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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Sandra Mcdaniel

November 10th, 2015 York, SC

had great waiters, etc, I just thought the food was not as good as other cuises

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dgage

November 10th, 2015 Merritt Island, FL

Awesome cruises. Price is right, Food is great and there is fun on every deck. Kids love it as well as the oldsters like me.

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Betty Hoffman

November 10th, 2015 Dunedin, FL

We had a wonderful time & met new friends. Service aboard the ship was great along with the food. There is one server on the Valor that is outstanding. His name is Kim & comes from Thailand. We had him on another cruise & happened to see him on this one. Wonderful to meet up with him again!

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Cynthia J Fletes

November 10th, 2015 San Diego, CA

I just spent the best six days of my vacation on the Carnival Conquest for Halloween and I loved it!! Met so many interesting people on the ship and the crew was so attentive. They anticipated every need I had. It was a great experience which I will repeat every year. The value for my vacation was well worth it.

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Tuppers

November 9th, 2015 Indianola, MS

We nave had a wonderful on all of our cruises!!!! We have tried other ships but like Carnival the most!!

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Emwine Raynise

November 9th, 2015 Cary, NC

Been on about 10 cruises with Carnival, we go every year right before kids go to school. The only problem was our last cruise, first the bus taking us to gate the driver thought he put the bus in park but didn't so we hit a parked golf cart while i was turned which gave me a pain in my side the whole cruise, my bed for some reason was hard and i could feel the split in the bed, a kitchen worker picked up a bird that had fallen on deck and with out washing his hands went back to prepping food. I have to say this was the worst cruise ever. I know how good carnival "Can Be" so i will give this a 1 time pass.

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Lisa Stevenson

November 9th, 2015 Strawberry Point, IA

Just went on my first carnival cruise. Love it!!! Planning our next one real soon.

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Sharon

November 8th, 2015 Portsmouth, OH

I went on my first cruise in 2010. I had a bad experience with the dining coordinator as I went to check what was going to be on the menu since I was a picky eater. I might be a little over weight but not that much!!! She stated you don't look like you would be a picky eater!!!! Her comments were very hurtful even tho I reported this I don't believe anything was ever done!!!!

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jack howard

November 8th, 2015 TX

We have been on 6 carnival ships don't want to go on any other enough said

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Janis Renas

November 8th, 2015 Spring Creek, NV

We had a wonderful trip with our 2 grand daughters, age 12 &18. We were on the Conquest, departing from Fort Lauderdale in June. I can't think of anything bad to say. Food was good. We went ZIP lining, petting the sting rays, snorkeling. All around good trip. This is our 4th Carnival cruise and looking forward to the next one.

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Lyndel Warren

November 8th, 2015 Ransom Canyon, TX

PROS- We enjoy cruising with Carnival. So far our rooms have been clean & well maintained. Plenty to do aboard, & most ports-of-call excursions are enjoyable. Ships are beautifully decorated with bright 'party' colors. A big plus is the entire very friendly, helpful, & effecient crews. CONS- We feel the quality of the food in the buffets need to be improved. Kinda like eating at Golden Corral. Not bad, but not what we think a cruise should offer. However, food in the formal dining rooms is great, as is the whole dining experience. We can't wait for our next cruise.

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Florie

November 8th, 2015 Van Buren, AR

Have cruised Carnival four times in last seven years. Always a great experience. Cruise with family and friends. The food and entertainment is always awesome. I'm always impressed that the wonderful staff remembers my name, even when I see them in places that are not their usual areas.

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Sherry McCoy

November 7th, 2015 Newberry, FL

I'm Tim, we cruised on Carnival first time for a family cruise. It was absolutely AWESOME. Staff was superb, food plenty and excellent. Stateroom comfy and clean every time we left and returned it was cleaned. If my wife and I wanted quiet it was easily found and if we wanted to party...well just say Carnival knows how to do that. The kids and grandson found plenty to do also and were excited every single day of the 7 day cruise. I can't say enough about our first time experience and can't wait for the second. Thanks Carnival

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james Hunter

November 7th, 2015 Lake Worth, FL

Just returned from 8 day eastern Caribbean on the Conquest..Fantastic cruise Great ports of call, The food and service was great. Special thanks to the spa I received the acupuncture treatments for my hands and got great relief. I am a professional drummer so for me this was key to my relaxation. One point the bed was horrible the mattress seemed to be old and lumpy it killed our backs we both needed massages when we got home it was terrible. But the rest of the cruise was great. We cruise often and this was one of the best we have been on. I'll return if they change out the mattresses.

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Marsha

November 7th, 2015 Metairie, LA

Just came off an 11 day cruise from Galveston on the Triumph. Great time. The entertainment was awesome. cabin always clean and neat. The new style of food service was a great change. Tried many delicious dishes.

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Ian

November 7th, 2015 Asheboro, NC

I have taken three Carnival cruises, and have fourth scheduled for next year. All three cruises were very good. Ships and crew were all fantastic. My biggest problem with Carnival is so much onboard costs extra. Six dollars for a domestic beer is just a little absurd. I would gladly pay some extra for the cruise instead of being nickel and dimed to death.

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Judi Youngblut

November 6th, 2015 Bullhead City, AZ

Second time for the same cruise. Crew is the best part of the trip. Ship is nice and very clean. Looking for a longer cruise in 2016 and will look at Carnival for sure and the value per dollar is really there.

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marino lopez

November 6th, 2015 Montclair, NJ

Was the best experience i will never forget that beautiful moments. Carnival is the best.

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Dorinda Drake Rupert

November 6th, 2015 Cedar Hill, TX

Sailed on my 10th. cruise in September, there were 15 of us! Out of the 4, 5 & 7 day cruises that we've been on, the 7 day is by far my favorite. We try to go once a year and have gotten the entire family hooked so now we have a Family & Friends cruise annually, once there were 24 of us! What great times & memories! Our next will be on the Breeze in August, 2016. I really don't care where it's going, just love being on the ship! If I can't find hubby, he's at the ice cream machine and if you're looking for me, I'm in the casino!

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Cynthia

November 5th, 2015 Lafayette, LA

It was Awesome so now we go every year, ,we started in 2009 with the 5 day we did that one twice now we go on the 7 day and we just love being on the ship ,i love the balcony so my hubby spoils me with that.

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Judy Piper

November 5th, 2015 Troy, MO

We have two cruises coming up one in Nov. and one in Jan. can't wait to go. This will be our 22 cruise with carnival will not ever go on any other company .

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Robert Ammons

November 4th, 2015 Jasper, AL

Have been on 14 Carnival cruises, will be on 15 April 2016, have loved every one of them. First cruise was on the Miracle out of Jacksonville, FL it being the first it has a special meaning to me. I think though that the Breeze is my favorite, then the Magic. Have been on the Dream once and will again April 2016.

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Patrick Legg

November 4th, 2015 Columbus, OH

Our experience was not a good one by far. Our room was located right above the engine motor of the ship. It was Latino week which we know nothing about their heritage. We should have been told of this. The shows were so bad. Two different shows(musicals) same performers almost identical shows! The food was not at all like I expected. We were so happy our 7 days were over!! I must say our first cruise was great but this one fell way below our expectations! No more Carnival for us!

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martha cockrill

November 4th, 2015 Texarkana, TX

The food was NOT GOOD ! There was nothing to do but gamble. The one and only time I have been on a cruise and it will be my last.

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Charita henderson

November 3rd, 2015 CA

I have sailed with several cruise lines. I go to each of them for different reasons. I Go to carnival strictly for FUN and A GOOD time!!! Out of every other cruise line I have ever taken. The spirit of Carnival Trumps them hands down. I do think Carnival could use a lesson or two in customer service and upgrade their fleet of ships, Design , and quality of food. If they did this it would not be any completion. I <3 Carnival...See you in January for my Annual Family cruise

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Iris Savoy

November 3rd, 2015 Woodbridge, VA

My experience on the Carnival Ecstasy was wonderful except for getting a cold. I took advantage of the airport check-in and bus transportation from the airport to ship and back. Great! The room was a little smokey and the bathroom smelled but I brought a bottle of air fishner and the smells disappeared. Bathroom broke and the attendants had called the maintenance crew immediately and the sink was fixed.

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Gloria Klansek

November 2nd, 2015 Livonia, MI

Best cruise company ever! They take care of the customer! Looking for a deal on the new Vista... Hopefully something will come out in 2016! IMAX Theater? Going to love it! I'm very happy with Carnival!

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Teresa

November 2nd, 2015 Defuniak Springs, FL

I was a die hard Carnival cruiser until my last cruise on the Valor. The food was sub-par, not the wonderful food from the past (overcooked lobster?). All the food places would shut down early and all you could get was a short list of sandwiches. The entertainment was sub-par, Several clubs were just sitting empty (was told there is a Jazz club, not!), three out of the four comics were not very good, piano player was monotone and all songs sounded the same. Were told we could not bring a drink, just bought, into a 35+ mixer where 16 year old girls were allowed to sit and drink alcohol that was bought for them. I was embarrassed for promoting Carnival over other cruise lines to my first-time cruiser friend. She was unimpressed and will never cruise again. If this is the current trend for Carnival, I doubt very much I will be cruising with Carnival again.

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Randy Peck

November 2nd, 2015 Seattle, WA

My wife and I just returned from a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean on the Breeze. It was our first cruise and we loved it. Thanks Carnival and your team members for great service and a bunch of fun!

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Gary Goldsmith

November 2nd, 2015 Richmond, VA

We have cruised 3 times with Carnival since 2013, we currently have 3 cruises booked. We've always had a great experience with Carnival and have no intent on trying another cruises lines at this point. We've always found the crew always ready to help with any questions and or issues. Ships have always been clean and comfortable . Thank you Carnival for making us feel like family. Cruise History Carnival Liberty June 2013 Carnival Splendor Dec 28, 2014 Carnival Fantasy May 7, 2015 Upcoming Carnival Pride New Years 2015/2016 Carnival Ecstasy May 2016 Carnival Sunshine New Years 2016/2017

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Donna Desilets

November 1st, 2015 Louisville, KY

We have been on three carnival cruises,two on Sensation and one on Paradise. Loved them all and will always Cruise with Carnival.Looking forward to our next one in Sept.2016

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mel

November 1st, 2015 Stow, OH

Great cruise and service was good. Last 2 night on edge of hurricane Joaquin ouch.

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KAYE MCINTOSH

November 1st, 2015 Bronx, NY

I have sailed twice with Carnival and I have to say I was hooked from the first time. I love Carnival so much that I wanted to go on another cruise line and I cant because 1: I feel like I am cheating on Carnival 2: I would hate my self if I didn't have as much fun and 3: I cant afford to lose points that would put be closer to being a diamond member which is now my hearts desire. Carnival you rock the food, service, entertainment and just about everything cant wait for my next cruise. Is it November 2016 yet?.

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Marjorie La Rocca

October 31st, 2015 Houston, TX

Carnival is the only cruise line for us. We have been on others,but never again.

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Maureen Elaine Bergeron

October 31st, 2015 Belton, TX

I love Carnival, this Thanksgiving will be my 16th on Carnival and have two Super Bowl Cruises already booked. I travel solo and Carnival is great, love the large dining tables at night, Pick late seating. People don't know you are traveling solo unless you tell them. Call Joey at ext 82585. You could ask for a better agent.

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Carroll Cox

October 31st, 2015 Lincolnton, NC

In 26 years have never had a bad cruise. I am now 68 years old and still cruising with Carnival whenever I can. The staff is wonderful and a good time is had by all.

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George Baker

October 30th, 2015 Shippenville, PA

Food was not as good as other cruises. Room service was great. Very disappointed that to go to a sauna or hottub that you had to pay a extra $ 150.00 or more, which I did not do. The outside hottubs were only about 60 degrees and were only open part of the time. This had been our 10th cruise on Carnival, and we will consider other cruise lines in the future. Other cruise lines include most of these things in their package.

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Paul Gahley

October 30th, 2015

We traveled in June 2015 to Porto Rico with a stop in Grand Turk on the way back, it was my wife's birthday. We had been there in Sep, by mistake, weather divert, and wanted to go back to celebrate her birthday there. The Cruise on the Glory was one of many we have taken with Carnival and we always have a great time and good memories. This was our second time on the Glory and it was even better than the last. Great ship, wonderful crew and memories to last a life time. Thank you Carnival.

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Myra Jackson Ricketts

October 30th, 2015 Cedar Park, TX

We were on the Valor, oct 17th for a 7 day, The ship is old and you can tell. Like other people, there was an sewage in the hall ways and the employees, mainly on the lido deck, were rude. will not be going on this ship again.

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Carol Rickards

October 30th, 2015 Ponca City, OK

i have been on many carnival cruises and they have all been great. first cruise was most exciting as i had never seen a ship. it was the carnivale-a small ship. food and entertainment is great. i have gone with friends and family on long and short cruises. i have been to alaska,hawaii and carribean. i have gone out of galvestin, new orleans, miami, port canaveral, tampa florida ect. love cruising.

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James Britton

October 28th, 2015 Washington, DC

Im an avid Carnival Cruiser. Have I ever been on any other cruise line? I'm glad you ask. NOPE and dont want to. Im happy with Carnival.