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Old April 14th, 2008, 05:55 PM
MarieMarie's Avatar
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Default Royal Caribbean vs Carnival and NCL

Ok, so I just recently went on Freedom of the Seas, but a lot of things have changed on Royal Caribbean. The curfews are enforced extremely strictly, and they staff wasn't as nice as they have been in the past. I have never been on Carnival or NCL and was wondering what everyone preferred. I'm just looking for peoples opinions and their likes and dislikes of the different cruise lines.

Thanks, MarieMarie
Booked Cruises: Freedom of the Seas 4/08

Past Cruises:
Navigator of the Seas 6/04 - Caribbean
Legend of the Seas 7/02 - Alaska
The USS Norway 3/02 - Caribbean
Voyager of the Seas 6/01
Disney Cruise 03/00
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Old April 14th, 2008, 06:14 PM
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personally, i love carnival. i've been on royal caribbean when i was really little so barley remember it at all but it still counts! haha. i'm sure i would love rccl if i went on it now, but i'm kind of addicited to carnival. i've always had the nicest crew members and found their ships to be the definition of a ultimate vacation to me (meeting really and fun cool people, being pampered, eating great food, and tons of entertainment at night especially)... i haven't take one cruise that i didn't love! royal caribbean has a lot of unique features aboard their ships that carnival doesn't, like the flow rider and ice skating rinks and rock climbing walls, but all that stuff doesn't really make a cruise great to me... knowing me, probably would only use the flow rider once haha i'm more into just laying my the pool and tanning all day and going out and partying at night. i haven't been on ncl, but i don't think i would like the freestyle dinning thing, i love having a set time to eat dinner and the same waiters every night, plus its cool that everyone gets done with dinner usually around the same time and then everyone that you've met on the cruise is ready to hang out! just my opinion.
hi, im jess.

none booked =(

empress of the seas - baja mexico 10/94
sensation - western caribbean 8/02
carnival pride - mexico 8/03
carnival miracle - new york to the bahamas 8/04
carnival conquest - western caribbean 8/05
carnival valor - eastern caribbean 8/06
carnival pride - mexican riviera 4/07
carnival legend - western caribbean 8/07
carnival miracle - eastern caribbean 6/08
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Old April 14th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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hmmm ok. Thanks. On my last cruise, i didn't even rock climb or play put put lol. I just didn't want to anyway. So i guess all the things that Royal Caribbean offer are good but not great ha ha. And, come to think of it i guess i have been on NCL because i went on the SS Norway, but that was a lonnnnnggg time ago! and i don't remember much.
Booked Cruises: Freedom of the Seas 4/08

Past Cruises:
Navigator of the Seas 6/04 - Caribbean
Legend of the Seas 7/02 - Alaska
The USS Norway 3/02 - Caribbean
Voyager of the Seas 6/01
Disney Cruise 03/00
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Old April 14th, 2008, 07:50 PM
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Carnival over NCL, and here is why.
Carnival is I guess you could say notorious for its partying and focus on the younger crowd while still maintaining a family environment. So yes, you'll have your nightclub, partying, nightlife, but you'll also have your poolside competitions, and deck party, and karaoke...well you get the point.
I have always had a much better time on Carnival versus all the other cruiselines I have been on (RCCL, NCL, Princess), mainly because of the people onboard, but also because of the way the cruise is run. Carnival has no curfew, and is fairly open about partying, so definite pluses there; and, yes, there is the pool, the hot tubs, the slide, the mini golf (on certain ships only), and the basics.
Now, I have not sailed NCL since back in February of 2003, and it was on the now defunct Norwegian Sea (40,000 tons, small boat....basically rooms, a lido restaurant, a pool, a hot tub, a basketball court, a running track, and a main restaurant). Of all the cruises I have ever been on I can truthfully name the Norwegian one the worst. You have to consider that NCL has restructured immensely since 2003 and they have redeveloped a lot of different things too.
Final Word:
CCL over NCL
Teen Host
Past Cruises
Carnivale (2/11/93)
Ecstasy (9/5/94)
Fantasy (2/20/00)
Fascination (8/26/00) (2/18/02)
Conquest (2/20/05)
Inspiration (8/18/07)
Liberty (3/15/08.)
Dream (3/3/12)
Sensation (8/19/12)
Sea (2/22/03)
Golden (2/14/04)
Caribbean (8/20/05)
Crown (3/5/11)
Voyager (8/25/02)
Navigator (8/28/04)
Adventure (8/27/06)
Freedom (3/7/10)
Carnival Pride (12/16/12)
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Old April 14th, 2008, 08:30 PM
KTS1193's Avatar
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Posts: 1,759


The teen program was soooo much better.
and having no curfew is so much better too.
24/7 pizza and ice cream is amazzing as well.

Idk just something about Carnival makes me LOVE them.
RCL not so much.

Past Cruises:
7/30/01- Carnival Ecstasy(Catalina & Ensenada)
4/5/03-Carnival Sensation(Grand Cay/Cozumel)
4/4/05-Carnival Fascination(Keys & Cozumel)
3/31/07-Carnival Liberty(Eastern Caribbean)
4/5/08-Liberty of the Seas
4/4/09-Independence of the seas
4/3/10- Carnival Dream
4/2/11-Oasis of the Seas(Western Caribbean)
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Old April 14th, 2008, 10:30 PM
Kristina99's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,562

Out of those 3 cruise lines....CCL wins hands down. Its the only cruise line ove been on out of those...and its is one of the funnest.

Booked Cruises
NCL Dawn 6/21/06 Bermuda

Past Cruises
10/30/08 X Constellation Caribbean
Costa Fortuna 3/08 Eastern Caribbean
Costa Magica 2/07 Western Caribbean
HAL Noordam 11/06 Eastern Caribbean
X Zenith 6/06 Bermuda
HAL Zuiderdam 5/05 Western Caribbean
HAL Maasdam 6/04 Canada/New England
CCL Triumph 12/03 Western Caribbean
CCL Victory 11/02 Eastern Caribbean

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Old April 14th, 2008, 10:39 PM
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I'm partial to both Royal Caribbean and Carnival for different reasons.

First of all, if you follow the rules, then you won't have a problem with Royal Caribbean. Navigator of the Seas doesn't even have deck patrol, just security and they don't usually enforce the curfew unless you make it obvious that your underage. Royal Caribbean has larger ships with more amenities and options. One of the BIG selling points for Royal Caribbean (for me) are the theme nights in the nightclub. Dusk, Dawn, Warehouse and Prom night are all nights I look forward to pimping out for and having a great time. I think if you plan things correctly, Royal Caribbean can be an excellent vacation.

Carnival, has always, is and will always be the Fun Ships. Its their legend, their namesake and their selling point and its why they're the most popular cruise line in the world. I've sailed on Carnival many times and have always had an amazingly awesome time. Their teen clubs are separated from the kids programs, theyre unique, dedicated to 15-17 year old teens, they have younger, cool directors, better sound and light systems and more creative scheduling. Carnival offers more exotic ports and opportunities that cannot be reasonably accessed by RCI's fleet in which most ships ar 33% larger than their comparable Carnival counterpart. Carnival has the best food out of the two and the most of it. I like their deck parties and being able to have a pajama party at 4am on the lookout deck with security not saying anything to me and i like being able to grind and make out in the teen club without being taken out by the Party Pooper Patrol.

Norwegian- Norwegian has the youngest fleet on the seas and in some ways they reflect it. Their ships, while not the largest and not the most amenitive, are usually in the best condition. They offer a wide variety of onboard activities but their focus really is an older clientel. The majority of NCL's passengers are in the mid to late 30s up to the late 60s. Families may choose NCL as could school groups and teen crowds, but its rare to find an overbearing amount of teens onboard. NCL's tolerance policy is also one of the strictest on the high seas. A friend of mine got in serious trouble over Spring Break as a result of his trip to Senor Frogs on the Norwegian Jewel and the teen director was supposedly...less than desirable in her rules. Bottom line, if your looking for a little more upscale experience on a newer fleet of ships and a relaxing vacation, Norwegian is a good choice for you, but don't expect late nights and wild parties on these laid back liners.
Ryan- The Cruise Encyclopedia

Oasis of the Seas
Allure of the Seas
Freedom of the Seas
Mariner of the Seas
Navigator of the Seas
Grandeur of the Seas
Enchantment of the Seas
Brilliance of the Seas
Jewel of the Seas
Monarch of the Seas
Voyager of the Seas
Sovereign of the Seas
Carnival Glory
Carnival Valor
Carnival Conquest
Cunard Queen Mary 2
Disney Magic/Wonder
Cruise Total as of July 2014: 118 Cruises
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Old April 14th, 2008, 11:50 PM
Ainsley's Avatar
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Location: Alabama =)
Posts: 1,525
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Carnival wins hands down in my opinion. I havent sailed on NCL but I have RCCL. I definitely would choose carnival over any other vacation. Its very affordable which in my case is great because if the parents dont want to spend the money at the time I suggest paying for it myself. Which usually win them over and they pay for it anyways. No curfew 24/7 pizza and icecream which is great at 3 am when you hanging out with friends and you are starving. haha. but definitely carnival =]
Past Cruises
Commodor Enchanted Isle of Capri-06.97
Carnival Holiday-10.26.02
Carnival Conquest-02.22.04
Carnival Conquest-02.06.05
Carnival Legend-3.25.06
Royal Caribbean Sovereign OTS-4.16.07
Carnival Fantasy 4.28.08
Carnival Fantasy 10.27.08
Norwegian Pearl 3.13.11
Carnival Elation 11.14.11

Future Cruises
Carnival Ecstasy 5.21.12
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Old April 15th, 2008, 10:28 PM
Roger91's Avatar
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 119

the last time i went on carnival was 2001, carnival destiny

but i HAVE been on two NCL ones, Norwegian Gem a week ago, and Norwegian Dawn last summer.

Norwegian isn't strict at all really in my opinion. no curfew, one of the nights i got way too drunk, ended up wandering in the teen club and didn't really end up with any problems with security lol. i guess this was mainly because there was only one teen director, and she was cool. but yeah, the gem only had ONE teen director there, and the teen program was really weak. if you are 18+, there's still nightclubs and drinking and plenty of partying, it's not all old people. the service in the restaurants is nice, but nothing crazy upscale, it's casual dress if you want all week. alcohol was easy to 'smuggle' on board. there was lots of activities like karaoke, deck stuff & the rest of the normal things. the shows were also pretty cool, broadway style.

norwegian is pretty fun, i guess it really depends on if you go at a popular time for kids to go (summer, spring break/winter week)

but princess > ncl in so many ways =)
Next cruise: Independence of the Seas - April 4th!

Carnival Destiny - 2000
Norwegian Dawn - April 2006
Crown Princess - June 2007
Norwegian Gem - March 2008
Caribbean Princess - July 2008
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