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Carnival adds longer cruises from Baltimore

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When the Carnival Pride returns to Baltimore next spring, it will not only have new pollution-control technology and a $500 million makeover. The ship also will have a new itinerary of extended cruises to the Caribbean.

Carnival Cruise Lines, which agreed this year to continue its round-trip service from Baltimore beginning in March 2015, will offer longer sailings to the Caribbean for the first time and a shorter getaway to the Bahamas.

Carnival plans to continue its seven-day sailings from Baltimore to the Bahamas and the eastern Caribbean, and will add a number of cruises with special itineraries, including a series of 10- to 14-day trips between Baltimore and San Juan, Puerto Rico, with ports of call that include an exotic array of Caribbean destinations.

An 11-day, one-way trip departing Jan. 17, 2016, from Baltimore will make stops in Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and St. Croix. Rates start at $779 per person.

Also new is a 10-day eastern Caribbean cruise that will sail from San Juan to Baltimore on Jan. 28, 2016, calling at St. Thomas, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia; St. Kitts and St. Maarten. Rates start at $699 per person.

A 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise will sail round-trip from Baltimore on March 13, 2016, and offer stops at eight island ports, including Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Maarten. Rates start at $1,199 per person.

"Our guests and travel agent partners have been seeking more varied options from the Northeast, particularly longer-length voyages, and we're delighted to expand our schedules from Baltimore and San Juan to provide these attractive 'Fun Ship' cruise offerings from these ports," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival's president and CEO.

"These new voyages not only provide vacationers with an abundance of five- to 14-day cruise choices but also feature a wide range of spectacular island destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda," he said.

Carnival will also add two new five-day cruises to Bermuda, departing Oct. 26, 2015, and April 10, 2016, starting at $439 per person.

Travelers to the Bahamas can take either a longer journey or shave a day off the usual weeklong trip. Carnival is offering both options with a new eight-day eastern Caribbean cruise that calls in Grand Turk, Nassau and Half Moon Cay, a private Bahamian island, with rates starting at $649 per person, as well as a new six-day cruise that will feature stops in Freeport and Nassau and start at about $329 per person.

On Nov. 22, the ship will offer a special eight-day sailing from Baltimore to the Bahamas with a first-ever port call to Charleston, S.C., along with Port Canaveral, Fla., and Nassau. Rates start around $649 per person.

The changes come after concern over the past year that the cruise line would not continue its service from the port of Baltimore because of new emissions regulations. In February, Carnival said it would return to Baltimore next year after departing in October for a short stay in Florida and a trip to dry dock for upgrades and a makeover.

The renovations will include dining and entertainment areas. New features will include a restaurant concept developed with celebrity chef Guy Fieri, a Mexican eatery, a sports bar and a cocktail-pharmacy-themed bar.

Guests can also expect a new water-themed play and spray park featuring a new water slide. New entertainment will include "Hasbro, The Game Show," "a larger-than-life adaptation of the company's iconic games," according to Carnival.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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