Looking to choose between three ships to sail on for my 25th wedding anniversary the first week in April. They are Carnival Pride out of Baltimore (sailed on Pride last Christmas), Norwegian Gem out of NY, and Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne. Looking to get a junior type suite. Any recommedations?
If you are looking at the square footage they are as follows:
Explorer of the Seas - Junior Suite 277 balcony 69
NCL GEM - Mini Suite 231 balcony 54
CCL Pride- Junior Suite 275 balcony 40
Since this is a special anniversary (congratulations) if you can swing it you might want to look at the NCL Gem and "The Haven" cabins. You would have many added amenities with your own private pool courtyard area.
Also be sure to compare the extra amenities you'd receive with each. I can speak only for NCL, as this is the line I know best of the three. A mini-suite on NCL does not receive suite perks such as a concierge...it's essentially a large balcony cabin. It's certainly nice enough...we originally booked one a couple of years ago, but were then upsold to a Family Villa, which is an unbelievable experience. For a junior suite equivalent on N. Gem, I'd recommend the penthouse-level accommodations--or, if you are traveling with kids, the 2-bedroom Family Suite. You can find details here: Norwegian Gem Cruise Ship Staterooms | Suite Staterooms | Norwegian Cruise Line
My wife and I were looking at NCL and noticed what you guys were saying in reference to perks, where they do not offer suite type perks for the Juniors. Thanks to You Tube, we were able to see all three and NCL is certainly the nicest looking. However, I'm leaning towards Royal Caribbean because they seem to have the nicest ship of the three.
We've stayed in a JS on Freedom-class ships of RCI, which should be about the same as those on the Explorer. I remember a huge closet and plenty of room. However, as with Norwegian, RCI does not extend suite perks to guests in the JS cabins. You do get two cruise credits though, should you join the Crown & Anchor society.