We live in Texas and we decided to take our girls ages 11 and 14.5 on a cruise, we looked at the cruise lines that leave from Texas. At the time Carnival had only 4 and 5 day cruises out of Galveston. RCCl and NCl had 7 day cruises. NCL leaves right from Houston where we live (the Norwegian Sea) and had a better itinerary so I booked it. Since I booked early I got a great rate. About 6 weeks or so ago, I read the Travel section in our local Paper it featured cruise lines, mostly out of Texas and its main focus was the Carnival Elation. My husband's first words were that it was a party ship and he dismissed it. But in the article it sounded so much better than the Sea. It is 10 years younger, almost double the size, is suppose to have better food and a better kids program. The itinerary was similiar though we lost Roatan.
I have been reading these posts constantly over the past month. I have felt very comfortable with my choice of the Elation. However, over the past two days, I have read a few posts that have really disturbed me: i.e., college students getting quads and being extremely noisy in their rooms and in the halls. And, I just read a post on these boards in the Mexico destination session about a family's trip to Mr. Sanchos' being ruined by a group of 25 young people from a Carnival ship.
It's a little late, as I cancelled my great NCL room about 2 weeks ago, but I just wanted some input to feel better about my choice.
We are a couple married 18 years, we are in our early and mid 40's with two children. We are not prudish and love a good time. But even in our "younger" years, did not like loud, rowdy drunks or in appropriate behavior, and especially don't want our children exposed to this. Don't want to be worrying about what my young teen is exposed to, when she is not with me.
My wife and I just came back from s.carib. nov 04, I'm 53 - wife 47. We had a wonderful time on the Destiny. No loud groups on our deck (cat 11) did not see any drunks, we also did not go during springbreak so there were not many college age people on the ship, that is not to say we did not party ourselves!! The children we saw in the Carnival kids groups seemed to be having a very good time, they had activities all day and their own pool and swim area. I guess it matters when you go, Have a great time, we did!!
It really depends on when you sail - not on what line you sail. The only ship I have heard out of all the lines that can sail at spring break or when the kids are out of school and not have problems with kids is the Carnival Paradise as it is non smoking. I've been on the NCL Sea and had a great time because it was a cruise. BUT, it was under different management then so the food was not good at all - lost 5 pds... It is a small ship. It is ok but not near as nice (too me) as the ELation which we took out of LA in 2001 for the MExican Riviera. I'm excited that the Elation is here. It is a beautiful ship and just the right size. I don't like Roatan and couldn't wait to leave on our NCL cruise so personally I don't think you are missing anything. Matter of fact my hubby won't book a ship going there at all....
The people on the cruise really make the difference. The RCL Rhapsody out of Galveston last year ended up having a lot of partying on it - from the adults.. We typically go when kids are in school to avoid problems. We went on spring break one year - big mistake! The college kids even damaged a Celebrity ship. We avoid them!!!
Have a great time and hopefully there will not be a large group of them. They could have been on the NCL Sea too. Call Carnival and ask if there are any large groups on your cruise. I think they have to tell you legally... I think. Worth asking. It is 1-800-Carnival. I would deffinately choose the ELation over the NCL Sea. Debbie
I think the party atmosphere on the CCL ships has toned down over the years this is
in my opinion due to the way CCL has marketed toward the families, even over spring
break you are going to see many families. If you are concerned about drunks and other
types of people go on a different cruise line.
CCL has an undeserved reputation in this area. Yes you can 'party" and have a great 6time but there are just as many that find it relaxing and toned down. As others have said, mostly it is the time of the year that you choose to sail and not the cruiseline itself. While school is in session the cruises are more sedate. We are in our 50's and not real partiers yet CCL is my overall favorite cruiseline. They have a great kids program and l9ots to do as well as relaxing areas. I have seen more drunks on RCI and more rude people on Celebrity than on CCL. Yes you might run into some obnoxious jerk on your ship, but it is the same obnoxious jerk you might see on any other line.
You made a good choice changing from NCL Sea to CCL. My daughter sailed the Sea a couple yrs ago. Main dining room food was "not available" in many instances. They ate lots of ramon noodles and pbj's that week. Small ship, rust running down the side, no night life to speak of. We are loyal Carnival cruisers. Why fix it if it isn't broken?
Glad to hear what Jim said - obnoxious people on ALL ships (potentially). I don't agree with Gary that "if you are concerned about drunks and other kinds of people go on a different cruise line."
I can't imagine there *is* a cruiseline who can guarantee you won't run into drunks and other obnoxious folks.
Ir seems to me you've made a good decision and judging from all the expert advise on this and other boards, you'll have a GREAT cruise on Carnival!!
CarnivalSensation February 2015
Carnival Dream November 2015
Carnival Fascination April 2014
Carnival Elation March 2011
Carnival Imagination Sept 2007
Carnival Sensation Dec 2006
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 2006
Carnival Miracle Sept 2005
Carnival Glory Sept 2004
Carnival Fantasy Jan 2004
read the victory question from steve32. there is no way i would take a teen on a carnival
cruise. not after the things i saw on our 11/23 cruise. 18 year old boy with a 12 year old
girl. over 1000 kids on the ship. kids ruled the ship late at night. adults were in bed and kids were out till whenever they wanted. my 15 and 17 year old were safe at home
with the grandparents.
Only once did I have a problem w/a loud crowd in their stateroom...we contacted security as it was VERY late at night and they went and knocked on their door & convinced them to go elsewhere in the ship, so don't be afraid to complain if needed....
8/92 Mex. Riv. Commodore
9/98, 9/00, 9/02 & 7/04 Caribbean - Paradise
10/00, 08/05 Pac. Wtrs. Holiday, Monarch
04/06 Hawaii - Celebrity Summit
09/07 Alaska - Celebrity Summit
07/09 Western Caribbean RCCL Liberty of the Seas
Like everyone has basicly stated, ships and cruise lines can vary when it comes to "party" ships. It really does depend on when and where you go. The shorter 3 & 4 day cruises tend to have more of a partying crowd.
As we have been on several Carnival and NCL cruises (including the NCL Sea), I do beleive you have made the right choce in choosing the Carnival Elation. It is a larger ship with more options for the family, and has larger and more nicely appointed staterooms. I personally believe the NCL Sea is reaching the end of her career, as she was pretty well worn out when we sailed on her 8 years ago.
As far as the type of crowd you will have, it is unfortunately beyond anybodys control, just like the weather. But having a more comfortable ship to be on for seven nights will be of some consolation.
If you have the opportunity, I would give all the cruiselines a chance. I've cruised on all the major cruiselines and have enjoyed them all. One might be better at one thing while another is better at something else. I learned a long time ago, many people have their favorites for one reason or another, and they are going to push their favorite. Also, some people have a hidden agenda, either in favor of or against a particular cruiseline, based on an experience they or someone they knew had on that cruiseline. Always be aware of something suspicious when someone has nothing good to say about a particular cruiseline. That's a dead giveaway that the information is tainted. That said, I will say that Galveston is a very inconvenient port to get to if you fly, due to the fact the closest airport is in Houston. That's the only negative comment that I have. The most positive comment is Carnival has a much improved menu over the past. Their food has generally improved while that is not true of some of the other cruiselines, which I will not name. Have a good one.
Personally I would prefer to go on a lively ship. As others have said, you are likely to encounter drunks on any line but that doesn't mean they are all obnoxious and intrusive. We are in our late 40's and aren't ready for a cruise yet where reading a book or playing bingo are the highlights of the day. We want the cruise to be filled with activities, discos, music, parties and such. I don't recall ever being annoyed by rowdy drunks on Carnival.
Thanks again to all the great answers I got to my post. I do feel I made the right choice switching to Carnival. My children are not rowdy or over social, so I should be able to keep track of them OK. We'll just hope for a good crowd. As most of you agree, I am sure we will have an awesome time on the Elation. We do have to drive from Houston, but that is where we live, so we don't have a flight added on!