Carnival Opinions


Level 2 Member
I'm looking at cruises so far have it narrowed down to a couple cruises on RCCL and Carnival. Mostly due to available dates and itineraries.

Thing is, I've never been on Carnival. I've sailed only Princess and Royal Caribbean, and have always understood Carnival as being the red headed stepchild of the cruise industry. Tacky decor, drunks puking in the hallways, lousy food, etc. At the same time, the more I browse Cruise Critic, there is are plenty of people that swear by them. Plus, for our dates they have better itineraries, and the kids will love the water slides. Ok, so will I. :)

My though concern is that we will be traveling on spring break with young kids, so I'm hoping they have shed their drunken college crowd persona. My hope is that the bad reviews are from people that are too picky. I like things to be nice, but don't need fancy. Clean, comfortable, and well done is is fine by me.

Anyway, what has been your experience? We are looking at trips that involve either the Glory or Magic.
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Level 2 Member
I'm looking at cruises so far have it narrowed down to a couple cruises on RCCL and Carnival. Mostly due to available dates and itineraries.
I'm not a big cruise fan ... too much "at sea" and while my wife says this is a time for relaxing, I'd rather be doing something, or seeing something. I have her to please, so we've taken 2 ... a Princess Cruise up the coast of Alaska (where the second week was a self-propelled land tour) and a Caribbean cruise after a short stay on St. John/St. Thomas; we were allowed to join the cruise a day late at St. Thomas. The second cruise was on Carnival.

The Princess cruise seemed to be a more-mature crowd and a bit more upscale, ship-wise. Noting my one other cruise to use as a comparison. Carnival was not a bad choice at all for our other cruise. Yes, there were more party animals on board and some of the swim suits were, well, notable. But the ship was huge, and we found public areas that were relatively quiet and peaceful, even well into the evening. Still, we're not late-night folks. In all, I'd "do" Carnival again if the itinerary fit. I also had no problem with the food at all; plenty of choices. Still, the omlettes were better on Princess :).

Once you are off the ship touring where ever you are docked, you can't really tell the difference. We do travel with a white noise maker, tho, which might be a good idea.
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Staff member
Carnival is certainly more of a young party crowd. I personally enjoyed them at the time. You should expect loudness and excess at spring break... probably a fair bit of puking.

Food, cabins, and decor aren't as bad as people make out for this price point, in fact, I think they may have some of the largest cabins in their class.


Level 2 Member
Carnival is fine and a better value. It will fit your criteria. We've taken them five times in the last five years usually at end of January, without any drunken, puking issues. They do have hairy chest contests by the pool.

As you know, RCCL has the mega ships, which we will try once the first-mover premium has passed.


Staff member
I've been on 12 cruises with a preference for small ships and expedition type itineraries. I love to be at sea and although I've never been on Carnival, I think it is really important to try to find a match with what you want and what your priorities are. However, if the price were right there are lots of things I would do if the itinerary interests me. Do your research and read as much as you can about the ship, the programming, who tends to sail with them and be honest about what you expect.

craig d

New Member
Me personally, I would base my decision on itinerary first and go from there. I've been on big and small ships on Carnival and RCCL and have enjoyed them both. Once you have an idea of where you want to go check out the ships that go there and what they offer. Just keep an open mind and don't let small things ruin your vacation.