Discover Exclusive Offers and Special Deals on MSC Cruise Deals
Find a cruise and book cruises direct - no booking fee!


Carnival Cruise Vs. Royal Caribbean: What's the Difference?

Cruise Comparison: Carnival Cruise vs Royal Caribbean Cruise. Learn about ship size, activities, dining, pricing, and destinations to pick your dream cruise adventure.

By Cruise Booking Team

Book A Cruise Now

Carnival Cruise and Royal Caribbean both are renowned names in the industry and are known to offer exciting and adventurous experiences for their passengers.

The Carnival Cruise derives its overall theme from the name itself and is known to offer exhilarating and fun activities that are bound to keep you busy all day. The cruise offers water slides, bars and lounges, and brewery tours! They also feature pool and hot tub facilities to ensure that you have somewhere to relax after a long day of fun. Carnival caters to all age groups easily and has various activities and spaces on board that cater to different age groups as well.

Royal Caribbean, on the other hand, features a theme that is more suitable for passengers who would like to experience a more regal vacation. It is a global cruise line that is known to provide diverse itineraries and have high-tech features available onboard to ensure that passengers have a hassle-free experience. The activities available on Royal Caribbean are equally fun-filled, are more along the lines of extravagance, and feature a more exclusive and fine dining experience.

Both cruise lines are commendable and have established their brand in the market, taking into account their specialty offerings and working on only providing the best to all travelers. Due to their great reputation, it can be a bit hard to analyze the difference to understand which choice suits you better, but don’t worry, we’re here to help and provide you with a simplified list of factors that can be used to draw a comparison between the two cruise lines.

Differences between Carnival Cruise and Royal Caribbean Cruise

An image of a comparison between a Carnival cruise and a Royal Caribbean cruise
Photo Courtesy: Pixabay and Royal Caribbean International

Things like the ship’s size, fleet size, generalized passenger capacity, and amenities can also play a crucial factor in deciding which cruise line fits your tastes and needs better. Listed below, you’ll be able to find a simplified list of all these differences to help provide you with better insight into which cruise to choose from on your next vacation:

1. Ship Size and Overall Design:

Both cruise lines have a large variety of ships available for you to choose from, ranging from older versions to many newer and more advanced versions as well. Still, if these are compared, Royal Caribbean has the largest available ships in its fleet. Royal Caribbean’s largest ship, Wonder of the Seas, sizes up at about 1,200 feet with a passenger capacity of over 5,700 guests at double occupancy. In comparison, Carnival’s largest ship, Carnival Celebration, does not fall short either, as it stands at 1,150 feet with a passenger capacity of 5,200 passengers at double occupancy.

2. Activities and Events available Onboard:

Both cruises offer a large variety of activities and events that are always going to keep you engaged all day long. Comedy shows, live music events, live game shows, as well as vibrant casino nights.

Comparing both, Royal Caribbean has more extravagant additions on their ships, with some of the latest ships having bumper cars, escape rooms, and even the world’s largest water slide at sea. Another unique mention of The Royal Caribbean is the Aqua Theater shows aboard the Oasis-class ships. Carnival’s options remain more on the classic side, such as jogging tracks, fitness gyms, mini golf areas, and more. Casinos are one of the most popular parts of Carnival cruises and are available on all ships operating under the Carnival cruise company.

3. Dining Options:

The cuisine options aboard any cruise make or break the overall experience. Carnival and Royal Caribbean both provide only the best and highest-quality dining options for their passengers. Royal Caribbean features main dining rooms, buffet rooms, and more. These options vary from ship to ship, but they provide a lot of variety, such as American, Asian, and even Italian.

Carnival cruises also feature similar dining options, though they have a larger number of dining options that are complementary and are billed as part of the base cruise fare only. One notable mention that Carnival cruises are known for is Guy’s Burger Joint, where you can get a tasty fresh-grilled burger with seasoned fries. This restaurant is also available in an Italian version.

4. Destinations:

Both cruises have a large list of itineraries available for passengers to choose from. Carnival Cruises provides a more limited option, putting a major focus on The United States, as well as certain trips around the European region. Royal Caribbean, though, offers a more global list of destinations. Ranging from the USA to Asia and Europe, you will be able to find a large variety of cruises exploring various parts of the world.

5. Overall Pricing:

Both Carnival as well as Royal Caribbean offer pocket-friendly cruising options for travelers all around and are known for their large variety of packages, amenities, as well as itineraries. The overall cost, though, is always dependent on person to person; factors like what they require from their package, the destinations, and the class of the ship play an important role in deciding the overall pricing.

On average, the lowest cost you can find on Carnival is approximately $200 to 300 dollars per person, whereas, on the more expensive side, it can cost up to almost 1000 dollars per person. For Royal Caribbean, the lowest pricing falls within the range of $300 to 500 dollars per person, while on the higher end, it falls around $1000 to 1200 dollars per person. Of course, this cost can vary, depending on any extra costs that might be incurred by the passengers while on cruise.

Also, Check: The Difference between Star of the Seas Vs. Icon of the Seas


In conclusion, Carnival Cruise and Royal Caribbean both offer distinct experiences catering to different preferences and audiences. Carnival focuses on fun and excitement with a wide range of activities and is more suitable for families looking for budget-friendly options. Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean provides a more luxurious and regal experience with diverse itineraries and high-tech features that are suitable for all age groups.

Tags: cruise lines

How Much Are Gratuities on MSC Ships?

Explore MSC Cruise Itineraries MSC Cruises are provided by a European family-owned company and are known for their high-class and regal-themed cruises. They’re based in Switzerland [...]

June 20, 2024

What Is Included on the Norwegian Prima?

Book Norwegian Prima Cruise A cruise is an unforgettable journey with passengers enjoying the opportunity to visit many destinations while simultaneously experiencing luxury services and [...]

March 22, 2024

Are Honeymoon Cruise Packages All-Inclusive?

Book Cruises Now Would you like a romantic vacation with your loved one right after your wedding? Cruises for honeymoon offers a tempting alternative for the newlyweds looking for adventure, [...]

February 26, 2024

How Much Does a Massage Cost on a Cruise?

Book Cruises Now Do you also wonder about a soothing massage onboard while sailing the high seas? If so, what is the price of a massage on a cruise? The cost can range from Swedish massages to hot [...]

February 26, 2024

Our cruise experts will help you to plan your perfect cruise vacation!
phone number with country code (hyphen allowed)
0 / 500

Cruise Inquiry