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your first Carnival cruise that kept you coming back!

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I saw another post on a different board, and remembered my first cruise, made me feel good, with remembering the things that I loved on that ship and cruise line, that got me hooked on cruising.  I ended up after that, and one other cruise line, making most of my cruises on Carnival.  Loved all my Carnival cruises.  Yes some complaints over the years, but in general, loved Carnival, and therefore in 10 cruises over the years, 8 were on Carnival.  

 

I would love to hear from the regulars here, or those who dont post often, when they started cruising on Carnival, and why they remain with them.  Even those who have strayed a bit, but come back.  What brings you back to Carnival.  

 

Of course we are all on hold right now, given the current health crisis in our world, but hopefully we can all spend some time reminiscing, and hoping towards a better day to come.

 

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1993 Ecstasy.

Honeymoon!

Had one of the few Balcony suites.

 

Just looked at the pics ( not digital 🙂 ) this week.

I'll post when I have some time.

 

We did our 25th anniversary May of 2018 on the Vista.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The Festivale, New Years 1988 - Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St.Maartin, Barbados, Martinique.  I remember being amazed at how relaxing it was to watch the ocean.   Never had been pampered like that on a vacation before.   

 

Edited by BTromboneFrack

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We only started cruising on Carnival a 3-4 years ago.

 

We primarily like Carnival for “vibe” and the daily activities.  Initially, I was extremely reluctant to cruise on Carnival, based primarily on the reputation it’s received.  However, once sailing on Carnival, it’s quickly risen to the top of our list.  They do a great job of truly being a fun ship.  Varying and numerous activities throughout the day that we enjoy.  Truly something to do for most interests and ages.  And for me, a vacation is the opportunity to relax and wind down.  So if I want to dress in shorts and shirt for dinner, not a tank top and cut offs, rather cargo shorts and a t-shirt, then I want to feel at home doing so.  I also must say that I was quite surprised with the food quality and food choices offered.  I figured at the cruise price offered by Carnival that the food must be lacking in comparison with its main competitors, but that simply isn’t the case. 

 

It’s not always about having the biggest ships or newest and shiniest toys on those ships, but rather for us, and pardon the use of business jargon…..Carnival offers the best value proposition. 

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Posted (edited)

My first Carnival cruise was on the Tropicale in 1994. But the experience was terrible, and almost made me never want to sail on Carnival ever again (long story for another thread). So I waited 6 years before deciding, with some trepidation, to set foot on another Carnival ship, this time aboard the Destiny in 2000. I loved that cruise, and after that, I‘ve kept periodically coming back to Carnival. Some cruises have been wonderful, some not as much, but I’ve enjoyed every single one of them. 

Edited by Tapi

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7 minutes ago, BelowDeck4us said:

We only started cruising on Carnival a 3-4 years ago.

 

We primarily like Carnival for “vibe” and the daily activities.  Initially, I was extremely reluctant to cruise on Carnival, based primarily on the reputation it’s received.  However, once sailing on Carnival, it’s quickly risen to the top of our list.  They do a great job of truly being a fun ship.  Varying and numerous activities throughout the day that we enjoy.  Truly something to do for most interests and ages.  And for me, a vacation is the opportunity to relax and wind down.  So if I want to dress in shorts and shirt for dinner, not a tank top and cut offs, rather cargo shorts and a t-shirt, then I want to feel at home doing so.  I also must say that I was quite surprised with the food quality and food choices offered.  I figured at the cruise price offered by Carnival that the food must be lacking in comparison with its main competitors, but that simply isn’t the case. 

 

It’s not always about having the biggest ships or newest and shiniest toys on those ships, but rather for us, and pardon the use of business jargon…..Carnival offers the best value proposition. 

Fantasy, September 2004. My girl friend now wife tried our first and loved it, have been cruising every year since. We have 14 cruises all on Carnival under our belts with many more to come. The largest ship we have cruised on has been Glory. This coming September we are trying our first B2B and large ship the Horizon.

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The original Mardi Gras in the early 80s I think......I do remember vividly meeting some nice guys from Canada. Pat and I were in an empty bar on a rainy afternoon playing the piano and singing all these ballads and people kept coming in putting dollar bills in the regular guy's tip glass.  

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2016 Sensation.  Husband and I were at a turning point in our lives. Kids gone and out of the house. Had been caring for grandparents that passed.  We had no idea what to do with each other and were so depressed. An elder at church advised us it was time to date each other again. Drove from Atlanta to Miami overnight (horrible idea) and boarded our first cruise to Key West and Cozumel. Booked the next one driving home! We want to try other lines, but right now Carnival checks all our boxes. 

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1991 Fantasy she was the largest cruise ship in the world!!! Took me 9 years to cruise again but now have 26 Carnival cruises, 27 total!

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My first ever cruise was on the Sensation December 2009. Was always afraid to cruise but was I wrong, I had such a great time and never thought about being in the middle of the ocean. I've been on 14 cruises since then mostly Carnival. I was 65 at the time and so sorry I missed so many years not cruising.

 

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23 minutes ago, Host Carolyn said:

The original Mardi Gras in the early 80s I think......I do remember vividly meeting some nice guys from Canada. Pat and I were in an empty bar on a rainy afternoon playing the piano and singing all these ballads and people kept coming in putting dollar bills in the regular guy's tip glass.  

An empty bar on a rainy afternoon...my kind of enjoyment. How much better could that get? Not much I think. 👍

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My first Carnival cruise was in 2014 with my husband and my son, who had just graduated from high school.  It was only our second cruise ever.  Our first cruise was with Disney the previous year.  Anyway, we cruised on the Magic out of Galveston.  We had a lot of fun arriving the day before the cruise and walking around the area. We loved the ship and really enjoyed cruising with so many people from Texas.  Our son was going to start college in Texas, so it was pretty neat.  Such a friendly crowd. 

The cruise was great and we had so much fun. There were some of the best comedians we had ever seen.  We still talk about one of them. Our next Carnival cruise will be our 10th, whenever that happens.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, kansas kruiser said:

1991 Fantasy she was the largest cruise ship in the world!!! 

Just to get overly technical and cruise nerdy because I’m super bored,  Fantasy, at 70,000 tons, was the largest ship in the Carnival fleet at the time, but the title of largest cruise ship in the world in 1991 was held by Monarch of the Seas at 73,937 tons. Her slightly smaller sister, Sovereign of the Seas, was the first cruise ship to ever break the 70,000 ton mark in 1988. Carnival regained the largest cruise ship title when they launched Carnival Destiny in 1996, which was the first ship to break the 100,000 ton mark. 🤓

Edited by Tapi

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Carnival Valor, October 2007 with a group of 20 family and friends. Funny story. American Airlines lost my parents and my luggage on the way to Miami. We wouldn't get our luggage until day 5. Also, on the flight, the flight attendant spilled a cup of OJ all over me (and the only clothes I would have for the first half of the cruise lol). Despite all that, it was one of the best vacations I was ever on and was hooked. I didn't even care about wearing Carnival branded clothes most of the week 😆.

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1991, celebrating our 15th anniversary on the Jubilee to the Mexican Riviera. I remember some of our table mates, definitely remember making friends with all. I also vaguely remember my first deck party leaving Puerto Vallarta, tequila slammers!  I shudder to think of drinking cheap tequila and 7-Up now but it was fun times! Oh, and the rough ride coming back to LA,  didn’t bother me but the smell was pungent and I did see someone upchuck in the fake plant by the elevator., lol! 
 

Next cruise was in 1996 for our 20th, Imagination out of Miami to the Western Caribbean, this is when we were hooked! When I walked onto the beach on Grand Cayman I literally could not breath, this was what I had dreamed of and Hawaii, while good had not delivered. The turquoise  water, the white sand...I will never forget it. We made awesome friends at our table that cruise, one couple came to visit us in California and our besties from the cruise that we had an amazing and memorable day in Ocho Rios with are now our Facebook friends so we are still in touch. For those first two cruises you filled out an info form and they seated you with people of the same age and circumstances, like singles, married, familys and newlyweds. 
 

We cruised several times over the next few years on Carnival and I seriously think it was through Cruise Critic I hooked up with a group and we cruised to the Eastern Carribean on the Norwegian Sky. Oh man, NCL was not for us but we found our island, St.  John, USVI, we stopped cruising and went there for all our milestone anniversaries. We returned briefly in 2008 for an Alaskan cruise on Carnival Spirit in an aft wrap suite which is my favorite vacation of all time.

 

The hubby and I retired last year and I decided returning to cruising is a big part of our retirement plan. I booked a family cruse for Easter Week on the Vista this year,  a 45th anniversary cruise in 2021 on Vista in an aft wrap Havana cabin and a Sailabration cruise on the Panorama in 2022.

 

Obviously, our return to cruising has not turned out exactly as I had planned but I rescheduled the family for July and am hoping we are able to sail. This is probably way far down memory lane than anyone wanted to read but there is not much to do in California right now than reminence and remain hopeful!  

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The Holiday in 1996.  What a rust bucket compared to today's cruise ships.  But we loved it.  

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My first was on the Holiday in 1985 when she was brand new. When she was launched she was the 3rd largest cruise ship. Only the Norway and QE2 were bigger. I remember that our cruise was a 7 day cruise to St. Maarten,  St. Thomas, and Nassau. In Nassau we were docked next to the original Mardi Gras,  and she looked like a tugboat next to us. For that reason I never had the urge to sail Carnival's older ships. My friend and I paid over $1600 for an inside cabin on Main Deck, which is way more expensive than similar accommodations today. 😎

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Our 1st cruise was in Sept.2009 on the Ecstasy,we were hooked and will be on our 11th in Nov.on the Freedom for the 14 dat Panama Canal .

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My first cruise on Carnival Victory got me addicted to cruising. My wife and I had gone on several cruises on Fantasy class ships, but it was was our first cruise on Victory that turned cruising from something we did roughly once a year to something we did several times a year. 
 

As much as we enjoy Carnival, we were blown away by the ship the first time we sailed on a RCI ship. Although there is more to cruising than how impressive a ship is, every time we are on an RCI ship the wow factor never goes away. I was really hoping to get that same feeling when Vista came out, but ended up being extremely disappointed. Now I am hoping to get that feeling when Mardi Gras comes out. 

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Carnival Spirit, Alaska, May 2007.  We booked an inside cabin to save money for excursions (we were only in our mid-20s, and it was our first big vacation together).  When we checked in in Anchorage, we'd been upgraded to a window cabin.  By the time we bused to Whittier and checked in there, we'd been upgraded to an extended balcony. It was probably the best vacation ever. 

 

As you can see from my signature, we've stuck with Carnival ever since 😛 

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I forgot to add to my first post, that my first Carnival cruise was on the Sensation in 2000.  It was a 7 day cruise, and was also my first solo cruise.  I was really nervous about cruising solo, especially with regard to dining.  I almost did not go to the dining room the first night, but I forced myself to.  It turned out to be the best group of people, and I looked forward to going every evening. Great memories of that cruise.

 

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Our first cruise John Heald was our Cruise Director, enough said, who would not keep cruising

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13 hours ago, BTromboneFrack said:

The Festivale, New Years 1988 - Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St.Maartin, Barbados, Martinique.  I remember being amazed at how relaxing it was to watch the ocean.   Never had been pampered like that on a vacation before.   

 

 

You need to check out this album of the early Carnival ships

- if you haven't already!

 

 

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