Carnival vs. Royal Caribbean Bahamas Cruise

<p>There have been quite a few cruise topics in the past, but I would like to have feedback on a 4 day Bahamas cruise out of Cape Canaveral. Thinking about traveling in late June after school is out. Will drive to Orlando, maybe spend 3-4 days at Disney World, I am not crazy about the hot weather, but my daughter is dying to go, because the last time she went, she could only go on the kiddie rides, now she wants to ride all the roller coasters! I am thinking a 4 day cruise can help break up the hot day trips to Disney.</p>

<p>Anyone who had gone on either the Carnival or Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruise from Cape Canaveral? Are the two about the same? Price are quite compatible. We have never been on a cruise before, did quite a bit of reading on cruising, but it seems like every cruise has its good and bad areas.</p>

<p>Any comments will help. Thanks.</p>

<p>Haven't been on these specific cruises, but if you head over to cruisecritic dot com, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about cruising. You can read reviews of the specific cruises and ships you are looking at, and ask any kind of question on the boards (both RCI and Carnival have their own boards). Every home and cruise port also has boards. It's the other great CC message board!</p>

<p>I think RC is almost always preferable to Carnival (I have been on both). I have never been on the 4 day cruises, but I would go with Royal C. Carnival is fine, but a younger, more party-oriented crowd than RC.</p>

<p>Have cruised with RC several times and loved them. Haven't done Carnival so can't compare. Much preferred RC to Princess (Alaska - gorgeous really want to go again, but not with Princess) and to Norwegian.</p>

<h1>3^^unless it is during college spring break. I have it on EXCELLENT authority that at least one RC cruise will be very well populated with college students from a certain university.</h1>

<p>I'll second checking cruisecritic. It really depends on the person which cruise line is better, though RC seems to be picked more often than Carnival. Going for a 4 day cruise in the Caribbean is going to be different than a two week cruise in Europe of Alaska in that you will see a lot of younger people. I take it that the Disney Cruise Line is either not available or too expensive for this trip? Based on your D's age, that could be a better idea. It would be interesting to see if RC is using one of their really big cruise ships on this route rather than a more standard-sized vessel.</p>

<p>I've cruised both and both have their pluses/minuses. My kids (13, 15 and 17) loved both but gave a slight edge to Carnival - especially my 15 year old for their teen hangout. It really depends on the ship though - Carnival has retrofitted some of their smaller boats with great amenities whereas for Royal Caribbean you really need to go with their larger ships for similar perks. Cruise Critic is excellent - definitely check out the ship reviews (read everything with a grain of salt though since some people really don't seem to ever enjoy anything! :) ). Also, you can go to the "roll call" forum for both lines and check out the particular sailing to get an idea of who else might be sailing the same time. Cruise lines are not allowed to tell you if a group has taken up a large portion of a sailing but you can usually find out on cruise critic. Now don't get me wrong, many groups are just fine and some can add a great benefit to your sailing but some can take over everything or really change the feel of a sailing. A girlfriend and I learned that lesson the hard way :) My family loves to cruise - the kids always find something to do, my husband (he's 6'6" and can eat, LOL) can get as much food as he wants, and I love just being away from everything and not connected.</p>

<p>We are taking one in April out of Baltimore on Carnival. It's a 7 day cruise - stops in Port Canaveral and you can do a day trip to Disney, Sea World, NASA etc, then it goes to the Bahamas for two stops.</p>

<p>I had reservations about Carnival, having only cruised on RC before. Our experience on RC was outstanding - this ship left out of Miami and had the ice rink, and an interior 'mall' with shops and eateries. Carnival's ship out of Baltimore is well equipped, but not like the RC ship. So we are managing our expectations. I read all of the cruise critic reviews (some of which were mediocre, but many were very favorable), and decided to take the plunge. The big plus with leaving from Baltimore is the fact that we can drive to the port in less than 30 minutes - no planes or hotels. And we get 7 days on a ship.</p>

<p>Check the details on the excursions and the prices. I am finding the excursions on the Carnival ship to be pretty expensive...i.e. we are going to the Atlantis on Paradise Island and using the water park and beach. It's around $150 each, but includes lunch. The Disney excursions are similarly expensive. I don't remember the pricing on the RC excursions.</p>

<p>Overall, they seem to be comparable in pricing - maybe Carnival offering a little more value...i.e. we are in a balcony room on a 7 day cruise, vs. on RC it was a 4 or 5 day cruise and we had two interior but promenade facing rooms - and we had the inconvenience and added expense of flying for the RC cruise.</p>

<p>After this winter, we are sooooo looking forward to this trip. Honestly, you could put me on a tug boat in the Bahamas and I'd be happy.</p>

<p>DH and I did an Alaska 7 day cruise on Carnival last summer and had a great time. We're looking into doing a 7 day Caribbean cruise with the kids this summer -- kind of a last family summer vacation before DS goes off to college. I'm sticking with Carnival because I've heard great things about the teen programs (we also have a 13 year old daughter).</p>

<p>Carnival has announced a price increase effective March 22nd for summer cruises. OTOH, they also post last minute "Pack and Go" rates on their website every Wednesday through Friday. Those are really cheap rates for cruises less than 60 days away. The only problem is that those rates don't let you pick specific staterooms -- they assign them. Since we want two rooms near each other I have a problem with that, so I'll probably forgo the savings. Also, not all sailings of all ships have Pack and Go rates. You would have to be flexible.</p>

<p>It's really more about the destination than the line:</p>

<p>Caribbean and Mexico - party</p>

<p>Alaska - sightseeing</p>

<p>I have a place in my heart for Carnival, since my daughter and son in law met on our extended family's Christmas cruise in 2005. He did gigs on Carnival as a pianist (jazz- ship's band) to help put himself through medical school. She was a Rice college student. They met New Year's Eve (after they had spotted each other on our shore excursion in Grand Cayman) and married June 2008!</p>

<p>Not sure if you are a new poster or read those previous threads here on this CC as opposed to the cruise critic CC, LOL, but there are several good threads on this topic on both CCs. Thanks to very helpful cc'ers we took a 1 week cruise on RC out of Cape Canaveral. It was great.</p>

<p>RC are much better than Carnival as far as I know. Husband and son went on Carnival out of Miami last year and it was OK. We as a family went to RC and the ships are great and lots for the kids to do. I would not go on Carnival, if I had an option.</p>

<p>We only do cruises instead of land vacations. Been on 5 of the six mass market lines (Carnival, HAL, Princess, Celebrity and RC). However, our shortest cruise was a 7 day.
On a 4 day cruise, it is a party cruise regardless of which line you're on. In my view, no one line is better than another. They all have pros and cons depending on what you prefer.
Our teens have done both RC and Carnival and have told us to book Carnival only due to a better O2 Teen Program. So until they turn 18 years old which is when the teen program cuts off, it will be Carnival.</p>

<p>Carnival for when the whole family is going...</p>

<p>RC for when it's just the adults.</p>

<p>That's been our experience.</p>

<p>I am only in high school, but my mom is a travel agent and I have been on at least 10 cruises. While both have positives and negatives, I would probably recommend RC for the cruise you are thinking about. While Carnival does profess to be a more kid-friendly ship, 4-day cruises normally have a large child population regardless of the line. I actually enjoyed RC's kids club better than Carnival's, having been on them both in different age ranges. My biggest negative about Carnival is that it seems too much like Las Vegas on the ocean, with tons of flashing lights and passengers who LOVE to party. While this is also found on RC, especially on shorter cruises, it is to much less of a degree.</p>

<p>Do both cruises go to the same destinations? Often RC goes to private islands they own which can be extremely fun and less crowded then other beaches. These are just my 2 cents, but I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might have.</p>

<p>I would definitely go with Royal Caribbean. I've been on both. We've had multiple problems with Carnival. It is definitely more of a party atmosphere. Carnival also had stuff like people in the formal dining room eating barefoot, in bathing suits, etc.</p>