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Just looked at the Crystal prices. YIKES!!! Yeah, I'll keep my cheap Carnival prices where I feel more at home, relaxed, and fit in. I wonder how much luggage the Crystal lady passenger's take? A bag for make-up maybe? A bag for shoes? I just watched Real Housewives of Atlanta and the ladies went to South Africa for 1 week. They all had about 10 bags each. I'm going to Hawaii for a week with one carry on!
Not to defend Carnival, but this is not really a publication that Carnival passengers would read either. It is a British publication. Obviously, P&O shows up as 'Favorite Cruise Company' in the consumer awards.
I am curious to see how Carnival would fare with publications like Travel & Leisure or Frommer's Budget Travel (no, Budget Travel is not about motel 6's etc.)
Every cruise line has its market share. I do like RCI more, just because I think their ships have a better design and passenger flow than all of Carnival's ships (except the Spirit class). As far as crew - I actually find Carnival's to be the same service wise, but friendlier. I used to like Carnival food better, but I think it is about the same now.
These also weren't "readers choice" awards, with the exception of the consumer favourites section.
Most likely voted on by editors, travel writers or travel agents. Or some combination of these.
Carnival has indeed made "the list" in a recent Conde Nast Traveler Magazine survey, albeit a different list. In the November 2011 Issue, the 2011 Readers' Choice Awards" issue, Carnival Cruise Lines (not Carnival Corp) was listed as the #4 Large Ship Cruise line (admittedly 4th out of 5 but still on the list). So some CNTraveler readers, like us, do choose and enjoy CCL.
These lists are highly subjective (like lists of "the best wines" or "year's best movies", etc), except for those ranking Charleston as top US destination of course.
CNTraveler does have an upmarket clientele but to say they are mutually exclusive with the experience that can be had on Carnival (or others) is not entirely correct.
Obviously some Conde Nast Traveler readers cruise CCL and like it enough to rank the Line #4.
We have subscribed to (and enjoyed) CN Traveler for 15 years or so and our last cruise was on Carnival. We could have chosen RCL, Princess, Disney or Celebrity but I couldn't see taking 2 teenagers on Disney or Celebrity. We'd have had a mutiny. Our teenagers wanted to cruise with lots of other teenagers, not sample caviar, stand in line or pose with some Disney character. We bypassed the RCL ships, which my kids referred to as "the ships with the surfriders", because I didn't want to be on a ship with 6,000 people. Initially, our teens were disappointed. In retrospect, they were glad. They didn't choose to stand in line 2 minutes to use the Miracle's waterslide so I do not think they would have opted to wait half an hour for a rock climbing wall or the "surfrider" on the Oasis or Allure. They wanted to socialize with teens from around the Country and have fun. We have a rock climbing walls and real surf to ride within a few minutes of our house. I would however love a tour of a megaship like the Allure but I don't think I will ever cruise her.
I think Carnival offers a fun product for an amazingly fair price and can fit into the travel mix of a broad spectrum of travelers. We chose a great cabin on Carnival over a basic cabin on RCL for less money, put our kids in their own interior cabin, and had no regrets. We'd do it again.
I think Carnival competes with RCL, NCL, DCL, & even PCL head on. All have differing strong points and weak points but there is more overlap than some might imagine.
The beauty of it is there is a vast choice for everyone that enjoys Cruises as part of their vacation mix.
CCL Fantasy (March 25, 2014)
CCL Fantasy (Nov 28, 2012)
CCL Miracle (Christmas 2011)
DCL Wonder (New Years 2005-06)
CCL Fascination (1999)
RCCL Nordic Empress (1995)
RCCL Song of Norway (1991)
CCL Jubilee (Dec 28, 1986)
CCL Holiday (Dec 28, 1985)
CCL Festivale (Jan 5, 1985)
I'm a Conde Nast and Budget Traveler subscriber who has only sailed Carnival and Royal. I don't remember being asked to take the survey/poll or see it in the magazine, but I do remember seeing the results, and asking myself where is Carnival. I agree that the potential target readers are not Conde Nast subscribers, in CN's mind or their advertisers. Everything in her is almost advertisements, and you can't go pass one page without seeing one. I usually trade in some kind of points, or do several surveys which offer magazine subscriptions as the incentive, so thats how I get my subscription.
Past Cruises: Carnival Sunshine 8/14 Carnival Breeze 8.13 Carnival Pride 3/13 Carnival Miracle 6/12 RCCL Liberty of the Seas 1/11 RCCL Explorer of the Seas 11/09 Carnival Glory 8/08 Carnival Imagination 11/06
I cruise Carnival and I also subscribe to Conde Naste Traveler magazine....have for many years
Ditto. Love Conde Nast Traveler magazine, and love my Carnival cruises.
#1 Jul 2002-Carnival Elation ... #2 Jul 2005-Carnival Conquest ... #3 Apr 2006-Carnival Victory ... #4 & 5 Apr 2007-Post-Iraq B2B on Carnival Valor ... #6 Nov 2007-Carnival Triumph ... #7, 8 & 9 Feb 2008-B2B2B on Carnival Imagination! ... #10 Platinum on Aug 2008-Holiday ... #11 Dec 2008-Carnival Triumph - my first aft wrap! ... #12 Feb 2009-Holiday ... #13 Nov 2009-Final Holiday sailing ... #14 Nov 2009-Carnival Legend (last cruise before heading to the Middle East for a year...)... #15 Dec 2010-Welcome home to me on Carnival Legend... #16 Oct 2011-Carnival Spirit ... #17 Dec 2012-Carnival Inspiration ... #18 Feb 2013-Carnival Inspiration ... #19 Mar 2013-the suite life on Norwegian Sun ... #20 Dec 2013-the suite life on Norwegian Dawn ... #21 Mar 2014-Carnival Miracle ... #22 Aug 2014-Carnival Imagination ... #23 Jan 2015-the suite life on Norwegian Sun ... #24 Mar 2015 - Norwegian Sky (Flogging Molly's Salty Dog Cruise)
For the cruises I have taken, I have found the expected match of cruise line and price of cruise to be a myth.
The next cruise I am about to book will be either Carnival Pride or Miracle, great values in September and drive-to ports for us.
In November of 2008 we sailed the RCI Freedom of the Seas in a deck 6 superior balcony for $899 pp. We didn't really shop around; we wanted to try a Freedom class ship.
In summer of '09, we shopped for the best deal on an inside passage out of Seattle. Far and away, it was a mini-suite balcony on Golden Princess in late August for $1099 pp.
Our next shop around was for January 2011 for the Caribbean. Price winner was the Holland America Eurodam balcony cabin for $799 pp. Great itinerary.
The next shop around was for Canada/New England out of NY area August 2011. That winner was the Caribbean Princess; the most expensive interior cabin for $699 pp. Along with a great price, I felt the itinerary was the best available and had five port stops.
The most recent was a Caribbean itinerary search for January 2012. We sailed the fresh out of dry dock Ruby Princess for $899 pp for the second most expensive balcony category. We found nothing else close in price for a comparable cabin and itinerary.
None of these was a guarantee; I selected the cabins at booking.
I am not plugging any line. I won't be consulting the Conde Nast list for suggestions on future cruises (I use Cruise Critic for that). We sail what we feel is best for us and can enjoy the range from a sedate Holland cruise to a spirited Carnival cruise. My only point is that some lines being categorically cheaper than others is not always the case. And for rock bottom/budget seeker prices, we have sailed (without ever knowing they were on a Conde Nast list) three of the ships on that list out of our five cruises.