Carnival Pride Live Blog 2021 – Day 3 – At sea
Today’s goal was to live the full experience of a day at sea on Carnival Pride: swimming pool, sunbathing, slides and dining on the upper deck.
I fell asleep last night after writing yesterday’s blog post, but my friend went to hear the comedian then ordered breakfast from room service for that morning while I was snoring. Carnival offers cabin delivery of a free continental breakfast and a few breakfast sandwiches for a small fee. So I drank my morning tea and nibbled on fruit and yogurt while I uploaded photos, then we headed to the Serenity Deck to relax in the sun.
Today is the perfect day at sea with warm weather, blue skies and calm seas. Serenity had tons of empty lounge chairs when we got there around 9:30 am, but it was filling up by the time we left. There is a large bar with outdoor sofas, tables and chairs in the shade, so you can bring your buffet lunch if you wish.
In the middle of the deck is a pool and hot tub, surrounded by blue padded lounge chairs and circular daybeds that provide shade and privacy. We found two lounge chairs under a wooden pergola which provided more shade. It was a bliss to read a book, uninterrupted by pesky children, husbands or bosses, and let the sway of the boat rock me to a relaxed state.
Daily activities at sea
I could have stayed there all day, but it would make a very boring trip report. We went down to Piazza Cafe for another attempt to win a ship on a stick, this time on tri-bond trivia. In this game, you had to guess the connection between three words (eg apple, palm and Christmas are all types of trees).
The difficulty level was increased because we missed the first six or seven clues by arriving three minutes late, and the teammate running the game had an accent that everyone was having a hard time understanding. At one point, he spent several minutes trying to get the whole room to understand that he was referring to the band’s KISS rather than kissing with lips or a case for an instrument. Needless to say, we have yet to acquire a coveted piece of plastic ship.
Next stop: Return to Lido Deck to enjoy the pool and people watch. The pool deck stage is where the silliest games take place, so we hopped into the pool to watch a family team challenge, the Thriller dance class, and music trivia for years. 90. Carnival cruisers are not lacking in enthusiasm, and we applauded and sang from our aquatic vantage point.
Fun on the upper deck
Carnival Pride’s Lido Deck 9 has three pools: Serenity’s adult-only rear pool; the Seaside Theater main pool with movie screen and stage, surrounded by burgers, burritos and bars; and the swimming pool near the hot tub, the smoking section and games like ping-pong and the corn hole.
Two bridges higher and all the way to the front is the jogging track, mini golf course and sports field. At the very back is Carnival’s Waterworks, which has two water slides and a small children’s play area with slides and sprayers.
I had to check the slides as they are different on different ships. The yellow twister slide was lazier than I expected, only picking up a little speed towards the end. The green tube slide begins with a door that opens below your feet and a few seconds of freefall before zooming into the cantilevered meanders to the side of the ship.
Admit, I stood at the top for several minutes debating and let a bunch of kids get ahead of me. Then I held my nose (literally) and dove (literally too). The ride is so quick, you barely have time to be scared and you don’t notice you are fairing over the ocean because your eyes are closed. It’s definitely a rush.
Guy’s Burger Joint
The ultimate Carnival at Sea lunch is either a cheeseburger at Guy’s Burger Joint or a burrito at Blue Iguana Cantina. Both offer pool counter service, so you don’t need to cover up or go inside. Today I was craving burgers and fries.
Guy Fieri is a meat-loving dude who puts chili and bacon on his cheeseburgers. But here’s a secret: Its Carnival employees have access to veggie burgers. I asked for one, and it took them a few minutes to cook it again in the kitchen. Once it was ready, they sprinkled it with fake cheese and I stacked sautéed onions and mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. It’s messy but oh so good.
Somewhere along the way, I put down my reusable water bottle and forgot to pick it up. I walked to deck 2 and inquired with customer services. Sure enough, they had my bottle safe and sound, so I plan to stay hydrated for the rest of the day.
I didn’t use my suite’s large balcony enough so after lunch I camped out on the lounge chair to work on my laptop. It’s a real treat to have the reclining lounge chairs so I can write with my legs apart. I even managed not to fall asleep in the sun.
Exercise, play sports
After a Guy Fieri lunch, a trip to the gym is a must. Spa staff told me that the fitness center was more crowded in the morning than in the afternoon. I feel more comfortable in unmasked, uncrowded indoor spaces, so I tried working out later in the day. Since four people were already using the treadmills in the front, I rode an elliptical on the side where no one else was.
The Carnival Pride gymnasium is not the typical layout of a cruise ship gymnasium. The gym spans two decks, with cardio machines on the lower level, the weight and fitness studio on the upper level, and multi-level modules with one or two resistance machines or a weight bench. In the center is the hot tub of the spa, surrounded by glass walls. Sound is coming from the hot tub throughout the fitness area, so be careful what you say when relaxing in the tub.
After my workout I was ready to collapse into a lounge chair and enjoy the sun and the breeze. This meant that my destination was the Serenity Deck, as it quickly became my favorite place on board. The path from the front gym to the back deck takes you straight through the buffet, where my rumbling stomach reminded me that Carnival’s Pizza Pirate has great Italian style pizza. I grabbed a few slices to bring them to the deck.
Having now walked across the pool deck several times during the day at sea today, I can report that midday hours are the most crowded around the pool and when you will have the most difficulty snagging a empty lounge chair. Before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., the main and Serenity pools are much less crowded.
Our first two dinners on board lasted over 2 hours, and I didn’t really want to spend another evening at an extended meal. In keeping with our day on the upper deck, we went to the dinner buffet. (The buffet at Carnival Pride is called the Mermaid’s Grille; look up to see rows of mermaids lining the ceiling.)
At dinner time, several stations are open including a large salad bar with many options, cold cuts, Pizza Pirate, a dessert buffet and a line of hot dishes that offers a soup of the day, carved meat and a range of hot options ranging from baked ziti to seared tilapia and Indian butter chicken. The Seafood Corner sells fish and shellfish at market prices, as well as dishes like fish and chips.
I started with a huge salad, then went back for a scoop of tuna from the cold cuts and cookies and fruit for dessert. My friend tried the butter chicken, which she gave two thumbs up, despite too much sauce and not enough chicken.
Tonight I’ll finally get to experience more of the ship’s nightlife, maybe a comedy show or a piano bar show before a deck party starts late. Tomorrow, we finally salute dry land when the ship docks in Nassau, Bahamas. We will check out a snorkeling excursion organized by the carnival and maybe walk to Junkanoo beach in the afternoon.
Missed a day of live blogging? Catch up on the days you missed:
Carnival Pride Live Blog 2021 – Day 2 – At sea
Carnival Pride Live Blog 2021 – Day 1 – Embarkation