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Carnival cruising is great. We have been on several other cruise lines but nothing compares to Carnival.
Carnival are a 4 star line like RCI & Princess & just like food it’s all a matter of taste. The décor is more in your face & wacky with multi coloured lighting, not as ‘glitzy as RCI but then not as ‘bland’ as Princess. Food, I’ve experienced very good to average depending on the ship. In my experience the new ships get the ‘prime’ staff & the older ships are the training camps, & that goes for every line I’ve been on. I would certainly look at a Carnival again with the right price/itinerary. Hope this helps & doesn’t confuse you further.
RCCI are the best. Don't go with Carnival - we would never go again. like butlins at sea, very young inexperienced staff expecially when dealing with tours etc. Shows not good. RCCI have spectacular shows. Agree decor is dreadful on Carnival. We keep going back to RCCI although tried others. Celebrity are really good as well - really liked Constellation - could'nt fault!!
I personally prefer RCi but carnival are god for the younger drinking set. It is a lot more loud and the Americans love it! Princess is about between the two and much more middle of the road I feel. Carnival is however usually cheaper so you could get a better cabin for the same pric.
Think Butlins and Centre Parks. Carnival being the first category and RCI the second. We have been on one of each in the past two years and would definitely pick RCI. The food is better, the staff are better and it just feels a bit more special. Carnival is neon and mirrors and more of a stag/hen party type ship - the Ibiza crowd. RCI is a little more refined but still caters for all ages. Carnival cabins are bigger and generally a little less expensive.
Although I have not yet sailed on RCI I agree with the previous answer. The cabin we had on Carnival was really spacious and the ship well looked after. The food was not as good as on a P&O ship but it was incredibly good value for money and wouldn't hesitate to cruise with Carnival again.
I've done all 3 you mention and its all a question of taste, budget and what you expect from your cruise. The dearest and for me the best by far is Princess. I've been on 5 and have never had a bad cruies yet, with another 3 booked, 1 for this year and 2 for next. Royal Caribbean - well I did 1....... and will never do another one!! It was positively one of the worst cruises I have ever had. The food was dreadful, everything was geared to extract your money (they played bingo 5 times a day on sea days and tried to take my photograph 13 times in one day!!). Thats the next most expensive option. At this point I would say the second most awful cruise I have had was on P & O and that cost me an arm and a leg by comparison. Then theres Carnival. I did a 7 day trip to Panama. The ship was too "decorated" (to some extent tacky) for my taste, the food ranged from absolutely inedible to absolutely fabulous and in the main settled in the middle but....... nice, roomy, clean cabin, good service, the itinary was great and it only cost me a single traveller £523 + airfare from London of £200. For the right itinary at that price I would go again. In other words, you pays your money and you takes your choice.
It certainly is more "glitzy" than Princess, we thought the entertainment better on Carnival & more was included in price than on Princess. Small example you pay for ice creams on Princess but not on Carnival.
We liked Carnival. Especially good for kids as they reserve the first row in the theatre for kids, not like other lines that don't allow kids in the first two rows! Great food, excellent staff, good fun and not at all stuffy.
Went on carnival destiny in january food great entertainment not as good as on ocean village catered more for american market if you dont want to dress up on formal nights can opt for smart casual would not go on carnival again prefer to go on one which caters for british marke.