Carnival Pride Live Blog 2021 – Day 3 – At Sea
The goal for today was to have the full sea day experience on Carnival Pride: pool, sunbathing, water slides, and top-deck meals.
I fell asleep last night after writing yesterday’s blog post, but my friend went to hear the comedian then ordered room service breakfast for this morning while I snored away. Carnival offers in-cabin delivery of continental breakfast for free and a few breakfast sandwiches for a nominal fee. So I drank my morning tea and snacked on fruit and yogurt while I uploaded photos, and then we headed up to the Serenity Deck for relaxing in the sun.
Today is the ideal sea day with warm weather, blue skies, and calm seas. Serenity had tons of empty lounge chairs when we arrived around 9:30, but it was filling up by the time we left. There’s a large bar with outdoor couches and tables and chairs in the shade, so you could bring your buffet lunch out there if you wished.
In the middle of the deck is a pool and hot tub, surrounded by blue padded loungers and circular day bed pods that offer shade and privacy. We found two lounge chairs under a wooden pergola that offered more shade. It was blissful to read a book, uninterrupted by pesky children, husbands, or bosses, and let the rocking of the boat lull me into a state of relaxation.
Sea day activities
I could have stayed there all day, but that would make for a very boring trip report. We went down to the Piazza Cafe for another attempt at winning a ship on a stick, this time at tri-bond trivia. In this game, you had to guess the connection between three words (e.g. apple, palm, and Christmas are all types of trees).
The level of difficulty was increased because we missed the first six or seven clues by arriving three minutes late, and the crew member running the game had an accent everyone had trouble understanding. At one point, he spent several minutes trying to get the whole room to understand he was referring to KISS the band rather than kiss with your lips or a case for an instrument. Needless to say, we have yet to acquire a coveted plastic piece of ship.
Next stop: Back to the Lido Deck for pool time and people watching. The pool deck stage is where the silliest games take place, so we hopped in the pool to watch a family-friendly team challenge, the Thriller dance class, and ‘90s music trivia. Carnival cruisers are not lacking in enthusiasm, and we cheered and sang along from our watery vantage point.
Carnival Pride’s Lido Deck 9 has three pools: the adults-only aft pool in Serenity; the main Seaside Theater pool with the movie screen and stage, surrounded by burgers, burritos, and bars; and the pool by the hot tub, smoking section, and games like ping pong and corn hole.
Two decks up and all the way forward is the jogging track, mini-golf course, and sports court. All the way aft is Carnival’s Waterworks, which has two water slides and a little kid splash area with slides and sprayers.
I had to check out the waterslides, since they’re different on different ships. The yellow twister slide was lazier than I hoped, only picking up a little speed toward the end. The green tube slide starts with a door opening beneath your feet and a few seconds of freefall before you zoom through twists and turns cantilevered over the side of the ship.
I admit, I stood at the top for several minutes debating and let a group of kids go ahead of me. Then I held my nose (literally) and took the plunge (also literally). The ride is so fast, you barely have time to be scared and you don’t notice that you’re careening over open ocean because your eyes are shut tight. It’s definitely a rush.
Guy’s Burger Joint
The quintessential Carnival sea day lunch is either a cheeseburger at Guy’s Burger Joint or a burrito at the Blue Iguana Cantina. Both offer pool deck counter service, so you don’t need to cover up or go inside. Today, I was in the mood for burgers and fries.
Guy Fieri is a meat-lovin’ dude who piles chili and bacon on his cheeseburgers. But here’s a secret: His Carnival employees have access to veggie burgers. I asked for one, and it took a few minutes for them to cook it back in the galley. Once it was ready, they doused it with fake cheese and I piled on sauteed onions and mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and pickle. It’s messy but oh so good.
Somewhere along the way I put down my reusable water bottle and forgot to pick it back up. I trekked on down to Deck 2 and inquired at Guest Services. Sure enough, they had my bottle safe and sound, so I plan to stay hydrated for the rest of the day.
I have not made enough use of my suite’s large balcony, so after lunch, I camped out on the lounge chair to work on my laptop. It’s such a treat to have the reclining loungers, so I can write with my legs out. I even managed not to fall asleep in the sun.
Working out, vegging out
After a Guy Fieri lunch, a trip to the gym is must. The spa staff told me the fitness center is busier in the morning than in the afternoon. I feel more comfortable in unmasked, indoor spaces that are uncrowded, so I’ve been trying to work out later in the day. As four people were already using the treadmills up front, I got on an elliptical along the side where no one else was.
Carnival Pride’s gym is not your typical cruise ship gym layout. The gym spans two decks, with the cardio machines on the lower level, the free weights and fitness class studio on the top level, and tiered pods in between with one or two resistance machines or a weight bench. In the center is the spa’s hot tub, surrounded by glass walls. Sound carries from the hot tub throughout the fitness area, so be careful of what you say while relaxing in the tub.
After my workout, I was ready to collapse in a lounge chair and enjoy the sun and breeze. That meant my destination was the Serenity Deck, as it’s quickly become my favorite place onboard. The path from the forward gym to the aft deck takes you directly through the buffet, where my rumbling stomach reminded me that Carnival’s Pizza Pirate has excellent Italian-style pizza. I grabbed a couple of slices to bring out to the deck.
Having now crossed the pool deck multiple times during today’s day at sea, I can report that the midday hours are the most crowded around the pool and when you’ll have the most trouble snagging an empty lounge chair. Before 10 am and after 4 pm, both the main pools and Serenity are much less crowded.
Our first two dinners onboard have been 2+ hour affairs, and I did not really want to spend another evening at a drawn-out meal. In keeping with our top deck day, we went to the buffet for dinner. (Carnival Pride’s buffet is called the Mermaid’s Grille; look up to see rows of mermaids lining the ceiling.)
At dinnertime, several stations are open including a large salad bar with lots of options, the deli, Pizza Pirate, dessert buffet, and a hot food line that offers a soup of the day, a carved meat, and an array of hot options ranging from baked ziti to pan-fried 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, and then went back for a scoop of tuna fish from the deli and cookies and fruit for dessert. My friend tried the butter chicken, which she gave two thumbs up, despite having too much sauce and not enough chicken.
Tonight, I am finally going to check out more of the ship’s nightlife, perhaps a comedy show or piano bar performance before a deck party gets going late. Tomorrow, we finally greet land again when the ship docks at Nassau, Bahamas. We will be checking out a Carnival-run snorkeling tour and perhaps walking over to Junkanoo Beach in the afternoon.
Missed a day of live blogging? Catch up on the days you missed: