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About HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Orlando, FL
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, But I seem to be doing a lot of Norwegian trips recently.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    FL - Florida

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  1. Well, if I made you laugh with the original story, I guess you're allowed to see the rest of the story. Mr. Lawn
  2. That's very sweet, but you really don't want to party with me any time in the near future. There are hints in this antiquated trip report, but my wonderful wife was sick for a long time, and getting sicker every year. She passed away about a year and a half ago. I did not handle the grief very well. I've become the guy you'd imagine from my handle: Bitter, angry and unpleasant to be near. I'm healing, but I barely resemble the person who wrote that trip report. Mr. Lawn
  3. I posted a slightly longer review here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2647827 In case anybody was actually curious.
  4. I'm content to pay $100/day for a solo cabin. I've grabbed last-minute deals for less, but $100 is a reasonable dividing line.
  5. I guess I should have posted this earlier, but I'm back from a solo cruise on the Grand Celebration (Weds - Friday of last week). Random observations: Value: They nailed it here. I think I paid $216 to walk onto the boat for a 2-night cruise. The next cheapest solo option within driving distance of Orlando was over $1000 for 3 nights. Food: Good enough. The buffet is tiny and has a limited selection, but nothing was actually 'bad'. I ate at the MDR on the first night, and they seated me at a table for 6 with two couples. The MDR appetizer and entree were good. Dessert was a little bland. I cleaned my plate for every meal. There's a burgers and hot dogs/sausages option by the pool, and I was very happy with my cheeseburger and fries. I've had worse food on a cruise ship. Bars and Stuff: I went over my budget by a few dollars, but looking back -- I seemed to have added additional tips to most of my receipts. The 10 drink coupons for $83 package worked fine. If you pay a few dollars extra for the souvenir glass/cocktail shaker, the coupons still work but your drinks are 22 fl oz. I think I stayed tipsy for 2 days. The drinks are far from weak. The Sports Bar has 11 screens, all in the 40" class. They played a lot of World Cup Football on my cruise. Stateroom: No complaints. Clean, comfortable bed, the shower had great water pressure and hot water, plenty of storage space for 2 days. Smoking: Yes, I'm slowly killing myself with cigarettes. I'm almost inclined to think there are TOO MANY places to smoke, but they're all outdoors. I don't gamble, but I couldn't find an ashtray in the casino, which was nice. They could close the smoking section closest to the forward pool/buffet seating area without hurting my feelings. Check-In: A little bizarre. I think you end up visiting 5 different desks. One to cross your name off a list, then the security area, then a separate place to establish a spending account, then a desk to make dinner arrangements, etc. Check-out: Slow as molasses. Two customs agents, so the line was long and slow. All parking was valet, and I think it took 30+ minutes to see my car again when I was ready to leave. Parking was $38 for two days, which is comparable to Orlando or Miami. Entertainment: I was in a bar three times when somebody walked in and started performing. It was good? Not great. I took a nap for the comedy show (by accident) so I missed it. I think they charged $9 extra for the comedy show, which was a little strange. There was a big glow party on the top deck on the first night with a fun DJ. I don't dance, but it was packed with happy people who did. That was actually a fun time. Ship: It's small, but didn't really feel small. I think my mid-week cruise was half-full, so the ship seemed kind of empty at times. I kind of expected an aging rust-bucket. It was way better than that. If you look closely enough, there are a few areas of the outside decks that are probably held together by dozens of layers of white paint. Crew: Constantly smiling and visibly pretending to be happy. Helpful and courteous at all times. Third nicest crew I've ever experienced (Celebrity and NCL Escape were both a little better). Overall: I'd go back in a heartbeat.
  6. This is a mid cruise update. I'm having a great time. This is simply a wonderful value for a solo cruiser. My room is way bigger than I expected and my bed is comfortable. The staff is energetic and constantly smiling. I could not be more satisfied with this cruise and I'm pretty sure I'm coming back. Maybe I'll try the other ship next time. Disclaimer: I own shares in Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH). Enough shares to get some shareholder OBC for my longer cruises. I would get back on this ship before booking a 3-day NCL Sun trip again. I'm not kidding.
  7. I just (30 minutes ago) booked a trip to test drive the cruise line. US$ 216 for an oceanview. I leave tomorrow. I guess I should put gas in the minivan and pack a bag. I'm not even excited. But I am very amused.
  8. Excellent news. I'm almost tempted to try them now. Maybe I'll do a modified B2B with a one-day gap between the cruises so I can try both ships. Thanks. This might be fun.
  9. This is probably the best description I've seen in the discussion so far, and one I've used myself. The Epic ended up as a prototype for the Breakaway-class. They probably kept 70% of the changes from a 'normal' cruise ship and figured out how to make some of the others work. The moment I walked onto Escape, a year after the Epic, I immediately thought "Hmmm. A lot of this seems very familiar." Within a day or two, it changed to "Hey, this doesn't bother me as much as it did on the Epic." I had a bad cruise on the Epic, and if my friends didn't talk me into trying the Escape (which I LOVED), I may not have come back to NCL. But my cruise was ruined by a very antagonistic crew experience. Just universally bad customer service at every encounter. If the bartenders could have spit in my face for ordering a rum and coke, they probably would have. Instead, they had a conversation for 10 minutes before making me a drink. It didn't really matter which bar I tried. They didn't want me there. They didn't like the stranger next to me, either. The pinnacle of the trip was going to GSC and having tender ticket #3, so we went to the theatre when the intercom said tenders were ready. Then we sat in a crowded theatre for 82 minutes while a bitch screamed, "No Tender! You sit down! You shut up!" I am not kidding. I walked off that ship very angry. From reading the CC trip reports: My cruise week was a bad one. The cruise after ours was also bad for the same reasons. The cruise after that seemed completely fine. If the Epic was sitting next to a more recent megaship and everything else was equal (price, itinerary, cabin), I wouldn't choose the Epic. But I also wouldn't avoid booking it.
  10. I travelled with another middle-aged married straight man on the Epic. It didn't bother either of us. There's a privacy curtain you can use to separate the bath/atrium area from the sleeping area. It's still kind of a weird design, but not as bad as you'd think.
  11. I was intrigued by the question, so I used the link above to look at the menus. To be honest, the (V) selections for appetizer and entree at Le Bistro both looked excellent. I'm almost as surprised as you are. The Moderno Salad bar really is quite nice. I remember getting gently roasted red bell peppers and they were great. The poster would have to skip the multiple meat selections, but GRILLED PINEAPPLE is a real highlight here. I'm just not sure if the salad bar alone is worth an SDP 'point'. I don't see any (V) entrees at La Cucina, but I think I could make a meal out of those appetizers. Adding up as much as I think I could eat, I don't hit the $25 break-even point. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I even see 3/4 things on the Sides included free with an entree that I'd eat. Cagney's is vegetarian-hostile, but we expected that, right?
  12. I was on the exact same trip as the original poster. I agree with most of the review. I'm probably spoiled by several recent trips on the Escape and Getaway. The Sun is different. The ship really looks like it was recently in drydock for a quick update/refurbishment. I actually looked for worn-out stuff in the public areas and they were hard to find. They couldn't change the layout of the ship, which does feel kind of weird and awkward. The food was a real downgrade from my other NCL trips. I ate in the MDR for lunch on sailaway day and dinner on day 2. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad, either. I didn't get the magical salmon burger (luckily?). The buffet is super cramped and the selection is kind of limited. I always found something to eat, so I'm happy enough. I knew about the buffet being small from a tiny bit of pre-cruise research, but it was actually worse than I expected. The open bar was great. No card swipes really changed the speed of getting a drink from even the busiest bar. The 'free' selection was a little limited, but I never had a bad drink. I did end up babysitting a drunk guy for a few hours, but he was hilarious, so that was fun. I don't remember drinking too much, but I woke up on Sunday feeling like crap. It was probably more of a cold than a hangover, because I stayed onboard for GSC and still felt bad 2 days later. My Balcony room (8059) felt bigger than a similar room on the Escape. The bathroom was more cramped, but the balcony was about 50% deeper than I expected. It was probably halfway between an Escape 'normal' balcony and an Aft-Balcony (reference- Escape cabin 14906). I loved being 5 doors away from the elevators, so my Guarantee room was a surprise. The elevator situation was great. The Escape and Getaway seem to have too few elevators for the number of passengers, while the Sun almost has too many. Press button, wait 20 seconds and BING! Nice. Deck 6 -- Bliss Ultra Lounge looks like it would be a problem from the deck plans, but there's a well-defined walking path around it, even during the late night parties. Deck 11 -- Pool Deck. I tend to eat at O'Sheehans twice during a 7-day cruise. For some reason, I never made it to the Sports Bar when I was hungry. But this really does feel like a baby O'Sheehans to me. Deck 12 -- The smoking area at the back of the ship was nice. Really well ventilated and half of the seats were in the shade. Deck 12 -- I went to Spinnaker Lounge on Day 2 for really dreadful karaoke. I wish I had gone back for daytime ocean-watching. It's a surprisingly comfortable space that reminds me of a Celebrity ship. Other regrets: I had a $50 dining credit that I forgot to spend, because I ate very little on Sunday. I wish I had tried Los Lobos. Excursion -- Day 2 in Nassau -- Seahorse Sail and Snorkel was a nice 3 to 4 hour boat ride with excellent snorkeling gear and a fun staff. I used my excursion credit for this, so it was almost free. Recommended. I booked super-last-minute with a solo traveler discount and a Guarantee cabin, so this was an affordable cruise. Around $550 after taxes, fees, surcharges, insurance, upgrades, downgrades, nickels, dimes and gratuities. I've also sailed the Carnival Liberty (twice) for a weekend trip to the Bahamas from Orlando. To be honest, if the Liberty was a similar price, I'd choose the Liberty over the Sun. There are a lot of things about Carnival that I strongly dislike, but the Liberty is just a better ship. Without the solo discount, the Liberty is twice the price for a similar cabin. That's a tough decision. Conclusion: I'm going back to the big NCL boats and longer cruises.
  13. I'm leaving today on the Sun and I've packed a few hundred biodegradable paper straws to give away to strangers. I'm also bringing a package of reusable plastic straws for myself. We shall be victorious. #strawgate2018.
  14. I see Kevin is still at one drink. That's why everybody hates you, Kevin.
  15. It's really a wonderful space and a great beer selection. The couches are great, there are windows to the sea, the ceiling is also heavily tinted glass, so you can look up and see clouds... Panorama from Cruise Critic: https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/norwegian-escape-691/the-district-brew-house-208690/the-district-brew-house--v82967/ I was on the Getaway a few short weeks ago and I think it's the single thing I missed the most between the Escape and Getaway.
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