Carnival Cruise Lines and the Port of Baltimore have announced that the cruise line will resume year-round departures from Baltimore when the Carnival Pride begins seven-day cruises in March 2015.
Carnival Pride is currently based in Baltimore where it will remain through October 2014 before repositioning to Tampa for a winter cruise schedule. The ship will return to Baltimore for year-round service in March 2015, hosting nearly 120,000 guests annually.
In anticipation of Carnival Pride’s return to Baltimore, the ship will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar makeover in fall 2014 that will add a host of dining, bar and entertainment innovations that are part of the line’s $500 million Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program.
Carnival Pride, like several other Carnival Cruise Lines ships, will be outfitted with exhaust gas cleaning technology – known as scrubbers –designed to reduce air emissions from cruise ships and large marine vessels. Scrubber technology will be installed on Carnival Pride prior to its Baltimore deployment in spring 2015. This new technology will enable the Carnival Pride to exceed the stricter air emission standards established for operation within the North American Emission Control Area (ECA).
On its year-round deployment from Baltimore, Carnival Pride will offer two different itineraries with voyages departing every Sunday beginning March 29, 2015. Week-long eastern Caribbean cruises will visit Grand Turk, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Freeport, The Bahamas, while a Florida/Bahamas schedule will call in Port Canaveral, Fla. (Orlando), and Nassau and Freeport, The Bahamas.
Additionally, prior to its Baltimore deployment, Carnival Pride will operate a 14-day repositioning cruise departing Tampa March 15 and arriving Baltimore March 29, 2015. The one-time voyage will visit destinations in the Caribbean and Central America, including George Town, Grand Cayman; Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama; Aruba; Curacao; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. Optional excursions to the Panama Canal will be featured during the call in Colon.
“Baltimore is a convenient mid-Atlantic embarkation point for ‘Fun Ship’ cruising and we’re pleased to resume these attractive year-round departures which offer our guests an opportunity to visit a variety of beautiful, tropical destinations,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “We would like to extend our thanks to officials from the port and the state of Maryland for their outstanding support in our efforts to resume year-round cruising from Baltimore.”
“We are pleased to welcome Carnival Cruise Lines back to Maryland and the Carnival Pride cruise ship back to the Port of Baltimore,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Our Administration has a proven track record of advocating for a strong, healthy environment and fighting for high-quality jobs for Maryland families. I’m pleased Carnival and the Environmental Protection Agency and Coast Guard have agreed on a plan that will keep family-supporting jobs in Maryland and allow a cleaner and even greener Carnival Pride to return to this thriving cruise market.”
Carnival Pride will undergo a three-week dry dock from October 19 to November 9, 2014, during which it will be outfitted with a variety of Fun Ship 2.0 additions, including:
- Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries
- BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy burritos and tacos on tortillas that can be personalized with a variety of salsas and toppings
- Bonsai Sushi, a full-service sushi restaurant offering
- WaterWorks, highlighted by the Green Thunder water slide, as well as the line’s signature Twister slide and a spray park
- Hasbro, The Game Show, where guests are part of the show through a series of productions and entertainment activities based on the company’s popular games
- Playlist Productions live performances
- EA Sports Bar, where guests can catch live sporting events, check out scores on the real-time 24/7 sports ticker, and play the latest EA Sports games on a 16-screen video wall
- BlueIguana Tequila Bar, an outdoor watering hole offering tequila-based frozen drinks and beers
- Alchemy Bar, a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy”
- RedFrog Pub, where guests can enjoy Caribbean rums and beers – along with Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red private label draft brew – and island-inspired pub fare
- RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside adaptation of the RedFrog Pub offering Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including ThirstyFrog Red
- The Library Bar, offering self-serve wine dispensers and full bar service
- Cherry On Top, which offers bins of bulk candy, gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more