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rank the NCL ships you've sailed


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It hurts to see so many rate the Dawn low on their list.  We were on it in 2016 right before the drydock and thought it was great.  Even without all the bells and whistles the mega ships have, we thought there was still plenty to do.  This is the only ship my kids had tears streaming down their face as we left and that includes a Disney cruise.  


My only other NCL is the Sky way back in 2012.  Was choosing between the Escape and Carnival Vista in 2017 and went with Vista as it was brand new.  Had a great time but really want to take the Escape.  


Booked for the Getaway in March and can't wait.  

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1 hour ago, JamieLogical said:


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!


Ok hate is a bit harsh. We had a great trip on bliss,  but we had amazing trips on the escape. Staff was awesome, food was great every time, my kids spent hours on the ropes course, sport court and teen club.


 The bliss was just ok. I loved the lounge on it, the rest was... just ok.  Food was ok (one horrible meal), had some service issues. Kids disliked the teen club down on lower decks.  Waited a very long time for both carts and laser tag...


And my couch... well it is pretty amazing.  :)  Our next trip is our first in Haven, so we will see if it beats out my couch :) 

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Been out on the Jewell, the Jade, the Pearl, the Dawn, (going again in Feb) and the Sun...Have the Breakaway booked for next time...Loved the Jade, (first suite) great crew...Enjoyed the Dawn, just a great cruise with a great crew...Enjoyed the Jewell but thought the crew of the Pearl left a lot to be desired...Did not like the Sun at all, thought the layout was terrible...Jade, Dawn, Jewell, Pearl and the Sun...Different times with different crews means everything...

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I'll roll with this. Personal preference obviously


  1. Encore
  2. Bliss
  3. Getaway
  4. Escape
  5. Jade
  6. Sun
  7. Epic

Epic had some really good people on board but my gosh it looks like it's wearing a tophat and the interior was laid out by the same folks to designed Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. 



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This has been a good thread to read & to hear multiple perspectives! I’ve cruise several lines, mostly RCCL, but have cruised on POA. Had a great time on POA! Have three upcoming cruises on NCL: Epic (Mediterranean), Joy (Caribbean) & Getaway (Greek Isles). 

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I just got off the Spirit which is perhaps NCL's oldest ship (it was originally Super Star Leo) and it ties with the Jewel. The Spirit will be an even more wonderful ship for those without children when it goes through a two month dry dock.









Star (I'm not happy they turned the lovely bow lounge into the Haven)

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To me ranking ships is impossible!  It all depends on the itinerary, the weather that you experienced and probably which cabin you are in ( If I have a balcony I am not so interested in the public spaces).      Overall I could not pick one ship for its crew, they have all done the job.    I have only been on the Star and Epic they were completely different cruises so a comparison does not make sense.  I have had better room configurations and a better set of talks (Coral Princess), I preferred the RCI central promenade and saw better shows, but overall  I check out NCL first because I prefer the  freestyle concept.


I love all of the ships I have cruised on 











Edited by ollienbertsmum
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For the last several sailings I have only been in the Haven. For me the Bliss has the best Haven experience - so far! But My favorite overall ship is the Escape Hands down.


1. Escape

2. Bliss

3. Getaway

4. Breakaway


My next favorite will be the Encore! Because it's my next cruise and my last cruise always tends to be my favorite until the next one!

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I was trying to formulate a response, when I read ollienbertsmum response. I have to agree.

We are doing our 12th cruise in February, 10 with NCL. They all kind of run together in my mind.

I believe the success of the cruise in some respects depends on our attitudes and ability to shake off a long line, or disappointing meal. I know we go expecting to have a great week. As far as staff, they seem to rotate from ship to ship as their contracts expire. Weather can have a big impact. We tend to look at certain weeks and destinations more so than which ship it is.

Anyway, the cruises seem to be a jumble in my memory, but we like them and and hope to many more in the future.

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I've only been on two, so:




On the Feb 9 sailing of the Encore.

I was on the Epic this year that never made it to any of the ports it was supposed to GSC, St. Thomas and Tortola; just ended up in San Juan with engine issues. It was still a great cruise, got to see San Juan, there was beer and lots of sunshine (no snow).

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Wind gets number one spot. It was our first time on Norwegian, and was our honeymoon in Hawaii! Liked the layout and Freestyle dining. The Italian restaurant was included.

We enjoyed all the ships, but here is the order from best to least favorite. 


Spirit (very pretty aft dining room, Henry's Pub had free popcorn at the time)



Dawn x4 (like your favorite old jeans)

Epic (awesome entertainment and shows)

Gem x2



All good times. I like the smaller ships for not needing to reserve shows and less crowds. I like the large ships for the shows and activities.

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1. Jade* this was my first NCL cruise, & my fathers first cruise ever. I like the more conservative/ traditional layout and it was easy for him ( he is old) to get around.

2. Jewel* VERY similar the jade ( it is the same class after all).

3. getaway I disliked it and my elderly father HATED it. something about it made it hard for someone with mobility issues. the ginormous casino and amusement park facilities up top (all which where closed anyways), did nothing for us.


tbd. gem* in January 2020.


* yes they are all the same class.

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1.  SS Norway (X2) - the best experience, throwback to the days of the old liners--the grand "Blue Lady"

2.  Seaward - our 1st cruise ever, that sailing holds special memories

3.  Spirit - unique smaller ship

4.  Dawn (X2) - comfortable & familiar

5.  Gem - loved the vibe on this ship

6.  Majesty - sailed on her before the "stretch"

7.  Sun - nice, but not great

8.  Breakaway - beautiful, but too big - too many people - too much waiting

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1. Escape- I thought they nailed it with the mix of venues and indoor/outdoor areas

2. Epic- Close to the Escape for me- what I liked was how creative they were with a blues club, dueling pianos, legends in concert and bowling as well as the hydraulic swimming pool in Spice H20

3. Breakaway- very close to the Epic for me - I just think the Epic had been more revolutionary however Breakaway has more outdoor areas







4. Jewel- I regret going on this 9 years later

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