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Old September 11th, 2007, 12:11 AM
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Default NCL vs Carnival

I have been on 3 Carnival cruises and that's all I know of cruising. I'm a little afraid to try another line. I was looking at NCL for various reasons and wondered if anyone that has been on NCL & Carnival could please let me know what is the same, similar and different.


Things I most want to know:

How do tips work?
Are all restaurants included?
How is the food?
Which ships have the bowling lanes?

Thanks everyone!
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Old September 11th, 2007, 12:47 AM
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How do tips work? Pretty much the same, except for kids. Ncl charges half price tips for kids, Carnival charges the full amount

Are all restaurants included? Yes, except for the Supper Club, which you'll find on some of the newer ships

How is the food? The food is great, I would sau every bit as good as NCL, perhaps better on certain items and much better than RCCL

Which ships have the bowling lanes:
NCL is the only line whose has a ship equipped with a bowling alley. Which between you and I seems like a really bad idea if you should hit some rough seas.

One other big difference is that in many cases Carnival's cabins are quite a bit larger than NCL's

Of course one really big difference between to two is that Carnival does not offer freestyle dining. On Carnival you will have the same table nightly and the same wait staff. I really find it much more personal. I have only had one problem with wait staff on Carnival and when I brought the issue to the Maitre D's atention, he quickly remedied the situation.

They both have a decent product to offer. I am sure you will enjoy either cruise line.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
How do tips work? Pretty much the same, except for kids. Ncl charges half price tips for kids, Carnival charges the full amount

Are all restaurants included? Yes, except for the Supper Club, which you'll find on some of the newer ships

How is the food? The food is great, I would sau every bit as good as NCL, perhaps better on certain items and much better than RCCL

Which ships have the bowling lanes:
NCL is the only line whose has a ship equipped with a bowling alley. Which between you and I seems like a really bad idea if you should hit some rough seas.

One other big difference is that in many cases Carnival's cabins are quite a bit larger than NCL's

Of course one really big difference between to two is that Carnival does not offer freestyle dining. On Carnival you will have the same table nightly and the same wait staff. I really find it much more personal. I have only had one problem with wait staff on Carnival and when I brought the issue to the Maitre D's atention, he quickly remedied the situation.

They both have a decent product to offer. I am sure you will enjoy either cruise line.


Hey! Thanks for the reply. I was asking which NCL Ships have the bowling lanes? My husband is a bowler and I think he would looooooove to try out the lanes there. I looked and i thought I only saw 2.

Is there anywhere I can see recent sample menus for NCL?

I meant to ask another question. What type of activities does NCL offer? Some of the things I liked on CCL are talent shows, trivia/game shows, Vegas style shows etc.

Thanks again!!!
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Old September 11th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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The gem has a bowling alley, As for activities, they are very similar, yes, the shows are great, they have trivia 2 or 3 times a day, an active casino, talent show (on most ships) the difference will be, Carnival will have a few more evening activities. There is plenty to do on NCL, but probably even more late night partying on Carnival.

As for food, I would say they quality is similar, NCl will offer more choices. You can always eat at one of several restaurants without any extra charge or you can opt for the sur charge dining.

Cabins are larger on Carnival, not a huge difference, but yes, larger.

Tips work about the same on most of the mass marketed lines now days.

Nita
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Old September 11th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
The gem has a bowling alley, As for activities, they are very similar, yes, the shows are great, they have trivia 2 or 3 times a day, an active casino, talent show (on most ships) the difference will be, Carnival will have a few more evening activities. There is plenty to do on NCL, but probably even more late night partying on Carnival.

As for food, I would say they quality is similar, NCl will offer more choices. You can always eat at one of several restaurants without any extra charge or you can opt for the sur charge dining.

Cabins are larger on Carnival, not a huge difference, but yes, larger.

Tips work about the same on most of the mass marketed lines now days.

Nita
Thanks, Nita! I appreciate the responce. I have been afriad to try other cruise lines because I have only been on Carnival, but I think I'm ready now. My Aunt has been on Norwegian before and I don't think she liked it. I think they were on a smaller ship, though. I would like to give it a try though.

Are smaller ships not as much fun?
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Old September 11th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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I have been on the Spirit and the Sun and they are great ships. The both have great features and plenty to do. I actually try to avoid the larger ships such as Conquest class size because there are too many people and lines, I start to feel a bit encroached upon. But of course many people feel that newer and bigger is always better, so you'll have to decide what your own personal preference is. Sorry I misunderstood your question about the bowling alley. It was late and I was on here because I couldn't sleep and I was bored... nothing like a little sleep deprivation to muddy the waters up real good.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
I have been on the Spirit and the Sun and they are great ships. The both have great features and plenty to do. I actually try to avoid the larger ships such as Conquest class size because there are too many people and lines, I start to feel a bit encroached upon. But of course many people feel that newer and bigger is always better, so you'll have to decide what your own personal preference is. Sorry I misunderstood your question about the bowling alley. It was late and I was on here because I couldn't sleep and I was bored... nothing like a little sleep deprivation to muddy the waters up real good.
No problem...

Do you have to pay to go bowling? I can't see then offering it for free, but it would be nice!!!

Do they have a wide variety of shore excursions for ports?
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Old September 11th, 2007, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singjenn
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
The gem has a bowling alley, As for activities, they are very similar, yes, the shows are great, they have trivia 2 or 3 times a day, an active casino, talent show (on most ships) the difference will be, Carnival will have a few more evening activities. There is plenty to do on NCL, but probably even more late night partying on Carnival.

As for food, I would say they quality is similar, NCl will offer more choices. You can always eat at one of several restaurants without any extra charge or you can opt for the sur charge dining.

Cabins are larger on Carnival, not a huge difference, but yes, larger.

Tips work about the same on most of the mass marketed lines now days.

Nita
Thanks, Nita! I appreciate the responce. I have been afriad to try other cruise lines because I have only been on Carnival, but I think I'm ready now. My Aunt has been on Norwegian before and I don't think she liked it. I think they were on a smaller ship, though. I would like to give it a try though.

Are smaller ships not as much fun?
Pros and cons about smaller ships: most of them with the exception of Holland America and the luxury liners are older. this is ok for some, often nastalgic but they do not have the activities or choices. they can also give a less than smooth sailing if the seas are rough.

of course everyone cruises for a different reason and looks for something special. What your aunt experienced and what you will could be two different things. It also may have depended on when she cruised NCL and what ship.

Yes, they charge for bowling, i think $5 but I am not sure and there ae plenty of shore excursions, however we normally book our own, the are less expensive, more intimate and more personalized.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Nita
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Old September 13th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Have been on both lines. I was on the Norwegian Majesty which is NCL's smallest and oldest ship. It was still beautiful and had an elegent quality to it. It was not gaudy at all. We went because the price was really low. Couldn't complain about anything. A cruise is what you make it. If you want to have a good time and enjoy things you will. If you look for problmes, you will find them. It is really what you make it. Food is good on both lines. I figure if I don't have to make it and I don't have to clean up it is great! It's all about your attitude.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakester '06
Have been on both lines. I was on the Norwegian Majesty which is NCL's smallest and oldest ship. It was still beautiful and had an elegent quality to it. It was not gaudy at all. We went because the price was really low. Couldn't complain about anything. A cruise is what you make it. If you want to have a good time and enjoy things you will. If you look for problmes, you will find them. It is really what you make it. Food is good on both lines. I figure if I don't have to make it and I don't have to clean up it is great! It's all about your attitude.

I completely agree!!! I have read sooooo many posts on people complaining abot how they had an awful cruise. From loud next door neightboors, to bad food, to, long line....etc. This past July I went on the Celebration and they busted my brand new luggage. I was soooo mad, but I didn't let it get to me.

I don't see how you could ahve a bad vacation if you are on a cruise?!?!?! It's just great to be away from work and the hassels of it all.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 10:27 AM
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I think the people who complain don't have a lot of work and stress to get away from. If they did, they would be more grateful for the experience.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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I agree with almost all the Beenie wrote, personally for me, I pefere NCL over carnival hands down. Cabins are smaller on NCL, but much better appointed with uch more useable space, like in Triumph a TV sitting there, on NCL , the TV is on a wall unit thing that goes to the ceiling providing place to write, shelves and so on, so better use of space on NCL. We will never go on a cruise again that is not free styleBeen on Spirit, lovely beautiful ship. Loved DAWN best, and going on GEM in five weeks time.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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Delft were sailing on the Pearl Sunday so I'll be better equiped to compare apples to apples as far as newer NCL ships to newer Carnival ships. Even though NCL's inside cabins are a bit smaller than Carnivals, NCL does use the space much more effeciently. Even with four of us in a cabin in a very small inside cabin on the spirit we didn't have any problems.
On the pearl I sprung for a mini suite so I am really looking forward to that.
Also with regard to food, based on our cruise on the TRiumph last month I would rank the food comparable on both lines. The only thing that gives NCL a bit of an edge right now is that they offer such a variety of eating venues, which I cannot say for the Triumph, since it does not offer a supper club, so you have two choices, buffet or dining room, those choices are fine but I love eating at a different place each night and those varied experiences. Both lines have excellent kid's facilities.

One thing I forgot to mention with regard to tips, kids up to age 12 are only $5 daily, instead of $10 that Carnival charges and if you book before Dec. 1 NCL won't ding you with that pesky fuel surcharge.

They're both good experiences and it is sometimes a difficult choice for me to make. But at the moment NCL has the edge in my book. That could change tomorrow but thats how I feel today lol!
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Old November 21st, 2007, 12:58 AM
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I agree with you Beenie, we love just going to a differant dining room, differant atmosphere, it may even be the same menu, but it is nice to move around a little, and if we eat in the same dinning room, we like not to be at the same table always. It feels less I dont know, I just dont like forced seating. But I know people who would have it no other way. I respect that they prefere one way. I loved DAWN, and cannot wait for GEM. I am not saying we didnt like triumph, we did, it was lovely, we had a great time, I am not a person who doesnt have a good time, I am always usually quite happy no matter how bad things can be, my son's teacher once said with him the glass is always half full not half empty, and that I know he gets from me, its just for me the way to live life, Lemons, OK, lets make lemonaide( or better yet lemon pie!) BUT we really liked our cruises with NCL, and thats why we went with them again. It's just the right balance for us. It's all about balance I do thinkm funding what fits the largest part of your groups needs. No one can have all needs met, so you just try and achieve balance.

Have a wonderful trip Beenie!
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