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While Joy does have treatment rooms as well as a salon, it has no thermal suite. You can find a sauna and steam room in the locker rooms, but these can only be used by passengers who book treatments. If you love spending time at the spa, you'll probably miss having that space to lounge and indulge.

 

For the above reason I would pick the Breakaway. 
I cannot imagine sailing on a ship where I could not access the sauna or steam room unless I had a treatment booked.

The thermal spa on the Breakaway is a great place to relax after a busy day in port or spend time in on a sea day.

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I've cruised on both ships.  If you don't mind not having a thermal spa but would love to sit in comfy chairs and watch the world go by in an observation lounge like you'd find on the Joy then perhaps that would be your choice.  

I don't do thermal spas due to a back issue so not having the spa is no big deal for me. The Joy is a lovely ship, lots to see and do, but, so is the BA.  

IMO, it really comes down to what you enjoy doing.  You might want to read some of the great reviews for each ship.  

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4 hours ago, BoozinCroozin said:

We have a choice between both ships. Price is about the same and they are on the same itineraries. Which one we choose does not make much of a difference. If you had to choose between the two, which would you go for?

The Breakaway is the oldest ship in the BA class of ship. The Joy is newer with additional features and restaurants. Less than 300 of the 4500 passengers will ever enter the Thermal Suite, so it is not the issue people make it. 

 

We have sailed on the Breakaway 4 times. We prefer the Joy. We sailed her once to Alaska and will be sailing on her again in September (assuming that cruising has restarted). 

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Haven't been on the Joy but have been on the Bliss which I think is similar to the Joy with the observation deck and go carts.  I prefer the Breakaway, I felt too much outdoor space was taken up by the go carts and laser tag.  Much smaller Vibe and H2O (not sure if either is on Joy?). But it would also depend on the time of year as I'm assuming you are cruising from NYC?  During winter months it would probably be okay to have more indoor space.   We chose Breakaway over Joy., btw. 

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We would be going in April out of New Orleans (Breakaway) or Miami (Joy). Both are on the Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, Cost Maya run. This was our original first ever cruise itinerary on RCL that has been canceled. We wanted this itinerary for the snorkeling in Roatan and Cozumel (on RCL). Adding in Belize for the snorkeling there will be a nice add as well.

 

One thing I noticed on NCL is they do not have an excursion to West Bay Roatan. It may just be early, but weird that it is not there. 

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8 hours ago, BoozinCroozin said:

We would be going in April out of New Orleans (Breakaway) or Miami (Joy). Both are on the Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, Cost Maya run. This was our original first ever cruise itinerary on RCL that has been canceled. We wanted this itinerary for the snorkeling in Roatan and Cozumel (on RCL). Adding in Belize for the snorkeling there will be a nice add as well.

 

One thing I noticed on NCL is they do not have an excursion to West Bay Roatan. It may just be early, but weird that it is not there. 

 

We've done this itinerary many times and I would chose the Breakaway just because it goes out of NOLA.  It's an amazing city. 

We've always just booked through a local company in Roatan to go to the beach.  They will arrange transportation and entrance to a resort.  Then you can snorkel right off the beach.  It's my husband's favorite stop.  

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6 hours ago, MNcruisingcouple said:

 

We've done this itinerary many times and I would chose the Breakaway just because it goes out of NOLA.  It's an amazing city. 

We've always just booked through a local company in Roatan to go to the beach.  They will arrange transportation and entrance to a resort.  Then you can snorkel right off the beach.  It's my husband's favorite stop.  

My plan is to use non-ship excursions if allowed. I was a little more concerned if you could only take ship sponsored excursions and didn't see any from NCL. For us, flying into FLL or MIA is easier than NOLA. Last time I was in NOLA was 30 years ago in college. No issue going there, but flights are not as plentiful. Cruising out of POM, I can fly to FLL or MIA with a lot of direct routes and a lot of airlines in case something happens.

 

Since we have never cruised before, it will be a new experience. It is unlikely our July Mardi Gras cruise sails (same itinerary except Belize). We also have a November Magic cruise (fingers crossed). This will allow us to compare cruise lines if we do get to sail this year. We are trying to do makeup vacations. If this cruise is in fact our first, it will be nearly 3 years since our last real vacation. That is not healthy.

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7 hours ago, BoozinCroozin said:

My plan is to use non-ship excursions if allowed. I was a little more concerned if you could only take ship sponsored excursions and didn't see any from NCL. For us, flying into FLL or MIA is easier than NOLA. Last time I was in NOLA was 30 years ago in college. No issue going there, but flights are not as plentiful. Cruising out of POM, I can fly to FLL or MIA with a lot of direct routes and a lot of airlines in case something happens.

 

Since we have never cruised before, it will be a new experience. It is unlikely our July Mardi Gras cruise sails (same itinerary except Belize). We also have a November Magic cruise (fingers crossed). This will allow us to compare cruise lines if we do get to sail this year. We are trying to do makeup vacations. If this cruise is in fact our first, it will be nearly 3 years since our last real vacation. That is not healthy.

 

Good point about perhaps only being allowed to do ship excursions.  I completely forgot about that possibility.  

I can understand prioritizing the ease of flights too.  

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