Jump to content

Coming back to Carnival


Recommended Posts

When we first started cruising, we did Carnival cruises.  It's been close to 15 years since I've been on a Carnival ship.  In that time, we've done Costa, Royal Caribbean, and Princess.  We liked those, but there was a lack of fun and entertainment on those ships, especially for our children.  Carnival has moved a ship to San Francisco, so we've booked two cruises in the next 6 months.  I'm starting to get a little nervous that we jumped the gun on reserving two cruises.  What if I hate the first cruise?!  I'm looking for more fun and a ship which doesn't close down at 10pm.  I remember Carnival offering that.  I also remember some things Carnival did which I didn't love, like selling scratch off tickets before every show.

 

I don't want to walk on the ship with false expectations.  What do you think, will we find what we're looking for?  Does Carnival still sell those tickets before show?  Is there anything else which has changed over the years?  I've heard that the midnight buffet is gone.  Oh, and the husband and I are in our early 40s. We have two boys, ages 13 and 12.  I would love to hear the impression of others about coming back to Carnival after some time away.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just recently took a carnival cruise after a break of almost 11 years. Feb 2009 on the Imagination, then December 2019 on the Victory.  My husband and I are also in our 40s like you. In the meantime I had been on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Carribbean, and MSC. I think since you're looking for fun, and things to do late at night, you're going to be very happy going back to Carnival. I just went back with a mindset of what I expected a Carnival cruise to be (not expecting it to be as refined (or quiet/boring) as Celebrity etc) and had a great time, despite some minor hiccups. If you search, I did a review on here shortly after the cruise in December. 

Anyway, have a wonderful cruise, or should I say cruises!  

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only other cruise line I have sailed was Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas in November 2018.  It was for my 40th birthday, and I wanted to work it around my kids 4-day Veteren's Day weekend, and it was the only cruise that did that.  We then sailed on Carnival in April during their Spring Break, and I was nervous after hearing so many negative reviews about Carnival being the WalMart of cruise lines.  Again, I was working around their school schedule and not wanting to burn a lot of extra vacation days, so both weekend days had to be utilized, and Carnival Liberty was the only one that fit the bill.  

All that being said, my kids (almost 13 and 8 years old) had such a blast on the Liberty, that we since sailed on Carnival two more times, with one being a repeat on Liberty.  There is always something going on, and we found that lacking on RC.  our RC sailing didn't have any sea days, and I still felt like we were always looking for something to do.  

From what I've read, Carnival's kids club take the cake over any other cruise line.  We never used the club on RC so I can't compare, but my 8 year old loves going.  She actually asks to go.  

I love the comedy shows, and they have PG ones early in the evening and adults-only ones later in the evening.  My 8-year old was not a fan of the comedy, but my 12 year old enjoyed it.  For the next comedy show, the 8-year old went to camp.  We enjoy the theater shows, the kids LOVE the Hasbro Game Show, we do Bingo at least once per cruise also, per the kids request.  I think all the ships have an arcade, some better than others, and I allowed my kids $10 each in there.  My 8-year old is still pretty picky about food, but she loves tacos and burgers, so the food is a win-win for us.  They also love the waterslides/waterworks on Carnival, as do I 🙂  I don't think RC has any water slides on any of the ships, although some of the bigger ones have the Flow Rider, but my 8-year old is too little for that.

IMO, the buffet on RC is far superior the lido buffet on Carnival, but the food overall on Carnival takes my vote since they have Guy's Burgers and Blue Iguana Cantina at a minimum, Mongolian Wok, and BBQ sometimes too.

There are so many other things going on that I didn't mention: Trivia a couple times a day, music in the atrium and sing and dance-alongs, hairy chest competition, mixology, giant Jenga (called Carnival Tower, and my kids loved this too, and my youngest won), Trivial Pursuit, and more!  Since your dislike of RC was the lack of activities and events, I don't think you'll regret either of the 2 cruises, and I hope you have a great time :)!

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is more entertainment on carnival as a whole. Not all of it is amazing - I don’t like their theater shoes (some ships don’t have a real theaters) but the comedy is unparalleled to the other cruise-lines and they have small things going on everywhere on the ship until late. 

 

It really depends what you are looking for if you will be happy back on carnival. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stick93 said:

There is more entertainment on carnival as a whole. Not all of it is amazing - I don’t like their theater shoes (some ships don’t have a real theaters) but the comedy is unparalleled to the other cruise-lines and they have small things going on everywhere on the ship until late. 

 

It really depends what you are looking for if you will be happy back on carnival. 

 

I'm really excited about the comedy!  I also really like when the cruise director and their staff interact with passengers during games.  The theater productions aren't usually my favorites.

Edited by atobols
Link to post
Share on other sites

Also in our 40’s with two kids. We also took a break from Carnival from 2012 to 2019. In between, we tried several cruise lines and destinations. Overall, we had a very enjoyable cruise when we finally returned to Carnival. Some things are still the same, while some have deteriorated. But the laid back, unpretentious, casual “fun” factor is definitely still there. My main disappointment was with the general condition of the particular ship we sailed on. Even with a recent refurbishment, it looked sadly neglected.

 

Here’s a link to my review of that return cruise. Hope the information is helpful:

 

Tapi’s Fantastic Return to Carnival - Aboard the Carnival Fantasy

Edited by Tapi
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tapi said:

Also in our 40’s with two kids. We also took a break from Carnival from 2012 to 2019. In between, we tried several cruise lines and destinations. Overall, we had a very enjoyable cruise when we finally returned to Carnival. Some things are still the same, while some have deteriorated. But the laid back, unpretentious, casual “fun” factor is definitely still there. My main disappointment was with the general condition of the particular ship we sailed on. Even with a recent refurbishment, it looked sadly neglected.

 

Here’s a link to my review of that return cruise. Hope the information is helpful:

 

Tapi’s Fantastic Return to Carnival - Aboard the Carnival Fantasy

Amazing review and exactly the kind of information I was looking for!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been on 18 CCL, 5 RCL and 3 NCL, DW and myself prefer Carnival for the laid-back casual fun. To us the food on NCL was better than RCL and CCL, but food is very subjective.My preference is 1. CCL, 2.NCL and 3.RCL.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hubby and I also returned to Carnival after 11 years this past November.  We cruised the Mexican Riviera on the Miracle.  We had no reason for going away from Carnival other than we travel a lot with my parents and their preferred lines are Princess and Celebrity. We had a great time. It was easy to compare our experiences with other lines and past with Carnival and each line has their own pros and cons.    We enjoyed the evening shows and comedy shows.  We almost never go to the shows on Princess as they are cringe-worthy bad and awkward (like very, very Caucasian people singing a Motown extravaganza, etc., and the disco dancing one--oof!). The evening production shows were a pleasant surprise for us.  Husband really enjoyed the MDR food, while my experience was more miss than hit, but there's always something to eat somewhere so I didn't go hungry. We both agree that the steakhouse was the best steakhouse meal we've had across 11 cruises and that we set the bar too high by eating there the first night to take advantage of the free bottle of wine.  We had the most fun in the casino than we'd had on any other cruise too.  We didn't take extra money home with us but we won enough to keep playing for quite a while and I received a Premier Cruise offer before we even disembarked!  We would not hesitate to book Carnival again in the future.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2020 at 11:49 AM, atobols said:

When we first started cruising, we did Carnival cruises.  It's been close to 15 years since I've been on a Carnival ship.  In that time, we've done Costa, Royal Caribbean, and Princess.  We liked those, but there was a lack of fun and entertainment on those ships, especially for our children.  Carnival has moved a ship to San Francisco, so we've booked two cruises in the next 6 months.  I'm starting to get a little nervous that we jumped the gun on reserving two cruises.  What if I hate the first cruise?!  I'm looking for more fun and a ship which doesn't close down at 10pm.  I remember Carnival offering that.  I also remember some things Carnival did which I didn't love, like selling scratch off tickets before every show.

 

I don't want to walk on the ship with false expectations.  What do you think, will we find what we're looking for?  Does Carnival still sell those tickets before show?  Is there anything else which has changed over the years?  I've heard that the midnight buffet is gone.  Oh, and the husband and I are in our early 40s. We have two boys, ages 13 and 12.  I would love to hear the impression of others about coming back to Carnival after some time away.

Scratch off tickets are sold on just about all cruise lines now. Including Princess. yes Carnival is the fun ship. However not the only one. 

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • Register Now for Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...