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Old 11-15-2005, 09:59 AM
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Hello all you cruisers:

My wife and I contemplating our first Caribbean cruise. We're looking at 7 days. It's a toss up between RC Radiance of the Seas out of Miami, or NCL Norwegian Majesty out of Charleston. The RC is a bigger ship at 962 feet. The NCL ship is 680 feet. The size is not such a big concern -- longer boat usually just means bigger people capacity.

Our biggest concern is the "feel" of the journey. We are casual people. We don't like to dress up for dinner. We wear shorts, athletic shoes and polo shirts. I mean, we're not grubby or anything. But I don't even own a suit or sport jacket, and my wife doesn't own a dress.

Are there experienced cruisers out there who've been on both cruise lines that can tell us if one cruise line is more "formal" than the other for lack of a better word?

We are quiet, reserved Midwesterners. We are cruising primarily to relax and spend time with one another versus group activities, disco dancing (no way!) and the like. I would imagine we'll be on the sun deck, reading or playing backgammon. The coffee bars, internet cafes will also be seeing plenty of us. We would like to dine by ourselves, if possible, so it seems the NCL cruise would be better with the "open dining" format.

Interior staterooms on the RC start at 165 square feet. NCL doesn't give square footage, which kind of bothers me. Anybody know where square footage starts at on the Norwegian Majesty?

These are just some of our "concerns", although I can't imagine we wouldn't have a great time on either cruise. But as first-time cruisers, would we get a better first impression cruising on NCL or RC?
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brtime
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:12 AM
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brtime,

welcome to Cruise-Chat.com.

For your information, I have created a shortcut to this thread in the NCL Corporation forum and deleted your identical posting there, so whoever replies to your posting will do so in this thread here.

There's a huge difference between the "Radiance of the Seas" and "Norwegian Majesty". The latter one is much smaller (less than half the size) and was originally built for short cruises, resulting in inside accommodations starting at 118 square feet, according to my sources.

In a way Royal Caribbean is a little bit more formal than NCL, but with only two formal nights per week, you can easily enjoy the buffet up in the Windjammer Cafe on those nights if you would prefer not to dress up.

On NCL, the formal evenings are toally voluntary, and because there is an open-sitting policy you decide where, when and with whom to dine every day. If this is important to you, I would suggest NCL. My experience has also been that NCL's food was somewhat better than on RCI, but that's always a matter of taste, of course.

However, IMHO "Radiance of the Seas" and her sister ships are among the most beautiful ships in the standard segment of the cruise market. They offer far more choices than "Norwegian Majesty", but for you the question has to be whether you need all this or whether you would rather prefer a smaller, more intimate ship.

In the North American cruise market, the trend has been going towards larger and larger ships, and many people think the larger the ship, the better the experience. I'm not a fan of that theory. While there are excellent large ships, there are also wonderful smaller, older ships (I wouldn't call "Norwegian Majesty" older, by the way). If you don't care for rock-climbing and multi-story atriums, you can have a great time on smaller ships, as well.

I hope this has helped you somwhat. I'm sure others will gladly add their opinions.
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Raoul Fiebig

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Old 11-15-2005, 01:19 PM
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I would pick Royal Caribbean in a heartbeat. If you don't like the formality of the dining room, there's plenty of good food at the buffet. There's free room service available as well.

We are casual people, and my husband is originally from the midwest. I think you'd be surprised at how much fun dining in the dining room can be. It's like going to a nice restaurant every evening and being treated like royalty. It's special and more fun than similar events at home.

If you really just want to enjoy each other, have you considered splurging on a balcony cabin? It can't be beat for quiet conversation, magnificent views and togetherness. The light enlarges the size of your room.

If you've never cruised before, the smallness of any room will be a shock the first time you see it. But you will be amazed at how much storage Royal Caribbean can pack into a small space. There are cubbies and shelves tucked everywhere...behind mirrors, underneath the bad, etc.
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Old 11-15-2005, 01:30 PM
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I've always been a RCL fan, but my family is actually taking the Majesty out of Charleston this weeekend.

I'll be sure to post a review when we get back.

Last year we were on the Mariner and absolutely blown away by the ship! I'm sure there is no way to compare Mariner and Majesty, but for the price and travel time, Majesty won this year.
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Old 11-15-2005, 04:27 PM
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While it is true you can dine at the cafeteria in less than formal clothes, why should you settle for less?
NCL's Freestyle Crusing concept was made to fit your casual lifestyle needs. But, for dinner only, NCL frowns on jeans. Carry a few pair of cheap slacks, Levi's Dockers would do, along with your collared knit polo shirts, and you are as stylish as you need to be.
The Majesty isn't a brand new style cruise ship, but it will keep you occupied and busy for a week.
My favorite location on the Majesty to just hang out during the afternoons and evenings, specially for those who aren't sun worshippers, is the Rendezous Lounge on Deck 5. There's large picture windows, a cool piano bar, with the shops, library, and internet cafe not too far away.
 
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