Mitsugirly takes great PRIDE in bringing her Spring Break extreme review
Ship picture tour
I will go floor by floor with the pictures that I have. Yes, I missed some things and I'm sorry for that.
**Disclaimer** I'm a crazy-happy snapper. I "walk and snap" on a lot of pictures. I get excited. I halt at the drop of a hat and my family "use" to run into me when I did that, but they have been trained over the years. They are always on the look-out for my sudden stopping and snapping a picture. They know never to get ahead of me because that causes "delay" when I have to give that "look" of "you are in my picture way" and they have to do an about face to move back so I can get "the shot". LOL But like I said, FOR THE MOST PART, they are pretty good about it.
As for the walking and snapping...a lot of times I'm in a hurry. Sometimes I take 10 pictures of the same thing trying to get the perfect shot. You will get pictures that are awesome, you will get pictures that are sometimes blurred from me walking and snapping. Please bare with me. It's just the nature of the game.
So I bring you the ship tour.
BEAUTIES DANCE CLUB:
MEDICAL CENTER INFO:
Now I know most of you are not interested in this info, but since I'm a nurse, it interest me and I had to take a visit there. Hopefully none of you will ever require a visit there.
I did not take pictures of the place itself, but did take a few pictures that might interest some of "info" you may want to know.
I spoke to the nurse down there about her working there. I always thought it would be neat to be a nurse on a cruise ship. So I got the "scoop" from her.
The nurses do 4 month contracts, then they get 1 month vacation in between each contract. She said you do have the option to extend your contract for 2 months if you wanted, but no longer than that.
They do rotate ships and they have 2 nurses on staff on each ship.
She said her hours are when the medical center is open, she works the "clinic" hours (which she made it sound like a long day on those days) and also rotates the "on call/after hours" times with the other nurse.
So of course I pulled out my funtimes to see what these hours consisted of:
Sailaway Days: 3pm-6pm= 3 hours
Sea Days: 8am-12pm & 1p-8p = 11 hours
Port Days: 8a-12p and 1p-8p (Grand Turk)= 11 hours
Port Days: 8a-11a and 3p-6p (HMC) = 6 hours
Port Days: 8a-12p and 1p-8p (Freeport) = 11 hours
So they basically work around 64 hours a week IF they are working every day. I'm not really sure if they rotate those days between the nurses or not since she did mention they always have 2 on staff.
She said starting salary is around $4k a month. If they do work every day and my calculations are correct, that's only around $15/hour, which I can't imagine.
She seemed to LOVE her job and stated that they had no expenses...all the food your little heart desires and room and board during your stay.
She also stated it was "tax free" money. I'm not sure how this would work if you are from the US though. I'm sure most are from foreign countries and maybe don't have to pay the taxes (she stated she was Asian).
I did ask about having family with you or visiting. She stated that they were away from their families during this time and they were not with them. Then behind the medical center doors was another window. Up pops this guy at the window and she looked at him and stated "Sir, you need to go around to this window", while pointing at the window we were at. He laughed and said "no". She said it again, while he laughed again. Then she stated "That is my boyfriend. He's cruising as a guest with me this week" :D So, I didn't go into more details as what it meant to cruise "as a guest". I'm not sure if he was a paying customer on the cruise or they are aloud to bring a guest for 1 week with them free of charge. :confused:
Now I know that I have seen talk around these boards about the "qualifications" of the medical staff. I have seen comments about "they are just medical people but are not trained to take care of certain situations which is why they are life-flighted off or people die or can't be saved or......" whatever. I remember awhile back looking up the qualifications of becoming a cruise ship nurse and I remember it stating you had to be an emergency room nurse for so long, have training in (I believe) critical care ICU, and have several different certifications among other things.
So...I have to disagree with others out there stating that they are "just a nurse" or "just a doctor". I spent the last 4 years working in the emergency room. They have EVERY situation thrown at them (and my hospital is also a trauma center). I have been in every situation possible. Those nurses know their stuff no matter what the situation is. Now whether or not the ship is equipped with the proper equipment for every situation may be a different story. But the staff, yea they are more than qualified for whatever happens to you on a ship. The nurse I spoke to also confirmed these qualifications to me.
Being in the medical field, I found the items they had (many old items) in the cases in this area very interesting. The had old prescriptions and medicine bottles and mixing utensils.
Even the lights resembled a beaker for mixing.
CRYSTAL CARD ROOM:
RED FROG PUB:
WINNERS CLUB CASINO
NORMANDIE MAIN DINING ROOM RESTAURANT:
RENAISSANCE LOBBY & ATRIUM
TAJ MAHAL LOUNGE
Would you look at that foot room and space between the chairs? I just love this about Carnival. So much room for others to walk around and a table to put your things on.
Throwing in an "extra" here.
Did you know that all Carnival ships have a special coin welded to them in a box? Here's the info:
The ship was blessed for safe travels for all crew and guests that will sail with her; a champagne bottle was broken and the ship was gifted with a very special coin. According to the shipyard staff there is a centuries old tradition that calls for every ship to carry a lucky coin. The coin is welded to the hull of the ship and has to happen before the ship can touch water.
Just a few more "extras" of some of the elevators and art work on the ship.
All of the elevators had a beautiful sculpting done around them. It made them look very elegant. All the elevators inside and out had a mural on them.
Now I didn't realize this, but after I boarded the ship and I was in contact with others, they ask if some of the pictures still had the "nipples" removed from the pictures. ??? I had no idea what they were referring to and hadn't noticed it. However, my husband had the answer pretty darn quickly and said "yes". I thought it was funny that he had noticed this and knew exactly what they were talking about...but then again, he is a guy.
I then found a picture and gave it to them. Everyone laughed. I would really like to know the story behind this if anyone cares to share....
Who is it that crossed out the nipples around the ship?
I had read things here and there about how some "families" went on the ship and was disgusted about the "nudity" of the art work and the statues. Of course I didn't find anything wrong with it and neither did our little ones. But I guess to each their own. It's what the ship is about...renaissance and the art work.
CHERRY ON TOP
Cute little whale tail gummies
IVORY PIANO BAR
LIBRARY AND INTERNET CAFE
For all you phone users:
RAPHAEL FOYER LOUNGE
This was a pretty neat looking hallway and it extended all the way around and back up the other side. I'm not sure what it's used for and I never did see anyone using it. Maybe it's just a hallway and decorated as such. It led to the Circle C club and the Video/Game room upstairs.
VIA VENETO UPPER PROMENADE
CIRCLE C KIDS CLUB
VIDEO GAME ROOM-REAL VIRTUALITY
I'm very very sorry but I carried the schedule around with me during the cruise and I can't seem to find what I did with the last half of the schedule for the kids club. I have looked and looked and can't find it among the mounds and mounds of papers I have. :(
CAMP CARNIVAL (2-5 year olds)
6-8 year olds
Tv screens that you can see in to the club at any time and I never had a problem spotting my munchkin when I was trying to find her and see what she was doing. These were outside the door at the club.
The name tags they had the kids wear each time they entered the club. I'm estimating there were probably about 100 kids in her age group, but guarantee that you couldn't tell on any given night.
It is located directly in front of the door in the hall where you pick up the kids. I can also guarantee that every single time you would pick up your kids, SOMEONE would knock it off the hook each time. It became a running joke during the cruise with all the parents. You were sure to knock it off at least once during the cruise and if you were really good at it, you would do it almost every time you stood in line waiting for pick up like we did. Some of us would stand around and just wait for it and then we'd all laugh. It was pretty hilarious to watch. I even knocked it off 3x in one night and then threw my hands up in the air and surrendered. It remained on the floor after that. It's just in a super bad and congested location!
YOU SEE THIS PHONE???? IT IS THE DEVIL!!!
APOLLO FORWARD POOL
We really loved this pool and spent most of our time here. I'm not sure why. Maybe because it had the hot tub? Maybe it was because it wasn't as loud in this area? Maybe it was because it had a smoking area? Maybe because it was more relaxing than the other pool with the activities going, music blaring and so on over there? Maybe it was because there weren't as many people in it too!!!
I really liked the furniture in this area. It was pretty comfy. The entire side and half of both ends allowed smoking in this area. So, if you are not a smoker or it bothers you, stay out of this area and it's not the pool for you.
BLUE IGUANA TEQUILA BAR
Blue Iguana Cantina
I was super excited when I found out that the Pride had a retractable roof. I thought that was the neatest thing ever and was hoping and praying they would have it closed at some point during the cruise.
For those that don't know, they can only open and close the roof when they are in port and it can't be done while at sea. So, the Captain determines whether or not it gets closed/opened.
I was happy to see they had it closed when we boarded in Baltimore and it remained closed for the 2 days we were at sea (obviously). They opened it once we made it to Grand Turk.
Now I do know that others complained (I read on here) about it being closed and compared it to being at the local YMCA and also it getting too hot or muggy in there. I guess it only reminded me of the Y in the sense that it was enclosed and was kinda loud like at the pool. Yes, it was warmer in there, but yes, we needed it!!! I was freezing the first 2 days and it was not exactly "cruise" weather in my book. So, it was nice to walk in there from outside and get warm.
MERMAID'S GRILLE LIDO DECK BUFFET AREA
Sakari squealed with excitement when she seen this area. (Everyone knows she's a mermaid of course). For her birthday she begged and begged for a mermaid tail. While I wasn't able to get her the mermaid tail (didn't have enough time to do the research to see where you order them online because of the cruise), she did manage to get a mermaid dress up dress and a Barbie mermaid doll that goes from wearing a long evening gown dress to a mermaid by pulling the fabric. It's pretty darn neat if I say so myself and she loves it. She has been watching Mermaid shows on youtube and Netflix for months now leading up to the cruise. So obviously this was her favorite part of the ship.
For those of you that don't realize it...if you pull the blinds down in the buffet area, they all have paintings on them. Each is different. (No, I was nice enough not to pull all of them down LOL)
Now there's a story behind the next picture...and as embarassed as I should be, I'm not and I think it's funny myself.
This is the area looking up from the drinks area close to the Pizza and Deli place. It's open 2 stories high and as you can see, there's something up there. I would sit to eat in the evening and we all would stare up at it wondering what type of room that was. It looks really pretty with the blue bars going around it and glass. The weird thing was, I watched during the entire cruise during the week and never did see anyone go by up there. It reminded me of some type of dance hall or something. But it was always vacant.
At one point we even stopped and ask one of the ladies that worked in that area what was up there and why we never seen anyone walk by. She replied that she honestly had no idea and she had never seen anyone walk by either. I thought maybe it was even a hallway leading to the elevators. She said she had never inquired what room that was up there, but if we wanted, she could ask around.
I decided to get up and take a closer look at it. To my astonishment...I realized IT WAS MIRRORS that we were looking at and the blue was just the reflection from the other side!!! (Hanging my head in shame now). My husband and I laughed forever about this. No wonder we never seen anyone walking down the hall up there...there was no hall...well, maybe there was, but it is probably a 2-way mirror or something unknown to us.
Ok, so I was busy all the other days checking out the mermaids and maybe at that point I was just in a fantasy land and didn't realize it was mirrors....or maybe my brain was on total vacation mode that week. Either way...I thought it was hilarious.
RED FROG RUM BAR
SERENITY ADULT ONLY RETREAT AREA
BASKETBALL/PUTT PUTT AREA:
Sorry, the only picture I have to share for this area is this lone single picture (for now). There will be more in the review when we participate in this highly competitive gold tournament later in the week. :p :D
Our daughter spent a lot of time up here...more on this later.
DAVID'S STEAK HOUSE...THE FUNNEL
This place was gorgeous. I loved the way it was situated in the funnel and everything was red. It was a beautiful place and I bet it made for an awesome dining experience. We did not dine here (I don't eat steak), but it would have been neat for the experience alone.
Another cc poster warned me about the steps to this place...and I just knew I had to see it (this is actually one of the first places I headed to when we got on the ship). The steps are all glass and you can see all the way down into the atrium on the 2nd floor. It's pretty spectacular and eerie at the same time. Sakari thought it was cool going up, not so much coming back down. LOL
FITNESS POOL AREA
Now up where the putt putt golfing is located, there is a glass dome. If you look in that glass dome, you will see the fitness workout room and there is a small hot tub(?) there.
I knew about this hot tub area and others had mentioned it before I left...saying it was the perfect place to "get away" and relax and not many people knew about it.
I have to say that I never got to try it out...but not because I wanted to, but because I was denied entry each time we tried! :eek:
It seemed (unless I missed it) that you had to enter the work out room using the spa area (which is just weird). Every time we tried to enter that area (and I even ask the people at the desk in the spa where to get into the fitness area) they would tell me 1) They were closing or 2) I couldn't come in right now. :mad: I found this very strange. Every ship I have ever been on had a fitness center that was open all the time and you could come and go as you please. However, since this was located somehow within the spa place, they wasn't always open? Or at least that's what they kept telling us. I finally gave up and admired it from the ROOF! :p
The fitness area looked pretty cool are well with different levels and stairs. I really would have loved to check it out and get pictures at least.
Once again, a few odds and ends around the ship.
I just loved these little flower lights.
Another thing I love about Carnival is there use of signs for directions. You always know what's ahead.
Now I have to make this comparision comment about the public bathrooms-Carnival versus NCL.
I found that this ship had the most wonderful and nice public bathrooms ever. They were huge and spacious just about everywhere we went. NCL seems to have bathrooms for public use with 2 maybe 3 stalls tops. You wind up waiting in line, doing the "I gotta potty now" dance every time...especially around the casino areas. Not here!!! Every bathroom I went in on this ship and a lot of stalls in it...and to top it off...IT SMELLED NICE!!! They were always clean and in working condition. I found only 1 stall that went "out of business" during the cruise and it was only like that for 1 day.
Everyone loves a whale...
Up on deck with the glass closed, looking down into the pool area.
That awesome moment when you are able to capture not only the whale tail, but the name of the ship in the same picture.
Time for another comparison of ships...I felt this one is warranted.
Being a nurse, I'm an avid scrub-your-hands-until-you-have-no-top-layer-of-skin-left-on-them person...not really, but some days my hands feel like that from all the washing and sanitizing.
On Carnival, there's no "washy-washy" guys hanging around telling you to wash your hands as you enter areas that you eat in or coming back onboard or any place for that matter. While this method kinda seems childish, it does work (I believe) in probably keeping the germs at bay as silly as it seems.
Instead, Carnival has these available for your use...and obviously at your own discretion...which meant I seen only a handful of people using them during the entire cruise! Like seriously!
However, Kendra did discover this contraption and we really liked it (it's always better to actually use soap and water to wash your hands that sanitizer and these were all in 1 amazing machines)
Click for video
One thing I absolutely HATE about any bathroom is not having any paper towels. I know it cuts back and is supposed to be better for you, but I seriously hate these. They never stay on long enough to get your hands dry, half the time it's next to impossible to get them to turn on and you frantically do the hand dance trying to figure out that perfect spot you need to wave at in order for it to recognize that there's someone there (I swear they have hidden camera's in them and my frantic hand jive will end up on tv some day), and some only want to stay on 5 seconds...forcing you to hand jive over and over. Sigh! Just give me some paper towels please!!!!
This particular XLERATOR lost it's X and had no power at all.
Another reason for using paper towels...when you turn on the sink (not all are motion activated as you can see in my pic below) you are using your dirty hands...then you go to blow dry them, where's the paper towel to turn the sink off with? You are supposed to use your clean hands? Therefore getting them dirty again? Yea I know, I use my arm, but then my arm is dirty. I guess I could always get some exercise and wing my foot up there to bang it down like you do with a non-motion toilet. But I don't think people would find that too amusing.
Ok, end of my sanitizing rant. :p
Everyone needs a picture of a life preserver on the ship..
A schedule of the shows for the week...well, just because I took a picture of it.
Here's a few pictures I took of some pictures and the glass blown objects behind the glass located in various stairways. I usually go around the last night and walk up and down every stairway taking pictures of everything in them. Truth be known, I was completely wore out the last night and didn't do it this time.
Ok, so I think that's all the pictures I had to share of the deck plans floor by floor.
I hope everyone enjoyed the picture tour and got a better feel for the place. If I missed some places (which I know I did), I'm sorry. I take so many pictures and explore so many areas that it all becomes a blur after awhile and I get to the point where I don't remember if I have pictures or not. Of course when I ask the hubby, his response is...of course you have pictures of every square inch of this place. Then other times I'll be taking a picture of something and he comment will be "Kim, you already have 100 pictures of that! Put the camera down and slowly back away...you'll survive." LOL
So those that were waiting on the ship pictures itself, there you have it. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll try to answer the best that I can. If not, there's probably several people on here that can.
For those of you that want to stick around for our silly adventures, weird sense of humor and that thing we call "life"...my review will continue and I appreciate you sticking with me. :)
If you are here for the port reviews, you'll have to suffer for awhile until I get 3 days worth of cruising done. :p ;)
Also, you may see other things in the review pictures I might have not posted during the ship tour. Not necessarily, but there might be. I didn't want to post any of the pictures with us in them for the tour. So those were saved for the review itself.