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MichiganCruiser83

PLEASE HELP... Carnival vs Royal Caribbean

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I have cruised on both lines in the last year (2007), the food is about equal on both, cruise line food is cruise line food...sometimes you get lucky and have a really good food experience. As for preference in cruiselines I would choose RCL everytime, for other reasons like service, activities and other guest. Just my opinion. I don't cruise for the food or anything else, just to be on the water and relaxing...

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I have been on Royal Carribean, Carnival and Norwegian. In this order I would rate the food:

1. Royal Carribean

2. Norwegian

3. Carnival.

 

If your deciding factor is food only, go Royal Carribean. (or try Celebrity if you can)

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I have been on Royal Carribean, Carnival and Norwegian. In this order I would rate the food:

1. Royal Carribean

2. Norwegian

3. Carnival.

 

If your deciding factor is food only, go Royal Carribean. (or try Celebrity if you can)

 

I've been on all three lines too and my ratings would be opposite of yours.

 

1. Carnival

2. Norweigan

3. Royal Caribbean

 

Both my Carnival cruises were the best food I've ever had on a cruise line. But it's been a few years since I've been on Carnival so I can't say that it's still the same as I experienced in the past. Hands down Carnival was absolute best for desserts!

 

I have a Princess cruise coming up and I'm hoping that the food on Princess is comparable to what we had on Carinival.

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Can I also add, it depends on the ship as well? Within the same line, you'll hear widely varying opinions between ships, chefs, certain restaurants and etc. You really should compare the ship's amenities, the ports (7 in 7 days sounds like a lot but depends on what you do), activities to do at port, room categories, travel to and from, and then go with your gut. I don't think you'll have a bad experience with either. Just remember to relax and not sweat the small stuff. :D

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I'm really not a picky eater, but the food on my last RCCL cruise was so bland. The desserts weren't even that good. I think the presentation, quality and quantity were far better on Carnival. I'm not sure why Carnival gets such a bad rap and people think RCCL is so much better. ???

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Everyone is going to have their "own" favorite. I absolutely love Carnival. I think the entire experience, as well as their food, beats NCL, RCCL, and Celebrity. I love food. The dining service on a Carnival ship has never disappointed me. And who could turn down some warm chocolate melting cake? That's just my opinion...

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I have cruised RCCL and Carnival. RCCL hands down. Even though RCCL rates are high I will contine to pay the higher rate. Food however is better on Carnival but I don't vacation for food so a salad and a glass of water would be fine with me. :eek: :rolleyes:

 

A few cruises on Carnival and I never had the Melting choc. cake or whatever it is called. Sounds like it has a ton of useless calories. :eek: :eek:

 

We all have our personal favorites. :D

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A few cruises on Carnival and I never had the Melting choc. cake or whatever it is called. Sounds like it has a ton of useless calories. :eek: :eek:

 

Hmmm. Have you ever had an awesome chocolate cake that didn't have a ton of useless calories? I've been on RCCL and I'll let you in on a secret - their chocolate cake has useless calories too!

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Hmmm. Have you ever had an awesome chocolate cake that didn't have a ton of useless calories? I've been on RCCL and I'll let you in on a secret - their chocolate cake has useless calories too!

 

I never had RCCL choc cake! I never have dessert on any cruise too many useless calories! :eek: :eek: :eek: :rolleyes: ;)

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We both thought the food selection and taste on our Miracle cruise was better than on our RC Explorer and Serenade cruises. I think the service has been better on RC than on Carnival, but maybe it depends on the ship????

 

There is usually something on the RC menu we like and as long as I don't have to cook it and clean up I am a pretty happy person!! :D

 

Right now we look at the ports when we plan a cruise - the food is not in the top 3 reasons to pick our cruise. I think if you sail for the food maybe Celebrity or Holland might be better choices - from what our friends have said.

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...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.)...

 

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)

 

 

After reading previous posts, I was surprised with the reactions to RCCL. But wow, we had the SAME exact experience as you did! Carnival's food and service always pleases. :)

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I am not a frequent cruiser but would like to put in my two cents. I have sailed RCI four times since 1994 and have noticed a decline in quality over those years, particularly with their alternative menu steak. And I think most RCI regulars will agree that this is the trend.

 

I am just back from my first Carnival cruise (Conquest) and this is my opinion/comparison.

 

Carnival let me down.

 

I am a dining room fan versus the buffet lines but found myself eating more buffet (breakfast and lunch) than ever due to the surprising lack of quality difference between the two (I decided to forego specialty dining in order to understand the product). The Carnival wait staff was overwhelmed with the sheer numbers and cramped quarters, making mistakes and even mislaying selections, though I commend their friendly attitude and cheerful entertainment. The dining room itself was fussily over decorated, giving it an eye-catching, though cramped and low-ceiling feeling.

 

Though there were several good selections with many attractive presentations, I felt the majority of my dishes were not well thought out in the seasoning department. The main offenders were the vegetables followed by the alt selection steak. I went so fair as to order the steak as 'rare' (unheard of from me) and it still was shoe leather tough.

 

I do give props for the majority of the desserts.

 

I do no work in the food industry but enjoy occasionally cooking fine cuisine. And while I cannot give RCI a free pass, I cannot even come close to offering that to Carnival.

 

My acid test is this: if not in public would I want to 'lick my plate clean'? Except for a couple of desserts, I did not experience this on Carnival as I had on RCI.

 

Maybe, I should try Celebrity next.

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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)

 

Oh, my goodness, DisneyCruiser, have we met?!

My comments would be word-for-word what you said! I opted to continue my alliance with Carnival because I found the food consistently better. I also prefer the spaciousness of their staterooms to RCCL's.

 

We found RCCL's food lukewarm. The midnight buffet had lackluster presentation and tasted reheated. Breakfast was bland and room temperature. The orange juice tasted like watered down Tang. (I know, I'm dating myself) The food served at the CocoCay cookout was overcooked and tough. The potatoes in the potato salad were undercooked.

 

Carnival's ships, however, have been consistently pleasing. I especially love the 24-hour pizzeria and ice cream bar. I think Carnival's more bang for the buck.

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Decisions, decisions. Flip a coin is the best answer if you're not sure and after reading all the pro and cons. I've been on 2 RCCL and 3 Carnivals. My first cruise was on Viking Serenade's RCCL. I've been on 1 Disney, 1 Celebrity, 2 HAL, 1 Princess, and 4 NCL's. I think RCCL's food is a little bit better, but not much. Customer service is better on RCCL in my opinion. Carnival has good entertainment, but seems like all the entertainment is a blur in my opinion actually. I'd rank HAL overall in quality, next celebrity, princess about equally with RCCL. Disney is on a different category all together. Food was surprisingly so-so on the Magic. Carnival is slightly above NCL. That's basically my vague ranking per se. Flip that coin, or go with the majority vote!

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Objectively, CCL is far superior to RCL. I did a CCL cruise last JUne, followed by a RCL cruise. It was quit apparent that CCL was vastly superior.

I'll give examples.

1) Prime rib- CCL was twice as thick, with better marbling. Better marbling =better cut of meat.

2) Shrimp- CCL had dishes like tempura shrimp with large shrimps on skewers. When RCl served shrimp scampu style, it was a joke. The shrimp were a fourth the size on CCL and to mke them look bigger, they butterfly cut them (to make them look bigger) and only gave you four or five (don't remember the number) with a large dollop of rice (rice is cheaper than shrimp).

Filet- CCL gave a large, thick fliet (1" thick) RCL gave two very thin (1/4"?) slices, this made it look like you were getting more tha you were. Again, quality was down.

3) Steak- CCL had tender steak that could easily be cut. My daughter got the steak on RCL and it was so chewy that she couldn't eat it.

4) Hamburgers- CCL almost always has made to order hamburgers. RCL only had them at the pay for Johnny Rockets.

5) Lobster on CCL was large and tender. RCL didn't offer it. Another example of being cheap.

Oh, the presentation of RCL food is nice. However, it obvious that they cut many more corners than CCL.

These are just a few of the differences. In food, my family didn't see a single area that RCL was better than CCL in.

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I've only been on one RCCL cruise and it was many years ago and I thought the food was average. I've been on several Carnival cruises since and the food has been outstanding. My most recent cruise was last October. Everything was to die for. On the first night I happened to mention to my waiter that my favorite dessert is creme brulee. From that night on, we had creme brulee every single night, even though we didn't even ask for it, and it wasn't on the menu. Fresh, hot, topped with beautiful fruit, a work of art, just for me. Yes he got a good tip!

 

One night, my friend and I couldn't decide which entrees to order they all sounded so good. So he brought us both 2 so we could try them both! They were all delicious!

 

I'm sailing on RCCL Radiance this Oct. so it will be interesting to compare.

 

Just my .02.

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It's also hard to generalize food - for example, I cruised on Carnival many years ago. At that time, my idea of 'fine dining' was TGIFridays... Great wine was White Zin from a box... I thought the food on the ship was the greatest thing ever!

 

I've gotten a little older, and have acquired a taste for some of the finer 'things' in the dining realm. Recently, we've chosen to cruise RCCL, but not really for the food. The food in the dining room on Enchantment (our last ship) was adequate - Chops was quite good (like our favorite upscale steakhouse at home). We're cruising in a couple of weeks on Freedom. I look forward to trying Chops & Portofino - I'm hoping the dining room is better than last time. But, even I can't compare the two dining room experiences (Carnival & RCCL), mainly because things I'd have eaten way back then, I wouldn't think of eating now, and vice versa.

 

Point is - I'd choose my ship not only based on food quality (although the food needs to be adequate), but based on the overall 'vibe' of the ship. We like the RCCL vibe - I don't think I could keep up with the Carnival vibe anymore... Although, they make a mean mojito in the Bolero lounge... Mmmmm, mojito... :p

 

- Jill

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I think you just need to prioritize what is important. Food, service, value, Itinerary, ship size, entertainment, etc.

 

jhk1206- You say you haven't cruised CCL in many years so I think it would be hard for you to compare the food these days. We have been on three RCCL cruise - though that doesn't make me an expert I can say that the food was much better on our Carnival in 2004 than on the RC in 2006 and 2008. I can say the the main difference is variety and the meat. This last cruise there was not a single beef cut that wasn't "chewy". :cool:Such as shame when everything else was great.

 

However, I have to say in my opinion the service on our RC cruises was a bit better that Carnival.

 

We really do look at the itinerary right now when booking as well as the particular ship.

 

In general I think the two lines are more alike than different. I am waiting to try HAL and Princess to compare.

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does food vary more between lines or between ships within lines?

 

We are weighing Carnival Victory in February, but weren't sure we'd be happy with the food. However, this thread makes it sound like CCL provides a nice experience.

 

When we cruised RCCL in 2005, we found the food fine, average, but not impressive or good. Princess in 2005 was excellent, we were very impressed overall (one of the best salads I'd ever had - loaded with fresh, perfectly ripe, sweet avocado - I can still taste it).

 

Would Carnival Victory be closer to Princess or RCCL? Or better or worse...?

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The Caribbean Princess is sailing the southern caraibe on those date with pretty cool POC's.I have sailed the Golden Princess in 2006 and the food was excelent.The winner for us,is,that with Princess they have a choice of anytime dinning.No need to be on a schedule to sit at the table,we do that every day in real life.Whatever cruise you chose I'm sure you won't be desapointed.

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The Caribbean Princess is sailing the southern caraibe on those date with pretty cool POC's.I have sailed the Golden Princess in 2006 and the food was excelent.The winner for us,is,that with Princess they have a choice of anytime dinning.No need to be on a schedule to sit at the table,we do that every day in real life.Whatever cruise you chose I'm sure you won't be desapointed.

 

well, we have a 2 year old and only Disney and Carnival have a program for 2 year old kids. If we had an over 3 year old we'd do Princess again as we very much enjoyed that experience.

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Hey, hey, hey, do we have to pick on the chocolate melting cake? I love the stuff!

To the OP, thank you for posing this question. I have wondered if I was missing something from another cruise line, but, reading others responses, I think I'm good with Carnival for awhile longer.

Thank you to all who posted their comments. Good or bad, as long as it's an honest opinion, it is greatly appreciated.

Chocolate melting cake... I LOVE and miss YOU!!!

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I must say I was dissapointed with the food on the Fantasy but I heard other ships are better. I thought it was like a medocure buffet for most of the food. Sandwich shop and pizza was okay and the dining room other food I was not happy.

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