Charm City to Carnival

Trip Start Feb 21, 2010
Trip End Feb 28, 2010

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Where I stayed
Carnival Pride

Flag of United States  , Maryland
Sunday, February 21, 2010

We were in no hurry on Sunday morning. Breakfast was included in our package, so after breakfast, we decided to walk to the Inner Harbor and look around a bit. It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel. We had to dodge slushy walkways and a few icy ones, but it was an enjoyable walk. Along the way we saw the huge sculpture commemorating the 25,000 Polish that Stalin slaughtered in the Forests of Katyn. We walked along the Inner Harbor and saw the Constellation, the US Coast Guard Cutter Taney, the US Sub Torsk, the Aquarium and all the restaurants and hotels that line the harbor. We didn't have time to tour the ships or aquarium. We took a break at a Barnes and Nobel that is inside an old coal plant. It was kind of funny seeing stacks (of books) in the Stacks. We walked back the way we come just in time to check out. The hotel gave us taxi vouchers for the ride to the pier and back, so we got a cab and went to the cruise terminal. We got there about 12:15 It seemed ironic seeing a cruise ship docked with a bunch of snow everywhere. Things went smoothly and fast once we dropped our bags off—from dropping the bags to sitting on the Lido deck eating lunch: 50 minutes.

We had time to wait until the cabin was ready, so we explored the ship a bit. If you want understated elegance, then don't sail on the Carnival Pride. It is more like Vegas glitz without the glamour. The public rooms are dark and there didn’t seem to be a cohesive theme in the decorating. The main theater is the Taj Mahal; one lounge is brocade and Raphael reproductions. Another lounge is "Starry Night," which when you first see it makes no sense whatsoever other than Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is recreated on the walls. The rest of it leaves you puzzled. We finally understood it when we saw a thing on the ship’s TV about the architect’s explanation of the rooms. He created that room as though you  were inside the painting. I don’t particularly like the décor, but I didn’t come on the ship to be an art critic. We chose this cruise because it sailed from Baltimore, so that meant no air flight and also because we didn’t want to spend a lot of money.

Once we were able to go to our cabin, we were pleased with it. At the time we booked, we got a free 2 category upgrade, so we ended up with a balcony. The room is big and other than the funky lamps and weird light switches, there is nothing to complain about. We went topside for the sail away. It wasn’t too cold, but it was odd to be sailing away on a cruise wearing a coat, gloves and sipping a cup of coffee!   We chose the first dinner seating and were at a table for 6. I’ll get to the food on tomorrow’s blog. We ended our evening by unpacking and getting settled in our cabin.

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