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bryanjaync

Celebrity Cruiser first time on Carnival, the verdict !

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About us: My partner and I are in our early 50s, and have sailed on Celebrity, Azamara, NCL, and Holland. This was our first Carnival cruise. Sailing with us was my 83 year old parents, in an adjoining cabin.

The Ship: The Fantasy was well maintained, a beatiful easy to navigate ship.

Cabin: We had an ocean view cabin on the Main deck. We chose to do separate beds because I am an early riser, while the other half sleeps for 2+ more hours. They arranged separate beds in an L-shape, which leave much more usable space in the cabin. The parents had the queen bed arrangement, and it was surprising how much more space we had with separate beds. So if you don’t mind taking a break from your spouse, the separate bed, L-shape arrangement is way to go. The cabin had ample storage space for five nights, with the luggage stored beneath one of the beds. Neither we nor my parents heard any noise from adjoining cabins. The bathroom was a decent size, with the shower being larger than I had expected. A big plus was how well the drain in the shower flowed, there was no overflow onto the bathroom floor. We could not get the sink to close, but the plumber was there in five minutes after we reported and quickly fixed it. The only con to the room was the lack of a mini refrigerator, but room service provided ice buckets. Another plus from Carnival was being able to carry on one bottle of wine per person. Since neither my parents nor I drink alcohol, my partner was able to have all four bottles of wine.

Gym: The no-fee gym was well equipped with aerobic as well as weight machines. I went in the mornings at 6 (opening time), partner went at 9, and Dad went at 3, and none of us experienced a crowd. TIP: Off a hallway going to the gym is a men’s only sauna and steam room (I assume one is on the women’s side too). I don’t use them, but my partner did frequently and never saw another person there. I think most cruisers don’t even know they exist, and they are free.

On Deck: Being an early riser, I really expected to see chair hog towel in abundance. But, I never saw any reserving of chairs. On good weather days, the pool area was crowded, but with occupied chairs. But there were still plenty of places on other decks for sunning and shade. TIP: Best deck places are a) the Waterworks Park area before it opens (around 9:30). There are great views of the stern and very quiet and b) the min-golf course has tables and benches with both open deck areas and a wind shield for great view of the bow.

Food: The food was probably the biggest surprise on my first Carnival cruise. Compare to the other lines, we have sailed, Carnival had the best food! I gained 5.4 lbs. in 5 days. (I dropped 5 lbs. prior to the cruise as a precaution). Each entrée in the MDR seemed to be prepared individually; I never got the sense of a mass-production. The pastries were amazingly flaky. And the desserts were the best on any cruise, both in the MDR and the buffet. I like Fantasy’s one-floor MDRs versus the three tier arrangement on other ships, it felt more like a restaurant and less like a banquet atmosphere. We got tables for either 2 or 4, and never had to wait with Any Time Dining. In fact, I never saw anyone with a beeper. TIPS: At the buffet, the outside grill has mostly the same of the inside grill with usually much shorter lines, and the Pizza Pirate station inside the buffet does made to order omelets at breakfast. And according to my Mom, the Bistro makes a great milk shake for $3.95. Con: Had to have breakfast in the MDR to get lox, none on the buffets.

Entertainment: Definitely the entertainment was the weakest aspect of my Carnival sailing. The two mini-production shows, called Playlist production (Motown and Brits), were not too good both in scope and talent. Other ‘shows’ seemed to rely on the cruisers providing the entertainment, like game, karaoke, and talent shows. My parents like big productions, but are not really picky, and even they felt the entertainment was very poor. The second weaker aspect of the cruise was the DJs. The music, both inside and on deck was simply too loud. They could have easily turned down the volume by a third. The DJs need to learn that loud does not equal fun.

Passengers: Being my first Carnival cruise, I was bracing for drunk, obnoxious, homophobic jerks, but I really saw no difference between Carnival passengers and other cruises. Yes, there a few of “Jerry’s Kids”, as I call them. This is not a reference to Jerry Lewis’s good work with MDA. “Jerry’s Kids” refers to fellow cruisers who you just know will one day be on the Jerry Springer show. I saw maybe three ‘couples’ who over the course of the five days I think became ‘uncoupled’ due to alcohol, large bar bills and questionable socialization choices. I saw security having a talk with several of them, but no trouble.

Summary: We have decided to add Carnival to our list of cruise choices in the future.

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I thoroughly enjoy the food on Carnival too. That is indeed the one thing I really, really miss.

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Thanks for the review. I would never have thought of Carnival as having exceptionally good food.

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We went on a Carnival ship last year . The food was so boring . By the last day I did not even want to eat . We had a chance to go on a carnival ship this year at a dirt price of $600. to greece for 12 days . We talked about it for a long time . Even with the great price our free time is just too inportant . We are going on Celebrity instead .

My 7 year old girls did love the hairy Back contest on Carnival .

Bill

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We have sailed Carnival many times in the past .The food was always very good .What we don't like is the abundance of people vs Celebrity:o .Our comparison would be a Millennium class ship on Celebrity vs a Spirit class ship on Carnival . Celebrity will have about 600 less pax . We did feel the extra 600 in the atrium after dinner, the buffet ,the showroom & casino areas .

 

Because we have sailed Carnival ,we would not judge them harshly in other areas:) .After all this is why there are many cruise lines for people to select . Our preference remains Celebrity :D

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We've been on Carnival twice. the food was quite tasty and delicious; however, we found it was served warm at best most of the time. We were surprised by the food as we had heard that Carnival was not known for it's food. That was surprising.

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Thanks for the interesting review -- we've sailed Carnival many times and have always enjoyed it.

 

We find the food on Carnival a close second to Celebrity and ahead of Royal Caribbean.

 

You'll find less of the "Jerry's Kids" types on longer cruises.

 

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Food on my Carnival Breeze sailing this past NYE was actually excellent, and that's been par for the course on most of my Carnival sailings. The food was definitely better than what I had on my previous two cruises on the Oasis. I look forward to comparing it to Celebrity later this year.

 

Kind of ironic that entertainment has become Carnival's biggest shortcoming... my experience on the Breeze was exactly the same as yours. To the extent anyone still thinks Carnival has (even) average entertainment, Carnival's just living off its reputation. The entertainment really has been lacking since the most recent round of cuts.

 

Thanks for your review!

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Great review...thank you.. This review supports what I've been stating for years... that, during the last several years, the mainstream cruiselines have become more alike.. You see this more evidently with Celebrity, as they had in the past maintained particular characteristics of amenities and service (and food) which separated them from the rest.. These things have since been watered down to appeal to the masses and for cost-efficiencies..

 

We've realized that our cruise vacations are now more about what we make of them... rather than expecting any special nuances of character, which in the past separated one cruiseline from another.. Of the last 4 different cruiselines we have been on, Celebrity ranked #4 for food....quite a fall from their historic reputation.. Shows are hit-and-miss on each cruiseline (and each particular ship, for that matter).. Service has always been great on all our cruises.. Fellow passengers?...we have met tons of wonderful people on each of the cruises we've been on.

 

Thanks again for the review.

 

- Rick

Edited by Rick-cruiser

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Great review...thank you.. This review supports what I've been stating for years... that, during the last several years, the mainstream cruiselines have become more alike.. You see this more evidently with Celebrity, as they had in the past maintained particular characteristics of amenities and service (and food) which separated them from the rest.. These things have since been watered down to appeal to the masses and for cost-efficiencies..

 

We've realized that our cruise vacations are now more about what we make of them... rather than expecting any special nuances of character, which in the past separated one cruiseline from another.. Of the last 4 different cruiselines we have been on, Celebrity ranked #4 for food....quite a fall from their historic reputation.. Shows are hit-and-miss on each cruiseline (and each particular ship, for that matter).. Service has always been great on all our cruises.. Fellow passengers?...we have met tons of wonderful people on each of the cruises we've been on.

 

Thanks again for the review.

 

- Rick

 

Sorry, but I can't disagree with you more. Celebrity and Carnival are nowhere near the same cruise experience.

 

OP, thanks for your thoughtful review.

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I thoroughly enjoy the food on Carnival too. That is indeed the one thing I really, really miss.

 

Is there another Carnival cruise line? :rolleyes:I have sailed on Carnival Glory last year and food was the second worst after NCl we ever had.

And we had over 50 cruises with different lines to compare.

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Were not big cruisers, this celebrity cruise in 2 weeks will only be our third cruise. We did Carnival back in 2006 or 2007 and we had a great cruise! We are younger, but not the partying type and we had fun time. Thanks for the review

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Yes, there a few of “Jerry’s Kids”, as I call them. This is not a reference to Jerry Lewis’s good work with MDA. “Jerry’s Kids” refers to fellow cruisers who you just know will one day be on the Jerry Springer show. I saw maybe three ‘couples’ who over the course of the five days I think became ‘uncoupled’ due to alcohol, large bar bills and questionable socialization choices. I saw security having a talk with several of them, but no trouble.

Summary: We have decided to add Carnival to our list of cruise choices in the future.

 

This totally made me LOL - I'm so stealing it! My first cruise was on Carnival and I agree with most of your reflections - it's a different experience from Celebrity, but I wouldn't hesitate to sail with them again if I wanted a more "party" atmosphere. I thought the food in the MDR on Carnival was quite good (the buffet was TERRIBLE, though), and I loved their 24-hr pizza bar. Glad you had a good time!

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We don't sail Carnival very often but when we do we find it to be a great value. Some Carnival cruises are really inexpensive.

Happy someone else feels the same way. Too often people on these forums are very quick to classify Carnival as a second rate cruise line.

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We don't sail Carnival very often but when we do we find it to be a great value. Food, service, and entertainment are very similar to the other mass market lines and some Carnival cruises are really inexpensive.

Happy someone else feels the same way. Too often people on these forums are very quick to classify Carnival as a second rate cruise line.

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I thoroughly enjoy the food on Carnival too. That is indeed the one thing I really, really miss.

 

Same here - After the hype of Blu, I ended up finding each meal tasty but only one amazed me (the pecan crusted duck breast!). No desserts in Blu were as good as Carnival's molten chocolate cake. Carnival entrees have a more comfort-food appeal, like short ribs and prime rib, and then the biggest surprise of all, spaetzle! Mmmm!

Edited by Gig103

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Great review. Carnival and Celebrity are not the same cruise experience - but I enjoy then both for different reasons. When I want to cruise with family or friends and Carnival is their budget - count me in! When I want to party with my girlfriends or sisters - Carnival is FUN. When I want relaxation, romance and a more refined experience - then I'm on Celebrity. It cracks me up how so many here insist that Carnival is so inferior - my experience the MDR food is equal on both. Excellent service on both with the happiest staff on Carnival. The Carnival experience will be a much more diverse crowd - but I've never had that cause me any trouble. Loud people causing noise down the hall, falling down drunks - I've seen it on both Celebrity and Carnival :cool:

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It cracks me up how so many here insist that Carnival is so inferior - my experience the MDR food is equal on both. Excellent service on both with the happiest staff on Carnival.

 

That's something I forgot in my earlier post. The service on the Carnival Breeze was outstanding, not a single lapse the entire week. Other factors (mainly ship design and entertainment cutbacks) are the reason I won't be returning to Carnival anytime soon, but food and service were really up there.

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Wow, thanks for taking the time to post this. I started a thread yesterday, soliciting a compare/contrast of the two lines as I have done many Carnival cruises and am considering Celebrity next. This was great. Glad you enjoyed. If you liked that ship you HAVE to try the Breeze. Thanks!

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We were very pleased with our Carnival cruise, much more so than we expected to be. The only thing we were not crazy about was that the decor was much more Vegas glitz than we care for.

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WOW! I'm AMAZED!!!! I find there is no comparison between the two lines. We sailed Carnival after sailing Celebrity twice. Also the Fantasy and its sister ships are the oldest. They look like floating barges.

 

We thought the food was terrible and the singing waitstaff tacky. The ships decor tacky as well as the ship being harder to navigate. The constant Announcements and contests are just in plain bad raste. The balconies much smaller and I didn't care for the blue plexi they use. It's distorts your view. Also the doors instead of sliders are so annoying since everyone just slams them shut. I find the passengers a little less sophisticated on Carnival as well. The adult comedy was just raunchy. The most disgusting trash talk I've ever heard.

 

My husband and I vowed we would never sail Carnival again no matter how inexpensive it was. Money is not to be wasted.

 

Our favorite is celebrity. Royal Caribbean wasn't bad. We would sail them again if the price and itinerary won out. Carnival is last and a never again.

 

I appreciate your review. Just surprised considering the significant differences.

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It cracks me up how so many here insist that Carnival is so inferior

 

Totally agree! :)

They don't want to hear they 2 lines are pretty much the same and with Carnival actually having better food and service in the MDR.

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