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OK so we were all set to book our January 2013 Southern Carribean cruise on Carribean Princess (FLL-Princess Cays-Aruba-Curacao- FLL with 3 sea days) when we came across a deal on Norwegian Epic for Eastern Carribean (Miami-St Martin-St Thomas-Nassau-MIA with 3 sea days). The Epic looks like an interesting ship. We have never sailed NCL but love Princess (from our pre kid days). Now that we'll have a just turned 3 year old in tow and we are wondering what would be a better experience.
Pros for Princess: we already have a $100 cruise deposit which is expiring in Feb so we use it or lose it
Depart out of FLL
Cost For a Mini Suite we'd be paying $3150.41 on Dolphin deck ($2900 if we want to go to Emerald but I have heard these cabins can be noisy).
Flight - I can use miles and pay $300 for tax. It will blow out my miles but they're expiring anyway. Total = $3447.89 (or $3200 on Emerald). - $100 cruise deposit.
Pros for NCL: Flight plus transfers plus cruise for the three of us in a mini suite is $3835.05. We'd fly into FLL and they'd transfer us to Miami.
NCL kids club takes kids in diapers - my daughter is not yet potty trained (she may be by the time of the cruise, but we're taking a chance if she's not !) Advantage to NCL as we wouldn't need to worry about dropping her off in diapers if she's still in them. Epic has a lot of neat features but not sure if we'd utilize them.
Can anyone weigh in on this? I'm guessing both cruises won't have that many kids due to the sail date but NCL might have more simply as it's more geared to the family market .
Carribean Princess - Southern Carribean - January 2013
Emerald Princess - Scandinavia and Baltics - September 2009
Sapphire Princess - Mexican Riviera - February 2009
Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - December 2008
Grand Princess - Western Caribbean - January 2008
Coral Princess - Alaska - August 2007
We love both of these ships and have cruised on them both with our DD - now 8 yrs old. I'd give a slight edge to NCL with a 3 year old. The flexibility of having the ability to enjoy a few hours to ourselves in the evening is important to us. Some children do great for 1 1/2 hour dinners - our DD is Inot one of these children.
The kids club on NCL is a very large room and the staff is fabulous. You are correct in thinking you will not utilize many of the "awesome" features with a 3 year old. I would say 5 or 6 is beginning age to enjoy all this ship has to offer.
Princess has always been great with our little girl and we really love the Movies Under the Stars. I think food and service are great on CB, but the EPIC has so much variety in dining.
The itineraries are both good with a 3 year old, Princess slightly better imho. Reading my post - I think I am probably no help at all. They are both great ships.
OP if the $100.00 deposit you are talking about is a Princess future cruise credit which expires in 4 years from deposit, they are refundable. Check your paperwork.
July 1992 - Alaska - Regent Star
November 2006 - Bahamas - Disney Wonder
November 2007 - Western Caribbean - Grand Princess
November 2008 - Eastern Caribbean - Eurodam
November 2009 - Eastern Caribbean - Eurodam (dove the Wall)
August 2010 - Alaska - Golden Princess
January 2011 - Southern Caribbean - Westerdam
July 2011 - Eastern Caribbean - Caribbean Princess (Girls only!)
November 2011 - Western Caribbean - Crown Princess
November 2012 - Eastern Caribbean - Emerald Princess
March 2013-Western Caribbean - Crown Princess
January 2014-Western Caribbean - Carnival Dream
May 2014 - Western Caribbean - Carnival Legend
October 2014 - Western Caribbean - Caribbean Princess
July 2015 - British Isles - Royal Princess
We are booked on the Epic for January. We have sailed NCL and Princess. I'd go NCL all the way. It is a little more casual. There is a splash park for toddlers - will need to check the diaper rules. The restaurants are flexible. They have Dora and Diego characters onboard.
We've often sailed out of Miami from FLL. Not a big deal.
I would give credit to Princess for having a room that might be better suited to all three of you though.
I believe NCL will take your child in diapers, but they will call you if she needs a change. Don't worry about noise in the Emerald deck minis. We had E730 and only on one night did we hear some bass, but it all stops by 11pm. EM
__________________ MSC Divina 11/20-23/2013 Bahamas 3 nights Inside Coral Princess 17 July 2013 Alaska 14 nights Inside Celebrity Silhouette 22 May 2013 Adriatic & Italy 12 nights Balcony Queen Elizabeth 15 May 2013 4 nights Inside Celebrity Infinity 16 April 2013 B2B San Diego to Harwich 27 nights OV/Concierge Nieuw Amsterdam Mediterranean 4/30 - 5/24/2012 24 nights Inside Millennium B2B2B 2/6-20/2012 Caribbean 14 nights Concierge/Inside/Inside Caribbean Princess 10/29/2011 Caribbean Islander NY to FLL 10 nights Mini-suite Celebrity Solstice 5/1/2011 FLL to Barcelona 13 nights Concierge Carnival Fascination 2/28/11 Bahamas 5 nights OV
Queen Mary 2 12/8/2010 Caribbean Delights 11 nights Balcony
Celebrity Summit 10/24/10 B2B NY to San Juan 13 nights OV/Balcony
Emerald Princess 8/29/10 Western Caribbean 7 nights Inside
Diamond Princess 5/29/10 B2B Alaska Inside
Westerdam 2/7/10 Eastern & Southern Caribbean 14 nights Inside
Carnival Dream 10/27/09 Transatlantic 16 nights Cove balcony
Carnival Sensation 6/18/09 Bahamas 3 nights inside
Carnival Splendor 5/17/09 B2B Mexi-not to Canada 14 nights 4J inside
Oosterdam 2/28/09 San Diego to Rome 32 nights OV
Carnival Fascination 12/13/08 Bahamas 5 nights Inside
Queen Elizabeth 2 7/31/08 Lands of Fire and Ice 12 nights OV
Celebration 3/27/08 Bahamas 4 nights Porthole
Celebration 1/26/08 Bahamas 5 nights Inside
Norwegian Spirit 10/20/07 CTN 1 night Inside
Elation 4/23/07 B2B Bahamas 10 nights Inside
Zenith 8/2006 Bermuda 7 nights OV
Calypso 7/2005 Greek Isles 4 nights Inside
Star Princess Inaugural 2/2002 Pacific Rim Singapore to LA 26 nights Balcony
Millennium 8/2000 Baltic 14 nights Balcony
Fantasy 6/1999 Bahamas 4 nights Porthole
Royal Princess 1/1999 Buenos Aires to Manaus 14 nights OV
Home Lines Oceanic x 2 1973 NYC to Nassau 7 nights
Homes Lines Homeric x2 Eastern Caribbean 1972 10 nights
Your 3 year-old will LOVE LOVE LOVE the NCL Epic. Mine went crazy for spongebob, Dora, Diego and the Nick Activities. It was hands down our best cruise ever. There was so much to do for both adults and children. I havent sailed Princess yet but my parents and DH's parents both have and said the NCL Epic was unlike no other ship they have ever been on. I would vote for NCL
Jubilee- 1980's (as a child)
Ecstasy-1980's (as a child)
Holiday-1980's (as a child)
Celebration-1990's (as a teen)
Noweigien Norway-7/28/02 (honeymoon cruise)
Grandeur of the Seas-4/29/06 (baby's 1st cruise)
Inspiration-10/14/06 ( baby's 2nd cruise)
Carnival Victory-5/13/07 (baby's 3rd cruise)
Inspiration-10/13/07 (my b-day)( baby won past guest award!!!!!!!!)
Carnival Liberty-12/30/07 (New Years Cruise/dd's 5th cruise)
Carnival Inspiration- 8/30/08
Carnival Glory 8/29/09 (DD's 7th and DS 1st cruise DH finally platinum!)
Carnival Miracle 12/30/09 (New Years Again Baby!! DD 8th and DS 2nd cruise)
Disney Wonder 5/2/10 (WooHoo First Disney Cruise!!)
Inspiration 10/9/10 (Birthday cruise for myself and DD )
Carnival Miracle 12/29/10 (3rd New Years cruise) DD's 11th and DS 5th cruise)
Carnival Inspiration 3/26/11 (DD will be platinum at age 6 )
Carnival Legend 11/6/11 (dd's 13th and Ds's 7th cruise)
Norwegian Epic 3/24/12 (My favorite cruise yet)
Carnival Dream 7/21/12 (10th Anniversary Cruise & 1st cruise without the kids)
Carnival Dream again 11/17/12 (MIL 80th bday)
Norwegian Dawn 3/24/13
Norwegian Epic 11/9/13 (round 2)