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We originally picked Carnival because that's the cruise line DH had cruised on with his family and was familiar with. Now we chose Carnival because we've never had anything but excellent cruises, service, food, etc plus we've still been unable to beat the price.

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1 hour ago, Warm Breezes said:

My kids are now 22 and 24.  DD is just waiting for us to cruise with her on NCL again so she can do the open bar with us.  We started cruising when our kids were 4 and 7 and I can count on one hand the number of times they went to the kids clubs.  They just didn't like it, which turned out to be just fine.  Cruising became one of our favorite family vacations even without the kids club.  We had a lot of fun just spending that time doing things together with our kids.  Enjoy your time with yours, it gets much harder to get them together for a family vacation when they move out and have lives of their own.  I can't wait till our Magic Cruise next month when I get mine back together again😀.

 

We try to make the most of every trip! We actually have Magic booked also, but for November. Enjoy!

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Carnival is affordable for us. I like to budget and I can book with a deposit and make my payments over time while I'm looking forward to the cruise.

 

Also, I know all their rules and it feels comfortable. The older I get the more I like to know what I'm getting into! Today I saw a poster who got the Carnival and RC rules mixed up. That's not going to happen to me. LOL!

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Posted (edited)

Carnival is where we started cruising, where we fell in love with cruising, and the only line we have cruised on so far.

 

I'd say it's that we enjoy the product they offer, they are a good value, they have cruises from ports we can drive to on the dates we want to cruise and we've yet to have a bad cruise with them. 

 

We may try another line someday, but for now we are pretty much just cruising on Carnival.

Edited by schazzy

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4 hours ago, mkcurran said:

Say someone was looking at two similar cruises, why should they pick the Carnival cruise?

What makes Carnival great?

It depends on what you are looking for from your cruise. Carnival does a good job but is it better than the rest? Opinions differ.

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We have cruised once on ncl and Hal, 11 on carnival. Carnival and ncl were the most alike. We just didn’t like the people on ncl bugging all the time to sell you the extra restaurants. My husband and I are in our 60s and 70s and I don’t know if we will ever be old enough for Hal. We like the fun of carnival. And if you like to people watch—-carnival is the best. We would like to try royals mega ship sometime, just to see. Everyone just needs to find what feels best for them. 

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Hi 

 

For me it's mostly about the money. What I suggest (to people who are Carnival fans and reluctant to change) is, if you find as you say a similar cruise for a similar price then opt for something different. 

 

You do have to somewhat compare ships and their amenities (what is it that you/your family will want from the ship). Then you should factor in extra costs, some other cruise lines will have "packages" that may make the bottom line favorable to them (just as long as the "freebies" are things you want). Of course, if you look on this site you can get well informed on other extra costs that you might have to put out for especially if one ship has many "fancy" attractions or "venues" that will cost extra if you opt to enjoy, where if you choose not to then they are in themselves not a plus.

 

hope this helps

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 I like the live music around the ship, and I like the Alchemy bar, and I always like the Alchemists there.  I like how there are quiet places, but always something going on somewhere if I'd rather be doing something.  I like the price, and the variety of included food options.  I like the variety of entertainment, and I like the themed music events.  I've always received very good service. It is the biggest bang for my vacation buck.

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I have cruised on Royal, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, and Norwegian. I LOVE the food on Norwegian. I didn't think Celebrity was all that amazing. The atmosphere and entertainment on Carnival is the best. We love the trivia during the day, the theater shows, comedians, and piano bar at night. They really are the fun ship. Carnival's food is ok, I cruise with them so often I would love to see the menu change a little. I feel the service on all is the same, they are there to please us. The big picture for me, I'm on vacation. The ports are the same and so is the ocean.

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Price is probably the #1 factor. Carnival sails from more US ports than anyone so you might be able to avoid flights.

 

For my husband and daughter's first cruise in March 2017, I used an online travel agency site and searched by the date range we had available.  The best combination of factors for us was a 5 night, M-F on Carnival Triumph from New Orleans.  We were able to use the weekends before and after to drive.

 

Onboard both husband and daughter had a wonderful time and were "hooked."  On vacation we don't want to impress anybody.  We like the activities, the Cruise Directors and their fun squad on Carnival.  We like included food like the deli, pizza, Guy's and Iguana.  We like that our only child finds buddies to hang out with.  I like the onboard laundry so we can pack less and not return home with suitcases crammed with filthy sweaty laundry to deal with. 

 

For rich people, Carnival may or may not be the right fit, depending on their mindset.  For working people, this works just fine for us.

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The value is insane. I see cruises starting as low as $250 for 5+ days. Where on land could you find a hotel and food/entertainment for $50 a day? You wouldn't be eating steak for brunch!! 

 

Aside from that though, it appeals to my down to earth nature. I don't drink so I'm not looking for a booze cruise (as people often accuse), but at the same time I don't want stuffiness and people who think they're better than everyone else. (Sadly you get this on every line but less so on Carnival). 

 

I love the crazy decor & some of the quirky themes. I know that will divide opinion but where else will you find a secret enchanted forest halfway through the week?! 

 

I've found the staff to be lovely on all ships I've sailed on. Lots of younger trainees who are friendly and eager to chat. 

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Most of our cruises have been on HAL.

 

In 2016 some friends convinced us to go on a very specific Charter cruise that was on Celebrity, and we had a great time there and made a lot of friends who go on this same Charter Cruise every year.

 

The Past 2 years this Charter has been on Carnival and we really enjoyed ourselves and the Carnival crew, ship and general overall cruise experience (The parts separate from the Charter experience.)  In 52 Days (but who's counting?) we will go on our first "normal" Carnival cruise on the Paradise to Cuba. Also next year's Charter is also on Carnival on the Legend and we are booked on that.

 

So our first two Carnival cruises we really didn't "choose" Carnival, it was chosen for us by the Charter Company.  However the ships, the food (Especially Guy's, Blue Iguana, the Deli and the MDR), the other activities (Dive in Movies, Comedy Club) and all of the different beverage choices have sold us on Carnival.

 

That their "normal" cruises seem to be more affordable than the competition on average and their itineraries are appealing just add to it for us.

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Carnival usually has the best pricing.  I have always had great staff - friendly - especially out of Galveston.  I like the fact that there are several ships in Galveston so I can drive to port & not have to deal with airfare.  I like that Carnival is pretty laid back, but still enjoy having the opportunity to dress for elegant night if I choose.  I enjoy the comedy club.  Guy's Burgers & Blue Iguana - yummy.  Red Frog Pub with the patio area.  I like the water slides, ropes courses & am looking forward to the sky cycle thing.  I like the serenity area, even though it does not even compare to Royal Caribbean's adult area.  I really appreciate 24 hour pizza & ice cream.  I used to think it was no big deal until we were on Royal Caribbean - between shows and wanting a quick bite.  None of the free venues were open.  Couldn't even get ice cream, as they were only open noon to about 7pm.  Not that those were their posted hours, it was just when they actually were up & running.  What I'd really like is a blend of Carnival & Royal's best features.  

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Since I saw you posted this on Royal board also, I’m assuming it is between them and Carnival. I sail on both lines. I haven’t sailed on Carnival since 2016, since their itineraries I had pretty much been there, done that. I find them more alike, and I think it has to do with the ship. I would take a newer Carnival ship over an older RCI ship, but an older RCI ship for itinerary. Everything is pretty much a flight for me, so my focus is on itineraries now.

 

Since I am a solo traveler, I usually book interiors, but I have had balconies on both lines. I much prefer the sliding balcony doors on Royal compared to the ones on Carnival.

 

On RCI, I get double points for days sailed and a single deposit. At 340 points, I get 150% solo supplement (doubt I will get there). Don’t get any of this on Carnival. I prefer the perks on RCI (3 1/2 hours of drinks every night trumps anything Carnival offers IMHO). Of course, others may prefer Carnival perks. Plus, you only need 80 points to reach Diamond. I will finally get there this year on Carnival, but it has taken me 7 years...LOL

 

On some of the Carnival ships, I like the free variety of choices for lunch. I think the entertainment is better on RCI, especially the ships with Broadway shows.

 

I don’t gamble or go to comedy shows, so can’t comment on that.

 

I don’t consider either cruise line great, but I do have fun on both lines. For me, I get bored with the SOS on one cruise line, so I like to mix it up. I will be doing a B2B on the Splendor (Mexico/TP) this year, and then hopping on an RCI ship for a B2B to see Thailand. Next year, I will try my first MSC cruise before getting on the Legend for their last Med and TA.

 

I say take a chance and broaden your horizons. But I wouldn’t come to a conclusion about a cruise line after one cruise. Cruise lines and cruise ships are not created equal, even within their own brand.

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12 hours ago, KmomChicago said:

For rich people, Carnival may or may not be the right fit, depending on their mindset.  For working people, this works just fine for us.

 

That's right, I think many would be surprised how many people on Carnival COULD afford more, but don't see a reason to. While you are likely to see a higher average income on some more expensive lines, you are sailing with some millionaires on Carnival or any other mass market line.

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I should also add that I appreciate the fact that I can do my own laundry should I choose to do so.  That means I can pack less.  Even though platinum status gets you laundry perks, some items can't be washed & dried on high heat.  The laundry room also means I can iron anything that is too wrinkled to wear.  I haven't actually taken advantage of that, but it's nice to know it is available.

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I’ve only been on 3 cruises, all of which were on RCL interior rooms. DH has never cruised.  This cruise was more about itinerary and pricing.  We received an upsell off to a suite for $108 per person and jumped on it.  I’m hoping that will help my selling point with the hubster. It’s been years since my last cruise so I’m just happy to be cruising again and share the experience with DH. 

 

Oddly enough.. I was in my early 30’s on previous cruises.  I had young children at home and was not in a fun ship mode in those days. Now my kids are 22 & 18. I’m 45 and can’t wait to see what the FUN ship is all about! 😁

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15 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

That's right, I think many would be surprised how many people on Carnival COULD afford more, but don't see a reason to. 

 

We had a similar conversation at home last night.  My daughter has two friends coming over this evening.   The mother of one asked the other where she lived, and when she told her, the mom said "Oh...you live over by (my daughter)" in a derisive sort of way, like we're scum of the earth on the wrong side of the tracks.   They have a very nice 3,300 sq ft house on a half-acre lot in a heavily HOA based community.  We have a modest 1,900 sq ft house on an acre in a non-HOA neighborhood.    Sure, we could afford to live in a bigger, glitzier house.   But why?  We'd just fill up more space with more junk.  We all have our own space and we're good.  

 

If I was stuck on a line with a bunch of stuffy "look at how much I have" people, I'd hate it.  I probably would have nothing to talk about with them.  Oh...you went and saw the symphony perform an obscure work and your daughter brought her beau who was so moved by the 2nd movement.  Well, I took my daughter to see an obscure 80's metal band at a club in the bad part of town...and she brought Crime and Punishment to read in line...so yeah...we're similar  🙂   

 

I love trying to get to know the staff on the ship a little bit.  Sometimes it's sad hearing their stories, but I'd rather spend time talking with them than someone who couldn't decide which designer suit to wear on which formal night.  But that's also why I love going to local restaurants and getting to know the staff there as well.  I like people for who they are, not what they can do for me. 

 

So you can call it the Walmart of the Seas, the redneck riviera, but to quote Kevin Costner in Tin Cup when he walks into the Waffle House "these are my people. I'm a Waffle House guy. Got to stay in touch with that."

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15 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

That's right, I think many would be surprised how many people on Carnival COULD afford more, but don't see a reason to. While you are likely to see a higher average income on some more expensive lines, you are sailing with some millionaires on Carnival or any other mass market line.

 

Exactly. My wife and I could afford to cruise whatever line we wanted to a certain extent, but we're also young and active so lines like HAL and the like don't appeal to us. We like Carnival but we're trying RCCL and Virgin next year. Thinking about trying NCL but I'm only interested in their newest ships and haven't heard great things in the past year or so about the value.

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1 hour ago, Sabalon said:

 

We had a similar conversation at home last night.  My daughter has two friends coming over this evening.   The mother of one asked the other where she lived, and when she told her, the mom said "Oh...you live over by (my daughter)" in a derisive sort of way, like we're scum of the earth on the wrong side of the tracks.   They have a very nice 3,300 sq ft house on a half-acre lot in a heavily HOA based community.  We have a modest 1,900 sq ft house on an acre in a non-HOA neighborhood.    Sure, we could afford to live in a bigger, glitzier house.   But why?  We'd just fill up more space with more junk.  We all have our own space and we're good.  

 

If I was stuck on a line with a bunch of stuffy "look at how much I have" people, I'd hate it.  I probably would have nothing to talk about with them.  Oh...you went and saw the symphony perform an obscure work and your daughter brought her beau who was so moved by the 2nd movement.  Well, I took my daughter to see an obscure 80's metal band at a club in the bad part of town...and she brought Crime and Punishment to read in line...so yeah...we're similar  🙂   

 

I love trying to get to know the staff on the ship a little bit.  Sometimes it's sad hearing their stories, but I'd rather spend time talking with them than someone who couldn't decide which designer suit to wear on which formal night.  But that's also why I love going to local restaurants and getting to know the staff there as well.  I like people for who they are, not what they can do for me. 

 

So you can call it the Walmart of the Seas, the redneck riviera, but to quote Kevin Costner in Tin Cup when he walks into the Waffle House "these are my people. I'm a Waffle House guy. Got to stay in touch with that."

Love Waffle House!

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The reason for people to pick their cruise vacation varies. Some pick a cruise because of price, some because of the cruise line, ship, ship activities, cruise director, and some, like my wife and I, pick our cruises based on itinerary and date of the cruise.

 

We are not loyal to one cruise line. In June we will be cruising to Alaska on Princess, RCL cruise later in the year (because I love the Oasis Class ships), and in Jan 2020 we will be back on RCL for a 12-day Holy Land cruise (last Holy Land cruise was on Celebrity). Looking to add a Carnival Journey cruise to Hawaii this year, if I can talk my wife into it (she doesn't like all of the days at sea).

 

Whatever your reason for picking your cruise and cruise line it will be a great vacation if you let it be. We've never had a bad cruise on any cruise line.

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We are actually switching back to Carnival from RCL for a couple reasons.

 

First, I am impressed with the actual price discount that Carnival offers past passengers, versus RCL which does not seem to give any discount based on our status (two cruises sailed - one on hold for next spring). 

 

Second, the food options on RCL seem very limited to me, versus Carnival and Princess. While I have yet to travel on a super big ship (next spring), I found RCL to be boring when it came to food options. They dining room was ok, the buffet was very repetitive and other than those, unless you wanted to pay for Johnny Rockets or event an ice cream, there was very little food available outside of the buffet, at least on Adventure and Jewel of the seas. And the buffet hours were limited.

 

And thirdly, we cruise to relax, explore and enjoy ourselves. I found our cruise on Jewel of seas to be very stuffy and formal even on regular nights. It just wasn't us. Carnival is the fun ship!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

1) We sail Carnival because on average it is $1000 dollars per week (for 4 ppl) cheaper than comparable 

Royal Caribbean.

2) Also, having young children, it is more laid back than other lines. Royal is awesome too.

I personally after reading tons of reviews (I do it for fun almost daily--not nagy complaining reviews, but trip report kind) would not sail NCL. 

3) Guys Burger is free and the best burger you will ever have.

4) Younger crowd so kiddos can be a little loud and unorganized (NOT BAD BEHAVIOR--people with

boys under 10 will know what I mean). 

5) Half Moon Cay is the best place you will ever visit. 

6) Free pizza and ice cream 24 hours a day. As far as I know (and experienced last time) they are 

the only line that does this. 

 

Edited by missholly24

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