Please Help!! The Truth About Carnival

Oct 6th, 2004, 04:15 PM
Original Poster
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Please Help!! The Truth About Carnival

I have a Western Carribean cuise planned for next April with HAL. The purpose of the cruise was to see the Mayan ruins in Chichen Itza. Well, now Hal has changed their port time in Cozumel to where the excursion won't be available. The only other cruise lines that I have found that still offer an excursion to Chichen Itza, are Carnival and Radisson. Radisson is more costly than what we wanted, which leaves us with Carnival. But a lot of what I have heard about Carnival isn't that great. I have sailed three times before, the last two times on HAL. Would it really be that disappointing to step down to Carnival? The couple that we are going with are the ones who really want to see the ruins. and can't see spending the money for a cruise if they are not going to see what they consider the purpose of the trip. Another option would be to stay in Cancun and just visit the ruins from there, but I would prefer a cruise. Does anybody know why so many of the cruieline have dropped ports and excursions that allow you to go to Chichen Itza? What is the big difference in going on Carnival? Please help, I feel my cruise vacation is slipping between my fingers.
don512 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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IMHO you will find people slamming Carnival who have never sailed with them, a jumping on the bandwagon phenomenon so to speak. We have used them and had a good experience. Last July we met a couple in Hawaii who had used them a dozen or so times as well as other cruise lines. That should tell you something. I think you will be fine. I would sail with them again and just may do so next July for an Alaska cruise. JM2C.
jacketwatch is online now  
Oct 7th, 2004, 12:04 PM
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My husband and i have taken 3 carnival cruises and we've had a great time on all 3. The most recent last April was an exotic southern carribean which went to the ruins in merida, we also took our 7 year old this time and he had a great time...loved camp carnival and would recommend it to anyone! We have also been on a western carribean and to the bahama's I've never been on another cruise line so i can only speak for carnival but we had a great time!
lperkins is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 12:21 PM
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We've taken 5 Carnival Cruises and enjoyed them all. They're obviously doing something right, they bought out HAL, Cunard, Costa, Princess and others. Although we have enjoyed cruises on NCL and RCCL, Carnival is pretty much on par. For more in-depth info, check out the Carnival Boards at
Frank is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I also agree about Carnival. I have also sailed on them 3 times and have fully enjoyed them. The food was good but then again I am not a snob on food. They always bent over backwards to make sure everything was ok.
SUNSHINE1223 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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I agree with the others. I've sailed all the major lines and Carnival is a good value for the low price you pay. Just dont expect high-end or 5-Star service and you'll find it enjoyable.
Hold is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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I am also a Carnival fan. However, Chihcen Itza is quite a haul from Cozumel (2 45-minute ferry rides plus 2 three-hour bus rides).

You might want to look into the Tulum excursion instead. Still quite a trek (ferry plus 2 one-hour bus rides).

triathlete is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 12:57 PM
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I don't think the line itself is bad. However, when you take short cruises on old ships you get a completely different experience in service, crowd and of course, amenities. Go for the big, newer ships on Carnival.
LLindaC is offline  
Oct 10th, 2004, 03:07 PM
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We are HAL fans (over 80 days so far) and would travel with them anytime.

We have,also, been on Carnival 2x and will go again next year on the Glory.

As for ChichenItza, we have been there and to Cozumel many times.

IMHO, Cozumel is not the best port for a trip to CI. Better would be Costa Maya or Progresso. or a land trip from Cancun. Years ago, there were only tours to CI by air. (That's how far it is.

Coz. is an island and you should take 'triathlete's' advise. Too much travelling for too little time.

Please rethink this from Coz. and no matter what time of year you go - it is HOT !!

Don't spend anytime worrying about Carnival. Don't take any cruise just for one thing to make your trip (it'll be there next time)-weather and other problems cause missed ports all the time.

Have fun.
maryann is offline  
Oct 10th, 2004, 11:51 PM
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We did our first Carnival cruise this year and were impressed with the value. The food was much better than I had been led to believe and included lobster and escargot for examples. The beds and linens were good quality (the towels really needed an upgrade though) At least until 10PM, there were not drunk or misbehaving people in evidence, but we also did not attend the late night party discos, etc.

You can get a 5 day Western Caribbean cruise out of Houston or New Orleans which makes port stops in Calica/Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. The Calica stop is a full day stop with time for the tour to Chichen Itza. The same stop also lets you tour Tulum and Xel Ha, etc. The Cozumel stop is the next day and is a shorter stop, ending at 4PM.
wsoxrebel is offline  
Oct 11th, 2004, 09:47 PM
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The truth is they are not very good. Adequate at best.
tommie is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 08:18 AM
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I have been on HAL, Carnival, RC, Norwegian, and Princess and my favorite of these is Carnival. I have been going on cruises since I was a tot and then you could not take hairdryers on board. I think the food is better on Carnival and I enjoy their service better. I also appreciate their larger rooms.

That being said, I have never been on Celebrity and I have heard great things about it. And only once on the Radisson but I got ended up with pneumonia so I can not exactly give an opinion since I was just wanting to die and flew home mid cruise. They did, without my requesting it, reimburse over a half of my initial price which was something I never expected.
beachdreams is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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I think some people enjoy slamming Carnival, I often wonder if they have ever even set foot on a ship, or have even traveled much.

We've taken one Carnival cruise and it was fine. All ages from 8 to 80. Sure there were a few party types, but we'e seen those kind at land resorts, as well as in European hotels, etc. No one was throwing up in the hallways the way Carnival bashers love to mention, nor were there any wild parties going on. Most people just seemed to be having a good time.

Overall it was fine, the cabin was pleasant, the food good (OK, not total gourmet, but no one starved), the crew were all nice too. It was not a bad experience.
Lori is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 05:12 PM
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Maryann made a very valid point. If there is any kind of delay in your cruise port to Cozumel on any ship or even bad weather, your excursion to Chichen Itza will be canceled. I can understand why you want to see Chichen Itza, it is much better than Tulum. However, I recommend the trip from Cancun or the Mayan Riviera. It will be less rushed and less expensive. Now, as far as cruise lines I would say that HAL and Carnival are different from one another. Carnival is a "mass market" cruise line. It tries to please all ages and lifestyles. I have taken my grandmother on Carnival and she had a great time. HAL is more peaceful and although I don't think it's just for senior citizens, I would see why it appeals to them especially. If you are fun spirited folks, I think one of the newer Carnival ships would be a great change of pace!
wtggirl is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 11:21 AM
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We cruised Carnival twice and Celebrity twice. Carnival is fine, it's just that other lines seem to appeal to a different clientel overall. I wouldn't hesitate to sail on Carnival again. That said, we are sailing in March on Princess out of Galveston. The Princess ship was larger than the RCCL or Carnival offerings from Galveston and I wanted the larger ship. I believe our itenerary includes Costa Maya with the Chichen Itza excursion. You might check out Princess.
paige is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 06:27 AM
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I disagree about Carnival appealing to a different clientel than the other cruise lines. I did not see any difference in people on any of my Carnival cruises than I did RC, Princess or Norwegian. I do not take the 5 day or less cruises so that may be the difference and I tend to only go on the larger ships, again there might be a difference.
beachdreams is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 10:01 AM
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Carnival is not that bad - very clean and the service is pretty good - it's the food that is not that great - edible but not great !! They seem to be disorganized with handling the guests but most Carnival cruises are overcrowded. Have fun !
JerseySue is offline  
Oct 15th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Actually our food experience with Carnival was very good, better that RCCL by a long shot. Entrees included lobster, filet mignon, beef Wellington, prime rib, Chateaubriand, etc. The appetizers and desserts were on such a par as well. The shows were fair however.
jacketwatch is online now  
Oct 16th, 2004, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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We have cruised Celebrity once and Carnival twice. We are booked back on Celebrity for next FEb., and are looking at HA for next summer in the Baltic. We did Carnival b/c of price over Christmas vacation. We have been on Pride and Destiny. NONE of the "stuff" we had heard about wild parties proved to be true. As a matter of fact, our 22 year old college senior (quiet by nature anyway) was hard pressed to even find anyone to talk to his age! It may have been b/c most traveling Christmas week appeared to be in large family groups, two or three generations. That said, the only thing I feel Celebrity does better is that it seems or feels a step above, and more better suited to people who really want to be dressed for dinner, etc. We would be happy to be formal all 7 nights, and my only issue with Carnival was that they needed to stick to the "rules" about attire in the dining room. Now, to the Chichen Itza issue, we went from Progresso... it was a LONG busride, a too short bathroom break with too many people, and far too little time at the site. We didn't even get into the gift shop. I do not want to tell other countries how to run their tours, but I would have preferred a map and little blurb about each thing, with a guide posted to answer questions as opposed to walking around with the guide and straining to hear what he said... then having about 15 minutes of "free" time. I am in pretty decent middle age shape, and I RAN to the sink hole area just to say I saw it... climbed up about 15 steps on the pyramid and realized I needed to stop or miss the bus. Good luck with whatever you decide!
b22ladybug is offline  
Oct 17th, 2004, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hello Don,

My wife and I have used five cruise lines.

The bottom line is that the particular ship chosen is really the deciding factor. We have had great experiences and poor experiences on the same cruise line.

For us our Carnival experiences were on the lower end of the scale - substandard food and entertainment, good staterooms but impersonal service and unresponsive supervision and management.

We took the two strikes and your out philosophy . . . We may be missing out on great Carnival experiences, but we are getting great experiences on other cruise lines . . . so we do not feel we are missing anything but not considering Carnival.
jheim is offline  

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