Okay help me out here guys. I was having a debate/discussion with some friends and we were talking about the difference in the two cruise lines. Well the talk was people do more CCL than RCCL because it is more affordable. Carnival makes it more affordable than Royal Caribbean. RCCL is so expensive so therefore it doesn't attract as many cruisers. Well I beg to differ, I say it is what cruise line you like better, they say it is the price, because you can prefer RCCL but afford Carnival so that is who you will cruise with.
Why do you think Carnival is more affordable then RCCL?
Carnival isn't always cheaper. Royal Caribbean spends a lot more on their ships, entertainment, innovative activities, than does Carnival.
For 2012, Carnival and RCI have essentially the same number of berths (around 62,000) although Carnival has them on 24 ships versus 22 ships for RCI. They both sail full on virtually all cruises. Carnival probably has more short cruises than does RCI (I didn't check), and that can skew the passenger figures if the statistics are not compared equally.
People like to say Carnival offers more 'value', and I've said it too. I'm not so sure anymore. I've looked at what I've paid for similar cruises on both lines and the costs are also similar - at least for us. I am including onboard charges.
I can also say that RCI blows Carnival away in how they treat suite guests (as does Norwegian). I know everyone can't afford suites, but on Carnival there are essentially no special perks other than priority boarding, while on RCI I have priority boarding and debarkation, concierge service, private lounge on the ship with free drinks and in some cases menu service for light meals.
I saw a post on our sister forum Cruisemates today, that says Carnival is doing away with the normal main dining room breakfast and lunch and instead moving to instituting a brunch that covers the two meals. In other words reducing the dining room options.
I am not sure if this is entirely true, but it seems they are placing emphasis on the "Punchliner Comedy Brunch" and other reports indicate 'this is it' if you want table service for either breakfast or lunch on more than one Carnival ship. A comedian appears for 10 minutes each hour telling stale jokes, and it doesn't start until 9am (or 10am by some reports) so those of us who prefer a sit-down breakfast at 8am may not find this on Carnival in the future.
My point for posting this is that Carnival has been doing things lately that are not popular with their loyal clientele, and it points to their trying to reduce costs (the brunch) while increasing profits (selling VIP perks for $50).
I am beginning to wonder if the recent trends in Carnival Cost cutting (Brunch) and revenue raising measures ( sale of VIP Perks) is not as the result of a need to raise capital to cover lawsuits and expenses from the recent Costa Concordia disaster! What's next.....perhaps a baggage fee???
I haven't seen anything yet on Carnival doing away with breakfast and only having brunch. While Carnival and RCI are both in the same cruise industry class of "Mass Market"; I think it's too hard to just make a blanket statement one is cheaper over the other. There are too many variables. When someone in a social setting makes these kind of comments you don't know what they are basing the information on.
I failed to mention the brunch was only for sea days.
More to consider - Holland America and Celebrity are premium brands yet I've seen prices on some of their sailings that are comparable to RCI and Carnival. The thing is does the cruise experience fit the person? If not then no matter what you paid you won't be happy. Value is a perspective issue.
Well, I will totally let you know in a month or so! We cruised for the very first time years ago and picked a 'cheap 4 night cruise with Carnival' on the Imagination ... just to see if we liked it. We did and decided we wanted to try another line ... got a great sale on the Adventure of the Seas in a Jr. Suite for our next cruise. Had a FABULOUS time! After that, of course we were spoiled and only wanted the Jr. Suite! We pretty much sailed RCCI after that staying primarily on the Voyager Class Ships and always a Jr. Suite. We got on the Freedom shortly after she arrived (always with a 'deal') ... I do shop sales! ... and it was wonderful. At one point, we tried a gty suite on HAL on the Eurodam .. again, great price ... and loved it! Just got off the Oasis in May and there are no words for that trip other than amazing!! We were trying to put together a trip for our anniversary in the Fall. We usually go to Hawaii with exchanges from the 2 vacation clubs we have, but failed to do it in time and there was no availability. So ... began looking online. Got an exchange at Hutchinson Beach which happened to coincide with a 6 night cruise on the Carnival Freedom and the price was very good, so that's our anniversary trip. With all that being said, I've heard the Carnival talk over the years and wondered ... so I've been doing some research and expecially reading the forums on Cruise Critic. About all I can say at this point is ... if the ship and the people on it are anything like the posters on Cruise Critic's Carnival board, we might be in trouble!! I don't know ... I always go on cc before I take a cruise but of course it's usually RCCI and HAL where everyone is always so helpful, happy and nice ... this time I'm just not getting a good feeling!! LOL!! Can you say 'rude, crude and ready to pounce on anyone at a moments notice'??!! I'm trying to have an open mind and still look forward to this cruise ... but I don't know ... just checked some of the member reviews here on the Freedom and that too isn't sounding so promising. But, I'm going to try and remain optimistic, but any comments, suggestions would be appreciated! Thanx!
I don't publicly comment about the members of other forums. I do think every cruise line has it's share of rabid fans who do not accept any criticism, and some are more annoying about it than others. There was a media flap a few years ago about a group of 'royal commanders' at that forum. I think it ended up costing a Royal Caribbean executive their job.
As for those negative reviews...most of them are submitted by people with an axe to grind because of some little issue that stuck in their craw. Sort of like someone who doesn't like excessive use of metaphors writing a review of my post!