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Carnival vs Royal Caribbean

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1 hour ago, BNBR said:

 

So your experience was the first run of shows, what, a decade ago?  Hairspray hasn't been on Oasis since 2013 or so.  These are fully licensed Broadway shows and a far cry from a high school production.  I'm not sure why you feel the need to bash it so much.   I have no issue with your preferences.  Preferring Carnival/smaller ships is one thing.  But mocking performers and misrepresenting a product is different than simply having a preference.  Royal puts a substantial investment in to these shows and they are far, far superior to anything that Carnival has in their theater.  While at the same time, we would probably all agree Carnival puts more investment in to their comedy and that's obvious when you sail both.  It's just a matter of being fair and accurate.

I do not believe I called it a high school production, I do not think I misrepresented anything either.  What I said was it was certainly not Broadway, and that is a fact, if you disagree so be it.  I do not believe I bashed anything either.  I was least impressed with the ice show, it really was just ok.  The comedy show was half based on bashing Carnival and Carnival cruisers, which I felt was lacking in class as well.  Not sure how you compare the two as a product, but if you think it is better so be it.  I really do not think Is as being unfair to the product or the ship.  It really was a disappointment to us, from paying for Johnny Rockets, and popcorn, to having to align our schedule so much during the cruise to go these shows, just was not impressive, frankly I expected more. Having to find a place to eat breakfast because they were “at capacity” was not a highlight either.  Now the ship, the embarkation and debarkation process, the neighborhoods were all a plus.  

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11 minutes ago, jimbo5544 said:

I do not believe I called it a high school production, I do not think I misrepresented anything either.  What I said was it was certainly not Broadway, and that is a fact, if you disagree so be it.  I do not believe I bashed anything either.  I was least impressed with the ice show, it really was just ok.  The comedy show was half based on bashing Carnival and Carnival cruisers, which I felt was lacking in class as well.  Not sure how you compare the two as a product, but if you think it is better so be it.  I really do not think Is as being unfair to the product or the ship.  It really was a disappointment to us, from paying for Johnny Rockets, and popcorn, to having to align our schedule so much during the cruise to go these shows, just was not impressive, frankly I expected more. Having to find a place to eat breakfast because they were “at capacity” was not a highlight either.  Now the ship, the embarkation and debarkation process, the neighborhoods were all a plus.  

 

Carnival has upcharge restaurants as well.  Why does it upset you that Royal has them, also?  I did meet a guy the other day that seemed quite upset about the $2.50 for popcorn at the aquatheater.  So I do know there are people who can have their cruise ruined by such a thing.  Nice guy, but was really caught up on that popcorn.  Of course, popcorn may be free on Carnival, but the two times we tried to get chairs for the deck movie they were "at capacity" as you might say.  As was the comedy show on Magic, every time.

 

Does Carnival not schedule their shows for specific times that you have to align your schedule with?

 

I've seen far bigger lines and been unable to find a space to eat in a buffet only on Carnival.  Oasis has 8+ different venues spread all over the ship that offer breakfast with plenty of seating.  And near the elevators, the screens even  show you how busy the restaurants are.  So you don't have to wander around looking!

 

Carnival has 2 spots.  And the buffet is jam packed.  We enjoyed breakfast at El Loco Fresh the other day on Symphony at 9am.  Only six other guests there.  At capacity isn't much of a thing anymore.

Edited by BNBR

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We get it.  You like RCCL and no other opinions matter.  If you say a show is top notch then that is what it is.  If you like the attractions then everyone should like them.  We all get it.

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I have been on 3 RCL totaling 34 days and don’t think that I saw 1 bad show.  However, if I planned another RCL, I would figure in the price if specialty dining.  I have been on 1 Carnival, 7 nights, and thought the MDR food was superior to what I had on RCL.  I did think their shows were inferior to RCL.  I have been to dozens of Vegas shows.  Carnival shows could not even be downtown.  I have booked a 7 night for Xmas 2020 and asked my grandchildren if their priority was shows or food.  I booked Carnival.

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I think the biggest reason I've only cruised with Carnival is FOMO- Fear Of Missing Out! It has a product I'm familiar with, I know what the upcharges are, I can plan for what I want to do.

 

My concern about trying other cruiselines is the fact that there's so much about it that I don't know... I've actually started reading the RCCL & NCL pages to become more familiar with their product, so I'll be ready for future cruises, if I'm lucky enough to schedule on other cruiselines!

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1 hour ago, BNBR said:

 

Does Carnival not schedule their shows for specific times that you have to align your schedule with?

 

 

I think he was referring more to having to reserve events in advance. There are pros and cons to each approach. The argument there is that some people don't want to have to take actions to plan their days in advance in order to go to something they may want to see. They would like for the opportunity to just be available when the time comes.

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7 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

 

I think he was referring more to having to reserve events in advance. There are pros and cons to each approach. The argument there is that some people don't want to have to take actions to plan their days in advance in order to go to something they may want to see. They would like for the opportunity to just be available when the time comes.

 

Then you would just go to the show standby all the same as you would with no reservations.  There is no con to reservations.  They are not required.  It's just more of a fast pass to get better seats without having to show up way before showtime.  NCL had it on Escape, RCCL on Oasis class, and I really hope CCL gets it implemented eventually.  It would be amazing to be able to hit up Punchliner without the huge line and fighting for seats.

Edited by BNBR

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I think it is difficult to know in advance what nights you will want to see shows when you've never sailed a particular ship.  We received emails prior to our Oasis cruise regarding show reservations, but never did make them.  Then, we never wanted to stand in the line on the ship to make show reservations.  So, we only got to see the aqua show - which we enjoyed.  We did manage to see one comedy show going on standby.  I think it was fine (it was several years ago).  

 

Next year we are sailing NCL Bliss and they have a reservation system for certain shows & restaurants.  Hopefully, we will be able to sit down & look at the itinerary & excursions and figure out what nights we will want to go to the show.  I don't want to miss out on entertainment this cruise.

 

I think I had forgotten to mention laundry.  I wish all lines had self serve laundry.  I know lots of people would prefer to send it out, but then you don't have any control over wash/dry temperature.  Even if you take plenty of clothes to wear, if you go horseback riding, you are not gonna want those clothes in your cabin afterward.  I love horses & had one for years and am not typically bothered by smells, but sweaty horse is one that I do not want my cabin to smell like.

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Used to be a die-hard carnival cruiser, so much so that my young child was platinum on his own merit at age 7.  I refuse to ever sail carnival again after my last experience on Vista in 2018.  Flame away, I don’t care.  On Harmony of the Seas right now and the beautiful ship blows away anything carnival has. Rock climbing, ice skating, flowrider, slides, pools, etc, top notch entertainment,  Diamond benefits blow away platinum benefits on Carnival. No fist fight, scantily clad women, pot smoke, etc. Even if I got a free cruise from Carnival, I prob wouldn’t go.  Flame away, bring it on! Carnival has destroyed their product!!

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1 hour ago, Ellaleah said:

I have been on 3 RCL totaling 34 days and don’t think that I saw 1 bad show.  However, if I planned another RCL, I would figure in the price if specialty dining.  I have been on 1 Carnival, 7 nights, and thought the MDR food was superior to what I had on RCL.  I did think their shows were inferior to RCL.  I have been to dozens of Vegas shows.  Carnival shows could not even be downtown.  I have booked a 7 night for Xmas 2020 and asked my grandchildren if their priority was shows or food.  I booked Carnival.

 

I have liked Carnivals MDR a tad better as well.  Royal does have some really good deals on Unlimited specialty dining, which we just did.  It was outstanding.  Lunch and dinner, all you want.

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35 minutes ago, dmdiver said:

I think it is difficult to know in advance what nights you will want to see shows when you've never sailed a particular ship.  We received emails prior to our Oasis cruise regarding show reservations, but never did make them.  Then, we never wanted to stand in the line on the ship to make show reservations.  So, we only got to see the aqua show - which we enjoyed.  We did manage to see one comedy show going on standby.  I think it was fine (it was several years ago).  

 

Next year we are sailing NCL Bliss and they have a reservation system for certain shows & restaurants.  Hopefully, we will be able to sit down & look at the itinerary & excursions and figure out what nights we will want to go to the show.  I don't want to miss out on entertainment this cruise.

 

I think I had forgotten to mention laundry.  I wish all lines had self serve laundry.  I know lots of people would prefer to send it out, but then you don't have any control over wash/dry temperature.  Even if you take plenty of clothes to wear, if you go horseback riding, you are not gonna want those clothes in your cabin afterward.  I love horses & had one for years and am not typically bothered by smells, but sweaty horse is one that I do not want my cabin to smell like.

 

With the reservations, make all of your "likely" times.  If you skip one, it's no big deal.  What I've found is that when you consider dining times and overlapping shows, there really only ends up being a few obvious times to schedule the shows.  Worked well for us on NCL Escape. Also, if Oasis class in the future, grab the day 7 comedy as well, it's in the main theater so you can book that in addition to a standard comedy show in the club.

Edited by BNBR

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4 hours ago, BNBR said:

 

Carnival has upcharge restaurants as well.  Why does it upset you that Royal has them, also?  I did meet a guy the other day that seemed quite upset about the $2.50 for popcorn at the aquatheater.  So I do know there are people who can have their cruise ruined by such a thing.  Nice guy, but was really caught up on that popcorn.  Of course, popcorn may be free on Carnival, but the two times we tried to get chairs for the deck movie they were "at capacity" as you might say.  As was the comedy show on Magic, every time.

 

Does Carnival not schedule their shows for specific times that you have to align your schedule with?

 

I've seen far bigger lines and been unable to find a space to eat in a buffet only on Carnival.  Oasis has 8+ different venues spread all over the ship that offer breakfast with plenty of seating.  And near the elevators, the screens even  show you how busy the restaurants are.  So you don't have to wander around looking!

 

Carnival has 2 spots.  And the buffet is jam packed.  We enjoyed breakfast at El Loco Fresh the other day on Symphony at 9am.  Only six other guests there.  At capacity isn't much of a thing anymore.

 

2 hours ago, BNBR said:

 

With the reservations, make all of your "likely" times.  If you skip one, it's no big deal.  What I've found is that when you consider dining times and overlapping shows, there really only ends up being a few obvious times to schedule the shows.  Worked well for us on NCL Escape. Also, if Oasis class in the future, grab the day 7 comedy as well, it's in the main theater so you can book that in addition to a standard comedy show in the club.

Of course Carnival has for pay restaurants, I think you probably knew that.  It is not the individual cost but more of the all over part of the picture.  Guys is free,Johnny rockets 12.95 (or whatever it is ), and before we go there I know all the bla bla about it being a seating charge, it still costs.  Charging for a tiny bag of popcorn was totally, again nit so much the money but the Gaul to do so.  The nickel and diming is not called for.  Carnival shows are specifically aligned with MDR time to ensure the ability to see them, On Oasis the show was during our dinner time, same for the Aqua show I believe.  I would hope they have fixed the restaurant at capacity issue, but I have no idea.  I do not want to view a screen to decide where I “want” to eat, maybe that is just me.   I know the reservation system works for the most part, I just do not like it.  I have never had a problem getting a seat for dive in movies, cannot say that for the comedy club in either line. The other thing that.really turned me off was our main waiter mentioning every night that the only acceptable number to rate him was a 10,  I told him the 2nd to last night that if he mentioned it again, he could bet on not getting a 10, but he did anyways, and I did not anyways.

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4 minutes ago, jimbo5544 said:

 

Of course Carnival has for pay restaurants, I think you probably knew that.  It is not the individual cost but more of the all over part of the picture.  Guys is free,Johnny rockets 12.95 (or whatever it is ), and before we go there I know all the bla bla about it being a seating charge, it still costs.  Charging for a tiny bag of popcorn was totally, again nit so much the money but the Gaul to do so.  The nickel and diming is not called for.  Carnival shows are specifically aligned with MDR time to ensure the ability to see them, On Oasis the show was during our dinner time, same for the Aqua show I believe.  I would hope they have fixed the restaurant at capacity issue, but I have no idea.  I do not want to view a screen to decide where I “want” to eat, maybe that is just me.   I know the reservation system works for the most part, I just do not like it.  I have never had a problem getting a seat for dive in movies, cannot say that for the comedy club in either line. The other thing that.really turned me off was our main waiter mentioning every night that the only acceptable number to rate him was a 10,  I told him the 2nd to last night that if he mentioned it again, he could bet on not getting a 10, but he did anyways, and I did not anyways.

 

Johnny Rockets and Guys are not the same concept.  So the fact that one is free and the other not is irrelevant.  Carnival has the seafood shack at an upcharge, it's not unusual and a restaurant like JR you very much expect an upcharge for it, just like I expect to pay a fee to dine at the Carnival Steakhouse.  Red Frog is upcharge as well. Are you not holding Carnival to the same standard with your nickel and dime complaints?

 

I'm not sure what times you saw on Oasis, but the shows are scheduled to coincide with dinner times and also overlap with other shows in order to move people around better.  Shows are 8:30 for early dining and 10:30 for late.  So I'm really not sure what you are talking about when you say they are during dinner...  It's very easy to see every show without upending your schedule.  Same on Carnival.  All lines do that.

 

You don't want to look at a screen to decide where you want to eat, and that's fine.  But Carnivals lido marketplace absolutely gets to capacity all the time with no place to sit. You think it's a bad thing that this information would be posted by the elevators so you can be aware of it ahead of time?  Not sure I follow your logic.  And at least there are many other venues spread all over the ship if the buffet is at capacity.  Including similar buffets....  Carnival shoves virtually everything in one spot, which is a disaster and poor design.  BBQ is the exception obviously.  But you think it's good design and service that guests are taking plates from the buffet to the Lanai just to get a table?

 

And you are absolutely right about the asking for 10's on Royal.  Though that has considerably stopped now that Royal blatantly asks if you were told to give 10s right in the survey.  So now you can just report the person on the survey for doing it.  I only heard it once my last cruise.

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Personally, I would rather have the free Guy's Burgers and Blue Iguana than pay for Johnny Rockets.  I would rather decide at the time to see shows than have to make reservations or use a standby lines and not be able to get good seats.  I think Carnival is a more relaxed vacation with an energetic vibe. 

The Royal buffet at dinner time is great though.  Much better than Carnival's or Norwegian's.  I wish Carnival had that good of a selection of food.  When I asked my husband if he wanted to go on one of Royal's mega ship, he said no.  There's a lot to do on those ships, but that's not why we cruise.  I am sure my adult kids would love it though.

We have a cruise on the Panorama in two weeks, but it's mainly to visit new ports.  We prefer Carnival's Dream class.  I am looking forward to everything being new on the ship.  I believe they even added two brand new shows.  The Royal vs Carnival boils down to personal preferences. If you want a lot of bells and whistles, choose Royal.  If you prefer a more easy going cruise, choose Carnival.

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Tag me in, Coach! (Flexes and stretches)

 

I’ve cruised on Carnival, Royal, and Disney. Full disclosure: my RCL Cruise was free, and I cruise with notoriously low expectations (feed me, moderately entertain me, don’t give me noro). Because of that, my RCL cruise on the Oasis was great! My friend and I were in an interior room where we were able to accidentally spoon in the night (it was that small). Best shower ever. The ship was gorgeous. The staff was so nice. The food was great. 
 

Carnival keeps neat and tidy ships. Their comedy is awesome. MDR is great. Service is good. They have Guy’s. Every time I consider booking on RCL (which is hella expensive for a family of four), if the sticker shock isn’t enough to scare me off, I just scream, “THERE IS NO GUY’S!!!” to myself. Camp Ocean was so great for our kids, especially our eldest who is on the spectrum. He got onstage and entertained a full theatre on the Dream with Lee, and it was honestly one of the best nights in our lives. Did we also see teens get in a fight on the same cruise? Yes. Did we hear profanity we weren’t even aware existed (and that’s saying something- I teach middle school)? Also yes. Was it still a great vacation? YES. 
 

I typically choose Carnival because it’s the most affordable for our family- the most bang for our buck, if you will. One day, I’ll take the family (or at least the hubs) on an Oasis-class ship. Until then, pass the Guy’s, please. 

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7 hours ago, BNBR said:

 

You are sad that a water slide was added to a cruise ship?

It's sad to see what is gone.

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Twodaywonder and BNBR, I've never been on the large ships, only the smaller ones without the Broadway shows. I'm sure were I to experience them I'd be impressed!

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On 11/29/2019 at 11:31 AM, Tapi said:

In my opinion, the back and forth banter between Royal and Carnival loyalists about ship size is stupid. Carnival was the first to come up with a ship that was 100,000 tons (Destiny), and Royal loyalists mocked it, saying that it was a monstrosity. Then Royal came up with Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class, and Carnival and it’s followers said that THOSE were amusement park monstrosities, and that they would NEVER sail on anything like that. But here comes Mardi Gras with a roller coaster and all sorts of amusement park gimmicks, and the same people who said “never” are the first ones lined up to sail on her. Go figure. There has to be a market for these enormous ships when, not only Carnival and Royal, but other mainstream cruise lines are building them. 

Just like Jonathan Ive sitting on stage claiming the iPhone 5 was scientifically engineered to fit your thumb in stark contrast to supersized Android options.  And waterproofing and wireless charging and the stylus weren’t features until Cupertino blessed them.  People are going to follow suit and be tribal first and fit the facts around their chosen allegiance.  

I have been on four cruises each on a different line.  No reason for anyone to lock themselves into an ecosystem.  The luxury lines offer a level of service that would be lost on me.  The mainstream lines I will sample as I see fit.  The danger of sticking with just one is greater than jumping ship to another.

 

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9 hours ago, fyree39 said:

Twodaywonder and BNBR, I've never been on the large ships, only the smaller ones without the Broadway shows. I'm sure were I to experience them I'd be impressed!

 

I think when it comes to similar size ships (smaller ones), Royal and Carnival are much more similar.  And in fact, I would maybe give the edge to Carnival.  Oasis and Quantum is where Royal has no equal currently.

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Hi

 

Why is that these discussions so often become one of "this is better than that"? The fact is that what Joe prefers really doesn't matter, because I might not have the same tastes as Joe. 

 

What these companies do is offer similar products in a slightly different package so that one will appeal to Joe and maybe another will appeal to me. That's one thing that is great about the cruise industry. If one company doesn't do things quite the way that suits you, you just need to enquire a bit and you will likely find that another one does. It's amazing how many posts on these threads are people just whining about why company A doesn't do things like company B does. The reason is because they are different, not necessarily better. Even if it "truly" were, it would be by design to appeal to a different audience. 

 

What people (like the OP) really are looking for is an understanding of what difference they may they may expect compared to what they have experienced in the past. This is best done by asking specific questions on the threads of the cruise line you will be sailing on. 

 

One of the best ways to find out if you will like something is to try it. Asking Joe is unreliable.

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They all have their pros and cons.

We been on a few of  the major lines (RCL, Ccl, Ncl, X, ) and we like every one of them. 

 

One thing i noticed on RCL, there seems to be more waiters/bartenders then CCL. Not sure if that helps you, but that is just my observation. I'm not a huge fan of comparing the lines. I guess it's because i never been on a horrible cruise. Just go ahead and try them all....😀

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On 11/23/2019 at 10:36 AM, Cruisin'allovertheworld said:

Hi all,

 

I am considering doing a Carnival Spirit cruise but have previously sailed Royal Carribean (Mariner and Radiance).

 

Are there any significant differences?

Why do you choose Carnival over Royal?

 

It is so tempting to stay with Royal Caribbean simply because of the rewards programme but I am not someone who prefers the same thing over and over again.

Thanks

I have sailed once with each cruise line. Carnival far succeeded Royal. There were many more food options, activities, bars, and all around fun!  I didn't even know who the cruise director was on Royal. On Carnival we saw him all the time! I can't say that I will ever sail Royal again but it is going to have to be a good sale. Having said all this I sailed on Royal's Empress. I would never recommend that ship. Very old, outdated, hardly any dining choices, and everyone was in bed by 9!

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On 11/28/2019 at 9:47 PM, Illbcruzn4life said:

 

does nobody who cruises Carnival like large ships?

The largest I want to be on is Carnival's Dream class. I am not interested in a mega ship. 

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I like Carnival better, Casino, Comedy, Food is better.

 

RC wins on Stage shows.

 

I like the layouts a bit better on Carnival, you can see the water from common hallways where as on RC, the center promanade you can not see the water outside.

 

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On 11/29/2019 at 2:22 AM, Jimnbigd said:

I was 4th in line at the Mongolian grill and it took 15 minutes before I had my food.

Agree - the line for this moves very slow, but it's made to order food, and should be expected.  However, the wait is worth it, IMO.  It gives the littles time to start their meal since they usually screw around during meal times, lol.

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