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NCL CRuise reviews VS Royal Car

nmnita

Active Member
#2
I have booked a cruise with NCL new shup the EPIC
for August 2010, I have read reviews about NCL
and not too impressed , I am now worried
should I switch to Royal or stick with NCL

We are first Timer cruisers

Email : giovanni.mendicino@sympatico.ca
ok, let me see if I can shed some light on your question and concerns. First, in church yesterday our minister mentioned for every 1 complement we can expect 10 complaints, that certainly is true when it comes to reviewing vacation experiences and restaurants for that matter.

As a travel agent and frequent cruiser I can honestly say, 11 years of experience and I have only had one really serious NCL complaint and that I had expected prior to the sailing. It was right after Katrina, most ports were not yet opened, the person had a reputation for being a whiner and I tried to convince her to use another line, she did her thing and I suffered for it, but that is life. I have had a few clients that may have preferred other lines before and after sailing, but never anyone with really negative feed back. I will add, it seems those who find fault with NCL come from a certain part of the country. This is a generalization I will add and is not meant as a negative about any part of our country. If is simply certain people have certain expectations, based on many things. Will you like NCL I do not know, it depends more on your attitude, likes, dislikes and expectations. Remember you are cruising the newest ship at sea and by far the most contemporary. That should be a good thing, maybe for you it will not be.

Most cruise are more alike than different, though they all have a nitch. If I have one complaint about NCL it would be the service on occassion. We have never received bad service, but a few times it hasn't been what we received many years ago. That being said, the worst service we ever got was on our last Princess cruise, from beginning to end. Does this mean the service on Princess is bad? No, it means we got bad service. The worst food has been on RCI, again, does that mean RCI has bad food, absolutely not, it means we have had better.

NCL has the most comfortable beds, the friendliest crew and the most dining choices plus the advantage of casual dress and the freestyle concept. What is lacking one place is made up in others.

Nita
 

iris

Well-Known Member
#3
Norwegian Sky

Hi Nita: We have never been on NCL Sky: Can you give us some info...how the food is, entertainment, etc. Is it try the inside cabins are very small and do some inside cabins have sitting areas? We are on deck 9...any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

nmnita

Active Member
#4
Hi Nita: We have never been on NCL Sky: Can you give us some info...how the food is, entertainment, etc. Is it try the inside cabins are very small and do some inside cabins have sitting areas? We are on deck 9...any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
We were on the Sky many years ago when she did 7 day cruises and was pretty new. yes, the cabins are a little small, we had a standard outside cabin with a small sitting area, Even though they were on the small side they were layed out well.

You ask about food and entertainment: well, let me tell you most shorter cruises will not offer food as good as on the 7 day and longer cruises. Will it be bad? I really doubt it, but don't expect gourmet to the fullest. The entertainment, if up to what NCL nomally porvides should be very good.

Go expecting to have a good time and you will, go looking for the negatives and you will be sorry you choose the cruise. Our last short cruise was on an RCI ship and we had an inside cabin. Yes, the cabin was tiny, it happened to rain most of the 4 days and the ship wasn't RCIs best. We still had a good time because we expected to have a good time. Was it our favorite cruise? Absolutely not, but we got what we paid for.

Nita
 

amistad

Well-Known Member
#5
I know how you feel about reading the complaints about NCL, last year after many cruises on RCCL, Carnival, HAL, Princess and a few more I booked our first NCL cruise and after I did I kept thinking did I make a mistake, is the whole famly going to be disappointed? I could not have been more wrong, it was probably one of our favorite cruises to date and we are taking it again in March. The food was comparable to RCCL, not quite as good as Carnival and HAL, the beds were great, the Freestyle made it so relaxing, I never felt rushed and the crew was just as good as we have had on all the others. I do need to mention the Specialty resturaunts do have better food, but we had a two yr. old with us so we only tried Cagney's one night without him. Food is alway's subjective and I don't want you to think the food is not good, it is and the buffet is very good. Don't worry you should have a wonderful cruise.
 

nmnita

Active Member
#6
I know how you feel about reading the complaints about NCL, last year after many cruises on RCCL, Carnival, HAL, Princess and a few more I booked our first NCL cruise and after I did I kept thinking did I make a mistake, is the whole famly going to be disappointed? I could not have been more wrong, it was probably one of our favorite cruises to date and we are taking it again in March. The food was comparable to RCCL, not quite as good as Carnival and HAL, the beds were great, the Freestyle made it so relaxing, I never felt rushed and the crew was just as good as we have had on all the others. I do need to mention the Specialty resturaunts do have better food, but we had a two yr. old with us so we only tried Cagney's one night without him. Food is alway's subjective and I don't want you to think the food is not good, it is and the buffet is very good. Don't worry you should have a wonderful cruise.
I would agree with your assessment 110%. The food isn't quite as good as some lines, but I have never been disappointed. This doesn't mean I have never had a dish I didn't care for, I have had a few, but overall the food is certainly as good as the main stream land type restaurants.

Nita
 

MrLee

Active Member
#7
I would agree with your assessment 110%. The food isn't quite as good as some lines, but I have never been disappointed. This doesn't mean I have never had a dish I didn't care for, I have had a few, but overall the food is certainly as good as the main stream land type restaurants.

Nita
One of the great things about a cruise is that if you get something you don't like you can send it back and order something else. Personally I have been quite pleased with food on NCL Dream where I did a 17 day trans-atlantic and the NCL Dawn where I've done 2 14 day repos and I'm leaving Sunday for another 14 day repo. If I wasn't quite pleased, I wouldn't keep comin back.
 

Jeanie

Well-Known Member
#8
I feel if you decide it going to be a bad cruise because of difference review opinions, it will be. Go with a good attitude and you will have a fantastic cruise. One thing to remember, all our minds are different so there will always be different opinions. Also, there are those who are not happy unless they have something to complain about. Enjoy your cruise and do not sweat the small stuff. You are on a cruise & that is perfect.
 

rhen33

Well-Known Member
#9
I felt the same way the first time I booked with NCL.
Well we went in March and loved it! I am booked again fro Nov 9day with 10 family members for Thanksgiving.
I too want to book the Epic. A cruise it what you make of it! Enjoy
 

Bars78

Active Member
#10
We have been on three NCL cruises. Alaska (NCL Sky), Caribbean (NCL Dream), and Alaska again (NCL Pearl). The complaints I read after our cruise on the Pearl just cracked me up. Those people had to have been on a different ship. The Pearl was terrific. We had a balcony cabin on deck 10 midship-aft. We spent hours out on the balcony in Glacier Bay. With hot chocolate and coffee, we didn't even notice the cold.

The captain of the Pearl was totally cute and all over the ship. We felt like welcome guests, rather than paying passengers. We've always had the friendliest and most accommodating cabin stewards and servers.

We're booked on NCL Epic for November and look forward to another great cruise. We have a balcony cabin again -- we're spoiled now for sure.
 

nmnita

Active Member
#11
We have been on three NCL cruises. Alaska (NCL Sky), Caribbean (NCL Dream), and Alaska again (NCL Pearl). The complaints I read after our cruise on the Pearl just cracked me up. Those people had to have been on a different ship. The Pearl was terrific. We had a balcony cabin on deck 10 midship-aft. We spent hours out on the balcony in Glacier Bay. With hot chocolate and coffee, we didn't even notice the cold.

The captain of the Pearl was totally cute and all over the ship. We felt like welcome guests, rather than paying passengers. We've always had the friendliest and most accommodating cabin stewards and servers.

We're booked on NCL Epic for November and look forward to another great cruise. We have a balcony cabin again -- we're spoiled now for sure.
many times the complaints are so rediculous. On the Spirit last year (actually the end of 2008) someone said NCL was trying to keep us from eating in the buffet: her reasoning, the tongs were so stiff you could get any food between them so it took too long to fill a plate. Of course the ship had just come out of dry dock and the tongs were brand new..

NIta
 
#12
My husband and I have only cruised twice, both times on NCL, and have truly enjoyed it. We are booked for a Mediterranean cruise this April, again on NCL. The freestyle concept is fabulous. We have always had good food, excellent staff, and a wonderful time overall. I absolutely agree with the other, more experienced posters. Your cruise will be what you make of it. The Epic looks like a great ship, I hope we can sail on her someday. I say, relax and look forward to your wonderful trip!!!
 

broberts

Active Member
#13
You are first time cruisers so why do you think Royal Caribbean would suit you any better? I'll tell you right now that Royal Caribbean is not the "best" cruise line for everyone. Heck it isn't even the best for most people. I'm not knocking RCI. I love their Radiance class ships and have enjoyed most of my cruises with them. But I also have to say that my worst cruise was also aboard an RCI ship. Then again, any cruise is better than no cruise.

  • If you cruise on the Epic will any litle negative make you regret the decision?
  • If you cancel your cruise on Epic and book Royal Caribbean how much will you regret that decision if it doesn't meet your expectations?

Only you can answer these questions.

While I have never cruised NCL there are many people devoted to them. Who knows you may become one of them.
 

Mbandy

Well-Known Member
#14
As a fellow travel agent I can agree that Nita makes some very good points.

I have been on 18 cruises and have never had "bad" service but definitely some better than others. Never had a "bad" meal on a ship either. I also agree with the minister's comments; people will more readily complain than complement.

I always tell my clients to take negitive reviews from passengers with a grain of salt. I encourage them to tend to believe reviews that are written by travel professionals. Those are far more objective.

I'm leaving on my 19th cruise on Monday and it will be my first on NCL. I'm anxious to experience Norwegian for myself.
 

nmnita

Active Member
#15
As a fellow travel agent I can agree that Nita makes some very good points.

I have been on 18 cruises and have never had "bad" service but definitely some better than others. Never had a "bad" meal on a ship either. I also agree with the minister's comments; people will more readily complain than complement.

I always tell my clients to take negitive reviews from passengers with a grain of salt. I encourage them to tend to believe reviews that are written by travel professionals. Those are far more objective.

I'm leaving on my 19th cruise on Monday and it will be my first on NCL. I'm anxious to experience Norwegian for myself.
good luck, if you are cruising on Monday I am assuming you are going on the Sky. It is a nice ship, but an older one. As you know, the ships that do the shorter cruisers are never quite the same as 7 day or longer ones. Enjoy freestyle...

Nita
 

Mbandy

Well-Known Member
#16
good luck, if you are cruising on Monday I am assuming you are going on the Sky. It is a nice ship, but an older one. As you know, the ships that do the shorter cruisers are never quite the same as 7 day or longer ones. Enjoy freestyle...

Nita
Thanks Nita. Yup, we're going on the Sky. I think NCL will be OK although we do prefer traditional dining. But the price was right and we've obviously never been to Great Stirrup before and this will be our first time to Freeport. after 18 cruises it is hard to find something we haven't done before so it will be interesting.
 

nmnita

Active Member
#17
Thanks Nita. Yup, we're going on the Sky. I think NCL will be OK although we do prefer traditional dining. But the price was right and we've obviously never been to Great Stirrup before and this will be our first time to Freeport. after 18 cruises it is hard to find something we haven't done before so it will be interesting.
I know how you feel about finding new ports, I think this is a problem for many of us. Of course we can sail out of ports in Europe, but not always is there the time or money to do this. we are doing one in April that will be new to us. We will embark in Los Angeles. Ports are, San Francisco, Astoria, OR, Nanaimo, Canada, Victoria and disembark in Vancouver.
I hope this fall we can do New England. That would be new as well.

Anyway, as long as you know not to expect the same on a short cruise as a longer one and the price is right, you will be just fine..

Nita
 

Calgon1

Awaiting results of mental evaluation
#18
Let me start off by saying that, even though I'm a Latitudes member (NCL's loyality program), I am not an NCL fan. Originally, I was. However, that was a long time ago and I have since moved on. Is this to say that NCL is a 'loser line"? ABSOLUTELY NOT! They fill a particular niche which I am no longer a part of.

Over time, NCL (like most of the lines) has changed. Most of those changes have been for the better, some others (in my opinion) have not.

Since this is your first cruise, I have every confidence that you will have the time of your life .... if .... you go with the attitude that you will have the time of your life.

In other words, it's mostly up to you! Can some 'thing' happen to spoil the cruise? Sure. But the odds are very good that nothing will. Will everything be perfect? Probably not. But, you know? Perfection is highly over-rated. After all, if we had never experienced lemons ... we wouldn't have discovered lemonade!

Get out there. Read as much as you can about what the line can and can't, will and won't provide. "Fortune favors the prepared." Don't set unrealistic expectations, but don't lower your standards either.
 

nmnita

Active Member
#19
though I am sorry to see you leave the NCL family of cruisers, I do understand. I am guessing you have jumped to the next level of cruising, the more upscale lines, I could be wrong of course.

We feel, like you, in some ways, the entire indrustry has changed in the past 20 years, even 10. It is now geared to the family, the more middle income and is attracting a younger age group. For us, because of the relaxed attitude it is still our first choice, but I do miss a few things we used to take for granted.

No one cruise line fits everybody's life style. This has lttle to do with economics or class, it is simply what we look for in a cruise vacation. I have 2 favorite lines, NCL and HAL, obviously for very different reasons.

Nita
 
#20
We are getting ready to sail on the NCL Epic in March, and it is very attractive to us, as a family vacation...we are going with friends who also have children. There is something for everyone! I looked at Cunard, just to see what they offered and I think I would have to stick hot pokers in my eyes rather than die of sheer boredom :nix: NCL is much more suited to my lifestyle at this particular point.

It's all about the perspective and attitude like everyone says. I went on RCCL's Nordic Prince (yes, I am dating myself here) for a honeymoon cruise, and was seasick for the first two days...but guess what...I had the best time ever! I didn't let that ruin my fun! (and man I was really sick, I had pills, patches, and a shot from the ship's doctor and was still sick...were following a hurricane on a relatively tiny vessel) but I didn't let that get me down!! No way!

Today, with the activities I like to do...I am choosing an NCL, but that is because I liked what the ship has to offer me today! I have also sailed on a Celebrity. They are all fun!:sunny: