NCL vs RCCI

Old Mar 16th, 2008, 12:30 PM
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NCL vs RCCI

We are looking at 2 cruises June 2008. Traveling with 90 year young mother, 3 adult daughters (2 over 55) and 5 year old granddaughter out of NYC area to Bermuda. NCL Dawn vs. RCC Explorer of the Seas. All except 5 year old have cruised before - we do try to avoid the chaos by staying on board most of the time getting balcony room etc. Any comments - see many concerns bad reviews about both cruise lines.
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Old Mar 16th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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WHAT CHAOS!!! Bermuda is a lovely laid back island and the shame would be your staying on board. The five year old would love the beaches and the zoo.. Which ship would I pick..probably the NCL because there is "free style dning" .. you eat when yu want to eat.. and I do know they have great kids program We have been to Bermuda by NCL more than q dozen times and we just love it.. very ulike the other Caribbean Islands.
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 05:26 AM
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Thanks for the reply ParrotMom! I will get off ship in Bermuda as I really do want to see it. Glad to know there is a Zoo and of course the beaches. I only meant that sometimes the ship is quiet when all disembark for islands - but you are correct that I do want to get off to see Bermuda. I am most curious about Dawn vs. Explorer (Dawn is 7 day -2 xtra in port)same cruising time.
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 08:21 AM
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I would go on Dawn as you'll have 2 extra days in Bermuda and there are plenty of things to do each day.

Explorer is a much bigger ship than Dawn and the 5 days will be too short - especially when there is a child in the party.

Another thing, the casino and shops on the ship are CLOSED when the ship is in port.

Go to Horseshoe Beach as there is a Children's beach off the right when you enter the main beach. The 5 yo will LOVE it and so will the 90 yy mother!

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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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Even the 5 year old will probably like Bermuda. The buildings are beautiful pastels - almost look like something from a dollhouse. Walking on the side of the road she will likely see cute little lizards. There is recognizable food. People are plesant and things seems to run efficiently and on-time.

Things she might enjoy doing include caves, perfume factory. Your mother might have a bit of difficulty walking on the cobblestones and brick (sometimes uneven) sidewalks - but would also be likely to enjoy same things on list 5 year old.

One word of advice if you do NCL "freestyle" dining - if you plan to eat at peak hours, there will be a wait. Send one member of your group down to register name and find out length of wait.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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"One word of advice if you do NCL "freestyle" dining - if you plan to eat at peak hours, there will be a wait. Send one member of your group down to register name and find out length of wait. "

Sorry but this is somewhat inaccurate - at least in my experience. (I have cruised with NCL a number of times so I speak from personal experience.)

At peak hours (around 7PM) you may have to wait a SHORT period of time (our longest wait was less than 10 minutes) to be seated. Most times we were seated immediately. On the ships we were on they absolutely would NOT seat you or take down your cabin mumber unless ALL members of your party were present.
One person could NOT register a name without others being present.
It is possible this is allowed on other ships but not on the ones I was on.

Exceptions to this: - large groups are allowed to make reservations at specific times for the main dining rooms AND reservations MUST be made for "specialty" restaurants.
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Old Mar 20th, 2008, 05:23 AM
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We have cruised NCL twice. The Pearl was beautiful new ship and it was a great experience. Very well organized. I would like to address the wait time for dinners. The Pearl was great and you do need to make reservations for the specialty restaurants. We went to Hawaii last year, and reservations were a must even for the dining room if you were a party of 4 and the wait was totally horrendous. We waited hours. It was terribly disorgranized. I am sure this is not representative of all NCL cruises as the Hawaii ones always had issues and continued to as of last year. AS I said the Pearl was fine. I am sure Parrot Mom can address that as she has done Bermuda many times.
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 09:55 PM
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Lucky you going on a cruise, I sure you will enjoy the cruise with either ship line. I have cruised with both lines and preferred RCCL. I did not like the freestyle dining, you always had different waiters, had to wait for a table usually about 5-10 minutes. It felt more like dining at Denny's to me, plus I enjoy the company of 4-8 diners.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 01:52 PM
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Let's get tjos straight...once and for all!!! You can make arrangements to eat at the same table at the same time very evening...although I'm sure a 7:00 time frame would be harder to fill..This is especally great with your large family and if you find a wait staff you really enjoy..you can request a one of his/her tables..
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Old Apr 1st, 2008, 07:15 AM
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I only have experience with NCL - just returned from the NCL Hawaiian cruise. I found the ship to be very organized...since we had 8 people we were able to reserve tables even in the main dining rooms. We didn't have to wait but the food was very, very bad! Kind of like a school lunchroom. We tries all the specialty restaurants, too. Horrible food.
We had read the reviews before we left so our expectations were low.
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Old Apr 1st, 2008, 06:31 PM
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We have sailed with both lines and would reccomend RCCL. It is a much more exciting ship. The atrium is about 8 stories high, not just 2 as on NCL. On the Explorer they hold parades down main street, a prominade designed to look like a street. Like Norden 1 I am not a big fan of free style. I enjoy the people I meet on the ship. I also like to know that my dinner will be ready at a certain time and I don't have to fight for a table, or worry about making reservations. The Explorer has a rock climbing wall, roller skating track and ice skating rink. They even put on a show on the ice rink. So you will get parades and an ice show. NCL has nothing to match that.
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Old Apr 5th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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Let's stop comparing ships!

I said NCL Dawn because of the extra 2 days in Bermuda, and that the Explorer is too big to enjoy 5 (five) days - better to enjoy it if the cruise is 7 or more days.

NCL has a bonus over RCCL: Dine-ashore program. For $5 pp you get $25 lunch vouchers to use at some participating restaurants on the island. The $50 dinner vouchers are $10 pp. Saves time having to rush back to the ship to have lunch/dinner.

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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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My daughter and I just returned from an NCL cruise (Gem) out of NY. Freestyle Cruising really means "Fleecestyle Cruising". I was very put off by the pressure to spend. The specialty restaurants all cost $20 to $35 pp. The dining room food was OK and the buffet was so crowded that many times you were afraid to leave the table to get more food because someone might claim your space. NCL has crowded so many people on this ship that I felt I was swimming up hill. Maybe your cruise will not be so booked. I will never go on NCL, and many other guests were echoing the same.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 05:03 PM
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I just got back from a Royal Caribbean cruise.

It was bad.

Avoid Royal Caribbean.
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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rosie170: what happened on the Bermuda cruise that it was so bad for you?

Please tell your story.

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