The Cat In The Hat Takes A Cruise
What’s better than one Fun Day at Sea? How about two.
Today, I awoke aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Pride to another Fun Day at sea as we make our way south towards Grand Turk.
Of course, Carnival offers nearly 100 individual things to do today, from bingo to martini tastings to Charades, trivia, arts and crafts, pool deck dance classes, a late-night deck party, and even a Dr. Seuss-themed parade and storytime. The 2016 Rio Olympics are being shown in the SkyBox Sports bar, and the Winner’s Club Casino is overflowing with a cacophony of sounds as guests stake out their “winning” machine.
It was up to the Lido Restaurant on Deck 9 for a quick breakfast, followed by some work, some reading, and an excellent Cappuccino from the Coffee Bar on Deck 2 forward. At $3.50, it’s no more expensive than what I’d expect to pay on-land, and you can get a coffee card for the cruise that gives you the seventh drink for free (including the Café’s boozy coffee creations).
This afternoon, I went to Bonsai Sushi for lunch. Open between 12:00 and 2:30pm (and from 5:00pm to Midnight) on sea days, Bonsai Sushi is a fairly recent addition to Carnival Pride. Located on the starboard side of the Renaissance Atrium on Deck 2, it offers traditional Japanese sushi and sashimi for an extra a’la carte charge.
While you can order sushi, sashimi or sides like salad and miso soup individually, I went for the $10 Bento Box, which includes miso soup, salad, six California rolls, and three pieces of sushi (salmon, tuna and shrimp). I also treated myself to a Japanese beer for a reasonable $5.95.
Although the California rolls weren’t the best I’ve ever had (they were better aboard Carnival Breeze a few years back) the sushi and Miso soup were fantastic, as was the side salad. In fact, the raw sushi compares very favorably to the sushi I’ve had at home in Calgary and Vancouver; both cities which have a thriving (and more importantly, authentic) Japanese food scene.
It also felt considerably healthier than, say, doubling-down on the burgers at Guy’s Burger Joint up on Deck 9. There’s truly something for everyone -and every taste – onboard this ship. Though I must admit, I was surprised to see how many folks came to check out the Bonsai menu, proclaimed it “weird”, and left. I don’t really consider Japanese food to be all that exotic or far-fetched.
One of my favorite things about Carnival is that the line has partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the stories of Dr. Seuss to the sea. I’m a huge fan of anything that encourages kids to read, and Carnival’s onboard events – from the Dr. Seuss Parade through the ship to Seuss-a-Palooza Storytime in the main show lounge – do just that.
But Carnival just added a new dimension to their program: a subtle campaign to educate kids about the election process in the United States, and the importance of voting. It’s timely, considering the current campaigns in advance of the U.S. Presidential Elections coming up in November.
Here’s how this works: The Cat in the Hat is running for President of the United States, along with his running mates, Thing One and Thing Two. They mug for the cameras and hand out campaign stickers in the ship’s atrium in what Carnival is calling, “The Cat In the Hat’s Presidential Rally.”
This culminates with a parade through the ship’s atrium and along to the show lounge, where the traditional Dr. Seuss Storytime reading of The Cat in the Hat is put on for the kids (and, frankly, nostalgic adults, too).
It’s all in good fun, but I like the subtle emphasis placed on getting kids to vote. Ballot boxes were placed in all kids facilities today, and kids could cast their votes for the Cat In the Hat. Poor Sam I Am…he never stood a chance.
Tonight, I dined at Carnival Pride’s most dramatic specialty restaurant: David’s Steakhouse.
Located on Decks 10 and 11, David’s Steakhouse is Carnival’s signature steakhouse experience. Known as Fahrenheit 555 on the line’s newest ships, each of Carnival’s older ships (like Carnival Pride) calls this space something different, but the menu remains the same.