Carnival Pride Pre-Wedding Tour Review

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#1
Baltimore, MD
2,741 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
We had an amazing time on our ship site inspection yesterday. We were allowed four people in all so our group was: me, FI, my Mom and my Grammy (who had never cruised before). It was really easy to get to the port, park and get through security. Once we were through security, we were put into the room with the waiting wedding parties. There were two embarkation weddings occurring yesterday; a very small one and a very large one. For those who don't want their partner to see them on their wedding day, it may be very difficult--the room is a large rectangle with no columns or barriers. I would have taken a picture, but Customs doesn't allow for that since their offices are located in this area.

Once the wedding parties were boarded (at 12:20) we followed up their group and got on. The coordinator from a Wedding for You figured out who we were and once we were on the ship gave us the general run down. She then offered to let us view the wedding in the Taj from the balcony (with the brides permission, of course) which was set to take place at 1:30 and look at their reception area (Butterflies) to get a feel for how the space is set up. Since we had 45 minutes before the ceremony started we went to see Beauties Disco and the Ivory Piano Bar, which we unexpectedly fell in love with. We also managed to get behind the closed doors of the hallways with cabins, so my Grammy could get a look at one.

The snippit of wedding that we viewed was gorgeous, but the Taj is definitely not for us given the Atlantic City glitz and awkward placement of the altar and officiant. We were overall most curious about the workings of the thing (rehearsals, photographer placement, etc). The couple opted for videography, at which point the CCL staff (two videographers) miced the groom onstage and then the officiant came to the stage to tell everyone to stand when the music started. There were also two CCL photographers present, plus it seemed that the couple had their own professional/guest who brought his own fancy camera complete with speedlight/flashgun. My Mom noticed that the CCL photogs said something to him and he stopped taking pictures, until the ceremony started and then he was jockeying with the CCL photogs for pictures. The whole scene must have been very crowded for the guests sitting in the “audience” because there were a total of five photographers all over the stage, plus the officiant standing in the middle of the aisle. In other words, I'm not sure what they'll do to you for bringing your own professional because they didn't do anything in this instance.

I took a picture of the set-up, but made sure to remove the bridal party from it.

The whole thing went by really fast and seemed very rushed with little coordination or rehearsal. The Wedding For You coordinators, while friendly, treated some of the guests like it was a cattle call once they boarded the ship and they commented on it as they were herded down the hallway to the lounge.
After the wedding we had lunch on Lido and then met with the Guest Services person who helps with on-board weddings and vow renewals. She was able to tell us more about vow renewals and answer any of our lingering questions about embarkation weddings.

Some thoughts for future brides...
1) Ask your coordinator about playing instrumental music before the start of the ceremony--otherwise your guests are sitting in awkward silence.

2) If you do tour, the Wedding For You people will let you guide yourself without an escort. The Guest Services person will guide you around the ship and then promptly escort you off the ship, so it's more difficult to explore on your own.

Also, to answer your questions that people asked me find answers for…

Could you ask how soon before the ceremony the photographer usually arrives and how long he/she stays? The photographer should arrive as soon as you get on the ship.

If there's more than one wedding taking place on the ship, does each wedding party get a separate, dedicated coordinator?
Each wedding does get their own coordinator. There were two that day and there was one coordinator with the large group and one with the small, however, the small ceremony coordinator did help the large ceremony coordinator corral the guests in the lounge.

Are the photos edited? The photos are edited and they will fix or edit anything the couple wishes.

How are the photographers selected? The photographers who do weddings do workshops in wedding photography and there are only a few on each ship who are allowed to do it.
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#2
Arlington, VA
959 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Thanks for sharing your tour review with us! This is such helpful information, especially the part about the music ahead of time. I hadn't even thought of that! That little note just went into my binder.

And so glad to hear that the photographers are trained for weddings. I do hope we get a good one.
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Past Fun!
7-Day Exotic Caribbean, Carnival Glory, May 2015 (Sister Cruise with the Twin)
8-Day Southern Caribbean Repo, Carnival Splendor, November 2014
7-Day Bahamas, Carnival Pride, March 2014 (Girls Cruise with the Twin and Grandma)
6-Day Caribbean, Carnival Breeze, January 2014 (Bday Cruise)
9-Day Repo, RCL Grandeur of the Seas, April 2013 (Honeymoon Cruise)
3-Day Bahamas, Carnival Imagination, April 2013 (Wedding Cruise!)
3-Day Bahamas, Norwegian Sky, June 2012 (Just Because)
4-Day Bahamas, RCL Majesty of the Seas, January 2012 (Birthday Cruise)
4-Day Bahamas, Norwegian Sky, October 2011 (Halloween Cruise)
4-Day Bahamas, Norwegian Sky, June 2011 (Last-minute Summer Getaway)
7-Day Western Caribbean, Norwegian Spirit, January 2011 (Bday Cruise with the Twin)
3-Day Bahamas, Norwegian Sky, April 2010 (Officially Obsessed With Cruising)
3-Day Bahamas, Norwegian Sky, January 2009 (Bday Cruise and First Cruise)
#3
1,365 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Thank you for your review. Oddly enough, I learned more from your review than my own tour! Smh.

I'm glad you liked the piano bar. What were your thoughts on how to use the space for reception?
Where was the smaller wedding?
How was butterflies set up for the reception?

thanks for tip about music playing before hand. Were guests held hostage in the ceremony room?
#4
Baltimore, MD
2,741 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by Herbaltees
Thank you for your review. Oddly enough, I learned more from your review than my own tour! Smh.

I'm glad you liked the piano bar. What were your thoughts on how to use the space for reception?
Where was the smaller wedding?
How was butterflies set up for the reception?

thanks for tip about music playing before hand. Were guests held hostage in the ceremony room?
I'm glad you found it mildly informative. Did you do your tour with the Carnival rep or the Wedding for You lady? I sent you an email :-D

We really liked the piano bar and after seeing other bride's photos, we think it could work for our small group. Due to the rectangular shape and unmovable tables I wouldn't recommend it for larger groups. Anything food and drink related is done from the bar so that there is space to walk around.

The smaller wedding was in the Chapel--It was a very small group (Bride, Groom and a handful of guests). I'm not sure if they had a reception or where they may have had it because the Disco and Piano Bar were not set up for weddings.

I'm not sure what I was expecting for a Butterflies reception, but their set up is definitely not it. They had long food tables set up to the left and right of the stage and the cake table was in the middle--so imagine a weird "H" pattern. There was no room for dancing and a little bit of space for mingling.

The guests for the larger wedding were herded to the Taj, but once they were there, they were allowed to go get DoD's and specialty coffees if they had S&S cards. A lot of them were sailing because the Bride's sister was getting married in one of the port's later in the week--so that family had two weddings in one week! There also wasn't really anywhere for them to go because they couldn't get in their rooms and it would have taken forever to get through the food bars on Lido, so it made sense to stay put.
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<center></center>Carnival Pride (Baltimore) 2/7/10-Bahamas Snowmageddon Escape
Carnival Glory (New York) 6/19/10-Canada

Carnival Glory (Boston) 6/10/12- Canadian B2B!
Carnival Glory (Boston) 6/14/12-Canadian B2B!
Carnival Pride (Baltimore) 11/2/12-Superstorm Sandy Special!
Carnival Pride (Baltimore) 1/13/13-
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Carnival Pride (Baltimore) 2/24/13- Honeymoon to the Bahamas

Carnival Glory (Boston) 06/16/13-Canadian B2B to Platinum!
Carnival Glory (Boston) 06/20/13- B2B Birthday Princess Cruise
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Carnival Freedom (Ft. Lauderdale) 11/23/14-Thanksgiving with Dr. Seuss!

Carnival Pride (Baltimore) 10/26/2015 First Trip to Bermuda!
Carnival Sunshine (New York) 10/8/2016-Canada
#5
1,365 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
We toured with the carnival rep. I wish I was able to speak with the wedding coordinator instead.

Thanks for the email, great info to have it all compiled like that. I am going to use it it put together a portfolio of must have shots for the photographer. We have chosen the piano bar and Ive been trying to envision what that would look like. So the info is especially helpful.
#6
1,365 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
This just occurred to me after reading your review. What do the sailing guests do with their carrying luggage if the wedding is embarkation day? Do they leave it all in the brides room?
#7
Beaumont, TX
758 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Herbaltees
This just occurred to me after reading your review. What do the sailing guests do with their carrying luggage if the wedding is embarkation day? Do they leave it all in the brides room?
I'd like to know the answer to this also. Even though its several months old.
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#8
Millington, TN
193 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Herbaltees
This just occurred to me after reading your review. What do the sailing guests do with their carrying luggage if the wedding is embarkation day? Do they leave it all in the brides room?
Oh wow I hadn't thought of this!!! Hope someone can answer.
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#10
Virginia
2,200 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Yikes! I need to hurry up and book ours
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Jessica & Mark




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#11
Miami
90 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Red84
Oh wow I hadn't thought of this!!! Hope someone can answer.
According to the paperwork I received from CCL, sailing guests will be able to leave their luggage in their stateroom even if it's not ready. I am suggesting to my sailing guests to purchase the Faster to Fun. Having purchased this in the past, my room has been ready and my luggage has gotten to my room quickly.