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Just off First Royal Caribbean Cruise

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I do think each cruise line has a niche that is perfect or nearly so for it's passengers. I think those who love the party atmosphere and Guy's burgers should stay with Carnival.

 

Although I think most cruise lines have a lot of the same things, there are differences that are important to me that wouldn't be to someone else. For example, I am not into partying all night nor do I think I have to drink my 15 drinks at least .

It is funny how different people see different things in a cruise line. I don't love a party atmosphere and while Guy's is nice once or twice a cruise, my lunch options are much more varied. For instance, I like to go to Cucina for a lovely made to order pasta lunch with table service for free. Or grab some shrimp tacos from Blue Iguana. Or hit up the Mongolian wok and pick my own ingredients and watch them prepare it right there. Used to love the deli but have had the new menu yet. Can't remember the name of the deli type place on Allure but the salads and roast beef sandwiches there were really good.

 

I don't like having to pay for a small little bag of popcorn for a movie on Royal when Carnival and NCL provide it free. None of us like the pizza on Royal but the Boardwalk hot dogs were really good.

 

My kids like water parks, ropes courses and slides way more than a climbing wall and we all sucked at the Flow Rider. LOL

 

We really like the family comedy shows on Carnival but the stage shows, water shows and ice show on Royal were absolutely great!

 

We like trivia as well as the silly games like Hasbro etc that Carnival does but Royal does some really creative games that entire families can participate in.

 

I like the size of the rooms on Carnival, then Royal and FAR down the list NCL. Princess is somewhere in the middle.

 

Speaking of Princess, their dining room food is excellent IMO. But their lido buffet leaves a lot to be desired. We have always enjoyed our food on Carnival, Royal has some hits and misses.

 

We like free room service. It's just one of those cruise "things" for us.

 

We have always had great service on Carnival other than one or two waiters at anytime dining. Our main server on our last Royal cruise at one table was truly awful. Like, he should have been fired. But the guy at the other table was one of the best dining room servers we have ever had. On NCL the staff is generally very friendly and fun but holy understaffing issues! Bingo with one bartender and two waiters. Yikes!

 

So mainly, I agree with you Katie. Except on the part about the party atmosphere. ;)

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Can't remember the name of the deli type place on Allure but the salads and roast beef sandwiches there were really good.

 

My kids like water parks, ropes courses and slides way more than a climbing wall and we all sucked at the Flow Rider. LOL

 

You are thinking of Park Cafe :)

 

Also, with Harmony and now Symphony, Royal has vastly improved the water park as well as added several water slides and a massive dry slide. Still no ropes course, though.

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We sail both. Only complaint with Carnival...Suite perks end once you get early boarding. Other than that, each has it own "vibe" and we set our expectations accordingly.

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I was Loyal to Royal for a while and decided to try Carnival for this November. I'm excited to try something different. While I've never had a cruise that I didn't really enjoy, there are definitely reasons I'm willing to try other lines. The Windjammer buffet has always been hit or miss, which is perhaps to be expected. I have some favorites, but I hate the desserts, except for one or two in the MDR (up side: I never gain weight on a Royal cruise).

 

I'm also not thrilled with Royal's loyalty benefits. I like priority check-in, but I don't care about top tier parties or private lounges, and the balcony discount is virtually nothing. I enjoy priority boarding and shorter lines, which are things that make my vacation more relaxing, so Carnival's FTTF was a no-brainer for me. I've already bought it for my November cruise. I'm also excited to try this melting cake I keep hearing about. I want to try a Norwegian cruise too.

 

The melting cake is soooo good! Ask for some peanut butter on the side. Mix a spoonful or 2. It is the best peanut butter cup ever 😜

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I really enjoyed RC's pizza, though nothing beats Quattro Formagi!

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Johnny Rockets is not comparable to Guys. One is a sit down restaurant with service, the other is a buffet style walk up counter and toppings bar. I think Johnny Rockets is worth the $10 for a nice sit down lunch if you would like to be served and enjoy the JR concept. It's not for everyone, but it's a nice option to have.

 

You can get burgers at the buffet as well, which would be a comparable concept to Guys. Though Guys is a much better burger :)

 

For lunch or a quick snack the type of service isn't that important to me and more often than not I want to grab something to take to wherever DW and I are parked on the pool deck.

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When making comparisons between cruise lines I prefer it done when comparing ships that are equals. I won’t make comparisons to, let’s say, the Sunshine to Royals Symphony of the seas when trying to make a cruise line experience. It really can depend on the ship(s) you’ve sailed on a specific line. The ship, the newness, and the amenities have to be equal. You can’t compare the old Explorer or Navigatior of the Seas to the Vista or Horizon. The experience is just going to be better. I would make fair comparisons when having sailed each lines newest offerings or only their oldest ships. In my personal cruise experiences we find that the older the ship, the less we like it and the food quality seems lessened even with the same fleet menus. Each cruise line offers something to everyone at different price points. We change lines every year and by doing so we experience plenty of differences and enjoy doing so. Loyal to none ......

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Eh, we've sailed on both Royal and Carnival and have things we like and don't like about both. Royal edges out Carnival in food and onboard activities for us but they're interchangeable in our experience. We'll have a good cruise no matter which line we sail with. Carnival pricing is now at or exceeding Royal's pricing for the dates we can cruise and the ships we want to sail on. So, we've been choosing Royal more because they're offering us a better value.

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When making comparisons between cruise lines I prefer it done when comparing ships that are equals. I won’t make comparisons to, let’s say, the Sunshine to Royals Symphony of the seas when trying to make a cruise line experience. It really can depend on the ship(s) you’ve sailed on a specific line. The ship, the newness, and the amenities have to be equal. You can’t compare the old Explorer or Navigatior of the Seas to the Vista or Horizon. The experience is just going to be better. I would make fair comparisons when having sailed each lines newest offerings or only their oldest ships. In my personal cruise experiences we find that the older the ship, the less we like it and the food quality seems lessened even with the same fleet menus. Each cruise line offers something to everyone at different price points. We change lines every year and by doing so we experience plenty of differences and enjoy doing so. Loyal to none ......

 

 

 

Haven’t done Vista or Horizon yet, but I think Dream Class is barely in the same league as the Voyager Freedom Class even though it came out more than a decade later.

 

But that’s just the “WOW” factor of the ships themselves (and entertainment) we agree with others who think Carnival’s service and food choices are better.

 

At least out of Galveston, prices on RCCL are close to even with Carnival, and the loyalty perks for the same level of cruising (Plat on CCL, D on RCCL) are better and generally make the total cost of a Royal cruise cheaper for us, so much so that we are able to upgrade to a JS and Carnival really does not compete well on this level at all.

 

But for holiday cruises, we see far better deals on Carnival. We’ve been fortunate enough to take two cruises a year these last few years and Carnival has gotten our holiday business and we sailed Royal for our non-holiday cruises.

 

We started this twice a year schedule 4 years ago with an Oasis Cruise (that we won playing bingo on the Navigator). That was our favorite cruise in the past 4 years. Second was the Dream Cruise we did out of NOLA for New Years. The other cruises were all great (once more on Navigator, twice on Liberty OTS, A Back to Back on the Vision OTS, Breeze and Legend to Alaska, and a Princess Cruise our if Houston) but none of these stand out like the first two.

 

 

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I agree about the food choices 100%. Much more choice on CCL.

 

 

Are there any lines for pizza on Carnival?

 

Bill

 

That all depends. When the club empties out at 3 am-ish the pizza line might be a mile long. But you've gotta have a slice or two after a long night in the dance club. :D

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I been on 77 cruises so far and RC is better than Carnival. The OP did go on an older ship but that ship blows out all of Carnivals ships. We are also loyal now to RC although I had a $600 credit with Carnival and had to book something out so we will use that cruise in February as a diet cruise after the holidays. Guys Burgers oh not for us we don't eat fast food.

 

By the way, the Oasis class ships have a candy shop its called Candy Beach.

 

Sparks1093- You will have a wonderful cruise, I haven't been on that class of ship but you be sure I will down the road.

 

Meh. The OP stated the food options, and she/he is correct. The included food choices on Royal are not exciting at all. Cafe Promenade & Sorrentos.. both suck. Johnny Rockets is blah, especially with the price increase. The pizza is doughy and tasteless. MDR is good, and it seems like the Windjammer on certain ships seems to be getting better. It was really good on the Adventure.

 

Now.. I love RCI, but that does not change the fact that the dining options are limited. What I really love on RCI is the drink package without the alcohol. I love having the specialty coffee's and other choices without having to spend the money on an alcohol package that I will not use.

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Well, duh, of course it’s not cheap. You booked a Junior Suite on one of Carnival’s oldest Fantasy ships which has a very limited number of balconies. Of course you’ll pay a hefty and disproportionate premium for the privilege. And get ready for a reality check because these “suites” aren’t much bigger than a standard balcony stateroom on a newer ship. Also, there are NO suite perks like on other cruise lines. All you’ve done is pay significantly more for a standard balcony on an old ship.

 

In my humble opinion, it’s not worth it to splurge on a suite on these older ships, but they are there and for those who are willing to pay the price and for those who don’t realize that the word “suite”means something completely different on Carnival. If you want a cheap vacation on Carnival, stick to the standard staterooms. That’s where you’ll pay prices more in time with what you may consider cheap.

 

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This is good advice. I really like Carnival's product, but it's not worth the cost to upgrade to suites even on the newer ships. You only really get a bigger cabin and priority embarkation.

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Does anyone else love Tandoor on Carnival. I am most looking forward to eating there next week!

 

I loved the Tandoori on the Breeze it was awesome.

 

I was Loyal to Royal for a while and decided to try Carnival for this November. I'm excited to try something different. While I've never had a cruise that I didn't really enjoy, there are definitely reasons I'm willing to try other lines. The Windjammer buffet has always been hit or miss, which is perhaps to be expected. I have some favorites, but I hate the desserts, except for one or two in the MDR (up side: I never gain weight on a Royal cruise).

 

I'm also not thrilled with Royal's loyalty benefits. I like priority check-in, but I don't care about top tier parties or private lounges, and the balcony discount is virtually nothing. I enjoy priority boarding and shorter lines, which are things that make my vacation more relaxing, so Carnival's FTTF was a no-brainer for me. I've already bought it for my November cruise. I'm also excited to try this melting cake I keep hearing about. I want to try a Norwegian cruise too.

 

I'm diamond on Royal as was loyal to them until we tried the Breeze in 2016 I had previously been on the Destiny and Fantasy. The Breeze is a beautify ship, since Joe Farcus didn't get this hands on it! I think what sold me on Carnival was the free dining options, it blows RCCL out of the water. Now we are equal opportunity cruisers based on ship destination and price. If it's right we'll try it!

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My Hubby and I have been on RC twice (our first two cruises) and had a blast! On our second RC cruise we met 14 people on a small excursion bus and became fast friends for the entire cruise (7 days) I never partied so hard in my life (at least since we had kids, Lol) BUT then we tried Carnival with some friends and have been on 5 with a 14 day Journeys cruise to Hawaii booked in 2019! We have also loved every cruise with Carnival and have had great fun as well as making new friends! we have been on 1 Celebrity and had a good time but the vibe was different and while it would not stop us from doing another one (food and staff were excellent!) it was more laid back (not a bad thing and it was a Pacific Coastal and considered a "wine" cruise). We have the expectation that we will have fun (and we always have) and each offered us a different experience. We usually look at where and when we want to go and research prices etc.... my vacation is what I make of it and since I am NOT cooking or cleaning or at work I consider that a win, win, win!

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I been on 77 cruises so far and RC is better than Carnival. The OP did go on an older ship but that ship blows out all of Carnivals ships. We are also loyal now to RC although I had a $600 credit with Carnival and had to book something out so we will use that cruise in February as a diet cruise after the holidays. Guys Burgers oh not for us we don't eat fast food.

 

By the way, the Oasis class ships have a candy shop its called Candy Beach.

 

Sparks1093- You will have a wonderful cruise, I haven't been on that class of ship but you be sure I will down the road.

 

 

 

We just did our first Carnival and RCI cruise this spring. We were on HOTS versus the older Carnival Victory. But carnival won on night life! RCI rolls up the carpets by midnight. And be

Prepared to share the dance floor with toddlers. Not our “adult night out” vibe. Actually kind of creepy. Just another perspective!!

Here’s the Harmony flagship Lounge at midnight. They let me order a wine while they cleaned. Depressing...ac03bad52009207cd28c44cd29f53fcf.jpg

 

 

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We just did our first Carnival and RCI cruise this spring. We were on HOTS versus the older Carnival Victory. But carnival won on night life! RCI rolls up the carpets by midnight. And be

Prepared to share the dance floor with toddlers. Not our “adult night out” vibe. Actually kind of creepy. Just another perspective!!

Here’s the Harmony flagship Lounge at midnight. They let me order a wine while they cleaned. Depressing...ac03bad52009207cd28c44cd29f53fcf.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

So you are confirming that Oasis class is, in fact, not crowded? ;p

 

That lounge is in an odd location. Boleros and entertainment place were much more happening in the evening.

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So you are confirming that Oasis class is, in fact, not crowded? ;p

 

That lounge is in an odd location. Boleros and entertainment place were much more happening in the evening.

 

 

 

Ha ha! Right??? We had an amazing RCI experience but found nightlife lacking...

 

 

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I don't understand it but that lounge in the photos above is Dazzles and Dazzles had a live band going on in there nightly, at least on our Oasis 29, 2017 and April 15, 2018 cruise.

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My first Royal cruise was the Liberty of the Seas out of Galveston. I really liked the entertainment and thought it was a notch above Carnival. I really missed the comedy club on Carnival. I thought the main pool was much better than the Carnival ships I have been on. The food was about the same but I did miss the option of Blue Iguana and Guys for lunch. Two months later I did the same cruise on the Breeze out of Galveston. I would pick the Breeze over Liberty of the Seas any day. I am trying another cruise on Royal, this time the Oasis of the Seas. So far I am a little overwhelmed with the planning since you have to book entertainment. This is one thing we did not have to do on the Liberty of the Seas. I am hoping all the planing will pay off and we will have a great cruise and I won't miss Carnival. One thing I didn't mention is that the price for both my Royal cruises with the drink package was a little cheaper than my Carnival cruises. The Oasis cruise has the kids sail free promotion (grandkids are going) and my Liberty cruise was with a group and both include an OBC. I really wanted to cruise on the Horizon but the kid promotion won out.

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Wellllll, on Monday, I am going on the Carnival Paradise for a friend's 40th. It's so funny but I always hear how cheap Carnival is, and was looking forward to a "cheap" vacation. Holy cow!! This will be my most expensive cruise. To compare, I am staying in a Junior Suite and it is costing $917 for 5 nights (before any taxes, gratuities, etc.), so works out to be $183/night. The ship is going to Key West and Cozumel. Not ones I would call show stoppers, like Cuba for example, that warrants a higher price. I am already booked on Freedom of the Seas for August, which is a 7 night cruise, also staying in a Junior Suite. That one is costing $1,062 for 7 nights (before any taxes, gratuities, etc.) or $152/night.

 

 

 

You are not doing a fair comparision when you take the price of the RCL cruise, which is during the off season and during Hurricane season, and compare it to a cruise during the summer. Summer cruises are always way higher on any line, RCL, Carnival or NCL. If you compare the Jr. Suites the same week of the summer, you will find RCL higher.

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I have been on 8 Carnival cruises and 3 with RCL. I find Carnival to be cheaper and a lot more fun. The staff on our RCL Alaska cruise weren't nearly as friendly as Carnival. Food and entertainment were about the same. Alcohol was more expensive on RCL. As a dedicated Cosmo drinker I was dismayed to receive a short drink by an unfriendly bartender every time. Love my Carnival Cosmos filled to the brim!

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So you are confirming that Oasis class is, in fact, not crowded? ;p

 

That lounge is in an odd location. Boleros and entertainment place were much more happening in the evening.

 

Even on the aircraft carrier I was stationed on one could find quiet places around with no people, especially at night. The measure of crowding though is not in that, but rather in how many people are trying to use the popular features- how big are the lines for meals, shows, tendering, disembarking? That's where the true test is.

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You are not doing a fair comparision when you take the price of the RCL cruise, which is during the off season and during Hurricane season, and compare it to a cruise during the summer. Summer cruises are always way higher on any line, RCL, Carnival or NCL. If you compare the Jr. Suites the same week of the summer, you will find RCL higher.

 

 

Just to test your theory, I selected similar dates, 5 night itineraries, out of Tampa, one on Royal’s Brilliance of the Seas and one on the Carnival Paradise. These are the fares before taxes:

 

Oceanview stateroom:

- Carnival: $319

- Royal Caribbean: $448

 

Balcony stateroom:

- Carnival: N/A

- Royal Caribbean: $568

 

Junior Suite:

- Carnival: $537

- Royal Caribbean: $1094

 

Grand Suite:

- Carnival: $797

- Royal Caribbean: $1289

 

 

 

 

 

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Even on the aircraft carrier I was stationed on one could find quiet places around with no people, especially at night. The measure of crowding though is not in that, but rather in how many people are trying to use the popular features- how big are the lines for meals, shows, tendering, disembarking? That's where the true test is.

 

It was a joke.

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