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Norwegian Fjords Help Choosing Ship HAL vs RCI


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I am looking to do a Fjords cruise in July 2022.  I am in my early forties.  I previously did an Alaskan cruise on the Oosterdam in 2019.  I enjoyed the cruise very much, but I would rather be on a more active ship, both activity and entertainment wise.  Anthem of the Seas and the new Rotterdam are both going in July 2021.  I have never been on a modern RCI ship and would like to experience it.  The Anthem trip is cheaper than the Rotterdam trip.  Is there any reason I should consider HAL instead?  I know the food is supposedly better on HAL.

 

Anthem Itinerary: 

Southampton, England
Departs at 5:00 PM
2
Cruising
Day at sea
3
Stavanger, Norway
From 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
4
Geiranger, Norway
From 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
5
Alesund, Norway
From 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
6
Kristiansand, Norway
From 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
7
Cruising
Day at sea
8
Southampton, England
Arrives at 6:00 AM

 

 

Rotterdam Itinerary:

Eidfjord, Norway
 
ARRIVES 07:00 AM
DEPARTS 03:00 PM
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May 3, 2022
 
Scenic Cruising Hardangerfjord
CRUISING ONLY
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May 4, 2022
 
Alesund, Norway
 
ARRIVES 08:00 AM
DEPARTS 05:00 PM
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May 5, 2022
 
Geiranger, Norway
TENDER REQUIRED, WHEELCHAIR ACCESS LIMITED
ARRIVES 07:00 AM
DEPARTS 05:00 PM
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May 5, 2022
 
Cruising Geirangerfjord
CRUISING ONLY
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May 6, 2022
 
Bergen, Norway
 
ARRIVES 08:00 AM
DEPARTS 05:00 PM
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May 7, 2022
 
Days At Sea
 
ARRIVES 12:00 AM
DEPARTS 11:59 PM
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May 8, 2022
 
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CANAL TRANSIT
ARRIVES 07:00 AM
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While possible pre/post cruise option and the actual ship are important factors the HAL itinerary include Bergen and Eidfjord versus Stavanger and Kristiansand for RCL- the HAL itinerary is IMO more interesting. 

Having said that, Anthem of the Seas is an excellent ship - I do really like the Quantum class of ships. I hope one day to experience the view from North Star when sailing through the Norwegian Fjords.


 

Edited by hallasm
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Rotterdam is a brand new ship still in the shipyard, so hard for anyone to give you a first hand review.  I do know there are more evening entertainment options on it as well as dining.  

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I think the itinerary difference is minimal.  Possibly a slight advantage to the HAL itinerary, but a small one.

 

I think I would book the Anthem cruise for a very unscientific reason.  HAL, as a cruise line, typically caters to an older crowd than Royal Caribbean does.  I would expect perhaps the average age to be 10 years older on the HAL cruise than on the Anthem one.  I'm guessing the HAL average age might push into the 60s.  Given your age and stated desire for "activity and entertainment", I think you'll find the Anthem more suited to your tastes.  But again... this is all my very subjective perception and could be totally off in reality.  

Edited by MeHeartCruising
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  • 1 month later...

HAL is too sleepy for us. We have never tried RCL, but also do not need a shopping mall, water slides, or rock climbing wall.

Have you looked at Princess? For us, it is "just right"- many activities and a wide age range. We are in late 60's. You may want to take a look at their itineraries.

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On 8/26/2021 at 12:48 PM, nini said:

HAL is too sleepy for us. We have never tried RCL, but also do not need a shopping mall, water slides, or rock climbing wall.

Have you looked at Princess? For us, it is "just right"- many activities and a wide age range. We are in late 60's. You may want to take a look at their itineraries.

We are also in our 40s, and find HAL's passengers frustrating.  We have small children, and many of the older passengers on HAL are pretty hostile to families (ship employees were excellent though).    We also really liked Princess.  I would strongly recommend with Norway to go for the itinerary that most appeals to you rather than the ship, and we found a great itinerary on Cunard a few years ago to Norway (Cunard doesn't solve your problems of being on a sleepy/stuffy ship though).

Edited by kitkat343
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20 hours ago, kitkat343 said:

We have small children, and many of the older passengers on HAL are pretty hostile to families (ship employees were excellent though).    

I've never witnessed this, but I'll take your word for it that it's happened to your family.  I'm in my late 60s and childless, and I enjoy seeing children on the ship and families enjoying themselves.

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On 8/29/2021 at 1:19 PM, Roz said:

I've never witnessed this, but I'll take your word for it that it's happened to your family.  I'm in my late 60s and childless, and I enjoy seeing children on the ship and families enjoying themselves.

I'm in my mid 70s and just do not understand the hatred for children. One of the fondest memories from one of our first cruises was a parade of children dressed as pirates of the Caribbean.

 

Of course this assumes that children are well behaved; but their behavior really says more about their parents than the children.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you want an active trip then look at GAdventures and their ship Expedition. We took this in 2019 starting in Bergen and ending in Longyearbyen. All excursions were included and most days there was a choice. Some were very strenuous but there were always alternatives. This included the Flam railway and trips into several fjords. We had a bus tour of the Lofotens while the ship sailed. 

 

The ship is small (130 passengers.) The food is decent and the ambiance is wonderful. We also took this shop to Antarctica.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRKwN8VuTzvSHn-wcnnxdGnSdzlnhCNuorbQle9q4IM/edit?usp=sharing

 

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