Sailaway on the Chesapeake Bay

Baltimore Travel Blog

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Carnival Pride at Baltimore

After a winter of record snowfall around Washington, Susan and I definitely were ready for our planned spring trip to the tropics! We had selected a cruise from nearby Baltimore, Maryland, to Florida and the Bahamas aboard Carnival Pride. This was our first sailing from the Port of Baltimore. Carnival repositioned Carnival Pride in Baltimore in 2009 for year-round cruising and its mid-Atlantic sailings have since proved to be popular among vacationers from the region.

The drive up to Baltimore from Springfield along the Capital Beltway and I-95 was very quick and we were at the cruise terminal in only 65 minutes. We found Baltimore to be our smoothest embarkation yet.

Port of Baltimore emblem
There was ample parking in the terminal's large open lot. (Parking at the pier cost $15 per day for the duration of the 7-day cruise.) It looked like vehicles for passengers on three cruise ships could be accommodated. Checked luggage was collected as one waited in line for a parking pass. Check-in at the desk was also fast and we were soon on the gangway to board the ship.

Carnival Pride is a sister to Carnival Miracle we sailed on in 2006 and 2008.  Susan and I pretty much knew our way around the ship from the start.  The decorative theme of the ship is "Icons of Beauty" but the decor of the Pride is much darker than the Miracle.
Batimore skyline
Reproductions of Renaissance paintings are displayed throughout the ship on bulkheads and in lounge areas and the theatre (show lounge) is themed for the Taj Mahal. I liked the way most artworks are labeled with the artist and title. The decor culminates in a reproduction of Michaelangelo's David presiding over David's specialty restaurant on the top deck.

The first order of shipboard business was lunch at the Mermaid Grille on the Lido Deck. I had pizza and salad from the buffet. (I like Carnival's Lido salad bar.) Then it was time to explore the ship. I headed for the Sun Deck to get photos of the Baltimore skyline and of the port area. Our cabin was ready about 2:30 p.m. and our checked luggage was waiting outside. We had some time to unpack before resuming exploration. Muster Drill was called at 4:00 p.m. (Under new regulations, passengers no longer are required to don lifejackets for muster drill, though you still assemble at your assigned lifeboat station.
Port of Baltimore cruise terminal
A crew member demonstrates the lifejacket procedure.)

Carnival Pride sailed from Baltimore at 5:20 p.m., a few minutes ahead of schedule. There was much to see as we sailed along. Baltimore harbor is located on the Patapsco River, about 150 miles (250 km) up the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. The port was founded in 1706 to support the Maryland tobacco trade. The port became famous for its Baltimore Clippers trading around the world and the city grew around it as an important 19th century commercial center. At the head of Locust Point, just down from the cruise terminal and at the entrance to the Inner Harbor, is Fort McHenry National Monument. Fort McHenry is the well-known spot where Francis Scott Key's observation of a British bombardment during the War of 1812 inspired his poem The Star-Spangled Banner.
Cruise passenger parking
We next passed the berth of the US Navy hospital ship Comfort. Comfort was deployed to Haiti in February 2010 to assist with earthquake relief efforts. Nearby was the NS Savannah, an experimental nuclear powered passenger/cargo ship launched in 1959. The concept proved to be commercially impractical and the sleek ship is in the process of being converted to a museum. The Pride soon passed under the Key Bridge (named for Francis Scott Key), built in 1977 as an outer harbor bridge for the Baltimore beltway. Just beyond the bridge is an obscure island containing Fort Carroll, built in 1848. The fort was constructed under the supervision of Robert E.
Loading luggage
Lee to supplement Fort McHenry. It was an active coastal defense fort until the 1920s.

While on the Sun Deck and busy with photos, we ran into Marco and Cindy, a couple who had been on our 2008 cruise and we exchanged updates. Like us, they were cruising for the first time as empty nesters.

After all that sightseeing from the deck, we repaired to the Piazza Lounge where sushi appetizers were being served. About 7:15 p.m. the Pride passed under the dual span Chesapeake Bay Bridge. More photo opportunities from the stern. By this time we were well into the Chesapeake Bay. But, it would still take until well after Midnight for the ship to sail all the way down to the mouth of the Bay at Virginia Beach, Virginia, and enter the Atlantic.

For this cruise, we had selected Carnival's new Your Time Dining for dinner. This permits passengers to come to the dining room at any time during dinner hours and be seated, rather than select a fixed Early or Late Seating time. Dinner the first night was a prelude to the good food we enjoyed aboard the Pride.

X_Drive says:
We had the "Anytime dinning" on our cruise to Alaska. I thought it was the best. New people each evening and never much of a wait. Turned out fine. :D
And your certainly have lots of information here. Good job!
Posted on: May 01, 2010
rheagirl says:
Congrats! Congrats! :D
Posted on: Apr 19, 2010
dolcetlb says:
Congrats Andy!!!
Posted on: Apr 19, 2010
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Carnival Pride at Baltimore
Carnival Pride at Baltimore
Port of Baltimore emblem
Port of Baltimore emblem
Batimore skyline
Batimore skyline
Port of Baltimore cruise terminal
Port of Baltimore cruise terminal
Cruise passenger parking
Cruise passenger parking
Loading luggage
Loading luggage
Industrial Baltimore
Industrial Baltimore
MARC engine terminal
MARC engine terminal
Cargo crane
Cargo crane
A yacht inspects the Pride
A yacht inspects the Pride
Muster Drill
Muster Drill
Muster Drill
Muster Drill
Sailaway from Baltimore
Sailaway from Baltimore
Roll-on/Roll-off ships Cape Wrath …
Roll-on/Roll-off ships Cape Wrath…
Fort McHenry National Monument
Fort McHenry National Monument
Fort McHenry National Monument
Fort McHenry National Monument
Lehigh Cement Terminal
Lehigh Cement Terminal
Hospital ship USNS Comfort
Hospital ship USNS Comfort
NS Savannah
NS Savannah
Approaching Key Bridge
Approaching Key Bridge
Approaching Key Bridge
Approaching Key Bridge
The Prides radar mast clears Key …
The Pride's radar mast clears Key…
The Pridess funnel clears Key Bri…
The Prides's funnel clears Key Br…
Key Bridge astern
Key Bridge astern
Fort Carroll (1848)
Fort Carroll (1848)
Approaching the Chesapeake Bay Bri…
Approaching the Chesapeake Bay Br…
Clearing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Clearing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Dual spans of the Chesapeake Bay B…
Dual spans of the Chesapeake Bay …
Between the spans
Between the spans
Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans
Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans
Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans
Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans
Chesapeake Bay Bridge astern
Chesapeake Bay Bridge astern
A Coast Guard boat approaches
A Coast Guard boat approaches
Baltimore
photo by: freak0ut