So Torn! Trying to decide which cruise to book for our 20th....

Hello, and thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

My hubby and I are planning a cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary and I don't want to make a poor decision. The only cruises we have done so far have been family cruises on Disney. We're going to try something different this time around, but we're very torn. We're stuck between doing a 7 night Carribbean cruise on Harmony of the Seas (Royal Carribbean), getting a regular verandah cabin, deluxe beverage package, specialty dining package and the Key OR 7 night on Norwegian's Breakaway from New Orleans in a Haven cabin, taking advantage of all offers.

A bit about our traveling style: when we're sans kids we really like to have fun. We aren't very uptight about things, but we do like to escape crowds if they get to be too much. The bigger ships seem to get pretty packed at times, especially by the pools so that is a little bit of a concern, but we like to be part of the party sometimes too. We love the idea of being VIPs for this special occasion too. I started leaning towards the NCL cruise because of that VIP experience, but then read some reviews about Breakaway that weren't great. The NCL cruise would be a price difference of about $1k.

SO, we would love some advice from more seasoned cruisers who have maybe had both experiences. What would you do for this special occasion?

Sorry for the essay!

12 Answers

First pick the time of year. Do you mind traveling peak season for the trip or non-peak? Do you mind booking the Carribean during hurricane season? Or do you want to be in the Med in the middle of the summer, or wait until milder temp in the fall.? The seasons can guide you to the better experience.

I'm not going to be a ton of help on this, but I will say that I love Royal's Oasis class ships and there's a ton to do onboard. However, I have also toured The Haven on one of Norwegian's ships (not stayed there but toured the public areas and several of the suites) and it is absolutely gorgeous. So I think you'll be making a great decision no matter which way you go. Keep in mind that The Haven has its own restaurant that is highly regarded so if some of the issues you were reading about were with dining on Breakaway (I'm not sure if they were or not), you have an exclusive option in The Haven! Both cruise lines have really great nightlife, too.

Thank you!

The two we're looking at are mid October out of Port Canaveral or mid December out of New Orleans.

I will start out saying that I am a RCI fan and I tend to dislike the food and service on NCL. You are used to Disney that is a premium brand cruise, neither RCI nor NCL are a premium cruise line.

Since you want a more adult vacation this time out of the two choices you gave I would try NCL as long as it is in The Haven where you will have the Haven dining room and pool area for a quieter more adult setting.

For bigger ships that are less packed I'd suggest you look at Celebrity, take the tonnage of the ships and divide it bu the # of guest to see how crowded it will be. Celebrity is a premium line and you will notice that in the food, service and ship decor. Celebrity also tends to be more adults and less children on the ships.

Thank you!

On our 30th anniversary, we booked on Princess for 15 day to Hawaii. We enjoy the parties, and the food and the quiet times. We also booked for our 41st on the Royal same reason. I would chose, for this occasion, a higher end cruise line. Princess, Celebrity or Holland America would be on the list. But. please check with a top level TA and discuss the cruise. A little professional help, can and will take away a great deal of frustration.

We did the Breakaway with Haven family suite and loved it, would do it again in a heart beat. You definitely escape the crowd if so desired . The Haven restaurant is wonderful and we had a hard time using our four specialty dining package we ate there so often. You've got three levels at the front of the ship pretty much all to yourself. After two days the waiter knew what drink I liked and onion rings while I read by the pool, so awesome .. Anyway, go to you tube and type ncl Haven experience, there are numerous videos that show the amenities much better than I can describe them. It's like a ship within a ship. Have fun and enjoy.

It sounds like you want to go with NCL! Which is what I would go with! I had a similar predicament lately, trying to decide between two cruises and after i asked for help like you I read through what I wrote and you could tell which one I was rooting for. Let us know which one you pick!

My 2cents for what it's worth.

Never sailed with NCL and we have just booked our 3rd RCCL sailing on the Oasis of the Seas (March 2020). This is my first for the oasis class. I'm a huge fan of RC due to their options of food, events and atmosphere. The food as never disappointed us, nor has the ship's amenities.

Book what feels right and not just base yourself on what people say. Either way you will have an amazing time, plus cruising is very addictive. I'm considering a second cruise in fall 2020 as I can't wait a year for the next one.

Good luck and let us know what you decide :)

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