We sailed on the Pride out of Baltimore for our Honeymoon in September 2009 and it was a wonderful, relaxing vacation! It was the ideal situation for us as there was so much to do but nothing we had to do! We loved having so many options. We also really enjoyed the two "sea days" before we got to Port Canaveral, Florida. It was great to have two days to relax and unwind before we started visiting ports!
We had an ocean view room (category 6A) on Riviera Deck (#1). We were wondering if we should have booked a balcony but ended up being VERY pleased with our ocean view room. The room had plenty of space - although it was not a large room, everything was laid out so well that we were able to put everything away quite well. It was great that the bed is raised high enough to store all of your luggage. It had excellent closet units with the perfect combination of hanging and folded storage space. There were plenty of shelves in the bathroom to unpack all of our toilitries without feeling cluttered. We ended up being happy not having a balcony. There was plenty of chairs and areas on deck to enjoy the view without having lots of people around.
In our opinion, the food was excellent! We ate breakfast and lunch on the Lido deck each day because we enjoyed the casual dress, flexibility of time and the ability to eat outside in the great weather! I would agree with the other reviews that state that the Mermaid Grill is laid out in an awkward/confusing manner. However, despite that, we found the food to be good and liked being able to have so many choices to choose from. We ate dinner in the dining room. We were blown away by the level of service. We had a very friendly wait staff who went out of their way to serve us. The food in the dining room was great and we had a hard time choosing what we wanted from the many options. We chose to go to the Supper Club (David's Steakhouse) on one of the sea days. At first my husband wasn't sure that he wanted to because dinner was already included in the dining room but he definitely didn't regret it afterwards. The service and food at David's is worth MUCH more than the $30/person fee to dine there. They gave us an amazing window view table for two and we had a very romantic evening watching the sun set and enjoying an excellent four course meal!
September was an excellent time of year for us to cruise. Fortunately, we did not run into any Hurricanes. Because it was mid-september, there were barely any children on the boat. Not that we don't like kids, but some of the reviews from the summer had talked about overwhelming numbers of children. I don't know if it was due to the fact that there were less kids but we were always able to find a chair by the pool at any time of day.
One tip I would highly recommend is to not bring your own beach towel. There really isn't anywhere you can easily hang it up to dry. There is a towel bar on the lido deck where you can exchange the Carnival towel which is yours to use for the week and they will give you a clean dry one in exchange whenever you need it. YOu can also leave your wet towels out for your room steward who will replace it with a dry one. It was much more convenient than trying to find the space to pack and dry our own.
Since we had only 3 suitcases between us (all with wheels) we chose to do the self-assist debarkation. We are so glad we made this choice. Since we were on the first floor, we were the first to leave the ship. It was a very easy process and our friend picked us up smoothly in the parking lot.
In Port Canaveral, we chose to take the shuttle to Coco Beach for $15 and that worked out very well for us. We took the first shuttle of the morning, did a little shopping at Ron Jon's for souveniers, spent some time on the beach and had lunch at a local seafood restaurant before catching a shuttle back to the boat.
In Nassau, we did the Catamaran Sail & Reef Snorkel and highly enjoyed it. We had a nice ride on the boat and an hour of snorkeling time at a corral reef with a wide variety of fish. We would highly recommend this tour. While we enjoyed our excursion, there is many shops within walking distance of the port and we could have also just enjoyed the day looking around.
We LOVED the Jeep Tour adventure in Freeport. There were about 7 jeeps in our tour and there were 4 people to a jeep. The guide was in the first jeep and communicated to us through walkie talkies/radios in our jeeps. It was fun as participants drove on the left side of the road. The tour included many interesting and fun parts of the island including the pine forest and the beach (we got to swim in very clear water for an hour). The tour also included lunch. As Freeport is a very industrial port, we were very glad we booked an excursion as we're not sure what we would have done if we hadn't.