CARNIVAL VS DCL: The discussion and comparison thread!

mevelandry

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
We are still on our Adventure of the Seas cruise and my husband is having a little nap...

Some of you were curious about Mr. Sanchos. We arrived very early in the morning (8:15) and I think we were the first people there. It was very quiet until 11:00... But even when most tables and chairs were taken, it was still reasonably crowded and the service was still great.

The water was amazing. Unfortunately, I got stung by jellyfishes --it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined) but the staff told me it happens after a rainy night (and god knows the sea had been very choppy all night)... The sand is a bit rough but you'll find all kinds of sea shell if you are into that.

The poom was clean and the water was nice.

You get lockers and kayak rental for free if you leave a deposit.

It's all inclusive and I booked in advance. The food was good. The drinks were great. The staff was absolutely amazing. The palapas and palm trees provide comfort and shade.

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Dallas_Lady

I only work for the vacation money
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
We're going to be at Mr. Sanchos on March 5- it's now sold out for that day so I'm a little worried that it will feel super crowded. But with 7 :eek: ships in port, that's just the way it is.

Good to hear that the water was nice! I was worried that it would be a little chilly in early March. What did you do about the jellyfish sting? Does it knock you out of commision for the day?
 

belle032

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
@mevelandry Thank you so much for the Mr. Sanchos photos and quick review! We'll be there in 2 weeks and it's nice to see positive things being said about a place when you're going in blind. Looks beautiful! That's horrible about the jellyfish though, I hope you're OK!!

So other than the jellyfish, I hope you're having a wonderful time!
 

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  • mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    We're going to be at Mr. Sanchos on March 5- it's now sold out for that day so I'm a little worried that it will feel super crowded. But with 7 :eek: ships in port, that's just the way it is.

    Good to hear that the water was nice! I was worried that it would be a little chilly in early March. What did you do about the jellyfish sting? Does it knock you out of commision for the day?
    We had 7 ships in port today and it was okay.

    Regarding the jellyfish sting, it's crazy... I entered in the water and within 10 seconds, BAM!

    I talked to the barman and he sent someone pick up vinegar for me. It worked like a charm and provided fast relief. (I went out swimming again and then I got two more... Yikes! Thankfully I still had the glass of vinegar so I treat them right away). As you can imagine, I stuck to the pool after that. ;)
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    @mevelandry Thank you so much for the Mr. Sanchos photos and quick review! We'll be there in 2 weeks and it's nice to see positive things being said about a place when you're going in blind. Looks beautiful! That's horrible about the jellyfish though, I hope you're OK!!

    So other than the jellyfish, I hope you're having a wonderful time!
    Thank you. I'm okay. Thankfully I am not allergic to it and did not get a severe reaction from it. I was surprised by how fast the vinegar brought me some relief.
     

    we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    We are still on our Adventure of the Seas cruise and my husband is having a little nap...

    Some of you were curious about Mr. Sanchos. We arrived very early in the morning (8:15) and I think we were the first people there. It was very quiet until 11:00... But even when most tables and chairs were taken, it was still reasonably crowded and the service was still great.

    The water was amazing. Unfortunately, I got stung by jellyfishes --it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined) but the staff told me it happens after a rainy night (and god knows the sea had been very choppy all night)... The sand is a bit rough but you'll find all kinds of sea shell if you are into that.

    The poom was clean and the water was nice.

    You get lockers and kayak rental for free if you leave a deposit.

    It's all inclusive and I booked in advance. The food was good. The drinks were great. The staff was absolutely amazing. The palapas and palm trees provide comfort and shade.

    View attachment 465564View attachment 465560View attachment 465561View attachment 465562View attachment 465563View attachment 465565View attachment 465567
    Wow, looks beautiful!
     

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  • we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    We are back from our first Carnival cruise, so some thoughts on that versus our Disney ones.
    First, would we go with Carnival again? Yes, though not a strong one.
    Second, we did have the soda package as we like soda with our meals. It was a pain to have to get it from the bar, which the bar tenders were not as keen to fill our orders as no extra tip for them and a low cost sale, when not in the dining room.
    Third, we found the food way too bland, and think the cooks had many more misses than hits, then we ever remembered Disney having many more hits than misses in the dining room.
    Fourth, was a tie for waiters and room host. We found them to be as nice as the ones Disney had, and we hugged our room guy, he was so great.

    Lastly, yeah the decor was too dark for us, and I found some of the decor of the Legend gaudy. But the cabins were nice, lots of storage, and we did not miss the bathroom set up Disney has.

    And a final comment. Did what we paid for the cruise, it was within our budget. Sadly, we would pick Disney every time, but even with last minute military rates, our budget was not large enough.

    And most interesting, no real difference in guests, some rude, but very few drunks we saw. And there were many bars.
    We’ve never purchased the soda package on Carnival but having to get the soda from the bar would drive me crazy! If you do carnival again, you might want to pick up soda on the way to port. You can put it in your room refrigerator. Did you try their fast food options (hamburgers, tacos, deli, pizza)? Those are our favorite. But we also find the dining room food to be quite good overall. I do think it is hard to go from Disney to another line. For us, the price difference was just so huge that it was worth it. On our first carnival cruise we paid about 6k (one balcony, one inside) for an 8 night southern on the vista. A 7 night on disney fantasy for the same week was about 11k (2 inside rooms). Also, the jump to balconies with carnival was huge for us. I would probably pick dcl over carnival also if money was no object, but surprisingly my kids would pick carnival. Lol. And they love Disney. We are dvc, so we are very much on the Disney cool-aid.
     

    we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    Off topic question. Do you go to DL often? Which fast pass system do you like better? I’m debating going again last time was 2011. I’ve gotten so used to making fast passes in advance Im not sure how to handle the crowds at DL.. I feel like I can’t ride anything at WDW without a FP the standby lines have gotten so ridiculous.
    What hotel do you stay at? Thanks
    We don’t go as often now as we used to. The last few years it’s only been once a year, but we were annual pass holders for several years. I really hate the new FP system, I was much happier when we just went and got paper tickets throughout the day. This new system of paying extra to have electronic access as soon as you walk in the park bothers me. Case in point, our first day there we arrived about 9:30 AM, at the point the first FP time for Space Mountain was already 10:00 PM, Indiana Jones was 10:30 PM.

    Luckily, we’ve been enough that the attractions aren’t as important as they used to be, we have a ton of fun people watching and grazing the food stands. We did wait about 2 hours for Guardians of the Galaxy, I have to do that every time we’re there.

    We are very loyal to Hilton properties so we always stay at the Homewood Suites near the convention center buts right next to the Toy Story parking lot so we just walk into the lot and take the Disney busses to the park. They have a great breakfast every morning and an evening reception with decent food and free beer and wine Monday - Thursday. We try to go back to the hotel late afternoon to take a nap, have dinner and then head back to the parks. We sometimes stay on property but with two teenagers the one bedroom suite at Homewood is much better for us. We also like having the included breakfast downstairs that we can go to whenever we want. There is another Homewood about 1 mile further away that we used to stay at before this new one was built. It’s not as convenient but still is a decent property. The Residence Inn and Embassy Suites in that area are good too. For us, it really is all about the included breakfast, the fact that we can all eat whenever we want is huge for us
    We also prefer the old fastpass system. We have been to DL 2x now— last time was summer of 2018- and find the paper fastpass system to be much easier. We are going back again this summer for a couple of days because we are leaving out of Long Beach on the panorama.
     
  • mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    Ok, since Carnival will not release dates for Bermuda (from NYC) in 2021 and RCCL's deposit was pretty high... We have a Norwegian Joy booking on hold for October 2021... A bit more expensive than we wanted to pay initially BUT the ship is departing from Manhattan which is ideal since we'll travel with my in-laws --we have to make transportation as short as possible with them-- and we'd get a 50$ credit on excursions.

    To be continued...
     

    belle032

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2011
    Ok, since Carnival will not release dates for Bermuda (from NYC) in 2021 and RCCL's deposit was pretty high... We have a Norwegian Joy booking on hold for October 2021... A bit more expensive than we wanted to pay initially BUT the ship is departing from Manhattan which is ideal since we'll travel with my in-laws --we have to make transportation as short as possible with them-- and we'd get a 50$ credit on excursions.

    To be continued...
    Exciting! I'm tentatively looking at the Norwegian Bliss (I think Bliss & Joy are sister ships?) for Alaska. Definitely 2021 and most likely September/October. It's so hard to branch out but I really want a ship that's "built" for Alaska and I don't think Carnival, Disney or RCL really offer that. Also have my eye on Princess, but leaning towards NCL at the moment.
     


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