This was our second Cruise on the Carnival Pride, and our second experience with the Port in Baltimore. And being a warm weather beach party kinda guy, was apprehensive about Bermuda. Bermuda being a "PROPER" country. We chose this cruise because Baltimore is only 60 miles form where we live, and because of my wife's profession, Elementary School Teacher, this was the only time available, as it was spring break.
First .. after the last cruise of staying overnight in a hotel in Baltimore and leaving our car at the Hotel during the cruise, we opted to park in the Cruise Line area parking lot. Reason was that when the cruise was over, it took the Hotel 2 hours to pick us up and return us to the Hotel to pick up the car.
Our choice to park in the Cruise line Parking Lot worked out great. Sorta quoting a female Alaskan Vice Presidential Candidate - "I could see my car from the Lido Deck!"
This cruise, due to finances, we opted out of booking a suite. Instead, we booked More
a Balcony Cruise. Turned out not to be a bad choice. Me being the VIP seeking person, who likes to get on the ship and of first, was concerned I would be waiting in long lines to board. Well a funny thing happened. If I had a way of posting pictures here I would show you. On the Cruise in Nov 2010 we had a Grand Suite. I took a picture of the Pride's Clock on the Lido Deck. As a VIP then we boarded first. This cruise we were in Group 8, and boarded after the VIP Guest. Upon reaching the Lido Deck, I took a picture of the Pride's clock. Both the Nov 2010 cruise and this one - twilight zone theme starts - Both showed 1:23 PM.
From this point on, everything went well. Rooms were ready at the regular time. And unlike the Nov 2010 cruise, we actually departed on time.
A couple days at sea before my dreaded expectations of going to Bermuda and spending about 48 hours docked their.
So, being a person of chance, shown by my risk of picking a Bermuda Cruise, I wandered down to meet my old buddies ... The Slots. And in hand I carried a invitation in my hand that I found in my cabin that basically stated that because of my relationship with the slots on my last two cruises I qualified for the new "ON-US" program. Also Known as - Free Drinks while playing the slots. And I will leave the casino stories here with this - My Slot playing became a two way challenge. Would I lose to the slots or would Carnival Lose in then amount of free drinks. Results of this personal challenge for another day.
My Expectations of Bermuda were, and I hate to admit it, wrong. It is a wondrous strange place. Seems all that Proper stuff with rules and regulations of proper dress, proper behavior, visitors can't rent cars, swim wear exposing to much skin beyond 25 feet of the actual beach water line, and more only extends from the water line inland.
We took three excursion, two of which were booked via Carnival and one that we booked on our own.
We spent From 1 pm April 19 to 5 PM April 21 docked in Bermuda. And other than the excursions, we never made it out of the Kings Wharf Area. The people of Bermuda, the people who ran the excursions, the People who we met in the shops on Kings Wharf, and my favorite place - The Frog and Onion - were unbelievably awesome.
Having my expectations of Bermuda shattered, I find that I will return someday to see and do what I did not have time to do on that long docked period.
My only negatives about the cruise was, that during the long docked period on Bermuda, the activities available on the Cruise Ship Pride seemed to shut down. Being On Board during that time was a bit ... BORING!
And as with my first cruise on the Pride ... She Shows (stand by for blunt criticism)were .. well let me just say the Simon Cowel of American Idle and Nigel of - You Think you could dance, would have eliminated them on the initial try outs. And if you know Simon's way of doing this .... He would have said it in a way that I could, but will not say here.
Note - The shows do not include the Comedy Club Shows. They, as always were great.
And I will leave it here. Would I go on the Pride again? Yes! Will I go on the Pride again? Most likely not! Why? Moving from Northern Va to Florida in the next few months, and my options are now open to checking out other Carnival Cruise ships withing Driving distance.
Can't really be fair here. Last Cabin in NOV 2011 was the Grand Suite. This cruise it was a Balcony Suite. Only three differences. 1. Smaller Cabin 2.No Tub and whirlpool - only shower 3.Bar area, instead of a whole bunch of neat drink glass wear only got two snifters As for service by the stewards, and all other services ... Same as grand suite!