CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
Carnival is the “every cruiser's” line, appealing to a broad spectrum of vacationers who share one common trait: They all want a crazy-fun escape without going bankrupt. The combination of Carnival's sizable fleet (25 ships), emphasis on popular destinations (Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico) and dedication to accessible three- to seven-night itineraries translates to low prices and frequent deals.
Time it right, and a cruise could cost you less than if you'd stayed home -- say, $30 to $50 per person, per night. Carnival keeps its cabins simple, with plenty of standard insides and outsides, and does not go overboard with fee-extra venues on-board. For the lowest fares, avoid holiday periods and peak seasons (especially school vacations).
CRUISE LINE PROFILE
Established: 1972 No. of Ships: 23
Most Popular Itineraries: Caribbean (All areas)
Style: Party, couples, family
Known For: Economical cruise adventures, catering to all ages with a good variety of activities, excitement and entertainment. Top choice for "first-timers."
Activity Highlights: Some ships may quiet down before midnight, but nightlife on these vessels lasts into the morning. Drop-off kid programming starts at age 2 (most start at 3), allowing parents to take a night off.
Food Highlights: The 24-hour pizza and (on some ships) the Indian food in the buffet Lido deck restaurants and the new (complimentary) burgers by Food Network’s Guy Fieri.