NCL or RCCL for a family of 5

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12 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
I have a 7 year old, 5 year old and a 3 year old. We cruised RCCL last year and had a great time! However, after doing some research NCL seems to offer a lot and has more availability. Can anyone tell me the differences and what line you would recommend and why.

638 Posts
Joined May 2005
I'd go RCCL. Tons of activities for the kids, better food & service than NCL. We are not NCL fans - dd didn't like kids program at all but, loved other lines. They are closed more than open, same things daily and everything requires parental supervision (making pizza, water balloon toss, etc). Never had that on other lines.
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Carnival - Celebration- 1990
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Monmouth County NJ
1,407 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
New York,

I just posted a very glowing review of our experience on the NCL Spirit with our two children!!!! If you are looking to sail from NY, than NCL is the way to go. The Spirit was GREAT and I've heard the Dawn and the Gem are also wonderful choices for families with children. We looked into RCCL for next year, but the price for their 5 day to Bermuda is about the same as the Dawn's 7 day to Bermuda!

Good luck choosing! I'm sure whatever you decide you'll have a great trip
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New Hampshire
1,467 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
We have done RCCL and NCL once each and have a cruise booked on each one. So...we like both! Our DD was 7 on RCCL's Explorer and 8 on NCL's Dream and she actually preferred the Dream's kids' program because she said the counselors played more with them (even though on such an elderly ship the facility for kids was small and not fancy). She also liked that since it was a smaller ship she saw kids she knew from the kids' program around the ship.

My vet just got back from the NCL Pearl and said it was fabulous. I want to try one of the newer ships NCL has next time. The Freestyle dining is a big plus with kids, I think, because asking young kids to sit through a long dinner service every night is asking a lot. That would be a personal preference but DH and I prefer Freestyle and want to experience it on a ship designed for it.

I would read lots of member reviews from people with kids.