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So I am a frequent cruiser with Carnival. Pretty loyal to them actually. I love Carnival for its value as well fun it offers. I always have a good time. I have taken 8 cruises with Carnival so far. 

 

Now the reason for this post I have decided to do some price checking with Royal and found amazing prices on some great cruises. I have actually booked and deposits on three different trips. Harmony for one and then Mariner of the Seas in Sept and again in January. The prices were so good I could not pass up on it. I think a lot of that has to do with the studio rooms they offer. So for those of you who have cruises on both cruise lines do you find them to be pretty comparable with experience? to give you an idea with Carnival my favorite ships have been the Magic, Breeze, Sunshine. Any advice you can give a new person to Royal I am all ears. 

 

Thank you so much 

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Posted (edited)

I have sailed both lines, 3 with carnival, and 2 with RCI.... but I also have 3 more cruises booked, and they are all with RCI. 
Ultimately I think each company does certain things well, and you will have a great time on either. But, from our limited experience it seems that RCI is just a notch above Carnival. Like Target vs. wal-mart. The one area RCI surpasses carnival in, is new and innovative ships and refurbs. They are dumping a ton of money to upgrade and building the newest fleet at sea. So if you want to sail the newest and biggest ships... RCI is the hands down winner.  

Edited by vanelli56

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Did 10 on Carnival before switching to Royal. Around 30 Royal cruises completed.   Pretty close to pulling the trigger on a Princess cruise today.  

 

It's good to check out the mega Oasis class ships, they are something every cruiser should try once.  I personally love them and have sailed them all.  Research and plan.  You need show reservations since they are so big everyone can't fit in a theater at once so they offer multiple performances and use reservations to manage crowds.  The point is research them, don't assume it's just like Carnival or you'll be disappointed you can't get into a show.

 

A lot comes down to small details and personal likes and dislikes.  When I first sailed Oasis after sailing Carnival I was like "this isn't how Carnival does it" but with an open mind I came to like some of those differences. 

 

Food is subjective, I won't go there.  

 

Windjammer is like the Lido Marketplace.  Lido tends to have long lines that inch forward to the food.  Windjammer has more food stations where salads are here, meat is there, fish is somewhere else, etc.  It's easier to bop around between the food stations in the Windjammer.  At first it seemed chaotic compared to the long slow lines in the Lido, but I quickly grew to prefer the flow of the Windjammer.

 

I never had a bad cruise with Carnival but felt like I wanted something more. 

 

A car is a car.  Four wheels, seats, mirrors and turn signals.  Yet we all like certain things the way a certain manufacturer builds them.  We are lucky to have variety to pick from.  Soon I will sample Princess.  Why not?   I'd like to take this from one, that from another and something else from another and mix them together but it doesn't work that way. 

 

Don't dwell on the differences, live in the moment and enjoy your cruise on whatever line you sail.

 

 

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I would agree with the posters above.  Our first cruise was on Carnival and is what really got us hooked on cruising in general.  Our second cruise was on Royal and it was really just a step above.  We really enjoyed that first cruise on Carnival but I doubt we will be back (never say never) as we just enjoy the ones we have taken on Royal and the one on Celebrity even more.  And we really love the Oasis class ships.  Nothing like them!

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You have all been wonderful with your replies. I really appreciate it. I know I am going to be happy because cruising is better than no cruising right 🙂 you all gave wonderful advice and i appreciate it. Looking forward to trying Harmony out in just a few weeks now. 

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We have been on breeze 3 times. One of our favorite ships. We have been on all oasis class ships except Symphony, which we will be on in June. Harmony is our all time favorite. U can’t even compare breeze to the oasis class. Royal entertainment is far superior to carnival. We are going on carnival Panarama next June.  I definitely like carnival but find Royal to be classy and elegant.   

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On 4/9/2019 at 2:54 PM, 919Florida said:

You have all been wonderful with your replies. I really appreciate it. I know I am going to be happy because cruising is better than no cruising right 🙂 you all gave wonderful advice and i appreciate it. Looking forward to trying Harmony out in just a few weeks now. 

 

I'm in the same boat, after taking so many Carnival cruises, I found one on RC at a comparable price. When we didn't have kids, it literally boiled down to the cheapest one with the best hamburgers and pizza (Carnival). Now that I have a child, this particular RC ship has a better kiddie water park at the same price point. I'm actually looking forward to doing something different for a change. I think it's best to take a break from Carnival every once in awhile and try a different line to see what it offers.

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I cruise between RCI, Carnival, and NCL. Each line has its strong points. I like RCI entertainment better, I like the food on Carnival a bit more. You can't beat Guys Burgers on Carnival. I have never had a bad cruise and I like to switch things up. Have a great time. If you have a chance, try out the Oasis class. It is definitely a unique experience that no other line has yet. Although I am really looking forward my cruise on the Mardi Gras in 2021, that may come close.

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Another Carnival vs RC question?

 

Go read member trip reviews.....

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On 4/9/2019 at 1:16 PM, 919Florida said:

So I am a frequent cruiser with Carnival. Pretty loyal to them actually. I love Carnival for its value as well fun it offers. I always have a good time. I have taken 8 cruises with Carnival so far. 

 

Now the reason for this post I have decided to do some price checking with Royal and found amazing prices on some great cruises. I have actually booked and deposits on three different trips. Harmony for one and then Mariner of the Seas in Sept and again in January. The prices were so good I could not pass up on it. I think a lot of that has to do with the studio rooms they offer. So for those of you who have cruises on both cruise lines do you find them to be pretty comparable with experience? to give you an idea with Carnival my favorite ships have been the Magic, Breeze, Sunshine. Any advice you can give a new person to Royal I am all ears. 

 

Thank you so much 

We took our first cruise on Royal Allure of the seas(3/24-3/31) after 5 Carnival cruises. The first thing I noticed was that Royal really uses their apps and the internet to stream line their embarkation process. We had a 12 noon  embarkation. We arrived at the Miami terminal at 10:30am and was on the ship by 11:15am. Our suit cases were delivered to our rooms by 1pm as promised. It was simple things like this that we thought Royal did very well. While Carnival sometimes struggles to do these same things.

 

I've seen people complain about the up-selling on Royal, but we didn't think it was any worse than Carnival. We did notice that Royal is not always trying to get you to take a picture every place you go.

 

But there is a different "vibe" on the Royal ships. Royal has more of a "lay back and relax" vibe. While Carnival has the "Caribbean party" vibe with the island music constantly playing. We also noticed that the cruise director on Royal is not as noticeable as Carnivals cruise director. We actually didn't even see our cruise director until the third day of the cruise.

 

We also thought that even though we were on the third largest cruise ship in the world, it didn't feel as crowded as some of the Carnival ships we've been on. The buffet was larger and had better food on Royal. The MDR service was quicker and the food was a little better on Royal. We did think Carnival had them beat on the included food options. Royal has included food options but we preferred the ones on Carnival.

 

Also, Royal takes hand sanitizing very seriously. They have employees outside of most restaurants making sure you clean your hands before you eat.

 

All-n-all we were very happy with Royal Caribbean. Or cruise was more expensive than what we would have paid for on Carnival but it was worth it. We found Royal to be a step above of Carnival. 

 

MOF, we've already booked another cruise on Royal.

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7 hours ago, lowbass said:

 ... We also noticed that the cruise director on Royal is not as noticeable as Carnivals cruise director. We actually didn't even see our cruise director until the third day of the cruise. ...

 

This is more a characterization of Oasis class ships than Royal as a whole.  We see the cruise director much more on Royal's smaller ships.

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I've cruised CCL 10 times and will never cruise with them again. They failed me and after so many attempts to get them to fix their mistake, I booked with RCI. I wish I would have left them years ago! After cruising on the Oasis class ships, you couldn't pay me to go back! My next is on the Harmony in January. I've been on all the classes with CCL and there's no comparison to Oasis class.

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The difference:  People get on Carnival to get as drunk as they can as fast as the can - RCCL cruisers get on to have a cocktail, relax, and unwind.

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41 minutes ago, gonole1972 said:

The difference:  People get on Carnival to get as drunk as they can as fast as the can - RCCL cruisers get on to have a cocktail, relax, and unwind.

 

I used to think this was the case, but for us that was not our experience during spring break weeks. The last three years during our kids' spring break weeks in March each year, we did Norwegian Escape, then a smaller RC ship I can't remember the name, then just did Carnival Horizon a few weeks ago. Our experience was that the NCL and RC had many more college kids, and the Carnival had many more families.

 

My theory is that the college kids don't do Carnival for spring break since the drink package has 15 drink limit vs unlimited on NCL and RC, but not sure if that is really why. My wife and I are 40 and still like to party a bit at night so we actually enjoyed the cruises with more college kids, and found the pools during the day to be a little boring on Carnival with nothing but families just sitting around. We're booked for Symphony next March so we're hoping it will be a little more lively than the Carnival Horizon.

 

 

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1 hour ago, gonole1972 said:

The difference:  People get on Carnival to get as drunk as they can as fast as the can - RCCL cruisers get on to have a cocktail, relax, and unwind.

 

Totally disagree with that assessment. There will be just as many over inbibers  on any cruise line, especially the shorter cruises. Carnival has a drink limit with their alcohol package however on RCI there is no limit. Carnival gets a bad rep from many people but I have not seen any more drunks on the cruises we have taken. Stay away from the short spring break cruises on any line.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, gonole1972 said:

The difference:  People get on Carnival to get as drunk as they can as fast as the can - RCCL cruisers get on to have a cocktail, relax, and unwind.

This is probably the one of the St%#idest statements I have ever seen on this website.

 

Most likely coming from someone that has most likley never been on Carnival or RC.

 

Getting info from "some guy" at work that went on a cruise 10 years ago and is now an expert...

Edited by matj2000

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Posted (edited)

Going to 47th cruise next month - been on both Carnival and RCCL.  Just a fun way I see the difference.  

 

Edited by gonole1972

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I've been on all Carnival and Royal. My opinion can best be summed up by our current bookings, one on Carnival, two on Royal (one of which was chosen by the people we're going with, they are loyal to Royal) and one on NCL.

 

We like both lines for different reasons and won't hesitate to book any based on itinerary (our NCL for Bermuda overnights), ship (Harmony and NCL Encore) and value (Carnival). If we had to rank, it'd be Carnival, Royal then NCL. Our kids (5 and 3) loved the kids program on Carnival and liked NCL. Their first RC is in May. We've been on multiples from each line and been on older smaller boats and larger newer boats on each line. 

 

Quick pros and cons

Pros

Carnival: comedy, quick service food (Guy's burgers, Taco's, etc), our favorite organized daytime activities, kids club, kids loved waterworks (other lines have great areas, but the had taller minimum height, so kids couldn't go), value

Royal: stage shows (+ice and water shows depending on boat), amazing boats with tons of stuff to do

 

 

Cons

Carnival: shorter weekend cruises have a rowdy crowd,  stage shows are lacking compared to other lines, boats lacking amenities

Royal: price (especially on Oasis class), itineraries lacking on bigger boats, less organized activities we liked compared to Carnival

 

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I have sailed on Carnival and RCI....with and without my kids (who are now adults).  My feeling is that there is no bad cruise, as long as I am on one!!  With that being said, I tend to prefer RCI, and so do my kids.  Seems to be more to do onboard and just seems to be a step above Carnival.  Entertainment seems to be much better on RCI!  Whichever you choose, you will have a great time!  Enjoy your cruise!

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10 hours ago, gonole1972 said:

The difference:  People get on Carnival to get as drunk as they can as fast as the can - RCCL cruisers get on to have a cocktail, relax, and unwind.

Not my experience at all.

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11 hours ago, gonole1972 said:

The difference:  People get on Carnival to get as drunk as they can as fast as the can - RCCL cruisers get on to have a cocktail, relax, and unwind.

I'll go against the grain and agree with you... I saw another post comparing wal mart and target that I kind of agree with as well. I don't see it as a "slam" when its pretty accurate. I used to drink. In fact I was an outright pro at it and Carnival was my go to for that. If I was on another line and Carnival was near us I had a case of envy missing what I viewed as a "more upbeat" atmosphere. When my daughter came of age to join us on cruises I felt RCL  was more "appropriate'. I'm twenty years sober now and enjoy the more mature atmosphere I find on most RCL cruises. I say most because last year I got on a three day that was reminiscent of the Carnival days. I didn't mind but was a little surprised. 

 

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We are platinum on Carnival.  We got tired of the same old thing and switched it up a bit with RCCL and Princess.  We just cruised on the Breeze in February and I am back on board with Carnival! Our cruise on the Breeze was close to perfect for us.  This is my take.  Princess was great for Alaska, but we will only cruise in a mini-suite because the regular cabins are too small.  I know you didn't ask about Princess, but I wanted you to know that we were searching for an alternative.  Princess is fine, but a bit old fashioned.  Not the "fun" experience we enjoyed.  Not a "drunken" experience as most people assume, but there is so much fun.  Don't really know how to explain it.  We have cruised on RCCL Oasis twice and LOVED it!  It is a WOW experience.  We are booked on Harmony this fall.  Can't wait!  I see that you are looking at Harmony and I would definitely book it.  It will be a good comparison to the newer ships that Carnival has to offer.  However, there really isn't a comparison.  The Oasis class surpasses the newer Carnival builds.  I have the Carnival Mardi Gras booked.....that may actually be an apples to apples comparison.  We will see.  My suggestion is to try the Harmony.  It has some major plusses compared to even the newer Carnival ships.  There are some negatives.  Free lunch options and such.  Try the Oasis class.  Our take away is to only cruise on Carnival's newer ships.  We have only cruised on RCCL's newer ships.  To us, newer is better.  Hope this helps.     

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