Here's the story ...
I qualified through a land-based casino for a "free" cruise from a list of select sailing dates, and all are on Celebrity out of FL or San Juan. We live within 45 minutes of Cape Liberty but according to both the cruise line and casino promo depts we must stick with the cruises listed. SO before we pony-up airfare, port taxes, and kennel (dog) & vet (parrot) boarding costs for this I want opinions, especially from people that have either traveled on Carnival, Royal, &/or NCL but have still experienced what X has to offer.
The three cruises we have narrowed their list down to are: Eclipse 6 N Western out of Miami; Summit 5 N Key West & Bahamas out of Fort Lauderdale; and Summit 5 N Southern from San Juan. The ports are not that big of deal to us, what the ship has to offer my DH and I is.
What we like about the previous cruises were - CCL the quantity of (fun) activities and the number of performances in the main theater & comedy club, RCL the quality of the food in the MDR, and on Norwegian the scope of choices for dining venues. What we didn't like - Carnival that everything is first come first served, so the lines, Royal that the lack of shows, how packed the venues were for activities, & the short periods of time certain areas of the ship were open, and NCL the need to have reservations/tickets for almost every little thing and how crowded the lounges were during entertainment periods.
Also holding us back is when I visited St. Maarten last March many passengers from the Celebrity ships complained about the lack of evening activities and entertainment. In fact one couple stated the only time the main theater was in use was for enrichment seminars.The only problem w/ this at the time I did not pay attention to which 2 X ships were in port that day, but remember them being smaller than the Pride.