nervous about first time on Carnival

My family has cruised before (7 day Princess and 5 day Royal Carribbean) but never before on Carnival. I'll admit the only reason we chose Carnival this time is the price. It was A LOT cheaper than the others BUT we are optimistic and I think it's going to be great! Has anyone else cruised on another cruise line before? How does it compare? Are there any major differences? What can you tell me about the ports (Belize, Mahogany Bay Isla Roatan, Cozumel, Grand Cayman)? I'm speficically interested in a few things but any info would be great!
Excursions? Any we NEED to do at any of those ports?
Is there an unlimited pop/soda card or cup?
Can you bring your own pop on board?
Can you fill up your own bottle at buffets or water stations?
Are buffets 24 hrs?
Is burger joint, wok, taco bar, coffee shop, and candy shop extra?


Well-Known Member
Carnival and Royal Caribbean are very similar. Carnival has water slides instead of rock climbing walls. The passengers and the activities on both are very similar. I have been on Carnival eight times (with two more booked), I've been on Royal Caribbean seven times (with one more booked), I've been on Princess once (with one more booked) and NCL twice.

On Carnival tips are automatically charged to your room account.

On Roatan Victor Bodden Tours is very popular - Victor Bodden - Bodden Tours - Roatan Tours and Roatan Excursions - Roatan Honduras
On Cozumel Chankanaab is very popular - Chankanaab Park, Cozumel Mexico
On Grand Cayman Stingray City is very popular - Stingray City, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Stingray City & Cayman snorkel tours, Cayman Islands

Yes, Carnival offers an unlimited soda card.

Carnival does not have a Johnny Rockets, it does have a pool side grill and the hamburgers are free.


Active Member
No need to be nervous. Which ship are you going on? They vary in offerings.

Each person can carry on up to a 12 pack of Soda.

The Buffets are not open 24 hours, however the Pizza Place and Room Service are until late the last night of the cruise. These are included in your Cruise Fare with No Extra Charge.



Forum Manager
Staff member
Well I'm going to get into this too. Looking at an AK cruise on the Carnival Spirit ... and any info compared to other ships anyone may have been on.


Community Manager
Staff member
Was on Spirit to mexico first of last year, but the entire ship except for our cabin steward was having a bad hair week


I'm on Island Time
Staff member
Hi Bob, I spent 8 nights aboard the Spirit and loved the ship. Its very ornate and Carnivals Spirit class is currently my favorite of the Carnival Ships. The ship is modern and personal at only 90K GRT's and nothing is too big. Its comparable to a Radiance Class, Zuiderdam in size and feel. Zuideram "class" share the exact same hull actually. It has allot of outside cabins.

To talk about Carnival compared to the other lines, they really offer an amazing value for the money. I have had better food and entertainment aboard Carnival than some other lines. The ships can vary,so its hard to compare all carnival ships to each other. The newest ship might be a bog difference compared to the oldest ship in the fleet, just like any line. Some lines try to have all ships look and feel the same but, carnival is alittle more unique with their themed areas. Which they are getting away from with their new ships btw. The overall cruise experience is the same on all the lines, but you find differences on the interiors, some have fancy artwork, yacht like interiors and different feels. Carnival has its own look and feel... I didn't know what to expect on my first Carnival cruise, its different but, just like anything good it has its own flavor and its very enjoyable.


Well-Known Member
we had a wonderful time on both carnival and rccl. we have cruised about 21 times most on rccl but several on carnival and enjoyed both. we always traveled with our children but now they don't want to go wth us anymore. its so sad. love both soda cards are available on carnival also.