Haven't tried Royal but after cruising Carib Princess I like Carnval. We r taking Glory in Sept. I missed the fun, the closeness I always feel on Carnival. We enjoy the craziness. Princess was so reserved. I met so many older cruisers that said they enjoy Carnival more than any other ship simply because of the carefree spirit on board. No one seem to care how much money u make and what race u are. Anything goes on the Carnival. The cabins r smaller than Carnival. However, I did enjoy MUTS on Carib Princess. All the Cruiselines should catch on to that concept
We've done 5 Carnival so far, and loved them all, although we tend to shy away from all the "party" atmosphere and prefer a quiet place aft.
That said, we've also just had our first experience with Princess (Caribbean) and it made a very favourable impression also. We liked the more laid back atmosphere, slightly more "mature" clientele, and best of all, the best entertainer afloat, Bert Stratton!
A few years ago I probably would have said that Carnival was my favorite. But then we discovered Norwegian Cruise Lines 3 years ago, and we're now booked on our 5th cruise on NCL and our 3rd on their new ships that offer 10 dining venues and other features too numerous to mention.
We like the cabins and the food and the service, and we've seen some of the finest entertainment we've ever enjoyed at sea. And of course, NCL cruise prices are an attraction as well. Try it, you'll like it! You probably won't find very much of what you call craziness on board, but you will find plenty of fun things to do.
And maybe NCL will even add MUTS to their programming, although I can't imagine why anyone would want to spend part of their cruise experience watching outdoor movies when there are so many entertainment choices being offered inside. But then, that's just me.
It's really a toss up, as there are things on each line that are better than the others, but no one line that has "it all". The lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) likes Princess best, for the reasons stated by Donna. (My brother wouldn't think of cruising any other line simply because Bert Stratton wouldn't be there.) I agree with Jack and Kim that NCL is an excellent line, and often overlooked. They offer a superior value and cruise for the money! RCL offers a balance of most of the things I look for on a cruise, and Carnival has the most "fun" on a cruise, ie: better big shows, karaoke every night if you're so inclined, the "Legends" show at the end, and overall a fun place to be. If the food is what you're most interested in, then I'd have to rate them as: Princess, NCL, RCL, then Carnival.