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Norwegian or princess ?

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We've been on 2 Princess cruises, one on  the Regal, and another on the Ruby. We've also been on 2 NCL crises, one on the Jewel, and one on the Escape, No comparison. NCL wins hands down. Better food, better entertainment, and so much more to do. This is true on the smaller, older ships, and the newer ones as well.

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18 hours ago, alspal2 said:

I have never been on either one , has anyone been on both and can tell me which one they like better and why 


Hard question to answer.  I have been on NCL Western Med a few times.  I have also been on Princess in Alaska.  I don't think that you can compare them just because of where we were.   Princess was less formal and much less nightlife.  The MDR would not take reservations after 9 pm.  

NCL is freestyle but there is always quite a lot of bling from both sexes.  


I like both and would book on either again.  

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I am elite on Princess and Platinum plus (next cruise,needed 6 days), so I have spent over 150 days on each line.  They are both really the same when it all comes down to it and I am happy with either depending on itinerary and price.


As others have said, formal on either is not formal.  Princess does suggest it more so that NCL, but we travel before and after our cruises and don't take lots of luggage, so we never take formal wear.  Yes, I take a nice pair of black pants and a fancy shirt( but in my mind that is not formal).  We have never been denied in the main dining room, but we usually respect the fact that others may want that formal experience  and eat in a specialty restaurant(not required formal) or the buffet.  Your only option is not pizza by the pool.


We usually do long cruises and Princess and NCL both have fun activities on sea days.  Holland is the worst and most boring cruise line ever! 


We never take the 5 free things at NCL, but if you like the free drink thing, NCL wins from what my friends say.  In general I think Princess is more pricey than NCL( and I compare every single day looking for deals).  It just depends on what you value.


If you value the cruise experience, maybe Princess is the one. If you value the ports, NCL might be the one.  Like someone said before, you are the only on can judge which is the one for you.  Happy sailing!

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Perhaps it might be better if I compare my Jan 2019 Breakaway Cruise to my Jul 2019 Sapphire Princess Cruise



NCL everything printed out nicely.      Princess....was not able to open their PDF’s on any device.



NCL was an absolute zoo in New Orleans.   Princess was Amazing in Southampton 


Passenger make up:

NCL mainly Americans.         Princess 95% British or European



NCL not bad.......Princess is terrible....RCCL is the best


Food selection:

NCL has numerous very good specialty restaurants.    Princess has two....read the reviews. 



NCL has Rock of Ages.      Princess has the old time stuff..magicians,jugglers, comedians



NCL has the Haven.            Princess has balcony ++ cabins they call suites



NCL not too bad.                   Princess was amazing!



We we have been cruising since 1998 and cruised on just about every line including Crystal but excluding  Carnival.

We change as the cruise lines change. Our go to cruise lines at this ten seconds are NCL. HAL and RCCL.




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A bit of clarification. My DH and I gifted this cruise to our daughter and her family for my daughter’s 50th birthday.  We used to live in Stavanger, Norway so she wanted to show her family her old house, school etc.  The weather and itinerary were outstanding and her family also fell in love with Norway.


There were 7 of us. The youngest being 11. To eat in a speciality restaurant for the two formal nights would have cost me at minimum an additional $420, so this was not an option. If it had been just the two of us we would have dined in the speciality restaurants on formal nights. As to the Lido all of us were sick of it. It was the same thing for lunch and dinner. There were many in formal wear and nice clothing in the Lido on formal nights.This left the burger bar by the pool and the pizza restaurant near the atrium. The waiters at the burger bar and pizza restaurant had on tuxedos for formal nights.


As a side note my grandson loved the kids club and went every time it was open. His teenage siblings warmed up to the teen club and really enjoyed it towards the end of the cruise.


Several passengers we met were very unhappy about the over the top formal nights. One man commented Princess does formal nights to make money on photographs. Never occurred to me but every photo we have of us on a cruise was taken on formal night........NCL makes their money in the numerous bars and large casinos.


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We are platinum plus on ncl and elite on princess so have traveled a bit on each.  My biggest complaint on ncl is the lack of cruise choices that are of a decent length.  For us a 7 day is just a total and complete waste of time, 14 is tolerable but still too short.  Ncl needs to put together itens that are 30 to 45 days at least in length that do not have a repeat port.


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Thanks everyone , we have decided NCL Encore we like the itinerary on this ship . We had booked RCCl Allure of the Seas but they took away St Thomas for San Juan .. We like the nightlife so thought this will be a good choice !! 

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Wanted to add that if you're a drinker, the alcohol beverage package on NCL is better than Princess' in which you've got a limit  to 15 alcoholic drinks per day. However, Princess' drinks package does include specialty coffees and fresh juices unlike NCL. 

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