Windy Visit on Carnival Pride

Bermuda Travel Blog

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We were supposed to leave on the Carnival Pride for Bermuda on Sunday Nov 6th.  I got a robo call from Carnival telling me that the ship had been delayed and not to leave until I heard from them. Bob didn't pick up the phone so he didn't know this - I thought I heard him pick up, but he didn't. I tried to find the Pride on the charts but the only thing I saw was a little bit off Ft Pierce coming from Freeport on Friday. I went to the internet and other people were talking about it but there was no real information. Carnival wanted us to get text messages, but I don't do text messages. We called Bob's brother David who was also traveling with us, but his phone wasn't being answered.

Finally I got an email from Carnival stating that we would board Monday morning 9-12.

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
The ship ran into the big low - I guess off NC - with seas of 20 feet and the young teen club and the arcade room on deck 4 were damaged. The Pride is in Baltimore now and people are getting off but they can also wait until 7 am tomorrow to get off if they want to.

It would be difficult for us to get to Baltimore by 9 - I used to do it when I was working, but I had to leave by about 6. After a lot of discussion, Bob thought we should turn in the rental car and drive my car up. I found a hotel (Country Inn & Suites near BWI) that had free cruise parking and made a reservation there for tonight. She said we couldn't have a shuttle to the port because they weren't doing those reservations for new bookings. David called us back and said that he had gotten the message too - I was afraid that he had already gone to his daughters for her to take him to the ship.
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We turned all the clocks back for daylight savings.  Bob switched all the luggage from one car to the other and we returned the rental car. Bob wanted to do that at 9, but they don't open until 10 on Sunday. The man inside took the keys anyway - it cost about $33.00 to drive 20 miles - just to the house and back.

Bob wanted to leave about noon, even tho the hotel check-in wasn't until 3. So we left at noon. First we turned off the TVs, satellite, modem and water. We checked into the hotel and she said she could upgrade us to a port shuttle for an extra $20.00 which is a good deal. As we were leaving for dinner at Chilis (which is next door), I suddenly had a horrible thought - I had forgotten my passport.  Bob drove back to Leonardtown to get my passport.
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Bob said the round trip was 175 miles and took 4 hours including getting gas and a hamburger en-route. He said he listened to NPR who were having old radio mystery shows - one every half hour, and it was very enjoyable.

I had hired a private guide who was to have met us in St. Georges.  But we were going to be late and wouldn't have time to get to St. Georges.  We finally got word from the guide that he would meet us in Kings Wharf. The Florida TV station told us that the storm had become a tropical storm named Sean, and that Bermuda was under a tropical storm watch.


Picking up on November 9th

This time we got to the dining room for breakfast at 8 and ate with two ladies.

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Bob had his usual and I had grits (which came with no accompaniments) and eggs benedict which was strange - two pieces of ham instead of Canadian bacon.

Close to 11:00 I put on a coat and went out on deck - the bow camera had raindrops on it, but it was sunny out and warm We could see Bermuda in the distance. We went up to deck 10, but they had the forward part of the decks blocked off due to 'wind'. Eventually we saw Fort St. Catherine and the pilot boat came out and we started around the island to get to the Dockyard. 

We went to eat lunch and our table companions were a lady with two walking crutches from Annapolis and a girl (maybe her daughter) who we had eaten breakfast with on Tuesday. We both had a seasonal fruit platter with sherbet, and then I had the spinach and ricotta ravioli and Bob had fish 'n chips.

Top Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
I had pears Helene for dessert.

We could see that we were at the Dockyard but it was 1300 and we still weren't docked. We saw sand stirred up in the water and speculated that we had run aground, but we found out from Bob's brother David whose stateroom was on the other side of the ship that it was too windy for the boat to dock so that it was pushed sideways into the pier by the tugs.

At lunch the next day someone said that they didn't want to let the Pride dock at all - they were going to close the port because of the impending storm. Apparently Carnival said that if we didn't dock, the pax would mutiny.

It was now 1330 when we were supposed to meet our guide, but the ship didn't even have the gangways out yet. We went down to deck 3 and watched.

Map of Bermuda at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
You might have thought they had never done this before.

Finally the ship was cleared and we went down to A deck and walked off the ship. We didn't take the scooter because we thought there wouldn't be that much walking so I just had my cane. We met Duke, our guide and had a three hour tour of the various places that I wanted to go and hadn't gotten to on previous visit.

The first thing he showed us was a wall as we left the dockyard which had the logos of all the ships that had docked there from early in the 1900s to the present. We paused briefly at the Royal Navy Cemetery (burials of the British Navy dating back to 1700). We drove thru Somerset and he asked us if we had seen the Heydon Trust Chapel, which we had not, so we stopped briefly there. This small chapel dates back to 1616.

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse - top left from the road
It had a partly above ground cistern.

We crossed the smallest drawbridge without stopping - our next goal was Gibbs Lighthouse because Duke said that if we waited, the parking lot would be too full to even get the taxi into. Here we got out and walked around and Bob and I both took photos. He got one of Duke which I meant to do, but forgot. We could see the Pride across the sound.

We followed the South Road along the shore, past Horseshoe Bay, Warwick Long Bay, and all the famous beaches. There was a lot of surf even though we could see the surf line on the reef offshore.

Then he showed us a HUGE banyan tree which had taken over a whole block and was trying to cross the road.

Our next stop took us by a beautiful nursery with all kinds of flowers, but our destination was Waterville, which was a private residence is now the headquarters of the Bermuda National Trust. This was originally a place where sailors could come in to shop - I think. He said it was owned by Trimminghams, which is no longer in business because the children aren't interested in running it.  What he wanted to show us was a water lily pond which had the islands of Bermuda in it. (He said if it could grow a tree, it was an island - otherwise it was a rock). There was also a little zoo.

 Then we went past the Botanical Gardens, Collector's Hill and stopped briefly at Spittal Pond parking lot where there were a bunch of chickens running around.  We kept going along South Road, past John Smith Bay Park (which he assured us was a different John Smith) and drove thru Tucker's Town, which isn't really a town at all and paused by the beach of the Mid-Ocean Club which had a lot of surf. Some people that tried to go to the beach the next day said that they closed the beach and wouldn't let them go

He said he didn't recommend Devil's Hole which was something you had to pay to see and there wasn't that much to see (it was an aquarium type place and not a place where the water squirted up through the rocks), so we just drove by, and then we went thru the Flats and passed by the BAMZ which had a new statue of a sea turtle out front - Duke said they made it out of the roof tiles when they repaired the cathedral. He said the railway museum is closed now - that maybe the lady that ran it died.

We went along the north shore - tried to get a photo of the Black Watch well, which that regiment dug during the drought of 1849, but I didn't really see it and don't think I got a photo. We went through Black Watch pass down into Hamilton, past Victoria Park and the cathedral, and circled the City Hall and headed for Fort Hamilton.

Here he let us out because the van was too heavy to go over the moat bridge. We walked around the fort and took photos. We headed back for the ship - back thru Somerset on the road next to Great Sound. I took a photo of the moon rising. He let us off at the ship, and we paid him for 3.5 hours plus tip. Now we had to get back aboard. They were X-raying everything which made it slow. I sat on the benches along the line and Bob stood in line for us.

Before dinner, David's group takes over a section of the lounge outside the dining room where the band is playing. The was a little girl in pink with a pacifier affixed to the mouth standing in front of the band watching the girl singer - she was so cute.  Bob didn't like anything on the menu so he ended up with fried chicken and of course ice cream with chocolate sauce. I had French onion soup, braised short ribs and diet lemon cake.

Note - the bathrooms are half way across the ship from the dining room - just behind the atrium.

Our towel animal was a monkey

November 10, 2011

Bob's brother's group (which numbers about 26 counting us) all eat together at adjacent tables and one of them mentioned that they saw my name up in the computer/library room as having won a raffle. It is good that they mentioned it as otherwise I might not have known about it.

Thursday we were originally supposed to leave at 3:30 and be back on the boat at 3. We saw that the storm had been named Sean and was now a hurricane or tropical storm and Bermuda was under Hurricane watch. So they changed the time of leaving to 1300 and we had to be back at 1230. We got off the boat about 9:15 to walk/scooter around the Dockyard area and maybe do some shopping. The sidewalk on the other side of the street from the ship had no cut-outs, and the waves were coming across the sea wall over the sidewalk at the bow of the ship on the near side, so I had to cross the street to avoid getting wet. We had to lift the scooter up over the curb.

The little train going around the dockyard was operating. We also could have bough bus/ferry passes right at the ship, but they no longer have 2 day passes - only one and three day. We went past the ferry dock, and looked at the three masted ship which Duke had told us was built for local youth to serve some time on. We passed the line handling boat PRINCETON which had helped us tie up - it was up on blocks as this was the last cruise of the season. We passed the yellow Segway tour bus (a bus parked which rented Segways), and the Marine and Port Services shops.

I decided to go in and see what there was in Bermuda Clayworks, and bought my daughter a house number for her anniversary.

Then we headed for the Clocktower Mall but were caught in a rainstorm. We didn't have our raincoats, but I put my sweatshirt over the camera and kept going. In the Clocktower Mall we saw that the Cafe Amici was still there. We could also have bought Cuban cigars, clothing, perfume, Haagen Dazs, art, and jewelry. Davidson's still had the troll outside the door although the sign no longer says that he bites.

By that time the sun was back out (there had been a rainbow but I didn't see it), and I wanted to go over to the Cooperage which is called the Bermuda Arts Center where they have The Bermuda Craft Market and the Frog and Onion (owned by a Frenchman and a Bermudan). We went past the old North Rock Beacon - this beacon was built originally in 1912 and rebuilt in 1960 and 1990, and this was the foundation of the 1960 beacon.

I had to go thru the Victualing Yard to get to the Bermuda Arts Center. The path was widely separated concrete blocks. The joints were jolting on the scooter, so I went around the edge on a very rutted and puddley road of part coral sand and part cobblestones. I still had to go on the grass some.

I did some shopping but when I went to pay I couldn't find my credit card. So Bob used his and he was annoyed and told him to look for mine. But I couldn't find it so he said we should go back to the ship or we would get caught in the rain again. We had the same problem with the curb as before.

Entry was much easier today as not everyone was trying to get on at once. I got off and walked thru the magnet archway and I think my watch beeped but they were too occupied with getting the scooter thru to notice. We went to the room and put our stuff out to dry and then I took everything out of all my pockets and bags, but could not find the credit card.

If we had looked at our phone, we would have seen that we had a message that someone picked the card up on the gangway and turned it in - it must have fallen out of my stuff when I got my passport and my room key out to check back onto the ship. But we didn't look at the blinking phone.

So I tried to call Navy Federal CU (which issued the card) and I could not use the 800#s so I had to use the 703# and reverse the charges. The phone company still charged my phone roaming. It took me 3 or 4 tries on the phone to get to the person I needed. She asked if we didn't want to just put a hold on the card but Bob said no. So we deleted the card and have to have a new one sent, and we won't get it until we get home.

The problem is that Verizon (cell and landline) and the internet are all on that credit card. One of the first emails I got after I got back to the room was one for the Verizon landline bill. Bob insisted that I come down to the Customer Service desk to explain what had happened. That's when we found that the card had been turned in. I also found that I could have called from there without paying any charges. Due to the fact that I have a credit for owning stock, and they refunded our port fees and one day of the cruise, we actually had a credit on our bill, and we switched it to another card.

We had lunch, up in the Lido - it makes my back hurt to think of it. They do have trays, but I have no way to get close enough to serve myself and no place to put the tray if I did. I went to the International section and got some things to eat and Bob went to the National section. I think I should have gone to the Deli section and that's what we did on the next cruise.

The buffet is actually called the Mermaid Cafe and has mermaids all over the ceiling which I took photos of. People were in the hot tubs.

We went up on deck 10 to see the sail-away. They had all but one gangway taken away. We saw the pilot come on board. Line handlers were waiting at various stations, and the line would be slacked and they would remove it from the bollard and it would be reeled in. Since the wind had us pinned up against the dock, the lines weren't really doing anything for us anyway. Finally the engines started churning up the water and we moved very very slowly away from the dock. I went over to the other side and saw the tug POWERFUL pulling as hard as it could on the bow.

We got far enough out so that we wouldn't run into the jetties and the tug disengaged and went back, and I took the last photos of the Commissioner's house.

We went down to the library and found the computer manager and he said I had won 500 free minutes on the internet. I had been rationing myself, and had gotten extra minutes for signing up on the first day etc, so I had 83 minutes left off my package I had bought of 250 minutes and now I have a lot more to use up.

I went all around outside on deck 3 and took photos and then I took a couple of pictures of Bob going thru the cabin door to show how tight it was and saw that the arm rests stuck out farther than the wheels of the scooter, and the wheels have only about 2" clearance on each side.

We went to dinner - I had asparagus vichyssoise and oyster's Rockefeller. I liked both but some people reported that they got bad oysters that weren't cooked. I'm not sure that not cooked = bad, but I don't know. Bob had turkey and I had a filet mignon and short ribs.

The waiters do a little dance every night but it doesn't interfere too much with dinner. One of the group said it was the best show on the ship. We all had apple pie for dessert. One lady we met today said that she was on the Pride in April and the food was much better then - they have changed the menus and apparently not for the better. Somone also suggested that the waiters were the rejects from other ships.

As we left dinner I saw a cute little boy playing some kind of game on a small cell-phone like device - I took a picture of him coming past a giant nude. Our towel animal was a frog and he had the mint in his mouth.

The ship was doing about max speed - 22 knots - to get ahead of the hurricane. After the ship got into the high pressure (wind from the north) the track turned west, and then south and the speed was reduced. There were white caps and it was colder outside.

They have a stern camera which apparently has a lot of salt and stuff on the lens as it is cloudy, and a bow camera which isn't much better, but at least they are on a dedicated channel. There is also a channel that shows the ship direction and wind direction and shifts to closer or farther away, but other than the wind speed and direction there is no other information and the graphics are crappy. They update the weather at 9 and 4 and at no other times. Weather changes faster than that. I should be able to wake up and see what the weather is before 9 a.m

Sea Days - November 11th and 12th

Not much is happening.

In the morning (11-11) I had cream of wheat which came with milk and a cheese omelet which was OK. Bob added prunes to his breakfast instead of yogurt. I asked to ride in the glass atrium elevators and I took a picture of the statue of David up at David's steakhouse. They had a big US flag hung across the lobby for Veteran's Day.

For lunch we all asked for cream of spinach soup. And we got the Carnival cube and a tomato type soup - so we complained that it didn't look like spinach and they finally brought the right soup. I had chicken parmesan and Bob had some salmon thing which didn't have much salmon. He had an eclair for dessert and we both had pina colada cake.

Someone asked if we were going to afternoon tea which we had not even noticed on the schedule as it didn't seem like a really Carnival type thing. We turned up in the upper dinning room at 3:30 and everyone filed in and filled up the tables. They came around with a box of tea to pick from, and then a cart with cheese cake, a chocolate cookie sandwich with fudge in the middle, the chocolate putting, a cheesecake and some strawberries, plus something which I had and was good but I don't know the name of it. This carried us over until dinner.

November 12th
This morning, I asked for oatmeal and poached eggs on toast. This time the oatmeal came with brown sugar and raisins and milk (last time I just got the raisins). I had to ask a second time for the eggs as they were not brought right away. So I think that there is something to the untrained waiter thing.

I've used up some of the minutes I won by putting photos up on facebook.

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Map of Bermuda at Gibbs Hill Ligh…
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photo by: ErikaMont