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colloctopus

Horizon compared to NCL Breakaway or Escape?

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Hi all - hoping to get some insights from anyone who has been on Carnival Horizon and Norwegian Breakaway class ships. We are primarily NCL cruisers and have never been with Carnival, but Horizon has piqued our interest. We’re looking at this ship, RC Symphony or Harmony of the Seas, or Caribbean Princess. Would love to hear your opinions about how Horizon compares to NCL Escape or Breakaway, in terms of general vibe, activities, food, crowdedness, etc. Also, if you have any thoughts on how Horizon compares to the Symphony or Harmony, would love to know as well. This will be a family trip for us, our 1 year old, and our parents in their 60s-70s. Many thanks!

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32 minutes ago, colloctopus said:

Hi all - hoping to get some insights from anyone who has been on Carnival Horizon and Norwegian Breakaway class ships. We are primarily NCL cruisers and have never been with Carnival, but Horizon has piqued our interest. We’re looking at this ship, RC Symphony or Harmony of the Seas, or Caribbean Princess. Would love to hear your opinions about how Horizon compares to NCL Escape or Breakaway, in terms of general vibe, activities, food, crowdedness, etc. Also, if you have any thoughts on how Horizon compares to the Symphony or Harmony, would love to know as well. This will be a family trip for us, our 1 year old, and our parents in their 60s-70s. Many thanks!

Lucky for you, I have been on Horizon, Breakaway and Harmony, so I can offer insight on all three. I feel that the Norwegian Breakaway and Carnival Horizon are more closely related than the Harmony of the Seas is to either. I will create a worded Venn Diagram to compare their features.

 

Norwegian Breakaway Unique:

-Most speciality restaurants

-24hr full service complimentary pub/eatery

-2 dedicated adults only areas

 

Breakaway/Horizon Unique:

-Ropes Course

-Outdoor Deck/Oceanview Seating

 

Carnival Horizon Unique:

-Skyride

-Most complimentary lunch options

 

Horizon/Harmony Unique:

-Dedicated Complimentary Pizzeria

-24 Hour Quick Bites

 

Harmony of the Seas Unique:

-Aquatheater

-9 Neighborhood Concept

-Ultimate Abyss dry slides

-Two arcades

 

Harmony/Breakaway Unique:

-Zipline

-Rock Climbing Wall

 

Harmony/Breakaway/Horizon:

-Multi Sports Court

-Miniature Golf

-Waterslides

-Bars/Casinos

-Adults only area

-Youth Clubs/Arcade

 

These are all I can think of, though I am sure there are tons of others that fellow CC members can share!

 

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We have been on Breakaway, Harmony, and Horizon, in that order. Really enjoyed them all but at this point might suggest Harmony or Horizon as so much newer. Horizon was our first Carnival ship and we were pleasantly surprised by the complimentary food options, variety of live entertainment, and overall fun vibe. On Harmony, loved the ice skating shows and diving/aqua shows, and complimentary breakfasts at Johnny Rockets. 

 

Itinerary is important to us also. 

 

Whatever you decide, enjoy! 

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There is nothing on any cruise line that compares to the Harmony or Symphony. Either of them should be your choice.

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You all are incredibly helpful - will share this feedback with the family!  Here's a few more things:   We are not huge pool people - some of us are photosensitive so really need to stick to shade. While we like a *little* time in the pools, we don't typically spend much time on the pool/sun decks. So, those amenities are not as important to us. That said, we will definitely spend some time with our baby in the splash pad area. 

For entertainment, we typically would spend more time at lounges with live music... not really into big theater production musicals. That said, we would probably be interested in seeing the water shows or ice rink shows, just for the novelty.

How's the food compare on these ships? How about the crowded-ness feel during peak times?

Again - thanks so much! You all are awesome and we really appreciate your help.

 

 

 

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The only ships that allow swim diapers in designated splash areas are Royal Caribbean Oasis class and Quantum class ships as well as Disney ships.

30 minutes ago, colloctopus said:

That said, we will definitely spend some time with our baby in the splash pad area. 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, colloctopus said:

That said, we would probably be interested in seeing the water shows or ice rink shows, just for the novelty.

How's the food compare on these ships? How about the crowded-ness feel during peak times?

 

 

You have found the key word: "novelty".

From the list you provided, the Symphony/Harmony is the obvious choice if you have not been on these ships yet.

These ships are the least crowded (out of five listed).

The best food will be on the Caribbean Princess, followed by the Escape and Breakaway.

Oasis-class ships are #1 in size, sports facilities, and entertainment. The food is not their strongest part.

Happy cruising!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ronbe65 said:

From the list you provided, the Symphony/Harmony is the obvious choice if you have not been on these ships yet.

These ships are the least crowded (out of five listed).

Are you sure about that? They are the largest and have the highest capacity of any ship in the world! Sure they may compare to Horizon or Escape, but they sure aren't spacious. To the OP, since you've chosen mega ships, they will all feel crowded. I think Horizon may feel the most crowded out of all of the options. 

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8 hours ago, jbethel11 said:

Are you sure about that? They are the largest and have the highest capacity of any ship in the world! Sure they may compare to Horizon or Escape, but they sure aren't spacious. To the OP, since you've chosen mega ships, they will all feel crowded. I think Horizon may feel the most crowded out of all of the options. 

Take a look at the Space to Passenger ratio ratings on all these ships.   You'll find that the Oasis-class (Symphony and Harmony) rating will be heads and shoulders above the rest.

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Posted (edited)

About me...my other half and I are 56, we travel sometimes alone and most times with my adult daughter and her bf and my elderly father in law who is 85 and other times other family members.  I have been on 91 cruises so far.

 

We all love RC Oasis class ships, so the Symphony would be all of our first choice.  The ships are mega size but RC knows how to design the layout so you don't feel like the ship is crowded, except for the day of embarkation and the two hour one day sale in the promenade for shopping.  You have a lot of different areas to walk such as Central Park which is very nice and boardwalk to are a couple of places.  The ship offers so much has all the bells and whistles (such as flowerier, zip lining, rock climbing etc which none of us use but its nice to watch).  The buffet foods are the best on RC and the drink package is unlimited with wider selection of liquor which is all included in the drink package.  Specialty dining there is a variety although has diminished in quality the past two years but still excellent.  

 

We went on the Breakaway a few years back, there were 16 of us, the ship felt crowded and always ran into "traffic jams"...the ship is poorly designed, the pool was too tiny for the amount of passengers and the buffets were good.  The drink package is limited choice, you don't get the top brands in their included drink package if you want better you have to purchase the ultra premium package.  We found the staff to be the least friendly out of the three cruise lines.  Specialty restaurants, some were good and some not that good.  After this cruise, we were totally turned off by NCL but to be honest, if you think your getting "freebies" such as the drink or dining package, trust me, I saw so much that was not there in the food area, your paying for it somehow.  The hallways were very narrow and for a wheelchair or scooter to get by, be prepared to put yourself so next to the wall so they can get by...really bad layout of this ship.

 

We haven't been on the Horizon, but have been on so many Carnival ships, with the Breeze this past may being our last.  We also took another cruise this past February...as usual we always see cutbacks and felt very crowded too.  Steakhouse is our most favorite specialty restaurant out of all three cruise lines.  Drink package has a maximum 15 drinks per day, we never met it but if you drink beer many people can past the 15 limit.  We also noticed the past year they are cutting back on so many types of liquors..the bar is getting smaller and smaller as we cruise on Carnival.  The lunch buffets have become very lacking in variety, but if you love burgers, fries hot dogs and such you be ok.  The cakes are the best.  We were so turned off by the last 3-4 carnival cruises that we just cancelled this week our next carnival cruise which was coming up this October and we are cancelling the Mardi Gras, looking at the deck plans with all the thousands of passengers, to me, there isn't enough public deck space and I feel it be too crowded, plus the food went downhill.    We just booked the Navigator for its place this October.

Edited by Cruisegirl6

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On 8/11/2019 at 11:26 PM, jbethel11 said:

Are you sure about that? They are the largest and have the highest capacity of any ship in the world! Sure they may compare to Horizon or Escape, but they sure aren't spacious. To the OP, since you've chosen mega ships, they will all feel crowded. I think Horizon may feel the most crowded out of all of the options. 

 

 We don't sail Carnival anymore, but sailed on Breakaway and Allure of the Seas (sister to Harmony/Symphony).

 Allure wasn't crowded at all.

 Oasis class ships are so wonderfully designed, much better than larger NCL vessels. They have so many pools in different places, Central park, Broadwalk etc. Breakaway to us felt very crowded, especially in pool area.

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37 minutes ago, Tatka said:

 

 We don't sail Carnival anymore, but sailed on Breakaway and Allure of the Seas (sister to Harmony/Symphony).

 Allure wasn't crowded at all.

 Oasis class ships are so wonderfully designed, much better than larger NCL vessels. They have so many pools in different places, Central park, Broadwalk etc. Breakaway to us felt very crowded, especially in pool area.

Yes, but what I was trying to express was they aren't spacious. Sure, they are wonderfully designed, however you'll never have an activity that isn't crowded, although that is to say across multiple lines. 

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2 minutes ago, jbethel11 said:

Yes, but what I was trying to express was they aren't spacious. Sure, they are wonderfully designed, however you'll never have an activity that isn't crowded, although that is to say across multiple lines. 

 

On our cruise we did not experience crowdness anywhere except for maybe parade with characters.  

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4 minutes ago, Tatka said:

 

On our cruise we did not experience crowdness anywhere except for maybe parade with characters.  

Well, when did you go? On my Harmony cruise in 2018, this ship was sailing at maximum capacity and it felt crowded at almost every recreational activity.

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50 minutes ago, jbethel11 said:

Well, when did you go? On my Harmony cruise in 2018, this ship was sailing at maximum capacity and it felt crowded at almost every recreational activity.

 

In January 2016. It was at capacity.  Allure does not have Abyss and waterslides, so cannot comment on those, but Zipline, minigolf and other stuff was not crowded. Pools were definitely not crowded. Plus huge jacuzzies in front section.

 

On Breakaway in 2014 whole common pool area and a separate adult only area felt so crowded! How can you have one pool aside from kids slide pool on such a huge ship? I know there is a pool in Haven, but it is limited to few.

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We just got off the Symphony in December, and very rarely felt crowded. At the parades, when the shows broke, and that was about it. We went on the Abyss, all the slides, the ice show, the Aqua theater, and the main shows. while we had to make reservations for the shows (free) never a problem finding a good seat. This was our 2nd cruise on the Oasis class, and there is nothing close.

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