CARNIVAL VS DCL: The discussion and comparison thread!

mevelandry

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
So do we!! I want to go to San Juan so bad and am a huge fan of Grand Turk.
What do you do in Grand Turk? (Wasn’t a big fan but at this point, I think I would enjoy an overnight to Freeport. LOL)

San Juan is the reason we booked. I always wanted to visit Old San Juan!

I find Amber Cove intriguing. Not expecting much of it but the area looks breathtaking.
 

belle032

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
What do you do in Grand Turk? (Wasn’t a big fan but at this point, I think I would enjoy an overnight to Freeport. LOL)

San Juan is the reason we booked. I always wanted to visit Old San Juan!

I find Amber Cove intriguing. Not expecting much of it but the area looks breathtaking.
We loved our stop in San Juan and wouldn't hesitate to go back. The historic part of the city is beautiful, brightly colored, and just charming. People were so friendly! It was HOT, but actually really nice to explore something outside your typical beach day.
 

hdrolfe

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2014
We will be booking a beach day in San Juan, it's our 3rd time there and it isn't as exciting as some other ports (for kiddo, I'd be happy to wander but he likes to DO stuff). Amber Cove looks lovely and I plan to try ziplining there... though I'm also terrified at the thought :) Grand Turk will be kiddo's 12th birthday and we'll stay on the beach I think. I may book an excursion to see something of the island and a different beach, but we'll see how much money I want to spend :)

Just put the down payment on that and have to decide on the week before, do we B2B or do we Disney. I'm leaning towards the B2B but will see sometime mid-January when I've paid off Christmas. Since Ontario is entering lockdown for a month I won't have much to do, or spend money on. Oh I can't wait for this to be over and get back to cruising!
 

Club Disney Chandler

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
What do you do in Grand Turk? (Wasn’t a big fan but at this point, I think I would enjoy an overnight to Freeport. LOL)

San Juan is the reason we booked. I always wanted to visit Old San Juan!

I find Amber Cove intriguing. Not expecting much of it but the area looks breathtaking.
We just hang out on the beach there, but think Margaritaville looks awesome. I love this view!CEE11F94-6C77-497B-9A70-FD5144F36D89.jpeg
 

mevelandry

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
We just hang out on the beach there, but think Margaritaville looks awesome. I love this view!View attachment 545801
It looked so different than when we went in 2018. They put like 4-5 rows of lounger chairs (super cramped) and locals were trying to rent the front row.

The sand was full of cigarettes and pieces of glass.

(We ended up going to Jack's Shack.)

Margaritaville was pretty cool even though I'm not into sexy dances contests. LOL The pool was nice and so were the gigantic plates of nachos.
 

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  • mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    Has anyone stayed at Marriott Biscayne Bay when departing from Miami? Would love to know what you thought of it. I just booked a pre-cruise package and it looks like a very nice option.
     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    I wonder if I could get any feedback on the Carnival Pride? We have only sailed with DCL, we had the Mardi Gras booked for March 2021, but obviously that has been cancelled. We currently have the Magic booked for 10 nights to Northern Europe in August 2021 but I doubt very much it will sail (or that we will be on it) so looking to move our booking to 2022. Obvs can't compare DCL and Carnival prices for 2022 as DCL has not released yet but comparing the 12 night roundtrip from Dover in August 2022 in an Ocean SUITE vs our 10 night in a deluxe OV inside (obstructed room), the Carnival cruise is $1100US cheaper! Which I'm sure will surprise no one. And my price on DCL includes the 10% OBB.
    So, what's a Disney cruiser to do? For a port intensive cruise I'm willing to forgo the 'disney difference' but what is the Carnival Pride as a ship like itself? I've gone over the activities, restaurants, etc. so I'm looking for first hand accounts please :)
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    I haven’t sailed on Pride but when you sail on old Carnival ships, you definitely have to expect the looks of the ship being very different than DCL (DCL going for a classic look while older Carnival ships being more « Vegas ») ... For some reason, the previous designer seemed to LOVE the colors orange and brown and it’s everywhere including in the cabins.

    People can smoke in the casino. All ships are not equal with ventilation so on some ships you will smell it more than others.

    I like the fact that the gifts are so much more affordable on Carnival so you can surprise your family with plenty of surprises without breaking the bank.

    I find activities and restaurants to be very much alike on each Carnival ships which makes me recommend:

    The Steakhouse if you want to treat yourself a little bit... There is a free bottle of wine if you book for the first night (or 50% off a better choice of wine). It reminds me of Palo but a little bit more relaxed.

    Bonsai Sushi is « à la carte » yet very affordable ... and great!

    I love having « Port Days Breakfast » in the dining room but I love the « Sea Day Brunch » even more. It’s included.

    Sometimes during Sea Days at 3 PM there is Afternoon Tea (they offer tea, sandwiches and desserts). You can upgrade your tea for a very small price if you are picky like me. ;)

    The food in the dining room is usually good but I love to treat myself with the Steakhouse Selections once in a while (20$ USD will get you a Filet Mignon, lobster or a Surf and Turf that are to die for.)

    Guy’s Burger and Blue Iguana are good. I like them.

    Green Eggs and Ham is a great characters breakfast if you are into Dr. Seuss. I did it without being a fan just because it was themed and unexpensive. Even the food is themed and there is a lot of characters. I would recommend for families.

    I’ve never had a bad service team on Carnival. I know people are raving about DCL being the best but I honestly never noticed a difference.

    The aft pool is usually where we like to hang out. So much more quiet than the main pool.

    I like the shows, they usually have at least one excellent musical revue and we are fans of the comedy shows. Everything is much more adult themed.
     
  • hdrolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2014
    I haven't sailed on Pride or that class but I believe it is quite popular. I can't compare to a DCL ship, but it is a nice looking ship. They have a serenity pool at the back of the ship, they do have a steakhouse and of course Guy's and Blue Iguana.
     

    belle032

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2011
    I wonder if I could get any feedback on the Carnival Pride? We have only sailed with DCL, we had the Mardi Gras booked for March 2021, but obviously that has been cancelled. We currently have the Magic booked for 10 nights to Northern Europe in August 2021 but I doubt very much it will sail (or that we will be on it) so looking to move our booking to 2022. Obvs can't compare DCL and Carnival prices for 2022 as DCL has not released yet but comparing the 12 night roundtrip from Dover in August 2022 in an Ocean SUITE vs our 10 night in a deluxe OV inside (obstructed room), the Carnival cruise is $1100US cheaper! Which I'm sure will surprise no one. And my price on DCL includes the 10% OBB.
    So, what's a Disney cruiser to do? For a port intensive cruise I'm willing to forgo the 'disney difference' but what is the Carnival Pride as a ship like itself? I've gone over the activities, restaurants, etc. so I'm looking for first hand accounts please :)
    I have not sailed on the Pride specifically, but I recommend not going in and not immediately comparing everything to DCL! It's an older Carnival ship, so I definitely agree with @mevelandry in that the decor will not be Disney-level classic. I am SO happy that the newer ships are shedding that "Las Vegas" style!

    But I sailed a very port intensive British Isles itinerary on the Disney Magic last year, and I agree with your assessment that you might not miss the "Disney difference" on this type of itinerary as much. It's such a go-go-go sailing, that we honestly could have sailed almost any cruise line and saved ourselves a ton of money and had a very similar experience. I've always had outstanding guest service on Carnival, we've had amazing dining teams, great food, and plenty of activities to enjoy. We learned that the ship was almost more of a mode of transportation rather than a huge part of the vacation experience, which is the opposite of the Bahamas/Caribbean IMHO.

    If there are any reviews on the first page of this thread on the Pride, I would check those out. Or any reviews on the Spirit/Miracle/Legend might be helpful as well, because I think they are sister ships. Cruise Critic might be another good source for first hand reviews, but like anything else, I take those with a grain of salt.

    I totally understand that trying a new cruise line can be daunting because you're spending money on something you aren't even sure you'll enjoy! We're giving NCL for the first time for our Alaska sailing (fingers crossed) and I already feel a little stressed because I'm not sure what to expect. But whatever you choose, I think you'll have a wonderful time!
     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    @belle032 Thank you! Yes I took a look at the first page of this thread before posting, but didn't see any reviews of the Pride. But now that you've mentioned the sister ships, I'll go back to see if there are any reviews on those ones.
     

    trvlgirlmq

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2006
    @belle032 Thank you! Yes I took a look at the first page of this thread before posting, but didn't see any reviews of the Pride. But now that you've mentioned the sister ships, I'll go back to see if there are any reviews on those ones.
    I haven't been on Pride but we are booked for July 2022! Moved our 2021 Europe cruise. We only notice the decor the first couple of days. After that it's just the ship.
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    Guys... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    Let's say things get better and we finally get back on cruise ships in 2021... What are your plans so far?

    I have...

    -Carnival Sunrise to Nassau/Half Moon Cay/Grand Turk in August 2021

    -Oasis of the Seas to Labadee in November 2021

    -Carnival Mardi Gras to San Juan/Amber Cove/Grand Turk in January 2022

    (Yes, 3 cruises in 5 months... LOL)

    -Carnival Horizon to Aruba/Curaçao/La Romana/Amber Cove in October 2022.
     

    braysmommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2010
    Has anyone stayed at Marriott Biscayne Bay when departing from Miami? Would love to know what you thought of it. I just booked a pre-cruise package and it looks like a very nice option.
    We have stayed here prior to our DCL cruise and really liked it. I booked it on our own and not a cruise package and would stay again.
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    We have stayed here prior to our DCL cruise and really liked it. I booked it on our own and not a cruise package and would stay again.
    Our pre-cruise package is: the room, 2 drinks, breakfast for two and shuttle to the port.

    Did you try a restaurant at the hotel? If you did, how was it?
     

    hdrolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2014
    I have
    Mardi Gras - December 2021 probably adding another week to this one - in Family Harbour and looking forward to the extra spot to get ice cream, breakfast and snacks

    MSC Seashore Jan/Feb 2022 but am probably cancelling it, in favour of a probable Disney/Universal/RCL in April 2022. We miss Disney but I'm not sure we want to go in late 2021 as it will probably be busy with 50th and people who haven't been in ages.

    Horizon B2B Western/Southern April 2023.

    I can't wait for all of it... and am watching carefully as vaccinations are rolled out and will be paying attention when cruises finally start up again to see how it goes. My son is also excited, he'll be turning 12 on the Mardi Gras and is excited about the water slides and zipline/ropes course on the ship. He said he doesn't want to try the roller coaster because he'll have to go with me and I "drive too slow" on those kinds of rides...
     





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