We decided to do a cruise for spring break with our kids and another family 12 total. Chose the Baltimore port because the Pride offered different ports that we had not gone to yet, Turks and Caicos, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport. It was only a 4.5 hour drive for us to get to port. Fun Seaport to check out if you have time too. The Aquarium is fabulous. Otherwise we would have just went out of NY.
We parked at the port only $105 for the week, vehicle was safe and right there when we would return. Pulled in at 10:30 and when lot opened and the previous cruisers started to pull out we drove in. We paid for :faster to the fun", I do think that this did help speed up our process, and push us through ahead of those that did not have it. Plus our baggage was in our rooms. We were able to board around 1pm or so. Adults can also carry on one bottle of wine or champagne per adult. Or six packs of soda, or water.
Bar drinks ran a average of $8.75 not bad. Beer less, and there was always a drink special. So don't wine about your bar bill, just plan a head on what you might spend and budget that in.
Tip: if you bought a drink out of your mini bar its a few dollars cheaper than buying it at the bar.
All of us thought the ship was nice and clean. I actually thought that it was one of the cleaner ships I have ever been on.
Food-Plenty of it, and its good. I didnt have a problem with any meal. There is something to eat all day, plus room service, which the kids figured out real quick. Funny how the hardworking adults who payed for this didnt take advantage of that part :) The oven pizza bar is great, its all made to order. You can pretty much eat non stop up until 2pm. then the buffet shuts down to prepare for dinner. But pizza, and the grill by the pool are always open. I recommend dining in the Normandie for breakfast a few times. Its very nice. We chose a fixed dining time of 8:15, worked out great because they had two shows to accommodate both dinner seatings. We also ate at Davids, ($35a head) up stairs one night a treat to us parents. Food was excellent. And the kids were perfectly fine dinning in the main dining room, with our servers who took excellent care of them.
Activities-Plenty of them, keep the itinerary in your pocket. Our kids were ages 10-18, they were constantly busy, the younger ones opted out of the kids club and hung with the older ones. The older teens pretty much spent a lot of time in the O2 and hung with the other teens.
Night time-Butterflies, Beauties, Piano Bar plenty of entertainment for adults. Although I wish they had some time slots that the dance clubs were family friendly till around 10pm and not always 18 or over. It would have been fun, since we do have a good time with them.
Comedy club does both a family friendly show and then a not so family friendly show.
Cabins-My one problem with getting our cabins is that we couldn't get connecting, so a tip to parents get them all in a row and then have them open all the connecting balconies. This ended up working well for us. They may have been teens but they still needed to go back and forth between our rooms.
There is just no way you could walk around this ship and not be happy, music is piped in everywhere and everyone is always up beat. Something is always going on in the Lido Deck. This pool also has a retractable roof, great for the windy days. The Serenity Deck is great for adults if you can find a seat. Nice and quiet, has its own bar. Oh did I mention I think I counted 15 bars, you really don't have to walk far for a drink.
Piano Bar- Roger is the bomb, you have to stop in there and sing a few songs with the piano man, a very funny and entertaining guy! Cause everyone will know your name CHEERS!
My only pet peeve with this cruise is that three weeks before we left they canceled the stop at Freeport. Whey who knows, they said the ship couldn't go any faster that 17 knots, Well every time we checked on where we were on the tv, it said the ship was going 20 knots, so who knows the real reason. Although they did give us $50 credit per person, not really enough though.
Turks was nice but too short, POWER SNORKLING-was awesome, guides were great. very cool experience.
Half moon Cay-Here is where faster to the fun comes in handy again, we were able to get off the ship before everyone else on the tender! Quicker to the chairs and a great spot on the beach. If you can rent a cabana DO IT!! When you book your trip. BOOK YOUR EXCURSIONS early on! they fill up quick