we are going back and forth on which cruise line to maybe consider for a summer 2005 cruise. we hope to take our two daughters, husbands, and grandchildren ages, 12,11,8, and 5. carnival seems to be more affordable but i keep hearing royal carribean is awsome. it would really up our final tab with 10 people. what would be some of the most obvious differences between the two? shore excurssions would not be effected by which cruise line we choose would it? as far as food choices , please give me some details. kids activities on board and cabins are also of interest to ;me. also we have looked at the disney cruise and of cours disney does everything wonderful, however i do not know if i want disney characters jumping out at me at every corner. the five and eight old(he is more into action figures not sweet disney figures) might enjoy but i think the 11 nad 12 year olds would be beyond that. it looks like the shows at night are a bit more exciting on carnival and not so disneylike as on disney ship.Patty
Patty, Carnival, and RCL are very close when it comes to the basic services. The differences come with the "bells & whistles". Rock climbing walls, skating rinks, main street parades will be on the Voyager Class ships of RCL. Carnival on the other hand has probably the best kids program going. I would suggest you pick your ports first and then find a cruise that goes to those ports. FYI - Disney is very kid friendly, but much more expensive than most cruise lines, No gambling on Disney if that's of interest to you. Unless the older kids are totally into Disney they would find it to be (in the words of my teenage son, "totally lame")
Princess also has some great ships that go to really good ports and they have a good kids program. I think it would be a really good idea for you to sit down with a travel agent, ask them the same questions you are asking here, and then let them find the perfect cruise for you and your family.
The Royal Caribbean "Voyager" class ships are absolutely wonderful for cruising with friends/families/kids. There is so much to do for every age group, plus like Lisa mentioned all the extra activities these ships offer. We loved the parades and the ice show is not to be missed.
Hope you make this cruise happen no matter what ship you choose, you'll all love it.
We have found that the reputations of both cruise lines were pretty accurate on our experiences with Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Carnival is the party ships, and that's great if you like to party and have lots of noise and activity in the hall at 2:00 a.m. Think maybe of staying at a hotel on spring break or during Mardi Gras. So if you book Carnival, my advice would be to be very careful about cabin location so that your children can sleep. I think both lines have excellent kids programs, and I think the food is pretty comparable, but you'll probably hear that RCCL's food is better from some passengers.