SUNDAY, Port of Baltimore. Embarking process - OUTSTANDING!
Captain Galotto at the helm. We arrived 2 hours before our scheduled departure, so we were able to board as soon as we got to the port. Took a brief tour since cabins were not ready and worked our way to the top deck for happy hour. Lido deck, full of excitement and expectations. Staff was at every turn for bar service and we were notified within an hour or so that our cabins were ready. Our cabin steward greeted us and informed us our luggage would be arriving shortly. Set sail at 4:30 on schedule. Weather was sunny, with a slight breeze, but nice enough to be out on deck.
At Sea...bingo, casino, duty free shopping, etc. Beds were very comfortable, pillows soft and room service answered our growling tummies. Recommend the cheescake!
First Day - 5 stars!
MONDAY, at sea Finally out of the Chesapeake Bay and headed south. Any day at sea is a good day at sea. Ate in the buffet area this evening. Large selection of food, great selection of fruits, salads, cheeses/meats, desserts and hot and cold entrees. Room service again tonight. Cheesecake...yum
TUESDAY, off the coast of Florida -balmy weather. Bingo, trivia, slot tournaments, only $20 to enter - lots to do. Chances to win prizes/services in the salon. Be sure to read your FunTimes booklet that your cabin steward leaves in your room every night....along with the towel animals. My wife was always looking forward to that at the end of the day! Please check out the bow of the ship when weather changes...saw plenty of dolphins running with the ship. Came across a fabulous pianist in the Pilazzi Cafe area...turns out he was from our area. Became fast friends. Bob Barry...check him out. Bobbarrypiano.com.
WEDNESDAY, arrive in Port Canaveral. Weather is terrific! Dry land...get rid of my sea legs...Had an excursion planned, so we disembarked, smooth process to get to our bus, heading to central Florida everglades for an airboat/alligator tour. Fish Camp - was safe, cordial and thankful for our business from Carnival. Alligator Tail was made for us right on the spot and we were also entertained by an animal rescue service (CARE)that brought in a python, baby gator and opossum, etc. Kid friendly (not too young-12 and up) - great Kodak moments!
Also visited Cocoa Beach - local shops - will visit again. Taxi service, abundant and reasonable ($5 per person)
Back to the ship for a 6:30 departure.
THURSDAY, arrive in Nassau. Weather overcast and balmy. Definitely spend the money for an excursion to Atlantis. Stay away from public beaches. Think Nassau and Freeport should be flipped. Spend the longer day in Freeport.
FRIDAY, arrive in Freeport. Weather sunny, and balmy. Excursion planned for Island Tour, Lunch and Beach Time. Nice public beach, great local shops.
Bus tour of island highlights the culture of the Grand Bahamas. Liked it.
SATURDAY, back at sea. First thing this morning was the Behind the Fun tour. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. ($95 pp-but worth every penny!)We got to see the inner workings of the ship, from the laundry to the kitchen, to the crew quarters to the bridge. Top Shelf-First Class Operation from top to bottom. Rest of the day was spent with bingo, shows, slot tournaments, music, craps, shooting pool. Saturday evening, spending it with our newly made friends from all over the world. I honestly shed tears knowing that I would not be seeing my new friends from the "Pride" again. Friendships at sea are fleeting but we have our photos and memories to keep them in our hearts and minds. Excellent service, hospitality over the top.
SUNDAY, debarkation day. Chose to take our luggage with us instead of having it picked up the night before by the stewards. But beware, could be a hassle if too much luggage...you end up with more than you came with. If not pressed for time, have the stewards take your luggage and offload it for you.
My special thanks to Captain Galotto, his officers, his crew, his port pilots and the port authorities of which we visited safely.
A special thanks to Rudee, Sake and Miguel in the Casino bar - for their outstanding service, hospitality and overall friendship that we will have for life.