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mskaufman

Just back from Pride 12/24 sailing

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A quick review and happy to answer any questions.

 

This was our 14th cruise and 2nd on the Pride. While this was certainly not in our top five cruises there are no major complaints.

 

Let's start with the positive. Saffie, the CD, works tremendously hard.

 

Food is good, not great. Never had a meal that had to be turned back. At lunch there is always an Asian line and one other ethnic line. The burrito, pizza and burger stations are always better than good alternatives. By the end of the cruise the Asian station seemed repetitive. Missed some basic lunch staples like fish and chips. Dinner in the MDR was also good. The Maître D, Ken, was amazing. He sang every night and we wondered if he was really that good or was lip synching. It was real. The guy should have a lunge act. There was a lack of mid afternoon or late night snacks. At 11:30pm there were hot dogs and burgers but the time between the late show and 11:30 was vacant, except for pizza.

 

Singers and dancers also put on good shows. Comedy was also good.

 

 

Saffie is everywhere changing costumes as she goes. Not sure if it is just that she doesn't delegate but the rest of the entertainment staff doesn't exhibit her charisma. Usually we are trivia players but gave up halfway through the cruise as some of the topics were narrow and there was usually some cheating going on. Also, the entertainment staff did not seem to enjoy banter with the guests.

 

We had some OBC so were looking for a shore excursion. The shore excursion desk person we dealt with did not know much more than was written in the one paragraph description in the book. This is different than on other cruises where the desk staff were good advisors. We made a choice in Freeport and (Garden of Groves) that exceeded our expectations based on what was written. At some point I will go through my pictures and set up a web site.

 

Embarkation was unbelievable. We were on the boat less than an hour from leaving our house. We live 20 minutes from the port, but still. My guess is that today's guests did not fare as well as we came in 75 minutes late and traffic was backed up from both I-95 N and S to get into the port.

 

Debarkation was as organized as could be.

 

Carnival seems to over sell and under deliver on the on board merchandise, but so do the other lines. I really wonder how many Invicta watches they sell in a week. At 75% off they are still $175. We don't really by much so this was not a distraction, although I did buy a couple of T-shirts on the last day at $10 each with my last $20 of OBC..

 

Bottom line is that we had a good cruise and would cruise Carnival/Pride again. After all, the convenience can't be beat.

 

Again, happy to answer any questions.

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Thanks for your review! I've never sailed with Ken and would love to hear him sing.

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Glad you had a good cruise! Thanks for the report.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Thanks for your review! I've never sailed with Ken and would love to hear him sing.

 

I have some video that I will have to download.

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Ken is the head Maitre D for Carnival---he trains all the new Maitre Ds and sets up the ships. We've been lucky enough to be on 4 of his cruises (I gave him this "light up" bow tie on the last one). Twice he performed a night of Sinatra music when performers did not show, his concerts were packed! Hoping he'll sail with us on the new Horizon for the transatlantic.

 

33631726335_7e6a8c83b7_o.jpg

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I would love to hear about what was done for Christmas. Was there a special menu?

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I would love to hear about what was done for Christmas. Was there a special menu?

 

There was a special menu. I do not have a copy but it was posted on another thread. There were XMAS services in the morning and a Christmas show in the afternoon. The Grinch also made an appearance.

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Ken is the head Maitre D for Carnival---he trains all the new Maitre Ds and sets up the ships. We've been lucky enough to be on 4 of his cruises (I gave him this "light up" bow tie on the last one). Twice he performed a night of Sinatra music when performers did not show, his concerts were packed! Hoping he'll sail with us on the new Horizon for the transatlantic.

 

33631726335_7e6a8c83b7_o.jpg

 

Since we didn't have any food yet we went out to lunch. The restaurant played a Sinatra song and we looked at each other wondering if Ken was in the house.

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A couple of other things.

 

Dave in the piano bar is very good although was not well attended.

 

Breakfast was good but there were only minimal differences from day to day. French toast was freshly grilled and excellent. Pancakes also made fresh. Waffles looked like they were out of the bag.

 

Usually we sleep well on a cruise (between very active days and the rocking of the boat). On this cruise the bed was most uncomfortable. I woke up with a stiff neck on day one. Thank goodness for some pain killers. When we were walking off the ship it looked like the Pride was getting some new mattresses. DW immediately commented that they were a week too late.

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thanks for the review. we look forward to sailing on the Pride this summer. any tip? tricks ?

 

Things are different in the summer in that you don't have an indoor day (due to weather) on both ends. If you are not travelling with children remember the Serenity area in the back of the boat is for adults only. Assuming you have a similar itinerary with three sea days bring something to do/read in case the planned activities are not in your area of interest. There was a lot of down time.

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A couple of other things.

 

On this cruise the bed was most uncomfortable. I woke up with a stiff neck on day one. .

We were on the Pride the week before and had the same issue. Never had a problem with the bed on any Carnival ship before.

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Thanks for your review. Enjoyed reading it. We will be on the Pride on Sunday.

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We were on the Pride the week before and had the same issue. Never had a problem with the bed on any Carnival ship before.

 

Us too. Usually the beds are just fine.

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any tips for blue iquana and guys burger joint? times to avoid?

 

Never really saw a long line at Guys. The lines at the B.I. were longer right around peak lunch times (as you would expect). However, the line moved fairly quickly.

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Thanks for your review. Enjoyed reading it. We will be on the Pride on Sunday.

 

Have an awesome cruise.

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Ken is the head Maitre D for Carnival---he trains all the new Maitre Ds and sets up the ships. We've been lucky enough to be on 4 of his cruises (I gave him this "light up" bow tie on the last one). Twice he performed a night of Sinatra music when performers did not show, his concerts were packed! Hoping he'll sail with us on the new Horizon for the transatlantic.

 

33631726335_7e6a8c83b7_o.jpg

I totally agree! Ken is fabulous! I was on the Pride from 12/10 - 12/17. He sang every night....everything Sinatra! As for him being on the Horizon, I asked him how long he would be on the Pride, and he said that he would be going to Italy and come back on the Horizon, and then back on the Pride. I'm not sure if this was set in stone, but i heard it straight from him. :)

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any tips for blue iquana and guys burger joint? times to avoid?

Love the Blue Iguana! I went there 3 or 4 times during my cruise and got a breakfast burrito. Soooo good!

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Hi, Sailing soon on the Pride, couple of question?

 

Earliest check in time?

Recent pride fun times?

How was the pizza?

Anything special to do on the Pride?

Last time on the pride the kids were babies so did not get to do much so any advice is appreciated.

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Hi, Sailing soon on the Pride, couple of question?

 

Earliest check in time?

Recent pride fun times?

How was the pizza?

Anything special to do on the Pride?

Last time on the pride the kids were babies so did not get to do much so any advice is appreciated.

 

Check in times based on a reservation you make on line. Our check in time was 2pm. We arrived closer to 1:00 and were able to get on line. Could be that the Pride got in early that day. This past Sunday I doubt that anyone checked in before 1pm. Security was not even letting cars into the port to drop off people. That is because the Pride did not dock until 11:15.

 

Do not have copies of Fun Times

 

Pizza is good and always available

 

There is a lot to do on the ship at different times during the day. Pretty much standard cruise ship stuff, depending on what you like.

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Check in times based on a reservation you make on line. Our check in time was 2pm. We arrived closer to 1:00 and were able to get on line. Could be that the Pride got in early that day. This past Sunday I doubt that anyone checked in before 1pm. Security was not even letting cars into the port to drop off people. That is because the Pride did not dock until 11:15.

 

Do not have copies of Fun Times

 

Pizza is good and always available

 

There is a lot to do on the ship at different times during the day. Pretty much standard cruise ship stuff, depending on what you like.

 

How is the check in at the terminal handled in Baltimore? In Miami our passport was scanned at the door and since we had completed our online check in that was all we had to do, just took a seat and waited for our boarding zone to be called. I'm hoping that it's that easy in Baltimore.

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We thought it was pretty easy in Baltimore. They checked our boarding pass at the door. We waited on line for about five minutes for an agent who gave us our key and we walked on board. Timing was

 

Left house - 12:15 pm

Arrive port/check luggage - 12:40 pm

On board - 1:00 pm

Lunch at Lido - 1:15 pm

 

Worked great for us. As I said in an earlier post not so for the people on the Pride now as she was 75 minutes late getting to Baltimore and was still unloading at 1:15 pm. Security was not letting cars into the port and traffic was backed up.

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We were also on the 12/24 cruise. Did anybody else come down with norovirus? Was bedridden for 3 days. Fortunately got better by the last day. Unfortunately, my daughter just got hit with it yesterday. My wife spoke with the guitarist in the band and he said that he had it the week before and was out for a few days. I also noticed the last night that the same guy who was working pizza was running across the room to also work desserts in the buffet. It made me think that they were short manned and perhaps there was something going on with the crew. And IMPORTANT FYI-- for those coming aboard soon, regular alcohol based hand sanitizers do NOT work on norovirus. You need something that contains benzethonium chloride. I forgot to bring it (and man did it cost us) this time. We've used Gold Bond Ultimate Hand Sanitizer (no longer made, but available online at different places) on past cruises and have never caught a bug. Unfortunately, these things happen and it wouldn't stop us from cruising in the winter next year! Enjoy!! :

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We thought it was pretty easy in Baltimore. They checked our boarding pass at the door. We waited on line for about five minutes for an agent who gave us our key and we walked on board. Timing was

 

Left house - 12:15 pm

Arrive port/check luggage - 12:40 pm

On board - 1:00 pm

Lunch at Lido - 1:15 pm

 

Worked great for us. As I said in an earlier post not so for the people on the Pride now as she was 75 minutes late getting to Baltimore and was still unloading at 1:15 pm. Security was not letting cars into the port and traffic was backed up.

 

Thanks!

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We were on the Pride 2 years ago on Christmas.

Ken's singing in the dining room was one of the things I enjoyed most on the Pride.

Even my 13-year old DD was impressed!

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Ken is the best and he told us he loves working on the Pride.

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We were also on the 12/24 cruise. Did anybody else come down with norovirus? Was bedridden for 3 days. Fortunately got better by the last day. Unfortunately, my daughter just got hit with it yesterday. My wife spoke with the guitarist in the band and he said that he had it the week before and was out for a few days. I also noticed the last night that the same guy who was working pizza was running across the room to also work desserts in the buffet. It made me think that they were short manned and perhaps there was something going on with the crew. And IMPORTANT FYI-- for those coming aboard soon, regular alcohol based hand sanitizers do NOT work on norovirus. You need something that contains benzethonium chloride. I forgot to bring it (and man did it cost us) this time. We've used Gold Bond Ultimate Hand Sanitizer (no longer made, but available online at different places) on past cruises and have never caught a bug. Unfortunately, these things happen and it wouldn't stop us from cruising in the winter next year! Enjoy!! :

 

Sorry you had this. I did not hear it from someone else. We did notice that Carnival was not as strict with the use of hand sanitizers as other lines. On HAL (a Carnival brand?) they did not let passengers touch buffet utensils until day 3. On NCL there was someone at the entrance to each eating venue almost forcing guests to use the sanitizer saying "washy washy". Glad you have recovered.

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My DD14 is a big Sinatra fan and just adored Ken.

 

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We were onboard last week too until we had to disembark in Nassau.

 

Our embarkation was quick and painless. The wait was to hand over the luggage. after that, we had just a few minutes wait to pay for parking. we then walked right into the terminal, through security, checked in and were on the ship with no wait at all.

 

When we returned to the port on Sunday afternoon to pick up the car, it was a different story. We had to go through the Harbor Tunnel twice because they closed the exit because cars were backing up unto I95. It took rat minutes to get me close enough that I could safely walk to the car.

 

It was about 10 degrees outside and the lines to get into the terminal, nonexistent last week, were long, with many people very unprepared. We had originally thought to leave our heavy winter coats in the car instead of lugging them with us. I am so glad we didn’t!

 

One other thing of note that I didn’t know beforehand was that even with the Cheers! package, sales tax is charge on all drinks until midnight of the first night. Each slip was for like $.83. Had I known it ended at midnight, I would have waited a few minutes before ordering my Christmas toast.

 

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We enjoyed the cruise, but I don’t think we will do a Christmas cruise, or a winter departure from Baltimore again.

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Thanks. We are possibly looking at a hard road. We don’t know yet. It will take time.

 

On a brighter note, Carnival really helped and made it an easy process. We had left Carnival for a few years because of customer service issues, but came back this summer to try Vista. I am glad we did.

 

And I will be shouting from the rooftops if they manage to pull off my single request of them — a copy of one of our formal night family photos. We didn’t get the chance to buy it before we left and it sure would mean a lot to me to have it. Though I am hopeful, we may not get another chance for all of us to cruise together again.

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