Carnival Cruise Lines Reviews

Year Started: 1972
Ships in Fleet: 25
Category: Mainstream

Summary: The most successful cruise line in history. Don't be misled, a high-quality cruise experience perfect for families and young couples, Fantastic value. the FUN ships, but not "party boats."


Carnival Cruise Ships

4 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Caribbean

Good for: Families. First-time Cruisers. Singles.

24 Reviews


Good for: Families. Singles. Seniors.

81 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean

Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.

42 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Singles. Teens. Families.

10 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Singles. Families. Group.

76 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern

Good for: Overall Service. Seniors. Families.

12 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, South America

Good for: Group. Families. Foodies.

61 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Suthern

Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Singles.

1 Reviews

Regions:East and West Caribbean

Good for: Overall Service. Value for Money. Families.

56 Reviews


Good for: Singles. First-time Cruisers. Overall Service.

45 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Value for Money. Singles.

60 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Western

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Group.

57 Reviews


Good for: Families. Group. Singles.

96 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Western

86 Reviews


Good for: Value for Money. Overall Service. Teens.

36 Reviews


Good for: Families. Singles. Overall Service.

81 Reviews

Regions: Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada/New England, Cruise To Nowhere

Good for: Families. Teens. Children`s Programs.

55 Reviews

Regions:Mexico, Caribbean Eastern, Hawaii

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.

90 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern

Good for: Singles. Group. First-time Cruisers.

4 Reviews

Regions:Europe, TransAtlantic, Caribbean

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Seniors. Families.

72 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Families. Group. Luxury Travelers.

52 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Group.

54 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Singles. Value for Money.

48 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal

Good for: Singles. Families. Value for Money.

65 Reviews


Good for: Families. Seniors. Children`s Programs.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
from 1268 reviews


Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms


Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities


Shore Tours


Alternative Dining

User Reviews

1268 User Reviews of Carnival Ships
August 2014 Carnival Victory
Publication Date: August 15, 2014

Wow! We took our annual family cruise on the Carnival Victory .. what a mistake.!Lots of wasted $$ it was 13 of us.. -

the food was almost mediocre throughout.. we had to eat at the 2 ports in order not to have to eat the food, but had no choice on sea days..

, our cabin bathroom was rusty and tile grout was full of mold..

horrible experience.!

Another point.. If you have kids do not plan on Camp Carnival.. the times are horribly inconvenient and they are closed often..

Ship is very outdated and definitely overdue for a dry dock.. I have cruised plenty before and this is by far my worst cruise experience.

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Smoking area
Publication Date: August 6, 2014

In April 2013, we board the Carnival Freedom at Fort Lauderdale to surprise our friends for a 7 days crusie. My opinion on food, was adequate no complaint. Room and services very good, no complaint on that.

Pool in rear of the ship, too small for the amount of users, at one time we were all standing in the pool like a bunch of aspergus sholders to sholders. This was too much. I found also that the age group is more incline for young couple, so we did not fit in, and I noted a lot of young men drunk of their skull, and close to a fight. Too much for me.

I like to Casino, however that is where my complaint comes in, THE SMOKE. we cannot go in without passing by a bar, and this where the blanket of smoke start. I felt sick just to make my way 'stink big time. I saw an old man with a churgical mask playing at a machine while the lady beside him was smoking a little cigar that smelt like s.... Poor man. Smoking is not control, you can

smoke on any desk with no respect on the none smokers. We cruise with Princess a lot, and we are back with Princess. The age group fits us, the smoking in well control, every second night, the Casino is a no smoking area and so on, so at least the none smokers can enjoy the casino without being poisoned by the smokers.

Therefore, I assume that the same set up exist on all Carnival ships, and we cruise at sea, it is to enjoy the fresh air, not to be smoked. I know what I am talking about, I was an heavy smoker at one time, and 24 years ago, I QUIT, I am now 70 years old, in good health and wish to remain healthy for a long time. I am avoiding all places where there is possible king of smoking, and Carnival Freedom was not one. Bad experience.

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It depends on what you're looking for.
Publication Date: July 27, 2014

I sailed June 27th-July 2nd, 2014 out of Charleston to Freeport and Nassau. The ship is older/smaller than other Carnival ships. The ship and food and entertainment were either okay, or not very good, depending on your level of grading. If you want everything to be WOW you might not enjoy this cruise/ship. If you want to leave from the beautiful city of Charleston, have unlimited food, good---not great entertainment, and meet a lot of people from NC,SC, Georgia, this might be a great cruise for you. I really enjoyed the cruise because of the fellow passengers. So many were so friendly, but you have to be friendly too! The bar staff and wait staff were all terrific. The ports of Freeport and Nassau are not exciting to me, so I enjoyed the pool and the ship during port days, except for a brief tour of the local shops and bars. Carnival now has a great drink package for $55 per day per adult. Check it out if you drink more than 6-7 drinks a day. Some in my group did the package, I did not. We all seemed happy

either way. So, to recap, I had a great time meeting people, drinking, seeing okay shows, and relaxing. If you expect too much......sorry. If you live close to Charleston, by all means, give it a try. I have no complaints about the departure, arrival, food, entertainment, cabin, staff, etc. ENJOY! RELAX!
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had a great time in 2011 - going again in 2014
Publication Date: July 19, 2014

I found Elation to be a great ship - not as crowded as the huge ships so I had more fun

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A Dream Came True on Carnival
Publication Date: September 19, 2014

We got on the Carnival Dream on August 17-24, 2014. We had a great time. Here is how it was like:

Embarkation: We came the day before. We Stayed at the Courtyard Inn in New Orleans. The hotel was great and pretty nice. We had the best hotel we ever had before. We walked to the terminal and it was hard to figure out where to go. We finally made it. They also served water in the terminal. The problem was the long lines.

Activities: We had alot of choices. The water slide was fun. We went on the slide alot of times. The arcade is good. It was a little hard finding it. Table Tennis was fun. The problem was the lines. We got a sunburn which left me behind with bumps. Another one is that 2 of my trunks had a hole in it. The hole was not too bad.

Food: The food was ok in the Dining room. They need more options. The desserts were good in the Cafe. The Problem was that the burgers didn't taste right.

Cozumel: Cozumel was great. We went to Paradise Beach. It

was fun. The problems were the people making you waste money to get broke. They kept calling us to their booth.

Grand Cayman: The port was good. They have the best rumcake ever. We just went shopping.

Cabins: our cabins were good. We had a balcony. We only had one outlet. The beds were comfortable and balconies are my favorite. The problem was the air conditioner. We woke up sweaty in the morning. Our beds were stinky.

Debarkation: Debarking was good. There were long lines when we were getting off.

Overall, we will totally recommend people about this ship. It was a fun ship. Please try this ship because you may like it.

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Elation - Big Bang for the Buck
Publication Date: July 31, 2014

My wife and I spent our honeymoon on the Elation during a 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Progresso Mexico. Since then we have taken that exact cruise again and have booked a third trip this year for our 2 year anniversary. I can honestly say that for the money you cannot find a more enjoyable and relaxing vacation.

The Elation is one of the older ships out of the Carnival fleet, but I must say that it very well maintained. State rooms are cleaned twice a day and public area are cleaned all throughout the day .

The lido deck can get rather congested at times especially on the day at sea. Although I can't compare it to any other ships being that I have not been on any other cruise. Despite how popular that area can be at times I do feel that there is adequate room for those who wish to spend their time there.

The serenity deck is one of my favorite areas of the ship. It's for adults only and being positioned at the rear of the ship guest have a beautiful view of the Gulf

of Mexico. My only complaint about the serenity deck is it undersized and guests traveling in large groups have a tendency of claiming the hot tubs as their own for long periods of times. Smaller groups of guests, couples and singles can find it difficult it not completely impossible to enjoy these areas during prime hours.

The Elation has a variety of different bars and night club like venues for adults to enjoy after hours entertainment. Everything from live band Karaoke to DJ's playing dance music. Of course there is also the on-board shows, stand up comedy, and other activities. Personally we usually enjoy doing our own thing but we do enjoy many of the on board activities.

The food on the ship is plentiful however if I'm being honest it not what I consider high quality. That being said there is nothing wrong with the food, the food safety standards high and I would argue that the meet or exceed the industry standards.Some meal offerings are better than others, but I can guarantee you that you will not go hungry on this ship.

The room service offerings are great and the fact that there is no additional cost for them make them spectacular.

The service that Carnival provides their guest is top notch. I can say that they are friendly and very accommodating.

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Inspiration fun 4 day
Publication Date: June 15, 2014

Hey everyone,

Thought we'd share our Inspiration 4 night experience. I'm 40, DH is 51 and we have a 5 year old son. We've sailed many times with Carnival and this cruise was to celebrate hubby's birthday in early May.

We booked an outside cabin, but received a call a few weeks before the cruise offering an upgrade to a Grand Suite. I researched the price Carnival offered, and it was about 60% less than the normal cabin cost, so we jumped on it, mainly because of the balcony and bathtub.

As always, we purchased Faster to the Fun, and were glad we did. We are the types that love to arrive to the port early and unpack immediately so we can enjoy every moment of the ship on the first day, so it's worth it to us. Plus, with a tender port in Catalina, we thought it would be worthwhile. We probably didn't need it since we'd upgraded to a suite, and we knew that, but we kept the FTTF since we'd purchased it prior.

I'll start with a few overall pros and cons, then break down our experience a little more.



room service

American Table- fun to try something new!

Service in dining room

Comfy beds

Friendly staff

Waterworks- all of us (yep, even the grown ups) loved the waterslides. The water was chilly, but so was the air. It's just the time of year we traveled.


Lack of suite perks

Had to miss first night in dining room to wait for a private table for our family – so tired of this Carnival- please honor the request for table size made on your website! Some of us just want to dine with our families.

Cigarette smoke coming through vents and doors. No clue where it was coming from, but it permeated our bathroom a few nights on the trip.

Noisy neighbors at times, hosting late night parties in the room.

The Ship

Overall, we were very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship, particularly due to its age. The staff works so hard to keep everything sparkling and it was clean and bright.

The Cabin

We really enjoyed the balcony and extra space in the Grand Suite. It's odd that Carnival offers no suite perks, aside from priority embarkation, but hey, we save a lot of money sailing with Carnival so I get it. I did have a hard time with the fact that there wasn't even free bottled water with the suite, but again, no biggie.

Our son slept on the full size pull out couch - it was a huge bed for a couch arrangement, and still left plenty of room to walk around the suite when the bed was fully extended and made.

The Jacuzzi tub in the room was really nice, but rather narrow. I'm petite and when I was showering, the tub felt super narrow (like my feet were pressed up against the edges), but it was SO nice to be able to bathe our son, and relax in the tub rather than the standard small shower routine.

Here's a little video tour of the room:

The Food

Yes, the ship features the American Table menu. The menu is a little visually confusing at first, but you get used to it. I did find that we tended to order fewer dishes, perhaps because we were SO in love with the "for the table"size calamari every night that we filled up on that. The food quality seemed the same or better to me than it normally did with the old menus and we had no trouble finding entrees we liked. The only thing I didn't care for was the Veal parmesan. Too gamey. We're putting a little food video together too, and will try to post it when its done.


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Dirty water!! Sewage backed up into guest rooms! No warning not to drink water
Publication Date: June 15, 2014

This was our first cruise. June 8th 2014 to Bahamas. Chose Carnival due to dates, price and duration. Noticed on day 2 water was brownish. Washed my face in the morning and my face broke out.

Went ashore and enjoyed the day in Freeport. Came back water was clear. Day 3 noticed maintenance crew working in hallways, toilet in our room flushed on its own twice, Maintenance guy said it was because of his work. Water was brownish orange Looked pretty bad. Later that night when we went back to our room we noticed that the water was still bad.

We went to guest services where the lady told us it was unsafe to drink and that our bottled water would be comped. We inquired about overall health/safety of other passengers and were informed that any one who had noticed and complained got bottled water free otherwise nothing. No safety message was ever made/published. Afraid to shower due to sewer backed up into water. I saved a sample of the water from the ship and am sending it off to be tested.

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Never Again!
Publication Date: June 6, 2014

We booked a last minute Caribbean cruise with Carnival on the Victory for a quick get away, and had some trepidation about Carnival's overall reputation. We are fairly seasoned cruisers and tend to cruise on higher end cruise lines. With that said, we went with a good attitude and did not expect Holland America level service, food etc.

We embarked quickly and efficiently only to come on board a ship that reeked of stale cigarette smoke, had grossly dated decor, run down veranda cabins and a crew that seemed burned out at best. We could barely walk after sleeping in the horribly broken down beds (the beds visibly sagged even when fully made with a down comforter), and weren't thrilled with the 15 year old box television and pink/mauve/gold room decor. Our cabin walls and ceiling were dirty and grimy and the carpet had seen better days. This was true of all of the ship's decor. Thankfully, the Victory is headed to dry dock next year for a much needed overhaul.

We had hoped to find some saving grace in the food onboard - no luck whatsoever. Even in the formal dining

room the food was mediocre at best (although our staff was friendly and kind.) The breakfast buffet served something that was scrambled but not likely from a chicken, and the lunch buffet was lackluster and tasteless.

We are pretty mellow travelers and enjoy a variety of travel companions but this ship was the equivalent of a floating "Animal House". The cabin guests adjacent to our veranda cabin spent their days smoking marijuana, as well as many other guests on the exterior walkways/decks. Many guests were visibly inebriated and it was a loud and raucous crown overall. We spent 5 days just shaking our heads and wondering if it was all for real.

The staff seemed sparse for a ship this size and they appeared to be burned out. We could imagine that they were doing their best with the caliber of guests they were dealing with.

All in all, we really did try to have a good time despite the ship's condition and offerings, it was just darn near impossible. Money poorly spent and a good lesson learned.

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Carnival Paradise March 3, 2014 - March 8, 2014
Publication Date: March 8, 2014

Carnival Paradise March 3, 2014- March 8, 2014

Arrived at the Port of Tampa at approximately 10:30 AM. Check in was easy and efficient. I was sent to the priority boarding area to await boarding. The wait was about 20 minutes. We were taken to the boarding area and in about 10 minutes time we were aboard the ship. I found my room and began settling in by unpacking the things in my carry on. While doing that my suitcase arrived and I finished unpacking. Unpacking done I went up to deck 10 for some lunch. After lunch I wandered around getting familiar with the layout. I was surprised at the décor of this ship. Other ships of it's era are bright and colorful. This ship is subdued but pleasant for the most part. I did find one room that was just plain ugly. That was the Rex Lounge. The whole room was covered in bands of different animal prints even the ceiling. I have not seen a room this ugly since I saw the "Jungle Room" at Graceland.

I discovered that I was assigned late fixed seating. I had

asked for "YTD". I was unable to find the Maitre' D to get that straightened out so I ate late that night. The next morning I got it straight. I went to the dining room to eat most meals. The service was not just great but fantastic! This service team was right on the ball every meal. The food was excellent and I enjoyed many of my favorites.

I did not see a lot of the entertainment but what I did see in the main show room was very good. The dance team was excellent.

I stayed aboard the ship in Grand Cayman as I have been there many times. I did go ashore to wander the shops on the pier.

The food was very good and I was more than pleased with that. Everything was fresh and delivered in a timely manner.

I have to say this has been my best cruise ever. I had lots of fun and everything about this cruise was pleasant.

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