RCI RD Exterior

Carnival Cruise Lines vs. Royal Caribbean

Posted May 9th, 2016

If bigger is better, then these two cruise lines are on top of the cruising ladder – Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International are renowned for their mega-size ships that are jam-packed full of innovative facilities, chic décor, mouth-watering restaurants and of course, friendly service. But when it comes to family-friendly cruising, how do these two industry giants fare against each other?

Make the most of your family holiday and pick the right cruise line for you


Carnival boasts a number of accommodation options that can comfortably sleep four people, and can also offer guests the opportunity to book interconnecting rooms (accessible through a common door) if they need more beds. This means it’s easy for families to stay together whether they opt for an interior, ocean view or balcony stateroom. You can even connect the luxurious suites.

Similarly, Royal Caribbean also has four main categories of staterooms that can be interconnected (depending on availability). However, Royal Caribbean also offers the Royal Family Suite: a two-bedroom stateroom that can sleep up to 8 people in pure luxury.


Both cruise lines visit a variety of exciting destinations as part of their itineraries from Australia. Carnival’s selection includes select ports in New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu, North Queensland, Tasmania, and other areas around the South Pacific. Likewise, Royal Caribbean travels to these areas, but also includes New Zealand on its charter.

Plan the best family holiday School Holiday Cruising – Tips For Choosing The Right Cruise

Always stay in touch Stay Connected at Sea: Wi-Fi On Board

On Board Activities

This is where the competition really heats up – both cruise lines boast a range of exciting and unique activities to tempt passengers. Many of these are included in your initial cruise fare, but there may be some activities at an extra charge and not all activities will be available on each ship. The top facilities for each company include:


  • WaterWorks Water Park
  • Serenity Adults-Only Retreat
  • Swimming Pools
  • Mini Golf
  • Green Thunder Waterslide
  • Video Arcade
  • Internet Café
  • Dive-In Movie Theatre
  • Playlist Productions
  • Fitness Centre & Classes.

An aerial view of Carnival Magic

Royal Caribbean

  • RipCord by iFLY®
  • FlowRider® Surf Simulator
  • North Star Viewing Capsule
  • SeaPlex Indoor Active Space
  • Zip Line
  • Rock Climbing
  • Vitality Fitness Centre & Classes
  • Ice Skating
  • Mini Golf
  • Vitality Spa℠
  • Adults-Only Solarium.

Royal Caribbean's FlowRider®

In addition to these, both cruise lines have fantastic children’s facilities and programs that keep the little ones entertained so mum and dad can enjoy some grown-up fun! On Royal Caribbean, kids will get to enjoy the line’s partnership with Dreamworks. The Dreamworks Experience includes meet and greets with the studio’s iconic characters, themed mealtimes, exclusive shows and access to Dreamworks movies. Meanwhile, Carnival passengers will be joined on board by Dr Seuss’ kooky characters with the Seuss at Sea program. As part of their package, guests can tuck into a Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast and other fun activities such as arts & crafts, character parades, and interactive story times for a truly special holiday experience.


Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean have an assortment of fresh and interesting dining options. As well as the classic dining room, Carnival boasts Guy’s Burger Join, Pizza Pirate, Bluelguana Cantina, The Chef’s Table, Bonsai Sushi, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que and of course, a specialised kids’ menu – plus more!

Carnival Chefs presenting delicious lobster tail

On the other hand, Royal Caribbean offers Chic Restaurant, Silk Asian Restaurant, Jamie’s Italian, Michael’s Genuine Pub, Park Café, Windjammer and many other delectable options.

The Verdict

In the end, both Carnival and Royal Caribbean are great options for family cruises. Both lines offer stateroom options to accommodate big family groups, they visit similar destinations, the variety of on board activities is exciting and fun and there is a dining option to suit everyone on either line. Which one is better? We’ll let you decide for yourself!

For even more information on these amazing cruise lines or to book your next family getaway, call us on 1300 954 661 today.

Set sail on a dream holiday with Cruiseabout



Cruise Specialist

  Absolutely nobody in Australia knows more about cruising than Cruiseabout. With close to 30,000 nights on ships all across the globe, our consultants’ extensive experience and passion for cruising is unequaled. We're here to share the joys of cruising holidays with more Australians and invite them into our world - because we love cruising!

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