Tuesday, September 26, 2023


We have gone on two cruises; once with Royal Caribbean and once with Carnival. Both times porting from Galveston, Texas. Today we want to share our comparison of these two cruise lines, from booking to disembarkation.

Royal Caribbean vs Carnival #cruise #cruisevacation #RoyalCaribbean #Carnival

Both lines made booking easy. Their websites are easily navigated and when calling customer service, they have wonderful people who were helpful and able to answer questions. Both lines offer apps that give you all the details of your booking and a fun countdown to your cruise. The apps are very important while you are on the ships as they help you keep ship time (this is vital, we'll share more another time), let you chat with people in your party, tell you want is going on that day, and more.

Both lines offer great payment options. You make your down payment, generally $200 a cabin, and then you have time to make payments leading up to your cruise. After booking you get to add extras like your drink packages, Wi-Fi packages, and excursions. This is where we started to see differences. For one, the drink packages are quite different, we talked about that HERE. Another difference is the Wi-Fi- packages, which we talked about HERE. On these two issues, we preferred Royal Caribbean.

When it came time for our cruises, embarkation was similar. Our cruise with Royal Caribbean was our first and we were unfamiliar with the process, but it went very smoothly. When sailing Carnival, we were familiar and felt the process was good, but not quite as smooth as Royal Caribbean. It just felt a little more hectic. Both lines, you will have lots of walking for your embarkation (the process of checking in and actually boarding the ship) and there will be a time of sitting and waiting. So wear comfy shoes and don't expect to get on ship immediately!

Once on the ship, we honestly felt like everything was very comparable! Food on both lines was so good and there is so much variety. You can read more about food HERE. There are multiple bars throughout the ships for all your drinks, this includes mocktails, sodas, teas, and water.

Both cruise lines offer multiple pools, hot tubs, water slides, and water games for kids and kids at heart. You'll find trivias and games during the days so you and your party can enjoy some competition. Royal Caribbean offered a napkin folding class, while Carnival offered a towel folding class. Both lines had mini golf, an arcade, and other games. Carnival had the Sky Bike which was so much fun. You get in the bike and ride through the air around the deck of the ship. We had so much fun with this. Royal Caribbean had the Flow Rider. This is a surfing simulator and was such a blast!

Royal Caribbean and Carnival both have kids clubs which offer lots of fun for kids. They are completely safe for kids with their check in and check out systems. Dad and Mom can have a little kid-free fun while the kiddos enjoy some major fun!

Both lines have live music playing all throughout the ships so you can sit down and enjoy or get up and dance to different genres of music. And the casino is always hopping!

Then there's the night life! On both cruise lines you'll find some fabulous shows in the evening. While Carnival's shows were good, we did prefer the shows on Royal Caribbean. Royal's shows were a bit more family friendly and had more variety. One night we had a great comedy show, one night was an acappella group, and the others were great song and dance shows. Carnival's shows were more of rock concerts and one night there wasn't a show. However, both ended our cruise time with a wonderful show showcasing all the countries represented by their line's staff members.

The cleanliness of both lines was great! We never had any issues. Instead, we continually saw people cleaning windows, handrails, chairs, floors, and more! And housekeeping kept up on our rooms each and every day. The friendliness of both lines was also great. Everyone makes you feel like family and do whatever it takes to make your cruise a good experience.

And finally you had the disembarkation. Both went smoothly, but again you will be walking a lot so wear comfy shoes!

All in all, both Carnival and Royal Caribbean are very comparable and we truly enjoyed both experiences. If we had to choose one cruise line to stick with, we think we would stay "Loyal to Royal!"

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