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  #1  
Old September 15th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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Duanerice1 Duanerice1 is offline
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Default Just back from Carnival

We just returned from a 4 night Carnival Cruise aboard the Imagination. Left Miami on Thursday and went to Key West, Cozumel and then a sea day before we returned. This was the cruise we rescheduled from our canceled one 2 weeks ago. I am writing this because I am sure there are other Celebrity die hards that like to venture out.

We had a blast! Was it anything like the CC class on Celebrity that we usually take? No Way, but that's not what we expected.

Each year we usually take 1 week on a M class ship, in Concierge Class. Sometime during the year we try to take a weekend cruise just to get a way. It is usually Carnival and always an inside cabin. It's easier for us since we live 2 1/2 hours from the pier.

Differences we knew going in:
Length: 4 nights vs 7 nights
Cabin: Inside vs CC class with a balcony
Ship size: 70 tons vs 90 tons (or pretty close)
Cost: $522 vs $2,500 (appx)

We have to take all this into consideration when rating a ship or cruise.

We arrived at the pier around 12:00 and had to wait about 30 minutes to board, not bad. Bad thing was that to park you had to pay in $48 in cash. in Ft Lauderdale you can charge it. Hope everyone brought enough cash. Getting off the ship was different. Carnival has a "self debarkation" routine. Not sure that's what they call it, but that's what I call it. If you want to get off the ship without waiting for your luggage color to be called, they have a special debarkation starting around 7:30. You need to take all your bags and when they make the announcement, you can take your bags and get off the ship. Unfortunately, many, many others had the same idea. The wait in line to get off the ship was about 30 minutes depending what floor you were on. Luckily for us we were on the floor that you needed to be to get off the ship. We were in our car by 8:30 a.m. Not sure if I would do this again, or take a leisurely breakfast and be one of the last one's off.

The biggest differences we noticed were the room, food and service levels (anything left?). The room seemed really tiny and we were always in each others way. But, we reserved a guarantee inside, so we can't complain. We actually were upgraded to the Empress deck (7th ). Nice location. The bathroom was a big letdown compared to the CC bathroom.

The food was not even close to anything you'd get on Celebrity. But it was OK. Didn't bother us because we knew this going in. The hamburgers and hot dogs were good, but the dining room can't hold a candle to Celebrity. A pain for us was that we were towards the front of the ship and the only place you could get anything to drink was at the back of the ship up on the Lido deck. That was a pain at times especially if you just wanted water or ice. On the positive side, the coffee from room service was 100% better than Celebrity. It was actually good.

As far as service, everyone was nice, always smiling and saying hi, but overall the service was not even close to Celebrity. Nice, but lacking, especially the room attendant and the waiter.

Shows were good. They had 2 comedians on a 4 night cruise. Why can't Celebrity do that? No complaints on the shows. The Cruise Director was one of the best I have ever had. He was great! TV was great compared to Celebrity. Many channels and 3 different movies everyday. My wife loves laying around watching TV with room service. For her, it doesn't get any better than that.

Loved the cruise. Is it Celebrity? No, but I was cruising last week while others were at home. Good enough for me. Oh yea, did I tell you it was only $522 total with all taxes for 4 nights for the 2 of us There is life outside of Celebrity. Not as good, but it beats staying home. Just know what you are getting and it will sure beat staying home.
Duane

Last edited by Duanerice1; September 15th, 2005 at 04:19 PM. Reason: Spelling of course!
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  #2  
Old September 15th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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trcori trcori is offline
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Default funny

your wife sounds like my husband.
he'd just as soon spend the whole cruise in the cabin watching TV. except for 5 pm at the martini bar and early morning coffee with the GPS on deck.

one followup question, just what IS a dining-room dinner like on Carnival?

fish sticks & french fries with plastic silverware?

or what?

I've always been curious -- TR
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  #3  
Old September 15th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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Duanerice1 Duanerice1 is offline
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Default Real Silverware

TR - the dining room experience is not much different than Celebrity except for the food and service Seriously, just a step down. We hade real silverware (more than I know what to do with) real napkins, etc. They had the same fancy type dishes, just not as good. Lobster wasn't very good at all and the deserts where especially lacking.

Other than that, they had a decent selection. Always had a choice of 5 appetizers, 2 salads, 5 or 6 main courses and 5 deserts. Same stuff, just not the same quality.

But with that said, it was still good. We knew going in what to expect.

By the way, the Pizza was real good and the omelets in the morning were awesome.
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  #4  
Old September 15th, 2005, 05:58 PM
caviargal caviargal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duanerice1
TR - the dining room experience is not much different than Celebrity except for the food and service Seriously, just a step down. We hade real silverware (more than I know what to do with) real napkins, etc. They had the same fancy type dishes, just not as good. Lobster wasn't very good at all and the deserts where especially lacking.

Other than that, they had a decent selection. Always had a choice of 5 appetizers, 2 salads, 5 or 6 main courses and 5 deserts. Same stuff, just not the same quality.

But with that said, it was still good. We knew going in what to expect.

By the way, the Pizza was real good and the omelets in the morning were awesome.

I agree that the selection was decent, but the quality, presentation and service could not compare.

Each night I ordered fish and could never manage to have it served without the sauce. I was told it was already prepared and could not be changed. I would never get than answer on an X ship.

Food was often lukewarm and had to be sent back. One vegetarian dish was charred so much it was inedible. We were never offered more water, had to pour our own wine, and had to repeatedly ask for refills on coffee. At breaksfast, passengers were getting up and pouring their own.

The dining tables were very close together - there were even booths - and I personally did not care for the dancing, singing waiters, conga lines and announcements at dinner.

The omelettes were so greasy at the buffet I never went back after the first morning. I really missed the AquaSpa cuisine. Carnivals food was heavy on fats, salts, sauces and I had a hard time finding things to eat that were healthy.

The only good dining experience was the specialty restaurant. At 30pp, we dined there twice. It was worth it for the ambiance, the service and the very good food.

Just my experience.
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  #5  
Old September 15th, 2005, 06:43 PM
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Unhappy Differences

We found that the food was not up to Celebrity, but not as bad as our last Carnival cruise. They have made improvements.

The biggest disappointment was the service. We have had better service at a banquet. On two occassions the bus boy removed my DW plate before she was finished. On the second formal night, she actually ordered a second labster tail and it never arrived in spite of a second request. There is no pampering here.

Don
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  #6  
Old September 15th, 2005, 08:06 PM
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I will be on my first Celebrity cruise in 2 weeks from today, and, while I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy the fine service Celebrity has to offer, I've had nothing but great service on my Carnival cruises. I've always been served what I've asked for and then some. I would order things that weren't on the menu and my servers, if they couldn't do it that night, would always comply with my speciality request the next. I am, however, very empathic about how hard the servers on Carnival have to work and how many tables they are assigned. I do not go on Carnival cruises for the food...I go for the fun!
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  #7  
Old September 15th, 2005, 08:36 PM
hdawson hdawson is offline
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I've been on 4 Carnival, 4 Royal Caribbean, 5 Celebrity and a few others. I found service on all these to be good to excellent. Of course Celebrity has been excellent. Likewise the food and presentation on Celebrity is top notch. However, I've found the food in the DR on Carnival to be a bit better than on Royal Caribbean. Love the West Indian Pumpkin Soup and they seem to have more seafood choices. The OP mentions the tiny cabin. Well, of course it wasn't a CC cabin, the standard cabins on Carnival ships are the biggest standards in the industry at I believe about 180 sqft. Overall his review is very good and about what I've found. I get soooooo tired of those that seem to live to bash Carnival or other line.
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  #8  
Old September 15th, 2005, 09:29 PM
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JNLROSE JNLROSE is offline
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Quote:
The bathroom was a big letdown compared to the CC bathroom.
Ok, I just have to ask........huh??? What letdowns? Details please.
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  #9  
Old September 16th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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Duanerice1 Duanerice1 is offline
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Default Had a great time!

JNLROSE,
The sink was what you'd find in a 1960's Holiday Inn. No cabinets of any kind, no where to put anything, basically just a sink that had seen it's better days. Shower was very small, and the water kept fluctuating between hot, cold, hot, cold. Towels were OK. If you sat of the toilet your knees would pretty much touch the walls. No mat/rug on the floor. The overall condition was... I wouldn't call it dirty, just very worn as was the rest of the cabin. I've had worse and I've had better. It served our purpose.

They say the rooms are 180 sq ft. I have to disagree. It was nowhere close to that. There was no room at all to move around. Our CC cabin on Celebrity is 190 and is easily 1/3rd bigger, not 10 sq ft. The 2A class cabins (now 1A?) on Celebrity are what, 171 sq ft? They are bigger than this cabin. Again, it served our purpose. Oh yea, the bed was actually pretty comfortable as long as I stayed on my side. The middle divider was tough on the back if I wandered over. Wonder if my wife requested that

Don't forget, this was one of the older ships that are meant for the 4/3 night cruises. It didn't have alternative restaurants or any of the newer amenities. It isn't fair to compare it to the newer Carnival Ships.

I just want to stress that it was a great cruise. I am not by any means complaining about his cruise as we had a great time. I basically posted this so people do know you can have a great time on another line. Don't expect it to be Celebrity and you won't be disappointed. It's not Celebrity, but it's not meant to be, but it's fun!

Thanks for reading,
Duane
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Old September 16th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Wow, that DOES seem small!!! I couldn't imagine what you might be talking about!


Glad you had fun!
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  #11  
Old September 16th, 2005, 09:05 AM
hdawson hdawson is offline
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Duane. I'm sorry, I assumed you had at least a 4a since there are soooo very few 1a cabins. I always think of 4a as the normal standard.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 09:22 AM
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Duanerice1 Duanerice1 is offline
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Default I did have a 4A

hdawson,
I did have a 4A. Honest, it was small. I just can't see how 10 more sq ft would equal the CC cabin we stay in There is no way.

Since the room was probably 8 feet wide by the bed, that's like adding just over 1 foot to the room. Either Carnival is overstating their rooms or Celebrity is understating them.

I guess that is why I was surprised, because I thought how much smaller could 10 sq ft be? I forgot how much smaller the rooms were. If these are 180, I'd be afraid to see what the other cruise lines offer.

Either way - it was great!
Duane
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Old September 16th, 2005, 09:33 AM
hdawson hdawson is offline
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Duane. Royal Caribbean's Vision class are about 145 sqft. Voyager and Radiance class are about 164 sqft. Soverign class about 124 sqft. Celebrity standard inside or oceanview are 172 sqft fleetwide.
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  #14  
Old September 16th, 2005, 11:05 AM
Coolcruise02 Coolcruise02 is offline
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Oh come on, fish sticks and plastic silverware???????

This kind of remark is what makes me nervous about our upcoming Century cruise. After our first cruise on Carnival all we heard was how much better Princess/RCCL/Celebrity/etc, were. Well we decided to try them all for ourselves and guess what, they all have good points and bad points!

Out of the 9 cruises we have been on (inside,outside & balcony rooms/big ships & small ships/old & new ships) Carnival has had the BEST food and best selections and the rooms have been the biggest.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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I think what the OP is trying to say is that Carnival was pretty good, and for an additional $225 per day, Celebrity is better. The decision is, do you want to pay the extra ducats for another lobster tail?

I think it was a great comparison, without rancor. Well done.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobson's Choice
I think it was a great comparison, without rancor. Well done.
I agree. Having been on the Inspiration many years ago, I can honestly say that the OP gave a much more positive review than I would have. My best friend and I cruised on her in 1996 when she was quite new and did not care for the ship, food, nightlife and it took nine years for me to go back on a Carnival ship, the Glory this past summer. And that was a business obligation, not a vacation.

IMO, Carnival has improved in many areas and the Glory was a far better experience than the Inspiration. But, the lines are very different in my opinion and I am simply not one who enjoys the experience Carnival offers. They obviously have a lot of fans and their ships stay full.

There is a line for everyone who enjoys cruising but the differences should be considered when making a choice.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duanerice1
JNLROSE,
The sink was what you'd find in a 1960's Holiday Inn. No cabinets of any kind, no where to put anything, basically just a sink that had seen it's better days. Shower was very small, and the water kept fluctuating between hot, cold, hot, cold. Towels were OK. If you sat of the toilet your knees would pretty much touch the walls. No mat/rug on the floor. The overall condition was... I wouldn't call it dirty, just very worn as was the rest of the cabin. I've had worse and I've had better. It served our purpose.

They say the rooms are 180 sq ft. I have to disagree. It was nowhere close to that. There was no room at all to move around. Our CC cabin on Celebrity is 190 and is easily 1/3rd bigger, not 10 sq ft. The 2A class cabins (now 1A?) on Celebrity are what, 171 sq ft? They are bigger than this cabin. Again, it served our purpose. Oh yea, the bed was actually pretty comfortable as long as I stayed on my side. The middle divider was tough on the back if I wandered over. Wonder if my wife requested that

Don't forget, this was one of the older ships that are meant for the 4/3 night cruises. It didn't have alternative restaurants or any of the newer amenities. It isn't fair to compare it to the newer Carnival Ships.

I just want to stress that it was a great cruise. I am not by any means complaining about his cruise as we had a great time. I basically posted this so people do know you can have a great time on another line. Don't expect it to be Celebrity and you won't be disappointed. It's not Celebrity, but it's not meant to be, but it's fun!

Thanks for reading,
Duane
I, being a Carnival Cruiser, think your review was very fair. I do think that if you enjoyed cruising on an old Carnival ship, you would be amazed at how a new one is. I highly recommend the Miracle or any spirit class ship....if you liked the older, Immagination, you'd LOVE a newer ship.
I do agree also, that if it means getting an extra cruise is (or two ) between X cruises...then Carnival is a great way to get away from home

and NO, trcori...there are no plastic forks and french fries
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Old September 16th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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TWOFERTWO TWOFERTWO is offline
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Quote:
and NO, trcori...there are no plastic forks and french fries
If so, they have changed. Our first three cruises (starting in 1984),were on Carnival. They were using plastic utensils and paper napkins, except in the dinningroom. I liked the food and the service that we had. We moved on to, Princess, for three cruises. We tried Celebrity, this is were we belong.

I also think that Duanerice1 review was good and was fair. I also agree with the opinion of value/price, for that kind of money, how can you go wrong......of course this is my humble opinion. If the price, intinerary and length of cruise were right, we might go with Carnival, again.
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  #19  
Old September 16th, 2005, 01:48 PM
Coolcruise02 Coolcruise02 is offline
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Changes......... yes! How can you compare any cruise line from 1984 to today??
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  #20  
Old September 16th, 2005, 02:22 PM
lstrong lstrong is offline
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Default Carnival Spirit (class)

My oceanview room on this class was definitely larger and better appointed then same category on both Mercury and Galaxy. Also loved Carnival's new bedding and thought the food was very close to Celebrity and much better than RCCL. Also love that there are lots of balconies on the Spirit Class and very affordable!
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