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Carnival Dream vs. RCI Enchantment

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I am looking at booking a cruise for July 2019 for myself and my boyfriend. We're in our 30's and will not be bringing out kids with us. Its his first cruise, my second. Our choices are between Carnival Dream and Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas. Pros/Cons of each ship, which would you choose? Destinations are about the same, looking at 4-5 day cruises.  

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Welcome to Cruise Critic. We’re booked on three trips on Enchantment in 2019 but since she’s not in Galveston yet I can’t comment specifically.  I have, however, been told that she is very similar to Vision which she will replace in Galveston and on which we have sailed 4 times and are booked for a 5th in March.  These are quite small ships in today’s market. Vision is a fairly quiet ship and we really enjoyed the Solarium.  If you want a boisterous sailing, Vision may not be your gig.  We love it specifically because it’s quiet and there are not so many people.  Someone else will have to comment on Dream.  I hope you have fun whichever you choose.

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On 11/24/2018 at 10:16 PM, lifes-a-beach said:

Welcome to Cruise Critic. We’re booked on three trips on Enchantment in 2019 but since she’s not in Galveston yet I can’t comment specifically.  I have, however, been told that she is very similar to Vision which she will replace in Galveston and on which we have sailed 4 times and are booked for a 5th in March.  These are quite small ships in today’s market. Vision is a fairly quiet ship and we really enjoyed the Solarium.  If you want a boisterous sailing, Vision may not be your gig.  We love it specifically because it’s quiet and there are not so many people.  Someone else will have to comment on Dream.  I hope you have fun whichever you choose.

We're booked for a cruise on the Carnival Triumph this coming January.  Then another cruise upon the RCL - Enchantment of the Seas in November 2019.    Thanks for the insight.   We've heard from a few sources that RCL caters more towards the more mature crowd.  

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We took our very first cruise on the Dream with our family.  We all had a wonderful time.  We loved the ship and had no issues.  I haven't ever sailed on RCL because the price is so much more expensive than on Carnival and for our family we can't justify the extra cost for it.  We loved our cruise so much that dh and I took a 20th anniversary cruise this past Feb.

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we prefer the Royal concept far and away over Carnival, but EN is one of the smaller  ships, without all the bells and whistles.  so if you want lots of daytime activities that are  boisterous, EN is probably not going to fit the bill.   

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Dream and Enchantment are very different ships but based on my RCI and Carnival experiences, I recommend Enchantment.  I think RCI is a nicer line with nicer ships.  JMHO. 

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This is such a matter of personal opinion!!  First point:  either would be awesome and I can't imagine a wrong answer in this question as we would have a wonderful time on either ship!! In this case, however, for me, Carnival Dream would be my pick.

 

Carnival Dream is much larger and less than half the age of Enchantment of the Seas.  One poster says RCI caters to a more mature crowd and I see where this perception comes from, but in July both Carnival and Royal will have a very high number of children on every sailing.  They are similar mass-market, family oriented products.  (I already know people will roast me for this:  HOW CAN YOU EVEN PUT THEM IN THE SAME UNIVERSE???  But it's my opinion and my family's experience.)

 

If you go to the RCI website and look at the short opening video for Enchantment, it shows the kids' waterpark area, a child bouncing around on a some sort of bungee rig, someone rock climbing, and what looks like CoCoCay, one of Royal's awesome private islands.  Not exactly marketing toward an exclusively "mature" crowd. I would say it is a slightly more upscale crowd, however.

 

I wholeheartedly agree that Royal seems to do a better job keeping the condition of their ships, well, ship-shape and they have a more elegant feel and decor.  Carnival ships are more of an assault on the senses and get hard use and sometimes it shows a bit, with very much an "everyone" sort of clientele and a laid-back, self-aware silliness that does not appeal to everyone. 

 

Either ship is likely to sail above max capacity in July, which means, most of the 3rd and 4th extra berths will be full, again with those children.  However the ships are designed to handle this. The Dream class is much loved by loyal Carnival cruisers.

 

Why would I choose Carnival?  Partially food for me.  I like Carnival's 24 hour pizza and soft serve more than RCI's NOT 24 hour options (and I wasn't crazy about their Sorrento's pizza).  I like Guy's Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Taco/Burritos which are included in the cruise fare.  My family hates spending 90 minutes in the main dining room for dinner, so unfortunately that is lost on us and the quick serve options are a better fit in our case. 

 

Enchantment has the dining room, Windjammer buffet, and Park Café - all of which are very good in my opinion, just not as many options. If you choose Enchantment, we love the Kummelweck roast beef sandwich at Park Café!!

 

I would suggest finding and reading several reviews of both ships on their respective Boards that explain exactly what they did or did not like - I am not crazy about the reviews on the main Cruise Critic page, which often seem inspired by personal slights people feel they experienced and a lot of "worst cruise ever" comments that don't help much.  The boards vary in quality but you have a better chance of finding an experienced cruiser giving full details of their pros and cons, so you can decide which feels like the right fit for your needs. Enjoy!

 

 

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Easy-to-grab junk food certainly is a strong point for Carnival.  😉

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WOW Everyone on CC should read KmomChicago's post!  Excellent and very well stated perspective.  Specific, factual, suggestive and not in the least condescending.  "Laid-back, self-aware silliness".  Love it!  Nicely done!

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2 hours ago, lifes-a-beach said:

WOW Everyone on CC should read KmomChicago's post!  Excellent and very well stated perspective.  Specific, factual, suggestive and not in the least condescending.  "Laid-back, self-aware silliness".  Love it!  Nicely done!

 

Thank you, Mr. or Ms. Beach. You are very kind.

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I’ve never been on any RCL ship, so I can’t comment on that, but I have been on the Carnival Dream. My husband and I are both over 40, do not have young kids, and are not party people. My husband doesn’t drink and I barely drink, and we don’t gamble. We cruise to travel the world and to relax. Most people who sail Carnival love to hang out on the lido or casino all day, which bodes well for us because it leaves much of the rest of the ship less crowded. There’s the Serenity deck and various other places on the ship where you can relax in peace. But at the same time, there’s always some fun activity to do like trivia or art classes, so you never get bored. I like that we can get both out of one cruise line. And yes, the food on Carnival is fantastic. Guy’s burgers can’t be beat! 

Edited by bakersdozen12

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