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About RobinKY

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  1. Me (48) and SO (46) are looking at Mediterranean cruise either next summer (July-August) or fall (Sept to early Nov). We have only done Caribbean cruises in the past. We are just beginning our research and it's overwhelming. We will not be bringing our kids. She wants to try MSC or Costa to get the European experience. Any tips you have? Mainly about: Summer or fall? Fall seems to be cheaper. Pre-cruise trip stay (Most likely Rome) Ships to avoid Best ports and tips on exploring or excursions Safety tips while in port Currency Drink packages (MSC offers one but it's only on drinks up to $6 - maybe drinks are cheaper on Med cruises) Dining - we are use to American food. Items to pack Communication back home. We both have teen kids Other
  2. Next summer I will be going on a sabbatical for 2 months. I will have a couple trips planned with kids and one just with SO, which will probably be a Med Cruise. I will have 4-5 weeks to fill up, although financially I cannot vacation during those entire 4-5 weeks. Any ideas for cruises or other trips that would just be me? I prefer not to be off the grid too long (more than a day or two at a time). I assume I'd be paying for two even tho cruising alone. Has anyone done a train vacation? I was looking at a Chicago --> Seattle --> San Fran --> Chicago train trip. How do they compare to cruises - food, sightseeing, interaction with others? I know nothing about train vacations.
  3. Yes that is the "sports bar". It seemed most people used the "sports bar" for extra seating for the garden buffet. I went there once to watch college football around 3 PM and there was no food or drink service. I did walk thru it on Sunday and was packed with people watching NFL but I believe their food was from the buffet.
  4. I wouldn't say a lot to do for teens but others may feel differently. Me and girlfriend each have 15 years olds (boy and girl) and they hung out and roamed the ship together. They met another group of teens and hung out at night. We let them stay out until the ship's 1 AM curfew. There is a teen club I believe but our kids didn't use it. They said you have to pay for it. Our 17 and 18 year old daughters are a bit more quiet and like their alone time. They hung out by pool. They both enjoyed some battle of the sexes type game in the lounge in the evening. They both enjoyed the food, buffet and ice cream A LOT. If your teens go through a lot of clothes like mine, plan ahead. I made wrong assumption about laundry and they ran out of clean clothes. I wasn't going to pay a couple hundred bucks for laundry service.
  5. Thanks for info - I have done laundry on Carnival before and just assumed all ships have self assist laundry.
  6. One other comment - NCL Sun does not have self assist laundry. We had 4 teens and A LOT of dirty clothes. We assumed they would have laundry facility but you had to pay for NCL to do your laundry.
  7. Yeah my son went there another time and it was very limited menu. I think he had chicken tenders. Not sure why they call it a "sports bar" when they only show one channel of sports on all the TVs and they are showing sports (Turkish League basketball lol) most Americans don't watch. Every sports bar I have been too has 5+ different sports/games going on.
  8. Sports Bar One thing I forgot to include initially was the Sports Bar. I am a college football fan and the Friday after thanksgiving is a big day for college football. Me and my son went to the sports bar late afternoon. They were not serving food. They only have one sports channel available which is played on all 10 TVs in the sports bar. They had it set to the Turkish basketball league games. The next day, even bigger college football day, they had European soccer on. Very disappointed in that. I asked someone and they said they only show NFL football games.
  9. I wish I knew that. I would have enjoyed a sit down lunch with better food than the hamburgers and hot dogs they had at outdoor buffet.
  10. I just bid $160/person X 2 people to get balcony. The bidding meter said "good" or "fair" IIRC. I did not get it.
  11. I don't recall having the option to get the free at sea package when I booked. Is that on all NCL cruises?
  12. I don't believe so. They seemed to direct everyone boarding to deck 11 for lunch at the buffet. Then they directed my party to the outdoor buffet which was pitiful - hamburgers and hot dogs and miscellaneous items. The indoor had 2X more options including carved roast beef. I did have lunch at the MDR once and it was really good. Again much better than the buffet. It just takes a lot more time than the buffet.
  13. Went on 5 day over Thanksgiving. Here's my mini review Pros Food in the MDRs was really good. I am a fairly picky eater and found lots of options to choose from. I wasn't disappointed in any meal I ordered. IMO much better than Carnival food. I usually try to avoid the buffets because of the madness of all the people and the quality of food is not nearly as good as the MDR. I did find some Asian items on the buffet that were good. Service was good and very friendly. I thought the ship was clean and even though an older and smaller ship, it is a nice ship. Check-in and disembarkation was really smooth. Probably smoothest of any cruise to date. Shows/entertainment were good. Cons This is very picky and typical of most cruises but service routine in the MDR is very regimented - water, bar order, bread, order entrees, eat, dessert. Same with breakfast. I found it difficult to get more bread at dinner or more coffee at breakfast. Overall the MDR service is really good. Alcohol is very expensive. The unlimited package was like $95/day (not sure if tips are included in that) so I didn't get it. I ordered a classic margarita (8 ounces maybe) and it was $15. I opted for the self-assist rum runner package instead which lasted most of the cruise. Pool and outside bars seemed understaffed during peak times. I had soda package and it was a pain a couple times just to get a soda. The live music at the pool is very loud. The buffet is crazy busy and food is a bit blah. Not sure why so many people opt for the buffet over the MDR. TIP - when boarding don't be steered to the buffet at the back of the ship. There are more options at the indoor portion of the buffet.
  14. It was a hold. My actual statement balance ($95 lol) was posted today.
  15. My account statement was $95.36. It has not hit my CC when looking at my CC account online. My GF's actual charges were like $20. I think that charge plus an extra $12 mysterious charge hit her account already PLUS the $200.
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