Hi MEGTYNI, and welcome to cruise-chat.com. I've found more similarities than differences between the major cruise lines. Which Carnival ships did you sail previously? (Gives us a point of reference. )
Carnival doesn't have any ships that would compare to the Navigator. The Navigator is in the Voyager class of ships with RCI and they are in a league of their own as far as activities and amenities. Quality of food and service between the two cruise lines I feel are comparable. It can vary from ship to ship.
I have to agree, with Cruise Fantastic, the Navigator of the Sea is outstanding. Once you travel with RCI on this type of cruise ship it's hard to go back to Carnival. I did a Carribean Cruise on this ship back about 4 or 5 years ago. Does this ship do Alaska in the summer?
Labadee is a relaxing beach day with those type of activities on RCI's private island. They have a zip line that has been added since the last time we were there that looks like a blast.You can walk around the island easily and take in some sights and just relax and enjoy the BBQ and do some water activities. Great place to take some shots of the ship on this island. In Ocho Rio one can take the ride to Dunn's River Falls and climb up the falls from the beach (usually hand in hand for safety sake) and then walk around the vendor stalls at the top...Beware though of very forward type sellers that will approach you..Also, don't be alarmed when you see Police with automatice rifles slung over the shoulder there. Also, one can take a raft ride done one of the lazy rivers as well. Enjoy your trip but stay with groups on this island.
I have only been on one Carnival ship, the Sensation, and I found that that ship in no way compares to any of the RCCL ships. RCCL is full of original fine art and sculptures. The only way I can describe Carnival is "Psychedelic" with yellow, purple and orange being the main colors.
I think you will never go back to Carnival!
Carnival Sensation 2002
Liberty B2B 2009
Solstice B2B 2010 Read and post cruise reviews
RCI ships that would compare size wise with the Sensation are the Majesty or Monarch. The Sensation came out in 1993 and is a Fantasy class ship. Back in the 90's Carnival did have a lot of neon on their ships. In 2000 the Spirit class came out and all the ships since have been toned down. The Fantasy class ships are going through a 250 million dollar refurbishment and they are even toned down from all the neon. The Navigator is a Voyager class ship and they are huge massive ships with a lot of bells and whistles. Not everyone needs the foo-foo bells and whistles. Why pay for a lot of things you will never use. RCI and Carnival are both good cruise lines and offer comparable experiences with food, service, and main entertainment.
I'll be on the Mariner the same time that you're on the Navigator. Both ships were the last of the Voyager Class Ships built, and they are my favorite ships of that class. They are a little different than the first three ships built. You're going to be in AWE!