1. Carnival Cruise Lines

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

Star Rating

4.3
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711 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 star
58%
4 star
24%
3 star
8%
2 star
5%
1 star
5%

Sentiment Criteria

Value for your money
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Melinda Malagisi

September 11th, 2015 Gloversville, NY

We have sailed with Carnival 4 times. We have always had a good time. Everyone has been helpful and pleasant. Staff are wonderful. We have been on 3 different ships. All amazing, rooms clean,shows are enjoyable. Have had no negativity with any ship or staff. We will continue to sail on Carnival!

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KEVIN

September 10th, 2015 Harrisville, RI

I've been on 5 carnival cruises and never had any negative issues, Always alot of fun and great value, can't wait for number 6

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Margaret Eastman

September 10th, 2015 New Port Richey, FL

Our Birthday Cruise on Carnival's Conquest last year was our best cruise ever!!!!! Not our only cruise on Carnival, but the best. Mike Pack, our Cruise Director was the one person who made this cruise so special. This man should be moved from ship to ship in Carnival to train new Cruise Directors starting out. We are booked on the Carnival Victory for Oct. 3, and are looking forward to this cruise because we will be the first ship to dock at the new dock in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. We will also be the only ship at the dock that day. The only thing missing will be Mike, we wish he were there. We have sailed on several Carnival Cruises and will keep on doing so, just from now on, we hope that John Heald will get his Cruise Director Scheduling in order so that we can follow Mike on all of our Cruises. If your Cruise Directors read the reviews that are written about them, it would really be nice if they could respond to people like myself and keep us updated on where they will be at any given time throughout the year. We live on a fixed income so we have to plan our cruises in advance in order to get them paid for by the time of the cruise, so if Mike could just email us or post his new schedules on Facebook, it would be wonderful.

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Edward west

September 10th, 2015 Ocala, FL

had a wonderful time and doing another one on them in November 8 days

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Susan Cole

September 9th, 2015 GA

I love that it's affordable and fun!!

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Zaniffa Jan

September 9th, 2015 Houston, TX

8 days on the Carnival Breeze,It was fantastic Host Matt & Orlando was the most gracious host I have ever met....Food wine dine and great company...cannot wait to do this again. Zaniffa

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William Anderson

September 9th, 2015 Thomasville, GA

We had a wonderful time both times we went on cruises the people were very friendly, and the food was good. The excursion we went on we had a good time. You can't get bored.

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Tom

September 9th, 2015 Wilkesboro, NC

Not worth the price. They charge too much for everything on the ship especially the pictures that they take.

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joe minor sr

September 8th, 2015 Hazleton, PA

had a great time, on this cruise, carnival splendor, everyone was sooooo friendly, the ports were great, and the staff was the best

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W Roberts

September 8th, 2015 Laurel, MD

We've been on 19+ Carnival cruises and have never been disappointed!

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Fred DeDen

September 8th, 2015 Murrieta, CA

Carnival is geared more to kids. They have fun on water slide. They also enjoy singing and dance after dinner. Delivery of food in formal dinning is fast.. Newer ships compare to Royal Caribean & Princess

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Loventrice Jones Guyton

September 6th, 2015 Birmingham, AL

Love cruising on the Carnival Cruise Line.

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Ada

September 6th, 2015 Orlando, FL

Carnival ships aren't stunning but if you just want to go just to visit the ports of call this is a good way to do it. Been on 5 cruises with carnival and had a bad experiences on 2 of them( one was on dining service & the other one on cabin). Going on another one in 2 weeks and had read not such good reviews lately hopefully I don't get to have a bad experience.

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Maria Rose

September 6th, 2015 Cedar Rapids, IA

My husband and I enjoyed our vacation thru your company,the crews are very friendly and food is good.I will recommend this to my relatives and friends .Weve been cruising every year for our wedding anniversary.Hope to see you again next year if God permits.Kudos to all of your crews.

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anna tate

September 6th, 2015 Dalton, GA

I enjoy cruising with carnival. My husband and I have sailed 14 times with carnival. We enjoy the food,entertainment, relaxing, and the ports are good. However, recently the debarkation "STINKS". Vip was not given priority, people that paid to leave early left first.. I heard that one person missed their plane flight due to the mess.

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Anthony Liesenfelder

September 6th, 2015 Milwaukee, WI

we were on the breeze for our 20th wedding anniversary the last week of august,all I have to say is don't ever get rid of Matt the cruise derector, he is the best ever.

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Barry Shimel

September 6th, 2015 King George, VA

If you are looking for peace and quite you need to sail the smaller class ships. The tend to be first time cruisers and past cruisers that like the slower pace. The mid class ships have their quiet spots but are a faster pace and it's hard to get around to see everything you might want to. The large class ,in my opinion, are too large and crowded and the 0nly peace you will find will be on your own balcony but many people like running all day. They also are more kid friendly if that is what you are looking for.

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Deb Baker

September 6th, 2015 Mountain Home, AR

We loved our choices and freedom for everything. Can be a busy or as laid back as you prefer. Food awesome, very clean rooms and ship overall. First cruise and now we are planning our 2nd to celebrate 40years of marriage. We could think of no better way to celebrate than with firends, water, and Carnival! See y'all in November.

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DONALD DOTY JR.

September 5th, 2015 Slidell, LA

I was trying to get a trip for one person but it is still $500.00 to $600.00 dollars .... I am single and trying to go on vaction just for me but it's hard when the prices are this high see if yall can come down on your prices for one person to travel alone if not I will go on vaction some where else ... Thank you

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Kathy Floyd

September 5th, 2015 Chatsworth, GA

Been on 5 cruises with Carnival. Never had a problem on any of them. The best place to do an excursion for the day is Half Moon Cay. I think they should just go there for a week. You can sleep on the ship but stay on the beach all week. How fun!! Hope to be going again soon. Been to the Bahamas, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.

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Joann Bright

September 4th, 2015 Beaufort, SC

I always have a great time on Carnival ships. The staff is always so helpful and entertaining. Have been on 22 so far and three of them this year. Hoping to squeeze in one more before December. .That should prove that I like Carnival.

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StephenTanya Lampkin Aliano

September 4th, 2015 Harrison, AR

My husband and I never got a honeymoon and he surprised me with a cruise on Aug 23 - 30th 2015. We just got off a Western Caribbean Carnival Dream with ports of call at Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel. As soon as we got off, we started looking at cruises next year. From the crew to the food and extremely clean room all I have to say is the best vacation EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ivy Partridge

September 3rd, 2015 Tualatin, OR

The only thing I can say about Carnival is that they cater to a younger crowd. Last time I took a Carnival cruise, the music in the theater hurt my ears, and the screaming children irritated me. I heard that the same company that owns Carnival also owns Princess. I hope this does not effect my pleasure on my Princess cruises!

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angie

September 3rd, 2015 North Brunswick, NJ

I have 14 cruises on Carnival and have enjoyed every one of them. Never had a surly waiter or inattentive cabin steward. Food was good, shows fun. My only problem with the shows is that they stay with the ship. I sailed the same ship for 3 years and saw the same show for three years.

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Stewart lichtenberg

September 2nd, 2015 Hinesville, GA

We my wife and I went on the Victory out of Mamia, the water was heavy nothing was done for our anniversary, and we were woken up by drunks every night.

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PASQUALE L TATA

September 1st, 2015 Marriottsville, MD

CARNIVAL PRIDE THE BEST, STAFF VERY FRIENDY AND HELPFUL, FOOD WAS GREAT NO MATTER WHERE YOU ATE, SPA WAS ALSO VERY INJOYABLE, THE SHOWS WERE OK WE HAD FUN FUN FUN.

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Carolina Cruiser

September 1st, 2015 Yadkinville, NC

I have cruised 12 times and 11 were with Carnival. I have cruised in groups, with family and just a couple. Every cruise was great and I will continue to use Carnival. I miss the certificates that I once could purchase toward future cruises. I would love to see more and bigger ships at Charleston, SC. it is my closest port to me.

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John Rafferty

September 1st, 2015 Topeka, KS

We have sailed on Carnival 3 times. Two out of three were wonderful.Have not had any trouble with party people as so many thing of there being on their ships.Should say we were in our 60`s when we cruised with them. Found the food to be worth the trip. Nothing fancy. Just good food. Loved the "Did ya" menu on Freedom. Each night there something unusual on it. Gator, frogs legs, escargot etc.Most were tasty. It was fun trying them. Met some super people we hope to cruise with again. Service was good. No complaints. Rooms were some of the biggest we have seen. Comfortable bedding. Had good rest. Will cruise with them again.

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John

August 31st, 2015 Utica, NY

CARNIVAL is definately the best..We had to do NORWEGIAN this past March because CARNIVAL didn't go out of New York.Well never again.No LIDO rocking deck.No food after 11.No good daily activities.We think they cater to older folks.Not that I'm a spring chicken,but a few cocktails and watch LIDO,lol.Getting ready to book our 9th cruise. CARNIVAL the FUN SHIPS...

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Ginger4ever

August 31st, 2015 Chireno, TX

Love traveling on Carnival. Going on my 8th Carnival Cruise in September. Then going to go on the Breeze in the Spring. Super fun and never had a bad trip. The price for what you get is great.

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Kiki Clark

August 31st, 2015 Washington, DC

My family and I have been traveling with Carnival since i want to say 2008. My first cruise was in 2011 and my and my hubby to be fell in love with Carnival and will only cruise with them. I have been on the Pride & Liberty so far and they both were GREAT. i have no complaints. My family and I will be going back on the Pride Dec 2016. We will have a couple of 1st timers coming so we cant wait to see hope much they will love it.

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Linda

August 31st, 2015 Saint Petersburg, FL

Carnival is our favorite!!! You can always find something to do. We are retired and usually go in Jan or Feb that way there are not as many kids. Summertime tends to get a little crazy sometimes and it's not so much the kids but, the parents who think that because they are on a ship they don't have to watch their kids. We had an emergency phone call while on one of our sailing and ended up missing our excursion and the staff at the front desk was wonderful even refunding our money to us. I wouldn't recommend Carnival if you don't like to have fun.

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Tana Millspaugh Kilburn

August 31st, 2015 Bradenton, FL

We have been on 18 cruises...all but 3 have been Carnival. We love the service and feeling we get from the minute we arrive on board to when we leave. Carnival is our first choice in cruising and hope to go to many more locations. We have been on small, medium and large ships...love them all. It is the great crew that makes the time on board such a success. Do as much or as little as you want. It's your time!

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Wanda Mcbride Palmer

August 31st, 2015 Ocala, FL

we started cruising with Carnival May 2012 we try two to get 2 in a year the crew on the ships are Awesome the Performers are out of the word the food is great I LOVE CARNIVAL next cruise Sept 24 2015 '

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Leslie Stessel

August 30th, 2015 Houston, TX

So far it has been the best cruise we have taken and the best Cruise line. Just wish we had a little larger room for 3 people. No complaints

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ARMANDO AND LOURDES CEPEDA

August 30th, 2015 Lynwood, CA

WILL DEFINITELY COME BACK NEXT YEAR. GOOD FOOD,SERVICE.SHOWS AND EXCELLENT STAFFS. THANK YOU CARNIVAL MIRACLE FOR A GREAT VACATION.!!!!!

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michelle

August 30th, 2015 Chattanooga, TN

the room attendants were great but the dinning room was offal it was crowded waiter couldn't get around they only came to the table just to take orders and bring the food never comes back you had to get up just to let them get by the table food was bad only ate there a couple of days went to the open dinning and ate salads the rest of trip

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Miss Kitty

August 30th, 2015 Mesquite, TX

We have been on three Carnival cruises and enjoyed them all. Met nice people, great, friendly service, and very clean ships! Can't wait to go again.

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Dave R.

August 30th, 2015 Millbrook, AL

My wife and I have a half dozen cruises on Carnival behind us, and planning more. We've stayed in every accommodation, from interior to Grand Suite, and have had a great time every time. Shore tours have been well organized, interesting and fun, and the non-stop activities aboard ship are entertaining, and accommodate family and adult tastes. Particularly like the comedy clubs, and appreciate Carnival's supporting veterans.

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Bert Tamer

August 29th, 2015 Omaha, NE

My wife and I will not travel with anyone but Carnival on our cruises, and we will book with no one else but Tim Hood.

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Mary McQuillen

August 29th, 2015 Elizabethtown, KY

I have sailed with Carnival 15 or 16 times and love them. We tried another line once and RAN back to Carnival. You can't beat them for the cost or the fun! We are not "young" but we love the ships! One cruise I was in a wheel chair and the staff/crew went out of their way to be helpful! We have never had a bad cruise with them!

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Louie Martinez

August 29th, 2015 Granada Hills, CA

I have been on Five cruise's with Carnival and everyone of them was Fantastic I especially loved the European one ! My mom has been on over 30 cruise's all over the world with several different cruise lines and she says by far Carnival is the best ! in fact she is the one who got me to try going on a cruise, for many years i refused cause i always said what if i don't like it? it's not like i can just get off and go home! So she said go on a three day cruise just to see if i liked it ever since then, I can't wait for the next one ! And I always stay with Carnival Why change a good thing !!

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Frances Maddy

August 29th, 2015 Kennewick, WA

The cruise was great. The best bed ever.Just picked the wrong time of year to go on my first cruise.Went during Spring break, and couldnt get in the pool or hot tubs.lol.Maybe try the senior deal next time.

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Susan

August 29th, 2015 Orange Park, FL

I have been on 8 Carnival Cruises. The only 2 ships I did not enjoy were the Fascination (run down, dirty and not so nice staff), the other one was the Imagination. This ship ruined our vacation - rude staff, room had major issues with filtration and made us sick and they did nothing - not move us, anything - oh wait yes, they gave us 10% off our next cruise. WOW!!!! Being a Gold Carnival member, I would have expected more. The other ships were fine. I love cruising and checking out exciting new destinations. I have gotten spoiled on the ships with the Steakhouse though, now I don't want to eat in the main dining room. The Comedy shows are great entertainment. I also enjoy the ships with the movies on deck...you can chill out and relax. Carnival is an affordable cruise line.

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Rachel Mahl

August 29th, 2015 San Antonio, TX

Highly Recommend that everyone need to go on a carnival cruise, it most likely wont be the only one you take. Hooked on cruising

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Debbie Roberts

August 28th, 2015 Clarion, IA

I have been on Carnival 5 times. I love it! Great crew everything about it top of the line! I would recommend it to anyone!

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Wendy Puryear

August 28th, 2015 Philadelphia, PA

It was my first cruise, and i am hoping to be back again before the end of 2015. Great ship.

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Patrick Stephens

August 28th, 2015 Port Saint Lucie, FL

My wife and I love traveling on Carnival. From the staff to all of the performers, the entire cruise is awesome.

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perry siims

August 28th, 2015 Haines City, FL

carnival is terrible the people do not care about handicap people. the handicap people can't get out of their swimming pool. the front desk on the ship said they did not care about handicap people and and corporate office in over a year don't care they didn't answer me either

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Bonnie Tift

August 28th, 2015 Collinwood, TN

Carnival is the best vacation I have ever taken. Fun.Affordable and the best sleep ever! Would cruise everyday if I could!