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3-Day Bahamas: $689 on Carnival Ecstasy vs $647 on NCL Sky


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I'm considering these two cruises to do a weekend getaway (31 October departure) with my wife and 3-year-old daughter. Our little one is adventurous and easy going; she'll love exploring the ship, looking at the water, and playing with other kids, etc.


Important factors for us are quality of food and available activities for our daughter.


We've never sailed on Carnival or NCL, but Royal Caribbean's offering on Majesty of the Seas is significantly more expensive, and I'm looking for a bargain in this case. I'd automatically book NCL due to the price were it not for the fact that the Sky seems to get generally the worst reviews of the weekend cruises.


Thoughts and recommendations please?

Edited by TravelScholar
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Please tell me this is the total price for all 3 of you :eek:


I'd pick the Ecstasy. My one NCL cruise was my worst, and I'm not crazy about their "Freestyle" concept. Others may have a different opinion, but this is mine, so don't attack me for it. :cool:

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I've never cruised on NCL, so can't tell you for sure, but from what I gather, NCL seems to be the cruise line that people either love or hate - I haven't read about too much of a middle ground. Carnival tends to get a bad rap around here. I have cruised several times on Carnival, but were all quite some time ago. I would suggest reading reviews of both ships that you are considering. I personally tend to enjoy week-long cruises. If you go with an open mind and not very high expectations, I would imagine that you will have a decent time on any of the ships you are considering. I did find that Carnival 3-4 day cruises do tend to have more partying pax, but have never seen some of the extremes that I read about here. Not to say that it doesn't happen, but I haven't witnessed it. As a matter of fact, the most obnoxious passengers I have ever seen were on a 10 day Princess cruise. I would probably go with whatever is logistically easier for you.

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I've cruised both -- Carnival and NCL. Hands down, I would choose Carnival. The service and food on NCL are sub-par to Carnival.


On NCL, bartenders and food servers were "short" when asking for certain items. One bartender became so overwhelmed that he put his hands up in the air and yelled at everyone at the bar (6 of us) that he could not handle so many people all at one time. The food on NCL is not as good as on Carnival. As NCL is all freestyle, I think some of the food is prepared ahead of time. I had some pasta with alfredo sauce, and you could tell that the sauce had been sitting for quite some time.


Carnival's service on the ship is better than NCL. The servers are friendly and always willing to help you out. The food on Carnival is way better. Even though I do my time dining, the food always seems to be prepared at the moment (whether or not it is, I do not know, but you would not know it).


In my opinion, it would be worth it to pay the little bit extra to take the Carnival cruise. However, also having cruised on Royal, please do not expect the service on Carnival to be as good as the service on Royal (again, this is my opinion).

Edited by FTLCruiseGal
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Iv'e had the exact opposite experience on NCL...just goes to show you how subjective reviews and opinions are. I thought entertainment and service blew Carnival away on the NCL Pearl and Epic. Granted, I have never sailed the Sky, but I have sailed a 3-day on the Imagination and the Sensation and the experience met my expectations (fun party get-away).

Edited by JinxyB
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Thanks for the input, everyone. We ended up booking the NCL Sky. The price dropped again so we got 2x pax at $119 and 1x pax at $99. $607 total price including taxes. Seems like prices aren't likely to ever be much lower, so we jumped on it.


Also got the $29/pp travel insurance from NCL, as we've had some illness going around our house. Hopefully, we'll all be well by departure day!!

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Good choice, you'll love the sky! I've been on both twice each and both are great ships. I do like the extra stop at the private island vs nassau alone. Have a great time and you got a great price!! Hoping to find a good deal mid Nov for a 3 day get away.

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The Carnival ship overnights in Nassau. If you want to stay off the ship late at the casino or one of the other night spots you can.



I wouldn't recommend being off the ship in Nassau late at night. Even less with a 3yo in tow!



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