Has anyone been on both? Which is better? My husband & I are going on a cruise with friends at the end of March and we can't decide which ship to take. It will have to be the Carnival Sensation or Royal Carib's Soveriegne of the Seas. Last summer me & a girlfriend went on Carnival Celebration and it was good but we want to try a different ship this time. What is the atmosphere on RC? Different than Carnival? Can anyone tell me the differences between the 2 ships and maybe some pro's/con's? Thanks!!!!!
If you want to try something different then you need to go with the Sovereign. Personally I think it is am more interesting ship, and was recently refurbished with extensive changes made in the layout. For a 3-night cruise you really aren't going to see a lot of differences in the crowd between the two cruise lines. RCI is a tad more relaxed than Carnival although not terribly much.
A huge factor between these two cruises is the itinerary. It is kind of pointless to be in Nassau until 6am on the Sensation. On the other hand, the Sovereign leaves earlier and gives you the last day of the cruise at Coco Cay where you'll have a great beach party and barbecue.
Thanks for responding Dave!! Can you tell me about Coco Cay? Are you "stuck" on the island all day? Or can you come and go from the island to the ship when you want? Is the ship pretty much shut down when your at Coco Cay or are the casino's & shops open? Are there on-board activities? I guess my worry with RC is that everything will be shut down that day so we'll be bored if we only want to spend 1 or 2 hours on the island. Also, we fear we might miss having a free day at sea. We really want to go on a 4 day but the price difference is pretty big, in my opinion (about $300 more per cabin to have an extra night) but we would have a day at sea, a day in Nassau, and a day at coco cay. Anyway any adivce or info or personal experience/opinion you can offer is greatly appreciated!
Coco Cay is one of the original "private islands". You can come and go all day since they will have tenders running every so often from ship to shore and vice versa. Coco Cay is fun with music, tours you can book with RCI for snorkeling and so forth, and of course the barbecue lunch. They also have a few bars set up. The Windjammer buffet will be closed since the staff is on the island doing the barbecue. The shops and casino are also closed (if I recall correctly) since you are officially visiting Bahamian territory even if RCI owns it. The government of the Bahamas even makes the ship pay tax on all booze they bring ashore for sale. The ship will not have much going on, other than a pool bar being open and the rock-climbing wall and a couple other things. This is actually a great time to have the pool area all to yourself. They have a souvenir shop set up on the island, and also there is a marketplace of locals who will be selling t-shirts and other junk, so when going ashore at Coco Cay you need to bring both your cruise card and some cash in small bills for the native market.
I'd much prefer a 4-night to a 3-night. That extra day makes a huge difference in making it feel more like a cruise and less like a frantic weekend.
I've sailed on both RCI and Carnival. Both cruiselines have things I like and some things that aren't so great. Carnival seems to have a little bit younger crowd than RCI. Carnival is called the FUN ship for a reason. I think they have a little more wacky activities than RCI. I would describe RCI as a little more elegant than Carnival. I think that Carnival's buffet is better than RCI's, but RCI's dining room meals were a little better than Carnival. RCI tries to make the towel animals, but they're no match for the towel animals on Carnival. In a nutshell, I wouldn't hesitate to cruise either line again. Go with the best itinerary and have a blast.
I've taken BOTH ships. The crew of Sovereign was great...the shows were fair at best, and the the food was fair as well...4 day cruise and NO LOBSTER TAIL??? Sensation was fun, food was good and the shows were great. Coco Cay is fun but it's basically a beach with a big cook out! If the lobster part means alot to you, might wanna pick Sensation.
On the lobster, I have to agree, it isn't the best. I still get one though and the prime rib. It is one of those type foods that should be cooked properly, and served immediately. It truly does not fare well in a hot hold situation.
I've had very good and very bad lobster on a ship. My last cruise the lobster was very, very good. Not tough and chewy as sometimes occurs it melted in your mouth. I had several to be sure my first wasn't a stroke of luck!