Hello everyone! I have sailed Holland America, Costa, and Royal Caribbean. I have always been pleased with Royal Caribben, and quite frankly I've heard that Carnival is a "party" line, catering mostly to young people who like to drink to excess. I've heard quite a few negative comments about the line. However, I have recently heard that Carnival is "cleaning up its image" and is quite nice, even surpassing Royal Caribbean. At 48 years old I'm no old fogie, and I do like to have a good time, but I'm not one to "party hardy".
I am planning a cruise out of New Orleans in early December for myself and family members ranging in age from 21 to 78 with the majority in their 30s and 40s, so my challenge is deciding which line will offer the best range of activities, ameneties, entertainment, food, etc. that will appeal to a varied age group. My choices are Royal Caribbean's Granduer of the Seas or Carnival's Conquest.
I would appreciate your feed back, input, suggestions and opinions. Thanks!
I heard the Carnival Conquest out of New Orleans is an amazing ship. I was (still am a little) nervous about Carnival's young, rowdy image. But, reading these boards has set me at ease. I'm leaving on the Elation soon and will post a review.
It amazes me that this very OLD frat party reputation is still around!
Fact of the matter is Carnival was the first cruise line to retrict under 21s from cruising, without someone over 25 in the cabin.. years ago.
While there's no question that they offer a lively upbeat onboard experience, the party til you drop crowd is nowhere to be found... other than perhaps on 3 or 4 day cruises, where that can happen on all cruise lines offering them.
On a 7 day, or longer, cruise you'll find a broad cross section of age groups on board. I'm 54, and just sailed Carnival Spirit in January. Had a wonderful time! And I certainly wasn't amongst the older crowd on the ship.
My next cruise is in May on Royal Caribbean, and to be honest I don't expect the food to be as good as I had on the Spirit.
I would suggest Carnival. Although I have not been on Royal Carribean I Have cruised seveal times with Carnival Fancination 1990, Madi Gris 1992, Sensation 1996, Jubilee 2002. I haved traved single (age 20) with mom (Age 60), as a couple, 7 months Pregnant and then Again with three Young Childern ages 3,3 & 5 each time Carnival had what I needed to have a great time. Yes Carnival has a party atmosphere at times however you can also just sit back relax if you choose. In fact I am going again in april with several others ages 5 to 72 and know I will have a great time
I agree with everyone. I am new to cruising (2 cruises, both with Carnival Feb 2003 Triumph and Feb 2004 Victory ). First time my husband and I took our two teenagers (17 and 19), Second time we went with my sister and her husband. Had a great time both times, it is certainly an upbeat atmosphere, but not a "party hardy" atmosphere. Although I have nothing to compare it to, we were very pleased with food, entertainment and atmosphere. We are thinking of trying another cruise line, just for variation, but are almost afraid to switch. If you are happy with something, why change???
My Wife and I were on the Conquest out of New Orleans in Feb of 2003. It was our first cruise. We fell in love with the cruise vacation.. I am in my early 50s and she in late 40s. I am not a big one for the party crowd. We had no problem on the Conquest. with parties. No problem finding your own part of the Ship . The only incident was some young kids running the hallway one night . I just kinda figured that with as many people on board that that was probably expected at some time or the other. We are booked through Carnival on the Spirit in June for the 7 day Alaska Cruise. We are really looking forward to it. So far I've had nothing but good coming from Carnival. There just seemed to be a good representation of all ages on the Conquest. Whatever you decide--enjoy.
Royal Caribbean no doubt. I am all for a party scene and will be in the middle of it. However, IMHO the RCI ships are just nicer, classier and more elegant. I don't care for those god-awful colors around the pool decks, the lack of live plants and the flashy neon chrome and tackiness I see with most Carnival ships. Their new ones may be a little better but the fantasy class is ugly for sure and those slides by the pool maybe fun but take up open space in the middle of the deck, cast a shadow on the tanning area and look like those things they bring up to an airplane to load baggage. The only thing uglier is the rock walls on the RCI ships that were added later especially the Sovereign class.
Dave the Wave AKA- Diamond Dave
Song of America Dec '90
Starship Majestic May '89
Sovereign X 5
Majesty Jul '01
Enchantment X 4
Regal Empress Dec '02
Mariner May '07 April '08
Grandeur Feb '08
Inspiration Oct '08
Radiance of the Seas Oct '10
We've been cruising on Carnival since 1997...heard the rumors about the "party ship" thing then, too. Don't know if it happens during the summer or on school holidays but it sure doesn't happen the rest of the time. That's not to say that we haven't seen a few people who have had one too many.
We decided to try RCI after having gone on four Carnival cruises....all we heard were wonderful reports of how much better RCI was than Carnival....we didn't find this to be the case. They were comparable in many areas. But....we prefer Carnival. We like the greater diversity of music and the option to stay busy when we want to be busy. (On RCI - at least the ship we were on - they didn't have enough for everyone to do and many places were so jam packed that you couldn't get in to do it if you wanted to - my husband actually got bored on this ship.) We are in our 50s and we will be taking our 8th Carnival cruise in April.
We're in our late 40's too and always have a great time on Carnival. I don't understand how this myth continues to propogate when Carnival doesn't allow any drinking under 21 but Royal Caribbean allows 18 year olds to drink beer and wine. Seems to me the partying crowds would be on Royal.
We prefer Carnival over RCI given similar itineraries and price. Their rooms are bigger, the dinner menu has more selections, and the entertainment is livelier. However, I do prefer the atmosphere of the Viking Crown Lounge for drinks.
rci lets under age people drink?
my brother could not get a drop on our cruise!
he was 20?????
but yes! to me the better partys were on the sos...... carny is the one with closed bars and too mant people in the ones that were open!
i really think it has a lot to do with when you go!
i herd the party is on which-ever boat dave the wave is floatin!
The only time it comes REMOTELY close to that image is in the clubs during spring break....and even then it's not all that much like what you heard.
I've been on RCCL 4 times and NCL 2 times, and i've got my 4th and 5th carnival cruises booked already. After that first Paradise cruise I have a hard time thinking of any other line. I have experienced larger cabins, better service, a nice decor (Paradise does not have the gaudy look of some earlier CCL ships), and great cuisine.
Holiday 5-day Western Caribbean
Liberty 8 day Western
Thank you, everyone, for your information. Still don't know which line it will be, but I do know as long as I'm cruising, I'll be having a better time than I would sitting behind my desk at work! I appreciate your help.
I am booked on my third Carnival cruise for 12/04 on the Miracle. I am 74 years old and have the time of my life on these ships. I am not into the party scene either, but have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I travel with my daughter, aged 55 and she feels the sane. We are both are on countdown to the next cruise. I feel that Carnival gives you the best bang for the bucks. Have also had two RCL cruises and can't complain about them, but for me I think I will stay with Carnival. Hope you will have a great one, no matter what line you decide upon.
We were considering the NO Carnival cruise last Dec, so we could se NO all decorated too which we have not seen. We didn't make it but will still consider one of those two later. We did take the Carnival Pride to Mex Riv in Feb and we thought the ship was very nice, lots of different clubs or music areas and bars. We are in our 50's and not late party people as we tend to get up early and enjoy the early mornings and the ports. We had no problem with the noise or any unruly behavior anywhere on the ship. When we last cruised on RCCL four years ago and HAL two years ago, we though the food was better on both of them. It was okay on Pride and many have said it was great, but that is our opinion. Cabins were comparable and I would consider all three again, if the price and itinerary were right.
Try the Carnival triumph. We came back a week ago and loved everthing about that ship and the hospitality,the food, the excursions , the decor , and the intertainment and I feel we got what we pay for and more!
Yeara ago, Carnival was the "party" ships. They are no longer like that. If you like Royal you should like Carnival. It does have a younger crowd and more families but the days of beer chugging contests are gone.
Make your dream cruise come true!!
Josh you are Just P***** off because you could not get another freee cruise out of Carnival.
But on topic -- My DW and I have been cruising Carnival Since '95 and will be Cruising again 3-28-04 on the Paradise. We have always had a wonderful time and we are in our Mid 50s now. Last time we took our 11 Year old grandaughter and she cannot wait to go again.
<DO NOT SAIL CARNIVAL, READ MY POST ABOVE TO SEE WHY!!>
hahaha..Josh cracks me up. Hmmm you know how he thought the other thread had Carnival employees defending the cruiseline? I am starting to wonder if he is an employee of another cruise line just trying to flame Carnival...Muhahahahahha.
But back on topic...
I have not cruised yet...so I really can't answer your question. But I can say that we have chose Carnival because we have teen kids and we feel that it might have a better cross section of things to do for different ages. If you are booking for that reason...maybe Carnival is the way to go.