Exploring The Carnival Pride
There’s something about being at sea that just seems to make sleeping better. My aft veranda stateroom aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Pride vibrated pleasantly through the night, thanks to the changing direction of the ship’s two azipod propellers mounted five decks below. It’s little more than a faint vibration, and it lets me know I’m at sea.
We’re cruising south along the eastern seaboard of the United States, making 18.1 knots across the Atlantic Ocean. Seas are calm and smooth, with little more than a few wavelets here and there. Temperatures – even out here – continue yesterday’s absurdly hot streak, with the mercury surpassing 100°F.
I’m all about doing new things on this cruise, so I started my morning off by participating in Carnival’s Sea Day Brunch in the Normandie Dining Room on Deck 2. Held leisurely between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m, this complimentary event is offered only on sea days, and is a great alternative to the chaos of the Lido Buffet up on Deck 9.
I enjoyed the salmon eggs benedict with a grilled tomato, coffee, orange juice, and a mimosa for good measure (while breakfast was free, the mimosa was $8). And why not? I’m not doing the driving, so I may as well enjoy myself. As an added bonus, I was seated at a table within view of the Normandie Dining Room’s stern-mounted windows, offering some petty great views over the ship’s wake.
Because today is a day at sea, it’s a good chance for me to show you the Carnival Pride, and to tell you why this is quickly becoming my favorite Carnival ship to-date. I’m not going to show you all of the public rooms just yet – only a few of my favorites:
The Butterflies Lounge – Deck 1
I love this lounge; it’s old-school Carnival at its finest. The colors are dark and saturated, and the walls are adorned with psychedelic-looking murals. Up on the ceiling, the lighting is recessed into oversized cut-outs of butterflies. A series of beautifully-designed (and, again, brightly-coloured) butterfly chandeliers grace the spiral staircases on the port and starboard side of the room that lead up to Deck 2 and the Taj Mahal Show Lounge above.
To me, the decor and design of this lounge aboard Carnival Pride works much better than the absolutely bizarre, Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired decor found aboard her sister ship, Carnival Miracle.
The Butterflies Lounge is where the evening Punchliner Comedy Club performances are held, and where the Champagne Art Auctions take place. It’s hard to find: you can access it by the forward staircase on Deck 1, or via a set of spiral staircases located on Deck 2, adjacent to the Taj Mahal Show Lounge. To make things easy, I’d just access it by Deck 1.
The Taj Mahal Show Lounge – Decks 2, 3 and 4
While the design of this primary show lounge hasn’t changed from Carnival’s other Spirit-class ships, the India-inspired décor seems to work better here. It’s a big, grand room that holds nightly performances and special events during the afternoons. Sightlines are good (with the exception of a few seats near the back of the room on the Deck 2 level), and the room’s imposing size makes a good impression on first-time cruisers in particular.
The RedFrog Pub – Deck 2
Sure, it’s the same as every other RedFrog Pub on any other Carnival