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BarefootMom

would you choose Anthem over Norwegian's Escape?

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Hi, I know this is a Royal Caribbean forum so this may be a silly question but I have only cruised once (on Carnival) and am trying to choose a cruise for this April (school vacation and I have two older teens) and am trying to stick to cruising out of Boston (close to us) or driving to NY/NJ. That leaves just a few choices for us and it looks like Bermuda would be the destination. The Norwegian itineraries offer more time in Bermuda than the Anthem of the Seas. If costs were similar, which ship would you choose? Our choices would be the Norwegian Escape out of NYC or the Anthem out of Cape Liberty (is that much easier to get to than the NYC pier?) OR to leave right from Boston but on the smaller Norwegian Gem? 

Our girls are not the type to want the teens club but as a family we would want to do any/all of the shows. We do not care much about water slides, etc. but would love hot tubs (especially if the weather is cooler since in April!). Thoughts/opinions? Also, on a side note, will I have to worry about rough seas in April on the atlantic to Bermuda? 

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If it were a summer month, I would choose the Escape in a heartbeat. 

 

But since we are talking April, I would choose the Anthem since there is more to do indoors in case it is cool outside. 

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Having done the Norwegian Bliss and the Anthem...... the Anthem hands down.

 

My son has been on Carnival, Disney, and the Anthem and the Anthem is his (and my) favorite ship out of the NYC area.

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I would choose more time in Bermuda with the Norwegian Escape.  Also, my sister did a NCL cruise from NYC to Bermuda on one of their smaller ships (might have been the Gem), spent 3 days in Bermuda, and she highly recommends.  Also, note that even if pricing is similar, NCL usually includes a "choose 3 free" or something like that promotion in which you can get free specialty dining, drink package, tips included, etc.  So look into that and see if it might be a better deal for your family.

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thanks - I keep flip flopping back and forth..trying to weigh how much cruising out of Boston is worth (not having to go far to port from home) and then also how much the ships's amenities will be important vs the length of time in port in Bermuda (Norwegian's itineraries are much more time in Bermuda since Anthem for some reason has chosen to squeeze in Boston as a stop on it's way back to NJ which does not appeal so we would stay on the ship)....still would love any other thoughts!

 

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I was on NCL Escape a year ago and am going on Anthem in March. We had to choose between repeating on the Escape vs Anthem.

 

They were similar price to us, and both a long drive for us (coming from Ohio). Anyway I debated a lot but what made me decide on Anthem was the indoor amenities during a colder season with little kids (ages 3 and 6). We were on the Escape just as a couple.

 

I think in your situation I would be inclined to sail on the Escape because of the port proximity, drink packages, and specialty dining promos they tend to offer. With little kids, we can't drink much alcohol, so the perk isn't very valuable. I remember being on the Escape and thinking how much fun it would be with older kids. We loooved going to the Howl at the Moon in particular, but it is not for little kids.

 

I will do a comparison when I return but that will be too late for you. There are a lot of comparison posts out there though. Good luck.

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We've been on both ships, and I did prefer Escape. However, getting off that huge ship in NY was awful! It took forever-- just too many people. Sailing from N. Jersey was much better. That said, however, if I were you, I'd do the Boston sailing. A close port is worth its weight! 

 

 

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I have been to Bermuda on NCL Gem, NCL Breakaway and RC Anthem. Both Gem and Breakaway left from NYC. Anthem left from NJ.  I LOVE Bermuda - so I favor the NCL cruises with an extra day in port.  I would not do Gem - the ship is smaller and older and I think your teens would like the newer Escape or Anthem.  Historically, I have found the NCL 7 night Bermuda to be very close in price to the RC 5 night Bermuda.  I vote for NCL Escape.  Another plus is the sail-away out of NYC is much better than the sail-away from NJ. My son lives in NYC and we are there all the time - however, the NCL sailing out of port down the Hudson and past the Statue of Liberty is amazing and inspiring and gets to me every time !       

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Having been on both twice, they are both my favorite ships from their respective lines. That being said, Anthem if only for the pool deck alone...there are so many more options, with the main pool, indoor pool and amazing solarium. This is where Escape and NCL as a whole with their -away and -away plus ships fail. Their tiny main pool deck is so crowded and lackluster and the Spice H20, while nice, is also small and no pool, just a water feature and couple hot tubs.  With that said, I love NCL's deck parties and theme nights, assuming they still hold them in Spice. If being by the pool is important to you in April, choose Anthem. If you'd rather do deck parties, drink package included and longer port, choose Escape. You really can't go wrong with either. Both have pretty good entertainment and food options, although Food Republic on Escape holds a special place for me!

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On 1/7/2019 at 1:32 PM, lizzy911 said:

I was on NCL Escape a year ago and am going on Anthem in March. We had to choose between repeating on the Escape vs Anthem.

 

They were similar price to us, and both a long drive for us (coming from Ohio). Anyway I debated a lot but what made me decide on Anthem was the indoor amenities during a colder season with little kids (ages 3 and 6). We were on the Escape just as a couple.

 

I think in your situation I would be inclined to sail on the Escape because of the port proximity, drink packages, and specialty dining promos they tend to offer. With little kids, we can't drink much alcohol, so the perk isn't very valuable. I remember being on the Escape and thinking how much fun it would be with older kids. We loooved going to the Howl at the Moon in particular, but it is not for little kids.

 

I will do a comparison when I return but that will be too late for you. There are a lot of comparison posts out there though. Good luck.

 

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We have sailed on both ships and would pick the Anthem. 

 

RCCL has a lot to learn from NCL on catering to the contemporary cruiser. The millennials are not interested in gowns and tuxes. The yearn for the "olden days" (when we first started cruising many many many years ago) will be downfall of the cruise line. We see it today with more and more shorts showing up in the dining rooms on formal nights. On our last formal night on the Symphony, we could not spot a single tux in our part of the dining room. And the number of gents in suit and tie could be counted on one hand. 

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You cannot force people to dress up. We love R.C. and if you want to dress up, go for it. Why should someone buy a tux to please you? We all go on cruises to enjoy ourselves. Frankly, I can’t stand NCL and their sheep herding dining. The entertainment, activities, fabulous ships, are far more important that you find on R.C. 

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Itinerary aside, I would pick the Anthem over the Escape UNLESS you are considering the Haven class room on NCL.   There's just more options, especially if the weather is less than perfect (you have the Solarium on RCCL, there is no enclosed water area on the Escape except for the Haven area).   RCCL has the indoor sports venue (which gets VERY crowded in poor weather, worth noting). 

 

For me, the Escape and its sister ships were designed for staying in the Caribbean, the Anthem was specifically designed to be better for the cooler climates out of NJ.

 

 

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