NCL vs. RCCL in the Med.. HELP!

Jan 20th, 2007, 04:48 PM
  #1  
newmanparker
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NCL vs. RCCL in the Med.. HELP!

My partner and I are planning a 7 nt cruise out of Barcelona this June. There is are 2 ships sailing this itinerary... NCL Jewel and RCCL Voyager of the Seas. Having only been on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess... I don't know what the quality of these 2 ships will be...

I know a lot of travelers and no one I know has sailed NCL. The cruisecritic.com reviews are mixed for NCL.

Any advise would be helpful... The RCCL is almost sold out, and the NCL has good availability and is less expensive..

I know the jewel is newer and smaller, and the voyager is larger and older...

I need to make my decision asap as Royal is selling out big time...
 
Jan 20th, 2007, 05:45 PM
  #2  
 
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Don't know NCL and wouldn't want to try it based on numerous bad reviews. Loved Voyager class. The fact NCL is cheaper and available should already tell you something. But some people like NCL, and in Med, it is ports not the ship that's most important. Read and analyze reviews and decide based on your own preferences. For price and service, you may check with my agent Alex at [email protected]. They have special prices for every cruise line. Tell him spur referred you.
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Jan 20th, 2007, 06:47 PM
  #3  
newmanparker
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The ports are virtually identical. some say they don't want to be on a 3000 passenger ship in Europe. I have gotten spoiled by being on newer ships also.
 
Jan 20th, 2007, 10:12 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Whoa! What's with all the NCL bashing?
Sailed on the Jewel just after her launch and became hooked on cruising
as a result. The whole issue is what
kind of cruise are you looking for?
NCL promotes free-style, allowing you to dine when and where you want. If you
feel the need to trot out the long formal and tuxedo, then NCL is NOT your
line. The JEWEL was beautiful and had a lot to offer, but time wasn't micro-managed. I liked the flexibility and
freedom. Also, although there were
over 2,000 passengers, you never felt
crowded.
So far my cruising has been strictly
in the Caribbean, but I'm looking forward to a Med trip one of these days. Good luck and keep us posted.
Wolfye is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 02:43 AM
  #5  
newmanparker
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It's difficult to decide when I have not cruised on these 2 lines. In Europe you go more for the ports than in the Carib., so maybe the line is not as important.

 
Jan 21st, 2007, 06:39 AM
  #6  
 
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I have done both lines. Personally, Voyager is too big for my taste and if these are your only two choices, I think I would look further.

NCL Jewel is new but I am not a fan of Freestyle dining or attire, nor do I find the quality of their food and service attractive. Standard cabins are extremely small.

There is a reason why they cost less and still have space.

As far as age, RCI takes great care of their ships so the age of Voyager is not the issue.

Be prepared for LOTS of families on both lines.

I would like into MSC who has several 7 night itineraries in Europe year round. I was on Sinfonia in July 2005 for a 7 night Med cruise and consider my experience far better than any recent ones on RCI and NCL.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 11:46 AM
  #7  
newmanparker
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I can't believe NCL would be of such low quality, from food to service. I have heard the newer ships are nice.
 
Jan 21st, 2007, 11:59 AM
  #8  
 
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I have mostly cruised RC. It is difficult to say, the newer the ship the better it seems to be. I have picked an older ship once for itinerary purposes. It was on RC line and I was very dissapointed. I prefer newer ships myself. I have never been on NCL but I am leaving next Sunday on the Pearl. I will then judge the difference. I think I would choose the newer ship if I were in your shoes. Either way you will have a great time I am sure.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 03:04 PM
  #9  
newmanparker
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2 out of 3 of my previous cruises were on ships less than 1 year old. There is something nice about a new ship. I have read that the voyager is looking old...
 
Jan 21st, 2007, 04:51 PM
  #10  
pat
 
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Went on a newer NCL ship, and while the ship was beautiful, the food was still bad.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 05:22 PM
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My DH and I took the Jewel Med cruise in June for our honeymoon. We loved it! It is a completely different type of cruising then the typical Caribbean cruise. We have cruised several times, and NCL was the best for us due to the fact that they have freestyle dining. With the Med cruise being so port intensive, we wanted to enjoy our time in port....not rush back to make an early dinner seating. We loved having no pressure to hurry up and get ready for a set dinner time. We were exhausted after a full day running around Italy....we often took a quick nap and made it to dinner around 8pm.

Which ever ship you take, you will have a great time b/c the ports are the best part of the trip!
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:21 AM
  #12  
newmanparker
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When people say the food is bad, how bad? Uneatable, or just not what you have had on previous cruises.

We are not people who need gourmet food.
 
Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:24 AM
  #13  
newmanparker
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Bad means?
 
Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:38 AM
  #14  
 
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I would equate the food in the free dining rooms to chains like Applebees and Fridays, neither of which I patronize.

Le Bistro was very good as was the Italian. My last three cruises NCL cruises were on the Sun and I paid every night after the first for ala carte dining.

Re rushing to dinner after long days in port, booking late seating solve that problem.

Food is subjective always. I personally simply do not enjoy the NCL experience.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 05:16 AM
  #15  
 
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Newmanparker, Food is a subjective subject. Food to me is not the total package, as it is to some folks. I can tell you this, on the old RCCL ship I was on there was sand in the bed. I could feel it, and we did ask the steward to change all the linens. I trust it was done, and still it was there and you could feel the grit of it everynight. This is why I refuse to cruise on an old ship. Of course this could happen after one cruise with people who let sand get in the bed I suppose. Pehaps they took the blanket to the beach who knows. It could have been worse it could have been bed bugs I suppose. I just didn't care for sleeping in fine gritty sand everynight of my vacation. The ship was not as clean as some I had been on either. Again I would choose the newer ship. When I return from NCL I will post of the difference.
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Jan 27th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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We cruised on NCL's Jewel this past summer. The ship was unbelievable. The food and service was outstanding. One of the best cruises I've ever been on. It was great to have the free style cruising because depending on which shore excursions you take you'll be back on ship late. All shore excursions we went on included a dinner at lunch.
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Jan 27th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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We're doing the Celebrity Millennium out of Barcelona in May.
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Jan 27th, 2007, 05:23 PM
  #18  
newmanparker
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We had looked at Celebrity, but don't want to participate in formal nites. Who wants to travel 5000+ miles for vacation, knowing you have to put a suit on. There are a lot of people who don't want to, and refuse to participate in wearing formal clothes on a cruise. What are the cruise lines going to do, lock you in your cabin?
 
Jan 28th, 2007, 05:58 AM
  #19  
 
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newmanparker, that is why there are choices for all of us. My choice for a cruise vacation includes dressing for dinner every night. I dislike casual attire and IMO it breeds more casual behavior and an overall casual ambiance.

Therefore, NCL and lines like Costa and Carnival are not options for me. Give me Celebrity or HAL which attract a more formal crowd and have the service and food that goes with it.
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Jan 28th, 2007, 07:31 AM
  #20  
 
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We cruised on the NCL ship Pride of Hawaii on 1-8-o7. The service and the food were terrible. Anyone who tells you different, must work for the cruise line or have never cruised on a top of the line crusie service. Princess cruise lines to Alaska,I rate 4 stars,I guess they spoiled us to A-1 food and service!
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