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Help with the differences between Carnival and RC???


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Hello all! My family and I have been Carnival cruisers for years, but we are considering a switch for our upcoming Spring Break cruise for several reasons. We were booked with Carnival on 3/22/15, but our cruise was abruptly cancelled last week due to the ship changing home ports. The only other itinerary, price, and embarkation port we liked belonged to RC.

 

My question isn't really which do you like better, but I am hoping there are some of you who have been on both and can help us with the differences that we will need to know. :confused: I don't want to spend half the cruise getting familiar with RC stuff before I can enjoy it.

 

Thank you in advance!!! :)

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Hello all! My family and I have been Carnival cruisers for years, but we are considering a switch for our upcoming Spring Break cruise for several reasons. We were booked with Carnival on 3/22/15, but our cruise was abruptly cancelled last week due to the ship changing home ports. The only other itinerary, price, and embarkation port we liked belonged to RC.

 

My question isn't really which do you like better, but I am hoping there are some of you who have been on both and can help us with the differences that we will need to know. :confused: I don't want to spend half the cruise getting familiar with RC stuff before I can enjoy it.

 

Thank you in advance!!! :)

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2084531

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2076550

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2038089

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First tell us which RC ship you are considering. Because the differences between the experience on new huge ships (Oasis and Allure) or even the other large ones, can make a difference. The small to midsize RC ships and some of Carnival ships provide a very similar experience.

 

(For that matter, let us know which Carnival ships you sailed, because they have differences too, and can totally alter any comparison.)

Edited by Gayle V
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First tell us which RC ship you are considering. Because the differences between the experience on new huge ships (Oasis and Allure) or even the other large ones, can make a difference. The small to midsize RC ships and some of Carnival ships provide a very similar experience.

 

(For that matter, let us know which Carnival ships you sailed, because they have differences too, and can totally alter any comparison.)

 

I totally agree. TOO many times, these RCI vs Carnival threads are NOT comparing really comparing apples to apples. A cruise on a Fantasy class ship is not going to compare to a cruise on Allure or Oasis just as a cruise on Majesty is not going to compare to a cruise on Breeze. Other than they are ships sailing in an ocean.

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First tell us which RC ship you are considering. Because the differences between the experience on new huge ships (Oasis and Allure) or even the other large ones, can make a difference. The small to midsize RC ships and some of Carnival ships provide a very similar experience.

 

(For that matter, let us know which Carnival ships you sailed, because they have differences too, and can totally alter any comparison.)

 

You're right, I should have included this info. We are considering the Enchantment of the Seas to the Bahamas. The current Carnival cruise that was cancelled was on the Liberty, but previously we have sailed the Imagination, Fascination, Valor, and Freedom. I don't find myself drawn to the mega-ships necessarily, but am more interested in overall experience. For example, one of our favorite cruises ever was on the Fascination, even though she is "old" and "small." ;)

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If you're already familiar with cruising, it will seem very comfortable. Booking stuff online is pretty much the same, although RCL's website has a well deserved reputation for being difficult, innacurate, and frustrating. Check-in and boarding, pretty much the same. You'll get a daily planner, with familiar activities and events (although RCL has Quest, but we're not allowed to talk about it with those that haven't done it).

 

You'll notice some differences, especially if you are on a newer/larger RCL ship, where you might find ice skating, etc. which are not on the other ships. If your ship has an accessible helipad, go out there at night for some amazing stargazing.

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If you're already familiar with cruising, it will seem very comfortable. Booking stuff online is pretty much the same, although RCL's website has a well deserved reputation for being difficult, innacurate, and frustrating. Check-in and boarding, pretty much the same. You'll get a daily planner, with familiar activities and events (although RCL has Quest, but we're not allowed to talk about it with those that haven't done it).

 

You'll notice some differences, especially if you are on a newer/larger RCL ship, where you might find ice skating, etc. which are not on the other ships. If your ship has an accessible helipad, go out there at night for some amazing stargazing.

 

CCL has Quest as well these days.

 

To the OP, speaking in broad generalities, you'll find the similarities outnumber the differences by a factor of 10. Some general observations are that Royal's ships are a little nicer, Carnival's cabins are a little bigger, the food is hit-and-miss on both lines and I've never found one to be better than the other. RCCL typically has superior entertainment (shows) while Carnival is often a little more of a "party" atmosphere where RCL is a bit more staid and "elegant." This can all depend on the length of the cruise and the time of year you're traveling, though.

 

Bottom line, don't hesitate to book the cruise you want on either line if price, itinerary, etc. work for you. It will feel WAY more familiar to you than different and I doubt you'll spend more than a minute or two adjusting to "Royal Caribbean stuff." Enjoy !

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You're right, I should have included this info. We are considering the Enchantment of the Seas to the Bahamas. The current Carnival cruise that was cancelled was on the Liberty, but previously we have sailed the Imagination, Fascination, Valor, and Freedom. I don't find myself drawn to the mega-ships necessarily, but am more interested in overall experience. For example, one of our favorite cruises ever was on the Fascination, even though she is "old" and "small."

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I think your experience on the Enchantment will be much like your Imagination and Fascination cruises, as far at the ship itself. I pretty much agree with the comments posted above, about the food, and cabins. (Food not much different, but give the edge to Carnival. Cabins on Carnival more utilitarian but larger, Royal cabins, more comfortable, but smaller.

 

Booking excursions on line, with Royal you pay when you book. (If I remember right, with Carnival we booked ahead, but paid as part of the cabin account. That may be different now.)

 

Entertainment on Royal has always had superior production shows. Carnival usually had more locations with live music, (At least in my experience. )

 

Negative about Royal: We have at times had difficulty finding a place to eat late at night, although there was always room service.

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You will have a great time on the Enchantment. I sailed her twice in the past 9 months and had a great time. She is similar in size to the fantasy class carnival ships with what I find to be a superior lido deck. The lido is much much nicer, IMO than on conquest class ships like Liberty.

 

Activities are very similar, especially on short itineraries. I highly recommend you give her a shot.

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