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Complete Power Failure: Carnival Pride March 23-30, 2014 w/Pictures

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After dropping off our carry-ons, we decided to explore the ship for a bit. We walked around the public lounges on decks 2 and 3 and then headed up to the Mermaid Grill on the Lido Deck for a late afternoon snack. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Carnival adjusted the hours for the lunch buffet to accommodate the late embarkation. Normally, the lunch buffets shut down around 2:30, but on our embarkation day they kept every station running all the way through until the muster drill.

 

Not wanting to spoil our appetite for dinner, we opted for a light snack from the deli. I had the turkey wrap and my girlfriend had the turkey on a country roll. The turkey wrap is supposed to be served cold and the turkey on a country roll is supposed to be a hot/grilled sandwich, so we were puzzled as to why the team at the deli served the turkey on a country roll as a cold sandwich throughout our entire cruise. It was still good, but not as represented on the menu. They did have other hot/grilled sandwiches that were quite good, but they never grilled the turkey on a country roll unless you asked for it.

 

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Turkey Wrap - No Tomato

 

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Turkey on a Country Roll

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The embarkation muster drill took place later than scheduled, just after 5:00PM. They made it as quick and painless as possible. It was quite cold on embarkation day, so they made multiple announcements warning guests and crew to dress warm as the muster drill on the Pride does take place outside near the lifeboats.

 

They were very quick about getting everyone into position for the muster drill and got through their spiel quickly. The entire drill lasted less than 15 minutes, and unlike some other ships, we were not required to go to a lounge first. On the Pride, you just report directly to your lifeboat embarkation station.

 

After the muster drill, it was time for sail away. Being that it was so cold, there were not that many people out on deck, but we decided to brave the cold and wind and watch the ship pull away from the dock and head out to sea under the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

 

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Cruise Maryland is definitely not the most beautiful cruise terminal that I have ever been to. It is a converted cargo warehouse.

 

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Cruise Maryland Parking Lot. Parking is $15/day or $105 for a 7-night cruise. We opted to book a Park and Cruise package at the Holiday Inn Baltimore at the Stadiums and take the shuttle instead. It is only 7-8 minutes from the port and included a night in the hotel before the cruise, 7 days of parking, and a free shuttle to and from the port. The shuttles were quick and efficient, with no waiting at the port when we disembarked.

 

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Downtown Baltimore from the Cruise Maryland terminal

 

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Baltimore's commercial cargo terminals

 

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More parking at the Cruise Maryland terminal

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The Pride docks next to an underwater cable company. This is one of the two ocean cable ships that was docked next to the Pride.

 

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Downtown Baltimore

 

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Downtown Baltimore

 

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Sailing toward the Francis Scott Key Bridge

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Francis Scott Key Bridge

 

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Will we get stuck?

 

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Just barely clearing the Francis Scott Key Bridge

 

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We cleared the bridge and are on our way out of the Chesapeake Bay and on to the Atlantic Ocean!

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Turkey on roll is my favorite lunch (on ships without a Guy's Burger). It's always been heated, on every other ship. I'll be sure to specify that I want it hot!

 

Having sailed from Charleston several times, I know all about limited facilities. They have to totally clear the terminal (and most of the parking) before they can begin check-in. They shuttle everyone from luggage/parking to the terminal, which keeps the crowd staggered. It's one of those places that there is simply no reason to show up super early. If you do, you end up sitting under a little tent (if you're lucky enough to get a chair) and waiting for a long time.

 

Your pics look similar to what they have in Charleston, only on a slightly-larger scale.

 

I'll have to be careful going under the bridge. Last time I did that, sailing from Jacksonville, I dropped my phone, which turned several cartwheels and hurled itself right through the rails and into the river. Now, I only ever use my actual camera when on deck. The phone is reserved for port and inside-the-ship photos! :o

 

Anyway, thanks for continuing the review. Four weeks from today, we'll be enjoying our first sea day! :D

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Enjoying the review. :)

We've done this cruise a few times, but it never gets old reading others thoughts. ;)

Edited by WetToes

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After watching our sail away, it was almost 7:00 by the time we got back to our room, so we decided to get ready for dinner.

 

The Carnival Pride only has one main dining room, the Normandie Dining Room, which has two levels on deck 3 and 4. Deck 3 is reserved for assigned time dining, while deck 4 is reserved for Your Time Dining. Since this was my girlfriend's first cruise, we opted for Your Time Dining. We were always given a table for two, even without requesting it. This seemed to be the case for everyone that had Your Time Dining on the Pride. We did not see any tables where multiple parties were being seated together.

 

There was no wait for dinner on the first night (in fact, we were only given a pager on one night of our 7-night cruise), so we were taken directly to our table.

 

We were able to take pictures of most of the food, but I did not think to get photos of the menus, so I will borrow from another CruiseCritic regular, Zydecocruiser, who has probably the most comprehensive website dedicated to Carnival that I have ever seen. Be sure to check out his website for a huge collection of ship photos, menus, Fun Times, and more.

 

The Carnival Pride is still using the old "Didja" menus that have been around for the past few years. I actually prefer the Didja menus to the new American Table / American Feast menus, so I hope that it doesn't change anytime soon.

 

Here are the main dining room menus from our first night on the ship, courtesy of Zydecocruiser.

 

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I opted for the Chilled Shrimp Cocktail and we both had the Chicken a la Grecque for our entree. I don't recall what my girlfriend ordered as an appetizer as we did not get a photo of it.

 

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Chicken a la Grecque (minus one bite) - 4.5/5

 

I will also apologize for the dates on some of our photos as my girlfriend's camera was off by a day for the entire cruise. These photos are actually from Sunday, March 23, not Saturday, March 22.

 

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Chilled Shrimp Cocktail - 5/5

 

This photo was taken on the second formal night, and all of the tables around us were given double portions as well. I'm not exactly sure why they gave us all two portions of shrimp cocktail; I guess it wasn't as popular as they had planned on this sailing and they were trying to get rid of it before it went bad? Anyway, I'm not going to complain about extra shrimp cocktail!

 

For dessert, I had the Creme Brulee, which is my personal favorite Carnival dessert. I don't recall seeing it on the new American Table menu, so I'm really hoping that Carnival decides to add it before the new menu rolls out fleet wide. It is so good!

 

My girlfriend couldn't decide between the Creme Brulee and the Black Forest Cake, so she had both!

 

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Black Forest Cake 3.5/5 and Creme Brulee 5/5

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Black Forest Cake 3.5/5

 

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Creme Brulee 5/5

 

After dinner, we spent a little time at the Ivory Piano Bar. We were a little disappointed in the entertainer that was playing in there as he seemed to just be going through the motions, not really taking requests from the audience, instead choosing to flip between songs on his iPad. Unfortunately, I don't recall his name. He didn't really interact with the crowd (the lounge was less than 1/4 full) and seemed to just be doing the bare minimum to collect a paycheck. We found out later that it was the last sailing of his contract, which may have explained his lack of energy.

 

We only stayed for a few songs before heading over to the Taj Mahal Lounge for the Welcome Aboard Show. The show is exactly as it is on all of the other Carnival ships, and once you've seen it once, you've seen it all. The only difference was that one of the comedians from the Punchliner came up and did a quick 5 minute family friendly set and advertised his show taking place later that evening in the Butterflies Lounge. My girlfriend had never seen the Welcome Aboard Show before, but agreed that it is very cheesy and not the best entertainment that Carnival offers. Never the less, it is a fun first night for new cruisers.

 

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Taj Mahal Lounge

 

Up Next: Monday, March 24, 2014 - Our first Fun Day at Sea

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Loving your review! Less than 4 weeks we will be sailing on the Pride. Do you happen to remember what time the welcome aboard show started?

 

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Forums mobile app

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Loving your review! Less than 4 weeks we will be sailing on the Pride. Do you happen to remember what time the welcome aboard show started?

 

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Forums mobile app

 

I believe it was at 10:45 in the Taj Mahal Lounge, followed by an adults-only Punchliner Comedy Club show in the Butterflies Lounge at 11:45. It was after the late seating for dinner.

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Monday, March 24, 2014 - First Fun Day at Sea

The weather was still very cool on our first Fun Day at Sea. We decided to sleep in and take some time to relax. We took our time getting ready and went to the Sea Day Brunch (formerly the Punchliner Comedy Brunch, now without the comedy...). I had the Frosted Flake French Toast (4/5) and Banana Cream Pie (5/5). My girlfriend had the Chocolate Chip Fat Stack Pancakes (4/5), which, strangely, was topped with chocolate syrup rather than chocolate chips. Oh well, it was chocolate so she was still happy. Once again, I forgot to take photos, but here is a copy of the menu, courtesy of Zydecocruiser.

 

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We were seated at a table set for six with another couple from Chicago and a single man in his late 20's. We enjoyed their company and talked about our previous vacation experiences and our initial impressions of the ship.

 

After breakfast/lunch/brunch, we decided to attempt to spend a little time on deck reading, however we quickly found it to be too cold and windy, even in our light jackets, so we went back to our room for a while before it was time for the first of many trivia sessions that we would take part in this week. The theme of our first trivia of the week: Harry Potter!

 

Sadly, we didn't win. The questions were tough and there were some BIG Harry Potter fans on the ship. The entire lounge was full!

 

After trivia, we spent some more time exploring the ship and made a stop on the lido deck for 24-hour ice cream. We then went back to our room to get ready for our first "Cruise Elegant" formal night of the cruise.

 

We took pictures of our formal wear out on our balcony and then headed down to the Taste Bar on deck 2, just outside of the casino. Tonight's theme was inspired by the Blue Iguana Cantina and featured Chicken, Avocado, and Lime Tortilla Soup and Roast Pork with Green Chili Salsa, Cotija Cheese, and Tortilla Strips. Both were very tasty, but alas, I once again forgot to take a picture! Thankfully, I have a picture from my May 2013 cruise on the Imagination. The pork has changed slightly and was more of a solid piece, but the soup is just as I remembered it. Very tasty!

 

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One thing that I noticed about the Taste Bar on this cruise is that there was no bar service in the lounge area directly outside of the Taste Bar. On every other cruise that I have been on featuring the Taste Bar, there were at least one, and sometimes two bar waiters walking around and on the Imagination last year, they even had a Happy Hour drink special for $5. On the Pride, if you want a drink, you have to walk to either the Perfect Game Bar or the casino bar to get a drink. Perhaps Carnival thinks that you will order something from the coffee bar that shares the same seating area as the Taste Bar?

 

After a stop at the Taste Bar, we headed up to deck 3 and to the Normandie Dining Room for our first Formal Night dinner of the cruise. I was surprised that there was no wait, as a sea day formal night is almost always the busiest night of the week in the dining room. We were quickly seated at a booth near the windows on the starboard side of the ship.

 

Here are the menus from the first Elegant Night on the Pride, courtesy of Zydecocruiser.

 

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I am normally a big fan of the Baked Stuffed Mushrooms, but I was not in the mood for them on this particular night, so I went for the Strawberry Bisque (4/5) instead. My girlfriend ordered the Greek Farmer Salad (5/5) and the Strawberry Bisque (4/5) on my insistence. We both ordered the lobster for our entree. The Strawberry Bisque is just as good as I remember, but mine was served almost at room temperature. I much prefer it to be very cold, right out of the refrigerator.

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Shortly after ordering, one of the photographers came around and took our pictures at the table for formal night. We actually wanted to buy the photo from this dinner as we were celebrating our one year anniversary (a week early) and we both looked nice that night. Unfortunately, the photographer didn't take into account the light from the window behind her, and I ended up with a giant stripe of sunlight across my face. We didn't let her take our picture again for the rest of the trip.

 

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Chilled Strawberry Bisque with my girlfriend's Raspberry Mojito. Both were very good.

 

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Broiled Maine Lobster Tail and Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimp

 

The shrimp were very good, as was the lobster meat, however the butter was burnt, given it an off flavor.

 

For dessert, I ordered the Caramelized Apples on Puff Pastry (3/5), and my girlfriend ordered the Cherries Jubilee (2/5). The apples were very good, but the ratio of apples to pastry was very poor. The Cherries Jubilee always look and sound better than they taste.

 

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Caramelized Apples on Puff Pastry (3/5)

 

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Cherries Jubilee (2/5)

 

Just before bringing us our desserts, our waiters surprised us with an anniversary cake and sang "Happy Anniversary" to us. This caught us completely off guard as our anniversary was not for another week and I had completely forgotten that I had even told Carnival about it when I booked.

 

I found their choice of anniversary dessert a little interesting in that it was the Diet Banana Gateau, but looking back on it, I guess it was the only dessert that would really hold a candle on that particular night.

 

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Diet Banana Gateau with Anniversary Candle (3/5)

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After dinner, we listened to some live music in the Starry Nights lounge and then went to two of the adults-only shows in the Punchliner Comedy Club.

 

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Beautiful spiral staircase from the Taj Mahal Lounge down to the Butterflies Lounge, home of the Punchliner Comedy Club

 

The first two comedians on our cruise were Michael Macy and CJ Jones. CJ was our favorite comedian of the cruise, and Michael Macy did a lot of improv interaction with the audience. We enjoyed both shows before heading off to bed.

Up Next: Tuesday, March 24, 2014 - Second Fun Day at Sea

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Tuesday, April 25, 2014 - Second Fun Day at Sea

Our second Fun Day at Sea started with us (surprise, surprise) sleeping in and taking our time getting ready for the day. We skipped the Sea Day Brunch in favor of the Late Riser's breakfast on the Lido Deck. GF went for the breakfast buffet, while I had some Asian food from the Chopsticks station.

 

GF said that she much preferred the breakfast from the Sea Day Brunch to the powdered eggs on the breakfast buffet. She tried the omelet station later on in the cruise and found it to be much better!

 

I had some sort of fried rice with tofu stir fry and shrimp spring rolls from Chopsticks. All were very good. The desserts at lunch were hit and miss. The strawberry mousse didn't have much strawberry in it and was rather bland. The key lime pie was good, but more of a key lime cream/mousse pie than an authentic key lime pie. I also had some sort of almond cake, which was not very good.

 

GF had ice cream from the 24 hour soft serve machines.

 

After lunch, it was time for the Hairy Chest Competition. The Hairy Chest Competition is always a riot, and Darnell's version was no exception.

 

A side note about Darnell. He is the Punchliner Comedy Club Manager / MC, from Cleveland, Ohio, and is one of the three or four stand-out team members from the cruise. He easily had the most energy of anyone on the entertainment team, and seemed to genuinely enjoy his job. I wouldn't mind seeing him as a Cruise Director on a Carnival ship at some point in the near future.

 

Anyway, on to the photos...

 

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Yes, the Pride's version of the Hairy Chest Competition makes use of the poolside showers. It was hilarious.

 

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A side note about Darnell. He is the Punchliner Comedy Club Manager / MC, from Cleveland, Ohio, and is one of the three or four stand-out team members from the cruise. He easily had the most energy of anyone on the entertainment team, and seemed to genuinely enjoy his job. I wouldn't mind seeing him as a Cruise Director on a Carnival ship at some point in the near future. ]

 

Totally agree!

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Another Ohioan strutting his stuff.

 

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Darnell the Comedy Club Manager

 

After the Hairy Chest Competition, we decided to spend some much needed quality time with our Kindles. Or at least my GF did. I read about two chapters and decided it was time for a nice quiet nap in the sun. I would later regret this as I ended up with some nice sunburn on one side of my face and on my legs. I guess GF forgot to wake me up to remind me to turn over. The temps were only in the high 60's, so it wasn't warm enough to really sunbathe, but it was warm enough for a jacket and shorts. Here is the view from our deck chairs on deck 10.

 

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Did FTTF on Pride 5/23. To me, totally worth it. We boarded very late--about 2:30--but it was still ahead of 95% of passengers. We had a late lunch on lido deck--but we still got there ahead of almost everyone. We finished lunch, returned to room to unpack the waiting suitcases. Did all of that while we saw people still boarding. In fact, some at muster were amazed others had been to their rooms. I had been in my room 2.5 hours.

 

Beyond that, we had our own space at guest services. Stopped there 3 times, saw a line each time--skipped line.

 

We were among first to leave the ship in Baltimore. With a trip to Ohio waiting, that saved time was great. I am as cheap as they come, but would pay it again--in a heartbeat.

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After GF's reading time and my nap time in the sun, it was late afternoon and we decided to check out the hot tubs. The hot tubs near the main pools were both full of kids, but we found just enough space to squeeze in to the hot tub on the Serenity Deck. The Spirit class ships actually have a full size swimming pool in their Serenity areas (most Carnival ships only have hot tubs), but they only have one tiny five person hot tub. We would have preferred another hot tub or two as the single hot tub was at or above capacity the whole hour or so that we were there. Many times during our cruise there was no opportunity to get in any hot tub on the ship as all of them were at capacity. That is one thing that I like about the Dream class ships, they have 10 hot tubs vs. 3 or 4 on most other ships, and you can almost always get one to yourself in the late afternoons on the Promenade Deck. Not so on the Pride.

 

We spent just under an hour on the Serenity Deck and then decided to check out some more trivia onboard. This time it was my chance to show off my knowledge as the theme was sports. I was surprised how much I knew, but sadly I did not win as there were some other groups playing with 4 or 5 people. 5 against 1 is just no match when it comes to trivia!

 

Dinner was another casual night, and again we had no wait for a Your Time Dining table. Sadly, we forgot to try the Taste Bar on this night, and by the time our dinner was over, it was closed.

 

Tuesday's menus, courtesy of Zydecocruiser.

 

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I ordered the Chilled Shrimp Cocktail and the Chicken Sicilian Style (3/5). GF tried the Smoked Chicken Quesadilla and the Jerked Pork Loin. She found the quesadilla unusual as it has a lot of vegetables in it and not a lot of cheese. She still enjoyed it. The Chicken Sicilian Style was just okay, but I am glad that I tried it as it was something that I had never tried in my previous seven cruises. We forgot to take a picture of our appetizers, and I forgotto get a picture of my chicken, but GF did get a picture of her Jerked Pork Loin. She was a little surprised by how spicy it was, having never had anything that is jerk spiced before.

 

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GF's Jerked Pork Loin. She also had a baked potato with sour cream.

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For dessert, I had the Warm Fig, Date, and Cinnamon Cake with Rum Raisin Ice Cream (5/5) and GF had the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake (5/5) after making fun of me for ordering something with figs and dates in it. She was surprised to taste how good it was after it arrived. It is one of my favorite Carnival desserts, and the Rum Raisin Ice Cream is definitely unique.

 

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Warm Fig, Date, and Cinnamon Cake with extra Rum Raisin Ice Cream. If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was on a Disney cruise ;)

 

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Warm Chocolate Melting Cake with extra ice cream

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We always order our WCMC as a

"Mickey mouse" with two ice creams. Need to cut the rich chocolate. :)

 

Great review. We leave in 26 days and a wake up

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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Just before bringing us our desserts, our waiters surprised us with an anniversary cake and sang "Happy Anniversary" to us. This caught us completely off guard as our anniversary was not for another week and I had completely forgotten that I had even told Carnival about it when I booked.

 

I found their choice of anniversary dessert a little interesting in that it was the Diet Banana Gateau, but looking back on it, I guess it was the only dessert that would really hold a candle on that particular night.

 

 

Diet Banana Gateau with Anniversary Candle (3/5)

 

HEY! That happened on our last cruise too. The waiters brought me a piece of Diet Banana Gateau with a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday. I think you are right that the reason they do it is because it's a sturdy cake.

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