I would add a cost of approx. $100 per person to the cost of the ticket, to take into consideration the cost of trying NCL's extra cost alternate restaurants. If it's still a good deal for you, I'd recommend trying NCL.
NCL's "Freestyle" with no set dining room assignments, and no formal dress (if you don't want to particpate) make for an excellent cruise experience in my view.
NCL and RCI entertainment is pretty comparable, and if you include the specialty restaurants available, I think NCL food is at least as good as RCI's. --- though honestly, though both are acceptable, and specialty restaurants very good, neither standard fare is much to write home about if you're a real foody.
PERSONALLY I HAVE GONE ON NCL DAWN & ROYAL - I THINK I LIKE THE SIT DOWN OF ROYAL FOOD BETTER. IF YOUR STILL HUNGRY, THEY JUST BRING YOU OUT MORE FOOD.
DAWN- THE SPECIALTY REST.'S ARE EITHER A FEE TO GET IN OR JUST DIDNT LOOK APPETIZING TO ME. THAT'S ME THOUGH.
I AM GOING TO GO ON THE NCL NEXT YEAR TO HAWAII.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALTHOUGH YOU DON'T HAVE FORMAL NIGHT ON NCL, YOU STILL NEED TO DRESS NICE FOR DINNERS. WOMAN: DRESS/SKIRT/PANTS W/ DRESSY BLOUSE. NO JEANS, NO SHORTS NOT EVEN BERMUDA SHORTS. THEY ARE BIG ON THE CLOTHING!!!!
MAN: KAKKI'S ( SORRY IF I SPELLED THAT WRONG) AND A SHIRT - NO SNEAKERS....
ROYAL IS A LITTLE MORE CLASSIER IF YOU ASK ME.... NCL IS A LITTLE MORE LAID BACK....
to be honest if you took a pole, I bet 1/3 would say NCL, 1/3 RCI and the other 1/3 would rate the ships and food very similar. which NCL ship are you considering? that might make a big difference, as well as which RCI ship?
someone said the specialty diing roomes didn't seem interesting or charged extra, at least you have the choice and many are not additional fees. Many of the newer NCL ships have Mexican restaurants as well as Italian with no additonal charge. if you choose eating in the main dining rooms like many do, you can order as many appitizers, salads, entrees, soups or desserts as you want, just like all cruise lines. If you are considering like ships I would opt for the 2 extra days.
RCI may offer a variety of activities like Rock climbing and Ice skating if you are interested in those types of things, Ncl will probably have a larger casino. The cabins will be comparable as will the entertainment.
I hope this helps you in some way. The biggest difference is freesyle dining versus traditional.