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MichiganCruiser83

PLEASE HELP... Carnival vs Royal Caribbean

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I am planning a cruise for 3 couples and seem to be leaning towards the Carnival 7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise in Febuary 09. We love it because it hits 7 Islands in 7 days. One couple is concerned that it will not be as nice as Royal Caribbean (less ports, more money).

 

The question boils down to food. Some of us have heard that the food is better on RCCL, but I read a 3 year old review of the same question in the Forum Archives that completely goes the other direction. Which is better?

 

Please help me. This is the last hurdle before we book it and I am in charge of figuring out which is better and is one worth the more money (RCCL). We are looking at the Carnival Victory, I have personally been on the Jewel of the Seas (first Cruise). THANKS!

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I am planning a cruise for 3 couples and seem to be leaning towards the Carnival 7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise in Febuary 09. We love it because it hits 7 Islands in 7 days. One couple is concerned that it will not be as nice as Royal Caribbean (less ports, more money).

 

The question boils down to food. Some of us have heard that the food is better on RCCL, but I read a 3 year old review of the same question in the Forum Archives that completely goes the other direction. Which is better?

 

Please help me. This is the last hurdle before we book it and I am in charge of figuring out which is better and is one worth the more money (RCCL). We are looking at the Carnival Victory, I have personally been on the Jewel of the Seas (first Cruise). THANKS!

 

I have sailed on 2 RCI cruises...

and 2 Carnival cruises.

 

I will probably never sail on Carnival again.

 

RCI puts out a good product.

I think they do a much better job than Princess, too.

 

Good luck with your decision process !

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Why would you choose not to cruise on Carnival again? Just curious - not trying to start a flame war... I haven't cruised either Carnival or Royal Caribbean - but will be looking at both in the future.

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Why would you choose not to cruise on Carnival again? Just curious - not trying to start a flame war... I haven't cruised either Carnival or Royal Caribbean - but will be looking at both in the future.

 

There are many different products available to choose from.

Carnival is one of them.

Having experienced Carnival..... and RCI, Princess & Celebrity, .....

and comparing the different products, I choose not to choose Carnival.

 

Service, quality of shows, dining room experience, etc.....

 

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From a food perspective, the choice is simple, RCL.

 

The main differences are the ports. I've never been to Dominica, so I can't comment. The only other difference is St Kitts versus St Maarten. Personally, I've been to both and I would go back to St. Maarten any day, over and over again. I love Baie Orientale.

 

Ports on Carnival:

San Juan, Puerto Rico

St. Thomas, USVI

Dominica

Barbados

St. Lucia, WI

Antigua

St Kitts, WI

San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

Ports on RCL:

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

St. John's, Antigua

Castries, St. Lucia

Bridgetown, Barbados

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Royal and Carnival don't interest me as they seem to cater to a different crowd--looking for quantity, not quality. My last experience with Carnival was a major disappointment and we only ate 1 meal in the dining room but chose to pay $60 per night extra to eat at the supper club. What a difference. The food was outstanding, the guests knew how to behave in a dining room, quiet background music and an attentive staff. If I ever sail on Carnival again I plan to only use the supper club and avoid the starving masses elsewhere. Yes, I am a snob but I pay for the right to be one.

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My last sailing on Carnival was Fall 2006 (Elation). My last RCCL sailing was Jan 2008 (Radiance).

 

Elation had far better menus and food in their dining room. The dining room on Radiance was quite disappointing. Ingredient quality was at least one notch below Elation and the menus were far from imaginative. (Several fellow passengers, at different tables, remarked to me that the Prime Rib was the "worst" they ever had.)

 

On the other hand, Radiance (and in my experience most other RCCL ships) offered a nicer dining experience in the buffet restaurant (Windjammer). While Elation's buffet was very good, Radiance was a tad better.

 

Notice I am not generalizing and comparing RCCL with Carnival. In my experience there are differences between ships and ship classes. None the less its more likely, in my opinion, that where food is concerned Carnival is currently a far, far better choice than Royal Caribbean.

 

If you do choose Carnival and if you like desserts, don't forget to order the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake.

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I have been on 2 Carnival and 1 RCCL. If it comes down to food, I would try Carnival again. Our recent experience on the Explorer of the Seas was awful. The food was horrible in the Windjammer buffet and the main dining room. Poor quality and never ever hot. The food in Portofino's was excellent but we could only get 3 reservations on a 12 night cruise and you paid $40 extra to eat there. Our first Carnival cruise was before they put in the supper clubs so the food in the dining room was excellent. Our second cruise on Carnival, they were just starting supper clubs and we never ate there because the dining room food was excellent. Haven't been on Carnival since Dec 2003 so I'm not sure if things have changed. I have a feeling that all these cruise lines are making the dining room experience gross so that you will pay surcharges to eat somewhere else. Also, when we cruised on Carnival, we went on newer ships. I've heard if you do an older ship with Carnival, you will not be happy.

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Personally I would book RCCL over Carnival everytime. RC is a better line with better service and food in my opinion.

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Yes, I am a snob but I pay for the right to be one

 

 

 

Gaaaaaagggggggggg!!!!!

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The question boils down to food. Some of us have heard that the food is better on RCCL, but I read a 3 year old review of the same question in the Forum Archives that completely goes the other direction. Which is better?

 

 

I go with the other direction.

 

Our family has sailed two RCCL and one Carnival (and 5 Disney.)

 

We thought the food on RCCL was awful. It was lukewarm most of the time, and when it WAS fully cooked, the meats were tough. There were a few times in which we discreetly emptied our mouths into our napkins. And this was just in the dining rooms. (I won't even get into how disappointed we were in the buffets.) The food at Portifino was better, but even then, it was OK at best. (Nothing compared to Disney's Palo.) RCCL has beautiful ships, but IMHO, that's as far as it goes.

 

However, we've sailed only one time on Carnival, and thought the food was OUTSTANDING. The TASTE, texture and presentation in the dining rooms was impeccable. We truly enjoyed every night in the dining rooms. (We haven't dined yet, at their supper club.) Their midnight buffets were quite impressive too. The pizza was incredible. (We even thought Carnival's food was better than most of Disney's, and Disney is our favorite cruise line.)

 

Honestly, (just our family's opinion) RCCL's food was bad enough for us to decide never to sail with them again. We're sailing Carnival again in July. (smilie)

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Personally I would book RCCL over Carnival everytime. RC is a better line with better service and food in my opinion.

And I see you haven't sailed too many times on Carnival, so your opinion really doesn't count.

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Royal and Carnival don't interest me as they seem to cater to a different crowd--looking for quantity, not quality. My last experience with Carnival was a major disappointment and we only ate 1 meal in the dining room but chose to pay $60 per night extra to eat at the supper club. What a difference. The food was outstanding, the guests knew how to behave in a dining room, quiet background music and an attentive staff. If I ever sail on Carnival again I plan to only use the supper club and avoid the starving masses elsewhere. Yes, I am a snob but I pay for the right to be one.

Hmmm, I kind of like the 'starving masses', at least they're real people. :-)

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I think something to consider is WHEN you had your cruise food experience. I think the food has gone down hill in quality over the past few years. To really judge, you'd have to have someone review that has gone on both lines w/in about the last year. Comparing Carnival in 2004 to RCI today isn't really fair.

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We were on Carnival last year and on RCCL the year before and the food in the dining room on Carnival was much better than RCCL but I thought that the buffett was better on RCCL. My wife has sworn never to go on RCCL again as the dining room wasn"t even close to Carnival.

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I have not sailed on RCCL, but we were on Carnival Inspiration (older ship) last month and could not have been happier with the food, the presentation and the service in the dining room. I had no desire to pay extra for a supper club (I don't think Inspirations has one) because I can't imagine liking it any better. There were so many selections every night that appealed to me. I only heard one complaint the whole cruise and that was my brother who said the red snapper was not good. That was the first time he had red snapper, so maybe he just doesn't like red snapper.:rolleyes:

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If I was blindfolded, I couldn't tell the difference in dining room fare. I would give a very slight edge to RCI in the buffet department due to crispy bacon and dessert selection.

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Please continue to cruise on Carnival so the rest of us who want the best will never run into you and your insults.

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Overall I liked that food on Carnival better. RCCl has a better breakfast room service menu though.

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I just got off of the Voyager of the Seas Sunday which was my 10th cruise. I have only been on one Carnival, two Norwegian,one Costa and 6 Royal Caribbean. I figure from this you would know which one I would choose. I really do love Royal Caribbean.

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I've only gone on two cruises--both Royal Caribbean. Last January--2007--the food was decent. This past January--2008--I was disappointed. I'm thinking of cruising again next year...spring of 2009. I am thinking about trying Carnival at this point. Or another line.

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Hello! I've been on about 10 cruises including RCCL, NCL, and Carnival. I would say that RCCL is the best, Carnival was 'ok' and Norwegian was not good. The dining room choices were not good at all with NCL but, they offer the other restaurants to choose from. (most with an extra fee) The food was Very good in them but we didn't want to have to pay extra for dinner each night or go to the buffet.

 

I would definitely not base my cruise on the food though. I go by itinerary and style of the ship. Carnival was filthy the day we boarded! YUCK!

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I have been on 6 carnival cruises and we are going to go on our first RCCL cruise this September, so I can only speak about Carnival. As far as their food goes, the dining room is good. My experiences with the buffet were different for each ship. I have found that the conquest class ships had the worst food on the buffets, but the spirit class ships, offered much better, don't know why it was like this, but that was our experience. The reason we have decided to switch, and not go on Carnival has absolutely nothing to do with the food but other reasons. Good luck with your decision and hope you have a great time!:)

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Cruised once with Carnival 8 times Royal and once Celebrity.

 

I'm not moving from Royal. Service is excellent ships are beautiful. Food wise I don't care place a salad and a glass of water in front of me in the dining room and I'm happy. :eek: :eek: :rolleyes:

I never tried chops or portifino and have no intentions of doing so. :D

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