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love rci and x -- how will we enjoy carnival?


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the title says it all, really...

 

we love rci and x - really enjoy the atmosphere on the ships (less rowdiness being the biggest attraction) along with great food & service.

 

my spouse and i are 30s, but don't enjoy the party scene at all - much prefer chatting on the deck with a cup of coffee or reading on the balcony.

 

the thing is - the carnival cruises are priced so ridiculously (inexpensive) - are 2 carnival cruises worth one x/rci?

 

i have sailed carnival, just once, in 2002 - it wasnt really luxury that rci and x offer, but i realized things have probably changed over the last 5 years. really did not enjoy it - the food wasnt my style, service was okay, but certainly not luxurious, and the passengers were mostly teenagers -- loud, party atmosphere, etc. i respect that different things are for different people -- just being honest about my preferences here! :)

 

thoughts?

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To be honest i've never sailed Carnival and won't ever be caught dead sailing them but i know a few people who have done RCI and Carnival. A similar opinion was that the ship itself on RCI was better and the food on Carnival was mediocre as was the service. If you love RCI you wont like carnival

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I was on the Carnval Glory and had a very nice time. The decor was alittle loud for my taste. That was my only complaint. The food was wonderful. The rooms were nice. I am not a partier and I had a wonderful cruise.

 

You really have to experience it yourself to really know. Everyone is different. CCL is less expensive than RCI and it is hard to justify the added expense. I say try it, you may find that you like RCI better but I'll bet you will have a wonderful vacation.

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Our most recent experience with Carnival was June 2008 on the Valor, Western Caribbean. DH (54) and I (48) had a catagory 11 suite, and our DD (15 at the time) and her friend had an inside across the hall. The cabins were very nice, and roomy.

 

Contrary to popular belief, there was no excessive rowdy or drunken behavior. The food was good, and the service was great. Being fairly new, the ship was in great shape. OK, so the decor is a bit loud, but hardly a deal killer. No, it's not a luxury cruise, but it was nice.

 

Our DD and her friend had a great time. Met plenty of teens and enjoyed the teen club. DH and I had only one complaint. We didn't find our "spot". You know...the lounge or bar that was "your" place to hang out.

 

Their prices are great. I say give them a try.

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Go with an open mind and you will have a great time. From all the cruise lines they are my least favourite, but every time I step aboard a carnival ship I have a good time.

 

If price was the same then Royal wil definitely get my vote if there is a lot of difference in price give them a try. Btw which ship are you looking at?

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I have had better service and food on Carnival.

 

However, the ship I went on was older and certainly more "love boatish" vs LoS. But, I can say the same thing about the Majesty of the Sea as well.

 

Go with an open mind and have fun!

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After being a little hestiant we greatly enjoyed our two carnival cruises.. and next may we will be taking another one on Freedom.. we had the best wait staff of any cruise i have ever been on while on the Pride.. the food was as good if not better than Royal..and to be honest I have seen just as many partiers on Royal as on Carnival.

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The decor is quite different. Carnival at night is Las Vegas at its best. We loved the food and atmosphere. My only bad cruising experience was on RCCL. Each ship and sailing present an opportunity for a different experience.

 

Anyone who said if you love RCCl you won't like Carnival is the type of bull why I would not wish to cruise with some passengers of RCCL. I have done all 3 within the past 5 years: RCCL, Princess and Carnival and enjoyed and would return to each for different reasons

 

Princess - wonderful pools, understated elegance, and nice bands

RCCL - overall wow factor, truly stunning ships and vibe

Carnival - food, service, cost, vibe, water slide, kids program

 

I read here if you liked RCCL you won't like Princess. RCCL truly a Nation Unto itself with no cross over. Please try it and decide for yourself, I did:D Your vacation is really what you make it, not what others think it will be. Go and make it good and that's easy with a positive attitude!

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To be honest i've never sailed Carnival and won't ever be caught dead sailing them but i know a few people who have done RCI and Carnival. A similar opinion was that the ship itself on RCI was better and the food on Carnival was mediocre as was the service. If you love RCI you wont like carnival

 

How can you give advice on Carnival if you've never sailed on Carnival? What a silly and completely uneducated statement.

 

I've sailed RCI, Carnival and X. I'd say that Celebrity has the edge on classiness, but RCI and Carnival are so similar you wouldn't know one from the other. I'll admit that RCI has the most beautiful ships on the ocean, but do you REALLY cruise to look at the ship? If so, then you wouldn't be as pleased with Carnival, but other than the decor, there's almost no difference in the two products except RCI's rediculous pricing right now.

 

Carnival cruises are laid back and fun. The most rowdy experience we've ever had was on an RCI ship. And they weren't drunk teenagers, they were drunk, loud, obnoxious adults. Carnival has had MUCH better food than RCI or X in each of our cruises. The service has been comparable on each of them, with Celebrity getting the SLIGHT edge there.

 

Go and have fun!! In the mass markets lines, there's not 2 cents worth of difference, much less 1000's of dollars worth. Anyone who says differently hasn't sailed both lines in the last 5-8 years.

 

We're looking at an Alaska cruise on Princess and I'd almost guarantee that it won't be that much different than RCI or Carnival, either. There's just not much you can change about these kinds of ships or activities.

 

Now if you want to move up to Oceania, Silversea, etc...then you may be talking about a different experience, but I'd rather sail 3 and 4 times a year than just once. It's all in your perspective. ;)

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It's been a few years since we sailed on Carnival. We love the Voyager class ships and the convenience of year round cruising out of Bayonne, so that's what we've been doing lately. It's been our experience that the food and entertainment on our Carnival cruises was a bit better than that of RCCL. On the other hand, the decor of the RCCL ships is much more elegant and understated. We found the duration of the cruise and destination often dictate the type of cruise experience you're going to have. The noisy, raucous, party going cruisers generally go on the shorter or less expensive cruises. You're more likely to find them on the 3/4 night cruises and less likely on the Canada cruises.

 

When we cruised with Carnival, we always chose their newer ships. We felt that the top rated cruise directors, entertainment and staff were put on their newer ships. A few years back we cruised on a newer Princess ship (less than 6 months old) and the food and most of the entertainment was horrible. The service however, was excellent and we met a bunch of very nice people. We'll be going on Carnival again this fall (again on a new ship) and only time will tell if our experiences will be the same. My experience has been, no matter what ship you're on, it's what you make of the cruise that determines how you end up feeling about it.

 

Have fun.

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I have cruised RCI, NCL, Princess and Carnival and I enjoyed each cruise. All were diferent and all were fun. I found the food on Carnival to be the best. I found all passengers on all lines to be equal and no rowdiness at all. I'd much prefer 2 Carnival cruises to one RCI.

 

Go..enjoy

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The decor is quite different. Carnival at night is Las Vegas at its best. We loved the food and atmosphere. My only bad cruising experience was on RCCL. Each ship and sailing present an opportunity for a different experience.

 

Anyone who said if you love RCCl you won't like Carnival is the type of bull why I would not wish to cruise with some passengers of RCCL. I have done all 3 within the past 5 years: RCCL, Princess and Carnival and enjoyed and would return to each for different reasons

 

So much for letting others give their opinions. I guess if one doesn't like Carnival then you don't want to cruise with them???? That goes both ways honey.

 

 

 

Princess - wonderful pools, understated elegance, and nice bands

RCCL - overall wow factor, truly stunning ships and vibe

Carnival - food, service, cost, vibe, water slide, kids program

 

I read here if you liked RCCL you won't like Princess. RCCL truly a Nation Unto itself with no cross over. Please try it and decide for yourself, I did:D Your vacation is really what you make it, not what others think it will be. Go and make it good and that's easy with a positive attitude!

 

Funny, the comments that I read right here on this board state that both lines are more alike than they are different and I agree.

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Personally, I didn't cruise in the order you're looking for, but I always read with interest those that do, as they seems to mostly read as "I had a great time!", "Carnival exceeded my expectations", etc.

 

Carnival cruises are not cheaper because they are cheap cruises. Carnival has the buying power, and can pass that savings off to the consumer.

 

I also scratch my head at posts from people who have never sailed Carnival, but post, somehow thinking they know. :confused:

 

While Carnival doesn't have something that rivals the RCCL mega ships, what they do have certainly makes up for it, IMO. The total Carnival experience, in how they make you "feel", is what makes me keep coming back.

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We have sailed Carnival and had a great time. The food was great, the atmosphere was very lively, and fun. It was not loud or obnoxious. In fact I have been hearing that RCL food doesn't compare with Carnival. (We are sailing on RCL our first time in Feb. and wonder if it will be comparable and worth the extra $$) You will have a great time if you decide to try Carnival I am sure. We have not experienced what some fellow CC call a lower end cruiseline. The people have been have great and the staff was super. I also think you should give it a try. (The Chocolate Volcano Cake is to die for.)

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Even though I have very few posts, I've been on many cruises and cruiselines and the following is based solely on MY experiences. I went with my 12 yo along with a friend and her son on the Carnival Destiny in Oct. 08. We were a little hesitant at first, but both walked away with the opinion that it wasn't as bad as we had anticipated, and that we'd book another Carnival cruise again. I went with my family (husband, 2 sons (10 and 13 now)) on the RCL Navigator of the Seas last week and had such a great time that we booked another cruise for next year's spring break. I would not book a Carnival cruise for my family in the future only because they are no where near RCL's Voyager or higher ships in terms of facilities/activities for my kids, but that should not impact you as you wouldn't be using them. My overall observations between the 2 lines are this: On our Carnival ship, the food was better than RCL's but the service was better for us on RCL. Our Carnival sailing was much rowdier and full of heavy drinkers and heavy smokers, whereas Navigator was during spring break and filled with families. There were always people in the bars in the evenings on the Carnival whereas on RCL, my husband and I were sometimes the only ones. Our cabins were comparable (Cat 12 on Carnival, Owner's Suite on RCL), but the room attendant was much more present on RCL. She was fabulous! If I could book 2 Carnival cruises instead of 1 RCL, I would if I was going with friends or just my spouse. For my family, however, the $$$ saved is not worth it.

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To be honest i've never sailed Carnival and won't ever be caught dead sailing them but i know a few people who have done RCI and Carnival. A similar opinion was that the ship itself on RCI was better and the food on Carnival was mediocre as was the service. If you love RCI you wont like carnival

 

Hogwash. One of our best cruises ever was on the dinky little Fantasy. Service was great food was great and we had a ball. A cruise is what you make of it. If you want to go on a cruise and start with the "Royal does this better" routine then I guarantee you'll be disappointed. Go with an open mind that you want to enjoy yourself and you will. Does RCI do some things better than Carnival? Sure they do. Do they do all things better? Nope.

 

OP, you'll have a ball on Carnival. We stopped cruising RCI last year because of the price. Our last RCI was on the Radiance. A beautiful 8 night cruise on THE most beautiful ship on the ocean but RCI has priced me out of their market along with many others. The big ships with all their crowds and itineraries that simply suck compared to 4 or 5 years ago - they can have them. We saved over $1000 booking our Valor cruise next year and until RCI brings their price down we'll gladly enjoy our 7 days in the Caribbean on board another ship on another line.

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We have sailed Carnival a few times and always had a great time. I my opinion the food was better on Carnival then RCI (prime rib offered 2-3 times on 7 day cruise). We are thinking about doing the Carnival Dream in Feb. you can't beat their prices even on their new ship. Try Carnival and have a wonderful time.

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As you can see from my signature, I have sailed on Carnival numerous times. I prefer RCL, but you'll do okay on Carnival if you choose a newer ship. One of the biggest differences between the two lines, in my opinion, is the upkeep of their fleet. To be fair, I understand they finally did MAJOR rehabs on their Fantasy Class ships and they're much nicer now. Previously, the older ships could definately be a disappointment. We found the condition of the mini-golf course to be HORRIBLE on one of our cruises on an older Carnival ship. The carpets were torn up so you couldn't hit the ball straight. We had separate keys and sail cards (Sail & Sign on Carnival, as opposed to Sea Pass), as the cabin doors had not been updated to accept the cards as keys. There was a nasty sewer smell throughout the lower decks. The burnt orange decor was pretty ugly. But, I've NEVER had a BAD cruise on Carnival. I've just had BETTER cruises on Royal. And yes, I'd go for TWO cruises on Carnival over ONE cruise on Royal, if that became the option.

 

What you will find:

  • Service is not a good. For example, in the casual dining/buffet area, there is no one helping you to find a seat or getting you coffee. It's entirely self-serve. They can be slow to clear the tables as well, so you'll have trouble finding a CLEAN table. On the plus side, there is usually outdoor dining, which I like. Most RCL ships have only indoor dining for the Windjammer.
  • There seemed to be fewer ACTIVE activities on Carnival. No crew-versus-passenger dodge ball or volley ball games. No Quest show.
  • Sexy Legs contest becomes Hairy Chest contest. Otherwise, it's the same thing.
  • On the plus side Carnival has SLIDES in the main pool, not just for the kids. That's great for us over-aged kids! However, they do not have the rock-climing wall, FlowRider, ice rink or in-line skating.

Is there really such a thing as a bad cruise?? If the price is right, go for it. You'll have fun. I thought Carnival was "IT" until I tried RCL. I may prefer RCL, but I certainly wouldn't reject Carnival!

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To be honest i've never sailed Carnival and won't ever be caught dead sailing them but i know a few people who have done RCI and Carnival. A similar opinion was that the ship itself on RCI was better and the food on Carnival was mediocre as was the service. If you love RCI you wont like carnival

 

I hope since you haven't actually sailed Carnival that people who need an answer to the Op's question will disregard your response.

 

 

Having sailed both lines I can tell you that Carnival isn't much different than Royal at all. I have NO idea why some of the Royal Caribbean fans seem to put themselves 'above'. Because of that attitude, I sailed on Royal thinking it would be better than all of my CCL cruises. It wasn't. (This same thing happened when I sailed Celebrity). The posters here who are encouraging you to try CCL are giving you great advice.

I enjoyed my Royal Caribbean cruise but to be honest, it was in NO way, worth the hundreds more that I paid for it. The food on my Royal Caribbean cruise was the least favorite of any cruise I have taken and the service was the worst. (I never met my cabin steward and the wait service in the dining room was NOT up to the standards I have had on other lines. Yes, this was just one cruise and likely a fluke, but it is what it is)

This is not to say that I wouldn't sail with Royal again..I think RCCL has the most gorgeous ships...I loved the Explorer, but certainly the cruise itself was no better than any Carnival Cruise I have ever taken.

 

 

The only way for anyone to know if they will like Carnival (or any other line)is to try it themselves.

I love cruising, and have loved every cruise I have taken on every line. I have NO fricking clue why people become line manogamous and are scared to try a different line. It boggles my mind.

 

The food on Carnival is FAR better than the food on Royal (IMO). The rest of the cruise experience is very similar, other than (like I said) Royal having prettier ships with better layout.

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i love RCCL but the 2 carnival cruises i took were just fine. no, actually great ! :) also. { we were traveling/paying ;) for group that included teenagers and early 20 somethings and the price was the factor INITIALLY} the 2nd one i chose because i liked the 1st . both x's i chose the larger newer ships as i heard the older ones r in sorry shape , but i understand they r refurbishing ...........

 

i am still booking RCCL but i agree, their price point might be squeezing me out soon..... :(

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After 15 RCI & X cruises, we tried the Carnival Liberty, with much apprehension, I might add. We have all heard bad things about Carnival from various loyalists, most of which have never even set foot on a CCL ship. The timing and the price was right, so with fingers crossed, we gave it a shot. It was awesome, based on our priorities, and everyone's are different - our's are: cabin, cleanliness, and food. Cabin was spacious, ship was immaculate, food the best we ever had on a ship - whether it was buffet, MDR, or specialty. Sure, there was noise at the pool, etc. Retreated to our balcony with a book and a glass of wine - now that's what I'm talkin' about !!!

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I like them both also.

 

I'm hardly an expert on either, however, the last cruise I took on Carnival had good entertainment, excellent food, the ship was clean, there were no wild partiers and the price was right.

 

I was looking for a last minute cruise this summer (early) before hurricane season. I have priced a balcony on Carnival for $629 per person (including port and taxes) The cheapest I can find for a similar itinerary on Royal is $999 without port and taxes.

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Have done a total of 5 cruises...4 RCI, 1 Carnival...

 

We did 2 RCI's, then went to Carnival (got outvoted), and needless to say, we're back on RCI's....

 

Carnival was ok-it was a "whole family" cruise, so the company we kept was WAAY more important than what we look for normally...especially since my Mom passed away not too long after...it's the MEMORIES of that trip that will always hold a place in my heart..

 

I, personally, like the "quiet elegance" of RCI-the design of the ships, the color palettes they use, the amenities they offer on board (aside from the "wow" factor of the flow rider, rock climbing walls etc). I liked (and at almost 50 years old) the water slide on Carnival, but was a chicken for the Flow Rider and the rock wall-LOL.

 

Found the food on both to be similar..

 

The biggest thing I remember NOT liking about Carnival was the "carnival" atmosphere-the bright gaudy colors, the use of neon in their version of the centrum, and the overly obvious "faux" feeling of a lot of their ships..

 

I believe that vacations and cruises are VERY subjective...and have had that belief proven time and time again on cruise critic- My "ohmygodit was THE best ______ (fill in the blank)" may for someone else, their "omygodit was THE WORST _____(fill in the blank"...

 

I'm a true believer in the terms of Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) and Just My Humble Opinion (JMHO)

 

So...that said...YMMV and this is JMHO....

 

"A bad day of vacation beats a good day at work EVERY time"

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We had our first Carnival cruise this past September on the Paradise, but my DH and I much prefer RCI. We found the Paradise gaudy, our stateroom was unappealing and the bathroom grout kept coming off on my feet. I disliked the layout of the ship. The food was okay, not great--but there pizza station in the buffet served a very nice white sauce pizza that was very good. The staff was very friendly but seemed less knowledgable than RCI staff about serving, what's available etc. The chocolate melting cake dessert at dinner was wonderful! I thought the muster was downright scary, the sushi was limited but not bad. I didn't find it rowdy at all which was a pleasant surprise. All in all, we didn't like Carnival for cruising compared to RCI but we had a good time (it was for a convention). Any cruise is better than no cruise!

 

Kerrie:)

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