NCL vs RCCL for family with teen


Sep 10th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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NCL vs RCCL for family with teen

We are cruise newbies and need your help. We are looking for someplace warm to go over Christmas break with our teen & no longer teen (17 & 21). We were originally thinking an AI with lots to do would be good. We all like the beach & water activities. Want somewhere that we can spend some time together & some apart. After much reading of AI reviews and comments here and on tripadvisor, now I'm thinking a cruise might be a better option. Specifically, we want the 17 yo to have activities available at night.

After searching cruisecritic reviews and options, it seems to come down to Caribbean cruises on RCCL's Freedom of the Seas or Liberty of the Seas or NCL's Norwegian Jewel. RCCL's ships seem to be higher rated for teens, but I like the more casual style of NCL. Personally, I don't want to have to dress formally on vacation!

What do you think? Will there be plenty of teens & enough to do for a 17 yo on the Norwegian Jewel? Should DH & I sacrifice casualness & go with RCCL? Has anyone been on these ships over Christmas break? Is there anything else we should be considering? Thanks in advance for your help.
jerirl is offline  
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Sep 11th, 2009, 03:10 AM
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Seventeen is a tough age to find activities on cruises - we cruised several times with our teens. She will feel too old for teen activities (they end at age 18 usually) and will be too young for adult activities - some things at night are limited to 18 and over. Sometimes they check, sometimes not - and her "cruisecard" will indicate that she is under 21 and also under 18.

However, if she is outgoing, she will meet up with other people her age and have a good time - our dtr did and has had a great time on cruises. Our more reserved son did not. We have never cruised over Christmas break but it is a popular time with families. I think a cruise is an excellent way to spend time with "kids" that age - enough family time to satisfy parents and enough freedom for kids to not feel smothered.

Have cruised on both lines and find them roughly comparable - would not really rate one more formal than the other. I would go with price and itinerary rather than choosing one line over the other.
gail is offline  
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Jan 31st, 2010, 05:07 PM
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just wondering which you picked, NCL for casualness or RCCL for the teen's activities, I too am in a quandry over this. I do not want to have to dress up on vacation but NCL doesn't have the activities that RCCL offers such as the flow rider, rock wall or mini golf, anybody else have an opinion on which is better.
azuregirl62 is offline  
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Feb 1st, 2010, 08:27 AM
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Hi azuregirl,

Actually, we punted. We were concerned about the timing because we didn't know if our 17 yo would have finished his college aps at that point. Also, more importantly, we figured that the 17 and 21 yo would not be able to hang out together because one was supposed to go to teen events and the other to adult ones. So we decided to take a cruise in June, after graduation. Our son will then be 18, so this won't be an issue.

Still trying to decide which one to take & have posted about that as well. I have read, if you want, you can avoid the formal night by eating in the buffet restaurant for dinner. As it happens, NCL doesn't have a cruise to the Caribbean in June, when we want to go, so we're now thinking about Princess & RCCL.

Good luck.
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Feb 1st, 2010, 08:50 AM
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Do not avoid formal night by going in the buffet. It is "suggested" formal, but you have the right to wear whatever falls in the guidelines. This is YOUR vacation, don't worry about wearing gowns! I just came back from my 17th RCCL cruise. I've been on Princess once and Carnival twice. No more Carnival and I'd be hard pressed to switch lines at this point. My kids loved RCCL.
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