On Sunday, 4/3/16, I and my co-hosts from Delmarva Broadcasting Company – Petch from Eagle 97.7, Dana McDonald from 101.3 and Jared Morris from Talk 105.9 along with our group of 83 cabins were scheduled to leave the Port of Baltimore on the Carnival Pride to the beautiful ports of Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Freeport at 4 pm.
Saturday afternoon I and the group received an email from Carnival saying the following and I thought, this is not good!
Due to a technical issue affecting the ship’s propulsion system, we were forced to reduce our cruising speed on the current voyage. As a result, the Carnival Pride will be delayed arriving in Baltimore tomorrow afternoon. Rest assured, all safety systems and hotel services are functioning normally. At the present time, we expect to be alongside at 6:00 PM tomorrow. Since we will be busy saying good bye to the guests from the current voyage, check-in for your cruise is now scheduled between 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM, and we will sail shortly thereafter
We received another email Sunday afternoon saying we would not be going to Grand Turk & Half Moon Cay and Carnival gave guests the chance to cancel for a full refund. The second option was to go on the cruise with the modified itinerary and receive 50% refund of the cruise fare on this sailing and 50% off a future cruise so needless to say, 80 out of 83 cabins decided to sail!
It was a delayed departure, we didn’t sail until sometime after 2 am when I decided to call it a night and I can honestly say, I’ve never boarded a ship in the dark so there’s a first time for everything!!!
Our group guests were wonderful and accepted the changes, were very happy about the 50% offers and had a blast onboard the Carnival Pride and enjoyed some warm sunshine while the weather back at home was very un-spring-like!!
We enjoyed great entertainment onboard, the food was very good (the scale did not make me feel as good this morning as the Chocolate Melting Cake I enjoyed every night did!!!), service was wonderful and Carnival could not do enough for the guests who decided to sail with them regardless of the rocky start. Our group had not just one but two fabulous cocktail parties, onboard credit and champagne & chocolates delivered to their cabin so it was a fabulous week!
The office is very busy today booking guests for our 4/2/17 cruise with Delmarva Broadcasting to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Freeport and it will be just as great as this year but with great ports of call (hey, this can’t happen two years in a row can it!!!) I have been escorting this group for 9 years and have never had anything like this happen so it’s definitely not the norm but things do happen causing changes to be made and if you’ve traveled enough, you know that can happen!!!
Welcome back to reality to my co-cruisers from last week, if you’re like me, you missed having your coffee made this morning, breakfast and lunch made for you and would love to have your afternoon nap about now but duty and work calls!!!!
I look forward to sailing with this group again in April 2017, it’s a great group of people and always a lot of fun!!! Thanks Carnival for doing all you could to make a bad situation really OK!!!!