CARNIVAL VS DCL: The comparison thread!!!

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

  1. Club Disney Chandler

    Club Disney Chandler DIS Veteran

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    Both have benefits but we’re doong Cabana, I really like the idea of being able to walk out the patio door and being able to move around to other places on the ship. The cabana rooms are only on deck 5 and that is a great deck for strolling along or laying on a sun bed, Inlike to be outside as much as possible on ships and those cabins you don’t have to enter through the hallway, you’ll have a special key card that will unlock the patio doors so you can enter from the lanai.
     
  2. we"reofftoneverland

    we"reofftoneverland DIS Veteran

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    Have a great trip!
     
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  4. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Here we are, back from our Carnival Victory cruise, waiting to board the plane...

    Before my official review and pictures...

    First of all, let me just tell you that we have booked Faster To The Fun (FTTF) and it won't be the last time. We have boarded 45 minutes before the rest of the passengers, as promised our cabins were ready right away.

    We never had to wait to talk to a staff member to guest services. We were served right away.

    Also, we thought we were going to be very tight to make it to the Fort Lauderdale Airport (from the port of Miami) and turns out we were in the cab by 7:40 AM and 3 hours in advance for our 11:20 flight!

    *************************

    The Victory looks even better now that she did when we sailed on her in 2016. They did a good job during dry dock. While it doesn't look "brand new" like the Disney Ships, most sections were in excellent condition.

    The addition of funship 2.0 was a good call. Everything was fresh and delicious, the new restaurants and bars were super cute and added a lot of colors to the main deck. :)

    Now, what did my FIL & MIL think of Carnival after loving Disney Cruise Line so much? Well... It's a home run for Carnival!

    They both said that the musical revue Vroom and the comedy shows were their favorite over the Disney Shows --performers were high caliber-- and that the food (Chopsticks, Guy's Burgers, etc) was just as good or better, with the exception of Palo which is still their favorite.

    Both said that while they would enjoy sailing on DCL again, Carnival would be their first choice. While I still think DCL and Carnival are even when it comes to service, MIL & FIL found the staff more friendly on Carnival.

    Our cabin hostess, Sari, was the best we've had in all our six cruises (DCL & Carnival). She was always nice, helpful and friendly and our cabins were absolutely spotless. We gave her extra tips on top of the pre-paid gratuity for both cabins (we had never done this before).

    If this was a party cruise I guess we missed the party again. LOL I did not encounter heavily intoxicated or obnoxious people, guests were all polite, pleasant and in a good mood. We always found seats and loungers everywhere we went even thought the ship was sold out.

    They did put the AFT pool adult only which we appreciated very much and they were strict about it.

    The lines were usually short but when they were longer, they usually went very fast.

    Disembarkation in Key West & Cozumel was a breeze. We did not wait at all and the excursions were very well organized.

    Overall, this Carnival Victory cruise was even better than our first one on the same ship.

    Pictures coming soon. :)
     
  5. RedSox68

    RedSox68 DIS Veteran

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    I'm going to hazard a guess that the FTTF costs extra?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  6. PrincessTrisha

    PrincessTrisha DIS Veteran

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    Glad to hear you had another great Carnival cruise and that the in laws enjoyed themselves.
     
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  7. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    At the time we paid 60$ per cabin (varies per ships, length of cruise and season I think) and we really appreciated the perk.

    Thinking of booking it for DH and I since our next cruise has destinations where we have to tender. :D
     
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  8. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    20180416_112051-1170x2080.jpg 20180416_111921-2080x1170.jpg 20180416_112017-2080x1170.jpg 20180417_124802-2080x1170.jpg Carnival Victory 2018 review

    Part 1: The Cabin

    The cabins were all refurbished by the end of 2016. They used to have pink and rusty bathrooms and be beige and yellow.

    I like the new colors and cupboards. The bed (new mattresses) was more comfortable. You can have them as twin beds or put together for a queen bed.

    The sound proofing is still not perfect as you hear what is happening in the hallways but I have never been satisfied with cruise ships cabin soundproofing anyway. I always bring earplugs.

    Our neighbours were mostly quiet except for a couple who fought for a few minutes one evening.

    Our cabin host Sari was the best we've had in six cruises (DCL & Carnival)... A real gem. Always smiling and helpful. We've never had a cabin so clean.

    There was A LOT of space to store our clothes and suitcases.

    Our cabin was ocean view with obstructed view. Access to that secret deck was just 2 doors further and it was empty 99% of the time. There was a bench there too.

    While DCL still has my favorite cabins (interior) but Carnival offers a very versatile and comfortable cabin. Not a fan of their shampoos and products. I'm hoping they will upgrade them or offer the possibility to order a little basket of upgraded products at some point.
     
  9. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    20180416_133929-2080x1170.jpg 20180418_203106-2080x1170.jpg 20180416_133331-2080x1170.jpg 20180416_143348-2080x1170.jpg 20180416_161812-2080x1170.jpg 20180416_133840-2080x1170.jpg 20180418_121632-2080x1170.jpg Carnival Victory

    Part 2: The Ship

    Most of the exterior of the ship has been refurbished since 2016 (especially during the 2018 dry dock).

    They replaced most of the floors, added Guy's Burgers, Blue Iguana, Red Frog Rum Bar, Blue Iguana Tequila Bar... (Which adds a lot of colors) The pools & Slide were painted or replaced. I think they replaced some of the jacuzzis as well.

    Overall, the ship looks much better now.
     
  10. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    20180419_131558-1170x2080.jpg 20180419_150743-2080x1170.jpg 20180419_113639-1170x2080.jpg 20180419_125110-2080x1170.jpg 20180418_092008-1170x2080.jpg 20180419_090548-2080x1170.jpg 20180419_202450-2080x1170.jpg 20180419_201911-2080x1170.jpg 20180417_151519-2080x1170.jpg 20180417_142009-2080x1170.jpg Carnival Victory

    Part 3: The Food

    Once again, the food was great. While the MDR was a little bit more hit or miss depending on the dish (not a fan of their chicken dishes but big fan of their red meat), however they still nail desserts. Also the Pizza, Guy's, Chopsticks were amazing and we simply could not stop stuffing our faces with food all day long. LOL Loved the Chocolate Extravaganza at the buffet on the last day too.

    The Afternoon Tea (included) was great this time. I always pick the 2$ tea upgrade because I am picky. ;)

    Oh and did I mention that the Coral Seas Coffee Shop has Ghirardelli Mocha Frappes? Best frappe in the whole world. (4,25$ but soooo worth it).

    For me, Carnival wins again.
     
  11. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    20180420_070408-2080x1170.jpg 20180418_122934-2080x1170.jpg Carnival Victory

    Part 4: The Boarding, the disembarking, the excursions and Faster To The Fun.

    Since my FIL and MIL are seniors with a little mobility problem (they are in bad shape and my FIL has problems with his knees) we decided to book Faster To The Fun in order to limit the wait.

    It cost us 60$ per cabin and it was fantastic. First of all, we went right through the security without any wait.

    Then, we were seated in a section very close to the "entry" for the boarding. I think we were called around 11:00. We boarded so early that the materials for family pictures wasn't even up yet. Still, I noticed they now have added a path you can take in order to avoid the "first picture" which I appreciated very much. :D

    We got on the ship and went immediately to our cabins, which were ready. We met our cabin steward almost right away. We dropped our luggage and went to the buffet. There was no line and the Lido was almost empty.

    We did not have destination with tendering so we did not use FTTF there (but hey guess what: yesterday I booked it for our next cruise which has two destinations who need tendering)...

    We were out within 5 minutes in Key West were a shuttle was waiting for us (we ended up in the naval dockyard in Key West because the Breeze had the Mallory Square dock --booh!!!-- but they dropped us right in Mallory Square. They had checked us in for the Old Town Trolley excursion just as we got off the ship.

    When we came back there was a huge line. But there wasso manny shuttles picking us up that we waited about 15 minutes only which is surprising considering the amount of people in line. We took the train back to the ship. They gave us fruits infused water as we were boarding.

    Cozumel was much more popular and there are many excursions but once again it was short and easy. We were off the ship in less than 10 min and found our excursion very fast thanks to the signs at the entrance. We seated on the beach under a tree while waiting for our excursion leader to bring us to the transportation.

    The mini vans were very pretty and clean. We were in Chankanaab within 10 minutes. They picked us up at the exact time they promised at the end of the day with the same mini-vans.

    Overall, extremely well organized excursions.

    Abd then finally, we needed to get off the ship ASAP on the last day because I booked flights before noon which is a big no-no apparently.

    Since we had Faster To The Fun, they gave us a letter asking us to go to the Caribbean lounge for 7:30 AM. We went there early and actually got to disembark at 7:30, FTTF people getting off first and by 7:40 we were on the sidewalk putting luggage in our taxi cab. 8:20 we were dropped at the airport for 11:20 flight. Phew!

    Next time I won't book before noon but still... I was blown away by how efficient the disembarking process was with Faster To The Fun.

    I honestly think I will book it for all my future Carnival cruise and as soon as I got home, I did for our next cruise. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
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  12. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    20180417_061831-2080x1170.jpg 20180419_174741-1170x2080.jpg 20180419_202708-2080x1170.jpg 20180419_202450-2080x1170.jpg Carnival Victory

    Part 5: Magic happens with Carnival too...

    I was celebrating my birthday this week and I received many surprises.

    First of all, both my husband and I received a 50$ gift card (applicable on treatments) at the spa. Unfortunately, our schedule was so tight that we couldn't use them. :(

    On my birthday, I received a card dans a plate of cookies from the Casino (where I played a total of 10$ during the whole cruise... Oh and I won and came back home with 23$! LOL)

    During dinner, they sang happy birthday to me and I received a unicorn-colored small birthday cake... It was very pretty for a free birthday cake!

    Happy Birthday to Me! :D
     
  13. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Carnival Victory

    Part 6: Service and friendliness of staff

    While we do not need to be buddies with the staff, we do appreciate a nice smile and friendliness. We encountered great servers every time but my husband found that due to the fact that we had Your Time Dining and changed sections a lot, he missed having the same servers every night. But that doesn't make or break a cruise for him...

    We still had time to chat a bit with the staff here and there. We chat with a server who said he prefered smaller ships because they had more time to give to the guests while on bigger ships they keep running around.

    I asked him about our next cruise ship (the Sensation) and he said it's a great ship and we are going to enjoy it. He liked working on it.
     
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  14. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    20180419_211526-2080x1170.jpg 20180417_201912-2080x1170.jpg Carnival Victory

    Part 7 : The entertainment

    Our cruise director was Felipe. He was a lot of fun.

    We decided to go to the Love and Marriage Show. It was a lot of fun... We definitely enjoyed it.

    (Fun story: At the beginning of the show Felipe trained us to do a buzzer sound during the show when someone had a wrong answer and mentioned that during an announcement he was going to do at a certain time the next day, at a certain cue, everybody that had assisted to the show should do a buzzer sound, no matter where we were on the ship.

    Well... The next day we did and some other people too (with a little too much enthusiasm)! It was absolutely absurd and funny. We were laughing so hard about it we had tears in our eyes. We still joke about it.)

    There was a proposal at the beginning of the show. It's the second proposal I witness during a cruise and I tear up every time.

    We went to see the show Vroom. The two lead performers were great (the lady had more of a country voice but she was very good but the guy... OMG! He was phenomenal!) I think the show was even better now than the last time we've seen it and my MIL and FIL were ecstatic.

    Even the singers in the smaller venues were excellent.

    For the comedy shows, we had Jason Andors and Thea Vidale. We loved both of them but Thea is something. I mean: that woman deserves her own Netflix special. We have only one regret: the shows were happening late in the evening (up until 11:30) so we missed a lot of them because we basically lose conciousness by 10:00 PM.

    Both my FIL and MIL told us that they loved the Disney shows but while they were "magical", they felt they were more destined to kids while on Carnival the musical revue (Vroom) and the comedy shows (even the family friendly) were more "adults"... so they much much prefer Carnival's entertainment and they told us so without any hesitation and that entertainment is the very specific reason why Carnival stole the number one spot in their heart.

    I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. ;)


    IN CONCLUSION: DH and I have now done 6 cruises. 3 with DCL and 3 with Carnival.

    As I said... It's a home run for Carnival for my DH & FIL.

    My MIL and I are still 50%-50% as we hold DCL close to our hearts as well but OMG we do have so much fun on Carnival and they give us much more bang for our bucks...
     
  15. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Alright, I added my Carnival Victory 2018 review link in the first post...

    Now moving on to my next project: Carnival Sensation, stopping in Nassau, Half Moon Cay & Grand Turk (in October, if weather permits of course).

    DH and I have no idea what to do in Nassau since we don't want to do a beach day (2 beach day will follow) and don't wanna do activities involving animals. We've done Blue Lagoon (nice) before and walked in the port (yuck)...

    Have you done anything interesting in Nassau?
     
  16. trvlgirlmq

    trvlgirlmq DIS Veteran

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    Have you climbed the Queen’s staircase?
     
  17. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Never. It looks nice. I know there's a tour who does it.

    I could also be interested in Atlantis but it is soooo expensive!
     
  18. Club Disney Chandler

    Club Disney Chandler DIS Veteran

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    I wasn’t impressed with Atlantis. My wife and I had wanted to take a week long trip there for years until we were there for a day on our Dream cruise in 2011. We’re very happy we didn’t waste the money on a trip specifically to Atlantis. The food was amusement park quality, service was lacking and the grounds weren’t as clean as they show on commercials. The one great thing was the lazy river, it was fantastic.
     
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  19. lovin'fl

    lovin'fl DIS Veteran

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    We have done this cruise. We stayed on the ship in Nassau, sat in the hot tub and watched everything going on at the port. Another time we stopped in Nassau, we did Atlantis and it was not worth the money. Our last visit to Nassau, last Sept on Royal Caribbean cruise, we got off and bar hopped by the port. Was fun.
     
  20. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, I really don't see myself spending 185$/pp to spend a day there.

    I thought maybe pay 60$/pp for a visit... Maybe. The Chihuly work looks nice and my husband likes Casinos. Lol I have a feeling it's overrated and your review kinda confirm it.
     
  21. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    We are not fans of Nassau to begin with so ... it sounds like it's going to be a "pool and hot tub day".

    DH said we can always go shopping rum cakes if I want but... Meh!

    Also, I told my husband I missed having a nap during the day on our last cruise (on a 4 nights cruise, there is no time to sleep!) Sounds like the perfect day to do that. :)
     
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