Carnival Cruise lines

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by happygirl, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Maddies Mama

    Maddies Mama Mouseketeer

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    8 cruises with Carnival and loved every 1 of them with 2 more planned in the next couple of months. Been cruising with them since 2003. I've sailed 4, 5 and 7 day itineraries on brand new ships to some of the oldest in the fleet and have never once encountered the party atmosphere that Carnival seems to have a reputation for. One night there were some teenage kids being loud in the hallway at 1am and I can honestly say that's the worst thing that's ever happened, being awakened at that hour the night before we get up early for disembarkation. Small potatoes.

    My daughter loves the kids club, the staff is great and attentive all over the ship, the spas are very nice, there is always a quiet deck to be found to sunbathe or read, the food is excellent. I think Carnival is an excellent value cruise line.

    All of this being said, my Disney cruise was still my favorite cruise I've ever taken. :thumbsup2 If you can afford Disney, do it! If you can't, Carnival is an excellent alternative in my opinion.
     
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  3. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

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    I did not really enjoy our 4-day Carnival cruise last summer. The food was marginal, at best. The ship was messy. Glasses and dishes in the public lounge areas would sit for hours without being cleared. We passed by the same used room service dishes in the hallway for an entire day. We bought soda cards which are $10 per person, per day. You can use them to get soda at any bar or in the dining room. At dinner each night, the bar server would come to our table and we'd all order soda. Good luck getting refills! As soon as we showed them our cards, they would frown, bring the soda, and then never return unless we specifically asked our waiter to send them over. Even then, they didn't always come. One time we waited for 30 minutes before even seeing the bar server for the first time. We had our bread and appetizers already and no one had taken our drink order. I nicely asked the waiter if he would please send the bar server to our table. His reply, "Ma'am, they are very busy tonight. They will come by when they have time." Nice. One night we ordered coffee with our dessert. The waiter dropped off the desserts. No coffee. And we never saw him again. It was like he dropped off the face of the earth. Oh well.

    We were also not very happy with the kid's club one night. Our DS13 was in the 12-14 club. They would publish a schedule each day since they didn't always hang out in the actual club. If you wanted to pick up your kid, you could look at the schedule to see where on the ship the club was supposed to be. One night, they were scheduled to go to the mini-golf course at 11:00 p.m. We were all tired and wanted DS in the cabin for the evening. DH went to find him and the club wasn't at the mini-golf course. It was deserted. He went back to the club. It was empty and the schedule posted on the door still said they would be at the mini-golf course. He came back to the cabin. DS wasn't there. He went back to the mini-golf course. Still deserted. This was a big ship and he had now wasted over 30 minutes walking around and not knowing where DS was. He finally decided to check the buffet and found the group eating ice cream with the counselors. They told DH that the kids didn't feel like playing golf so they took them to the buffet to "chill." DH asked why they didn't post a note at the golf course. Oh, they didn't think about that. Why have a schedule if you're not going to adhere to it or somehow communicate with a quick note if you change it? I was starting to get worried in the cabin. DH was not happy about running all over the ship close to midnight. Not cool.

    We will stick with Princess in the future. They have much better service, better attitudes, better food and cleaner ships. We did one Disney Cruise in 2004. It was awesome, but more pricey than the other lines.
     
  4. ICF

    ICF DIS Veteran

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    Been on a couple out of Miami going to E or W Carribean, both 7 days. They were both good....some meals were great and some were so - so.

    We enjoyed the evening 'shows'...say magic, comedy, variety and all were pretty good.

    Never saw any out of control partying either -- on sea or port days.

    The worst part was getting off the boat on the last day and to the airport....not a fun time.

    All and all enjoyed them both and I'm sure will cruise with them again down the road.
     
  5. declansdad

    declansdad DIS Dad #639 New Brunswick, Canada

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    Yes it is reasonably priced so families can afford it as well.

    As to all the complaints posted here, we haven't experienced them on our two cruises with Carnival.
     
  6. Piper

    Piper DIS Veteran

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    I have been on 3 Carnival, 2 RCL, and 1 Disney cruises. All were 7 days. I didn't encounter a party atmosphere on any of them. Disney was by far the most casual and I had more difficulty getting around in my ECV. I went solo on all but the DCL and am glad my sister was there to run interference. The one time I tried to go to dinner without her, I couldn't get an elevator. Everyone kept pushing in front of me and leaving me out. I didn't want to be aggressive and run over anyone, so I finally (after 9 or 10 tries) went back to the room and ordered room service. I never had that trouble on the other lines.
     
  7. Bob NC

    Bob NC DIS Veteran<br><font color="red">I am a trained pr

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    We have been on 6 Carnival cruises and have never seen the frat party atmosphere.

    It's my understanding that the frat party atmosphere is reserved for the short 3 day cruises at certain times of year.

    We have never taken a 3 day cruise.

    Carnival is very affordable and VERY family friendly.

    You will see the occasional person over imbibe, but that's just as you would at WDW, or a baseball game, or, maybe a wedding.

    We have liked all the ships we've sailed on from big to small. we've liked the food, shows and activities.

    We always take part in off ship excursions at ports.

    We're a tad bit picky and have never had a problem with Carnival.

    I also recommend checking out cruisecritic.com
     
  8. crz4mm2

    crz4mm2 <font color=teal>Most of the time I just sit and s

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    I have sailed Carnival several times and would go again in a minute.
    I have also sailed RC and Norwegian (NCL).

    I loved all my Carnival and NCL cruises. The RC was a short cruise with lousy weather so wasn't real thrilled with it.
     
  9. alldiz

    alldiz DIS Veteran

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    I love Carnival. Only have done Carnival and Disney. I go to bed early so I haven't seen any crazy partying. Around the pool area on Disney cruise there was plenty of drinking and partying with the kids running around.

    I like Carnival because of the price....food is very good....large staterooms and a younger crowd. I am 41 and don't want a stuffy crowd. Would not go on a Disney cruise for longer than 3-4 nights because of the lack of a Casino....I like that option.

    Go to cruise critic....it is a really good site...just like this one;)

    Next summer I will be on NCL Epic cruising the Mediterean....very excited to try new line....but not very excited about all the extra pay to eat places.

    I have stopped drinking alcohol so it shall be interesting to see if my feelings change;) I am cruising the Carnival Dream to Western Caribbean in June and I can't wait to try the new ship.

    I say....there are good and bad reviews to be found....try it yourself and see if you like it. For me I have never been on a bad vacation....always something to enjoy and be thankful for:goodvibes
    Happy planning
    Kerri
     
  10. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    The bad about Carnival and really most cruise lines, except Disney is that they nickel and fine you.

    Carnival is apparently one of the worry offenders. They apparently charge for ice cream, sodas (even with dinner), even room service.

    They aren't the worst though, I just read about one line (I forget which) that everything, except your room is extra (including food).
     
  11. mdsoccermom

    mdsoccermom DIS Veteran

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    Ice cream and frozen yogurt are free on deck fleet wide.

    I have sailed in Carnival and sell it regularly to my family clients, including my rabbi. We've all had wonderful experiences, and have never seen the frat party atmosphere. Carnival has really worked to become a very family friendly cruise line. We live near the Port of Baltimore, and the Carnival Pride is always filled with families.

    I am so amused when people look down in Carnival because its the least expensive. Not every can afford Disney. I have friends, a family of six, who want to cruise this summer and need two cabins. Carnival is what they can afford. They are not trashy, low class or the frat party types. Just a family wanting a good vacation without taking out a second mortgage.
     
  12. marlynnp

    marlynnp No take backs, bowing out or other weenie manuever

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    What are you talking about??? How ridiculous! You really should educate yourself on a topic before posting. :sad2:


    Carnival does not charge for ice cream or room service (you should tip for room service though). Yes, you will pay for any beverages other than water, ice tea, coffee, and lemonade -- that's pretty standard across all lines.
     
  13. mdsoccermom

    mdsoccermom DIS Veteran

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    Oh, and the cruise line you are referring to is Easy Cruise. It's business model is different than mainstream cruise lines. They charge for everything because its typical passengers aren't looking for a cruise vacation. They use the ships merely as a means of transportation between ports (the ships sail mostly at night to allow maximum time in port).

    As someone else said, you really need to educate yourself.
     
  14. ICF

    ICF DIS Veteran

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    They charge for soda....not ice cream or room service.
     
  15. declansdad

    declansdad DIS Dad #639 New Brunswick, Canada

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    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    They do charge for soda but I think most cruise lines do. Even DCL charges unless you use on of the self-serve locations I believe.
     
  16. IheartMickey

    IheartMickey I have not been blessed by the tag fairy!

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    I've been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and NCL. The only cruise I disliked was the Princess one. And I totally recommend cruise critic as well, I've been on there for years.

    The shorter the cruise, the more of a party atmosphere it will have. That's with almost all the regular lines.
     
  17. NancyK

    NancyK DIS Veteran

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    DH and I are in our 50's. We have cruised on Disney once and Carnival twice. I would sail Carnival again in a heartbeat. All cruises were 7 days. Definitely pros and cons to each line.

    We never found Carnival to be a "frat party." On our cruise out of Tampa on the Carnival Legend, we were among the younger couples. :rotfl:

    We enjoyed the food on Carnival more than our Disney cruise but enjoyed the restaurant atmosphere on Disney Magic. Out of the three cruises, our best room attendant was on one of the Carnival cruises. The shows on the Disney cruise were definitely better than Carnival. Carnival has the casino, but Disney has the movie theater. So lots of pros and cons to both.

    Our budget doesn't allow us to cruise Disney all the time. We're cruising on the Fantasy in August but that's an extended family get-together (we're all Disney crazy). We can cruise twice on Carnival for the same price as one Disney cruise. So if that makes me "Walmart people" so be it. ;) Now, if in future I can take advantage of a last-minute Disney sale, I'll be all over it.

    I think that any vacation as a family can be a good vacation. :goodvibes
     
  18. happygirl

    happygirl DIS Veteran

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    Thank you everyone :) We just booked our first cruise out of Jacksonville. We are so excited!!
     
  19. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    I am just repeating what I was told by both the cruise line and others that have been. And with Disney, you don't pay for sodas. We also don't like having casinos on the ship, so Disney is a good choice for us.

    As for prices, there are many, many ways to lower the prices. Disney quite often offers various discounts.
     
  20. SLCborn

    SLCborn Mouseketeer

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    We just got home from a Carnival cruise to the Mexican Riviera. I've been on NCL, RCCL, Carnival and DCL. My favorite and my kids favorite has always been hands down Carnival! We all HATED our last DCL cruise. It was awful.

    I've never run into the frat party on Carnival ships but did on RCCL. I've been on 11 Carnival, 1 NCL, 3 RCCL and 2 DCL and as you can tell Carnival is the one I continue to go back to. I'm in my 40's and my kids range from 13 to 20. We've never had a bad time on Carnival.

    They do NOT charge for ice cream, 24 hr pizza, room service or the basics lemonade, juice, water, coffee, hot chocolate. We never had an issue with the soda cards and the bar staff never coming back in fact we had just the opposite and that goes for every single cruise on Carnival. My kids preferred the kids club on Carnival over DCL and frankly so did I as a parent.

    Everything however is subjective. Just because I've had really great experiences on Carnival doesn't mean everyone does. I think it's just a "gamble" you take and hope you are a good fit for the brand. We just booked a 7 night Western Carribean cruise out of New Orleans for next Feb and cannot wait!
     
  21. princesspumpkin

    princesspumpkin DIS Veteran

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    I have taken two Disney cruises and about ten Carnival cruises. Disney was by far above and beyond Carnival in decor and amenities. That being said, you paid greatly for that advantage.

    Now I also have to say that I absolutely LOVE Carnival cruises. To be honest, even though I feel that Disney is far and above Carnival, it's like saying that the Animal Kingdom lodge is far and above the Hampton Inn. I LOVE Hampton Inns and try to stay at one whenever possible, but the AKL, to me, is luxury at its best (like DCL to me).
     

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