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Old February 19th, 2008, 01:32 AM
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Default Norwegian vs. Royal Caribbean?

Has anyone been on both Norwegian and Royal Caribbean? I have only ever cruised with Royal Caribbean but I see that Norwegian is offering a Bermuda cruise with a longer stay in Bermuda. I'd love to hear from someone who has cruised with both - comparisons? Many thanks!
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Old February 19th, 2008, 01:36 AM
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I've cruised both lines several times. It really depends on which ships you are looking at before I'd give an opinion.

If it's one of the newer NCL ships, - Dawn, Jewel, Pearl, or Gem... I'd personally prefer one of them to nearly any RCI Ship.
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Old February 19th, 2008, 02:19 AM
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I am looking specifically at Norwegian Majesty. I'd love to hear your opinions comparing food, service, activities, etc - the cruise experience. You sound like you enjoyed Norwegian? I have always gone RCI because they left from my hometown, but now Norwegian does too - thanks for your reply - any comment is much appreciated!
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Old February 19th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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I have sailed on both cruise lines. I am taking a cruise on the NCL Dawn 3/16/08. I like both cruise lines but I really like NCL's atmosphere much better. The atmosphere is much more relaxing and the passengers are also more relaxed. I like the freestyle cruising. On Royal Caribbean, the last time I sailed, were a lot of older people and they liked things just so-so, and if not, they complained... That stressed me out being around people like that. I also like not having a specific time for dinner. On Royal Caribbean you have the set time for dinning. It makes it hard to have the first setting for dinner when you come back late from your excursions. When you have late setting for dinner, you can’t enjoy any food later in the evening. Between the two lines, I like NCL better, but this is just my opinion. Either way you go, you will have a good time cruising.
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Old February 19th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for your reply - that is what I was wondering - how the experience "felt" compared to RCI. Question - do you need to make reservations on NCL for meals with the freestyle dining? Or do you just show up at whichever restaurant you have a hankering for?
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Old February 19th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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I think the most important thing to remember is the age of the ships and what you are looking for. I have cruised RCI three times, but twice on older ships; I love NCL, but was a little disappointed in RCI. Again, remember I am comparing the older with newer. The Majesty is an older ship and does offer the dining variety that the newer NCL ships offer, nor is it going to be glitzy in any way. This doesn't mean it is a bad ship, just not like the nerwer one.
No, you do not make reservations for dinner unless you are chooseing the alternative dining rooms like Le Bistro.

I think cruising is what you make of it. If I knew which RCI ships you had been on I could better give you a better idea as to what to expect.

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Old February 19th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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You can just show up at the non-pay restaurants/main dinning room. We tried several of the non-pay specialty restaurants without a reservation and did not have any problems getting in either.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 08:22 PM
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I've sailed on both and what I have found is I prefer the newer big ships that Norwegian offered compared to the smaller ship that Royal Caribbean has that sails out of L.A., however, the food was soooooo much better on Royal Caribbean.

I also prefer the assigned seated times compared to the free syle dining as I found I met and came to know many more people by having the same dining mates. I also enjoy establishing a relationship with the waiter over the week compared to having someone different every night on Norwegian.

The entertainment was a bit better on Norwegian as they have different troupes performing such as Second City and a troupe of Chinese acrobats in addition tio the standard House dancers whereas Royal only had their House dancers preform every night.

With this said, I will not go back on Norwegian because of the food and freestyle dining, however, if food is not that important, then everything else was very good.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:45 PM
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Saw your other comments and good job on the booze however totally disagree with you on entertainment as you need to go on one of RCL larger shipswhere you will see a much better array of entertainment and far superior to NCL. not only in the major lounges but also in the numerous bars along with a fabulous ice show which is first class.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peninsularoad
I've sailed on both and what I have found is I prefer the newer big ships that Norwegian offered compared to the smaller ship that Royal Caribbean has that sails out of L.A., however, the food was soooooo much better on Royal Caribbean.

I also prefer the assigned seated times compared to the free syle dining as I found I met and came to know many more people by having the same dining mates. I also enjoy establishing a relationship with the waiter over the week compared to having someone different every night on Norwegian.

The entertainment was a bit better on Norwegian as they have different troupes performing such as Second City and a troupe of Chinese acrobats in addition tio the standard House dancers whereas Royal only had their House dancers preform every night.

With this said, I will not go back on Norwegian because of the food and freestyle dining, however, if food is not that important, then everything else was very good.
Even though I think food is very subjective I do understand your feelings. For us, the convenience of freestyle out weighs getting to know our wait staff; as for making friends with those at the table; if you get a good table with great people it can be an asset, but just experience a couple of cruises where you have nothing in common with those at the table and there you are for 7-14 days. You can almost have you cruise ruined.

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Old March 2nd, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Its really like comparing Apples to Oranges in my opinion. Just off the NCL Gem yesterday. 9 time RCCL Cruiser. The best way I can explain it is NCL is more like a floating Hotel, do what you want when you want, eat at whatever restauraunt at which ever time you choose to make a reservation.

I enjoyed it, but its a very different type of cruising which I think the best thing is trying it yourself and forming our own opinion,
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruzinSusan
Its really like comparing Apples to Oranges in my opinion. Just off the NCL Gem yesterday. 9 time RCCL Cruiser. The best way I can explain it is NCL is more like a floating Hotel, do what you want when you want, eat at whatever restauraunt at which ever time you choose to make a reservation.

I enjoyed it, but its a very different type of cruising which I think the best thing is trying it yourself and forming our own opinion,
you are completely right, regardless of which you prefer. I have 2 favorite lines, NCL and HAL but there couldn't be two more different experiences. Demending on my mood and what we are looking for we decide what line we will travel. I do, still beleive most mass marketed lines are more alike than different and yet, each has a nitch. What you like and what I like may be very different, this does not make one better than another. For you, after 9 RCI cruises it would be very hard to find something that compared favorable in your mind I am sure. I have cruised RCI 3 times and never been sold, but that is me. We did Princess a few months ago, same, it just didn't WOW us like we had hoped.

I think everyone needs to decide for himself, but our feedback can help.

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Old June 8th, 2008, 11:47 PM
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We just returned yesterday from our NCL Majesty cruise to Bermuda. Loved Bermuda, but were not as wild about NCL. My DH is disabled, so we were in a handicapped room (742) - VERY small. (I had to get on the bed for his wheelchair to turn around!) We weren't thrilled with the actual working out of "freestyle dining" idea either. Not having a set dinner time meant 1200 passengers politely (for the most part) waiting for a table between the three restaurants - the only reservations accepted were between 5 and 5:45 in Four Seasons and Seven Seas, and a day prior in Pasta Cafe.

We cruised on RCCL Mariner of the Seas in 2006 and were completely pleased with every aspect. The best scenario in my book would be to cruise to Bermuda with RCCL! (Not sure if they're sailing there, though.)
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Old June 9th, 2008, 01:05 AM
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One of all the things I like about NCL is that you can keep your cabin until you shall leave the ship the last day. I should really hate to wait in a lounge for my tag to be called!

I really can´t understand why not all cruiselines offer that!
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Old June 9th, 2008, 11:10 AM
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I agree with the comparison by Peninsularoad. We've been on RCL ships three times (Vision and Monarch-twice). The food and overall atmosphere was much better (for us) on RCL. We have been on Princess with their version of "dine at any time," but the food is much better on Golden Princess than it was on Norwegian Star. As far as the actual ship, they all seem just find to me. From my experience with only one Norwegian cruise, the passengers seemed a bit down-scale compared to the other lines we've been on. Maybe it was just that one cruise. But, it seemed like lots of guys in tank tops swilling beer out of those yellow plastic football helmets. Overall, I prefer Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean compared to my one NCL cruise.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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NCL Majesty--you get what you pay for--not clean when we went-and it was smelly--they were never cleaning as when we were on the CCL and RCL---ran out of coffee-- cups were so small that we needed 3 to make a cup of coffee when you COULD get it --like the food better but that was all that was better--then again my dh didn't like the food (matter of preference)

comparison RCL steak
NCL bologna
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