I have nothing to compare it to, but my 1st cruise was great. My wife and I arrived at the Port of Baltimore around 11:15, paid for parking ($105), dropped off the luggage and parked. Short walk to the terminal, went through security, checked in and were onboard around noon. Went up to the Lido deck and got lunch and relaxed in the Serenity Deck until about 3. When we got to our room, our bags were already there.
FOOD: I thought the food was great. Buffet was good, MDR was great and David's was awesome.
Breakfast: There was always fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals and pastries. Two of the buffet lines
had someone there to make omelets and eggs. Other breakfast items were oatmeal, grits,
scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles, French toast, sausage, bacon, ham, bagels....etc! Ate breakfast once in the MDR and ordered Eggs Benedict which was very good.
Lunch: I never tried lunch in the MDR. The buffet consisted of a salad bar, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, fries, nachos, a deli and 3 or 4 other hot food buffets. I usually didn't eat much for lunch because I was saving room for dinner.
Dinner: Ate at David's Steakhouse on Wed after leaving FL. David's cost $30/person, but it's worth it. A waitress brings a cart around with the different cuts of steak to your table and explains everything. The meal consisted of a complimentary appetizer, your choice appetizer, Caesar salad made table side, different breads with 3 spreads, entrÃ©e and dessert. The cheesecake was HUGE! Dinner in the MDR was great also. I chose anytime seating and never had to wait. Dinner included bread, as many appetizers you wanted, as many entrees you wanted and as many desserts you wanted. You can get sample menus from Carnival's website.
Entertainment: I went to all the main shows in the Taj Mahal. The Welcome Aboard show was average, Vroom was good, Wonderful World was great, Jazzin was great and Carnival Legends was average. Carnival Legends was passengers picked to sing as a legendary artist, some were great, some were not. The comedians were hilarious but the adult only ones are ADULT only. Some of the comedians struggled with the family friendly shows. There are usually 4-5 people playing live music throughout different places on the ship every evening. Lots of trivia contests and other activities to get involved with also. I was told the hairy chest contest was hysterical and I'm sure it was but I was too busy having fun being in it....2nd place!
Staff: The staff was great. Rodney was my room steward and he did a great job. Never really saw him much, but room was always clean. The dining room staff was great also. Like Lisa, we did anytime dining and I would recommend it, never had to wait for a table. Usually we had a private table, sat with a group the 1st elegant night because it was busy. Never had a problem with any of my orders. Staff always greeted us with a smile and hello when we passed them in the halls. Not sure if this is considered staff or not, but they really push the Drink of the Day. They push them, but are not pushy about it. Someone will be by about every 3-5 minutes to ask you if you want something and all you have to do is say no thank you and they keep walking.
Ship/Room: The ship is a little older, but it was clean and beautiful. Also like Lisa, our room was towards the back of the ship, #4210. You could feel the vibrations from the engines and the movement of the ship. I was concerned about motion sickness because I don't like amusement park rides, but never had a problem. Friday the seas got a little rough so I took a Dramamine and was fine. The room itself is smaller, didn't spend much time there anyway. There is 1 outlet for the entire stateroom, bring a power strip. Our room had a balcony and I really enjoyed being able to go out for fresh air or watch as we arrive or leave a port right from the room.
Port Canaveral: Took a taxi to Cocoa Beach, $5/person one way, and enjoyed a beautiful sunny day.
Nassau: Shopped the straw market which is right off the ship, walked to Queen's Staircase and Fort Fincastle and then took shuttle bus to Cable Beach, $1.25/person. Spent some time at the beach and then caught the bus back to port.
Freeport: Booked a snorkeling excursion myself. Company had a taxi waiting for us at port and took us to Port Lucaya and brought us back afterward for $10/person. Excursion got cancelled due to the weather so we walked to the beach and then did some shopping.
I did my own excursions because is saves you some money. The downside is, you have a little more stress about planning and making sure you're back to the ship in time.
SUMMARY: I would definitely book another cruise on the Pride. With the exception of a little bit of a rough ride, I thought everything was great, especially the staff and food.