CARNIVAL VS DCL: The discussion and comparison thread!

  • hdrolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2014
    Apparently Carnival Steakhouses won an award from Wine Spectator Magazine.

    I have to say that I am not surprised. Each dinner I've had there was absolutely spectacular (especially for the price) ... And the offer (wine offer as well) is fantastic.
    I have steakhouse booked for my Dec 2020 Horizon cruise, it will be my son's 11th birthday and one thing he loves about cruising is he can have steak and pasta (plain, with like no sauce...) every night for dinner. I thought this way he'll get a really nice steak, plus we're in a family harbor room so I think he eats free there. I'm glad to hear it's good. We don't normally do speciality meals, we are always very happy with the regular menus (especially since I don't have to cook or clean up!)
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    I have steakhouse booked for my Dec 2020 Horizon cruise, it will be my son's 11th birthday and one thing he loves about cruising is he can have steak and pasta (plain, with like no sauce...) every night for dinner. I thought this way he'll get a really nice steak, plus we're in a family harbor room so I think he eats free there. I'm glad to hear it's good. We don't normally do speciality meals, we are always very happy with the regular menus (especially since I don't have to cook or clean up!)
    It's so good that I order from the Steakhouse even in the dining room (which you can do for 20$). They also give (edible) surprises when someone is celebrating a birthday. You'll love it.
     

    Club Disney Chandler

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2013
    I have steakhouse booked for my Dec 2020 Horizon cruise, it will be my son's 11th birthday and one thing he loves about cruising is he can have steak and pasta (plain, with like no sauce...) every night for dinner. I thought this way he'll get a really nice steak, plus we're in a family harbor room so I think he eats free there. I'm glad to hear it's good. We don't normally do speciality meals, we are always very happy with the regular menus (especially since I don't have to cook or clean up!)
    We loved the steakhouse. In case you didn’t see it, Carnival just announced a prepaid $60 dinner package you can buy. For the $60/person you get 3 specialty restaurant dinners. I don’t know if it had to be 3 different restaurants or if you could do dinner more than once in the same restaurant no know it includes the steakhouse, JiJi’s and Cucina, I think Bonsai Tepanyaki is included also.
     
  • we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    Would you do the same cruise, same itinerary, same ship (different cabins), in the same year? Once in January and once in December?

    Carnival Horizon, 6-night to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel (not as exciting as the southern but much cheaper)
    We did about 5 years ago! It was on Disney and the itinerary was much less exciting (castaway/Nassau) but we generally do not care where we are going. Just love cruising.
     

    Mika02

    Disney is in my blood
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2015
    So been a crazy few months (my Job eliminated my position and I had surgery last month) so definitely canceling my DCL fall cruise. Looking to book a cruise for my kids and I for the April 2020 Spring break now and there is so many choices.

    One of my son's wants to do a resort, The other wants to do a cruise on a newer ship and my daughter has no preference. They will be 18, turning 13 during the vacation and 9. I'm worried about my daughter not sure what she would do since she will be 18 on our vacation and will have aged out of all the clubs be it land or sea. My boys love water park and pools. My oldest boy loves video games and my youngest boy loves sports. My daughter likes more indoor activities and lounging around relaxing her favorite place is WDW which I'm taking her for her 18th birthday alone but she does like water slides and hot tubs.

    Trying to Narrow down the following cruise choices for them give them the options:

    Carnival:
    Horizon 8 day (3days at sea, Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao, Arua)
    Vista 7 day (3days at sea, Mobay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
    Breeze 7 day (2days at sea, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan)

    Royal:
    Harmony of the Seas 7 day (3days at sea, St. Maarten, San Juan, perfect day cococay)
    Freedom of the Seas 7 day (2days at sea, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Thomas)
    Liberty of the seas 7 Day (3days at sea, Falmouth Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
    Anthem of the Seas 7 days (3 days at sea, Orlando, perfect day cococay, Nassau)

    So my thoughts:

    Carnival:

    I love the offerings on all the new Ships on Carnival and so did my sons when I showed them the videos. Bonus I think I can get a Family Harbor Interior on the Horizon which I couldn't get in the fall when I was looking and I would love Curacao and Aruba.

    Royal:

    Love the ports on Harmony and its the one ship that seems to have everything. Freedom as well love the ports and it has water slides. Liberty leaves from San Juan which might be nice to come in early and explore but no water slides. Anthem is only on the list because it leaves out NJ where I live so no flights which is a bonus I've heard great things about the ship mostly from adults though it has no water slides and I really don't care for the itinerary except maybe the perfect day.

    All the prices are relatively about the same as well but I probably can get the Carnival cruises cheaper as we have past guest benefits.

    So sorry for the long post but it you had to narrow these down to 2 or 3 which would they be based on all this. I want to give them a couple of choices to look at.
     

    Club Disney Chandler

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2013
    So been a crazy few months (my Job eliminated my position and I had surgery last month) so definitely canceling my DCL fall cruise. Looking to book a cruise for my kids and I for the April 2020 Spring break now and there is so many choices.

    One of my son's wants to do a resort, The other wants to do a cruise on a newer ship and my daughter has no preference. They will be 18, turning 13 during the vacation and 9. I'm worried about my daughter not sure what she would do since she will be 18 on our vacation and will have aged out of all the clubs be it land or sea. My boys love water park and pools. My oldest boy loves video games and my youngest boy loves sports. My daughter likes more indoor activities and lounging around relaxing her favorite place is WDW which I'm taking her for her 18th birthday alone but she does like water slides and hot tubs.

    Trying to Narrow down the following cruise choices for them give them the options:

    Carnival:
    Horizon 8 day (3days at sea, Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao, Arua)
    Vista 7 day (3days at sea, Mobay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
    Breeze 7 day (2days at sea, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan)

    Royal:
    Harmony of the Seas 7 day (3days at sea, St. Maarten, San Juan, perfect day cococay)
    Freedom of the Seas 7 day (2days at sea, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Thomas)
    Liberty of the seas 7 Day (3days at sea, Falmouth Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
    Anthem of the Seas 7 days (3 days at sea, Orlando, perfect day cococay, Nassau)

    So my thoughts:

    Carnival:

    I love the offerings on all the new Ships on Carnival and so did my sons when I showed them the videos. Bonus I think I can get a Family Harbor Interior on the Horizon which I couldn't get in the fall when I was looking and I would love Curacao and Aruba.

    Royal:

    Love the ports on Harmony and its the one ship that seems to have everything. Freedom as well love the ports and it has water slides. Liberty leaves from San Juan which might be nice to come in early and explore but no water slides. Anthem is only on the list because it leaves out NJ where I live so no flights which is a bonus I've heard great things about the ship mostly from adults though it has no water slides and I really don't care for the itinerary except maybe the perfect day.

    All the prices are relatively about the same as well but I probably can get the Carnival cruises cheaper as we have past guest benefits.

    So sorry for the long post but it you had to narrow these down to 2 or 3 which would they be based on all this. I want to give them a couple of choices to look at.
    My vote is for 8 night Horizon. We did that itinerary on Vista and it was by far my favorite cruise, I absolutely loved it. I’d also love to do Horizon, even though it’s virtually the same as Vista, it has better decor and it has the teppanyaki place on it. I also love 8 night vs 7 night cruises, it’s hard to believe 1 day makes that much of a difference but it really does.
     
  • Mika02

    Disney is in my blood
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2015
    My vote is for 8 night Horizon. We did that itinerary on Vista and it was by far my favorite cruise, I absolutely loved it. I’d also love to do Horizon, even though it’s virtually the same as Vista, it has better decor and it has the teppanyaki place on it. I also love 8 night vs 7 night cruises, it’s hard to believe 1 day makes that much of a difference but it really does.
    This is very true I love the idea of the extra day. Also it's out of Miami and my mom is in Florida so I figured we could leave the night before and stop and visit before heading to the ship the next day and they could see us off.
     

    we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    Ok, so I would do the least expensive one (including travel costs) because they all sound great. I prefer 8 night cruises, so if I take cost out of the equation— I would go Horizon. But if you are in the NY area and the anthem is all in the least expensive, I am generally swayed by cost. On the other hand, you are right that the ports on Anthem are so-so. We took the same Breeze cruise last March and it was awesome. The Breeze has a great passenger to space ratio and feels very open and relaxing. Dh loved that ship. St. Thomas is our favorite port of all time. We did that horizon cruise a couple of years ago but it was on the vista and it was also awesome. Assuming the Horizon is almost like the Vista, it has a more bustling feel, more “exciting.” We are tempted by Royal every time we book a cruise but carnival is usually less expensive so we tend to go that way. Also our younger kids (9 and 11) love Carnival’s kids club. Carnival is becoming more popular though and the price difference is not always there anymore.
    We saw this video of Jim Zim reviewing Anthem and it definitely looks like an impressive ship. Not sure if this link works.


    Good luck, all great choices.
     

    hdrolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2014
    I would do Horizon or Harmony, whichever is less expensive. Horizon for the extra day. I have Horizon booked for Dec 2020 for a 6-night, in Family Harbor which I am really looking forward to. But Harmony (and Perfect Day Coco Cay) look pretty awesome and I hope to do that one day.

    My first cruise ever (many many years ago lol) was with my parents and I was 16. I did not do the teen club or anything, I enjoyed relaxing on deck and watching the ocean. I am an introvert so reading or whatever on deck was (and is) my idea of a great vacation. My son, he likes to be with people and doing things. So for him, we cruise on ships with water slides, ropes courses, or rock climbing and all of that. All to say, you know your daughter but if you are ok with her hanging out with you or relaxing somewhere on the ship, then it probably matters less to her which ship you are on.
     

    Mika02

    Disney is in my blood
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2015
    Ok, so I would do the least expensive one (including travel costs) because they all sound great. I prefer 8 night cruises, so if I take cost out of the equation— I would go Horizon. But if you are in the NY area and the anthem is all in the least expensive, I am generally swayed by cost. On the other hand, you are right that the ports on Anthem are so-so. We took the same Breeze cruise last March and it was awesome. The Breeze has a great passenger to space ratio and feels very open and relaxing. Dh loved that ship. St. Thomas is our favorite port of all time. We did that horizon cruise a couple of years ago but it was on the vista and it was also awesome. Assuming the Horizon is almost like the Vista, it has a more bustling feel, more “exciting.” We are tempted by Royal every time we book a cruise but carnival is usually less expensive so we tend to go that way. Also our younger kids (9 and 11) love Carnival’s kids club. Carnival is becoming more popular though and the price difference is not always there anymore.
    We saw this video of Jim Zim reviewing Anthem and it definitely looks like an impressive ship. Not sure if this link works.


    Good luck, all great choices.
    Thank I will price them out and see which actually come out ahead. I have been to St. Thomas twice while cruising and I have always loved it. Anthem does look great. Recently did a Ship tour of Adventure of the sea and it was also pretty great.

    I would do Horizon or Harmony, whichever is less expensive. Horizon for the extra day. I have Horizon booked for Dec 2020 for a 6-night, in Family Harbor which I am really looking forward to. But Harmony (and Perfect Day Coco Cay) look pretty awesome and I hope to do that one day.

    My first cruise ever (many many years ago lol) was with my parents and I was 16. I did not do the teen club or anything, I enjoyed relaxing on deck and watching the ocean. I am an introvert so reading or whatever on deck was (and is) my idea of a great vacation. My son, he likes to be with people and doing things. So for him, we cruise on ships with water slides, ropes courses, or rock climbing and all of that. All to say, you know your daughter but if you are ok with her hanging out with you or relaxing somewhere on the ship, then it probably matters less to her which ship you are on.
    Yeah I decided not to bring my boyfriend for this trip and just make it just us that way if she needs someone to hang out with I'm around and if not I'll go do something adult alone. Thanks so much for your advice
     
    Last edited:

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    So been a crazy few months (my Job eliminated my position and I had surgery last month) so definitely canceling my DCL fall cruise. Looking to book a cruise for my kids and I for the April 2020 Spring break now and there is so many choices.

    One of my son's wants to do a resort, The other wants to do a cruise on a newer ship and my daughter has no preference. They will be 18, turning 13 during the vacation and 9. I'm worried about my daughter not sure what she would do since she will be 18 on our vacation and will have aged out of all the clubs be it land or sea. My boys love water park and pools. My oldest boy loves video games and my youngest boy loves sports. My daughter likes more indoor activities and lounging around relaxing her favorite place is WDW which I'm taking her for her 18th birthday alone but she does like water slides and hot tubs.

    Trying to Narrow down the following cruise choices for them give them the options:

    Carnival:
    Horizon 8 day (3days at sea, Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao, Arua)
    Vista 7 day (3days at sea, Mobay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
    Breeze 7 day (2days at sea, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan)

    Royal:
    Harmony of the Seas 7 day (3days at sea, St. Maarten, San Juan, perfect day cococay)
    Freedom of the Seas 7 day (2days at sea, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Thomas)
    Liberty of the seas 7 Day (3days at sea, Falmouth Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
    Anthem of the Seas 7 days (3 days at sea, Orlando, perfect day cococay, Nassau)

    So my thoughts:

    Carnival:

    I love the offerings on all the new Ships on Carnival and so did my sons when I showed them the videos. Bonus I think I can get a Family Harbor Interior on the Horizon which I couldn't get in the fall when I was looking and I would love Curacao and Aruba.

    Royal:

    Love the ports on Harmony and its the one ship that seems to have everything. Freedom as well love the ports and it has water slides. Liberty leaves from San Juan which might be nice to come in early and explore but no water slides. Anthem is only on the list because it leaves out NJ where I live so no flights which is a bonus I've heard great things about the ship mostly from adults though it has no water slides and I really don't care for the itinerary except maybe the perfect day.

    All the prices are relatively about the same as well but I probably can get the Carnival cruises cheaper as we have past guest benefits.

    So sorry for the long post but it you had to narrow these down to 2 or 3 which would they be based on all this. I want to give them a couple of choices to look at.
    I'd probably go for Horizon or Harmony... However, there are problems in San Juan right now... Don't know if it will be fixed in 2020 and Royal could always change ports.
     

    Mika02

    Disney is in my blood
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2015
    I'd probably go for Horizon or Harmony... However, there are problems in San Juan right now... Don't know if it will be fixed in 2020 and Royal could always change ports.
    I saw a FB post last night that had me concerned about just this.
     

    hdrolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2014
    San Juan is one place we don't get off the ship any more. We like beaches so it's not the best for that. On a cruise with only 3 ports where San Juan is one of them, I'd probably pick a different cruise. But if you like site seeing it would be nice, and lots of people do like it. We walked up to the fort when we went (4 years ago) but that was "one and done" for us.
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    San Juan is one place we don't get off the ship any more. We like beaches so it's not the best for that. On a cruise with only 3 ports where San Juan is one of them, I'd probably pick a different cruise. But if you like site seeing it would be nice, and lots of people do like it. We walked up to the fort when we went (4 years ago) but that was "one and done" for us.
    I want to see Old San Juan and the fort so bad... But the timing is not right.
     

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