CARNIVAL VS DCL: The discussion and comparison thread!

belle032

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Belize is a very long tender ride to the port. In 2017 we just walked around the port and did some shopping. We are planning on staying on the ship this time.

Cozumel we are swimming with the dolphins.

Last time we were in Roatan we went to the Daniel’s Sloth and Monkey Sanctuary. It was awesome, I fell in love with sloths, they’re so cute and gentle. This time we are taking the chair lifts at the port to the beach. It’s a 5-10 minute ride in the air to get to a pristine beach set up for Carnival guests.
View attachment 580678
OMG we LOVED the monkey & sloth sanctuary in Roatan! I would recommend it to absolutely anyone with that port stop. Gorgeous photo!
 

brewcrew

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Omg you guys. I'm second guessing everything. I feel like I have to come to y'all because DH is one to just show up and board the ship I tell him we're going on...AKA not much help! :faint:

So I was ready to rebook our NCL sailing, but made the mistake of jumping on the Carnival website just to see what they have available for Alaska this year. And they have a pretty cool 8 day itinerary!

Norwegian: 7 Days on the Encore - Ports are Juneau, Glacier Bay (cruising), Icy Strait Point & Ketchikan, 2 Days at Sea
-Pros: Newer & larger ship, trying a new cruise line, Free at Sea perks (drink package, dining, shore excursions, wifi), sailing Glacier Bay
-Cons: Not as many port stops

Carnival: 8 days on the Miracle - Ports are Tracy Arm Fjord (cruising), Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, 2 Days at Sea
-Pros: Familiar with Carnival & love it (this will also put me at Platinum status! LOL) $100 OBC, longer cruise with more ports, having Skagway as a stop
-Cons: Smaller & older ship

Dates are pretty much the same. NCL is a Sat-Sat. CCL is a Tues-Wed. Price difference isn't crazy. NCL is actually a touch cheaper with the included Free at Sea perks and a small 10% discount from our cancelled sailing. We would add on the beverage package for CCL, which adds quite a bit to the overall cost.

Ughhh what to do!
That’s a tough one. Do you go to Alaska for the scenery and the ports or do you go for the ship? I’ve never been on Carnival (soon though) or NCL so I can’t speak to that. I like the sound of the Carnival itinerary better but the pull of a new ship is tempting. No matter what, you will be in Alaska!
 

Club Disney Chandler

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Got an email from Carnival today with protocols for the July Vista cruises. Since 95% of those on board will be vaccinated, we do not have to wear masks or social distance on the ship. We will have to abide by all rules and regulations in port though. I’m so dang excited for this cruise now!

As a side note, we’re at WDW right now and the service is horrible, most CM’s seem miserable and completely uninterested. The floor in the hallway hasn’t been vacuumed the 4 days we’ve been here and the every other day room “cleaning” is a joke. It is resulting in garbage in the hallways and the smell of dirty diapers as you walk down the hall. It’s disgusting and very disappointing. We didn’t even have to pay for our park tickets and this trip is going to still cost about $1000 more than 2 cabins for our Vista cruise. I think we’re officially done with land vacations. I’m so disappointed in this. But hey, I’m gonna be on a ship in 3 weeks and won’t care about this at that point!
 

mevelandry

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Got an email from Carnival today with protocols for the July Vista cruises. Since 95% of those on board will be vaccinated, we do not have to wear masks or social distance on the ship. We will have to abide by all rules and regulations in port though. I’m so dang excited for this cruise now!

As a side note, we’re at WDW right now and the service is horrible, most CM’s seem miserable and completely uninterested. The floor in the hallway hasn’t been vacuumed the 4 days we’ve been here and the every other day room “cleaning” is a joke. It is resulting in garbage in the hallways and the smell of dirty diapers as you walk down the hall. It’s disgusting and very disappointing. We didn’t even have to pay for our park tickets and this trip is going to still cost about $1000 more than 2 cabins for our Vista cruise. I think we’re officially done with land vacations. I’m so disappointed in this. But hey, I’m gonna be on a ship in 3 weeks and won’t care about this at that point!
I am shocked. Where are you staying?

Do vaccinated people have to be tested before boarding?
 

Club Disney Chandler

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
I am shocked. Where are you staying?

Do vaccinated people have to be tested before boarding?
We’re at Art of Animation, third time staying here and it’s always been great. We had lunch at Riviera Resort yesterday and they were better there.

It doesn’t look like we’re going to need to be tested before getting on board.
 

mevelandry

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
We’re at Art of Animation, third time staying here and it’s always been great. We had lunch at Riviera Resort yesterday and they were better there.

It doesn’t look like we’re going to need to be tested before getting on board.
I've stayed at AOA before and indeed, it was nothing like you described. WDW laid off a lot of the staff recently...

Please let us know how it is on the ship. Do you know if Vista is sailing at lower capacity? You may feel like you have the whole ship to yourself!
 

wideeyedwonder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
We’re at Art of Animation, third time staying here and it’s always been great. We had lunch at Riviera Resort yesterday and they were better there.
off topic, but we are on our last day at WDW, and both the Wilderness Lodge and the Beach Club resorts have been nice and clean, and a wonderful experience. Sorry you had a negative experience at AoA, but it sounds like you will get back to cruising again very soon, so that is wonderful!
 

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  • mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    off topic, but we are on our last day at WDW, and both the Wilderness Lodge and the Beach Club resorts have been nice and clean, and a wonderful experience. Sorry you had a negative experience at AoA, but it sounds like you will get back to cruising again very soon, so that is wonderful!
    Beach Club is one of my favorite WDW hotels. I very envious right now.
     

    trvlgirlmq

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2006
    We are at WDW now too! Offsite in a house though. It’s not lived up to the photos and we have had to call the management company a few times and the only thing that has been fixed is the tv that didn’t work for the first 10 days of our stay. No mention of any compensation for all the issues.
    I am also disappointed at the lack of restaurant and snack choices. And the prices have gone through the roof and it’s really becoming a wealthy person destination only. We won’t be back for a long time if ever. Can go to Europe for the same price or less.
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    We are at WDW now too! Offsite in a house though. It’s not lived up to the photos and we have had to call the management company a few times and the only thing that has been fixed is the tv that didn’t work for the first 10 days of our stay. No mention of any compensation for all the issues.
    I am also disappointed at the lack of restaurant and snack choices. And the prices have gone through the roof and it’s really becoming a wealthy person destination only. We won’t be back for a long time if ever. Can go to Europe for the same price or less.
    I think it's what surprises me the most. Most reviews I read these days is that they charge the big price for a reduced experience. That really sucks.
     

    belle032

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2011
    We’re at Art of Animation, third time staying here and it’s always been great. We had lunch at Riviera Resort yesterday and they were better there.

    It doesn’t look like we’re going to need to be tested before getting on board.
    So sorry for the bad experience! We stayed at Coronado Springs in April and honestly had a wonderful time. I may have skipped housekeeping, but I think with COVID protocols, there really isn't any normal room cleaning happening anyway except taking out trash and replenishing towels.

    I do agree the lack of dining overall was a bummer, especially at the resort. And it was tough if you were looking for food after "normal" dinner hours because so many places closed early! As people who always do the dining plan, we definitely felt a lack of choices and higher food/drink prices. I remember DH paying $4.75 for a Sprite at DHS and I was shocked. We were almost better off paying for a sit-down meal every time we wanted to eat. Not good.

    As a former CM, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt for the most part. It's a tough time, no doubt about it. From what I could sense, they just don't feel appreciated or valued in any way. Their benefits have been scaled back-a friend of ours said they couldn't even get into DHS until the end of the year because of the blackout dates. I remember talking to many of them when we visited and so many CMs are not working their normal roles or in their normal areas. For example, a lot of the entertainment CMs might be working merchandise. Restaurant servers might be working quick service or in another restaurant altogether. Attractions cast are all shuffled around. So many are probably out of their comfort zone or not as invested in the role they are currently performing. So I'm sure all of that is showing "on stage" even though it shouldn't be. And to put it nicely-many guests are not the most magical to deal with. Sorry I don't mean to preach, and I am in no way invalidating your experience! I'm also not excusing any outright rude behavior, but just providing another perspective.

    Back on topic: That is so exciting about your cruise! I was wondering how Carnival would treat the mask issue and that's awesome you won't have to wear them onboard! I'd be way more excited now too!
     
  • Club Disney Chandler

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2013
    So sorry for the bad experience! We stayed at Coronado Springs in April and honestly had a wonderful time. I may have skipped housekeeping, but I think with COVID protocols, there really isn't any normal room cleaning happening anyway except taking out trash and replenishing towels.

    I do agree the lack of dining overall was a bummer, especially at the resort. And it was tough if you were looking for food after "normal" dinner hours because so many places closed early! As people who always do the dining plan, we definitely felt a lack of choices and higher food/drink prices. I remember DH paying $4.75 for a Sprite at DHS and I was shocked. We were almost better off paying for a sit-down meal every time we wanted to eat. Not good.

    As a former CM, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt for the most part. It's a tough time, no doubt about it. From what I could sense, they just don't feel appreciated or valued in any way. Their benefits have been scaled back-a friend of ours said they couldn't even get into DHS until the end of the year because of the blackout dates. I remember talking to many of them when we visited and so many CMs are not working their normal roles or in their normal areas. For example, a lot of the entertainment CMs might be working merchandise. Restaurant servers might be working quick service or in another restaurant altogether. Attractions cast are all shuffled around. So many are probably out of their comfort zone or not as invested in the role they are currently performing. So I'm sure all of that is showing "on stage" even though it shouldn't be. And to put it nicely-many guests are not the most magical to deal with. Sorry I don't mean to preach, and I am in no way invalidating your experience! I'm also not excusing any outright rude behavior, but just providing another perspective.

    Back on topic: That is so exciting about your cruise! I was wondering how Carnival would treat the mask issue and that's awesome you won't have to wear them onboard! I'd be way more excited now too!
    I’m a former CM too so always give the benefit of the doubt as well. What’s most frustrating is the housekeeping issue. I don’t mind making me bed every morning and we actually do that daily anyway on vacation. They just can’t seem to get their act together, it’s supposed to be every other day. We finally got our room cleaned on Monday after checking in on Friday. Tuesday, while my wife was napping, they stopped by to clean again, she said no thanks, come back Wednesday. We were at Hollywood Studios all day yesterday and came back to a non-cleaned room. It’s not like we’re messy people or anything, but it’s just frustrating. The same garbage that has been on the hallway floor is still there since Friday when we checked in.

    As a small business owner it’s frustrating that they’re using COVID as an excuse to scale back on service while still charging almost $500/night for the”privilege” of staying at a”value” resort. My expenses are higher than ever at my restaurant because of the extra positions I’ve had to create to follow covid protocols and give my guests an amazing experience.

    Sorry, rant over. I’m gonna be on a cruise in 3+ weeks and not give a crap about this at that point 😂. The cruise group I’m part of on the social media site we can’t mention here is super fun and friendly, so I’m pretty excited. I forgot how much I love sailing out of Galveston, Texans are awesome people and so friendly!!
     

    brewcrew

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2009
    We’re at Art of Animation, third time staying here and it’s always been great. We had lunch at Riviera Resort yesterday and they were better there.

    It doesn’t look like we’re going to need to be tested before getting on board.
    My daughter and I spent last night at Old Key West Resort before our day at Animal Kingdom today. It was super clean and the staff was amazing. Of course that was one night but we actually talked about how wonderful our experience was at OKW. Have fun in the cruise! Can’t wait to hear about it.
     

    belle032

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2011
    I can officially stop talking about it, we put a deposit down on an Alaskan sailing on the Carnival Miracle for this September!

    I was seriously ready to rebook our NCL sailing, but then I got some kind of amazing offer from Carnival. I think it was a last minute casino-type rate (which is strange because I rarely play in the casino-DH does, so maybe that was it?). Anyway, we booked the 8 day itinerary in an extended verandah cabin with a $100OBC and gratuities included for LESS THAN $2K! :eek: Yes, it's an smaller ship (refurbed in 2020 I found out), but since Alaska is more about the ports and at that price, we figured we couldn't pass up the opportunity. We can budget more for excursions and extras that maybe we wouldn't normally have done.

    Fingers crossed this actually happens! DH is officially vaxxed as of yesterday and we are ready to sail!
     

    Club Disney Chandler

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2013
    I can officially stop talking about it, we put a deposit down on an Alaskan sailing on the Carnival Miracle for this September!

    I was seriously ready to rebook our NCL sailing, but then I got some kind of amazing offer from Carnival. I think it was a last minute casino-type rate (which is strange because I rarely play in the casino-DH does, so maybe that was it?). Anyway, we booked the 8 day itinerary in an extended verandah cabin with a $100OBC and gratuities included for LESS THAN $2K! :eek: Yes, it's an smaller ship (refurbed in 2020 I found out), but since Alaska is more about the ports and at that price, we figured we couldn't pass up the opportunity. We can budget more for excursions and extras that maybe we wouldn't normally have done.

    Fingers crossed this actually happens! DH is officially vaxxed as of yesterday and we are ready to sail!
    YAY! So happy for you, I think it will happen for you. Some of the casino rates are crazy right now. There are people booking on our cruise for $100/person on the casino rate, It’s crazy! There were also offering solo rates for people, so we have quite a few solos cruising now. They only have to pay the $959 rate for their own inside cabin on deck 2.
     

    brewcrew

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2009
    I can officially stop talking about it, we put a deposit down on an Alaskan sailing on the Carnival Miracle for this September!

    I was seriously ready to rebook our NCL sailing, but then I got some kind of amazing offer from Carnival. I think it was a last minute casino-type rate (which is strange because I rarely play in the casino-DH does, so maybe that was it?). Anyway, we booked the 8 day itinerary in an extended verandah cabin with a $100OBC and gratuities included for LESS THAN $2K! :eek: Yes, it's an smaller ship (refurbed in 2020 I found out), but since Alaska is more about the ports and at that price, we figured we couldn't pass up the opportunity. We can budget more for excursions and extras that maybe we wouldn't normally have done.

    Fingers crossed this actually happens! DH is officially vaxxed as of yesterday and we are ready to sail!
    That is so exciting!!! I’m new to Carnival (as in my first cruise with them is in Spring 2023). What is the deal with casino rates?
     

    belle032

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2011
    That is so exciting!!! I’m new to Carnival (as in my first cruise with them is in Spring 2023). What is the deal with casino rates?
    I honestly have no idea if there is any rhyme or reason to them at all. :laughing: We aren't high rollers by any stretch of the imagination! We've seen guests who are obviously spending money in the casino, as they generally have magnets on their cabin doors showing as such.

    We're both part of Carnival's loyalty club (tiers based on points you earn for how many days you've sailed....same as every other cruise line loyalty program) so we get emailed offers and see different offers in our accounts all the time. If we lived near a cruise port, we'd take advantage of them much more often! So I don't know if we just got lucky with an offer and/or they're throwing everything out there trying to entice people to sail again.

    Looking at the website now, the price for our sailing is definitely back up to "normal," so maybe the offer ended or they hit the capacity of how many they were allowing to book the offer in the first place.

    Either way, always check your account to see what could be in there!
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    YAY! So happy for you, I think it will happen for you. Some of the casino rates are crazy right now. There are people booking on our cruise for $100/person on the casino rate, It’s crazy! There were also offering solo rates for people, so we have quite a few solos cruising now. They only have to pay the $959 rate for their own inside cabin on deck 2.
    An acquaintance have been able to book a Panama Canal cruise for a very low price due to Casino rates.
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    That is so exciting!!! I’m new to Carnival (as in my first cruise with them is in Spring 2023). What is the deal with casino rates?
    Whenever you play at the casino, you « win » points. After certain amounts played, you start getting free drink… It starts from there and then you can eventually end up receiving special offers, free drink packages, etc.

    DH and I have never played enough money to get there but I know people who did. Apparently, once you get there, even if you don’t play huge amounts, you’ll receive offers for a while.
     





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