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

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Scott Overcash

September 25th, 2015 Rancho Cucamonga, CA

If you have teenagers going along, no one does teens like Carnival. In fact, they get their own dance club. Lots of teens and kids makes for a noisy cruise, but peace and quiet is overrated anyway, right?

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Brian Hinz

September 25th, 2015 Perry, GA

My Wife & I just returned from a cruise on the Victory. very nice ship, wish they would have added more outdoor loungeing area than bars but thats ok. a couple other things that Carnival might want to look at are a) carpeting in the dinning rooms and in our room was frayed & worn, the tv's from the 70's need to be upgraded, the channel that shows ships position sunrise sunset etc was not working or just not there, as a musician & a disc jockey i really hate to say it but the shows were not good at all moved to slow dancing was out of sinc with music and to much of it,, other ships have had GREAT shows like the one on the sunshine was FANTASTIC sorry this one was bad. our Room stewert Inna was GREAT nice very cute her whole crew was great, for some reason the menu wasn't that great in the dining rooms food was very good but the selection? PLEASE don't get me wrong we had a GREAT time,, loved the ship the ports just sometimes this aren't in sync , we would sail on her again we love Carnival and have talked a few other couples about going in fact we are on another in 4 weeks and have already booked the new Vista

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Mike

September 24th, 2015 New Iberia, LA

I have cruised with Carnival for over 25 hears and never disapointed. I have sailed others, but always come back home. The crew is like family regardless of what ship I sail. Keep in mid you get what you pay for. You want 5 star food, entertainment and acomidations, then stay at the the Ritz and may $$$$ per night. We often sail at $50.00 per person per night. Not a bad deal for $100.00 per couple food included. Granted there are taxes and gratuities, yuo get that anywhere

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Charlie Singleton

September 24th, 2015 Riverview, FL

All of my Cruises have been with Carnival "The Fun Ship," I have never had a bad Cruise and it seems like each Cruise just gets better and better!

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Amy and Joe Dillon

September 24th, 2015 Satellite Beach, FL

We have been on 12 cruises,loved them all.Going again on the 4th of Oct. Never a bad cruise with Carnival..

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Susan Amedo

September 24th, 2015 Sarasota, FL

Love Carnival Cruise Lines. been sailing with them since 1990. Best bang for your buck!! Staff is exquisite, accomodations are wonderful, have traveled other lines but I always return as I always seem to have the most fun on Carnival!! Been on the Breeze 2x, Conquest 2x, Fantasy, Fascination, Festivale, Sensation, Holiday, Liberty, & the Legend

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Linneth

September 24th, 2015

I sail on the victory and o what a fun fill vacation planning my next cruise

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Brenda Hutson Lockett

September 22nd, 2015 Grand Prairie, TX

We had fun on the cruise except my husband slipped and fell on the Lido deck going to eat. (They had just washed it down) and fractured his left arm. He was in a lot of pain the rest of the trip.

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Robert DeBlasi

September 22nd, 2015 Menifee, CA

Sailed on the "Splendor" last week. The ride was great, the food so-so, the crew members (except our cabin steward) were mostly not helpful. The mattress in our cabin looked like a walrus had slept on it for a year - it needed to be replaced some time ago. The interior decorations were the ugliest I have seen on any of the 16 cruise ships I have been on. The morning of our return to New York found all of the coffee machines to be down with the exception of 2 with de-café coffee.

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Richard

September 22nd, 2015 Orlando, FL

We've been on 7 Carnival cruises so far and have enjoyed each and every one of them. The staff, food, services, etc. were outstanding!

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theresa minter

September 22nd, 2015 Middle River, MD

from the time we got on board at port the ship was vibrating bad then has we started sailing the vibrating got worse then we had a engine fire that delayed us from half moon cay so that was cut short our cabin was suppose to be close to my daughter's room her was mid-ship ours was at back of ship fridg.didn't work right the water we bought wasn't cold then air condition would shut down in the middle of night and get hot in room the safe didn't work had to have them fix it then coming back in was so rough that my husband got up to go to bathroom and lost his balance and scraped his head on bed my niece was get down off the bed on ladder and the ladder shifted from it being to rough and she fell on floor crew members were sweet hearts but the ship over all sucked and i would not cruise carnvial again and i wouldn't recommen to family or friends and when your cruisen with 8 people and it is there first time and you want them to have a good time and this happens i felt really bad because i recommened carnival pride because i cruised it in 2009 parent don't watch there kids they let them do what ever so the can do there drinking witch i feel kids at a certain age there parents should be present

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Anne

September 21st, 2015 Madison, GA

My 1st cruise was 2 yrs. ago to the Bahamas. Best time I EVER had! Carnival was great! The staff was excellent and the food unbelievable, not to mention the shows and entertainment. Everything was perfect. Can't wait to go again! And a special employee at the evening dinner named Ragu, hope I spelled it right, was so entertaining and made us laugh so hard our faces hurt the rest of the evening! Great job Carnival!!!

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Sheila Nemeth

September 21st, 2015 Southwest Brevard Cnty, FL

W I really loved and very happy .as my second vacation with Carnival. The food was delicious, fresh,The rooms so clean the staff the best, I will go back in the future.

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Char

September 21st, 2015 Deland, FL

My very favorite cruise line...can't be beat !!! The best Lido deck and the dining room is excellent too. They also have great prices...can't find anything wrong.

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Sheila G Lenarz

September 21st, 2015 Ashland, KY

Love Carnival cruises! I have been on 2 and would go many more times retirement is prohibitive. Service is wonderful! So relaxing, food is exceptional all staff are friendly and always ready to be of service! Can't wait to go again!

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Jeff Harmer

September 20th, 2015 Bakersfield, CA

Carnival has a great line of ships. Took 4 last year alone with another in a couple months. For the families wondering about cruising, Carnival has a great secure kids club program. Yes the ship can be loud but it is also a fun ship. No worries about missing a special pricing if you book early, find the special then call Carnival and they'll make good for it. You may want to google cruise lines owned by Carnival, it may surprise you.

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Lois Wilborn

September 20th, 2015 Lake Forest, IL

I was on the Carnival Victory August 31st -Sept 5th, if was the worst cruise that I have ever taken. If was eleven of us, we asked for our rooms to be close together because we were traveling with teenagers, well that didn't happen I was so disappointed, we also asked to be downstairs at dinner, that didn't happen, the housekeeping was terrible, I could go on and on, but every time I think about my vacation from HELL I still get angry. we spent too much money for what we got, The Victory is a OLD ship, I was not happy at all.

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Robin Wyatt

September 19th, 2015 Orlando, FL

We have been on 7 cruises with Carnival and going on our 8th in Nov 2015. We have never had a bad time being on a Carnival Cruise.. Except with weather, couldn't get into some ports, which isn't Carnivals fault. But Carnival did a great job keeping everyone entertained. and fed. I would tell everyone I know to go on a Carnival Cruise.

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Earnest Bubba Whatley

September 18th, 2015 Lorida, FL

I took a 7 day cruise out of Seattle, Wash. to Alaska and it was awesome, and the food and service was excellent. Could not ask for a better trip. I was on the Carnival Legend, July 14th 2015 to July 21st 2015

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[email protected]

September 18th, 2015 Charlotte, NC

Been there done it and ready to go again . reviews we're great.

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Rosa Rivera

September 18th, 2015 Riverview, FL

very good experience, been in a Carnival Cruise fo two times is been awesome.

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John Dugan

September 17th, 2015 Hot Springs National Park, AR

Back home from our 7 day cruise to The Bahamas aboard Carnival Freedom - Everything from our stateroom - food - cleanliness - entertainment - staff - relaxing - Ports of Call - was a 10, it just doesn't get any better than this. Would take this cruise again in a heart beat. We boarded Freedom in Galveston, Texas and enjoyed every minute of every day -- Thank you Carnival. John & Wanda Dugan

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Doris Eckerl-Wise

September 17th, 2015 Severna Park, MD

Celebrated our 40th Anniversary with Carnival Cruise. The food was excellent , entertainment was top notch especially 88 Keys. Employees were friendly and helpful. That daily Hello sure makes a difference! Already planning another cruise, can't wait!

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lisa borsilli

September 17th, 2015 North Port, FL

i had the best time of my life on Carnival , last year was my very first cruise it was my birthday gift from my brother , My brothers and I are booked again for 2016 this will be my birthday cruse again there is no where I would rather be than on a birthday cruise with me and my brothers each and every year with Carnival! Thank you Carnival you are the best.

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Lucinda

September 16th, 2015 Austin, TX

I love Carnival they are always very helpful and a very good value.

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Rodney Ross

September 16th, 2015 Seymour, TX

Carnival is the absolute best. I have 39 cruises with them and everyone has been more than awesome. Price and fun for each dollar spent is outstanding.

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Liane Neathery

September 15th, 2015 Baytown, TX

We have only been on 3 cruises and have enjoyed each of them. We will continue to cruise with Carnival. There are plenty of things to do and the food is fabulous. So many choices it just depends on what you're hungry for. The entertainment is amazing as well. Each and every person that we have had contact with including planning, sailing or whatever our need was has been a pleasant experience. We just returned on September 6th and already looking for where to go next.

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Eli P.

September 14th, 2015 Dawsonville, GA

We have been on 8 Carnival cruises the past 5 years, and enjoyed every one. We are an early retired couple who can cruise on any line, but Carnival always gives the best value. The food, service and ships are fine and casual, which is what we like. We usually ate most meals the past few cruises on the Lido Deck. Our favorite ship is the Sunshine. Been on it twice. Just the right size and has several theme food venues such as Guy's Burgers, JiJi's, Capitano. We recently sailed on the Legend to Alaska, our second time on that ship. The Legend is our favorite of the smaller ships. Before cruising, we compare different cruise lines and always feel is the best bang for the buck.

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Carolyn H. Walker

September 14th, 2015 Pensacola, FL

Cruised with Carnival in July 2015 and had so much fun, relaxation, and pampering by the staff...We will be cruising again in Dec 2015 on the Dream. The staff and food were absolutely awesome. Planning for 2016 now.

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Dana K. Hemann

September 14th, 2015 Highland, IL

We have been on several cruise lines and have enjoyed all of them in some way or another. I have to say that for the money I have enjoyed Carnival the best. Each trip is what you make of it but Carnival has never let our group down - we have had a blast!

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Judy

September 14th, 2015 Rienzi, MS

I have been on 20 carnival cruises an had fun on every one I love to cruise with carnival....Been on other cruise lines but have more fun on carnival.

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Basil Burwell

September 14th, 2015 Tampa, FL

I will be taking my 5th cruise in 2 years with Carnival in November. I endorse the product 100%. There are some that feel Carnival is the discount line and offers diminished services. Totally wrong. Great service, never ending smiles, better food than probably 95% of the passengers ever eat at home or out for an evening and spotless conditions throughout. Most importantly is that their cruises are FUN. I have sailed other cruise lines in the past and they fall far short of what the cruise was intended to be~Fun, relaxing and meeting great people.

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W H Lunsford

September 14th, 2015 Oklahoma City, OK

We have been on 4 Carnival cruises and we love everything about them. We recently took a cruise with their main competitor just see the difference. While we had a pleasurable trip, we will go back to Carnival. The food quality between the two was a wash, but the service, amenities, staterooms, prices and entertainment on Carnival is superior.

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Jill Janice Gravois

September 13th, 2015 Larose, LA

Every time I sailed with Carnival my experience has been top of the line! The crew, the ship, the entertainment, the fellow cruisers, and the food have given me a memorable vacation time after time!

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Charlie Swanson

September 13th, 2015 Grandville, MI

My wife and I will be going on our 30th cruise with Carnival coming up in January, 2016. We started cruising back in December of 1987 on the TSS Mardi Gras, and became "hooked on cruising." Carnival advertises "Fun Ship Vacations." Keep in mind that you have to already be somewhat of a fun person in order to love cruising. I have read, in cruise magazines, of people complaining about the terrible time they've had on their cruise. How can you complain about sunshine, warm ocean breezes, someone who cleans your cabin, makes your bed in the morning, turns down your bed at night, great dining in the evening, breakfast and lunch outside on the Lido Deck, if that's what you want, or go to the dining room to be served, enjoying the pools and water slides, and participating in or just watching the many other activities on the ship throughout the day. You can also do nothing. Just enjoy being outside in the sunshine can be fun. I truly believe that if you expect to have a bad time, you will. If you expect to enjoy your cruise, you will. I know that some of you think that you will be seasick everyday of your cruise. The cruise ships of today are so large, that sometimes you won't even realize that the ship is moving. Of course, you can have a few hours of "ruff" seas, during a fast moving storm, but this is rare. Of my 29 cruises, I have had only one cruise where the sea was choppy, and it only lasted a few hours. Cruising is the best vacation you can have. You get to go to many different places and not have to pack and unpack you suitcases. All your meals are prepared for you, and you don't have to do the dishes afterwards. The food is great, and there are some beverages which are free throughout the entire day and night. Yes, there is a charge for soda and for all alcohol drinks, and yes, they do all add their tip into the total price of your drink. You can't go into a local bar and get sodas and alcohol drinks without paying. The tips that each cruise customer is charged, your room steward, dining room staff, and Lido Deck staff, are very reasonable. Keep in mind that cruise ship workers only make a very small monthly wage, and the rest of their earnings come from tips they receive from the passengers. Give cruising a try. See why so many people have found cruising to be one of the best and most economical vacation they have ever had. Who knows, maybe you will love cruising, too.

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melissa Capozziello

September 13th, 2015 Davenport, FL

I love Carnival. Been cruising for 12 years now. Settled on to using Carnival only a few years ago. I always have excellent service, amazing staff & a great time. If your one of those that want to keep up with the Jone's this line is not for you. Please go on another line-your whining annoys us that love Carnival. As for those that say Carnival is for a lower class people with no $$ that's bs. I own my own successful business & still choose Carnival. You'll meet some wonderful, real people on board. Happy sailings everyone!

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Richard A Evans

September 13th, 2015 Reading, PA

Carnival Legend 12-08-2013 VTG Singles Group 7 Days out of Tampa Fl. Had a great time On the return to port, ,Fog keep us out for 4 hrs. Missed my plane Had to stay over night in Tampa. This was one of 6 cruises, with Carnival Love them all.

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Bob Manley

September 13th, 2015 Jacksonville, FL

12 Cruises on Carnival and love the experience and service.

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Todd Kowalcyk

September 13th, 2015 Alexandria, VA

I'll be going on my sixth Carnival cruise tomorrow. I happen to enjoy the colorful and boisterous entertainment options in a laid-back party-style atmosphere.

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ed

September 12th, 2015 Saint Petersburg, FL

Been on Carnival 15 times, have enjoyed every cruise!! The ships are all very nice, and the staff have always been excellent. Leaving on one in79 days can'y wait!

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Charlotte Williams

September 12th, 2015 Mineola, TX

LOVE cruising Carnival. Go every year. My grand daughter is 12 and this next March will be her 5th Carnival cruise. There is plenty for kids of all ages. to do..stays busy every day. Great food and fun. Carnival treats their passengers right, for sure.

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Joyce Simms Mckoy

September 12th, 2015 Norcross, GA

I have been on 5 cruise with Carnival and love it

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Rosalinda Astorga

September 12th, 2015 Allen, TX

My experience with Carnival was very positive, I have only one complain! My cruise wasn't long enough! lol I schedule a 5 day cruise and never again! I need the 7 days! everything was very nice at the ship but the tour we took to Cozumel wasn't what I expected, very unorganized, we were not able to see the shows that they offered, very very boring, no music, and the restaurant wasn't nothing to be impressed very expensive for what we paid. In the other hand, we took another tour to Progreso, Mx. and that was a huge difference! the resort was beautiful, good service, good atmosphere and very pleasant. Again, Carnival Ship was very nice and clean.

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Marjorie Lupo

September 12th, 2015 Saint Petersburg, FL

Other than the time they lost my manual wheelchair for more than a month in 2012, which they were not at all apologetic for, I have had great experiences. I can honestly say though that I will never forget how they treated my missing wheelchair situation

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b. kloss

September 12th, 2015 Pinehurst, NC

This last trip was changed due to hurr. Erika. Was so looking forward to half moon cay. Instead we went to Freeport. The ugliest island in the Bahamas. People there are so sweet but the oil tanks and rust smell is overpowering. UGH.

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Patty Carroll

September 12th, 2015 Columbus, GA

Love it the best vacation yet, this is my 3 cruise so much fun with 9 family members.

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Mike Gordon

September 11th, 2015 Saint Augustine, FL

Just got back yesterday from the 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. Great weather, seas calm, ports excursions were good, staff was excellent. Had a great relaxing time aboard the Carnival Sensation. Swam in the salt water pool which was my first.

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Carol Learn Wagner

September 11th, 2015 Topeka, KS

I just finished my 12th carnival cruise. Best vacations ever. I've been on very full ships and its never been too crowded. Certain times of the year are better for crowds than others. No matter whether they are full or not they have A+ service. I will not cruise another line. Way to go carnival.

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Judy Stutes

September 11th, 2015 Lafayette, LA

Have always enjoyed our Carnival Cruises. The only thing I would change would be to relocate the Serenity Deck to a quieter location

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Sandie Marie

September 11th, 2015 Modesto, CA

I will be taking my 8th cruise with Carnival in January on their longer "Journeys" cruise. I used to cruise with Royal Caribbean, but I always found them to be stuffy and really dirty. With Carnival, there's ALWAYS something fun to do! The food is great, there's usually at least three choices of activities at any given time, and you only pay extra for things you would expect to pay extra for on any cruise--excursions, alcohol, gift shop, spa services. I never pay for any of those things except excursions because they're totally awesome! It's up to you how much extra you want to pay. It's the most affordable vacation I ever have taken and a great value. I don't happen to like a lot of kids or teenagers around (because I'm old), so I make sure I cruise when most kids and teenagers are in school. Easy! When my kids were little and teenagers, we would bring them along and yes, the pools were a little more crowded, and yes, we had to be parents and watch them a little more, but it was just as fun. Anyway, I will never cruise another line unless I win the lottery, then I will live on a cruise ship.