My family and I are looking at cruises from the Dec 26th - Jan 2nd in the Carribean. We are traveling with my son who will be 5 at the time of the trip and a 14 yr old. We want to make sure that we all enjoy the trip adults and kids. Would the Carnival Victory be a better family boat or Royal Carribean and why ? Thanks for your help with this
I've sailed on both ships. I've sailed on the Victory twice. I believe you would have a good time on either ship. Carnival and Royal Caribbean are very similar cruise lines. The food and service and most entertainment are similar. The exception is, that the Adventure has an ice rink and they have wonderful ice shows on the ship. You can also go ice skating. It also has a large inside Royal Promenade where a couple times during the cruise they will hold a Mardi Gras type parade. The Adventure has mini-golf and a basket ball court,and Johnny Rockets Cafe. The Victory also has mini-golf, the water slide, and Water Wars Water Balloon Attraction, and a Seaside Theatre screen by the pool. Both ships have teen clubs. The Adventure is the larger of the two, but that also means more people. Unless you are getting a family room or suite on Adventure, the traditional cabins of inside/outside/balcony are larger on the Victory. I think you would have a good time on either.
I agree with what Jan said. I too have been on the Victory twice (once last summer from San Juan) and I have been on the Mariner of the Seas too. So I have experience with both.
You will hear different opinions from different people as to which line is "better". There are a lot of Royal Caribbean enthusiasts who go around and bash Carnival and the reverse is true also. Many of the people who will tell you not to sail on Carnival have never even tried Carnival (or if they have sailed on Carnival it was years ago when they tailored to a younger crowd.)
To be honest with you they are very similar products. Royal Caribbean ships are bigger, but their standard cabins are smaller. The food quality is debatable since what is good food for some great food to others. Since this is your first cruise, you won't know any different, so why worry as to which is better than the other? In fact most of the time, the cruise line you pick for your first cruise will become the one you prefer since you will compare any other to it. Chose the cruise that is in your budget, don't base your choice on "they say" advice. You will have a great time on either. If you find you enjoy cruising, you can always try the other line for your next cruise.
As you can see from our cruise choices, we are Carnival people, we tried Royal Caribbean and it was great too, but we did not see enough differences to warrant the extra costs. Now, there are some cruises where RCCL has less expensive fares but for the newer bigger ships, I have not seen it. Pick the one you can afford, the savings will help pay for your on board expenses.
================================================== ========== 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, Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Have been on both ships. Taking into account the ages of your children and having travelled with my kids (at various times and at various ages and with another family and their kids)several times between the various cruise lines too, I would say that the older child would prefer the "awe" factor of the bigger ship. The ice skating, the rock climbing, the club for teens 12 - 14,and your other child at 5 will not really see difference between Victory and Adventure of the Seas. Don't know whether CArnival has Any time dining yet but RCCL has and that works pretty good when you have a younger child with you. Eat when you want type of thing in the diningroom. You can reserve different times different days too or just show up with Anytime on RCCL. Our kids liked the Promenade - a mall like concept and the parades that occur there at least twice during the cruise. The teen will like the Johnny Rockets $4.50. As a first time cruiser, you really have nothing to compare but I can tell you that either ship you choose, will be very busy. We did Xmas cruise on Princess Emerald this past xmas and there was no lack of friends to make. Lots for parents to do on either ship. For your first cruise, you are choosing well with the size of the ships. Adventure 138,000 and Victory 101,000 I seem to remember. A lot of people will say bigger, more people, I say bigger is beautiful. I can't wait to cruise again and we are watching for deals (ha ha) on the Oasis. Hope this helps with your deliberations.