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Old 02-03-2019, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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When I cruise I usually stick with NCL. However I want to do a Greek Isles cruise next spring with a port stop in Malta. NCL is not going to stop in Malta at all in 2020.

I found a nice cruise in May on Royal that has a port stop in Malta.
Can anyone who has cruised both lines tell me any differences between the two? Is Royal more formal?
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:07 PM
 
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Royal is not more formal. You'll be fine.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
When I cruise I usually stick with NCL. However I want to do a Greek Isles cruise next spring with a port stop in Malta. NCL is not going to stop in Malta at all in 2020.

I found a nice cruise in May on Royal that has a port stop in Malta.
Can anyone who has cruised both lines tell me any differences between the two? Is Royal more formal?
They are more alike than different I would say. For us the difference is mainly: we have always had better service on NCL and we like the complete dining experience better on NCL. Royal probably has nicer ships with more Bells and Whistles. They are certainly more formal then NCL but nothing like HAL or even Princess. I would not worry about that. They are still somewhat laid back.
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Might try https://www.cruisecritic.com/
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
always a good website to get information and comments from lots of cruisers. Just remember it is like any other website we have to take a lot of what we read with a grain of salt. It is still a great source of information.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:07 PM
 
12,327 posts, read 18,437,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
When I cruise I usually stick with NCL. However I want to do a Greek Isles cruise next spring with a port stop in Malta. NCL is not going to stop in Malta at all in 2020.

I found a nice cruise in May on Royal that has a port stop in Malta.
Can anyone who has cruised both lines tell me any differences between the two? Is Royal more formal?
Good question as differences seem to be more distinct on international routes vs. the Caribbean routes between these otherwise similiar cruise lines.
1.) Obviously the guests will be more international (although English will be the primary language).
2.) Less focus on evening entertainment, more focus on port stops.
3.) Less children and young adults
Expect a more formal experience on both cruise lines compared to Carr. equivalent, less pool party games, etc. (although in contrast you might have a clothing optional sun bathing area on the very top deck). It's not like you always had to dress up, it was casual, but just less of a party experience....which I actually appreciated. I know however, you are asking the difference between the two cruise lines - I can't remember my RCI international experiences in particular but one NCL cruise (this one to Norway) stood out as being extremely formal down to the ships nautical themes as opposed to the tropical bubble gum colors of the RCL ships.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:17 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,894 posts, read 20,185,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
When I cruise I usually stick with NCL. However I want to do a Greek Isles cruise next spring with a port stop in Malta. NCL is not going to stop in Malta at all in 2020.

I found a nice cruise in May on Royal that has a port stop in Malta.
Can anyone who has cruised both lines tell me any differences between the two? Is Royal more formal?
I just came back from a Greek Isles/Italian cruise with NCL which stopped in Malta along with Montenegro, Croatia, 4 Greek and 3 Italian ports. Malta was one of my favorite ports. (They all were amazing really)

I've only sailed once on RCL (Radiance) to Alaska and NCL (Jade) Greek Isles/Italian 11-day so my analysis is based upon these two sailings:

Food:

Although Norwegian had more dining venues, I found the complimentary food options to be very lacking to the point that I tried eating my meals at the ports. No variety at the buffet on NCL and complimentary dining options had the same menus each time I visited. I am not a picky eater so I was surprised that I didn't even like most of the food on the ship. All the premium dining options had no reservations available. As I chatted with other passengers, it seemed that I wasn't the only one to find the food lacking on this cruise.

Royal Caribbean Radiance had a really good buffet with lots of selections. They changed up their menus each day with themed nights. I was so satisfied with their buffet that I didn't even dine in the dining room until my final morning. This was an 8-day Alaskan cruise.

On-board activities:

I found NCL to be more laid back especially on embarkation day whereas there was too much sales activities when I embarked on RCL Radiance. RCL had more onboard activities and entertainment that appealed to me versus NCL. I pretty much stayed in my stateroom for much of my time on the NCL Jade, except to eat or watch the sail aways so it felt more like a mobile hotel than a cruise ship (which was fine as there were no sea days). With RCL Radiance, I participated in more onboard activities such as karaoke, shows, games, etc so there was never a dull moment, which was a blessing as there were two sea days.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:28 AM
 
Location: USA
1,150 posts, read 387,590 times
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Good luck.

I have only cruised with RCL. NEVER had an issue.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,068 posts, read 83,735,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
I just came back from a Greek Isles/Italian cruise with NCL which stopped in Malta along with Montenegro, Croatia, 4 Greek and 3 Italian ports. Malta was one of my favorite ports. (They all were amazing really)

I've only sailed once on RCL (Radiance) to Alaska and NCL (Jade) Greek Isles/Italian 11-day so my analysis is based upon these two sailings:

Food:

Although Norwegian had more dining venues, I found the complimentary food options to be very lacking to the point that I tried eating my meals at the ports. No variety at the buffet on NCL and complimentary dining options had the same menus each time I visited. I am not a picky eater so I was surprised that I didn't even like most of the food on the ship. All the premium dining options had no reservations available. As I chatted with other passengers, it seemed that I wasn't the only one to find the food lacking on this cruise.

Royal Caribbean Radiance had a really good buffet with lots of selections. They changed up their menus each day with themed nights. I was so satisfied with their buffet that I didn't even dine in the dining room until my final morning. This was an 8-day Alaskan cruise.

On-board activities:

I found NCL to be more laid back especially on embarkation day whereas there was too much sales activities when I embarked on RCL Radiance. RCL had more onboard activities and entertainment that appealed to me versus NCL. I pretty much stayed in my stateroom for much of my time on the NCL Jade, except to eat or watch the sail aways so it felt more like a mobile hotel than a cruise ship (which was fine as there were no sea days). With RCL Radiance, I participated in more onboard activities such as karaoke, shows, games, etc so there was never a dull moment, which was a blessing as there were two sea days.
Though I have not cruised RCI for awhile I am a bit surprised with your feelings about activities and food on NCL. Though no line is perfect and it is a matter of opinion as food is very subjective: it is hard for me to understand how anyone could say they are not picky eaters but found very little to enjoy eating on NCL. There are so many places to eat and so many choices.

cant judge about OB activities as we enjoy relaxing and reading or visiting with others when cruising. We do love playing trivia plus watching movies in the atrium and a few other activities. You are right, there isn't constant activities on NCL.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:36 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,894 posts, read 20,185,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
Though I have not cruised RCI for awhile I am a bit surprised with your feelings about activities and food on NCL. Though no line is perfect and it is a matter of opinion as food is very subjective: it is hard for me to understand how anyone could say they are not picky eaters but found very little to enjoy eating on NCL. There are so many places to eat and so many choices.

cant judge about OB activities as we enjoy relaxing and reading or visiting with others when cruising. We do love playing trivia plus watching movies in the atrium and a few other activities. You are right, there isn't constant activities on NCL.
Maybe it was the particular ship, NCL Jade, but I really did not enjoy the complimentary options (same menu at the buffet and dinning rooms). The premium options were all booked with reservations (normally I would not waste my money but I was desperate for better food). I found just two items that were decent so I stuck with those. Since there were no sea days, I would eat off the ship when I could. I'm not a picky eater and was shocked that I could not find but two items that I enjoyed out of the Jade's options. I had no issues with RCL and pretty much stuck with the buffet as they had tons of good stuff and a different menu each night.

By the way, I thought it was just me but other guests that I spoke with did not like the food on the ship ... I wasn't alone in disliking the food on the ship. Maybe the other NCL ships have better food quality but my particular experience it was lacking.
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