A friend once told me that “cruises are a poor man’s vacation.”
Obviously we weren’t really friends because who says that to someone after being told they’re excited about a honeymoon cruise?
Regardless, I’ve been on five cruises since then and I LOVE CRUISING.
So far, I’ve cruised with my husband on Carnival Miracle, Carnival Paradise and Carnival Sensation plus on Carnival Valor, we went with another couple. (Highly recommend this! So fun!). Most recently though, we took our very first Royal Caribbean cruise: Allure of the Seas!
Before going on the cruise, I figured I would write a blog about Carnival Cruise ships vs Royal Caribbean cruise ships. However, when I stepped on Allure of the Seas for the first time, I realized that would NOT be fair.
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas is AMAZING.
Keep in mind, I love cruising and have never had a bad experience on any of my Carnival cruises, but Allure blows them all out of the water! (No pun intended.)
First, it’s HUGE.
Second, it has a Starbucks, Ben and Jerrys and Johnny Rockets. Plus a Kate Spade, Michael Kors and COACH!
Third, it has a zipline, a rock climbing wall, carousel, an ice rink and a two surf simulators.
Plus, they had a huge parade featuring Dreamworks characters like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and King Julius.
Our cruise lasted seven days, but I could have spent a month on that boat without ever getting off. It was so awesome!
In my (still somewhat limited experience), I believe there are three factors to prioritize when booking a cruise:
- The boat 2) The stops 3) The price
(There are those rare instances where all three aspects are a homerun, but most likely you’ll sacrifice somewhere.)
For us, we picked this cruise based 90% on the boat and 10% on the fact that we’d never been to Jamaica or Haiti on any of our other cruises.
We made an excellent choice.
I’ve enjoyed all of my cruises but there weren’t any particular boats I would be interested in doing again. I would definitely be interested in cruising on Allure of the Seas again.
My favorite part of the ship was the shows. They had a headliner who was a super talented ventriloquist and also two hilarious comedians. But it was Allure’s ice show that stunned. Truly the most amazing I had ever seen.
We didn’t go to their Mama Mia show because spending two hours at a play with literally an ocean outside is not my idea of a good time.
Everything is better on Royal Caribbean. BUT, there are a few places that Carnival wins.
- PRICE – This is the biggest advantage that Carnival has over Royal Caribbean. In fact when I booked Carnival Valor, I was going to try Royal then, but it was literally double the price!
- Beach towels provided in the rooms on sea day – bonus points for Carnival because Royal Caribbean makes you pick them up and drop them off from a towel station. Not a huge deal but it’s a bit of a hassle, plus the towels are raggedy on RC.
- Carnival has a laundry room with a washer, dryer and ironing board on every floor. On Royal, your only option is their expensive dry cleaning on ship. (Carnival has this option too, if you don’t want to wash and iron your own clothes.)
- The room stewards on each boat are top notch, but they make towel animals every night on Carnival instead of only a few nights a week.
- Where Royal wins with the cabin stewards is the fact that they tell you their cleaning window up front, so for instance, we knew if we didn’t leave our room by 11am, then the next cleaning window isn’t until six. This little bit of knowledge made a big difference in convenience.
- The comedians are different throughout the week on Carnival. On Royal Caribbean, the same two comedians did every single show. Not a HUGE deal because they were hilarious, but I like the variety.
Overall, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas did not disappoint. Not saying I’ll never go back to Carnival, but Allure will be impossible to beat.
TONS OF VIDEOS:
Couldn’t figure out how to embed my Flickr album (which was the entire reason for me even creating a Flickr album!) …Click here for Two Hundred More Photos!