We were on the Carnival Pride in early April 2022. These are my views of the ship.
Masks and Covid Protocols
As of April 2022 masks are not required on almost all areas of the ship. I’d say that maybe 98% of the passengers were not wearing masks. You do have to wear masks as you embark and disembark the ship, in the cruise terminal at all times, and some places in port. We had to wear masks on any sort of transportation, including the tender. We didn’t wear masks outside in port, but did in the shops. All of the crew wears masks.
We didn’t hear of anyone having Covid on the ship. The ship isn’t actively forcing people to use hand sanitizer, although there is hand sanitizer around the ship. There is no one at the entrances of food venues putting hand sanitizer on everyone coming in. The ship is crowded, it must have been at almost 100% capacity, and there is no social distancing. It was an almost normal cruise, which was nice after all the craziness of the past two years.
We were in cabin number 4132, which is an Interior with obstructed view cabin type. This means that it’s technically not an interior cabin, but an exterior with a picture window. The view is obstructed by the lifeboats. It cost about $6 extra a day for our cruise over the cost of an interior cabin. This was much less than the cost of a room with a window that didn’t have an obstructed view.
This cabin was much bigger than an interior cabin and had a sofa. The window was floor to ceiling and let in a lot of light. We were in between lifeboats so we could see the ocean clearly. The downside of this cabin is that we’d see crewmembers working on the lifeboats while we were in the cabin. They could obviously see into our cabin. Do not change your clothes or whatever in the cabin with the curtains open because you never knew when they would show up. We were never warned before they came.
The beds and pillow were comfortable, as always with Carnival bedding. There is plenty of storage space. There is a vanity and large lighted mirror in the cabin, also a safe and mini fridge. The TV is small and not a lot of channels. We had a hard time getting the remote to work correctly. There is a hairdryer in the drawer, but be careful. The back of it would tend to pull my hair into it, and I lost a chunk of hair that I couldn’t get out of the dryer.
The bathroom seemed spacious enough, as cruise ship bathrooms go. I found that if I pulled the shower curtain back behind the back faucet when not in use, it left more room. The shower was room enough. The shower curtain wasn’t clinging to me, and the water stayed in the shower area.
For us, the food was hit and miss. The buffet, The Mermaid Grill, was really pretty, but didn’t have a huge variety of food items to choose from. They had four small buffet areas. Some of the food was okay, some not as good, but not a lot of variety to choose from. One of the buffet areas was set aside for Chinese food. There was only one area for dessert, and that was usually crowded. Again, that was hit and miss on taste. The iced tea on the entire ship tasted odd. I felt it tasted more like a cream soda. The tables were cleaned quickly and the crewmembers did a great job.
Breakfast items at the buffet were limited. Scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, french toast, bacon every other day, breads and pastries. Pretty much the same every day. There is an omelet area where you can get omelets or eggs made to order. I found that the coffee wasn’t to my taste. Too strong. But my husband loved it. The orange juice and passion fruit juice were good, but very sweet.
One thing that was annoying was people playing cards and games in the Mermaid Grill on the tables during peak lunch time. Meanwhile, there were people walking around trying to find a table to eat on. More than once we had to share our table. Please be considerate and play the games after 2 pm when most people have had lunch.
Guy’s Burgers is always one of my favorite places to eat. Since I wasn’t that fond of the items on the buffet most of the time, I ate at Guy’s more than once. My favorite is The Ringer. But I had it without a bun. Very delicious, and it comes with Carnival type fries, which are very good. Definitely recommended.
Blue Iguana Cantina
The Blue Iguana Cantina is also a good place to go if you don’t want the buffet food. You can have your burrito, taco, or taco bowl made to order, and it has breakfast burritos also. It never seemed all that crowded. I would recommend this one too.
Main Dining Room
The Normandy Room, which is the Main Dining Room, is a good place to go for breakfast and the Seaday Brunch. It is a beautiful space. You’ll get a bit more variety and better food. You have to make reservations on the HUB app to get in, but it never took us longer than ten minutes to get a table. I never saw it crowded.
We had the 6 pm seating in the Main Dining Room for dinner. You can also choose 8 pm, or you can do the My Time Dining if you want a little more leeway in the time you can eat dinner. You have to make reservations in the HUB app every night and they will let you know when your table is ready. I did hear a number of grumblings that it took a long time to get a table.
We prefer to have the same waiters every night, which is why we chose the 6 pm dining time. We could always get in by 5:45 pm, and we sat ourselves at our table. Our waiters were Sherwin John, Rohman, and Martin, and they were great. It was a lot of fun interacting with them. We also had two table mates, and we enjoyed getting to know them.
Some of the food in the Main Dining Room was very good, and some just so-so. The steak items were the best meals we had on the ship. Some of the portions were very big, and then some of the meals had tiny portions. But remember that you can ask for more if you want to.
We did decide to try out David’s Steakhouse on this cruise because we’d seen some good reviews on it. The area is very beautifully designed, and is actually right under the glassed ship funnel. I have to say though that we were disappointed in our meal. The wait staff was great and we were seated at a nice window table promptly. Our first course was compliments of the chef. I really cannot tell you what it was. It wasn’t really explained to us but it was a small spoon with some kind of bubbly stuff on it, also a wafer with some brown gelatinous blob on it. Not our normal fare or especially mouth watering. The wafer was good, but the rest kind of disgusting.
We both ordered Surf and Turf thinking that the Lobster would be a cut above the dining room Lobster. It wasn’t. And we actually had better steak in the Main Dining Room. Dessert was good. I had a ball of chocolate which was covered in hot chocolate. It was pretty good. He had a huge cheesecake that was too big for anyone to eat in one sitting.
Honestly, I would never pay $38 for David’s Steakhouse again. We had better food in the Main Dining Room that we didn’t have to pay extra for.
We had the Bubbles Soda package, so we interacted with bartenders often on the ship. They were all friendly and served us promptly. We did get our free VIFP drink the last night of the cruise, and the bartender in the atrium was funny.
Main Entertainment Theater Shows
The Welcome Aboard show wasn’t all that interesting. Our Cruise Director, Filippe, introduced himself. He’s pretty good as a Cruise Director. But the show mostly consisted of two women competing in a game to shake balls out of buckets. No show other than that. The second day show was pretty good. It started out with the Piano Bar man playing and singing, then went into a pretty good production number with the regular entertainment cast. After that we had no more song and dance shows. When the entertainment cast came on, they had stools to sit on. They also had a Motown singer who was good, then a magician, which was so-so. He was funny though.
Shore Excursions Show
I think that the Shore Excursions Show is the one not to be missed. You can win prizes while you hear about the excursions and rules of each port. My husband actually won an excursion at this show. I’ve won one on a different ship in the past.
The Butterfly Lounge shows
We chose to watch the Comedian Shows in the Butterfly Lounge, which are right under the theater on deck 1. We saw three different comedians, and all were very good and very funny. The biggest problem in the Butterfly Lounge was seating. If you wanted to watch the Playlist show in the Theater you had to leave early to get a seat in the lounge. They need to stagger the shows more. Keep in mind that later in the cruise they had the same comedy shows in the theater.
The violin trio were my favorite group playing around the ship. They were really good, and it was fun to watch people dancing to the songs. Other than that, we really didn’t watch any of the singers or groups.
Pools and outdoor areas
The Pride has three pools. One of them has a moveable roof that slides open or closed. We never saw it closed, even when it was raining. The pools are small, and were crowded on our sea days. People save seats and leave, so it’s hard to get a deck chair unless you’re very early. Two of the pools are on deck 9 and separated by the bar area. One of the pools has the large screen TV where they show movies.
There is an area on deck 9 in front of the ship that is a good viewing area for the Panama Canal, sail away’s, etc. You go through a door and out onto the deck, which is over the Bridge.
The Serenity Deck is small and crowded. And like the pool area, people are saving seats and leaving to eat, etc. The Serenity area has a small pool and whirlpool.
Deck 3 does not wrap around the ship, but is open on both sides and the front of the ship. It’s very windy though. One thing that I missed on this ship were deck chairs on deck 3. There are none. That’s the deck that I usually go out and relax on. And Deck 3 is a perfect place to get sunset pictures.
Decks 10 and 11
Decks 10 and 11 were extremely windy while we were at sea. Deck 10 goes all the way around for walking, but it was very hard to walk because of the wind when the ship was moving. There are a lot of empty deck chairs on deck 10. It’s a nice way to relax and get away from people for a while.
Deck 11 has the waterslides, running track, basketball court, and miniature golf course. It was always too windy when it was at sea to do any of these things. I never saw anyone use the water slides. My husband tried to play miniature golf, but the ball would not hold still to hit it.
We were very happy with the ship staff that we got to know. Our waiters were great, and so was our room Steward. Fillipe was our Cruise Director and very funny. I did run into him on the ship, and he was very nice. It’s always a favorite thing for me to get to know people from other countries. Normally, because I blog and the ship knows it, I get to know more people than I did this cruise. On our last cruise we got to know the Maitre d’ and the Executive Chef. On this ship, however, we didn’t meet anyone extra. I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t.
Excursions by Carnival
We took two Carnival Excursions on this cruise. Both were okay, but not outstanding. In Limon, Costa Rica we were on a train, boat and bus excursion. Most of that tour was good, but the train was extremely uncomfortable and hot. It was hard to really see anything if you weren’t in a window seat. The boat was nice, and the bus tour entertaining and informative.
In Grand Cayman we were on a Semi-submarine and bus tour excursion. The excursion was misrepresented by Carnival, and we didn’t get to do everything that we were supposed to do on it, according to the ticket and the description on the ship TV excursion channel. Make sure that you get what you’re paying for.
The Ship itself
The Carnival Pride is an extremely beautiful ship with artwork every where that you look. Most of it is renaissance period artwork, and you can see it everywhere you look. There’s even a huge statue of David at the entrance to David’s Steakhouse. I never got tired of looking at the artwork and carvings. I hope that they never change that. Reminds me of the old ships.
It’s a small ship, but the layout is good. It’s not hard to get anywhere. The staff is great, we had no problems with them. Customer service was easy to get to.
The ship rocked a great deal, and for some reason, the outside decks were extremely windy.
We don’t smoke, but I noticed that both sides of deck 3 had smoking on it. One side was for passengers, the other for crewmembers. There’s also smoking allowed in the Casino if you are actively gambling.
We didn’t use the casino but passed through it often. It didn’t seem to be as smoky as some ship casinos. There were a lot of players and it seemed crowded. It’s plenty big though.
Embarkation and Debarkation from the Port of Tampa
Embarkation went smoothly. The port let us check in a bit early, and then it didn’t take long to be allowed onto the ship. Our luggage found its way to our room safely.
Debarkation was a bit slower. We had gotten luggage tag #7, and were able to exchange it at the customer service booth for #6. It took till about 8:45 am till they started calling the numbered tags. We left when they called for #3 because I figured that our luggage would be in the terminal already, and it was. It didn’t take long to get through Customs, and then we just had to wait for our hotel shuttle.
My favorite place on the ship
My favorite place on the Pride is the “Secret” hallway behind the theater. You enter it beside the theater entrance on deck 3 on either side. This hallway was so nice and peaceful and quiet. It has sofas, and little tables with chairs right in front of porthole windows. It’s a great place to just sit and relax and watch the ocean. And no wind! It’s also a great place to hide and hunt ducks. I went in there often just to relax away from people. Yes, I am the Quiet Cruiser and I like quiet sometimes.