Well, we are a small family of 3 and this was our first cruise. We were traveling with a 10 year old and we were super nervous. We did so much research about the Pride and to be honest, we got a little scared, but decided to board with an open mind and make our own decisions.
First, we decided to save a bit of money and stay at the Holiday Inn Express on Saturday because they have free parking for cruisers for the week and the take you to and from the port. They also provided a shuttle bus to downtown. This was the way to go! We spent the day in Baltimore and it is a family friendly, wonderful city! We can't wait to go back!
The day of the cruise we left the hotel at 10:15 am. Boarding The Pride was super easy. We were on board by 11:30 am. Once we boarded lunch was already available to us in the Mermaid Grill, we knew the room wouldn't be ready till later so we "explored" and I did the whole mom thing and got lots of pictures. At 1:15 pm, our room was ready with the luggage.
The first two days were "sea" days.Our son LOVED Camp Carnival! We had to keep reminding him that it was a family vacation and he needed to spend time with us too, we gave up later that week and just let him go. Jaime Dee and her entertainment staff were amazing. Jay Pepper, Gumby, Sarah, and Chris were so peppy all the time, and not the annoying cheerleader type either. We laughed so much and had such a great time with them. (if anyone reads this and is going on this cruise in the near future, will you please take Sarah a Baby Ruth). Nassau was awesome, we chose the Blue Lagoon excursion and it was awesome! Beware of the rum punch on the way back though...it's very strong.
It rained in Freeport but it was ok with us because we played Bingo with Gumby and joined in on some trivia with Sarah and Uncle Brucie. We caught all the comedy shows, Mike Macy was by far the best and was friggin hilarious.
The food..all the food was pretty much awesome. I'm scared to weigh in. Breakfast was good, the bacon was a little greasy but that didn't stop my son from eating it (he's the world's most pickiest eater), lunch always had plenty of options, before you leave the ship you have to have a hot dog from the grill on the lido deck. We ate most nights in the Normandie. For us, the food was always hot and cooked perfect. I tried so many foods that I have never tried before and they were perfectly happy to bring me something else if I didn't like it. Didn't eat at David's.
The room..basic room on deck 1 with a window. We were hardly in there except to sleep and shower so it served it's purpose well. Always had fresh towels. The towel animals were very cute!
The service..every single employee on that ship was amazing. They made my first cruise unbelievable and won my loyalty with Carnival.
The art around the ship..so I think I may have had an advantage on that one, I studied Renaissance art, so I was able to explain most of the art to my son. Who the people were and so on..I just educated him. Please parents, art is a wonderful thing! Don't get upset because you see some painted boobies, educate yourself and your children and it won't be so bad! I felt like a teacher sometimes because I would stop and explain a painting to my kid and next thing I knew I had 5-6 people around me.
Also one last thing...for those who are traveling with kids from 10-16. Camp Carnival is wonderful, do not let your children sign in and out on their own. We caught several kids knocking on cabin doors and hiding around the corner. Please keep an eye on your teen, at about 1 in the morning I was on the lido deck smoking and a girl about 14 was trying to buy cigs from the other guests. Most children were well behaved but out of 451 minors on our cruise only about 20 of them were, well the only way to put it is really bad.
Loved my cruise, loved everything about it! I learned so much! Wish someone would have posted about they provided beach towels everyday, it could have saved me some space. I packed pretty lightly because on Wednesday I washed all our clothes, which is $3.00 to wash and $3.00 to dry, I packed my own detergent and brought my own quarters so I was prepared. Hope this review is helpful.