you!

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Thank you for your review. We sail her in 25 days. Can you tell me if the lido mid pool was open at all during this cruise on the way to/from FL? I heard that sometimes the pool is covered by the enclosed roof and the water is heated. On all our other cruises, the pools were drained at night and filled fresh in the morning so when I heard this, I knew it was info that i wanted to ask someone recently on the Pride. Thank you!

 

hi Sandpiper--I don't honestly know. the only pool we used was in the adults-only Serenity area, and that was not heated. hopefully someone else on the cruise knows about the mid-ship pools.

 

bon voyage! it's so great to know she has so many fans.

Edited by wxtrix
to add info

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Where did you get free champagne? Did everyone?

 

waiters were handing it out once you got on the ship--I think because it was a New Year's cruise.

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Nice review. I agree the aft wraps on the Spirit ships are the best. Loved the walk-in closet!

 

You took some lovely pictures.

 

Love the Pride, hope to sail her again soon.

Edited by JaniceB

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Can you confirm, please, whether there is a 15 drink max using the Cheers Bar Program? If so, do sodas count in that number? Am considering purchasing the package, but the answers to these questions are vital info needed to make a decision.

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Thank you for your review. We sail her in 25 days. Can you tell me if the lido mid pool was open at all during this cruise on the way to/from FL? I heard that sometimes the pool is covered by the enclosed roof and the water is heated. On all our other cruises, the pools were drained at night and filled fresh in the morning so when I heard this, I knew it was info that i wanted to ask someone recently on the Pride. Thank you!

 

 

The roof was closed and pool was heated just an fyi.... I was on the cruise also.

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Can you confirm, please, whether there is a 15 drink max using the Cheers Bar Program? If so, do sodas count in that number? Am considering purchasing the package, but the answers to these questions are vital info needed to make a decision.

 

Technically there is NO LIMIT.... I was on same cruise and had the package. They are aloud to refuse service at any time tho.... as per John Healds webpage they are supposed to check you first and then determine if more is ok but as he stated the ships are still learning and some are misunderstanding this. My Father in law was cut off several tiems and I was once at 15 but 2 other days I hit 17 as I saved all my reciepts to see the value of it etc..... if they "flag you" order from the servers not the bartenders and it would be fine and you can always bar hop and then you do not have to worry.

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