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NCL Getaway vs. Carnival Horizon


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Looking to book a cruise for June 2023, which would be our first cruise in about 15 years. 😄 Had done two RCCL cruises (Princess and Navigator) and one Carnival(Valor) in the past.  So, any modern cruise ship will probably blow our minds. Kids will be 16,13,11 and 7. I have it down to two Caribbean itineraries that involve some stops we've never been on.  Horizon has an extra day and the better itinerary, but NCL is cheaper and has the better promos. Anyone that has sailed on one or the other or both?  Need a nudge. 🙂


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We sailed on the Getaway. VERY disappointed with food and MDR service, but entertainment was top notch. Teen and kid friendly activities like rock climbing, trampoline (weight limit is 80#) and ropes course were good. Smoke smell everywhere - not good.

You can click on the link in my signature to see my full review. We had our then 8 yo with us.


Never sailed on Carnival, though. DH refuses to step foot on any of their ships. Had friends on it - they were happy.

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Since you haven’t sailed in 15 years, everything is going to be different.  I have one night on NCL and 141 on Carnival.  I enjoy the food on Carnival.  Your children will be wowed by either ship.  Figure in cost and convenience of travel to the departure port.   Not all of the budget goes into the cruise itself.

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  • 1 month later...

This seems like an easy choice.  Its like saying should I go to Ruth's Chris or a frat house cook out that is slightly more expensive.  


We sailed on the Getaway just last week.  Very happy with the food and service in MDR was on part with much better lines.   Service in the specialty restaurants needed a bit of work.  Entertainment was OK.     The ropes, zipline, and slides kept the kids happy as well.     Smoke was limited to one area of the casino and a glass cage on the top deck, no smoke smell anywhere else and my wife is very much sensitive to it.   Guessing things have changed since it was renovated in 2019 since Itchys review.


I've only been on 10 cruises.   2 have been Carnival and 2 NCL.


I would slot NCL to be better than RCL and a bit under Celebrity in terms of service, food quality, experience, etc...    


I would slot Carnival to be the discount airline of the seas.   They are fun ships, booze cruises, and sometimes have some issues.     


In 2019 during my NCL Escape trip we road back to port with the Horizon side by side on sea day and it did look like a nice ship. 


I wouldn't go back on a Carnival myself given the choice between the two; however, I'm more of a mid to premium mainline part of my life so would give Princess a strong go.     That said,  all cruises are fun and all seem to have good enough food.     The ship differences between the 2003 Celebrity Galaxy and the 2022 NCL Getaway I've been on are night and day.   



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