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  #1  
Old April 18th, 2013, 09:15 PM
blacklabel8829 blacklabel8829 is offline
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Default NCL Norwegian Sky vs. RCCL Enchantment of the Seas

After lurking this forum for a long time, using to plan our cruise last year and planning our upcoming cruise, I have finally joined your ranks to seek out your knowledge and wisdom.

The wife and I are planning are 2nd cruise together, it is pretty spur-of-the-moment as we decided we want to book a 3-day cruise May 17-20.

We are at a loss between our two options. Those options being, as the title states, NCL Norwegian Sky & RCCL Enchantment of the Seas. Neither of us have sailed Norwegian or Royal before, so we really have nothing to go on.

Being a 3-day cruise obviously the boats are alittle bit older. After researching as much as I can, we are still at a loss between the two. Enchantment of the Seas is a little less inexpensive, but Norwegian Sky has a lot more food options.



So, you see where I am kind cruisers. I need your help. Anyone have helpful thoughts between the two? Difference between the two lines and the crowds they attract? Honestly I just need something to sway me one way or the other.



Thanks everyone!

Last edited by blacklabel8829; April 18th, 2013 at 09:15 PM.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 09:32 AM
Starry Eyes Starry Eyes is offline
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On either line, a three day weekend cruise is apt to have a party atmosphere. As long as that suits you, you'll probably be fine on either line.

NCL is quite casual with all open dining. I am not sure RCL has formal nights on 3 night cruises, though longer cruises do. Both ships are nice but a bit older as you know. Both lines keep their vessel in good shape.

Is one embarkation port more convenient for you? If so, use that to decide. Otherwise, I'd probably take Enchantment out of port canaveral with a lower price and an evening in Nassau. Nassau is not my favorite port as it tends to get very crowded with cruisers...it might be nice to watch the other ships leave 5 pm or so while you continue to enjoy the island.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 09:37 AM
blacklabel8829 blacklabel8829 is offline
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Originally Posted by Starry Eyes View Post
On either line, a three day weekend cruise is apt to have a party atmosphere. As long as that suits you, you'll probably be fine on either line.

NCL is quite casual with all open dining. I am not sure RCL has formal nights on 3 night cruises, though longer cruises do. Both ships are nice but a bit older as you know. Both lines keep their vessel in good shape.

Is one embarkation port more convenient for you? If so, use that to decide. Otherwise, I'd probably take Enchantment out of port canaveral with a lower price and an evening in Nassau. Nassau is not my favorite port as it tends to get very crowded with cruisers...it might be nice to watch the other ships leave 5 pm or so while you continue to enjoy the island.

Yea, weekend crusies do pull the party people. But I figure it can't be any "worse" than the 4 day Carnival we took last August. We had fun people watching the partiers.

Port Canaveral is actually closer (we live in Orlando). So cheaper and closer, which is the one I am leaning towards at this point.

Thanks for the input!
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Old April 19th, 2013, 10:04 AM
blacklabel8829 blacklabel8829 is offline
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Ah, upon looking into it a bit further. RCL is only cheaper if we go with a "guaranteed" cabin of a Q deck code (all toward the bow on lowest 2 decks). Hmm. :-/
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  #5  
Old April 19th, 2013, 01:24 PM
Starry Eyes Starry Eyes is offline
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Oh, the gty dilemma....I've had to face that one a lot.

Not very picky about location, I often do roll the dice and take a gty. Overall I have had decent luck, especially on RCI. Once assigned, RCI has always been gracious enough to allow me to change cabins within my assigned category if one I like better is available. I tend to book directly with the cruiseline, so I can just call them for a cabin change. If you use a travel agent, you must contact you agent who calls the cruiseline for a cabin change; some don't want to be bothered (or don't want to be bothered again if an even better cabin pops up).

The lowest category I see available cabins on 5/17 is M...some are in the bow, others mid ship or aft, decks 2-4. So, if it was a substantial savings, I'd go for it...it is only 3 nights. If I had trouble walking or got seasick, I'd be far less likely to book gty.

I have not yet sailed from Port Canaveral, but I hear nice things about it. Driving and parking (or grabbing a shuttle) would be much easier for you, I'm sure. Car is probably safer too.

Have a great time.

Last edited by Starry Eyes; April 19th, 2013 at 01:24 PM.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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I have not been on the Enchantment but the Sky has one of the worst buffet restaurant flows I have seen (outside of NCL Sun which is just as bad)
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Celebrity -33 days
Holland America-23 days
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Royal Caribbean- 19 days
NCL-18 days
Princess -21 days
Disney-4 days

I have cruised the Caribbean, east, west and southern; Alaska, Bermuda, a transatlantic which included North west Europe and East coast Canada, the Med., and a California coastal/Baja. I loved them all!

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Old April 19th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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I have not been on the Enchantment but the Sky has one of the worst buffet restaurant flows I have seen (outside of NCL Sun which is just as bad)
Hmm, I do not recall having any trouble at the buffet on the NCL Sky or the NCL Sun. It has been a few years since I was on the Sky (she is now doing short cruises and, traveling from the midwest, I favor long cruises). I was on the Sun for ten nights in January and ate in the buffet several times...also ate in the smaller pizza/pasta/salad/sandwich lunch buffet in Modero a few times. The buffets are busy at peak hours, so it can sometimes be hard to find a table then if others are lingering (reading or playing cards on a rainy or windy day, for example), but I have experienced the same on multiple ships, multiple cruiselines. Even officers (hotel director and food/beverage director) were up in the buffet at busy times trying to make things run smoothly on Sun; I was impressed with their efforts.

I was on Enchantment last year for a back to back out of Baltimore. I had a nice time...also busy in the buffet. They would set up a mini buffet in the Solarium at lunch time to try to deal with the crowd. When things are busy, one just has to roll with it.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 02:09 PM
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I have done both cruises. It's a tough choice! I liked both of them. They each have their own pros and cons. But in all honesty I just enjoy NCL. I enjoy the freedom to dress up or not, eat whenever, etc. I will say that the engineers that designed RC make sure there are plenty of extra storage areas. Every corner was of good design in the staterooms. I think that both had wonderful staff and crew and the entertainment is good on both. Maybe the choice for me would be the itinerary and where the cruise departs.
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  #9  
Old April 19th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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I have done both ships, twice. Would vote for the Sky any day of the week.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 03:19 PM
Starry Eyes Starry Eyes is offline
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Blacklabel, you certainly are getting differing opinions. Since you live in Florida, clearly the answer is to plan one cruise on each. If you still are not sure which you like better, you may feel the need to do more. By the time you are certain which ship is better, one of the cruiseline will assign a new ship to the 3 night gig, and the investigation can continue.

With the right attitude (which you already seem to possess), you will have a fun weekend get away whichever ship you select. I envy your short drive to port; if I lived in Florida, I'd be jumping on board different ships. Sounds like a nice early retirement plan.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Starry Eyes View Post
Hmm, I do not recall having any trouble at the buffet on the NCL Sky or the NCL Sun. It has been a few years since I was on the Sky (she is now doing short cruises and, traveling from the midwest, I favor long cruises). I was on the Sun for ten nights in January and ate in the buffet several times...also ate in the smaller pizza/pasta/salad/sandwich lunch buffet in Modero a few times. The buffets are busy at peak hours, so it can sometimes be hard to find a table then if others are lingering (reading or playing cards on a rainy or windy day, for example), but I have experienced the same on multiple ships, multiple cruiselines. Even officers (hotel director and food/beverage director) were up in the buffet at busy times trying to make things run smoothly on Sun; I was impressed with their efforts.

I was on Enchantment last year for a back to back out of Baltimore. I had a nice time...also busy in the buffet. They would set up a mini buffet in the Solarium at lunch time to try to deal with the crowd. When things are busy, one just has to roll with it.
I was on the Sky in July 2010 and the Sun in April 2011. The buffet area is half the size that they usually are, because when they upgraded them, they added specialty restaurants in what was once half of the buffe area. You are allowed to sit in the speciality restuarant area at breakfast and lunch, but you still have to get your food from a buffet line/queue that is only on one side and is very congested. Even if you are only going for coffee or tea, it is near impossible. The NCL Pearl buffet area was great though but then the Pearl was built AFTER NCL added their variety of specialty restaurants.
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ONE HUNDRED DAYS ON A CRUISE SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
139 days total.
Celebrity -33 days
Holland America-23 days
Carnival -21 days
Royal Caribbean- 19 days
NCL-18 days
Princess -21 days
Disney-4 days

I have cruised the Caribbean, east, west and southern; Alaska, Bermuda, a transatlantic which included North west Europe and East coast Canada, the Med., and a California coastal/Baja. I loved them all!

What's booked: Celebrity Silhouette November 23, 2014
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Old April 19th, 2013, 03:46 PM
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I was on the Sky in July 2010 and the Sun in April 2011. The buffet area is half the size that they usually are, because when they upgraded them, they added specialty restaurants in what was once half of the buffe area. You are allowed to sit in the speciality restuarant area at breakfast and lunch, but you still have to get your food from a buffet line/queue that is only on one side and is very congested. Even if you are only going for coffee or tea, it is near impossible. The NCL Pearl buffet area was great though but then the Pearl was built AFTER NCL added their variety of specialty restaurants.
We cruised the Pearl Thanksgivng 2008 and we loved that ship. We thought we had found our new favorite line. We thought the Sky was a fluke, but then when we had the same experince on the Sun, we knew we would only cruise NCL on their more recently built ships that were built with the specialties in mind.
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ONE HUNDRED DAYS ON A CRUISE SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
139 days total.
Celebrity -33 days
Holland America-23 days
Carnival -21 days
Royal Caribbean- 19 days
NCL-18 days
Princess -21 days
Disney-4 days

I have cruised the Caribbean, east, west and southern; Alaska, Bermuda, a transatlantic which included North west Europe and East coast Canada, the Med., and a California coastal/Baja. I loved them all!

What's booked: Celebrity Silhouette November 23, 2014
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  #13  
Old April 19th, 2013, 04:18 PM
Starry Eyes Starry Eyes is offline
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I was on the Sky in July 2010 and the Sun in April 2011. The buffet area is half the size that they usually are, because when they upgraded them, they added specialty restaurants in what was once half of the buffe area. You are allowed to sit in the speciality restuarant area at breakfast and lunch, but you still have to get your food from a buffet line/queue that is only on one side and is very congested. Even if you are only going for coffee or tea, it is near impossible. The NCL Pearl buffet area was great though but then the Pearl was built AFTER NCL added their variety of specialty restaurants.
Ah, well it seems the situation has improved since you sailed the Sun. Maybe they heard your feedback.

On the Sun in January (and on my Baltic cruise before that), in addition to the regular buffet, they have smaller breakfast and lunch stations and buffets (free of course) in the nearby specialty restaurant, Moderno (That may still have been Pacific Heights back when you sailed.) At breakfast in Moderno, they had waffle and omelet stations as well as a small buffet with danish, bagels, smoked salmon and hot/cold cereal and such. There may have also been an Asian breakfast section. And a small drink station (coffee, tea water, as I recall). At lunch, there were pizza and pasta stations. Sandwich fixings and soups and salads were on the small buffet. Ice tea and water at the drink station as I recall. One could also carry food over from the full buffet or Moderno to the sports bar for more sitting.

Sun also has two lines in the great outdoor buffet....I often went there for my quick coffee or tea fix. It is usually is less congested. I do not think they ever actually removed buffet space form the Sun; she was built after the Sky while the freestyle transition was underway as I recall. Still, they did refine freestyle venues as more ships were rolled out.

The hotel director and food/beverage director on the Sun on my recent trip were absolutely first rate...Sun is smaller and older than Pearl, but they really try super hard. And she has some charm. If they'd bring the tapas restaurant back to her former glory (or better...maybe add Paella or the like), I'd be an even bigger fan of the Sun. If you do not want the bowling alley and such, you might consider giving her another chance. Or maybe not...not every ship suits every cruiser.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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Ah, well it seems the situation has improved since you sailed the Sun. Maybe they heard your feedback.

On the Sun in January (and on my Baltic cruise before that), in addition to the regular buffet, they have smaller breakfast and lunch stations and buffets (free of course) in the nearby specialty restaurant, Moderno (That may still have been Pacific Heights back when you sailed.) At breakfast in Moderno, they had waffle and omelet stations as well as a small buffet with danish, bagels, smoked salmon and hot/cold cereal and such. There may have also been an Asian breakfast section. And a small drink station (coffee, tea water, as I recall). At lunch, there were pizza and pasta stations. Sandwich fixings and soups and salads were on the small buffet. Ice tea and water at the drink station as I recall. One could also carry food over from the full buffet or Moderno to the sports bar for more sitting.

Sun also has two lines in the great outdoor buffet....I often went there for my quick coffee or tea fix. It is usually is less congested. I do not think they ever actually removed buffet space form the Sun; she was built after the Sky while the freestyle transition was underway as I recall. Still, they did refine freestyle venues as more ships were rolled out.

The hotel director and food/beverage director on the Sun on my recent trip were absolutely first rate...Sun is smaller and older than Pearl, but they really try super hard. And she has some charm. If they'd bring the tapas restaurant back to her former glory (or better...maybe add Paella or the like), I'd be an even bigger fan of the Sun. If you do not want the bowling alley and such, you might consider giving her another chance. Or maybe not...not every ship suits every cruiser.


No I said that we could eat at the specialty restaurant tables at breakfast and lunch-there were enough seats-the problem was getting your food and drinks-I guess I just do not like rubbing shoulders and dogging running children while I am going through the queue or getting a cup of coffee. However the Sun did have one thing better than the Sky in that they used the brazilian restaurant for their pizza station, so that did make it a bit better. I guess it bolis down to -different strokes for different folks. We will just have to agree to disagree

Now we are hoping for a Baltic in 2015 and NCL Jewel is doing that cruise, (at least next year) yes I would book the NCL Jewel-9 days for the price of 7 on the other lines and it overnights in St. Petersburg. Celebrity offers a 12 day that that overnights in St. Petersburg but it is almost double in price. We are more interested in Copenhagen and St. Petersburg than the other ports, so the 9 day is fine for us. We also learned from our Med cruise last summer that with 12 hour ports, the ship is not that improtant-it is transportation and a place to sleep; unlike a Carribean cruise.
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ONE HUNDRED DAYS ON A CRUISE SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
139 days total.
Celebrity -33 days
Holland America-23 days
Carnival -21 days
Royal Caribbean- 19 days
NCL-18 days
Princess -21 days
Disney-4 days

I have cruised the Caribbean, east, west and southern; Alaska, Bermuda, a transatlantic which included North west Europe and East coast Canada, the Med., and a California coastal/Baja. I loved them all!

What's booked: Celebrity Silhouette November 23, 2014
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Old April 19th, 2013, 07:48 PM
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Sorry I meant dodging running kids-lol! I may feel like dogging them though after they nearly knock me down!
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ONE HUNDRED DAYS ON A CRUISE SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
139 days total.
Celebrity -33 days
Holland America-23 days
Carnival -21 days
Royal Caribbean- 19 days
NCL-18 days
Princess -21 days
Disney-4 days

I have cruised the Caribbean, east, west and southern; Alaska, Bermuda, a transatlantic which included North west Europe and East coast Canada, the Med., and a California coastal/Baja. I loved them all!

What's booked: Celebrity Silhouette November 23, 2014
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Old April 19th, 2013, 10:51 PM
Starry Eyes Starry Eyes is offline
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Sorry I meant dodging running kids-lol! I may feel like dogging them though after they nearly knock me down!
I seem to recall dodging kids (and adults) at every buffet, even in my hometown if I go to one....maybe more kids at buffets here...not better mannered, I assure you. Not sure how you can avoid dodging kid's and self-absorbed people.

I thought you meant you were carrying your full plate all the way from the main buffet through the elevator lobby and down the hall to Moderno, as opposed to picking up some food right there at the small buffet in Moderno...a lot less balancing and dodging that way.

there were not too many kid's on our Baltic cruise...we went in just before peak season. Copenhagen and St Petersburg were wonderful. really enjoyed the other ports, too. have a good cruise.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 08:27 AM
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I seem to recall dodging kids (and adults) at every buffet, even in my hometown if I go to one....maybe more kids at buffets here...not better mannered, I assure you. Not sure how you can avoid dodging kid's and self-absorbed people.

I thought you meant you were carrying your full plate all the way from the main buffet through the elevator lobby and down the hall to Moderno, as opposed to picking up some food right there at the small buffet in Moderno...a lot less balancing and dodging that way.

there were not too many kid's on our Baltic cruise...we went in just before peak season. Copenhagen and St Petersburg were wonderful. really enjoyed the other ports, too. have a good cruise.
It was during spring break int he Caribbean and a very full ship. The same was true of the Sky, a full ship in the height of summer. The Caribbean/Bahamas attracts a lot of families with children and so at peak times you have crowded ships and buffets on any ship-it is just worst on these 2 ships because of the flow of the buffets.

The Sky is also simliar to the Sun but not identical-I understand it was ordered by a crsuieline that went bankrupt and then NCL bought it-the staterooms are smaller than other NCL ships. Of course the older RCI ships had dinky staterooms (Sovereign,Majesty, and Monarch of the Seas) I am not sure how big the Enchantment of the seas staterooms are, Jewel of the Seas had decent sized rooms, but that is a different and newer class of ship than the Enchantment.
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ONE HUNDRED DAYS ON A CRUISE SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
139 days total.
Celebrity -33 days
Holland America-23 days
Carnival -21 days
Royal Caribbean- 19 days
NCL-18 days
Princess -21 days
Disney-4 days

I have cruised the Caribbean, east, west and southern; Alaska, Bermuda, a transatlantic which included North west Europe and East coast Canada, the Med., and a California coastal/Baja. I loved them all!

What's booked: Celebrity Silhouette November 23, 2014
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Old April 20th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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It was during spring break int he Caribbean and a very full ship. The same was true of the Sky, a full ship in the height of summer. The Caribbean/Bahamas attracts a lot of families with children and so at peak times you have crowded ships and buffets on any ship-it is just worst on these 2 ships because of the flow of the buffets.

The Sky is also simliar to the Sun but not identical-I understand it was ordered by a crsuieline that went bankrupt and then NCL bought it-the staterooms are smaller than other NCL ships. Of course the older RCI ships had dinky staterooms (Sovereign,Majesty, and Monarch of the Seas) I am not sure how big the Enchantment of the seas staterooms are, Jewel of the Seas had decent sized rooms, but that is a different and newer class of ship than the Enchantment.
Enchantment was stretched some years ago. That added cabins and pool and deck space. it did not add buffet space, so you might like the enchantment, momofmeg. The OP should pack her patience whichever ship she choses, as people will likely squeeze as much as they can into three days...including lots of meals, buffet or otherwise. Cabins in the ętre he'd zones have shower doors vs. Curtains, but I do not think those cabins are larger. Our OV room in original part of ship was large enough for the two of us for two weeks, so I'd hope it would be big enough for two on a three day cruise.

Last edited by Starry Eyes; April 20th, 2013 at 10:34 AM.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 11:16 AM
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I am leaning on the side of the Sky, they have been doing the 3 & 4 day cruises for a while and not all are party cruises. Spring break times could be.

Last edited by DDMau; April 20th, 2013 at 11:17 AM.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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I am leaning on the side of the Sky, they have been doing the 3 & 4 day cruises for a while and not all are party cruises. Spring break times could be.
Three days on ANY line tend to be party cruises, as they usally fall over the weekend. Even four day cruises that fall over a weekend (example Thursday to Monday) seem to be also. At least we had that experience on the Celbrity Constellation back in January.

Our Sky cruise was 4 day and during the week-and true it was summer but there were tons of kids. Most of the kids were okay but there was a group of unruly young teens(and tweenies) beating stateroom doors after 11pm at night and throwing food on the staircase near the buffet. It was only a FEW-but those few were very disruptive-bratty young teens or party hardy fools-I do not care much for either.

The good thing about RCI (at least on the Jewel of the Seas) is they had a curfew-no one under 18 allowed to roam ths ship after 10pm unless they are in the kid's/teen's club or with a parent or guardian. Since we were on this ship the week before Christmas,(disembarked Christmas eve) I really appreciated that as there were many kids, but no problems from them.

Of course if parents had kept an eye on their kids on the Sky there would have been no problem there either, but some parents do not do that, and it only takes a few kids to cause a problem.
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ONE HUNDRED DAYS ON A CRUISE SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
139 days total.
Celebrity -33 days
Holland America-23 days
Carnival -21 days
Royal Caribbean- 19 days
NCL-18 days
Princess -21 days
Disney-4 days

I have cruised the Caribbean, east, west and southern; Alaska, Bermuda, a transatlantic which included North west Europe and East coast Canada, the Med., and a California coastal/Baja. I loved them all!

What's booked: Celebrity Silhouette November 23, 2014
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