RCI vs Carnival --- me vs my wife

Apr 25th, 2007, 09:43 AM
  #1  
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RCI vs Carnival --- me vs my wife

This will be our 1st cruise trip, with my in-laws(around 60, don't speak English), my wife and I, and my daughter (2 and half).

We decided to do a 3-5 day cruise to test water.

I prefer Enchantment of the Sea (RCI) but my wife says the Carnival ships for the same length are hundreds dollars cheaper and have bigger cabins. I guess the price difference must be justified for its food/service or something else, but the reviews on cruisecritic.com are mostly good for both cruise lines.

Can anyway help convince one of us so we can make a decision?

Thanks in advance!

sloth
sloth is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 12:25 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 371
So as not to start "line-warfare" I'll avoid your original question, but will offer you a tidbit of information that may be helpful. Both lines will have many staff fluent in almost any language you can imagine. If you are concerned about the language issue, don't be, they are experts in overcoming these issues.
For a first cruise, either line will be OK...and you'll hear pro's and con's of both. Have fun whichever line you choose!
Hold is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 02:51 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for the reply. It is good to know that although language wasn't a concern, my in-laws have been with us to several US cities...
sloth is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 06:46 PM
  #4  
 
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I'm biassed towards RCI -- have done several cruises with them. Talking to many cruise friends, they kinda rate Carnival as lower down in general. You can get good deals with RCI -- I think the extra money is worth it.
tennis_woman is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 03:35 AM
  #5  
 
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sloth,
Your wife is right (yes, sometimes it does happen to them). For about the same money as RCI 4-5 nights cruise, you can take a 7 nights Carnival cruise. People may have different opinions but most agree that Carnival offers the best value for money. Consider large new ships.
ROSWALT is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 01:57 PM
  #6  
 
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Just my opinion but I've been on both Carnival and RCI and both are similar. I really don't understand why some people think/say RCI is rated higher or Carnival is rated lower. As a matter of fact, I would say Carnival's food was definitely better. Just because one pays more for a product doesn't mean it's better. Enjoy whichever you choose.
phatfree is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 04:55 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Unfortunately Carnival suffers today from its reputation upon its inception decades ago. Much has changed since then but perceptions always seem to be the last to change. Personally I think Carnival delivers alot for the prices they charge and I agree about their food quality. However the Voyager class ships in the RCI line look fantastic! In either case I think you will be fine. Have fun.
jacketwatch is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 07:47 PM
  #8  
 
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The food on Carnival is much better than RCCL. And my Carnival cabins have been larger than RCCL....

Which Carnival ship are you considering? Enchantment of the Seas is a very nice RCCL ship - it was recently redone and the pictures look fabulous.

Truthfully - if this is your first cruise - you will get blown away by the food, service and entertainment, it really won't matter which of the 2 lines you will be on. I went on an older Carnival ship for my first cruise (one that I would not recommend to anyone now that I have cruised a lot) and we had a blast.

List the ports here and the Carnival ship and we can probably provide you better information.
Theresa is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 08:17 PM
  #9  
 
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My preference for a family cruise would be one of the newer ships--either a Voyager-class (Royal Caribbean) or Conquest-class (Carnival) ship.

Facilities are more extensive (and expansive) on the newer, larger vessels. The shorter sailings are offered on slightly older ships that don't have all the latest bells and whistles, but are still pretty impressive.

Carnival has an edge in terms of food and cabin size, although the Fantasy-class ships that do the shorter cruises have few balconies. The Royal Caribbean service staff on Enchantment of the Seas (a Vision-class ship) scores very highly for friendliness--they've won awards for best-in-the-fleet and I can attest to that first-hand. Plus, Vision-class ships have more balconies, should that be a consideration.

Keep in mind that your daughter can participate in the children's programs on Carnival, where the minimum age is two. She will have to be three years old to participate on Royal Caribbean.

I agree that Carnival does suffer from its party-hearty reputation of the past. Anyone who hasn't sailed on a Carnival cruise in the past few years hasn't experienced today's Carnival product. I also sailed with them almost twenty years ago and it's a vastly different experience now than it was back then.

I hope that helps.

Linda Coffman
Author, Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
CruiseDiva is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 07:34 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I understand why you'd want a shorter cruise to 'test the waters". However, the majority of short cruises are on tubs. I cruised the Carnival Sensation and we were very disappointed. However, the Enchantment (we sailed twice) has much better amenities and activities. It's the only short cruise I would ever recommend. If you can't do an entire week, do at least a 5 day cruise. Any less, you feel a bit rushed like you've not had a chance to do everything you'd like.
LLindaC is offline  

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