Carnival Pride by Mark Chambliss
May 18, 2002
On Friday May the 17th my family flew from Allentown,Pa. to Orlando via the services of Northwest Airlines.We had an easy flight and connected in Detroit at the new Northwest Terminal there.
We rented a nice Lincoln LS from the Hertz Prestige collection and motored to Cocoa Beach for a pre-night stay at the Doubletree on Cocoa Beach. We paid less than $60.00 by using Priceline.Com and felt we got a super deal. Our experience with Hertz was great.The car was awesome and Keith the Manager in Cocoa beach gave us complimentary transportation to and from the pier with our reservations.Our cruise was off to a wonderful start as you can tell.
Embarkation was swift.I suggest you get to the check-in lines between 11:00 am and 11:30 am....The busses with passengers arriving the same day fill the place up by 11:30.Have your paperwork done in advance.You will also have to fill out a Bahamas Immigration form ...given in the check-in line.
We were on our ship by 12:30pm. We were greeted by several ship crew members at the gangway and then made our way to our room 6333 an aft balcony.SWEET CABIN !!!
The ship was so Beautiful !! The Art on this ship was very nice and the theme was carried well throughout the ship.The staff chuckled at the youngsters laughing at some nudity... and of coarse the full "David" statue,but we found all of it tasteful.
I think the best way to sum up my review would be to tell you about what we thought was the best part of our trip and that would have to be the people onboard the ship that try every day to make your stay wonderful.While some try harder...I have a bunch of respect for the following people that made our CARNIVAL PRIDE trip GREAT !!!
First we met our Cabin Stewardess Diana.She was so warm friendly.We asked her if she could empty the mini bar fridge so we could store our carry-on beverages and wine.She did this with a smile and kept us stocked with Ice and Glasses all week.She also went the extra mile with my 3 year old Catie. She also informed us that she was one of the first women cabin stewardesses.The room was very nice and roomy.I like the new woodtones in the cabin.The balcony at the very middle back-end of the ship was nice...We watched the wake of the ship fizzle in the distance and privacy was never a problem. I liked that the life jackets are new and smaller than on any ship I've sailed.Muster drill was fast and painless.
Camp Carnival on the ship is in the nose of the ship.Its nice...video walls,crawling tubes and plenty of tables for activities for the kids.From what I saw ..the ratio was about 3 kids per counselor and the activities were fun for the kids.They gave out nice Captains Hats on the last night.The first night..parents and kids all went to the disco and played games.I thought I would crack up when the room was divided into Men Vs the Women games. While the men showed off singing "Who let the Dogs out " the Girls strutted to Brittney !!
Ok...it was funny that the week started like that with "Who let the dogs out"...because at the end of the week it was "YMCA" from the showlounge..to singing it on the airplane home with my daughter.
I met some very nice casino staff members/dealers .. and spent several hours there only to break about even for the week.Jean was the nicest dealer.Ivan the toughest $ killer !!
My favorite part of the cruise was getting to Golf (my favorite hobby) with the golf pro's Roger and Chip of Elite Golf. We played in St.Thomas and again in Nassau on Friday. Throughout the week we had putting contests that were different each time.They also shared their personal ship experiences that really was quite interesting.In Nassau we finished our 18 holes early and played another 9 holes for fun. Bonus Golf as I saw it !!
The Dining room was very nice.The Head Matrade' Ken entertained us every night with songs like" New York,New York" and Elvis "My way" . He has a great voice.
The wait staff was nice.and The food plentiful and although good...I didn't find it great. The seafood dished were coated with sauces that were a bit thick. I prefer to let the food stand on its own flavor. The best meal on the cruise was the grilled salmon. It was great. The lobster night was good too.They will bring as many as you can eat..but they were a bit tough and small. Overall I was happy with the food,but have had better on the Imagination and the Triumph.
I must give kudos' to the pool bar staff...especially Suwannee and Anna .. they took care of us all week.
The entertainment was AWSOME !!!! Justin the Illusionist was great.His shows were great and he had his family onboard, and we got to know each other at the kiddy-pool. The dancers seemed to be out and among the passenger events.We met several and had pictures made with them.......they were quite good..even on a few rocky sea nights.We also liked the cruise Director Todd Wittmer.He was funny and visible at several events.He greeted us at arrival and departure and personally thanked us.I thought the question and answer session with other crew members was outstanding and offered personal insight to their lives at sea.
So as you can see...the people make the difference.The ship was super ! I hope I didn't slight the ship.Its the nicest we've been on with Carnival .
Debarkation was just as easy. We were relaxing in the card room..and were called to debark at 9:45 am. We proceeded to the luggage area,collected our bags and found our Hertz courtesy van waiting just outside.We spent just one more night in Cocoa Beach at the Hilton Beachside before flying home on Sunday.The hotel was nice and had a good beach.We got our land legs back by staying that night.... and were refreshed for our journey home.
THANKS CARNIVAL for a wonderful time.