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Battle of the Norwegian Cruise Line Big Ships


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One and only NCL cruise was on the Bliss last year.  Great service from friendly employees.  Horrible atrium with too much noise and games that would have been fun elsewhere. (but a very good bar).  Observation deck for viewing the Alaskan countryside, beyond excellent.  Jersey Boys, as good as Broadway.  Beatles tribute, outstanding.

 

The cabins were fine.  Buffet good.  Our one and only specialty restaurant, Teppanyaki, was very good.

 

Final impression:  too big, requires too much pre-planning and not enough spontaniety.   No evening musical entertainment that is spontaneous.  

 

 

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13 minutes ago, RNCheryl said:

One and only NCL cruise was on the Bliss last year.  Great service from friendly employees.  Horrible atrium with too much noise and games that would have been fun elsewhere. (but a very good bar).  Observation deck for viewing the Alaskan countryside, beyond excellent.  Jersey Boys, as good as Broadway.  Beatles tribute, outstanding.

 

The cabins were fine.  Buffet good.  Our one and only specialty restaurant, Teppanyaki, was very good.

 

Final impression:  too big, requires too much pre-planning and not enough spontaniety.   No evening musical entertainment that is spontaneous.  

 

 

Sorry you think the Bliss is too big.  That is the future of all cruise ships as the smaller ones get phased out.  RCL is even bigger, and Carnivals new ships are just as big.  All that being said,  I can walk the entire ship length in about 5-10 minutes walking leisurely, and spontaneity is easy for most of the cruise, just have to book specialty dinners and shows if you want them.

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I think my fav is the Joy.  I love the chandelier, and the observation deck is fabulous.  Of course, we were in the Haven, so that makes a big difference.  Being from Texas, I didn't expect much from Q, but it was really quite good.  I've been on the Escape, Getaway, Breakaway and Joy.

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Today's Battle of the Big Ships takes us all the way to the back of the ships. Spice H20 made it's first appearance on the Epic with a large aft sundeck, pool which converted to a stage for night time activities, stadium seating (reminiscent of the small ships aft decks), and a large video screen.

 

Over time, Spice H20 shrunk in size, but added water features.

 

For a while, the Breakaway and Getaway both had fireworks shows shot from the Spice.

 

On the Bliss, the video screen was removed as larger and larger screens were added to the main pool area.

 

And on the Encore, Spice H20 disappeared,,, replaced by laser tag.

 

1334745229_NCLBattleoftheBigShips.thumb.jpg.b52d78729e76d983f239e3cc71ed6ccc.jpg

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5 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

Today's Battle of the Big Ships takes us all the way to the back of the ships. Spice H20 made it's first appearance on the Epic with a large aft sundeck, pool which converted to a stage for night time activities, stadium seating (reminiscent of the small ships aft decks), and a large video screen.

 

Over time, Spice H20 shrunk in size, but added water features.

 

For a while, the Breakaway and Getaway both had fireworks shows shot from the Spice.

 

On the Bliss, the video screen was removed as larger and larger screens were added to the main pool area.

 

And on the Encore, Spice H20 disappeared,,, replaced by laser tag.

 

1334745229_NCLBattleoftheBigShips.thumb.jpg.b52d78729e76d983f239e3cc71ed6ccc.jpg

Based on these pictures, I have only been on the Breakaway, I like the Epic the best

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2 hours ago, nhtravels said:

Kudos @BirdTravels for such a fun thread!  It's nice to see some of the threads getting back to fun cruise topics!  Let's keep it up 🙂

Thanks! It has been a trip down memory lane looking at photos from past cruises with fond memories.

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We were not wild about the Epic.  The very small pool area was unusable due to the noise and huge crowds.

The ship design is not to our liking.  It is our least favorite ship.  Also, we prefer the smaller NCL ships.

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27 minutes ago, ellenw said:

 

I think they should ask for a refund!

They should.

 

22 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

The Encore chandelier cost NCL a million dollars

image.png.d9c7843f5ce280a8b2d9ce90beaaf1a7.png

 

Wow, a million dollars for this. How do you know how much it cost? They should of stick with similar chandeliers on the other big cruise ships. This one does not look nice. Are those flowers (roses) they are trying to make it out off? I wouldnt want to take a picture near that chandelier.

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I would sail any of them except Getaway and Breakaway.  The Breakaway-Plus and the Plus-Plus models are the way to go.  Breakaway and Getaway don't have The Food Republic and Brew house.  Their Haven is smaller with no water features on the Haven deck.  Don't get me wrong, they are great ships but unless I got a steal, I have no preference to go on them again.  I have been on Epic twice and would love to go again and also would love to sail Encore again.

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Escape would by my first choice.  We loved the entertainment and the variety of venues.  This is about the biggest class of ship I would want to sail.  She offers something for every age demographic without having to resort to Go carts and laser tag...which are of no interest to me on a cruise ship. 

 

Can't wait to see her again!

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

She offers something for every age demographic without having to resort to Go carts and laser tag...which are of no interest to me on a cruise ship. 

 

Amen. I would probably feel different if my 2 sons were still kids (they're both in college now).

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Today's battle is the challenge of the Thermal Suites. 

 

The Epic was the first mega Thermal Suite. Located aft with a outdoor sun deck, coed and unisex saunas and steam rooms, large relaxation rooms, and coed saunas with large windows looking out at the sea. 

 

Breakaway and Getaway came next, installed over the bridge provided partial forward views. They introduced the salt baths. But the saunas moved to the interior. 

 

The Escape kept the forward position right over the bridge. Beautiful 270 degree views with loungers and heated stone loungers wrapping around the bow. Saunas were back with beautiful ocean views. And the Snow Room was introduced. 

 

Bliss and Encore, the Thermal suites were moved aft to make room for the Observation and Horizon lounges. Both are smaller due to their location. 

 

And the Joy, built for the Chinese market where Thermal Suites are not desired, the thermal suite was not installed.

 

2145513588_NCLBattleoftheBigShips.thumb.jpg.2b575a7ed3b0759d13695c540893898b.jpg

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8 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

The Escape kept the forward position right over the bridge. Beautiful 270 degree views with loungers and heated stone loungers wrapping around the bow. Saunas were back with beautiful ocean views. And the Snow Room was introduced. 

 

Even though I've never sailed on her, I vote for the Escape. The beautiful 270 degree views from heated stone loungers and loungers wrapping around the bow (I prefer looking forward rather than aft) plus the Snow Room cinches it for me.

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14 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

Today's battle is the challenge of the Thermal Suites. 

 

The Epic was the first mega Thermal Suite. Located aft with a outdoor sun deck, coed and unisex saunas and steam rooms, large relaxation rooms, and coed saunas with large windows looking out at the sea. 

 

Breakaway and Getaway came next, installed over the bridge provided partial forward views. They introduced the salt baths. But the saunas moved to the interior. 

 

The Escape kept the forward position right over the bridge. Beautiful 270 degree views with loungers and heated stone loungers wrapping around the bow. Saunas were back with beautiful ocean views. And the Snow Room was introduced. 

 

Bliss and Encore, the Thermal suites were moved aft to make room for the Observation and Horizon lounges. Both are smaller due to their location. 

 

And the Joy, built for the Chinese market where Thermal Suites are not desired, the thermal suite was not installed.

 

2145513588_NCLBattleoftheBigShips.thumb.jpg.2b575a7ed3b0759d13695c540893898b.jpg

 

I only took a tour on the Breakaway and the Escape. I loved the Escape more, the way it look out to the ocean.

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12 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

Today's battle is the challenge of the Thermal Suites. 

I was not aware of the glorious thermal suites until after I sailed on Epic, but luckily before I sailed on Breakaway.  My only comparisons are with Breakaway and Escape and Escape wins hands-down.  While the set up is mostly the same, Escape's thermal area is larger with more lounge seating and some really awesome views.  I also like that the sauna looks out toward the ocean.  

 

Love the idea of a snow room but haven't had much luck with them on either Escape or Breakaway.  My favorite part of the thermal suite is the therapy pool.  Seems like they were the same on both ships.  I love the massaging jets located along the sides of the pool that are positioned to massage the legs and also the feet.  After a hard day of cruising, it's so wonderful to unwind in that therapy pool.

 

That said, I would go so far as to say that NCL have created the best thermal area in the entire industry!  Last November we were on Celebrity Silhouette...one of my favorite ships.  But her thermal area, Persian Gardens, is like being in the kiddy pool when compared side by side with NCL's thermal suite (Away class and up).  Completely worth the price of entry IMO.

Edited by Georgia_Peaches
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On 7/12/2020 at 3:39 PM, ellenw said:

 

I think they should ask for a refund!

What the heck is it supposed to be?????  (Other than ugly?)

 

Ships, enjoyed Escape very much.  Loved the grotto in Spice H2O.  The Bliss's observation area just phenomenal!  I haven't been on the others....somehow they keep getting cancelled!

Spas on both Escape and Bliss made me happy, but I have to go with Escape.  I had no idea there was not one on Joy.....that would be a killer for me!  One of my favorite places on the ship is the heated loungers!

Bird, thanks for the thread!  Sorry I'm joining late...but better late....:)

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The Escape, hands down. Best entertainment, food, spa and staff. Sailed two years in a row on Escape and the second cruise I went to the bar and ironically the same bartender was there. He recognized me from the previous cruise and before I could tell him what I wanted he said to me, "would you like a Bushwacker?" How's that for memory!

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On 7/11/2020 at 6:55 PM, BirdTravels said:

Today's Battle of the Big Ships takes us all the way to the back of the ships. Spice H20 made it's first appearance on the Epic with a large aft sundeck, pool which converted to a stage for night time activities, stadium seating (reminiscent of the small ships aft decks), and a large video screen.

 

Over time, Spice H20 shrunk in size, but added water features.

 

For a while, the Breakaway and Getaway both had fireworks shows shot from the Spice.

 

On the Bliss, the video screen was removed as larger and larger screens were added to the main pool area.

 

And on the Encore, Spice H20 disappeared,,, replaced by laser tag.

 

1334745229_NCLBattleoftheBigShips.thumb.jpg.b52d78729e76d983f239e3cc71ed6ccc.jpg

Good post,  no Spice, no go for me...

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11 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

Battle of the new ships that have replaced aft deck activities (sports courts and ropes courses) with Laser Tag. 

 

Tag... you're it.

 

1064409868_NCLBattleoftheBigShips.thumb.jpg.e123d127770921daacb909b4c092d0ce.jpg

 

At a quick glance I thought the pictures of Joy were the laundry room. So I pick the Joy...because it looks like it has more dryers. 🙂

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