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Deciding between Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegein


nrmorris

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Want to book a 6-7 night cruise from Miami (other Florida ports are ok as well), looking at these 3 lines.

 

Any thoughts between the 3? We want an ocean view room, and are planning on going between Feb and April sometime 2014.

 

Trying to get a feel for all 3 and which ships out of Miami may have to offer. Price matters a bit.

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I think it depends on your demographics and the experience you are looking for. I find NCL and Carnival are similar in most aspects. However, I do feel that NCL does have more upcharges than Carnival. Both offer relatively new ships out of Miami, Carnival Breeze and NCL Epic, among there other numerous ships. NCL does cater to anytime dining, but you can also get that with Carnival. Most Carnival cabins are larger than NCL.

 

Price points may be relatively close between Carnival and NCL, with Carnival typically slightly cheaper. If your dates are flexible, Feb - April can be relatively inexpensive (with the exception of March, which is around spring break). So much you may end up in a balcony for the price of a OV or inside in summer.

 

Then you have ports, most ships have the same itinerary.

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Really depends on your age, age of kids (if bringing any), what you like to do, if you plan on buying the unlimited drink packages (NCL doesn't offer one during Spring Break). As far as price point, your best bet is going to be between NCL and Carnival, RCL is more expensive, at least from what I have experienced. If you choose Carnival, choose a ship that has the 2.0 upgrades. NCL has a better buffet, but more for fee restaurants.

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Just off "Breeze" 8 day cruise, and it was FANTASTIC! I'd have no problem suggesting that you take a good look at "Breeze". I'd bet that you'll find that for a new ship, with all the FUN you can stand, that the price will be right. Oh yes, "Breeze" also sails a 6 day cruise. ;)

 

"SKY"

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I've cruised all three lines, although not RCI and Carnival in a while (though I'm cruising on Carnival in December and very excited to reconnect with the brand). I've never been on the larger ships for Carnival and RCI that you're considering but if you're still thinking about NCL, I'd highly recommend the Epic.

 

I sailed on her with my husband (mid-30s) and two daughters (6 & 8 at the time) last December and all four of us had a blast. As CruzLover80 points out, there are a lot of upcharges, but that is if you want to do that particular thing. We did pay extra for three pay restaurants (discounted deal that you can get through NCL.com once you're booked) as well as the Cirque dinner and show and felt that we had good value.

 

The Cirque show is not to be missed in our opinion and if you're looking at only one pay restaurant, my vote is for Le Bistro (we also ate at the steakhouse and La Cucina, which are good but not as impressive as Le Bistro).

 

We felt that this ship had the best buffet we'd experienced in our cruising to date.

 

There is so much to do on the Epic, all four of us have said that we could easily cruise on her again and enjoy thoroughly.

 

That being said, the Breeze looks like a really fun ship and is one that I'd like to experience one day. No doubt, others here can offer you some first-hand advice about her.

 

Whatever you decide, happy cruising!

 

Jill

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(discounted deal that you can get through NCL.com once you're booked)

 

You just made me a happy girl!!! We are going on her Thanksgiving next year, actually it's my entire family, 30 so far! We picked Epic because the balcony cabins were cheaper than the Breeze and it seemed to have enough for everyone to be happy.

 

To the OP, out of the 2 you were looking at, I'd go Breeze. Adventure is an older ship and why pay for older if you have new and shiny for the same price (I assume). Unless your dates fall after upgrades slated for next year.

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Although, we were in the Haven on the NCL Epic, we were unimpressed. The upsell restaurants were not worth the money. We had an issue which needed to be handled by the hotel manager. He was condescending. The concierge screwed up the one thing we asked of him. The only good thing I can say about NCL - the suite was very nice and having a private area with a pool was nice. We have decided not to cruise NCL again. We are looking at Celebrity, HAL and Princess for our next cruise not originating on the west coast.

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We picked Epic because the balcony cabins were cheaper than the Breeze and it seemed to have enough for everyone to be happy.

 

Just curious, are the balconies facing the water. As I remember the ship has a lot of balconies that face the inner portion of the ship.

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Just curious, are the balconies facing the water. As I remember the ship has a lot of balconies that face the inner portion of the ship.

 

Epic does not have "interior balcony cabins" that is Royal Caribbean that has the central park views, which I would never ever want (personally). If I wanted to see Central Park or look at people walking around, I'd go to NY :). We are definitely facing the water all 10 cabins. We are hoping to be able to open our balcony dividers, but I never asked if that was possible.

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Epic does not have "interior balcony cabins" that is Royal Caribbean that has the central park views, which I would never ever want (personally). If I wanted to see Central Park or look at people walking around, I'd go to NY :). We are definitely facing the water all 10 cabins. We are hoping to be able to open our balcony dividers, but I never asked if that was possible.

 

Thanks. I get the two lines mixed up.

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I have sailed all three and I like all lines pretty much equally....Yes I have been on more Carnival, mainly because they sail year round out of Galveston and offer 4,5, & 7 day sailings - the others do not. One might have better shows, or better food or better deserts but overall not a big enough difference between the three to say one is superior.

 

I would base your decision on price, itinerary and what each ship offers that you would personally prefer.

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Looking at ships sailing from the ports of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale in February 2014, this is how I would rank them. This is based on my personal preferences since I don't know what your personal preferences are :o

 

Ships sailing from Ft. Lauderdale and Miami on 6-7 itineraries in order of my preference:

 

  1. Allure of the Seas
  2. Oasis of the Seas
  3. Celebrity Reflection
  4. Celebrity Silhouette
  5. Royal Princess
  6. Norwegian Breakaway
  7. MSC Divina
  8. Independence of the Seas
  9. Ruby Princess
  10. Crown Princess
  11. Niew Amsterdam
  12. Eurodam
  13. Norwegian Epic
  14. Costa Luminosa
  15. Carnival Breeze
  16. Carnival Liberty
  17. Carnival Conquest
  18. Carnival Glory

 

(And don't think that because the Carnival ships are at the bottom of the list I wouldn't sail on them. Of course I would! It's just that right now there are so many new and innovative ships sailing from these South Florida ports, that they push the Carnival ships to the bottom of the list).

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It's difficult to determine what cruise line would suit you best without knowing details about you.

 

Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal all have their pros and cons. If price is a factor all three are good options, and there are many discounts to be had especially on balcony's and ocean views.

 

That being said, even though they all offer similar products and experiences there are some noticeable differences but depending upon the type of person you are a certain cruise line might suit you better.

 

I know for me personally I like all three cruise lines, not equally, but I like them all nonetheless.

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Have been on NCL and CCL, not RCI though. I have no problem with NCL. But if I have a choice, CCL wins hands down. Better food, better (lower) limits in the casino, better service, better comedians. I'm ambivalent about stage shows on ships. They're a dime a dozen, but carnival has a comedy club, and they rotate comedians on and off at ports. I love the comedy club.

 

My unscientific observation is that CCL cabins are a little bigger than NCL.

 

If you can afford a suite, go NCL, none of the other bargain lines can come close there.

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Adventure of the Seas is a great ship!! I convinced 30 friends and family members to cruise w/me on the Adventure and they had so much fun that they are now cruise addicts as well. The inside is hollow with shops, bars, a pizzaria....etc...the layout is graet. The Breeze looks nice too. I've sailed both Carnival and Royal Caribbean (Royal 20+ times) and I prefer Royal for sure. It's hands down more elegant, in my opinion and I feel like everything is just a tad better in all areas overall. If the price between the two is neck and neck, go with Royal. If there's a big difference, I'm sure you'll have a great time on the Breeze as well. I haven't sailed NCL but I sort of feel like it's a pain and I'd feel like they were trying to upsell me, which would irritate me.

 

Good luck!!

 

Laura

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Think I figured it out! Sort of...

 

Narrowed it down to 6 sailings. Any insight on the room options would be great. I realize these are some of the worst rooms on the ship, but ocean view are pretty much booked. If you prefer one ship over the rest, let me know. Ports and itineraries are all comparable to me, prices are similar (aka cheap!) Trying to narrow this down! In no order:

 

Carnival Dream - 7 nights, pt canaveral

Deck 1 - Rooms 1309, 1438

Deck 2 - Rooms 2476

 

Carnival Breeze - 6 nights, Miami

Spa Ocean View - 11201

Deck 1 - 1220, 1218

(Any real benefit to spa room? Girlfriend loves the spa. But, we lose one night.)

 

Carnival Glory - 7 nights, Miami

Deck 1 - 1424

 

Carnival Liberty - 7 nights, Miami

Deck 1 - 1262, 1437

 

Carnival Conquest - 7 nights, Miami

Deck 1 - 1249, 1428

 

RCI Independence - 7 nights, Ft. Lauderdale

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Think I figured it out! Sort of...

 

...(Any real benefit to spa room? Girlfriend loves the spa. But, we lose one night.)

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Independence of the Seas a 6 or 8 night itinerary?

 

Of those ships, my choice would be:

 

  1. Independence of the Seas
  2. Carnival Breeze
  3. Carnival Dream
  4. Carnival Liberty
  5. Carnival Conquest
  6. Carnival Glory

 

About the spa access, we LOVE it. Ever since we discovered it, we always make sure to get a pass. It makes the entire cruise experience THAT much more enjoyable. I think I'd be willing to give up one day of cruising to have a spa stateroom. :D

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Think I figured it out! Sort of...

 

Narrowed it down to 6 sailings. Any insight on the room options would be great. I realize these are some of the worst rooms on the ship, but ocean view are pretty much booked. If you prefer one ship over the rest, let me know. Ports and itineraries are all comparable to me, prices are similar (aka cheap!) Trying to narrow this down! In no order:

 

Carnival Dream - 7 nights, pt canaveral

Deck 1 - Rooms 1309, 1438

Deck 2 - Rooms 2476

 

Carnival Breeze - 6 nights, Miami

Spa Ocean View - 11201

Deck 1 - 1220, 1218

(Any real benefit to spa room? Girlfriend loves the spa. But, we lose one night.)

 

Carnival Glory - 7 nights, Miami

Deck 1 - 1424

 

Carnival Liberty - 7 nights, Miami

Deck 1 - 1262, 1437

 

Carnival Conquest - 7 nights, Miami

Deck 1 - 1249, 1428

 

RCI Independence - 7 nights, Ft. Lauderdale

 

Having been on all of these ships, except the glory, I would choose the breeze hands down. I do not know much about the spa though. The breeze is a great ship, and I hope you get to experience her soon

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Independence of the Seas a 6 or 8 night itinerary?

D

 

Correct, Independence would be a 6 day cruise as well!

 

Thank you for the list. Looks like Breeze is at the top of most peoples list.

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