Updated May 2019


Since the loss of Ocean Village to the world of cruising, we have heard many accounts about the popular cruise line being missed by many. Ocean Village offered a British-style cruise, but in a very informal and relaxed way and with great sun-filled destinations.

Ever since the decision to close down the cruise line, her former — and loyal — passengers have been looking for a replacement. Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises and Marella Cruises have all been offered as good alternatives, which they are, but we've heard that they still seem to be missing something.


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Royal Caribbean and P&O Cruises' ships are much bigger those in the Ocean Village fleet, with the popular Symphony of the Seas carrying more than 5,000 passengers, and P&O Britannia catering for over 3,600. Both cruise lines offer a great choice of formal and informal dining and entertainment and great itineraries, but Ocean Village's ships were completely informal, a lot more casual, smaller and due to all of this, often much cheaper.

Marella Cruises have also made an effort to give the Ocean Village customers a good alternative, and with their casual British-style cruising, relaxed approach and similar 3* standards, you would think they'd be a great fit. But with slightly older ships and their own atmosphere onboard, they too haven't quite captured Ocean Village's loyal fans' attention.

So, after looking at just what this well-loved cruise line could offer, and comparing it to what's on the market today, we think Carnival Cruises could have the answer. While yes they undeniably offer American-style cruising, their modern fleet, fun-filled ships, and reasonable prices could be just the ticket.


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At 2,100 passengers, Carnival Legend is larger than the 1,600 passenger Ocean Village 1 and the 1,700 passenger Ocean Village 2, but Carnival Legend is also 15 years younger than Ocean Village 1. This ship has been one of Carnival's long-standing favourites, taking families to destinations all over and providing memories to  last a lifetime. Carnival Cruise Line offer a similar level of service and style of holiday to Ocean Village, just on a larger scale, with 29 ships carrying from 2,000 to 3,500+ passengers onboard. They offer flexible dining, the dress code is resort casual — so not quite shorts and t-shirts for dinner, but relaxed nonetheless — though there are usually a couple of formal nights onboard, where you can break into anything from shirt and tie, to a full tuxedo or cocktail dress if you wish. Having said this, if putting a tie or dress on isn't quite up your street, there are casual dining venues to choose from, such as the 24 hour pizzeria or the Lido buffet.

Carnival Cruises' ships are perfect for your family holiday, boasting plenty of differently themed lounges, indoor and outdoor promenades, and generous children's play area. Throw in a couple of pools, plenty of evening entertainment — from comedy nights or musicians in the Red Frog pub, to full blown productions in the theatre — a fantastic kids programme and all the amenities you would expect onboard a mid-sized ship.


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The prices onboard with Carnival Cruises are great value too. Just to give you a idea, a bottle of Miller or Budweiser will set you back $5 (about £4 at the time of writing), while a 16oz (just shy of a pint) of Guinness or Grolsch will set you back $6 (around £4.75) and a can of soft drink will cost you about $2 (about £1.60). These prices may not be as cheap as your local, but compared to city centre or resort prices they are pretty good value.

So while Carnival ships may be American, a little larger, a little louder, and offer a lot more choice, we think they are about as close to Ocean Village ships as we think you can find. The newer vessels mean spas, greater cabin selection, and better facilities, though you may have to put on a shirt and tie once or twice for dinner. Browse our range of Carnival Cruise Line cruises and start thinking about your next family adventure.