My fiance and I spent the night in Baltimore at the Sleep Inn near the airport. We paid for the shuttle to take us directly to the port. We got to the Port of Baltimore around 10 a.m. You are able to set up and receive your sail and sign card right there. Your sail and sign also serves as your room key. We waited until 12:30 p.m. and then were able to board. A lot of hurry up and wait, but it went smoothly.
I liked the decor of the Carnival Pride. There were a few worn spots, but the ship never seemed dirty like I've read in other reviews. In fact, I'd often see crew sweeping or polishing railings.
I enjoyed the food. I'm a picky eater, but I always found something I liked. The chocolate melting cake and chocolate chip cookies were awesome. I also really enjoyed the strawberry bisque and melon cream cold soups. I ate a lot of chicken and pastas in the main dining room. My fiance frequented the grill station on the Lido deck for burgers a lot. The only thing we wished was that snack/dessert foods would have been out all the time.
We attended the Welcome Aboard Show which gives you a preview of what's to come. We also went to Vroom! which was a show about music through the decades and the Carnival Legends Show, which features fellow cruisers. We also saw a juggler and frequented many comedy shows. The Love and Marriage Show was hilarious!
Buy a small container to keep your sail and sign card handy (mine also held my passport card). I bought my containers on Amazon. They are Witz brand. Also, if you aren't a fan of soda or don't want to buy the soda card, bring little flavor packets to flavor your water. I used them a couple times to give me a break from the free water and lemonade.
We did the airboats and alligators tour in Port Canaveral, which was fun. When we got back to the ship 80 mph winds knocked the gangway off from the ship. Nobody was on it when it happened, thank goodness. Then the ship had to drop anchor, per proper procedure. When trying to get the anchor back up, the mechanism malfunctioned and we spent the entire overnight in Port Canaveral since the Coast Guard had to come aboard to check everything out. When we woke up we found out that because we didn't leave Florida until 6 a.m. we would have to skip going to Nassau the Bahamas. I was SO BUMMED, but they did refund our shore excursions, gave us $25 onboard credit and we were able to book an excursion for Freeport the Bahamas. That day my fiance proposed to me, so that made up for missing the port. We did a bus tour, shopping and beach excursion in Freeport.
We were on Deck 1 and chose self assist. We waited outside the Starry Night Lounge for about 15-20 minutes and then our deck was called. We got right off the ship and through customs in no time. We were out of the terminal by 9:15 a.m.!
We loved the cruise so much, despite the missed port, that we plan on going on another cruise for our honeymoon next year.