The ship that started it all inspired one critic to declare that "Seabourn is in a class by itself." And in 1988, when the sleek, 10,000-ton Pride emerged from the Schichau Seebeckwerft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany, that was literally true. At that time, most ships of Pride's size (and there were more then than now) carried more than 400 guests. Seabourn Pride, christened by Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, topped out at half that many. The idea that every guest sailed in an expansive, ocean-view suite was revolutionary. The concept of open-seating dining accommodating all guests was exceptional. And the notion of including nearly everything for the cost of the fare was a rare thing as well. But the most important element of the Seabourn experience, to founding president Warren S. Titus, was the unparalleled level of personalized service provided to guests. Hand-picked staff, recruited from the finest European hospitality schools and hostelries, are re-trained and managed according to the philosophy that every request is a golden opportunity to create delight, that the unexpected pleasure is what truly makes an experience memorable, and that the rendering of the very best service is a product of professional pride, not influenced by the expectation of a gratuity. That remains a core value of all Seabourn ships today. By a trick of history, Seabourn Pride and its sisters remain as exceptional today as they were when launched - in a class by themselves.