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Part II: CCL vs RCI comparative review

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continuing from Part I RCI SPlendour vs Conquest and other CCL cruises:


Main Dining Room Service: CCL: 3 1/2 RCI: 4


I was impressed with my Splendour wait team. They were professional and responsive and personal and friendly. Quickly learning our names and personal tastes (lots of water, etc).

My Conquest team, while professional, lacked that personal touch. However other CCL cruise I've had experiences more in line with the Splendour. RCI gets the benefit of my limited experience with them, and score higher.


Main Dining Room Food Quality CCL: 3 1/2 RCI: 3


My main comments don't apply to breakfast. Splendour's service, variety and quality of breakfast was markedly superior to Carnival's.

Lunch and Dinner: Compared to the service, Splendour's food disappointed slightly; primarily because of the poor beef. One evening, four of us sent back the meat selection (and that wasn't even the infamous 'club steak') Carnival's beef, both sirloin and prime rib are consistently good.

However, with the exception of the lobster, with Carnival again getting the nod, Splendour's seafood select was excellent and tasty.

Casual Dining: Food Quality and Service:

CCL: 3 RCI: 3


Splendour's windjammer, while lovely..seemed cramped for space. Food quality was similar though again CCL has better beef. I was impressed with Splendour's slection of upscale condiments and sauces always available, like A1 and Grey Poupon. Carnival never does this. Splendour also offered coffee and sea service right at your table.


Main Pool/Outside Lido CCL: 3 RCI: 4 1/2

The Conquest and it's newest sisters would rank at least a 4, but the Fantasy class, the closest in size and age to the Splendour can't even compare with Splendour's beautiful pool and hot tub area. The hot tubs are covered, protecting users from the occasional sprinkle, and the main pool is actually the size of, uh.. a pool!! The largest ship pool I've seen. The Splendour and Conquest have a similar design with a tiled ankle deep area surrounding the rest of the pool, but the Splendour was longer. Also, nothing Carnival has compares with the beautiful Solarium..a pool area with retractable roof and a Greek /Roman motif with beautiful classical sculptures and plentiful lounge chairs. It was never crowded and a great place to get away from it all to read a book or take a quiet swim. Very nice.


Spa/Excercise area RCI 2 1/2 CCL 4


Not really a fair comparison as I'm sure RCI's newer ships have larger and better facilities.

The Splendour suffers from a lack of room to put much equipment, and don't have a separate room for formal excercise classes. Several times I had to step over folks on the floor in a class, to get to some equipment. The Conquest and even the Fantasy class ships have larger better equipped facilities. But, the Splendour decor even here was very classy, and I had to be impressed with the fresh fruit the staff put out in the Spa lobby along with hot tea and coffee. Would Carnival ever think of doing that???


Coming in part III. Further comparisons of entertainment, and some final miscellaneous thoughts about CCL vs RCI. List any questions you may have, and I will try to answer them, or email me at mtchg@aol.com




Carnival Miracle 02/13/05

Splendour of the Seas 01/26/04

Carnival Conquest(adors!) 01/11/04

Paradise 03/02/03

Carnival Spirit 01/03

Carnival Legend 12/02

Carnival Victory 04/02

Sensation 01/02

Carnival Triumph 11/01

Imagination 11/00

Paradise 01/00

Holiday 11/98

Norway 1986

Mardi Gras 1986

(original CCL vessel)

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THANK YOU so much for taking the time to give so much detail. We appreciate it!!


I believe in Miracles



Calm Seas, Good Friends

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We have cruised CCL twice and RCI once and for the most part do agree with you Mitch. Some of the things we were disappointed with we variety of food in Windjammer on Serenade. Quality was excellent..but you can only eat so much tuna salad. The SeaView Cafe was only open when Windjammer was closed. Drink prices are anywhere from $1 to $2 more on RCI. Ship seemed to "die" after 11 pm. I think the "professional" entertainment is better on CCL.


RCI does have mini-golf, full size BB courts, ping-pong (enclosed) AWESOME pool tables (you have to see these in action), library and card room always open. Room service is much better on RCI. Full hot menu instead of Cont breakfast and cold sandwiches.


Our thoughts are it will depend on the itinerary as to which CL we will take. Caribbean is party---CCL. Alaska is laid back---RCI.


Did not mean to steal any thunder...but this is a good thread and thought I would share our opinions as well.


Carnival Pride 06/08/2002

Carnival Glory 09/06/2003

RCCL Serenade 04/17/04


Not booked yet..but will before countdown ends!!!!!


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I would love to hear more on this topic. I'm thinking pf booking ECCL Voyager of the Sea for May 21st. It's the only ship I will be able to get on from the NY area on a week I can get off and a price I can go for.


What can you tell me about VOS? Should I go for it?



CCL Inspiration 4/4-4/11/04

NCL Sea 4/14-4/27/03

Wonder 5/16-5/19/02

Wonder 5/3-5/8/01

Fantasy 2/15-2/18/01


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