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  #1  
Old April 27th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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Default What is the major differences between carnival and NCL

We have been on 2 Carnival cruises and getting ready for our 3rd. We booked an Alaskan cruise for June 2013 on NCL(so excited!!) We are taking both sets of parents and none of us have ever been to Alaska or on NCL. Can anyone tell me what if any big differences there are between the 2 lines? We just don't know what to expect and I'm a HUGE planner especially since we are taking 2 older couples one of which has never cruised or vacationed much for that matter.
Any input would be great!
Thanks
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Old April 27th, 2012, 11:56 AM
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I have never been on a Carnival cruise, so forgive me if what I post is incorrect. On our last cruise, we met a few other couples who had been on both and all of them thought Norwegian was better. They said that there were a lot of drunk minors on Carnival, and that it was much more of a party atmosphere (in an obnoxious way) - not sure if your experience has been the same or not. Obviously you can get that on any cruise. On Norwegian, you can eat whenever you want - there is no set time unless you choose to make a reservation. Hope this helps some I love NCL!
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  #3  
Old April 27th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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Rooms are bigger on CCL unless you are in suite. Apparently the suite life on NCL is top notch (I have not tried that yet but hoping to some day).

Food is subjective. IMO MDR food is similar. NCL Buffet is better. CCL desert is better. NCL Pizza is better. NCL has many more for fee dining options. NCL Blue Lagoon/O'Sheehans has excellant food (non-fee).

Entertainment is subjective. IMO NCL has better production and comedy shows. CCL has less expensive Bingo.

Service is subjective. IMO they are similar.

Freestyle Dining is similar to Anytime Dining.

Go with an open mind and have fun.
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  #4  
Old April 27th, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chel2thec View Post
I have never been on a Carnival cruise, so forgive me if what I post is incorrect. On our last cruise, we met a few other couples who had been on both and all of them thought Norwegian was better. They said that there were a lot of drunk minors on Carnival, and that it was much more of a party atmosphere (in an obnoxious way) - not sure if your experience has been the same or not. Obviously you can get that on any cruise. On Norwegian, you can eat whenever you want - there is no set time unless you choose to make a reservation. Hope this helps some I love NCL!
I have not seen that on any of our Carnival Cruise. IMO the clientelle between the 2 lines are more similar than they are different.
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  #5  
Old April 27th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwannago07 View Post
We have been on 2 Carnival cruises and getting ready for our 3rd. We booked an Alaskan cruise for June 2013 on NCL(so excited!!) We are taking both sets of parents and none of us have ever been to Alaska or on NCL. Can anyone tell me what if any big differences there are between the 2 lines? We just don't know what to expect and I'm a HUGE planner especially since we are taking 2 older couples one of which has never cruised or vacationed much for that matter.
Any input would be great!
Thanks
I actually think NCL and CCL are the 2 most similar major cruise lines. I think if you like one, you will like the other. The biggest difference is a lot more dining options on NCL. Otherwise, it's the same demographic and the ships, amenities, and activities are very similar.
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  #6  
Old April 27th, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warm Breezes View Post
Rooms are bigger on CCL unless you are in suite. Apparently the suite life on NCL is top notch (I have not tried that yet but hoping to some day).

Food is subjective. IMO MDR food is similar. NCL Buffet is better. CCL desert is better. NCL Pizza is better. NCL has many more for fee dining options. NCL Blue Lagoon/O'Sheehans has excellant food (non-fee).

Entertainment is subjective. IMO NCL has better production and comedy shows. CCL has less expensive Bingo.

Service is subjective. IMO they are similar.

Freestyle Dining is similar to Anytime Dining.

Go with an open mind and have fun.
I have only one Carnival cruise for comparison (and it was a smaller, older, ship) but I would agree competely. I really enjoy freestye dining and missed that on Carnival. We booked late and only ate seating was available. Other than that, we enjoyed the cruise.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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Lets make this simple

NCL = NO DANCING AND SINGING WAITERS

'NUFF SAID
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  #8  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:30 PM
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My sisters ex husbands girlfriend knows an ex travel agent who booked her husbands uncle's cousin on a carnival ship in 1986 and they said never again.

Bill
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by S.S.Oceanlover View Post
My sisters ex husbands girlfriend knows an ex travel agent who booked her husbands uncle's cousin on a carnival ship in 1986 and they said never again.

Bill
That's all I need to hear. No Carnival for me!!
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  #10  
Old April 27th, 2012, 04:31 PM
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I totally agree with Warm Breezes, I have been on 2 Carnival Cruises and never saw "drunk minors". I loved Carnival and do not have any complaints. I wish people would stop bashing Carnival, especially if they have never been on one. Although I have noticed, when I was researching my Canival Cruises, people were bashing NCL, however, I still booked a cruise on NCL for June 2013 and am really looking foward to it.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.S.Oceanlover View Post
My sisters ex husbands girlfriend knows an ex travel agent who booked her husbands uncle's cousin on a carnival ship in 1986 and they said never again.

Bill
WOW really, 1986. When I sailed on NCL in 1992, there was formal wear mandatory on formal night, assigned seating and you got dirty looks if you were in public spaces after 5:00 p.m. in your bathing attire! You do realize that times have changed!

Having sailed on both, I can tell you that there is really no difference. The difference is in the ship you pick.
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  #12  
Old April 27th, 2012, 04:52 PM
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We have done quite a few Carnival cruises, one just this past January. I think there is a huge differnce in the crew, NCL has the best at sea in my opinion. We only cruise suites and Carnivals are nice but outrageously priced for no amenities. NCL has amazing suites and services. There is a different demographic on Carnival..not saying it is good or bad, just not for us.

We will not cruise Carnival again , we did it one last time just to do the Southern itinerary out of San Juan.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:20 PM
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I have been on two Car and 2 ncl and the Bars on car. win hands down. different type music and bands playing everywhere. from the casino to the atrium... sing a long bars and pubs.... ncl seems to lack in this aspect.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Bill was kidding (I'm assuming) and so was I. Maybe I should have inserted a or a or maybe even a .
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warm Breezes View Post
Rooms are bigger on CCL unless you are in suite. Apparently the suite life on NCL is top notch (I have not tried that yet but hoping to some day).

Food is subjective. IMO MDR food is similar. NCL Buffet is better. CCL desert is better. NCL Pizza is better. NCL has many more for fee dining options. NCL Blue Lagoon/O'Sheehans has excellant food (non-fee).

Entertainment is subjective. IMO NCL has better production and comedy shows. CCL has less expensive Bingo.

Service is subjective. IMO they are similar.

Freestyle Dining is similar to Anytime Dining.

Go with an open mind and have fun.
From everything I've been able to deduce from reading the CCL board I'd say this is spot on except for one thing- Freestyle dining is available to 100% of the passengers, Anytime Dining is limited to a small percentage of the passengers.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:58 PM
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I have been on two Car and 2 ncl and the Bars on car. win hands down. different type music and bands playing everywhere. from the casino to the atrium... sing a long bars and pubs.... ncl seems to lack in this aspect.
I've been given to understand that CCL is moving away from the live bands and using more recorded music. CCL says it's an enhancement, the passengers say it's a cut back.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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OP most non-differences have been covered here. They are very similar, BUT if you are looking for another big difference (besides the non-singing/dancing waiters ) join your roll call!!!

NCL will treat C.C. members who plan a Meet & Greet that blows CCL out of the water. Senior staff will attend, sometimes even the Captain. You will get direct telephone line numbers to the Hotel Director so that any issue can be addressed IMMEDIATELY. You will also see the senior staff all over the ship. I didn't see this as much on any CCL sailing I did, but I wonder if that is because of the basically all Italian crew and therefore less interaction.

Don't sweat the minor differences. Have a WONDERFUL time in Alaska and while you are waiting read and research your ports and the cruise line.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:30 PM
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I've never sailed carnival and don't plan to - So far no line for me can beat NCL's freestyle approach and on the newer ships the studio configuration and solo traveller activities. Until that is matched, I'll be an NCL cruiser.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
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Bill was kidding (I'm assuming) and so was I. Maybe I should have inserted a or a or maybe even a .

yes I was kidding. like you said that is all you need to hear just like many who have never cruised on CCL.

they here fourth hand reports from years ago in determined it's a booze cruise.

Bill
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:35 PM
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yes I was kidding. like you said that is all you need to hear just like many who have never cruised on CCL.

they here fourth hand reports from years ago in determined it's a booze cruise.

Bill
True and on some EPIC sailings it could be classed as a booze party ship. (although never witnessed by myself...)
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