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Carnival Cruise Lines

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716 User Reviews

9.6

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: August 30th, 2021
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Star Rating

4.3

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716 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

58%

4 grade

24%

3 grade

8%

2 grade

5%

1 grade

5%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Trustworthiness

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Ann 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.

5 years ago

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Gillybean 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.

5 years ago

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Tina L. Hayes Hampton, VA

The first two days were great, but then mid week we were trying to sleep because we had an early morning excursion the next day, and there was stomping and jumping on the floor above us until well past midnight, and hubby called customer service desk to have them check it out, they put him on hold and forgot about him, then when he went to complain the next day after they wouldn't let us bring canned unopened sodas on board, and confiscating them, the service desk representative acted rude and like she didn't care, so we had a very upsetting and stressful fourth day of cruise, but the rest of trip home was okay, I enjoyed the experience, but I believe we won't be going on the Splendor anytime soon, but will try another Carnival cruise liner going to western Caribbean. And will try other cruises to compare.

5 years ago

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Katherine Marie Maeder Keller, TX

Our first ever cruise was during Spring Break 2014 on the Carnival Triumph out of Galveston, Texas. It was my 2 kids and self on this 5 day journey to Progresso and Cozumel. When I took my son (8) to the Kids Camp he was super duper excited, but when I came to pick him up he refused to go back....this was our 1st day at sea! When he told me what had happened I tried speaking with the person over his group, she refused and kept avoiding me like the plague. I tried speaking with a supervisor, but they were "too busy" with other guests. I was beyond disappointed and irritated but I spent too much money to pay for this vacation to let these foolish people ruin it for us. We spend the remainder doing excursions and spending time just us (as usual). When we decided to book a family cruise for Spring Break 2015, I was a bit hesitant due to our previous experience. We booked a suite and indoor stateroom for our party that included us 3 again, their dad, his mom, and older daughter. We did the 7 night to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel on the Freedom. The ship was the same as the Triumph, nothing spectacular. Jen was our cruise director again and did an outstanding job! We didn't even bother with the "Kid's Camps" this time and my son made several friends playing on the soccer/basketball court. Dinners were good and the staff was entertaining. I was't impressed with the adult dance club or DJ. Looking at booking another cruise but considering Royal or Norwegian instead....

6 years ago

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Mike04 FL

First time on Carnival, Have been on a few cruises on other cruise lines. A friend of mine and me went on a cruise to Aruba from Port Canaveral. We spent 2 days at rough sea to get within about a mile from docking and the ship turned around, and waited and waited and waited. Then the captain tells the ship we cant dock because the weather was rough. Im telling you it was so sunny and clear, no one understood what was going on. We just watched another ship dock right in front of us. People were beyond mad. Thats all Im going to say about that. Other than that the cruise was fair. I will say the beds were not great. Not sure if Id go on Carnival again.

6 years ago

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John Brown North Chicago, IL

Had a bad experience on the Fascination in February. Carnival is supposed to have a strict smoking policy, but it wasn't followed at all. People smoking all over the ship in locations that were clearly marked no smoking. Even in their cabins. Guest services on the ship didn't care. Called the main number to complain, they didn't care. I even emailed the President of the cruise line. Never heard back. I knew that I wouldn't hear anything , but gave it a shot anyway. I email John Heald , and said that he will forward my email to the proper people. I never heard back. Don't get me wrong, I don't have an issue with people smoking. The issue is smokers smoking in areas where they are not supposed to. This is the only complaint that I have.

6 years ago

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George Baker 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.

5 years ago

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Dolly Williams Austell, GA

I have cruised on the Destiny (Now Sunshine) Sensation, and the Fascination. And the were great. I just got back on the Valor yesterday, and the staff was Horrible. They were Rude, didn't care if you complained or not got Smart Mouth, The Food was Luke Warm at Best. There was a Smell of Sewage on my floor, And yet the Crew acted as if you were wrong for complaining. Even the Customer Service Desk did nothing to fix the problem. I like Carnival, but the Crew on the Ship need retraining.

5 years ago

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Frank Indio, CA

I have cruised with Carnival several times in the past. I have observed that the young crowds sometimes boisterous and exceptionally loud especially when they get drunk. At times, even the security personnel can hardly control them or maybe, there just not enough security staff to maintain peace and orderly in the ship. I suggest that they should have security personnel rooming the berthing areas at all times.

5 years ago

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Barbara Rhodes West Monroe, LA

I have been on the Conquest a few times, but just got off a cruise on 9/26 that left me so disappointed. It use to be my favorite but no more. The service was fine what little there was. You could tell that Carnival has cut back, you don't see as much staff as before. We had some rain and I had my feet covered with water going from 9 to 10. Use to always see them pushing water to the drains. I don't know about other people but would pay a little more for better service. Every time we go back they have dropped something else. It may be a small thing but it made Carnival special!

5 years ago

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Ada 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.

6 years ago

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Lucille Burnside Clarks Summit, PA

I have traveled on Carnival 4 times now and enjoyed the cruises it truly the fun ship, but we just came back from a Carribean cruise for 8 days on the Carnival Splendor and it was the worst we had ever experienced. The food was terrible and the staff was very un friendly programs were geared to health issues and not fun things to do. This was my 2 cruise on the Splendor so I know they can do better, If Carnival wanted to deter you from taking another cruise with them they sure showed it this time. Felt insulted being a prior Carnival cruiser.

6 years ago

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BRIAN&TAMMY Marrero, LA

Each ship is diff some ships r big some r small the food is good on some ships some bad smoke was bad in the casinos of all the ships if u don t like alot of kids go when they in school we had a bad 7 days on the dream weather is going too be before u go the food is so so it was nice too talk too other people on the ship getting on and off the ship was great u pay a fee u do it faster we took 6 cruises we do it again they do need too go down om there prices tho

6 years ago

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kaylee Ashburn, VA

Not the greatest cruise line to go on, but the food wasn’t too bad nor is it too good. My family and I been on one of the cruise ship, and the service was alright. But if you want to go on a cheap cruise line, then Carnival would the best one.

1 year ago

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Cassidy Gundersen Orem, UT

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.

3 years ago

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larry 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.

5 years ago

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DONALD DOTY JR. 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

6 years ago

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michelle 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

6 years ago

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Brysen roberts Garland, UT

Carnival is the cruise line you go to if you’re looking for a cheap cruise, but in reality, it isn’t cheap at all. Their cruises have cheap tickets, but the food is expensive, the drinks are expensive, and if you want to do something off of the cruise, that’s expensive also! To go kayaking for about an hour, it costs about $130 per person, so if you go with your family, the price gets to be super high!

1 year ago

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Elaine Bowman Lakeland, FL

I have had several clients come back off the Paradise and this is the same report each and every time. Food is awful. ship is old and needs alot of sprucing up. Will she be updated in the near future.

6 years ago

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Don Bielata Savannah, GA

We made an error and tried RC last time and were very disappointed. The food did not match up to Carnival. And you had to stand to play roulette in the casino. We are booking our 4th cruise on Carnival ...

6 years ago

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Karen Nelson Alpine, UT

I don't like Carnival. I have been on two Carnival cruises and was not happy with either one. They just seem a little dirty and different than I had hoped. I have been on another cruise line which was significantly superior.

3 years ago

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DW Gretna, NE

After 11 cruises the quality has gone downhill in all areas particularly the food. The only good food was in the steakhouse which will run you $100 for 2,

5 years ago

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Stewart lichtenberg 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.

6 years ago

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Rocio Diaz Jacksonville, FL

Do not like carnival. They have great food and fun activities. However they are often overpacked, and there are lines everywhere. Only caters to the young and those trying to save money. Not good for families or elders.

1 year ago

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Karen Torino Tallahassee, FL

The carnival cruise lines do not care about customer experience. The cruises are very rowdy and usually for careless customers. Would not recommend and will not use again.

1 year ago

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Tom Wilkesboro, NC

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

6 years ago

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Jon Posey Riverton, UT

You get what you pay for. Cheap, younger crowd who like to party, food is mediocre. I got a weird rash from their towels. Ya, not my favorite.

1 year ago

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Penny Spicer Valparaiso, IN

Went on the Glory was the only bad Carnival Cruise we have ever on. Food and service was bad.

5 years ago

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Martha Rabe Carbondale, CO

Too many unsupervised childern running and pushing their way thru!

3 years ago

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Carolee AhPing Heber, UT

You get what you pay for. Younger crowd who parties. Wouldn't go on a carnival cruise again.

3 years ago

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Tom Gourley Pleasant Grove, UT

A low end cruise line that offers few frills and a marginal quality of services

1 year ago

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Spencer Hodgson Salt Lake City, UT

They didn't have that many fun activities. Also the food wasn't that great.

3 years ago

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