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Nothin but blue skies May 25th, 2009 04:04 PM

15 cruises on Carnival & considering RCI
We have just completed our 15th Carnival cruise and have another booked for May 2010. We are considering changing to RCI and would love to hear some pros and cons on these two lines.

We have always enjoyed Carnival but are getting very tired of the "same-old, same-old" routines and shows.

Our nearest ports are (in order) Mobile, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Port Canaveral which limit us to Mexico, Nassau and Freeport or Key West if we want to drive to the port of embarkation. We are considering other ports in South Florida and interested in St Thomas and St Marten.

Any suggestions on ships and itineraries for RCI?

Royalchump May 25th, 2009 08:27 PM

Always good to mix it up. We have done many RCCL cruises and will hopefully be going on the Carnival Dream.

Trip May 25th, 2009 08:39 PM

I just answered the reverse on the Carnival boards:) The one major complaint the keeps popping up for RCI is the "not great " food..A problem now for several years. You can always find soemthing to eat, you will never go hungry, but the many feel, Carnival is winning the food race.

The decor is more subdued, as is the Pool side atmosphere..the ships to my eye, are the most beauitful and the atriums, and promenades of the newer ships are amazing......jmho, but it's always best to get out of a rut, mix it up and enjoy, I know you will:)

Mike-Suz May 25th, 2009 11:44 PM

We did our first RCI cruise after several Carnival cruises this past November.
I heartily recommend Freedom Of The Seas out of Port Canaveral.

Please read our review here:

Kuki May 26th, 2009 01:27 AM


We have always enjoyed Carnival but are getting very tired of the "same-old, same-old" routines and shows.
That's actually probably the very best reason yet that I've heard of to change.

The other differences between the lines may seem minor compared to that.

Only problem is you'll have to open the wallet a bit wider to book RCI.

You may want to take a boo at NCL as an alternative too.... any of their newer ships... which I think applies to RCI too, because the older RCI ships have pretty small cabins.

Manuel May 26th, 2009 05:31 AM

I have sailed on royal once, but I loved the Liberty OTS so much that I have booked it again and have also booked a cruise on the Oasis. I have sailed on Carnival twice but don't plant to do so again.


MamaGalloway May 26th, 2009 05:53 AM

I'm a RCI frequent cruiser, just tried Carnival last week.

If you are interested in sailing from Port Canaveral, try the Freedom of the Seas. It just moved to Port Canaveral from Miami this month and is doing Eastern Carib. itineraries that include St. Thomas and St Maarten. The ship also stops at CocoCay, RCI"s private Bahamas island. I must say, this island is by FAR my favorite port! It's perfect for just relaxing..either in a hammock facing the ocean or a lounger. THere are also plenty of adventure excursions available. I've sailed the FotS a few times and love her. Beautiful ship, wonderful food, exceptional service. The shows were very good also. The ice show is fantastic.

I have heard so many good things about the food on Carnival, and I must say, the food on the Imagination was AWFUL. We're not really very picky eaters, but the only thing any of us ate for 4 days was pizza and burgers and ice cream. Oh, and the chocolate melting cake. The dining room was terrible the 2 nights we tried it and the buffet dinner was not any better. I won't make a fleetwide assumption based on one ship, but I can't vote Carnival on this one!

The cabins on the Freedom of the Seas were similar in size to the OV we had on Carnival, if not a little larger. But be warned, the bathrooms are miniscule on standard cabins! Suite bathrooms are good sized, though.

Hope this helps!

Manuel May 26th, 2009 12:41 PM

I have to agree with MamaGallloway as far sa the food goes. I am not a fussy eater at all but I did not like the food on our laast cruise on Carnival Liberty at all. I never really found a meal that was as good as I have had on RCL or Celebrity.


Trip May 26th, 2009 12:46 PM

When people talk about cruising, food is the most subjective topic....I loved my steak, they hated theirs..the soups were divine, are you crazy they were too salty! And so it need to "get out there," and find out for yourself:)

Nothin but blue skies May 26th, 2009 03:34 PM

Thanks to all of you. I do agree about the food since everyone's taste is so different. I have also read that the Carnival cabins are larger than the other ships but I would have to research to see how much square footage difference there is before booking.

I went to the Vacations to go site yesterday afternoon and did some research on the various lines, ships and itineraries. I chose them because they have a search engine where I can type in the port of call and a time frame and get a list of all the ships from each line and departure port. I printed out the info on each ship and the itineraries for each from this site, withouth having to go to each cruise line site. This gives me a lot to compare and all the detail I needed on each ship.

Now I just need to decide what we want to do on our next cruise so I can cancel the one we booked with Carnival for May 2010 and transfer my deposit with the TA.

cutiecat May 28th, 2009 11:02 PM

I love Carnival and am loyal to them.

Sailed on Royal's Brilliance of the Seas last June and highly recommend them. They have their perks as well and some of the most beautiful ships I have ever seen.

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