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Old June 1st, 2013, 10:43 PM
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Talking Carnival over Royal Caribbean

Just wanted to share.... I was talking with someone today about cruising and sharing my excitement about booking on Quantum. He told me they had been a "bunch" of Carnival cruises and loved it. I shared with him that my first cruise was on Fascination and we loved it. But since then we have tried a couple other cruise lines and while we have loved every cruise, (cuz we don't sweat the small sh!t) Royal Caribbean was hand down our favorite!!! I told him he should try a cruise with them. He told me he'll never cruise on RCCL because they are way too expensive. I told him they are worth every penny! "Nope we like our Carnival cruise because they are inexpensive and we can always find a bargain." Don't you think there's a reason for that??? I told him he really needed to splurge and at least try one RCCL cruise.

Now I'm not putting Carnival down because everyone has their favorites. But he should at least try another cruise line. I'm glad we did!!! I love RCCL but I'm sure I'll cruise on another line. Someday... Maybe... if they stop building new ships and fixing the older ones up. Or somebody else buys my ticket!

Another person that I saw last night, a good friend in the cruise booking business just got back from Breakaway's inaugural cruise. He said he was not overly impressed. He thought it would be nicer. He did not have time to go into details. That's one ship that I was thinking of trying if rates came down a little or I found a bargain. It's close to home. No airplanes needed.
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 12:09 AM
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Guess your friend doesn't realize that you really do get what you pay for! Sometimes spending just a bit more can get you alot more.

As Warren Buffet says, "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."

Your friend is more concerned about pricing than about value.

The one good thing about cruising is that there's definitely something out there for everyone. But I think the best part about cruising is trying them all until you find the one that's best for you. I can't imagine only trying one cruise line and never trying any of the others - that would be a shame. We've been on 11 cruise lines and 45 cruises, and I can honestly say that we have thoroughly loved every one of them. Like you, we don't sweat the small stuff. And yes, some have obviously been better than others, but even the worst was really not that bad.

BTW, if you like RCCL, give Princess a try. Or if you're a bit older, you might even want to try Holland or Celebrity. Not as good for kids as RCCL, but the food is much better.

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Old June 2nd, 2013, 01:56 AM
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While I have only been on RCCL ships, everyone I talk to who has been on both RCCL and Carnival prefer RCCL. And I compared prices, I don't see much differences on the cheap cruises I buy. Plus you go to freeport instead of coco cay. No comparison.
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 07:52 AM
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I agree, you get what you pay for. Plus, it depends on what you are looking for in a cruise, that is why there are different lines and a wide range of prices, ports, etc....There is the right cruise for everyone.
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 11:31 AM
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After cruising primarily with Carnival we're going to go on Allure, I did go on Royal one time years ago and it was not nearly as good as Carnival but I know things have changed over the years.
As Donna said I think it's what you want out of a cruise for me all the things on Allure/ Oasis are not what I'm looking for in a cruise, but never the less I want to try it once,I might like FOTS better. The only thing we experienced cut backs on with Carnival was the food & MDR service,everything else was fine, I don't cruise for the entertainment . I'll see after I cruise Allure
If I feel the same way.
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 12:20 PM
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I have cruised twice on Carnival. I don't plan on cruising on them again. I'm not saying that it's bad, it's just that I much prefer Celebrity as far as food and service.

Now Royal has the best ships out there. As far as excitement, entertainment and fun they are a cut above.

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Old June 2nd, 2013, 12:40 PM
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I think the term "you get what you pay for" holds true to a certain extent. But, there's all sorts of things that factor into it as well.

I think it's quite understandable (and common) for someone who goes on a cruise, enjoys it, and feels like they got great value, to cruise on the same line again. A lot of people feel if they're happy with their brand choice, why risk their money on a more expensive brand that may not suit them.

If someone buys a Honda, and it serves them well, and eventually needs replacement, I think they are probably more like to buy the same brand, than they are to buy a more expensive Mercedes... just because it should be better because it costs more.

I also don't think it's at all uncommon for people who find the cruise company product that suits them the best, to decide that company will be best suited to everyone. And that anyone unwilling it to try it is making the wrong decision.

The brand loyalty is what each of the cruise lines rely on, and they attempt to build on that with their loyalty programs. And when you talk to people about why they like a loyalty program, they will almost always say, it's the "value" they feel they receive from the perks.

I've personally been able to sail many different brands over the years, because of my position with CruiseMates - from mainstream to ultra luxury. Of the mass market lines my current favorites are Carnval and NCL (yes, above RCI).

By no means do I want to insist they are the best for everyone. It's just that their style suits me.

I get many, many people asking me what is the best cruise line is. If honest, I'd always say Crystal or Siversea. Of course, many people say "they'd love to try them, but they are too expensive".

I can never look into someone's "wallet". and tell them they can afford it, because they'll get better value, and they should give it a try.

If someone can afford it and wants to try many different cruise brands, I say great! It's wonderful to have all sorts of different experiences. But, if they found a cruise line they know they really enjoy, I'd never want to suggest there are "better choices" if they'd just listen to me, and spend more of their money.

If anyone is that sure, they should buy the ticket for that person to "see the light"
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 02:34 PM
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In all fairness, the Allure is a completely different ship than anything else you'll encounter. It's an amazing ship with alot of amenities and it's definitely one of those ships you have to try at least once. But it is a huge ship! And depending on when you go, it can be quite crowded. And because it has such a large number of passengers, I feel the food in the MDR is okay, but not that great. It's hard to feed that many people in a 3-hour period and make mass produced food taste that great. So while we really enjoyed our cruises on the Allure, Freedom, Voyager, Navigator, and Adventure, I still have to say the Radiance-class is our favorite - overall, we just prefer that size of ship in the RCCL fleet and felt we got a better experience compared to the mega ships. We're anxious to try the Quantum-class to see how that size fits in the scheme of things even thought that's still a huge ship.

While the mega-ships are a real hoot to try because of all the amenities, to us, they're just too big and we feel you don't get the intimate feel and attention that you get on smaller ships. Plus, it seems to us the food on the smaller ships is better because it's not quite as mass-produced. Our current favorite (at least so far) is the Solstice-class in the Celebrity fleet. I would have to say our all-time favorite is the Paul Gauguin - perfect size ship, awesome staff, and fantastic food. But for the mass-market lines, we really loved the HAL Rotterdam. Again, just the right size for a more intimate experience. Doesn't have all the amenities of the bigger ships, but sometimes that's a good thing.

As I said, there's something out there for everyone. Some people love the gigantic mega ships with all their amenities, which are especially great for families, while others love the smaller ships with a more intimate relaxing experience. But what's interesting is how you can do both within the same cruise line and get entirely different experiences.

So when people try one ship in a cruise line and formulate an opinion, I don't think it's fair. I always say you have to try something at least twice to be fair. We did the same ship three times and got two entirely different experiences. (The third time it had been refurbished and had a new crew, so it was much better than the first two cruises.)

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Old June 2nd, 2013, 04:09 PM
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I'm looking forward to trying a few more line and do want to do a smaller RC ship at some point because as CP said Allure is something completely different.
I worry about Princess being to stuffy for my liking but I figure I should at least try it. The one line I hear negative stuff about from many people who cruise offend is NCL, I don't know if or when I would try them.
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 07:16 PM
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I board Oasis next weekend for the third time on this class of ship. It'll likely be the last time for a while since I like the older ships in the RCI fleet and the Caribbean itineraries the Oasis and Allure have to do are tiresome. But as others have said, I simply find that RCI suits me and they get the lion's share of my business. To each his own. And to be honest I think RCI has the best loyalty perks. Again, just my opinion. Nothing against Carnival, which I happen to like, but that line has become a 'drive to only' option for me.

Pete - I agree with you about the Solstice-class. Love those ships!
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruise planner View Post
BTW, if you like RCCL, give Princess a try. Or if you're a bit older, you might even want to try Holland or Celebrity. Not as good for kids as RCCL, but the food is much better.

Pete
We sailed on Princess. The food was not as good as Carnival. And the ship was way too over crowded!!! Finding a place to sit or lay was impossible. I'm looking into a Celebrity cruise for this winter to "hold me over" till Quantum 12/14 !
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Old June 2nd, 2013, 08:44 PM
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Our very first cruise was on RCI. After that we tried several other cruiselines including Carnival and Princess. After several cruises on other cruiselines we came back to Royal Caribbean. The "mix" was just right for us. We chose Royal over Carnival (and the other lines too) because Carnival was just a bit too live for us. Don't get me wrong, DW and I enjoy a good party but we passed the all night party stage years ago. Sometimes you just want to sit down to something elegant without a bunch of stuff going on around you. Yes RCI cost a little more but the value to me is well worth the money.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerogirl View Post
I'm looking forward to trying a few more line and do want to do a smaller RC ship at some point because as CP said Allure is something completely different.
I worry about Princess being to stuffy for my liking but I figure I should at least try it. The one line I hear negative stuff about from many people who cruise offend is NCL, I don't know if or when I would try them.
Trust me, you won't find Princess too stuffy, that's for sure. Personally, I think the food is better, but the ships are very nice, service is very good, and overall just a small step above RCCL. If you like RCCL, I think you'd love Princess.

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Old June 3rd, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cruise planner View Post
Trust me, you won't find Princess too stuffy, that's for sure. Personally, I think the food is better, but the ships are very nice, service is very good, and overall just a small step above RCCL. If you like RCCL, I think you'd love Princess.

Pete
Ok so we will do Allure and then a Princess, normally we cruise every other year but are changing it to an ever year thing once we get on the Febuary cruise schedule as we have always cruised Nov/Dec. Allure Feb 2015 will set it in motion., at this point we're ready to spread our rings wings.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 12:48 PM
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It's good to try other cruise lines....Now that we did Carnival's newest and biggest ship it's safe to say I very highly doubt we will ever set foot on a Carnival ship...Would like to try NCL Breakaway at some point this year or next. One celebrity cruise and it was lights out at 9pm.... Not much went on in the evenings.....Not sure about Princess for now but in the future would like to try it.....
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 01:47 PM
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We did the Sapphire Princess in 2005 and it was a much older crowd. Most things onboard were shut down very early. Not much going on. Carnival was too fast and Princess was too slow. I remember the food being ok but the service was lacking. The service was slow and at times around the ship there was no service. Went to the photo lounge to look at and buy some photos and there were people there but no one at the counters helping . In the dining room our wait staff served us then disappeared. Talking to people around the ship, all had similar complaints. Service could be better.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 03:57 PM
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We did the Crown Princess during Easter break. (thank God we are now empty nesters, sort of) and it was so crowded and evenings were party time, young drunks everywhere. And not all leagle! Just booked Celebrity for Feb. Could not wait till my Quantum cruise! There were times at night on Oasis, after shows, when the ship seemed empty. I don't have a problem with that! Strolling through Central Pak by ourselves on a ship with 5,000+ people/ Nice!!!!
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 04:09 PM
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We did the Sapphire Princess in 2005 and it was a much older crowd. Most things onboard were shut down very early. Not much going on. Carnival was too fast and Princess was too slow. I remember the food being ok but the service was lacking. The service was slow and at times around the ship there was no service. Went to the photo lounge to look at and buy some photos and there were people there but no one at the counters helping . In the dining room our wait staff served us then disappeared. Talking to people around the ship, all had similar complaints. Service could be better.
That's what I'm afraid of, our RC Majesty Of the Seas was dead nothing going on at all and it's one of the negatives for us besides the bad food and dirty ship.
Sometimes I think it's the luck of the draw and does not mean all the cruises are like that, who knows. Heck how bad can a cruise really be, open waters is heaven.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 11:47 PM
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Aerogirl, I think you're right. I have friends who cruise Princess exclusively and they love it. I think it just depends. We still enjoyed ourselves. Cruising is our passion so we cruise on.
beachbum 13, DW and I cruised once during spring break. We learned very quickly not to do that again. When we booked the cruise we didn't know it was during spring break. We didn't mind the young folks partying so much it was the long waits. Traveling to and from our cruise was trying too.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 01:09 AM
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It is funny how different people can have completely different experiences on the same ship. Or the same person can have a completely different experience on the same ship at different times.

We've done one ship three times and quite honestly, the first two times we were not really impressed. The food wasn't all that good, the service was just okay, and the ship was in dire need of refurbishment. After it went through dry dock, we went on it again and had a wonderful cruise; food was better, service was better, and the ship looked great.

So many things can impact your experience from the food, the service (or lack thereof), the overall appearance of the ship, the entertainment, etc, etc. I know one couple, as an example, that could not have picked a worse time for a cruise - it rained every day! So they ended up inside alot more than they normally would on a cruise. The cruise director's staff had planned all these activities for outside never dreaming they would not be able to do any of them for the entire cruise. Needless to say, they didn't have enough inside activities planned and they ran out of things to keep everyone busy. So, under normal circumstances this couple may have had a wonderful cruise, but because of all the rain, it severely impacted their cruise in a negative way. It was just one of those unfortunate situations.

Yet we had 4 couples go on the same ship 2 weeks later and they had an absolutely fantastic cruise and raved about the cruise director's staff and how they were kept busy all the time.

So sometimes, just the particular time of year or the weather can have an unexpected impact.

We once sailed out of San Juan and wouldn't you know it, while school was still in session back home, they were out of school in San Juan. Because of that, our ship was full of kids! Who knew? Bad timing on our part.

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and not let the little stuff bother you.

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Old June 4th, 2013, 09:53 AM
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I should preface this by saying I'm 68. So while I have sailed on Carnival and Norwegian, I will never do so again. I find the loud and boorish behavior on those two lines to be tiresome and annoying. They are plagued by first time cruisers who think getting drunk and talking the loudest is acceptable behavior.

I will stick with Celebrity (my favorite) and Royal Caribbean. Where you are most comfortable determines for me where you get the beat "value" for your money.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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I still have yet to see this party drinking behavior on our Carnival cruises, I started to think its an urban myth
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Old June 4th, 2013, 01:00 PM
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Funny thing is I'm sitting at work and it's 8+ months until our next cruise. I was I was on any cruise ship. Sun, rum and the open sea would do me wonders for me right now! I'm counting the days until we cruise again! I think it better sometimes not to have a cruise planned then you don't stare at the calendar! Nah, who am I kidding?! I have two cruises planned on great ships and I'm happy as can be!!!
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Old June 4th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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Maybe you are not bothered by drunks in the hallway outside your cabin at 3 a.m. Or people who cram themselves into full elevators rather than wait for the next one. Maybe it's just me, but I don't care for those things or the rude people who do them.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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Definitely not an urban myth on Carnival! Problem is they have the cheapest rates, which leads to a cheaper crowd, which leads to a more party-type crowd. For the most part, younger people don't have the money, so if they want to cruise, they go for the cheapest rates. Younger people tend to party more than others.

Don't mean to sound like I'm stereotyping, but it's just the facts based on doing this for many years.

Of course, there are exceptions; for example, if you do a 7-night cruise when school is in session, you'll have less party-types. But if you do a 3-night cruise over the weekend, you'll definitely have more party-types.

We've been on Carnival cruises where there were hardly any kids on board and never had any problems at all. It was basically full of seniors, like us, so it was much more sedate. Yet we've also been on Carnival cruises where we just wanted to lock ourselves in our cabin because of all the loud and boisterous behavior going on. And forget trying to find a spot by the pool, not that we wanted to because of the noise.

As I said, depending on your likes and dislikes, what you choose will always have a major impact on what you get; the cruise line, the ship, the itinerary, and the date will dictate the make-up of the crowd, which will impact the overall experience.

Pete
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old June 4th, 2013, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cruise planner View Post
Definitely not an urban myth on Carnival! Problem is they have the cheapest rates, which leads to a cheaper crowd, which leads to a more party-type crowd. For the most part, younger people don't have the money, so if they want to cruise, they go for the cheapest rates. Younger people tend to party more than others.

Don't mean to sound like I'm stereotyping, but it's just the facts based on doing this for many years.

Of course, there are exceptions; for example, if you do a 7-night cruise when school is in session, you'll have less party-types. But if you do a 3-night cruise over the weekend, you'll definitely have more party-types.

We've been on Carnival cruises where there were hardly any kids on board and never had any problems at all. It was basically full of seniors, like us, so it was much more sedate. Yet we've also been on Carnival cruises where we just wanted to lock ourselves in our cabin because of all the loud and boisterous behavior going on. And forget trying to find a spot by the pool, not that we wanted to because of the noise.

As I said, depending on your likes and dislikes, what you choose will always have a major impact on what you get; the cruise line, the ship, the itinerary, and the date will dictate the make-up of the crowd, which will impact the overall experience.

Pete
Wouldn't that be true of any line when it comes to a 3 or 4 days cruise?
Like I have stated I have never seen the "party cruise" on the 3 of my Carnival cruise but it's not like I cruised a lot either. I started out with a 4 day and have worked my way up to my 1st 7 day this December.

Also, I must be missing these all night parties, I'll have to investigate.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 05:41 PM
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Many cruisers booking Carnival do so for price IMO......When we were at the airport waiting for the flight after the Breeze I noticed a young couple I'll guess late 20's that were on the ship with us and I asked him "you liked that cruise?" he said "yes I always cruise Carnival because we can cruise twice a year on Carnival versus once a year on Royal."

Carnival has some of the cheapest cruise rates out there and therefore you will find onboard all walks of life...

I don't care to be around rude, loud cruisers or cruisers that use curse words or want to start fist fights.....No thanks!
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Old June 4th, 2013, 05:50 PM
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Funny thing is I'm sitting at work and it's 8+ months until our next cruise.
Beachbum 8 months is a long time away.....maybe you should book a cruise on Carnival Splender on Nov. 1st it's only $904. total for 2 and no airfare is needed either... You can't even go to the Jersey shore for a week for $904..
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Vision Of The Seas
Independence Of The Seas
Allure Of The Seas
Carnival Breeze
Oasis Of The Seas x3
Liberty Of The Seas x4
Freedom Of The Seas x3
Navigator Of The Seas x2
Explorer Of The Seas x2
Voyager Of The Seas
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Old June 4th, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Post Just off the Oasis of the Seas

Just got off the Oasis of the Seas a few days ago. Wow what a ship.

We have cruised ships from 3400 tons to 225,000 tons. Years ago we preferred 45,000-70,000 and never knew we would go bigger.

I see some posts on this thread favor one cruise line over another.
And I do have my favorites and yes you get what you paid for.
The Oasis was our 28th cruise and was among one of the 5 different brands that we have sailed.
But this particular cruise on the Oasis has opened my eyes a bit. Yes there will always be some perk here or there missing on a ship, but what I felt on the Oasis was a really good night sleep due to the room being so well built in a sound proof way. I have been on many ships where I could hear the nieghboring cabin occupants in various ways.
But on this cruise, I never heard any disturbing sounds like the rumble of TV's or loud kids or bumping on the walls, etc.
Also the balcony room was nice and dark. I never had to put a towel under the door or deal with light edges on gapping drapes.
Most of the time we couldn't even feel the ship moving.
We had great food in the specialty restaurants. And with so many dining options we only made it to the main dining room for dinner one time.
We had the option to make reservations for the shows on line before we ever went. Created our week schedule before going.This helped us manage the times so we could get in as much as we could. The shows were fantastic. And with the reservation system we weren't locked in, but it allowed us to get good seats before the doors opened to those who didn't reserve. And there was still plenty of seats.
It is an amazing ship. On one deck we could stroll in Central Park where they had live plants and trees. In the morning as we walked through, we could hear birds chirping. I think they were motion sensored, but we were looking for the birds. At night we sat there on a park bench and listened to the Classical Guitarist. Walking on another deck we felt like we were at a mall where we could visit many shops.
And another very good thing about this ship is all of the pools and hot spas. We have been on many ships where the spas were so small we had to bump knees or wait a turn or not get to go in. On the Oasis - there are many and very large. And the kids were off in their areas. I could go on and on. Also, the tour we took to Ek Balam only had 12 people and the one we took called Taste of Jamaica only had 20 people. Not bad for a ship of 1000's of people. The technology on the ship was great too. We could go to a huge wall tablet and through touch we could see the events going on or map our way to them or find our room etc. So maybe we got lost sometimes but had a tool to find our way.
I could go on and on about this ship.
But to narrow down Brands. We have been liking Royal C. I. and Princess. I think the newer ships are of our interest.
Happy Sailing!
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Old June 4th, 2013, 09:01 PM
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Maybe you are not bothered by drunks in the hallway outside your cabin at 3 a.m. Or people who cram themselves into full elevators rather than wait for the next one. Maybe it's just me, but I don't care for those things or the rude people who do them.
Actually I have major issues with drunks but am not sorry to say I have never had the issues that the rest of you have experienced and hope it stays that way. I'm not being a cheerleader for Carnival I simply have never had an issue on the three I sailed on. Have I seen drunk people sure I did but I also witnessed a shoving match between two drunks on Majesty when we sailed her.
I'm sure when I sail on RC again I will have a splendid time as well.

Sail on mates.
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