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Review of the Carnival Pride
Cruise Date: February 2011
Booking: Travel Agency
Destination: The Bahamas
Cabin number: 4233
Cabin category: Inside
Carnival Pride Baltimore to Bahamas
I just returned from another great cruise (aren't they all, I'm 4 for 4 in great cruises).
First the drawbacks:
Baltimore Embarkation was horrible, compared to NY and New Orleans the other ports I have sailed out of. I drove down, got there a reasonable time (11.10AM) and had to wait on a long line as the way the parking is set up we had to wait for the disembarking to finish. At around 11:45 the line started moving. Once we unloaded the car and parked we had a long security line as they only had two screeners. We then had another long line to check in as Carnival only VIP's those with 10 cruises unlike NCL which VIP'ed us after one cruise. Then the wait to board and another line to get on the ship. We didn't get on to 1:30 as all those who arrived by bus, taxi or dropped off were ahead of those who drove to the pier. I guess showing up later would have been better, but I always leave extra time when driving, especially a 3 hour drive, but without traffic we made great time.
There was only one pingpong table on board that we can see and no shuffleboard (I'm an old fogey who likes to play). I couldn't believe a cruise ship didn't have shuffleboard.
As in my previous Carnival Cruise there are too many smoking areas. I cut short time in the casino due to smoking( which since I was losing this week was probably a good thing for me). I found people smoking by the slot machines marked no smoking section. The sports bar and piano bar also allow smoking. I believe smokers should have places to smoke besides the outside, but the piano bar is for singalongs and nonsmokers are interested in sports too.
Selfish people was a drawback, you know the ones who don't think rules or courtesy apply to them. On the two Elegant nights ( which is really not so fancy anymore as dress shirts without ties or jackets are allowed) I saw women come in with jeans and there husbands with non collared shirts which are never suppose to be allowed. i'm guessing to avoid scenes they were allowed to sit. If you don't want to dress up I think you should go to the Lido deck or cruise NCL which is optional formal nights. The really selfish people I will mention at the end when I discuss disembarking.
As for the rest of this review, everything was great.
The food was excellent and the three nights I had steak they were prepared the way I like them, nice and rare. I cannot imagine paying $30 to have steak at the steakhouse and not allowed a second one if you want. The lobster tails this week were Maine Lobster tails and were delicious as were all the other meals I tried. On the lido deck( buffet) I had lunch a few times and breakfast twice. I was disappointed that they did not have Lox at the breakfast buffett. The hamburgers, pizza, deli were good except for the hot dogs which since I'm used to Hebrew National and Nathans all beef were not as good in comparison.
The inside cabin was fine and the bed very comfortable. SInce I booked an inside, I can't complain of not enough sitting area, but I was only in the room to sleep or nap.
The shows were good and the new comedy club was great. We had four different comedians during the week and the adult only shows were hysterical.
The first two days the water was rough and there was high winds until we got as south as Florida. There was enough to do inside that we didn't mind not sitting outside or doing outside activities (minigolf, basketball etc.). It was crowded by the roof covered pool, but pool sitting isn't my favorite thing to do anyway.
After that the weather was great, high 70's to low 80's, land excursions were fun (we saw the space shuttle on the launch pad as it was the day before launch when we were there), and we just relaxed and had a great time. I heard some complaints because we were in Nassau from 11 AM to 10 PM and most things close by 6, that the times were bad. Those who went to Atlantis said the food coupons they had were no good after 5. I know the last time I was there the ship was in from 8AM to 7 PM which was better.
On the way back the waters again were rough and it was windy as we got further north, but once we reached Chesapeake bay it was calm.
The disembarkation process was very good except for some selfish people. They started with the self assist which they said was 1300 of the 2000 passengers. I don't understand the rush to get off the ship and end vacation sooner, but that's their thing. On this ship they don't just line up but they call you by the floor of your cabin to control the rush to get off. Unfortunately after 20minutes of the first floor leaving we heard an announcement that many passengers were being rude to the staff trying to get off before there floor was called. This pushed back the time for the rest of us as they slowed the whole process down. I had one of the last numbers to get off and was schedule for about 2 and half hours after they started. We were called at 12:10 and I was in my car driving at 12:30. We walked right off, they had customs before the luggage, something I never saw before, got through very fast, picked up my luggage and was gone. Easiest disembarkation I ever had.
To sum up, GREAT CRUISE, GREAT VACATION.
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