Check our group cruise forum to get the name of the travel agent that books them. She will be able to match your needs to the most compatible ship. It's always best to book with a travel agency, rather than the cruise line...this way you have an advocate if you need one. Our very own Mike, loves this itinerary, & is sailing it in January,on an RCI ship,and has recently done the same on Carnival..I am sure he will pop in here soon, to give you the real skinny on the ships he has sailed this itinerary.
Not sure if this would be a deciding factor, but, RCI has infant care now.
Trip, with her book & tea!
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There really aren't any 'bad' ships anymore. Just look for the cruise that interests you the most. Good Luck.
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My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog
Future Cruises: Carnival Triumph-Caribbean-7/28/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014, Navigator of the Seas-12/14/2013, Norwegian Jewel-1/3/2015, Emerald Princess-1/11/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/2/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/15/2015.
If you have a more specific question, please ask. Most of us know the differences well, but there is much to articulate and easier if we know your specific concerns.
I believe Carnival now goes down to 6 months old for babysitting as well in most cases.
Personally I find not a HUGE difference in ships:
RCI: more sports facilities, more active ship for young adults, plenty for kids to do but less "fun" service personnel. But lots of sports; rock climbing, mini golf, basketball, ping pong, etc.
Carnival: less sports activities but more crew "fun" interaction, singing waiters, goofy games, funnier stage shows, etc. Food & service generally better, bigger staterooms.
Both ships have extensive kids programs. Carnival has water slides, RCL has a great video game room.
Keep in mind prices may go UP in June-August because many ships go north to Alaska, also this is a peak family cruise market so summer prices just go up. Suggest you book early if possible and ask cruise agent about price guarantee. For Carnival the early savers program requires at least 5 months pre-booking time.
If you can get a substantial bargain on one ship over the other, that is the way I would go.
We just did the Mexican Riviera on Carnival Splendor and really enjoyed our selves. Ask any questions you have - questions are also a good way to check out Travel Agents, if they can't give you answers to your questions, you might need a different TA.
[Paul - nice new pic]
All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; John Masefield
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, 2014, Caribbean 2013, Coral 2014, Regal 2014
Star Clippers: Royal Clipper 2015