Carnival Cruise vs. DCL

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by avinsmomma, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. jahber

    jahber DIS Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    At my husband's request, our next cruise is on the Carnival Dream in March. The total price came to more than $2000 less than the Fantasy, with some ports we didn't see on our Fantasy Western last year. We definitely wanted to sail in March, so it was kind of a no-brainer. I have high hopes for a great trip and my kids are beyond excited about the water play area/slides and different kids' clubs. My husband (who is Indian) is looking forward to the better variety of food options, especially ethnic foods.

    As you can see from my signature (3 DCL in 6 months), I fell in love with DCL last year, but now I am forced to play the waiting game on a price I'm willing to pay. Those *GT and FL resident rates will come, but I can't wait until then! The only solution: cruise another line. And when another awesome deal pops up, sail DCL again. It's the best of both worlds.
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  3. stmize

    stmize Dvc member since Nov 2010--WDW mom of ds 17 & dd 1

    Feb 18, 2006
    Haven't read all the way thru this thread but I have cruised on dcl then carnival and absolutely hated it. It just seemed trashy and very outdated.
  4. CanuckTraveller

    CanuckTraveller Mouseketeer

    May 23, 2011
    Ironically, the RCCL and NCL islands are right next to each other. We were at GSC in January on the NCL Jewel and there were two RCCL ships anchored next to us tendering their passengers to their island. We were joking that they could share tender boats they are so close ;)
  5. ilovetexas

    ilovetexas DIS Veteran

    Feb 13, 2012
    I noticed that when we were tendering to Coco Cay, there was a big Norwegian ship right next to us. RCCL's island, prior to them renaming it, was Little Stirrup Cay. I guess Norwegian got the big one (GSC).

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
  6. Rogillio

    Rogillio DIS Veteran

    Apr 11, 2006

    The term "grown up activities" amuses me. I don't guess I will ever grow up. :-). What exactly does that mean anyway? Drinking, gambling, clubbing, R-rated movies, burlesque shows, vulgar/profane comedians?
  7. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

    May 6, 2012
    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.
  8. californiamomofboys

    californiamomofboys Mouseketeer

    Jan 30, 2013
    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.
  9. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="

    Mar 25, 2002
    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, 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. :crazy2:
  10. StitchandPooh'sMom

    StitchandPooh'sMom <font color=magenta>Now if only I could think of s

    Feb 27, 2006
    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 :rolleyes:), 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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