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Old 04-05-2008, 01:09 PM
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Just got back from a four day cruise on Majesty of the Seas with my wife and two children. This was the second cruise - our first cruise was 11 years ago on Carnival Sensation.

Overall, Royal Carribean's Majesty of the Seas was a nice time. Boat was very clean, food was superb, staff was great. One thing however that greatly dissapointed us and our other four friends that joined us was the nightlife. Sure there were shows, etc, but we were looking forward to being able to dance like we did on our first cruise on the Carnival Sensation. When we were on the Sensation we found that even when the bars were not fully operational (like in the middle of the afternoon) you could walk in and there was always music playing. This made it very convenient if you wanted a little private time to dance with your spouse and friends, or just sit around and hear music in the middle of the afternoon.

On the Majesty of the Seas however we were greatly dissagpointed. One of the bars, called Boleros, was very nice, but they started playing music at 9pm or later and it was all salsa music. Now, I don't mind salsa music, but being a white american male I don't want to hear it for 3 hrs straight. Maybe one or two songs an hour. So Boleros was out.

MOS, had a very nice piano bar where you could sit and listen to music, but you had to wait until again 9 pm or later for the musicians, and no dance floor. So again that was out.

MOS, had a 70's show which was around 11 pm one night, so we didn't go to it because they announced an 80's theme for the next night, so we said we'll go to that instead and it will be our chance to dance. So we went to the Spectrum club the next night around 10pm for the 80's night, figuring finally we'll get to do some dancing. Well, there was the dance floor with a stage in front of it. The MC came out to start things off and then announced some of the crew were dressed up like Cindy Lauper, Prince, etc. So the music starts, Cindy Lauper comes out on stage, then Prince and the crowd went on the dance floor. But the MC would not shut up, and they had a camera in every single person's face on the dance floor. The crowd was dancing but all the while facing the crew staff on stage. This was not dancing, this was a preplanned taping session to record the guests so they could sell a DVD at the end of the cruise. So we left extremely frustrated and disappointed. Needless to say, my wife and I didn't dance once on this cruise, compared to our time on the Carnival Sensation where we danced almost anytime we wanted.

As far as the rock climbing wall, I was looking forward to that, but everytime I went it was closed. It was open, but a 8pm?

Royal Carribean offers a nice cruise, but something didn't sit right with us and what they called entertainment. Needless to say I did leave my remarks on the guest card when we left. I scored RC high on food, staff, etc, but remark that I will most likely never return.

Can anyone offer why we feel Carnival has so much more to offer in the way of entertainment vs. Royal Carribean? Has anyone else experiened this? Has Carnival changed for the worse in the past 10 years, or are they still the same?
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Old 04-05-2008, 01:43 PM
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Welcome to cruise-chat.

Bolero's is by definition a latin-American themed bar, hence the special drinks like the caiparinha and mojito, and the music. I'd be disappointed if they started playing anything else!

You are comparing one cruise on Carnival 11 years ago with one cruise on RCI, and also using an older RCI ship versus a ship that was almost new when you cruised on it (Sensation). Not really a valid comparison in my view. Try a cruise on a newer RCI ship like the Freedom Of The Seas, and you'll have a new definition for "wow factor".

Also, please note that Carnival has changed quite a bit since you were on the Sensation. There is much less partying on Carnival today than there was in the 90's. They got tired of the wild reputation. Carnival is much more family-oriented these days. They also have significantly better food than they did a decade ago. It may interest you to know that Carnival led the way in raising the shipboard drinking age to 21. They did it years before RCI did. As late as 2006, 18 year olds could drink beer and wine on RCI ships. I use that as an example of the quantum shift in the Carnival product over the past 10 years.

Some may disagree with me, but my opinion is that the RCI product has stayed consistent over the years while Carnival changed and became more like RCI. When I cruise Carnival and RCI today, they have more things in common than they do differences.

One more housekeeping note...please don't post the same message in multiple sections. It creates confusion. So - I deleted one of your notes and moved the other one here to General Cruise Chat, which is a good place for questions about multiple cruise lines.
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:03 PM
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Dave,

I agree. I know I am comparing my experience between these two cruise lines a decade apart. And I have read that Carnival has changed some.

All I know is we had an really great time when we went on the Carnival Sensation. Coming back from an RCI cruise I can't cut down the food, or staff any, but there was just something missing. For example, they had a carribean band that played music for about 1-2 hours by the pool starting around 2pm every afernoon. However, on the last day of our 4 day cruise, there was no band to be found. Everyone was was asking, "Where's the band?"

Also, why couldn't they have piped in music the Spectrum or Boleros lounge during the early to mid afternoon areas for those who wanted out of the sun and have a place to be with friends? It's an aweful waste of space to only use those areas for a couple hours a day.
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Also, why couldn't they have piped in music the Spectrum or Boleros lounge during the early to mid afternoon areas
I have no answer for that. From my personal experience, I've not even seen that happen on Carnival over the past few years.

A ship's entertainment "personality" is very closely mated to the whims of the CD (cruise director). Get a high-energy CD and you'll probably see the same intensity in the bars, lounges, and pool-side. Same goes for a more sedate CD, but in the opposite direction. The most exciting CD I've ever cruised with was on a Royal Caribbean cruise. He energized the whole ship. On the other hand, I've had comparative wet-noodles on Carnival - and I've seen the pool deck be void of live music on Carnival too. The worst sail-away I've ever experienced was on the Carnival Pride in 2002. No live music, nothing, as we left Port Canaveral. Those of us who tried to start a poolside party were pounced on by security. It was incredible, the chilling effect those goons had on that whole cruise. I note that Carnival security was quite **** for a few years in this century, but they have backed off. No doubt the comment cards had something to do with it.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:51 PM
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Well I was not going to comment on this post but as it goes I have the same opinion as Dave Beers.
Just to clarify

BOLEROS is the term for latin music balad, also SALSA and MERENGUE are caribbean musics actually they are the real music we use to listen here on the islands, The calypso is something mostly for tourism we like that music but not like salsa or merengue.
What I can't really understand is:

Why you visit the caribbean??
You want the same music from USA,
Why not trying something different???

Salsa is not that hard, merengue maybe is but not salsa...
I dance a lot with my wife on my cruises and love it either is salsa, POP or regueton.
I am not a defender of RCCL everyone here knows I complain a lot about their buffets but to be fair is not that bad on their night life, that does not depends on RCCL is mostly on the ship.
AOS is a good example is not as "party ship" as the Carnival Destiny but I don't have complains about it
after all RCCL is just one of the two "Walmarts" in cruises business and their only competition is carnival they most have done something good is they are...
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:46 PM
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I would agree with Dave that Carnival and RCI have become very evenly matched "products". You would really need to try one of the larger RCI ships to be fair. They have more venues to choose from. I WILL agree with you though that I thought RCI tried a litle too hard to get video footage for their DVD. But Carnival sells a DVD too.

Of course it may be that you just perfer Carnival. Try the Conquest. We had a blast on the Conquest. Of course we had fun on the Mariner too.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:33 AM
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My wife and I have decided that we're going to try to take a cruise in December. This time it will be with Carnival again.

One thing I didn't mention earlier which really struck a bad tone with us was that RCI had scheduled Bingo twice at around 10pm in the Spectrum. It was a bingo competition to win a free cruise. Now I know they wanted to get the biggest turnout they could, but isn't bingo something you schedule in the late morning or early afternoon?

I spoke to a friend of mine who has been on 37 cruises last night and I mentioned this to him. He said he's never heard of such a thing. He's going on another Carnival cruise in November.

My brother and sister in law got back from an RCI cruise the day before us...they were on the Navigator. This was their third RCI cruise. They didn't like their cruise because they said there were simply too many people on board (something like 3500 I believe they said).

So this reinforced our decision to go with Carnival again.

Thanks for your input everyone.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:07 AM
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They didn't like their cruise because they said there were simply too many people on board (something like 3500 I believe they said).
But relative to the size of the ship, that is actually less crowded than 2000 people on a Fantasy-class Carnival ship. I've never felt crowded on the Voyager and Freedom class of RCI ships. Passenger Space Ratio is the term used to evaluate ship size as compared to the number of passengers. The higher the number the more "roomy" the ship is. The Navigator has a PSR of 44. The Sensation has a PSR of 34. The Majesty is 31.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
One thing I didn't mention earlier which really struck a bad tone with us was that RCI had scheduled Bingo twice at around 10pm in the Spectrum. It was a bingo competition to win a free cruise. Now I know they wanted to get the biggest turnout they could, but isn't bingo something you schedule in the late morning or early afternoon?
How did having bingo at 10pm adversely affect you? I'll admit I have not heard of doing bingo that late, but once again this is where the CD is "to blame" since he or she lays out the schedule of entertainment events. Ken Rush is a senior CD with RCI - he is the CD on the "take-out" crew for every new ship, a plumb assignment. I happen to like the horse racing done on cruise ships. Ken doesn't, and I can guarantee that any ship where Ken is the CD will not have horse racing. That doesn't mean I am going to toss RCI overboard.

Can I be frank here? I think you are really looking for as many reasons as possible to reinforce your forgone decision to cruise with Carnival again, and not RCI. There is nothing wrong with saying you don't like RCI and want to go back to Carnival. RCI can't please everyone, just as Carnival can't. I will tell you to be prepared though - your next Carnival cruise will not be as you remember from 11 years ago.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:40 AM
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^^^
I agree a good example is the sail away party, during my honeymoon on 2005, the sail away party on the carnival Destiny was something more active, callypso music, a band, dancing ect. I have the video and was an active party with the best buffet food I can remember.

During summer 2007 I took the same ship, Carnival DESTINY, and the sail away party was not the same, ok the music was less active, no callypso music or band, it was a DJ kind of party sail away and the buffet food was ok, so my best guest the cruise director was not looking for a great party.
I ask the Destiny crew and they told me every 6months or a year they change the cruise directors to others ship so this summer I am looking foward to know which one we will get
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