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We have only been on 2 cruises so far and have 2 more booked. All 4 with Rcl. We love it. 

We have learned that we like bigger and newer ships better. We were on Jewel and thought the pool area was way to noisy.  

For this year we are going on Wonder and Odessey and we are now looking at our options for 2023.

Our location is Europe and I don't fly so options with Rcl are limited if we don't want to take the same route over and over again. 

Looking at newer ships I ran into a nice cruise with NCL on Viva. It's a new ship in 2023. Has anyone here cruised with Norwegian? Is it very different from RCL?  Which do you prefer and why? 

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Do you have kids? We only cruise Royal (although we've done a couple Disney cruises), but the newest Carnival ships (Mardi Gras and Celebration) look pretty amazing. They're really stepping their game up from that perspective. 

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We have cruised NCL one time.  Norwegian Breakaway.  The nicest ship we've been on, but we still prefer Royal. 

 

Differences?  For us, the hugest difference is, on Breakaway there is not a traditional Promenade.      Shops scattered throughout, but not concentrated in any area, and many more bar opportunities.  On NCL, I just plain miss having a Promenade where I can sit and watch people go by, and visit.

I suppose the bottom line is, the Breakaway was geared to a younger crowd.  And that's good for them.  I'm glad there are choices.😎

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1 hour ago, Marga said:

Looking at newer ships I ran into a nice cruise with NCL on Viva. It's a new ship in 2023. Has anyone here cruised with Norwegian? Is it very different from RCL?  Which do you prefer and why? 

I've cruised with Norwegian. The two lines are more similar than they are different. I feel Royal does a better job of dispersing passengers around the ship and doesn't feel as crowded.

Norwegian uses Pepsi products while Royal uses Coke. For some people that makes a big difference. NCL's drink packages also don't include bottled water or specialty coffee while they are included in the Refreshment and Deluxe packages on Royal.

I have sailed on Royal way more and their loyalty program gives me more incentive to keep coming back.

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When we started cruising after staring a familiar, we did an RC cruise, then the next year one on Norwegian. The crew on the NCL cruise was just so much more stoic than RC. Like they all were just going through the motions. I'm sure there are a good many on RC that don't like their job, but they're always good at at least putting a smile on.

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47 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

Norwegian uses Pepsi products while Royal uses Coke. For some people that makes a big difference.

This makes ALL the difference for me. I don't drink coffee, Diet Coke is it. I have a serious problem. The cruises I have done with NCL have all been fine, I feel like the nickel and dime more than Royal does though. 

I won a room on the Prima when she comes into service, but I don't know when that will be yet. Already worried about the Diet Coke issue.

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2 hours ago, jeffmw said:

Do you have kids? We only cruise Royal (although we've done a couple Disney cruises), but the newest Carnival ships (Mardi Gras and Celebration) look pretty amazing. They're really stepping their game up from that perspective. 

Nope, no kids. We are 40 years old. 

Carnival does not sail in Europe I think. 

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  • Marga changed the title to Different cruise line
1 hour ago, Sharla said:

This makes ALL the difference for me. I don't drink coffee, Diet Coke is it. I have a serious problem. The cruises I have done with NCL have all been fine, I feel like the nickel and dime more than Royal does though. 

I won a room on the Prima when she comes into service, but I don't know when that will be yet. Already worried about the Diet Coke issue.

I have the same issue. The Pepsi thing is a BIG issue for me. My other main beef with NCL is the lack of pool/whirlpool space. Very little for the size of ships. That being said there are plenty of other fun activities on NCL ships. I think it’s just a matter of preference and while I prefer Royal, there are many others who prefer NCL.

I do find there does also seem to be a lot more folks drinking heavily on NCL vs Royal so if that’s your thing....

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I've sailed NCL, RCL and MSC mentioned here. I've also sailed Carnival, Disney, Oceania and Celebrity - mostly Celebrity. First, I love to cruise. The cruise lines, even down to the ships operated by them, have differing but nevertheless something to do with your cruise experience. You'll enjoy either NCL or RCL but that's just my take mainly becasue, well, I love to cruise no matter. 

The things I value about cruising are not worrying about making beds, doing laundry, figuring out what to eat, cooking and cleaning up, being served. It is the complete life of leisure - the longer I can do it the better and we've sailed continuously at times for 45 or more days ..... never get tired of it or want to get back home and sleep in my own bed. 

My take is that cruise companies have differing corporate level objectives that define the onboard guest's experience. All of them want to deliver "the best", most luxurious, eating and drinking, fitness/spa, gambling, entertainment, whatever experience for their guests. Some do it better than others or some things they do better than others. Corporate also tailors a guests experience around a target cohort, like kids, boomers, gamblers, buffet and big dinner eaters, spa aficionados, sun worshipers, port of call lovers and the like.

RCL is definitely family oriented. At the peak of cruising in 2019 if you were sailing RCL, you'd see lots of kids, some very well behaved, some not so much. Right now, I don't think that separates NCL from RCL. I think the concept of serving your guests graciously is carried out better aboard RCL's ships than it is on NCL. That goes right to the heart of corporate's HR and hiring priorities. When you inquire of crew aboard RCL (definitely aboard Celebrity - an RCL co-brand) of which lines have they worked for and which lines they like the best, parsing bias, RCL frequently comes up as a preferred place of employment. Happy employees, happy customers, right?

I have a hard time separating food and food service between NCL and RCL. It depends a lot on your expectations: 5* dining or burgers and a milkshake. NCL keeps up with leading trends in putting varied restaurants and menus on their ships. If you take, for example, NCL's newest ships and RCLs newest ships, I think RCL wins that comparison hands down when it comes to restaurants, menus and food quality..

Entertainment is another thing worth comparing. I'd say NCL tries, RCL delivers. If you're not into theater productions or stage performances in general, that shouldn't be a deciding factor for you.

Being based in Europe, I'd look at Celebrity sailings out of Athens (Piraeus) to the Greek Isles  - a great itinerary (I love Greece) more sedate, older cohort of guests with, right now, not many kids at all. However their youth programs are very good for all ages if you plan on sailing with your kiddos. As well, MSC has some beautiful new ships and a more European flavor as far as guests, food choices and menus are concerned. If you speak French, German, Italian or Spanish, you'll be very comfortable socializing - something we value onboard cruise ships. At the same time, if you speak only English and just get by with a foreign language, I never met a European that travels and that I've met on a cruise ship that doesn't speak the English language at a conversational level.

I hope this helps. Cruising is a very personal sort of thing with tastes among cruisers that post here and elsewhere varying widely. For me, if I'm on a cruise ship, I like it .... the one I'm currently on. You can't go wrong with RCL nor with NCL - for me, they each offered a different experience and I preferred the ones I've had on RCL. I don't think anything tops Celebrity but that is a hugely biased opinion. We know lots of Celebrity crewmembers that we see over and over again through the years. That makes you feel like family every time we board - 7X since June 26th, #8 next week on Reflection. We like feeling like family that is extended to us when we board .... a lot.        

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5 hours ago, Marga said:

We have only been on 2 cruises so far and have 2 more booked. All 4 with Rcl. We love it. 

We have learned that we like bigger and newer ships better. We were on Jewel and thought the pool area was way to noisy.  

For this year we are going on Wonder and Odessey and we are now looking at our options for 2023.

Our location is Europe and I don't fly so options with Rcl are limited if we don't want to take the same route over and over again. 

Looking at newer ships I ran into a nice cruise with NCL on Viva. It's a new ship in 2023. Has anyone here cruised with Norwegian? Is it very different from RCL?  Which do you prefer and why? 

Have you looked at MSC World Europa?  It comes out later this year, will sail in Europe, and looks to be on par with an RCL Oasis Class Ship.  We’re doing our first cruise on MSC this summer ….. in the Yacht Club On MSC Seashore out of Miami, they best part is they status match …….. once we hit Diamond Plus with Royal next month and do the match, it should give us their top level.  See MSC World Europa at the links below 

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/cruise/ships/msc-world-europa

 

 

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4 hours ago, Sharla said:

This makes ALL the difference for me. I don't drink coffee, Diet Coke is it. I have a serious problem. The cruises I have done with NCL have all been fine, I feel like the nickel and dime more than Royal does though. 

I won a room on the Prima when she comes into service, but I don't know when that will be yet. Already worried about the Diet Coke issue.

 

Same here, I hate Diet Pepsi lol 😂 

 

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16 hours ago, Vancity Cruiser said:

 My other main beef with NCL is the lack of pool/whirlpool space. Very little for the size of ships.

.


When we were on Odyssey in November, I thought the same thing …….. the pool/whirlpool space barely cut it for the size of the ship and were always very crowded at roughly 40% passenger capacity.  I can’t imagine trying to use those when the ship is full to capacity!  I don’t know that I’d want to sail on a Quantum class ship in the Caribbean again when things are back to normal. 

 

 

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Add me to the coke snob club...RCL spoiled me into not thinking to check this very important detail before booking cruises elsewhere. I gained 5 extra pounds on Carnival because I was forced to drink Mountain Dew for a whole week. Now I am booked on NCL next year...I am going to have to boost my diet and exercise before 10 days of Mountain Dew or else train myself to actually drink water. This is going to be a difficult task. 🤣

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My first cruise ever was Carnival (my youngest brother wedding on the ship) I thought of it has a party boat..

Now, my husband and I only do Royal Caribbean-- love their food,shows and entertainment..and yes I also like the Quantum/Oasis ships..also their cleanliness is top notch!

We're doing Odyssey of the sea in February,  can't wait!

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I sailed on NCL's Pride Of America once.  I was warned that the experience on Pride is far different than other NCL ships. Indeed, the on board experience was below average in every way. You sail Pride of America for the itinerary.  Not the ship.

However, it did expose me to a few policies that would be fleet wide as follows:

  1. Royal allows you to bring two bottles of wine and a 12 pack of soft drinks on board.  NCL does not.
  2. Royal will give you a price break for the 3rd and 4th person in your room. NCL does not.
  3. The shareholder benefit on Royal can be used for gratuities.  NCL does not allow this.

Are these show stoppers?  Probably not.  But it is good to know these things ahead of time.

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We cruise NCL a lot and also enjoy Royal Caribbean for different reasons. I'm perfectly happy to do either and will be on Odyssey of the Seas later in February. We're not foodies and find good food on either line. Probably what steers us to NCL more often is the perks. We're booked for the Prima early next year and am interested to see what it's like as it's smaller than the newer ships. 

NCL: We love the Freestyle aspect where you don't have to reserve the regular dining rooms. We like the beverage/dining package perks where you just pay the gratuities for them, also the loyalty program perks (we get 2 specialty dinners & more for being Platinum). I really enjoy the newer large ships which have great entertainment and the Waterfront. Cons: the cabins are a little smaller and also the balcony. You can bring wine/champagne but will pay a $15 corkage fee for each. No other beverages are allowed unless needed for medical devices or for baby formula.  

Royal: I really like some of the layouts including the Promenade, Boardwalk, Central Park, skating rinks. There are also more cabin categories so you can sometimes get a window with an inside cabin or a balcony overlooking a boardwalk/park. I like that the price seems to be better in some cases. Cons: Drink packages are really expensive and it doesn't seem like the 10 drink coupons are available now. I don't like that you have to reserve dining even with My Time.  

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