To those about to cruise, we Salute You!!!!! DW and I just returned from our 20th Anniversary celebration out of Baltimore. Being NOVA local, this was the perfect departure location. I'm Active Duty (20 Years) and this was the first time I didn't stand a watch at sea. It was an amazing experience, but we both are still a bit stunned by the end-of-cruise bill. $2k INCLUDING excursions. From booking to return, total bill ran around $6K for a family of 5.
Embarkation on Sat afternoon was good. We arrived at 1400 and waited in line for a parking spot. We parked next to the brow, as we were last to board....JIT arrival!! We booked two rooms and travelled with our 20 yo, 19 yo & 14 yo. We had to switch up room assignments as our kids were not authorized to have their own room. My wife switched keys with our eldest but only ran into trouble with the casino on 3rd night. Did I mention it was our 20th? we were not in separate rooms, despite the rules.
On to the review. The shows were amazing, weather was terrific, and the trip down the cheasapeak was scenic! (I thought we were within 15ft of bumping the stack on the bridge....The Food in the Normandie Dining Room was the best. DW was constantly asking, "was this real?". For those that have not cruised, DO IT. For those that are about to cruise we SALUTE YOU! Out anniversary dinner in the Supper Club was beyond our expectations. We dressed to the 9's (gown & Military Dinner Dress Blue) and were rewarded with superior/phenomenal service. We brought our favorite wine with us and heard the Somea (SP?) tell us the history and attributes of the oaky finish. She was a true professional.
The aft pool for adults was comfy, but small. The gym was above par. I ran each morning on the treadmill to detox and was rewarded with a spectacular horizon view. Each night after a fabulous broadway show, we hit the casino and played $50 each. I managed to stay w/in $10 on the roulette table, but DW did much better on the 5cent slots. The disco was awesome and we closed it on our anniversary. We saw Matt our Asst Director two nights down there and then on Carnival Pride TV show each am. He's got stamina and a great sense of humor. Kirk was terrific. He Kept 2K people entertained and never missed an opportunity to make you feel welcome onboard Carnival. All in all, we're sorry we waited 20 years to try cruising. I have 7 years of sea time at the pointy end of the spear and 20 years of military service overall. I'm sorry I didn't listen to DW that we would have a good time and I wouldn't be anxious to stand the 4-8 watch.
The slightest regret was to do the self assisted debarkation. We had plenty of hands to carry luggage, but let them load 90% of our stuff at midnight on Thursday night. We ended up waiting, and looking at the car for over 3.5 hours after arrival. We should have either kept a board game, lap top or something of use when we chose to let them carry away our bags.
It was a phenomenal trip. Carnival from Baltimore will see us again! Maybe just the 2 of us next time.