What is it with people who hate carnival? I have traveled on Carnival three times and was never disappointed. The service and food was good and the atmosphere was lively. Yes their ships are rather loud but it a path away from the mondane live style we live day after day. Is it a young view of cruising? Perhaps. But who said you can't be young at heart. This line was not ment for the affluent. The people at CCL created a line for the everyday person. For that reason we will continue to travel this line. The competition has lowered their prices to try to take some of CCL's market. This is reason we have traveled other lines. We paid $2057. for our Celebrity cruise on the Mercury in less that 10 weeks. Was this possible ten years ago?
I have no problem with Carnival and rather enjoy the variety of itineraries and ports. They've really elevated their food quality the past few years and I believe it is as good as any of the major lines.
But on every cruise, on any line, somebody will have a bad experience and label that line as being substandard. When you have 2000 customers some are bound to have received poor service, poor food, poor room or something.
I well remember the raised eyebrows when we told some friends that our very first cruise was to be on Carnival Spirit... raised even higher when we came back and told them we had loved the entire experience. But the penultimate was on Celebrity this year when we were chatting with a fellow pax, mentioned how we had loved our first cruise and got compared to "trailer trash".
To say we were a little shocked is understating the event, but we happily wandered off (wandered, no, we ran like bats of of h*ll) and happily comingled with the less attitudinous for the rest of the cruise.
I've come to believe that a person's degree of CarniBashing tells me much more about them than it does about Carnival; if you happen not to like Carnival and prefer something else, it says one thing about you. If you turn purple and froth at the mouth, it says something entirely different... <g>
Many people like or dislike Carnival...sometimes its the passengers that sail the ship more than the cruise line itself. There are good and bad passengers on most all cruises, but some lines or ships seem to attract more obnoxious passengers than others. I am not saying Carnival is that line, but I can testify that passengers on it seem more loud and many more party people than Celebrity or Princess. I don't care if you have a beer drinking contest, but that is not my idea of a good time. Therefore, we have found Celebrity much more to our liking and Princess too.
To Mickey Sr.: I've never posted anything degrading Carnival, because I've never cruised on this line, and have no personal basis to comment. The reason, in turn, that I've never taken this line is that I can't "get a handle" on exactly what type of cruise experience is offered. As we all know, this line is very controversial on the boards, with opinions "all over the place". As we don't know the demographics of the posters as to likes, dislikes, and general tastes, there are too many chunks of information missing to form any opinion, one way or the other, from the boards. But friends and family members who have cruised Carnival, and whose demographics I know well, also come back with confusing reports.
My daugher is in her 30's and thinks she is a "young executive sophisticate". Well, I guess she IS, as she has the job, house, furniture, clothes and BMW to prove it. She is very demanding and not hesitant to find fault with anything (including me). She took Carnival on a cruise from Boston up the New England and Eastern Canadian coasts, and gave it rave reviews, saying it was elegant in all respects, including fellow guests.
Then we have some fine blue collar friends. He works at an auto assembly plant and she works for the Postal Service. We both like the food at a little local Mexican restaurant where my daughter would not be seen dead. They recently cruised the Paradise, and hated it. They said most everlything was deficient, and the fellow guests were like a visit to Walmart.
Then, last June our Radisson Navigator Alaska cruise and a Carnival cruise both ended in Vancouver on the same day. We stayed there a couple of days and booked an excursion to Victoria Island, on which we were accompanied by many guests from the Carnival ship. All very nice people, but I havent seen hangovers of this magnitude since my college fraternity days in the early 60's.
So, rather than degrading Carnival, I say that I am totally confused about the style of cruise it offers. Were it not for financial constraints and a really bad stock market, I think I'd take a Carnival cruise out of curiosity! Mickey Sr., please read this and fill me in on your opinions on this line.
My family sailed with RC and we had loud and quiet guest, we are now booked with Carnival for March, we are in our 50's and hope for a totally party atmosphere, if I want quiet I will go sit in my back yard and watch the grass grow! When on vacation, I wanna be with happy go lucky people and let my hair down...my husband would let his hair down if he had any
I would be happy to give you my opinion on Carnival. The food was good, not like some former passengers say it is. I was more disappointed in the EOS than on any of the Carnival ships I traveled on. The general feeling aboard is very relaxed. We traveled the Paradise in 2000 and found her to be to quite. She did not seem like a regular CCL ship. When I made a reference about CCL'S ships being loud, I ment the decor. Sorry I should have made this clear in my first post. The Paradise was a toned down greatly, not like the Ecstacy, which my wife and I took our honeymoon on in 1995. The Paradise was not a party ship. In fact by 10:30pm everyone was in their cabins. The shore tours were like anyother lines. We took the Tulum tour on our honeymoon and loved it. The price of a Carnival cruise is competitive with the other lines. In fact we priced a cruise for the Victory and the EOS last year, for a cruise we took this year and the EOS was $400. less. The one aspect about many lines is they do push drinks. RCCL did to a point I was got a little upset every time I tried to take a nap on deck on or in Labadee. Carnival is just the same. No booze, no cruise is a favorite saying on Carnival. I think thats where most people get their negitive view of this line. Many of the short cruises are booze cruises. The week long runs are like any lines. We met a lot of nice people on the Paradise and the Ecstacy, from both middle and upper levels classes. I must end my post here by saying that this line has a youthful feel. It's ment for the young at heart. I have read reviews of people who got unbelievable deals on CCL's ships that would usually travel HAL and hated it. No surprise.
Thanks for the information. Carnival sounds like a place where I would run up a considerable bar bill, as everything is extra, but would be compensated by a lower fare compared to, say, RCI (where I would also run up a considerable bar bill!) As to cabins, I've read that they are superior to those on competing lines such as RCI and NCL. And both people that love Carnival and people that hate Carnival seem to agree on this. Do you find this to be the case as well?
We have been on Carnival on five of our 16 cruises and enjoyed every one of them, and we are among the more seasoned members of this board. I think the secret is to book during times when children and college students are in school if you are able to do so.
If fact, we were able to get a wonderful deal on the new Carnival Conquest cruising out of New Orleans from 15 to 22nd Dec. We are really looking forward to the trip.
I have done 13 CCL cruises so far and have yet to see a "beer drinking contest" held on any of them. I have seen some loud and obnoxious people, but I have also seen them on NCL, Ren, HAL, RCI, and Celebrity. Actually there were more obnoxious and rude people on Celebrity and more drunks on RCI and more 'tasteless' people on NCL than any of the CCL cruises. That still does not mean that any of those line attract those types, just means there happened to be more on those ships at that time. Whenever one makes ANY statements about ANY line they really need to be very generalized. That is just the nature of cruises and cruising. <G>
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Mickey Sr:: Thanks for the take on Carnival. The ship my daughter took about three years ago when she was 30 was new at the time, large, and doing to Boston to Eastern Canada run. But she can't recall the name of the ship. I'd like to know, as she gave it a rave review. She's the "young executive sophicticate" I spoke of above who is not a "partier", seldom drinks (it might mess up her figure), and can spot something "sleezy" a mile away! So when she ways this ship wasn't "sleezy" as some have accused Carnival of being, I tend to believe her. I'm just curious if you, or anyone else, might know which ship she might have been on.
Kathie, the EOS was not the perfect cruise. The food was borderline and the service was slow. Princess was much better. EOS was just big. Did I have a good time? Yes but I think I will cruise more on Celebrity and Princess.
We made the mistake once of sailing on Carnival over New Years Eve. They were poo-pooing thier free champagne and trying to encourage everyone to buy $50 bottles. The crowd was drunk! All public restroms were ankle deep in urine and vomit. The cruise staff did nothing to try to control the crowd, rather they encouraged it.
On other cruises, we have found Carnival to be pretty good. Food is ok, entertainment above average and cabins among the largest.
I loved my cruise on Carnival. We were upgraded to a suite so the size of the cabin was really nice. We did see several other cabins and they were smaller but laid out well so they didn't seem cramped. I think a lot of people complain because they book a cruise without really doing research. If you go during spring break or the summer, it will be a louder much younger crowd and many more families, not just on carnival, but on other lines as well. I would expect a New Year's Eve crowd to be drunk and out of hand. I don't go out for New Year's at home let alone on vacation. That's when all the Amateur's are partying. I'm experienced, so I party the other 364 days. !
I saw Arty's photos and they were very tame compared to most vacations I've been on and doesn't compare to college. Although, it's quite likely the photos posted on the website were carefully selected to exclude anything crazy. Remember, what happens on the cruise stays on the cruise.
I saw the photos too, and while they actually look pretty fun to me, it's important to keep in mind that these are just one guy's record of what happened to him and his friends on one cruise. Most cruises, even Carnival cruises, have a good mix of people, with all ages being represented.
I'm sure on the exact same cruise were families and elderly folks. If you saw only their photos, you might be fooled into thinking that a Carnival cruise would be too tame and boring for you!
Now posting as MichelleP.
I have been on 6 cruises and 3 were Carnival. Destiny, Paradise and most recently the Legend last month on the 15 night Trans atlantic crossing. I have also sailed NCL and the old Dolphin Line.
All Carnival Ships are not created equal. In April of 1999 I found the Destiny for 7 nights to be a party cruise. No Problem , you could always find a quiet place. Food was excellent. This year in May the Paradise seemed to have an older crowd and there was less daytime drinking. My daughter and I were seated at a table for 6 and both of the Men were Medical Specialists who could have chosen any other ship for their cruise. The food on the Paradise was the worst I have tasted on a cruise and the possibility of weight loss was real. However, the Legend last month was an incredible experience. Great food, cabin, Top Notch entertainment and staff and service were excellent. Several of my fellow cruisers were used to Cunard, Crystal and such and thought that Carnival did a wonderful job with everything on our cruise. It seems that service food and everything is better on the new ships. I experienced the same thing on NCL. The Majesty was the second worst food I had on a cruise , however, the NCL Sun last year( Brand new ship at the time) had extraordinary service, food, entertainment ......everything!
You cannot genealize about a cruise line ,every ship is different, and every cruise on the same ship is different.
I obtained an appointment with my daughter the other day, and was able to discover that the ship on which she cruised was the Carnival Triumph. She again confirmed her rave review of this cruise experience. As one recent poster on this thread down below said, all Carnival cruises are not equal. Some are "floating drunken parties", and some are just a little higher class "floating parties" (which all cruises are, by the way). So happens that our last three cruises have been on Radisson. I would have suggested this daughter go with us, except for the fact I knew she'd turn her nose up at the cruise experience (and she would have, trust me). The fact that she really loved the Carnival Triumph on a New England -- Canada fall cruise will certainly motivate me to look into the same. Trust me -- if she liked it, anyone would like it!
Pamda: for some strange reason, my daughter does not remember any pink bathroom on the Carnival Triumph in the fall of '99. Are you referring to the cabin bathrooms, or restrooms on other parts of the ship? She does recall that the cabin was of good size, condition, and lay out in light of the class booked. She also remembers the use of stained glass windows in some of the major public areas, which she thought were attractive. Please let me know the details of the "pink bathroom", as you've got us cruious!
Jim as in any reply I can only base it on my personal experience. Perhaps your experience is different than mine, but during my 50 cruises I have formed a solid base of crusing experiences and I stand by my earlier statement.
Carnival has a rep as a budget cruiseline. Folks seem to think everyone is uncouth. I have read posts that on formal night you see hawaiian shirts and shorts. My experience has been on Carnival folks dress up more as there are more of the younger crowd and young women love to dress to the nines. Bye the way I have not seen hawaian shirts on formal night on Carnival but on Princess I saw a woman in a hawaiian sundress on formal night and men with sport coats but no tie.
I also read a post from someone from the northern states that said Carnival was a bunch of drunk southerners. He had taken the Pride out of Port Canneral. I posted back to him that the only reason there were more southerners was many lived close enough to drive and he shouldn't sterotype that if he took a cruise to Bermuda which most go out of New York he would see many drunk northerners. As I am from Georgia I took offense at his comment.
Anyway Carnival is a decent line-there does seem to be more hard-partiers but you also see plenty of families and older folks.
Carnival Inspiration Western Caribbean- GrandCayman, CostaMaya, Cozumel, Belize
I have not cruised Celebrity but I have Princess over-all I enjoyed her more with the exception of one rude passengar. We had went to tea and I was talking to my husband and said I did not really care for scones that they were not much different to a biscuit that sugar had been added. The lady next to me spoke up and said I was wrong that all these fancy hotels she had been to blah-blah-blah had them.
I looked at her took a bite of one and told her that she was entitled to enjoy them but to me they were still a variation of a biscuit and I did not care for them. She proceeded to continue bragging to everyone at the table of all the exclusive vacations she had taken. She obviously wanted everyone to know she was wealthy-why I don't know what difference did it make (unless that made her an authority on scones) to me it was uncouth-both to butt in on a private conversation plus to brag the way she did. Anyway I left fairly soon as I did not care for the conversation of my table mate.
All the blasts I have read about Carnival and I am sure some are true but never-the-less negative things can happen on any cruiseline even Princess.
Carnival Inspiration Western Caribbean- GrandCayman, CostaMaya, Cozumel, Belize