I sailed Carnival Fascination in March of 98 I think. Fascination was several years old when I sailed her. It was my first cruise and I enjoyed it. Since, I have sailed other lines and "newer ships". I really liked RCCL and Princess.
The things I didn't like about Carnival was their buffet area and buffet food on Carnival and that breakfast was not open seating in the dining room.
I am seriously looking into booking Pride and have heard wonderful things about that ship.
Can someone tell me what their experience has been on newer Carnival ships compared to newer Princess and RCCL ships. I hear the newer Carnival ships - from Destiny on have been wonderful. Specifically interested in those who can compare Sun class ships to Spirit or Pride.
I have not sailed on the Spirit class ships, but have sailed on two of the Destiny class ships, the Triumph and the Victory. I have always had a good time on Carnival but have found them to be noisier than RCCL or Princess. On the last two Carnival cruises (Imagination May 01 and Victory July 01) the food was excellent as was the service and the shows. I just don't care for all the 'glitz' that they have on their ships, but the pictures of the Spirit/Pride look toned down a bit.
Theresa.. unlike RCL and Princess, which in my view are blurring the lines of difference between them, Carnival really does have it's own identity.... "The Fun Ships" is what all their ships strive to be, regardless of interior decoration.
If you're after something close to RCI or Princess you are not going to find it on Carnival! Not saying you won't find some spots onboard for relaxing peace and quiet, but that is surely not their strength and not what they market.
In fact, I think Carnival comes closest to actually delivering what their advertising promises. Large, not necessarily, fancy cabins. Friendly and fun staff and service. A FUN atmosphere througout the ship. And in recent years they've taken huge strides in food quality as well!
Aside from their typical buffet fare, they've been innovative offering Deli's, and Chinese food areas, as well as 24 hr pizza (which I think is the best pizza at sea).
What u'll also get are lots of announcement about Wild pool games, bingo and whatever else they feel livens the atmosphere.
I think they offer terrific value for the money on their cruises, but if you're going, don't expect a Princess type of experience.
Personally, after our Golden Princess cruise, I'm more likely to go on Carnival again before I head back to Princess. It just suits my antlers better <G>
Come on Kuki, I am set for the Golden Princess and you can't change my mind :-). Anyway, I have sailed on the Paradise and I was very pleasantly surprised. The food was good, the service was excellent. The crew was a hoot. The ship was nice - not gorgeous and not too Vegas. We had a great cruise and I was very concerned about Carnival. My neighborhood is booked for the Pride this summer and they are totally excited about it.
Theresa, Can't help you with the comparisons you are seeking, but I can tell you that we loved our cruise on the Carnival Destiny. Immensely. AND we had a corner aft cabin with a wrap around balcony. Lots of lively things to go, but quiet areas could be found as well. I loved the high energy atmosphere. And the food was very good.
Of the three, Princess has the best food, by far.
A lot of people will be surprised, and disagree, but I think the food on Carnival has improved vastly, and, conversely, on RCI has deteriorated. We feel Carnival's food is now better than RCI!
Of course, we also feel Celebrity has the best food.
As far as entertainment, Carnival and Princess both have excellent entertainment. The "styles" are very different, but both excellent. Again, RCI is 3rd choice...
I'm not "bashing" RCI; one of our favorite cruises was on the Norwegian Crown and our favorite line is RCI-owned, Celebrity...
Within the past 2 years, we were on the Grand Princess and the Triumph, among others, and enjoyed both immensely. It just depends on how much "fun" you're looking for.....
I actually like to "relax" on a cruise - find a quiet corner and read.
Still up in the air on Pride - have until Sunday now to decide. TA got my date extended a few days. Just found this awesome cabin really cheap. It is so much cheaper then Princess or RCCL for the same week and the cabin is so much better.
"T" The new "Spirit Class" ships are quite nice from all reports. They are also a little toned down from the "Fun Ship" chaos that you often find on the other CCL ships. They seem to be geared towards a little more on the relaxing side. There are also more areas to "get away from the crowd". Breakfast on all CCL ships is and has been both the informal kind on the Lido deck, (my preference), or the more traditional open seating style in the dining rooms. I have never noticed anything but the open seating for breakfast in the dining room which is pretty much the reason I don't eat breakfast there.