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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 21st, 2005, 12:19 AM
Cruise#2
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Default compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

Trying to decide between Celebrity Mercury, Dawn Princess, Norweigan Star and Ryndam or Oosterdam.
Can anyone compare who has been on any of these ships?
This will be our first trip alone in 7 years (grandma is staying with the kids), celebrating my 40th and our 10th wedding anniversary. We're looking for a relaxing, not stuffy unforgettable vacation.
I've only been on one cruise (Rhapsody)
Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Thanks!!
Karen
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 22nd, 2005, 02:41 PM
Slotl
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

stay away from NCL (Norweigan Star ). I think either Celebrity (high end Royal Caribbean), Princess, or HAL be the perfect choice.

I would choose itinerary (timing, price, and length of cruise) you like best from the cruise lines you mentioned.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

You'll find a variety of opinions because people have different tastes and expectations.
In my opinion, Celebrity and HAL have some similarities, as do Princess and RCCL. I don't have any experience with NCL, but have noted some negatives on different message boards.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

NCL is one of the worst lines and be sure to stay away from them. Princess is comparable to rccl. to give you something to compare to i also went on the rahpsody. i thought that it was an o.k. ship. there are places for improvements. i used to say that celebrity was the absolute best but the ryndam has been outfitted with the new signature of excellence and they are moving closer to celebrities standard. i would still recommend celebrity for a relazing cruise that would be truely unforgettable. and i went on the galaxy which is the sister ship to the mercury (identical) and it was a really nice ship. there is a lot of space and has one of the highest passenger to space ratios when compared to similiar ships. the ryndam is a little small and stuffy. i hope that this helps.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

Congrats on your B-Day and Anniversary!!

We have been on HAL Zuiderdam (Oosterdam sister), HAL Maasdam, Celebrity Galaxy (Mercury sister I believe), NCL Sky (renamed now), and NCL Norway (retired). All 7-nt Caribbean cruises since Dec 2000 out of Florida and San Juan. We are ages 30/32 and do NOT want a party atmosphere but rather a relaxing time. Hubby and I "go with the flow", enjoy being taken care of, but are not "high maintenance". We're just thankful for every healthy day we are given.

I'm not real sure what all the negatives are about NCL listed in this thread, as we have enjoyed our NCL cruises immensely. In fact, we are returning to NCL (Sun) this June for Alaska and taking 14 others with us. Our wedding cruise was on NCL (cruise #3) where we married on St John, USVI and we had 19 in our group - and all thoroughly enjoyed the cruise.

Our basic thoughts of our previous cruises in recent years:
- NCL Sky (now Pride of Aloha with a mostly American crew so it can be flagged as American) - cabin was small at 150 sq ft but we loved the freestyle dining (less formal, dine when you want, etc) - have read negatives about it since being reflagged with new crew
- HAL Maasdam - absolutely loved the ship, it's size, her crew, very relaxing, and our favorite part was probably afternoon tea and the guests we would visit with during that time
- HAL Zuiderdam - cruised HAL Zuiderdam one year later after Maasdam and wondered if we were on the same cruiseline as Maasdam (Crow's nest closed 3 different days we wanted to go there, one day we were there and had to wait a half hour before going to the bar to ask to order a drink as nobody seemed to circulate to take orders at 5PM like they did the previous year on Maasdam before automated tipping was instituted, felt "enclosed" on the ship in the public areas, afternoon tea not as "formal" on Zui, cabin steward not as attentive to our needs as Maasdam cabin steward was the previous year, huge cabin at 203 sq ft for an inside, most awesome waiter ever)
- Celebrity Galaxy - loved the ship and the size, terrific AquaSpa with treatments for couples, loved our dining table group, cabin size good
- NCL Norway not an option any longer but loved learning about her history as S/S France

Why we chose to return to NCL for Alaska (after the last two cruises being HAL):
- more affordable for our families (and we could afford a suite on NCL vs others)
- Freestyle attire (our families dislike dressing up, we don't mind, so we can all do our own thing each night and hubby and I can try the alternative restaurants without feeling like we are leaving our group at dinner)
- Freestyle dining times (dine when we want - if we are on our balcony seeing something incredible in the Inside Passage, we did not want to be tied to an exact dining time when we must go dress for dinner - our dining times can change each day like they did on our previous Freestyle cruise)
- some in our group have cruised more than us, and for others this will be cruise #2

Like a previous poster said, I would look at itinerary and cost.
Do you want a balcony?
Do two different cruiselines go to the same port the same week but a balcony is more affordable with one versus the other? (Ex: For Alaska, we will be in our first three ports with Sapphire Princess and HAL Ryndam for ALL three ports - but pricing was very diverse between all three - NCL, Princess, HAL)

We want to try Princess one day - their Personal Choice program. Have friends who have cruised Princess and enjoyed it.

We have never had a "bad" cruise or a ship we would not return to. We do have some things we maybe liked better on one ship versus another, but all have been GOOD or TERRIFIC cruises.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

Princess was lively and relaxed and we liked all the entertainment venues; Hal is always gracious, comfortable and consistent good value--vista class had some great amenities, spa, etc.; RCCL lunches and continual hands out for tips leave us less than enthused, altho we did have fun on 2 rccl trips; Celebrity had great food-but we found a certain arrogance with staff-sort of a take it or leave it attitude...........in fact, the food is all that i remember along with the autocratic waitstaff.......... go read some of the cruise books at the library or Barnes and NOble to see what you might like.....
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

Enjoyed all my cruises. My last cruise on NCL was one of the best. Please do not let negative comments about NCL steer you away from them. Pick your line by what they offer - dining options, ports, ship, and cost. Not some poster who may not know what they are talking about.

Nile Romance Nile River 5/90
QE2 Transatlantic 8/95
Norwegian Crown Western Caribbean 4/97
Celebrity Zenith Panama Canal 04/98
Carnival Jubilee Southern Caribbean 03/99
Renaissance R3 Tahiti 11/99
Dawn Princess back to back Southern Caribbean 04/00
Norwegian Majesty Bermuda 09/00
Norwegian Wind Western Caribbean 12/03
Norwegian Spirit Southern Caribbean 12/03/04

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Old March 14th, 2005, 11:59 AM
ann g.
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

We took our first cruise - our 20th anniversary - last April on Celebrity Constellation.
It was beyond our expectations - we had an amazing time. We went a little uncertain if we would like cruising and I can say I am hooked. My husband who is quite the outdoors kind of guy - definitely not sit by the pool and lounge - even enjoyed it.
We did concierge class and it was definately worth it. Our balcony was wonderful and ordering breakfast room service and eating out on the balcony as we cruised was beyond delightful.
Last fall - we did a family reunion cruise on Holland's Zuiderdam - with a group of 25 and our own 5 kids. We were pleasantly surprised with Holland as well. Would go with them again as well. But of the two - Constellation wins hands down. The staff was gracious and attentive - the food delicious. The entertainment quite nice. The ship itself is very new and well maintained.
Keep in mind that Conde Nast rated Celebrity as #1.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 05:09 PM
mslvp
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

I think part of your decision depends on your destination.

Although we enjoyed the Dawn Princess immensely, we were VERY disappointed it was too big to get closer to the glaciers.

Six of us on the NCL Wind (I think) in Aug. '01were very disappointed in dining room food but LOVED the Bistro where we ate every night after the first. We also didn't like the "hype" on visiting the ship gift shops, playing bingo, buying 2 for 1 drinks during bingo & selling of lottery like scratch off tickets. My parents sailed on the NCL Majesty (I think) also in early Sept. '01 with similar complaints.




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Old March 20th, 2005, 06:47 PM
JSH
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

My choices would be HAL or Princess. NCL is the bottom of
the barrel - barely better than staying home and going to work.
As another poster said, the staff of Celebrity is very stuck up and
arrogant

HAL and Princess certainly have the best food of the bunch.
The crowd is a little older on HAL.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

Ha Ha Ha, JSH
"NCL is the bottom of
the barrel - barely better than staying home and going to work." You have to be joking.

Nile Romance Nile River 5/90
QE2 Transatlantic 8/95
Norwegian Crown Western Caribbean 4/97
Celebrity Zenith Panama Canal 04/98
Carnival Jubilee Southern Caribbean 03/99
Renaissance R3 Tahiti 11/99
Dawn Princess back to back Southern Caribbean 04/00
Norwegian Majesty Bermuda 09/00
Norwegian Wind Western Caribbean 12/03
Norwegian Spirit Southern Caribbean 12/03/04

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Old March 26th, 2005, 07:14 PM
JSH
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

jimt -

Sorry you didn't like my answer, but they asked for my opinion.

And my opinion is when comparing HAL, Princess, Celebrity and NCL,
NCL is at the bottom of the stack.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

Please don't go by reviews either. Every ship has both good and bad, but in the end, it is what you make of it. I prefer larger ships because I get seasick and feel less motion on them. I loved Princess and Carnival. Haven't been on NCL since I was young, and was not impressed with the food on RCCL. I am trying HAL for the first time next month. In the end, it is what you make of the vacation. Don't look for the negatives like stains on couches or what is on their TV. Just go and have fun. You will love whatever line you take.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 08:04 PM
steviek49
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Default Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

We also have enjoyed all of our cruises. If you do your research (and there are many books out there as well as these boards) you should find a cruise line and ship to suit your needs.
We are a family of 4 (2 daughters) and have taken 5 family cruises and have had a great time on all of them. We did a 7 night Western Carib on The Carnival Imagination, a 7 night bermuda cruise on the NCL Crown, an 11 nighter to Alaska on Sky Princess, a 5 night cruise to eastern Canada on The Carnival Victory and a 7noght cruise to Florida/Bahamas on the NCL Dawn. We just booked HAL Zuiderdam for next Easter, 2006.
Both Carnival ships were upbeat, about 190-200 sq feet cabins, great entertainment, good food and good service. Only negative I can remember was that they felt a bit crowded. We had a balcony on the Victory!
The NCL Crown was 10 years old when we cruised with her but she was still elegant and cozy. We liked the standard cabins (about 165 sq feet), loved the indoor fresh water pool on the lowest deck (they have since removed it) and enjoyed the free popcorn in it's dedicated movie theater. Food was about the same as Carnival (good) as was the service. Although an older ship we had a wonderful time. Entertainment on this ship was inferior to the newer carnival ships.
The Sky princess was also an older ship and we cruised on one her last voyages b4 being transferred to P&0 and renamed Pacific Sky. She was a mid-sized, 1200 passenger ship and was a bit plain vanilla. However we did notice a bit of a step up from Carnival and NCL Crown in the food (very good) and the Service(also very good. Entertainment on this ship was a bit blah but she did have a nice dedicated movie theater and relatively nice size cabins (165 sq feet). She was a full ship but never felt crowded.
Finally last year we cruised on the easter 2004 NCL Dawn nad she was the nicest ship we ever cruised on. The ship was beautiful, classy and well laid out. From talkin with others it seems that the new NCL ships are being compared to the ships of Pincess, RCI and Carnival. It was our 2nd NCL cruise but first with freestyle and we loved it. She had 10 restaurants (7 free). The food was very good, service very good and price very good. The standard rooms were a bit smaller 160 sq feet but well laid out. I met many people who didn't like NCL say that the newer ships are quite a different experience. NCL Star, Sun, Pride of Aloha,Dawn and Spirit get high marks from all the Cruise travel books as well. And I hear they 3 new ones on the way (Jewel, Pride of America and Pride of hawaii)
We are lookin forward to our HAL cruise and hope our opinion on this topic helps.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Re: compare to Celebrity, NCL and/or Princess?

Once you try both Holland and definitely Celebrity you will find the top of the main line cruise lines.Have tried them all with some 30 plus cruises and you will find Celebrity and H olland at the pinnacle.
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