We've been on Triumph, Inspiration, Celebration (1st cruise), and Sensation. I put them in that order -- Triumph was a unique experience for us since it was so big and the cabins were especially nice. Our waiter on that cruise was so terrific we're still talking about the great service. Although all the cabins on equivalent ships (except the suites) are essentially the same, our cabin on Sensation was really rough -- torn bedspreads, badly chipped counters, stained rugs, etc. The menus are very similar, but the food on the buffets on Sensation was sometimes cold and not refilled. The only negative on Triumph was the issue of deck chair saving that you've probably seen elsewhere -- it was really hard to get a deck chair in the sun. Inspiration was a lovely experience on a smaller ship. Celebration was a great value, and a good introduction to cruising. We're sailing on the Pride in June, and are looking forward to a new ship.
So far I have only sailed 2 Carnival ships. The Fascination was my first and I did like this ship. It was clean, well maintained and large enough for a first cruise experience. I just sailed the Pride in January so I would have to vote the Pride as the best ship (so far!). We had our first balcony on the Pride and it was great! Also the decor, service, food, and choices of lounges and entertainment were more abundent on the Pride due to the size of this ship. Ready to book my next cruise, but I too am having a hard time which ship to try next?
MICHELE, SAW UR CRUISE QUESTION. aLL THE SHIPS ARE THE SAME AS FAR AS ACTIVITES , FOOD SERVICE QUALITY IS CONCERNED. I HAVE BEEN ON ALMOST 280 CRUISES AND HAVE BEEN ON ALL CARNIVAL SHIPS, TRIUMPH TOP FAVORITE OF MINE DUE TO CRUISE DIRECTOR, JOHN HEALD, BEST IN INDUSTRY. SPIRIT AND PRIDE A LITTLE LESS GARRISH THAN DESTINY CLASS SHIPS.
Paradise has the advantage of the smoke free. If you don't like smell of smoke is a BIG plus. All Destiny class, cruises are very nice (Triumph, Victory, Destiny) and now even better Spirit Class,
(Spirit and Pride). However, Paradise gets my vote because of the non-smoking factor, well it's Paradise ! :-)
I've only been on one Carnival ship, the Victory last month, but I can tell you that all the photos I saw on the internet and in the Carnival brochure didn't do it justice. It was so much more beautiful in real life.
As I understand it, the food and entertainment won't vary too much between the different Carnival ships, but a lot of people have mentioned that the cruise director can make a difference. Ours was Corey Schmidt and he was excellent, and what a cutie (ok that's irrelevant). He'll handle most of the activities during the day in the main lounge and usually a short opening comedy act each night before the main show. Even when he presented the shore excursion orientation it was a comedy act.
The Paradise cruised by us coming into the Miami harbor and it appeared to have very few balcony cabins. The Victory had a lot of balcony cabins and the prices weren't much higher than the inside cabins, of course that can vary widely among cruises. I could see the baby pool on the Paradise and it was much larger than the baby pool on the Victory. I didn't see any babies or toddlers on our cruise, lots of teenagers, though. The Paradise, being smoke-free, may attract more families.
You asked a really tough question. It all depends on what you're looking for. But hopefully you can filter through everyone's observations and make a wise decision. I'm sure whichever one you pick, you'll have a great time.