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Anything but Carnival... maybe

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We have been on 7 Carnival Cruises (family of 4) during Spring Break.  They are very overcrowded and usually there are too many drunks on board and in the hot tubs.  Spring Break is the only time we can go.  We have never cruised on another cruise line mostly because Carnival is affordable (I'm extremely frugal)  So I'm faced with a dilemma and need a decision made. I am looking for a more relaxed atmosphere vs. a party one.  HELP!


Here are our choices:

Carnival Fantasy out of Mobile, AL 5 days $489 2 ports

Carnival Freedom out of Galveston 7 days $515 3 ports

Royal Caribbean-Vision of the Seas- out of Galveston 5 days $483 2 ports

Norwegian Breakaway out of New Orleans 7 days $782 4 ports


Galveston is a 14 hour drive so I prefer Mobile or New Orleans which is 11.5 hours but if Vision of the Seas is worth it, i would consider the extra hours in the car.

Which would you pick and why?


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You are not going to avoid Spring Break crowds by changing cruise lines.  The longer cruises should have fewer, especially if you could find an 8 day...  I would avoid the 5 day cruises.  They are more affordable for families, so more will take them.  I suggest you go to the Royal Caribbean and NCL boards and ask there what Spring Break cruises are like.  EM

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The longer the cruise, the less little kids there will be, generally speaking...and that goes for ALL times of the year, not just the spring!

Shorter trips tend to have more drinkers...as folks try to fit a week's worth of "fun" into a shorter timeframe.  Take at least a 7 nighter for a less "frenzied" crowd!

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Posted (edited)

how old are your kids, OP?


We just sailed on Norwegian Getaway (which is just like Breakaway) and had a blast as a family with a 7 yo. Lots of activities for an active family with an elementary school aged kid. 

The other ships you mentioned are very ancient. I would never consider going again*, and I am extremely frugal and have to go during Spring break and Thanksgiving break as well. So, for me this is a no brainer - Breakaway it is.


We just went on Norwegian Jade (2006 ship) and the dang thing broke down on day 3 of the 10 day voyage. We all had to go home (which was quite an ordeal). We will never consider an older ship again.


Also look up MSC.


Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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I agree that going for more days gets you a gentler crowd. 


Also look at your cabin location, aim for a quieter spot on a quieter floor so you can get some peace if you need it. The hot tubs and pool are going to be loud - Carnival sets up the pool deck as a party zone even on week long Canada cruises, which frankly gets surreal. (deserted, foggy and 40 degrees F... and they're playing steel drums and a dude is walking around with boozy pineapples... okay.)


Spring Break is going to be a tough time, so look for a longer cruise on a ship that has seperate spaces that can develop different vibes, and hope the hard drinkers pick one pool and you can hang out at the other one. An older ship might at least attract quieter drunks? 


good luck!

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We never cruise less than 7 days with our family because the shorter cruises always seem to have WAY more partiers (We've done 8 Carnival cruises to date and find the longer ones are generally pretty family friendly)

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