CARNIVAL VS DCL: The comparison thread!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by mevelandry, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. cruiser21

    cruiser21 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2016
    Messages:
    2,435
    Well so far nothing in her review pertains to being on the ship 2 nights longer........
     
    mevelandry likes this.
  2. we"reofftoneverland

    we"reofftoneverland DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    647
    Mevelandry I have to throw in (I hope you do not mind), the price difference for us was about $4000 CCL balcony verses about $8000 DCL inside. Plus we did the 8 night, so we actually got an extra night with CCL. Almost insane.
     
  3. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor Let Dreams Unlimited Travel plan your perfect Disney vacation!


  4. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    I don't mind... :)

    And...

    :eek: :faint:
     
  5. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    FYI. 1st part of my review was on post #917. I'll try to finish the rest of it tomorrow.

    I've started putting the pictures together, they are not all good pictures because my cellphone does not cooperate with my computer so I had to download some of them from Facebook to get them in the computer and therefore lost a little quality.
     
  6. RedSox68

    RedSox68 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,335
    Terrific review. Thanks for taking the time.

    Let's keep this thread fun and airy and let people express themselves. It got a little dark there for a few posts ;) There's no need to argue out someone's opinion or review style, just enjoy it for what it is!
     
  7. Pens Fan

    Pens Fan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    985
    Enjoying your review and looking forward to the rest of it! Very informative!!
     
    mevelandry likes this.
  8. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Thanks. I can't wait to post the pictures. Some mornings I was running around the ship at 6:30 AM to take pictures while it was a ghost town. LOL
     
  9. RedSox68

    RedSox68 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,335
    I love those early morning pictures -- or running around on embarkation day to get pics of hallways and restaurants, etc. with no people.
     
  10. kaseyC

    kaseyC Mom to 3 lovely Princesses

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,810
    Enjoying your review. We had an amazing Eastern Med cruise on the Vista in 2016. So glad to hear people are still enjoying the Vista experience.
     
  11. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Yes. My husband and I loved walking around the ship early in the morning... So peaceful.
     
  12. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    DISNEY DREAM VS CARNIVAL VISTA (PART 2)


    CAST MEMBERS/STAFF


    Just like the Victory, we have found the service on the Carnival Vista to be just as good as the service on a Disney Cruise Line Ship. Our cabin host Silvana was perfect. We have also found outstanding service by all the servers we met in restaurants.

    It's a tie.


    CAFÉS

    On the Disney Dream, there is the Quiet Cove Cafe, for adults only, who serves gourmet coffee, a nice selection of tea and some small desserts. The desserts are very small and don’t taste very good. With the exception of desserts (free), there is a fee for the gourmet coffee and tea. At the Vista Cafe, the kids are allowed. While there is a fee for coffee and tea, the pastries are included.

    On the Carnival Vista, the Java Blue Café (now owned by Starbucks) is where you can find gourmet coffee and tea and different desserts, snacks, ice cream and gelatos. There is a fee for all those products but it's less expensive than what you'd pay on land. Coffee goes from $1.95 to $5.95 and desserts goes from 1.25$ to 3.95$. I’ve had my first piece of Blue Velvet Cake there. It was HUGE and cost me only 2,50$ for a piece that would have cost me at least 9$ in a restaurant on land.

    Carnival Vista wins. I’d rather pay a small fee for a huge dessert that taste good than having free bland small dessert. ;)



    CANDY SHOPS

    Disney Dream has Vaneloppe's Sweets and Treats.

    Carnival Vista has Cherry on Top that offer a big selection of candy and chocolats, ice cream, ice cream sandwiches (make your own) and gelatos. Candy and desserts are less expensive there than on DCL.

    Carnival Vista wins this one.



    SHOPS

    I am not a shopper... But we have found the souvenirs to be much more affordable on Carnival & there are huge sales at the end of the cruise where everything is even more affordable.

    While I agree that DCL has the cutest merchandise ever, Carnival sells some edgy t-shirts and I wanted to re-do my whole casual wardrobe in there.

    Also, Carnival sells Tortuga Rum Cakes and DCL doesn't. :P

    Carnival Vista wins.


    BARS

    Disney Dream has 8 bars: Skyline (beautiful), Evolution (dance club), 687 (nice pub with a gigantic screen), Pink (champagne bar), Meridian (great view, near Palo & Remy), Bon Voyage (near the lobby) Currents & Waves (outdoor bars in the Quiet Cove section).

    Carnival Vista has a least 10 bars: Lobby bar, Alchemy Bar, Blue Iguana Bar, Library Bar, Sky Box Sports Bar, Ocean Plaza Bar, Red Frog Rum Bar, Red Frog Brewery, Havana Bar and at least 2 or 3 other pool bars.

    I am not a big fan of bars but I have found the bars on the Carnival Vista had more character and since they tend to be slightly more crowded than on Disney Cruise Line, the ambiance is slightly more “animated”. Carnival Vista wins.


    POOLS

    On the Disney Dream, there are two pools on the Main Deck: The Mickey pool and The Donald Pool. There is also two small jacuzzis. Those pools and jacuzzis tend to be overcrowded at all times. There is one small slide for the children and The Aquaduck, which is a huge waterslide. There is another pool in the adult section but I will talk about it in the Adult Only Section.

    Near the two main pools, there is a splash zone called Nemo's Reef, for toddlers. It's really cute.


    On the Carnival Vista, you will find two pools. The main pool is called Beach pool. There is a quiet pool (aft) called The Tides Pool (not sure if it’s adult only or if it recently became family friendly but during the time we were there, I barely saw any kids). Each pool were surrounded by Jacuzzis.

    The kids waterworks are very colorful and fun (I secretly tried some of them while there was nobody around to judge me ... Shhhhhh!)

    The Carnival Vista also has great water slides. One of them named “the Kaleidoscope slide” and I thought is was as fun as the Aquaduck. My husband still likes the aquaduck better.

    DCL still has the best slides but the pool on Carnival Vista are less crowded. It’s a tie.


    ADULT ONLY SECTION

    On the Disney Dream, there is a great adult section called the Quiet Cove with a small pool, two small jacuzzis, two bars (one of them is actually part of the pool, the other one is on a higher deck) and one cafe (Quiet Cove Cafe). The space itself is great, filled with lounging chairs and sofas. There is a lot of shade over there. There are huge windows (going from the floor to the ceiling) who will provide you the best views on both side of the cruiseship. The only cons of the adult section is that it is splitted in two parts. One part being on one deck and the other one on a higher deck, with another deck in between where you can find a kiddie pool, therefore, kids have to walk by the adult section in order to take the stairs to get to that pool. Between our first cruise and our second cruise, they added Satellite Falls on the higher deck, which can be a nice place to refresh as well (Although it was closed 100% of the time we were there during our second cruise.)

    On the Carnival Vista, the adult section is called Serenity Deck. No pool on that deck but two large jacuzzis. While there is a lot of seats and loungers, most of them are under the sun. On the Vista, the Serenity Deck is on deck 15 and is secluded so we never saw kids in there.

    Because the Serenity Deck on the Vista doesn’t have a pool and the Quiet Cove on the Dream does, it's a tie!
     
  13. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    THEATERS AND SHOWS (Part 3 - END)

    On the Disney Dream, there is the Buena Vista Theater where you can watch movies (some of them 3D). There is pop corn and drinks available right outside the theater for a fee but the price is nowhere near the prices you'd pay for snacks and drink on land. I think we paid 5$ for a bucket of pop corn and 1 big soda.

    The Walt Disney Theater is where you'll find shows. When we were there we have seen The Golden Mickeys (Love it!) and Believe (We did not like this one as much as the GM). Those are family friendly. I have never been lucky enough to catch a comedy show on the Dream, unfortunately. I've never noticed any in the Personal Navigator outside of a ventriloquist and it's not my cup of tea.

    On the Carnival Vista, the Liquid Lounge presents Musical Revues. I went to see the show Flick. The dancers were great, the special effects were unbelievable… But unfortunately, I am quite picky when it comes to singers (I am annoyed when the pitch is not perfect) and two of the singers did not pass the test.

    Another thing did not pass the test: the seating. I don’t know who designed that lounge but they must have been 7 feet tall. The back of the seat are so high that they block the view if you are a short person (which I am, 5’4”). Also, there are big poles in the middle of the rooms which block your view even more, and windows in front of the first row on the balcony, which makes you watch the show through a window.

    I did not stay for the entire first show and since I believed it was going to be the same cast for the second show, I decided not to attend any more musical revues. That being said, I believe the cast may change once in a while. If I had to sail on the Vista again, I would most likely give the shows another chance.

    There are many other shows happening in the Lobby Bar and the Ocean Plaza. The jazz band, the violin trio and the duo that were playing in alternance were absolutely awesome.

    The Limelight Lounge is used to present comedy shows and turns into a dance club at night. We loved it and attended those shows every night there was comedy shows.

    It's all a matter of taste and what you are looking for in a show but for my husband and I, Carnival Vista wins this category.


    MOVIES

    The movie theater on the Disney Dream reminds me of good comfortable movie theaters we find at home. Just like them, you'll have to pay for your pop corn and pop. The prices are a bit more affordable (5$ for a regular pop corn and a soda).

    You can also watch movies on the big screen near the pool once in a while, which remind me of the “Dive-in Movies” events on Carnival except that you can’t get pop corn.



    For an extra fee (normal movie theater fees except for the documentaries, which tend to be cheaper than on land), you can actually get to see new movies at the IMAX theater. I have not tried it but I know it was very popular. Like the Disney Dream, you can buy snacks there.

    The Carnival Vista also has a Thrill Theater for a 5,50$ fee. The Thrill Theater is a small 4D movie theater of 24 seats. You put your 3D glasses on and you will experiment 3 short movies (total duration from 10 to 20 minutes) during which you’ll see, feel and smell things… Like Philarmagic in WDW, but way better! I’ve experienced similar rides in different theme parks but it was by far the best one I’ve ever tried. I went twice. One of the events being Halloween Themed. During the Friday the 13th short film, you would actually get poked in the back when someone gets stabbed in the back.

    On the Carnival Vista, the free movies are presented on the big screen near the Beach pool and are called "Dive-In Movies". You can watch movies in the pool or comfortably installed on one of the lounging chairs. The pop corn is FREE.

    The experience between Disney Dream and Carnival Vista in that area are too different. Therefore, I can't pick a winner: it's a tie.


    MINI-GOLF and SPORTS

    There is a small mini-golf (9 holes) on the Disney Dream. You can pretty much play the way you want. It is included, you don't need to subscribe or anything, you pick up your golf club and your ball and you play. It is fun but it can be a bit windy up there. There are also other games like basketball, a jogging trail, ping pong tables and simulators which I have not tried.

    On the Carnival Vista, there is a mini-golf as well. Very colorful and fun. The area is a bit more protected so it is windy but not as much as on the Disney Dream. They also have a basketball court, ping pong tables, soccer pool, bowling (3$ per person), pool tables, foosball tables, a jogging trail, a gym (outdoor)…

    The two activities that stood out were the Sky Ride (bikes, in the sky!) and a rope course (which was absolutely terrifying for me).

    Carnival Vista wins.


    ON BOARD CREDIT

    With DCL, you have to call or fax them... And you cannot confirm that the credit has been applied unless you call them or receive your coupon in the room on embarkation day.

    With Carnival, you can add on board credit online with. You buy it as "Cruise Cash" or "Cruise Cash Bar" (for drinks you'll buy at a bar) or "Cruise Cash Photo" (that you can use to buy pictures taken aboard) and you will receive a confirmation by e-mail right away. They say you have to use it all because there are no refunds but,we found out that if you put your credit on your card to play at the casino, you can actually cash it out afterwards…We’ve done it and it worked.)

    Carnival wins.


    GIFTS

    With DCL, you have to order my phone or by fax. I’ve never received any receipts from them, the only way I could make sure the payment was passed was by looking at my credit card statement or call them.

    With Carnival, you can order your gifts online. You receive a confirmation number by e-mail for your purchase.

    Carnival in-room decorations packages are a little more affordable than DCL’s. Carnival recently upgraded their decoration packages. They are now starting at 40$ but they added decorative towels to most packages that you can bring home. The DCL decorative packages start at 45$.

    Also, there are so much more choices of gifts and with the exception of flowers (which have very similar prices) there is a lot of affordable choices.

    Carnival wins this one.


    EARLY CHECK-IN

    While you can complete your early check-in on DCL’s website 90 to 120 days in advance with DCL, I remember being able to do my early check-in right away (six months in advance) with Carnival.

    With DCL, you will receive a (super cute!) booklet with all the details from your trip with luggage tags prior to the cruise. A few days before the cruise, you will receive a health survey that you have to fill up before you check-in.

    With Carnival, you print all your documents. Those documents contain the health survey and the luggage tags (You print them too!).


    I'll give this one to DCL because I find it more "official" and cuter!


    FIRE DRILL

    Both Fire Drill were made inside and the length was similar.


    A fire drill is a fire drill (aka boring)… It’s a tie.


    FINANCIAL GESTION

    DCL sends you a bill on the last night of the cruise. I don’t remember being able to see it elsewhere.

    Carnival has automated machines where you can review and print your account anytime you want, you can also review it on your app and on your tv. And they send you a paper

    Carnival wins for this one.


    INTERNET

    Unlike DCL who gives you 50 MB for free (which I generally lose within seconds. I hate it) and packages you can buy.

    Carnival offers you different packages including a very affordable (5$/day) Social Media plan on which you can get your messages and post on different social medias like FB, instagram, etc. They also have a few computer you can use. We have found the wifi a bit spotty at times but my app worked well and the computers were great.

    Carnival wins.

    APP

    Both cruise lines have their own app with countdowns and schedules. None of them stands out to me as being better than the other. They are both useful.

    It’s a tie.


    DISEMBARKATION

    With DCL, you will be assigned to a restaurant in the morning. If you usually have Early Seating, your breakfast will be served first, and then you'll be invited to disembark. You will receive a luggage tag that will indicate in which section to pick-up your luggage the next day. They are named after characters and colors.

    With Carnival, the disembarkation time will depend on the deck you are staying at. You will receive a notice on the last night inviting you to disembark at a certain time. Your number will be called. There are designed areas where you can wait and you will receive a list of restaurants/Cafés that will be open and ready to serve you food and coffee.

    I find that Carnival disembarkation organization is the best out of the two. My husband and I had the chance to sleep in a bit and could leave at 9:30 because we were staying on deck 14 (the last deck called).


    THE END.

    If you have any question or want more details regarding certain categories, feel free to ask. :)
     
  14. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Cruise Terminal in Miami:
    Carnival Mexique 132.jpg


    Lobby, with some LCD thingy showing hundreds of different designs (it changes a few times a day). I have many pictures from different designs but my computer hates me and refuse to let me load it here. Bleh:
    Carnival Mexique 011.jpg

    Miami view from the ship:

    Carnival Mexique 153.jpg

    Beach pool (Main Pool) area:
    Carnival Mexique 147.jpg

    Tides pool (Quiet pool) area, aft:

    Carnival Mexique 150.jpg

    Waterworks (splash zone for kids and water slides):
    Carnival Mexique 148.jpg

    Serenity section (seats and jacuzzis), I'm sorry... I apparently forgot to take more pictures of that section. It looks better than on my pictures and is quite spacious:
    Carnival Mexique 160.jpg Carnival Mexique 161.jpg
     
  15. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Dining room (Horizon):
    Carnival Mexique 013.jpg

    My computer refuses to let me show you the Reflections dining room. It's pretty similar to Horizons except that it is only on one deck. No mezzanine. :(
     
  16. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Java Blue Café:
    Carnival Mexique 138.jpg


    Red Frog Brewery:
    Carnival Mexique 139.jpg

    Library bar (loved it but it was also used for Art exposition and auctions so it was rarely available...)
    Carnival Mexique 141.jpg Carnival Mexique 142.jpg
    Carnival Mexique 115.jpg
     
  17. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Imax Movie Theater & Thrill Theater waiting room (unfortunately I don't have pictures from the Thrill Theater):
    Carnival Mexique 145.jpg Carnival Mexique 146.jpg
     
  18. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Here is the Lido (buffet):
    Carnival Mexique 149.jpg
     
  19. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Here's Bonsai Sushi:
    Carnival Mexique 052.jpg

    Carnival Mexique 162.jpg
     
  20. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Our cabin on deck 14... I forgot to take a picture of the desk and the tv... Oops. The placement of the bed is quite irregular. This room is supposed to have two separate twin beds. Our cabin host made sure they would be placed together. It made that part of the room a bit cramped but the rest of the room felt more spacious.

    Carnival Mexique 156.jpg

    Carnival Mexique 157.jpg Carnival Mexique 158.jpg

    Does anybody know how to rotate pictures here? :P
     
  21. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,493
    Rope Course: 22519473_10156020744719252_7684745856086687645_n.jpg

    Arcades:
    22540080_10156020734664252_7627510645912215604_n.jpg

    Gym (in the Cloud 9 Spa):

    22780583_10156030965024252_5957878368836278127_n.jpg

    Thermal Suite in the Cloud 9 Spa (there are also three saunas/hammam) and three perfumed showers (I'll try to find my pictures) :
    22688547_10156030964689252_5355744597296874569_n.jpg 22688740_10156030964574252_4673268641320540556_n.jpg

    Relaxation lounge in the Cloud 9 Spa. Great view:
    22728712_10156030964469252_3580080553647681187_n.jpg

    Guy's Burger:
    22730114_10156030965679252_3299766298315001969_n.jpg 22555194_10156030965549252_7613269944484060376_n.jpg

    Red Frog Rum Bar:
    22728674_10156030965134252_4040619879311251230_n.jpg


    Blue Iguana: 22555290_10156030965294252_8820010257793779288_n.jpg
     
    Dallas_Lady likes this.

Share This Page