Can't make a decision on which cruise to take. Thinking of Carnival-Paradise which goes to Nassau, St. Thomas & San Juan. The other one is Grand Princess which goes to Princess Cay, Grand Caymen, Cozumel and Costa Maya. Have not heard good things about Costa Maya. Have been to St. Thomas, San Juan (at night), Grand Caymen and Cozumel before. Have taken 2 Carnival cruises before a while back and taking the Sea Princess in Feb. to Mexico. What would you choose, from experience? Will post this on the Carnival board also. Would be going in April.
It's like comparing apples to oranges. I've sailed Princess 14 times and Carnival once. I've never sailed Carnival in the Caribbean and I think where and when I did, we didn't have any kids onboard at all. Princess limits the amount of kids on all their sailings. I enjoyed it (Victory), but Princess is definitely more my style. There are a ton of things going on when you sail Grand Princess, mainly because of its size. That being said, I never sensed how many people were onboard because they really used crowd control methods, something that Carnival unfortunately didn't. Food is much, much better on Grand than it was on Victory. Cabins are bigger on Carnival, but very well designed with plenty of storage space on Grand. I'm not a big entertainment person so can't really comment about that but there seems to be plenty of it on both lines. Seems to be more music of all types on Carnival. There are 5 swimming pools onboard Grand. My favorite was the one on the stern on the ship underneath the disco. You could always find a lounge available there. Hope this helped a little bit.
PS. Don't even bother getting off the ship in Costa Maya. Port days are wonderful on the ship. It belongs to you!
My wife and i sailed on grand this fall, and had a great time. as background, we have sailed on royal caribbean, celebrity, and princess. the grand princess was a very nice ship, with well laid out public rooms.the food was very good, but not excellent as on celebrity. on the other hand, the atmosphere was much more relaxed and enjoyable on grand. i think the one important thing you should consider in your decision is personnal choice dining. we LOVED personnal choice dining. the opportunity to stay longer on the islands, nap if we were tired, eat alone if we were romantic, or eat with new friends, at ANY TIME we wanted, was much less restricting than on any other line. plus, there is never the worry of wondering if you are seated with great people or drips for an entire week(sorry, all you drips out there).personnal choice was the deciding factor in booking the grand versus explorer of the seas, and was such a good thing, we are booked on golden in march.im sorry i cant give you more feedback on carnival, but i will say the following about princess: every member of the crew was courteous and professional,and the ship was friendly, inviting,and immaculate, without "freaky" artwork(like mercury) .i always managed to find a deck chair at one of the many pools, and at the end of the trip, i felt relaxed, not like a had been through a race with numerous pit stops.
whatever you choose, have a great time.
I have also sailed on Carnival 2 times. Did the western and the eastern Carib. Once on the Sensation and then on the Paradise. Carnival has made inprovemnets over the years in decor. This past Nov. I sailed on teh Golden for my 11th ani. I was just blown away by the ship and the service.
They offer more entertainment than most people can get in. I loved the buffet, much better than Carnival's. We were upgraded to a mini-suite so that was nice.
I liked it soooooooooooo much that I have already booked her for Thanksgiving this year.