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gratamama

Looking for a change

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

We finished an 8-night exotic Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival  Conquest last month. We had a great time and LOVED our ports. This was our 5th cruise - 4 on Carnival and 1 on RC. I am not dissatisfied with Carnival, but I do think next time I want to try a different line.  We are a family of 4 - two boys ages 14 and 4.

 

Looking for recommendations for a line/ particular boat:

 

Things we really liked about Carnival:

  • Carnival is priced great, gotta love that - that said we will pay more - but probably not Disney prices
  • Excellent staff/service
  • We enjoy those comedy shows and outdoor movies
  • I might be wrong but cabin sizes might have been a smidge better on Carnival than RC? Up til now, we have had all 4 of us in one cabin. (Might change)

 

Things we weren't so into:

  • We love pool time, but our ship had so much loud, nonstop music on Lido, DH and I felt we had headaches at the end of the day (and not from booze!) Also, I can live without another hairy chest contest or twerking. ;)
  • That said, wish Carnival still had live music on Lido
  • Shows so far on Carnival were really so-so. We've been on 1 RC cruise and I don't know if its fair to base everything on that, but it seemed higher quality 
  • Most Carnival ships are kind of loud décor wise, however not a deal breaker for us

 

Edited to add: Oh, and we have no use for casinos and tried to avoid Deck 5 because of all the smoking yuckiness. Can this be avoided?

 

Thanks!

 

Edited by gratamama

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If you are looking for a change, to try something new, I think you should have a look at MSC.  It will be a different experience.  They are beautiful ships, and large.  I have sailed Divina and Seaside from Miami and enjoyed both.  I also believe their cabins are a bit larger when booking for 4.  And many of their cruises are 'kids sail free'.  Inside and OV cabins on Divina have upper bunks, but balconies have a double sofa bed.  However on Seaside, they have a sofabed that makes into upper and lower bunks.  Their pools are nice, and I never saw them crowded.  One difference you will notice though, is that most of the entertainment is musical.  This is because they are well known as an Italian/European line, and even the ships they have tried to adapt for US cruisers still draw a large proportion of their guests from Europe.  No comedians, because our humor wouldn't be understood, even among the English speakers.  (Sail on Cunard and though the humour is in English, we still puzzle over the British wit.)  

 

I find pricing very reasonable, especially if you are willing to gamble a bit.  I looked at the deck plans, and realized that there are really not many OV cabins.  I was advised that if I booked an OV gty, I was almost guaranteed to be upgraded to a balcony.  There are only 80 OV cabins, and 1300 balconies...  So I did, and I was.  There are not a multitude of cabin categories.  There are Experiences  You can book Bella, which is the basic; Fantastica the average, and Aurea with more bennies.  then there is the Yacht Club, a whole nother level...and more money.  Within each experience you book inside, OV, or balcony.  It's worth a look...EM

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I agree with Essiesmom.  In a few weeks, we are leaving on our 2nd sailing on the MSC Seaside.  Our kids love this ship and the prices are great!  They have lots to do including waterslides.  We are 50ish and very active.  Our kids have been cruising with us since they were toddlers.  Our youngest is 14 years old.  We really like the new NCL and new RCCL ships as well.  Currently, the Seaside is such a great value for the money.  

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I forgot to mention the slides, the zipline, the Formula 1 simulator...the bowling lanes...EM

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With regards to RCI, your experience can change dramatically depending on which class of ship you were on.  The entertainment of the Oasis class ships is unbelievable.  

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On 5/9/2019 at 11:15 AM, gratamama said:

Hi,

We finished an 8-night exotic Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival  Conquest last month. We had a great time and LOVED our ports. This was our 5th cruise - 4 on Carnival and 1 on RC. I am not dissatisfied with Carnival, but I do think next time I want to try a different line.  We are a family of 4 - two boys ages 14 and 4.

 

Looking for recommendations for a line/ particular boat:

 

Things we really liked about Carnival:

  • Carnival is priced great, gotta love that - that said we will pay more - but probably not Disney prices
  • Excellent staff/service
  • We enjoy those comedy shows and outdoor movies
  • I might be wrong but cabin sizes might have been a smidge better on Carnival than RC? Up til now, we have had all 4 of us in one cabin. (Might change)

 

Things we weren't so into:

  • We love pool time, but our ship had so much loud, nonstop music on Lido, DH and I felt we had headaches at the end of the day (and not from booze!) Also, I can live without another hairy chest contest or twerking. ;)
  • That said, wish Carnival still had live music on Lido
  • Shows so far on Carnival were really so-so. We've been on 1 RC cruise and I don't know if its fair to base everything on that, but it seemed higher quality 
  • Most Carnival ships are kind of loud décor wise, however not a deal breaker for us

 

Edited to add: Oh, and we have no use for casinos and tried to avoid Deck 5 because of all the smoking yuckiness. Can this be avoided?

 

Thanks!

 

Royal seems like it would best satisfy your dislikes. However, NCL would be my recommendation for a family. I hated the fact that the bedding situation on Royal took up almost half of the walking space in the cabin, as well as the cabin being way smaller than a Carnival cabin.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2019 at 11:15 AM, gratamama said:

Edited to add: Oh, and we have no use for casinos and tried to avoid Deck 5 because of all the smoking yuckiness. Can this be avoided?

Avoid Norwegian.

 

We were on the Allure recently and loved it, despite a smaller inside cabin. Great entertainment, great activities for family with kids, better food than Norwegian, speedy MDR service (Norwegian's MDR service was like pulling teeth)...

As long as you avoid Windjammer buffet during pick hours, you will be fine. Thankfully, the Allure had a Solarium buffet - even though it had fewer selections, it was lovely and usually no wait.

 

We love newer Princess ships for food and decor, and they have a great kid's club (which unfortunately our kid doesn't do), but they don't have any activities for families (like ropes course, slides, rock climbing, flowrider).

We found that we loved all these fun activities on newer Norwegian ship (Getaway) and the entertainment was simply fantastic, but the food was frankly rather bad, service in MDR was atrocious, and the smoke smell was pretty bad.

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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