View Full Version : Carnival Vs Disney

05-03-2002, 05:05 PM
I had planned to go on the Magic for oour Honeymoon in Sept 2003. However the cruise I wanted has been cxld due to the dry dock. I heard that Carnival is going to be putting a new ship, the glory, into Port Caneveral. I feel like I am a disney cruise veteran from reading these boards. What are the main differences between Disney and Carnival? Obviously atmosphere but what about the cost for extras? such as dinning? drinks? soda? pictures? any help would be great!!!!! also is there a board like this for Carnival???

Seņor Ferrari
05-03-2002, 05:18 PM
I've never sailed on Carnival, but I'm sure you can get some info on them at: http://www.cruisecritic.com. There's a discussion board there with a Carnival section. You might try there.

05-03-2002, 05:48 PM
Carnival has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB of Miami for dealing with customers problems and correcting problems reported to them. They were just "featured" a week or so ago on ABC Nightly News for a terrible incident that happened. A family went on a Carnival sponsored excursion and to make a long story short, the father was injured while snorkeling and died 24 hours later. While the wife and kids were in the hospital, the cruise line called to ask where they could dump the family's luggage since they were leaving port. They offered no assistance to the family and claimed no responsibility since it was an excursion(an excursion bought through them). The report mentioned their poor rating with the BBB for numerous complaints so you might want to check with Miami's BBB for more insight. :mad:

05-03-2002, 06:39 PM
We cruised Carnival (The Destiny) the last time we took a cruise. It was OK. It was a little too "Party Hardy" for our tastes. It really depends on what you want from a cruise. I don't think our family will be doing a Carnival again. I understand Royal Carribean leaves out of Port Canaveral, also. Our Carnival Evaualtion. Food-8, shore excursions-9, shows-9, our main complaint was all the smoke in the casino area of the ship and the sort of "push" of alcohol on board.

05-03-2002, 06:55 PM
and have one with each cruise line planned within the next ten months. Carnival is less expensive over all, but the prices for drinks, excursions and other things is about the same. I like Carnival because i can get the largest suites for less than what i pay for a cat 4 on Disney. they both have plusses and minuses, but are basically about the same to me...Just my two cents...

05-03-2002, 07:23 PM
Bummer about cancelling you cruise. :mad: :mad: :mad:

We became serious about booking a cruise due to the encouragement of veteran cruising friends. They have taken many different RCL cruises (15, alone +- kids ranging from 10-25 years old) and swear by them. She told us to avoid Carnival, too party, too cheap, lots of hard core drinking, just not our scene at all.

We went to a cruise show and got wonderful input from the RCL agent. Since we have kids we were looking at their super ships, the ones with kids activities, climbing walls, skating rinks. We also TRIED to talk to the Carnival agent, he was rude, ignored us and was making a lot of folks pretty angry, they just did not have their act together. We then went to the Disney agent, were fawned over, and were able to get the week we wanted at a rate much lower than RCL super ships, hence, we booked Disney.

Try a cruise show if you can find one, there is a lot of info there, slide shows, films. You can 'see' the ships. Each line has a huge variety and each company caters to a certain type of cruiser and each boat type attracts different segments of the cruising population. As mentioned above, try the cruisecritic.com site. This is where my expert cruising friend hangs out. Never underestimate the power of a GOOD cruise travel agency either, they are wonderful if you cannot find a show.

We have also cruised NCL and found it great, although it has been many years ago. But here, again, you need to pick a ship and explore the internet (one of NCLs old ones really gets lambasted.)

Good luck.


05-03-2002, 07:34 PM
We have done both the 7 night Magic and the Carnival Pride. They both were great, although both kids(now 14 and 12) said they kind of thought that Disney was a little bit better. We did the Eastern Caribbean on both. About the only major difference I saw was that there was a lot more smoking and it was more widespread. My mother-in-law(a smoker) went on the Magic with us and I think she was kind of disappointed with the lack of places for smokers, although she was decent about it. On the Pride, you saw smokers everywhere just about. There were plenty of kids on the Pride, we were on the April 6, 2002 sailing. Although I think that on the Pride they figured if you were a family, you would have early seating and they did have a lot of acitivities at night after the first seating and we got stuck with late seating since we were part of a group and for some reason they had to put us in late seating even though we wanted early seating. My 14 year old hung out with the kids that we were part of the group with while my 12 year old did things with the kids group. Even though I have another Disney cruise booked for May 2003(the day after school gets out and the Western Carb this time) I would not hesitate to book another Carnvial crusie again, although it would have to be on a new and larger ship.

05-03-2002, 10:18 PM
We have not cruised Carnival, but our good friends have taken both Carnival and RCCL and they definitely like Carnival better. They actually liked the food better because they felt that Carnival was more accommodating (on RCCL, Andre asked for something chocolate for dessert, and all they could come up with was chocolate-covered strawberries! He loved the lobster on Carnival). They are not really wild party people or heavy drinkers (although they do like to have a good time), and they didn't really mind the atmosphere even tho' it was a bit wild. They say that their next cruise will definitely be on Carnival. Personally, the only Carnival ship I would really like to try out is Paradise, since I am very sensitive to tobacco smoke.
Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at: www.*****************

05-03-2002, 10:34 PM
We have been on Carnival twice, but it was 7 years ago and then it was fine...I have heard of the bad ratings and things as mentioned earlier and our AAA travel agent does not recommend them to us except for the smoke free ship (I am not sure if it leaves out of Port Canaveral or Miami though). I would probably sail with them again if the price was right...but the recent death incident and the way they handled it does make me wonder if I should support them (I did see the show mentioned earlier where the man was killed at Xceret in Mexico and have read several reviews of it on other cruise boards). We went on Royal Caribbean twice within the past year (Sovereign of the Seas--4nights--Port Canaveral) and although it is one of their older ships, we had no complaints either time...good food and service, plus their private island, "CocoCay" is great...better snorkeling than Disney's "CastawayCay." I don't think you will have a bad time no matter which line you go with...you just have to weigh the pros and cons of both. Carnival's Fantasy leaves out of Port Canaveral--4 night...and I would not recommend that particular ship...had several friends say it was really bad, plus it is one of the older ships.

05-03-2002, 10:48 PM
I went on the Carnival Destiny in 1998 as a 13-year-old and had a great time. We did the 7-day Western Caribbean with stops at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho(s?) Rios. I didn't participate in any organized teen activities, so I can't comment on that, but I didn't find it to be too much of a party atmosphere at all. The ship was pretty new then, and at that time it was the biggest (or one of the biggest) ones sailing. I loved the midnight buffets, the wide availability of food (there was a little pastry shop that had chocolate covered strawberries which I particularly adored) and the whole atmosphere of the ship. I didn't mind the "flashy" decor because I'm young. ;) Our servers at dinner were wonderful and overall it was just an amazing trip.
I haven't sailed on Disney yet (first trip is June 29th Eastern Magic - very excited!) so I can't comment on that but just wanted to say that I really did love Carnival.

05-03-2002, 11:37 PM
have cruised Carnival and Disney. I have been on the Carnival Holiday [an old ship] and the Triumph [a newer mega ship] and on the Disney Wonder.

For cost, its hard to beat Carnival. If you go on any of the newer ships with a balcony cabin, the cabins are very similar to Disney's. Actually I like the Carnival Triumph's bed arrangement better because the queen bed is against the verandah doors and my teens, who stay out later than my husband and I, don't wake us up getting to their beds. They woke me every night on the Disney cruise climbing around my bed to get to theirs. Being a new ship, the Glory will have many balcony rooms. For my honeymoon, I would avoid the older Carnival ships unless you were getting a suite. There were 45 honeymoon couples on our Carnival cruise.

Carnival ships are a hoot! The decor [if you want to call it that] is wild. Every lounge has a different theme and some of the colors are, well, colorful?? The atriums are huge. Disney ships look like ships, much more relaxing, very pretty.

The food was about the same. Both ships are cooking for thousands of people. I'm not hard to please, just don't make me do the cooking! The Triumph had a slight edge as the main buffet had 2 extra spots to get food, a deli with sandwiches and a Chinese place.

Entertainment depends on your taste. I really enjoyed the Disney shows, the singing and costumes were outstanding. Carnival's production shows just aren't up to Disney's standards. And the Disney theater doesn't have a bad seat, Carnival's have pole problems. The one thing I enjoyed on Carnival was the comedians. I have seen some of the funniest comics. Where are they on the Disney cruises? And the midnight adult shows were even funnier. And the comics are very upfront that these are ADULT shows. On the Wonder, I missed a chance to laugh with fellow adults about mature subject matter [ok, some not so mature subject matter!!]

I know Carnival has this hard core party image but I didn't see it on the cruises I took. Lots of families enjoying themselves, I went on longer cruises at school vacation time. I know most of the fun and games were around the pool and I don't hang out there. So maybe I just missed it. Though you can see it on the ship's video, over and over on your cabin TV. Carnival videos each cruise and you can watch the previous day's video on your TV. I was so glad Disney didn't do that. With the casinos, there is more smoking on Carnival ships. We just avoided that area. The other costs, drinks, pictures are all comparable. With Carnival, the unlimited soda deal is a card. Much easier to carry around than the Disney mug.

On Cruisecritic, you will find even more rabid Carnival fans than the Disney fans here.


05-04-2002, 02:05 AM
I actually called a TA yesterday about the Carnival Triumph. I had received an email about some fabulous prices on a 7 night trip. It turned out to be more than Disney! So much for a good price.......Anyway, I asked some Carnival questions because my opinion of the line has been very low....topless decks, smoking, parties in the halls....The agent said the line has really changed over the years from an atmosphere like that to a more family oriented line. They used to allow 18 year olds to sail alone. Now for anyone under 21, they must be booked with someone at least 25 in a cabin. The average age on Carnival is 49, she said. Of course, she wanted to sell me a trip and knew I didn't want a party atmosphere, so she could have just been saying what I wanted to hear.

Still can't believe it was more than a DCL cruise......:eek:

05-04-2002, 07:51 AM
That doesn't sound right. You might want to go get a price quote online at cruise411.com.

I priced balcony rooms for the Disney Magic and the Carnival Victory. Carnival was less by about $2,000.

05-04-2002, 12:07 PM
Ripleysmom....I know...I couldn't believe it either. The email said to call cruise411's toll free number so that is who I called. The quote was for 5 people in 1 interior room using a roll away for the 5th person....not exactly luxurious accomodations. I think part of the price difference is Carnival doesn't have a children's price for the 3/4/5 passengers. Cruise411 said only DCL and Norweigen differ the price for a child vs. and adult. It was still more despite with DCL we have 2 rooms and are paying for 4 adults and 1 child. I was very surprised. I'd try Carnival for next to nothing(although not sure I could convince my husband) but certainly not the price I was quoted.

05-04-2002, 01:13 PM
we have always gotten a child rate for our son when we go on carnival. Also the brochure lists special discounted rates for 3rd and 4th passengers in the room...

05-04-2002, 01:18 PM
I am looking at the carnival catalog. Granted these are the brochure rates, and you can almost always go through a TA and get better prices.

Prices listed for a private balcony - 8A is for super saver rates is 1099 for first two passengers, and the third and fourt guest is listed at 399.

05-04-2002, 02:22 PM
prymsu: Yes, a discount for 3/4/5 passengers, but not like the child's rate on Disney. I think each child on the Carnival trip was $763 vs. maybe $399(?) on DCL. I was just surprised.:)

05-04-2002, 03:48 PM
I understand people's desire to get the best deal possible but really you shouldn't look at your hard earned vacation plainly in money terms.

Both lines have something different to offer. Personally I'd go with the Carnival Glory as it is the newer and bigger ship. I'd also go for it because I prefer the food on Carnival to Disney.

Having been on the Destiny in the past the only thing I didn't like was the meat market on the top deck. Having been on Disney, you won't notice much difference betwen the ships particularly around the pool areas. The Destiny (Glory will be a sistership) although being a big ship doesn't really have a lot of deck space and Disney does appear to do this marginally better.

The Disney ships have good entertainment in the theatre but overall the entertainment elsewhere aboard ship is inferior to Carnival.

Much has been written about the party atmosphere on Carnival but I don't think you see it so much on the bigger ships. The smaller ships in their fleet seem more prone to this atmosphere.

Kids - our kids hated Disney as they couldn't get on anything whilst on Carnival they had a ball. Even today they still talk of the Carnival kids club 3 years ago and we've done a few cruises since.

Other areas that Carnival excel over Disney (IMO) are in service from the waiter and bar staff, general activities and by far, better food. For our family food is vitally important. Cruise lines make great play over their cusine and none (in this market) really match up to expectations. You certainly won't go hungry but you certainly won't be impressed with Disney if you love fine dining. I'm not saying Carnival meet this criteria by any means but overall the food is better in both presentation and quality.

Just my view ;)

05-04-2002, 07:34 PM
I recently heard that Carnival got fined megabucks for illegal dumping pratices into the ocean. After they way they handled the death of that poor man, and treated his family, plus the fact that they got nabbed at some serious pollution makes me think twice about ever supporting that cruise line, cheap or not.
Just my two cents -Sue

05-04-2002, 08:31 PM
My two cents - My DH and I went on a 7 day RCCL (Monarch of the Seas) for our honeymoon and had the best time. The ship was beautiful (granted this was almost 8 years ago and the ship was new at that time), the food was great and everything was done very well. I wouldn't hesitate to sail RCCL again.

Everyone seems to be a little split between whether or not to do Carnival. Do yourself a favor, especially since you have some time, step back and look at what you and your hubby to be are really looking for in a cruise. Then see which cruise line and which port make the most sense for the two of you. I'm sure whatever you decide will be excellent. There are several good cruise rating books out there that rate all the ships and their ports of call, you may want to check them out. Good luck:)

miss ames
05-04-2002, 09:58 PM
We cruised on Carnival in 2000 to the Mexican Riveria. It was our first cruise and of course we thought it was the greatest. A couple of things that come to mind that I might comment on were the getting on the ship and getting off. It was quite a lengthy process and a little discouraging. I am interested in seeing how Disney handles these areas when we take our first cruise with them November 2, 2002. I am sure it will be much better than what we encountered with Carnival.

Also the excursions were very party on. My husband and I went off on our own because we didn't have our daughter with us and that worked out better than if we had gone with the whole group. Unless you are looking for lots of drinking and partying. We just wanted to explore and do some snorkeling. It was much more pieceful just going on our own and we felt safe in all that we did. The taxi drivers really move in their little Nissan Sentra's and it is quite the experience. But overall we had a fun time. It depends on how involved you want to be or just go along and pick your areas that interest you and do some things on your own both on and off the ship.

We had to reschedule our cruise for 4 months later due to a health issue I was having. We had not purchased the insurance when we bought the tickets. I got a letter from my doctor and Carnival Administration were very good about rescheduling the trip. I was really pleased with the service they gave us in helping us reschedule.

But I am very interested in trying out each different cruise line to get a little bit of each one and pick the best. Hopefully financially and health wise I will be able to explore the waters of the world.

05-05-2002, 02:59 AM
I found this great site while trying to decide which cruise line to use for a Hawaiian Cruise: http://www.cruisemates.com/

Right now we are leaning towards the Celebrity - Summit We have read tons of positive things about this cruise line and ship.

I found the Editor's Reviews and Reader Poll areas of this site extremely helpful. Just beware this site has a ton of info and you'll be glued to your computer for a while! :D

05-05-2002, 09:02 AM
I was on the second voyage of the Summit......not a big ship by any means but probably the best cruise we have done as yet. (14 cruises so far)
The quality of the food is outstanding, the music center is a fabulous idea, the kids club is also well equipped and the on board feel is one of space. Certainly no meat market feel.
Also, the ports of call are more interesting. We did a 10 day sailing and had a wonderful time. The only bad thing was embarking and disembarking but I expect they've got this sorted by now.
Book and enjoy !

05-07-2002, 12:41 PM
We, me, DH, DS (4) and DS (2) are looking into going on the Carnival Pride. The post above where Carnival was indifferent to their guests whose husband/father passed away after an excursion is horrible! Does anyone know what show this segment was on? Does anyone have more details? I would like to know more before I make any reservations. WHile we like Disney, little DS is too young for the clubs, yet he's really too big for Flounders, thus we have been looking at Carnival. I'd appreciate you all telling me what you know!

I Luv Disney Cruise
05-07-2002, 01:46 PM
I had a honeymoon on DCL (Wonder, the 8th voyage), anyway, we enjoyed it so much that we are going on our 4th DCL cruise this Saturday. Our honeymoon was the best and we will never forget it, it was very "magical"!

We don't have any kids and we enjoy the pools, jacuzzi, spa services, cabin w/ verandah, night clubs and of course the food!! :D

I say try the DCL cruise!

05-07-2002, 03:10 PM
Thanks ILuvDisney but we already did the Magic. As I stated, my little guy is too young for the clubs and really too old for Flounders. My older DS hated the club on the Magic. I think part of it was that he was by himself. We feel the kids will enjoy themselves more if they can participate together. Since Carnival takes 2 yr olds in their camp, that is what we are looking at. I've also heard better things about it than Disney's club.

I Luv Disney Cruise
05-07-2002, 03:23 PM
Bride2BeIn2003: I had a honeymoon on DCL (Wonder, the 8th voyage), anyway, we enjoyed it so much that we are going on our 4th DCL cruise this Saturday. Our honeymoon was the best and we will never forget it, it was very "magical"!

We don't have any kids and we enjoy the pools, jacuzzi, spa services, cabin w/ verandah, night clubs and of course the food!!

I say try the DCL cruise!

05-07-2002, 03:23 PM
and actually he preferred it over Disney Oceaneers Lab/Club. Granted Carnival does not offer all the huge space and gadgets, but i think the groups are smaller, and he liked that much better. He was five the first time we cruised, and since then he has been on three other cruises, so he has tried something on both Carnival and Disney.

I Luv Disney Cruise
05-07-2002, 03:25 PM
Wasn't the original posting question for a couple going on a honeymoon? :confused:

I Luv Disney Cruise
05-07-2002, 03:29 PM
I know you mentioned the Magic being dry docked during your wedding month. Did you consider going on the Wonder?

Dh and I did the 4 day land/3 day sea on the Wonder, because we didn't know if we would like or handle (seasick) the cruise that well. But, as you see we loved it and are continuing our yearly tradition of cruising w/ DCL.

05-07-2002, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by I Luv Disney Cruise

Wasn't the original posting question for a couple going on a honeymoon?

The more interesting threads are the ones that take on a life of their own. So this sometimes means they stray from their original topic.

I Luv Disney Cruise
05-07-2002, 03:31 PM
You got a point there. ;)

05-07-2002, 09:56 PM
I would pick the line with the best rate since you are not going with children. I can almost bet that Carnival will have the best price though. If you were going with children, I would definitely sway you towards Carnival. My youngest son was treated like dirt in the children's program on our Sept 2000 cruise with Disney.

05-07-2002, 10:10 PM
We have gotten cheaper deals with Royal Caribbean--Sovereign of the Seas-- out of Port Canaveral the past 2 times we cruised (within the year) over Carnivals Fantasy...both 4 nights...both older ships, good service/food. Another option would be the Wonder...you could even do a Land and Sea package if you want longer time...do the cruise and then several days at WDW...although we also love Sea World and Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure---you can get some great package deals that include Sea World, Universal and Islands...they are sister parks now.

05-07-2002, 10:17 PM
I agree with the previous post. If you want a shorter cruise, Royal Carribean's Sovereign is worth pricing. It is less flashy on the inside compared to the Carnival ships and their pricing can't be beat on the shorter cruises. Royal does not sail the longer cruises out of Canaveral. It is only a matter of time though. NCL is going to add a 7 day ship next year, so that is another one to price.

The Sovereign is as conservative as the Disney ships are. The pricing is low because a 1988 ship is considered old by many since there are so many new ships being rolled out. It is relatively young in my book when you look at the average age of cruise ships a few years ago. Anyone remember the original Premier ships that used to sail out of Port Canaveral? Those ships were built in the 60's.

05-07-2002, 10:44 PM
I sailed on two Premier ships and had a great time both times. When we went on RCCL Monarch of the Seas in 1994, it was brand new and incredibly beautiful, but I remember thinking that Premier's food and service were just as good, that Premier actually did a great job for the age and size of their ships. Living near the port I know a lot of people who sailed Premier frequently and they all missed them when they went out of business, most of all the people locally who were employed by them.

05-07-2002, 10:54 PM
I always heard wonderful things about Premier. I am sorry I never got to experience their ships firsthand before they went under. It is a great void for those of us who like an affordable cruise on a clean ship regardless of it's age. The Norway is the only 60's vintage ship that is left.

05-20-2002, 08:32 PM
I've cruise Carnival, RCL and Disney.

Thought Disney was great with our two kids. Lots of fun. Have been on Carnival 4 yrs ago and wasn't pleased. I think things have improved since then though.

For a honeymoon I highly recommend Royal Caribbean. It's worth it. Excellent food, service and ships. They have a great mix of people...not too old, not too young, lots of honeymooners. You won't be disappointed. It may be worth looking into.

Just my opinion. Janine