This was our 3rd cruise on the Pride out of Baltimore. After a 20 minute drive we were dropped off at the terminal at around 11:00 a.m. by our son. By 12:30 p.m. we were on board and eating lunch at the Mermaid Grille. Our room was ready by 2:30 p.m. and our luggage arrived about 3:30 p.m.
The lifeboat drill took place at 4:00 p.m. outside on deck 3. It was a bit chilly but we did not have to take our life jackets for the first time ever for us on a cruise. Liked that a lot.
We had a balcony room on deck 7. Because it was chilly we did not spend a lot of time on the balcony but still enjoyed the view.
Our room was just off the elevators at the front of the ship. The room was oblong with three floor-to-ceiling closets on the left as you enter. The first had eight hangers with space for more. We brought some of our wire hangers with us. A storage shelf at the top holds the life jackets.
The second closet had no shelf at the top so the hangers, (again there were eight) were higher up. This left plenty of space at the bottom where we were able to store our two suitcases, one large and one small.
The third closet simply had three shelves with ample storage room at the bottom. That was more than enough space for us. The first closet did contain two long white bathrobes, both large for one-size-fits-all. We used them quite a bit.
The bathroom was on the right as you entered. There was a large sink with six shelves, three on each side, one long shelf and 2 short shelves. Once again, plenty of space. There was a good sized shower with dispensers of shampoo and bath gel.
There was a long desk just past the closets on the left which had five storage drawers, one with the hair dryer in. Part of the desk had the minibar refrigerator and the TV and safe were just above that. The desk included a large mirror and a vanity stool. There was a smaller storage cabinet just past the desk.
Past the bathroom on the left was a large couch which could become a bed. We could sit there and read or watch TV comfortably.
Just past the couch on the right was the bed, two twin beds pushed together, with plenty of room for the two of us. There were night stands with a light and a small storage area on each side of the bed.
The balcony has two chairs (one reclines halfway) with a small table. There is a light on the balcony. The curtains are thick and keep it dark if you wish to sleep late.
We are very happy with the size of the rooms on the Pride. It is just one of the reasons we so enjoy this ship. Or cabin 7151, although just off the elevators, was still very quiet and rocking was minimal, and of little bother to us since we have cruised so often.
The trip down the Chesapeake bay is very smooth. We picked up a little speed once we reached the ocean but that is still fairly smooth since we don't go that fast, given we have until Wednesday morning to make it to Port Canaveral. However, the smooth sailing was interrupted Tuesday morning when a medical emergency caused us to go full speed and arrive in Port Canaveral about 12 hours early. But you live with that possibility when you cruise.
We eat fairly simply so the food on the Pride is another reason we like this ship. And that includes the food in both the Normandie Restaurant and the Mermaid's Grille. The service in both is very good. Waiters Jay Jay and Alain at table 191 in the Normandie were great.
The Mermaid's Grille can be a little confusing as others have posted. However, it is helpful to stop for just a moment before you enter to read the menu that is posted there each day telling you what is at each station. That way you can go directly to the station that has the best selection for you and then hit the other stations if necessary a little later when lines are shorter. The menu for each station is also posted at the front of the line at each one.
We are not night life people so cannot comment on that. However, we went to all the shows put on by the Carnival dancers, and enjoyed them although we had seen all 3 previously. The comedian on the first night, Al Ernst, was hilarious. The third night had Jerry Goodspeed, a comedian ventriloquist, who, as billed, was incredibly funny. The Legends show on Saturday night include a Sonny and Cher spoof by the cruise director and an aide. Don't miss that show when you go.
We had seen the cruise director, Jaime, as assistant cruise director when we went in May 2009. She did a wonderful job. She is so outgoing and personable. We chatted with her briefly on two occasions and she acknowledged us two other times.
We will cruise the Pride again. The size of the rooms, the food, and the distance to the port are the main factors. Hope everyone will continue to go and fill this ship so Carnival will stay in Baltimore.