Bon Voyage Magazine

Carnival Cruise Lines Cruise Reviews

These boisterous ships woo party animals, as well as fun-loving families and singles, with constant entertainment (think poolside hairy chest contests, after-hours comedians, buckets of beer, plenty of activities for kids) and increasingly impressive food, including burgers by Food Network star Guy Fieri. Carnival has begun to host onboard concerts by big-name performers — including Jennifer Hudson, Chicago, Jewel, and Leann Rimes — on regular sailings and has partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises for themed story hours and kid-friendly "Cat in the Hat" brunches.

Review Summary

  • Couple
    3.6
  • Family w/young children
    3.6
  • Family w/older children
    3.7
  • Singles/Friends
    3.7
  • Large Group
    3.6

Carnival Cruise Lines sails 24 ships.

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21232 reviews from our community




Traveled As:
Family w/young children

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
4-6 cruises

3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

Nice for a short trip.

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Ecstasy | Sail Date: Aug 11, 2014

My six year old grandson and I took the cruise and had a wonderful time.  We had a cabin with a balcony that we thoroughly enjoyed.  The cabin was bigger than expected, especially the bathroom.  We were on Deck 5.  It is an old ship, 1991, and the amenities demonstrated it.  There is only one pool and very small for the size of the ship.  They do have wonderful waterslides for the kids (and adults) but since they do not end on a pool, the water got very murky pretty soon.  Anyway, my grandson enjoyed them very much.  It was his first cruise so he could not compare to another.  The food in the dining rooms was better than the alternative eating areas in the pool area although not to the standard of other cruises I have taken.  There was anytime eating in the dining rooms which  is very convenient since you can go anytime between 6 and 9:30p.m.  The waiters were very kind and attentive as was the rest of the crew.  The two stops were nice, Key West and Cozumel.  In Key West we took the Conch Train and in Cozumel we swam with the dolphins, an experience everyone should have.   The sub-ocean excursion was not worth the money, make sure you pick the submarine.  My mistake for not reading the description carefully!  The excursions I took were suitable for a 6 year old so I could not speak of the other excursions available.

 

My cruise served its purpose which was to enjoy a few days with my grandson before school started, but I would not recommend it if you are looking for a great and memorable experience.  The entertainment, activities, casino, lounges are not even close to other cruises I have taken. 

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Traveled As:
Family w/young children

Room Type:
Oceanview

Experience:
2-3 cruises

5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star

rating of cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Imagination | Sail Date: Aug 10, 2014

we had a wonderful time!! our daughter loved it!! would do it again!! we loved the food, and shows and picture taking!! alcokol drinks were a bit over priced (even the discounted ones) . Overall, we had a great time!

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
1 cruise (first)

4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

4 day Bahamas cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Sensation | Sail Date: Aug 10, 2014

We enjoyed the cruise and especially the excursion that we went on snorkeling.  The only negatives that I can think of would be that there is only one swimming pool on the Sensation and since it was normally filled with children I hesitated going swimming.  It would have been nice to maybe have a separate pool for adults. The only other thing that I would have liked would have been a better choice of breakfast hot meats.  If you eat pork then it's great, but if you abstain from eating pork than there is no other choice for hot breakfast meats such as maybe turkey sausages. The crew was very nice and always helpful.  I would definitely try another cruise, but probably with a different cruise line to checkout the differences. I did get a great price so believe me I'm not complaining.

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Traveled As:
Family w/older children

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
7+ cruises

3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

Good getaway for locals

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Imagination | Sail Date: Aug 10, 2014

For a quick getaway for locals it a good deal. If you like the beach you will enjoy Catalina ,Ensenada Down town and open air market is disappointing , not at all like going to TJ or Cabo . The food on the ship was a hit and miss. They need help in the Vegetarian Department, they only offered  the one  dish same thing every night. All the soups that the offered was not vegetarian. All the pastas came with a meat sauce, if you ordered the pasta without the sauce the pasta was cold. Deserts were not decadent enough for a cruise ship.

 If you are looking for a quick getaway that  Is reasonable than this cruise served its purpose. 

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Traveled As:
Family w/older children

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
7+ cruises

2 star
2 star
empty star
empty star
empty star

Carnival Victory is no longer Victorious!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Victory | Sail Date: Aug 09, 2014

I now remember why I stopped going on Carnival. The ship is falling totally apart. The carpets smelled and they had blowers on them from possible leaks every day. There was a leak where the buffet was at in the area where the drinks kept. The elevators walls are peeling. The shows wasn't impressive. The furniture in the c abin was being held together by gray masking tape (I have a picture). Norwegian & Royal are better choices.

Cruise Photos

they bunkbed was never made up like it didn't exsist different view cabin furniture being held together by masking tape

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Traveled As:
Family w/young children

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
2-3 cruises

3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

Wait until 2015

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Elation | Sail Date: Aug 09, 2014

We took the Carnival Elation cruise from 8/9 to 8/14.  The vessel itself is old and worn out and everything that's old is very visible. BUT inspite of the outdated design and worn out interiors, the overall value was good due to some exceptional customer service, great food (except for the pizza, which was horrible every day), very good entertainment and tons of kids friendly activities. The ports of call do not have much to offer and you're better off spending your time on the ship and enjoy their hospitality. We've cruised in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand before and their ports do a much better job of the excursions. We understand that the ship will be pulled out for renovations later this year and it should be much better when it starts sailing again

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Traveled As:
Family w/older children

Room Type:
Oceanview

Experience:
1 cruise (first)

5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star

Great Ship! Great Experience!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Elation | Sail Date: Aug 09, 2014

Everything was great from the start to the finish of the cruise!  No complaints!  This was our first cruise and will not not be our last.  All employees were friendly and courteous and went out of their way to make our experience a great one.  We were overwhelmed at first but settled in quickly.

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
2-3 cruises

2 star
2 star
empty star
empty star
empty star

low budget. people were freindly.

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Victory | Sail Date: Aug 09, 2014

this was our first experience with carnival.   we have done the others. we will not be doing this again.Sad royal carribean has my vote.... state rooms have no refrid no coffee pots you have to call room service all the time (no charge) they got my order wrong4 times in 5 days. we waited 40min for 10 people who were late in ocho rios. the ship is getting old.

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
1 cruise (first)

4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

what an experience!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Victory | Sail Date: Aug 09, 2014

Had a great time. It was our first cruise and won't be our last. The food was pretty good, especially the pizza. There was something to do for everyone. Enjoyed the adult comedy shows and the piano bar was awesome.

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
4-6 cruises

3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

OK - ish

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Victory | Sail Date: Aug 09, 2014

First of all I'd like to say that the staff are really great. Everyone was friendly, and helpful.

 

The boat itself needs some major updating. If you have been on other cruises this will be the first thing you notice. It's clean, but showing its age. 

 

The food was OK, if you like fried anything everything all the time. It was extremely difficult to get any fresh foods. Our biggest complaint was the timing of the food options. The lunch buffet always closed AFTER we returned from excursions. There was other food available, but eating pizza for lunch 5 days in a row became VERY tiring. Dinners were good, but don't pick the your time dining b/c you'll have to line up EVERY night which is a huge pain. The lineups for all the food were pretty terrible.

 

Purchase the faster to the fun pass if you can. That helped us a lot. 

 

The crowd on this cruise was rowdy - a lot of people from florida who got very cheap last minute deals. Nothing wrong with that if you're looking to party, but if you're looking to relax this is NOT the cruise for you. Also - the pools are always COMPLETELY full, and when I say full I mean every inch is covered. We didn't even find the 'serenity' area for adults until our last day (its beautiful) but there was zero shade. 

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1 - 10 of 21232 reviews

Photos for Carnival Cruise Lines

Ships for Carnival Cruise Lines

Name Age Rating Reviews
Carnival Sensation 20 years, 9 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

1335
Carnival Glory 11 years, 1 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

1247
Carnival Imagination 19 years, 1 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

1200
Carnival Inspiration 18 years, 5 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

1084
Carnival Valor 9 years, 8 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 star empty star

3.8 out of 5

1026
Carnival Paradise 15 years, 8 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

1005
Carnival Fascination 20 years, 2 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

980
Carnival Legend 12 years, 3 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 star empty star

3.8 out of 5

959
Carnival Fantasy 24 years, 5 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

951
Carnival Triumph 15 years, 0 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

939
Carnival Victory 14 years, 0 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

936
Carnival Elation 16 years, 5 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.7 out of 5

919
Carnival Ecstasy 23 years, 4 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.5 out of 5

915
Carnival Liberty 9 years, 1 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 star empty star

3.8 out of 5

868
Carnival Conquest 11 years, 8 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.7 out of 5

769
Carnival Pride 12 years, 7 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.7 out of 5

764
Carnival Freedom 7 years, 5 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.7 out of 5

731
Carnival Dream 4 years, 11 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

716
Carnival Miracle 10 years, 5 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.7 out of 5

696
Carnival Splendor 6 years, 1 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.5 out of 5

613
Carnival Spirit 13 years, 3 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.7 out of 5

480
Carnival Magic 3 years, 11 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 star empty star

3.8 out of 5

384
Carnival Breeze 2 years, 2 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

249
Carnival Sunshine 17 years, 9 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.5 out of 5

109

Ports in Carnival Cruise Lines

Cozumel, Mexico (8721 Reviews)

Sitting just off the gorgeous Yucatan coast, Cozumel revels in its mythic white-sand beaches and world-class coral reefs. Yet Cozumel is also the last stronghold of the Mayas, who settled the island in 300 A.D. Residents still speak Maya, and sometimes wear traditional Mayan clothing. Nearby stand the great pyramids and temples of their ancestors.

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Nassau, Bahamas (7786 Reviews)

Nassau/Paradise Island is the capital of the Bahamas. Explore Parliament Square, the government center that dates back to the early 1800s or check out the port's vibrant night life, including more casinos, theatres, and fabulous cuisine than you could possibly fit into a short stay. During the day, there's plenty of golfing, tennis, and swimming.

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George Town, Grand Cayman (5347 Reviews)

George Town is the capital of the Cayman Islands, and is situated directly on Grand Cayman. Once a center of turtle fishing, the area is now a popular tourist destination. Snorkeling and diving are especially popular, and the opportunity to swim with and feed the giant, graceful stingrays should not be missed. Don't worry--it is said that no one has ever been stung.

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Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas (4824 Reviews)

Charlotte Amalie, is the capital of the United States Virgin Islands and the most popular cruise port in the Caribbean. Named for a Danish Queen, the city features pastel houses that are heavily sprinkled against a background of emerald hills. Colorful sloops dock along the waterfront, and a few steps back, down alleyways lined with old Danish warehouse buildings, is a world-famous shopping center.

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Philipsburg, St. Maarten (3604 Reviews)

An island under two flags, St. Martin/St. Maarten is French and Dutch. Philipsburg is on the Dutch side and famous for its duty-free emporia and casinos. A short drive will bring you to Marigot, a charming French Colonial outpost featuring shops filled with French fashions and imported Gallic goodies, as well as beautiful beaches.

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Key West, Florida (2974 Reviews)

Key West has the best diving, snorkeling, fishing and boating in the continental U.S. Just a three-by-five mile Island, Key West offers a treat for the masses that flock here. Locals and tourists alike stroll down Duval Street each night to witness the Sunset Celebration, where they find hand-made souvenirs, munchies, cold drinks and a show so spectacular, only nature could have created it.

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Belize City, Belize (2765 Reviews)

Belize City is the country's chief seaport, so snorkeling and diving is big here...bring a suit! Travel to a city previously inhabited by the Mayan people at Altun Ha, ancient temple of the Sun God. Or visit the Belize Zoo or Baboon Sanctuary. Gales Point is a great place to view manatees!

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San Juan, Puerto Rico (2466 Reviews)

The fortress of El Morro guards the harbor against long-gone Sir Francis Drake and his British privateers. The colorful streets of Old San Juan retain the Latin flavor of its seafaring past, when this was the heart of the Spanish Main. Sample the fiery rum made here, or indulge in an icy treat made from fresh tropical fruit and enjoy the Caribbean atmosphere.

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Ocho Rios, Jamaica (1865 Reviews)

With its swaying palms, glistening white beaches, and sophisticated resorts, Ocho Rios is a favorite vacation spot. For a splendid view, visit Shaw Park Gardens, overflowing with fragrant flora and refreshing waterfalls, or enjoy a refreshing trek through Dunn's River Falls one of the most celebrated attractions of the Caribbean.

Learn More »

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island (1847 Reviews)

Freeport/Lucaya is located on Grand Bahama Island and is the second largest city in the Bahamas. Freeport's many beaches offer you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually swim alongside dolphins! Freeport is truly a sports-lover's paradise; besides the scuba-diving, windsurfing, and fishing, Freeport boasts first-class golf courses!

Learn More »

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