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View Full Version : NCL Vs DCL


irwins0001
09-04-2007, 04:01 PM
Has anyone cruised NCL before? Is it good for children ages 6 and 2? Is the adult activities and food better than DCL?
Thanks.....I will be cruising over New Year's.

NCRedding
09-04-2007, 04:09 PM
On NCL, it makes a big difference what ship you are on. The newer ships have much better amenities including the kid's areas. The older ships are more likely to use lounges and public areas for their kid's stuff.

I've sailed NCL twice on the older ships; I enjoyed my cruises, but they are not really comparable to DCL. I thought the food on DCL was better. DD was lumped in with kids 6-12 (when she was almost 13), so she felt the kid's club activities were too young for her.

I enjoyed the trivia contests on NCL--they had about 2 per day, and we enjoy those. We also did a Hawaiian cruise, so we had hula lessons, and lessons about Hawaii. They also had a good number of craft classes. Some of the ships have casinos (the Hawaiian one didn't)

I thought we got a good value for the money we paid, but try not to compare it to DCL, since they are very different cruise lines.

Weegl
09-04-2007, 04:13 PM
I thought we got a good value for the money we paid, but try not to compare it to DCL, since they are very different cruise lines.

I agree. We did NCL once, got pretty good value for the money, but it didn't match the experiences we've had on RCI,DCL and Celebrity.

I've never been on a "bad" cruise, so I can only tell whaty experiences rank better than others...NCL, unfortunately, did not measure up to the others.

irwins0001
09-04-2007, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the replies. The NCL ship is the Jewel, leaving out of Miami on Dec 30th. I think it is one of their newer ships.

Ham Ham
09-04-2007, 04:53 PM
Cyptmwnclsf

M4travels
09-04-2007, 05:00 PM
Cyptmwnclsf

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

MissMet
09-04-2007, 05:24 PM
The only thing I LOVE more about NCL than any other line is the Freestyle Dinning. I love to pick what time I want to eat that day & only eat with my family. I went on the NCL Dawn out of NY & I loved it! I wish DCL's new ships would do the freestyle dinning, don't know about you guys but I don't like to be told when to eat, where to eat or who to eat with. The Dawn had 10 restaurants to choose from & you made your reservations day of- I love that.

But in the end how could you not still love DCL? If DCL ever changed to Freestyle Dinning, I don't think I'd ever consider any other type of vacations. :cloud9:

Ham Ham
09-04-2007, 05:57 PM
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

Thanks

justmestace
09-04-2007, 07:11 PM
Thanks for the replies. The NCL ship is the Jewel, leaving out of Miami on Dec 30th. I think it is one of their newer ships.


We'll be stepping off the Jewel as you're getting on!

We've done Disney 6 times, and this will be our 3rd NCL cruise. I'm really looking forward to having more dining choices on the Jewel. We were more limited in that area on the Dream, but had a few more on the Sun.
The kids programs are pretty good, even compared to DCL. Seems like the kids were always having a blast, and I've met some of the counselors and they seem to really enjoy working with the kids.

We love the added trivia games, too....and games like Family Feud. Seems there are more of these on NCL than Disney.
Of course, I happen to enjoy sneaking in to the casino for a little fun when the kids are busy elsewhere.......

All in all, we've enjoyed NCL...particularly the fact that we can cruise different itineraries with them, and the fact that it's less expensive....but we still love Disney. I don't think anything really honestly does compare.

M4travels
09-04-2007, 08:27 PM
We've cruised NCL twice, once back in the 80s and then over Thanksgiving 2005. We've no children so I can't comment on that but we were very pleased with the Freestyle Cruising. There will be those who don't like it, and that's fine, but we were quite happy to decide what we wanted to eat that evening, make our reservation in the morning, and enjoy the rest of the day. Some of those restaurants require an upcharge, but with the deal we got on the suite we had extra money in our account to pay for them.

I really did enjoy the entertainment and having a casino onboard was great. I don't spend a lot of time gambling, but I enjoy it. I can't do that on Disney, but it also doesn't make it a deal breaker for Disney either (4th and 5th on DCL already booked).

The thing I really disliked about NCL was their bingo. Dislike is actually too nice. I hated it. I felt it was poorly run, the use of their bingo machines wasn't explained well, and it just seemed to be chaos. That said, I only played one session and it didn't ruin my cruise!

I would sail on them again in a heartbeat. Actually, I'd sail on most lines in a heartbeat (well, except easycruise; they're just scary!!!).

Michael

Heather98012
09-04-2007, 08:47 PM
I've only cruised NCL once, & really didn't enjoy it that much. The ship was older & run down. I HATED the food; honestly, it was really sub par. However, I did love the Freestyle dining choices....I just wanted the food to be better!

I would have to have a really compelling reason to cruise NCL again. If I heard the newer ships were nicer with more ammenities & the food was better, I'd likely try it again.

Now Celebrity...mmmm...that's my idea of yummy food! I can't wait to try DCL's, though!

yndygo
09-04-2007, 09:03 PM
Cyptmwnclsf

NCL was easier to figure out than that! lol...

Do you know how long it took me to figure out that stood for "can you please tell me what ncl stands for"???

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

tvguy
09-04-2007, 09:11 PM
The only thing I LOVE more about NCL than any other line is the Freestyle Dinning. I love to pick what time I want to eat that day & only eat with my family.:

Different strokes for different folks. We cruised NCL in the 1980's and LOVED IT. NCL got my wife and I hooked on cruising.
We cruised them this past June....oh my gosh, what a DISASTER Freestyle was. Now, if you make a point of booking your dining time 24 hours in advance, you can get the time you want. It took 2 days (and two waits of over 90 minutes) for me to figure that out.
And on NCL to Hawaii, the ship is really not much more than a floating hotel, it isn't a destination like the Disney ships (or on NCL ships of the past).

My point is, we had a great time on our latest NCL cruise, but in a far different way way than on Disney. The ports were the saving grace on NCL Hawaii.

Ham Ham
09-05-2007, 03:24 PM
oops

Ham Ham
09-05-2007, 03:27 PM
NCL was easier to figure out than that! lol...

Do you know how long it took me to figure out that stood for "can you please tell me what ncl stands for"???

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Wow..... you are so smart.

Sorry for not knowing every acronym.

speakupjc
09-05-2007, 03:46 PM
They are 2 very different ships but both are beautiful. The Jewel is new and very lovely. We enjoyed the option of freestyle dining. If you dine before 5:30 PM the up charge is (1 person free) not as much which really helps. We did feel that they were nickle and diming us to death but besdies that we loved the cruise.

yndygo
09-05-2007, 03:46 PM
Wow..... you are so smart.

Sorry for not knowing every acronym.

Um, that sounds like you thought I was attacking or denigrating you - that was certainly not my intent.
I'm sorry if it came across that way!!

I thought the smiley indicated that, but I'm sorry if I upset you!
:guilty:

outahere
09-05-2007, 04:48 PM
We just cruised on the Norwegian Pearl (the newest sister ship to the Jewel - not counting the Gem - she has not yet gone into service) a couple of weeks ago. If you want to eat in any of the specialty restaurants, make sure you try to get reservations early the morning before - they fill up quickly. The Japanese steakhouse only seats 96 people in one night - 3 seatings of 32 each - and is really tough to get. Our DS13 didn't go to any of the kid's activities, so I can't comment on those.

We were very UNPLEASANTLY surprised at a couple of the nightly shows - they were totally inappropriate for children, even though there were many in the audience. We did talk to the Cruise Director about it, so maybe they will calm it down a little.

All in all, it was a great cruise (Alaska is beautiful!) and we would probably do it again. It was much more casual than DCL (if that's possible). Jeans were allowed in all but one dining room each night, so we completely overpacked.

tadsdaddy
09-05-2007, 05:38 PM
Having just finished an NCLA cruise on Pride of Aloha around Hawaii, it is worth mentioning that NCLA (Norwegian Cruise Line of America) and NCL should probably be considered two different cruise lines for the purpose of comparison.

We had a great cruise being in port everyday on 4 different islands, but the ship service was sub-par. Our stateroom was so dirty I took pictures, and it was poorly serviced throughout the week.

The freestyle dining is not for us. It was bearable since we had a group of 11 and therefore could make reservations on the first day for the whole week, but we prefer the same wait staff each night and quicker service than what we experienced.

Our one NCL service experience was much better than this one NCLA service experience, and DCL still tops our list. Hawaii was great though (in case DCL is reading this).

TexasGirl
09-05-2007, 08:14 PM
One of the best things about NCL is that they allow 2 year olds in their Kid's Clubs. Only 2 lines do..Carnival & NCL. I wish DCL did. It is so much better than Flounders for that age. Oh well. I mention it as I saw you had a 2 year old. I'm sure you knew that tidbit but if not... Big Advantage to NCL.

irwins0001
09-06-2007, 02:19 PM
Thanks for all of the great replies. It sounds as if NCL on a new ship (Jewel) is quite nice. I have read some bad reviews about the line (dirty, poor staff attitude, bad food) but I think this might be regarding their older ships. I am cruising over New Yr's with my wife, and 2 sons ages 6 and 2. I am either doing a DCL for 4 nights (already have my deposit down) or NCL out of Miami for 5.
Anymore input is greatly appreciated.

outahere
09-07-2007, 08:12 AM
Thanks for all of the great replies. It sounds as if NCL on a new ship (Jewel) is quite nice. I have read some bad reviews about the line (dirty, poor staff attitude, bad food) but I think this might be regarding their older ships. I am cruising over New Yr's with my wife, and 2 sons ages 6 and 2. I am either doing a DCL for 4 nights (already have my deposit down) or NCL out of Miami for 5.
Anymore input is greatly appreciated.

Just my humble opinion........

Because of the ages of your children, I think you would have more fun on DCL. It is definitely much more family oriented than NCL. The Jewel class ships on NCL are very nice, but the Disney ships are just as nice (or nicer) and the Disney atmosphere is much more friendly and relaxed.

jw105
09-07-2007, 10:35 AM
We have cruised on NCL twice with kids. We have gone on the Spirit with a 1 & 3 year old and later that year on the Dawn when they were 2 & 4. Both of the ships were fairly new, not as new as the Jewel. We really enjoyed both of our NCL cruises. The freestyle works really well with kids, we fed them roomservice while we got ready for dinner. Then they would go to the kids activities while we ate in the restaurants. When our youngest was just under two he couldn't do the kids clubs but he had fun with us (we pushed him around in the umbrella stroller in the evenings and to the shows). The second time he was 2 so he do the clubs and really enjoyed the activities. The kids pools and clubs are very good on NCL's (newer) ships. The pools have themes & slides (Spirit/pirateship Dawn/Dinosaurs) and there was even a playground on deck. Along with an indoor jungle gym in the club. The councilors were very good. My son had the same councilor on both ships and she remembered our son right away and gave him a big hug. The food and service were a little better on the Dawn than the Spirit so it just depends on the crew and the ship. You don't get to know your waiters as you do on other lines but the benefit and flexibility of the freestyle was worth it to us, especially with kids. There was no stress in getting to dinner on time. Our NCL experience was very good.
Next week we'll be on the Disney Wonder, so I'll be able to compare them first hand. I'll let you know our pros and cons of both.

MissMet
09-07-2007, 01:12 PM
We have cruised on NCL twice with kids. We have gone on the Spirit with a 1 & 3 year old and later that year on the Dawn...

We also have gone on the Dawn. I loved it. I'm trying to figure out if it's still the same cruise director as when we went in '04. I don't remember his name but I LOVED him. He was SO funny.:laughing: By chance do you remember the name of your cruise director on the Dawm? What I remember about ours was he was very tall & very skinny. He wore very FLASHY suits & was quite eccentric & very funny. Thanks.

irwins0001
09-08-2007, 09:01 AM
JW I am looking forward to your first hand comparision. Thanks for the great input from all of you. I have until Oct to make my decision.

kaykels
09-08-2007, 07:42 PM
These comparison threads always end up comparing apples to oranges. The OP was asking about an entire cruise line, but you can't begin to compare Jewel and Pearl (brand new ships) with the old fleet from the 80's. Jewel and Pearl are new ship with incredible decor and ammenities. You can't even begin to compare it to the older NCL fleet, as well as the NCAL fleet out of Hawaii with poor service issues.

I am sailing Pearl in 10 weeks. After 4 disney cruises, I decided to try something else, and I was swayed by:
1. price - got a mini suite with conceirge for less than a cat. 11 on DCL
2. brand new ship
3. fresh water pool (yeah, so is Disney) but the pool deck looks nicer with
loungers, tiki torches, etc.
4. 11 restaruants
5. Freestlyle dining
6. Newer ammenities that DCL does not yet offer, such as bowling alley, rock climbing wall, full tennis court, casino,
7. MOST OF ALL.... Bliss Lounge
Have you guys seen pictures of this?? Beds in the nightclub!
8. Decor- wild, fun, bright, amazing
9. More adult entertainment
10. outstanding indoor pool/sauna/steamroom in the spa, nicer gym and
fantastic heated loungers overlooking the ocean

Don't get me wrong, I still love DCL.
But as far as trying something new, Jewel and Pearl have outstanding reviews and are not the same as the Hawaiian fleet or the older ships. Thats like comparing the Carnival Sensation to the Carnival Liberty, or RCCL Majesty of the Seas to RCCL Freedom of the Seas.

Have a great cruise, whatever you decide.

MississippiMom
09-09-2007, 09:34 PM
We took our (then) 4 & 5 year olds on the NCL Sun earlier this year, just to see if they would even enjoy cruising. If they loved it, we would plan a DCL cruise, and if they didn't care for it, at least we had not spent much money. It was a fabulous experience for all of us. The kids' club had a great variety of activities for the girls to choose from and the counselors were wonderful with them. And we loved the flexibility of freestyle dining, because we weren't desperately trying to get the children to the dining room at a specific time. We are not into buffet dining, so we actually went to the dining rooms as much as possible, and the servers were wonderful with our children.

We have a couple of different dates booked for a DCL cruise in 2008, and I'm positive that it will be a wonderful family vacation, but, it will be very interesting to see if the price difference will really be worth it or not, after all is said and done. We had two connecting inside cabins on NCL for less than it would cost the four of us to book one Cat 12 gty on DCL (during their "Magical Rates").