My advice is to forget Norwegian if you are looking for a quality cruise line!
I have been trying to get through to get some action with their "Customer Relations" department for over six months now!
They have, in that time, gone through THREE directors. And I still have no direct response.
All this after they dumped my luggage in a pool of water on dock.
Stay away from them.
Our favorite is Princess. We've been on NCL, RCL, HAL, Costa, Carnival, and Princess. So far, Princess rules. We've never experienced a bad cruise, however, some better than others, but none bad. We've had itinerary changes, due to weather or the ship not being at 100%, but those are things to be expected. Princess service, cleanliness of ships, and food have been better than the other lines we've been on. I'd say, look for your itinerary first, then for price. There are many people that would disagree and would book for the ship, but right now, I book for the itinerary. I like a 10-14 day, caribbean w/ports that are not the norm(like St. Thomas, St. Maarten). I'd like to hit every island in the caribbean, if that were possible. It all boils down to what your preferences are. Best Wishes!!
Penny's right, it depends on your personal preferences. Each cruise line has some unique characteristics, some involving rather subtle differences. My "best" cruise line is probably not your "best" one, because my tastes and preferences are probably different from yours. And one person's bad experience with a particular line doesn't necessarily mean that everyone gets treated poorly by that line.
BTW, this should probably have been posted in General Cruise Chat rather than under a specific cruise line; one of the site "gurus" may want to move it.
I agree with Karen and Penny. There can also be variation between ships of the same line.
But to answer your question, I have several favorites, if that's possible. I loved the elegance of our Cunard crossing, and the laid-back atmosphere of our NCL cruise to Bermuda. I also loved the modern amenities on our Princess cruise, and the beautiful, original 1950s decor of Regal Empress. As you can see, we have no real formula when choosing a cruise. The key is to have expectations in line, and focus on the positives.
I agree with Karen, Lisa and Penny. . . .
What I like in one ship, you might not like, and vice versa. I also think you can find positives and negatives on any ship and cruise line. If you read many posts on this or other cruise-themed boards, you'll eventually read posts from people who were on the exact same cruise/ship, and one will have had a GREAT experience while another will have had a disaster.
I think you need to decide what is most important to you. . . .cost, itinerary, atmostphere, etc. when you start looking and go from there. I also think that talking with a good travel agent -- one who knows cruise lines and ships -- will help you in deciding what ship will best fill your needs and wants.
My wife and I prefer the Mega ships (Voyager class) the Royal Caribbean has. Kind of neat to see a great ice show while cruising in the Caribbean >ICE SHOW<. The Promenade decK is something you won't see on a smaller ship either >PROMENADE DECK<.
For your first cruise you're going to be in awe no matter which cruise line you book. If you've been on other cruises but not on a mega ship, you are really going to be in AWE !
For what it's worth, my favorites are: #1 - Seabourn (gives personal attention a new meaning), #2 - Regent Seven Seas (all suite, all balcony ships), #3 - Holland America (great value) and #4 - RCI (great fun). Each has it's own unique appeal and passenger type. I've also sailed Crystal (delightful, sophisticated), Princess (good food) and Celebrity (good food and service) (plus Nile and Rhine river cruises). In point of fact, I love them all - cruising is the greatest and I fall in love with whatever ship I'm on when I'm on it! But, do yourself a favor and seek out an experienced cruise travel agent.
We've sailed RC, Princess and Celebrity. We were long time Princess fans, 8 cruises. Celebrity is a notch above: better quality food, fewer lines, no Bingo announcements over the ship loudspeaker. Check out current cruise books and read how Celebrity rates among the "big 7" cruise lines. Of course Seabourne and Crystal are boutique lines, maybe someday. Celebrity is excellent.