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Old 07-03-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Cheswolde
1,950 posts, read 4,180,441 times
Reputation: 528
Default Up to you

We have had great cruises on all lines listed here, including NCL. Granted, ours was small last-minute cabin but we had portholes for a price cheaper than an inside, were headed for the glorious destination of Bermuda, had pre-arranged to meet half-a-dozen other Cruise Critic cruisers. The captain came to our initial meeting with the hotel manager, and could not believe that we only had six or eight people. He invited us to tour the deck, where we spent an hour and a half listening to him on this last trip of the Norwegian Crown, which was being sold to Europe.
The OP is right about Carnival, which is much disparaged. There is a reason for Carnival's success, despite all the scorn it gets from certain quarters: It sells a great product at an agreeable prince. Food is good, cabins are among the roomiest anywhere. If you don't want the hoopla, you don't have to participate or witness it.
When we consider a cruise, I spend hours poring over deck plans and comparing cabins. In general, we nowadays go for a cheap inside, unless a balcony can be had for an agreeable price. We see little value in an OV, unless that price too is compelling. But we want to make sure that whichever cabin we get is well-located and does not have predictable problems, like a noisy kitchen overhead.
Back to Carnival. If you look at the deck plan of Carnival Freedom, you will see extremely spacious cabins above the captain's bridge being sold as insides, even though they have a window giving you pretty much the same panoramic view as the captain has. Such cabins are technically for the handicapped, except that their location is far away from any action and not desired by the handicapped. In other words, if you reserve it regardless of your status, Carnival will sell one to you. Those are among the best and cheapest in the business.
A few years ago we took a British Isles cruise on the Crown Princess. I had done my research but when I tried to open our inside, the key did not work. We were told we had been moved. I was irritated when the elevator took us to the Lido deck because I thought we would get a badly located inside there. But, hey, we were lucky. The Crown is one of the few ships in the Princess fleet that has those above-the-bridge insides with a window. One of the best cabins we have had.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:18 PM
Status: "Give just a little of yourself to others." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
48,927 posts, read 40,295,542 times
Reputation: 20644
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
After 10 cruises, I am absolutely certain that Carnival is the cruise line for us.

We often plan and get a stateroom last minute so we don't generally have unlimited choices and we have had aft, forward, middle, high decks and low decks, in the middle decks. We have had storms and hurricanes, high winds in the Med, and calm seas. Until this last cruise, I would have advised anyone to go ahead and get an inside cabin - no problem. Well, this last cruise, we planned it less than 2 months ago and got inside staterooms - 1 for us and 1 for his son and girlfriend. Oh no we didn't. We got closets. Give me Carnival! Heck, even give me Royal (which is still much smaller than Carnival), but NCL has to be out of their minds. Even the balcony rooms were only a fraction larger and the bathrooms were the same size - midgets would have a difficult time sitting on the pot.

3 cruise lines so far and we are far and away PRO-Carnival. Mind you, we are not younguns. I am now 62. Give me Carnival! Big ship, little ship, in the middle ship - if it's Carnival I'm ready to sail. Offer me another free cruise on NCL and I will REFUSE it. Seriously.
Well if you base your cruise experience on the size of the cabin, yes, Carnival would be the best choice, especially for those who go cheap...inside cabins that is. HAL has larger cabins than Carnival but the prices are larger as well. There is no perfect cruise line for everyone. That is why we have so many choices. Oh and BTW, RCI cabins compared to NCL, it completely depends on the ship. We have cruised close to 30 times, on all mass marketed lines. The smallest cabins we have ever had were on RCI and NCL as well. The largest and nicest HAL. PRincess is similar in size to NCL and RCI. Again it depends on the ship or class of ship. Carnival has larger cabins but many think their ships are too gaudy and tacky..It is all in the eyes of the beholder as the saying goes.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:25 PM
Status: "Give just a little of yourself to others." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
48,927 posts, read 40,295,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
First, stay away from NYC sailings on every non-Atlantic crossing: too many kids with NYC parents who do not stop them from running through the self-service food area, running up and down stairs, in front of elevators, in the adults only hot-tubs, and generally being obnoxious. This was on both Carnival and RCL. Kids climbing under and around our table while the parents sit calmly chatting 2 tables away. Staff that does not stop this behavior.

NCL dislikes:

Lousiest coffee so far and no availability before 6 am. Are you kidding? We are early risers, 5 am - ever see the sunrise over the ocean? I spent summers watching it as a kid: I can NEVER get enough sunrises over the ocean. But no coffee. I brought along coffee sticks so we could get a decent cup of coffee - can't even get to the machines with the hot water. Nope, not even instant coffee (or tea) at 5 am.

Want room service? you'll pay on NCL and on RC for some hours as well as for the food you order.

Desserts: On the 3 lines, all chocolate flavor is removed from food - you can get brown colored, no chocolate flavor - not even on chocolate fest night. But on NCL, even the pies were made with gelatin - everything bounces! I would really expect to get at least home-made quality if not bakery quality -- but nope, not even stuff as good as my sons made as kids. Rice pudding, not to be found; vanilla pudding made with gelatin.

Ice cream - there was only ice milk and it wasn't very good - and it wasn't available except during mealtimes.

Food availability: on Carnival only, food is available 24/7 at no extra charge. It might be a delicious grilled cheese or tuna sandwich delivered to your stateroom at 3 am; or the pizza 24/7. Nope on NCL and RC.
What you are saying is not true. You can like or dislike a particular line but get your facts straight: Blue Lagoon has coffee available before 6am. Since when do you pay for food on NCL room service, what ship were you on anyway? As for the coffee I have read other reviews stating one of the positives about NCL is their coffeee. I do not happen to agree. We usually have a coffee pot in our cabin, but inside cabins do not offer them. with the exception of 4 to 5am and even in some cases they are open 24 hours a day, NCL offers Blue Lagoon dining.

Now, that you have totally given the negatives, how about talking about the condition of the ships, the ports, the entertainment, these are things most cruisers really care about, not coffee or pizza at 3am?
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:32 PM
Status: "Give just a little of yourself to others." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
48,927 posts, read 40,295,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlendaRN View Post
Well that is discouraging since we would have been on the Norwegian Jewel for our Alaskan cruise. Does anyone one know about/have sailed Princess cruises?
I know this is too late for you, but let me clarify a couple of things: Anne says NCL is advertised as upscale, no, it is not even considered upscale, it is very much in the same general catagory as RCI and Carnival. Each has great pros and yes, some cons. I have sailed NCL and PRincess the most, with RCI and Celebrity next..Princess is more for the individual that does want to be pampered and is a little more subdued, but we have also found the guest (more than the staff) to be a litle stuffy and a bit phony. They want to consider Princess to be just like HAL and Celebrity but it isn't. That is just our opinion. NCL is more laid back, a slightly younger clientelle and often caters to kids a little more than Princess. Because we are more casual by nature we prefer NCL but for those who like a more formal atmosphere Princess is better. Their ships are a little prettier I think but NCL has a little nicer cabins, similar in size, I just like NCLs cabin lay out better.

Nita
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:28 PM
 
1,803 posts, read 2,798,608 times
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We've sailed Carnival the past three cruises and just returned from a Royal Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas cruise. Our interior cabin on RCL was much larger and made better use of space than the interior cabin we had on board the Carnival Dream. However, others in our group with balconies complained their rooms were small than the balconies they had on Carnival.

Also, Royal Caribbean security did a job at enforcing teenager and child curfews. They were constantly sending kids back to their rooms after certain hours and ensuring they were not running all around the ship all hours of the night. Carnival cared less.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:19 AM
Status: "Give just a little of yourself to others." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
48,927 posts, read 40,295,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorado0359 View Post
We've sailed Carnival the past three cruises and just returned from a Royal Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas cruise. Our interior cabin on RCL was much larger and made better use of space than the interior cabin we had on board the Carnival Dream. However, others in our group with balconies complained their rooms were small than the balconies they had on Carnival.

Also, Royal Caribbean security did a job at enforcing teenager and child curfews. They were constantly sending kids back to their rooms after certain hours and ensuring they were not running all around the ship all hours of the night. Carnival cared less.
I am glad to hear RCI is cracking down. I know it is hard for the cruise lines,especially during high family travel seasons, but there are 2000 or more people to consider, not just a bunch of excited kids. I often wonder where the parents are? Do they think, just because they paid for a vacation their kids have the right to interfer with the enjoyment of all the other passengers? We have been lucky, I think only a couple of times have we sailed where there have been truely, unruley kids and one of those sailings was on Celebrity, they premiere line of the mass marketed companies.

Nita
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Long Island NY
330 posts, read 219,561 times
Reputation: 148
We sailed for the first time last year. It was the NCL Jewel and had a great time. We got a portside Balcony room and loved it. We especially loved sitting on the balcony during docking. The Blue Lagoon was a well kept secret that we found out about. Waitress service for an early breakfast with a great view. We are booked for a Canada/New England fall cruise on Princess. We are looking forward to a "Formal" night even though it is not really formal. I guess I don't mind dressing up a bit due to my catholic school upbringing. And the bride likes to put on her jewelry too!
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:29 PM
Status: "Give just a little of yourself to others." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
48,927 posts, read 40,295,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanalsLB View Post
We sailed for the first time last year. It was the NCL Jewel and had a great time. We got a portside Balcony room and loved it. We especially loved sitting on the balcony during docking. The Blue Lagoon was a well kept secret that we found out about. Waitress service for an early breakfast with a great view. We are booked for a Canada/New England fall cruise on Princess. We are looking forward to a "Formal" night even though it is not really formal. I guess I don't mind dressing up a bit due to my catholic school upbringing. And the bride likes to put on her jewelry too!
Just thought I would chime in here: we did a 12 day, Princess Canada and New England cruise last fall: formal nights were pretty formal. those who choose not to go formal looked out of place and did not go to the dining room for dinner...Just an heads up...

Nita
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Long Island NY
330 posts, read 219,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
Just thought I would chime in here: we did a 12 day, Princess Canada and New England cruise last fall: formal nights were pretty formal. those who choose not to go formal looked out of place and did not go to the dining room for dinner...Just an heads up...

Nita
Thanks for the heads up. When you say formal do you mean Suite Jacket only or Jacket and tie?
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:50 PM
Status: "Give just a little of yourself to others." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
48,927 posts, read 40,295,542 times
Reputation: 20644
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanalsLB View Post
Thanks for the heads up. When you say formal do you mean Suite Jacket only or Jacket and tie?
We saw mostly men in jacets and ties, full suits and a lot in tux. Of course it was a 12 day cruise which will be a little more formal than the shorter ones. I will be very honest, hubby and I had decided not to do the formal attiare, he had a nice shirt, no tie or jacket and I had a cute drress, we felt out of place, headed to the buffet for dinner both nights and ended up back in our cabin early.
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