Cruising on the Carnival Pride
Trip Start Oct 17, 2004
5Trip End Oct 24, 2004
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Dining: I found the dining room food and service to be quite good. While I have heard stories of inattentive waiters and poor service on other ships, we had no complaints about the service. The food was generally pretty good. There were some soups and some pies that were unsatisfactory but what we quickly learned is that you can always ask for an alternate choice. It is almost like returning something back to the kitchen but with much less guilt attached. While we do not believe in wasting food there were two occasions when we used this option to avoid disappointment. In addition, our waiter sometimes even encouraged us to choose two entrees (create our own surf and turf) which we would sometimes do and skip the appetizer. There were even a few nights when our waiter told us what NOT to order and I really did feel he had good intentions.
We also went to David's Supper Club on our last night and paid the extra $25 per person for the experience.
While the food was a notch better than the main dining room I would not go so far as to say it rivals the top restaurants in the country.
But for a special occasion and to break the monotony of too many consecutive nights in the main dining room, I would say it was worth it. As a hint, think of timing your reservation with the time of the sunset. Also, something we were not clever enough to figure out originally, don't forget the main dining room formal nights are Monday and Friday which also means lobster and/or prime rib. While they claim the place gets booked, we were able to go on the waiting list on a Thursday night and eventually got a Saturday night reservation. While I have seen a few people rave about the 24 hour pizza, personally I found it a little flat (literally) and not that appetizing. The Taste of Nations, which changes daily, was more fun as a lunch option. Also, the unlimited soda card for about $40/person makes a lot of sense for adult soda drinkers.
Entertainment: This was a bit disappointing. The shows were definitely not "Las Vegas" caliber as I have heard some compare them to. At least not the Las Vegas I remember. The comedian was good but then again I'm impressed by a rabbit out of the hat as long as I can't figure out how it was done.
The Overall Ship: The ship was very impressive in size and impeccably clean. Seeing the crew work so hard daily explains all of this.
The Cabin: I have heard people complain about ship cabins but we had the extended balcony room and it was plenty of room for the two of us. I think I would go crazy in an inside cabin with no idea what time or what the weather looked like outside but I can also see the inside cabins as ideal for economical reasons or party people who need the darkness to recover in the mornings/afternoons. The room was more than satisfactory. Every night we would come back to a new towel character in our room.
The Sales Pitches: This was a little brutal. Had I read these review beforehand I would have been better prepared for them and avoided some obvious sales pitches. But no one is forcing you to play bingo or buy gold by the inch so I simply tuned out the verbal ads and avoided the auctions. After a while I didn't notice the sales pitches so much although I have to say that it was a bit overwhelming at first.