(2:17 p.m. EST) -- Carnival has changed its plans for Carnival Pride. It will only spend a few months in Tampa before returning to its Baltimore homeport with upgraded onboard amenities and environmental technology.
The ship, which was scheduled to leave its Baltimore homeport for cruises out of Tampa from December 2014 through April 2015, will instead sail from Baltimore through mid-October 2014, reposition to Tampa, then return to Baltimore in March 2015 for year-round cruises to the Eastern Caribbean and Florida and the Bahamas. It's adding a one-time 14-night repositioning cruise departing Tampa on March 15, 2015, which will sail through the Caribbean and Central America (including optional excursions to the Panama Canal) before returning to Baltimore. Carnival has yet to say which ship, if any, will replace Pride in Tampa.
From October 19 to November 9, 2014, Pride will be in dry dock to receive a Fun Ship 2.0 makeover. It will get new eating and drinking venues such as Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina and Tequila Bar, Bonsai Sushi, EA SPORTS Bar, Alchemy Bar, RedFrog Pub and Rum Bar, and the Library Bar. Other additions include the WaterWorks water park, Playlist Productions, Cherry on Top, and Hasbro, the Game Show.
In addition, Pride will receive some new environmental technology called scrubbers that will help the ship comply with the new air emission standards required for cruising within the North American Emission Control Area (ECA). The ship will add this new exhaust gas cleaning technology in spring 2015; other Carnival ships will be receiving scrubbers as well.
In 2013, Carnival announced it would pull out of several East Coast ports, including Baltimore, Boston and Norfolk, Virginia. On January 13, 2014, the company announced it will return to Norfolk in 2015. At the time, Carnival reiterated it doesn't have future cruises scheduled from Boston, according to company spokesman Vance Gulliksen.
--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor