Carnival Cruise Lines

7.1

Overall Score

492 User Reviews

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Carnival Cruise Lines operates 24 ships featuring voyages lasting three to fourteen days. Destinations include the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, Europe, Alaska, Canada, New England, Hawaii, Bermuda, and Australia. All cruises are family-friendly with lots of activities for children and teenagers to enjoy. Two formal nights are standard on cruises lasting seven nights. Normal attire for men includes dark suits or sport coats and ties. For shorter trips, one night is usually required. All other nights are casual and allow jeans or dress shorts to be worn in the dining areas. The cruise ships request that cutoffs and short-shorts not be worn after 6 p.m.

The Good

  • Great entertainment options
  • Discounts and deals available
  • Vacation protection

Entertainment Options

Carnival ships contain high-energy entertainment options, from Las Vegas styled revues to glitzy casinos, live bands and comedy shows. You can work out in the fitness center or take a run along a jogging track that encircles the outer portion of the ship. Families can watch movies on a giant outdoor screen or head to the waterpark. Tons of activities are available for children of all ages. Shopping includes themed stores for kids including a candy store.

Discounts and Deals

The Carnival Cruise's website offers features to help you plan your vacation and find the lowest prices and discounts on upcoming cruises. Senior discounts, military discounts and other incentives are available as well. If you find a better Carnival advertised deal somewhere else within two days of booking a cruise, Carnival will give you 110 percent of the difference in onboard credit.

Vacation Protection

Carnival tries to protect their guests when making a reservation through their cruise lines. They understand that some may need to utilize travel insurance. Carnival's Cruise Vacation Protection protects you with a 100 percent cash reimbursement of applicable penalties for cancellations due to specified reasons, such as:

  • Someone in your immediate family has an illness or injury, even if they aren't scheduled to travel with you.
  • You become ill and can't travel.
  • You are involuntarily terminated or laid off by an employer.
  • A severe weather watch or warning is issued and affects your travel to the port of embarkation.
  • A common carrier delay due to inclement weather causes you to miss more than 50 percent of your cruise vacation.
  • Or, if you must cancel for any other reason, our new "Cancel for Any Reason" feature will provide a future cruise credit equal to 75 percent of the applicable penalties.

Amenities

Carnival Cruise Lines feature six dining options on their ships which include seafood, burgers, steakhouse, Italian cuisine, Mexican cuisine, and a themed restaurant for kids called Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast. A jogging track encircles the outer part of the ship. Spa services, hair salon, and fitness center services are also available. Standard amenities on each Carnival ship also include:

  • 24 hour room service and room steward
  • Soft cozy linens and bathrobes
  • Nightly turndown services
  • Telephone and Television
  • Individual Climate Control
  • Personal Safe for Valuables

Destinations

Carnival Cruise ships travel to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, Europe, Alaska, Canada, New England, Hawaii, Bermuda, and Australia. Dates and times for when these cruise ships depart depend on a number of contributing factors. Pricing information for some of these destinations are broken down as follows:

  • Alaska: $697-$829 per person for a seven day trip
  • Caribbean: $159 per person for four days
  • Mexico: $169 per person for two days- $879 per person for thirteen days
  • Europe: $749 per person for eight days - $1,599 per person for thirteen days

Transportation to and from the cruise ship (back to the airport) is also included. Transportation from the airports in New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, and others are available. Cruises are available all year long and can extend anywhere from three to fourteen days.

The Bad

  • Not a relaxing environment
  • Other fees can stack up
  • Babysitting not included

Not for a Relaxing Getaway

For those who are looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway, Carnival Cruises may not be the ideal choice. Large crowds and boisterous entertainment options are ongoing throughout the length of the cruise. There are areas of the ship that are private retreats to get away from the bustle, but most options available on the ship are geared toward kids and teenagers and create loud noises that may be disturbing for those wanting to relax.

Other Fees

Offshore excursions cost extra and can be a bit pricey for families seeking an affordable vacation experience. Some of the activities onboard cost extra as well. It is too easy to rack up a large vacation bill with the extra costs involved. Most children's activities are free, but late-night party program fees and video game charges can add up quickly. On top of regular rates, other costs may include:

  • Taxes, fees, and port expenses range from $42.38 to $324.27
  • A $50 change fee per guest will be assessed for ship and/or sail date changes made prior to final payment due date.
  • Gratuities cost $12 per person per day and covers dining and room steward services

Babysitting is not Included

Because of the large number of people on board the cruise ships, individual attention may lack on occasion and it may be hard to get the attention of attendants should you need anything. Babysitting is available, but it costs extra. The rate for babysitting is $6 per hour, and $4 for each additional child. For those with infants, you will be required to provide staff with diapers and wipes for children under two years old.

The Bottom Line

Carnival cruises are designed for families seeking a high-octane and affordable vacation. Carnival Cruises is perfect for those seeking colorful and boisterous entertainment options in a laid-back party-style atmosphere. If you are looking for luxury options or personalized attention Carnival Cruises may not be the best choice for you.

All in all we recommend Carnival Cruise Lines for having a great get-a-way experience.

User Reviews

4.3

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8

Kaylee

December 13th, 2017 West Jordan, UT DETAILS

Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer Service
Company trustworthiness

Carnival is a good cruise line if you have kids. They have kids camps so your kids can be entertained the whole time. The ships themselves are a little tacky looking and aren't always as clean as some of the other cruise lines that I have been on. The food is good but not all that amazing unless you pay to go to the steakhouse.

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8

Megan Rigby

December 12th, 2017 DETAILS

Value for your money
Quality of product or service
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Company trustworthiness

Had a fun and enjoyable time on a Carnival Cruise! First time being on the ocean in a very large ship! had a blast visiting the ports and experiencing different culture etc. most definitely go on another!

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4

Cassidy Gundersen

December 12th, 2017 Orem, UT DETAILS

Value for your money
Quality of product or service
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Company trustworthiness

My family calls Carnival cruises “Vegas on water”. The cruise lines feel cheap, trashy, and unless you like smoking, drinking, and gambling (which we do not) this is not the cruise line for you. They are cheaper than most other cruises, but you get what you pay for! I’d suggest nearly any other line.

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8

Landon

October 29th, 2017 Centerville, UT DETAILS

Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer Service
Company trustworthiness

I went on a cruise with my family and had a ton of fun. We got a really good price, the rooms were nice, and the entertainment was great. The only thing I didn't like was when it was time to leave it took us forever to get off, we waited for about an hour to leave. Other than that it was great.

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8

Denise Huber

May 29th, 2017 Mona, UT

I have been on a few cruises with Carnival over the last several years. The food is great and overall I have really enjoyed my experiences. My only complaint would be that they seem to have raunchy entertainment...definitely not family friendly!

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7

Hannah Elliott

May 29th, 2017 Mona, UT

The activities were way fun and there was a ton to do. However, the food could have been better. I wasn't that impressed with the meals, however, I got my money's worth in soft serve ice cream alone.

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0

Freyda Stephens

February 13th, 2017 Moses Lake, WA

You made a drastic mistake with Dan and Stephens Stephens' cruise- canceled it on them when they were checking in on Sunday and did not do or offer any thing to help offset all the extra costs they incurred by need to change their cruise to 4 days later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or even say you were sorry- my last cruise i booked spent $10,000- that will never happen again and i will do everything i can to share my disastrous story with anyone who will listen- so they do not get treated this way

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4

Ann

March 13th, 2016 Fruitland Park, FL

Passenger on Sunshine 2-21-16 to 3-4-16. Very old ship. Poor elevator function and poor layout. Outbreak of Norovirus with passengers leaving ship via ambulance to local hospitals. Even after outbreak, in dining room each table shared cream pitcher, salt and pepper, butter dish and basket of rolls. Why not use single packs for safety? also at beverage centers all cream and milk was in large pitchers for multiple use. All of these modes of transmission of the virus. Severe respiratory illness also spread rapidly through. Of our group of 6, 4 had to spend days in bed due to malaise, cough and sneezing. Food quality only fair. Disappointed in attention to infection control and ship enviornment.

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4

larry

March 4th, 2016 Michigantown, IN

March 4 2016 I have been on 4 cruises with carnival .The last one was a little disappointing. I talked a couple into going with us, telling them about how the food was.The buffet was not like I remember. The hot food was cool at breakfast and lunch, and selection was poor. The rest of Dream cruise was fun.

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8

Elsie

November 24th, 2015 Texas City, TX

I have been on 10 Carnival Cruises and have enjoyed them all. The last cruise was alittle disappointing. They have changed some of the small but important things. There was not an ice bucket or ice in our room. We did not get the chocolates in our room, and any extra condiments in the restrooms like we had in the past. When I asked about them, they said they were stopping that as a means to become more Americanish so that people would like that better. I had to ask for a spoon at the dinners so I could stir the tea. They said they were setting the tables now the way the Americans are use to. We use spoons in Texas to stir our tea!! I made a reservation for my 11th cruise but it will be on Royal Caribbean this time.

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10

lois

November 22nd, 2015 Columbus, OH

it was my frist cruise and i love it all the nice people i meet was great and the crew was to

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10

Joe Granito

November 22nd, 2015 Millington, TN

Just got back from our 4th cruise and the second cruise on the dream out od NOL. This was the best one yet. I had more fun and met some of the best people on this cruise. The only thing lacking was the dinning help was a little slow on checking on us once we were served. The casino employees were the best and most friendly we have ever experienced and played a big part in the enjoyment since it rained one full day at sea. House keeping was an a plus also. Friendly and very concerned that we everything in our room was to our satisfaction. Thanks Carnival, the crew of the Dream will be hard to beat.

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10

Scott & Daisy Lindblad

November 21st, 2015 Suffolk, VA

this was my wife and my first cruise and we took it to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. From the first minute we arrived at the cruise terminal to the end of the cruise the service and friendliness of the entire staff was remarkable. We enjoyed our shore excursion of the jeep tour of Freeport and it was my first experience of driving on the wrong side of the road and not getting a ticket. We enjoyed this cruise so much we have already placed a deposit on an 8 day cruise next year and it also will be with Carnival Cruise Line. Thank you Carnival for the wonderful memories we will always cherish.

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10

Judy

November 21st, 2015 Westville, IN

One of my best cruises - so much fun. The greatest Crew members that make you feel so special. Can't wait till my next one in 2016. I love Carnival Cruising. A devoted Carnival Cruise Fan. Just wish I could afford to go on more ;-). Maybe after retirement.

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6

deb

November 21st, 2015 Harriman, TN

Have taken many cruises.I am platinum.In Oct.My husband ,a rider for 55+ years ,refused to ride what we were given,stating it was unsafe.I thought safety was 1st concern. We were refunded only 30%/$60.00.I have contacted several people no one returns emails etc..thank you .we took the Harley in Paradise excursion

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9

gary

November 21st, 2015

we have been on 1 royal Caribbean cruise, 3 Norwegian cruises , 6 carnival cruises, we have 3 carnival cruises booked in 2016. carnival is the best.

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8

Frank Pereira

November 19th, 2015 Artesia, CA

for my first cruise I had very good time will do it again when money be available.

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9

Kenneth May

November 18th, 2015 Atlanta, GA

ive been on a few cruises with carnival and 1 with rci and we are hooked on carnival the best part of going on rci is we had most our kids and 2 of our grand kids with us but now for a real cruise line keep doing what your doing CCL you have us for life great food very well thought out entertainment each night halarious comidy shows if you dont have fun with CCL your most likely a stick in the mud and noting is going to be right for you anyway! Anyway I have a blast each cruise and am booked for another cruise in april now for the only down side we alwas liked to book a balcony for our cruises so we could enjoy the nights under the stars with a glass of wine and a smoke befor bed this cruise i have booked now will be a inside cabin since you are no longer allowed to smoke on the balconys just a thought yes we shouldnt subject others with our smoking any more than nessary but you would think a company that would do so much work to make shure your entertained would have thought out this rule better like give one side of the ships balconys to the none smoker and let us smoke on the other side of the ship im shure everyone would agree its a far better solution carnival already tryed making a ship a smoke free ship and couldnt keep it booked out and ended up loosing a lot of money on that ship that year so being a old country boy that would tell me that there are a lot of people that still smoke and wouldnt even try a ship that is smoke free

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10

Pat - nj

November 18th, 2015 Maple Shade, NJ

Just back from a cruise on the Carnival Pride out of Baltimore. Loved every minute of it and can't wait to go again. Went to Nassau, Half Moon Cay & Grand Turks.

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0

E L Ward

November 18th, 2015 Lusby, MD

Carnival Pride three trips. Each of the trips got progressively worse, used Carnival because of Baltimore Port. Last trip balcony stateroom and hallway had smell of raw sewage for entire cruise, complaints got no relief. Food is marginal at best.

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10

Cheryle Hubenak

November 18th, 2015 Richmond, TX

Love, Love, Love cruising on Carnival. Always something fun going on and good food to enjoy. Happy people, making people happy!

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8

Joe

November 18th, 2015 Dundee, OR

Port selections have plenty of excursions, food items are broad enough to never be displeased, staff is always willing to help out, prices are competitive, plenty to do on board. Main shows could be a little more exciting. Vessels are always on time, you sense that safety is important. Casino does have many winners.

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10

Robert Wood

November 17th, 2015 Fort Pierce, FL

I have been on 10 cruises all with Carnival. From my very first cruise on the Destiny from San Juan to my 11th cruise on the Sunshine from Canaveral, every cruise has been great. The staff on board always pleasant and very attentive. Rooms were always perfect. Anything we ask for within reason was always immediately taken care of. I am completely satisfied and look forward to more cruises in the future. Thank you Carnival again!

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9

margo

November 17th, 2015 Marietta, GA

I have been on over 20 Carnival cruises and I am close to the big 70 in age. My husband and I have enjoyed each and every cruise, and love all the attention we get aboard ship. The employees are amazing, food delicious, and entertainment beyond compare. If you travel during winter months, you avoid all the small children and teenagers. We look forward to the two cruises with Carnival we have booked for 2016.

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8

Kate

November 17th, 2015 Gig Harbor, WA

My husband and I joined our son and family along with friends on Carnival for a week, we had a wonderful time.

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10

robert morey

November 16th, 2015 Destin, FL

Excellent ships, service, food. Recommend them to everyone! The people that are always complaining are just that way whether at sea or on shore.

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10

Tara Lynn Gibson

November 16th, 2015 Saint Petersburg, FL

this was our first cruise and family vacation and we loved it we will be booking another one and every year after that also carnival is the most affordable cruise line I did my research on all the cruise lines before we booked!

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8

Colleen

November 16th, 2015 Brooklyn, NY

Went on the Pride out of Baltimore. Loved it. Not crowded, very clean, good food. Rooms were a little dated, but totally acceptable. Being on the boat was better than the ports. Alchemy bar was great with Andre and the girls!!!! Best bartenders ever. Can't wait to go back.

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10

Sue Brown

November 16th, 2015 League City, TX

Been on two cruises and going on my third in two weeks! Never once has it been a bad experience! Always had an awesome time! So much fun things to do on the ship, have some drinks, yummy food and relax by the pool. Looking forward to going on another cruise after our third! :)

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10

Billie Grogan

November 15th, 2015 Crossville, TN

Had an awesome time every time we were on a Carnival cruice...

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7

Donnie Adams

November 14th, 2015 Decatur, TN

Our trip was a typical Carnival Cruise, loud and crowded. Food was good and our shore excursions made up for the loud conditions on the ship. The ship was really clean and our room was really nice. Food was excellent and it was a good mixture of different kinds of food. New Orleans is a great place to board your ship. Easy parking and boarding not difficult at all Would it be impossible to have a cruise with no one under 18 or possibly 21 allowed LOL. We certainly will travel again with Carnival.

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10

DanaK

November 14th, 2015 Elizabethtown, KY

I have been on 12+ cruises - all on Carnival Cruises. I absolutely love them. I disagree with your above "Bad" review stating that "... most options available on the ship are geared toward kids and teenagers and create loud noises that may be disturbing for those wanting to relax." There are all sorts of places to walk along the ship and find places that are "quiet" and "relaxing". Carnival staff are courteous, helpful and friendly. I recommend Carnival to everyone! Love to cruise and can't wait for our next one!

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9

Scott & Daisy Lindblad

November 14th, 2015 Suffolk, VA

my wife and i celebrated our 40th anniversary with a 5 day Bahama cruise on Carnival Cruises out of Norfolk Va. and had the best vacation in our 40 years of marriage. This was our first cruise and enjoyed it so much that we have put a deposit down for next Oct. to take an 8 day cruise again on Carnival Sunshine out of Norfolk Va. we would recommend a cruise to anyone who is looking for a fun time.

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6

Larry Porter

November 14th, 2015 Columbus, MS

My wife and I was on the Dream in September and the service was had a lot of fun bun the she had a bad smell. This was my 1st cruise and I will go again

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10

Laura K Holliday

November 13th, 2015 Saint Petersburg, FL

With 20 cruises under my belt, I can't imagine traveling another line. The employees are courteous and fun and always there when you need them. The casino is awesome. The food is great. And, last but not least, we love the port options. My husband and I love us some Carnival Cruise Lines.

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10

debra biasi

November 13th, 2015 Bonita Springs, FL

We just returned from the sunshine. Jaime and her staff were fantastic. Charesse from the Red Frog Pub, who we have met several times was so excited to see us. Frank from the Players, taught dance classes and dance with me at the after shows in the Atrium, he has a great smile. We even participated in the VIP show, great fun.

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8

D Knipp

November 12th, 2015 Mentor, OH

I've been on 13 Carnival cruises and have never been disappointed. The value is unbeatable.

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10

Dave Pauley

November 12th, 2015 Charleston, WV

We just completed our cruise on 11/8 on the Sunshine and we had great service on the ship, the Brunch was very good, only thing we did not like was the casino was all smoking, We had read lots of bad reviews which we did not find any of those problems. One person posted that they was maintenance going on lots of times, well I think that would be great, things break. we also talked to a few who complained about any and everything one even before we were on the ship.

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4

Gillybean

November 11th, 2015 Dublin, OH

We went on our first Carnival cruise the first weekend in October to Cozumel. Very disappointed. I did not want to take my 7 year old daughter near the pool with the way people were acting. Could not reach room service at all the first two days of the cruise. The lightswitch plate by the bathroom door kept falling off the wall. The windows on the entire Lido deck were filthy. When we arrived back in port at the end of the cruise, waiting to debark, it would have been a great opportunity to have someone cleaning all the windows so the next group of cruisers would at least start out the cruise with clean windows. Not one window was cleaned and we sat there for 3 hours. The breakfast buffet on the Lido deck was OK - lots of choices, but the food was just OK. The pizza was probably the best food the entire cruise. Several light fixtures throughout the cruise ship needed to be repaired. Never saw a bartender smile the entire cruise except the one in the ESPN lounge - he was the friendliest. The staff working in the fun shops on deck 5 were not friendly at all - just seemed overworked. My husband and I are normal size people - not skinny, not overweight. Our server in the dining room the last night said she could not believe we ate one of the chocolate melting cakes - the little cake in a ramekin. What she should have said was "oh, I see you really liked the chocolate melting cake! Let me bring you another one." I would have said no, but her response was very rude. Our stateroom steward, Richard, was awesome - very friendly, courteous, and responsive. I will not go on a Carnival cruise again.

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10

alicia stephens

November 11th, 2015 Gonzales, LA

I have been on 9 cruise and have enjyed everyone of them wish I could cruise more

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