Norweigan Cruise Line

Jun 2nd, 2005, 03:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Norweigan Cruise Line

I have travelled Princess, HA, RC, Celebrity but never NCL. If you have been on 2 or more of these lines, how does NCL compare? They(NCL) are less expensive than the others for the same itineraries. Is it food, service, entertainment? Must be some reason.
picky is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2005, 03:39 PM
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We have travelled both HAL (twice)and NCL (once).

NCL is a lot more casual - the freestyle dining option is nice if you don't like schedules and you will supposedly get different dinner companions every time. (We ended up eating with the same couple about five times because we seemed to be on the same time frame).

There were a lot more children on NCL and some of them were terribly out of control.

HAL service is much more attentive. People remembered our name after the first few nights when we returned to the same bar before dinner. The food was better on the Oosterdam than either the Westerdam or NCL but that could have been because the first was in the Baltic and the other two were in the Caribbean.

The entertainment was fabulous on HAL but still pretty good on NCL.

We've booked on HAL again but I wouldn't rule out NCL if the itinerary was better.

ldog is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:31 AM
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There are not more children on NCL compared to Carnival and Royal Caribbean. I like NCL, nice ships, good service and prefer freestyle dining. Entertainment is good in my opinion. AND for the price a great deal.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:32 AM
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I have also sailed on all the major lines for a total of 33 cruises.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 04:34 AM
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There is no way to make a general statement about having more kids on a particular line. There are multiple factors that control that: time of year, ship, itinerary.

Any ship will have fewer kids when the itinerary is unusual or is more than a week, no matter what the line.

Princess does limit the kids per sailing, and are the only line to do so.

HAL has an image of being a seniors cruise and that was my experience on my two HAL cruises but I know in the summer in the Caribbean they do get quite a few families.

I am a TA with 103 cruises under my belt. I have sailed all the lines you mention, most multiple times (x45 on RCI).

IMO the major differences between NCL and the others you mention are:

-Freestyle dining vs traditional (Princess has both)
-More casual atmosphere and dress code
- Less attentive service overall
- Food not as good in main restaurants but quite good in specialty (fee) restaurants

IME the price differential is there for a reason. On my last 4 NCL cruises I very rarely ate in the dining room. My tab onboard, therefore, was quite a but higher than normal.

Yes it is value priced for a reason and Freestyle is not for everyone. But I enjoyed my cruises on the Sun overall.

Is NCL my first choice? No, and probably not my second or third because I am most certainly NOT a casual person.

You need to consider what you liked about the other lines and determine if NCL can provide most of that. If they can, then give them a try.

kfusto is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 07:51 AM
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To Kfusto: I have a question about Princess that perhaps you can answer. We will be on the Sapphire princess in August and as for the dining I am told that you can order any item from all restaurants no matter what one you have chosen to dine it at that particular night. Is that so? Thank you, Larry.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 09:22 AM
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We have sailed on three of the five lines you mention, including NCL. We have doen Caribbean itineraries on Celebrity and NCL and Alaska on Princess. Honestly, I liked them all. We are in our 40's and 50's and don't want alot of screaming kids around. I think the key to that is really the time frame. If it is Spring Break (which two of the trips were) there will be more kids. We never felt like they were out of control or interfered with our enjoyment. We really liked the Freestyle dining of NCL. Princess sort of has it, but you still had to make reservations and I didn't like that. The entertainment on NCL was great. On both NCL and Princess we got a balconey cabin and I wouldn't do it any other way again. It gives a nice quiet spot for relaxing with a drink or having breakfast. I would go up to the breakfast buffet and grab what I wanted and bring it back to the cabin to relax on the balconey. If the itinerary is what you are looking for and the price is good, I would say go with NCL.
jcasale is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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jacketwatch: I have also read this about Princess, that because the restaurants share a galley, you may order something from another menu, as long as it is not an item at the ala carte restaurants.

I cannot speak about this from personal experience as my last Princess cruise was 15 years ago.
kfusto is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 05:42 PM
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Thanks! I'll call them to be sure. Larry.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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I have nothing good to say about Norwegian. Disabled folks think very carefully about going NCL!
June of 2004 we took a 7 day cruise to Alaska out of Seattle. I am in a wheelchair, I had booked a handicap room. They moved me out of that handicap room without telling me, without a "sorry" or anything. When I asked I was told no handicap room and "you can not bring your electric wheelchair". No one would tell why or do anything to help me.

With my trusty manuel with my husband pushing me, we proceeded to board but could not reach our stateroom because of all the electric scooter or electric wheelchairs parked in the hallways!!

Free-style dinning is good if you like to stand (or sit) in line because it seems like most people like to eat at the same time.

No activities for the disabled. Even while docked you can't get off because all gangways have steps.

Give me Royal Caribbean everytime. After 5 cruises with them, we have never had a problem. BEWARE NCL!!
Chuklebubber is offline  
Jun 8th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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We just got back from a NCL trip on the Spirit and enjoyed it so much we booked a 10 day NCL in August. We have jobs were we have to be dressed up attend a lot of formal events so being able to be more casul was a BIG plus for us!
The service was wonderful, the food great and the ship was beautiful. Not a negative comment from us!
herewego is offline  
Jun 9th, 2005, 07:48 AM
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Here is a question for Herewego: (not intending to hijack your thread, picky):

What shore excursions do you recommend on the NCL Spirit/ Sawyer Glacier cruise? Did you do the Tracy Arm Fjord Explorer one? Trying to pre-request or arrange trips for husband and self, sailing 7/2/05. Thanks for any info---
kswl is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 05:22 PM
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Just returned from a 12-day Alaska cruise on the NCL Dream: great food, great service. Loved the freestyle dining and 24-hour room service. Very much enjoyed the main shows and the choice of live entertainment in another 5 locations on board. This one was a winner!
mileagemaven is offline  
Jun 25th, 2005, 05:46 AM
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We went on the NCL Wind to Hawaii and would never go on the cruise line again. Most of the time we did not know what we were eating and the service in the dining room was terrible. We went to eat at 5:30 to go to a 7:15 show. We didn't get our dessert because there was no time. I do not believe you should have to pay extra for better service in the dining room that you had to pay table charges either. Table charges sound funny also, when you have to pay each $5.00 more for Lobster Tail. I am sorry, but when I go on a cruise, that cruise fee inlcudes my meals AND good service I THOUGHT. I have never heard so many complaints on a cruise in my life about any cruise line and people saying they would never use NCL again. When we got home and was telling people what cruise line we went on, they said it was the worst one to go on. Freestyle Dining, isn't all that good either. I think it is better, to have the regular dining. You the same people taking care of you all the time. We sat at the same table on the NCL for most of our evening meals and never had the same people waiting on us all the time. People also booked rooms on it and did not get the rooms they booked and payed extra for and was told they would not get any money back. That was their policy. I think that policy stinks.
db_48162 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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So far, I've read more complaints about NCL than any other cruise line. That doesn't necessarily mean that NCL is the lowest-end line, just that peoples' expectations of it were not met. We're leaving for the NCL Spirit Sawyer Glacier cruise next week, and at this point I have absolutely NO expectations whatsoever, and hope that I will be pleasantly surprised. We didn't choose this cruise, our in-laws did (50th anniversary). I have only been on one cruise ever, to the Bahamas years ago, and am not a fan of cruises in general. My husband has never been on a cruise and has no expectations of any kind. Here's hoping!
kswl is offline  
Jun 25th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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We cruised on the NCL Sun in Alaska and had some mixed feelings about it. Besides the beautiful scenery of course, the best thing was the huge suite including the butler we had. It was one of the largest suites I've ever been in (we were lucky to get this upgrade). I also liked the casino. I found the dealers to be especially friendly.

There were definitely things we were disappointed in. There were a lot of kids on our particular sailing and we have been pretty spoiled cruising on cruise lines where we see very few children (no kid or teen programs offered). My husband is a big salmon lover and was blown away that they did not offer salmon one night on an ALASKAN cruise!! On the smaller ships that cruise in Alaska you can have salmon morning, noon and night if you'd like. The food for the most part was OK, no complaints but nothing to rave about either. The service was OK too with a friendly staff but we've had much better too. What was quite a turn off for us was the feeling that they're constantly trying to get in your pockets. Everytime you turn around they're trying to sell you something!! It's still hard to imagine charging for such simple things as bottled water and sodas. I think this cruise line is fine if you're into a "no frills" type of experience with a good itinerary...and don't mind being charged for every little thing. We had a wonderful time on our NCL cruise because it was a large family reunion and we would have had a great time on a rowboat.

After cruising many different cruise lines I'm a believer that you really get what you pay for in this industry.
petlover is offline  
Jun 27th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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We sailed the Dawn a couple of years ago and had a great time. Freestyle is for us, we love the idea of restaurant dining, eating when and with whom you wish. Freestyle works best on ships that were built specifically for it. Stick with the newer ships, Star, Dawn and newer. Of course the best deals are on the older ships, but you get what you pay for.

If you travel in the Summer, you will encounter lots of children on all of the mid-priced lines. Also, RC, Carnival, Princess all market agressively on board, but that doesn't bother us. We partake in the things that interest us and not what is being hawked by the cruise line.
Frank is offline  
Jul 8th, 2005, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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I have saild RCCL, Costa, Carnival & NCL. We did not like is my least favorite just behind Carnival. We were on the Spirit & I really did not like that ship. Maybe if we were on a newer one, it would have been a better experience. I also did not like the fact that they advertised it as "new" coat of paint maybe.
tinamidon is offline  
Jul 8th, 2005, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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We have cruise on NCL a couple of times and liked it very much. We had previously been on some traditional cruises but found that NCL's Freestyle suited us much more. (Eat dinner when you want and with who you want and no need to dress up). I found the food, service comparable to the other lines we had been on and the entertainment was actually better.
semiramis is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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We are a group of six ladies, between 55 and 60. We have cruised extensively and are currently looking at the Norwegian Dream Baltic cruise for next summer as the itinerary is perfect for us. The reviews on this trip are so mixed that we cannot decide. We really enjoyed the HAL Maasdam Canada/New England and have mixed feelings about freestyle dining as we enjoyed having the same wait staff at a designated table in the dining room each night. Please help us decide.
jan22lland is offline  

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