Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Chief93

Advice please from those who have cruised multiple lines

Recommended Posts

I am Platinum on Carnival but have only sailed Carnival.  I want to take my parents on a cruise next year for their 60th wedding anniversary.  They have both been on several cruises, all Carnival.

 

Im looking for advice from those who have crusied both Carnival and other lines.  Im looking for a more upscale experience.  I think they have moved past a lot of the Carnival activities.  Ive read the reviews here for Celebrity, Crystal, Princess, Holand America, etc and found them to be a mixed bag.  I cant afford Regent Seven Seas or Seabourne.

 

Any advice will be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you can see by my signature who I've cruised with. 

 

Carnival is usually the most cost effective and get the biggest bang for the buck.  Tons of itineraries, they seem to go more places than the competitors.  Cabins are pretty much the same as the other two lines, I don't notice a difference.  Love Guy's burgers and the Dive In Movies and the amount of trivia.  seem to have more activities at sea than the others. 

 

NCL is probably a step up for most.   I love their Free At Sea promotion and the specialty dining.   do NOT sail on ncl and you're moderate or more drinkers without the drink package.  They have the priciest drinks at sea.  I like their buffet best and their entertainment is a notch above Carnival. 

 

MSC is a player on best rate sometimes.  They're bringing a ton of new ships to USA next several years.  I found their entertainment to be almost as good as NCL.  Their MDR is slooooooooooooooow, like almost 2 hour service slow.  some folks don't like the international vibe onboard (ship's announcements are done is 4 languages) but I really dug it.   Since they're an Italian Co they're well known for a vast array of pizza options on buffet and their Italian cuisine. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with the above poster about Norwegian. We enjoyed our cruise on Royal as well but if all things were the same we'd probably choose Norwegian for the  specialty restaurants. 

 

Instead of splurging on a higher end cruise, why not try Norwegian and upgrade to a suite or something? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only cruised on Carnival, Royal, Norwegian, and Disney.  Out of those lines, I think your parents might enjoy Norwegian for their 60th wedding anniversary.  The theater shows are very good.  They should be able to get the perks with unlimited beverages and specialty restaurants. Their mini suites, which aren't really suites, have extra large bathrooms with a full size shower and double vanity. 

They have a Vibe area, which I believe is adult only, that can be purchased by first come, first served tickets on the first day.  I think the tone of the cruises were more relaxed and upscale than Carnival.  They also have Haven cabins for an even more upscale experience, if desired.  Once you book the cabins, you may receive an email at some point with the option of bidding on a better cabin.

 
I prefer Carnival, but if I was travelling with my parents for their 60th, I would choose Norwegian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can see where I have cruised as well.  Celebrity and Holland America offer the most traditional experience of elegant nights, a more formal evening dining room and actual special interest speakers (remember those?).  Princess is very similar to RCL in offering a somewhat nicer ship experience than Carnival, but similar food and entertainment.  Carnival is also very sparsely represented in Europe as well, while the others have significant presence there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are in our 60s and recently been on a few Princess cruises. Very nice and more laid back than Carnival. Not boring , but way more relaxing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have sailed different lines and all I can say it depends on how active your parents plan to be and the experience you wish them to have. Though we have sailed on NCL many times if you wish to give your parents a great bang for your buck experience I would book the Yacht Club on MSC. It is not as expensive as one may think to book this experience. We loved the YC and in comparison to the Haven we preferred this sailing more as far as our view of customer satisfaction. Everything is included in the YC and we plan to book again in 2021 as soon as we see if they are going to offer Alaska. We loved having room service and the mini bar included and we felt the ship (Seaside) was beautiful. For my DH and myself I prefer the YC (we are late 60's and early 70's) as it fits what we enjoy for comfort and service. My children are taking me on two Carnival cruises next year for my 70th birthday (yes, I am blessed as your parents are in your gift)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve cruise Carnival, NCL and RC. I don’t think any of these lines is more upscale than the other if you’re in a regular cabin. By that I mean, not Haven (NCL) or suites on RC. I’m not sure why the other posters thought NCL is upscale???  Maybe because they have more specialty dining restaurants? I’ve never seen as many baseball hats in the MDR than on NCL. The cruisers really take the free style to another level.

 

I haven’t been on Celebrity but have heard great things about them. They’re priced higher but I think you get what you pay for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Jerseygirl1416 said:

I’ve cruise Carnival, NCL and RC. I don’t think any of these lines is more upscale than the other if you’re in a regular cabin. By that I mean, not Haven (NCL) or suites on RC. I’m not sure why the other posters thought NCL is upscale???  Maybe because they have more specialty dining restaurants? I’ve never seen as many baseball hats in the MDR than on NCL. The cruisers really take the free style to another level.

 

I haven’t been on Celebrity but have heard great things about them. They’re priced higher but I think you get what you pay for.

My Celebrity cruises have been a much better value than any Carnival cruise that I have taken. You have to do ALL of the math. Much nicer experience as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Princess or Holland America might be best for you and your parents.I did both with my mom and Holland America is good but depending on your age you might think it’s a bit slow. The ships are nice and clean and when I took it they seem to always be cleaning the bathrooms which was really nice. Holland America's food taste pretty good too and they have great ice cream that’s free. Princess was nice also it seemed more fancy then Holland America, It might been because it was a 15 day cruise why. But people dressed up fancy on formal night and the ship seem to do it big. The food was way too salty and I couldn’t enjoy a lot of it, but they had a lot of variety of activities and I had alot of fun. Both cruise lines I would do again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have done a crossing on the Queen Mary 2.   I don't know if your parents enjoy lectures, but the QM2 has a planetarium on board, enrichment lectures that are usually very interesting and many other options.  Do they enjoy ballroom dancing?  Largest ballroom at sea with a live orchestra.

Food is good on Cunard, and it is not stuffy at all.   You just need to bring a dark suit for men and a few long dresses for the formal nights and you're good to go.  We actually found there was so much to do on board we were disappointed when we didn't get to do it all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I introduced my parents to cruising (after many, many years of convincing), I took them on Celebrity. They most often chose Celebrity when they went by themselves.

 

I've always chosen based on itinerary, price, and ship, in that order. After many Carnival cruises, I found Celebrity had the largest variety of destinations I wanted to visit, especially out of San Juan. A southern Caribbean or a Bermuda cruise on the newly renovated Celebrity Summit would be a great choice for a 60th anniversary. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have recently sailed Celebrity and we enjoyed the experience.  We also sailed sailed HAL but that was in 2005 and we really like it.  I think your parents would like either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What activities do your parents like?

Are they drinkers?

Are they active?

Do they prefer a balcony or are they happy anywhere on the ship?

 

Each cruise line - and actually - each individual ship - has their own positives and negatives depending on individual likes and dislikes.

 

Is there somewhere special you want to take them? What about length? Who's paying and what's the overall budget?

 

I would start with those questions and then look at what your options are.

 

My parents really loved our Princess cruises - but they've all been on the same ship (Caribbean Princess) because it has a Window Suite (no balcony which we don't use) which gives us lots of extras that we don't have when we cruise on say - the Carnival Pride (obstructed interior) or Royal's Voyager or Freedom class (interior). They could go on other Princess ships and may not enjoy it as much because they don't get the unlimited free laundry, club class dining, water in the cabin, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with some of the other posters.  I have done 2 NCL cruises (granted they were on the older ships without all the bells and whistles), and I did not enjoy them that much.  I found the Main Dining Room food far inferior to that on any of the other lines that I have sailed  (RCL, Carnival, Holland America, and Disney).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Chief93 said:

I am Platinum on Carnival but have only sailed Carnival.  I want to take my parents on a cruise next year for their 60th wedding anniversary.  They have both been on several cruises, all Carnival.

 

Im looking for advice from those who have crusied both Carnival and other lines.  Im looking for a more upscale experience.  I think they have moved past a lot of the Carnival activities.  Ive read the reviews here for Celebrity, Crystal, Princess, Holand America, etc and found them to be a mixed bag.  I cant afford Regent Seven Seas or Seabourne.

 

Any advice will be appreciated.

My opinion. Princess hands down. Here is why. First it is a great cruise for the older cruisers. Lots of nice activities. Less children if any, especially if you cruise when school is session. Not much for the children to do. Also all the prices are lower at those times. If you book real early, you can get some fantastic offers. Such as Pre Paid gratuities, Free Coffee packages Free Drink packages. On board credit, in addition, if you are a veteran you receive great on board credit also. Very good food also. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, twodaywonder said:

My opinion. Princess hands down. Here is why. First it is a great cruise for the older cruisers. Lots of nice activities. Less children if any, especially if you cruise when school is session. Not much for the children to do. Also all the prices are lower at those times. If you book real early, you can get some fantastic offers. Such as Pre Paid gratuities, Free Coffee packages Free Drink packages. On board credit, in addition, if you are a veteran you receive great on board credit also. Very good food also. 

We are Diamond on Carnival. Next cruise is on the Carnival Magic for Halloween. Then January the new Sky Princess then in March the Island Princess. Just completed two with Celebrity the Reflection and the Refurbished Equinox. Nice but never again. Over crowded and a very noisy crowd on both. Did not like the Edge. As always to each there own. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have sailed on Carnival, Celebrity and Holland America.  

 

I would recommend Celebrity for your cruise with your parents.  In my opinion the MDR food is the best out of the 3 on Celebrity and the nightlife will be a good bit better compared to HAL as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Azamara ....a bit pricy but includes alcohol, gratuities. Much smaller ship...around 600 people. Excellent food/service

2. Cunard.....I LOVE the ballroom dance area, afternoon tea time, food, fellow cruisers (mostly Brits), lectures, less people, quiet 

3. Holland America..... Good food, great itineraries, older crowd

4. Celebrity.....Good food, decent itineraries, great service

5. Princess ..... Good enough food, laid back, good itineraries

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

5 hours ago, Chief93 said:

I am Platinum on Carnival but have only sailed Carnival.  I want to take my parents on a cruise next year for their 60th wedding anniversary.  They have both been on several cruises, all Carnival.

 

Im looking for advice from those who have crusied both Carnival and other lines.  Im looking for a more upscale experience.  I think they have moved past a lot of the Carnival activities.  Ive read the reviews here for Celebrity, Crystal, Princess, Holand America, etc and found them to be a mixed bag.  I cant afford Regent Seven Seas or Seabourne.

 

Any advice will be appreciated.

 

Hi Chief93,

#1 - Choose cruise ships, not cruise lines. Cruise lines is nothing, ships are everything.

Select Cunard, HAL, TUI ships deliver higher cruising experience than Regent, Seven Seas or Seabourn for less money.

The choice depends on when (spring, summer), where (Caribbean, Europe), and for how long they will cruise. Will they want to visit resort islands, tourist destinations, or focus on the ship? If you give me your budget, I will give you ships and dates.

There are a few great options for 2021.

I  can suggest a few excellent options if you provide more info.

Happy cruising!

Edited by ronbe65

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Swampbabe said:

My Celebrity cruises have been a much better value than any Carnival cruise that I have taken. You have to do ALL of the math. Much nicer experience as well.

 

Yup. It's a no brainer. Celebrity is a step up but still familiar enough. It'll be much more of an upscale experience but comfortably mass market. Royal and NCL is a step up as well but I would say upscale. And as you said, my last Celebrity cruise was actually a better value than my last Carnival cruise! 

 

OP, try Celebrity solstice class. It seems exactly what you are looking for. It's as upmarket as you will get while still being very affordable and noticeably more upscale than Carnival. Towels on chairs, real towels for hand towels in bathrooms, smoke free casino, beautiful solarium with teak loungers, a real grass lawn, shows and live music, and just an overall classy feel.  Even their poolside burgers are better than Guys.  Gorgeous well maintained ships, too. 

Edited by BNBR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody.  That was usefull information.  My parents are relatively healthy but not able to walk long distances.  Im looking at Princess and loved the Yacht Club suggestion.  Gotta find the right itinerary, something with multiple sea days where they can sit outside on their balcony, and a few nice beach ports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've been on Carnival, RC, NCL, Holland America, and Princess. I would chose either Princess or Holland. The food and service were wonderful on both. I liked the music venues on Princess, the shows were a tiny bit better on Holland. Enjoy whatever you chose - a good attitude goes a long way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We primarily cruise Celebrity and have taken most of our cruises with them.  We have also cruised with Carnival and Royal Caribbean.  Given the three we've sailed, Celebrity is our choice.  It will be more elegant but relaxing.  Food will be better as well.  They also have longer and more varied itineraries.  

 

Celebrity's pricing isn't all that much more either.  We have the Carnival Breeze and Celebrity Equinox booked for next summer.  The Celebrity cruise is $800 more than Carnival, BUT we have three perks included (drinks, $300OBC, gratuities).  Given that, Celebrity is a much better value.  Plus it's 8 nights instead of 7 on the Breeze.  Ports on the Celebrity itinerary are much better too.

 

We're only doing the Breeze because we are traveling with another family, and they want all the activities for their kids which Celebrity doesn't offer.

 

 

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...