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Another good experience on Carnival and a Disney first

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Mar 3rd, 2014, 07:00 AM
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Another good experience on Carnival and a Disney first

Myself and my eighty five year old father needed to be out of his house for a couple of weeks due to construction. Since we couldn't find any long cruises out of the Northeast that worked for us, we booked him back to back on the Carnival Pride out of Baltimore. I took the first week, and my sister and nephew are now happily floating off the Carolina coast with him. At least I assume they're happy, and I don't want to hear it if they're not.

My husband drove us from New Jersey on Saturday morning to the Embassy Suites Inner Harbor in Baltimore to stay the night. The suite layout was the roomiest I've encountered in the chain, and they had meatballs and spinach dip at the evening reception. Unfortunately, they did not replenish the snacks, which ran out quickly. It was a mild night so we walked around a little, saw the Cathedral, and stopped in an Irish pub for dinner at the recommendation of the concierge.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 10:37 AM
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Interested in reading more.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 10:46 AM
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Me too. I will follow.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 11:32 AM
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The next morning we had breakfast at the Embassy Suites, and had a little time to walk around the Inner Harbor. It was fairly mild, and it was really pleasant.

My husband left us at the cruise port, and we got into the special assist area for boarding, because my Dad uses a walker. As always, Carnival was very, very good with this aspect.

Once we were on board, we went up to the Lido and had some lunch. I will say that on this trip, while the cakes and pastries were delicious as always, the Lido had some missteps with savory food, and I mostly stuck to burgers and sandwiches.

We went down to the cabin, settled in, wandered around a little and went to the dining room for dinner. We both had cured salmon as a starter, and my father, who had claimed to not be very hungry, tried to order a shrimp cocktail for his meal. That may have been a mistake. They brought him two. And I had the fried shrimp, which were delicious, but I didn't quite want to finish them, so he ate some of those. And then he had chocolate melting cake while I had creme brulee.

Everything seemed fine, and we went down to our cabin and got tucked into our beds. Until two in the morning or so, when my dad was unwell. Repeatedly.

He didn't seem to be deathly ill, but at 85 repeated vomiting needs to be taken seriously due to the risk of dehydration. So I called the medical center, and they had us come down. I am still inclined to blame a surfeit of shrimp, plus a couple of kind of unsettled days, but the nurse thought it was a mild case of gastroenteritis. He confirmed that my dad was not dehydrated, gave him an anti-nauseal, put him in quarantine for 24 hours, and told us to come back in the morning so they could have another look-see.

The anti-nauseal worked, and when we went back down, another nurse checked him out and confirmed that he looked pretty good. She seemed to be more inclined to agree with me, but the computer wouldn't release him because they have a protocol to prevent the spread of Norovirus.

So my poor dad spent the day in the cabin napping and eating the bland diet room service sent, and I spent most of the day in the cabin doing edits on the laptop I had fortunately brought. I did go to dinner by myself because it was lobster night and at that point he really did seem to be well. Before I went to the dining room I went up to the Lido and got him a little chicken and rice and it seemed to agree with him.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 04:04 PM
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Whew! Glad he is better. Pretty rough start indeed.

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Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:48 PM
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I'm enjoying your review. It's good that your Dad's illness was short. It's scary when they get sick, especially on vacation when they're away fron their regular doctors. I'm looking forward to the rest of your trip report.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 07:53 PM
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Now, their protocol was for 24 hours, but his official release wasn't until 8 am, because that was when the medical center opened. Someone who was feeling completely recovered and more than a little stir-crazy had me up at four-thirty because he was ready to go. Once we were showered and dressed it was close to six, and we sort of snuck up to the Lido for breakfast, although I made him a plate instead of having him go near the stations. Once it was eight, we went back down and he got a clean bill of health. We spent most of the day wandering the ship and napping in deck chairs, and we visited the library so he could get a book.
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Mar 4th, 2014, 04:15 AM
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Sorry you had a rough start to your trip but hopefully it will get better and you can enjoy yourselves.
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Mar 4th, 2014, 07:36 AM
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Since he was feeling so much better, we visited the shore excursion desk so we could figure out what we were doing in Port Canaveral. They had canceled the Sea World trip, but they still had Animal Kingdom left. Now, my Dad has always been somewhat anti-Disney, so this was presented as a small for-profit zoo on Disney property, run by the Disney. My sister, who agreed with me that he'd love it, supported me in this mild subterfuge.

He was still kind of surprised when we rolled in through the Disney World gate. I reassured him that in many ways it was the least Disney park, well-run and clean in Disney fashion, but not featuring a whole lot of Mickey.

He loved it. We only did Kilimanjaro Safaris and the Maharajah Jungle Trek because he got tired quickly, but we alternated that with just walking around and sitting down as he needed to. He loved it all, even things that I had thought wouldn't be his cup of tea, like Dinoland USA. He really enjoyed the level of visual detail, and even didn't mind the various movie tie-in things. He had high praise for the way Disney did both the movie stuff and the serious animal exhibits, and kept them appropriately separate. And at his age, I think clean, friendly, and well supplied with benches and bathrooms goes a long way to enhancing any experience.
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Mar 4th, 2014, 04:52 PM
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Persimmondeb, I love your trip reports and will read them to my friends next month on vacation. Also I live around 10 miles from dock at Baltimore and have not cruised on the Pride. The Pride goes to dry dock in November and back in Baltimore in March so maybe I will look into getting a cruise.
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Mar 4th, 2014, 05:23 PM
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I love your "spin" on getting your dad to agree to go to Animal Kingdom. Sometimes it is how you present things.
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Mar 6th, 2014, 09:56 AM
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We liked the Pride, and my Dad strongly preferred the decor to that of the Miracle, but it is getting slightly shabby. I had wondered if it was getting a refit soon.
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Mar 6th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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When we left Animal Kingdom it was raining, so much so that I was glad I had let my dad take his heavy jacket. The bus ride back took forever, and we were the last people running up the gangplank, or in my dad's case, rolling with the walker.

After we got back we put on dry clothes, my dad took a nap, and we went up to the Lido for dinner.

After dinner I stuck my nose out onto the deck and discovered that we had left the rain in Florida behind and sailed into summer.
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Mar 6th, 2014, 07:54 PM
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My family loved Animal Kingdom. You got me excited about taking a cruise on the Pride. It should be nicer after they redo it.
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Mar 12th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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The next morning it was gorgeous and we settled ourselves on the Serenity deck and watched the ship sail into Nassau. What a beautiful approach. It's almost as lovely as the one into San Juan.

We had looked at shore excursions and discussed various options with other passengers. I had also posted in the Caribbean forum for ideas here. We decided to just walk around, and possibly take a ferry to Atlantis, depending on our whim.
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Mar 15th, 2014, 09:50 PM
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Nassau was lovely. We walked along the harborfront and mostly skipped the straw market due to how narrow the stalls were. We wound up at a restaurant near a public beach (Fat Tuesday's) with a truly lovely waitress and a very tasty conch salad. Then we walked onto the beach, I tried the water out for a few minutes, and we walked back towards Bay street. We visited the Cathedral and gave it a donation and walked along Bay street. Then we stopped at a local restaurant and my father had some ginger ale and carrot cake and I had a pina colada and some jerk pork and chicken. Then we walked along Bay Street, where I experienced an odd incident of what can only be described as "Christiandar"

I dress fairly conservatively, dresses and skirts, shoulders covered, and I think this may have had something to do with it, especially since many tourists seem to think it's appropriate to roam the streets in bathing suits, but I wasn't wearing a cross and usually don't, and I had flip-flops, a t-shirt, and a mid-calf length denim skirt on, so more than the usual tourist, but not a nun's habit. My father and I were walking along the stretch of Bay street, where there are many, many duty free shops, selling liquor, perfume, high end watches etc. A lot of these shops have a man in front extolling the virtues of their wares, and we passed an older man doing this. He suddenly looked at me, and sounding very surprised said, "You're a Christian!" I said "Yes" although I was a little embarrassed, and I'm always aware that some Christians think other Christians shouldn't smell like pina coladas, let alone some of the other differences I may have with them. Then he said "Your light is shining" and we walked on.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 04:26 PM
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What a nice thing to say to you. I hope that made your day.
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 07:09 PM
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It was lovely, actually, but I was very startled by it, and I tend to view my faith as a very private thing.
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 05:59 AM
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After we left Nassau, we had dinner on the Lido deck. The next morning we were in Freeport. Unfortunately, it was raining. We had debated a shore excursion and decided against one, and we were really glad. We tried walking around the port for a little while but it was just too wet and chilly for that to work well. My father LOVED the number of commercial ships we saw coming in and out, however.
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Mar 27th, 2014, 07:50 PM
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The trip back to Baltimore was fairly uneventful, although the weather turned cool fairly quickly as we turned up the coast. We did make it to the second formal night, and I got a really nice picture of the two of us at the table. We tried for one of the formal portraits but they always make me take my glasses off and I just do not look like myself.

The Carnival people handled the back to back quite well, and had someone take him back to his cabin. My sister and nephew then joined him and they went for round two. Which worked out fairly well, although it was apparently rougher and windier and my poor father wound up back in the infirmary towards the end of the cruise. They weren't sure what happened, but he suddenly had an episode of a very rapid heartbeat. They ran tests, it went away and he seemed fine after that, and we called his doctor when we got home.

And we had ceilings on the first floor again, which was a big plus.
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