These boisterous cruise 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.
Carnival Cruise Lines sails 25 ships.
Carnival is a haven for party animals, extroverts, and voyeurs of all ages, plus boisterous families with kids.
Anyone who likes intimate spaces and modulated voices and music should float on another boat. There are few quiet corners — Carnival cruise ships are loud in color and volume.
The variety of entertainment options on a Carnival cruise is impressive, from Vegas-style productions to sports bars and karaoke. Our favorite: the realistic game shows and the comedy clubs, with their R-rated sets.
Carnival caters to kids in a big way, with huge playrooms, video arcades, mini-golf courses, and water slides. Some ships also have a ropes course, and water “sprinklers” for small kids.
Carnival offers more dining options than ever — we’re licking our lips just thinking about the popular (and complimentary) Guy’s Burger Joint, now on six ships and counting.
Roomy standard cabins have nice perks, including mini-fridges and large showers.
The “Serenity” adults-only deck area offers respite for quiet-seeking grown-ups.
We could live without
We bemoan the lack of learning opportunities, from bare-bone libraries to rare lectures and classes.
Turn it down: The volume of the videos shown on the poolside LED screens gives us a headache.
Carnival's string of engine problems — the most notorious of which rendered the Carnival Triumph powerless (and toilet-less and shower-less, too) for days — landed the line in the news for all the wrong reasons.
My husband and I had a blast on this cruise. The food was great, in all restaurants. They have everything that you can think of. Our last night on the cruise we did a steak dinner, both our dinners was excellent. The employees were very friendly and always asking us if there was anything they could do for us. The pool was clean, the room was very clean. We had a suite and it was very spacious. Will def do this again.
I went on 4 night Bahamas cruise with my family. This was my first time on a cruise. Our room was very clean, and our stateroom stewart did an excellent job keeping it that way. The buffet also had more than enough delicious food for us to eat, and the waiters cleaned the tables really quickly and kept it clean as well. The dining room food was also great. All the staffs that we met were friendly. it would've been great if they provided us with more variety of activities. I also would've liked to get some more direction when we first got on the ship. Because after they swiped my boarding pass, I had no idea where to go, or how to get to my room. So we have to figure it all out on our own. It wasn't hard, but I would've liked more guidance. Besides these two minor points, I would definitely go on a cruise again. I do recommend it.
Would book another interior room again as this one was fabulous! And the cabin steward Albertus was very kind and funny. My family looked forward to seeing how Albertus would surprise us nightly with his towel animal creations. Very nice.
The activities for the teens and pre-teens seemed rather dull at first. My husband had authorized for our kids the ability to check-in and -out at their will. Well, that first night when my 14 year old daughter still wasn't back to her room by midnight, I kind of lost it. Went looking around the ship for her and found her in the 24 hour food court. She was having a blast with two new friends that she had met at Club C earlier that evening. Both of my kids enjoyed the evening activities in their respective clubs.
Although I truly enjoyed this cruise, I have an issue with the soda beverage plan. It was most inconvenient to get the beverages. And when I did obtain one, I was still asked for a gratuity even though you have already charged my account for a specified tip amount every day of the trip. Seems excessive to me! How about putting up a few well-placed beverage stations around the ship? I take umbridge with having to walk up 3 flights of stairs for every cup of water that I wanted. And those tiny cups!?!? C'mon!
Overall the cruise was ok and worth going on. I have been on several other cruises and other cruise lines and have found both of these items to be of higher quality. Leaving out of New Orleans was not my favorite. The ride down the Mississippi River takes quite a bit of time and the water is really pretty nasty. Some people were very interested in seeing all the factories....just didn't do much for us. The stateroom layout was a pleasant surprise...very roomy and the bathroom was large enough and very functional. The shows were very good and the venues where they were held were very clean and setup nicely. The buffet was clean, but the food was on and off...some things were good and others just seemed way off. I'm not overly picky about food but a few things were just not good and I hate how you could not reach the back pans to serve yourself. The omelet bar, fruit bar, and sandwich bar were good. The salad bar was just flat weird and really had nothing on it to put on your lettuce. We loved the outside lunch bar by the pool. They had the same basic items everyday...burgers, chicken planks, fries, slaw, potato salad and was pretty darn good. Most of the staff was friendly and pretty helpful. When you first get on the boat they offer you a drink package....it's really not a good deal and I think you would be better served by paying for your drinks individually. They limit you to 15 drinks a day and the structure of it was just ridiculous. One....water wasn't included, however you can bring water on with you so that is kind of our mistake. Two.....they make both parties buy the package which is $575 for both parties. I get why the do that but it my wife primarily drank lemonade which is free. Three.....you can't get a double shot tall drink because it puts over 10 dollars and then u have to pay for that amount. So I spent most of my time running back and forth to the bar...really just dumb and aggrevating. If I want a double tall it should just count as two drinks toward my total. Just a lot different than other cruise lines and a worse difference for sure. Had some nice things for the kids to do on the ship. However, the main pool is ridiculously small and very old and dirty looking.......we never even got in cause u have to watch for flying kids from the slide. Cozumel was a nice stop. They had many good excursions to do and we were very pleased. Progresso was not too impressive. ..if you like the historical part of the Mayan ruins then you would enjoy. Otherwise I think you will have the same perception as us.....dirty and a bunch of junk. The armed guards watching the boat says about all that needs to be said. Overall a memorable experience but definitely not my favorite port or cruise line.
I’m going to list the Peeks and the pits of this trip…I will start with the PITS first….Unfortunately for us the rail way that took people off of the boat was broken. Meaning that there was only one way on and off of the boat. It took all day to get everyone on the boat for our cruise. For those of us that booked an earlier flight, this was a very long day. Carnival can’t really do anything about that, and I do give them props for making sure that other people’s safety was their top priority. But a phone call to our cell phones would have been nice. Instead we got a phone call on the answering machine AFTER the cruise. The second problem was that our entire floor smelled like raw sewage especially in the bathrooms…I thought at first it was because they may have just dumped the last trips sewage and that the smell would go away, this was NOT the case. I have been a few cruises and this was NEVER a problem. This was the first time…and it wasn’t just our cabin. I did ask my family that came with if their cabins smelled and they did. I asked our steward about it and they came in and sprayed something that helped with the smell but the smell did come back. Third there was a message left on our phone when we listened to it we found out that the couple before us had had toilet troubles…this also happened to us. Not once or twice or even three times…FOUR TIMES THE TOILET QUIT WORKING!!!!!!!!!!!!! So annoying. Carnival did give us a complimentary bottle of wine after the third time the toilet quit working…and then we got back to our room and the toilet was broken yet again. This was mega annoying and if the couple before us had so many problems I feel that Carnival should have put us in a different room. Fourth and my final complaint we paid extra for a windowed room…but the window was so dirty from the outside it was kind of hard to see out of it...Maybe clean the windows a little more often for the guests that paid for a windowed room. Now for the PEEKS…..First the food in the dining rooms for dinner and breakfast (we never did have lunch there) was FABULOUS!!!! There isn’t one night that I can think of that I didn’t leave the table feeling satisfied with my meal. The buffet food and other places to eat were not my favorite they were mediocre compared to the excellent meal served nightly. My husband enjoyed the room service very much also. Second…the staff were EXCELLENT…our room steward was awesome and very very attentive. In fact one night I had called him by accident and he made a trip to the room to make sure that I didn’t need anything. He was great…I was greeted often by many of the people working the cruise ship. The comedians were HILAROUS and a very good time. And our waiters at night were also fabulous, very attentive, and great with suggestions on what to order. I do wish we would have been at a table by ourselves only because the people we were seated with were not the friendliest so it made it awkward but the food was always amazing. This was a first cruise for my husband, brother, and Father. And as soon as we got home my husband was looking for another cruise for us to go on, he enjoyed it so much. I would have given this a better STAR review had we not had the problems with the toilet. One time of it not working big deal…but multiple was a bit annoying. I would recommend this cruise but DO NOT get a room on the fourth level unless you enjoy the smell of poo...
Everything went smooth and kids enjoyed it. We would have liked a few more family events like a movie theater, show in the evening but overall good time. Staff is very nice and ship was clean at all times.
The ship itself is uninviting and less than grand. The Carnival Paradise lacked in on board entertainment, food quality and cleanliness. There was little entertainment unless you wanted to see the cruise director juggle. The food was repetitive and bland but there were many choices from different venues. The public bathrooms were unkempt and the unisex restroom outside the buffet was filthy at all times. This was my 4th cruise, 3 Carnival and one Royal Caribbean. I debated whether to try Carnival again because I wasn't overly impressed with the other 2 but decided to give it one more shot because the price was right. It's true what they say, you get what you pay for. Don't waste your money.
I spent my 30th birthday with family on the carnival elation and it was awesome. The staff was great, the cabin was small but very nice and clean. The food was good. My only issue was that it wasn't very much for my child to do. I wasn't interested in leaving her in the camp carnival play area alone so my husband and I was going to take her for a little while, when arrived we were told that the parent's weren't allowed to stay unless it was family time which wouldn't be again until that next day..late evening. The day that we were in Progreso was a bummer..my daughter uses a wheelchair which was no surprise to carnival nor the travel agency however I wasn't told that we would have to take a shuttle from the pier to get to the main area in progreso. The shuttle was not wheelchair accessible so we weren't able to go. Overall it was a great experience and I'm looking forward to going on another cruise on another ship.
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