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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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Default Royal Caribbean vs Carnival

I need honest opinions from the many veteran cruisers on this site that have sailed with both RC and Carnival. I've only been on one cruise, which was with RC, and it was fantastic. In researching my next cruise (which I automatically assumed would be w/RC), I happened to receive some information from Carnival, which I almost discarded but decided to review anyway and then found that Carnival's rates appear to be much less per person when comparing a Suite room on each ship. What is so different between the 2 companies? RC just started up their enhanced service program for customers booked in a suite or higher. Does Carnival have something similar? Rating on Food, Customer Services and General Atmosphere of the ship which gives you more satisfaction? Now, I know I'm on an RC board but I would like help with deciding if the extra money per person with RC is worth it.

Thanks!!
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Old March 11th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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After having sailed mostly on Carnival in the past, we took our first Royal cruise aboard Freedom this past November. Mind you, we always loved our Carnival cruises. We could easily see why Royal would cost more, the extra money you spend was evident to us.
Where Carnival and Royal are extremely close is with the food.
I would be hard pressed to tell the difference in blind taste tests.
And the inside cabins on Carnival are 185 sq ft. compared to 150 or 160.
But that's where it ends. The sheer elegance of the ships decor on Royal FAR surpasses that of Carnival. The quality of entertainment is also light years ahead of Carnival. In our experience the attentiveness of the staff on Royal was on a considerably higher level. They went out of their way to make us feel special. We would sail on Carnival again, but it would really be a let down service and elegance wise for us.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Thank you for that honest opinion. I'm thinking I need to give Carnival a try for myself if only for the price difference. If nothing else, this will just make me the more experienced cruiser that I want to be (like the so many on these posting boards).
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Old March 11th, 2009, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2vacation63
Thank you for that honest opinion. I'm thinking I need to give Carnival a try for myself if only for the price difference. If nothing else, this will just make me the more experienced cruiser that I want to be (like the so many on these posting boards).
As an equal opportunity cruiser; I have sailed RC and Carnival numerous times and I will agree with Mike-Suz on the following points:
Carnival: food is just slightly better
Royal Carribbean: the ships are ELEGANT

I have had great cruises on both lines. Here is something that I have noticed that has changed over the years.
Initially with Royal Carribbean around year 2000, the passengers were oftentimes condescending, snobby and not as sociable; this has changed over the years, and now you will find a greater mix of passengers.
Initially with Carnival, these were the "get your party on" and anything goes boats, notsomuch anymore, again you will find a great mix.

So my recommendation is give it a try, be another equal opportunity cruiser! - also the VIP perks on either line is not enough for me to sail only with Carnival or Royal Carribbean; 10 sailings to get special boarding... sorry but there should be more loyalty incentives, but they are what they are. [/b]
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Old March 11th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Personally I prefer Carnival for several reasons.... though I'll agree RCI builds beautiful ships.

But I think because of that RCI "thinks too much of themselves", and they think people will pay more just for the look of their ships.

I actually think Carnival's food is considerably better than RCI, with many more choices... and they don't charge $4.95 for a burger at Johnny Rockets. In fact, in that area I think RCI is getting close to the bottom of the ladder, except for their surcharge restaurants.

Carnival ships aren't as aesthetically pleasing in public rooms and cabins as RCI, but they have some of the most comfortable beds in the industry. And I think overall offer great value, especially when pricing is almost always lower.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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I've sailed on both lines and would not ever consider Carnival again. It's like a comparison of the Westin Hotel to the Holiday Inn Express, ok maybe the Full Service Holiday Inn (Carnival does have that water slide).

Honestly, you pay for what you get. You'll be saying to yourself all week on Carnival..."...boy royal caribbean does this....has that...." you may just end up spending a ton of time wishing you had spent the extra money to sail on a considerably nicer ship with much much more to offer you in terms of activities (e.g., golf, flowrider, rock wall, ice skating, royal promenade, etc.). My thoughts are that you work really hard for 45 out of the 52 weeks in a year; try to spoil yourself a bit on a royal caribbean.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 08:29 PM
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I would rate RCCL much higher than Carnival. As far as food goes I was very disapointed with the food on Carnival.
I also enjoyed the entertainment a lot more on RCCL.

As you can see below I have booked a couple cruises on RCCL but not on Carnival.

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Old March 11th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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Which RCCL ship have you been on? And which RCCL and Carnival ship are you considering?


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Old March 12th, 2009, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
you may just end up spending a ton of time wishing you had spent the extra money to sail on a considerably nicer ship with much much more to offer you in terms of activities (e.g., golf, flowrider, rock wall, ice skating, royal promenade, etc.).
If I wanted to do all of that, along with gambling and drinking, I'd drive to Las Vegas. Really, just because a cruise line/ship HAS something, doesn't mean that everyone is going to need it, want to use it, or even actually use it.

Take me for instance: I couldn't hit a golf ball to save my life; I don't like to boogie board, let alone surf; I don't like climbing walls; and I would prefer roller skating over ice. Even Johnny Rockets does not interest me, as their food is over-priced, and under-sized. If RC was to put In-n-Out on their ships, I'd gladly pay for that.

However, I DO want to go on a particular ship becuase it has a particular itinerary, or fits dates available to me. I enjoy the ports. I enjoy the (fairly) cheap drinks. I enjoy getting out and enjoying the view, and ENJOYING my vacation without being hampered with a "Must-do" list for a particular ship.

My first cruise was on the Carnival Victory. I spent a lot of my time on deck Reading. Why? Not because of a "complete and utter lack of things to do," but because that's what I WANTED to do. The schedule of activities is there for your information, but you are not required to abide by it and go do EVERYTHING the ship has to offer.

Aside from that, saying that one MUST choose a line over another becuase of certain things is really short-sighted, and defeats the whole purpose of cruising.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 02:52 PM
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To clearify, I never said you "had" to do any of the things listed; however, it is certainly nice to know that your cruise includes those amenities for you to enjoy if you "wish" to. I'd rather always have the "option" to participate and experience those items than be "limited" by a lack of options. As always, we are all unique and our own way and enjoy vacationing differently; I enjoy Royal Caribbean providing a diverse number of options for their passengers to enjoy.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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After reading all of the replies in this thread, I can honestly say that each cruise line is subjective. One really must try all lines to decide what is important. For example, I do not care to attend the shows when on a cruise, so I do not care for critiques about the entertainment. About all I ever want to do is read all day and at night wander around the ship, stopping off at a bar that has some musical entertainment (like a piano player/singer or a singer playing the guitar).

I have cruised on 4 Carnival cruises and 1 RCI cruise. I do not remember much about the RCI cruise, except I didn't think the food was as good as Carnival's and I thought the cabins were much smaller than Carnival's cabins. Of course, maybe that was because for the first time, we had a third person in our room and the beds on the floor were separated. I am sure that made a difference, but I could not get by a person in that cabin without moving out of the way so he could move past me. It was tough when one was coming out of the bathroom and one was trying to get into the bathroom.

I do remember that my husband said after the cruise that he did not like RCI as well as Carnival. He couldn't state a specific reason, but it was just a general feeling.

This summer we are going to try another RCI cruise. Mainly because I want to try something different and the fact that there are not many cruise ships in the ports. In Grand Cayman, we will be the only ship and in Cozumel, we will be with a Carnival ship, I believe it is a smaller ship. The number of cruise ships in port won't change in the next 3 months, will it?

This cruise I plan on paying attention so I can decide if the price difference is really worth it. Then, maybe I can post a more informed post about the difference of the two lines.
But, I definitely would not cruise on a line unless I had a bad personal experience.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 06:13 PM
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Hi SAA,

I am wondering about Carnival vs RC too. WHen you mentioned grand cayman and cozumel I wondered if you are looking at the RC Enchantment of the Seas ship. We are looking at the may 16th 2009 sailing from fort lauderdale.

Beth
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Old March 15th, 2009, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoper
Hi SAA,

I am wondering about Carnival vs RC too. WHen you mentioned grand cayman and cozumel I wondered if you are looking at the RC Enchantment of the Seas ship. We are looking at the may 16th 2009 sailing from fort lauderdale.

Beth
Yes, Beth, that is the ship. We're going in June. We booked an aft junior suite since it's our 25th wedding anniversary. We've only stayed in inside cabins before this.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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As far as one better than the other its all opinion. Ive been on both and utterly enjoyed both. Ive gotten a bit frugal lately so Ive been sailing on Carnival just for the savings. They all go to the same places and the staffs are fabulous on both lines. Like someone said ealier try both and you decide. As long as Im cruising Im happy, you could book me on the S.S. Minnow and Id be hapyy. So go and enjoy. Bon Voyage
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Old March 17th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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I have sailed both. RCCL has always been our line of choice but things - they are a changing.

First of all, our cruise on Carnival - we thought the food and service were better than anything we have had on RCL for some time. However, the layout of the ship was extremely annoying. Having to go up and down to get from one end to the other was extremely annoying. We never did figure our way around before the week was out. Also, we didn't like the pool area at the back of the ship. Looks grungy.

We've been sailing RCL since 1985. We prefer the smaller ships - in particular the Radiance class. While the Voyager class is a beautiful ship we find it way to big. If I want a shopping mall I'll go to one on land. We were on the Independence in November for the short 4 days cruise. That was enough. Although the ship is gorgeous it is not for couples as far as we are concerned. It most definitely is for families. I do recommend it to my clients with kids. However, it is not one we would go again.

For choice - in these financial times I would look at what is best for your pocketbook. I don't feel you can go wrong with either one.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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miss potential carnaval victim. I would not reccomend carnival to anyone. my family went on carnival victory we stayed in penthouse top of the line and the room was nasty. the seats had tears and stains on them.intamit stains. also there was fingernail polish on the comforter cover were they didnot change after the previous people. hair in dressers. we could not put our clothes away. they yelled at my sister for putting her arm on the counter to sign the papers. we were on the ship fourty five minutes after my mom and they had an interrior room. needless to say this was not priority check in like they said. my dad meat was raw he requested well done and the head waiter/waitress said they did not do that on this ship. the workers were rude could we could not comunicate with them. no one spoke english. we sailed on the victory on june of 2006 we went to halifax . the weather was bad. not carnivals fault on weather but noone c ame over the speaker to reasure us we were going to live. the weather was horrible. shows were great. we sailed on rc twice once in interror and then in owners suite. every thing was great .treated great rooms clean workers great spoke english well and just loved it the food was about on the same level as carnival.youl love rc if you like to be treated well.ps do the zipline tour if you go to jamaca. bon voyage
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Old March 20th, 2009, 10:40 PM
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I have only sailed on Carnival once, on the Paradise 3-nighter to Ensenada. I had cruised on RCI's Monarch on the same itinerary 25 times, and was not really looking forward to Paradise, but since RCI sent Monarch to Florida, that was the only game in town.

I really liked it! The food was a bit better on Paradise, the service was very good (RCI was better except in the dining room, where Paradise was) and we had fun. The ship is butt ugly, though - DH called it Circus Circus goes to sea. If RCI puts another ship in LA for the 3/4 night runs, we'll switch, but only if the price is right (that is to say, equal to or less than Carnival for comparable accomodations). Otherwise we're perfectly happy with Carnival.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 03:08 PM
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I posted you about being on carnival victory. and how bad it was. I forgot to add the pool had sea water on victory and on the liberty of the seas( rc) it was fresh water much better. Cozamel and Grand Camon was the best also. you will love it if you go there. by the way my spelling wasn't the best but I had so much to tell you and i did not want to forget anything. The owners suite on Liberty was the best. You got a doorbell outside the suite. Little snacks delivered to your room. A whirlpool tub in bath and personallized{i think this is the way you spell the word) stationary with your name on it. The deck is quite large also. If you can afford it go for a suite. its great.
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