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JeanieTheMom

Question about price compared to Carnival

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Good day to all.

 

I'm thinking of booking a cruise out of New Orleans for Superbowl in 2022. (Yes, I'm a planner. Lol) There are 2 cruises leaving the same day, one NCL, and one Carnival.  I've never been on NCL, but have been on Carnival and Princess.

 

The NCL cruise is about $800 more than the Carnival one for the same category room for 2 people. But this includes the Free at Sea. We usually don't get the Cheers drink package from Carnival because we don't drink enough to break even.

 

In your opinion, would the NCL cruise be worth that much more than the Carnival cruise? I have nothing against Carnival, but want to branch out because of the different places NCL goes. 

 

Thank you for your replies.

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I'd go on NCL any time, anywhere over Carnival.  Have been on 2 Carnival cruises and won't go on them again. 

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Which ships?  Are they comparable for entertainment, things to do, restaurants, bars?

 

Same amount of days?

 

Make sure for the "Free" at Sea you read the T&C's to see how much you will have to pay for gratuities.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Diver2014 said:

I'd go on NCL any time, anywhere over Carnival.  Have been on 2 Carnival cruises and won't go on them again. 

 I would never cruise carnival over NCL mainly because we like the specialty restaurants as we don't like buffet. Plus wev e only cruised carnival once and it was a horrendous experience so never again even if it was half price.

 

Yes we are NCL cheer leaders with over 40 cruises with them.

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What ships and where are they going? I have cruised on both Carnival and NCL. I like both lines but I would take into consideration ship (are they similar) and itinerary (is one better than the other in your opinion).

The $800 may be worth it if it's a newer, bigger ship and you like the itinerary.  Also the drink package is nice and you also would be getting other perks (specialty dining, wifi, shore excursion credit), and right now they have a sale where you can get on board credit. You don't get those perks on Carnival so factor what you might spend on those things and the prices might actually be similar.

 

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If you like the perks, then I'd choose NCL on any ship over Carnival on any ship.

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If the NCL ship is the Breakaway, it has all the bells and whistles - and a huge capacity.  You'll have to make reservations for the bigger shows (not a huge deal) and some of the activities - the ones you wouldn't get on Carnival.

 

If you don't want to pay for the drink package, take a sailaway rate, it's a lot cheaper but you can't choose the room.  Or call and tell them you just want the base rate, I can't see them turning away too many customers these days.  

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NCL because it's a their newer ship the breakaway.  CCL has both Valor and Glory, while neither is bad, the breakaway will offer more.

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I have cruised Carnival more times than I can count and have cruised NCL once. In my opinion NCL is the superior product. But all that free at Sea stuff has charges attached to it. The free booze when adding the charges was of no benefit to us as we do not drink that much. We did not choose that. We just paid for our drinks . The drinks were quite a bit more expensive than other lines though. $11 for a basic gin and tonic. All that being said I would still Cruise NCL over Carnival

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How many free at sea perks are you getting? Is it just drinks or all of them? Does the $800 include the free at sea gratuities? Also agree, which itinerary and ship would make a difference too. 

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I have been on at least five cruises on each of those lines, and while they each have some pros and cons, I think they are close to equal, with NCL getting a slight nod from me, primarily because I like the freestyle approach with NCL.  If you are comparing full suites for each line, however, NCL dominates in a big way, especially with regard to Haven suites.  Carnival has nothing which matches the Haven; at least that I am aware of.

 

Very subjective, but my wife and I probably prefer Carnival's food and food options over NCL.  I also think, on average, Carnivals cabins tend to be perhaps a bit better.  NCL has some small balconies on some of its ships.

 

Both lines are very mainstream, and I think are a bit more crowded, and perhaps slightly less refined than Princess, for example.  I think NCL and Carnival have probably the youngest and most diverse passengers of the big cruise lines.

 

I wouldn't base your choice on the free at see promo, unless you are a huge drinker.  There are some pros and cons to the "value" of the FAS deal, and you are required to pay gratuities on top of everything else.  You may want to consider a "sailaway" rate, which is one that doesn't include the FAS, and is a lot cheaper, for the same cabin.

 

$800 is a pretty substantial difference in price, if you are comparing options which are close to apples vs apples.  I wouldn't hesitate to pick the Carnival option.

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13 hours ago, billslowsky said:

If you don't want to pay for the drink package, take a sailaway rate,

If you don't want the drinks or the specialty dining you can just select to remove them (one or the other or both) and keep the other offers.  This way you don't pay the gratuities for something you're not taking advantage of.  No, the base fare doesn't decrease any when removing an offer so it may not be as good of a value.

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2 hours ago, hallux said:

If you don't want the drinks or the specialty dining you can just select to remove them (one or the other or both) and keep the other offers.  This way you don't pay the gratuities for something you're not taking advantage of.  No, the base fare doesn't decrease any when removing an offer so it may not be as good of a value.

 

There is a lower base fare level if you don't want the drink and dining packages. We could have save several hundred dollars by choosing that level. The base fare was about $100 per person less along with $300-$400 for the gratuities.

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NCL was a little better than CCL back when we sailed on them but I wouldn't sail NCL again for an $800 difference. $200, maybe. Del Rio has made a number of changes that I don't like (no, I'm not going to list them here because it's all been talked to death and I'm not posting to try to change anyone's mind) but I will give NCL at least one chance if the price is right. We also don't normally get the drink package so that doesn't factor much into our thinking. Our last cruise was with Royal Caribbean because they were $1800 less than NCL and $400 less than Carnival, so I now look at all three lines when planning a trip. 

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On 6/2/2020 at 5:16 AM, JeanieTheMom said:

Thank you everyone for your replies. I think we’ll give Norwegian a try. 

The DD and I had a good cruise on the Getaway except for our spa cabin location. Yikes right under the ping pong table. We thought they would start and finish at at decent hours. Nope did not happen. We enjoyed the Cirque show and we went to another show and enjoyed it. It was nice having the perks as we used them. We also sail Carnival and though the cruise line gets the "rep" of being a party ship, we only noticed that on a few of the 3-4 day cruises. It is true Carnival still does the cheesy pool game things but they are well loved by many who are strong proponents of Carnival. We pick for time and itinerary and not so much cruise line. It is good to branch out as the DH and I found another cruise line we enjoy MSC. Enjoy your cruise!

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We have 30 cruises on Carnival and 27 on NCL, so obviously we like them both, but our preference is NCL, by far.
Better perks
Better entertainment
Specialty restaurants
24 hour O’Sheehans
Better casino
Indoor muster drill
Much better loyalty program
Twice a day housekeeping

But, a good cruise is what you make it. But as you,venever cruised NCL, try it and see what you think. If it’s not your. Up of tea you can always return to CCL.

Enjoy


76 past cruises
Upcoming:
CCL Dream 8/22/2020. Western Caribbean
NCL Breakaway 1/10/2021 Western Caribbean
CCL Dream 5/16/2021 Western Caribbean
NCL Star 6/27/2021 - Scotland, Norway & Iceland

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On 6/1/2020 at 1:06 PM, JeanieTheMom said:

Good day to all.

 

I'm thinking of booking a cruise out of New Orleans for Superbowl in 2022. (Yes, I'm a planner. Lol) There are 2 cruises leaving the same day, one NCL, and one Carnival.  I've never been on NCL, but have been on Carnival and Princess.

 

The NCL cruise is about $800 more than the Carnival one for the same category room for 2 people. But this includes the Free at Sea. We usually don't get the Cheers drink package from Carnival because we don't drink enough to break even.

 

In your opinion, would the NCL cruise be worth that much more than the Carnival cruise? I have nothing against Carnival, but want to branch out because of the different places NCL goes. 

 

Thank you for your replies.

 

I would take the Carnival cruise for the $800, BUT look at NCL and see what the price would be if you declne all of the free at sea choices.

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41 minutes ago, zqvol said:

 

I would take the Carnival cruise for the $800, BUT look at NCL and see what the price would be if you declne all of the free at sea choices.

The fare would be the same.  If you pick a standard cabin category that includes the FAS perks it's one fare, pick a sail-away rate for no perks.

 

In fact - as I'm looking at the site now you can't even decline every perk, the ones that don't require a gratuity payment can't be removed.

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