I just came back from this cruise (Nov 11-18).
#1: You can park at the port early in the am. We got to the parking lot around 11:30am the day of departure and passengers returning to port were still getting off the ship. The parking lot is fairly small so it's wise to get there early. There were alot of people already checked in by the time we got there and waiting to board. They board you in batches. Be sure your luggage tags are all written out and on your luggage before you get there because they move you thru quickly and they are not too friendly.
#2: Closest beach is Coca Beach.
#3: Not much to do in Freeport; it's a very small island. There is a Senior Frogs right off the boat and a market area. You don't have much time in Freeport since you have to be back on the ship by 1pm. Some passengers told us they took a taxi to a beach but it wasn't a good day for the beach so we got up late, had breakfast on the ship and shopped right off the ship.
#4: I went to Sandals in Nassau a few years ago. I'm sure the price is different now and I don't remember what we paid but bought the shore excursion which was all inclusive at the resort. We did have a good time there; it's a beautiful resort. We bought the excursion to Atlantis Resort this time and loved it. It is expensive and you do get a lunch ticket with it, but you also get the transportation to the resort. We broke away from the tour of the resort and went right to the pools.
This was my fourth cruise but the first with Carnival and I was not impressed. We chose this cruise to avoid airfare. We drove to Baltimore from NH and chose to go thru PA rather than NY/NJ because of the gas rationing. It did take 2hours longer than going thru NYC. It was a nice ride until we hit Baltimore; the GPS took us through a bad part of Baltimore; it was very scary. I was told we should have stayed to exits leading into the Inner Harbor area, which is very nice. We stayed overnight at the Freemont Hotel, which was very nice. We had rough seas the whole trip. We had a cabin with a balcony and every night all we heard was clanging and banging making it very hard to sleep. I was told it was the balcony with the table and chairs banging around in the wind. The boat rocked constantly and I got seasick for the first time. I had to take Dramamine the whole trip and bought the wrist bands they sell on the ship. The food was not that good either in the Mermaid Cafe or the Normandie Dining Room. Other cruise lines I took had an abundance of food available 24/7, but the Pride did not. If you wanted dessert or a snack in between the normal dining hours, you had to pay for it; unless you stuck to the pizza, deli or ice cream machines. The crew got friendly around the third day of the cruise. The cabin steward seemed annoyed if we were in the cabin too long, probably because he had a schedule to keep to, but he kept opening our door to see if we were in there; even with the do not disturb sign outside. They are always pushing a litre bottle of water at a cost of $4.50. The seas were so rough on the return to Baltimore that we got back late at 2pm instead of 8:30am, and the debarkation took so long that we didn't get off the ship until 4:15pm and even then I had to demand that they let us off the ship. They kept telling us that our luggage was not ready for pickup yet, even though they took our luggage at midnight. When we go off the ship we spotted our luggage right away! We had a long ride back to NH and I was upset that we had to go thru NYC in the dark and I don't drive well in the dark especially when it's not a route I'm use to travelling. Just a word to the wise; pack light and carry your luggage on and off the ship yourself; you'll be one of the first passengers off the ship on the return and you won't have to wait for your luggage when you board! I hope you enjoy your trip!