Comments on a Carnival Cruise from A Princess Perspective

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#41
TX
20 Posts
Joined May 2017
I haven't been on Princess yet (sailing Royal Princess out of Barcelona in Sept!) but we've done several Carnival cruises with our kids. I'm looking forward to a little less booze-cruise atmosphere BUT I'm dreading the lack of that fabulous chocolate melting cake dessert!!!
#42
Port Charlotte, FL
260 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Your review was spot on. I am booked on my 1st Princess cruise after 6 Carnival and 1 each on RC and Norwegian.
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#43
Virgina
4,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by planner123456
I haven't been on Princess yet (sailing Royal Princess out of Barcelona in Sept!) but we've done several Carnival cruises with our kids. I'm looking forward to a little less booze-cruise atmosphere BUT I'm dreading the lack of that fabulous chocolate melting cake dessert!!!


Order the love boat dream. It's not warm but it is like a giant heart shaped chocolate truffle.


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Royal Caribbean February 2000 (Eastern)
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#44
10,610 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
The best way I can describe the difference - Both of the performers on Carnival had been on Comedy Central and were fresh off appearing in NYC comedy clubs. Princess I think still runs out Billy Vader.

Originally posted by Steelers0854
This +1,000, we loved the comedy on our Carnival cruise not only for the frequency but for the quality. Princess' comedy is a fleeting thought where carnival really does a great job.
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#45
10,610 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Oddly, this was the dessert we liked the least - I preferred the Cherry pie a la mode....

That said, while certainly more than adequate the pastry chef would not have been considered a big plus on this particular trip. Breads etc were fine, but nothing special.

Originally posted by planner123456
I haven't been on Princess yet (sailing Royal Princess out of Barcelona in Sept!) but we've done several Carnival cruises with our kids. I'm looking forward to a little less booze-cruise atmosphere BUT I'm dreading the lack of that fabulous chocolate melting cake dessert!!!
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#46
1,116 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by planner123456
I haven't been on Princess yet (sailing Royal Princess out of Barcelona in Sept!) but we've done several Carnival cruises with our kids. I'm looking forward to a little less booze-cruise atmosphere BUT I'm dreading the lack of that fabulous chocolate melting cake dessert!!!


Don't worry, there are plenty of amazing chocolate desserts, my favorite is the chocolate mousse from the International Cafe. It's amazing!
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Carnival:
Miracle 2017 Mex Riviera

DCL:
Wonder 2017 Caribbean

NCL:
Spirit 2010 Caribbean

Princess:
Ruby Princess 2017 Mex Riviera, Royal Princess 2016 Eastern Caribbean, Emerald Princess 2015 Caribbean, Star Princess 2013 Alaska, Crown Princess 2012 Caribbean, Emerald Princess 2010 Caribbean, Caribbean Princess 2007 Caribbean, Caribbean Princess 2006 Caribbean

RCCL:
Oasis 2018 Eastern Caribbean

Windstar:
Wind Surf 2000 Caribbean
#47
illinois
312 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
I am elite on Princess and almost Platinum on Carnival. In general, I prefer Princess. However, I sail mostly solo so Carnival is more affordable for me. I always enjoy my Carnival cruises, but 2 things i always miss is having a fridge in my cabin (always a balcony), and the freshwater pools on Princess.
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#48
New Jersey
78 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Ok, people, tell me why I just booked 10 days on Princess with hubby, mom, and mother-in-law?
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#50
League City, TX
40,056 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by A&Jfamily
Order the love boat dream. It's not warm but it is like a giant heart shaped chocolate truffle.

It used to be my favorite dessert. But then Princess:
a) replaced the crunchy bottom with soft cake
b) no longer had the piece of Godiva chocolate on top
c) changed the fantastic and rich chocolate inside to be little better than Jello pudding
#51
Tampa, Florida area
12,056 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
A few years ago, after 20+ Princess cruises, I sort of reluctantly did a 4 day Caribbean cruise to the Caribbean out of Tampa with some family members. I booked last minute ..... OV cabin for a really cheap fare, and the other pluses were that for a change I would be sailing out of Tampa (I reside in the Tampa area), and that meant no flight to the embarkation port and no pre-cruise hotel cost.
While I missed some of my Princess Elite perks, it was only a 4 days cruise, and it was a better experience that I expected it to be. The ship, the Carnival Paradise, was obviously older, and not as spiffy as what I have come to expect on Princess ships, and the decor was outdated and to me, rather ugly. My OV cabin was, while dark and furnished rather sparsely, but at the same time felt like it had more open space than the average balcony cabin on Princess, and the bathroom was surprisingly spacious and attractive, and looked updated. The steward, though rarely seen, did an OK job.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the meals I chose in the dining room. The service was decent, Nothing about any of the food really stuck in my mind as being outstanding. But I wasn't served anything that totally turned me off either.
We didn't go to any of the shows or entertainment venues. We were on the cruise for a little escape from the daily humdrum, and some family time.
Would I do it again??? ....... Hard to say because while it met what we were looking for, there wasn't anything special enough to make me want to get on a Carnival ship again. However, for a really cheap fare for a quick getaway, I might think about it.
I just know that when I boarded my next Princess cruise, my feeling was "Ahhh! It's so nice to be back home". I could appreciate even more all the things I love about being a Princess cruiser.
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Completed cruises: (377 days on Princess ... so far!)
2004 Coral Princess (Panama Canal & W. Caribbean)
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2006 Island Princess (Hawai'i)
2007 Sea Princess (Southern Caribbean)
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2014 Carnival Paradise - First ever non-Princess cruise - just a quickie with family!
2014 Caribbean Princess (9 day B2B with friends)
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2016 Caribbean Princess (30 day EB T/A including British Isles itinerary)
2016 Pacific Princess (17 day T/A Rome to FLL)

2017 Pacific Princess (23 days Dover to Venic77

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#52
North Texas
711 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
[COLOR=#6C6F72 !important]robthens [/color]

2 Reviews
Member Since 2005
633 Forum Posts



Overall Member Rating


Princess is still my favorite

Sail Date: April 2017
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Galveston


I'll start by saying we are elite status with Princess. We kept an open mind on this 5 day Carnival cruise.

ROOM

Balcony room was as expected. Bathroom small but shower larger than Princess. Never had to worry about water on the floor. Towel were nice but bed linens were very worn. The first night I discovered "stains" on the sheets. So gross, I slept on the couch. Steward changed sheets the next day. Our steward met our needs. Our friends had a suite on the same floor. Their room had not been cleaned throughly. Dirty glasses in the fridge & trash in the closet.

SHIP

Ship decor is hard to explain. Gaudy is the first thing that comes to mind. The decorators must have never heard that sometimes "less is more".

DRESS

Dress is extremely casual ! On "dress up night", my DH wore tux. We saw only 2 other men wearing them. We did see a few men in suits. Ladies were nicely dressed.

DINING

We had fixed late seating & sat with friends at a booth. Service was awful the first night but definitely improved on the 2nd night. Was shocked that we used the same silverware for all courses except dessert. No tablecloths were used. We did have cloth napkins. LOL

We enjoyed the menu options and food was tasty. (Desserts not so much)

During the latter part of service, the maitre 'd begins his talk which goes on & on. Then one of the crew begins singing (sometimes 2 long songs). Next, the assistant waiters jump up on the serving tables & "dance". Napkins are expected to twirl the whole time. Of course dinner service stops during this "entertainment". We saw numerous people leave during the production. Then the maitre'd talks again.

We ate breakfast at the buffet once (that was enough), main dining & room service were fine. Options were very limited.

Lunch option were plentiful. Burger bar had long lines but worth the wait. Deli sandwich bar was awful. Desserts had no flavor. Ice cream was a big hit.

BAR SERVICE

It does not exist. You go up to a bar & order. Drinks were good. Would have drank more but bar staff was always backed up. Guess there were a lot of people that didn't mind standing in line because there were a lot of "drunks"

Embarkation & Disembarkation ---- Muster drill

My advice is to go & leave at your convince. We let the crew take our luggage getting on & off. It didn't seem that any guidelines were followed

Best thing I can say about muster drill is that you don't have to take your life jacket. Other than that, 3,000+ passengers & an unorganized crew makes for an hour of my life I can never get back.

SHOWS

Missed the first night because it conflicted with our dinner time. Two other night their were production show. Bring your ear plugs (loud). We were entertained but below substandard to ones we have seen on other ship. Choreography was the issue not the singers & dancers.

Magician was really entertaining.

SHORE EXCURSIONS. --- All on our own ---- we have been to these ports before

Cozumel - $17 taxi ride for 4 people to Mr Sanchos Beach (free private beach)

We did the pay as you go option. Also got the fish spa pedicures.

It was a "muy bien".

Progresso - we love this town. We went straight to the beach for massages. $15 for an hour. We leave the women a $10 tip. Then a nice lunch at one of the local places. A stop at the pharmacia (one block from the beach). Finally, a little shopping in the tourist area. Less


Published 04/28/17
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#53
Two Rivers, Wisc.
1,600 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Thanks, Loonbeam for a great post and comparison. Carnival still has a stigma they don't deserve in my opinion. I've only been on 1 Carnival cruise but it was fine. It was in 2003 on the Glory when she was new, I had a great time. The food in the dining room, buffet area was way better than I expected. I wasn't real crazy about the layout of the ship trying to get from point A to B, but this comes from years of Princess or Royal Caribbean.

I sail with Princess, trying to do certain itineraries, I did sail with RCI for the Med & TA in 2015 because I wanted to see Venice without having to fly there or go through Rome. If I saw something on Carnival I might go again, but I do like the perks on Princess and RCI.

Cruising is personal and never tell anyone don't try a cruise line based on me, go and form your own opinion. I realize there are people who insist their choice is the best and only choice, but I can't go down that road.
#54
10,610 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Someone just mentioned Muster Drill and I didn't. I thought Carnival did a FAR better job here than Princess usually does. The announcements were taken far more seriously especially the ones about fire and how special needs are handled, and they made sure everyone on the way out knew where their lifeboats were (it's worth noting that several stations did have to stand outside, but they didn't make people go out until last minute and the entire process was over in 30-40 mins with the outside groups being dismissed first (and dismissing the groups in stages helped a lot with the usual post muster elevator rush..). I actually thought from a safety standpoint one of the best we have ever been through.
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#55
1,116 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by Loonbeam
Someone just mentioned Muster Drill and I didn't. I thought Carnival did a FAR better job here than Princess usually does. The announcements were taken far more seriously especially the ones about fire and how special needs are handled, and they made sure everyone on the way out knew where their lifeboats were (it's worth noting that several stations did have to stand outside, but they didn't make people go out until last minute and the entire process was over in 30-40 mins with the outside groups being dismissed first (and dismissing the groups in stages helped a lot with the usual post muster elevator rush..). I actually thought from a safety standpoint one of the best we have ever been through.


Unfortunately I have to completely disagree, our experience aboard the Miracle was completely different. We all stood outside for over 30 minutes while they waited for stragglers to show up. You could barely hear the announcements and because lining up is first come you can't see anything from the back rows that they are demonstrating. Most of the passengers were frustrated and hot and just wanted to leave.

Give me my Princess muster station in a lounge all day any day compared to that nightmare. Also, you mention about safety, remember that the vast majority of muster calls are done without the need to abandon ship. If I have to wait at a muster station in an emergency I don't want to spend hours standing on deck when I can be comfortably seated in a lounge protected from the elements.
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Carnival:
Miracle 2017 Mex Riviera

DCL:
Wonder 2017 Caribbean

NCL:
Spirit 2010 Caribbean

Princess:
Ruby Princess 2017 Mex Riviera, Royal Princess 2016 Eastern Caribbean, Emerald Princess 2015 Caribbean, Star Princess 2013 Alaska, Crown Princess 2012 Caribbean, Emerald Princess 2010 Caribbean, Caribbean Princess 2007 Caribbean, Caribbean Princess 2006 Caribbean

RCCL:
Oasis 2018 Eastern Caribbean

Windstar:
Wind Surf 2000 Caribbean
#56
North Texas
711 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
As I posted in my review of the Carnival Valor, the only good thing about Carnival muster drill is you don't have to bring your life jacket. Totally unorganized. All the passengers out on deck. Standing & waiting for "no shows". Drunk people !!! Instruction that cannot be understood & the "best/lol" is everyone tries to leave at the same time.

Never again on carnival.
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2017 Caribbean/Carnival Valor .... Puerto Vallarta
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2016 Mexican Riviera/Ruby Princess
2015Alaska/CrownPrincess...Canada/Caribbean Princess Caribbean/Caribbean Princess
2014 & 2015 Caribbean/Emerald Princess
2014 Alaska/Princess
2013/14 Caribbean/Carnival Magic
2013 Alaska/Princess
2012/13 Caribbean/Crown Princess
2012 Nordlys/Northern coast of Norway
2012 Caribbean/Carnival
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#58
League City, TX
40,056 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Loonbeam
Someone just mentioned Muster Drill and I didn't. I thought Carnival did a FAR better job here than Princess usually does. The announcements were taken far more seriously especially the ones about fire and how special needs are handled, and they made sure everyone on the way out knew where their lifeboats were (it's worth noting that several stations did have to stand outside, but they didn't make people go out until last minute and the entire process was over in 30-40 mins with the outside groups being dismissed first (and dismissing the groups in stages helped a lot with the usual post muster elevator rush..). I actually thought from a safety standpoint one of the best we have ever been through.
Worst part of my cruise on Carnival.
o Had to stand outside for over 30 minutes in 40 degree weather (most people did not bring sweaters or jackets to the drill) with a wind blowing.
o Knowing where lifeboats are does no good if the situation prevents you from getting to that lifeboat. Much prefer Princess method of being inside in an actual emergency with crew leading you to available lifecraft if needed.

Only worse experience was on RCCL where we had to stand outside with the exhaust from the refueling barge aimed directly at us the entire time.
#60
10,610 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Okay, full disclosure, we were one of the groups in a lounge...

That said, it did seem to me that they made a conscious effort to minimize time spent standing outside. As I noted though, it seemed like the staff/management on this particular ship really did pay attention to such things, I am sure there are crews that do not.

My one issue with the lounge based drills is too many people don't seem to take them seriously at all.

Originally posted by caribill
Worst part of my cruise on Carnival.
o Had to stand outside for over 30 minutes in 40 degree weather (most people did not bring sweaters or jackets to the drill) with a wind blowing.
o Knowing where lifeboats are does no good if the situation prevents you from getting to that lifeboat. Much prefer Princess method of being inside in an actual emergency with crew leading you to available lifecraft if needed.

Only worse experience was on RCCL where we had to stand outside with the exhaust from the refueling barge aimed directly at us the entire time.
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