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What makes RCCL worth the money?

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We've never sailed on Carnival. Why? Out here in Southern California most of the folks I've spoke with who cruise consider Carnival the 'party boat'. We've heard stories of drunks in the hallways, poor service, children running everywhere, et al. OK.........I have no way of knowing if any of this is true but when your a 'first time' cruiser that's not what we're looking for.

From reading many posts here it seems our information may be dated or just plain incorrect but the thought continues to stick in our mind and that's why I don't see a Carnival cruise in our future just yet.


I've concluded that the ship itself has as much to do with the food, conduct and cleanliness as the company itself. To wit: Our first cruise was on the Norwegian Spirit and we both loved the boat and it's crew so much we picked it again to sail the Caribbean eight months later and again it lived up to our expectations. So it was an easy call when we planned our cruise to Mexico....We chose the Norwegian Star and we had a so so cruise. The food was not as good, the crew less attentive and the ship itself did not appear as clean and in the end left a bad taste in our mouth.

So when we chose to go to the Caribbean again we picked RCL's Empress of the Seas........a smaller boat and we had a blast. The food was excellent, the crew attentive, the Mojitos were great and the whole cruise exceeded our expectations.

We wanted to take a cruise around the islands of Hawaii but after our last experience with NCL and reading all the reviews about NCL America there is no way I'm going to spend a dime with them. Give me a well trained worldly crew anyday... So we booked our Hawaiian cruise with Princess and picked up a bonus of going to Tahiti as well..

Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on here just wanted to make a few points that may or may not help you decide...:) One company's ship may thrill and another disappoint......you just don't know and I suppose it's part of the adventure finding out....


I think that you hit on a very good point here. You can have inconsistencies from one ship to another within the same fleet. It happens and has happened to me. Also I think that when you are talking about two cruise lines the size of Carnival and RCI, the chances of it happening are even greater. Each ship has different managers on board and manage in their own way. Each ship has a different head chef who may be following the company policy on menus but usually add their own touch to them and some are MUCH better than others. That is one reason why I say never judge a cruise line by just one cruise.

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I consider Carnival 'entry level' cruising. Royal Caribbean is THE step above. I am Crown and Anchor Royal Caribbean and won't go anywhere else (unless someone gives me a free ride on the QE2!). I have no complaints about RCI and its many ships that I have sailed. Truth be known, people like what they like. If you want to stick with Carnival or RCI or NCL or HAL, that's what you like. No one line is all good or all bad.

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