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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:01 PM
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Default RCL vs. Carnival and NCL

Hi Again,

I have another question about cruise lines. I looked for a sticky on this subject and I realize it has probably been discussed A LOT already, but for anyone who wishes to throw in their 2 cents, I appreciate it. I have cruised on Princess and RCL. Both were very nice. I am thinking about a spring break cruise for my family (husband and 6 yr old daughter). We loved RC, but sometimes I just wonder what it would be like on Carnival or NCL for the sake of some savings and for trying something new. I tend to think of the cruiselines as similar to Honda vs. Toyota fans. They each have their pros and cons, and sometimes when we have picked a favorite it's uncomfortable to try something new. I guess what I am wondering is, is there a critical difference btw. the 3 lines for a family that makes paying more worth it? We do not have a huge budget to work w/, and I don't necessariliy want to dismiss a cruise vacation just because it may be a little less fantastic.

THANK you for any thoughts on this matter.

Sope1
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Old February 14th, 2010, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sope1 View Post
Hi Again,

I have another question about cruise lines. I looked for a sticky on this subject and I realize it has probably been discussed A LOT already, but for anyone who wishes to throw in their 2 cents, I appreciate it. I have cruised on Princess and RCL. Both were very nice. I am thinking about a spring break cruise for my family (husband and 6 yr old daughter). We loved RC, but sometimes I just wonder what it would be like on Carnival or NCL for the sake of some savings and for trying something new. I tend to think of the cruiselines as similar to Honda vs. Toyota fans. They each have their pros and cons, and sometimes when we have picked a favorite it's uncomfortable to try something new. I guess what I am wondering is, is there a critical difference btw. the 3 lines for a family that makes paying more worth it? We do not have a huge budget to work w/, and I don't necessariliy want to dismiss a cruise vacation just because it may be a little less fantastic.

THANK you for any thoughts on this matter.

Sope1
Sope,

I find that Carnival and RCI can be interchangeable but Royal Caribbean will offer more "innovative" ships and activities. Rock Climbing, Royal Promenades, Ice Skating...etc. That is not to say Carnival would be boring for a family. Just the opposite. Carnival has excellent kids clubs, more than enough activities to keep anyone occupied, large cabins and IMO much better food.

My overall favorite is NCL. There multi-dining venues offer excellent food and variety but most of the dining venues are additional charge but the no-charge venues are very good. NCL also has a wide range of activities, high end performances from Second City, Blue Man Group (on the new Epic) and some very good shows. The kids club is also good.

If budget is tight I would go with Carnival. In my opinion you will get the most bang for the buck but any of the three can deliver what you want.

Take care,
Mike
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Old February 14th, 2010, 09:11 PM
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Thank you so much for your thoughts on this topic. They are very helpful and I will keep your ideas in mind. I just think that cruises are the best, especially for families because you have safe and fun childcare onboard so parents get an actual vacation.

Thank you!!
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Old February 20th, 2010, 10:02 AM
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I've just finished my first RCI cruise aboard the Navigator OTS and have to say, in many ways Carnival and RCI are similar. But its the little things that got to me. I preferred the food, entertainment and beds on Carnival. Not to say any of the three were bad on RCI but I just found them better on Carnival.

The topic of the food is being discussed right now in another thread started by Trip. I found the dining room was nothing special, and the menu was not as elaborate and did not feature as many choices as Carnival. Entertainment was good but lacked the WOW factor, the Vegas style feel you get on Carnival. And anyone who has sailed Carnival understands my point about the beds, heavenly.

However, within my first ten minutes on-board Royal took the cake for ship design! The space is utilized very efficiently and I found it easier to get around the ship. The decor was not as out there as on Carnival and a lot more inviting. We loved the Promenade, ice rink and rock climbing. Some interesting things you wouldn't expect to be doing!

By the looks of it, kids facilities are similar aboard both. Programming was similar, though I felt Carnival offered a bit more. Usually Carnival offers slightly larger cabins, though Royal has special family cabins. So really, you should have an amazing time either way. I'd be thrilled to go again on either line. I recommend checking out both lines and picking a cruise on each. Then compare price to the reviews and features of both ships/itineraries. It all depends what is most valuable on your vacation!

Hope this was helpful
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Old February 20th, 2010, 07:19 PM
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Thanks Johnathan!! I really appreciate your thorough and insightful reply. I am just so curious to try Carnival. In some ways we are not the glitzy Las Vegas type, but it is fun to try something different. My daughter would be happy no matter which cruise line. Because of job situation now it's hard to book for the future, but if I understand correctly a Carnival fare is refundable a certain #days prior w/ FULL refund.

Thank you so much for your time.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 10:30 PM
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Yeah I think it will depend on your fare. If you want flexibility don't go with an early saver. The deposit is 100% refundable up until final payment due date.

Glad that helped if you have any specific questions, message me!
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Old February 24th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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I don't find Carnival a bad line, but it does seem to attract more 20 somethings-probably the cheaper cost-because of that I would NOT book a spring break cruise on Carnival.
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