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Carnival Australia vs Royal Caribbean

Which top cruise line is worth cruising with, Carnival or Royal Caribbean from Australia?

Updated

Fact checked

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

FeaturesCarnival AustraliaRoyal CaribbeanVerdict
Where does it sail to?
  • Asia
  • Pacific Islands
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Honolulu
230+ destinations in these regions:
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Transpacific
  • Asia
  • Dubai/Emirates
  • Europe
  • Transatlantic
  • Canada/New England
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Alaska
  • Honolulu
  • South Pacific
  • Panama Canal
  • Bermuda
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
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Email
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?
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Diner’s Club
  • Debit
  • Direct payment
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Diner’s Club
  • Discover
  • Optima
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.

Carnival:


c-vs-c-1

Royal Caribbean:


c-vs-c-2

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.

The verdict?

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

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Groupon Groupon

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Groupon Groupon

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Skyscanner Skyscanner
FLASH SALE

Jetstar sale: Australia-wide flights from $59 each way

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Extra 10% off Australia activities with code

Valid on all dates on activities like skydiving, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, cruises, tours and more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

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Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

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$20 off Australia rentals

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 63% off domestic activities

Available on select dates and activities like skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, off road v8 race buggies, scuba diving, whale watching, bridge climbing and much more. T&Cs apply.

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Trip.com Trip.com

Domestic flights from $69 each way

Available on flights from September - October 2020 with Fly Pelican. Destinations include Ballina, Cobar, Canberra and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Newcastle.

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Up to 60% off Australia-wide stays + Extra 8% off with code

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Europcar Europcar

Up to 20% off Australia and New Zealand rentals

Available on select dates until 15 December 2020. Rental must be for 2 days or more and booked 21 days in advance. T&Cs apply.

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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

Free room upgrade on sailings

Available on select cruises from December 2020 - September 2022. Destinations include Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Norfolk Island and more. T&Cs apply.

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Extra $10 off site-wide with code

Valid on all dates, including over Christmas, on activities like skydiving, quad biking, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, scuba diving, cruises and more. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.

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Europcar Europcar

$1/day one-way car hire in Australia

Valid on select dates for select car hire in Australia. Destinations updated regularly.

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Airbnb Airbnb

Gold Coast stays from $49/night

Available on select stay dates from June 2020 onward. Sample accommodation is in Surfers Paradise. T&Cs apply.

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Hotels.com Hotels.com

Extra 8% off on hotel bookings

Save on hotel stays before 31 December 2020 in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Fiji, Thailand, Singapore, USA and more. Available at select hotels.

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DiDi DiDi
Exclusive

Get $20 credit

Get $5 off each of your first four rides in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Perth and Newcastle. Valid on all dates for new users. T&Cs apply.

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Airbnb Airbnb

New Zealand stays from $30/night

Available on select dates from July onward for Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch stays. T&Cs apply.

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Airbnb Airbnb

Melbourne stays from $50/night

Available on select stay dates from June 2020 onward. Sample accommodation is in Melbourne Central Business District. T&Cs apply.

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Refer a friend and get $25 Airbnb credit

Give a friend $50 toward their first stay and get $25 credit for yourself toward a future booking.

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Europcar Europcar

Up to 20% off base rate

Available on rentals until 15 December 2020 in Australia and New Zealand. Pick up on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday required to avail offer. T&Cs apply

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Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to 15% off last minute trips

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Europe, UK, the Middle East, Argentina, India, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Africa and more. T&Cs apply.

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Otel.com Otel.com

Extra 9% off hotel bookings

Valid on select hotel stays worldwide like Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand, USA, Europe and more on all dates, including over holidays like Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Some restrictions apply.

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Up to 20% off car hire

Compare car hire prices on Rentalcars.com and save up to 20% compared to booking direct.

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Available on select 2020 dates across Australia on experiences including wine tasting, cooking classes, cheese making, high tea, cocktail making and more. Minimum spend of $80 applies. T&Cs apply.

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Available on rentals until 18 December 2020 in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

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Available on select dates until 13 March 2021 for a 2-hour nighttime climb. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.

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Get fast-tracked entry to select attractions like Tower of London, Tower Bridge Exhibition, London Zoo and London Bridge Experience with your pass. T&Cs apply.

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Book a 90-minute sampler BridgeClimb in Sydney for up to $134 less than the price of the full-length experience. T&Cs apply.

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Available on select dates for experiences like tours, zoo and wildlife interactions, hot air balloon flights, skydiving and more. Destinations include Sydney, Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $100 required. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 60% off express deals

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Popular Travel coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
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Popular Cruises coupon codes

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