Actually, only 1 pinnacle. It was a holiday weekend, so higher rates than normal.
I am pretty sure there was not a discount for the deluxe beverage package. You could get (I believe) 20% off a beverage, but I doubt RCI would let you apply to the package.
No, but maybe the Pinnacle did. The meal with a Officer was lunch and the Loyalty Ambassador, Diane, joined us as well as someone from Guest Services (but I don't remember his name =/)
We had a whirlwind weekend to St. Louis to watch the Blues play, so wanted to get it in before the crazy weekend! That's awesome that you hid some ducks. This one was on floor 8 way on the aft wall.
Anthem is clearly a newer, cleaner ship, and has the bells and whistles (and more to do) of a newer ship. However, Grandeur is known to be one of the nicest ships, which I totally believe. The crew is just super friendly and accommodating.
From my son, I am sure he would give Anthem the nod as it has the Seaplex and he LOVES basketball, it also has an arcade (which is super cheesy but amazing to a 4 year old), and more pools (although, no splashaway bay).
We like both a lot for different reasons. Grandeur is just a super chill vacation. We really don't plan to do anything, and just appreciate not having much of a schedule. Anthem is a bit busier...since there is more to do, but still a lot of passengers, you have to plan your time more (i.e. iFly, Seaplex open basketball hours, Northstar).
Anthem wins food for sure. More options including some of our favs like Wonderland, Jamie's, and Coast Kitchen (for suites and pinnacles).
We are about 50 minutes south of Baltimore, and it takes us about 4 hours to get to Bayonne. However, we tend to leave super early before the traffic gets too bad. I think we leave around 5am, have breakfast about 1-1.5 hours into the trip, couple random potty stops for the 4 year old, gas up right before getting off the highway, and we typically are there around 10am.