Golf widows (and widowers) take heart. Your annual vacation planning dilemma has become a win-win for you both. The Carnival has made a signifcant investment in on-board golf facilities that does not refer to mini golf. The Carnival Pride, sailing weekly from Baltimore, is one of the most golfer-friendly ocean liners in service. Pick from three cruise itineraries: 7 days to Bermuda, the Eastern Caribbean, or the Bahamas. Don’t worry if your travel companion is not a golfer too, they can experience Carnival’s Spirit class of service and amenities.
The Spirit class Pride, with 2,100 passengers on 12 decks, has over 630 ocean view cabins with full balconies and 50 suites. The Bermuda sailings start with two full days at sea, giving you plenty of time to check your swing, rent your clubs, practice your technique, and yes, even play a round of miniature golf. The Pride boasts a Serenity Adults Only Retreat, Spa Carnival, the Sliding Sky Dome which covers the aft pool area during sprinkles and David’s it’s well renowned steakhouse.
While just about every major cruise line can sell accessories, equipment, and arrange a shore excursion that includes a local golf course, Carnival goes further. While most golf shops are manned by crew staff, the Carvinal golf program is run by Exodite Tours, a company that specializes in land based pro shops and golf lessons. Their full-time pro will analyze your swing and set up private or group lessons for you. The Carnival Pride’s club rentals are supplied by Nike so you have a chance to demo the hottest new clubs on the market. There is even a full sized golf simulator on board. Use it to work on your swing between ports of call or play a game of virtual golf at some of the most famous holes in the world. In addition to the golf simulator, there are swing cages, and a putting green to keep you sharp.
Pick your cruise based on your ports of call or your golf course. But, by far Bermuda is the best value with five premiere courses, in one location. Try Tucker’s Point, an 18-hole, par 70 course dating back to 1932, but redesigned by Roger Rulewich in 2002; the Mid Ocean club where the likes of Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower have played a round; or Bermuda’s longest course at 6,842 yards, Port Royal, considered the best in the entire Bermuda-Caribbean area.
The Pride docks for three days in King’ Wharf in the west end of Bermuda. That gives cruise golfers plenty of time to golf, sightsee and hit the beaches using the Pride as your “hotel”. King’s Wharf has a long British maritime history so there is interesting sightseeing as well as parasailing, scuba diving, and dolphin swims.
The Prides cruises from Baltimore year round, but cruises from now thru November are starting at only $649 per person for an inside stateroom. Ask for Carnival’s special pricing for Seniors, military or Maryland residents.