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Old August 4th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
You bet I would - the line has suffered so much ridiculously negative press lately where bad things affects well under 1 in 10,000 cruiser (or something like that) that the prices are dirt-cheap for the same quality of cruise they have always offered.

That's my opinion, anyway.

Some people may say Carnival has gone down hill (and some of those people may be travel agents who are not happy the line cutting some commissions - those agents have the right to say what they want - but if an agent steers you away from a Carnival cruise you want because of his commission, he is not doing you any favors).

As I look at pricing I generally see Carnival as the least expensive - and three years ago that was not always true.

Now - keep in mind Carnival is unique cruise style (all cruise lines have a unique style) - it is more "fun and frolic" oriented. But the food is good, and there are not so many onboard options to spend extra money (like a dozen alternative restaurants or cupcake shops), so you may spend less on board (or drink more alcohol).

But, yes, I would definitely take advantage of the current downturn in Carnival prices to take a Carnival cruise.

Agree or disagree?
Would I cruise on Carnival again? Yes. In fact I have a cruise booked. It used to be that Carnival and Royal Caribbean were my favorites. However, I prefer to take longer cruises (longer than eight nights) now and Carnival does not have that many, while Royal Caribbean has several. So, while my next cruise is on Carnival (it will be my tenth cruise on Carnival), my next four (at least) will be on Royal Caribbean (at least two of which are ten nights or longer).

Price is a factor in my cruising decision, but not the only factor. A $50 savings is not going to make me choose one over the other unless everything else is the same - and that is rarely the case (the one time it was, Royal Caribbean was far less expensive, though the room was a lot smaller). I can easily think of two more cruises I would like to take on Carnival. So eventually I'll have at least twelve cruises on Carnival (I currently have eight on Royal Caribbean, meaning that after my next four I'll have twelve).

Another line that has interested me is Princess. I have two cruises on Princess (and two on NCL). Princess also does some longer cruises, but tends to be a bit more expensive. Still there are other factors (itinerary, ship, departure port, length of cruise, cost of getting to the port ...) that I consider besides price.

I even factor in the number of vacation days I'll use up. For example, on a typical ten night cruise I'll use up eight vacation days. On a typical eleven night cruise I'll use up ten vacation days. So the extra night will cost me two extra vacation days. On the other hand, the fourteen night cruise I am looking at will only cost me eleven vacation days. My thirteen night cruise only cost me ten vacation days (meaning it was the same as a typical eleven night cruise). I took an eight night cruise that cost me only three vacation days and I took an eight night cruise that cost me seven vacation days (both of which were on Carnival Spirit class ships).

So, as far as I am concerned, there is a lot more to selecting a cruise vacation than price. Carnival used to be my favorite because when I first started cruising a one week cruise was fine and everything else was new, so price was more important. However, now I've been on more than twenty cruises and not everything is new, so price is no longer the biggest determining factor.

Another factor is cost per day. Once flying and a hotel is factored in, the length of the cruise becomes important, since the airfare and hotel cost do not vary based on the length of the cruise. If I can get a seven night Carnival cruise for $2300 including air and hotel, or a twelve night Royal Caribbean cruise for $3,600 (including air and hotel), then the Carnival cruise is costing me $328.57/night while the Royal Caribbean cruise is only costing me $300 per night, even thought the cost of the cruise per day is more expensive on Royal Caribbean ($228.57/night on Carnival vs. $241.67/ night on Royal Caribbean).
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