At the present moment Carnival still has assigned seating in the main dining room for dinner only. That could change as Holland-America has added a new flexi dining schedule yesterday. I suspect others will follow. Since you enjoyed the freestyle so much on NCL you might not care for the assigned. However; it is for dinner only. The benefit of that is you can walk right in and know you have a table. You also have the same wait team that you might enjoy with the boys. A Carnival 5nt cruise will have one formal night. With children it is very lenient.
I have been on both ships. The Sun is newer and just a tad larger. The Imagination is going to be refurbished soon. So it should be nice and fresh for a December cruise.
I would probably go for the 7nt just for the full week experience and getting to go to more ports.
Hi Duke0921, welcome to Cruise-Chat. I'd have to agree with Cruise Fanatic on this one, 5 nights is just too short. The children can wear dockers or slacks and a polo or collared shirt every night. Even for formal night, they can add a tie or a sports coat and be fine. Best wishes and have a wonderful cruise!
5 days versus 7 days... that is what we call a no brainer. If I had the option of two more days of all I can eat, beautiful views, no work, no cleaning, drinking vodka at 8:00am, poolside lounging, 24 hr room service, balcony sunsets, great excursions, meeting new people, no telephone (turn it off), drinking vodka at 8:15am (it's ok.. i'm thirsty), great music and dancing, great shows every night... yes, I could go on and on.. but i am out of vodka.
I did NCL once and hated freestyle dining. It was just awful. . . . MPO only.
When deciding between NCL and Carnival, remember NCL has almost no shipboard activities and way less for the children to do. NCL is more about enjoying the company of your traveling companion(s) and relaxing than having fun. Carnival has a pretty good lock on "fun".
Also didn't like the food on the NCL at all.
I would find another 7 day cruise on Carnival. It has to be cheaper than the NCL cruise.
I B CRUZIN'
(solo cruzin' by design)
Thank you Drlivingston. I had cruised on the NCL Sun two years ago and am quite the chocoholic and had not seen anything resembling a chocolate melting cake. I wondered if I had missed it. We are going on this ship again this August and I'm glad to know not to look for it. Other than that, I thought the food on the Sun was pretty good. I'll have to find that particular cake some other place.
No debate...Carnival ANY ship beats the NCL Sun hands down. I just went on the Sun in March. Freestyle cruising means you never get the same waiter twice..so they never learn what you like and what you don't. The shows are mediocre at best, the food is fair except at the premium restaurants, and the staff is just average. We went to breakfast and asked for a banana. We were told they were out of em! I went up to the buffet and got one myself. Told the waiter they must have just received a shipment. My mother-in-law ordered room service because she wasn't feeling good one morning. They told her "no wheat toast". Just a very ordinary ship. By the way...thursday night menu in dining room...
Turkey, Beef Stroganoff, Baked Flounder. Is it just me or does that sound like the Thursday night menu at Dennys? I go on cruises to eat new things prepared in new ways. They REALLY...pardon the pun...miss the boat drastically.