Jump to content
SugarStar00

Carnival Pride April 7th-14th 2013 Bahamas

Recommended Posts

Carnival Pride

April 7th -14th 2013

Leaving from Baltimore, MD

Ports of Call: Port Canaveral, Florida, Nassau and Freeport Bahamas

This review turned out much longer than I had planned, sorry it's a little late, hopefully someone will be interested and find it useful. Please ask questions if I forgot anything!!

My DB (dear boyfriend) and I are in our early 30’s and live in central Connecticut. This was our fourth cruise, third on Carnival. We became addicted after our first cruise on Princess just four years ago. Although we liked Princess we tried Carnival with some friends for our second cruise and ended up liking it just as much. We’ve stuck with Carnival for three sailings in a row now and after this sailing things seemed to get a bit repetitive. Next year we are looking forward to doing on a 10 day on Princess. That said, we chose this ship and itinerary based mostly on cost-efficiency to save for our big trip next year. I really like the Caribbean and having a warm start to our cruise; in the past we’ve always flown to Florida or San Juan. We wanted to drive to our departure port this year to save on airfare and hotel which left us with either NY or Baltimore. We read that Baltimore was a nice port to leave from and since my DB is only able to take a week off between mid march and first two weeks of April each year, we opted for the latest sailing he could do from Baltimore in hopes for warmer weather. I wasn’t super excited for any of the ports even though we hadn't ever been to the Bahamas, but I was still excited for our annual getaway and to see new places.

Road Trip!

After some research here on the lovely Cruise Critic we figured out that it would cost around $115 to park at the port for the week, but we could get a hotel room Saturday night for only $95 and park there for the week with a free shuttle to and from the port. Even though we were planning on saving money by not doing the hotel, it ended up being cheaper to get one! And, as you know….one thing leads to another…. Since we didn’t have many excursions planned for the cruise we decided to see a little of Baltimore and got tickets to an Orioles game for the Saturday night before the cruise.

So we packed up the car Saturday morning and headed down to Baltimore! Our original plan was to leave our house around 8-830am, with a brief stop at my parents house on the way to drop off DD (Dear Doggie). I didn’t get home from work until 9pm Friday night and my procrastination with packing made us very late and we didn’t actually get on the road until close to 10am. Once DD was having fun with Grandma we got serious and got right on the road. The drive down was mostly smooth, it was a chilly, but sunny day. Just over the CT/NY border I got my first speeding ticket ever. Total bummer, but I stuffed it in the glove box and refused to let it ruin my trip! The rest of the way I was pretty nervous about speeding, sometimes it creeps up on you unintentionally! We stopped for gas and lunch not long after that and ended up getting all turned around in some part of NY, my GPS didn’t put us back on the highway right away, for a while we were taking all backroads. I was starting to get stressed about time, we had planned to get to the hotel for around 3 so we could explore the inner harbor and then head to the game for 7. Finally we got back on an interstate and got to the hotel in just under 6 hours, but not until 5pm. Bummer again. We had to rush a little bit to get to the game and ended up not having time to walk around the harbor at all. It was 600 miles round trip to Baltimore which in my car is two tanks of gas, so about $85.00 and tolls round trip added up to about $65.00!!!! Still cheaper than flying (even if you count the stupid speeding ticket).

ry%3D400

All crammed in the car ready to go!!

 

ry%3D400

Delaware Bridge

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hotel, Game and Shuttle to Port

 

We stayed at the Sleep Inn BWI on Belleview Rd, the one closer to the airport. We chose it based on the price, reviews and its location outside of the city. It was right off the highway, super easy to find. It was also directly across from the lightrail station that Baltimore uses which is what we used to get to the game. I hate driving in cities and didn’t want to pay for parking. The light rail station was within walking distance from the hotel but since they had free parking there, we drove over. I think the round trip ticket for the light rail was around $3.50 per person, not bad. It’s just like the “T” in Boston so it was easy for us to use. It was a 10min ride on the lightrail and it dropped us off right in front of Camden Yards. We got there around 6:15. The sun was starting to go down and it was getting COLD!!! We had some ballpark food and drinks and walked around the stadium a few times, it really is a nice stadium. The evening temps were in the mid to high 40’s, we were quite bundled up but still left early because we were just so cold. I think it was around 10pm when we left, we waited almost 30min for the next train to come, so cold! Of course because we were freezing we never even thought about walking around the inner harbor after the game, we just wanted to get warm. I’m really bummed about not seeing that area, I heard it’s really nice.

The hotel itself was really nice, I had read some bad reviews but we had a good experience. By far the best, most normal pre-cruise hotel we’ve ever chosen. LOL we’ve stayed in some strange ones! We checked in and filled out some paperwork for leaving the car, the front desk girls we very friendly and welcoming. The room had a large stand up shower, a fridge, and a flat panel tv. We slept pretty good and got up showered and re-packed up our stuff and headed down to the desk for 9am because that’s when we were told they start the sign ups for the shuttle to the port. (You had to be checked out before you could get on the list for the shuttle.)We had heard previous sailings there were 80 people waiting for the shuttle and we wanted to be on the first one. We were 3rd and 4th on the list and it didn’t appear there was anyone else waiting for the shuttle. They had a nice continental breakfast in the lobby, several tables and space to put our luggage. They had coffee, OJ, cereal, waffles, pancakes, bagels and even some nice breakfast sandwiches that just needed heating in the microwave. We were quite happy with this and started chatting with the other couple waiting for the shuttle. Before we knew it (9:45?) they were calling us for the shuttle. It was just the 4 of us. We headed over to the port chatting the whole way, I think it was a 10min but no more than 15 min drive. We got dropped off and they took our luggage right from the shuttle van. We tipped the shuttle driver and the baggage man and headed on in!

 

Port of Baltimore

 

After dropping off our luggage we headed into the building. It was a sunny but chilly day yet again with the high temp set to be in the high 50’s. Still warmer than home but not as warm as we were hoping for. Anyway, we seemed to be the very first people to arrive to the port, they seemed surprised to see us and almost not ready! A nice older gentleman welcomed us and checked our passports and let us in the building. Then another man checked our passports and boarding passes. Then we went through x-ray and metal detector security without issue. This is the first time we didn’t keep ANY carry-on’s, we both felt naked without our baggage! (We each had a 2 pieces of luggage and a duffle bag with water in it, we were worried we couldn’t check that much but they never gave us a second glance.) We then headed over to the long desk where they have 25 or so stations set up to check people in, but only one was ready because we were so early. We had to wait 2 min for someone to open up a second station (our hotel friends were first) and then we got to check in. They checked our documents again and gave us our cards and directed us down to the chairs. We were seated in order of checking in and here is where we sat. I suppose this is a better spot to wait than standing in line waiting to check in, but it seemed like forever!!! I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. We talked with our hotel friends some more, we weren’t allowed to use cameras or phones in this area just like I had read, although I still don’t understand why. The whole check in process for us was about 10min and we were set to be 3rd and 4th on the ship. We sat in the chairs from about 10:15am until just about noon when they started letting people on. We had one wedding that we were waiting for and then the handicapped and VIP people went first, which couldn’t have been more than 20 people at this time, then they kept the order they sat us in and started letting us board! Easy peasy!!

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

Garbage can that cracked me up

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First sighting of her!! Always exciting to see her waiting

 

ry%3D400

 

Line of cars coming in and dropping off luggage, view from ship

 

ry%3D400

 

Parking lot around 12:30pm, still lots of room!!

ry%3D400

Edited by SugarStar00

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Ship

I was so super excited to be one of the first 50 or so people on board! Our rooms of course were not ready yet so I just took my camera and ran around the ship taking pics of the empty ship. DB was getting cranky cause he was hungry, so we headed up to the lido for lunch. First we stopped at the bar and purchased the Cheers! Program, and ordered our first drinks. I managed to get a few more pictures in before he took my camera away. (j/k). DB ate at the buffet I think it was Italian or something. I’ve never been impressed with the buffet so I decided to try Chopsticks, the Asian food. I really liked it! Their noodles were so thin and delicate, and I was really hungry, so I really enjoyed it. I sampled a few other things from the buffet but didn’t care for it, then we got some dessert which I remember liking, but don’t remember what we got. . We headed out into the sun and layed on the chairs for a bit, with my coat on. Sun still felt amazing. We ventured around the ship some more, than at exactly 1:30 they opened the doors to the rooms and we got to check out our room. It was a little weird because I’ve never been on a ship that had zig-zag hallways, it was always just one looooooong straight hallway. Not sure if it was just our floor or what but we had several z- turns to make. No biggie but just different. We checked out the room and since our luggage hadn’t been delivered yet there wasn’t much to do, so we explored some more. What you’ve read about the décor of this ship is true. Very renaissance. Replicas of Renaissance paintings EVERYWHERE. Lots of naked people, but didn’t bother me, maybe because I was expecting it or maybe because it just doesn’t bother me. A lot of people describe this ship as dark and gloomy, I disagree. As you will see in my pics there’s quite a lot of color and lots of “neat” stuff to look at. I really liked the décor on this ship, it felt more luxurious than some others I’ve been on. The cleanliness of the ship, I believe, was in tip top shape. Some windows and balcony glass was dirty from saltwater, but that is impossible to keep clean when you’re at sea all the time! It’s like washing your car and not expecting it to get dirty again. Some people expect too much I think. They layout of the ship was very easy to navigate, I would only get confused sometimes in the stateroom hallways because there’s no signs that point to forward or aft, just room numbers. The ship was pretty similar to the others I had been on, except it had three pools, I think the others only had two. There’s the uncovered lido deck pool, the covered lido deck pool which is where they have a stage and all the activities and the adults only serenity pool. The lido deck had plenty of food, the buffet, pizza, chopsticks, the Deli, the grill, a coffee bar and the ice cream stations. The ship also has the butterflies lounge which is where the comedy is held, the Taj Mahal main lounge, the piano bar, a sports bar that connected to the casino, another lounge that we never went into, I think it was the karyoke lounge. There’s also a dance club, art auction room, a gym, and I believe mini golf which I never actually saw. I really liked the ship itself, I think it was a little bit smaller than the other ships I went on but I think it was decorated nicer and had pretty good space to crowd ratio.

Atrium elevators and bar, where we embarked ship.

ry%3D400

Atrium Stairs

ry%3D400

ry%3D400

Looking up in the Atrium

ry%3D400

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

so many pretty colors!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

One of the few bars open was right here

 

ry%3D400

 

Buffet Seating

 

ry%3D400

 

Mermaid's Grill aka the buffet

 

ry%3D400

 

First Drinks!!

 

ry%3D400

 

Cheers!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the review. Can't wait to read about the rest of your Cruise. We will be on the Pride in December 2013 for our first Carnival Cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Serenity Area

 

ry%3D400

 

 

Serenity Pool

ry%3D400

 

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

Whale Tail

 

ry%3D400

 

Sun Deck, the first pool to the left uncovered, further back you can see the cover over the second pool next to second set of chairs

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The room:

We had an obstructed balcony on deck 5, room 5236. It’s a pretty popular room here on CC because it is the “bowling ally” balcony. Obstructed balcony means there’s a life boat that sits just below the balcony, obstructing your view from looking straight down. In our case we had two life boats because our balcony was so long! There was a little spot between the boats that you could see the ocean, but still obstructed by a little platform. We also had to upright chairs, one lounge chair and a little table. For the price I think it was worth it, we don’t use our balcony a whole lot so it was enough to get some fresh air and relax for us. The room itself seemed pretty standard. It was a little larger than our room on the victory, and identical to the Glory. I liked it because it had a mini fridge and TWO nightstands which is important to me. I think the couch pulled out but we didn’t need that. Our bed was comfy enough for me with a little hump in the middle where the two twins were joined. We never met our steward, we may have passed him in the hallway but I don’t know for sure because he never introduced himself to us. We called him the room ninja because he always knew when to sneak in and clean the room and was long gone by the time we returned, no matter how quick we came back. I have no complaints about him, he kept the room clean and stocked. He filled the ice everyday. Nothing above and beyond, but nothing bad. On our last cruise our steward always greeted us by name when we passed, this time I’m not sure which one was even ours! I have two small complaints about the room, first the lighting was horrendous. I’m sure it’s the same on all the ships, but I never really noticed. It’s this gross fluorescent lighting that is very harsh, made putting on makeup for me a real chore because I looked ghastly no matter what I did or what mirror I used. Luckily most of the lighting is dim on the ship so I just prayed I didn’t look as bad as I thought. Second, the balcony door made a terrible whistle most of the time while at sea. The latch for the lock wasn’t quite up to snuff and we had to fiddle with it a lot to make it stop. Some nights when the wind was bad, we couldn’t stop it at all. Also some people had questions about the heat in the room. There was a dial style thermostat on the wall which was very nice, it was chilly in the beginning of the week and warm at the end and we were free to change it as we pleased. We are also big fan people, we have to have the sound of the fan at night to fall asleep, but this room had a constant fan going through the ac system I guess, so we brought our travel fan but never even unpacked it, it was nice for us. There was some sort of storage room or something next to our room, which is why we had the extra long balcony; I heard some muffled banging coming from it a few times but nothing that was disturbing.

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ry%3D400

 

"Clean" Remote

 

ry%3D400

 

Still old tube tv's. Stupid shelf sticks out and we both hit our heads on it a few times.

ry%3D400

 

Two nightstands!

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sail Away

Sail away wasn't really the best, it was pretty chilly and very windy. There wasn't any activity up on the lido that I could hear or see, but maybe they did some dancing under the covered pool. Usually everyone is dancing and waving and music is playing when the ship pulls out. Not this time, pretty quiet sail away. About 30 min after leaving the ship goes under the first bridge, that was really cool and everyone cheered as the shipped passed under. As you will see in my pictures, it clears the bridge with inches to spare!! We went in after passing under the Key Bridge because it was pretty cold and nothing was going on. When we were getting ready for dinner we came up to another set of bridges that we passed under, not as closely but still fun!! I heard people on deck cheer this time too.

Very windy!!!

ry%3D400

Coming up on the Key Bridge....

ry%3D400

 

 

ry%3D400

 

Getting Closer!!

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Food other than MDR and Steakhouse

As I said before the lido deck has plenty of food, the buffet, pizza, chopsticks, the deli, the grill, a coffee bar and the ice cream stations. I frequented the pizza station a few times, they have four pizzas to choose from and they make each one to order, so it’s a little slow. My favorite was the Quatro, it had 4 cheeses on it with garlic and was sooooo delicious. I read that the Pride had calzones at their pizza station and we were excited for them, but never saw such a thing. I didn’t ask because the menu was pretty clear. DB for some reason became obsessed with the turkey wraps from the deli, he wouldn’t stop talking about them after he had his first one half way through the week. I had an iced spiked coffee from the coffee bar one day; she had to make it special for me and it was quite good, I wish I had gone back for more later in the week. The grill had the usual stuff, hotdogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, chicken tenders and fries. They had a coffee bar near the front of the ship also, and it had lots of nice desserts to buy for quite reasonable prices. I really wanted to try some of the desserts but I was always too full!! They also had a little taste bar in this area that was set up 4 days out of the week with samplings from some of the restaurants on the 2.0 ships. I liked this little treat and we made it a point to try it each day. The portions were quite small so we usually went before dinner and it was like a little appetizer.

 

Desserts at the coffee bar:

ry%3D400

 

Menu for taste bar:

ry%3D400

 

First night taste bar:

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if I will get in trouble for so many pictures??? Oh well, continuing...

David’s Steakhouse:

We made reservations for the Steakhouse for the first night at 7:30pm before the cruise. They do indeed give you a free bottle of either red or white wine. We chose the red and I’m no wine connoisseur so we enjoyed it well enough. You get to choose an starter, a soup or salad an entrée and a dessert. I really wish you could try more than one starter, that’s always my favorite part of a meal. They had some really delicious bread that I tried hard not to fill up on. I tried to take pictures of most food items but forgot a few times so there is stuff missing. In the steakhouse I had the shrimp cocktail, a greens salad, the surf and turf and the cheesecake. I LOVED the shrimp cocktail, it had a nice little salsa like garnish on it in addition to the cocktail sauce, really jazzed it up. The salad was nothing memorable and the meal was delicious although I will mention that I had the lobster then next night in the MDR and I thought it was sweeter, more tender and had better butter there. The steak however was the best in Davids. The cheesecake was enormous and so delicious, I asked for a to go container because I didn’t want to waste the second half, but they gave it to me in a large room service style container, which didn’t fit in the fridge so it ended up getting tossed anyway. Boooo. DB had the crabcake, ceaser salad, some cut of steak I don’t remember, and the chocolate sampler. I tried the crabcake it was also amazing, the steak melted in your mouth. The chocolate sampler looked really good, I was too full to try any, he ate almost the whole thing. Two small things I was disappointed with was I asked for a window seat when we got on the ship and they said ok, but when we got there they were all taken and we sat near the window but DB has his back to it so he couldn’t see the view. Also, the attire of most of the people was sad. Here we are in fine dining restaurant and people just don’t even TRY to look nice. I don’t know what the rules are for the dresscode, I don’t care. I just think people should have enough class to look a little bit dressy without it being mandatory when you frequent a restaurant like that. That’s all I will say because everyone has their own opinion. Overall we enjoyed the steakhouse, the food is overall better quality than in the MDR, but it’s something I’d only do once in a while for sure. Oh I forgot to mention the waitstaff was very attentive, we had about four different people waiting on us, which got a bit confusing but we had everything we needed for sure. We also tipped an additional $10 for this dinner, for those of you keeping track.

David's during the day:

ry%3D400

ry%3D400

 

 

 

ry%3D400

 

Standing by the Whale Tail looking down into David's

ry%3D400

 

Heading to David's for Dinner first night

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

 

Seat near the window, not next to it...

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ry%3D400

 

 

compliments of the chef, some kind of tomato soup, about 2 mouthfuls so tiny and cute

ry%3D400

 

Compliments of the chef- A "mini burger" said with in a russian accent. Cracked me up how tiny this was, and the look on other peoples faces when it was presented to them. hahaha

DB put a dinner roll next to it for size comparison.

SO CUTE!

ry%3D400

 

Shrimp Cocktail

 

ry%3D400

 

Crab Cake

ry%3D400

 

Spinch, blue cheese and bacon salad

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

extreme close up of ceasar salad

(DB was in charge of his own food pics)

ry%3D400

 

Filet and Lobster tail

 

ry%3D400

 

 

Steak DB got, can't remember what cut

ry%3D400

 

Funny Salt and Pepper Shakers

ry%3D400

 

Cheesecake do die for

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate sampler

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MDR:

Here’s where the wheels start to fall off the wagon. We did the anytime or “your time” dining this year. We prefer the flexibility of it and enjoyed it on our first Princess cruise, but did assigned dining on the last two cruises for various reasons and realize now that option has it’s benefits. Each night we asked for a table for two, I don’t mind chatting with others during breakfast or lunch but we just wanted to share our meal together just the two of us at night, which it seems many do. We had to wait only once, they gave us a beeper and we went to the bar and waited about 15-20min. I expected that every night so it didn’t bother me one bit. There was another night where the hostess told us it would be about 30min and the maître Dee overheard this and told us to wait one minute and he’d find us a table. We were ok with waiting but he somehow rustled up a table for two and sat us right down. Of course each night we were sat in a different section, and I missed the interaction with “our waiter” each night that we had with the assigned dining. That was our fault. Unfortunately I just don’t feel you get the same service with AT dining. I can’t be sure if it’s the fact we did AT dining or if its just the crew on this particular ship that’s just not as friendly. I’m going to assume it’s the AT dining. So most nights were pretty average in the MDR, but we had a few nights that we just terrible. I almost complained a few times on our way out, but I felt so bad because it appeared the staff was working very hard, but just couldn’t get it together. We did the Cheers! Program (more about that to come) and were very frustrated because most nights week had to seek out the bar waiter and some times we didn’t get drinks until half way through the entrée portion of our meals. I usually drink most of my wine before the meal and then water with my meal. Many times our water wasn’t refilled either, when that was all we had to drink. Frustrating. A few nights the service was dreadfully slow we skipped dessert so we wouldn’t miss a show. Another night we didn’t get drinks, our water was never refilled, and EVERY dish that came out was mixed up with the table behind us. It just became a big joke towards the end. None of the wait staff had the time to be friendly or personable. It seems they might have cut back on staff and now they just don’t have time to smile or say hello. The wait staff in the AT dining room never danced or joined in during the nightly song, they just didn’t have the time I guess. Another big bummer for me was one of the cutbacks. I always used to order a cappuccino with my dessert every night, my waiter knew to just bring it to me in the past. Now you have to PAY $2.95 plus tip for it. Big booooooooo! Overall, the food was decent, very repetitive from the past two cruises we were on. We almost knew what was going to be at dinner then next night based on the last time. I guess that’s what we get for going 3 years in a row on the same cruiseline. That said, we tried really hard to order things that we normally wouldn’t or hadn’t tried previously. Some worked out, some didn’t.

We also did breakfast in the MDR just about every day. Sea days they served the punchliner brunch, which had some funky things on the menu, we enjoyed it, they even offered you dessert after breakfast! Port days they just had the regular breakfast menu, which I look forward to my belgian waffles with strawberries and cream every year. This year they just weren’t the same. The waffles were ok but the cream used to be this thick butter consistency CREAM that you spread on your waffle. This time it was whipped cream that had been put in the little dish about 8 hours ago and was totally deflated and liquidy. I tried it three times and all three times I got the same deflated mess. Oh well. We also had a heck of a time getting our morning mimosa’s most days, bar service lacking greatly in the MDR.

Cherrio encrusted French Toast :

ry%3D400

 

Eggs Benedict with side of bacon

 

ry%3D400

 

Salted Carmel Brownie....at breakfast!!

 

ry%3D400

 

2.95 Cappuchino

 

ry%3D400

 

Apple Dessert the first night

 

ry%3D400

 

pretty salad

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More Food pics:

 

Seafood pasta

 

ry%3D400

 

Half eaten braised short ribs (we forgot sometimes to take pics)

 

ry%3D400

 

my sad whipped cream and waffles

 

ry%3D400

 

french toast and corned beef hash

 

ry%3D400

 

Diet coconut cake- one of my FAVS

 

ry%3D400

 

omelette and corned beef hash

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oysters rockafeller

ry%3D400

 

 

chili chicken tender app

 

ry%3D400

 

shrimp cocktail

 

ry%3D400

 

Red Snapper that was mentally hard to eat because of the skin on it

 

ry%3D400

 

Braised Beef I think:

ry%3D400

 

Amaretto Cake

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crud, I have gained 5 pounds just looking at your pictures:(:eek:;). (No, you won't get in trouble for too many pictures, not from us anyway:).)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

escargot:

 

ry%3D400

 

Beef Berninase?

 

ry%3D400

 

Sea Bass?

 

ry%3D400

 

Baked Alaska, the weirdest dessert on the planet

 

ry%3D400

 

Hazelnut or Espresso cake I think:

ry%3D400

 

 

 

Mac n cheese

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

one more page of food pics

 

fruit platter on brunch days

ry%3D400

 

 

Brunch Steak and Eggs

 

ry%3D400

 

Brunch Breakfast chicken and Egg Quesadilla

 

ry%3D400

 

Brunch Cheesecake Dessert!!

 

ry%3D400

 

Sorry thought these were more legible...maybe you can get the idea

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Edited by SugarStar00

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cheers! Program:

One of the things we were looking forward to on this sailing was trying out the Cheers! program. For those of you who don’t know yet, it’s a drink program for $42.95 per day plus 15% gratuity you can have up to 15 alcoholic drinks per day, unlimited soda, and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails. The “spirited” drinks must be priced at $10 or under to be included, otherwise you get $25 off the drink price. Bottled water and wine are also 25% off. Specialty coffees are NOT included. As I said previously, I had a “spiked” coffee from the coffee bar, I was able to use Cheers for the alcohol portion ($5.25) and just had to pay the $1.50 for the “coffee” portion of the drink. Now the question I see on the boards: Is it worth it? For us mathematically, it was, but we had to work at it. Last year, we checked our final bill and we had each spent about $350 on alcohol. The Cheers program costs exactly $345.75 per person. Last year we only had one day at sea and were off the ship almost everyday. This year we had 3 at sea days so we thought for sure we’d be drinking more on the ship and it seemed like a no brainer. The problem which was evident very early on was bar staff had been cut back significantly since our last cruise, either that or this ship has always lacked in that area. Just as we had trouble in the MDR getting drinks, we had trouble everywhere. It was rare to see a bar waiter on the lido or sun deck, where usually they are coming by every minute to offer you a drink. We usually had to go find our own drinks and there was only two bars open, the lido bar which was usually busy or the serenity bar which was also usually quite busy and a bit of a walk from where I usually sit on the sun deck. Also in the main show lounge, in the past no matter where we sat, up high or down low, there were swarms of bar waiters taking orders. We went to a show almost every night and noticed one night, no waitstaff in the upper section and most other nights only ONE waiter for the entire second level of the main show lounge. Usually I’d have a drink or two during these shows, but if I even got one the whole week I was lucky. So we learned to plan ahead and bring a drink in, but if you finished it and the waiter had already gone past you, he wasn’t coming back. At one point we were sitting in the Serenity area (first time ever) in the evening, and it was about 5:00-5:30pm, I went up to the bar and the girl pulled the gate down over the liquor and said she was closed. Of course no waiters to be found, so I had to borrow two towels from the towel hut to “save” our papsan chair we were in so we could hike though the buffet area fighting the dinner crowd to get to the other side to the lido bar to get a drink. Huge change from previous experience and very frustrating considering we already paid for our drinks and we started to feel like their attitude was “well we already have your money so goodluck!”. I would do the program again if I knew that the service would be more readily available. It could be cutbacks fleetwide or maybe just the Pride isn’t staffed like other ships because it seems to be more of a family crowd? So to break it down, DB and I kept our drink slips (you still have to sign a slip for each drink) and it each slip shows the price of the drink. The drinks show up on your folio bill but it does not list the prices there, so if you are trying to do the math, make sure you keep your slips. It turned out we were missing about 10 slips between the two of us so my totals are a bit lower than they should be. My drinks added up to exactly $350 and DB’s added up to $445, for a total of $795. The cost for two cheers programs is $690. If you add in the missing drink slips you can add about $60 to that total, so we saved about $160. Worth it yes, but barely and Carnival sure didn’t make it easy!

miami vice

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

Lemon Drop Martini and Raspberry Mojito

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

 

Morning Cranberry Mimosas

ry%3D400

 

 

 

 

This was the hardest beer to get, and they didnt even offer us a glass!!!

ry%3D400

 

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loving your review. Thanks! The food. The food. It all looks so good.

We'll be boarding her ... again, Sunday. :)

 

BTW - The two bridges are the n/s spans of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Entertainment/ Activities:

Another thing I was looking forward to on this sailing was spending more time enjoying some of the things offered on the ship. With 3 days at sea I figured I could get this done. The weather turned out to be nicer than I thought the first two days at sea so I spent a lot of time planted in my lounge chair in the sun, this limited what I did during the day. We tried afternoon tea the first day which was a neat little thing. You go to the MDR and they sit you down with some other peoplel. We sat with a couple much younger than us who had just gotten married. They offer you a selection of teas and then come around with a little dessert cart and you pick what you want off of the cart. My favorite thing was the chocolate macaroons. DE-lish. I didn’t take a picture because I was embarrassed in front of our tea friends. The cart came around a second time and I got two more. We stayed for about a half hour then went on our way. I was pretty happy to finally have time to do that.

The first day at sea they advertised a slot tournament in the casino, and on every other cruise they do it again at the end of the week, so we skipped it the first day cause the sun felt so good. Sure enough the last sea day, it was posted in the fun times. We went down to sign up and were so disappointed to find that it was a continuation of the tournament from the first day, so only the winners from that day were allowed to play. I was really upset about this and I let it ruin my afternoon which I shouldn’t have.

I decided to play bingo on the last day in the butterflies lounge. It was advertised for 3:00pm, we thought that was “play” time but it was apparently the time they start selling cards. There were two huge lines and it took about 30min for everyone to get their cards, we started playing around 3:45. Not a huge deal but if you’re trying to do other things, this is good to know, they should tell you this. There was a raffle as part of this bingo session and they said if you have any questions come up to the front. Everyone seemed to have the same question so they came on the speaker and answered the question for everyone. My question was different so I went up front with my ticket in hand, the kid barely looked at me and started repeating the answer to the question everyone else was asking, and didn’t even give me a chance to ask anything. Then the other guy came over and started doing the same thing! I finally had to raise my voice and say “THAT IS NOT WHAT MY QUESTION IS!” The kids running the bingo that day seemed extremely rude. I’m guessing they did most other activities too, but nothing I participated in. rude rude rude.

Another disappointing thing was the lack of music on the lido/ sun deck. The cover remained over the main lido pool for the first two days at sea, even though the weather was nice the second day, they can’t open it while the ship is moving. A bit of a bummer. It was very crowded and hot and stuffy in there the second day, and all the activities are crammed into this small enclosed area. As I said before the seating in that area is VERY limited and its full of kids running around like maniacs playing in the pool. I usually sit up one deck and look down at the pool, and enjoy the music or whatever activity is going on. Since it was covered I heard nothing. No music, no activities, nothing. Yes, some would call it peaceful, but eventually I felt left out, and sad. I guess that’s just the nature of the ship, with the time of year for the pool to be covered. I do wish they had some music playing at the other pool for the rest of us who can’t fit into the covered pool area. Although it seems we didn’t miss much for music anyway though, as you’ve probably read, no more bands, just a DJ with his laptop running down the list of top 20 MP3’s. Even the deck party was a dud. It was down inside the now half uncovered pool, but no fancy lights or decorations, no sign or the cruise director or activities people engaging the crowd, just a DJ playing music from his lap top and a congregation of people sitting at tables.

We checked out the piano bar one night before the comedy show and it was HOPPING! We should have stayed there because as it turned out there was no seating in the comedy show and we had to leave. A drink got spilled on us while looking for seats, and we ended up calling it a night. We wanted to back to the piano bar but never found the time. We also visited the dance club one night for a few minutes, it was two levels and the seats were pretty full, but only a few people on the floor. I think we were early and the party was just getting started. The comedy club was fun, it fills up pretty fast and a lot of people just stay there for the night for all the late shows, it can be hard to find a seat so get there early! We enjoyed all the comics.

The shows in the main lounge.were decent. The welcome aboard show had the same intro I’ve seeon the other ships, but then Kirk the cruise director takes over and chats with the audience and pulls people on stage and embarrasses them. This is why we sit up top, but even sometimes they come up there. We also attended the “Wonderful World” show which is a collection of dancing and costumes from different cultures/countries. It was actually really good! I preferred the faster dancing, some was a little slow. There was also some singing mixed in and we thought it was pretty good and were happy we made time to go. They had a juggler there also, I think we’ve seen him before but not sure. He’s listed as “physical comedy” in the fun times. He also pulled people out of the audience, so we were a bit uneasy the whole time. Finally, we attended the love and marriage show which we never did but heard it was funny. Again, it was 3 couples from the audience up there, most of them against their will. It got off to a slow start as Kirk had to find the newest married couple, longest and then had the middle couple audition for their spot. If I hear a horrible impersonation of Tarzan again I’m going to scream. LOL

Piano Bar

ry%3D400

 

Piano bar

ry%3D400

 

Center Staircase leading up to piano bar, near taste bar and coffee bar

 

ry%3D400

 

Pool tables in the sports bar connecting to casino

 

ry%3D400

 

Odd little corridor with sitting area, no where near anything else

 

ry%3D400

 

Taj Majal, main show lounge

 

ry%3D400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

Deck "Party"

ry%3D400

 

 

 

**on a side note, we were given this coupon for being a past guest, but since we had the cheers program the only thing it was good for for us was my cappuchino in the MDR...but not at dinner only breakfast or lunch!!

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1 and 2 At Sea:

The first Two Sea days we had really nice weather. After brunch we went up to the sun deck to find some chairs, this is the only cruise I’ve been on where there was no problem finding a lounge chair. I guess because it wasn’t super hot, but I was warm enough to sit out in a swimsuit and cover up. We chatted with the people around us and made a few friends. We had lunch at the various lido deck restaurants and went to tea the first day which I’ve already shared. We missed all the shenanigans like hairy chest contest and master mixologist because of the covered pool, but we enjoyed relaxing in the wonderful sun. I’d like to thank mother nature for providing me with GREAT weather!!

ry%3D400

 

Cruise Toes!!

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

View from morning breakfast

ry%3D400

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3 Port Canaveral, Florida

After two days at sea we were happy to get off the ship for a bit. We arrived in Florida around 7am, before I got up so we missed docking. We didn’t have anything booked, just planning a beach day, so we had a leisurely breakfast in the MDR then packed our beach bag and headed out, maybe around 10am. Our plan was to get a cab and head to Cocoa Beach. This port is a little weird, more of a port for Carnival to restock I think than anything else. You have to walk through the building which is where most passengers are embarking the ship for the first time, but being a Wednesday it was empty. We got outside and didn’t see much, mostly shuttles and vans waiting for the pre-scheduled tours. We saw a person holding a sign for beach taxi $6 and they directed us to someone across the street. We got across the street and the first people we talked to seemed like they were trying to trick us, we said we wanted to go to cocoa beach and they said yea we take you there and shopping” but then I noticed their sign was for $15pp. I didn’t want to shop and kept looking around for the $6 taxi. We eventually found it (really not that hard to find we are just easily confused I guess.) They had a few vans waiting to go. These Vans were air-conditioned and held about 8 or 10 people. The ride to Cocoa beach was quick, I’d say less than 10 minutes for sure. As we pulled up to the beach, the driver pointed out a few places to shop and good places to eat. He dropped us off in a beach shops parking lot and collected our $12. He gave us a card to call for a ride if we needed to be picked up anywhere other than where he was dropping us off. A shop employee also came out and gave us cards for 15% off anything in their store, which included chair and umbrella rentals. It’s a little walk across the street to the beach so we headed over there to see if there were chairs closer. Indeed there only seemed to be one vendor renting chairs. It was quite an operation though. We paid $27 for 2 folding lounge chairs and an umbrella. They hand you everything right there and you go pick your spot and stick your own umbrella in the ground. The chairs we’re a little odd, but good enough for the day. We sat on the beach right near The Sandbar, a bar and grill that the driver recommended. You couldn’t see it from the beach so it was peaceful but just a short walk over a little bridge and you were there. They had outdoor and indoor seating. We went there for lunch and drinks and we very happy. They had some strong drinks. 5 different levels of hurricane’s and I got the Sandbar Bacardi Bucket,with 4 different Bacardi rums in it that comes in mini sand pail. Very cool and delicious! For lunch we split the conch fritters, which to me were more like crabcakes. We had fritters before in St. Kitts that I liked better (battered and fried), but these had some kick and were still quite delicious! I ordered a shrimp taco and two fish tacos which were mahi mahi. The shrimp taco was out of this world good, and the mahi mahi was very good, but was missing the same delicious sauce the shrimp taco had. All in all my meal was fantastic. DB ordered a mahi mahi wrap, which he liked but liked my tacos better. We then headed back to our chairs and took a nap!! We went back to the Sandbar for one more round of drinks and decided to pack up and head back to the ship, probably around 4pm. The vans were all lined up just where we left them waiting to take us back. We didn’t even have to wait because it seemed everyone was heading out at the same time. Got back to the ship around 4:30 for a 5:30 or 6pm departure.

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D480

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

Forgot to mention we walked down the beach to this area and there was a restaurant and another place selling chairs, but I think they were a few dollars more than what we paid. Also some shops up there I think

 

ry%3D400

 

Crazy Seagulls with Mohawks

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the Sandbar

 

ry%3D400

 

 

Fish/Shrimp Tacos

 

ry%3D400

 

Mahi Wrap

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

He got the Hurricane Category 5 and I got the Sandbar Bacardi Bucket. Can't wait to make it at home.

 

ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×