This was my first cruise and my wife's fifth. (All Carnival) I booked this cruise because to fly from Detroit to Baltimore as opposed to Florida saved me $1000 airfare (four people). If I could do it all over again I would have paid the extra to fly to Florida and done a five day cruise. I knew we would hit some cold weather (not blaming Carnival, I knew this going in) but days, 1,2 and 6 were cold.
About the ship: As a first timer I had a great time. Mostly because of spending it with my wife, 18 yr old son and 14 yr old daughter. The Carnival Pride staff is wonderful, personable and very accommodating. I tried to tip my steward when we first arrived but he would not take it. I asked for ice and twice a day I had fresh ice the entire cruise. By all means BUY the Faster to the Fun ($49 total for all four of us). We were on in less than 45 minutes and off in 25 (Customs).
We went to the shows which some were corny but fun (kids enjoyed them), the comedians were great and my 14 year old enjoyed the family comedy shows. Me and my son enjoyed the adult shows, hanging out in the sports bar and the Asian band playing 80's, 90's and today's music were fantastic.
We had the early dinner (6pm) and I highly recommend that so you can hit the shows. We were fortunate to sit with a nice family from upstate New York.
A big mistake was traveling during winter break for many schools. Parents mostly let their kids run free, spill fries, ice cream and cereal all over the ship. (Not carnival's fault but the parents of today)
Excursions: Monday - Tuesday - all day sail, Wednesday we rented a convertible and hung out in the Cocoa Beach area, did some shopping, sightseeing and had a wonderful lunch at an open air bar while watching Olympic hockey. Thursday we hit the Atlantis in Nassau, while way too expensive ($725) for four and a half hours I am glad we did it. It was a beautiful day, swimming, water rides and a nice lunch. Friday we stopped off in Freeport and hung around the area to do some shopping. Saturday was a full sail day and cold. Read a great book and had a nap.
1) I would never sail out of Baltimore again in the winter. Took two days before we felt the warmth of the sun.
2) I have no interest to ever visit the Bahamas again. Found nothing interesting or fun about it.
3) The Pride is scheduled for a large overhaul this summer and it is overdue. However for my first cruise we had a blast and I would sail again on it after the upgrade.