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While waiting for two hours to board on our first cruise, we wondered whether the trip would turn into a disappointment. All concerns were washed away with the first Boddingtons that evening at dinner in the Normandie dining room. From that moment, except for the cool weather during our ports of call, the entire cruise was the fulfillment of our hopes for this family vacation. The overriding factor which made our trip so enjoyable was the extraordinary staff. In any vacation, certain memories fade and some linger, but in our case, the ones that will stay with us the most are the interactions with the Pride employees. Every day, they went far out of their way to ensure that we felt very, very special. Jose, our 5th floor steward, maintained our quarters in spotless condition all week, and remembered our names from the first day. We looked forward to our return from excursions or shipboard activities each late afternoon in anticipation of the towel animal (the most creative was the ape hanging from a ceiling vent). The Camp Carnival also took great care of our children, 11 & 8, making sure that each had age-appropriate activities to enjoy. But the most memorable part of every day were breakfasts and dinners in the Normandie Room. We chose Your Time Dining for dinner, definitely a preference, as we only waited once, on the last night (5 minutes), and we saw quite a crowd waiting for the timed dinners. During our evenings dining, we became acquainted with a number of the staff, including hostesses Yulia and Ekaterina, and waiters Allan, Prescious and Jumadi (the kids called him Jumanji, a ribbing he took with grace). We learned from them a little of life aboard ship, and a glimpse into the true United Nations which makes up the crew and staff. Our most gracious host was Allwyn, whose unforgettable baritone and broad smile brought warmth to the entire room. We'll also remember Russian bartender Yulia and Belarussian bartender Marion in the Sportsbar. OK, we may be different. We like to get to know people, and we found that the staff responded in kind. These folks cared deeply about our on-board experience, and it made a big difference. Because the kids were with us, we never tried the David's Steakhouse. Also, the food and dining experience was so good in the Normandie Room that we minimized our trips to the Lido Buffet, which was crowded at all times, despite the ample stations. No one lacked for quantity or quality, although some level of study of the buffet is helpful. First, we gave up on the deli, which had long lines at all times (please, you want a sandwich on a cruise ship?). My son ate strombolis or pizzas every day, which are very fresh. I preferred the carving station, which always presented fresh beef, lamb or pork, and a tuna, salmon or other meaty fish. The ship was certainly beautiful, although the renaissance decor is not for everyone. Based upon one or two reviews I read of trips which took place somewhat earlier in the fall, we were probably fortunate that our cruise took place after the two week dry dock. We found it crystal clean, sparkling and comfortable. Camp Carnival was great for both kids. The evening Vegas style shows and comedy also exceeded our expectations, in both quality and enjoyment, and, because of the quality of the daily newsletter, we never lacked for activities for all of us. We were only disappointed with the ports of call. Certainly the weather was a factor, because we hit that cold front. However, wouldn't the schedule work better if we hit Canaveral last instead of first? Then we wouldn't have to quit Freeport, the most enjoyable stop, in early afternoon. There's another we chose this cruise: Value. We got way more than our money's worth. Thanks.

First Time's A Charm

Carnival Pride Cruise Review by jchaddsford

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2010
  • Destination: Bahamas
While waiting for two hours to board on our first cruise, we wondered whether the trip would turn into a disappointment. All concerns were washed away with the first Boddingtons that evening at dinner in the Normandie dining room. From that moment, except for the cool weather during our ports of call, the entire cruise was the fulfillment of our hopes for this family vacation.



The overriding factor which made our trip so enjoyable was the extraordinary staff. In any vacation, certain memories fade and some linger, but in our case, the ones that will stay with us the most are the interactions with the Pride employees. Every day, they went far out of their way to ensure that we felt very, very special. Jose, our 5th floor steward, maintained our quarters in spotless condition all week, and remembered our names from the first day. We looked forward to our return from excursions or shipboard activities each late afternoon in anticipation of the towel animal (the most creative was the ape hanging from a ceiling vent). The Camp Carnival also took great care of our children, 11 & 8, making sure that each had age-appropriate activities to enjoy. But the most memorable part of every day were breakfasts and dinners in the Normandie Room. We chose Your Time Dining for dinner, definitely a preference, as we only waited once, on the last night (5 minutes), and we saw quite a crowd waiting for the timed dinners. During our evenings dining, we became acquainted with a number of the staff, including hostesses Yulia and Ekaterina, and waiters Allan, Prescious and Jumadi (the kids called him Jumanji, a ribbing he took with grace). We learned from them a little of life aboard ship, and a glimpse into the true United Nations which makes up the crew and staff. Our most gracious host was Allwyn, whose unforgettable baritone and broad smile brought warmth to the entire room. We'll also remember Russian bartender Yulia and Belarussian bartender Marion in the Sportsbar.



OK, we may be different. We like to get to know people, and we found that the staff responded in kind. These folks cared deeply about our on-board experience, and it made a big difference.



Because the kids were with us, we never tried the David's Steakhouse. Also, the food and dining experience was so good in the Normandie Room that we minimized our trips to the Lido Buffet, which was crowded at all times, despite the ample stations. No one lacked for quantity or quality, although some level of study of the buffet is helpful. First, we gave up on the deli, which had long lines at all times (please, you want a sandwich on a cruise ship?). My son ate strombolis or pizzas every day, which are very fresh. I preferred the carving station, which always presented fresh beef, lamb or pork, and a tuna, salmon or other meaty fish.



The ship was certainly beautiful, although the renaissance decor is not for everyone. Based upon one or two reviews I read of trips which took place somewhat earlier in the fall, we were probably fortunate that our cruise took place after the two week dry dock. We found it crystal clean, sparkling and comfortable.



Camp Carnival was great for both kids. The evening Vegas style shows and comedy also exceeded our expectations, in both quality and enjoyment, and, because of the quality of the daily newsletter, we never lacked for activities for all of us. We were only disappointed with the ports of call. Certainly the weather was a factor, because we hit that cold front. However, wouldn't the schedule work better if we hit Canaveral last instead of first? Then we wouldn't have to quit Freeport, the most enjoyable stop, in early afternoon.



There's another we chose this cruise: Value. We got way more than our money's worth. Thanks.
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