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Tell me about Norwegian vs. Royal Caribbean

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I'm a long-time Royal Caribbean cruiser, but I'm starting to venture out and try other brands. We're in the early planning of a northern Europe cruise, and I'm exploring itineraries on several cruise lines. What are the most significant pros and cons, or things you really like, about Norwegian?


To give you some background, I have 2 pre-teens and our 18 yr old former exchange student still vacations with us sometimes. My kids have never liked the kids' club on Royal Caribbean and we're not Flowriders, so those kinds of kids' activities aren't important to us. We're not gamblers or big drinkers. My kids are well-behaved and enjoy the pool, food, excursions, and shows, just like we do, so I have no issues with taking them on a cruise line that people may not think of first for families, unless the general consensus is, "No really, they will be totally bored and you'll regret it." clear.png?emoji-grin-1677clear.png?emoji-grin-1677clear.png?emoji-grin-1677 I'm mostly interested in room size and comfort, bathroom and shower size, food, pool/slides, excursions, and shows.


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I wrote this last summer so I just copy and paste it for you.:D

was giving a free cruise from MGM so we went on the Oasis of the Seas and wanted to let you know our thoughts.

The ship itself is beautiful never felt crowded we were on 07/30/17 for 7 nights we had just an inside cabin but it was nice.

but wow did we miss NCL food breakfast was so bad not a lot of variety at all the only place we like was Johnny rockets which was an egg sandwich. buffet was just ok nothing exciting

lunch was a little better park café had a roast beef sandwich but after 2 days in a row we wanted something different and unless you wanted to pay the only thing you had was the Buffett or hotdogs which were just ok the dinning room on sea days was only open for 45 minutes not sure but ncl seems longer then that so we kept missing it lol

dinner's in the main dinning room were most nights good had a few where I didn't like it at all

service was great every time. we did Giovanni's one night and it was good but not great

but here is what drove us crazy if we wanted anything after 9 there nothing but pizza and it smells great and then you take a bit and it taste like frozen pizza but we fell for the smell every time lol.

we came back from shore one day and we missed our dinner time so we went to the buffet and it was so bad we are so spoiled with NCL there buffet is really good.

I know food is different for everyone but in my eyes NCL wins with the variety of food they have.

my kids could not get ice cream after 8 or 830 every night because it is closed so all that is available is ben and jerry's which you have to pay

my kids are teenagers and they said if you could take a RCCL ship and have NCL run them you would have the perfect cruise line

I know a lot of people complain on here so I wanted to say we really missed NCL

we had a great time but found us always comparing the 2 lines

just some thoughts

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but wow did we miss NCL food


I know a lot of people complain on here so I wanted to say we really missed NCL

we had a great time but found us always comparing the 2 lines

just some thoughts


We too really missed the NCL food during our RCCL cruise. We felt that NCL food has much more variety and imagination.


That said: RCCL is much better at handling port visits especially if you want to visit the port independently rather than with an excursion. RCCL always made sure there was a shuttle to town at every stop on our Baltic cruise, and they were very good about informing passengers about these shuttles ahead of time. You will find NCL very lacking in this area.


Also, I think NCL has suffered more staff cutbacks (especially in the dining rooms), and you will miss the attention from your waiters in the main dining room. As veteran NCL cruisers, we felt excessively hovered over in the RCCL MDR (and the in the buffet). I realize most people wouldn't complain about that.


I can't speak to your other concerns (kids, shows, etc.)

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I am diamond level on RCCL but had issues on our last cruise in 2014 and felt customer service was very unresponsive. I tried NCL Epic the following year and we have not looked back. I have had good customer service on NCL. I feel the buffet is much better on NCL and the main dining room meals are about even. Also room size is similar. My son also did not care for the kids clubs on royal but he really enjoys the teen club on NCL. He also enjoys the water slides much better than the royal options. For us, NCL definitely offers more bang for the buck and we enjoy the entertainment provided by NCL. I don’t think you will be disappointed with NCL:)

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We are Diamond with RCL 10 cruises and platinum with NCL 12 cruises. My husband was tired of dressing up on RCL, and he didn't like the food. It got to the point he was ordering sliders every night in the main dining rooms. He also didn't like the assigned seating in dining rooms. And there freestyle dining wasn't freestyle at all. you still had to make a reservation in main dining rooms.

NCL is so much more relaxed, and we love the food. We can always find something we like at buffet, or O'Sheehans late at night, and we like all the specialty restaurants, and don't have to dress up. My husband wears his cargo pants and polo shirt even in Le Bistro the fancy French restaurant. NO slacks, NO dress shirt, NO jacket. I wear pants and a nice top. NO dresses.

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Thank you, this is good information, and I definitely care about the food. I enjoy plenty of food on Royal, but it is definitely hit-or-miss and I get tired of some of it. I would probably think most any other cruise line has better food at this point just because it's different.

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We are diamond on RCCL and enjoy he benifits of that

The food is good but not excellent

NCL we are gold . Not of benifits from there status

Entertainment is better on most cruises and food is v good

Staff are always good on both lines

We have sailed on most of the cruise lines and find cunard best of them all

Queen Victoria last summer Greek Islands was one of our best


Sent from my SM-N910F using Forums mobile app

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We have cruised Celebrity, NCL and Royal Caribbean.


Royal has the best entertainment, but NCL is not far behind and Celebrity's is still very good.


Dining, Celebrity beats the others, but Royal does pretty good in the MDR, however the buffet on Royal is just OK.

NCL has improved its dining in recent years and has a good variety of specialty restaurants, but doesn't match Celebrity.


Royal's Diamond benefits are awesome, we did a 23 day transpacific cruise and didn't spend a nickel on alcohol. Still, Celebrity's Elite Happy Hour is pretty good. NCL doesn't give any type of happy hour as benefits. If you are Platinum, you get a free specialty meal and bottle of wine.


Entertainment I rate as follows


1. Royal, especially the spectacular ice shows

2. NCL, especially the circ soles show

3. Celebrity, still good across the board.


For Service, Celebrity is the best.


Celebrity appeals more to upper middle class,

Royal more middle class

NCL appeals more to younger cruisers

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