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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fun, fun, fun in the hot, hot, hot sun, sun, sun on Carnival Pride



   Out to Sea column for July 4/15

   (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   Caribbean cruises are hot as it’s no longer just a cold-weather destination.
   The Caribbean is the world’s most-popular cruising destination, with each island having its distinct identity, cultural experience and flavour, mon.
   Cruisers go to discover turquoise waters and coral reefs great for diving and snorkelling, exotic blooms, historic fortresses and plantations, and island cultures and customs.
   There are palm trees and sparkling white beaches, spice markets and spicy foods, colourful houses and sun-splashed outdoor fun, not to forget duty-free shopping and warm hospitality.
With its imposing bow, the Carnival Pride is tied up at the pier in Grand Turk. (Jim Fox photo)
   In the summertime when the weather is hot
   We decided to find out why anyone would take a Caribbean cruise in the summertime as the Carnival Pride is now homeported in Baltimore year-round.
   Terry Thornton, a Carnival Cruise Line senior vice-president, said 19 of its 24 ships are based in the Caribbean this summer and will carry upwards of two-million guests.
   “Summer is a great time to take a Caribbean cruise, particularly for families who enjoy the region’s world-class beaches and ‘fun-in-the-sun’ activities it is famous for.”
   Many cruisers on our 2,200-passenger ship were seeking “beach vacations” and the cruising experience with four days “at sea” and only three ports.
   Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Freeport, Bahamas are ideal for laid-back beach-and-water activities.
   On alternate week sailings, the ship visits Port Canaveral and Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas.
 
WaterWorks park atop the Carnival Pride has several waterslides overlooking the ocean. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Fun, fun, fun
   There’s even more fun onboard as Carnival Pride has undergone a “multi-million-dollar” upgrade, said public relations manager Aly Bello.
   Splash down at the sky-high WaterWorks park with Green Thunder, called the fastest and steepest waterslide at sea.
   There’s a nine-hole mini-golf course, basketball court and an around-the-clock pizza bar and ice-cream stations.
   Dr. Seuss at Sea themed events include the Cat in the Hat parade and show, and the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast.
Writer Jim Fox ‘hams’ it up at the Cat in the Hat Green Eggs and Ham breakfast. (Barbara Fox photo)
    Carnival’s “Fun Ship 2.0” upgrades include dining – again and again – at celebrity chef Guy (Fieri’s) Burger Joint, Mexican Blue Iguana Cantina and Bonsai Sushi.
   Also new are the Alchemy Bar, Red Frog Pub and poolside Rum Bar and Blue Iguana Tequila Bar.
   Entertainment choices added include Hasbro, the Game Show and the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez.
   There’s Camp Ocean for children, Cloud 9 Spa and a full gym, busy casino and top-rate shows and the ship band, the Bahama Mamas.
   Carnival Pride’s decor pays homage to “icons of beauty” in art and architecture with numerous statues and art work.
It’s a day at the beach alongside the docked Carnival Pride in Grand Turk. (Jim Fox photo)
   Dramatic spaces are Taj Mahal, the elegant Indian-themed theatre; Starry Night Lounge, evocative of the classic Vincent Van Gogh painting; and the Ivory Bar, a piano bar with Japanese ivory carvings.
   Dining options include the two-level Normandie restaurant with singing maître d’ Ken Byrne; the poolside Mermaids Grille; Piazza Cafe for specialty coffees and sweets, and 24-hour room service.
   A standout treat for dinner is David’s, a classic American steakhouse at the top of a soaring nine-deck-high atrium and accessible by a glass elevator ($35 surcharge).
Serenity is an adults-only retreat on the ship. (Barbara Fox photo)
    The ship attracts 700,000 children annually so there are programs in three age groups from two to 17 years.
   There are four swimming pools, including a children’s wading pool and an aft pool with a twisting, turning corkscrew water slide, and the Serenity adults-only retreat.
   The 1,062 staterooms feature upgraded beds and furnishings with 80 percent of the cabins having private balconies.
   Along with stellar service, great food and facilities, Carnival Pride achieved a perfect 100 score on a recent Centers for Disease Control ship cleanliness inspection.
 
The sun sets into the ocean after another beautiful day in the Bahamas. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Need to know
    Carnival Pride’s Baltimore sailings range from five-day Bermuda cruises to seven-to 14-day voyages in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.
   Fares for seven days are from $434 US, interior cabin; $494, ocean view; $574, balcony; and $1,034, suites.
   Opt for the Faster to the Fun package for priority check-in, immediate stateroom availability, express luggage transfer and priority dining reservations, tender boarding and debarkation for $59.99   a cabin. Unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi was $99 for the week.
   Details: carnival.com/journeys; 1-800-327-9501

   Additional information: Carnival Pride returns to Baltimore for year-round sailings:
http://outtoseatravel.blogspot.ca/2015/04/carnival-pride-returns-to-port-of.html

   Carnival Pride Factsheet


APPROXIMATE COST:                                                       $375 Million
SHIPYARD:                                                                          Kvaerner Masa-Yards             Helsinki, Finland
INAUGURAL CRUISE                                                        December 30, 2001
HOME PORT:                                                                        Baltimore, Maryland
GODMOTHER:                                                                     Dr. Tamara Jernigan
COUNTRY OF REGISTRY:                                                  Panama
SPEED:                                                                                   22 Knots
APPROXIMATE CREW SIZE:                                             930
NATIONALITY OF CREW:                                               
               Officers                                                                    Italian
               Hotel Staff                                                               International
               Cruise Staff                                                              International
SIZE/CAPACITY:
Gross Registered Tonnage                                       88,500
Length                                                                        960 Feet
Beam                                                                          105.7 Feet
Maximum Draft                                                          25.7 Feet
TOTAL GUEST CAPACITY (Including Uppers)                          2,667
NORMAL CRUISE CAPACITY (Basis 2)                                 2,124
NUMBER OF GUEST DECKS:                                                    12
SPACE RATIO:                                                                                40
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Penthouse Suites                                                      6
Suites                                                                       52
Ocean View with Balcony                                    624
Ocean View without Balcony                                 68
Ocean View with Glass Wall                                   99
Interior Staterooms                                                213

TOTAL:          1,062
PUBLIC ROOMS & CAPACITIES
ENTERTAINMENT VENUES                                                                     CAPACITY
TAJ MAHAL (Main Show Lounge)                                                              1,167
BEAUTIES (Dance Club)                                                                                118
IVORY (Piano Bar)                                                                                          106
BUTTERFLIES LOUNGE (Live Music/Comedy Venue)                              348   

DINING VENUES
NORMANDIE DINING ROOM (Aft)                                                        1,250
MERMAIDS’ GRILLE (Lido Restaurant)                                                  1,458
      - Guy’s Burger Joint
      - BlueIguana Cantina
      - 24-Hour Pizzeria
      - Asian Station   
      - New York-Style Deli
      - Dessert Station
DAVID’S (Steakhouse)                                                                                 156
THE PIAZZA CAFÉ (Patisserie)                                                                 112
CAPTAIN’S CLUB (Restaurant Annex)                                                        86
THE TASTE BAR (Stand-Alone Appetizer Venue)

BARS AND LOUNGES
RENAISSANCE LOBBY (Lobby Bar)                                                           10
ALCHEMY BAR (Cocktail Pharmacy-Themed Lounge)                              30
REDFROG PUB (Caribbean-Inspired Pub)                                                  135
FLORENTINE LOUNGE (Wine Bar)                                                             85
SPORTS BAR                                                                                                    67
RAPHAEL (Aft Lounge)                                                                                   66
REDFROG RUM BAR (Poolside Bar)
BLUEIGUANA TEQUILA BAR (Poolside Bar)

MISCELLANEOUS VENUES
THE WINNERS’ CLUB (Casino)                                                                  278
NOBEL LIBRARY & INTERNET CAFÉ                                                         23
CRYSTAL (Card Room)                                                                                    20
CITY ROOM (Conference Room)                                                                 100
SPA CARNIVAL (Spa, Health Club & Beauty Salon)                                 14,500 SQ. FT.
SUNSET GARDEN (Promenade)                                                                     52
THE CHAPEL (Wedding Chapel)
CITY SPORTS PARK
    - Nine-hole Mini Golf
    - Ping Pong
    - Jogging Track
    - Shuffleboard
    - Basketball Court
    - Volleyball Court


   ---
Four Points by Sheraton in York, Penn.

   Baltimore is an easy one-day drive from southern Ontario with port parking for $15 US a day.
   We stayed overnight at Four Points by Sheraton in York, Penn. where a hot buffet breakfast was included and it was only 45 minutes to the port. fourpointsyork.com

Four Points by Sheraton York Hotel (Web profile)

This property offers uncomplicated comfort and little extras that make our guests feel great.
From style to service to attitude, we keep it simple. comfortable beds, fresh coffee, free Internet and cold local beer - these are the things that matter most.
Our York hotel is situated in the heart of the "Factory Tour Capital of the World" and accessible to major freeways for quick easy travel to nearby destinations.
Go back in history at the Gettysburg Battlefield, walk around Lancaster County and visit Amish country, or head over to Hershey, the sweetest place on earth. Or stay local and tour the Harley Davidson Museum, walk through historic Downtown York, or enjoy an event at the York Fairgrounds, home of America's first fair.



http://www.fourpointsyork.com

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Jim and Barb Fox can be reached at outtosea50@hotmail.com
For more Out to Sea trip tips: http://outtoseatravel.blogspot.ca


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