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FamilyOfSix

Carnival fan giving RCL a try

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I've cruised a handful of times.  Most recently my last 2 cruises were on Carnival.  I loved them.  While nothing fancy the price was right, and the food, entertainment and comforts were good.  Staff has always been fantastic.  I have my eye on a NCL cruise (Vision of the Seas).  I am wondering what can I expect in terms of the 2 cruise lines around dining, service, fees, entertainment, or other policies and things that are noteworthy as someone who knows a fair amount about Carnival (e.g., the Carnival Hub app, My Time Dining, Room Service).

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52 minutes ago, FamilyOfSix said:

I have my eye on a NCL cruise (Vision of the Seas).

Assume you mean RCI, but both lines are excellent options!

 

53 minutes ago, FamilyOfSix said:

dining

Dining remains the same concept across both lines. There are two traditional dining times and My Time Dining (anytime dining).

 

53 minutes ago, FamilyOfSix said:

service

I believe CCL's staff are more polite and courteous than RCI's crew.

 

54 minutes ago, FamilyOfSix said:

fees

About the same, though gratuities are 14.50 for standard cabins, 17.50 for suites as opposed to 13.99 and 15.99 respectively. 

 

56 minutes ago, FamilyOfSix said:

entertainment

Depends on the class of ship, as Vision class juxtaposes with the Oasis class. Someone who has been on Vision of the Seas and another Carnivals ship, preferably Fantasy Class, can better assist you.

 

58 minutes ago, FamilyOfSix said:

or other policies

None of which I can think.

 

59 minutes ago, FamilyOfSix said:

(e.g., the Carnival Hub app, My Time Dining, Room Service)

There is a charge for Room Service Delivery, but select foods are complimentary. Royal's wifi is better, hands down. One thing that disappointed me was how the Ice Cream was not 24/7 ☹️.

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I’ve never cruised on Carnival. Their maintenace record is not the greatest.  Howeve I’ve cruised, not exclusively, on Royal since 1996. 

For My Time Dining, my advise is to prebook your favorite dining time.  After the first night, if you don’t care for the location, service, waiter, etc. speak to the representative at the entrance desk and ask for a different location for tomorrow.  Otherwise you will probably get the same table and wait staff.  Without rebooking you may have to stand in line and wait for a table.  If you have a set table and time, it is courtesy to let them know if you have reservations in a specialty restaurant.  

Reservations for entertainment depend on which ship.  Smaller ships there is usually no worries, except be there early.  Larger ships need reservations for Broadway shows, 240 shows, aquatic shows, etc.  without reservations there is usually a long line of first come, first seated..

Don;t know what the HUB is, but there is an RCI app which I never use.  I do the on-line chesk-in, print my Set Sail forms and luggage tags.  I pre-book excursions, either through the ship or off ship, and once on board, I plan to relax and let my vacation happen.

 

Kay

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5 hours ago, FamilyOfSix said:

I've cruised a handful of times.  Most recently my last 2 cruises were on Carnival.  I loved them.  While nothing fancy the price was right, and the food, entertainment and comforts were good.  Staff has always been fantastic.  I have my eye on a NCL cruise (Vision of the Seas).  I am wondering what can I expect in terms of the 2 cruise lines around dining, service, fees, entertainment, or other policies and things that are noteworthy as someone who knows a fair amount about Carnival (e.g., the Carnival Hub app, My Time Dining, Room Service).

 

Some of the usual Carnival vs RC threads:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2653390-royal-vs-carnival/?do=findComment&comment=57231494

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2648195-rc-twice-looking-at-carnival-opinions/?do=findComment&comment=57103006

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2647822-why-royal-caribbean-instead-of-carnival/?do=findComment&comment=57092925

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2621100-some-questions-from-a-carnival-cruiser/?do=findComment&comment=56498267

 

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This question gets asked almost twice a week.

 

Do a simple search on this site and it will bring them all up.

 

Maybe read some reviews of the ship you are planning on going on..

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I hope you realize Vision is one of Royal’s older, smaller ships.  I have not sailed on her in many years, but as far as I know there is nothing wrong with her, just realize she is not the ship Royal is currently building and heavily advertising.  just as Carnival has some older, smaller ships without bells and whistles, so does Royal.  Nothing wrong with choosing smaller or larger, newer or older, it is just to know and acknowledge what you are or are not choosing to sail.

 

We have only done one Carnival cruise.  The food and service on Royal were better than that one experience on Carnival.  We also found the public areas on that Carnival ship (Splendor) to be consistently loud (auditory and visually) and overcrowded.  As we felt that one experience less satisfying than any of the other lines we had sailed, we never returned to Carnival.  Granted that may have been a bad week on that ship, but they have not had another chance to remake that first impression.

 

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We have been on 4 Carnival cruises and 1 Disney cruise. Next week will be our first RCI cruise - on Enchantment. Of the 5 previous cruises, none have been on particular huge vessels - I think the largest was Triumph. 

We decided to do this cruise because we are kinda tired of Carnival out of New Orleans, and it was easier/quicker to get to Galveston than it is to get to Florida. So even though we have done Cozumel and Progresso multiple times, we figured a new company would be a new experience for us. That, and we got a great deal 😃

 

I'll try to remember to come back to this thread after our trip and share our experiences comparing the two. A few things that jumped out at me already:

 

1) RCI's alcohol package not having a daily limit

2) RCI's alcohol package has a lower "threshhold" price - i.e. I think RCI covers any drink up to 12 or 13 dollars, whereas Carnival it's like 19 per drink
3) The shore excursion we are going on in Progresso, booked through RCI, is $40 per person cheaper than the exact same excursion booked through Carnival

4) RCI seems to have a tremendous number of sales. Most of them all seem to be around the same price, and be at a pretty decent discount to on-board pricing. Carnival seems to have much fewer "sales" and seems to not offer much of a discount for making purchases pre-cruise vs on-board

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We have done a lot of Carnival cruises, sticking with them mostly due to price.

We are nearly diamond on Royal and began with them because we liked the trans-Atlantic itineraries and that ended up leading us to doing trans-Atlantic back-to-back as well as an Alaskan land-sea combo.

 

I cannot make any general conclusion about food or staff - we have run across good food and friendly staff on both lines.   We have run across mediocre food and OK staff on both lines.  Each ship can be different I think.

 

On Carnival it's easier to get food any time and especially ice-cream, for Royal there are times of the day where there is little if any food out and for ice-cream the machines are almost always shut down.

 

We have a lot of nights sailed on both lines and the Crown and Anchor perks are a bit ahead of anything Carnival offers - but for a first cruise with a line this is not much of a factor I guess.

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I find the food and beds better on Carnival. There are times though when a Royal Caribbean cruise just works out better for us so I don't rule them out.

 

I don't believe in being loyal to any cruise line - they each have their own plusses and minuses.

 

I've not sailed the Vision of the Seas - I will note that it's one of Royal's smaller and older ships - lacking a lot of the bells and whistles that Royal is now known for. If the cruise works for you (time, budget, ports, etc.) why not try it out? Worst case scenario, you know you don't like that ship, best case scenario, you do. 

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Posted (edited)

 

I’ve done mostly Carnival cruises with the exception of Allure and Majesty. My last cruise was on Carnival Glory and it was that cruise I’ve decided I will be sticking with Royal . I’ve enjoyed most of my Carnival cruises but last year on Glory I came to the conclusion that I’m pretty much done with Carnival. Carnival is old and stale in my opinion and I’m just looking for something different. Will be on Harmony next year and looking forward to the entertainment and fun filled ship.

The one thing Carnival does better is the buffet as I thought the one on Allure was absolutely dog food!   MDR is about the same to me.

Edited by Midwestgal

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We've cruised on Carnival about 8 times, and only once (last spring) on RCL. We loved both cruises and will cruise on both again next March.

 

Both have Your Time Dining, but on RCL, you can book the same time for each evening, before boarding. The Maître D said we would be at the same table too, when we checked in the first evening, which was great. 

 

Entertainment was a little better on RCL, in my opinion, but the Cruise Director on Carnival was so much better and really got more people to take part in the activities. The CD on our RCL ship reminded me of a low budget game show host who had a huge ego. I wasn't fond of my fellow Canadian, LOL. Wereally enjoyed the ice show on RCL.

 

Food is about equal in the buffet, but Carnival offers many more choices for dinner in the MDR. We were very impressed with the "washy washy" lady or other staff who greeted us each morning and noon going into the RCL Windjammer, making sure we either washed our hands or/and used Purell to cut down on germs. Carnival had the sanitation stations but so many people ignore them.

 

Both the apps are great, but we really prefer the Carnival Hub app because of the chat feature. It was so handy when hubby and I were doing different things and trying to find each other, or for arrangements with friends we were cruising with.

 

Hope you enjoy your RCL cruise.

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I have cruised on Carnival six times, always shorter 4/5 nighters with my friends.  The food seemed roughly the same as Royal, which I usually cruise on.  The service on Carnival was subpar though.  After my friend sent back his wine one evening at dinner, our waiter argued with him, and then had the maitre d' come over and extend the issue for another 5/10 minutes, very uncomfortable situation.  The wine was bad and they turned it into a big deal, I have never seen anything like this on 20 plus Royal cruises.  

The first time I cruised on Carnival I specifically asked if there was a limit on the drink package and was told by two different customer reps there was no limit.  Sure as heck, the first night I was cut off at midnight in the casino after reaching the 15 drink per day limit.  After this happened the second night I cancelled the package was got a refund for the unused portion.

 

Just my opinion.

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Carnival is a budget line and you get what you pay for. As others noted, on the smaller older Royal ships like Vision, the differences are not going to be pronounced.  But on the larger /newer royal ships, Carnival is a far cry.  So if you enjoyed Carnival, you will definitely enjoy Royal. 

 

As another mentioned about Glory making it clear they are done with Carnival, I have had the same experience but on Magic.  The budget cuts, lack of maintenance, poor ship design, lacking entertainment, etc. It's just not for us.  We would rather pay more and get more. But Carnival is a fine product for more budget conscious travelers. If pricing is similar, I wouldn't even consider Carnival. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 8:53 AM, BNBR said:

Carnival is a budget line and you get what you pay for. As others noted, on the smaller older Royal ships like Vision, the differences are not going to be pronounced.  But on the larger /newer royal ships, Carnival is a far cry.  So if you enjoyed Carnival, you will definitely enjoy Royal. 

Seems that's quite true...

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/carnival-cruise-ship-fails-health-inspection/ar-AAFA6d0?li=BBnbfcL

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Hi cruiser.. I cruised carnival many times years ago in the time frame of the ships you are looking at. I know the new ships are real pricey and Oasis class is a little also but I would suggest that you look at the Voyager class or Freedom class if possible to get a lot more of the new concept of Royal. Ice skating    etc.   The Vision is a 1998 year ship and she is a little tired. Same year class as the elation on carnival.  Bob

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On 6/24/2019 at 6:53 AM, matj2000 said:

This question gets asked almost twice a week.

 

Do a simple search on this site and it will bring them all up.

 

Maybe read some reviews of the ship you are planning on going on..

 

I think you could copy and paste your response into just about every single thread on this forum and it would be applicable.

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56 minutes ago, CruisingNole said:

 

I think you could copy and paste your response into just about every single thread on this forum and it would be applicable.

I have quite a few responses that are repeated often.

 

Hopefully someday people will learn how to utilize this site properly & search for answers before starting a new thread.    Which is quite easy.

 

Until then, I will use my canned answers...…..

 

 

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We started out cruising with Carnival only in 1989. I think about 5 cruises with Carnival alone. We've done Disney, NCL (our least fav) Princess and Royal. Once we cruised with Royal, we never went back to Carnival. I personally wouldn't go on Vision if I were trying out a new line. It's an older ship. Royal has so many in their fleet. We prefer the mega ships as there's soooo much to do and actually feel like there's less people since there are so many places to spread out. Everyone is different tho. Some prefer the smaller ships. Royal is a step up from Carnival. Royal is classy but fun. I would look at the different ships, videos of what they have to offer, and the layouts of them. Our favorite is the Oasis class. There entertainment is better than the smaller ships of Royal. So many choices of eateries as well. Much info you'll find already on here, but just wanted to put my two cents in. Happy cruising!

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