You would be comparing Apples to Oranges. Both great fruits of the vine! The Explorer series is much larger and some say too large!. Do you like to roller blade, ice skate or go rock wall climbing? Then the Explorer series ship would be for you. If the price is the same for the same type of cabin and time frame, then you must decide which ship you are anxious to experience. The Pride is an absolutely gorgeous ship. Probably one of our top 2 out of 11 with number one being the Legend of the Seas (RCI). Cabins are a little larger on the Pride. The Mermaids Lido Buffet area was super. They have food stations with at least 7 varieties of meals to choose from at Lunch. They cook made to order omlets and eggs too at each station for breakfast. There is always a desert station and fresh salad or fruit bar plus cereals, yogurts, etc. This is the first cruise where I preferred eating breakfast and lunch at the buffet. Hours were almost non-stop. Pizza and burgers, etc. were great too. Deserts were just ok, but then I am not a desert junkie but loved their sherbert. Soft serve ice cream is available at a few self service bars all day. The gym and spa were the best I have experienced at sea but the evening hours were limited. I have always rated RCI number 1 (IMHO) for entertainment. Of course this can change from ship or cruise to cruise. You will find plenty of variety in the lounges of both ships. If you are bringing a family, both ships offer great kids programs. Carnival now too sells soda cards for kids and adults. Good Luck with your choice. I will be in big trouble if and when I move to Florida.
We just got off the pride and it was wonderful.. Since this was my first cruise I dont have anything to compare it to. I did meet a lady that was on the Royal and she said that it rocked alot more than any Carnival ship she had been on. She took the Royal because of the ice skating, roller blade and etc for her teenage kids to do.
We recently sailed on the Explorer and the WOWWWWWWWWW factor is just incredible. We saw the Pride in port with us on a few occasions and it too is a spectacular ship. We have already booked our cruise on the Pride for next year.