Carnival Australia vs Royal Caribbean
Which top cruise line is worth cruising with, Carnival or Royal Caribbean from Australia?
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
It’s no secret that both Carnival and Royal Caribbean are two of the best and most popular cruise lines in the industry, but which cruise line is better for you?
We compared everything from price, to destinations, Wi-Fi services and onboard entertainment to see which cruise line delivered the best.
Carnival vs Royal Caribbean
|Features||Carnival Australia||Royal Caribbean||Verdict|
|Where does it sail to?||230+ destinations in these regions:||Royal Caribbean offers more cruise destinations.|
|Does it have Wi-Fi?||Yes. For a fee.||Yes, for a fee.||Both offer Wi-Fi.|
|Does it provide towels?||Yes. They can be taken ashore.||Yes.||Both cruise lines have towels included in the price onboard.|
|Contact options||Both have the same contact options.|
|Is it all-inclusive?||No.||No.||Neither cruise line is all-inclusive.|
|How much is the deposit?||Deposits range from $150-400 depending on the destination and length of the cruise.||Deposits range from $100-400 depending on the destination and length of the cruise.||Royal Caribbean offers lower deposits for 1-14 night cruises.|
|Does it have a gym?||Yes.||Yes.||Both have gyms onboard.|
|Does it have hairdryers, laundry and irons?||Yes, full laundry service, self-service laundry and irons are available on all ships. Hair dryers are available on most ships.||Yes, full laundry service is available and hair dryers are available. Irons are not available to guests.||Carnival provides more laundry services and irons to guests.|
|Does it include food?||Yes, but speciality restaurants are an additional cost.||Yes. Speciality restaurants are not included.||Both cruise lines include complimentary food options.|
|Does it have casinos?||Yes.||Yes.||Both have casinos on board.|
|Does it have an ATM?||Yes.||Yes.||Both are equipped with ATMs.|
|Does it have formal nights?||Yes. 1-day cruises have no formal nights, 2-5 day cruises have one and 6-day or longer cruises have two.||Yes. 3-5 night cruises have one formal night, 6-11 night cruises have two formal nights and 12+ night cruises have three formal nights.||Both cruise lines have formal nights.|
|How much are drinks?||Unlimited soft drinks and juices are available for $7.25 per day ($5.50 for kids). No alcoholic packages are available but individual drinks can bought on board.||Drinks packages range from USD$8.50-52.||Royal Caribbean offers alcoholic drink and coffee/tea packages, but Carnival offers cheaper soft drink packages.|
|Is it good for families?||Yes, onboard activities for kids and teens are available.||Yes. Activities are available on board for all ages.||Both cruise lines offer activities for families.|
|Does it have child care?||Yes. Children must be registered for the onboard programs a minimum of 24 hours before departure.||Yes. Youth programs and sitters are available at sea.||Royal Caribbean offers babysitting services, Carnival does not.|
|Does it have virtual balconies?||No.||Yes.||Only Royal Caribbean offers virtual balconies.|
|Does it have a waterslide?||Yes.||Yes, on select ships.||Carnival has waterslides on all ships.|
|Does it have a promenade?||Yes.||Yes.||Both cruise lines have promenades.|
|Does it have free room service?||No.||No.||Neither cruise line offers free room service.|
|What are my payment options?||Carnival offers more payment options.|
|Can I price match?||Yes. If a lower price is found within 2 days of booking Carnival will refund 110% of the price difference in the form of onboard credit.||Yes. Royal Caribbean will honour a cheaper price if found within 48 hours of booking. 110% of the price difference will be refunded in the form of onboard credit.||Both cruise lines offer the same price matching restrictions.|
|Does it allow for cancellations/changes?||Yes, however fees may apply.||Yes. Depending on how far in advance changes or cancellations are made you may receive 100% of your deposit back.||Changes or cancellations can be made to bookings on both cruise lines.|
|How much are airport transfers to the departure port?||$20 each way.||Prices vary. Contact the liner direct.||Both offer airport to departure terminal transfers.|
|How much are gratuities?||Tips are accepted but not required.||Automatic gratuity is USD$13.50 (USD$16.50 for suite guests) and is applied daily for guests of all ages to the SeaPass account.||Carnival does not have automatic gratuities.|
|Has a ship ever sunk?||No.||No.||Neither cruise line has had a ship sink.|
Who offers the best price?
We found similar cruises leaving from Sydney and exploring New Zealand for 10 nights in March to compare prices from both Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean.
The verdict? When it comes to price there is no comparison. Carnival Australia offers the same length of cruise for over $700 cheaper.
Is this cruise line good?
We took a look at what awards each cruise line received and what guests had to say to determine which cruise line has better customer feedback on Cruise Critic.
Carnival was awarded best service and best value for money in 2017 while Royal Caribbean was awarded best cabins, best entertainment and best for families in 2017. When it comes to reviews both cruise lines have the same ratings for excellent, good, average, poor and terrible but Royal Caribbean has more reviews overall.
What are the deals like?
We compared some of each cruise lines top deals to find out which one has better sales.
We found that Carnival Australia has better deals for shorter cruises such as 3-day samplers that start from $359 whereas Royal Caribbean starts at $599. But for longer cruises that are 7-nights or longer Royal Caribbean starts with prices as low as $699 and Carnival starts at $949 for cruises to New Caledonia.
Top Carnival and Royal Caribbean deals
More guides on Finder
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra brings great cameras and fast performance, but for most folks the regular Note 20 may be the smarter option.
Samsung Galaxy A71 review
Samsung boils down the essential greatest hits of its flagship Galaxy lines into the Galaxy A71.
Airlines, cruises and tours waive change and cancellation fees due to coronavirus [Updated]
Qantas, Virgin Australia, Royal Caribbean and Contiki are among those letting you change your travel plans for free.
Cruise lines that have cancelled services due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
See all the cruise lines that have cancelled their trips and find out how passengers will be refunded.
Save up to 40% off and enjoy free upgrades with Royal Caribbean
EXPIRED: Plus score up to US$300 to spend onboard how ever you like.
Royal Caribbean Australia Day sale has up to 40% off guests
EXPIRED: Also get up to US$400 onboard spending credit in the Royal Caribbean Australia Day sale.
Get 40% off Royal Caribbean cruises
Sail Australia, the Pacific, Europe and Asia with Royal Caribbean.
Sail away with 50% off deposits on Carnival Cruises
EXPIRED: Kick start the new year with Carnival Cruises Fun Resolution sale.
5 of the best Boxing Day cruise deals of 2019 to sail away on
Score everything from 2-for-1 sailings to up to US$400 in onboard credit.
Get up to 40% off your next cruise with Royal Caribbean
EXPIRED: Your next cruise awaits with Royal Caribbean's latest offer.
Ask an Expert