Left with last minute decisions, I may have to book a cruise on Carnival cruise line. We have sailed with Royal, Celebrity and Norwegian before, if anyone can give me idea as what I am to expect on the Carnival cruise line, is the service and amenities the same or is it a total different experience. Basically we have been used to five star service and clientele, can I expect the same????????????? /
Carnival provides an opportunity for a wonderful cruise experience if you go with an open mind. We have never experienced bad service or poor food on any of our Carnival cruises. There have been instances, just as there are on any cruise line, that we addressed immediately with the proper personnel and they were fixed to our great satisfaction. One of the criticisms I hear from people are that the Carnival ships are too flashy and gaudy....to me they are just exactly what I need to break up my stressful job, a happy environment that enhances my ability to ratchet down from my every day concerns. Service has always been great (and if it isn't up to par, bring it to their attention). Food in the buffet restaurants on the Lido Deck are well presented and there is something for everyone, the newer ships have a Deli and Wok restaurant in addition to their buffet and 24 hour pizza (the best on any ship I have been on). The formal dining room offers a variety of foods that will please everyone (including Vegans and Spa selections) and the desserts are mouth watering (creme brulee, chocolate souffle) and the rolls are fresh and warm (unlike the hard, cold rolls served on RCCL). The shows are highly rated, bars galore, karaoke lots of fun, spa is huge, and on and on. If you choose a Carnival cruise, please find your inner child lurking somewhere inside, don't let small things upset you, relax, you're on vacation!!
I've cruised both lines and have found them pretty comparable. I do prefer Carnival for food, room size and entertainment. I've found the service is generally a notch better on RCL, not that its bad at all on Carnival. Our last few cruises have been on Carnival basically for price and itinerary. I think if you go with an open mind you'll have a great time. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
Hello! We have cruised on RCCL, Norweigan and Carnival. We have 2 teenage daughters and they prefer Carnival because of the teen activities. All three lines are wonderful. I think you will find that the overall atmosphere on Carnival is laid back and fun. As adults we wouldn't hesitate to choose Carnival even if we didn't take our children. If I can be of anymore help, let me know. We have been on 6 Carnival ships.
Have a blast!
Your kids are going to LOVE their cruise and so will you if you RELAX and enjoy. We've never had any problems on any of our Carnival cruises and my husband thought he was going to hate it. Our two daughters, 13 & 14, have the time of their lives, my husband and I relax, enjoy the sun, the food, the atmosphere on board, just everything. We always book on the Veranda deck so boarding and debarking is EASY. Go have a super time and don't be one of those people who finds something to gripe about no matter what. Vacations are too short not to just lay back and go with the flow, not everything is going to be perfect but we've always been very pleased with Carnival!!
Location: Near Liz's favourite home, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, U.K.
Re: Carnival cruise line
If you have been used to 5 star service and clientele then believe me Carnival is not the cruise line for you adn you will come back disappointed.
However, if you go with 'an open mind' as others have said, you may find it an interesting experience and your children will most probably enjoy themselves most of all on a Carnival ship. I twill more geared to them than to a 5star experience to be totally honest - that is why they are called the Fun Ships.
We have been on RCL, Celebrity and Carnival. We have enjoyed them all. Sure there are things I like better on one cruise line then I do on another. But each have their good and not so good points. Carnival seems to be a bit livelier than other lines but they are not the "party ships" of the old days. If you are going on a longer cruise and not going during spring break, you shouldn't have any concerns.
Carnival seems to get a younger crowd - as they are less expensive to go on. But this means more for the kids to do - as there should be more families on this cruise.
5 Star means didderant things to differant people. I think of Sivler Seas, Seaborn, and Crystal when I think of 5 star and will even toss in RSSC and probably Oceania but not RCI, NCL, HAL, Disney, CCL etc. They are main line with HAL probably being 4 star and RCI. Disney, and CCL being 3 star and to me NCL 2 star. I think CCL has the best food of all of them and very comparable service to RCI with RCI usually being a little more formal. If you enjoyed RCI you should like CCL. I try to look at the good things on all the lines and frankly every one of them is pretty darn good to me. What does surprise me are those folks that claim they will never sail on a certain line yet they are always on the boards specifically for that line giving advice on that line? Somewhat confused over that and even more so for those that have never sailed on a line. Now that isn't just for CCL but for all the other lines as well. "Our" preferance is usually a CCL ship but we have and will still cruise on others and sometimes just for the heck of it. That does not mean that I think everyone will like CCL or any other line. All Cruiselines try and cater to slightly to widely differant cliential and what is good for one may be safe or good for another but certainly not great. The idea is to try and match people with the line that 'they' will like most and not what I like most. A good place to check that out is in the reviews area using Anne Campbells reviews as they tell you fro an outside view who the line is trying to satisfy.
I believe that any vacation is what u make it to be. If u go with a bad attitude and look for things to be wrong.. Well u may find that to be. But go with a attitude that its a fun vacation. Relax and have some fun for a change.............I have cruised some different cruise lines and have had a great time on everyone of them. I go knowing I will have the time of my life. Happy cruising....
I have sailed on Carnival and RCCL. I prefer Carnival . Will sail on RCCL if I have no other choice for the portsof call that I want. The food and wait staff were 5 star on Carnival.Our rooms were nicer and larger onCarnival. I like the aft balcony better on RCCL.So it is all up to the person. I'm taking glory in Oct,2006 hope she is a great ship as well.
Pride of America
Like Susan Curtis said, a bad day on a cruise is much better than a good day at work! Carnival is great. I have found the food and shows are much better than other ships. I have been on Carnival 6 times, along with Brilliance of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, and the Caribbean Princess, and their decor is nice and elegant, but Carnival makes you feel happy. I am not a party animal and will have my share of drinks, but I don't like being around stuffy,snobby people on other lines when I can enjoy a good conga line or crack up at my husband participating in the Men's Hairy Chest contest. The activities they have all day are awesome and there is something for everyone, not just activities for young people. Life is too short and we are both 40 and enjoy even the silliest of activities. The cabins are bigger and the bathrooms are bigger also. Every cruise isn't going to be perfect, but if I don't like the meal I ordered at dinner I ask for something else. If something doesn't meet my expectations or my liking all you need to do is ask for something different. If I need extra blankets I call my room steward, and if I want a sandwich at 2am I call room service. A cruise should be fun and your worries should melt away as soon as you board the ship, and that's what Carnival does for you. I keep going back to them and sometimes see the same waiters or cruise directors and it is like going back to family. If you're worried about too many kids, go during off peak times like Sept/Oct, first week of December or January or beginning of May. We go every year the first week of May and just pull my son out of school for a week. We also usually do a 3 night cruise in October. Happy Cruising! We have 22 days to go on the Valor May 1....can't wait to see this beautiful new ship!!!!
Carnival - the good, the bad, & the ugly. This is based on 1 cruise (Victory July 2004):
Good - the cabin, dinners (& service) in the main dining room, 24 hour pizza
Bad - most other meals (actually, more mediocre than outright bad), the shows
Ugly - the pervasive smoky environment, the attitude of most staff toward passengers, the nightmarish disembarkation fiasco
If you're used to 5 star service, you may be disappointed by Carnival. On some lines, the staff anticipates your needs & fulfills them before you even ask. On Carnival, you have to hunt down a staff member, ask for what you want, & then you probably still won't get it.
My 1 & only cruise on Carnival was a waste of time & money. I'd rather save up longer & book on Holland America, where they know how to treat guests. And if you think I'm being harsh, you should hear what my wife has to say!
For whatever it's worth we have cruised CCL and HAL several times and I likes CCL better. I was surprised to hear my wife tell someone that she actually prefered CCL for most things. It's a little livlier, upbeat and the food is pretty darn good. They are naming one of the soft serve machines after her. We were on the Glory Feb 26th and had a great time. I would not hesitate a second.
If you are looking for "5 star service", then stick with Celebrity or Seabourn. If you don't like the party atmosphere, book Carnival during off peak times when there aren't that many kids. I love Carnival, and I am on vacation and there to relax and enjoy. With the cheaper prices on Carnival, it allows us to book the balcony cabins we love, and we always travel with other family members who don't want to spend a fortune either. I really don't want to blow the nest egg and pay double for the same cabin and get better service on a different line. The food on Carnival is very good, much better than other lines I have been on. Like with the Victory, there is no shortage on what to choose for lunch (the buffet usually having roast turkey, roast pork, roast beef and all the fixings, the Wok for chinese food, the deli for delicious grilled pastrami, corned beef, turkey and tuna sandwiches, plus the grill outside for hamburgers, great hot dogs,grilled chicken breasts and minute steaks, and pizza.) How you can find something bad with all those choices would amaze me. The food at dinner is fantastic...the rolls are fresh and warm, appetizers delicious, main courses excellent, and fabulous deserts. The rolls on RCCL were hard as rocks and cold, and the main courses so-so and two nights I couldn't even eat what they brought it was so bad, and deserts blah. Their chocolate souffle had a chalky undertaste. There is always so much to do on Carnival and we try to take advantage of everything. Of course nothing will ever go perfect, and once we did have an assistant waiter who was rude, so we just complained to the head waiter and problem solved! He kissed our butt the rest of the cruise. Our waiters always manage to look genuinely happy to see us when we come to dinner each night and remember our names, what we like to drink, and kid around with us, making dinner a very pleasant experience. I am not looking for 5 star service when I cruise...I am there to enjoy myself and have fun, and not travel with other stuffy people who are always waiting to complain about something and want to be treated like royalty. As long as my room is clean(my room steward always does a great job with our big cabin and remembers our names and brings extra items when I ask), I have a chair by the pool, keep the delicious food coming, and have plenty of activities to do during the day...I am happy. As for HAL, they have no choice but to give better service since all the "walkers and wheelchairs" need special attention and help, and most of their passengers look like they require feeding tubes. It is all how you make it, a vacation should be fun and relaxing and allow you to do whatever you choose during the day. Happy cruising...we are going on the new Valor May 1...can't wait!!
That's nice to read, I agree, I don't cruise with my kids for 5 star service. The only thing I really want and expect, is decent food, good service, a clean ship and not to be bothered (by lots of announcements). That is the one thing that will bug me, and I'm afraid after reading reviews that Carnival has a lot of announcements.
Not a big deal, I just won't sail them again. I'd rather sail with pax who need oxygen masks, they don't bother me, being harassed by a loudspeaker does.
Carnival defintely doesn't do as many announcements as they used to, and we are so busy being out at the pool, in the casino, bars, showlounge, etc that we barely ever hear them. When we do hear them when we are in our cabin for a brief period of time, we actually have to open our door and stick our head out into the hall to hear what they are saying, and it is always a good reminder for us to hurry up and make our way to the dining room if we are running late or to participate in something we might have forgotten about that is ready to start. When we were on RCCL last year, the loudspeaker was actually in our room and we had to endure listening to announcements 5 minutes long in English, Spanish, German and French blasting in our ears. Hearing a few announcements a day that last only a minute or so is not a hinderance but a help for us since we are so busy we sometimes lose track of time and are glad to be reminded of things we don't want to miss. I am a travel agent and after dealing with the clientele near a retirement community in S. FLA booking group cruises, these people are the rudest,obnoxious and most demanding people I have ever had to deal with, and would complain constantly about every part of their booking process and would expect their cruise for free, and drove me to quit my job there.. They can have NCL and HAL.....I am glad to remain in my own age group of 30-40 on Carnival and be with people that like to have fun and are not there to critique and complain.
Would think twice about the "walkers who travel on Holland and those who demand service on Celebrity.Having been on some 30 plus cruises and not the s fla grp.,Iwill take the two above mentioned as compared to Carnival with running wild children and splashing arround the hot tubs and pools with no respect for any age adults.In addition they needed an act of god to get them out of the adult comedy show on the Spirit last yr.For the record have taken numerous cruises thru the yrs on Carnival and also enjoy this line but noy as much as the others you are slamming.
Let's all remember that Deen is bringing her two children aged 5 and 9. I am not suggesting by any means that their children are wild, just that I am almost 100% positive that they would have much more fun with people their own age. The crowd on HA and NCL are definately cater to an older crowd. Those lines are fine for those without young children traveling with them. Let's remember Deen's circumstance! I was on the Destiny and I had a great time! I feel as though I can speak on the children's behaf. I was not as young as them, but I was 17 therefore not an adult by any means (and at 20 yrs old--still not!). There will be plenty of things for them to do, and you'll never have a dull moment. Relax and enjoy the vacation! It is what you make it :-)
05/22/05~~~Miracle it's coming up and I can't wait!