I need an upgrade next time. What's after Carnival?
I've decided that Carnival is probably the first step on this cruise heirarchy. And probably QE2 is the top rung.
I'd like to make an upgrade next time. What's my next choice? Celebrity? Where do NCL and HAL rate on the list? From what I've read, NCL and HAL are about the same as Carnival...is that a fair assumption?
Or it could be that I just need a newer ship.
Would it be fair to assume that the whole quality of the cruise would go up on a newer ship?
Here's my issue(s):
4-time cruiser. #1 was Mardi Gras back in 86. First cruise..young(er) than I am now...I was impressed. #2 was Fantasy right after it came out. So it was a 'new' ship then. #3 was honeymoon. Nothing could have been 'wrong' with that cruise, either, but it was on the RCCL Majesty, and THAT was a new ship at the time, too. But I was impressed each time.
I just got off the Imagination. It was a budget cruise...not something I was 'planning' on taking, but the DH and friend-couple wanted to take a quickie vacation. So I went. This time, though, I wasn't as impressed as the other times. Is it age? Of me, or the ship? Was it because I'm a control freak and it wasn't MY idea in the first place? Who knows. The service was only 'standard' on-shore type service aside from one fabulous deck waiter. The entertainment was just as Simon & Randy would say when they insult contestants for only being as good as cruise-ship talent (mediocre): the lounge shows, comedy show, and on-deck live steel-drum band...all just so-so.
I don't remember cruising being this "mediocre." So I'm writing it off as a fluke. What's my next step for a better experience? DH and I are early-mid 40s and still like to "do stuff" but the activities on board were (for lack of a better word) "lame." (Lido deck Bean Bag Toss on the stage wth minute-by-minute commentary?! UGH!) We like to dance...we were hoping that the Lido deck would be "hopping" most of the time, but it wasn't. The Illusions lounge was dead, and the 70s & 80s night music was just awful...and those are OUR eras! We had a great time in port(s)..just the onboard experience was not as good as we'd like it to have been. (no more 'budget' cruises for us!)
So it'll be a year or more before we cruise again, and I'm starting my homework NOW. I know most of the 'information' is around these forums, so I don't expect a full-on reply to my rant, but wondering really just the answer to the initial question- that being what's the next step after this (but we're not up to "luxury" material yet Just a step or two up the ladder, please )
You can also add Royal Caribbean to your list, I've always felt they were a step up from Carnival. I don't think you'd be disappointed at all, just do your homework and find the right cruise/ship and itinary that work.
Book the Celebrity Solstice class ships..I sailed the Eclipse in Nov... it was like a 5 start hotel. MY gf just told me balciony cabins were going for $599.00.
Fabulous deal if you can do it..
That would be my sugestion as well.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
Vision OTS 2-14-2015
I believe one of your issues is that you need to experience the newer ships and full cruise itineraries.
I suggest trying a Spirit or Dream Class ship with Carnival or going with RCL in one of their newer ships. By newer I mean Radiance, Freedom or Oasis Class of ships.
Your previous cruises have been shorter cruises on older ships and while they are great for a short getaway they do not offer what the newer ships do.
For a complete change of pace then you could go for Princess or Celebrity. You will have a more sedate cruise but it will seem more upscale. HAL can also offer this but, IMO, it is even more "sedate" than Celebrity or Princess.
Kuki's advice of going with a true professional cruise agent is a good idea. They can be a bit more objective and delve deeper into what you are looking for.
Take care and enjoy your next cruise no matter what line and ship you choose.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me