Any objective discussions/articles on the difference between lines??
So we've been on 3 Carnival cruises and for the most part have enjoyed them thoroughly, our most recent was a 7 day Southern Caribbean on the Victory. We've noticed on the last cruise that they are almost too consistent. For instance on our cruise before the most recent was the Miracle to the Western Caribbean.
We've noticed that the ships seem to have almost identical layouts. The non-dining room alternatives are identical. The activities are very repetitive (art auction, slot tournament, hairy chest competition, legends show). The service is always great. I feel the food is a bit "quantity over quality" but I can always find something that I feel acceptable although my wife sometimes has a harder time with the food.
In general we love cruising and feel that it represents a wonderful way to travel and see numerous places.
I'm wondering if there are posts or articles that try to collectively discuss the pros/cons of the biggest cruise lines (Carnival, RCI, Disney HCL).
We are considering another line for our family trip next year but are a bit spoiled by Carnivals affordable rates. I've notices that most are 30-50% higher in price than Carnival and Disney is as much as twice the price. We may try to find a "kids sail free" promo as we will be taking our daughter on this cruise.
If you want to give Royal Caribbean a try, I'd suggest either one of the Freedom or Oasis class ships since you will be cruising with your daughter. There are so many activities for kids and families. I know they may be a bit more than Carnival, but hopefully you can find a special rate and take advantage of it..
your best bet would be to read some of our reviews. It is almost impossible to compare line to line, it would be like trying to compare apples to oranges. Each line has its own "personality" and they are all different.
Actually...cruiselines or more alike than different !
Each cruiseline has their strengths and weaknesses.....
CCL - PRICE POINT, Good Value, but you get what you pay for !
RCI - More bells and whistles, higher pricing
=x= - More refined and elegant, higher pricing
Princess - Plastic Elegance
HAL - Refined and more old world style cruising
NCL - I just cant describe them other than steer clear ! (Personal Opinion)
Disney - Over priced, and "Disneyfied" !
Costa - Italian version of Carnival.....
__________________ Your Travel "angel" ~~~ Curtis
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So much depends on what different people like that every opinion is biased. Plus, the exact same cruise, on the same ship, same time of year, etc. can be widely different than the previous one. I prefer HAL, but also love Carnival and NCL for their entertainment. Not a fan of Princess. Would not go on Disney, because I think they are over-priced. But, again, that is because I will always spend more on a longer itinerary than on the cruise line.
We go with the expectation that some things will be mostly the same, but a lot will be different. Another thing that makes a difference is the makeup of the passengers. Sometimes you get rowdy partiers, sometimes too quiet. It all varies.
It's kind of tough to find fair, objectional comparisons between cruise lines. It's a bit like trying to find fair comparisons between auto makers. Ford, Chrysler, GM, etc. all have their fans and critics. Same with the cruise lines. Some observations and opinions are based on personal experience, and some are based on hearsay (i.e., many are still under the misconception that Carnival ships are "party boats", and have probably never been on a Carnival ship). Aside from reading what people have posted on here, I would also talk to several different cruise agents and ask questions. The next time there is Sports, Vacation and Travel Show in your area (ours is held at our state fairgrounds in February) make plans to go. There are usually representatives of each of the cruise lines that you can talk you and ask questions. Unfortunately, unlike when shopping for a car, you can't take a cruise for a "test drive". If you like Carnival, you'll probably like Royal Caribbean (although the cost is a bit higher). I've seen some snooty, unfair remarks on here referring to Carnival as "the Walmart of cruise lines". I personally think Carnival is a good value for the money. One other thing to keep in mind is the itinerary of the cruise you're considering (number of days at sea versus number of ports).