Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Carnival Cruise Lines
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2012, 02:57 AM
Junior Member
Welcome Newcomer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7
Default Carnival experience

We've decided on Carnival cruise line but I was wondering what you like most about Carnival and for those that have cruised more than one line, what is your comparison to Carnival to others. Likes and dislikes? Tips for cruising with Carnival and things to avoid? What about the children's experiences (we are cruising with a teenager and preteen)? I know everyone has their own opinioins and experiences but I'd like to know your honest assessment. I know we will have fun (heck we have nothing to compare it to ) I just want to know what you like (and don't like) about the cruise line.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2012, 09:56 AM
Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western KY
Posts: 47
Default

Just got off my 4th Carnival cruise. I have only sailed on Carnival & I have always had a positive experience. Lots of this for teens to do..water slide, basketball court, pingpong, & teen dance clubs. I love the relaxed atmosphere of Carnival. They don't call them the FUN ships for nothing!! Enjoy!
__________________
Ecstasy 1997
Imagination 2001
Holiday 2004


Liberty June 2012
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2012, 01:23 PM
Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Illinois
Posts: 36
Default

hello. we will be going on our 3rd Carnival cruise in August. Took my boys when they were 11 +15, and again at 13 + 17. We all loved it!! there are so many things to do but you don't HAVE to do anything. It's exactly what you want it to be. One son is a basketball player. he spent most of day (on sea days) at the court.... on shore excursion others that also played would shout out, wave and come over. Made all the ports feel like home. I always insisted that the kids go to the teen gathering on the first night. If they didn't want to sign up they didn't have to, but just being there on the first night they always met others. From that point on we didn't see much of them except for dinner, bed and excursions. hope you have a great time
__________________
Fascination
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2012, 06:33 PM
snorklr45's Avatar
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 380
Exclamation

I love the crew on the Carnival ships as well as the larger, clean, spacious cabins on the older ships. Most of them seem to really enjoy their jobs. I also love all the activities so that you're never bored - even on sea days. They always place an activities calendar under your door (nightly) so that you know the times and places of all activities each day. The only downside for me is that I feel the food needs improvement. The main dining room food was usually good but the buffet really needs improvement.

Celebrity - Not enough night time activities. Most everything shuts down early. Nothing late night. I got really bored on sea days as I'm a night person. Shows I did see in early evening were cheesy and not that great. Even daytime activities seemed fewer than Carnival offers. Crew IMHO..for the most part..Not happy to be there and in one case..Outright rude (waiter at main dining room each night). However, the quality of the food at the main dining room was definitely better than Carnivals offerings.

Just my 2 cents.
__________________

CarnivalTriumph
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 105
Default

We have been on 7 cruises. All with Carnival. Booked for Christmas this year. We took our daughter when she was 12, 16, and 18. She is now 20 and in college and has to pay her way to go (so she hasnt been) . We took our son when he was 5, 7, 8. Our daughter has made lifelong friends and loved it every time. Our son loves Camp Carnival. He even left the dining room when he was 7 and snuck out and went to Camp Carnival (scared me to death). We love it because we are laid back and you can party or you can relax. We have no complaints
__________________


Holiday 2002
Conquest 2004
Sensation 2008
Splendor 2009
Elation 2010
Triumph 2011
Conquest 2012
Elation 2012
Elation 2012 (B2B)
Conquest 2013
Dream 2014
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old June 19th, 2012, 05:52 PM
Junior Member
Welcome Newcomer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7
Default

The more I hear about Carnival the more I'm glad I chose to go with them. I'm so excited about this cruise that I'm almost disappointed I have to wait a year .
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old June 23rd, 2012, 12:21 AM
Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 33
Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by snorklr45 View Post
I love the crew on the Carnival ships as well as the larger, clean, spacious cabins on the older ships. Most of them seem to really enjoy their jobs. I also love all the activities so that you're never bored - even on sea days. They always place an activities calendar under your door (nightly) so that you know the times and places of all activities each day. The only downside for me is that I feel the food needs improvement. The main dining room food was usually good but the buffet really needs improvement.

Celebrity - Not enough night time activities. Most everything shuts down early. Nothing late night. I got really bored on sea days as I'm a night person. Shows I did see in early evening were cheesy and not that great. Even daytime activities seemed fewer than Carnival offers. Crew IMHO..for the most part..Not happy to be there and in one case..Outright rude (waiter at main dining room each night). However, the quality of the food at the main dining room was definitely better than Carnivals offerings.

Just my 2 cents.
Had to laugh when I read the Celebrity part. We're used to Royal Caribbean with big sail away parties - on Celebrity the "party" was our family and two octogenarian women! In Celeb's defense it was a late January cruise with the average age about 75.

Carnnival's rep as "Fun Ships" seems well deserved. Spend some time on these boards, read reviews, and you'll have a good ideas what to expect.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old June 29th, 2012, 02:22 PM
lhp lhp is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Memphis area, TN
Posts: 1,706
Default

We have cruised Carnival for awhile (hubby since 1982) (the rest of the family since 1998).

The best thing about Carnival is that it is affordable. There are a lot of things you "have to pay for" once you get onboard unless you want to.

There will be the $11.50 per person per day wait staff salary (if you did not prepay that at booking) and IF you are driving to the port, you will have to pay to park your car.

But other things that cruise lines charge for like bottled water and soda, Carnival allows you to CARRY ON (note ..not in checked luggage) a reasonable amount.

You can also carry on one bottle of wine or champagne for each adult 21 or older. (750ml per bottle)

If you like steam rooms and saunas, the Spa has both and they are free. Do not let the fact that you have to walk past the Spa desk to get there make you think it costs extra. The lockers are also free but they will keep your Sail and Sign card until you return the key. That is also where the free gym is.

Separate steam rooms and saunas for men and women....

there are also showers etc if you want to refreshen up after steaming or working out.... OR sometimes I run the hubby or sons up there to shower to free up the bathroom for ME!!

The food and service are fine although not 5 star. You can order as many appetizers and entrees as you like. (even on formal night when they have lobster)

The alcohol is about what you would expect to pay for at a resort. Here at Chili's, the beer I drink will run 4.50....on the ship it is 5.50. But you can save a little by buying a bucket of beers that come iced down.

Be aware that cabin placement is important. Just be aware of what is above or below your cabin.....other cabins is preferred to reduce the chance of noise.

Personally, I have always found that while not perfect, Carnival gives you your vacation money's worth....since it is a good value for the dollar spent.
__________________
COMPLETES THE FLEET

If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!

Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old June 29th, 2012, 03:28 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,832
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

Great info in this thread....why not check out this thread, where we have a group, along with Mike & Kuki, onboard the Dream, which sounds fabulous! Depending where & when you want to go, this could be the Carnival ship for you.....have fun planning.



Virtual Cruise Report - Daily Notes - A New Fresh Breeze 6/27-7/9
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old June 29th, 2012, 06:32 PM
Banned
Captain
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 519
Default

You want an honest opinion....

The food is not the greatest.

The decor can be somewhat glitzy to say the least

Lots of kids

They really push drinks...photos...

On the other hand they have loads of activities, plenty of things for kids to do...if you like beer drinking contests or seeing how many ping pong balls someone can stuff into their bathing suit, then you will enjoy it.
You do get what you pay for...a very loud and activity filled cruise.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old June 29th, 2012, 06:51 PM
Host Mach's Avatar
Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 31
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by domal02 View Post
We've decided on Carnival cruise line but I was wondering what you like most about Carnival and for those that have cruised more than one line, what is your comparison to Carnival to others. Likes and dislikes? Tips for cruising with Carnival and things to avoid? What about the children's experiences (we are cruising with a teenager and preteen)? I know everyone has their own opinioins and experiences but I'd like to know your honest assessment. I know we will have fun (heck we have nothing to compare it to ) I just want to know what you like (and don't like) about the cruise line.

I have cruised on NCL previously and I can tell you that I enjoy the Carnival experience much more... it's simply more fun.

There have been some recent cutbacks that have irked some folks but, overall, they did little to nothing to lessen the experience. A Carnival cruise is still the best vacation for the money... end of story.

I have never had a bad time on a Carnival cruise. I've run into some folks who I'd rather never see again but that's true regardless of where you go or what you do.

Carnival provides a ton of value for the dollar along with great service and a fabulous atmosphere.

Go. Enjoy.


Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old June 29th, 2012, 06:55 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,832
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

And remember, food is the most subjective of all onboard experiences...I have enjoyed Carnival food..
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old June 29th, 2012, 07:00 PM
Host Mach's Avatar
Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 31
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
And remember, food is the most subjective of all onboard experiences...I have enjoyed Carnival food..
Excellent point! The food is very good and is improving! When we sailed on the Magic a few months back I was WAY impressed with the new offerings! The BBQ was fantastic, dinner was as good as always and the steakhouse was as good as any I've enjoyed on Carnival and that's quite a few!!!


Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old June 29th, 2012, 09:53 PM
Junior Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: San Antonio,Tx
Posts: 21
Default

Have done 12 cruises on Carnival and have never had a bad experience. The crew is wonderful and the experience is what you make of it. Food is subjective but I can tell you that we were at an exclusive all inclusive resort in the Dominican in April and I kept wishing I had food like I get on Carnival. They do want to take a lot of photos but you can always say no. I cruise to be on the ocean away from cell phones and other distractions.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2012, 02:17 PM
ICRUISEFORFUN's Avatar
Junior Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 23
Default

IHP gave you the exact truth about Carnival. I agree with everything said on that post. We have been on 8 Carnival Cruises. I have been on 2 other cruise lines as well. I feel that Carnival is definitely affordable. If you are going for a vacation and do not need the extra bling the more expensive lines offer than you will be ok. If you have really high standards than go on Royal Caribbean or Disney. We liked the Carnival Mediterranean cruises the best. We think that the staff is much better with customer service on the int'l cruises b/c they are closer to their homes. Also the ships are nicer, they are the newest of the fleet usually. Do not go on the really old and outdated ships as your first time. You will be disappointed. They are a bit run down. We went on the fascination out of Jacksonville and it felt really dirty. We even saw the window outside of the arcade was duct taped!!!
Overall we like Carnival and choose it first b/c of cost when traveling with two toddlers. We plan on trying out the Disney Cruise in a couple of years though.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2012, 08:22 PM
Banned
Captain
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 519
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ICRUISEFORFUN View Post
If you have really high standards than go on Royal Caribbean or Disney.
Im not too about going on Royal Carribean if you have really high standards.

If you have higher standards then go on Celebrity...if you have REALLY HIGHER STANDARDS then go on Crystal, SilverSea, Seabourn, and some of the other high standard lines...
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2012, 09:43 PM
lhp lhp is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Memphis area, TN
Posts: 1,706
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by buttons16 View Post
You want an honest opinion....

The food is not the greatest.

The decor can be somewhat glitzy to say the least

Lots of kids

They really push drinks...photos...

On the other hand they have loads of activities, plenty of things for kids to do...if you like beer drinking contests or seeing how many ping pong balls someone can stuff into their bathing suit, then you will enjoy it.
You do get what you pay for...a very loud and activity filled cruise.

Odd...I have been on over 50 Carnival cruises and have never seen a ping pong ball contest??? That used to be games like that 20 year ago.....



Btw, I have a friend who cruises Disney and said the Carnival food was better than Disney...so I guess things like food is an individual taste.
__________________
COMPLETES THE FLEET

If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!

Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2012, 09:48 PM
lhp lhp is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Memphis area, TN
Posts: 1,706
Default

I think people consider RCCL a "higher standard" because it costs more.

I have come to find that in life, some times things cost more because they are of a higher standard....and sometimes, they just cost more....
just because "they cost more".
__________________
COMPLETES THE FLEET

If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!

Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old July 1st, 2012, 09:07 AM
Junior Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 16
Default

We've been on 15 cruises with three different cruise lines...Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Princess. We've enjoyed all of them and have found that each line has things it does very well and things we don't care for.

Our favorite Carnival cruises were the ones where we were travelling with a group. I've found that Carnival provides a great experience when you have a family group or a group of friends...there's something for everybody. The food on our Carnival cruises has been consistently good, and for the most part the service has been great...Carnival has a hard-working and friendly crew.

We like to switch things up, so I'm not "loyal" to any cruise line...as a matter of fact we're adding Holland America and Celebrity to our list in the near (November) and not-so-near (September 2013) future. I'm sure that we will find things we like and dislike on those lines too! I now look at itinerary first and then price to book a cruise. The only line I can't seem to develop an interest in trying is Norwegian, because I'm not sure we'd care for the "Freestyle" concept. Most of our cruises are as a couple, and we like a traditional dining experience to help meet people that we will see throughout the week.

I think for a family with teens/children, Carnival is a great choice! Be prepared for your kids to abandon you for the week because there are so many fun things for them to do.
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old July 1st, 2012, 09:26 AM
Gypsywych's Avatar
Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 62
Default

My husband and I have cruised on RCCL and Carnival. Our next is Alaska on the Carnival Spirit.
We find that we prefer the smaller ships and we don't need all the entertainment. Other than that? Not a lot of differences in the food or service.
Carnival has bigger rooms, RC has quieter decor. I prefer RC's room service menu, my Honey prefers Carnival's Lido buffet. The ocean views are the same and the ports are still there no matter what ship gets you there!

Have a great cruise!
Reply With Quote
  #21 (permalink)  
Old July 1st, 2012, 10:16 AM
Capndinghy's Avatar
Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 93
Default Don't miss the Drunken Hairy Chest Contest!

I think you will find Carnival very nice. I too have only cruised on Carnival (14 times) and will try brand X soon. We feel that if it isn't broken don't fix it is true with Carnival. Nothing is perfect but overall you will have a nice experience.

The Drunken Hairy Chest Contest always provides entertainment. (Note I didn't say good entertainment) It is very popular.

Besides I am a stockholder and Need to stock to go back up to 43 so I can unload some of it.
Reply With Quote
  #22 (permalink)  
Old July 1st, 2012, 10:56 AM
lhp lhp is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Memphis area, TN
Posts: 1,706
Default

I think the Disney food statement made by my friend that sails all the lines surprised me the most because he works for Disney.

Now I do need to say that I am only talking about the "taste" of the food, because I am not imagine anyone doing a better dining "experience" than Disney.

And my friend said the same thing...the experience is equal to the dollar paid on Disney.

But the food....not so much. (in the Main Dining Room...I am sure the speciality restaurants are to die for).

Personally I want to try Oceania.....and one day I will.
__________________
COMPLETES THE FLEET

If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!

Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
2008, aboard, ball, beware, bon, captains, carnival, cruise, cruising, dislikes, fascination, gay, likes, party, room, sensation, ship, ships, steam, things, voyage

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Experience with Camp Carnival? mai_lin Carnival Cruise Lines 14 January 3rd, 2008 11:38 AM
Any experience with Camp Carnival on the Legend? klarocco Family Cruising 2 November 17th, 2005 01:11 PM
Bad Experience with Carnival Jorge and Lisette Delgado Carnival Cruise Lines 32 April 27th, 2005 03:55 PM
The fabulous Carnival experience... Mr. Happy Travel Gripes! 16 January 23rd, 2005 03:22 PM
experience about the carnival victory please dustyroad Ask CruiseMates Staff 4 June 5th, 2003 11:47 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:54 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1