After spending a few days in DC for some CruiseOne regional training, we headed up to the port of Baltimore yesterday morning for another ship inspection before heading home. This time, we got to check out the Carnival Pride, one of their Spirit class ships. We’ve sailed on a ship in this class before, having taken the Carnival Legend out of Tampa in 2012. Even though the Pride is the same class as the Legend, it felt like a different ship thanks in part to the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades it underwent during dry dock late last year. I don’t know that it got all of the upgrades, but it got the big ones, like the additional food choices.
The port isn’t much to look at, but it seems like it’s set up pretty well. When we arrived, we were directed over to a parking area off to the side for those not staying on the ship, but looking over the main parking, it looks like it’s all right there next to the terminal, making it one of the most convenient we’ve been to. After parking, we headed in the terminal to check in, and after a bit of a wait were led on to the ship by our tour guide, Kathy.
The ship underwent a dry dock late last year to add some of the Fun Ship 2.0 goodness, and while the upgraded areas were nice, there are plenty of areas still sporting the Renaissance theme the ship is known for. Much like the Legend’s urn-ish theme, I just wasn’t a fan. I get wanting to stray from the normal “cruise ship chic” theme so many of the older ships have, but there were areas where the theme just doesn’t work. None of the rooms underwent any sort of renovation during dry dock either, but the ones we saw were fine. We got to see the following room types while on-board:
Deck 1: Interior (Cat 4A) and Ocean View (Cat 6A)
For the most part, pretty standard rooms, but that Vista Suite was pretty nice, especially with the extended aft-wrap balcony and walk in closet.
After touring rooms, we headed upstairs and got a tour of David’s Steak House (one of two specialty restaurants on board), the spa, the main Lido food areas, Serenity (adults only area), and the waterpark. All pretty standard, although the waterpark was a new addition in last years’ dry dock. You can see some shots of these areas in the random ship pictures at the end of this post.
After that part of the tour, we were free to eat anywhere on Lido that we wanted, which was a nice change of pace from our tour on the Fantasy where we were served in the dining room. The main reason I was happy about this is that it gave me a chance to indulge in my favorite burger at sea, the Pig Patty at Guy’s Burger Joint:
The downside to this is that we didn’t get warm chocolate melting cake for dessert, but hey, the selection on the Sweet Spot dessert bar wasn’t bad:
The cake pop was pretty good, the lemon meringue pie was okay, but the rest was just average, to be honest.
After eating, we decided to see the rest ourselves to speed up our departure since we had a long drive back to Charlotte, which pretty much meant walking decks 2 and 3 in order to see the theater, shops, and casino. All were pretty much what you expect on a Carnival ship, meaning if you’ve seen them on other ships in this class, you’ve seen these. Well, except maybe the Taj Mahal theater. Not sure if they were trying to continue the Renaissance theme in there (really didn’t look like it), but we just weren’t fans of the décor in there:
The other thing to mention were the passageways on each side of the ship on deck 3 that lead back to the game room. Legend had one too, known as the enchanted forest, but this was a little brighter than that is. Honestly, not really sure what to make of these spaces. They come off as something Carnival just didn’t know what to do with, almost wasted space in our opinion:
Overall, the ship was clean, nice (especially with the new food additions), and certainly better than the Legend in my opinion. I’d sail it in a heartbeat if I lived closer!
One last thing, a big thank you to Kathy and everyone on the Pride for an outstanding time. The Carnival hospitality always shines through on these tours!
Enjoy a some more random pics from around the ship!