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

Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
Well, sadly this cruise is winding down. It's time to tell you about our last sea day. Sigh.....



We all slept in until about 9am today. Stepping out onto the balcony, we could see it was a little cloudy, and felt a little cooler today. The seas were fairly smooth.....



We're off to get some breakfast. We passed our room steward Imam, and his assistant Kitipon, in the hallway.....



Patti was in the mood for an omelet this morning, while I was craving another breakfast burrito.....



After breakfast, Patti wanted to check emails and do some last minute shopping, while I was ready for my first Thirsty Frog Red. I grabbed the camera and took some photos along the way. The Venus Pool.....



The Blue Iguana Cantina.....



To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
The Blue Iguana Cantina Salsa Bar and beverage station…..





I made it to the Red Frog Rum Bar, ordered my TFR, and enjoyed my view of the Venus Pool……



Finishing my beer, I made my way back to Serenity, where I hung out relaxing until it was time for Brunch with the Captain.

One of the perks of being a Diamond member, is that on each cruise you will be invited to an event hosted by the Captain. He decides what each cruise’s event will be, based on the number of Diamond members aboard. Since there were only three of us, he invited us all to brunch. Last night at dinner, Ken Byrne, who’s job it was to set up the event, asked Ryan if he would like to go too. Of course Ryan said yes. The invitation said to meet at Guest Services at 12:15pm, so as we waited, Patti took a few shots in the Lobby. Bonsai Sushi was open for lunch…..



One deck up is the Pixels Photo Gallery…..



Right on time, Ken came and led us to our table on the lower level of the Normandie Dining Room. There would be 12 of us at the table. The Captain, the three of us, the other Diamond couple,(I feel bad that I can’t remember their names), and six Senior Staff members.

At 12:30 Captain Francesco Borgogna arrived, and sat down next to me. In a matter of seconds, the whole table was conversing like we were all old friends. We were there for about an hour, and let me tell you the time flew by! It was a great meal, with great company, and an event that I will never forget. Afterwards, Captain Borgogna posed for a picture with us…..



To be continued…..
 

Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
Here's a group shot, though I don't know what happened to the other couple.....



After the Brunch, Patti, Ryan, and I made our way to the casino, as there were going to be one last slot and blackjack tournaments held this afternoon. Ryan played a qualifying round and immediately guaranteed himself a spot at the final table.....



In fact, Ryan wound up being the top qualifier for today's tournament.....



Meanwhile, Patti was trying to qualify for a spot in the finals of the Slot Tournament.....



And she too, qualified for the finals.....



It was so cool that Patti and Ryan were going to play for the big bucks. I didn't participate, as I just wanted to cheer them on! In her final, Patti has chosen machine # 4.....



To be continued....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
One of the Casino Hosts, Merci, gets the final started, and cheers on the participants.....



Patti is doing her best, but she wasn't even close to the winner's total. She had fun though. Good try baby!!



Meanwhile, over at the blackjack final, Ryan has chosen his seat.....



Casino Host Gonzalo, explains the rules.....



Ryan also did his best, lasting all 7 hands, but falling short to the victor. Good job son!! Not bad for a first timer!!!!!





Afterwards, Patti wanted to get a jump on packing, so Ryan and I stayed and played some more blackjack for a few hours. Ryan again broke even, but he was the winner amongst us, as he would be bringing over $500 dollars home with him. Though I won $200 dollars this afternoon, I was still a little down for this cruise, but I had a great time. The casino hosts, pit bosses, and dealers were awesome!!

To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
After that, I went next door to the EA Sports Bar, and had a few TFR's while watching the Masters, until it was time to get ready for our last dinner. Out on the balcony, you could see that the seas were now really calm.....



Our last sunset of the cruise.....











To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
For tonight's dinner, Patti and I both started out with the crab cake.....



I also had two orders of the Portobello mushrooms......



Patti tried the sweet potato soup.....



For my main, I had the panko encrusted shrimp.....



While Patti had the eggplant and mozzarella.....



Ryan had the bacon mac and cheese with chicken. For dessert, I tried the cappuccino pie, which was very good.....



To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
Patti had the apple pie as her dessert.....



Ken sings a great rendition of "Fly Me to the Moon"......



The waiters march in to sing "Leaving on a Fun Ship"......



Our wait staff.....



Here's Patti and I with Ken. I hope we get to sail with him again soon.....



After dinner we just walked around for a while, before heading back to the cabin, putting our bags out and calling it a cruise. Here is our final towel creature of this cruise.....



Coming up: Debarkation day and final thoughts.
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
Here is our debarkation information. Since we almost always have too many bags to handle, self assist doesn't work for us, so we use the zone debarking. As Diamond and Platinum guests, we will be meeting in the EA Sports bar at 10:15am.....



We got up around 7:30am, just in time to see us approaching the Key Bridge.......



Sailing back under the Key Bridge.....









To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
We made our way up to Mermaids Grille, for one last omelet before leaving the ship. As you can see, we are almost back at the Cruise Por...¦..



We are approaching the pier.....



We are docked. It's about 8:45am.....



They are tightening up the lines. The cruise is officially over.....



One last look at the slides, and the Serenity area.....





To be continued.....
 
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Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
Self Assist debarkation started right at 9:15am. They had requested that all cabins be vacated by 9:30am, so we grabbed our carry-on bags, and made our way to the EA Sports Bar to wait for our turn to debark. They had coffee, tea, juice, and Danish available for those that wanted it, along with plenty of seating. Nice touch!

At 10:15am, we were led to the gangway to debark. Jase, the CD, was right there, wishing everyone a safe trip home.

There was a steady line down the gangway, and into the terminal building, but it moved ahead steadily. Here in Baltimore, you get to see the nice customs officers BEFORE you get your luggage. I for one, like it that way. Once through customs, you go through the doors into the luggage claim area, which is divided by number. Ryan easily located our bags, and there were plenty of porters to help get them to our car.

After we were loaded up, I got these shots of Patti and Ryan in the van…..





A look at our fellow passengers leaving the terminal building, and heading into the parking lot……



The last shots of the Carnival Pride from the parking lot……





As we pulled onto I-95, we say goodbye to the Carnival Pride…… for now!!



It was an uneventful three hour ride back up to New Jersey and home, and no, we didn’t stop at Maryland House on the way back. Lol. THE END.

A few final thoughts and ramblings.

Being that this was a spring break cruise, there were over 800 children, or a third of the ship, onboard. We had absolutely zero problems with any of them this cruise. Kudos to the parents, and kudos to Carnival for keeping them busy and involved!

Sailing from the northeast, eight months out of the year, it will be cool (or cold), the first sea day out, and the last sea day back. It is what it is, and the price you pay for having a drive to port. That is why the retractable roof over the Venus pool is a blessing. I know from experience that the pool can be heated, but don’t know if it was this cruise. For us the cool days are not an issue.

Ken Byrne is the best Maitre D’ in the fleet by far, and if you have never heard him sing, you are in for a treat. He loves the Spirit Class ships, and requested to be on the Pride. He will be onboard until the end of September, and he told me he would like to come back after vacation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up bringing out the Vista.

As many of you know, my favorite class of Carnival ships is the Spirit Class. I loved the Carnival Pride on my two cruises on her before the 2.0 upgrades, and feel she is even better now. The Serenity areas on these ships are second to none!

What can I say. Give me an itinerary with both Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay on it, and I’m there!! To me, the short stop at Freeport is a waste. I know why they do it. To get back to Baltimore on time, without sailing near full speed, they needed a port more north of Nassau, and need to sail at 1:30. My solution to this is to go to eight day cruises like they do out of New York. Then they could do a full day in Nassau, instead of Freeport, and take two days going back to Baltimore. Then they could add an itinerary such as San Juan, St.Thomas, and Grand Turk, and drop that hideous Pt. Canaveral, Nassau, Freeport itinerary. Just my opinion.

I had a great time in the casino, and the casino hosts, Merci and Gonzalo, were a lot of fun. They fawned over Ryan, and went out of their way to make him and us feel special.

Finally, kudos to the ENTIRE crew of the Carnival Pride. You were all AWESOME. Thank You!!!

If you have any specific questions, just post them here and I will do my best to answer them. If you have a cruise booked on the Carnival Pride, you are in for a treat!!
 
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gram

Well-Known Member
:sunny::sunny::sunny:


Thank you Jeff for a great review. I have to agree with you about Carnival needs to get rid of Pt Canaveral and Freeport stops. The are such a waste. Glad you and your family enjoyed yourselves.

Evie
 

Billoats

Well-Known Member
Thanks for another great review Jeff. You do an awesome job and we always look forward to your next one. The pictures and descriptions of everything makes it seem as though we are right there with you.

Bill
 

connie seabee

Well-Known Member
Community Sponsor
I hate to see your cruise end, because I wil miss reading your review. What a wonderful job narrating and posting those beautiful photos. Kudos until next.

Thank You!
 

Jamman

Carnival Specialist
Community Sponsor
Thanks everyone for your kind words. We were happy to take you along for the ride!!! :biggrin:

Next up: The Carnival Splendor 6/29/15.
 

Funnel

Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor
Fantastic photo review Jeff! :doubleup:
It took me some time to read through it, but it was a very interesting read with great photos. It felt as I was there cruising with you!

Interesting to see all food photos! I think some time ago, you said you didn't take that many food photos as you were too hungry. :whistle:
I guess Patti is in charge of the camera during lunches and dinners... :biggrin:

Interesting also to see Bahamas Celebration. She was built as Prinsesse Ragnhild in the early 80's and cruised between Oslo in Norway and Kiel in Germany in more than 20 years.

Looking forward to your next cruise as I know there will be another interesting, detailed review.
Thank you, Jeff! Please say Thanks to Patti too, for all great photos she contributed with! :thankyou:

/Erik
 
Thank you for sharing! We are cruising on the Pride for our second time the end of September! I am happy we got to see a glimpse of the upgrades beforehand. Also, this time HMC - which we did not go to the first time!!
I booked this cruise 360 days out (yes - almost a full year!!) - and surprised my daughter and her boyfriend with it as a Christmas present! Seems it has taken forever to get here, but just a week over a month away!! This will be their first cruise, and now they can get a good idea of the ship, and the ports - so thank you again! (But I hope she overlooks the waterslide - I was so excited to go, but seeing that the bottom drops out - my heart dropped just looking at the picture!!) :biggrin:

You and Patty captured everything wonderfully!!

CHEERS!
Pam