We have also done 13 Carnival cruises (14th in Feb.), but have been on 10 others with Norwegian, Celebrity and RCCL. So far we prefer Carnival in general----but they all have their good points. The only problem for us with NCL at this point is the "open seating". We usually travel alone and welcome the experiance of meeting and getting to know others at our table for the entire cruise---AND having the same wait staff. With the current NCL seating you will meet more people, but not really get to know them and the wait staff will not get to know your likes. However, I absolutely agree that the itinerary is the primary concern. We will be on an RCCL ship for a Transatlantic in October---because we much preffered its itinerary over that of the Magic's.
P.S. Love that white jacket and red shirt combo!! Looks somewhat familiar!!