Carnival Cruise Lines Reviews

Year Started: 1972
Ships in Fleet: 25
Category: Mainstream

Summary: The most successful cruise line in history. Don't be misled, a high-quality cruise experience perfect for families and young couples, Fantastic value. the FUN ships, but not "party boats."


Carnival Cruise Ships

3 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Caribbean

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Singles.

24 Reviews


Good for: Families. Singles. Seniors.

80 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean

Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.

42 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Singles. Teens. Families.

10 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Singles. Families. Group.

76 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern

Good for: Overall Service. Seniors. Families.

12 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, South America

Good for: Group. Families. Foodies.

61 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Suthern

Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Singles.

0 Reviews

Regions:East and West Caribbean

56 Reviews


Good for: Singles. First-time Cruisers. Overall Service.

45 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Value for Money. Singles.

60 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Western

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Group.

57 Reviews


Good for: Families. Group. Singles.

96 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Western

86 Reviews


Good for: Value for Money. Overall Service. Children`s Programs.

35 Reviews


Good for: Families. Singles. Overall Service.

80 Reviews

Regions: Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada/New England, Cruise To Nowhere

Good for: Families. Teens. Children`s Programs.

54 Reviews

Regions:Mexico, Caribbean Eastern, Hawaii

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.

90 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern

Good for: Singles. Group. First-time Cruisers.

3 Reviews

Regions:Europe, TransAtlantic, Caribbean

Good for: Seniors. First-time Cruisers. Families.

72 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Families. Group. Luxury Travelers.

51 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.

53 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Singles. Teens.

48 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal

Good for: Singles. Families. Value for Money.

65 Reviews


Good for: Families. Seniors. Children`s Programs.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
from 1259 reviews


Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms


Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities


Shore Tours


Alternative Dining

User Reviews

1259 User Reviews of Carnival Ships
The worst vacation ever
Publication Date: December 29, 2013

Well It all started with the rude service we started as we checked in and recieved our sign and sail card the lady behind the counter was snotty and rude ! We blew it off and was just excited to get on the boat and start our vacation .

We get to our room and we noticed it was warm we just thought it was cause we were in port still. Nope that was not the cause the next day our room was at least 80 deg we notified customer service olny to be met with the most rudest service from a lady from the Ucrain she actually made my wife cry . I waited in our room for 4 1/2 hrs before notifing the room steward that the air tech still had not showed up to fix our a/c .

And we also complained about our whole floor smelling like raw sewage the whole trip and we were only met with more rudeness from customer service. We sat up on the Lido deck and talked to some of the other passengers and they asked how our cruise was

going and we told them and they said which room are you in?

Oh honey they said there was a Murder in that room .

Room number R24 on the Riveria Deck that is really your room and we said yes and actually had to show some of them that customer service never told us about it gave us an option to move and when we informed them of no a/c the rudest service we have ever experienced and now the murder in our room could they please move us and we were only met with a big NO NO NO !!!!!!

Then we went to dinner that night and we had sea food and my wife hade shrimp and shortly after dinner she said honey I dont feel so good and went to the rest room and proceeded to vomit and say I think I have food poisining she was sick for two days from that. The food was so bad on the boad we couldnt wait to get to port so we could eat starving pigs wouldnt eat the swill that was served on this boat we were so disapointed.

What a waist of time and money we will never cruise Carnival after this experience with them ! I have Cruised with Carnival 6 other times and they were all great but this was my new wifes first experience with cruising and she never wants to get on another cruise from the rude servive to the homosexuall DJs and staff pushing it off on you and the lesbiean servers that were hitting on my wife it was whorable.

So we complained on how we were treated and they said here is 15% of on your next Cruise with the Carnival Fun Family …… WE WILL NEVER EVER SEPND ANOTHER VACATION ON A CARNIVAL CRUSE WHAT A WAISTE OF MONEY I SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME AND THREY THE MONEY OUT THE WINDOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Publication Date: December 17, 2013

The Sunshine was a beautiful ship. It seemed brand new and not renovated. All the FunShip 2.0 enhancements are great improvements to older ships.

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Unsatisfied disable traveler
Publication Date: December 7, 2013

The Carnival Cruise Ship "Elation" was not what we expected for luxury travel. The beds were awful, could feel the springs while trying to sleep. One of the assistance persons on the 7th floor deportation area was very arrogant and lack in ability to communicate with restless passenger, me, she was not willing to call the director for information I had requested and told me to "cool it." That did not go over very well as I had been sitting in my wheel chair for over an hour and in excruciating pain... The ship DID NOT give any assistance during disembarking to handicapped people, we were pushed aside, ran into with luggage by other passengers....(No dignity on this ship for handicapped people by the ship's personal, other than the room cleaning assistances.) It was the port folks and customs officers who so kind and gave us help.

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Mexican Riviera in Aft Extended Balcony
Publication Date: November 26, 2013

We had a relaxing cruise aboard the Miracle in an aft extended view balcony and wanted to share the good, the great, and the minor bummers. I am 40, my husband 50 and our son is 4. This was a 40th birthday cruise for me. Probably our 14th cruise or so, but who is counting?! We'd repeat this trip because it was an overall excellent value and great experience.

Faster to the Fun:

I'll start with major props on the Faster to the Fun concept. For $50 we are so glad we made the investment. We were some of the first on the ship (by 12:30pm due to a slower than usual disembarkation process from the prior Hawaii cruise) and praise the staff for always recognizing us as FTTF and whisking us to priority tenders, priority self assist debarkation, etc. We will always cruise this way as long as Carnival makes this option available at such a good price. And YES, FTTF is listed on the priority check in sign, right next to Platinum, etc. This was really nice for us traveling with a 4 year old and arriving to the

port at 10:30am. A front desk agent surveyed us on our FTTF experience mid way through the cruise by phoning our cabin. The only less than perfect feedback I had for her (when asked) was that our luggage wasn' in our room when we arrived on embarkation day, but we didn’t care one bit about that since it arrived shortly thereafter.

Our cabin:

Here is our video tour of aft extended balcony cabin #7351.

We loved this cabin. It was quiet (staterooms above and below), clean, and located quite conveniently to the Horatio’s restaurant (LOVE that I only had to take two quick flights of stairs for our morning coffee run!). The bed was among the top three most comfortable on any ship we'e ever experienced. We pack our own pillows, but still, the mattress was just soft enough, the sheets were soft and we slept like babies. My 4 year old son slept on the couch converted to a bed, and he loved the gentle rumble of the engines lulling him to sleep each night. There was less engine vibration and noise on the aft of the Miracle than we've experienced on other ships. Just enough to be soothing and rock you to sleep. The balcony was showing a bit of wear and wasn't super clean, and I didn't care for the food smell that wafts toward the aft when you are on the back of the ship, but the lack of wind makes that part bearable. There was never a time when we couldn't be out on the balcony. Even late at night on the coolest of evenings it was calm and lovely to watch the wake. Storage was ample, closet space rocked, and the shower seemed bigger to me than most. We'd choose this cabin again and again.

Our dining experience:

We dined at the Steakhouse, Nick and Nora's, twice on this voyage. The first experience was on the night of our cruise - after learning that we weren't happy with our main dining room table assignment. Shortly after boarding, we visited the main dining room and were told we were to be seated at a big table with others (we'd chosen assigned /6pm, table of 4 for the three of us). So, until this was resolved, we decided to pay the premium and hit Nick and Nora's. We dined there a second time on the second formal night. It was wonderful!

Both times, I had the lobster bisque, Caesar salad, surf and turf (Lobster

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Object in the food A nightmare of a cruise
Publication Date: October 18, 2013

I have never written a review and I use my own judgment when reading them but this is totally over the top.

On the second day of our cruise my wife bit into a piece of glass and cut the inside of her mouth while eating breakfast from the Lido Deck buffet. She was treated at the medical center and a security report was taken (both are jokes). She cried for two days and wanted to leave the cruise and come home so she could be close to her doctor in case anything happened, not knowing if she had swallowed any glass fragments and what might happen if she had.

The only thing we received from Carnival was a letter slipped under our door saying if we need anything call guest services. We decided to ride it out and take our chances. The only information we received we had to ask for and Carnival does not give up information easily.

On the last day of our cruise we talked to the food service manager and was told that after his investigation it was a piece of plastic from the cups used

on Lido deck and that it did not come from the food prep area. So has anyone ever broken one of these glasses? I have seen them cracked and if dropped they bounce but never broken.

That tells me that someone done this to hurt someone, either an upset employee or a passenger. I want to think that is not the case but it is 2013 and crazier things have happened. If so putting objects in food is a criminal act in my mind. I think Carnival knows more than they are telling. I called Carnival and asked for some compensation and was told I would not receive any because my wife was treated at the medical center for free, WHAT.

I think at the least Carnival owes us a FULL REFUND and another free cruise. You can go to any restaurant in America and if you find something in your food they will compensate you. Even dog food companies will recall dog food if they find foreign objects in it. Carnival has all of these Vacation Guarantees but when something happens they are not worth the paper they are written on.

We are Platinum cruisers and have been loyal to Carnival throughout their problems, but this may have been our last cruise with them. I have not ruled out suing and contacting other authorities to further investigate. I am contacting any TV, newspaper, radio, Facebook and Tweeter, anyone that will listen. I am PISSED and I want some satisfaction. This could have turned out badly. By the way our cabin steward Jessie was THE BEST EVER.

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Publication Date: October 6, 2013

We had a wonderful time on our cruise, enjoyed the room we had with a balcony (cabin 8230). It was near the stairs/elevator and just one flight up to the buffet. The "Serenity deck" was awesome (no one under 21). There is also an inside pool which was great as long as you could get into it before the kids did! The gym was very nice too, as well as the steam room and sauna. The only thing that keeps this from being 5 star is that Carnival allows smoking on the balcony decks, which affects other balconies.

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Great ship only a few issues to mention
Publication Date: December 13, 2013

Only a few issues to mention.

I am not one to complain and have loved cruising on Carnival since 1977 on the Mardi Gras. 30 plus cruises on Carnival. Diamond cruiser for the last year on Carnival.

We were on the Empress deck on the Carnival Freedom, a Balcony cabintoo close to the back of the ship by the elevators. The room never got cool and the air conditioner just was not able to cool that area of the ship. Our friends across the hall on the inside also had the same issue. Normally my wife is complaining that i like it too cold when we go to bed. we were both sleeping on the bed with no covers and were hot.

Called maintenance and they said there was nothing they could do. Not a good area to book if your going on theFreedom and like it cool. I had to get some budget work done for work and the internet connection was so slow it was unbeliveable they could charge for this service. Carnival you might want to make the white cards with diamond shapes on the card. you might

also want to give your diamond passengers unlimited internet access. You can keep the chocolate covered strawberrys and little gifts and laundry service. Give the passengers what they could really use and need.

just my opinion from Chris Reynolds folio number 7887 freedom sailing 11/16/13. looking forward to the Glory 3/2/2014

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Carnival Splendor Dec 2013
Publication Date: December 12, 2013

We sailed on the Carnival Splendor from Dec 3-11, 2013 (NYC to Port Canaveral, Nassau) - see our ship ratings below

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Carnival Dream ~ November 30, 2013 ~ December 7, 2013
Publication Date: December 10, 2013

Carnival Dream ~ November 30, 2013 ~ December 7, 2013

Overall I thought the ship was beautiful with lots pleasant spaces. When I passed the Page Turner Library I actually wondered who Page Turner was.....until it dawned on me. I loved the chandeliers in the dining rooms but I thought all those single red light fixtures were a bit of overkill. I found myself singing "Red Solo Cup" all week. Even though they made it bigger I think they added too many people to the larger space. I think a capacity of about 500 less would have made it feel less crowded. Never in all of my cruises have I ever waited in line for meals for so long. I did like the idea that they added a barbeque on deck 5 for lunch time. I imagine it took some of the pressure off the dining rooms and the lido offerings.


I tried the Mongolian Wok and loved it even though the wait time was about 20 minutes because they cook it right there for you. My only regret was that I did not take enough. They had 3 different sauces

and I asked which one was the least hot. I took that and I was sure I had third degree burns in my mouth. Very tasty even though it packed some heat.

Of course I got to the Deli for a Pastrami sandwich. I have not found pastrami here in Florida so I enjoyed that very much.

Pizza was good too as usual and I enjoyed 2 slices one day.

I went through the buffet line on Italian day and the Veal Parmesan was to die for. Every day the offerings on lido looked excellent. I checked them out every day even when I was eating in the dining room.

Desserts, What can I say but Oh MY God they were good. My blood sugar level has finally started to come back to normal.

The Punchliner Brunch fell short of my expectations. I would rather have had the normal breakfast and lunch offerings.

At breakfast I was disappointed in my former favorite, Eggs Benedict. The Hollandaise sauce was not hot and as a result was congealed when it was served. I think some changes in the breakfast menu overall are overdue.

Lobster night was a disappointment to me. First it was the only night the wait staff seemed to be out of step and wait time was longer than usual. When I finally got my long awaited lobster it was rubbery for a girl from New England this was disappointing.

Food over all was mostly very good to excellent.

I was assigned the forward Crimson dining for "Your time Dining" I was dismayed at this because my room was nearly all the way aft. My legs are not as good as they once were. I asked to be changed to the Scarlett Dining Room but it was for fixed seating which I did not want and all that was left was late dining. I like "YTD" because it affords me the chance to meet more people. Imaging my surprise when some people at my table said they were from Bristol NH. A town where I spent a good portion of my life from 1953. How nice to meet someone from home. Jack if you are reading this they owned Mocha Cottages, up near the old Pasquaney inn, Now known as "The Inn On Newfound Lake"

Service was mostly excellent and I liked that they always knew our names and addressed us by name.

My cabin was a bit larger than I remembered and had 2 bathrooms. One with a small vanity and a tub with a shower. The other was a standard vanity, toilet and shower. I had 4 closets and not enough clothes to fill them I also had 5 drawers. The safe was operated with a pin number rather than the old credit card system. I liked the pin system much better.

My cabin steward was outstanding. He came and introduced himself the first day and he addressed me by name all the time. My room was always nice and neat. Hard for anyone to keep up with messy Laura but he managed very well.

I slept so well on this cruise I hated to come home to the terrorists upstairs.

I did not see much of the entertainment. The show lounge was so far from my cabin. I did manage to see the Marriage Game which is always amusing. I always find it a bit sad too as I keep remembering the times I watched Ray and Helen in the game.

I only got off the ship at St Thomas and went walking in Havensight. I saw many things I wanted to buy but I restrained myself. It was showery off and on all day so I started my walk back earlier than I planned. I was glad I did as later the heavens opened up and poured. I got on an elevator full of soaked people that had just come in. St Thomas had grown quite a bit in the last 20 years. I am not so sure progress is always good.

One thing that took me by surprise was seeing the Kon Tiki tour. I took that tour on my first cruise in 1983. I was surprised it was still operating. I managed to be on deck when it returned and docked on the main pier right near our ship. As I listened to the people coming off that boat I realized they still served the infamous rum punch. Everyone seemed happy :roll:

Except for the size of the ship being more than I can handle physically I really enjoyed this cruise and can't wait to go again. I did not even mind that my efforts in the casino did not make me "rich" I spent the money to have fun and that is exactly what I did.

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Carnival has declined.
Publication Date: December 3, 2013

First let me lead off by explaining that we took our first cruise in 1991. I'm not sure how many cruises we've been on but it exceeds twenty. We have had 5 cruises with Carnival. I am always amazed by people who find so many negative issues on a cruise and then write a negative review. I usually conclude they are just negative people as I have always enjoyed my cruises, but some are better than others. I could never imagine writing a negative review, until I took a cruise on the Carnival Magic into the Western Caribbean.

When we departed Galveston It was only 45 degrees, windy and very cold. The heater in the room didn't work but the AC had the room at about 50 bone chilling degrees. I called customer services and waited 25 minutes with no answer (I attempted to call them on four other occasions just out of curiosity and never got an answer. Finally I concluded the phone didn't work.). I found our room steward who got a maintenance person to come. He couldn't fix it so he turned off the AC and just left

on the ventilation. I still had to stuff a towel in the vent so we didn't freeze. It was allegedly fixed but we felt the thermostat was only cosmetic and never worked. I continued to use a towel to control air flow out of the vent. On the way home we used the hair dryer to heat the room. In talking with other passengers we found several with HVAC problems. Repeated attempts to call customer service went unanswered. Attempts to dial "O" for the operator yielded no ring and therefore no answer )Out-of order phone).

We enjoy the shows and entertainment on cruise ships and were in shock on the third night (A sea night) when there was no show. Instead of a show, the dancers taught passengers three dances and then held a dance off. We watched because there was nothing else to do. Actually we were chuckling that somebody from Carnival thought this was what passed for entertainment. On the fourth night there was only one show which was held at 10:00 pm. On the night of their "big show" they opened the doors twenty minutes before show-time. People began lining up at 40 minutes before. There was no organization for the lines and it could have been a disaster given the crowding and line cutting that took place. It was obvious that Carnival had no idea how to manage a crowd. It was totally disorganized and tense. People were getting irritated at each other and one wrong word could have resulted in a real mess.

On our first port stop we had horrible weather with high winds an torrential winds. Many tours were cancelled and there was little to do in Mahogany Bay forcing many people back on the ship. We tried to eat at 1:00 pm and there was no place to sit. Once we found a table I observed several tables that were not cleaned-up for 20 minutes. The buffet was under-staffed, it appeared they never adjusted the staffing to compensate for the over-whelming extra demand. It appeared that under-staffing was a theme for this ship. Returning to the ship after being in Cozumel we decided to get a piece of pizza to tide us over until dinner. The was only one person making and serving pizza. I was the sixth person in line and it took over 15 minutes. It appeared he was trying to custom make pizza's rather than mass produce. There needed to be 2-3 people to meet the crunch.

Even the entertainment staff was short. On Celebrity or RCL they would have had two male and two female singers but Carnival had only two vocalists. Even the show band had only six instrumentalists. Overall Carnival seems to be short staffing to try and milk as much profit as possible. This was also illustrated by the actions of Carnival during our torrential rains. Carnival was right there with poncho's to serve the passengers but of course they made them available for a modest fee. How many people bring poncho's on a Caribbean cruise? Everything on a cruise is to make a profit, but this bordered on ridiculous.

The buffet was horribly organized. No matter when we went we had to hunt for a table and wait in long lines. Nothing is worse than standing in long slow lines while you are trying to relax on vacation. Carnival really needs to study how RCL sets up their buffet to minimize lines and crowding. Given the size of the Carnival Magic the food stations were poorly organized. In several cases we gave up on the long waits and slow lines and just ate what we could get to.

Our dining room service was excellent. Tatianna was our head waitperson and was a good as any we have ever experienced. Unfortunately the food offered by Carnival has taken a dramatic downward spiral. Carnival was once the best at sea. We always looked forward to "Lobster Night." We remember having the waiters bring extra lobsters around to keep everyone happy. This year it was "lobster and shrimp." It was hard to tell what was smaller. The lobster could not have been more than three ounces and it was tough. The selections for dinner were uninspired and lacked the creativity from previous years. We have seen a decrease in overall food quality on cruise ships over the past 10 years, but nothing like the slide we've seen on Carnival.

Carnival seems to have engaged in a race to the bottom of the cruise industry. Formal night is now "cruise elegant" which is less formal than most casual Fridays at work. Many men wore golf shirts to the "cruise elegant" dinner. Norwegian Cruise Lines has given up on Formal Night, Carnival should just give up too. I have many fond memories of past Carnival cruises, but this cruise will be my last with them. I will definitely seek cruises with RCL, Holland American, and Celebrity who seem to be better managed. I hope in future years Carnival can get it back together.

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