Jim, I saw your reply on a question today and realized that you have cruised on the Mariner and Carnivals Spirit line. I am debating between the RCCL MAriner and CCL Legend. As for the ship and activities and food how do the two compare and which would you suggest for a single mom and a 8 year old and why. I hope you get this. Thanks, Cathy, from South Georgia
Sonny will disagree with me here, but since he refuses to try a CCL ship to compare the food, I would have to say that they are at least equal in that area. In fact, I might give Carnival a slight edge in food quality, but only for the choice in the desserts. I also lean towards Carnival a bit more only because CCL was my first cruise experience so I tend to compare everything to how CCL does it. But the RCCL ships are great too.
You can find my Mariner review here but the quick summary is that they are in my opinion fairly equal product offerings. With that being said, it comes down to cost. RCCL tends to be a little more expensive then CCL. If you are looking for the rock wall and ice rink, then the extra money may be worth it for you. With an 8 year old, maybe those things are enough to warrant the extra cost. When I'm paying for a faimly of four, the extra cost gets multipled by 4 so it becomes a deciding factor for me and the wall and the ice rink are not enough of an edge to overcome the extra cost. If the money is not a huge issue, then the Mariner's extra activities give it the advantage.
My girls (13,11 at the time) enjoyed the Mariner as well as the Spirit, both cruises offer lots of activities for the kids. I like the Spirit class ships because they have a great layout, so you will enjoy the Legend.
So I guess my answer is you can't go wrong with either, so choose the one that has a price point and an itinerary that suits you.
If you have more questions after you read my review, feel free to PM me and I will answer them.
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007
The money factor and the itinerary are the major considerations for you....RCL does run more money...but their newer ships are amazing as far as new things to do....You daughter may have never skated and this could be a chance to see if she is the new Dorothy Hamill....I my mind, any cruise or ship is better than than none at all:-)....Just to let you know that your daughter (and yourself) may become addicted to cruising....It happened to many of us....Happy Sailing...
I won't disagree with Jim C. Like he, Carnival was my first cruise, and I thought the food was great. My next cruise was with NCL, which I enjoyed also. My third cruise was on a RCCL ship, so were the next 40. The reason I don't sail on any other cruise line is because of the perks I get from Royal Caribbean. Food quality differs from ship to ship; the same would apply to any cruise line. Jim has been on both ships in question, I've only been on the Mariner, which I think is a great ship. The food on the Mariner is good, but not the best. Of coarse an 8 year old wouldn't be too concerned about that. Jim mentioned the ice skating rink. This would be a big plus because besides a great ice show, you both will be able to ice skate. There's also a mini golf coarse, and a great chidrens program. Which ever ship you decide to sail on you're going to have a great vacation. You can't go wrong!
I've been on both the Carnival Legend and the Mariner Of The Seas. Loved both of them, but each ship had strong and weak points.
The Mariner has more to offer for kids. The kid's area is huge, with the arcade and special rooms set aside for the youth programs.
Legend has a huge water slide - RCI doesn't do slides on their ships - but I'll have to tell you that slide on the Legend is not open often and can be affected by winds.
Carnival has the best pizza at sea....RCI pizza isn't even close! In fact, the pizza on Carnival ships rivals any land-based pizzeria in my opinion. Carnival also has great deli sandwiches, which is something RCI doesn't do.
Carnival and RCI are equal in the main dining room, although I think RCI is raising the bar and may be a bit better over the past year.
Bottom line - you can't lose with either ship as your choice. If it were me, I'd go with the Mariner because of all the "stuff" it has for kids to do.
Those are two great ships and i have been on the Mariner. It is gorgeous. Such a pretty ship with the ice skating rink, three story dining room, pool deck, all the activities and the heart of the ship: the Roayl Promenade. It is so fun and the boat will drop your jaw. Although the shows aren't as good and the itenararies are all the same. The food/dining is about the same. Carnival does a great job in that category. Both have a great number of kids and plenty to do. Although for that I would choose the Mariner. Plus Carnival hasd a nice itenarary and knows how to have fun But whatever you choose it will be great. Have fun
Thanks for all the replys about the Mariner vesus the Legend. This will be my 19th cruise. So I definately know cruising. I just haven't been on a mega ship yet. But I have been on both cruise lines several times. I thought the mega ship would give us a little more variety in activities. Sometimes the same thing over and over again can get boring a little on a 7 day cruise so I wondered if the mega ship would be better for that reason. If you haven't been much it wouldn't matter. Again, Thanks, from Cathy