Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
zitsky

Is Carnival a party ship?

Recommended Posts

I found a short 5 day/night cruise I'm interested in on Carnival.  But partner is not excited about it.  He has the impression that Carnival ships are raucous party boats where you will never find peace and quiet, and people just come to party all day and night.  Is he right?  If it matters, we have been on Viking River cruises (quiet), and Norwegian (reasonably quiet).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are time and places on the ship where you can find some peace and quite. The serenity deck if your ship has on immediately come to mind. 

 

But remember,  there is a reason Carnival is called the Fun Ships !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, it all depends on the time of year - spring break, summer - it's going to be busier/noisier.  Sea days are always noisier. For the record though, I've never experienced a "raucous party" on any of our Carnival Cruises.  I should mention that we don't hang out on the lido deck though.  There are quieter places all over the ship and I think you can pretty much find whatever atmosphere you like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, zitsky said:

I found a short 5 day/night cruise I'm interested in on Carnival.  But partner is not excited about it.  He has the impression that Carnival ships are raucous party boats where you will never find peace and quiet, and people just come to party all day and night.  Is he right?  If it matters, we have been on Viking River cruises (quiet), and Norwegian (reasonably quiet).

Depends on where you are, when you are cruising and what you like doing.

 

If you like to lounge around in peace and quiet, there are plenty of places to do that.   If you like to party, there are plenty of places to do that.  You can really choose your own experience.  

 

I like the fact that I can be as busy or as lazy as I want to be whenever I want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any cruise ship is whatever kind of vacation that you want.

 

That said, Carnival does have a rep of being a party cruise line. But there are lots of quiet areas.. even on deck(where there is always music and stuff going on), there are still quiet areas. And there is lots to do that doesn't have anything to do with partying.

 

I think where you cruise out of has a lot to do with it as well..and time of year. Baltimore cruises seem a bit more low-key than Miami.  

 

We like a quiet cruise..with some fun added in. We don't go to many shows or deck parties..but we do always go to comedy shows and sit by the Alchemy Bar to make friends. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The Lido pool deck area tends to be the liveliest place on the ship during the day. However, depending on the ship, there are lots of quieter places on the ship like the Serenity area and the aft pool.  I have done 3 day up to 8 day cruises on Carnival,  and I never thought I was on a party ship at any time.  People tend to drink more on shorter cruises, but I have never seen anything get out of hand or witnessed many people get sick. I have seen more people get sick from the motion of the ship than I have from people drinking too much. 

Edited by PhillyFan33579

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If you choose a time other than school breaks and summer, you will be more likely to have a quieter crowd.  I've cruised a lot on Carnival.  I usually book 7 or 8 nights, but did go on a 4 night cruise at Christmas time once.  It was fine.  All of my Carnival cruises have been fine.  I was very hesitant to book my first Carnival cruise several years ago because of the reputation, but I worried for no reason.  I have cruised on three other lines, but Carnival is our cruise of choice now.

If you cruise during spring break or right after schools get out, you might see more college kids partying.  I think shorter cruises during school breaks will attract a younger crowd.

We have always been able to find quiet places to relax, even on the Vista.

Edited by TNcruising02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, BellaSweet said:

Any cruise ship is whatever kind of vacation that you want.

 

That said, Carnival does have a rep of being a party cruise line. But there are lots of quiet areas.. even on deck(where there is always music and stuff going on), there are still quiet areas. And there is lots to do that doesn't have anything to do with partying.

 

I think where you cruise out of has a lot to do with it as well..and time of year. Baltimore cruises seem a bit more low-key than Miami.  

 

We like a quiet cruise..with some fun added in. We don't go to many shows or deck parties..but we do always go to comedy shows and sit by the Alchemy Bar to make friends. 


I agree with where you cruise out of has a lot to do with the crowd.  When we cruised out of Baltimore, it was much more low-key than our cruises out of Miami.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like some of the music the whippersnappers play these days, but the only time it ever really bugged me was at night in the smoking area outside when a bunch of kids went into a *decidedly profane* rap session complete with racial epithets.

 

So I finished my smoke and drink, and went inside.  When I came back later, they were gone.  Probably found another place to rap.

 

My very unclear point is that you can't really pigeonhole an entire cruise into one category.  Just like everywhere else, you're the star of nobody's show except your own, so have fun on your terms!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the secret is the length of the cruise.   The 3-4 day cruises are called booze cruises for a reason.  Five day cruises are borderline.  I've never been on a cruise shorter than 7 days and depending on time of year they can be pretty quiet but fun is always around the corner.  Our longest cruise was 15 days and the crowd was definitely older and more sedate but still fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

The Lido pool deck area tends to be the liveliest place on the ship during the day. However, depending on the ship, there are lots of quieter places on the ship like the Serenity area and the aft pool.  I have done 3 day up to 8 day cruises on Carnival,  and I never thought I was on a party ship at any time.  People tend to drink more on shorter cruises, but I have never seen anything get out of hand or witnessed many people get sick. I have seen more people get sick from the motion of the ship than I have from people drinking too much. 

 

^^^ I totally agree!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found on a Carnival ship if you are looking to have a party fun ship experience you can find it and if you aren't you can avoid it.  DH and I are not the party type people and have never had a problem avoiding that scene.  Most of our earlier cruise on Carnival were family cruises where I didn't see much of it at all because I wasn't looking for it or doing things with our family that would bring us in contact with it.  My kids are older now (22 and 25) and my DD does like to party.  She was able to find the party scene on her last 2 Carnival cruises with us.  We weren't looking for it and never really saw it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found Carnival to be no more of a party ship than Disney or Royal Caribbean.  Seriously.  Now that said, I've only been on 7 day cruises over spring break or during the summer.  Never a shorter, less expensive cruise that is sometimes a bachelor or bachelorette party type of cruise.  But honestly, Fun Ship does not mean raucous party, it just means they try to keep it upbeat on deck, and offer lots of activities.  And yes, I was serious about Disney, I've seen those ships get just as crazy with adults while their kids are off with Mickey.  lol 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Party Ship thing may be due to CCL having the most short, less $$ , 3-5 night cruises from drive to ports .

Those cruises . especially over a weekend , do attract a different type cruiser. 

Totally different experience on the 6 night and longer CCL cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My only Carnival cruise to date was a 3-night one out of Long Beach over Fall Break (that Monday was Columbus Day so it was a long weekend for many even if they don't actually get a Fall Break). 

 

And even then, we didn't really find it to be a party atmosphere. Sure, if you wanted to party, you could. But I wouldn't have called it any wilder than our Norwegian cruises of a decade earlier. Seriously -- I never really noticed crazy partying because I wasn't hanging out in the clubs at night. We had kids with us, so obviously that wasn't an option, but even if we'd been just adults, we prefer to go to the shows and then have a single quiet drink up on the deck (or maybe just dessert) before heading to bed. We're not really night owls, preferring to get to sleep in order to be one of the first off the ship in port.

 

We avoided the hairy chest contests and all of that typical Spring Break crap by hanging out by the waterslides when we were with the kids, or in Serenity when they were in Camp Ocean. Yes, we knew it was going on, but we could easily avoid it.

Edited by DukeASUGirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies.  Maybe we should look for a 7 day cruise, just to be safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're comparing to Viking, Carnival will likely seem much louder to you, but you can definitely find quieter places to hang out.

 

If you look for a 7 day, and you can time it for when kids are in school, the ship will also be somewhat less crowded, and that may help.  Also, before you go, read some reviews of whatever ship you end up on- someone usually points places to chill that will look like they'll appeal to you.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ultimately the experience is how you make it. Any cruise ship can be a party ship if you want to party. Any cruise ship can also be relaxing if you want to relax. It has something for everyone. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are expecting something like Viking River cruise-quiet, you will not find it.

 

But Carnival is probably comparable to Norwegian.

 

As others have said, if you want to find a truly quiet spot, there will be plenty available - Serenity deck, or the Library (if there is still one on that ship), or an open deck at the front, or sometimes somewhere on the Lido deck or the deck above.

 

We were just on a 5-day cruise (Elation, out of Canaveral).  It was not what I would call 24/7 party, and there were always places to go retreat from the crowds.

 

3 and 4 day cruises, especially over Spring Break, will attract the party crowd.  I have also heard (but cannot prove) that certain ports (cough Miami cough) tend to attract a more party-oriented crowd (Port Canaveral is not one of them).

 

However, a 7 day cruise while school is in (Jan or Feb, mid-April to early-May, Sept through mid-Nov, or early Dec) is certainly going to attract a quieter crowd, so if you want to play safe, stretch out the cruise length as far as you can!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cushing985 said:

I think the secret is the length of the cruise.   The 3-4 day cruises are called booze cruises for a reason.  Five day cruises are borderline.  I've never been on a cruise shorter than 7 days and depending on time of year they can be pretty quiet but fun is always around the corner.  Our longest cruise was 15 days and the crowd was definitely older and more sedate but still fun.

 

How do you know 3-4 day cruises are booze cruises if you have never been on a cruise shorter than 7 days?  I have been on several shorter cruises on Carnival, including both Victory and Liberty within the last month. I have never experienced anything close to what I would consider a booze cruise on these shorter cruises.  The closest I have come to a booze cruise was an 8 day cruise on Horizon.  There were definitely a LOT of party animals on that cruise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just on a 5 day that was (ahem) supposed to go to Havana.  Did not find excessive partying.  I have also sailed Norwegian and I found very little difference in the atmosphere between the two.  Least 'partying' cruise I have ever been on?  My Carnival Panama Canal transit, where it was in general an older demographic.  I have heard the shorter cruises (3-4 day) tend to gather a more party crowd, but can't vouch for it because I've never done one.  That said, if you can avoid college spring break, you probably decrease the chances of any extreme partying.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

How do you know 3-4 day cruises are booze cruises if you have never been on a cruise shorter than 7 days?  

 

I was going to ask the same question! I've noticed that many of the people who look down their noses at the short cruises and call them "booze cruises" have actually never been on one.

 

I've been on a 3-night Bahamas cruise out of Miami on NCL during college Spring Break, and a 3-night Carnival cruise to Ensenada out of Long Beach during Fall Break. Between the two, I felt the NCL one was more of a party atmosphere than the Carnival one, but I wouldn't call either a "booze cruise."

 

The most party atmosphere of the cruises I've been on was our 7-night Western Caribbean out of Houston on NCL, but we were only 27 and 32 at the time, so we were more likely to want to seek out the party (we're 42 and 47 now). We actually did go to the club one night then. LOL

 

We're going on a 4-night out of Long Beach next week. Since that one happens during the work week (the 3-night ones are over the weekend), I expect it will be even less "party" than the one we went on last year. 

 

If you want to party, you can. If you want to avoid that and relax in relative peace, you can. Your cruise is what you make of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who lives in South Florida and cruises out of both Port Everglades and Miami, here's my two cents. We have been on the 4 day itinerary on the Victory (Miami) many times and never found the sailings to be a "booze cruise" or too raucous. We are also not "party people" but enjoy the option of being able to choose from many activities throughout the day and evening if we wish to do so.  It's nice to have activities available yet each day we find a shady spot on deck to relax and read.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zitsky said:

Thanks for the replies.  Maybe we should look for a 7 day cruise, just to be safe.

 

You can, but in all honesty, the shorter cruises are all about timing.  Taking a shorter cruise that covers a weekend (especially when there is a holiday) or during college breaks will result in a slightly more raucous atmosphere.  I've been on 4 and 5 day cruises, as well as 7 day cruises and did not notice an appreciable difference (with the exception of the CA/NE itinerary which was very quiet).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Schoifmom said:

 

You can, but in all honesty, the shorter cruises are all about timing.  Taking a shorter cruise that covers a weekend (especially when there is a holiday) or during college breaks will result in a slightly more raucous atmosphere.  I've been on 4 and 5 day cruises, as well as 7 day cruises and did not notice an appreciable difference (with the exception of the CA/NE itinerary which was very quiet).  

 

What's a CA/NE itinerary?  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...