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rank the NCL ships you've sailed


havanadaydreaming
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Escape

Breakaway

Dawn   Pre renovation

Gem

Spirit

Sky

 

We will be on the BLISS in January. I like the ESCAPE because you have a lot of options. Would like to try the ENCORE, However not sure if I'll like it, seems like they are taking a lot of free common areas away and adding areas that cost extra. Mainly the deck space to be outside. Haven and Vibe take the front, Laser tag takes over the Aft and no more Spice H2O, Go carts take Mid Aft.

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NCL Breakaway

NCL Bliss - Going on this in April, but I know it'll rank above the below...

USS Sterett (DDG-104)

USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)

NCL Gem

 

I know you can't have a bad cruise, but the Gem was horrible IMHO....  I guess I just prefer larger ships 

 

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Epic

Getaway

Escape

 

Not sure why, maybe I just didn't do enough to enjoy it, but I wasn't a fan of the Escape.  I don't hate it, it just wasn't that memorable for me like the other two were.  I have two future sailings, 1 in Feb on the Breakaway and 1 in 2021 on the Joy.  I've been mainly booking for itinerary lately with cost/price behind that.  When I have chosen a ship I have chosen one I hadn't previously sailed on.

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17 hours ago, havanadaydreaming said:

How do you rank the NCL ships that you've sailed?   Who rates the highest?  Any surprises? 

 

 

Here's mine:

Escape

Epic

Sky (2x)

 

I must admit I liked the Epic considerably more than I expected. The Escape was my first NCL cruise and will always get a half-grade higher from me than perhaps it's warrants, but that's the same with every first ship I sail per cruise line.   Really liked the Sky our first sailing where we had 3 ports on 4nt - it wasn't as awesome when we had a four nighter with only one port. The recent upgrades were fantastic but I was itching to do something different or get on dry land.   Still, it's a fine ship and one which I recommend. 

Sailing on the Encore in 30 days but here is how I would rank the NCL ships I have been on:

Escape

Pearl

Gem

 

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I don't care for the mega ships so I have only sailed on the smaller and mid size Norwegian ships.  Some are no longer part of the fleet.  My ranking would be as follows:

Norwegian Wind

Norwegian Jade

Norwegian Star (3)

Norwegian Sun

Norwegian Pearl (2)

Norwegian Jewel

Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Majesty

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  1. Escape
  2. Bliss
  3. Gem

I prefer the Escape over the Bliss, though I know a lot of people will argue that the Observation Lounge is a huge improvement. For me, I vastly prefer the buffet layout and selection on the Escape. Plus I desperately miss Pincho and Howl at the Moon when on the Bliss. I found the Escape's thermal spa to be better as well. Oh, and the Bliss doesn't have a bar in the theater! The Observation Lounge is really nice though and I do like the Bliss. Will be sailing her for the third time in March.

 

As for the Gem, I just found the layout to be choppy and hard to navigate. Also, as much as I hear constantly about how the Jewel class ships aren't as crowded as the "megaships", I found it to be impossibly crowded on my Canada & New England sailing. Maybe just because the weather made the outdoor spaces unusable? Getting a seat in the buffet was like participating in a cage match. And the lines for the MDRs were so long that they blocked the hallways. I did like Spinnaker Lounge and all of the live music acts on board, though. And, of course, Shaker's! 

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Gem Halloween 2019. Prism band, Jeff Hernandez Zumba. Excellent activities staff.

Spirit.

spirit 

dawn Bermuda 

dawn Bermuda.

epic 2013

dawn 14 night reposition.

dawn 

Having done a lot mof RCL and celebrity recently. We loved the gem and are doing Bliss soon. For us it’s about the activities. Dancing. Live music.
Bored on Celebrity with their silent disco which is pathetic.

RCL has reduced the fun factor recently.
NCL whilst we can still move it!

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1. Epic (Best Haven) (3x: first solo - inside, 2x haven)

2. Escape  (Great overall ship. Had a great time.  Balcony)

3. Getaway (Balcony)

4. Pearl (Suite 2x - not in Haven)

5.  Breakaway  (Haven)

6.  Dawn (Suite - Not in Haven)

7.  Jade (First Cruise, First Suite - not in Haven)

8.  Sky (2x - balcony)

Edited by CherWolf
Updated to include number of trips and categories
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Epic (first mega-ship, so much more to do than the Gem) loved the spa with the aft balcony area and Spice H2O.

Breakaway - TA wasn't full, no crowds or lines.

Gem - love the Great Outdoors and three sets of elevators. Activities more focused on selling things though.

Getaway - eh, the ship was fine, the ill-fated TA not so much.

Spirit - HATED the Spirit in 2006, too small, rock hard beds, tiny chairs, not much to do. Horrible service, eternal waits for tables in the MDR and for food in every restaurant. Our Cagney's dinner took THREE hours. My first NCL ship was almost my last. Glad the Gem had a 0 single supplement in 2015 to lure me back.

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Escape our first trip

Escape our second time

Escape our third time

I assume our Epic in a month will be good, so sliding it ahead of the bliss. 

.

.Sitting on my couch slightly better than bliss

and in last the bliss. 

Edited by snownow
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We sail in the Haven/suites, so that has some bearing on my rankings:

-- Escape (2x)

-- Epic (2x with a third upcoming)

-- Getaway

-- Dawn (2x)

 

I think the Escape is a very well-rounded ship. They fixed the Haven mistakes they made on the Getaway/Breakaway. They have the wine bar and the Brew House. And the Waterfront is awesome on all ships.

 

The Epic's Haven is awesome. We love Posh. Our first two cruises were on the Epic and we are curious to see what we think of the ship after being on others. We will miss the Waterfront. 

 

The Getaway is a great ship, but the Haven experience leaves A LOT to be desired, especially after being on the Epic and Escape. We enjoyed our sailings on the Dawn and love the different entertainment each night. However, we miss having a Haven.

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24 minutes ago, snownow said:

Escape our first trip

Escape our second time

Escape our third time

I assume our Epic in a month will be good, so sliding it ahead of the bliss. 

.

.Sitting on my couch slightly better than bliss

and in last the bliss. 

 

I definitely prefer the Escape over the Bliss, but I am curious about why you hate the Bliss so much? I mean, sitting on my couch is nice, but it's no cruise!

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I think my rankings are based on ship itself, specific memories and experiences, and the itinerary itself. It is hard to compare same-class ships out of NYC with those in Europe, which are generally quieter and less crowded. But without further ado:

 

Gem

Getaway

Breakaway

Epic

Jade

Pearl

Sun

Sky

 

 

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