Jump to content

For those who are exclusively Carnival cruisers


Recommended Posts

Have been on a couple other lines, but are taking our 15 straight Carnival cruise.  Got me to thinking, what would make us switch.  Not too much, but this is what I came up with:

 

- A really great deal--though Carnival is very competitive and usually priced the best anyway, and there would need to be a significant difference for us to switch

- Some sort of unique itinerary, though we cruise more for the ship than the ports so not sure what that would be

- If an organization or group we were connected with had a group cruise on another line we could consider it

 

Obviously it is wonderful we are so happy with Carnival that we do not look at other lines, and please no flaming, but what would make other loyal folks stray?

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While most of my cruises have been on carnival ship, I can say the ship is the biggest thing that sways us.   if there are two itineraries that are basically the same and prices are within 10% of each other, we will always take the ship we have never been on.    

 

I have been surprised by how different a cruise on each brand is so different b/c of the crowds but then we have also noticed how different the crowds can be just based on ports.  we will no longer cruise out of one port.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could be tempted to stray to any other Carnival Corporation ship

that takes into account my nights-on-board Gold Status.
Other than that - not very much.

 

Carnival cruises are simply good value for money

and they get me off the island now and then!

 

~Valor-804-A.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it would be itinerary.

 

We're still early enough in our cruising career that picking excursions is difficult.  Even in ports we have already visited.  When I look at the excursion lists there are so many of them that I want to experience or experience again.  In the unlikely event that we experience everything we want to I would consider trying another line.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been on different lines but love Carnival the most.  I must because I keep coming back.  I love the vibe on Carnival- the cd's are more involved and fun. 

 

But your question is "What would make me try a different line?"  I guess for me we tried NCL because my parents wanted to try it.  We did Disney because well, we love Disney and we thought the kids would enjoy it.  We tried Royal because we heard so much about their entertainment and wanted to try it for ourselves.

 

Each line has its positives and negatives but to me Carnival is my favorite because of its fun vibe.  You can tell from my signature that we sail with Carnival alot.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh I don't know- I guess the ship mostly as the Caribbean is typically the same to me from island to island- but timing and ports of call could play a role. Most likely if I switch it would be to Royal as they also sail regularly from Galveston which is the easiest port for me to reach. They are moving one of their largest ships there soon and I might try a cruise on it. That would be my first outside of the Carnival line. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband's first cruise was Carnival Triumph, March 2017, and he was hooked and very happy with the Carnival brand. While onboard we were already discussing 100% loyalty and working toward high level tier status and setting a goal to sail every single ship in the CCL fleet.  Then we stopped at Cozumel and he saw Harmony of the Seas over there at the competitor's pier and was all, we needa try out a ship like THAT.  But Kmom likes value and saving money, so when I was able to get the $$ at my price point the following March, we did Oasis and loved that as well.

 

  • Price has to work for us and as others have noted, often Carnival is the best value there. 
  • Bigger newer ships are very appealing to us (but not absolutely necessary), and CCL charges more for those, so as we get closer to equal $$ others come into play.
  • However, timing and embarkation port plays a huge role - we gotta be able to get there when we can travel. If we were gonna be in Mobile anyway, we're gonna hop on the Fantasy class ship that is just sitting there waiting to welcome us.
  • Ports are generally less of a factor now and for the next 5 years or so - however we would like to eventually do Alaska and possibly Europe, particularly the Scandinavia/Russia deal.  I would happily sail something like Fred.Olsen someday and tool around the coast and islands of Great Britain for a week or so, but at the moment, that model is not the right fit for us. 
  • For Alaska, for example, we will need to decide if we want to do a closed loop which Carnival offers, or a one-way with a few days before or after in the state itself, which currently requires choosing a different brand.
  • So kinda loyal to Carnival but so many other factors can throw off the algorithm. All it takes is one member of the travel party voicing some new demand and everything changes.
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cruise really just to be on the ocean.  Carnival is the least expensive option to do that (normally).  I've never had any issues on a Carnival ship and have never seen a fight between guests that are popular videos on YouTube.  I like the food in both the MDR and the choices on the Lido.  The crew is fantastic and the cabins are large.  I could afford to go on a Cunard (another Carnival brand) cruise but I think I would find it too formal for me (especially in the evening).  I always have an eye on a RCCL cruise but, so far, Carnival is my first choice in cruising.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I sail Carnival the least of all the lines. I have four cruises booked at the moment. The Carnival Panorama, Celebrity Apex, MSC Seashore, and NCL Escape. Have done Holland, RCCL, and Princess as well. Variety is a must and that includes ship quality and experience, itinerary , and of course cost and value. Although Carnival may have the best pricing I find their itineraries very limited and their food at the bottom. I couldn't go from the Vista, to the Horizon, to Panorama and so on.  We are loyal to none and we wouldn't have it any other way. If we want a basic cheap fun Caribbean cruise with the Kids, Carnival is fine. If you're going to expand your horizon to Europe ..... the Baltics, Greece, Turkey,  etc .... then you're going to want to move to Celebrity, Holland America, or Princess. It all depends in what you want out of your cruise experience and how serious a Cruiser you are and how much money you want to lay down. I love new ships and for any Cruiser not to experience many lines and many of the different ship experiences and venues would be doing yourself a disservice.  Overall Carnival is my last choice but just part of the required variety. I believe fear of the unknown keeps way too many from venturing out as much as people really want to. I've never had a bad cruise .......

Edited by tallnthensome
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, tallnthensome said:

. If we want a basic cheap fun Caribbean cruise with the Kids, Carnival is fine. 

 

This is the key for us right now. I have sailed "better" options as well - Celebrity a long time ago, and yeah, the food was good, but I guess we don't know any better because all the food I've ever had on any cruise has been in the range of good enough to fabulous and if anything, this is less of a factor to me as I age. The new Edge and Apex are certainly stunning ships and calling out to us just a bit.

 

I find it interesting how rarely Disney is mentioned among the mainstream lines or as a suggestion to move up in the cruising world. It's certainly an elevated and unique experience. Even without children, if we could make the $$ work I would go back and do it again. 

 

Will be interested once Virgin reviews start coming in. I doubt it's for us but want to find out more about this vibe and business model.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, KmomChicago said:

I find it interesting how rarely Disney is mentioned among the mainstream lines or as a suggestion to move up in the cruising world. It's certainly an elevated and unique experience. Even without children, if we could make the $$ work I would go back and do it again. 

 

Will be interested once Virgin reviews start coming in. I doubt it's for us but want to find out more about this vibe and business model.

Disney ....... we always sail with our girls who are 11 and 13 and Disney is one line I have always refused to even consider after reviewing the options. Value to experience ratio just isn't there and I refuse to be gouged by the Disney Name. I know people love them and that's great but it's not for us financially. I can heighten my Carnival experience with my kids with money saved and using it towards the best shore excursion experiences or extra money for an even more special on board experience with dining and shopping.....

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We cruise other lines and brands for a different experience, typically either itinerary driven or for a 'small ship' adventure.  Probably stick with Carnival for most if not all of our mass market Caribbean cruising.  They excel in that niche. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, tallnthensome said:

Disney ....... we always sail with our girls who are 11 and 13 and Disney is one line I have always refused to even consider after reviewing the options. Value to experience ratio just isn't there and I refuse to be gouged by the Disney Name. I know people love them and that's great but it's not for us financially. I can heighten my Carnival experience with my kids with money saved and using it towards the best shore excursion experiences or extra money for an even more special on board experience with dining and shopping.....

 

I agree. Having sailed years ago for super cheap as a cast member, I feel it's a great product but not worth 2-3 times Carnival. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I sailed mostly Carnival ships for my first 35 or 40 cruises......1st time branching out was to Disney for a 3 generation family celebration.  Saw fireworks off a ship for the 1st time and the interactive MDR that kept the kiddos amused.  Then sailed a few solo Celebrity inside cabins that were less than Carnival, sailed NCL and MSC's new ships as well as one megamonster Royal.  I was surprised that lines on the Royal ship were almost non existant despite having almost twice as many passengers as some of my regular Carnival ships.

 

It really was time to sail another line when I knew what Carnival's long winded CD announcements were going to say.  Amazing how short and infrequent other lines CD announcements can be.  I found other lines might offer different excursions  and certainly have more specialty restaurant choices than than Carnival. And seeing tastefullly elegant ship decor instead of Farcus' garish creations can be soothing.

 

I like a smoke free casino like Celebrity's, and I get better casino offers from their casino loyalty program than I do on Carnival.  Case in point: We're paying $298 for an infinite balcony mid ship mid deck on the Celebrity Apex for a week long sailing.  Best I do with Carnival's casino is maybe 10% off cabin fare.

 

Bottom line: I had no idea what I was missing when I sailed Carnival exclusively.  Some things, including cost, are actually better on other lines IMO, but I had to experience them to find out.

 

 

 

Edited by evandbob
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I WAS exclusive Carnival customer, but now I am straying here and there as the Platinum program doesn't really reward me to stay exclusive. Still will cruise with them, but i will cheat now and then. Hey, I middle aged!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Here's what can change my mind: Baltimore - which we can drive to in 11 hours, the exact spring break schedule we can travel, crazy cheap for 8 nights (we always add prepaid gratuities and usually insurance). Similar option from Carnival is more $$ in this case.

 

image.png.4dc101eb718acdabd09ea7116e6deeda.png

Edited by KmomChicago
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tom-n-Cheryl said:

Variety

I used to cruise so often I knew menus at Mdr by heart. I needed different food choices, though I think mardi gras is a big step that direction.

 

Solo pricing. I did get that on breeze I added in, but would like to see carnival go back to having 1As with less than 200% like the old days. They moved away from solo pricing it wasnt me moving away from them. Other lines added solo cabins, ncl and rcl and rcl giving a solo pricing perk. Carnival moved away from almost any solo pricing. Toward wanting families. Clearly they pushed solos away. If I can get 150% on rcl all the time on any cabin, then that's mostly where my money will go.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought we would try MSC when I found out they match status... I did the status match but I see some of the perks I enjoy don't transfer to MSC... so, it would take two things for me:

 

1. Status match including the perks I enjoy (early embarkation, early water tender)

2. Price match (not likely since I only cruise on casino offers and I most likely won't get those from another line since I haven't been in their casinos - similar 7-day eastern Caribbean itinerary that was $100 for balcony on Carnival was $649 on MSC)

 

Given that #2 is unlikely to ever happen, I'll happily stay on Carnival forever, most likely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sail all lines and depends on price and itinerary.

5 minutes ago, firefly333 said:

 

 

Solo pricing. I did get that on breeze I added in, but would like to see carnival go back to having 1As with less than 200% like the old days. They moved away from solo pricing it wasnt me moving away from them. Other lines added solo cabins, ncl and rcl and rcl giving a solo pricing perk. Carnival moved away from almost any solo pricing. 

I agree I wish Carnival had better solo prices.

 

I sail most lines now and mainly for the itineraries and that is where Carnival falls short also. 

Having said that Carnival is my favourite line. I feel at home on Carnival ships.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, maryann2 said:

I sail all lines and depends on price and itinerary.

I agree I wish Carnival had better solo prices.

 

I sail most lines now and mainly for the itineraries and that is where Carnival falls short also. 

Having said that Carnival is my favourite line. I feel at home on Carnival ships.

I cruised on carnival so long I remember when 1A had NO solo supplement. Then they changed it to 150%, then to 200%. Lol back then I sailed with my sister and never did get those prices. Nkw she is married, but I remember the pricing.

 

I added enough rcl to get me to the 150% solo supplement on rcl. ..I did have to tweak it, moved a feb 2023 to dec 2022, to get there by dec 2022. I have double the loyalty pts on carnival, long ways to go, but might as well make the push on rcl while they are doing double pts.

 

I see many posts here about pricing. It's obvious it matters to us all in different ways. OP says carnival has the best pricing... for him. Intrepid says casino pricing, I think carnival is becoming more and more a gambling cruise. Whichever pricing works best for each of us, which is all different. Carnival is no longer the best value for my money overall. I say overall. I did one to rebook and breeze was it was a great b2b deal but values for me on carnival more rare as a solo.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For us now, it's embarkation port.  We live less than 15 minutes from Port Canaveral and are no longer willing to go further since you can reach most ports of call from PC these days.  The exception is embarking from San Juan if they every bring that back - worth the flight.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m a solo traveler, so for me I can’t be completely a one cruise line loyalist.  I have to go with the best itinerary for my budget.  The only way I would be completely loyal to only one line would be NO single supplement.  38% of the travel industry is solo travelers and the cruise industry has ignored this.  I will say, as you can see from my signature, the majority of cruises I’ve taken is on Carnival .

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Anyislandwilldo said:

I'm staying with Carnival.  I have no plans to go on any other cruise line.  We are platinum working our way to Diamond.

You’re missing out …. Status level these days has menial value and I never put any thought into that. That’s like saying you have a VIP card at a lower end chain restaurant so you’ll never try any other. I’ve only sailed carnival two times and received better deals two weeks ago for the Panorama from Carnival than people who have sailed 20 times with them. Status level means nothing anymore other than tricking you into thinking you’re more important than other guests. My offer of $200 for inside cabins for a week on the Panorama for August proves that. Just saying you’re making a mistake  but whatever floats your boat and keeps you happy I guess. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
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
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • 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
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...