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For those who are exclusively Carnival cruisers


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1 hour ago, IntrepidFromDC said:

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.

 

For (non-smoking) gamblers, you should try Celebrity -- their smoke-free casinos are a breath of fresh air! Sometimes that alone is enough incentive to pay a little (or a lot) more for a cabin.  🙂

 

Tom

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Tom-n-Cheryl said:

 

For (non-smoking) gamblers, you should try Celebrity -- their smoke-free casinos are a breath of fresh air! Sometimes that alone is enough incentive to pay a little (or a lot) more for a cabin.  🙂

 

Tom

Thanks for the info, Tom.  Worth thinking about for sure. 

 

I read that the Carnival ships that removed the bars from the casinos have split the casinos into smoking and non-smoking sections.  Favor and Robert visited the space and shared it on Youtube on the Vista yesterday.  I'll do some reconnaissance soon after boarding, hoping to see they have fans blowing the billowing smoke away from the non-smoking side back toward the smoking side and more-effective smoke-eaters.

Edited by IntrepidFromDC
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8 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.

Same here though almost all benefits are for platinum.  Diamond would be nice, though the only real extra benefit is the captain's get together.

 

58 minutes ago, maryann2 said:

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

That is how we feel, like coming back to your hometown after being away awhile--knowing where everything is and how it operates.

 

1 hour ago, firefly333 said:

I used to cruise so often I knew menus at Mdr by heart.

We were on a cruise at a large table with others and they started to wait to see what we were ordering.  We would look at the menu and say to ourselves I remember this was excellent, and this not as good, and they would sometimes choose the same things based on our comments.

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I'll be honest Royal Caribbean has a better loyalty program. Diamond in Royal gets you Elite on Celebrity and on Azamara you also get a high status. You can get Hyatt Explorist MZlife Gold and MSC Diamond.

 

As Diamond members we get a Diamond lounge with morning continental breakfast and an Espreso machine, nightly Diamond Drinks and Appetizers plus 3 drinks loaded nightly to your Seapass card to enjoy at the theater or bar during a 3-4 hour period.

 

You can also bid for cabin upgrades . We paid $150 for the first two passengers to go from an interior to balcony on each cruise on our B2B.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, nycruise1 said:

Same here though almost all benefits are for platinum.  Diamond would be nice, though the only real extra benefit is the captain's get together.

 

That is how we feel, like coming back to your hometown after being away awhile--knowing where everything is and how it operates.

 

We were on a cruise at a large table with others and they started to wait to see what we were ordering.  We would look at the menu and say to ourselves I remember this was excellent, and this not as good, and they would sometimes choose the same things based on our comments.

See, I don’t understand why knowing where everything is makes a cruise adventure appealing? Why would you want to have already seen that and done that? I would think that trying different lines and ships would make for something new all the time and part of the appeal of sailing and exploring new ships and new food menus. I don’t want to see anything I’ve already seen before ….. makes zero sense to me personally but then again, whatever flows your boat as well. That’s like my uncle who has been to Gatlinburg Tennessee 16 times for vacation and nowhere else ….. Why ? How awful …..  

Edited by tallnthensome
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For me, it’s a simple equation.

 

If I’m going to cruise for FUN and just being in the ocean//travel to warm beaches in Winter, I choose Carnival. Can’t beat the value for the money (I get great casino offers), and I simply have the most fun on Carnival cruises.  Lots to do on their boats. I’ll always choose Carnival for a large group as well.

 

If I’m going for itinerary, exotic ports of call and lots of them, I’ll choose Regent or some other all-inclusive line with much smaller boats and many more//new ports of call. 

 

Have tried Royal and NCL and wasn’t wowed enough for the extra $$.

 

We had a month-long Regent cruise to the Amazon and lots of places in the Caribbean I had never been canceled due to the pandemic.  Hubby and I realized lots of ports were going to open and close quite frequently during 2022, and we didn’t want to chose a port-intensive cruise with that uncertainty, especially with how Brazil has been so hard hit.

 

That, plus feeling cooped up during pandemic and needing ocean and FUN, made us change to do basically 4 weeks of Carnival cruises all spread out in the next 10 months. Saved tons of money, going with various groups of friends, and looking forward to the Mardi Gras, the biggest boat by far we’ve ever been on.

 

Also trying a Carnival Journeys cruise to see how we like that.

 

So to summarize our equation:  fun + ocean + big boat + good value = Carnival

 

                                                         itinerary intensive cruise // not on boat very much = Regent//Oceania//etc.

 

Maybe a little crazy that we don’t have any middle ground?

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30 minutes ago, travelplus said:

I'll be honest Royal Caribbean has a better loyalty program. Diamond in Royal gets you Elite on Celebrity and on Azamara you also get a high status. You can get Hyatt Explorist MZlife Gold and MSC Diamond.

 

As Diamond members we get a Diamond lounge with morning continental breakfast and an Espreso machine, nightly Diamond Drinks and Appetizers plus 3 drinks loaded nightly to your Seapass card to enjoy at the theater or bar during a 3-4 hour period.

 

You can also bid for cabin upgrades . We paid $150 for the first two passengers to go from an interior to balcony on each cruise on our B2B.

Except the diamond lounge is more or less suspended right now. Instead you get 4/5/6 daily vouchers on your card. They can be used in the diamond lounge or any other bar. But free included drinks are a nice perk. 

 

I'll be at 197 loyalty pts on carnival without much incentive to push me over the edge, though I do feel at home on carnival but their solo pricing is pushing me away.

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We initially started cruising for the experience and itinerary.  I took my first Carnival cruise because I just wanted to cruise.  After I retired I searched out bargains, which included Celebrity, Princess, HAL…and Carnival.  Lots of Carnival because we can drive to Jax and Port Canaveral.  But I still have my eye out for the main chance.  I spotted a bargain on Oceania, a line we ordinarily wouldn’t afford, so we tried it.  We were booked on Celebrity Edge when it was cancelled by COVID-19, as well as a crossing on QM2.  We are booked on Pride for January 2022, rescheduled from this January.  But our next cruise leaves July 10, on Crystal Serenity.  Never could have dreamed of sailing Crystal, but a bargain appeared…. And an even better bargain gets us 15 days on Windstar Star Breeze, Costa Rica to Tahiti for $1300pp. All glorious sea days.  A couple days in Papeete before flying home.  We are looking forward to the adventures.  EM

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Posted (edited)

 

Yeah this 

35 minutes ago, TravelBluebird said:

Also trying a Carnival Journeys cruise to see how we like that.

 

So to summarize our equation:  fun + ocean + big boat + good value = Carnival

itinerary intensive cruise // not on boat very much = Regent//Oceania//etc.

 

Maybe a little crazy that we don’t have any middle ground?

 

14 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

We initially started cruising for the experience and itinerary.  I took my first Carnival cruise because I just wanted to cruise.  After I retired I searched out bargains, which included Celebrity, Princess, HAL…and Carnival.  Lots of Carnival because we can drive to Jax and Port Canaveral.  But I still have my eye out for the main chance.  I spotted a bargain on Oceania, a line we ordinarily wouldn’t afford, so we tried it.  We were booked on Celebrity Edge when it was cancelled by COVID-19, as well as a crossing on QM2.  We are booked on Pride for January 2022, rescheduled from this January.  But our next cruise leaves July 10, on Crystal Serenity.  Never could have dreamed of sailing Crystal, but a bargain appeared…. And an even better bargain gets us 15 days on Windstar Star Breeze, Costa Rica to Tahiti for $1300pp. All glorious sea days.  A couple days in Papeete before flying home.  We are looking forward to the adventures.  EM

 

These posts both nail it. The equation is about overall value for your dollar, within a budget you can afford.  Stretching for a luxury experience at a discounted price is obviously worth it, assuming you will enjoy that, have the $$ and in a lot of those cases, you would have spent the same $$ on board your cheapo cruise and maybe that stuff is now included. That Windstar cruise looks fabulous but of course you have to deal with the flights which I assume Tahiti to US is not cheap. And that is a cute little ship, but depending on who is traveling, it won't have the bells, whistles, and general chaos of a megaship that others prefer.

Edited by KmomChicago
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40 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

I Never could have dreamed of sailing Crystal, but a bargain appeared…. And an even better bargain gets us 15 days on Windstar Star Breeze, Costa Rica to Tahiti for $1300pp. All glorious sea days.  A couple days in Papeete before flying home.  We are looking forward to the adventures.  EM

Now that's a deal ! Now you're talking.  

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3 hours 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. 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.

 

Last month I was tipped off to some no-single-tax fares on the 1As in July-September.  I snapped up two of them.  It's hard for me to resist a cruise vacation for $100/night, including port fees & tips, no matter where it goes or what's available to do.

 

3 hours ago, maryann2 said:

I feel at home on Carnival ships.

 

2 hours ago, nycruise1 said:

That is how we feel, like coming back to your hometown after being away awhile--knowing where everything is and how it operates.

 

I generally agree with this.  After being on as many Carnival cruises as I have, I pretty much know where I want to go, what I want to do and when, what I want to eat.  And I know the Fun Staff will try to inform me of things they think are fun, and maybe I'll try them out.  Or maybe I won't.

 

1 hour ago, TravelBluebird said:

For me, it’s a simple equation.

 

If I’m going to cruise for FUN and just being in the ocean//travel to warm beaches in Winter, I choose Carnival. Can’t beat the value for the money (I get great casino offers), and I simply have the most fun on Carnival cruises.  Lots to do on their boats. 

 

I also feel the same about this.  There are few warm days in Michigan in the winter, so I don't take much persuading to get out of town for a week or two to hang out on a ship that's heading to the Caribbean.

 

----------------------------

 

I'll take a little time to explain my story and more completely answer the OP's question.  I'm not exclusive to Carnival, and probably won't be in the future, but they certainly meet my needs often enough.  Here's the story behind my next four booked cruises (that feels funny to say; two months ago I only had one cruise booked):

 

  1. Carnival Vista, August 2021, Galveston, Western Caribbean - This is the first of the cheap 1As I booked.  I'm eager to get out of town and explore the world, and this seems like a good place to start.  I'm also eager to find out if, by then, Carnival's crew has figured out how to treat passengers like me.
  2. Carnival Horizon, September 2021, Long Beach, Mexican Riviera - This is the other cheap 1A.  I've never really done the Mexican Riviera before, and this seemed like as good a time and situation for me to explore it.  Assuming, of course, that we get to go and Mexico lets us in without locking up too tight.  With the virus and the current pandemic, it's not a guarantee.  But I like my chances, and I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy myself if I'm given a chance to.
  3. Mariner of the Seas, March 2022, Port Canaveral, Eastern Caribbean - Music-themed charter cruise.  Bucket list item.  NOT cheap.  Cruise company almost irrelevant, as is the itinerary.
  4. Majestic Princess, April 2022, Los Angeles (San Pedro), California Coastal - This is the replacement for my previous cruise on the Grand Princess (cue scary music) that was supposed to happen last March.  The FCC they provided for canceling on me allowed me to upgrade to a balcony from an OV.  This will be my first time in a balcony, first time exploring the California Coast, and first time on Princess.  We'll see how it goes.
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38 minutes ago, Honolulu Blue said:

 

Last month I was tipped off to some no-single-tax fares on the 1As in July-September.  I snapped up two of them.  It's hard for me to resist a cruise vacation for $100/night, including port fees & tips, no matter where it goes or what's available to do.

 

 

 

I generally agree with this.  After being on as many Carnival cruises as I have, I pretty much know where I want to go, what I want to do and when, what I want to eat.  And I know the Fun Staff will try to inform me of things they think are fun, and maybe I'll try them out.  Or maybe I won't.

 

 

I also feel the same about this.  There are few warm days in Michigan in the winter, so I don't take much persuading to get out of town for a week or two to hang out on a ship that's heading to the Caribbean.

 

----------------------------

 

I'll take a little time to explain my story and more completely answer the OP's question.  I'm not exclusive to Carnival, and probably won't be in the future, but they certainly meet my needs often enough.  Here's the story behind my next four booked cruises (that feels funny to say; two months ago I only had one cruise booked):

 

  1. Carnival Vista, August 2021, Galveston, Western Caribbean - This is the first of the cheap 1As I booked.  I'm eager to get out of town and explore the world, and this seems like a good place to start.  I'm also eager to find out if, by then, Carnival's crew has figured out how to treat passengers like me.
  2. Carnival Horizon, September 2021, Long Beach, Mexican Riviera - This is the other cheap 1A.  I've never really done the Mexican Riviera before, and this seemed like as good a time and situation for me to explore it.  Assuming, of course, that we get to go and Mexico lets us in without locking up too tight.  With the virus and the current pandemic, it's not a guarantee.  But I like my chances, and I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy myself if I'm given a chance to.
  3. Mariner of the Seas, March 2022, Port Canaveral, Eastern Caribbean - Music-themed charter cruise.  Bucket list item.  NOT cheap.  Cruise company almost irrelevant, as is the itinerary.
  4. Majestic Princess, April 2022, Los Angeles (San Pedro), California Coastal - This is the replacement for my previous cruise on the Grand Princess (cue scary music) that was supposed to happen last March.  The FCC they provided for canceling on me allowed me to upgrade to a balcony from an OV.  This will be my first time in a balcony, first time exploring the California Coast, and first time on Princess.  We'll see how it goes.

 

Do you mean Carnival Panorama in September 2021 out of Long Beach? That's the only ship here for now. 

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2 hours ago, tallnthensome said:

 That’s like my uncle who has been to Gatlinburg Tennessee 16 times for vacation and nowhere else ….. Why ? How awful …..  

People are entitled to enjoy what they know gives them pleasure. It would be a boring world indeed if we all liked the same things. 

OP - It would take a lot because we enjoy the demographic mix of the guests on Carnival ships. More than the other lines Carnival ships impress us as being representative of American society in general with just a touch of international guests to make the guest mix better still.

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2 minutes ago, sanmarcosman said:

People are entitled to enjoy what they know gives them pleasure. It would be a boring world indeed if we all liked the same things. 

...

 

Or, worse yet, those few things which everyone enjoyed would be super busy/packed.

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4 minutes ago, Tom-n-Cheryl said:

 

Or, worse yet, those few things which everyone enjoyed would be super busy/packed.

True. We know the uncle going to Gatlinburg won't be elbowing us in the line for Guy's 😉 

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What would get me to switch?  I guess price?  I did try another line because I couldn't get a B2B on the Glory, and between MSC and Carnival, I choose Carnival.

 

At this stage, I still work full time at a rather intense human relations job, and my vacation time is a time where I don't want to have to figure stuff out.  I started with Carnival due to the great price.  If I had started with NCL or RCL, I may have stuck with them?  But at this point, I know exactly what I'm getting with Carnival.  I know what food I want.  I know the bars I want to go to.  I know I love the music and the music venues I like.  I also usually stay on the ship in ports and just pretend I'm at a resort.  I'm happy as a clam with Carnival, so it would take some effort to get me to budge.  

 

If I choose to cruise after I retire, perhaps I'll experiment, but right now, that week or two is too precious to take a chance with.  And the bigger and newer the ship, the better.  That is so unlike me--still trying to figure that one out. But I think it has to do with the anonymity, and the fact that I like to stay on the ship. 

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3 hours ago, tallnthensome said:

See, I don’t understand why knowing where everything is makes a cruise adventure appealing? Why would you want to have already seen that and done that? I would think that trying different lines and ships would make for something new all the time and part of the appeal of sailing and exploring new ships and new food menus. I don’t want to see anything I’ve already seen before ….. makes zero sense to me personally but then again, whatever flows your boat as well. That’s like my uncle who has been to Gatlinburg Tennessee 16 times for vacation and nowhere else ….. Why ? How awful …..  

 

In general I agree with this. We are mostly NOT repeaters, and I never have been, and that's been related to how I used to travel primarily for sightseeing, which I have always preferred to do mostly on foot.  

 

I actually got a little bit bored on my Celebrity Millennium cruise in 2001. But that's because I was 35 and childless and strong and healthy and interested in active, rustic travel to as many destinations as possible at the time, not relaxation or luxury. I knew it was silly that I wasn't enjoying myself more, and so that was my last cruise until 16 years later and a LOT of life lived and bucket list filled.  Now I actually do want to take it somewhat easy on vacations, as does my family, and Carnival gives me all I need to do that at a great price.

 

Certain standard things we LOVE about Carnival that I can't imagine getting bored with:  Engaged, laid back, super friendly Cruise Directors. . . and their staff following suit, ships on a stick, Guy's Burger Joint/Blue Iguana Burrito Bar, 24-hour soft serve at Swirls, the sense we can fully relax and not worry about impressing prettier / thinner / richer / more refined fellow passengers, lots of embarkation ports to choose from, guest laundromat (Grrr. . .not on Mardi Gras), and lots of ships to pick from, so we do have that little bit of variety.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, naxer said:

And the bigger and newer the ship, the better.  That is so unlike me--still trying to figure that one out. But I think it has to do with the anonymity, and the fact that I like to stay on the ship. 

Then Panorama last year didn't disappoint. We enjoyed the ship so much we're going again this year on October 30th after our October 31, 2020 canceled. 

Edited by sanmarcosman
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5 minutes ago, sanmarcosman said:

Then Panorama last year didn't disappoint. We enjoyed the ship so much we're going again this year on October 30th after our October 31, 2020 canceled. 

 

We were scheming how to get aboard anything Vista or even Dream class, neither of which we've tried yet, and then, lo and behold, Mardi Gras dates appeared before us.  Glad to hear you enjoyed Panorama. 🙂

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, sanmarcosman said:

Then Panorama last year didn't disappoint. We enjoyed the ship so much we're going again this year on October 30th after our October 31, 2020 canceled. 

LOVED the Panorama.  I'm doing the Vista out of Galveston in February, but first the Mardi Gras in November.  (I get 4 weeks vacation a year, and cruise for those 4 weeks, but two weeks off in a row at the most.)

Edited by naxer
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4 hours ago, tallnthensome said:

See, I don’t understand why knowing where everything is makes a cruise adventure appealing? Why would you want to have already seen that and done that? I would think that trying different lines and ships would make for something new all the time and part of the appeal of sailing and exploring new ships and new food menus. I don’t want to see anything I’ve already seen before ….. makes zero sense to me personally but then again, whatever flows your boat as well. That’s like my uncle who has been to Gatlinburg Tennessee 16 times for vacation and nowhere else ….. Why ? How awful …..  

 

Because some people (lots of them) don't cruise for "adventure" but to relax.  And part of that relaxing is mostly knowing how to go about your day without spending time on trying to find out new information that pertains to simple things like where the buffet is located or where the cocktail lounge singers perform or where to get the best coffee on board.  But I'm with you for the record.  Probably until I've cruised enough and been to enough ports (some multiple times) and much of the "adventure" will make way for "relaxation". 

 

 

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I switched after 2 crappy cruises in a row.Carnival is not the low price leader if you are flexible on when you can sail.  When I decide to honeymoon on a cruise a few years back I decided on a southern Caribbean out of Puerto rico.Celebrity was the same price and was a huge improvement for us. MSC is #2 in my book.I've come back to carnival to take the grandkids on a 5 day cruise.next year I will do the same.but I already know I won't set foot on a carnival ship after that ,the boys are grown ups and too many other better choices for "US."

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3 minutes ago, scpirate said:

I switched after 2 crappy cruises in a row.Carnival is not the low price leader if you are flexible on when you can sail.  When I decide to honeymoon on a cruise a few years back I decided on a southern Caribbean out of Puerto rico.Celebrity was the same price and was a huge improvement for us. MSC is #2 in my book.I've come back to carnival to take the grandkids on a 5 day cruise.next year I will do the same.but I already know I won't set foot on a carnival ship after that ,the boys are grown ups and too many other better choices for "US."

 

What made the two straight cruises crappy?

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I have Sailed Royal once and it was on Symphony.

 

Will sail NCL next year.

 

But I stay pretty loyal to Carnival, Ships and activities just fit me right now for my age and where I am at in cruising. And Carnival just packs a lot of value and tends to charge less then Royal/NCL I have found and on my royal cruise I felt nickeled and dimed for things. 

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