Note: Make sure you read the first installment, Carnival Pride Cruise 2018 – Planning & Boarding!
Many people don’t know how to feel about how to spend their sea days on a cruise. It seems like you either love them or hate them. Some people love the relaxation and wandering aimlessness of a good sea day, while others just want to get where they’re going and set foot on dry land already. I happen to love sea days. I usually get up early and head up to deck to lie out in the breezy, sunny day and go back to sleep on my deck chair or clamshell after eating breakfast from the buffet. This cruise featured TWO sea days before we reached our first port of Grand Turk, so I was a happy girl.
After Gene and I hung out on board the previous night, hitting up the Red Frog Rum Bar for drinks and music after dinner in the main dining room, where Gene was accosted by a pirate, and then the Punchliner Comedy Club, we went to bed kind of early to recharge for the rest of the trip.
So, I was up bright and early the next morning to snag some prime real estate on the Serenity deck, the Pride’s adult-only area. I grabbed my beach towel from the room (you will have enough Carnival beach towels for everyone in your room on embarkation; they’re replaced daily, and you can also get towels from a couple of different locations on the Lido deck), threw it in my beach bag along with sunscreen, sunglasses, a book, my wallet, my phone, and some Boca clips, and headed up at about 7:30.
The deck was pretty empty, but some folks had clearly come up early to save chairs, as evidenced by the empty chairs with towels, books, flip-flops, and books, but no humans, on them. This is common; it’s called chair hogging, and it’s annoying. Some people are just really selfish, and will come up very early to the lido deck, throw something in a chair to “save it,” and roll out for hours.
I guess they go back to bed or to the gym or to breakfast or… whatever selfish people do for hours while people who actually want to use the deck chairs can’t access them because their freaking crap is strewn over them. ANNOYING. Carnival has a 45-minute rule, so if you aren’t using your chair after 45 minutes – plenty of time to grab food, a drink, and go potty – they’re supposed to take your belongings to the towel hut for safekeeping to open up the chair for someone else. Unfortunately, it’s not often enforced. Oh well, I refuse to let a few self-absorbed people ruin my fun.
Anyway, I got a clamshell all to myself and got comfy. Got up after a while to walk the short distance to the buffet for breakfast and hot tea to take back to my coveted spot, and ate while watching the wake and taking in the calming breezes.
A Relaxing Afternoon
Gene joined me after a while, after sleeping in and going for a run on the top deck, and we chilled until lunch time, when we gave up our spot to go eat inside the air-conditioned buffet. We then did some slogans trivia at the Piazza Cafe, which we did NOT win (bummer), and had some drinks at the atrium bar, which was where our favorite bartenders for the cruise were, along with the Red Frog Rum Bar. We had the Cheers! Beverage package, which meant that we did not have to worry about how much our drinks cost or how many we were drinking. It just so happened that, as usual, we came out WAY ahead. See our post about Cheers… we’ll let you know once it’s up!
A nap before dinner, which is our standard practice for sea days, then we got dressed up because we love to look presentable for dinner, and had a great meal in the dining room. The Pride has only one main dining room, the Normandie, with the downstairs for set-time seating and the upstairs for Your Time Dining. We prefer Your Time, because we are not held to a set schedule to eat and we can go anytime between 6:00 and 9:00. We tend to go closer to 6:30. That’s about what time we eat at home, and at this time you are more likely to catch the dancing and singing dining room staff performances, example below (not on the same night, but the best footage we got). The staff works HARD.
Alchemy Bar & Punchliner Comedy Club
After dinner, we stopped at the Alchemy bar for a couple of drinks. The Alchemy bar does have a menu, but it’s most known for it alchemists (not just bartenders – these are MASTER mixologists!) who can listen to your taste preferences and mix you a drink you’re guaranteed to love. They also have Grey Goose VX at this bar, which is sublime in a martini. Expensive, but sublime. We had Cheers! so we didn’t care. My favorite drink from the menu is the Perfect Storm, but the mixologists have never gone wrong with any drink that they have made for me based on my preferences.
We hit up the coffee bar next, for some stomach-settling green mint tea (included with Cheers! Of course), and then made our way to the Punchliner for another round of comedy. On the Pride, they will have two comedians for the first part of the trip, and there is a PG-rated and and adults-only version of the show each night. In Freeport, they will switch comedians and then we’ll have fresh, new comedy for the rest of the cruise. Kind of cool.
Ummm… we’re getting a little up there in age, and our middle-aged selves were getting tired by this point, so we went to relax in the room at about 10:30 and wound up never going back out again. SMH.
Sea Day Number Two
The next sea day was pretty much a carbon copy of the first, except it was solar system trivia instead of slogans, which I did alone and did NOT win a ship on a stick. It was also elegant night, so we got to get really dressed up for dinner, which I always enjoy. We hung out at the Red Frog Rum bar that night, where I discovered a truly fantastic African Rum called Starr, and Gene learned the best way to serve cognac. There was also a phenomenal band that we got our entire life to when they performed in the Red Frog throughout the cruise.
Thanks for reading our Carnival Pride adventure thus far… we hope that you enjoyed reading about our first two sea days on board. Stay tuned for the first port stop, Grand Turk, the port that I barely made it out of alive, thanks to this sucker (the floatie, not the dog in the background):