Carnival Cruise Line becomes the first cruise line to restart operations from Baltimore, Maryland today (September 12, 2021) with the Carnival Pride. The spirit-class vessel is setting sail on her first voyage and Baltimore’s first departure in more than 18 months.
Carnival Pride Resuming Sailings
The Carnival cruise ship arrived in Baltimore just days ago to prepare for the restart of operations from the port. The ship will be sailing on a 7-day itinerary from the Cruise Maryland Terminal in Locust Point to the Bahamas.
She is the first vessel to sail from Baltimore since Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas and Carnival Pride were turned away from the port in March 2020. The Carnival Pride is also the ninth in the fleet to resume cruise operations.
Embarkation commenced following a “Back to Fun” ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal attended by Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Pride Captain Maurizio Ruggiero, and Port of Baltimore Executive Director William P. Doyle.
Just like previous Carnival ships that have already restarted operations, guests were welcomed by a party atmosphere from the crew as they arrived onboard.
“We’re thrilled to be back in Baltimore, providing our guests with the relaxing vacation they’ve been so patiently waiting for but also supporting the local economy and offering our crew members an opportunity to support their families back home,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Baltimore has been a wonderful partner for more than a decade and we are delighted to get Back to Fun in this key market which serves hundreds of thousands of guests in the Northeast and along the Atlantic Coast.”
Those who would like to take a Bahamas cruise from Baltimore can do so until October 31. Carnival Pride will be sailing to Half Moon Cay, Bimini, and Freeport in the Bahamas. The itinerary also includes three full days at sea.
“What a great day for the Port of Baltimore!” said Port of Baltimore Executive Director William P. Doyle. “We have waited a long time to welcome back the Carnival Pride to Charm City. Baltimore’s Cruise Maryland is terrific — our cruise terminal is directly off Interstate 95 and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is only 15 minutes away. The cruise terminal sits alongside Baltimore’s world famous Inner Harbor, as well as Federal Hill, Fort McHenry, and Fells Point. There’s plenty of sightseeing, dining, and shopping options. So cruise from Baltimore, enjoy our great city, and sail to some of the most incredible tropical paradises in the world.”
Carnival’s Protocls From Baltimore
As with all Carnival Cruises, guests onboard Carnival Pride will need to adhere to some safety standards to keep fellow guests and crew members safe from COVID during the seven-day voyage. The measures, which are both from the CDC and Carnival Cruise Line, include:
- All guests 12 years old and above must be fully vaccinated 14 days before the cruise’s start.
- Guests traveling with under 12 year old’s should apply for an exemption for the kids. If this is approved, the children should undergo a PCR test three days before sailing and present the negative result at the terminal. They will need to undergo a second test before boarding. A third test will be performed before leaving the ship again.
- All vaccinated guests must present a negative rapid PCR test taken at most two days before departure (guests on today’s sailing, September 12, could still do this three days out). Carnival has presented several options for how this can be done in the last few days, such as home testing and Quest Diagnostics.
- Lastly, the cruise line recently introduced new rules and regulations for the onboard casino.
Carnival Pride underwent refurbishments in 2014 to upgrade it to the Funship 2.0 standard with Guy’s Burger Joint, the BlueIguana Cantina, RedFrog Pub, and the BlueIguana Rum Bar.
Measuring 88,500 gross tons and a capacity for just over 2,100 passengers and a crew of 930, she will be sailing from Baltimore until October 31. After the deployment on the U.S. East Coast, the ship will be repositioning to Tampa Bay. Carnival Legend will be taking over in Baltimore at that time.
Including Carnival Pride, nine Carnival cruise ships have restarted operations including out of Florida, California, Galveston, and now, Maryland.