Contributor Level: Second Mate

Comparison of Cruiselines and Suggestions

Hello all, Done 2 cruises so far. Just did one with a major cruise line Norwegian and was good time. So looking at people on here who have cruised lots. I noticed many have jumped around from cruise line to cruise line even people have done a Carnival cruise after doing RCL etc.


So i was wanting to contact some people direct on the experience with different cruiselines

one is for anyone who has done multiple cruise companies, thoughts and suggestions, what did you think was best company? or cruise

and notice many doing Carnival cruises as well back and forth to others? thought CC was the lower end of quality? so feedback please on this

​as to comparison of companies as i will be cruise more in future

thoughts and suggestions please and thanks  




Tags: cruiselines company

7 Answers

Contributor Level: Cruise Director

I have sailed Norwegian, Celebrity, Princess, Carnival and RCCL. I have found that it is not necessarily the line that makes the cruise, it is the crew members on the ship. Sure, some lines offer amenities that others don't such as the added cabin amenities like bar soap, shampoo & conditioner bottles etc. that Carnival offers yet RCCL doesn't. But in my eye's, those amenities are small inconveniences that I can get past. For us it comes down to those crew members you directly interact with like your cabin steward, waitstaff in the MDR and bartenders. If you have a crew of unhappy workers, that will be evident in their association with the guests. This plays a major part in if our cruise is good or bad. Granted, crew members like anyone else are allowed to have bad days. But if they all seem to be having bad days at the same time, this can make a cruise less than pleasurable. Just my opinion.

Contributor Level: Captain

My wife and I have done Princess and NCL. We are going on an NCL cruise next April. I have not cruised Carnival "yet" But might to a short one out of L.A some time.

Cruise lines differ with what they offer, but I tend to look at the itinerary and time of year for us. I enjoy Princess as it is a little classier that NCL, But NCL had a lot more "fun" events that we enjoyed. I all boils down to what you want out of your cruise, at the time you are cruising and where you want to go.

Crew is always an issue, if you make it one. So far we have been very fortunate to have met some great members. We still correspond with some of them.

So, do your homework and have fun.

Contributor Level: Captain

NCL is bottom of the list rite with Carnival.  I have done NCL, Carnival, RCCL, Princess, Holland American Line and Celebrity.  The lines all have good and bad.  They cater to different demographics,  you have to find the ones you like.   I have to say I was surprised to find the MDR food was very good on Carnival as was the service and clean ships.

For me it is a combination of Itinerary, price and ship.  I did a transatlantic on RCCL because the itinerary was better then that offered by Celebrity at that time.  I use Carnival because they are about the only line left going out of Los Angeles all the time. When I want elegant and relaxing I go to Celebrity (the Greek Islands cruise is fantastic)  Princess has some of the best porting in Alaska.   It all depends what I'm looking for and what my mood is for what line I book.   I do like my free cocktails on RCCL and Celebrity because I'm Diamond level on them.  :-) 

Contributor Level: Captain

I wouldn't place NCL at the bottom with Carnival. Mainly because you can't compare the two.  Norwegian offers a lot more on their ships than Carnival.  And for everyone who criticized Freestyle Cruising, many seem to be copying it in one form or another.   We have sailed Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Norwegian,Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity. If I were going to compare lines, I would compare Royal Caribbean to Carnival, except for the fact they are more expensive.  Both lines are geared towards families and fun. Royal offers more on board, and much bigger ships.  Whether or not that's a good thing .........

Compare Princess to Celebrity.  We loved them both, and did B2Bs on both.   Both are for a more experienced cruiser.

Holland America is amazing!   Great food, great service......but........a bit of an older,more sedate crowd.   Not a party ship by any means.   But, you make your own good time.

Norwegian, takes a little getting used to.  But we love them.  Food choices are excellent. Service is great.  Customer service is amazing,  possibly better than HAL.

It depends what you are looking for.  Want to party?  Carnival or Royal are your best bets.   Going to ALASKA?  HAL or Princess have smaller ships perfect for going where others can't.  Want to get away as cheaply as possible ?  Carnival.   but, you get what you pay for.

Hope this helped a little.   Enjoy whichever line you choose.   It's still a cruise, and it beats being at work. Big Smile


btw, we leave from NY almost all the time now, so we like the fact Norwegian is here year round.

Not as seasoned as most who have responded. Our first cruise was the Norwegian Breakaway from Manhattan to the Bahamas in December, 2013. Our second was on the Carnival Sunshine from Port Canaveral to the Western Caribbean, Jan 3-10, 2015. I would say that there was similar clientele on each cruise. With comparable cost, that is in line with expectations.

The Western Caribbean itinerary and departure from a warmer climate in the winter aside, the ships each had their advantages. I found the Breakaway was easier to navigate due to a more open feel in the common areas. The Sunshine was more compartmentalized, making it easier, at least in my case, to become disoriented. The food selections on the Sunshine were somewhat better (i.e, Guys Burgers), though I would give a slight nod to the Breakaway on quality.

We booked the ocean view cabin on each ship. The room on the Sunshine was somewhat larger, though I personally preferred the layout on the Breakaway. Rather than the king bed being by the window, as was the case on the Sunshine, the sofa was by the window on the Breakaway. Also, our cabin on the Breakaway had a tub. The Sunshine cabin did not.

The staff on the Sunshine was exceptional. Our room steward and head waiter made it a point ot call us all by name each time we crossed paths. Jamie Dee (Sunshine)was an outstanding cruise director. However, Sinan on the Breakaway was a step above.

One feature that Norwegian employs, at least on the Breakaway, stands out as a significant difference. All pictures captured by the staff can be accessed electronically at a kiosk by using your sign and sail card. With Carnival, you had to sort through hard copy photos.



Contributor Level: Admiral

I have taken 50 cruises on Carnival, RCCL, NCL, MSC, Cunard, Costa, Princess, Celebrity, Princess and HAL to name some of them.  I have a great time on all of them. There are other fine cruise lines that are more upscale (boutique) and of cousre, higher priced.  You get what you pay for.   I pick the cruise mostly for the itinerary although twice I cruised just to be on the ship - Allure & Oasis.  It depends on how much money you want to spend. 

If you make friends with the crew and treat them politely, you will get good service on all the cruise lines.  I try to avoid busy times such as holidays and summers when there are more kids on board.  Very short cruises are party cruises so I try to avoid them.  My personal favorite cruise line is HAL.  There is a crew member for every two passengers so the service is wonderful.    Choosing a cruise line is a personal decision.  What I like best about a cruise line may not be important to you.  I suggest going to a experienced cruise travel agent and explain your expectations.  He or she will be able to steer you in the right direction.   

Contributor Level: Captain

I have sailed on Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, Princess, NCL and Holland America. I can not add much to the answers above. For me it is price and itenerary. I will say that Carnival and NCL tend to lean towards the younger crowd. But there is nothing wrong with that. I will say if you are kind to the staff, they will usually exceed your expectations. Just my experience. Bottom line my favorite cruise ship is the one I am on at the time.


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