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-   -   Which is better,Carnival or Royal Caribbean?? HELP! (https://www.fodors.com/community/cruises/which-is-better-carnival-or-royal-caribbean-help-386602/)

Aerowing Jan 12th, 2004 04:09 PM

Which is better,Carnival or Royal Caribbean?? HELP!
 
Wer'e taking a cruise this year in November. This will be our second cruise. The first time was on Carnival and we had a great time. We did the western caribbean.I can't decide between the Carnival Destiny or the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas. My wife and I are both 40 and don't care for the fancy stuff we just like to have fun.Does anybody know which is nicer or better. Wer'e planning on another inside cabin. I know the Adventure of the Seas is a lot bigger. We'd like to go to the southern caribbean this time.Is Aruba, St Thomas, etc a fun time? Any and all help or suggestions are appreciated, Thanks!

andy Jan 12th, 2004 05:37 PM

Go with ROYAL CARRIBEAN---much nicer ship, service and food....
It will feel light years nicer than Carnival............

simpsonc510 Jan 12th, 2004 05:43 PM

Now, Andy... you should really ad one of those "IMO's" to your post. My hubby and I just completed a cruise on Carnival and we've also been on Royal Caribbean. Carnival's food far surpassed what we had on Royal Carib! If we have a choice, we'll probably avoid Royal Carib next time and go on another Carnival ship. We had a lovely balcony cabin and a great steward who never bothered us. Service in the dining room was excellent. I've also cruised on Royal Carib in the Med and wasn't all that impressed with that ship, although the itinerary was nice. So... IMO Carnival shouldn't be put down because they do have nice ships and excellent food and service!!

Budman Jan 12th, 2004 05:57 PM

Celebrity would be my first choice, but it wasn't one of your options.

If it were my choice, I would chose Royal Caribbean. In my opinion it is the better of the two. ((b))

jacketwatch Jan 13th, 2004 03:40 AM

We have been on both and preferred Carnival. I agree with Simpson about the food. What we had was much better in quality than RC though both were well prepared and Carnival had more variety as well. RC had the edge in shows by a large margin. All in all we would do Carnival over RC. Also am intrigued with Celebrity. Would like to do that one day.

Cathryn Jan 13th, 2004 04:11 AM

I've only cruised Royal Caribbean so I can't answer the first part (although I will say the entertainment was great, food not and I have heard alot of people say the food is better on Carnival. Depends on which you value more).

About itinerary, St. Thomas and Aruba would be excellent. Both are high energy ports and offer very different topography. St Thomas being lush and Aruba arid. Really cool to rent a jeep in Aruba and explore the mostly uninhabited side of the island. And there is a lot going on in Oranjested. Would be nice if the itinerary also included one quiet, good beach stop. Or, if you are not into shopping, highly recommend going to St. John from St. Thomas. You can book excursion thru cruise but it is very easy to take ferry over to St. John and then take a cab to Leinster or Honeymoon Beach. Trunk Bay is very nice (although no nicer in my opinion) but can be very crowded if there are a lot of ships in. Enjoy!

kmd Jan 13th, 2004 07:42 AM

Cruised both and IMHO, Royal Caribbean hands down!

andy Jan 13th, 2004 12:03 PM

LOL-- sorry for not putting "IMHO" in my post- got carried away....

Also would like to interject that I ,too, PREFER ,Celebrity over both of your choices..and just came off the Golden Princess and LOVED it..

Now, have we all confused you even more!

Aerowing Jan 13th, 2004 03:09 PM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Now I'm more confused then I was before! HA! I'm still undecided although I'm steering more towards Carnival.

mels Jan 13th, 2004 03:56 PM

I have only cruised on RCCL & Celebrity and have found them both to great cruises with good food,service and amenities. I can not comment on Carnival but the majority that I have heard was not very positive. Although
I go for the size,itinery,service and condition of the ship.

Budman Jan 13th, 2004 04:59 PM

Aerowing, you shouldn't be confused. You say you don't care for the fancy stuff and just like to have fun -- end of conversation -- My first ever cruise was on Carnival, and Carnival is for you. ((b))

Rachelle Jan 14th, 2004 04:18 AM

I have not sailed on RC, only one Carnival cruise. Entertainment, food, and service were excellent!

mistik321 Jan 14th, 2004 05:52 AM

Have not been on Carnival.
Been on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Seabourn.
Royal Caribbean was good, not great (food mediocre!).
Celebrity was much, much better than Royal Caribbean overall.
Seabourn was wonderful (went with the in-laws; it was more their demographic than my husband and me - but it was oh so civilized :-)

Sorry, I probably did not help you there.

In any event, we've done the Caribbean islands you've mentioned and they were fun. Aruba has unique landscape (beaches and desert). We rented a taxi with another couple (cheaper than the shore excursion, plus you have your own personal tour guide).
Don't miss the Natural Bridge, Fontein and Quadiriki caves.

In St Thomas, I did the island tour highlights (historic sites, Magens Bay, etc) while my husband took the ferry to St John (very easy to do on your own).

Have fun!!


mels Jan 14th, 2004 09:04 AM

I have a question regarding the food on cruise ships, and how everyone is rating them. Are you going by quality,
menu,portions,snacks. I have been on both Celebrity & Royal Caribbean and I really did not notice a difference. I do not have a big appetite but enjoy a good meal.
My eggs , pancakes etc in the morning
were of the same quality. Bacon is bacon. I was off the ship everyday and sometimes had a bit of lunch or snack back on board ship but I can't remember what I had on either ship. Dinner was also fine on both ships.
On Celebrity to Bermuda we ate off the ship at some of the fine restuarants in Hamilton. Maybe I missed something on Celebrity a couple of evenings. I have not been on a cruise in four years so I am wondering if dining has gone downhill ? We are going on the Serenade of the Seas in April a Southern Caribbean cruise and just curious if the quality of food has changed in the past few years.

ML

simpsonc510 Jan 14th, 2004 09:42 AM

My hubby and I judge the food by the taste, presentation, good service, and the variety of things on the menu. Carnival had at least 5 choices every night. My hubby doesn't eat sea food so he really appreciated that. The food on Carnival was always very fresh and excellent tasting.

On Royal Car we only had a few items from which to pick, and the taste was pretty mediocre. Service was good, and table mates were interesting, which helped.

If you want a good time, I'd stick with Carnival. They call them the "fun ships" for a reason!

(thanks for adding the IMO Andy)

Carol

Budman Jan 14th, 2004 05:02 PM

Ms. Simpson,

<On Royal Car we only had a few items from which to pick, and the taste was pretty mediocre>

Which ships were you on? I've sailed Royal Caribbean to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and in the Mediterranean, and I've never had "only a few items from which to pick." Everything was top-notch.

A friend of mine who took a Carnival cruise characterized the food as "production food" -- something that just came out of the microwave.

I'm sorry, but if you will go to cruise critic, you will understand the difference. Don't just take my word for it.

Some people like TGIF type food and people walking around the ship with their buckets of beer. And there is nothing wrong with that. I would say, cruise with Carnival. Ms. Simpson, that just my opinion. ((b))



sms1az Jan 14th, 2004 06:05 PM

I've been on three Carnival Cruises (Destiny, Triumph, and Inspiration) and only one Royal Caribbean (Adventurer of the Seas). While the Carnival Cruises are nice, the Royal Caribbean blew me away!!! The service was excellent, and there are so many rooms and bars and areas to lounge, and the spa is so much better. I loved Royal Caribbean so much that my fiance and I are planning our honeymoon on the Voyager this April!!

andy Jan 14th, 2004 06:22 PM

Concerning food on RCL -their food tasted SOOOOOOOOOOOOO salty that after the first day,my feet blew up and did not fit into the shoes...and it did NOT get any better, the longer I was on the ship....

I never had that problem on Celebrity,Princess or Windstar ever..and that is how I rate the ship...

I also felt that all the cruise ships I have been on had ample selections for any of the meals...but SALT is not an entree in my opinion..

By the way, my parents, in their 70's , and veterans of numerous cruises, also hated the food on RCL and said "Never Again"...............they are converts to Celebrity....

That is why I said we like Celebrity and Princess way better than RCL or Carnival..

Depends on what you want as far as dining..Mass cruises , to me, is NOT fine dining...exception is the Olympic Restaurant on Celebrity Millenium-with tuxedo waiters and white gloves.....So none of it is 5 star food...The most you can expect is good food but certainly none that tastes like the salt shaker got lost in the pot....

Hope this helps on my choices for ship and how the food does predict which ship I take..along with the itinerary..( which is really my FIRST reason for choosing..._

jacketwatch Jan 15th, 2004 01:37 AM

On Carnival we had New Zealand lamb, filet Mignon, prime rib, beef Wellington, Chateaubriand, lobster, escargot, etc. We simply did not approach this with RC. I think there is more mystique and less substance with RC. Carnival seems to have an image of blue collar good times but I really did not see that. Maybe it depends on ones partucular cruise.

simpsonc510 Jan 15th, 2004 03:47 AM

Jacketwatch and Budman:

Jacketwatch, the list you give from Carnival is just like the one we had on the Fantasy. All of it tasted really exceptional, and was very fresh and a nice presentation, topped off by wonderful friendly service.

Budman: My experience on RC (in both the Carib and the Medit) was that the dining room menu did not have as many choices and it was sometimes difficult to pick something I might like! (IMO) We called our Med ship the Aldi's of the Sea. (do you know Aldi's grocery stores???) It was nice but "basic"... very basic. The ports (and the group with which I was traveling) were what made it pleasant.

I've cruised on Roy Carib, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Royal Majesty. Each one has its pluses and minuses. It depends upon what you want in a cruise. I want to try Celebrity sometime but nothing is in the works yet.

I like the "smaller" ships better than the mega-liners, personally.

Carol


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