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Our Carnival Pride Spring Break cruise - 4/5/15 (with pics)

Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#1
Carnival Pride 4/5/15 - 7 days from Baltimore to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, & Freeport.

Ahoy again everyone!! My name is Jeff "Jamman" Maskall, and I'm a Cruise Addict!! The holidays being over, it was time to review our cruising plans for the upcoming year. As of then, the only cruise we had booked was the Carnival Breeze, and that wasn't until August. What to do, what to do? Hey!! How about booking something for Spring Break? The Pride will be back in Baltimore just before then. Perfect!! Book it Dano!!
The Spirit Class is our favorite class of Carnival ship. This will be our 9th cruise on one. We love the flow of these ships, No up and downs, in and outs, or go a rounds on these ships. They never seem crowded, and they have the best, most quiet Serenity areas in the fleet. On top of that, the Pride just received the 2.0 upgrades during her dry dock in November. We're in Heaven!!

I was able to get a fairly good casino rate for Patti and I, and by utilizing one of my one time Diamond perks, Ryan was able to cruise with us for free. This was a really good deal for us, because cruises during Spring Break tend to be pricey.
So without further ado, let's get this party started!!.....



New York and Baltimore are drive to the port, on the day of the cruise, ports for us. It is great not having to book any flights or hotels. From central New Jersey where we live, it is a little over two and a half hours drive to the port in Baltimore. Wanting to arrive around 10am, knowing that we need to stop at Dunkin Doughnuts first, and figure a pit stop at the Maryland House on I-95, we leave the house at 7am. The van is all packed and ready to go.....



Patti & Ryan are ready to cruise again.....



We are leaving New Jersey by crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge.....





A short time later, we are in Maryland.....



To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#2
The sign says that we are getting close.....



We are preparing to enter the Harbor Tunnel. For those who are driving to the port from the north on I-95, be sure to use the far right tunnel and lane (Bore 1), as the exit for the port is right after you exit the tunnel.....



Welcome to Baltimore.....



Our first glimpses of the Carnival Pride as we exit the Harbor Tunnel.....





The Carnival Pride docked in Baltimore.....



To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#3
The Cruise Terminal building.....



We pulled in at exactly at 10am, and were directed to join a line of cars directly ahead. We were the 9th vehicle in line. The nice lady explained that once cars parked from the previous cruise began leaving, thus opening spaces, we would be directed in to drop off our luggage, pay for parking, and then park. Sounds like a plan to me. In the meantime, I got out of the van to stretch my legs, and take some pictures. Patti and Ryan were happy to just sit in the van and read.....



A couple of views of our home for the next 7 days.....





I spy, a Whale Tail.....



The new Water Works and slides on the Carnival Pride.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#4
As more and more cars arrived at the pier, they began cueing them into separate lines along side each other. When they began letting us in at 11am, there were 4 lines of about 20 cars each, waiting. I think that it is better to get there early and wait for them to open, then get there at 11 and wait behind 80 cars. Once they let you in, the process moved pretty fast. First stop is the luggage drop off. They direct you in two lanes to the back of the lot, which is closest to the ship. There, each lane has a long row of airline type luggage carts. You are directed to a cart, which a porter will load your luggage into. Patti took a couple shots of the ship while we were back there. The stern of the Pride.....



Looking up at the Green Thunder water slide.....



As the porter unloaded my car, I reminded him that we were priority, and asked him if he would be putting the orange tape on our bags. He said that they don't do it at this point, but that it would be done when the bags were sorted. I didn't have a warm fuzzy feeling about this, but later on when our bags arrived in our cabin, the orange tape was there.

Once your bags are dropped off, you are directed to the next part of the process, which is paying for your parking. There are three lanes for this. Cash transactions are handled in the far right lane, credit cards in the other two lanes. The cost is $15 dollars a day, or $105 dollars for the 7 day cruise. Once you pay, you are free to park wherever you want.

Next up is checking in. As soon as you enter, you are divided into the regular or VIP lines. Before the scanner they check your bottles and cans, and I mean they check them. We had our legal amount of two bottles of wine, and a 12 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper, but they picked up and checked each and every one, so beware you smugglers!!

We were checked in at the VIP lounge which didn't take more than a few minutes, and then led to the VIP seating area. The VIP seats face those in the boarding zone seats, so you get to look across the aisle at each other. I wonder what they were thinking?

At exactly Noon they began boarding. It seems to me that Diamonds, Platinums, Suites, and maybe even FTTF people were all glumped together and boarded at the same time. No biggie. This way to the ship.....





We posed for our embarkation photo.....



We dinged our cards in the security scanner, then made our way up the long ramp onto the Carnival Pride. Our first view was the Renaissance Lobby Bar.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#5
The Renaissance Atrium elevators.....



Looking up the Atrium to the skylight.....



Our first stop had to be the Shore Excursion Desk. Being that we booked so late, all the cabanas at Half Moon Cay had already been sold out. I checked multiple times each day in the hope that someone would cancel, but no such luck. So, I was hoping that maybe they had one open, and if not, put my name on the waiting list. I was able to, several times in the past, get a cabana this way. I'm not going to tell you if I snagged one or not, so you're just going to have to wait until I get to my HMC segment to find out! The Shore Excursion Desk, and hours.....





The Guest Service Desk.....



They are already taking reservations for the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#6
Our next stop was to head up to our cabin and drop off our carry on luggage. We had a standard balcony cabin on Empress Deck 6, port side. Cabin # 6244.....



The standard twin/king bed.....



Ryan is sleeping on the sofa bed.....



Looking towards the cabin door. You can see that this cabin had the old style tv and not the flat screen. It worked fine for us.....



The desk area and our welcome aboard papers and information.....





To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#7
Our room stewards name card.....



The standard Carnival bathroom...







Our balcony. It came with two chairs and a small table as shown.....



Our ship pins.....



To be continued.....
 
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Lurline63

Well-Known Member
#8
Excellent start, Jeff! I look forward to the next installments!

I love the view to the skylight. I hope you simply pointed the camera upward rather than lay on the floor. :)
 

Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#9
Our "free" water bottles.....



Patti bought me a new hat. Thanks babe!.....



Our stocked mini fridge.....



The safes have the swipe type locks.....



It's time to go get some lunch, so you know where we're going. You guessed it, Guy's Burger Joint.....



I'm kind of partial to the Pig Patty.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#10
The toppings bar is fantastic!.....



The seating area by Guy's.....



Don't these look good? Just a couple of Guy's hanging out!.....



They go down even better with a glass of Thirsty Frog Red.....



Ryan & Patti.....



The ice cream machines are nearby.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#11
I forgot to mention in the last segment, that Guy's Burger Joint was open from Noon to 6pm daily. While Ryan and I were still eating, Patti slipped away, and as she always does, started snapping pictures. Here are a few of JD the DJ spinning tunes on the Lido stage. In the background is the newly installed big screen where the Dive In Movies are shown.....







The newly redone Venus Pool. The Red Frog Rum bar, and the Blue Iguana Tequila bar are in the background.....



Here is the Blue Iguana Cantina. It's open from 7am to 10:30am for breakfast, serving breakfast burritos, tacos, and the infamous huevos rancheros. It's also open for lunch from Noon to 2:30 for the best tacos and burritos on the high seas!.....





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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#12
The Salsa Bar at the Blue Iguana Cantina.....



Some of the artwork around the Blue Iguana Cantina.....







The Blue Iguana Tequila Bar.....



At the aft end of the Mermaid Grille, you will find the sliding doors that lead out to Serenity.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#13
To me, the Serenity areas on the Spirit Class ships are the best in the fleet. They have a pool, hot tub, plenty of comfortable seating, and are actually quiet and serene.....





Serenity Pool and hot tub.....



Lots of comfortable chairs and hammocks.....





The Serenity Bar.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#14
Patti continues on her picture walk. Here are some photos of the Apollo Pool. This is the most forward pool on the Lido Deck, and is not covered with a retractable roof. You can see that there is one hearty soul in the hot tub, even though the temperature outside today is only in the mid 50's.....







Here is Mr. Apollo himself....



There is comfortable seating along the windows in the Apollo Pool area.....



A couple of ping pong tables can be found here, but appear to be too close together.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#15
Patti's peeking into David's Steakhouse, located on Deck 10.....





Water Works, located on Deck 11 aft.....



The Splash Zone.....



Water Works seating.....





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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#16
The Twister water slide.....





The Green Thunder water slide.....







The Water Works area and slides are open from 9am until sunset daily, weather and conditions permitting.



To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#17
That's our van parked in the lot.....



A nice view of the funnel.....



This is the unsightly container that contains the back- up generators. I'm happy that it's there.....



Ryan and I caught up to Patti, and posed with the Green Thunder sign.....



It was getting near the time for our informal meet and greet back at the Serenity Bar, so we made our way back there. Here is Ryan checking out one of the hammocks.....



Ryan and Dad at the Serenity Bar.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#18
Love those yellow, fluffy Serenity towels.....



The Serenity CHOG warning. We never had an issue getting a chair all week. Sometimes we had to wait a few minutes, but that was it. It was probably because with the large number of children aboard with their families, the number of adults using Serenity was less than normal. Worked for me!!



They had Bud Light, and my favorite, Thirsty Frog Red, on tap here.....



Patti and Ryan decided to head back to the cabin and start unpacking, while I stayed for the informal meet and greet. As expected, the turnout was light, but it was great to meet peekyman, Bridget, and Laura. On the way back to the cabin, Patti snapped these pictures, all in the Mermaid Grille. The Salad Bar.....



The Sweet Spot.....



The Italian buffet line.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#19
The Coffee Bar.....





The Pizza Pirate.....



Around 3:30, I left Serenity to head back to the cabin to meet up with Patti and Ryan for the muster drill. The muster drill was supposed to take place at 3:45, but it didn't start until around 4:25. Our muster station was outside on Deck 3 aft port side. With the weather being cool, it wasn't uncomfortable at all, and it was over in about twenty minutes.....





A few of the crew were sporting their bunny ears for Easter.....



Once the drill was over we hung out for a few minutes to avoid the crush of people on the stairwells. Here's a picture of Patti and Ryan as we waited.....



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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
#20
Patti and Ryan decided that they would enjoy the sail away from our cabin's balcony. I grabbed the camera, and made my way back to Serenity to document our departure from Baltimore. The Serenity sign.....



The Serenity pool.....



The gangway has been retracted.....



We'll be heading out in that direction, and under the Key Bridge.....



Right around 5pm, they threw the lines, and our cruise was about to start.....



Looking at downtown Baltimore, with I-95 in the foreground.....



To be continued.....
 
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