Please stop knocking Carnival Cruises

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by disneysteve, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    My apologies for being behind in my podcast listening, but over the weekend I heard the episode where Dustin took the DCL trip with his roommate. Throughout the podcast, several remarks were made implying that Carnival Cruises are where you want to go for wild singles partying, doing body shots, etc.

    I know that Carnival has had an incredibly difficult time shaking that reputation, which apparently was true many years ago, but it simply isn't true today. We have cruised 3 times with Carnival and found them to be extremely family friendly. Our only other cruise was with Norwegian and we were very disappointed. Carnival beats them by a mile in food, service, entertainment, etc.

    We have never cruised with Disney and I'm sure it is top notch, but Carnival is far cheaper, much more affordable for most people. The kids' clubs are great. Our daughter always had a terrific time with them. We even met some DISers as a result of our one cruise. When we got home, I made a cruise photo my sig here and someone recognized us. We were on the same cruise together and she actually had pictures of me because her husband and I had played a trivia game together.

    So please stop the Carnival bashing. They are not the party ship they were 20 years ago. They are a great choice for singles, couples, families, whoever.
  2. kathylovesmatt

    kathylovesmatt Earning My Ears

    Feb 2, 2009
    I agree totally with you! I've been cruising with Carnival since 1995 and would never go on any other cruise line. I always recommend it to all my friends. I introduced my husband to Carnivakl in 2004 and he, also agrees with me. Believe me, if it were the "party" ship, we wouldn't keep going back.
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  4. Kimberle

    Kimberle WL Vet

    Jul 11, 2003
    I went on a couple of Carnival cruises about 20 years ago. They were very "family friendly". My boss and her dh (50's) go on 2 Carnival cruises per year. They are NOT partiers. I have several friends who have recently taken their families on these cruises, too. Nobody has seen "body shots", etc.
  5. drakethib

    drakethib DIS Veteran

    Sep 22, 2004
    No body shots?

    Dangit, need to call and cancel my reservations.
  6. disneydad78

    disneydad78 DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2008
    I agree with you. They are fun and alot cheaper!
  7. BriarRosie

    BriarRosie <font color=blue>Creator of Tag Fairy Haiku:<br>Cl

    Mar 7, 2002
    In 1990, Carnival WAS absolutely earning the party reputation. They did have some not-so-family-friendly stuff going on.

    But, the last time I took a Carnival cruise was 1997. They cleaned up the party boat act and it was more responsible.
  8. clownfish1976

    clownfish1976 Arizona Reef keeper!

    Nov 26, 2012
    I agree it has changed a lot over the years, BUT with that said, as somone in the cruise biz Carnival is where most people i know who WANT to party go. My boss is a young guy, has been on over 30 cruises on all the major cruiselines, and he is a BIG partier, he will only cruise carnival now. The time of year and destination certainly change things, but if you want to drink a lot and party all night, there is really no other option than Carnival, you certainly arent going to have any fun on NCL, Celebrity, HOLLAND and the like. RCCL would probably be the closest runner up but even that is still a distant 2nd. I always tell clients if you want to avoid partiers, go on at least a 7 night cruise and go during the off season. If you pick a 3 night cruise on Carnival in July out of Miami or Los Angeles, you are going to get some partiers. However if you took the 7 night Carnival out of the same ports in November you will have a LOT less. It still MUCH better than it was 20 years ago, but people that want to party still seem to pick Carnival, there just is so many more ships now and so many other cruise lines they are more diluted i guess. I would NEVER hesitate to sail Carnival though, they are a GREAT cruiseline, especially considering you can take 2 or 3 carnival cruises for the same price as 1 Disney cruise !
  9. mdvlprof

    mdvlprof DIS Veteran

    Feb 7, 2010
    I've cruised CCL several times. I have not noticed more of a party atmosphere than on other lines. Granted, I usually do at least 7-day cruises, which tend to be more calm.
    I do have worse luck getting around or getting elevator for DS, but that's due to poor floor-plan design, not party atmosphere.
  10. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    That is probably a valid point. All 3 of our Carnival cruises, taken over the course of 5 years, have been 7-day Caribbean sailings. One was in October, one in June and one on spring break. With the exception of a lot more kids on the spring break cruise, we didn't really notice any difference in the party atmosphere.

    As for price, that's what drove us to Carnival in the first place. When we were researching our very first cruise, we looked at Disney first. We discovered that a 7-day Carnival cruise was less than a 4-day Disney cruise and that made our decision for us.
  11. Euphscott

    Euphscott DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2000
    Im with the OP. It is a bad and undeserved reputation.

    Carnival is a fine product with better food than DCL and by far better itineraries and sailing options. And as has been mentioned - I can almost take two CCL cruises for one DCL. Yes - DCL is a classier product in some regards, but it's not the only game in town!
  12. disneyworld1977

    disneyworld1977 Mouseketeer

    Oct 20, 2009
    I am chiming in too on this. Why? Because I just got off a Carnival Cruise two days ago! So it was ironic I saw this thread. I have been on two Carnival cruises both times 7 days. Didn't seem like a party only ship! There are areas for almost every family' clubs, serenity (over 21 area), families around the main pool. I have always heard that the smaller day ones see more singles and maybe more of a party, I don't know from my experience. I would love to go on a Disney Cruise but like it was said and someone said on the ship I was on that had kids, they would rather have a couple of cruises on Carnival than one on Disney.

    One of these days I will go on Disney, but I can't say anything bad about the two Carnival cruises I have been on.
  13. christygobar

    christygobar DIS Veteran

    Jun 27, 2005
    I've taken 6 cruises now, and 4 of them were on Carnival. The other two on RCCL. Mostly because in my 20s, it was all I could afford. However, I found my Carnival experience to be the same as my RCCL experience in terms of food, service, cleanliness, etc. And on the smaller RCCL ships, the activities are similar as well. I never hesitate to book with Carnival, except on 3 day cruises - but I just am not a fan of those overall :)

    I haven't been on either cruiseline's newest ships, so I know RCCL has a big edge there, but in absence of being on those ships, I wholeheartedly recommend Carnival :)
  14. Joshua_me

    Joshua_me Today's Sustainable Fish

    Jun 18, 2007
    I don't know...

    I think it depends on the length of the cruise and which particular ship you are on...

    We've taken a lot of "last minute" cruises on Carnival, being lucky enough to live near a short drive from three major ports, and the difference can be night and day.

    Our last 7-night cruise was on the Carnival Valor out of Tampa in 2009. It was a mid-priced cruise, and there was something on board for everyone from families to seniors to singles "looking to mingle". All in all a great trip.

    But, our last cruise on the Carnival Sensation out of Port Canaveral in 2010 was a horse of a different color. It was a 3-nighter, and bargain basement priced, (about $350.00 a person) And let me tell you, it was a drunken, floating "meat market" at sea.

    I can't even go into many of the specific details and remain within DisBoard standards, but suffice it to say the body shots and wet T-Shirt contests and R-rated "PDA's" were in full swing. (Not to mention the results of nausea in many locations on the decks and in the hallways...) :scared:

    Now, all of this didn't particularly offend us, since we knew what we were getting into in advance and are an adult couple.

    But, that ship would be the LAST place I would want to take young children along with me.

    Bottom line, all Carnival ships are not created equal, and in general the shorter the trip, the older the ship and the lower the price point, the higher the levels of debauchery.

    The "party ships" are still alive and well if that's what you are looking for...
  15. CDolacki2003

    CDolacki2003 DIS Veteran

    Mar 3, 2007
    Having been a cruiser to only Disney ships, me and some girl friends went on the Carnival Pride without our hubbies to celebrate getting our on-line BSN's for IWU in September out of Baltimore. I went into this cruise expecting it to be the "trailer trash" of cruise ships and I have to admit I was suprised. We had a great time. I do think Carnival pushes the adult theme and the drinking, but no one is forcing you to do it. Some of the on deck games were very "not-Disney", like pole dancing and the hairy mans chest contest, but all in all it was a nice cruise. I think Disney has more to do on the ships, I missed the movie theatres and the shows. Yes the carnival shows were ok, but very cheesy. Gambling was fun, my BINGO bill was more than my bar bill:lmao:

    All in all I think it is unfair to compare them. They are not in the same class but both serve a purpose. Carnival is cheaper but they nickle and dime you for items that Disney has included. I will continue to cruise Disney but I will not discount Carnival as I think they are a good bang for the buck. I also want to try NCL and others.
  16. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    Our last cruise in July 2010 was on NCL Dawn. One of our complaints (and there were many) was how they nickel and dimed you for everything. We never felt that way, or at least not nearly as much, on Carnival, so keep that in mind.

    Of course, the flip side of that is that it allows them to keep the cruise fare low and not force you to pay for a lot of bells and whistles that you won't actually use or don't care about. The upselling can be annoying but you can always just say no, as we did repeatedly on NCL.

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