It seems that leveling its a bit slower in pirates then it was in wizards. I guess it could be me and it's not but, it sure feels like it. Been playing everyday for a week and only got to level 12 on my toon =( and that's 4 -6 hrs a day. Been doing all the quest in one area before moving on to the next.
I have noticed that side quests, which can be lengthy, really don't give you any experience at all, all under 40 points or so.
Also, travel time is a lot longer. I have read the developer's/Administrator's input in terms of traveling, and how this game was designed to were traveling is supposed to take longer. And I like it, this game and ship traveling is absolutely beautiful.
When you are 50+ in Wizard101, and start a pirate from scratch, it will probably always seem like it will take ages to level. So far, I am really enjoying my 'slow' journey to the upper levels.
After three weeks I am in the beginning/middle of Cool Ranch at level 21 so I wouldn't call it slow leveling it might seem that way because some of the drops take forever. Cool Ranch quests have plenty of exp. I finished one quest that leveled me up and left my progress bar in the middle so I don't have a problem with the "slow" Journey either.