Expert review of Carnival Cruise Lines
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.