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Old 07-22-2009, 07:22 AM
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penny3333 penny3333 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
No, Carnival is not bottom of the barrel. We've cruised with them 5 times and had a perfectly good cruise. We've sailed with NCL, RCL, HAL, Princess, and Costa too (soon with Celebrity). They all have their strengths and their weaknesses. Carnival is no longer the "party" ships they once were, they are more family oriented now. These are just my impressions: NCL is more relaxed. RCL is more "gimmicky". HAL is typically more sedate. Princess is more elegant. Costa is more Italian. What I mean by "gimmicky" is more of a Vegas type atmosphere. What I mean by Italian is more of a huge Italian family on board, loads of children, but with it a lot of laughter and fun. I don't know what your friends mean by "bottom of the barrel". Do they mean that you can experience a great cruise for less money? Does it mean that you get good food not 5 star (which you'd only get on upscale lines)? Does it mean that their ships are clean with good ammenities? What were the complaints from your family members that have cruised Carnival? Do you have a good travel agent that specializes in cruises? If so, use their knowledge to help you make a decision. They have more than likely been on most every cruise line there is. They will also be able to match your expectations to the best possible ship. Since price is a consideration for all of us, they can compare the fares and come up with the best solution for you. Carnival is a very reputable line, and definitely not bottom of the barrel.