November 7, 2000
Carnival’s puny new Carnival Pride (okay, we’re joking about puny but she will only weigh in at 86,000 tons which is comparably small when compared to today's new mega-mega ships) will home-port at Port Canaveral and own the distinction of only-cruise-ship-there-to-offer-a-Western Caribbean-itinerary. The ship, due to launch in January 2002, will sail the Eastern Caribbean on alternate weeks. The western itinerary offers some interesting ports-of-call; specifically Belize City, a great destination for scuba divers (at nearby Ambergris Caye) and Mayan-worshippers (Chichen Itza is inland). She will also go to Progreso/Merida, Mexico as well as the well-trodden ports of Key West and Playa del Carmen/Cozumel. On her Eastern Caribbean itineraries, the big news there is that she’ll be the first Carnival ship to call in at a private island -- the Bahamian Half Moon Cay, otherwise claimed by Holland America -- and from April to October only. The rest of the year she’ll go to Salt Cay, also in the Bahamas but off the coast of Nassau. Other stops include the predictable: St. Thomas/St. John and the currently (and only recently) Carnival-less port of St. Maarten. The ship is currently under construction at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland. Carnival Pride will have a passenger capacity of 2,124, double occupancy, and will be the line’s second “Spirit Class” vessel. She’s the third Carnival ship to be based at Port Canaveral year-round (Fantasy and Tropicale also call it home).