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htnut

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  1. What a nice review. Thanks. Glad to hear it was terrific, and nice to know the Skagway Steetcar is good. I was on the Joy a week before you and agree - all of the speciality restaurants are quite special. The crew and waiters on the Joy are fantastic.
  2. The balcony was pretty important to us for Alaska. Every day we spent a little time out there and most of the time we left the sliding door open to hear the sound of the water and keep the fresh, cool air coming in. Slept very well every night! On the inside passage, there is land visible from both sides nearly the entire cruise. That said, you need to place your own value on it. If you’re unlikely to sit out there with a sweater, and don’t mind always enjoying the view from the public areas, then the money saved is significant. The observation lounge has some nice semi-quiet areas that you and your family can sit in, and the decks outside the restaurants are like one huge balcony.
  3. htnut

    True?

    Bad thread title, you’re lucky I clicked on it - almost skipped. Two weeks ago on the Joy, the olives were stuffed with pickles during the first couple of days of the cruise. They predominantly changed to pimento stuffed olives around day 3 or 4. Seems most of the bars had to restock and they changed. I should have asked why but here’s evidence that you can’t necessarily count on one kind vs the other.
  4. CB cabin types, sleep 4, is a sofa that converts to a double bed. Not a pull out but a nice firm convertible a bit like a futon.
  5. I’ve read that you must upgrade no later than day 2, of our 7 day cruise. Not sure if it’s different on longer cruises.
  6. Questions like this are often a case of ask three different NCL employees and get three different answers. In practice we were told that we could bring guests that are not in a concierge room, but they would be charged. We also found that when you check in for breakfast or lunch, only one person shows their key card and they will deliver the number of meals that coincides with the number of guests in your room without confirming if the person dining with you is from your room. I also think that that depending on the server, they might allow more meals to be delivered. But YMMV and, strictly speaking, La Cucina is only for Concierge guests during breakfast and lunch.
  7. Espresso martini. Just $3.60 above the $15 limit. Do that instead of going to Starbucks! Cheaper and so amazing! I had a few of these at the bar in the front of the observation lounge! Tip your bartender if he takes special pride in his work 😉
  8. Elwood, you’re absolutely right about the crazy long walk from the exit of the aqua racer back up. And when the ship was underway it was a C O L D journey while wet.
  9. No. Asked. Denied. Suggested OBC. Denied. I booked through United Cruises and they provided an airfare credit which worked out nicely. A pile of miles, too.
  10. I was on the Joy last week. Many reviews here said the Internet was spotty, but I actually found the service to be quite good. It was out a few times but mostly it was working and decently fast. Facetime works without the streaming package. iMessage works when you’re connected to Internet (and sometimes when not! But YMMV). For texting you will want to use google hangouts, WhatsApp or something similar as SMS won’t work. On our 7 day cruise, waiting until the morning of day 2 did cost about $20 less. The credit for the 250 minute perk is automatic, no need to stand in line.
  11. The forecast leading up to our 30 Aug departure on the Joy was also for rain every day. But we only saw a small amount of rain twice. Never got wet at a port. Hopefully you will have the same luck. We had heavy fog a few times, and sadly the afternoon we were supposed to see the glaciers it was very thick so they cancelled the glacier viewing. Don’t worry to much about the food. Everyone’s tastes are different and everyone in our group (4 families, 9 total) all agreed that the food everywhere was outstanding. I had read so many raving reviews about the banana jar dessert in Q that I was let down. Not bad, but IMO it was just a good banana pudding with etc. If you’re blessed with a warm morning try American Diner for breakfast (check your freestyle daily for times). It’s free for breakfast when it’s open and - no crowds! About the drink package, I doubt many people see much value beyond the UBP. The top shelf drinks end up being just a few dollars over your “allowance” of $15. Contrary to Elwood’s experience, the pools were warm enough and our kids enjoyed the VR games. Over $100 worth of enjoyment 😮. The water slides were also a hit. My son did them more than a half dozen times, I did them 3 times. My biggest complaint was Entourage... a complete disappointment. I need to write a complaint to NCL about it. Mostly it was a flop because not many 13-17 year olds were on this voyage - but the staff did absolutely nothing to create interest. You will have a great time. The staff on the Joy are incredible, most everyone was so courteous and attentive. Make time to relax, there’s almost too much to do.
  12. I had the room next door, the “Penthouse” room which is narrower (smaller balcony) but longer. We appreciated the length, but if you’re traveling with a group your room is much better because if you have others visit you there is much more space, and you can comfortably fit 6 on your balcony. These rooms are awesome and probably the best value on the ship. Ask your room steward for a couple of extra chairs for your balcony! Ours was happy to oblige. Aside from the nice room, the breakfast and lunch in La Cucina is the best “concierge” perk. The priority embarkation/disembarkation didn’t seem to be much of a benefit (everyone was moving through as fast as we were) and the actual concierge proved hard to reach, overworked and only reactive. I wouldn’t have even known he was there if I didn’t go looking for him a couple of times. When he was unavailable, I was able to get reservations help from others. Almost 100% of the staff on this ship is amazing, attentive, courteous, hard working and generous. In hindsight I wish I had have slipped some cash (folding USD) to some of them. They work hard and our few dollars means a lot more to them than us. For concierge “service”, NCL could make this a much better experience, worthy of the higher price. But I suggest it for the room.
  13. Getting back to you about remotes, two room stewards said they have never seen actual Samsung remotes to control the TV to change inputs. The TV will remove from the mount by lifting upwards firmly. They only have a network cable attached. I don’t have any device with HDMI to test (on the outside chance that it will auto select a different input if it senses a signal there). Theres only one button on the back of the TV but it does not access any menu with inputs. Seems the TV has some kind of custom firmware in it. Regarding the Internet: I did not upgrade to the premium package so I cannot speak to the ability to stream. I upgraded to the basic unlimited plan (without streaming) and despite the bad reviews, I had a pretty good time with it. It would have some periods of running slow or going out while we were far North but 90% of the time it was fine, just a bit slow. I ran a couple of speed tests that resulted in about 3Mbps down/1Mbps up. A lot of latency, as can be expected from satellite internet. Netflix and Dish were blocked since I didn’t buy up the package. The Google hangouts app worked for VOIP phone calls, as did the magic jack app. But ATT WiFi calling was apparently blocked. iMessage worked when connected but remember only one device can be connected at a time, so it cannot be used to communicate between your other cabin mates. The NCL app worked all the time for calls and messages, even when the Internet service was out. But the app has many bugs and you’ll have to force quit and restart the app a lot. Notifications can be missed. It will crash sometimes. Happy to have it, but I wish it were better. We had a great time and I’m sad to be packing up to disembark. Enjoy your cruise - and the preparation 🙂
  14. For your second question: The Local will prepare a veggie burger anytime. They don’t have chicken breast appropriate for a chicken sandwich. But they said that the main dining rooms will prepare a chicken breast sandwich on request. Enjoy your cruise!
  15. I’m on the Joy right now, sailing into Victoria. The week passed so quickly! All balconies have a great view down to the water. Sitting on any balcony you cannot see the waterfront area, you need to stand at the rail and look directly down to see it. Here’s a photo from our 14th floor mid ship balcony looking down and forward from over the rail. I will ask at the Local for your second question. But beware, I have learned that at NCL you need to ask three different employees - the answer for things like this may differ often!
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