My wife and I are planning our third cruise (for our 5 yr. anniversary) we’ve only been with carnival (Paradise and Pride) and we’re thinking of trying RCL’s Soverign of the Seas or maybe the Nordic Empress this go round (we aren’t into the party scene) any big differences between RCL and Carnival? What should we expect? THANKS!!!
Then you will enjoy RCCL. They don't seem to have quite as wild a bunch as CCL. The clientele is of all ages. The big differences I think the food is better, shows are better, cabins are bigger, coffee is better, pictures taken are better on CCL. RCCL the ships are more elegant and the dining room service is even better than CCL and that service is very good.
Golden Princess 12/04
Enchantment of the Seas 4/02
On the two RCI ships you have mentioned, you will definitely find the cabins to be smaller ( also, the Sovereign has no balcony rooms and the number of balcony rooms on Nordic Empress is limited.) If you can wait until next June or so, you might want to give the Enchantment of the Seas a try since it will be taking the place of the Monarch of the Seas and doing cruises out of Florida of less than a week. Vision class ships would give you a fairer comparison with the Carnival ships you have sailed on. We have sailed on both lines and while RCI is a better fit for us, we thoroughly enjoyed our times on Carnival ships in the past. If you enjoyed one, you will probably be happy with the other. One may fit your style and tastes more closely but that will really depend on you. Give it a chance and then you will have your answer.
I've been on the Sovereign several times and Carnival's Fantasy too. We do these 4-days to the Bahamas often because they are so easy for us and inexpensive. Either one is worth the money but I think the Fantasy is a better product. On this particular itinerary and these particular ships I think the food, entertainment, cabins, and layout are better on the Fantasy. I'll be taking one of them again next month, just haven't decided which one as we always book last minute and have to see which one is available.
I don't like Sovereign of the Sea at all, find it a homely old ship. I liked Enchantment very much (except for an extraordinarily bad room steward). Food was better, ship was gorgeous and entertainment excellent. I've sailed Carnival once, on the Victory when she was new on a 5 day cruise from New York to Eastern Canada. I absolutely loved it. I'm not a party animal either and there wasn't a child or a teenager onboard. Food was fine. Although RCI was a bit better, Carnival had more options and the entertainment was the best I've experienced at sea. I howled with laughter and my sides ached. I'd give Sovereign of the Sea a pass though and go for one of the more modern ships.
I lkie the rooms on Carnival better, but I like RCL better all around. The Voyager Ships are the greatest, and once you go on them, you are spoiled forever. The food was just terrific, and the whole experience was fabulous...See if you can get on one of them...They are 7 night cruises, and go to the Eastern & Western Caribbean...Cheryl
If you take Sovereign go for the larger stateroom. (it has an L shape that reduces the closed in feeeling) Even so it will be small compared to other ships. Other than the stateroom which was small & had a shabby feel to it, we very much enjoyed our cruise. We are taking Enchantment in March--seems like a nice ship.