Oceania or NCL?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The Riviera – Image © Oceania Cruises, Inc

According to a new report from the consumer group Which? Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) had the lowest score in its regular survey of cruise companies.  It managed a score of just 60% whereas the leader, Oceania Cruises scored 89%. It claims to be “world’s largest upper premium cruise line” so passengers travelling on its ships would expect a higher standard.

Unusually, Which? even went so far as advising its readers to switch to Royal Caribbean if they want a big-ship experience.

Often, scoring comes down to the items scored and how the results are put together. Which? always says how it devises its methodology making it easier for people like me to agree or disagree with its analysis. In this case the ratings were based on a number of criteria, including customer services, passenger to space ratio, on-board facilities, cabins, food and drinks, and value for money. But are you comparing like with like?

I’m not defending NCL but passenger to space ration often varies depending on the age of a ship and its size. I’ve known passengers swear by NCL and others roundly criticise it. Which’s conclusion is that NCL is mediocre. It says that Royal Caribbean offers more space and better facilities for a similar price.”

In second place came Saga which my wife’s uncle swears by because the ships are smaller, the service seems more personal and there are fewer people around so you don’t feel as though you are party of a small city.

P& O come in the middle of the list below Cunard but the uncle also says that Cunard is worse than P&O. Another friend who cruises eight or none times a year prefers P&O to any other line.

It all goes to show that people have different tastes and trying to reduce a cruise to a number of separate features may not be ideal for everyone.

In the words of my sister who cruises only once or so a year, try the lines, find the one that sits and stick to it.

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