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Norwegian Cruise Line Vs. Carnival: What's the Difference?

Compare Norwegian Cruise Line with Carnival to determine which cruise line matches your preferences best.

By Cruise Booking Team

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Norwegian Cruise Line, known for its freestyle cruising experience, and Carnival, known for its friendly and laid-back approach, are quite similar ship fleets in many ways. Both ships prioritize providing fun-filled experiences to travelers at all times of their stay. Perfect for family vacations, solo traveling, or just having a fun time with your friends, these cruise lines are bound to offer you only the best services.

All about  Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is specifically known for a new style of cruising that they have adopted over the past years. Called 'freestyle' cruising, this specific niche in cruising types simply refers to providing the passengers with free reign over their choices on board the ship. It is designed to prioritize a passenger's comfort the most by giving them this independence.

All about  Carnival Cruise Line

Living up to the meaning of its name, Carnival Cruise line ships are nothing short of a constant party on sea. Made to provide only fun-filled activities and events onboard, Carnival has created a name for itself in the cruising industry by creating a grand yet chill-themed cruise ship. There is always something to do for everyone aboard their ships, whether adults or children, and you will not find yourself bored even for a minute!

Difference between Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line

We've compiled together an overall list of all the things you can consider to draw comparisons between the two cruise lines. These factors can help you easily understand what makes these cruise lines great in their own way and help you make the right choice according to your preferences.

Comparison between Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line
Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line / Carnival Cruise Line

1) Ship and Fleet Size

Both cruise lines boast large ships that have pretty much everything you can ask for on your cruise trip. They feature ships that cater to larger audiences, such as large friend groups and family travel, as well as smaller, more personalized options.

Carnival features a large fleet of around 24 cruise ships that travel around various parts of the world. Norwegian Cruise Line features around 19 cruise ships as a part of its overall operating fleet.

Norwegian's largest ship measures 1,094 feet long and 136 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of 1,69,145 tons. They also have smaller options that focus on more personalized experiences for passengers and a wider range of itineraries. Carnival's largest cruise ship is about 1,130 feet long and has a gross tonnage of 183,521 tons. These ships provide many facilities for entertainment and relaxation.

2) Passenger Capacity

Both the cruise lines feature ships that have passenger capacities as low as only around 2,000 or so passengers to a higher intake of more than 5,000 (in the case of Carnival) and 4,000 (in the case of Norwegian.) 

3) Dining Options Onboard

With dining being such an essential part of the whole experience and having the capacity to either make it or break it, both cruise lines have put a major focus on providing only the best and highest quality options for all passengers.

You'll find a lot more complementary dining options with Carnival, with a large majority of its options already included in the cruise base fare. For more speciality-themed restaurants and dining options, the Norwegian Cruise line is the perfect choice for you and your loved ones. Some notable mentions from Carnival are the famous Guy's Burger Joint and Big Chicken. Carnival features more grubby, greasy, and hearty meals for all. With Norwegian, the dining experience is entirely dependent upon their niche operating style of 'freestyling.' You have no specific timings or places to eat at, and even no dress codes to worry about. Although this is the case, a maximum of the dining options available onboard the Norwegian Cruise Line are available for an extra cost and feature exotic cuisines like Italian, French, Brazilian, and even Asian.

4)  Activities and Events available onboard

Norwegian and Carnival both offer larger-than-life and extravagant attractions to make your cruising experience enjoyable. Both cruise lines offer some common activities in between them, such as gaming nights, i.e. trivia nights, name-that-tune, crafts, and other fun small-scale game shows. 

Carnival's entertainment highlight is its comedy club onboard. Carnival holds multiple comedy shows with varying themes meant for different kinds of audiences, throughout the day. Norwegian on the other hand is known for its Broadway musical performances featuring shows like 'Jersey Boys and 'Beetlejuice.' 

In terms of activities, both cruise lines feature some of the most amazing and enjoyable rides and gaming experiences for all age groups. With Carnival, you'll get things like water slides, mini golf, extensive rope courses, and more. Carnival has its own themed WaterWorks water park available on the largest as well as the smallest ships in its fleet. A notable mention of Carnival rides is the Bolt: The Ultimate Sea Coaster. It is part of the Excel class and is pretty much the only roller coaster at sea ever made till now.

As for Norwegian, they don't shy away from providing thrilling fun rides, such as go-karting at sea, tall water slides, and even their famous Galaxy Pavilion that transports you to a fascinating virtual reality and provides its passengers with a unique experience. One thing to note here is that Norwegian is the first cruise line to host a go-karting facility at sea. They also have a dedicated arcade area and laser tag area for maximum enjoyment.

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To sum it all up, both cruise lines offer a large range of destinations to travel to, various dining options, and an overall fun experience. Customer satisfaction is a top priority for both cruise lines. Both even also follow similar themes and patterns and complement each other's features. For your next cruise, don't forget to contact!

Tags: cruise lines

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