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Carnival vs Royal: my opinion and yours


kwazi07
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Feel free to share your own opinions on these topics. I recently went on my first Royal Caribbean cruise.

 

Ships: I have to say, I love the whale tail. However, Royals ships are more sleek and less boxy. The insides are much nicer on Royal, excluding the interiors of Sunshine and Breeze. Carnival 0 Royal 1

 

Rooms: The rooms on Royals Vision class are much better than the Fantasy class, which were built around the same time. However in Carnival's newer ships the rooms are roomier but the decor in the Royals rooms is nicer. A tie.

Carnival 1 Royal 2

 

MDR: The food on Carnival is a 10. On Royal a 7. Carnival food blew me away, Royals was food but not great.

Carnival 2 Royal 2

 

Buffet: ROYAL ROYAL ROYAL. The food was better. The desserts were much better as well.

Carnival 2 Royal 3

 

Specialty dining: We didn't do it on either but they have similar variety.

Carnival 3 Royal 4

 

Pools: This is a tough one. Royals pools are much bigger and better designed but Carnival has those great slides. Hopefully Oasis 3 and 4 will have slides like Carnival.

Carnival 4 Royal 5

 

Activities: Royal wins here. We had tons of fun doing trivia. There seems to be more enrichment activities on Royal, which we loved.

Carnival 4 Royal 6

 

Service: Both have great service.

Carnival 5 Royal 7

 

Nightlife: Carnival had the better disco (Royal has the Viking Crown Lounge :rolleyes: ) but Royal had fun parties, such as the silent party (headphones with different music) the 70s Disco Inferno Night in the atrium and the white party. Tie.

Carnival 6 Royal 8

 

Entertainment: Royal blew Carnival out of the water. The comedians were good on Carnival but they were hilarious on Royal. I really enjoyed the impressionist on my cruise. Also, our CD on Royal was hilarious. It was Marc!!! I loved him, he was very funny. The production shows were OK on both, more Broadway on Royal and Vegas on Carnival. I also enjoyed the tons of live music on Royal. All night they had different bands in the atrium. There was a great pianist at the bars. They had a steel drum ONLY band!!!

 

Carnival 6 Royal 9

 

So what do you guys think? Respond to each of these categories. Bing bong ;)

 

Note: Sorry for me referring to Royal as an outsider, I originally posted this on the Carnival boards. And don't tell the Carnivals, but I am forever loyal to Royal :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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don't tell the Carnivals, but I am forever loyal to Royal :)

 

 

A lot of people that frequent the Carnival board also frequent the Royal board, so it won't be long before they know that you have committed treason against them :eek: .

 

 

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I think Carnival has better food because fewer people show up to the MDR! I had timed dining and we sat alone at a table of 8 every night, most seats beyond that empty. Some Carnival passengers prefer the buffet and junk food on the Lido deck, which probably allows them to spend more in the MDR.

 

I agree with everything else you said as well. Good responses so far, I got it from loyalists on both sides when I posted a similar review. Carnival loyalists hate hearing that things on RCL are better, and RCL loyalists hate hearing that Carnival has anything going on for itself. ;)

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A lot of people that frequent the Carnival board also frequent the Royal board, so it won't be long before they know that you have committed treason against them :eek: .

 

 

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Whoops ;)

 

I think Carnival has better food because fewer people show up to the MDR! I had timed dining and we sat alone at a table of 8 every night, most seats beyond that empty. Some Carnival passengers prefer the buffet and junk food on the Lido deck, which probably allows them to spend more in the MDR.

 

I agree with everything else you said as well. Good responses so far, I got it from loyalists on both sides when I posted a similar review. Carnival loyalists hate hearing that things on RCL are better, and RCL loyalists hate hearing that Carnival has anything going on for itself. ;)

 

The buffet food on Carnival is much better than Royals to me because mainly the Carnival food is junk like burgers and chicken tenders. Royal does have them but they have so many exotic food choices at the buffet that actually taste good. While I am loyal to Royal, carnival is not horrible. They just have a different type of product aimed at a different type of people. I am sick of all of the Carnival 'poop' negativity too. It was not their fault. When I was on the Enchantment last week the comedian made a reference to Carnival as being poop ships. The next day our toilets didn't flush :eek:

 

I left out kids clubs...my sister enjoyed Adventure Ocean much more but the teen program on Carnival was much better.

 

Also price... Carnival is MOSTLY a winner, but some cruises are cheaper on Royal. For one inside and one OV on Freedom OTS I can only get one inside on Carnival Sunshine.

 

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I do agree with many of your opinions. I love carnivals dream class ships. I have been only on freedom of seas royal carribran and paid twice that of carnival. But it wasn't twice as great. We are going on the oasis next summer. We will miss the chocolates and pillow animals every night along with the 24 hour ice cream. Lol

 

 

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Whoops ;)

 

 

 

The buffet food on Carnival is much better than Royals to me because mainly the Carnival food is junk like burgers and chicken tenders. Royal does have them but they have so many exotic food choices at the buffet that actually taste good. While I am loyal to Royal, carnival is not horrible. They just have a different type of product aimed at a different type of people. I am sick of all of the Carnival 'poop' negativity too. It was not their fault. When I was on the Enchantment last week the comedian made a reference to Carnival as being poop ships. The next day our toilets didn't flush :eek:

 

I left out kids clubs...my sister enjoyed Adventure Ocean much more but the teen program on Carnival was much better.

 

Also price... Carnival is MOSTLY a winner, but some cruises are cheaper on Royal. For one inside and one OV on Freedom OTS I can only get one inside on Carnival Sunshine.

 

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I prefer Royal Caribbean's buffet to Carnival's hands down, the MDR is where Carnival gets the points for me. I'm loyal to no one, it's all about bang per buck, so happily sail both lines. Throwing out a number... I would pay 150% of Carnival's price to sail RCL. If a Carnival ship started at $400 and RCL $600, I would consider that wash value wise. These people paying extra to sail Carnival in Alaska and Bermuda, wow!

Edited by Stateroom_Sailor
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Thanks for the detailed comparison. I tend to agree with you and sail RCI now although if a great deal came up on Carnival I would not turn it down.

Agree.

 

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We did not like that the adult pool on Carnival (Miracle) was in full sun, and that there was no shady deck space to sit around it.

 

We also did not like the layout of the ship at all, especially that sunbathers would use the buffet as a pass-through from the pool area to the aft elevators, and they wouldn't always be dry or covered up after using the pool (very unsanitary). The kid's club was in an awkward location in the front of a deck of passenger cabins, instead of on the pool or sports deck, so it was very underutilized (meaning more kids running around the ship without anything to positively occupy them).

 

We also thought that the space-to-passenger ratio is superior on RCI ships, and the Carnival ship felt very crowded. Also, our dining team on Carnival was responsible for 48 diners spread over 6 tables, while on RCI, they usually have 2-3 tables and a total of 12-18 diners. Likewise, our steward was responsible for 27 cabins, and our RCI stewards usually have around 18. So, service was spread much thinner.

Edited by DonnaK
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I especially love the happy positive opinions, just giving the pluses and minuses in a travelers opinion...so far I think this is a great one...I also appreciate the service ratios experience of one traveler.

Edited by sjn911
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These people paying extra to sail Carnival in Alaska and Bermuda, wow!

 

 

I know. When we sailed to Alaska last year on Holland America, Carnival was $700 more, and for an inconvenient midweek departure and a worse itinerary that didn't include Sitka or Glacier Bay.

 

I am surprised though at the number of people that don't realize that Carnival tends to be more expensive in Alaska and don't even bother to look at other, more established cruise lines in this market because they automatically assume that they will be more expensive than Carnival.

 

 

 

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I think that it's good to step out and try other lines. It's the only way to know if a cruise line is a good fit. For years I cruised Carnival only (16 cruises) In 2004 while cruising on the Triumph we were docked next to the Navigator of the Seas in San Juan. We had noticed that our last two or three cruises on Carnival had slid south with the product including our experience on the Triumph and the Navigator looked like a great ship. We came home and booked the Navigator. We haven't been back to Carnival since.

 

For us every other cruise line that we have tried has given us an overall better experience over Carnival for what we enjoy in cruising. For me the biggest difference between RCI and Carnival are the ships themselves. RCI is forward thinking and steps out of the box to push the envelope on ship design. Carnival has fallen behind in this area but I am interested to see what the new Vista offers. By the way I was one of those Carnival cruisers who did not need the floating mall experience that was offered when the Voyager entered service. It took me experiencing the Navigator to appreciate this new feature.

 

IMHO Carnival packs too many people on their ships. It took me trying other lines to see this. For me the Destiny/Conquest are some of the worst designed ships in service.

 

The Oasis class are the tops IMHO when it comes to entertainment. They still rank as the top in my book for favorite ship. If you truly want to experience the WOW, book one of the two twins.

 

Food is subjective and I thought Carnival had good food but was no better than what RCI offered. Both offered mass produced banquet style food in the MDR. The same as we experienced on NCL, HAL and Celebrity. Depending on the person and their taste will depend on which cruise line is better in this department. For me it's Celebrity.

 

Glad that you enjoyed your first cruise on RCI and thanks for your review. It's great that we have so many choices to choose from when cruising. We now have two favorite cruise lines to choose from with RCI and Celebrity. Many love Carnival and they meet the needs for many but we are no longer in that group. Enjoy your next cruise.:)

Edited by cruisingator2
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Depending on the person and their taste will depend on which cruise line is better in this department. For me it's Celebrity.

 

I've heard this fairly consistently, we'll find out in 3 weeks!

 

I think my main disappointment in RCL were the soups, a few of the beef and duck broths were decent, but generally they were bad. Carnival had fantastic soups! :)

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The Royal Solarium is enough reason for me to stay loyal. 16+ area with a pool and in some cases hot tub too? No other mass market line has that in a free area.

 

NCL has it for Haven suites (Haven courtyard, newer ships) or (limited, pay for) Vibe Beach Club (hot tub only). Carnival has the Serenity area which is chairs only.

 

Other things play into my decision to stay with Royal at this point, but the Solarium is a huge plus.

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I think Carnival has better food because fewer people show up to the MDR! I had timed dining and we sat alone at a table of 8 every night, most seats beyond that empty. Some Carnival passengers prefer the buffet and junk food on the Lido deck, which probably allows them to spend more in the MDR.

 

I agree with everything else you said as well. Good responses so far, I got it from loyalists on both sides when I posted a similar review. Carnival loyalists hate hearing that things on RCL are better, and RCL loyalists hate hearing that Carnival has anything going on for itself. ;)

 

Now THIS is a fascinating deconstruction of MDR food! :eek:

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I've heard this fairly consistently, we'll find out in 3 weeks!

 

I think my main disappointment in RCL were the soups, a few of the beef and duck broths were decent, but generally they were bad. Carnival had fantastic soups! :)

 

Try the Moroccan lamb soup (that's not its "real" name, but that's its description), the lentil soup, the Singapore chicken soup.

 

I could stick my head in a vat of any one of those and be happy all day!

 

;)

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How was dinner at Applebee's tonight? Sorry, couldn't help myself.

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. The food on Royal was good, but there were some duds. Carnival had no duds for us.

 

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Royal and Carnival are such a close call, add in Celebrity and Princess and I think it's a toss up. DH would say the order should be Celebrity, Princess, Royal, then Carnival. Basically, I like the ship we are on.

 

Cabins - Carnival

Public Spaces - Princess/Royal

MDR Food - Carnival

Specialty Restaurant - Carnival

Diamond/Elite Events - Celebrity

Diamond/Elite Perks - Princess

Entertainment - Royal

Destination Lectures - Princess/Celebrity

Pricing - Carnival & Royal

Edited by Grannycb
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Celebrity I think is the best cruise line for me and to compare Royal and Carnival is not like comparing apples to apples

They both attract different crowds and the ships are different also . I prefer the mdr food on Carnival and the steakhouse

And I do not like the food on Royal as much I do love that I can order Escargot every night in mdr They both have things I like and things I do not and to I compare them is hard

Since they are not equal to begin with

And yes this post is on both boards

 

 

 

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I haven't sailed Carnival in a while but everything you said was spot on. I definitely prefer Carnival's food over Royal. Royal's food just doesn't seem to have as much flavor as Carnival's does to me. With that being said, Royal always seems to have so much more to do onboard than any Carnival ship I have ever been on which is why I haven't been back.

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Try the Moroccan lamb soup (that's not its "real" name, but that's its description), the lentil soup, the Singapore chicken soup.

 

I could stick my head in a vat of any one of those and be happy all day!

 

;)

 

The lamb soup I had was delicious, by far my favorite. I skipped the lentil after being somewhat discouraged, don't remember the Singapore chicken. If I stick to the best soups and choose other appetizers, my next dining experience should be greatly improved. ;)

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