as others have indicated this is a highly subjective question. It's like asking: "Which is the best car?" Now someone might suggest a Ferrari or Porsche, but if you need a car with a large trunk, those will probably be very bad choices for you.
An interesting question would e.g. be whether you would like to stick with a large ship. If you want to be truly pampered, there's no other way than taking a cruise on an upper-premium or luxury line - but those have smaller ships only. Celebrity and Holland America are great premium lines but - because of the number of passengers that most of their ships carry - simply cannot provide the same deluxe experience that Oceania Cruises (upper premium) or luxury lines such as Radisson Seven Seas, Crystal, Seabourn, Windstar or Silversea provide.
I have to agree with Cruise Fanatic that Carnival isn't half as bad as some people (who often haven't even taken a Carnival cruise) think. From my experience with them, they offer a cruise experience on par with that of Royal Caribbean International. While I prefer Royal Caribbean's more elegant (and less Las Vegas style) ships, I thought the food and service on Carnival was better. However, Carnival is certainly not an upscale cruise line (and neither is Royal Caribbean) so it doesn't fit your requirements. However, I would not hesitate to look into it for a family cruise.
This question basically is asking for an opinion and here it is based on the cruise lines we've tried. They are listed in the order we would rate them:
#1) Celebrity--based on 2 cruises
#2) Holland America--based on 6 cruises
#3) Carnival--based on 3 cruises
#4) Royal Caribbean--based on 1 cruise
#5) Norwegian--based on 1 cruise
HAL was our favorite, however we think they slipped a notch since they went to auto tipping. Their service spoiled us on the first 5. Norwegian was our last cruise and we may try Princess next. All cruises have been good, with a few very good, and we have not had a bad cruise.
__________________ "Sea" You, Keith & Rita Ann
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I was pleasantly surprised with Carnival. I think that there are so many other variables that are as important as the line itself: itinerary, price, departure port (I am about to spend a week with a bunch of New Yorkers, don't think I'm not thinking about that...), who you are traveling with, etc. Going with the kids? CCL, although my kids were a little turned off by the decor of the Elation. Just a little. It's just like any land based destination- if it was just you and your wife, would you be going to Disneyworld? If you were taking your mother in law, would you be kayaking in the Mekong Delta or working on your tan in Mykonos? If you are taking the kids AND your mother in law, are you going to be booking a Seabourne cruise for 7? If you are in your right mind, are you going to book a cruise filled with New Yorkers and New Jerseyites? I think not.
Anyway, CCL is fine. NCL is fine. Either way the desserts are tasteless and gelatin based, the drinks are outrageous, you will lose in the casino, and you will have the time of your life.
Ok I see that you have been on Celebrity and Holland america. My wife and I want to be pampered and we want opinions of what is the best from those of you who have cruised different lines.
We have only heard bad things about carnival, and have not really heard about Holland or Celebrity.
So please divluge what you think. I will stick to RCCL when I take my boys, but would like more classy chic line when it is just the wife and I.
Thank you for your input
Hi there, This is all subjective... but here goes since you asked...You said one key word "pampered".. If that is the deal breaker.. then as far as we are considered its Celebrity Hands down...there are many lines that promise service and in comparing HAL and Celebrity..HaAL offers Lip and Celebrity followed thru..but that was just "our Perception"
Hope that helps
Hi Keith and Rita
JOEY Carnival Ecstasy HAL Ryndam HAL Oosterdam Celebrity Century Celebrity Millennium Celebrity Summit Golden Princess
I am not sure I have ever been on a "bad" cruise. One of the pleasures of cruising is experiencing the various products out there. As an example, it has been about a decade since I have sailed on Carnival, but Carla's post has me convinced that I should try it again.
So, I am going to book myself on a Carnival cruise (actually, more than one, just to be fair) and I will write a thorough reviews of the experience from someone that is an X-Carnival cruiser with an opinion. However, I promise to be fair and objective about the cruise (s). I am hoping for the best, but will have a good time no matter what happens.
I agree with what Tom just wrote. I am planning on giving Carnival another try this summer. In fact, I am repeating a cruise I did with them 6 years ago, same itinerary, sister ship. As I did a review then, it will be interesting to compare the two.