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  #31 (permalink)  
Old June 6th, 2011, 11:04 PM
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I've been loyal to RCI. It's been a long time since my last cruise (or vacation), but I used to go every year. Honestly, it's all I've known outside of the now defunct Home Lines cruise line's Atlantic.

I remember Carnival Cruise Line's advertisements calling themselves the "fun ship". To me, that meant parties, drinking, and non-stop action. I'm more laid back, and enjoy something a bit more refined. Some of the pictures I've seen online of the Carnival ships remind me of a something akin to if a circus art purchasing agent ran wild decorating a ship. I'm not a fan.

As for the people I think of going on Carnival, I see a mixed crowd, mostly people around my age or younger (34) drinking and having fun, and families with young kids. Kids will be on RCI ships just as well, and that's fine. I was a kid once too, and as long as they're not screaming in my ear or peeing in the pool (to my knowledge), I'm fine with it. We're all out to have fun.

I might one day try a Carnival ship if I see that I like the ports, the price, the decor, and the on board amenities. For now, I'm not impressed. I don't blame other people that choose Carnival if it suits their personality more. Everyone has their preferences, and there's no reason to tell them what they should or shouldn't like. I'm sure both lines ships have plenty to offer to their passengers.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old June 13th, 2011, 10:22 AM
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I said I would post once I returned from doing a couple of ship inspections on Carnival. The best I can say, I was completely underwhelmed by Carnival. The ships are garish, crowded, dark and claustrophobic. I would sail in Carnival again, only if there were no other options available to me.

There were a couple of the cabins that were really OK and for family cabins of 4 or 5, they have excellent set-up with 1.5 baths. However, that is it.

We had lunch in the dining room on one, and I admit we were the only one's there so the service was excellent and the food was good. On the second ship, we ate in the Lido, and other than the pizza, I didn't care for it at all.

Now I have only sailed RCL once in the last 2 years. I'm not sure why it's worked that way, as it wasn't on purpose except that we felt we were outgrowing RCL, but I stared longingly at the Freedom as it was at the dock while were were inspecting the Carnival ships. What I can tell you, it's put us back to RCL no matter what I said earlier.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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We've done one Carnival cruise and it was on their smallest and oldest ship which is now retired to Russia or something...?
I agree with most on this thread...the food was much better. They even had steak and lobster on a 4 day cruise which we did not get on the 5 day RCI cruise we did last year. I just liked RCI better, better shows, better [ie not so gaudy] decor, the entertainment was fabulous, from piano bars to classical guitar, blues, jazz, and other live mucisians who were excellent to the broadway style evenings in the theater. The staff on carnival was very friendly and we really got to know our wait staff as we had assigned dining, but they were seriously overworked, our waitress was seen during the day in housekeeping or bussing tables in the buffet area, then working long hours at night in the MDR. On RCI we did my time dinning so we didn't get to know our wait staff at all, some were very entertaining and performed magic tricks and napkin tricks which were cute.
The all around atmosphere on RC was better. Not as many kids running around [there were kids in the hot tub all the time, and supposedly they were not allowed, by ships rules but were never enforced.], the clientle seemed a little more "refined" [don't mean to sound snobby, but there were plenty of 'rednecks' on the carnival cruise...and I am from redneck capital of KY so I should know...I'm related to some of them...haha.] on Carnival there seemed to be smokers everywhere, if it was outside and a public area there was smoke. I never even tried the casino because of the smoke.
Carnival was a super value though, and for a family of five, it was a great trip. It's what got us into cruising. I wouldn't mind trying a few of the newer, fancier ships, but hate to loose out on my points from RCI, and frankly am afraid I'd regret not sticking with RC. The DH doesn't even want to consider going on anything but RCI.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old July 31st, 2011, 11:50 AM
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I've only been on 2 CCL...Pride and Miracle. Pride was disappointing, Miracle was he!! on wheels....

Overall the service is 10000% better on RCCL. The crew is much nicer as well. THere was no real sense of urgency to fix things on Miracle...even after I told them what the issue was....(a broken door closer on the door to the deck outside that was below my cabin...) My attendant also always went in order down the row of cabins... I hated my cabin (had an inside that reeked of smoke, they attempted-i think- to freshen it up, had to move..) I would leave by 8 AM and put the 'come clean my room' sign...and come back well after lunch and the cabin STILL wasn't done.

Also, maybe it's just that class of ship, but i find them too dark with too low ceilings.

My server at dinner WAS wonderful...in fact i told her to go work for a 'real' cruise line to make some real money. I generally tip extra-she was the only one who got extra money (well her assistant did too)..I barely saw anyone giving out extra cash.

They don't seem too organized...for instance, on both ships, muster was at, say 4. Well..it started at maybe 4:30.......when ever they felt like it. At least on RCCL...if it starts at 4, it starts at 4.

The only thing I like better on CCL is they have 'real' TV. Yes most people do not go on a cruise to watch TV, but when i am getting ready for the day, or dinner, or going to sleep i like to watch something other than FAUX news...

I HATE to get off the ship on RCCL (and =X=) but on this past CCL cruise, it was agony. I would rather have root canal!

I won't say 'never again' as at some point, someone in the family may want to get married on/during a cruise and to keep the cost down, they may select CCL.....if that happens, I will be stockpiling the drink coupons if they still have them!!!
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old July 31st, 2011, 04:13 PM
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As a new cruiser, I took my very first and only cruise so far on RCCL's Freedom 2 months ago.

After researching a little, we chose RCCL because it seemed like a "safe" choice for a first cruise. We went to the eastern Caribbean route.

My first impressions of RCCL and Carnival BEFORE I took the cruise was:

RCCL; middle of the road, middle class family oriented, not too busy, not too crazy.

Carnival; A little wilder, louder. More for the "party" set and large family set due to lower prices.

THAT was my first uneducated impressions from what I've heard and read.

Now that I have experienced my first cruise and read up a lot more on both. I have just booked a Carnival cruise for next year.

Why Carnival this time? I've come to realize that maybe a bit more "party" experience wouldn't be such a bad thing as I was very few times on the Freedom a bit bored and expected a little more "fun". Also can't beat the price for booking a comparable cruise on the Carnival Dream with one more stop than I had on the Freedom at ONLY $490 pp!! Paid over $1000 pp with RCCL. Can't beat that even if the service MIGHT not be as good. I'll take that chance!

In my reality, I don't think I'll ever be "loyal" to any 1 cruise line. After my next cruise on Carnival to western Caribbean, I am looking into maybe taking some time to save up and booking a Disney Cruise to Alaska the NEXT year! Also wouldn't mind someday doing a QM2 to Europe!

I have 1 cruise under my belt and am already looking years ahead of enjoying cruising!
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old August 13th, 2011, 06:21 PM
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The ships of Royal Caribbean are the most beautiful of all the lines we have sailed. I love the colors, the wood, the windows and everything about the ships. Carnival ships are probably the most gaudy I have ever seen with the Miracle taking top honor in being ugly with the awful, awful purple grapes in the dining room that are nothing but garish.

Royal ships are far easier to navigate. I like being able to not have to go up or down stairs to get from one end of the ship to the other. I love the ice skating shows on Royal Caribbean.

We are older, so the rock climbing wall, the surfing and the child care areas hold no interest for us (unless of course we have the grands with us.) We also try to cruise when the kids are in school, even though we made a huge mistake this last April with a B2B with kids on spring break, lol.

Service is important to us and I think both lines give about the same level of service. At times, I would give the edge to Royal Caribbean for dining room service and cabin service, but other times Carnival is better. I think a lot depends on the ship.

Cabins sizes are about the same size with perhaps a slight nod given to Royal Caribbean. We sail in balcony cabins at the minimum, but if/when we sail in suites, Royal Caribbean beats Carnival by a mile.

Carnival's food is far better than Royal Caribbean's. Both lines have gone downhill in the last few years, but Carnival still is better except for the buffet lines. The lines on Carnival are way too long! Carnival, though, has great other areas for lunch. I love the pasta bar, the Mongolian Wok (long waits), the deli has the best turkey sandwiches, the burrito bar, freshly made burgers, not the ones sitting in greasy water that Royal has. Lots of different choices on Carnival.

We don't really go to the shows other than the comedy shows. Carnival has great shows in the department. We spend more time in the casino and I love, love that Carnival Dream has no smoking in the casino except for a very small area and those smoking must be playing, so people can't just sit down and smoke and not play.

Carnival ships go to more ports we enjoy on a Western Caribbean than Royal Caribbean. With Royal, it's same old, same old.

The biggest difference to me is the loyalty programs. Royal Caribbean beats out Carnival by so much. It's almost like Carnival doesn't really care that much about it's loyal customers. I like the idea of free laundry on Carnival when one is a Platinum cruiser as well as a separate line for guest services. I love the use of the Concierge or Diamond Lounge on Royal Caribbean, plus the balcony discounts.

Enough of my thoughts for today. I base all my info on having done enough cruises to be Platinum on Carnival and Diamond Plus on Royal Caribbean. We will continue to sail both lines as we love sailing from Pt Canaveral and both are there.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old August 17th, 2011, 01:26 AM
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My favorite cruise experience was on Carnival Spirit. The fun ship was not fun due to excessive drinking or rowdy shipmates, but seemed to come from the activities director and his staff's efforts to ensure the cruise would be an enjoyable one. The food was excellent.

The absolute worst cruise experience was on Norwegian's Pride of America as it sailed around Hawaii. That was due mainly because although we boarded December 26th, they had Christmas music blaring in the public areas on a 2 hour loop. The food was closer to Denny's quality and the mostly American staff seemed more interested in people watching than in doing their jobs.

My other cruises have been with Princess which had nicer ship plans than Carnival, but seemed set for a much quieter crowd. Their food was much better than the Pride of America's, but not as good as Carnival's.

I am hoping this trip on Liberty of the Seas will be great along with the service.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 10:37 AM
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Hi Habenero,
When is your Liberty of the Seas cruise and where will you be going?
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old August 18th, 2011, 12:21 AM
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September 10, to the Western Mediterranean. We are looking forward to it!
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old August 18th, 2011, 03:36 AM
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Honestly, I read the first 4 posts and then stopped.

But, I am a previous Carnival cruiser, with my 1st RCI cruise coming up quickly. The reason a picked RCI over Carnival this time was due to my prior experience on the Miracle. I took my grandmother with me.

We both thought the food was great (sushi was my favorite before dinner meal), the services and shore excursions was awesome, the activities people and cruise director were amazing. the activites were good, although I could've used a few more. I ended up sneaking into the "teen" area at 18 to hang out and have more activites/games to do.

Room service was great, we loved coming to our suite to find a new towel animal almost daily.

the pools/hot tubs were always full, the slide was NEVER open. I was very dissapointed, I was looking forward to that more than the pools.

The ship itsself was VERY old, showed lots of wear and tear in many areas. It felt like they were keeping it cheap.

I chose to try RCI because of this prior experience.

The ICE RINK, onboard options for fitness/activities, mediterranean intinerary, my being of drinking age (and having a notable b-day onboard) and karoake might have helped a little too I just hope I can afford the quantities of beverages I forsee myself consuming HEHEHEHE
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old August 19th, 2011, 01:44 PM
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Took my first cruise, in 2006, on Celebrity. Loved it, enough so that we've been on 7 more since then, on four different lines. While researching cruise #2 I spent a lot of time reading the boards on another cruise website; LOTS of Carnival trashing, on every cruise line board I visited. A lot of it was, "I've never cruised with them, but I've heard...", or, "I wouldn't sail with them because the ships are filled with white trash". Wow! I figured they couldn't be all that bad, so cruise #2 was with Carnival. Long story short, we've done four with them, with number five coming up in December. In between we've been on HAL and NCL, which we also enjoyed. Sailing on the Allure next year (figuring if we're going to go with Royal, we might as well go BIG).

I know that Carnival tries hard to dispel the myths, but it appears that they've had limited success. People will believe what they want to believe, no matter how hard you try to convince them otherwise. I really don't think it hurts them, however, since the ships always sail full and they've got very rabid loyalists.

My two cents, anyway...
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old August 19th, 2011, 02:14 PM
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I have been cruising Royal Caribbean since 1990 and have done so 16 times. I have cruised Carival twice so can compare. There is no comparison. To me Royal Caribbean has much nice and better designed ships. They are more elegant and classy. Carnival is gaudy and in your face with the colors and concepts.

To me food is food. I don't go hungry on either ship and I don't cruise for the food. So this makes no difference to me.

The service on Royal Caribbean has always been better and more professional. I especially enjoy the Diamond and concierge lounges. Unless I am mistaken, Carnival doesn't have something comparable.

Now to the passengers and I don't want to offend anyone but I will. RCI cruisers seem generally more classy and from a better demographic. Perhaps better educated and from a little higher income level. While tattoos are becoming mainstream to my chagrin and sheeple everywhere are getting them now so they can be like everyone else. I choose to be the trendsetter and remain tatto free. But on Carnival I do believe you will see not just more tattoos but also more mullets, jorts (jean shorts), less teeth and less well behaved cruisers.

If you know me, you know I like to party and drink but prefer a nice cocktail party to a dive bar, a martini to a can of Old Milwaukee and blondes over brunettes.

So there you have it. I hope I offended everyone equally. :evil:

With all that said, I will cruise Carnival again when I feel like slumming it and have a great time.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old August 20th, 2011, 10:00 AM
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I've been on 10 Carnival, 1 Celebrity and 2 Royal Caribbean. I've found Carnival and Royal are more alike than not alike.
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Imagination 3/99
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Oasis of the Seas 10/16/10
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old August 20th, 2011, 11:23 PM
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i prefer to view carnival from my balcony on a Royal Carib ship...

CCLs ships nauseate me with their decor (i use that term loosely) and IMO their crews are just NOT all that friendly or helpful.....

the food wasn't bad on CCL...i just prefer RCCL...

i never say never, but i would need a really good reason to do another CCL cruise..(like a family wedding or something...)

to me CCL is more like camping or roughing it...and IMO they didn't seem to take muster seriously. For instance, on the 2 CCLs i was on, say it was supposed to start at 4....well...at 4:30 they finally get around to start herding the pax out to their stations...

the cruises seemed like 'do it yourself'... not as in freestyle, but more like.."you actually expect me to stop leaning, twirling my hair and chewing gum to make you a drink??"
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old August 22nd, 2011, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyjob View Post
Honestly, I read the first 4 posts and then stopped.

But, I am a previous Carnival cruiser, with my 1st RCI cruise coming up quickly. The reason a picked RCI over Carnival this time was due to my prior experience on the Miracle. I took my grandmother with me.

We both thought the food was great (sushi was my favorite before dinner meal), the services and shore excursions was awesome, the activities people and cruise director were amazing. the activites were good, although I could've used a few more. I ended up sneaking into the "teen" area at 18 to hang out and have more activites/games to do.

Room service was great, we loved coming to our suite to find a new towel animal almost daily.

the pools/hot tubs were always full, the slide was NEVER open. I was very dissapointed, I was looking forward to that more than the pools.

The ship itsself was VERY old, showed lots of wear and tear in many areas. It felt like they were keeping it cheap.

I chose to try RCI because of this prior experience.

The ICE RINK, onboard options for fitness/activities, mediterranean intinerary, my being of drinking age (and having a notable b-day onboard) and karoake might have helped a little too I just hope I can afford the quantities of beverages I forsee myself consuming HEHEHEHE
The drinking age is the same on RCI and Carnival, 21. It is at the ports that it changes. When off of the ship 18 except for Labadee and CocoCay.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habenero View Post
My favorite cruise experience was on Carnival Spirit. The fun ship was not fun due to excessive drinking or rowdy shipmates, but seemed to come from the activities director and his staff's efforts to ensure the cruise would be an enjoyable one. The food was excellent.

The absolute worst cruise experience was on Norwegian's Pride of America as it sailed around Hawaii. That was due mainly because although we boarded December 26th, they had Christmas music blaring in the public areas on a 2 hour loop. The food was closer to Denny's quality and the mostly American staff seemed more interested in people watching than in doing their jobs.

My other cruises have been with Princess which had nicer ship plans than Carnival, but seemed set for a much quieter crowd. Their food was much better than the Pride of America's, but not as good as Carnival's.

I am hoping this trip on Liberty of the Seas will be great along with the service.
*********************************************


Hello Halberno, We were on the Liberty of the Seas last January and the Ship,Service & food was excellent. As i mentioned on previous posts, to us the Carnival experience just does not compare to RC.

We are not travel agents and have nothing to gain in respect to promoting one cruise line over another.

Have a great cruise.

SSD
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 10:17 AM
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! I'll be turning 25 on this cruise, so drinking age has nothing to do with my cruise choice. Thanks for the info tho
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Old September 19th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Did you pose this question on the Carnival board as well?
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old September 19th, 2011, 10:28 PM
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Honestly have to agree with most of the posts here, sailed on Carnival once that was the enough for me. Everything mentioned above is 100% true: poor ship design (up/down stairs to walk from one end to the other), 1980's are alive an well inside the awful decor of the ship, class of person sailing are a bit "rough around the edges", service was poor, food so/so, etc. Honestly, Carnival serves a low-budget cruise market with a commensurate product, for that it's worth it to those passengers. For me, I prefer Royal as they've treated me well over the years, create/design the most beautiful ships at sea and never disappoint. I'd much rather pay a premium to sail them, the two lines are in completely two different classes. When I think about it, Carnival is kind of "on it's own" for class of cruise line as they are really the only "budget" cruise line; NCL probably a close second.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:43 PM
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Just came back from Carnival Valor yesterday.It was terrible.Yoou can read my entire post on the Carnival message board here. Will never sail Carnival again period even if it was free jimbo
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old September 27th, 2011, 01:31 AM
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Hi everyone,

We started cruising in 2004 with RCL and fell in love with it, we drive to the port once a year to go cruising. This last cruise we went on was our 8th....the previous 7 were all with RCL.

Hubby and me are just back from our first and possibly last Carnival cruise a week or so ago. We were on the Pride out of Baltimore, we LOVE cruising from Baltimore, it's very easy to board from there. Luckily the Enchantment of the Seas also goes from there, and when we go there again it will be on the Enchantment.

We LOVED the ports we went to, Grand Turk, and Half Moon Cay, those were great and Half Moon Cay was the best beach we have EVER been to! We also went to Nassau, but we had been there on a previous cruise in 2004.

When you board the Pride you enter the ship at the atrium, and the first thing we found was it seemed very dark and dreary. When we went to deck 9 and found the Mermaid's Grille, the decor was different for sure than the Windjammer, it also seemed dark and like a previous poster mentioned, the ceilings everywhere especially there seemed very low. We didn't like the food stations all placed all over, we did like that there was a lot of different seating choices all over, so getting a seat was not an issue at all. We are not picky eaters by any means and we found that a lot of times the food was just "ok" even in the dining room.

The staff didn't seem to be very friendly anywhere on the ship, it almost seem like they didn't really want to be there, we are used to smiling and saying hello as we walk around the ship and having someone respond to us, just felt like we were invisible to them most of the time. There of course were a few exceptions, I'm happy to say, our beverage server in the dining room "Maryia" was AMAZING always smiling and happy, and our room attendants were also great and very friendly.

We didn't see many shows, but the ones we did see were really good, and the Carnival dancers and singers were really good.
Butterflies lounge to go see the comedians was almost impossible to get into, unless you wanted to go 45 minutes early to get a seat, and again the ceilings in there were very low as well.

Overall, I would say this past cruise with Carnival, on a scale of 1-10...with 10 being the best, I'd give Carnival only a 4. The ports would be for sure a 10

We will be sailing with RCL from now on for sure, we just loved the open spaces more on RCL, the crew, the staff and decor!

Too bad that Royal doesn't sail to Grand Turk or Half Moon Cay..now that would be perfection!

Gail
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Old October 1st, 2011, 08:15 PM
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Donna, everyone's perception is different. I found my RCI Mariner of the Seas cruise extremely crowded and I did not like one long continuous buffet line-Carnival ships always had their lines divided into buffet stations which made it much easier to navigate the buffet.

Carnival's food also was better also (exception was one Carnival cruise on the Inspiration- the food just okay)-but the decor of Carnival is so trashy- I didn't care for that-and as snobbish as this may sound-and I am not a snob- I am VERY middle class- it seemed that many of my fellow Carnival cruisers were "low class" and trashy.-not that Carnival is a line of drunks as many say-but the percentage is higher. Also, Carnival's ships seem to age faster-and are not kept up as well-but maybe it is because they have so many cruisers.

Bottom line-I cruise both lines-on Carnival-I prefer newer ships-on RCI I prefer a smaller ship-even if it has a little age on it. RCI's older ships are still in good shape.
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