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Carnival Vs Royal Caribbean

Hi everyone! I am really considering doing a cruise for my HM thinking it will be a nice balance of fun stuff to do and still have that Caribbean get away feel. The only problem is I have never been on a cruise and I have no clue what would be the better cruise line? We definatley want to be on an active ship but don't really want a ton of kids. We are late 20s early 30s. Thanks!!

Re: Carnival Vs Royal Caribbean

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    ginams31 said:
    Hi everyone! I am really considering doing a cruise for my HM thinking it will be a nice balance of fun stuff to do and still have that Caribbean get away feel. The only problem is I have never been on a cruise and I have no clue what would be the better cruise line? We definatley want to be on an active ship but don't really want a ton of kids. We are late 20s early 30s. Thanks!!
    DH & I are your age...and we enjoy Norweigian Cruise Lines (NCL) mainly due to the any time "freestyle" dining. We didn't want assigned dining times so we could have more free time.
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    The newer Royal ships have a TON of activities, including surfing simulators (a ton of fun), ice skating, rock climbing, and of course bars, pools, casino, bars, spa, etc.

    We did a cruise on Freedom of the Seas in June and had a blast.  There were kids on the ship but it was not bad at all, we hardly noticed the kids.

    Both Carnival and Royal do a great job of keeping kids occupied and out of the adult areas.
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    Cap that's amazing. I did a 12 night med with carnival and there were 2 kids only. It was late September though.
    Op. they're more similar than different. Choose by itinerary and stateroom and check the reviews on cruisecritic.com.
    Celebrity also does anytime dining. I'm late 30s but have been cruising for years. There's always something fun to do or nothing at all to do.
    What you need to concern yourself with is time of year, cost, ports and then go from there.

     

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    I have been on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean and in my opinion, RC is SO much better. Carnival is a great cruise for deals that they offer on their ships but I had a much better time cruising with Royal Caribbean. I really never saw any kids at all on board, so its a bit odd that some people saying there were tons. On the other hands, there were MANY kids on Carnival. 

    Either way, you'll both have a great time on no matter which line you go on!
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    When I think of Carnival, I think of kids.  I wouldn't pick them for my honeymoon.  Heck, I would never pick Carnival for a regular vacation!  I've been on Royal Caribbean and Princess and have liked both.  
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    Thanks everyone! I will be sure to look more into RC :)
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    I think you are making a better choice with RC. Carnival wasn't bad but FI and I didn't care much for the food and thought the service was just OK. 

    I agree with everyone else that time of year and itinerary matters. We went to the Caribbean on Carnival in January for my bday. All our family said it would be a great cruise for people in their 20s. Well average age was probably 50 because of the time of year. Still was fun and we got a great deal but the ship was dead by 11pm. 

    We also did Alaska with my parents. That was totally muti-generational with tons of families with grandparents to grandkids. That one was on Princess and seriously sometimes you pay what for what you get! The food was much much better and the service and entertainment was as well. 

    I have heard good things about RC from several people, so I think it will be a great choice!
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    Another vote for NCL
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    We are doing carnival.  I have never been on a cruise either.  I really wanted to leave the day after or a couple days after my actual wedding.  I knew I did not want to do a seven day cruise because who knew if I would even like cruising!  I did not  look at pricing because that didn't concern me.  I just liked the destinations that carnival was going to over where Royal carribean was going.  I will let you know how it goes!  We leave in 41 days!
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    I've been on 4 Carnival cruises and loved it. I'm planning on doing a 7 day for my HM. Like everyone says it depends on the time of year. Carnival does have a camp for kids so I don't remember seeing a lot of them.
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    @shannie11 enjoy your honeymoon! I am sure you will have a great time :)
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    I've only ever been on RC...and the only time I've really seen lots of kids is during spring break.  Even the summer one we took to the Caribbean had very few kids (Alaska was different...anyone under 30 was rare).  We're going on RC in October.  :)
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    I would recommend Royal Caribbean. I have cruised with them 13 times and have never had a bad experience. I think Carnival has more of the "party boat" reputation. My fiance and I graduated college in May of 2012 so a lot of our friends LOVE that aspect of Carnival, however he and I are not into that scene and are planning to do Royal Caribbean in December (delayed honeymoon thanks to the military). We are planning to do one possibly out of San Juan Puerto Rico. We have done one out of there together and LOVED it. That itinerary also is less likely to have children :) However, the ships are smaller / less on board to do.. but still a great trip (and gorgeous ports) nevertheless!
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    @mbrooke2008 we are planning on a southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan as well which ports did you visit before and which were your favorite if you don't mind sharing??
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    @mbrooke2008 we are planning on a southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan as well which ports did you visit before and which were your favorite if you don't mind sharing??
    When we did it we went to Dominica, St. Thomas, Aruba, and Cuarcao. I had done another one previously that went to Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, & St. Maarten. I think my favorite were St. Maarten, Aruba, and Curacao. They are a little nicer/more developed. However, Dominica was REALLY pretty. We did an excursion to see the Emerald Pool, and it was really neat. St. Thomas is nice too, but expensive. Taxis cost $10 per person each way basically regardless of where you are going.. they are also open air, so they are hot and crowded. If you have any questions about any specific port .. what we did or anything, I'd be more than happy to elaborate :)
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    The one that I have been planning on goes to Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Martin, St Thomas and then leaves out of San Juan. Any tips for excursions for any of those places would be soo appreciated I was thinking catamaran snorkel cruise by the Pitons in St Lucia and maybe a St John trip from St Thomas other than that don't really have a clue/can't decide !!! Thx :)
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    nicnak22 said:
    The one that I have been planning on goes to Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Martin, St Thomas and then leaves out of San Juan. Any tips for excursions for any of those places would be soo appreciated I was thinking catamaran snorkel cruise by the Pitons in St Lucia and maybe a St John trip from St Thomas other than that don't really have a clue/can't decide !!! Thx :)
    I have done this rouge before...  It is beautiful!

    Barbados: Snorkle with the sea turtles!  There are several vendors that will do a catamaran tour (I booked with Shasa) and you can also pick up a last minute tour from the beach (I can't remember the name at the moment).

    St. Lucia: I've been there twice.  The first time I went zip lining and the second time I went ocean & river kayaking (fun but very strenuous).  St. Lucia is beautiful but because it is a volcanic island they don't have a lot of "pretty" beaches.

    Antigua: Beautiful beaches!!!!  I went to Valley Church Beach after a segway tour.

    St. Martin and St. Thomas are very commercialized but still very beautiful.  They both have a ton of tour options from beaches to shopping to adventure.  In St. Thomas there is great walk in snorkeling from Sapphire Beach.  In St. Martin I've done the snuba tour (well I went, but I didn't get to actually snuba because I got seasick) and an island tour that went to the Butterfly Tour.  My favorite thing in St. Martin was to go to the beach at the airport and stand on the beach at the foot of the runway and watch the planes land over your head.

    Lots of fun options at these places!  I would recommend trying to "balance" your activities by alternating your high energy excursions (zip lining, kayaking) versus your low energy excursions (beaches, catamaran tours).  That itinerary can exhaust you if you aren't careful.  :)
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    Neither of us have ever been on a cruise but we are doing a 7 day cruise on Royal Carribean. Freedom of the seas sailing to Haiti, Jamaica, the Grand Cayman Islands, and Mexico

    We just did that trip in June and it was awesome!!!  I highly recommend swimming with the stingrays in Grand Cayman and climbing Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica.  I would use a private company (don't purchase the trips through the cruise line), you will save money and get a better experience.

    Also, the Flo-Rider is amazing!
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    I second what PP said for excursions. The stingrays excursion in Grand Cayman is AMAZING!!! Dunn's River Falls Ochos Rios is great too but watch out for all the "guides" who want to help you climb the falls. FI and I were with two friends. A "guide" helped us up the falls in seriously like 5 minutes and took a few pictures for us. We gave him $40 bucks (we thought 10pp was fair for only a few minutes) and he was super pissed off and wanted more but left us alone. 

    We booked through our excursions through our travel agent's company and they were much smaller and more intimate. We did ziplining/Dunn's River and it was literally just us and our friends with our private driver. It was great!
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    lfk2013lfk2013 member
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    edited October 2013
    I definitely recommend booking your excursion through the cruise line if it's your first time.  When I did the Western Caribbean cruise with my family (in summer 2006 after 2005 hurricane season), we had a tough time with excursions.  We didn't get to Grand Cayman because of weather, so RC was able to fully refund our excursions.  Our tablemates, who did not go through RC, were not so lucky.  Also, if you go through the cruise line, they HAVE to wait for you if your excursion is late getting back to the ship.  Because we had to go to Playa del Carmen on the Mexican mainland instead of Cozumel, we had to take water "taxis" and they had issues ferrying people to the ship before its scheduled departure.  We were the last trek across the water and they HAD to wait for us.  Some people, again, were not so lucky and if you miss the scheduled departure, you have to pay to get to the next port.  

    Climbing Dunn's River Falls was awesome.  We did it with a snorkeling trip and our guides were awesome.  Antigua has awesome snorkeling.  Both times I've been I did the Bird Island Catamaran one and it was one of the best ones I've done.  In St. Thomas, DO THE PIRATE SHIP SNORKELING!!!  They are hilarious, the drinks are free-flowing, and it's so much fun (especially jumping off the ship while inebriated).
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