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Sailing from NJ question…


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My wife and I went on our first cruise with the kids in Nov 2021.  We flew from the northeast to Ft Lauderdale and went on a Western Caribbean cruise aboard Allure of the Seas.  We can’t wait for our next RC experience!  We want to sail out of NJ but are concerned about sailing in the Atlantic and sea sickness.  Colder sailing days is also a concern.  I want to know if those are valid concerns vs the additional cost of flying to Florida.

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We went out of NJ in December on Anthem. First day and last day were cold on the pool deck, but otherwise totally normal. 
 

in the summer, Oasis goes out of NJ. In the fall, they swap out for Anthem. This is really where Quantum-class shines: fully enclosed solarium, fully enclosed second pool (adjacent to the main outdoor pool), fully enclosed Sport Court (the Seaplex), fully enclosed second theater space (Two70). Quantum-class was designed for this type of weather and it helps a LOT.

We had minimal rocking, nothing bad at all. Captain will do their best to have the smoothest sailing. 

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I am a NYer.  I get seasick/motion sick.  I was on Oasis out of NJ in the end of Sept and end of Oct and Anthem in mid  Nov.  The few nights it "started to rock" so I took 1/2 a dramamine-knowing I could take the other half if needed.  the 1/2 was fine.  The Nov sailing was very chilly out (now mind you I don't mind the cold-I wear a tshirt, thin sweater and perhaps a heavy sweater as a top layer in winter.  It needs to be near 0 for me to put on a heavier coat and consider zipping it.  I enjoy the ease of driving and the savings on airfare.  
I did fly to Florida earlier this month.  I had to find somewhere to stay (lucky to have a friend nearer to the airport) because we were having ice overnight into the late morning and would not have been able to make the flight.  Lucky for us NY was not impacted (and we did book a day early, so we spent a night in Miami, just because of the fears of weather.    We hit some "rocky" water on our freedom sailing-and again I took 1/2 a dramamine and was fine.
I prefer the NJ pier because I can save on airfare, hotel, transfers-especially if I am taking the entire family.
The Anthem (NJ ship for the winter) has the indoor solarium-it is "built for winter".  
Keep in mind hurricane season, so you never know what can happen with the ocean-either out of NJ or FL.  (side note: did you know it was 39 in Miami yesterday!)

I've gone to Bermuda twice-once from NY and once from NJ.  I don't' think I'll be doing that again, even if it was free I'd have to really think on that.  The waters were super bad-but I'm told on here that MANY people have gone to Bermuda and it was perfectly fine and that the ship I was on 30 years ago likely didn't have the stabilizers we have now.  And the one that was about 6 years ago, it was during Hurricance season, so I think we had super bad seas....I almost get seasick thinking about it! 
 

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@FrankerifficI live in NJ…easy drive to the port. I sail every winter starting in Sept and ending in May…recently it’s been every other cruise, or B2Bs if the cruise is only for seven nights. Can’t beat the convenience of driving, parking and boarding. Also, I do the early walk-off so I’m home early in the morning. Most of the cruises start and end on weekends so traffic is easy. But even on regular weekdays, I drive up at around 10…rush hour traffic is over. Plus, there’s several ways to access Bayonne should there be a major highway closure enroute.
As mentioned in the above comments, the Anthem is the perfect ship for winter sailings. Especially with the fully enclosed Solarium and family pool…Two70…and the SeaPlex. I love sitting forward in the heated Solarium during sail out, surrounded by tropical plants and trees, sipping a cold drink while watching as ice flows float past on our way out of the harbor. This usually happens only during extended extremely cold periods…which are not typical.

I have been on many cruises where seas were rough. But the motion of the ship is usually dependent on the direction of the swells. There have been very angry seas with wind swept white caps cresting over large swells, but if the swells were in the same direction of the ship, there was very little noticeable motion. The winds can get so severe that the upper decks will be closed. The wind can get very strong when it’s coming directly at the ship. Figure thirty three knot winds, plus the ship’s speed of seventeen knots gives relative wind speed of fifty knots across the deck. As far as side to side motion, the ship’s stabilizers can help significantly mitigate, but not completely counter, the rocking. People always ask…where’s the best place to feel the least amount of motion. Think of a seesaw…huge up and downs on the ends, very little in the center.

To your specific concerns…yes, there is more potential for stormy weather sailing in the winter from the northeast due to warm and cold fronts clashing and causing stormy windswept weather. But…in my experience as mentioned above…it’s pretty hit and miss. The potential for such weather gets less as the ship travels south, but bad weather can happen anywhere. Think of how many times the ships had to bypass CocoCay in the Bahamas due to high winds and swells…even with the pier. After leaving New York Harbor, it’s takes about a day and a half to get into warmer weather, as the ship will be passing Cape Hatteras and into the Gulf Stream. For me, the convenience of the port location definitely outweighs the idea of going through the cost and hassle of flying to Florida. Again, the northeast weather is a consideration as flights can be cancelled or delayed both coming and going and I would need to fly out a day in advance. That includes the cost and hassle of the hotel. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to include my perspective. Whatever decision you make…good luck and enjoy your cruise!

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@Frankeriffic Welcome to the blogs! I can also echo what everyone else is saying, you shouldn't have a problem sailing out of NJ. I sailed on Anthem in February, and we had minimal motion, and by the end of day 2 I was ready for shorts. Anthem is the perfect ship for this location, and you won't be disappointed. 

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14 hours ago, Frankeriffic said:

 I want to know if those are valid concerns vs the additional cost of flying to Florida.

In my opinion, there's enough to do on Anthem in the winter to keep you busy on the first/last days that it's not worth the price and haggle of flying and shuttling to/from your cruise port. 

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I've only done the Cape Liberty to Bermuda cruise and that was on Anthem. I get sea-sick very easily but most of this trip was okay to me. Don't get me wrong, you feel the ship moving but form what I heard, it's not better or worse than being on any other cruise ship.

On the way back though, we were outrunning a hurricane so the ship was full speed through rough waters. I had to rely on my seasick wristbands that day but it was probably the best night of sleep I've had in my adult life. I felt like a baby in a rocking chair!

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