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Long time Cruiser torn! Breeze or Convenience

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Last minute cruise booking for the first part of August. So at the modest age of 35 years old and 13 cruises under my belt I have come to the decision I just really like the product carnival puts out. We have been on Royal and NCL and enjoyed every one of our cruises. Our cruise last year on the Horizon really sealed things for us. It was a number of things, finally breaking down and getting the drink package, beautiful weather, meeting great friends and THE HAVANA AREA! Any way its time to cruise again this year and its going to be a last minute thing which has never been the case. So my ocd self is driving my self crazy over what were going to do. Lets start off by saying all of these cruises are close enough in price that it doesn't really effect the decision. Right now NCL Escape 7 days out of NY to Bermuda is looking pretty good just for the convenience factor. It was so nice driving 2.5 hrs parking and jumping on the fairy for only a short walk to the ship. In the past we have always cruised out of fl. I am a cheap skate so 90% we drive and don't fly. This would be the case again this year. Havana is a must if we went on Horizon but that seems out of our budget. Right now it looks like NCL competition is the Breeze out of Port Canaveral 6 days western. Oddly enough our worst cruise to date was the Breeze. No fault of Carnivals but it literally rained every day and we missed all but one of our ports. That without a drink package made for a rough cruise. We would be cruising an inside which we do most of the time, but because such of a late booking the only thing left available would be on deck 2 which seems down in the gallows. NCL puts out a good product and we liked some things they do, howl at the moon, choice of bars. But there late night food options are terrible, lack of the aft pool is a bummer. So I am torn by having to make a 13 hr drive each way for a less then desirable room on a cruise I know I will enjoy or  have the convenience factor of the NCL cruise. Sorry for the long post but I am driving myself crazy. 

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After getting off Magic today, I find your comment about NCL late night food options odd. Other than a long line that wrapped around the aft for pizza, I'm not sure I noticed much else on Magic.  Whereas NCL Escape has the 24 hour pub which was pretty damn good.

 

Having sailed Escape and Magic... I couldn't fathom a reason to sail this class of ship over Escape.  To me, Escape has a very similar layout but does virtually everything substantially better. So I'd take Escape in a heart beat if these were my two choices. More convenient is just a cherry on top. 

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18 minutes ago, tap_out said:

Last minute cruise booking for the first part of August. So at the modest age of 35 years old and 13 cruises under my belt I have come to the decision I just really like the product carnival puts out. We have been on Royal and NCL and enjoyed every one of our cruises. Our cruise last year on the Horizon really sealed things for us. It was a number of things, finally breaking down and getting the drink package, beautiful weather, meeting great friends and THE HAVANA AREA! Any way its time to cruise again this year and its going to be a last minute thing which has never been the case. So my ocd self is driving my self crazy over what were going to do. Lets start off by saying all of these cruises are close enough in price that it doesn't really effect the decision. Right now NCL Escape 7 days out of NY to Bermuda is looking pretty good just for the convenience factor. It was so nice driving 2.5 hrs parking and jumping on the fairy for only a short walk to the ship. In the past we have always cruised out of fl. I am a cheap skate so 90% we drive and don't fly. This would be the case again this year. Havana is a must if we went on Horizon but that seems out of our budget. Right now it looks like NCL competition is the Breeze out of Port Canaveral 6 days western. Oddly enough our worst cruise to date was the Breeze. No fault of Carnivals but it literally rained every day and we missed all but one of our ports. That without a drink package made for a rough cruise. We would be cruising an inside which we do most of the time, but because such of a late booking the only thing left available would be on deck 2 which seems down in the gallows. NCL puts out a good product and we liked some things they do, howl at the moon, choice of bars. But there late night food options are terrible, lack of the aft pool is a bummer. So I am torn by having to make a 13 hr drive each way for a less then desirable room on a cruise I know I will enjoy or  have the convenience factor of the NCL cruise. Sorry for the long post but I am driving myself crazy. 

I would choose the Escape, hands down, no questions asked. Escape has so many more activities to do on sea days, and I love that atmosphere on NCL better than CCL. Also, going to Bermuda is a huge plus!

 

7 minutes ago, BNBR said:

More convenient is just a cherry on top.

I see whatcha did there! 😉

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13 minutes ago, BNBR said:

After getting off Magic today, I find your comment about NCL late night food options odd. Other than a long line that wrapped around the aft for pizza, I'm not sure I noticed much else on Magic.  Whereas NCL Escape has the 24 hour pub which was pretty damn good.

 

Having sailed Escape and Magic... I couldn't fathom a reason to sail this class of ship over Escape.  To me, Escape has a very similar layout but does virtually everything substantially better. So I'd take Escape in a heart beat if these were my two choices. More convenient is just a cherry on top. 

 

Not just late night but in general. We love the deli on the Carnival Ships that is open till 10/11 also the fact that you can have pizza delivered. Taste is subjective but we didn't really enjoy the pub food on getaway a few years ago. 

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7 minutes ago, jbethel11 said:

I would choose the Escape, hands down, no questions asked. Escape has so many more activities to do on sea days, and I love that atmosphere on NCL better than CCL. Also, going to Bermuda is a huge plus!

 

I see whatcha did there! 😉

From what I remember getaway did have a great atmosphere after dark. 

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7 minutes ago, tap_out said:

 

Not just late night but in general. We love the deli on the Carnival Ships that is open till 10/11 also the fact that you can have pizza delivered. Taste is subjective but we didn't really enjoy the pub food on getaway a few years ago. 

 

I forgot about the deli.  I personally wouldn't factor a deli and pizza in to my cruise decisions, especially considering everything else, but it's important to some people obviously. A sit down pub is more enticing to me. 

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1 minute ago, BNBR said:

 

I forgot about the deli.  I personally wouldn't factor a deli and pizza in to my cruise decisions, especially considering everything else, but it's important to some people obviously. A sit down pub is more enticing to me. 

 

Those are not really the important things but things of note. The important things that we would miss would be the pool decks(huge miss by NCL) alchemy bar, guys, blue iguana and most importantly movies under the stars. Looking at the some daily's from NCL it does appear they are showing more movies in spice H20. District brew house is also something that really excites me. 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, tap_out said:

 

Those are not really the important things but things of note. The important things that we would miss would be the pool decks(huge miss by NCL) alchemy bar, guys, blue iguana and most importantly movies under the stars. Looking at the some daily's from NCL it does appear they are showing more movies in spice H20. District brew house is also something that really excites me. 

 

Alchemy didn't impress me as much as I thought it would. The venue itself is lousy but decent drinks. District on Escape is miles better. The venues on Magic just didn't excite me at all. It was a miss for us. 

 

Pool decks aren't important to us, we hate cruise pools.  But if that's a big deal for a cruiser, then yeah, Escape is a disaster. I prefer the waterfront, which is on a totally different level compared to the lanai. 

 

We also book the thermal spa and Magics as "ok"... At least they have one type thing.  Escape is next level spa. 

 

What about Anthem? What is NYC pricing for that sailing? 

Edited by BNBR

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So many things to factor in thats why I am going crazy. One thing is for sure we will have a good time no matter what.  

 

I will say the bar tenders is what made Alchemy such a special experience for us. 

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1 hour ago, tap_out said:

Last minute cruise booking for the first part of August. So at the modest age of 35 years old and 13 cruises under my belt I have come to the decision I just really like the product carnival puts out. We have been on Royal and NCL and enjoyed every one of our cruises. Our cruise last year on the Horizon really sealed things for us. It was a number of things, finally breaking down and getting the drink package, beautiful weather, meeting great friends and THE HAVANA AREA! Any way its time to cruise again this year and its going to be a last minute thing which has never been the case. So my ocd self is driving my self crazy over what were going to do. Lets start off by saying all of these cruises are close enough in price that it doesn't really effect the decision. Right now NCL Escape 7 days out of NY to Bermuda is looking pretty good just for the convenience factor. It was so nice driving 2.5 hrs parking and jumping on the fairy for only a short walk to the ship. In the past we have always cruised out of fl. I am a cheap skate so 90% we drive and don't fly. This would be the case again this year. Havana is a must if we went on Horizon but that seems out of our budget. Right now it looks like NCL competition is the Breeze out of Port Canaveral 6 days western. Oddly enough our worst cruise to date was the Breeze. No fault of Carnivals but it literally rained every day and we missed all but one of our ports. That without a drink package made for a rough cruise. We would be cruising an inside which we do most of the time, but because such of a late booking the only thing left available would be on deck 2 which seems down in the gallows. NCL puts out a good product and we liked some things they do, howl at the moon, choice of bars. But there late night food options are terrible, lack of the aft pool is a bummer. So I am torn by having to make a 13 hr drive each way for a less then desirable room on a cruise I know I will enjoy or  have the convenience factor of the NCL cruise. Sorry for the long post but I am driving myself crazy. 

Personally I would choose the nearby 7 day cruise over the far away 6 day cruise. An extra day of vacation and 20+ hours of driving time, gas, meals, etc saved. 

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I would suggest the OP pick convenience as well, based on the OP's criteria.

 

Esp. since the OP can't get a decent cabin (his words) on the hard to get to ship.

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I enjoyed both Horizon and Breeze, might give a slight edge to Horizon, but I think in your case I would go for convenience and book Escape. Wow factors for me were the Waterfront, and dining outside, Howl at the Moon, the Mojito bar and District Brew House. The ship is really elegant, too, with the colour-changing light fixture. Enjoy whatever you decide on.

Heather

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My current situation is mixed right in the middle of your dilemma, so I'm probably NO help. My first 3 cruises were Getaway, Getaway, Escape. I thoroughly enjoyed Getaway, but really loved Escape. Now, I've never been on even one Carnival cruise yet, but here we are going to Bermuda on the Breeze in September out of Port Canaveral. I am really excited to be going to Bermuda (and Grand Turk) AND to be trying out Breeze which most everyone speaks highly of.

But, if I were having to choose one in YOUR situation- I would for sure pick Escape for the shorter drive, Bermuda and well, an awesome ship!!

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Its funny I was kind of in this problem last year. Except it was Horizon or Escape and we went with Horizon. But one thing that was hard to pass up was Bermuda. Now I have the chance for Bermuda but it doesn't seem to factor in for me. Maybe it should hold more weight. Although we have been just about everywhere in the Caribbean we have never been to Bermuda. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tap_out said:

But one thing that was hard to pass up was Bermuda. Now I have the chance for Bermuda...... Maybe it should hold more weight... we have never been to Bermuda. 

Go to Bermuda on the Escape.  You can drive and take the ferry for a 7 day cruise instead of driving to FLA and only going on a six day cruise.  Enjoy the drink package and enjoy your first time in Bermuda.  Don't sweat it, just book it!  EDIT...As a side note, out of 33 cruises, I have only been on 1 ship three times....the Escape.

Edited by SNJCruisers

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Its a 7 day cruise on the Breeze I was a mixing it up with the Horizon. SO TORN! : ( 

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Deck 2 is peaceful- easy to run up the stairs after excursions, and people really don't go down there unless they have cabins there.  Just food for thought. 

 

I'd pick the cruise you think you'll enjoy more.  If you have a great time, the drive will seem more "worth it" to you.  If you pick based on convenience, and spend the trip picking out things that went wrong, you won't enjoy yourself and it won't seem like a vacation. 

 

That said, any way you can put a 3rd choice into this mix?  Both of your options appear to have significant enough downsides (for you, I"m sure they're both great ships), that maybe you just need to find something completely different. 

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4 hours ago, purplephenom said:

Deck 2 is peaceful- easy to run up the stairs after excursions, and people really don't go down there unless they have cabins there.  Just food for thought. 

 

I'd pick the cruise you think you'll enjoy more.  If you have a great time, the drive will seem more "worth it" to you.  If you pick based on convenience, and spend the trip picking out things that went wrong, you won't enjoy yourself and it won't seem like a vacation. 

 

That said, any way you can put a 3rd choice into this mix?  Both of your options appear to have significant enough downsides (for you, I"m sure they're both great ships), that maybe you just need to find something completely different. 

That's kind of the way I'm looking at things too. 

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No way would I drive 13hours each way.................convenience.  Start your vacation sooner. 😎

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We have driven 16hrs each way to ft Lauderdale/Miami several times. My penny penching runs deep lol I was younger and without a son at home a well lol

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Bermuda, ship parked for 2 days.  All the nightlife you can enjoy on Bermuda without having to be on ship at a specific time.  AND not having to drive home for HOURS at the end of the cruise.  I think this one is a no brainer.  Escape to Bermuda, enjoy the trip.

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Never have been on NCL but from the many reviews I see no reason to avoid them and will one day climb aboard if/when the stars align. As most others note, the convenient port of departure and extra day win out in this debate.  Plus it looks like one heckuva ship. Ginormous, only a few years old, full of bells and also whistles.  I can't imagine my family being disappointed.

 

However, why are you going in August during high season? Unless school breaks are a factor (in which case - again Escape seems the better choice), you could probably do better by waiting just a few weeks when the prices will fall and the ships will likely not fill up until very close to sail date.

 

I have driven long distances on many vacations (doing just that for our own cruise out of NYC in a few weeks) but the point of a vacation is rest and relaxation.  That drive back is always sort of exhausting and a buzzkill after all the fun. Also Carnival sails from much closer ports, as you obviously must know, like the Pride from Baltimore.

 

The things you note are short of your expectations are just not a factor for me - I eat way too much on all cruises no matter how "inedible" other reviewers claim the food to be and find by day 2 I am never really hungry as food seems to constantly pop up on these ships right in front of me and find its way into my face.  But if you really don't think you'll enjoy the NCL cruise then of course you shouldn't choose it.

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7 hours ago, KmomChicago said:

Never have been on NCL but from the many reviews I see no reason to avoid them and will one day climb aboard if/when the stars align. As most others note, the convenient port of departure and extra day win out in this debate.  Plus it looks like one heckuva ship. Ginormous, only a few years old, full of bells and also whistles.  I can't imagine my family being disappointed.

 

However, why are you going in August during high season? Unless school breaks are a factor (in which case - again Escape seems the better choice), you could probably do better by waiting just a few weeks when the prices will fall and the ships will likely not fill up until very close to sail date.

 

I have driven long distances on many vacations (doing just that for our own cruise out of NYC in a few weeks) but the point of a vacation is rest and relaxation.  That drive back is always sort of exhausting and a buzzkill after all the fun. Also Carnival sails from much closer ports, as you obviously must know, like the Pride from Baltimore.

 

The things you note are short of your expectations are just not a factor for me - I eat way too much on all cruises no matter how "inedible" other reviewers claim the food to be and find by day 2 I am never really hungry as food seems to constantly pop up on these ships right in front of me and find its way into my face.  But if you really don't think you'll enjoy the NCL cruise then of course you shouldn't choose it.

Wife is a teacher and runs a summer program so we literally have a 3 week window to vacation. We're leaning towards ncl and can have a good time anywhere 😁

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