Originally posted by IBCRUZIN':
When deciding between NCL and Carnival, remember NCL has almost no shipboard activities and way less for the children to do.
This may be the case on NCL America's Pride of America, but I assure you it is not so on the non-US-flagged NCL cruises I have taken.
Duke, I can see how this is a tough call as you've been on NCL previously and liked the Freestyle aspect. I was on Carnival and NCL within six weeks of each other last year, and didn't note much of a difference in attire between the two lines. (Come to think of it, the Carnival cruise was 5 nights, NCL was 7.)
In this case, I might let the itinerary be a deciding factor. Are there any ports on one that appeal to you more than the other?
As far as 5- vs. 7-nights, I'd usually go for 7, but you can also stretch a 5-nighter into 7 with an extended stay in the embarkation port.