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-   -   Norwegian vs. Carnival (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/norwegian-cruise-lines/378771-norwegian-vs-carnival.html)

JLI219 December 16th, 2010 10:35 PM

Norwegian vs. Carnival
 
Hi All,

I am a 4 time Carnival cruiser. I am considering a Norwegian cruise on the Spirit out of New Orleans. Could you please tell my why I may enjoy Norwegian over Carnival? Is there many differences? Is the food all included? Is the food any better? We are 38 and 35, if age matters. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Thanks,
Jeff

trvlqueen December 20th, 2010 01:24 PM

Having cruised both lines (NCL 3x and Carnival 5x) I think you'll enjoy NCL. It's a different experienc from Carnival - and all the food CAN be included if you want it to be - you don't have to pay extra for the specialty restaurants if you don't want to. But if you want a more specialized dining experience you may decide it's worth it to pay the cover charge and try a couple of the restaurants.

We found that things quiet down a little bit earlier on NCL - which didn't really bother us as we aren't big nighttime party people anyway. There are still plenty of activities offered - many of them similar to what is offered on Carnival. What we miss - the warm chocolate melting cake - the stateroom size -- NCL is considerably smaller, but very well organized.

What we liked - the option to eat when and where we wanted to without having to be on a schedule - we never waited more than 5-10 minutes for a table. We loved the service - the crew was fabulous - and the ship's decor was fantastic. The pools and hot tubs don't seem as crowded on NCL, either. I don't know if it's laid out better or if they're really larger. Also, it seemed that the dining options at breakfast was a little better than on Carnival - but the quality of food at dinner and lunch is comparable across both lines (although if I remember right, the dining room is open on NCL at lunch most days).

nmnita December 20th, 2010 05:43 PM

I think this is a great overall view of NCL. The one advantage Carnival has: larger cabins, especially compared to the Spirit, but the Spirit is a wonderful ship. We are taking her, for the second time, in Feb.

Nita

chrissy3427 December 21st, 2010 06:05 PM

My girlfriend and I have never cruised Carnival, but we look forward to it one day. Our personal feeling... Norwegian cruises are a last resort.
We have cruised with them 3 times, mostly because of their prices and ease of location, but there is absolutely no WOW factors to a Norwegian Cruise.
The meals are ok, staterooms adequate, staff are great. Shows, ok; Freestyle is nice. We always say, there is nothing wrong with a Norwegian Cruise, but there is no WOW factor.
Our last cruise in October on NCL was nice, but when the weather turned cloudy and cool and everyone was stuck inside the ship; the cruise director staff seemed ill prepared, very few things scheduled, and you felt on your own to entertain yourself.

This is just two girls opinion; personally, we are looking into Carnival for our next cruise, hopefully we can make it work.

pastorklm December 22nd, 2010 04:41 PM

my wife and i are going on a cruise in feb. butwe havent decided ncl or carnival this is our first cruise also any suggestions

nlb1050 December 22nd, 2010 07:33 PM

One big difference in Carnival and NCL is the dining. If you eat in the main dining room you will be asked if you want to sit with anyone else and there is a very good chanced that you will end up by yourselves. Also NCL has many more place to eat but you have to make a reservation for all but the main dining room and buffet and more than one will have extra charge.

We really like meetingand eating with others while on a cruise so NCL definetly was not for us, even when we did the Your Time Dining on Carnival when we said we would sit with others we did sit with other but not so on NCL.

cruised1014 December 23rd, 2010 01:55 PM

Service is Important too.
 
Ncl Vs Carnival. If you get poor service with Carnival you can adjust you tipping. On Ncl sorry it is tattooed to you shipboard credit at $12.00 per day and you cannot take it off for any reason. Also Ncls taxes and fees are the highest of all the cruiselines. For example the Ncl Sky last month for 4 nights
inside cabin $99.00 and taxes and fees were 125.55. I went on Carnival instead of Ncl because of the higher taxes and fees but I like cruising Ncl better. I hear great things about the Spirt and the Epic. Have a great cruise
no matter what you decide. Ed

nmnita December 23rd, 2010 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruised1014 (Post 1336613)
Ncl Vs Carnival. If you get poor service with Carnival you can adjust you tipping. On Ncl sorry it is tattooed to you shipboard credit at $12.00 per day and you cannot take it off for any reason. Also Ncls taxes and fees are the highest of all the cruiselines. For example the Ncl Sky last month for 4 nights
inside cabin $99.00 and taxes and fees were 125.55. I went on Carnival instead of Ncl because of the higher taxes and fees but I like cruising Ncl better. I hear great things about the Spirt and the Epic. Have a great cruise
no matter what you decide. Ed

wow, I just love people posting mis-information. 1-taxes and fees are not controlled in anyway by the cruise line. They make not a cent on them. They are set by the goverrnment. One port different, even enbarkation port can make a difference. I know many people think it is true about the fees but it is just plainly not the case. I have seen itineraries that appear to be identical but one leaves out of NYC and the other NJ. the fees are different.

As for the tipping, again, you can adjust them on NCL. Yes, you will be asked if you have made every attempt to solve any problems without adjusting, but if you want to adjust them you can. It is done all the time. Is this fair, no, because it affects all that are part of the pool, but it can be done. The only cruise line that does not allow adjusting is Celebrity if you choose flex dining. You have to pay the gratuities up front and can not make any adjustments.

Nita:shock:

cruised1014 December 24th, 2010 09:00 PM

Your wrong. Period. Book one and find out.

Robbie H December 25th, 2010 03:00 AM

"Should your concerns not be met with satisfaction you can adjust the charges."

Right off of the "NCL" website but if it's important Ed, you can be right.

commission1 January 2nd, 2011 08:25 PM

Well if you guys are single and looking to mingle stay with carnival, cause ncl has an older crowd, or if you really like to party hard core stay with carnival. Plenty of restaurants, buffet, snack shops that are included in your cruise fare, I never eat at any specialty restaurants, my opinion is I just paid for an all inclusive why would I pay more? good luck have fun

nmnita January 3rd, 2011 03:24 PM

I have seen it done on two occassions, so I know it can be done. I have also talked to and read about people who have done this. On the other hand, I would never consider adjusting the tips.

Nita

A&B January 21st, 2011 12:14 PM

I've been on many Norwegian cruises as well as many Carnvinal cruises (my next Carnival will be my tenth) and I wouldn't keep booking with Norwegian if I didn't have just as great a time as I do on Carnival. Coincidentally, have the Spirit booked for this March (spring break week) out of New Orleans, but if you're looking for a bit more action, I say book Carnival.

They're known as the 'fun ship' for a reason. Just a bit more action going on than compared to other lines. Not to say you wouldn't have a great time with NCL or other lines, however.

Beth

pJames February 11th, 2011 03:41 AM

On our first (and last) Carnival cruise, we were booked at 8:15 pm for dinner.
Ugh!

A&B February 11th, 2011 01:46 PM

Quote:

On our first (and last) Carnival cruise, we were booked at 8:15 pm for dinner.
Ugh!
Why didn't you book main seating...? Even if there was a mistake and you didn't note it until you got onboard, you could always go talk to the maitre'd and ask to be switched to main. I have had to do this before and was switched to main no problem.

Beth


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