We just returned from a 7 day cruise on Carnival Pride leaving out of Baltimore, Maryland. We chose this cruise as there were 5 adults and we were hoping to save a few dollars by driving from Cobourg, Ontario, Canada (a 10 hour drive) and saving on the air fare. This worked out really well as we spent just over $200.00 in gas divided by 5 that worked out to a big savings!
We also went a day early and stayed at the Best Western Plus BMI Airport. It cost me $141 with taxes and we left our vehicle there for the whole week. They provided a shuttle to and from the Port and it was only about a 30 minute wait to be picked up. Other than tipping the really nice driver, there were no additional costs and the hotel was really clean with a nice breakfast included.
We were not really optimistic after reading some negative reviews about the Pride but were pleasantly surprised as the ship was much nicer than we anticipated. We had previously travelled on the Liberty and noted a real difference in the ambiance but once we got used to it, we were very comfortable.
With 5 of us, we had cabins 7160 and 7162. Both had extended balconies and we had the staff open the door between the two so we could share one large balcony which was really nice. You have to go to the guest services desk to arrange this as soon as you can and they came the next morning and opened it for us. We lost a bit of our view in 7160 as the door swung in our side but it was definitely a plus being able to walk from one cabin to the next. Especially as we had two smokers who used the balcony a lot.
We had 3 of us in cabin 7160 and found we still had enough room to get around the room as there was plenty of storage with 3 large cupboards, 2 small cupboards and 4 drawers. There were also two small end tables beside the beds with storage under each. The showers were really good and no flooding on the floor which is always nice.
The staff allowed us to take all the supplies out of the mini bar fridge and we used that to keep our own wine and soft drinks.
The rooms show as being "mid ship" but we were really closer to the front of the ship. All in all, there was not a lot of movement with the exception of our last night when we were travelling 25 knots and it was a bit choppy. We joked as the life boats were just one level below us so you could actually jump from our balcony. That said, they were not close enough to block our view of the water.
My son-in-law has a bad foot and we were not as close to the buffets on the lido deck as we would have liked. We had to go up 2 flights then about half way across the ship to get to the buffet area we preferred. That said, it really was not that far if you have two good feet. Instead of running up for coffee on our own in the morning, we just ordered room service which always came very promptly.
I would definitely book those rooms again if I were to go back onto this ship.
Our family are definitely trekkies so could not miss the Kennedy Space Center tour. We paid the extra $30 to get the extended tour that took us by bus up close to the various launch pads, buildings and equipment. It was well worth it. We were only slightly rushed but we managed to take in both the IMAX 3D Show that was fantastic and also the interactive shuttle ride. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
My Son-in-law and our friends were not into the space thing so they took in a little shopping and quite enjoyed themselves.
The 5 of us in our group decided to try the glass bottom boat and shopping excursion. It was less than $50 each and we actually really enjoyed it. We were picked up by boat and taken for a tour a little further out of the harbour and the captain was quite funny and informative pointing out all the rich and famous homes along the way to get to our glass bottom boat.
The "semi-sub" was better than I expected and they gave us a tour showing us some coral, colourful fish and a ship wreak that really wasn't much of a ship wreak. I had already been on the submarine ride at Cozumel so this one rather paled compared to that but it was still enjoyable. The only down side was the fellow commentating and all he kept saying was "good eating" about every fish. The captain above would throw out food for the fish to attract them to the boat so we did see a pretty good variety of fish and even some stingrays.
After being dropped back off at the Harbour, we took a walk downtown to the straw market and bought a few items there. There were also some nice jewelery shops and clothing stores along the way. Overall, the port was very nice and the streets clean and safe with police on every corner.