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Old 02-01-2013, 06:42 AM   #46
tajz90
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We took our young son on Carnival and he was wide eyed and glued to our side for most of the cruise.
He had been spoiled by Disney and was used to having kid activities going on most of the time. We really enjoy a jacuzzi and a break, but we were stuffed in the jacuzzi with several adults and kids would pop in and out... To do what? I have no idea, I just hope it wasn't to use the bathroom! My child sat near because he couldn't get in the pool because it was filled with people hootin' & hollerin' over the hairy chest contest.

That's my experience. We wouldn't enjoy that if it was just us as adults. Just not our thing. Now, we wouldn't even spend $299 a person to go on one. It would be a waste for us.

Before Disney, I took two Carnival cruises sans kids and really enjoyed them. Disney is our favorite now.

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Old 02-01-2013, 09:36 AM   #47
californiamomofboys
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My first cruise with kids (ages 5 & 4) was on a 5 night Carnival. I went with a friend with her 2 kids (ages 6 & 3). We had 2 very different experiences. My kids loved Camp Carnival and begged to go each day, especially my 5 year old. They loved the water slides and the arcade, and the miniature golf on board as well. Her 2 refused to go to the Camp. She finally made them go on last day so she could go to the spa, and then they said they liked it....We have since gone on one Disney cruise and we all loved it. I would say the food on Carnival was just a tad better (that chocolate melting lava cake is awesome) but we did not do Palo. So, if money is a non-issue, go with Disney. My kids still talk about Freddy FunShip and would be thrilled to go on that too. If your kids don't mind being separated from you, they likely will be happy to go to CampCarnival and thrilled in the Disney Oceaneer Club/Lab (the Disney kids program is superior without doubt). If yours have separation anxiety, then you may have issues on either ship, especially if no siblings or friends are on board. I would recommend a 4 night, or less though. We went in Feb. and it was too chilly to swim/sunbathe on the at sea days when the boat was moving (too windy) so by the last day we were ready to be off of the Carnival boat. I think if we'd been on Disney, we would have had many more options to entertain us if the weather was bad. You may want to try a short, cheap Carnival cruise to see how your child does and then if they love it, try Disney next time.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:45 AM   #48
justmestace



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The shorter Carnival cruises tend to be the ones that give Carnival that bad "party" reputation....those, and the Spring Break cruises.

I've been on a few of their newest ships, for one-week cruises, and other than a casino (which you can totally avoid) and no Disney characters or shows, there isn't any difference at all.

The people you meet are of the same....shall I say, class.....as what you'd run into on DCL, the Clubs (kids and adults) are great, and I honestly think the newer Carnival ships have some features that are superior to anything DCL has done so far.

I also like that there are far more dining choices, and I like that they split their main dining room menus into the "fancier" foods, and what they call "comfort" foods. DCL's dinners are, for the most part, too fancy for me....too many sauces, flavors, textures (that don't quite hit the mark) and most of the time I end up just ordering a chicken breast.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:07 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmestace View Post
The shorter Carnival cruises tend to be the ones that give Carnival that bad "party" reputation....those, and the Spring Break cruises.

I've been on a few of their newest ships, for one-week cruises, and other than a casino (which you can totally avoid) and no Disney characters or shows, there isn't any difference at all.

The people you meet are of the same....shall I say, class.....as what you'd run into on DCL, the Clubs (kids and adults) are great, and I honestly think the newer Carnival ships have some features that are superior to anything DCL has done so far.
I agree with this. My kids have sailed DCL three times, Carnival once, HAL once and will sail RCCL this summer. We sailed on the Carnival Dream Easter week in 2011 - it was full of families, the service was great, the food was very good and we didn't have any problems with drunk people. I have been on shorter Carnival cruises with all adults, and they do tend to be party cruises. I wouldn't take my kids on a 3 night Carnival cruise, but we would do (and have done) a 3 night Disney cruise. For the seven-night and longer cruises, I don't see much difference in clientele between the mass market lines (and I do consider DCL still mass market, although nicer than the older ships of other lines). Our cabins on the Carnival Dream were as nice as the Disney Dream - Carnival doesn't have the split bath, but we booked two balcony cabins for less than one balcony cabin on DCL.

I did find that the shows on the Carnival Dream were not kid-friendly - they were a bit too PG-13 in content and costumes, and I thought most of the quality was less than the quality of the Disney shows. But my kids loved the water slides and the pools. I did not like having to check out pool towels on Carnival - that is annoying - but the kids spent more time on the Carnival water slides than they did on the Aquaduck.

My kids don't enjoy the kids' clubs on any cruise (even DCL), so it is hard for me to compare them. I was not at all impressed with the HAL counselors, but Camp Carnival was well-attended when we went on the Carnival Dream (just not by my kids ), and they had a lot of activities scheduled.

My kids want to cruise on the Norwegian Epic or the new Breakaway - they have aged out of character greetings and want ziplines and super water slides!
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