My friends(anywhere from 2-5 of us) and I want to go on a Caribbean cruise. It will be a first time cruise for us all. Basically I think we all want a very enjoyable trip to see many things we wouldnt normally, have decent staterooms and of course excellent food. We have looked and narrowed it down to an 8 day Carnival cruise on the Liberty, 14 day ultimate caribbean or 14 day western caribbean cruise through Celebrity on the Constellation and looked into the Princess cruise line at two different 14 day cruises on the Sea Princess. we are not sure which will be the best for what our tastes are.
I have heard that the Princess and celebrity have better food but have mostly older people and bland decor. I have heard that carnival offers a lot to younger people(we are allin our early to mid 20's) but the food and staterooms arent as good. Any opinions would be great.
Dont mind hearing it was good or bad or whatever as long as its kept in mind we are not used to cruises and therefore our expectations might not be as high. Thank you.
I have moved this thread to the General Cruise Chat forum since I think it fits better there.
Usually, it's "the longer the cruise, the older the passenger mix". So, for that reason already, an eight-night cruise will usually have a younger passenger mix compared to a 14-night cruise.
As far as cruise lines are concerned, I would recommend either Carnival or - even though it is not among the ships you list - one of Royal Caribbean International's "Voyager"-class ships, or even the company's new "Freedom of the Seas" arriving in the Caribbean in June.
I've been on the "Carnival Liberty" and I did find the rooms to be very good. Actually, the standard cabins onboard "Carnival Liberty" are a bit larger than those onboard "Constellation" (which, however, has significantly larger suites) and considerably larger than those onboard "Sea Princess". Also, I've found Carnival's food to be very good for a standard-market cruise line. Celebrity in particular is renowned for its good cuisine, but it not like "Carnival bad - Celebrity good" but rather "Carnival good - Celebrity even better".
I probably wouldn't go with Celebrity unless the 'excellent food' you are looking for is tops on your list. Celebrity tends to draw an older crowd particularly so on longer voyages.
I've been on the three major lines and liked Princess the best. The Caribbean Princess is themed to sail in the Caribbean and as such has a more vibrant decor than Princess normally does. We found our orange and pink stateroom on Carnival a bit shocking.
Most people seem to recommend the Voyager class RCI ships as Raoul did. I was on a smaller RCI myself so I can't comment. Those voyager class ships seem to have a lot of amenities and activities on board for more active lifestyles.
Good luck, you're sure to enjoy it!
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 2005
Caribbean Princess 2005
Carnival Paradise 2004
First of all, if everyone in a cabin is not 21 or older you will have to have someone 25 in the cabin. For your first cruise any of the Carnival ships or RCI ships will be alot of fun. The Voyager class ships do have a lot of amenities but they also demand a higher cruise fare. So I would ask yourself "Would you really do rock climbing, inline skating, iceskating.?
I go along with everyone else. I would stay away from any cruise longer than 7 nights simply because you are going to get an older passenger mix. The decidion bewteen Carnival and RCI is a tough one, so I would make it based on pricing and itinerary.
I don't agree with chemical x that a seven-night cruise would be "awful wrong" at all. Tom makes a good point, however, that cruises of more than seven nights tend to attract a considerably older clientele.
What you do have to remember when comparing one-week cruises with shorter ones is that the latest ships with the most amenities are usually deployed on seven-night cruises, while short cruises are often carried out by smaller, older units. That might be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your perspective. For short cruises, IMHO the best ship is Royal Caribbean's "Enchantment of the Seas", based in Port Everglades.
I have to jump on the bandwagon here and agree that longer cruses attract an older crowd. I am assuming that you and your friends are single. If so, and you are looking for any kind of nightlife or evening activity with people of your own age (and single), then the only one of your choices that would offer that possibility would be the Carnival Legend. While I am not a huge fan, I must say on my last couple of Carnival cruises, the food was very good and the staterooms were quite comfortable. For your age range and being first time cruisers - I think Carnival and Royal Caribbean would be your best choices.
We have really enjoyed our Carnival Cruises and Royal Carribean as well, Royal carribean does seem to have higher prices for the skating, etc onboard though and we don't even do it.
To add to the food thing, we took two cruises last year one Carnival one Royal Carribean and the Carnival food was Much better than the Royal Carribean.
Carnival Freedom June 2009
Crown Princess March 2009
Carnival Glory January 2008
Naviagator of the Seas Mar 07
Sovereign of Seas Oct 06
Carnival Glory March 2005
Nordic Empress 1996