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tjsmama

Carnival vs NCL

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Trying to decide between Carnival Glory and NCL Breakaway. We have cruised Carnival for so long and thought we wld try something new but are a little worried about the unknown vs the known/comfortable. Carnival seems to have more food and entertainment that is included in the cost vs all the things you have to pay for with NCL. Can someone shed some light on this subject?

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Since you have liked Carnival, don't think you'll have a problem with NCL.

It's good to "sleep around" to see for yourself with cruise line is the best fit for you! :classic_wink:

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In this case, I recommend Breakaway.  That class of ships is really nice, especially the outdoor dining venues on the Boardwalk.  I went on Escape and really liked it.  Compared to my last CCL cruise (Liberty), I'd choose a new NCL ship any day...and I believe Liberty and Glory are almost identical.  Breakaway is a crowded ship but then again, so is Carnival.  

 

Yes, what I find most annoying is NCL's nickel and diming.  They start right at booking.  They dangle that "free" beverage package or "free" dining package but then slap you with service charges when you choose them.  However, when you do the math, in the end, it usually does turn out to be a better deal.  

Edited by Aquahound

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All I have to say is that trying something new was like taking a bite off the forbidden fruit for me.  I had been loyal to Carnival for many years and I really enjoyed the “familiarity” that Carnival provided.

 

But at some point in time, like you, I felt like I needed to try something new. And I haven’t looked back since. I have made it a point not to repeat the same cruise line two times in a row. And every time we set foot on a new ship or cruise line, everything feels fresh and new. I get to relive that “first cruiser” excitement over and over. It’s truly wonderful. Ever since our last Carnival Cruise 8 years ago, we’ve sailed on Royal Caribbean (twice) , Princess, Holland America, Disney, and MSC (twice).  Each one has been wonderful in their own way.

 

Our next cruise will be on Carnival, and  I’m very excited about it! After all these years, I hope that I can feel like a first time Carnival cruiser again!

 

Anyway, give NCL a try! You can always go back to Carnival later.

Edited by Tapi

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I’ve been on both lines. I used to love NCL but I think they aren’t as good as they used to be. I felt very nickeled and dined on my last cruise.  Everything seems to cost extra.  The specialty dining used to be just that...special but now it’s not that great and the MDR is terrible slow and next to no service. Carnival seems to include more with the basic fare, but gets a bad rap from lots of people. 

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I weigh NCL and Carnival on the same scales.  Upcharge for food can be avoided . NCL use to be our favorite line and we just drifted away as friends of our group cruised with Carnival.   

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I go back and forth between lines and like them both. I do like the food better on NCL, but that is so subjective. I say give NCL a try and see for yourself. NCL does have more upcharge restaurants, but Cirque show, Food Re[public, and Teppanyaki grill are so good and not available on other lines yet. O'Sheehans pub is included and is really good. Paying the service charge on the free perk works out less cost wise for me. Even if it turns out you are not a fan, hey you are still on a cruise.

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I'm all for trying new things.  We've never cruised NCL, and don't plan to in the near future, but I always suggest to fellow cruisers to try as many lines as they can before they settle on their favorite.  There are so many other experiences out there to enjoy besides just Carnival.

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Go with Carnival.  NCL nickle and dimes you.  Carnival s also known as the funship for a reason.  It's definitely more fun.

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1 hour ago, Kermarkim said:

Go with Carnival.  NCL nickle and dimes you.  Carnival s also known as the funship for a reason.  It's definitely more fun.

 

Comparing Escape to Carnival Liberty (sisters to Breakaway and Glory), I'd say NCL had more "fun" options.  

 

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8 minutes ago, Aquahound said:

 

Comparing Escape to Carnival Liberty (sisters to Breakaway and Glory), I'd say NCL had more "fun" options.  

 

Please elaborate , fun options ? 

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I found them to be similar in many respects and would sail NCL again if the price were right. When I booked our upcoming trip NCL was $3600 for a Bahamas cruise out of NYC and Royal was $1800, so Royal won (for the first time. CCL was $2200 for Pride out of Baltimore).

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10 hours ago, tjsmama said:

Trying to decide between Carnival Glory and NCL Breakaway. We have cruised Carnival for so long and thought we wld try something new but are a little worried about the unknown vs the known/comfortable. Carnival seems to have more food and entertainment that is included in the cost vs all the things you have to pay for with NCL. Can someone shed some light on this subject?

This question is asked ALL the time on here ..... just use the search function for all the comparisons you could ask for. I have two Carnival cruise booked right now and two NCL cruises booked. They are both equally as fun but the food is way better on NCL. There are free food options on Carnival like Guys and Blue Iguana and there are free food options on NCL like The Local. Cost depends on what you want and the deals you get.

 

 

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The one thing I really liked about our cruise on NCL Gem as compared to our cruise on the Carnival Breeze was the lack of lines.  It seemed everywhere I went on the Breeze I was stuck in a line (especially at the buffet).  The NCL Gem just had a better layout that avoided that (the buffet is in stations that you can freely move about to and from...where on the Breeze it was just one long line).

 

With that said, NCL does nickel and dime you some.  For instance, bottled water is not included in their drink package.

 

The "vibe" on the Breeze was more lighthearted and "fun"...but O'Sheehans on the Gem was a nice "included" food option.

 

In other words, you can't go wrong with either....but I would give NCL a try just for some variety.

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8 hours ago, BoDidly said:

Please elaborate , fun options ? 

 

Breakaway has 4 waterslides including 2 with the floor that drops out, ropes course, bowling, pool tables, 24 hour bar/restaurant, Spice H20, dueling piano bar, a dinner theater.  I'm probably missing a few but I don't think there's any question that Breakaway offers more than Glory.  It's a newer, larger ship.  Plus, NCL's entertainment is better.  

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When I realized that I was able to predict what Carnival's CD was about to say, I knew it was past time to begin cruising other lines.  Like Tapi, I never looked back.

 

We now have 3 Carnival cruises (premier, ultra casino fares and Norway), NCL Trans Atlantic to Spain, Celebrity Southern Caribbean 11 nights and RCCL Symphony of the Seas booked.  Might be time for MSC again?

 

NCL and Carnival are somewhat similar.  Carnival has low cost water, but NCL's specialty restaurants and entertainment are more varied.  It is fun for us to try the various lines, instead of the same old one.

JMO, YMMV.

Edited by evandbob

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We tried NCL a number of years ago and found it was overall too expensive once all the charges were added, and the food wasn't that great (although the extra charge Italian restaurant was amazing). I imagine the newer ships are much better than what we had though, and echo what others say that you should try lots of lines to see what fits you best personally. For example, we know loads of people who really love Princess Cruises but we were very disappointed when we tried them. Equally I'm sure many other don't like the lines we prefer, so you never know until you try. I keep meaning to try NCL again, maybe one day. 

 

One thing I do find irritating about NCL are the slightly misleading prices on the website. They show the cheapest 'cruise only' type rates alongside mentions of offers like free drinks packages etc, but don't really make it clear until a couple of pages into the booking that none of the extras are included in the cheapest fare, and you have to pay extra to get them. (and sometimes significantly more, so you're really just paying for the perks) 

The cheap fares are often really good though, I think if you're not too bothered about some of the free packages you can probably get a great deal out of them. 

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As you can see by my signature, I've been on the Glory three times and the Breakaway three times.  I think we liked the Breakaway better due to it being a Mega Ship and the drink package included.  We also loved that on the Breakaway, they have what is called the Waterfront, where the utilize the sides of the ship with bars/dining.  Normally public deck space is in the back of the ship.  We fell in love with the Waterfront on Breakaway. 

 

Obviously we like both ships or we wouldn't of went three times on each, but I think the Breakaway was our favorite!

 

 

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