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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 11th, 2004, 11:59 AM
Ards2be
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Default Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

We just took our first cruise in Aug. with Royal Caribbean. We got married in Cozumel on the beach and from the moment we got on the ship till the end of the cruise everything was excellent. We are ready to take our next cruise, we just don't want to limit our options.

We will again have about 30 people traveling with us and we are looking for great service and good times.

Can anyone give me some input that has been on both cruise lines? Why is Carnival so much cheaper? Is the service and entertainment similar?

Thanks so much!
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Old October 11th, 2004, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Royal Caribbean hands down. Why is it cheaper? You get what you pay for. Just came off my first Carnival Cruise and there is no comparison. Actually, if you comepare the same dats, cabin type and itinerary, it is not much any cheaper.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

trying to compare cruise lines is like trying to compare apples to oranges, each one is unique, different and appeals to all different people for all different reasons.
I am not a huge Carnival fan, i am an experienced cruiser and i have "outgrown" Carnival, that's all. Carnival is fine if you want a basic cruise experience with a Las Vegas glitz to it. I have found that Carnival's food is nothing special, just basic mid-range restaurant quality. The service was basic. Carnival seems to attract more familes with infants and toddlers, that may be an issue for some. Camp Carnival is highly rated for the kids.
Royal Caribbean is one or two steps up from Carnival (imo), in the food and service dept. Very family oriented -not as many infants & toddlers - more school age, and teens, and more than one generation traveling together.
to give a general comparison again this is my opinion. Carnival is like a Howard Johnsons, and RCCL would be like a Sheraton or Marriot.
Nothing wrong with either, it just all depends upon what you are expecting and looking for in your cruise experience.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

My last cruise was on RCCL. I had a wonderful time and cannot complain about anything. However, I've also been on Carnival, and my next cruise is also on Carnival. I like them just a little better. I think there are more activities. I would avoid summer months and holidays if kids are an issue. I don't think you'll go wrong with either.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

I have been on both and Carnival has a lot more to do on the ship then Royal Cribbean. To me tehy both are good, but I like Carnival because there is so much more to do. I recived info from Carnival after my first curise and was given a past guest number and recived nothing from Royal Caribbean after my first cruise with them. Everyone has a different taste on cruise lines. All I can say is have fun wither it is Carnival or Royal Caribben, you are on a cruise and away from work.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

On Royal Caribbean's Voyager Class ships I think you'll now find at least an equal number of families with kids cruising, if not more so, than on Carnival ships.

All of their efforts the last several years has been geared to just that end, with rock climbing walls, roller blading, ice skating rinks and shows, dedicated teen discos, Johnny Rockets, etc. Their target audience is definitely families.

RCI builds absolutely gorgeous ships. Very understated, and comfortably designed. However IMHO they have allowed their food dept to drop to the bottom of the "cruise food chain".

On the other hand, Carnival's food in the past several years has improved by leaps and bounds... particularily on their newer Spirit class ships.

Service on both is generally good, with slightly more "formal" service on RCI. Carnival dining room service attempts to be more entertaining and relaxed.

Entertainment on both will be very similar, with the edge in late night activity going to Carnival.

At the moment... I have a Carnival, Celebrity and RCI cruise on my calendar. And I'm sure I'll have a great time on all of them. However, if I had to chose one of the 3 to give up, it would be the RCI cruise.... so I guess that's somewhat telling of my opinion.

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Old October 11th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

It does depend on the Carnival ship you are on. Dave the Wave was on one of the older ships. The Spirit and Conquest ships being bigger have a lot more things to do.

sls
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Old October 11th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Yes, you are right sls. The newer ships may be a different experience. I will compare the Sensation to the Sovereign of the Seas and still pick RCI. I like the decor, the pool area, the piano bar, the service, the food, the show and the overall atmosphere better. Did I forget anything? The Sovereign is older than the Sensation.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 04:09 PM
Ards2be
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Thank you so much everyone for the Info! It helps a ton.

We were on the Enchantment of the Seas and I know that they are expanding the ship and that we were on one of the smaller ships. So it is nice to know that there is more to do on the newer ships no matter what cruise line!

And Christina I just signed up for the Crown and Anchor Membership and I am hoping that is how I will now receive discounts from RCI.

I am sure no matter which we pick we will have a great time in the Eastern Caribbean!!!

Thanks again everyone!!
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Old October 11th, 2004, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Dave,

Weren't those hand chairs in the piano bar creepy.

sls
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Old October 11th, 2004, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Ards to be. I was on the Enchantment in May and my favorite ship to date. I guess that is prt of the readon I had a hard time with the Sensation a few months later.

sls, yes, the hands were creepy and I much prefer the Schooner bar.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

I have sailed on both RCCL and Carnival, I prefer Carnival.I found that on the Rhaspody of the Seas that there was not much to do except for the older or younger crowd, I my self do not want to climb the rock wall at the back of the ship. The food was good but it took longer to be served. We had the 830 dinner on RCL and it would be 11 before we were thru. this made for one not to be hunger for the midnite buffets. On Carnival we had the 8 pm seating and we were done by 930 or 945. The food was good on both ships. There was very little music played on RCCL. I enjoy the deck music my self it helps to sit the atmosphere for the crusie. I found the service to be the same as far as Cabin Stewarts and Head waiters. The fun that one wants is different for each person. We go as a group and have been treated great with carnival. I also like the being treated as if I'm someone special and I did not have that feeling on RCCL. Carnival goes a little more out of there way with the food bars being opening longer. If you want ice cream in the late hours of he night you may have it. On RCCl they closed the ice cream machines after dinner about 930.I do like the walk around track on RCCl where on carnival you can only walk 3/4 of the way on the lideo deck.
On carnival the people are more friendly not as stuck up as the people on RCCl maybe because RCCL has more professional people.
For me I will stay with Carnival when at all possible. I hope this helps you and the Destiny is out of this world.

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Old October 11th, 2004, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

We've been on both. We cruised on the Radiance of the Seas in the middle of our now nine Carnival cruises - all different ships new and old. We prefer the selection of music available on Carnival. On our Radiance cruise we didn't think the food was as good as what we were use to on Carnival. We also felt like we were in an almost continuous commercial for products they were trying to sell. However, the main difference for us....we prefer to be able to choose whether we stay busy all of the time or not - on our Radiance cruise we did not have that option. There were times when my husband was bored. This was not a good thing as we were on a Hawaii cruise that had 5 sea days. On four of those days everyone had to be inside as the air temperature dropped dramatically one day out - from HI. We heard others complain about not enough to do...and not enough space for some of the acitivities they did have planned. On another note....we were able to take part in a Mystery Dinner Theater...which was great fun. Over all we feel Carnival gives us more for our money....so until we "outgrow them" they will remain our carrier of choice. (We will most likely try RCCL again in the future.)
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Old October 11th, 2004, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

I keep looking at Carnival for "my next cruise" (and next and....) because I consistently hear 3 important things:

1. The music is much, much better on Carnival;
2. The food is much, much better on Carnival;
3. The rooms are bigger.

I have both RCL and Princess on my list, but when it comes time to book I end up at the Carnival website. We *are* going to try the Mariner one day, though.

Someone said it earlier - you can't go wrong either way.

dorothy

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old October 11th, 2004, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

I tend to pick my cruises less for the shipboard experiences than for the itineraries. I have only had one Carnival cruise under my belt to date--a three nighter from Galveston to Cozumel and back, and only two RCI cruises--a four nighter to the Bahamas and a seven night Western Mediterrranean cruise on the Splendour of the Seas.


I have booked for a seven day cruise on the Carnival Destiny in January. I would have been just as happy to book on RCI if they had had a cruise sailing out of San Juan and touching on more of the lesser Antilles during daylight than what they had.

I scuba dive. What turns me off of a ship's itinerary is if it docks in the afternoon at a strange place long after the dive boats have left their docks and returned with the day's diving parties.
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Old October 13th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Comparing the two for price you really need to consider matching exact itineraries and dates. We take the 4-day cruises out of Canaveral often and RCI (Sovereign of the Seas) is cheaper than Carnival (Fantasy) most of the time.

I've been on both lines and I have to agree with Kuki. I'm a restaurant owner and can critique food quality with some authority. Carnival's is better from my experiences. Buffet food is buffet food no matter where. But Carnival has an egg/omelet cooking station which RCI does not. The offerings on the buffet are more elaborate and less mundane.

The Viking Crown Lounge on RCI is a fantastic place for drinks and gatherings. I prefer the waterslides on Carnival over the rock climbing walls of RCI.

Service is good on both lines, but this is a matter of individual personalities and preferences. Some people don't like the constant in your face "would you like another drink" while others consider this to be great service.

I like dry bleu cheese for salad dressing and have never had a problem getting this on Carnival, but have never gotten it on RCI. Just some information to digest.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old October 18th, 2004, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Have been on 3 (4th coming up in Nov) Carnival cruises, 1 Royal Carib (never again unless it was dirt cheap or free) and 2 celebrity cruises. Celebrity beats all of them for service (they do that little bit more). Carnival beats them all for fun. Royal Carib, staff snotty, we were actually hungry.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old October 18th, 2004, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Hi Dorothy!
I am a Carnival fan, and have sailed with them five times. Holiday, Fantasy, Destiny (x2), and Victory. Victory being my favorite Carnival cruise, with Destiny coming in second. Holiday being my least favorite cruise ever. I have found that I like to stay with the newer and bigger ships that sail at least 7 days. I have also sailed with Princess and Royal Caribbean. We were on Mariner last April and it was my favorite cruise that I have done so far. That ship would be a great choice. I would highly recomend it. Those Voyager class ships are awesome! I would also sail on Carnival again in a heartbeat.
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Old October 19th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

We have been on 12 cruises and each cruise has been great. 2 on Carnival, 2 on Princess, 7 on Royal Caribbean and 1 on Celebrity.

We like Royal Caribbean for the 3/4/7 day cruises caribbean cruises. You have to weigh what you like/value. I like the early morning exercise/ship shape points/prizes and their running track. All RCL ships have them. Also, RCL seems to attract a little older crowd. If you are into partying with a younger/loud group, then Carnival is probably better. If you like a little more upscale perception, then RCL Food on both is about the same. We actually like Princess for longer cruises. They have self service laundry facilities on board some of their ships (Coral/Island). Princess is owned by Carnival Corp. If you reall want to treat yourself, go on Celebrity! This cruise line is the upscale version of RCL and is owned by RCL RCL's Voyager class of ship is a MUST try sometime in your cruising life with its 4 story Promenade.

Our next cruise is with a large group and we are on Carnival Glory in late 2004 and then with our smaller groups we are on Royal Caribbean in early 2005. Someone else said that the comparison is apples to oranges. This is true and too many people base decision on $$$. There is a difference and it is not always the best on the more expensive cruise. Nor is saving $75 and not getting the amenities you like worth the savings of $75 when you finish the cruise. The prices should be close based on iternary and time of year. Choose the ship/cruise line on what you like best about cruising and have a great cruise!
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Old October 20th, 2004, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

We have sailed with Carnival 3 times and with Royal Caribbean once. Our RCCI cruise
was not good at all. The food was not up to cruising standards, the service was not
great, and the cabins were small. My husband and I love Carnival. You might try one
of Carnival's newer ships, like Miracle or Valor. Carnival cruises always has something
to do, not so on RCCI. Why is Carnival cheaper? I'm not really sure it is. Another thing
Carnival's cabins are significantly larger. (more for your $$). I hear the Voyager class
ships with RCCI are great, but have not tried them. Good luck with your decision.
Happy Sailing.............
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Old October 21st, 2004, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

This is the Senation pool deck, compare to the following picture...



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Old October 21st, 2004, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

This is the Enchantment of the Seas. Now you tell me, Carnival or Royal Caribbean?



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Old October 21st, 2004, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

We have been on both of them and like both of them.

We were on the Sovereign (03) and Conquest (04) and have booked the Legend for 05. We had a good time on both of them. We thought Carnival had less activities but my husband liked the food on Carnival better. The rooms are bigger on the Carnival.
The reason we booked another Carnival is because it goes out of the port we want and the destination we want.

My teen daughter liked both of the teen groups. This will be her last year in the "teen club" as she will be l7 in 05.

I think they both have their pros and cons.
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Old October 21st, 2004, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Dave,

Have you ever been on the RCCL Large ships (Voyager class?) if not those are incrediable.......By the way we went on Enchantment yrs ago and Loved it....
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Old October 21st, 2004, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Shan,

Not yet but I will. I just like the whole atmosphere of RCI better no matter which ship. I think Carnival is tacky and too Vegasy for my taste. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
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Old October 24th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

I have sailed once on RCCL and while it is a beautiful ship, I perfer Carnival cruise line. They have more activities and it isn't called a "fun ship" for nothing and I would recommend this since you will have 30 guest for your wedding. The food was also better on Carnival. Maybe someday I will sail on RCL again but for now I like the Carnival ship.
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Old October 25th, 2004, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

My husband and I just returned from our first cruise ever - abord the Carnival Conquest out of New Orleans. It is a 2002 ship - 930 feet long, 110,000 tonnage. Total passengers around 3,000. The food was very good and the entertainment great. There was always something going on from early morning till late at night. We had a room with a balcony which we enjoyed. Everybody was very friendly - crew and cruisers. Everybody just wanted to have fun. Mostly adults ages 25 - 55. hb
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Old October 26th, 2004, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Just came off a Carnival cruise and noticed that the buffets are really great, better than the other comparable lines. I cruise twice a year so I do know. RCCL does give discounts after 1 cruise (CROWN AND ANCOR) club. You can get about $125. off some 7 day cruises. Carnival does top most others with night life but lately they are saving money on the nightly shows. One night is a passanger talent show. (go to karoke if you like this) and 2 other nights only one show instead of the early and late one, usually a commedian. Carvinal own a lot of other cruise lines and I'm not sure if RCCL is one or not. My opinion is go on the one you can get the best deal on, they all really knock themselves out trying to please you.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

Hands down RCCL for me, but keep in mind the difference in ships even within the same line. The one area that I think Carnival beats out RCCL is in the main theater. Carnival entertainment there tends to be top of line (for the 30-40ish crowd).

Hey Kuki, if you think RCCL is approaching "bottom of the food chain" with their cuisine, then I suspect you haven't been on Costa yet :-) That's been the bottom for me. For the original appender, I find RCCL food to be above average, which differs from Kuki. Looking at just the food, here is how I would rate the lines i've been on from best to worst: Celebrity, RCCL, Princess, Carnival, and way down the list Costa. I have to admit though that I haven't been on the newer Carnival ships, but I was on Costa's newest at the time.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Royal Caribbean VS Carnival

I am going on my 10th cruise a week from saturday and it is on the carnival victory. My opinion is that Carnival is much better but I have only been on one royal carribbean(explorer of the seas) and one disney line cruise....the other 7 were on carnival....I loved them all but like the newer ships better, it's all what you like.....these are the ones I've been on from least to favorite,,,i did enjoy them all though---
Imagination, sensation, ectasy, inspiration, triumph, destiny and spirit......Spirit was #1!
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