Friday, October 3, 2008

The Ship - (the Carnival Pride)

(photo via

Carnival Pride : Where can you find the artwork of Raphael, da Vinci, Botticelli, and Michelangelo, and the architectural details of ancient Greece, Byzantine empires, Renaissance Italy, Beaux Arts France and Victorian England all under the same roof? Perhaps in the great museums of the world -- the Smithsonian, the Bilbao Guggenheim, the Metropolitan -- but also, most definitely, in the public spaces aboard Carnival Pride. Long, narrow, sleek as a knife and very fast, the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride, launched in 2002, is the second ship in the cruise line's dual azipod-driven Spirit class. Carnival's long-time interior designer, Joe Farcus, chose Icons of Beauty as the ship's theme: beauty in life, beauty in art, beauty in the world's architecture, beauty in the human body and in the human spirit. At 963 ft., with 1,062 passenger cabins, 11 bars and lounges, 4 pools and 5 hot tubs, this ship was made for active participation. Carnival's guests come onboard knowing that they will have access to 24-hour partying, food and entertainment. A large and well-equipped children's center, Camp Carnival's Fun Club, is one of the line's signature features, luring families with kids of all ages: Everyone gets to play. There must be something in the water on this ship, because we have yet to meet a more accommodating, cheerful and outgoing crew. Everyone, from the harried Purser's Desk staff to the dining room and bar servers to the hardworking room stewards, expressed a sort of unfettered joy for being available to serve Pride guests. Officers were accessible and engaging, and the general atmosphere was uncompromisingly upbeat. One evening aboard our seven-night Mexico Riviera cruise from Long Beach, California, we saw two very young girls, perhaps 8 and 10, dancing together on the Lido Deck during a Calypso party. They danced with such joy, abandon and total freedom that it made us ache for the long-past youth of our children. "This," we thought, "is the very essence of a Carnival cruise." Ship Highlights:
  • Luxurious spa with a fully equipped gym and beauty treatments
  • Outdoor jogging track
  • Award-winning Camp Carnival program for kids
  • Elegant dining in the Normandie Restaurant
  • Spectacular Vegas-style productions in the Taj Mahal Theater
  • 12 bars and lounges throughout the ship
  • Winner's Club Casino, one of the largest as sea
  • Three swimming pools and one kids' pool
  • 11-deck-high atrium topped with a glass ceiling
  • 80% of staterooms offer oceanviews
Okay, so we booked a balcony. Balconies are the best. I've spent my time in staterooms with and without portholes to see. Balconies give you a get-away. I loved waking up in the morning, ordering room service (basic fruit tray, juice, coffee, toast) and enjoying the Caribbean air from the balcony. I've never been on an Alaska cruise, but I doubt you could do this. That really is a turn off for me, because balconies are my unwinding area. It sounds dumb, and hippy-like, but I can really free my soul watching the ship sail into port from my balcony.

As Jimmy Buffet refers to in 'A pirate looks at forty', "Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years to late. The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin to plunder, I'm an over-forty victim of fate."

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