Carnival Cruise Lines
Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Star rating: 4 star
Tonnage: 88,500 - 130,000 GRT
What's included in the price:
- All meals
- Port taxes
- Government fees
Carnival cruises were started in 1972 by the visionary Ted Arison. It had a bit of a bumpy start when its first ship, the former ocean liner Mardi Gras ran aground off Miami. The cruise industry had a wonderful time with this offering guests a cocktail named “Mardi Gras on the Rocks.” Arison battled through and soon had things running smoothly again. By 1981 the company launched its first new build liner, Tropicale. Since then there has been no looking back and Carnival is now the world’s biggest cruise line with its ships easily recognised from afar by their distinctive red white and blue flared funnels.
During their progress Carnival have changed the face of ocean cruising. Their concept of a “Fun ship” with colourful interiors and non-stop action have been a hit with cruise line passengers. The competitors who offered the fun drinks in 1972 stopped smiling, especially when Carnival took them over!
Carnival’s offering appeals to families and the younger generations. Whilst many retirement age people enjoy cruises with Carnival, they are generally put off by the sheer exuberance and noise of their fellow passengers enjoying the time of their lives.
Each vessel has themed set of public rooms which can be anything from ancient Egypt to the space age. Every one has almost too much lively entertainment. Carnival ships all carry a full cast of entertainers. There are magicians, singers and dancers. They produce big Broadway style reviews much to the delight of the passengers. Every ship also has a comedy club, a piano bar and a casino. Live bands play a wide variety of music styles in lounges, bars and dance venues.
The cruise director will usually have some fun and games going on in the main pool during the day. The biggest pool afloat is on a Carnival ship as is the biggest wave pool and the biggest waterslide. If things get too rowdy in the main pool, there is usually a smaller one to retreat to.
One major feature of a Carnival cruise is the food. A small army of specialist and general chefs together with the serving staff have created the situation where many experienced cruisers have claimed that Carnival serves the best food of any major cruise line. On most ships food is available somewhere on a 24/7 basis and there is always plenty of it. Carnival has traditionally operated a two-sittings dining policy. However, after some experimentation they have implemented the Your Time To Dine system whereby passengers may eat dinner on a more flexible basis. If passengers do not want to dress for dinner, there is usually the Lido Bar where they can choose from a fairly wide range of tasty dishes.
Dress codes on the ships are fairly relaxed but there are two formal evenings on seven night cruises on one on shorter trips. On these occasions black tie rig may be worn but suits and tie are more the norm. The cruise line has a policy of no shorts or cut offs in the dining room lounges and bars after 6 pm but this is often ignored.
One of the major factors in the phenomenal success of Carnival has been their attitude to families and children. There are two major clubs for junior members of the family. Those under the age of 11 join Camp Carnival. This is split into three distinct age groupings with highly professional carers in charge of each group. There is a constant variety of activity for the children and they never become bored. Tweens aged 14 to 17 join O2 where there is plenty of kicking back mixed with organised activities. There are special club rooms, discos and other events to keep this group amused and occupied. There is a baby sitting service for the under twos which allows parents the freedom to enjoy the facilities of the ship. There is also a paid for babysitting service held slumber party style for children from 6 months to 11 years from 1 pm until 3 am so that parents may attend adult only events.
Every night is opening night onboard Carnival Cruise Lines, as guests will be treated to a host of award-winning stage shows and musical revues. Whether it involves watching a dazzling production in the multi-tiered show lounge, enjoying an evening in the themed sports bar and late-night lounges, or late night excitement in Carnival's fabulous casinos. Excitement is guaranteed on board and the choice is yours.
Celebrate an evening of culinary delights, as you experience a new world of dining onboard Carnival Cruise Lines. Every meal prepared is a masterpiece in its own right, from the casual poolside buffet to the more extravagant reservations only Carnival steakhouse; where guests will experience exquisitely prepared meals complimented by an extensive international wine menu.
Spa Carnival, Fun Ship fitness centre " including aerobics, Pilates, spinning and yoga camp. Carnival bars and night clubs, restaurants, casino, swimming pools and waterslides. There are also boutiques, Library and games room.
Every Carnival ship provides an extensive selection of accommodation to suit everyone's tastes. The spacious, yet cosy staterooms will be your home away from home; guests can choose from Interior, Ocean view, Balcony and Penthouse suites. As a guest you can expect diffused lighting, individual climate control, spacious bathroom, phone and television with first run films and programmes. The nightly turndown service includes a chocolate mint and chocolate chip cookie for the kids.