posted 9 months ago in Travel
Post # 2
7272 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

bmccarty92 :  I have only been on Carnival and Royal Carribean. Both are nice. I felt like Royal Carribean was slightly more “upscale”. The staff are more professional and detatched. Carnival is more laid back and the staff are more likely to joke around and sometimes even hang out once they are off duty. I think the Carnival beds are nicer but liked the food on Royal Carribean better. But all of these are just slight differences… all cruises feed you more than you can handle, have lots of activities, have staff available all the time… 

One thing I’d recommend- if you’re going to have fun (and not on a honeymoon or something super romantic) go with the lowest room category. You will hardly be in there anyway and the rooms on the lower part of the ship feel swaying a lot less so if there’s heavy rocking you are less likely to get sick down there. Try for a room close to the center of the ship so you won’t have to walk the entire length just to get to the dinning room or back from a club at night. 

Definitely check on drink packages too. That kind of thing varies on the different cruiselines, but on many the only drinks always available as part of your cruise cost are water, iced tea, coffee and lemonaid (plus milk/juice only in the morning). If you drink soda or alcohol it will get super costly but they often have prepaid plans where you pay like $8 a day for unlimited soda which sounds kind of expensive until you get on the ship and a coke costs you $4.50. 

I definitely think you should do it. I love cruises. 

Post # 3
798 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

I was on a cruise on Royal Caribbean and it’s for an older crowd, more upscale, not a ton of young kids. But I was disappointed in the food, I was expecting more. 

Carnival is cheaper and is a party cruise, lots of young and old mixed. The food is awesome.

Just my personal experience. 

Post # 4
132 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve also been on Carnival and Royal Carribean. I vastly prefer Carnival over Royal. There’s a ton to do on Carnival and I found Royal lacking in the things to do dept (although that may depend on which ship you book). The cabins are bigger on Carnival ships and I found the food to be much better on Carnival. I guess it all comes down to the type of vacation you want to have: if you’re really going to relax then I’d recommend Royal but if you’re going to have a blast and party then I’d recommend Carnival.

Post # 5
188 posts
Blushing bee

bmccarty92 :  my family loves carnival! we go on a cruise about once a year. Never had a bad experience with Carnival (except got seasick once during a storm, but that’s not the cruise ship’s fault)

Post # 6
281 posts
Helper bee

I’ve been on 2 carnival cruises and 1 royal Caribbean cruise and I’ve loved them all! There’s a ton to do on both lines, amazing staff and food! I’m actually booking a cruise on RC this year because their newer ships are amazing! They have a roller skating rink, sky dive simulations, bumper cars etc. you should definitely check out RC’s new ships before making your choice!

Post # 7
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

We have cruised on Carnival twice (other lines don’t have ports that are convenient to us) and it’s been fun! The first cruise we stayed in an oceanview room and having that window was nice because I get seasick and vertigo sometimes, so being able to see out was great. The second time we went we upgraded and opted for a balcony room–sooo worth it (in my opinion) because it’s probably one of the few outdoor spaces you’ll have to yourself! We had coffee out there every single morning, had some wine out there in the evenings, and even had some fun out there too… 😉

If you go Carnival, I’d suggest bringing some cash and pre-paying on your room card. Every room has to do a Sail and Sign account, which basically acts as your charge card at any shops/restaurants on board. There’s the option to link it to your bank account, but if you’re like me I want as few things linked to that as possible. So we always bring cash, put a couple hundred dollars on the card, and then use that balance. If you need more you can add more, and if there’s any left over you get it back…but to me that’s way better than accidentally spending 1200 bucks on board (easy to do) and then it all drafts out of your account on your return day! 

Whichever you choose to go with–Carnival vs RC–bring more sunscreen/emergency tampons/toothpaste/etc. than you think you’ll need because let me tell you: I only needed to pay $35 once for tampons and sunblock to tell you that you’ll wish you’d just had extra. Haha

Have fun!


Post # 8
2350 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

We went on a Princess cruise for our honeymoon and loved it! I picked the cruise because of the itinerary mostly, Princess is definitely an older crowd but we liked that- no kids splashing in the pool, it was very laid back and relaxing. And the food was absolutely amazing, and the ship was beautiful! I also went on another NCL cruise a while ago, which was had a wider age range and more kid stuff, like big slides into the pool, but the food wasn’t as good and the ship wasn’t as nice, but it was still fun.

I definitely recommend getting a balcony no matter which line you choose… it’s so nice to get away from all the other people and just feel the breeze and stare out at the ocean.

Post # 9
1002 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My DH and I love Norwegian. They often have a “free at sea” promotion that turns it into an all inclusive by giving you free open bar (and other offers but we picked the liquor!)! We are going on our second Norwegian cruise this June with the free at sea. We also like all of the speciality restaurants onboard. We’ve also done Royal Caribbean and I’ve done Carnival. We enjoyed RC too, but because of the free at sea, we are Norwegian people for now!

Post # 10
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I took a 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise on royal Caribbean independence of the seas and loved it. I thought the food was great and there was a lot to do (concerts, musicals, casino, karaoke, game shows, wave rider, basketball court, rock climbing, etc). There was even a gay night club on the ship! I think it really depends on which ship you’re on. 

Post # 11
1163 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’ve been on 8 cruises  (so far). I’m hooked. RCx2, Carnivalx3, Princess & Norwegianx2. All 7-8 days. I recommend that you book the one with the best itinerary. All of the cruise lines had pros & cons. Definitely get a balcony if this is a “splurge” vacation as you really can’t beat it. 

I’ve never partied on any of the cruises I’ve been on. Definitely get a drink package if you’re going to drink a lot  (more than a couple of drinks a day).

Carnival is the cheapest & good all around. Norwegian has the best (by far) entertainment. 

You’re gonna have so much fun! 

Post # 12
961 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

bmccarty92 :  Yay for cruising! This is my favorite way to enjoy a vacation. I’ve done Carnival and Royal. Carnival is truly the fun ship and is great for families – it’s a party boat. A little lacking in the quality of food and service, IMO.

Royal’s ships are A-mazing  (we’re honeymooning with them this fall). The food and service is top notch and it’s definitely more upscale to Carnival. Also, not as many kids running around. Carnival has better ports than Royal though…

MexiPino :  Everything she said! Definitely don’t splurge on a room…you won’t be in there except to sleep, and if you want to relax and take in the ocean…go to the deck (there’s always an over 21 section) so you can take in the view and R&R.

Also mid-ship, mid-deck is the best place to room. You’ll feel a lot less motion. But JIC, bring some dramamine for motion sickness.

Don’t splurge on fancy restaurants onboard, it’s the same food that’s served in the main dining room but for an additional cost.

Wait to book offshore excursions (unless you have a large group) when you’re onboard. It’s cheaper, and you can go by feeling.

Dress up for formal nights and take advantage of free photography (photos are not free). Some of the best family pictures we have are from cruises.

Bring your own camera! Everywhere. The boats are gorgeous, the islands are gorgeous….and you’re really going to want to capture those memories.

Post # 13
7272 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

Piggybacking on what bluecutie00  said about excursions– if you’re just looking to do a jeep tour or something else simple, don’t even book it on the ship. In Mazatlan my family and I just walked off the gang plank and went up to open-air taxi things. For $20 a guy drove us EVERYWHERE for 8 hours. The same “tour” was $50 PER PERSON on the ship… we paid $20 TOTAL for our family of 4. 

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