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How does NCL compare with other lines?

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We're trying to decide if an NCL cruise would be a good fit for us. We have sailed on HAL (Maasdam), RCCL (Jewel of the Seas), Celebrity (Solstice), Azamara and Princess (Emerald). They were all great. I don't think we'd like Carnival from what we've heard. The Norwegian Sun has an itinerary we are interested in. Any comments?

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there are hundreds of posts here comparing the different lines. Try the search function with phrases like HAL vs NCL, etc. Lots and lots to read

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We're trying to decide if an NCL cruise would be a good fit for us. We have sailed on HAL (Maasdam), RCCL (Jewel of the Seas), Celebrity (Solstice), Azamara and Princess (Emerald). They were all great. I don't think we'd like Carnival from what we've heard. The Norwegian Sun has an itinerary we are interested in. Any comments?

 

We just sailed on the Pride of America; our previous 6 cruises were on HAL. Our first (and best) cruise was on Celebrity. We have preferred the smaller HAL ships such as the Maasdam, Ryndam, and Veendam.

 

As all days are port days with no sea days on the POA, the ship never seemed crowded, even at night as there are multiple entertainment and dining options.

 

We, too, saw an itinerary we liked, so we will likely be giving the Sun a try. We signed up for the $250 future cruise deposit while we were onboard the POA as they immediately applied a $100 onboard credit to our POA cruise .

 

We normally book an inside guarantee cabin with HAL and have usually ended up with an outside cabin with a window after price changes and free upgrades. Had an inside cabin on POA. POA cabin was smaller, but plenty of storage. The shower was very small on the POA, but it was ok.

 

Lots of dining options on POA. We always have done late seating in the main dining room on HAL. It was nice not being locked into that on POA. We did one of the main dining rooms on POA 2x. We were able to walk right in at 8pm and only had to wait 10 min for table for 2 when we went at +/- 7pm. The server was very busy and disorganized at the earlier time, but it was no worse than the slow service we have been experiencing in the MDR on HAL. HAL offers more choices on each daily menu, while NCL has more that are available every day. The desserts are much better on HAL in both the MDR and buffet.

 

We could always find something satisfactory in the buffet, and it is set up much better for ease of use. More free beverage options on POA. Lemonade was not even available on recent HAL cruises. We did the Cadillac Diner 1x, but that did not go smoothly, and the portions were small.

 

We did not go to any dining rooms where you had to pay extra.

 

There are many more entertainment options on POA, but that may also be a function of that ship not having a casino. I assume other NCL ships have more entertainment options than HAL ships.

 

HAL ships have offered buy one, get one for $1 happy hours so we would chose something different every day. Happy hour every day on POA was discounted price on mai tai or martini.

 

There is construction going on on POA which. Some areas of the upper decks were stacked with construction materials and inaccessible. The construction noise was also sometimes disruptive.

 

The first night they show a video before the evening entertainment about how their staff will do everything they can to exceed your expectations. I found this not to be true. We had a minor maintenance issue at 11:00pm one night that NCL refused to fix until the next day as they did not consider it an emergency and they do not have maintenance staff on 24 hrs/day. It REALLY made me angry! If I am in a hotel on land with as many people as are on that ship, I would expect that they would have around the clock maintenance personnel. I also believe it would have been taken care of on HAL, but maybe I am wrong. I indicated that I wanted to register a complaint with the hotel manager, but I never heard from anyone. They did fix the problem the following day.

 

We are going to try NCL again since the Sun is about the same size as the larger HAL ships and has an appealing itinerary.

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Hi Luv2Travel,

 

Congratulations on your anniversary! I hope that you enjoyed Hawaii. Please note that POA is a US flagged ship. Wondering if this could have had sometihing to do with the lack of service in the middle of the night?

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For some reason I've had it in my mind--I think from something someone said years ago--that NCL is more of a "budget" line. I suppose comparable to Carnival. Is this not true?

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For some reason I've had it in my mind--I think from something someone said years ago--that NCL is more of a "budget" line. I suppose comparable to Carnival. Is this not true?

 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

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We're trying to decide if an NCL cruise would be a good fit for us. We have sailed on HAL (Maasdam), RCCL (Jewel of the Seas), Celebrity (Solstice), Azamara and Princess (Emerald). They were all great. I don't think we'd like Carnival from what we've heard. The Norwegian Sun has an itinerary we are interested in. Any comments?

 

It depends on what specifically you enjoyed and what you've heard about Carnival that you wouldn't like. Keep in mind that all that you hear isn't always true, and depending on who you hear it from, your opinion may be completely different of the exact same ship/line. So much is relative.

 

I was fine with Carnival, but DH didn't like it. We both really enjoy Celebrity and NCL both. Princess and RCCL were okay but nothing really stood out except the royal promenade parades and activities on RCCL. Our favorite inside cabin was on HAL, but I wasn't a huge fan of that cruise. The food and service was fine - had more problems with the passenger demographic. We love the service on NCL. We love not having to pack formal clothes if we don't want to. We love eating when and where we feel like it. We've found the MDR and buffet food to be just fine, but I will admit that the desserts are lacking in the MDR. If you sail for desserts, NCL wouldn't be good. Other than that, we love NCL!

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We're trying to decide if an NCL cruise would be a good fit for us. We have sailed on HAL (Maasdam), RCCL (Jewel of the Seas), Celebrity (Solstice), Azamara and Princess (Emerald). They were all great. I don't think we'd like Carnival from what we've heard. The Norwegian Sun has an itinerary we are interested in. Any comments?

 

For some reason I've had it in my mind--I think from something someone said years ago--that NCL is more of a "budget" line. I suppose comparable to Carnival. Is this not true?

 

For your sake, I'll be honest with you because I've also been on some of those ship classes you have been on. If this was your first cruise, I would respond different, but it isn't, so I'm responding based on your experience. I think you'll be disappointed. Honestly, on my recent NCL cruises, including a sister ship to Sun, I did find NCL to be a budget line. There are some things on NCL that are nice but all in all, I just don't think they can compare with your past cruises (itinerary excluded).

 

But in the spirit of full disclosure, my feeling of being jaded by NCL is due to horrible ship upkeep I've experienced. Those ships in your history are beautiful and run by companies that keep their ships sparkling and up to date. I wish I could say the same of my NCL experience.

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Thanks for all the helpful responses!

 

I would say we prefer more subdued, less glitzy ships.

 

Our daughter went on Carnival (which we haven't sailed) after being on Celebrity Solstice and Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas with us. She didn't like it nearly as much as the others.

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Our first cruise was in 2001 on the Grand Princess and the second was in 2004 on Costa Mediterranea. Our next cruise was in 2006 on the Norwegian Sun in the wonderful stern suite 9076. We fell in love with freestyle and the Norwegian way of cruising and have never found a reason to stray to other lines.

 

Norwegian cruise #11 for us is next month on the Sun for the northbound Alaska cruise Vancouver BC to Whittier AK. Very excited about this itinerary due to the long port days in the Alaska cities and both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier sailing days. She also has some 10, 11 and 12 day caribbean cruises that look very attractive.

 

Here is link to Beyond Ships photo tour of the Sun. Lots of photos and a good commentary.

 

http://www.beyondships.com/NCLSun.html

 

 

I believe the old style televisions have been replaced by flat screens in the last couple of months :)

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For some reason I've had it in my mind--I think from something someone said years ago--that NCL is more of a "budget" line. I suppose comparable to Carnival. Is this not true?

 

NCL is similar is "class" to Royal Caribbean, Princess, HAL, and Carnival. It's younger and more active than Princess and HAL. I think it's a step up from Carnival, but these are all "mass market" lines. I wouldn't call it budget at all.

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Thanks for all the helpful responses!

 

I would say we prefer more subdued, less glitzy ships.

 

Our daughter went on Carnival (which we haven't sailed) after being on Celebrity Solstice and Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas with us. She didn't like it nearly as much as the others.

 

Before you decide , it would be wise to do a search on the opinions of those you choose to take advice from.. You will see a certain slant of opinion. ;)

 

Personally I think you should try NCL (less glitzy) just as I think you were correct in trying the other lines ( except Carnival , Did not like :D) .

 

P.S. The Sun is one of my favorite ships..

 

good luck.

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Hi Luv2Travel,

 

Congratulations on your anniversary! I hope that you enjoyed Hawaii. Please note that POA is a US flagged ship. Wondering if this could have had sometihing to do with the lack of service in the middle of the night?

 

Just out of curiosity, is the POA staffed with people from Hawaii?

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Just out of curiosity, is the POA staffed with people from Hawaii?

 

Some but not exclusively. Predominantly American citizens though.

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The Sun is a wonderful ship. I have personally spent 23 nights on her on two different cruises (South America and the Baltic). The crew is fantastic and happy! The Sun is a great size, not too small and not too big. Would sail on her again in a second.

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Hi and welcome (maybe) to NCL! We have just scheduled our first with NCL but have been on both Carnival and Regent (similar to Azamara). Here's why we chose NCL, in comparison to those two:

 

1- The Haven. Their suite options just can't be beaten. Especially for our family with kids, we needed more space and the two-bedroom sounds like it will fit us perfectly. Also, the Haven sounds like an experience very similar to Regent in service and crew:passenger ratio. Very private and accomodating for our family.

 

2-NCL is open to kids. We did not feel like Regent was very accepting to kids, which it totally their perogative and totally fine. We just thought the suite experience on NCL would rival our 'luxury' experience on Regent for much less money, especially with kids.

 

3-NCL, at least in my mind (since we haven't sailed) is just a notch higher than Carnival, although I'm sure lots of other would argue otherwise. The Carnival we went on pretty much made the decision that we wouldn't sail with them again. Too much of a party/cheap cruise feel for us.

 

That's my opinion! Good luck making a choice!

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I found it best not to compare cruise lines, ships, etc. Just enjoy whatever cruise that I am on at the moment.

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I found it best not to compare cruise lines, ships, etc. Just enjoy whatever cruise that I am on at the moment.

 

 

Best piece of advice I have read in a long time!! You are on a cruise, whats not to love???

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Sun is an older and smaller ship but it's comparable to many HAL ships in size. If you are looking at one of Sun's longer itineraries you should find a relaxed crowd. Food is ok. Service is very good. Suite experienxe is close to luxury cruise line experience but at a fraction of the cost.

 

And no, today's NCL is nothing like today's Carnival.

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Best piece of advice I have read in a long time!! You are on a cruise, whats not to love???

 

I agree especially when most people have never even cruised on some of the other lines that are being asked about but somehow seem to have an opinion about them!!

 

I don't understand why people take others opinions to heart. You should just go and make your own opinion rater than beleive what others say

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I've heard it said that Carnival is the Walmart of Cruise Lines. We shop at Walmart and are quite happy to do so. We have been on 3 Carnival cruises and enjoyed them all--no complaints whatsoever!

 

Princess (only one cruise) was fancier than Carnival but I preferred the stateroom (always a balcony)and food on Carnival.

 

I can't compare anything to Norwegian because I have never been on a Norwegian cruise--but will be soon.

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