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Old November 7th, 2008, 09:27 PM
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Default How do you compare Carnival to Norwegian???

well after 1 attempted solo cruise (which I couldn't take this year due to a move) I've booked a 5-day cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel on the Norwegian Dawn. I thought that since I can't cruise all that much (at least till I retire) that I should try different lines the few times that I am able to cruise.

How does NCl compare to Carnival? I understand the frestyle dining concept but what else is a major difference from Carnival?

Thanks!

Michelle
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Old November 8th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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While I enjoy NCL, I prefer Carnival. Eating with the same travel companions every night seems to me to get people into a friendlier, more interactive head set. There is also less space dedicated to restaraunts! Other than that, NCL tries to make money via eateries, Carnival via selling stuff..like the "seminars" on beauty products that end up being sales pitches. I just skip all that. Leaving tomorrow...on Carnival. Will post more info when we get back.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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IMO, other than the dining, not a lot of difference. I always enjoy both lines a lot. Recently, me and the lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) have been doing Carnival a lot, but a few years back, it was almost always NCL, and after that it was Royal Caribbean for a few years. I love 'em all I guess.

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Old November 8th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Its kinda like comparing Tug Boat Annie to Horatio Hornblower.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 10:25 PM
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That is funny! Bob
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Old November 9th, 2008, 08:50 PM
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Carnival is much better. A lot of people say they don't like NCL.
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Old November 9th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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Carnival is starting an anytime dining program for 1 of the two dining rooms on the ship. You can have a designated dining time or eat when you want.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 02:25 AM
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Michelle, since I haven't cruised with Carnival I can't really tell you about the differences but I guess that comments like "Carnival is much better" without explaining anything more doesn't help you either!

We have cruised on the Dawn and it's a wonderful ship. Add some extra dollar and eat in some of the specialty restaurants, Banana Foster's Flambee at Cagney's is the best thing I have eaten.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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I've done both lines and I think Carnival is much better. For starters, the food is much better on Carnival, especially the dining room and the buffet.

The personal is much more personal, since they have regular dining and not the freestyle dining. This way you are guaranteed the same wait staff which means they get to know you much better.

Also, they make dinner very fun by the singing waiters and other things they do to liven up dinner. NCL does none of the entertaining during dinner. You also get to sit with your same tablemates which in most cases is fun as you get to meet new people and get to be friends over the course of a week.

The entertainment in the main showroom is basically equal, but I feel the side entertainment in the bars and around the ship is a notch better on Carnival.

NCL definately has the best bathrooms, but rooms are a touch bigger on Carnival. Otherwise, everything else is pretty much equal!

All in all, I prefer Carnival, then Royal Caribbean if you want to compare cruise lines that are basicaly in the same class!
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Old November 10th, 2008, 09:54 AM
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Michelle, peninsularoad is right about the waiters. If you see the waiters as entertainers more than fooddeliverers Carnival is probably better for you. My opinion is that the waiters are there to serve the food and then it's good that they don't sing and dance. Only you can say what you prefer! If you need the waiters to know you, that's easier on Carnival but you can ask to get the same waiters every night at NCL too. In my opinion it's not important that they know me and the service is also better then because they serve food instead of talk!

If you cruise to meet new people fixed tables can be better if you only want to meet people at dinner, if you meet people somewhere else on the ship you can't have dinner with them in the maindining room if you have a fixed table and time.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 11:14 PM
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Default NCL VS CCL

I enjoy Royal Carribean's (radiance class) ships decore more than CCL or NCL. I think NCL staterooms look and feel "cheap". I also don't like the concept of freestyle as the waiters don't know your likes or dislikes.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikhag
Michelle, since I haven't cruised with Carnival I can't really tell you about the differences but I guess that comments like "Carnival is much better" without explaining anything more doesn't help you either!

We have cruised on the Dawn and it's a wonderful ship. Add some extra dollar and eat in some of the specialty restaurants, Banana Foster's Flambee at Cagney's is the best thing I have eaten.
I haven't taken any NCL cruises, yet, but I hope to in the future. I have cruised on Carnival and had a great time. I, too, prefer to hear from people who have "actually" cruised on both lines. I don't think people should judge a cruiseline they have never been on. Just my opinion.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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I have cruised on both and each has it's good points. Carnival is probably still my favorite but there are definitely some things that NCL does better.
I would like to try a few different NCL ships before saying one cruiseline is better than the other. From my limited experience the NCL Sky ranked pretty low (think Carnival Holiday with bad food) and the NCL Jewel was one of the best cruises we have ever taken. One thing that was very noticeable both times was debark on NCL seemed much more orderly and civil. Did not see all the people jamming the halls pushing and shoving like on Carnival and you are allowed to remain in the cabins until debark. The pool music was more background and not abusive as it sometimes gets on Carnival. The cold towels they pass out are not bad either. Entertainment on the Sky seemed about the same as Carnival but on the Jewel it was better. Second City comedy was great and the Cirque Bijou show was as good as I have ever seen on a ship anywhere. Dress seemed a little more upscale at night on NCL but I am sure that will vary by cruise. JMHO 8)
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Old November 12th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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Default Yuck

My only experience with NCL almost made me give up cruising...... ALMOST!
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Old November 12th, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your input. I have only cruised once so far - Carnival Sensation in 2007 - and I want to also cruise (at least) NCL, RCL, Princess and Holland before I retire. That will be in 2021 if I can afford to retire early or in 2027 if I can't.

Once I do retire, I will have more time and money to cruise more often, I will already know which one(s) are my favorites.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1959
Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your input. I have only cruised once so far - Carnival Sensation in 2007 - and I want to also cruise (at least) NCL, RCL, Princess and Holland before I retire. That will be in 2021 if I can afford to retire early or in 2027 if I can't.

Once I do retire, I will have more time and money to cruise more often, I will already know which one(s) are my favorites.
Well Holland America is geared more towards older people, so you might not like that. A lot of people do say that the food is not as good on holland america.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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[
Well Holland America is geared more towards older people, so you might not like that. A lot of people do say that the food is not as good on holland america.[/quote]

This is how misinformation starts. Granted HAL does tend to get a lot of older folks (or on one cruise on HAL it was remarked that there were senior citizens and their parents cruising ). However, I have been on two HAL cruises, the food on the Zaandam, on that particular cruise, was awful. I did read much better reviews after that. On the Maasdam, on that particular cruise, the food was good.

I think ship to ship, sailing to sailing, there can be differences.

I have cruised NCL and HAL (our family prefers NCL by far) and I am looking forward to an upcoming Carnival cruise in January.

I like Michelle1959's attitude - try them all!
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Old November 18th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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The food can vary from ship to ship and even different cruises on the same ship. A lot depends on the on board chef. I love HAL food, enjoyed the NCL Dawn food in the main dining room more than the pay-extra restaraunts, and usually am very happy with Carnival food. Our last time on the Dawn (last Dec.), I thought the entertainment was the best I had seen on a ship. Just got back from Carnival Legend, and the decor was much more sedate than usual. Entertainment was good, but not great. AND, there were more elderly passengers than I have ever seen on a HAL ship! Things just vary from cruise to cruise. I always try to find the things that I like on a given cruise and I try not to generalize. But, that said, over all, I have better impressions on HAL, NCL and Carnival than other lines....based on multiple cruises on may lines.
So, I'm afraid that you should go ahead and do lots of pre-retirement cruise research, but then be prepared to do more after you retire!

Marty
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