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Old July 1st, 2014, 06:54 PM
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Default what to choose

Hi everyone,

I don't know if this question has already been posted, but I'm taking a chance and hoping I won't bother anyone.

My mom and I are cruising every year and we usually choose Holland America for the food and older crown(easier access to lounger on sun deck and really quiet ships). I am a student and I need peace and quiet because, yes, I do study on the sun deck
However, itineraries for 2015 aren't as interesting for us.
We usually choose a cruise leaving from somewhere in Florida but we thought we could try New Orleans.

We saw that Carnival and Norwegian both offer a cruise from that port. My main concern is the noise level. I know Carnival is known to be family friendly. I don't know how it is for NCL though.

so that is it for the introduction, now the questions
-How is the food on NCL
-Is is easy to have access to chairs on sun decks? we do not mind being far from the pools)
- Is the ship invaded with kids?( I do love kids, I just don't want them to consist of all the "clients" on the ship)
-How is the service?
-is Norwegian Dawn clean? (I saw it is an older ship)
-Do they offer service in other languages than English?(that is only out of curiosity)
-Do they offer a good wine list and a good wine package?

Thank you very much for answering those questions. I just want to make sure my mom and I both enjoy our cruise and we are so used to HAL.
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Old July 1st, 2014, 08:02 PM
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You're obviously going to get as many different views on this as there are people since everyone has their own opinion of what is nice and what is not. As I always say; what one person loves, another will hate. It really depends on what a person likes, what they don't like, what their past experiences are, what cruise lines they've been on, what ships they've sailed on, etc.

With that said, my personal opinion is definitely going to be different than others. Personally, we absolutely love Celebrity - their newer ships, the Solstice-class, are superb. Food is excellent and the staff is wonderful. Our second choice is Holland America, but we'll often sail on them because their prices are usually better than Celebrity. So if you want a variance, you might look at what Celebrity has to offer.

As for Carnival and Norwegian, in my opinion, they really don't hold a candle to Celebrity or Holland. But then again, they're cheaper, so you tend to get what you pay for. I'm not a big fan of the food on either Carnival or Norwegian, but I've gotten spoiled by the food on the Celebrity and Holland. I'm older (64), so my likes and dislikes are going to be different than someone who is younger and less traveled - just a fact of life.

But don't let me or anyone else influence your decision, because you may find you enjoy them immensely. So, give them a try and find out for yourself.

We've been on the NCL Dawn and it's a nice ship - we enjoyed our cruise. Haven't been on the Carnival Dream or Elation, the two Carnival ships going out of New Orleans, so can't help with those. The RCCL Serenade of the Seas also goes out of NO and is a VERY nice ship. It's one of the Radiance-class ships, which we've been on, and really enjoyed that cruise.

No matter what you decide, you'll have fun.

Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/16 yrs exp and 50 Cruises on 12 different cruise lines in many parts of the world! VIETNAM VETERAN OWNED & OPERATED. Certified Accessible Travel Advocate. Specializing in unsurpassed personal service to insure you have a hassle-free vacation!
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Old July 2nd, 2014, 12:19 PM
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Here is one big difference - Dream is a newer ship, while the other two are older and smaller.

I am guessing the Dawn will have fewer kids (it always depends on what time of year you go). Dawn will have many wine and dining options, but be forewarned that most of them come at an added cost. Norwegian 's format includes having a number of alternative dining restaurants onboard where the food is considered to be much better than the regular dining room food.

I would expect the "included" food on Carnival to be generally better overall than Norwegians, but if you don't mind paying extra, you will find better food on Dawn.

Deck space? Dream is a pretty crowded ship on a passenger/space ratio. But so are the other two - especially compared to Holland America, which to me is probably the "classiest" cruise line within the known "mainstream" market - smaller ships, far more refined decor and activities, etc. They also roll up the sidewalks at 10:30.

You will not get a "Holland America" experience on any of the three ships you mentioned. So, I would suggest maybe something other than N.O. - and going on a newer Celebrity ship for a change of pace. You will find it as classy as Holland America (without doubt) - but also with more food & wine choices, and very few kids.
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