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Old May 22nd, 2011, 10:11 AM
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Default RCI cruisers--- how do you view Carnival?

I'm wondering how Royal Caribbean cruisers see Carnival Cruise Line.


What factors make you stick with Royal Caribbean as opposed to Carnival?
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:30 AM
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I find the service to be much better on Royal than on Carnival. Staff members are friendlier and seem to be more willing to go above and beyond. Food is comparable on both. There is more for kids to do on Royal, which means that they won't be roaming the ship on their own (I am not particularly fond of children, so this is a big plus).
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 12:18 PM
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We have only done 1 Carnival. We found the food to be much better than RCL. However the biggest downer was getting around the ship. We seem to always be going up a deck or down a deck to get where we wanted to go.

The cabin was fine. Service - as good as we get on RCL, perhaps a bit better now.

We sailed a lot of RCL but I'm finding they are sinking in a lot of areas. Food in main dining room - not even mediorcre anymore.

I will be doing a couple of Carnival ship inspections in a couple of weeks. This will include lunch. We'll see about the food (again) after that.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post

I will be doing a couple of Carnival ship inspections in a couple of weeks. This will include lunch. We'll see about the food (again) after that.
Honestly, I don't think you can rate the food based on a ship inspection, with a lunch set up specifically for travel agents.

However, I do agree with you... IMHO Carnival food is better than RCI's; though the specialty restaurants are probably pretty close to equal.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:28 PM
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I have only cruised RC one time and it was an older ship. I have cruised Carnival twice with my third coming up this November. For me I didnít care for RC for a few reasons.
1) Didnít think the food was as good as Carnival
2) Lack of entertainment
3) The ships set up
4) Price
I am however open to sailing a newer RC ship in the future and would give me a true feel for the RC line in comparison to Carnival.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 01:13 AM
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I heve cruised twice on Carnival and four times on Royal. he Royal ships that I have cruised on have better entertainment and service than the Cranival ships that I have sailed.

It's a matter of personal preference, but I am not planning to sail on Carnival again.

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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:22 AM
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I didn't care to stand in line at the buffet on Carnival, either lunch or breakfast, didn't make a difference. Same with getting off the ship, always a line, never have that crowded feeling on Royal Caribbean. While the entertainment is good on both, Royal was better, again, it is all personal preference anyway. I had a great Carnival cruise, but just the little things bothered me on Carnival.

Have gone on Princess again a few years ago, I also really enjoyed that line too.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 12:13 PM
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I am a loyal RCI cruiser over Carnival for a few reasons. I have 2 Carnival cruises and 9 RCI cruises, and my last Carnival cruise was just that, my last. I think RCI has better ships, much better service, food is about the same, entertainment better on RCI too. The biggest thing for me is the service. RCI will, for the most part, enforce the rules. What killed Carnival for me was on the last cruise, just last year, seeing passengers with so little disregard for the rules and common courtesy for the others around them. Men walking around shirtless everywhere, kids screaming at the adult pool, I even saw them let a guy into the MDR for lunch with nothing on but a swim suit and a robe!

So my perception of Carnival comes more from the passengers than the cruiseline, although I think the cruiseline could do a lot more. I would much rather pay the little more on RCI to get the better experience and much better service than I would get on a Carnival cruise. The cabin steward and the wait staff I have had on every single RCI cruise and the service they have provided me on my RCI cruises really is what makes me a loyal RCI customer. I never got that service on a Carnival cruise. I don't care if a waiter can stand on a table and sing, I care about that they get my order right and serve the food properly, quickly and add some personality in as well.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 02:32 PM
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While I do appreciate all the opinions, I wasn't looking to make this a Carnival VS RCI thread. I was really hoping to hear from some RCI passengers who haven't sailed on Carnival, to hear how their perceptions of Carnival; their image of Carnival if you will, might lead them to either book Carnival in the future to give them a try, or avoid them to stick with RCI.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 04:02 PM
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First off I have only ever cruised on Royal. I have seen several Carnival ships while in different ports. To me they look kind of cheap, I do not like the back ends of the ships at all. It just seems like a cruse line for the cheaper, party crowd. Royal seems to be more sophiticated and there ships are very well designed. Short of a free cruise I would never sail on Carnival.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
I didn't care to stand in line at the buffet on Carnival, either lunch or breakfast, didn't make a difference. Same with getting off the ship, always a line, never have that crowded feeling on Royal Caribbean. While the entertainment is good on both, Royal was better, again, it is all personal preference anyway. I had a great Carnival cruise, but just the little things bothered me on Carnival.

Have gone on Princess again a few years ago, I also really enjoyed that line too.
I'm a little confused. How can you get thru a buffet line on RCI without being in a line? How does RCI get people off the ship without being a line? Just asking
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 05:29 PM
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I know you aren't trying to turn this into a CCL vs RCI thread; however, it is going to be hard for this question to not turn into it or feel like it. As you can tell from my signature, we have sailed both RCI and CCL. What keeps people we know from wanting to try Carnival is there wilder image, wilder decor, and preceived poorer quality. If Carnival started advertising their family experience and activities for younger children, changed the colors/tones in the staterooms and public rooms, and somehow improved customer service you would see a small shift. Sometimes the public perception is too hard to overcome, so you may as well be what people think you are. I know Carnival has changed many of these items, but others do not.

Now to the RCI vs CCL: When we go with RCI it is usually because it is a group cruise. The collective group feels like RCI is a nicer crusie experience. We have several people that think the decor of Carnival ships will be at the gates of hell. They also think the general Carnival cruiser has at least one tooth missing and at one point lived in a trailer (not that there is anything wrong with that).

DW and I are on the fence. It depends on how many days we can cruise, the type of ship, the ports. As a general rule, we consider Voyager Class and higher ships to be superior to all Carnival ships with the exception maybe being the two newer Carnival ships b/c we have not been on them. We feel that food is slightly better on Carnival. Service is hands better on RC. So the ports of call, ship, and price really determine which cruiseline. For example, our last cruise we picked RC because it went to Coco Cay, one of our favorite stops, where Carnival went to Freeport and Nassau.

As a general rule, we will pay ~20% more to go with RC if it is a Voyager class ship or higher. Anything more than 20% and we will go with Carnival. We enjoy vacationing and cruising too much!!
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 05:45 PM
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i have sailed four carnival and three royal. carnival for sure has better food, but in my opinion, royal has better ship layouts, better entertainment, i like their crews better too. my next two cruises are on the freedom and the allure.not to knock carnival, i enjoyed most of my cruises with them, and will sail with them again, but royal is a classier line all around.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Ruth,
On the newer Royal Caribbean ships, the Windjammer buffet is different stations, so if you want salad, its a circular station and there are double, so if one is full, the other side has the same offerings...Then the drinks are in a different area, hot food, burgers, etc...Never lines, same with getting off, don't ask me how they do it without a crowd and lines, but I was a bit frustrated with Carnival for having to wait all the time...it does make a difference.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
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While I do appreciate all the opinions, I wasn't looking to make this a Carnival VS RCI thread. I was really hoping to hear from some RCI passengers who haven't sailed on Carnival, to hear how their perceptions of Carnival; their image of Carnival if you will, might lead them to either book Carnival in the future to give them a try, or avoid them to stick with RCI.
I'm your huckleberry.... one Princess cruise, the rest RCCL.

My impression is that Carnival is more of a rowdy younger set, booze cruise. When visiting ports or departing from Galveston at the same time as a Carnival Ship it just seems like you can pick the CCL folks and the RCCL folks out of the mixed crowd. Maybe its just a Texas thing...

No comment on food / dining, but we often cruised with our 3 boys (now grown), and appreciated the RCCL focus on kids. At the same time, I really enjoy the quiet atmosphere at the adult pool. My impression is that Carnival has less to offer in both regards.

Also like the RCCL Ships better from what I've seen.

I know these are impressions from what I've read or been told, and not based on actual CCL ship-time, but thats what you're looking for...

Oh, and I plan on sticking with RCCL. Partly from perception, partly due to loyalty program.

Last edited by Doug S; May 23rd, 2011 at 10:51 PM. Reason: added last line
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Old May 24th, 2011, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
What keeps people we know from wanting to try Carnival is there wilder image, wilder decor, and preceived poorer quality.

Quote:
My impression is that Carnival is more of a rowdy younger set, booze cruise.
These are interesting statements. And as I kind of thought... perception is often everything, isn't it?

I'm 61 yrs old, and rarely drink alcohol, except for the odd umbrella drink on deck if it's nice in the sun. Before selling out, I spent 30 yrs. in the bar business, and though fun was sort of my business, I didn't, and don't enjoy spending my time around rowdy drunks.

Yet, I'm a Platium cruiser on Carnival. I'm also a Diamond cruiser on RCI.

The images described in the posts above were part of an image that I recall existed when I first started cruising. For some time I thought Carnival did a good job of ridding themselves of those perceptions.

It does seem that either that affect wasn't long lasting, or they aren't doing a great job of focusing people's perception.

There also seems to be real "thing" between RCI and Carnival loyalists, which is interesting. That may be because they are both battling for the same demographic, in the mass market, with a fairly heavy leaning to families.

I'd certainly like to see this thread continuing with more opinions and perceptions. I think it's interesting. I'm hoping to eventually use what I learn in an article or blog post on the topic of images and customer perceptions.

With the same basic thread on our Carnival Message Board (only reversed) , at least so far, the Carnival folks haven't had as much to say as those on the RCI board... which might be a bit interesting in and of itself, because Carnival has more ships, and carries more passengers than RCI.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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I find the worst lines are for a Carnival Cruise. On my last Carnival Cruise out of San Diego just last fall, I waited in SO MANY lines just to get onboard! I waited in 3 different lines to check ID and boarding passes before I even got to the main security line and the metal detectors! Getting off the ship wasn't much better, between embarking and debarking I bet I stood in no less than 9 or 10 lines. I couldn't believe it! Now some of that I believe was the port security and not the cruise line, but still! It was a little bit of an overkill how many lines I stood in just to show ID and boarding pass.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 04:54 PM
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Blueliner:

I would say it had a lot to do with the port of San Diego. In 2/10 we cruised on the Radiance of the Seas and boarding was a real pain in the rear. There were multiple lines and we spent most of our time outside, in the rain. (Thankfully we had an umbrella) Luggage also spent a lot of time in the rain. Our luggage was soaked when it got to our cabin. Luckily the waterproofing worked and nothing inside was too bad.

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Old May 25th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Default Carnival Liberty Food

Hello Everyone, Its only our opinion but we cruised on Carnival Liberty of the seas Jan 2010. Ship was nice,service was great but food was awful.The last two days the buffet area smelled of old food.In the end i think it comes down to what you are used to eating. If you eat Kraft Dinner and hot dogs every day that i guess anything would taste better by comparision. We won't be back to Carnival,We cruised RC twice since then and to us the food is better by leaps and bounds.Last RC cruise out of Miami we talked to several Carnival Passengers at the air port,They just got off the Victory and also said the food was crap.
Again our comments are base on our experience.

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Old May 25th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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We have never been on R.C or Carnival in fact we have only been on one cruise on the Sapphire Princess. WE are thinking about a carnival cruise. The only thing that is attracting us to Carnival is the Price.We are kind of shying away from Carnival Because we feel there might be to many kids and partiers on board maybe its there imagine that makes us think that. We are also affraid Carnival would be to crowed. WeWere really happy with Princess and would rather pay the extra$ and go with them.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 08:07 PM
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Hello Everyone, Its only our opinion but we cruised on Carnival Liberty of the seas Jan 2010. Ship was nice,service was great but food was awful.The last two days the buffet area smelled of old food.In the end i think it comes down to what you are used to eating. If you eat Kraft Dinner and hot dogs every day that i guess anything would taste better by comparision. We won't be back to Carnival,We cruised RC twice since then and to us the food is better by leaps and bounds.Last RC cruise out of Miami we talked to several Carnival Passengers at the air port,They just got off the Victory and also said the food was crap.
Again our comments are base on our experience.

Moral of the Story is you get what you pay for.
SSD
I am not a kraft dinner hot dog person. I enjoy finer food and found when we sailed Carnival the food was leaps and bounds ahead of RCL. My SIL and I were on Allure in February and found both the food and service terribly lacking in the MDR. Thge buffet was somewhat better and we certainly liked Chops but it has been the service and food that has steered us away from RCL over the last couple of years. We are D+ with RCL so we have watched (and tasted) the deterioration over the last few years.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 09:23 PM
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Both cruiselines have more similarities than differences really...RCI, sure a few more bells and whistles, and if thats what you want and willing to pay a higher fare, by all means do just that.

But in reality both cruiselines are more alike then they are different
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Old May 26th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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Default I am not a kraft dinner hot dog person.

Quote:
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I am not a kraft dinner hot dog person. I enjoy finer food and found when we sailed Carnival the food was leaps and bounds ahead of RCL. My SIL and I were on Allure in February and found both the food and service terribly lacking in the MDR. Thge buffet was somewhat better and we certainly liked Chops but it has been the service and food that has steered us away from RCL over the last couple of years. We are D+ with RCL so we have watched (and tasted) the deterioration over the last few years.
We also are not kraft dinner/hot dog people although we have eaten our share of it growing up, as we did not always have the means to enjoy "finer food" as others did. Nor are we DIAMOND + MEMBERS, so we do not suffer from ( Or want to) having higher expectations in respect to the food we eat and the service we get. We simply know what we like and what we do not.

It a simple concept

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Old May 26th, 2011, 04:31 PM
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I have to agree with blueliner. It seems we go from one line to another when boarding Carnival. Once we're on, though, I seem to forget about the lines.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 10:01 PM
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We also are not kraft dinner/hot dog people although we have eaten our share of it growing up, as we did not always have the means to enjoy "finer food" as others did. Nor are we DIAMOND + MEMBERS, so we do not suffer from ( Or want to) having higher expectations in respect to the food we eat and the service we get. We simply know what we like and what we do not.

It a simple concept

SSD
I took your original remarks which were rather rude. Under the circumstances it was necessary to respond with a complete explanation based on your assumptions that liking the food on Canival is the same as eating hot dogs and kraft dinner. (btw I hate krap dinner but do like a good hotdog.)

We have been sailing with RCL since 1982 or so. Since that time we have found the food quality has sunk - a lot. We do have something to base our opinion on, which is a simple concept as you so "nicely" put it.

Everyone has a right to their opinion, some of us have been around longer than others so have opinions based on prior knowledge.

Just to add to the fact you have as you say, been sailing with RCL since 2010, I would say you don't have the same comparision as we do and if we only had a year's worth of comparision our opinion would probably be different. However, compared to 1982 their food quality has tanked.

Simple concept.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
I took your original remarks which were rather rude. Under the circumstances it was necessary to respond with a complete explanation based on your assumptions that liking the food on Canival is the same as eating hot dogs and kraft dinner. (btw I hate krap dinner but do like a good hotdog.)

We have been sailing with RCL since 1982 or so. Since that time we have found the food quality has sunk - a lot. We do have something to base our opinion on, which is a simple concept as you so "nicely" put it.

Everyone has a right to their opinion, some of us have been around longer than others so have opinions based on prior knowledge.

Just to add to the fact you have as you say, been sailing with RCL since 2010, I would say you don't have the same comparision as we do and if we only had a year's worth of comparision our opinion would probably be different. However, compared to 1982 their food quality has tanked.

Simple concept.
I had no intention to be rude to anyone,I guess one can read anything into something written on the net, Years of experience has nothing to do with my opinion or anyone elses. I do not value any cruise line (Or business)so much to let a comment or opinion affect me in a negative way.

I believe the original intent of this thread was not to judge each others opinions based on their percieved knowlege and or experience.


Simple every day common sense.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Back to Kuki's original question - when we started crusing back in the early '80's (I have been cruising a lot longer than that but it was always with my mum and on Cunard) we started with RCL simply because of the reputation Carnival had and for the most part, still has - the party ship. We were told, and took as gospel I guess, that there was a lot of drinking and partying on those ships, that they were ugly and just plain not nice.

It wasn't until I got into the business and took a group on a Carnival ship a few years ago that I realized either they had changed over the years or I had been given a line of hooey.

I still think their food was excellent as was the service we recieved. As I said previously, RCL is slagging off and we are no longer happy campers with them.
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old May 28th, 2011, 09:05 PM
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We did not like Carnival at all. Gaudy decor, dark interior of the ship and hideous designs,ugh. The cruise served its purpose in that it was a less expensive trip down to the Caribbean, but I couldn't wait to go back to Royal Caribbean ships- they are so much more beautiful and the service much better. Everyone on Carnival looked like they were overworked and very fatigued, I rarely saw a staff member smile or show any enthusiasm for what they were doing. I have no idea who our Cabin Steward was, each day it was someone different and none of them could speak more than a word or two of English.. The dining room food was excellent, much better than Royal Caribbean, but their casual dining buffet was ghastly,that's the only word I can use to describe it. Pool decks, where I usually spend a lot of time was just ugly and full of smokers.
My two cents....
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2011, 03:28 PM
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I have nothing against Carnival, because I have yet to sail with them. My first cruise was with Royal Caribbean, and I was simply impressed beyond words. I've heard that Carnival is the "fun ship". By fun I mean out of control adults and kids. I plan to see for myself soon, because my next cruise might be on the Carnival Pride come next year. It can all be personal preference also. Like trucks, some people are ford folks and others are chevy.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2011, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goteki45 View Post
I have nothing against Carnival, because I have yet to sail with them. My first cruise was with Royal Caribbean, and I was simply impressed beyond words. I've heard that Carnival is the "fun ship". By fun I mean out of control adults and kids. I plan to see for myself soon, because my next cruise might be on the Carnival Pride come next year. It can all be personal preference also. Like trucks, some people are ford folks and others are chevy.
You will be quite surprised, it's not like their original advertizing and not a full party ship. A 3 or 4 nighter over a spring break may have more than usual partiers who think it's cool to drink, but longer ones are quite subdued.
They've changed over the years and drawing in an older clientelle, we are the generation they need to draw in, and they are.
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