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Carnival vs Royal Caribbean???


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I cruised Carnival Liberty, which is similar to Valor, and I've cruised Enchantment several times.  I would pick Enchantment.  For an older ship, Enchantment is beautiful.   She looks and feels more classy, probably because she isn't designed with a swath of garish colors like those older Carnival ships.  Plus, RCI didn't ditch the adults only pools, so the Solarium is still a nice getaway.   Food and service are about the same.

 

I'd say the biggest pro to Enchantment is reaching out and trying a new line.  

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We have only sailed on Carnival but have found an awesome deal on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas.  Carnival Valor or Enchantment of the seas??? Pro's and con's?  Help! 

Carnival is the ultimate party Cruise, while RC has superb entertainment and activities for everybody. Usually Royal Caribbean is more expensive and rated slightly higher than Carnival.

So, if you got an awesome deal on Royal Caribbean Enchantment, for the same price as Carnival, then you must go for it at least to try out Royal Caribbean for the first time

Compare the price per night including all port fees, taxes, airfare and visa costs (if any)

 

 

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If you have always cruised with Carnival, give RCL a try so you can determine which you prefer. We did that last spring,  cruised 1 week on RCL and then a week on Carnival, and this year we are going to do the same. We love both cruise lines now,  and will choose whatever suits our vacation budget.

Edited by mikenbon
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Just off Symphony of the Seas this morning, only 2nd Royal cruise vs. over 40 Carnival.  Below is just our impressions:

 

Walk off debarkation this morning on SOTS was equivalent to Diamond walkoff on Carnival, only 10 folk in front of us to ding off at 7:20AM. 

 

Getting on the ship was also easier on Royal's Symphony.  We used their $25/day {Yikes! that was a surprise, I was expecting $15} parking garage, and were able to drop bags off inside the garage before we even parked.  Then we simply walked to the elevator on our level, went down to zero and we were ready to board the ship inside our 1/2 hour window of noon to 12:30, minimal folk in front of us, similar to platinum boarding on Carnival.

 

Also getting on and off the Symphony with its 6,300 pax was way easier than any Carnival port where folks line up through the corridors and stairs pushing and herding to leave or get back on the ship.

 

Hardly any lines in buffet on Symphony unlike Carnival, but harder to find seats on Symphony.

 

MDR food on Carnival much better than RCCL, but Symphony had way more and varied specialty restaurants for same cost as Carnival Steakhouse. Did a 3 meal package for $115 pp.  3x in Carnival's Steakhouse is $114 pp.

 

Theater entertainment vastly superior on Symphony over Carnival, but Royal turns a blind eye to folks with reserved seats {like we had} holding extra seats for friends or family who were in standby line.  The stage props for Hairspray in the theater, the Aqua show in HIRO, and the ice skating show in 1977 were absolutely amazing.  I usually avoid Carnival theater, even NCL has better shows.

 

Comedy club on Carnival bigger and better IMO, but Symphony was good too with 2 comedians doing a half hour skit each per hour comedy session.

 

This Symphony ship puts all other Carnival ships from Vista class down to shame. Central Park is amazing, along with the artwork throughout the modern, ultra clean Symphony.  No rust stains on Symphony's hull or our balcony either, like we saw on Carnival's Dream and Fascination (or was it the Fantasy) while docked in Cozumel.

 

Our mid ship Symphony cabin, like most other cruise lines except Carnival, had a sliding door to the balcony and an enclosed shower rather than Carnival's slamming balcony door and cheapo shower curtain.  Cabin storage space and cabin size was similar on both lines.

 

Casino on Symphony had mostly penny slots with max ranging from $1.50 to $5.00 or WOF dollar slots with a $10 max.  On Carnival it is easier to find quarter or dollar slots.  Finding winning slot machines has same level of difficulty on both lines.

 

Can't compare pool deck, art auctions, port shows, bingo, etc. since we don't go to any of them.  While we didn't use the flow rider or ice skating rink on Symphony, it's worth noting these are available for those who would like to enjoy those venues.   Maybe having multiple entertainment options on board divides the huge # of Symphony pax into small manageable units.

 

I had read over and over on CC's Carnival thread how people didn't want to be on a massive ship with 6,300 other pax, but we found fewer and way shorter lines on Symphony than on any Vista, Dream or Conquest class ships we've sailed on Carnival.  I don't think it was an aberration, but rather the result of better pax flow through engineering since we've also seen shorter lines on NCL, MSC and Celebrity than Carnival.  That is my major impression of the massive ship - beautiful and less crowded than Carnival.

 

JMO, YMMV.

Edited by evandbob
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6 minutes ago, lenquixote66 said:

We prefer RCI to Carnival with one exception . We get water all over the bathroom from the shower curtains .On our cruise last month we tried taping the ends to the walls but the tape did not stick.

 

I don't know what you mean by one exception.  Most RCI ships have shower doors, whereas most Carnival ships have curtains.  

 

For the OP, Enchantment does have shower curtains.  However, I believe the section that was added when the ship was lengthened has shower doors.  

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2 hours ago, evandbob said:

Just off Symphony of the Seas this morning, only 2nd Royal cruise vs. over 40 Carnival.

 

This Symphony ship puts all other Carnival ships from Vista class down to shame.

That being said, the massive Symphony and her sister ships with their spectacular entertainment options like the Broadway production shows, combined with the Ice Skating shows, Aqua Theater, 8 story Abyss etc..   would also put to shame any ships sailing in the fleets of Norwegian, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, MSC, Costa, Viking, Windstar, Oceania, Azamara, Disney, Virgin and others.

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3 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

I don't know what you mean by one exception.  Most RCI ships have shower doors, whereas most Carnival ships have curtains.  

 

For the OP, Enchantment does have shower curtains.  However, I believe the section that was added when the ship was lengthened has shower doors.  

I was on the Anthem last month.We had curtains in a OV cabin.

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That being said, the massive Symphony and her sister ships with their spectacular entertainment options like the Broadway production shows, combined with the Ice Skating shows, Aqua Theater, 8 story Abyss etc..   would also put to shame any ships sailing in the fleets of Norwegian, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, MSC, Costa, Viking, Windstar, Oceania, Azamara, Disney, Virgin and others.
Can you kindly enlighten us more about the royal Caribbean shows, entertainment and activities
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Here are some general themes I've noticed between the two:

 

Royal

Pros: Better ships, better entertainment, more entertainment options, better specialty dining options, better loyalty program

Cons: Lesser quality of complementary food, fun vibe is not as strong, more expensive

 

Carnival

Pros: Cheaper, more of a fun atmosphere, better complementary food

Cons: Ships not as nice (but improving), poorer stage shows

 

It depends what type of experience you are looking for. In many areas, they are very similar though. Many people will sail both as you get to experience the best of both worlds. Every time I try to sail Royal, we end up picking Carnival because it offers enough of what we are looking for, at a lower price

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20 hours ago, AdGuyMG said:

That being said, the massive Symphony and her sister ships with their spectacular entertainment options like the Broadway production shows, combined with the Ice Skating shows, Aqua Theater, 8 story Abyss etc..   would also put to shame any ships sailing in the fleets of Norwegian, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, MSC, Costa, Viking, Windstar, Oceania, Azamara, Disney, Virgin and others.

 

Except the degree of shame is so much greater when comparing the Symphony to Carnival Vista class say versus Symphony to NCL's Breakaway class, Disney Dream, or MSC Seaside.  Fageddabut Carnival's oldest Fantasy class ships.  And I've been on over 40 Carnival cruises, so I'm not a Carnival hater,  I'm just being realistic about the comparision.

 

It's like comparing a Super Bowl winning team to the one with the worst losing record rather than the Super Bowl game loser.

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