I have been on only one cruise. That was back in March 2003 on the Mercury (Celebrity Cruise line). The service the staff and the food was fantastic. I was wondering whether anyone has flip flopped from Carnival to a high end cruise line and what are the huge diffrences? I have heard the crowd and the atmosphere on the Carnivals ships are more for a youger crowd and the facilities are blah. I am 33 married with two kids, and am very fussy with clean rooms and professional service.
I just got off of the Imagination and could not have asked for better service. Our room steward was wonderful! My room was kept very clean. I thought the whole ship was kept very clean all of the time, I was really impressed by that. I thought the food was good but the food in the main dining area is really given in small portions and have a lot of fancy stuff in it.
We took the Mercury a couple of years ago too (and liked it), but are taking Carnival this spring so as to take advantage of Camp Carnival. From looking at the ship comparisons on this site, it appears the food may not be as great, and yes, it does seem like a younger crowd.
But our needs are different now - we've got 2 kids (2 and 4) who could use a fun kids program. Looks like Carnival has that down pat. (Disney's just a little too "kiddie" for us, lol). We've decided even if the food isn't as good, it seems it's still ok, and there's plenty of it. With kids at these ages, if they're happy with full bellies, that paves the way for us to have a good time, too.
As for cleanliness, I haven't seen any report that our ship (the Paradise) is kept any less clean than the Mercury was, so I was considering them equal in that regard.
Also, by choosing the nonsmoking ship, we'll likely be missing a lot of the party hearty college crowd. Reports here seem to say it's a more sedate, family-oriented group on the Paradise. Guess we'll see!
About service, I'm actually hoping it'll be a bit less "attentive" - I felt like one of the "haves" being served by the "have nots" on the Celebrity cruise. I'm not better than these folks! It just felt very rigid and formal. Sure, they're serving me & cleaning my room, but that's their job; I'm not "better" than they are. Don't get me wrong, they attended to our every need (and want, really), often without being asked. They were EXCELLENT. But our steward & waitstaff treated us as if they were our servants. For me, it wasn't a "pampered" feeling at all; it was uncomfortable. On Carnival, I'm hoping the staff/guest relationship will be a little less stiff.
To tell you the truth, we are undecided with the Disney cruise and the Princess. The whole reason the Carnival question came about is because of the great rates they offer. I put two and two together and figured for the price the service and ammenties must be not all that great. But thank you for the insight.
Well.. considering that many Carnival cruises are much MORE EXPENSIVE than Celebrity, I suggest you take a look at your math again.
The new Spirit class ships receive very positive ratings from past Celebrity cruisers... and fwiw.. you haven't sailed Celebrity in awhile.........the food is no different from any other mass market cruiseline.. and in some respects they now do a poorer job in the food department.