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flannbarr

Next Cruise-Harmony, Symphony, Independence, Anthem

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Hello fellow cruisers. As seen in my signature, we are about annual cruisers usually on Royal Caribbean. We typically sail on Oasis class ships. We have sailed Oasis once, Allure twice and Harmony once including Star Class last year which was very nice.

 

We are tentatively booked on Symphony of the Seas on March 30, 2019 out of Miami. Sailing with me are my wife, 16 year old son and 16 year old exchange student from Barcelona. Airfare from Detroit to Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach is insanely expensive and it is making me look at other cruises.

 

One alternative is Harmony of the Seas on March 29th for 9 nights which is cheaper by about $500 per person compared to 7 nights on Symphony. Airfare is maybe slightly cheaper but still crazy high.

 

Another alternative is the renovated Independence of the Seas for 5 nights. Really cheap. Similar airfare.

 

I am now looking at the Anthem of the Seas from New Jersey on March 30, 2019. Prices are great. Airfare is half of flying to Florida. I don't like the itinerary of Port Canaveral and the Bahamas but I don't care too much for the Caribbean islands either since we have been to most already and we would likely not get off the ship at some of the ports.

 

So that leaves us with the Anthem and if we will like it compared to the Oasis class ships that we love. We have loved the entertainment, water shows, slides for kids, ice shows, etc.

 

I worry a little about east coast weather. Also weather sailing down the Atlantic.

 

For those that have faced a similar dilemma and/or have sailed the Anthem and an Oasis class ship and would share their experiences, I would be so grateful.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

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Personally love Anthem and have sailed all Oasis class.  It's different without a doubt, but that's part of what I love.  

 

iFly, SportsPlex, NorthStar, 270°, MusicHall all very unique and not found on OA class.  The indoor solarium is one of the nicest.

 

March weather can be okay or cold in the NorthEast..  First day or two might be long pants days.  Anthem is designed for cold weather cruising so it works but if you desire to have warm sun beating down on you on the day you board, you may be disappointed in March on Anthem.  

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Like the cruise prices, flight prices can change this far out. For all of them, look for discounts inside final payment which is coming up.

 

Biker, who would not hesitate to book Anthem.

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4 hours ago, twangster said:

Thanks for your comments.

 

Personally love Anthem and have sailed all Oasis class.  It's different without a doubt, but that's part of what I love.  

 

iFly, SportsPlex, NorthStar, 270°, MusicHall all very unique and not found on OA class.  The indoor solarium is one of the nicest.

 

March weather can be okay or cold in the NorthEast..  First day or two might be long pants days.  Anthem is designed for cold weather cruising so it works but if you desire to have warm sun beating down on you on the day you board, you may be disappointed in March on Anthem.  

 

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We are out of Detroit too and are cruising harmony in February. Airfare was insane!!! We booked cruise without even looking. We did the same last year. What we do is fly down to fort Myers (last year) and this year Orlando. We fly spirit. Spirit sucks as we are huge Delta fans, but delta was almost $1000 per person and we are paying $350. For 4 that’s a huge difference. Plus we are extending our vacation. Just a thought. 

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I refuse to fly Spirit. No way no how. We looked at Fort Myers and Orlando and airfare is just as bad.

 

We are likely booking the Anthem.

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Can't tell you much about Oasis as our first cruise on her will get January, but love the Anthem.  I fly, bumper cars, etc should be hits with the teens.  270 space is great and the 2 indoor pools will be perfect in March.  Enjoy.

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We were looking at the exact same time period for our family.  We ended up with the Independence since I thought the price was really good the other week with kids sail free.  We've been watching airfare for a month and it's ridiculous, GRR or DTW were all 2500-2700 (more than the cruise!).  I just booked flights tonight out of Columbus on Southwest for less than half that and one of the flights was a nonstop.  I figure a 3 hour drive is a small trade off, you might want to consider it.  Since we did Southwest I figure I can always change it if I see a better date/time/price and use any credits later this year on the fall vacation.

 

Edit: We were strongly considering the Anthem as well but the family said no way to sailing in the cold and no interest in the itinerary either.

Edited by detroitavant

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It's the return flights that drive up the price of airfare from south Florida.  Anything timed convenient to when cruise ships disembark is at a premium since there are so many ships.  You can get decent fares booking 6+ months out or staying the night and taking a flight early the next morning before the next wave of ships arrive.

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On 12/5/2018 at 11:41 AM, flannbarr said:

Hello fellow cruisers. As seen in my signature, we are about annual cruisers usually on Royal Caribbean. We typically sail on Oasis class ships. We have sailed Oasis once, Allure twice and Harmony once including Star Class last year which was very nice.

 

We are tentatively booked on Symphony of the Seas on March 30, 2019 out of Miami. Sailing with me are my wife, 16 year old son and 16 year old exchange student from Barcelona. Airfare from Detroit to Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach is insanely expensive and it is making me look at other cruises.

 

One alternative is Harmony of the Seas on March 29th for 9 nights which is cheaper by about $500 per person compared to 7 nights on Symphony. Airfare is maybe slightly cheaper but still crazy high.

 

Another alternative is the renovated Independence of the Seas for 5 nights. Really cheap. Similar airfare.

 

I am now looking at the Anthem of the Seas from New Jersey on March 30, 2019. Prices are great. Airfare is half of flying to Florida. I don't like the itinerary of Port Canaveral and the Bahamas but I don't care too much for the Caribbean islands either since we have been to most already and we would likely not get off the ship at some of the ports.

 

So that leaves us with the Anthem and if we will like it compared to the Oasis class ships that we love. We have loved the entertainment, water shows, slides for kids, ice shows, etc.

 

I worry a little about east coast weather. Also weather sailing down the Atlantic.

 

For those that have faced a similar dilemma and/or have sailed the Anthem and an Oasis class ship and would share their experiences, I would be so grateful.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

 

Did you look at Oasis and flying into Orlando?

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17 hours ago, timf2001 said:

It's the return flights that drive up the price of airfare from south Florida.  Anything timed convenient to when cruise ships disembark is at a premium since there are so many ships.  You can get decent fares booking 6+ months out or staying the night and taking a flight early the next morning before the next wave of ships arrive.

 

We looked at that and have done it in the past. No change.

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23 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Did you look at Oasis and flying into Orlando?

We did look at Orlando and also very expensive.

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I also fly from Detroit and am booked on the Anthem March 30th. I've sailed this same week on Anthem before for the primary reasons you have mentioned ~ cost of airfare. This is a week that many public schools in the tri-county area are on spring break. Airfare is ridiculous to florida. My tickets into EWR were $168 round trip (delta comfort).

 

The first day and last full day of the cruise were too cool for being outside (the solarium was even chilly for me), but I sat on my balcony wrapped in a blanket and enjoyed the fresh sea air.  Day 2--5 were sunny and warm.

 

The anthem is a very unique ship. The things I like about her probably won't effect your decision much since you are sailing with teens. I thought music hall was an excellent venue and the Bon Jovi tribute ban was a huge plus for me. They only played in there two nights and in 270 one night, but it was a super fun bar scene.  270 is an exceptional use of space both during the day and evening. Your kids may really enjoy Spectra. The solarium is one of the best 'free' solarium I've sailed. Gift gets bad reviews but I liked it and "We will Rock You' might be even more popular now with the movie release of Freddy Mercury.

 

Anthem does offer sea plex which may be a big draw for your teens. I didn't spend much time there, but it was fun to walk through and watch roller skating or bumper cars. I never did see the flying trapeze or puzzle room (those are my quests for March).  IFLY should be a huge draw for teens. Super fun., but I'm not sure it would be a single reason to choose Athem. Northstar is a one and done for me, but it's a fine  way to spend 10 minutes.

 

All in all I like the Anthem very much. Haven't been on oasis class yet to compare, but I have been on about 30 cruises and I think Anthem compares well to most others. Teens tend to make their own fun so they should not be bored. All things considered, I think it's a safe bet for your family.

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21 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

I also fly from Detroit and am booked on the Anthem March 30th. I've sailed this same week on Anthem before for the primary reasons you have mentioned ~ cost of airfare. This is a week that many public schools in the tri-county area are on spring break. Airfare is ridiculous to florida. My tickets into EWR were $168 round trip (delta comfort).

 

The first day and last full day of the cruise were too cool for being outside (the solarium was even chilly for me), but I sat on my balcony wrapped in a blanket and enjoyed the fresh sea air.  Day 2--5 were sunny and warm.

 

The anthem is a very unique ship. The things I like about her probably won't effect your decision much since you are sailing with teens. I thought music hall was an excellent venue and the Bon Jovi tribute ban was a huge plus for me. They only played in there two nights and in 270 one night, but it was a super fun bar scene.  270 is an exceptional use of space both during the day and evening. Your kids may really enjoy Spectra. The solarium is one of the best 'free' solarium I've sailed. Gift gets bad reviews but I liked it and "We will Rock You' might be even more popular now with the movie release of Freddy Mercury.

 

Anthem does offer sea plex which may be a big draw for your teens. I didn't spend much time there, but it was fun to walk through and watch roller skating or bumper cars. I never did see the flying trapeze or puzzle room (those are my quests for March).  IFLY should be a huge draw for teens. Super fun., but I'm not sure it would be a single reason to choose Athem. Northstar is a one and done for me, but it's a fine  way to spend 10 minutes.

 

All in all I like the Anthem very much. Haven't been on oasis class yet to compare, but I have been on about 30 cruises and I think Anthem compares well to most others. Teens tend to make their own fun so they should not be bored. All things considered, I think it's a safe bet for your family.

 

Thanks for your comments. When did you book your air? It’s nowhere close to that cheap any longer?

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5 minutes ago, flannbarr said:

 

Thanks for your comments. When did you book your air? It’s nowhere close to that cheap any longer?

 

August. Set up hopper app. Airfare from DTW to EWR is very fluid. Have you looked on the delta site to see how many seats are still available per flight? That's a good indicator.

 

Edited to add I just looked up flight cost on my Delta App. I'm flying out on the 29th and returning on the 7th and prices have nearly tripled. My particular flights still have lots of seats left. I plugged in same dates to FLL for giggles. Airline pricing is out of control anymore. I long for the days when airfare was more stable.

Edited by BermudaBound2014

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6 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

August. Set up hopper app. Airfare from DTW to EWR is very fluid. Have you looked on the delta site to see how many seats are still available per flight? That's a good indicator.

 

6 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

August. Set up hopper app. Airfare from DTW to EWR is very fluid. Have you looked on the delta site to see how many seats are still available per flight? That's a good indicator.

I have never used the hopper app. I’ll set it up. Looks like a good amount of seats available.

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On 12/6/2018 at 5:11 PM, amybk27 said:

We are out of Detroit too and are cruising harmony in February. Airfare was insane!!! We booked cruise without even looking. We did the same last year. What we do is fly down to fort Myers (last year) and this year Orlando. We fly spirit. Spirit sucks as we are huge Delta fans, but delta was almost $1000 per person and we are paying $350. For 4 that’s a huge difference. Plus we are extending our vacation. Just a thought. 

funny how airfare varies. We come from Ontario, about 2 hours east of Toronto. We are flying out of Detroit in March because price and flight times were better there than either Toronto or Buffalo

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1 minute ago, molsonschooner said:

funny how airfare varies. We come from Ontario, about 2 hours east of Toronto. We are flying out of Detroit in March because price and flight times were better there than either Toronto or Buffalo

Exactly, and when we want to fly across the pond we often head to Toronto. No rhyme or reason.

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Gosh, sorry about that. Didn't mean to send you to the wrong app. I swear hopper used to track delta :(. Maybe try airfare watchdog or skyscanner? I am still getting periodic notifications on my phone about the March 29 EWR flight, I'll keep an eye out and note who is sending them for you. 

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