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Part II RCI vs CCL 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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Thanks for posting, I was looking for part 2 of your review.

Looks like you've discovered my favorite part of RCI pools, the Solarium. I just love it, I have good intentions of reading and relaxing, but before I know it I'm sound asleep...LOL


So far I see a slight lead by RCI in your comparson, but will have to wait for part 3 (part 4?) and your final vote.


Soveriegn 92 E. Caribbean

Majesty 95 W. Caribbean

Granduer 97 E. Caribbean

Rhapsody 00 Mexico

Vision 02 Alaska

Radiance 03 Panama Canal

Brilliance 3/29/04




Radiance of the Seas/Panama Canal 10/18/2003

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2003;10;18;20;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800Are we there yet?



My bags are always packed!

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;3;29;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500 Brilliance 3/29/2004

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thanks for the review. I've been debating about taking a ccl cruise and your reviews help alot



Legend of the Sea 9/12/04

Voyager of the Sea 8/24/03

Sovereign of the Sea 07/01

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One quick question. If Carnival doesn't offer coffee or tea service in the dining room, where do they offer it? I can't imagine having my dessert without a cup of coffee.

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He was refering to the casual dining location, where it is self service. RCI offers coffee and tea service at your table(waiters), vs having to get up a get a cup of coffee yourself. The main dining room of course has full service



...left until Navigator of the Seas 11/13/04


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Thanks for clearing that up for me. Now that I looked back at the post it is obvious that it was the casual dining location that was being referred to. I guess that's what happens when I read the boards at work.

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Like so many topics, it's dangerous to generalize on the basis on one cruise experience.


For instance, we did receive coffee / tea service (and other beverages) in the casual dining room on the Elation last month. A waitress went from table to table with a rolling cart, and was also offering fresh pastries.

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