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Nina

Age: 55

Occupation:Teacher

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Pride

Sailing Date: 04-11-2009

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

This was our first cruise, and I must say that it couldn't have been better! We were a group of 32 celebrating the upcoming high school graduation of our friends' children. My husband and I will definitely be going on another Carnival cruise; we loved the food, the days at sea, and especially the time in St. Maarten. You really don't have to set up excursions beforehand; when you get off the boat there are plenty of vans, buses, cabs to take you anywhere you want to go for reasonable prices.

The ship was very clean. Our cabin steward was the nicest man who anticipated our needs before we even knew what we needed. He was highly professional and was extremely personable, as were all of the staff members we encountered on the ship. Our cabin was immaculate thanks to this wonderful man.

Each day we had plenty of places on the sun deck to walk to get exercise...we HAD to walk off all of the wonderful food. There was something for everyone. One point that I found particularly helpful was that passengers could get lunch as soon as we got onto the boat. Our luggage was delivered within two hours of embarkation. Dinner at 6 every night...we chose the early dinner and had "Big Al" as our waiter. He was incredible and made our dining such a pleasure. He remembered our "likes and dislikes" after only one night.

The guest services desk was very helpful and very patient, especially on the last two days when passengers were ready to close their accounts. We had a slight problem with a banking issue, and the person helping us gave us the ship's phone so that we could make a call to our bank in North Carolina.at no charge . The issue was quickly resolved, thanks to the helpful guest services staff. We noticed how well they handled rude passengers, also.

Getting off the ship was a bit hectic, but their system was efficient if not pleasant.

My advice to first-time cruisers is this: As in all things, keep an open mind. Nothing is perfect, and nothing is cheap anymore. Just expect to have fun, take good books, and relax.

We are already looking into our next trip with Carnival!

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