Carnival Cruise Lines Reviews

Year Started: 1972
Ships in Fleet: 24
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."

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Carnival Cruise Ships

3 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Caribbean

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

86 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean

Good for: Value for Money. Overall Service. Children`s Programs.

20 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean

Good for: Families. Seniors. Singles.

33 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean

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

80 Reviews

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

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

80 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean

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

38 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Teens. Singles. Families.

8 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Singles. Group. Families.

54 Reviews

Regions:Mexico, Caribbean Eastern, Hawaii

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

89 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern

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

75 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern

11 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, South America

Good for: Group. Families. Foodies.

2 Reviews

Regions:Europe, TransAtlantic, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Value for Money. Seniors.

61 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Suthern

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

68 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Group. Families. Luxury Travelers.

51 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

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

54 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean

Good for: Singles. Teens. Seniors.

52 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Group. Singles.

43 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Value for Money. First-time Cruisers.

47 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal

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

63 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas

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

60 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Western

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

55 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas

Good for: Group. Families. Singles.

96 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Western

User Ratings

Overall Rating
4.12
from 1229 reviews

Cuisine

Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms

Staterooms

Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities

Nightlife

Shore Tours

Itinerary

Alternative Dining

User Reviews

1229 User Reviews of Carnival Ships
Western Caribbean
Publication Date: November 18, 2012

We left from Miami, to Cozumel, Jamaica and Cayman. Getting on board was easy no issues at all. I talked with some folks who had 'priority boarding' passes. I asked the fee, she said $40 or $50 for it. Not sure if we were just lucky or they simply wasted their money, but we were able to board within 10 minutes of them.

The crew was nice, I really haven't known any crew that was rude or demanding. However, if your primary language is English, get ready for a lot of blank looks from the crew at times. Many are foreign, in fact I only saw or spoke with as many as 3 the entire trip that you could bet their language of native dialect was English. Not a big deal, but that's the industry I suppose. Just more or less a heads up. The ship, Valor was nice. A couple of things I noticed getting on Sunday afternoon. Deck 5 is the Casino, among other things. On the deck 6 (where our room was) the stairwell going down to five, you immediately smelled smoke, real bad too - as

if active gaming was currently in progress. Again no big deal, but ventilation was real bad.

I will post some good things, but let's get down to brass tacks here; you want to know what isn't good first. Here they are: The pool(s) is/are tiny. There is a water slide, pretty nice I'd say. Keeping in mind that the near top deck for the open pool (deck 9 LIDO) - the pool itself might fit 15 before you are bumping elbows. We too brought kids, and the sardine fest of kids in that pool was crazy. There was an equally sized pool towards the back for adults only I think, but geesh, what if I wanted to chill out by the pool with my kids without getting nearly jumped on by others. Don't mean to be Debby Downer here, again just voicing my opinion in hopes this helps you gain a visual or at least set expectations accordingly.

Two hot tubs on the main deck, pretty nice. I think there were others towards the front as well. There are some others in the adults only areas, I'm sure they were nice, but we stuck with our kiddos, so I really can't tell you much about those.

I know it's vacation or holiday, but for the love of God, does the music have to be so loud for 8 hours during the day on Deck 9? THUMPING OVER & OVER, etc... I like loud music, trust in that, but the selection was very slim, and was really directed towards the youth genre and other similar Jamaican type. That is fine, but a little more variety would certainly have been welcomed. Someone please tell me why there is a DJ on deck 9, using a laptop, as if he's actually controlling the music selection, wow. Gimme a break.

Food and dining was nice. I really like the formal (2 nights) dinning, very fun, as did the kids. I will say that on other cruise lines, I know the servers put on a 'singing/dancing show' in the middle of dinner. They cute and all good. The problem is that they were every night. It's like having a endless supply of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups; they are great but best in moderation.

O yeah, the 'Camp Carnival' (kid watching for babies up to young teens) was really nice. Good security, friendly folks. The shows: Comedy, dancing, magic, trivia, etc were pretty nice. Then again, the folks you may see or the shows will skew somewhat. O yeah, during football season (not soccer), they put a game up on the big screen on deck 9, pretty nice.

Overall, good stuff, nice break from work, kids had a great time. Put it this way, if my wife & I go on another cruise or take friends (but without kids) we will not book with Carnival. Hope these run on sentences didn't waste your time. Have fun all!

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: November 4, 2012

We (wife and I are 57 yrs old) just returned on 11/11/12 from our 6th cruise. This was our 4th Carnival cruise and our first on the Legend. We chose it because we had never been to Honduras or Belize and we like Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Also because Tampa is an easy flight destination from where we live in the midwest. Because of bad fog the ship was late getting into port (not their fault) and we could not board until about 9 pm. Carnival sent us texts and emails all day keeping us up to date. Carnival also made the choice to credit our account $15 each for lunch and $25 each for supper and $11 each for gratuities because we could not get on ship until late the first day.

After getting on board, we went to our cabin and then we went and enjoyed a meal etc at the casual buffet on Lido deck then we went to our cabin and found our luggage was there and waited to be called for Muster station training. We actually had the Muster station training about 11:00 pm. The

next morning our cabin steward introduced himself. He was a joy all week! Always smiling and willing to talk and very genuine. His name was Camelo Carmada on Deck 5 starboard (I think).

During the week we enjoyed the various shows at The Follies theater. The talent was extraordinary. Singing, dancing, comedy ventriloquist, etc. Also, the clean family comedy at the Firebird lounge was great. We tried bingo a couple times and once my wife was one of three people standing that only needed 1 number to win $750. Someone else won but we had fun. There was so much to do on board we didn't do everything (mini golf, ping pong, basketball, spa, gym, chess, board games, casino, etc etc etc) We did get use out of the hot tubs and pools.

We tried Truffles restaurant (resort casual /semi formal signature dining) for breakfast 2 times and for supper 4 times and ate the rest of our meals at the Unicorn Buffet or Unicorn Cafe/Deli (all on Lido deck-Casual dining) and usually tried to carry our plates out the back of Unicorn Buffet to Serenity area (21 and over) to eat. On our first night in Truffles we liked the head waiter so much we kept asking for him. We had "your time dining" in Truffles deck 3. Our waiters name was Kamal. On the first night we liked one of the desserts (Creme Brulee) so much we asked if it would be on the menu every night.

He said no it is not but if we tell him which nights we will be at supper he would have it specially made for us on that day. Sure enough he did. We had the Creme Brulee 4 times! On Thursday night we had an extra-ordinary formal night dining experience at the Golden Fleece Steakhouse (see menu here: http://www.carnival.com/onboard/cruise-food/~/media/CCLUS/Images/pdf/Steakhousemenupdf.ashx ). It costs $35 per person extra and is worth it. Every item all 4 of us had was very good. We had a waitress who was so very delightful. Her name was Dragana Jankar from Serbia (and I wish my 24 year old son could meet her). Constructive Suggestion: We only ate at this restaurant once because of the extra cost. We wish it was less expensive or that the menu items were priced or somehow included (reservations only) so we could have enjoyed it more often.

Most Carnival employees were friendly and were doing their jobs good and seemed to go out of their way to be helpful. We rented a jeep on Cozumel and went shopping in town, then went sight seeing and went to Coconuts for lunch on cliff on south side of island. Then we went to Mr Sanchos beach and snorkeled and relaxed on the beach. Note: when we arrived at Mr Sanchos a man told us it was $50 per person all inclusive. I knew from previous visits that it was optional and told him we just wanted to swim, snorkel, buy some food and refreshments, and relax for a couple hours. He said we could do that if we buy some refreshments and food and he let us in. The lounge chairs, umbrellas, swimming pool, rest rooms, and showers were no extra cost. The best snorkeling on Cozumel is still Chankanaab Park. There is a entry fee there.

At Belize we went Zip Lining and Crystal cave tubing. It was safe and fun, but because of the 90 minute bus ride each way we do not recommend it. However you do get to see how poor Belize is.

At Roatan, Honduras we were supposed to do dolphin swim and snorkel, but it was changed because of murky water (no underwater visibility) because of weather the day before. They gave us a choice of full refund of dolphin encounter with partial refund which is what we did and greatly enjoyed it. On the 20 minute bus ride to Anthony's Key Resort we saw how poor the Island people are. Constructive Suggestion: At Grand Cayman we were scheduled for the Snuba excursion. It got cancelled because of murky water from the weather the previous day. This is the time we would have liked to have been told before getting off the ship about this cancellation. We waited in Follies theater for our excursion group to be called until 11:35 am, and all other people without excursions could get off ship at 10 am. So when we arrived on shore we were told it was cancelled. We would have wanted that 90 minutes back to enjoy Grand Cayman more. So we took a shuttle for $5 each way per person to Sea Grape beach (part of seven mile beach, but less wind) and while snorkeling there the water was crystal clear and we saw large schools (hundreds) of fish or many varieties and saw a small stingray and it was great at Sea Grape beach.

Except for the fog delaying the boarding the first day we had decent weather with sunshine and temps in the 80's. Ocean temps were around 80. In Roatan, Honduras there was morning rain and mostly cloudy with some sun all day. On the last day at sea coming back to Tampa through the Gulf of Mexico the wind was 45 mph out of the Northeast and I asked about the waves and I was told 15 to 16 ft waves. The weather was like this all day and into the night (over 14 hours), yet none of us got sick because of the stability of the Legend, and possibly because we were going into the wind and waves, and because we took Meclazine (non drowsy Dramamine or Bonine) that morning when we saw the weather. My wife is very susceptible to motion sickness and she had to lay down for a few hours in the afternoon on the Lido deck but she never got sick.

Constructive Suggestion: We had a balcony with obstructed view. That means the top of the lifeboat is even with the floor of the balcony and that was not a problem in any way. We had a good view of the ocean. However, the balcony is approximately 3 ft less wide then balconies on other floors. I wish that would have been made plain to me when I chose the cabin at booking. Also, cigarette smoke in the slightest amount makes my wife feel sick very quickly. Smokers in the cabin next to us used their balcony to smoke every morning and evening and for that reason we could not enjoy our balcony. I would like to see Carnival offer non smoking sections on balcony cabins. The only other thing about the cabin that I feel needs an upgrade is the TV. They need new flat panels with larger then 20" screens instead of the old 19" tv's.

Constructive Suggestion: The internet on this ship (the Legend) was soooo slow. I have purchased internet time on every cruise and I have never been this frustrated by such slow internet on other ships. I tried using the ships computers a couple times and I tried using my new laptop a couple times. It was a waste of my time. I ended up leaving about 60 minutes unused internet time on the account. The Legend needs to upgrade their equipment for speed and bandwidth. In fact, all the ships I have been on, Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, were slow and need to upgrade their internet equipment. The Legend's internet was more then twice as slow as all others. I should have asked for a refund. It was useless.

One more thing. We flew into St Pete/Clearwater Airport on Allegiant Air 2 days before and flew out 1 day after the cruise. For about the same money as a shuttle to the port for 4 of us from our hotel in Clearwater I kept a rented car the whole time (rented from Tampa airport, returned to St Pete airport to save money) and parked it at Premier Parking with a free shuttle to Cruise Port. Having this rental car gave us a lot of freedom to go to beaches or other area attractions.

We arrived back at Tampa on time and had a decent debarkation experience.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: November 4, 2012

This is the worst I have ever done. I've cruised Carnival twice before and decided to give it another chance to see if things had improved a bit, of course I was wrong by a long shot.

Embarcation was one of the most unorganized and to think that they have been doing this for so many decades over and over. Long lines and rude people were just unprofessional.

Ports of call were ok with the exception of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Not too many people were happy with this port, a complete ripoff.

Food was very, very poor. From selection of entries to just tasting right, It was all a dissapointment for me. There were food selections on the menu that were not the items that you would get.

The cabins seemed to be very acomodating and large enough, we had an ocean view on the second deck and was very comfortable with the exception of the bed mattres which should have been change on the previous overhaul.

And lastly was the layout of this ship was horrific. I know this is kind of late to remedy,so I belive Carnival need to go and

send spies to were they build Royal Caribbean ships to learn how its done.

All in all it was a bad cruise experience which I will never have to go thru again. Therefore I must say good-by to Carnival Cruise Lines and pay a little more for a better experience.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: November 3, 2012

Pros and Cons of the Freedom: Having been on over 35 cruises, this was without question the fastest and easiest embarkation process I've ever seen. We arrived earlier than our 1:30 scheduled time, yet walked through the terminal and never had to wait for anything. They had at least 20 agents open to process people and the whole thing took less than 15 minutes.

PRO: We had an Aft Extended Balcony Cabin (7445) and it was wonderful! There are 3 windows for great viewing, a HUGE balcony with 2 lounge chairs, 3 chairs and a table. Spent a lot of time out there!

PRO: Great food in the Posh Restaurant (Traditional seating). All beef was excellent, which isn't always the case on ships, seafood, fish, pasta and appetizers wonderful and the Chocolate Melting Cake a delight.

CON: The SunKing Steakhouse was disappointing. Having had the best meal ever on the Legend a few years ago, we were not as excited this time. We both ordered Surf and Turf and later talked to each other and found that our lobster was undercooked. We should have commented on it at the time. The service for

a specialty restaurant was not the best - things forgotten, served to the wrong person, etc. Not really worth the $35.00.

CON: The pools are all VERY small and are really "dunking" pools, not swimming pools. One cannot swim more than 4 or 5 strokes and are at a wall. They are also salt water, which is fine with me, but others seemed to mind that. I must say I haven't seen a saltwater pool since the Norway in the early 90's.

CON: The entire ship's decor seems to be 1970's orange, brown, gold, yellow, with no variations in color. It was a difficult ship to figure out as there are "blind spots" and no real visual changes to orient oneself. It seems to be "cut up" with walls,mirrors, turns, no "landmarks" in your head to orient yourself. That in itself might prevent me from sailing that class of ship again.

CON: The entire ship seems "dark" inside. We were in the sunny, bright Caribbean and the decor did not lend itself to that airy, light feeling.

PRO: The staff and crew were helpful, cheerful, accommodating in every area. Room service in the a.m. was prompt and every order correct. Room steward was efficient and gracious. Dining room staff was excellent.

THE PORTS: We called on St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua and Nassau. Each port has it's own charm and flavor and we enjoyed them all. Bought some jewelry in St. Thomas, local things on the other islands, and each island is what one makes of it. If you go outside of the terminals and into the towns and beaches, your experience will be greater.

We did go to the hypnotist show which was as predictable as they all are, albeit entertaining. The passenger talent show was fun - always one woman who HAS to sing "Crazy". Cruise Director, Brad Calabrese, must have been a student of Johnny Carson as his timing and quick witted replies are refreshing.

PRO: Debarkation: Casual morning as you don't have to be out of your cabin until 8:30. You can also get room service on the last morning, which doesn't happen on all ships. Nice breakfast on the Lido Deck, waited for number to be called. No lines to speak of onboard, small area to look for luggage, a bit of a wait for customs and immigration, but all in all, quite efficient. We were at our hotel by 10:15 a.m.

Again, there's no such thing as a "bad cruise" and we had a ball. Just wanted to put those things out to you.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: October 14, 2012

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Victory by gregg Southern Caribbean October 14, 2012

This cruise started in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ports for this one week cruise were excellent, St Thomas, Barbados, St Kitts, St Marrtin, St Lucia. The staff were very friendly and attentive. I thought the food in the dining room was good and similar to other Carnival cruises we have been on. One reason My wife and I go on cruises is to dance and one big disappointment was that there was really very limited dancing on the ship, unless you only danced the merenge or cumbia with a latin band. The music was so loud in the latin area that we never stayed. There was an excellent band called inpromptwo on the ship that had a great variety of dance music but they were relegated to only playing in the lobby(no dancing) or next to the casino right in the walkway area with no dance floor. For others that don't really care about dancing west coast, foxtrot, cha cha rumba.... you will probably have a great time. We went on several of the side trips at each

port. The island tours were very informative and maybe a better deal than getting a taxi to show you around. try to get the early tours and then when you get back go and explore on your own. Have fun!
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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: October 13, 2012

Beautiful new ship & ship design:Deck 5 has 4 'bay'whirlpools. Decks 5,11 & casino have designated smoking areas.Passengers allowed to smoke on private balconies; this should be banned. Food mostly very good; but,2 times in dinning room my hot food order was barely warm. Pizza is the best out of 45 ships I've been on (Princess,RC and Carnival). Staff polite and efficient.

I recommend this ship.

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Mexico
Publication Date: September 30, 2012

Overall, cruise was ok.We have been on other cruiselines in the past and this was the first on Carnival.Pros and Cons,

Pros- Value,Cabin size(we had a balcony cabin),Room Steward( Dennis),Pool Drink Runner( Roderic),average ship activities, casino(actually won money)

Cons- Buffet(closed at 3:00pm),drink prices

Again, overall the cruise was ok.Splendor was very clean and to be honest any time away from work is good.Would we take it again.... I would say yes so go and enjoy !!!

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Other (Specified in Review)
Publication Date: September 10, 2012

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Inspiration by R. Wals Other (Specified in Review) September 10, 2012

Cruise: Catalina, Ensenada Mexico

A very pleasant cruise and an overall excellent service, this is our 4th cruise with Carnival.

The one terrible flaw: the "live shows" the performers were not really singing but "screaming", I do not believe it is necessary to scream their heads off. Not everyone is deaf or semi-deaf you must realize that there are many people with very sensitive sense of hearing, perhaps you can offer at the entrance of the theater a set of ear plugs in order to attenuate the awful sound or maybe to lower the volume of the amplifiers. Needless to say, we had to leave the show after only 3 minutes.

Thank you very much indeed: Ramon Wals

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Mexico
Publication Date: September 2, 2012

I really enjoyed my cruise. Everything was excellent except lines in the buffet line, and room service. We ordered a peanut butter and jelly for my daughter at four pm. We left to go to dinner at the early seating (one hour and forty five minutes later) and we still had not seen room service. We wanted to go to dinner without her but we had to take her because her sandwich never came. We did not leave her at camp carnival because she would not eat. Also one night we had to call room service to order ice and that was a forty five minute wait. Needless to say again not happy with room service. We went on carnival spirit ship to Mexico also with almost a thousand lest people with same size buffets lines to long

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Alaska
Publication Date: August 28, 2012

After several Caribbean cruises, decided on Alaska. Best food we have had on a Carnival ship. Good service from friendly and attentive staff. Ship is very easy to navigate. So NO problems there.

Main reason for review is BEWARE of excursions. Train ride in Skagway is expensive. Scenery if beautiful but train speed makes it difficult to take good pictures if that's "your thing." Trip is basically up the mountain, flip your seats at the top of the mountain, and back down again. In Juneau, the "Dog sled/Musher Camp" has to be the worst!! A five minute ride on a cart which has NO resemblance to a dog sled is the highlight. People know about the dogs and mushing but.... well over $ 100 per person!! YUK!

Did the Rainforest in Ketchikan. Interesting, but... we did see bald eagles in the wild, evidence of bears but no sightings; had hoped for that. Expensive but probably worth the $$ if you enjoy nature. -- In Victoria, people "hawking" the bicycle tours are "pushy." It's also expensive, $120 for two for two hours. Long walk into Victoria but shuttle is available. Since you are

in Victoria at night, limits what you can actually see.

Enjoyed the cruise but won't go there again

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