Our 11-year old son is quite particular when it comes to the kid's programs on cruises. Carnival has the only one where he looks forward to going and where he keeps track of the schedule so he doesn't miss a certain activity. He'll go to the RCCL programs, but isn't as enamored with them as with Carnival's. I'm not sure why.
A good thing - depending on how the parent feels about it - is that Carnival is more liberal with the check-in/out policy. I think all of your boys are above the age limit where they can come and go by themselves. I may be wrong about the 9-year old, but hopefully someone will correct me.
Don't get me wrong. We like RCCL and will cruise with them again. I certainly think RCCL has more interesting ships than does Carnival, and the RCCL staff seems to have more leeway in dealing with the passengers. Carnival's crews are held to a strict set of rules with very little variance from center permitted.
Here is my two cents worth. For the Honeymoon couple. I would strongly suggest a Radiance class ship of Royal Caribbean. They offer everything you are looking for and more. They are great for young couples and offer an ambiance that will enhance your honeymoon.
For the family with 4 kids....without a question. I would recommend a Voyager class or Freedom class ship. They were made specifically for families and there is simply no better choice.
These suggestions are made considering the physical plants themselves.
I like to mix it up a bit when it comes to picking a cruise. I have yet to book my next cruise. So many choices these days! I have no clear favorite cruise line, although Celebrity used to be until the standards started slipping. We like Princess, RCCL, Carnival. I have never been terribly impressed with NCL, but then again I don't think I've given NCL a fair shake yet.
For a true "Wow" factor, I doubt any cruise line could trump a Voyager Class RCCL vessel. But I am beginning to explore the ships I always avoided - those older and smaller ships without a lot of bells and whistles (except for those required by maritime law).
I see I managed to completely miss the OP's question. Nothing like a little thread drift!
If I were going on a honeymoon, given the choice between Carnival and RCCL, I guess I would go with RCCL in the Caribbean.
chloelovesgibson, congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Have you made your decison on the honeymoon?
FWIW, I concur with the others regarding the Voyager or Radiance ships of Royal Caribbean. They offer a variety of activities, whether you are a more active cruiser, or one like me (who completely vegges out).Whatever you decide, be sure that your TA lets them know it's your honeymoon, as cruise lines tend to make that very special.
My opinion is that their is no perfect cruise line for your vacation. Just got back from a carnival spirit cruise to mexico and found the food lacking. Kind of expected it from what I heard from others who sailed w/ carnival. However, we found the crowd younger and more fun loving than what I would expect on a RCCL cruise. Can you really have it all? I'm not sure.
hi honeymooners to be. i have asked around too about which line would be better for honeymooners. we are sending dau and new husband (in july) on a honeymoon cruise. my dau was told that RC is more low key and older people go on that one morer than Carnival. she was worried about being bored on RC and chose to go with carnival. she said they wanted to have fun and wanted choices and didn't have to party if they didn't want to. so i guess it depends on who you talk to. i wish i knew. i want them to have fun. oh i was also told that the rooms on RC are smaller. when are you going?
Thanks for your feedback! Since Eric and I have already been on 2 Carnival cruises together, we decided to give Royal Caribbean a try. We're going on a 7 day cruise to the southern Caribbean on the Adventure of the Seas. We also got a balcony room (1st time!) so we're really excited!