(This is the final in a six-part series about my first cruise. I sailed on the Carnival Pride from August 4-11. It started and ended in Baltimore, making in Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and Freeport, Bahamas. The other parts of this series ran over the past few weeks).
The ship has certainly sailed.
Alas, it’s time to put this series to bed as well. By now, if you’re a reader of the blog, you’ve read about my adventures about going on my first cruise. If you haven’t, well, shame on you. Go back and read them.
Now. We’ll wait.
OK, so you’re back? Welcome!
These are my final thoughts on this cruise. I’ve covered pretty much everything I could from that cruise. Being there as a member of a wedding and serving as the photographer allowed me to miss the experience of boarding with so many others. That was nice, I must say. The wedding and reception happened on the boat while in port in Baltimore. After that, it was one heck of a fun time.
The wedding was wonderful. Those involved were excellent. The food was exquisite. The celebration was awesome. It was an honor to be a part of the wedding and even better to be sailing with the newlyweds and the small party that joined them.
And I had the chance to cross something off my bucket list.
I’m not a “cruiser,” per say. I talked to several people on the ship who cruise any chance they get. I went to forums before the cruise and researched and people really do the cruising thing.
I’m more of an explorer. I like to go somewhere and have the freedom to check things out and do what I want without restrictions of a massive body of water surrounding you. Despite that, I always said I wanted to at least try a cruise and see what it was like. I’m glad I had this chance.
I never remotely got motion sickness. Walking around was no issue. And exploring the boat was quite fun in its own right. I wish I had a little better financial situation as there were a few things I would have liked to have done, such as the chef’s dinner or the Captain’s tour. Maybe on a future tour, I’ll have that chance.
But overall, taking a cruise isn’t a bad way to spend a vacation.
And despite there being more than 2,000 people on this ship, you could still find places for it to be quiet. Such as heading out to one of the lower decks, where people rarely seemed to be.
With a balcony room, it was nice to be able to sit outside and watch the world go by. Or, at night, it was nice to sit out there and just listen to the water. It’s very relaxing.
The food — with so much available 24/7 — was awesome. The entertainment was excellent. There are memories from this cruise that will last with me forever.
The people were the best. From guests to staff members to anybody I spoke with, everybody always seemed to be cheery and in a goof mood. And why not, right?
Before going further, however, I wanted to bring you some fun stuff. On the final sea day, the cruise director Josh, held a question-and-answer session. I took notes as I knew it would be full of great stuff to post. The questions ranged from the size of the ship to how much booze was served (my question, of course) and Josh did everything he could to answer. He’d call other people on the ship to find out answers, which was too cool. This was one fun show to watch.
How about these tidbits from this seven-day cruise?
- The ship is 963 feet long — that breaks down to 11,565 inches
- Enough milk is consumed to fill three swimming pools
- The boat produces, from sea water, 1 million gallons of fresh water per day
- More than 30,000 eggs are eaten
- There are no garbage cans throughout the ship as crew members take care of that because of how waste needs to be taken care of
- There were 920 crew members that represented 58 nationalities
Oh yeah, the booze. I asked that question and Josh called up somebody to get the answer. A bit later, he was called back. Turns out people like to have a good time on the ship. How good? See here:
- 1,035 bottles of wine/champagne
- 9,400 cans/bottles of beer
- 873 bottles of liquor
- 14,052 cans of soda
He didn’t get numbers of kegs of beer, but I’m sure that’s not too low of a number, either.
Anyway, moving on. With all the positive, there were, unfortunately, a couple of negative things did happen, mostly surrounding the wedding.
I’d be remiss to note that the couple had a frame with a photo of them in it. During the ceremony, they poured colored sand into it, around the photo. It was a nice situation.
Alas, Carnival, somehow, lost this item. No matter what the cost of it, it was priceless as it had way more of a significance to the newlyweds than money. It’s a shame that this happened. It’s a black eye situation, too, as nobody wins. Carnival looks bad and the newlyweds have lost something that money really can’t replace.
One thing to note — I wasn’t an “official” photographer as when you are married on the cruise, they give you one. However, the prices are extremely high for what you get. The photographer assigned to this was nice to start, but as things moved along, he got a bit more testy with me. See, people were looking at me for the photos.
Oh, the humanity, especially seeing as I was picked by the bride and groom.
A couple of times he made sure he got in the way of me shooting, too. I was trying to respect the space, but here was reality — the couple wasn’t going to spend that crazy amount of money on photos.
I understand the idea here, but Carnival really needs to re-visit this policy. They have to remember that it’s about the couple — and if they don’t want some photographer they don’t know, have never met and haven’t discussed things, then that’s how it should be. You don’t see places off the ship forcing a photographer down the throat of a couple, so why on board?
And though those were the only true negatives that I can recall, these are ones that can have lasting memories and not necessarily in a positive way, about the cruise line.
The other aspects of the wedding — and the cruise — were top-notch, however.
I’m sure I’ll sail again. It’s a relaxing and stress-free way to vacation and a way to see some cool places, meet different people and be able to know it was an affordable way to go.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!