Norwegian is very similar to Royal Caribbean. They spend more than the other cruise lines on entertainment - both lines have licensed Broadway shows on some of their ships as well as other shows that are head and shoulders above the rest, both have multiple extra-fee dining venues that serve excellent food, and the ambiance aboard is similar. Norwegian has no designated formal nights and it is perfectly fine to go to dinner in most restaurants wearing shorts. They do have a minimal dress code for some dining rooms where collared shirts, pants, and closed toe shoes are required, such as the Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian restaurants on Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway.
I am a Diamond Plus loyalty member with Royal, but after my recent cruise on Norwegian Getaway, I have to admit, I was highly impressed with Norwegian and they will be getting more of my money.
Dave, so your saying I can eat in main dining room with my shorts and collared shirt? I am looking at sailing to europe and NCL is one of the lines I'm looking at. Do you know if they have different dress codes for Europe than the Caribbean?
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NCL is freestyle everywhere, so it shouldn't matter in Europe. As I said, shorts are okay for dinner wear in most restaurants. They do stipulate those venues where shorts are okay in the freestyle daily program. I 'think' the aft main dining rooms require pants but not the other main dining rooms. For example, on the Getaway the Taste and Savor allowed shorts at dinner but the Tropicana was slacks and shirt. I'll have to look at my junk from the cruise and see.
NCL is very similar to RCCL. Food is okay in the main dining room, but much better in the specialty restaurants. Entertainment is good and their newer ships are getting some great reviews.
Just make sure you don't book directly with the cruise line because if you have any problems, who do you think they represent? Use an agent because if you have any problems, they work for you. Plus, they can often get better rates and some amenities not being offered by the cruise line. And if they have been to the ports, they can offer information the cruise line can't/won't provide. Lastly, if you want to compare prices & amenities, you have to call both cruise lines and try to put all the information together, whereas an agent will be able to give you everything with one phone call.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
Does anyone have feedback on NCL? Are they similar at all to RC? Just got quote from NCL and the pricing was considerable more attractive than RC. Makes me scared. thanks for any feedback.
Don't be scared. We have sailed RCCL, etc. and NCL is our favorite. Love the crew and the many options for food and entertainment. We don't like being told what to wear, when and where to eat and dining with the same folks every night, so we love the Freestyle concept. I can wear a cocktail dress to dinner or dress more casually as the mood strikes. Long pants, including jeans, and a collared shirt is the minimum requirement for men in the 2 or 3 more formal venues. You can dine wherever the menu strikes your fancy that night.