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Luigi007

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  1. Yes, I have read the entire thread, and my surprise is that, after saying you'd stick with the inside, you said you had no clue if you'd be able to see Glacier Bay well, when I had already told you that yes, you will, and others said the same. I quote: "I have no clue if I'll see enough." By now, I thought you already had a clue, since most of us said you will. It's precisely because I read the whole thread that I know what most people told you. I wasn't questioning your decision about keeping the inside. I was questioning the fact that you still seem uncertain if you'll see enough of the view. Again: yes, you will.
  2. But we've mentioned it to you already, the Norwegian Bliss has the huge, nice, and comfortable Observation Desk, and also the Waterfront like the other poster has just mentioned (it's a long corridor along the entire ship on all sides, which features outside tables for all their main restaurants). So, Glacier Bay is hugely visible from these venues, making it unnecessary to have a veranda in order to see it. Again, like everybody said, having one is nice, but in my opinion and that of most others here, not required. Don't worry, you'll see Glacier Bay very well even without one.
  3. Oh, and something else. One of the things I liked about the Norwegian Bliss, was that the wine director (with whom I had a lecture, so I can confirm his advanced knowledge) was pretty competent. He selected very good bottles at affordable prices, so that the basic drink package did have compelling wines. Bottles like the Gérard Bertrand Cuvée Spéciale Cabernet Sauvignon and the Essence Riesling from Mosel did fulfill most needs in terms of a good red and a good white to go with the food, so that I didn't feel compelled to go out of the basic package to order the higher options. Same is to be said about that prosecco.
  4. You're welcome. That was my point. You don't drink sparkling wine (or else you'd be likely to know how to spell Veuve Clicquot). Sorry, but that makes you rather unqualified to comment on it. Yes, I got a bit irritated, sorry, because I do know sparkling wine quite well, especially prosecco, which like I said is made in my region in Italy, so when you called it dire, it tickled me the wrong way But OK, you didn't like that prosecco (although it was pretty good, actually). Fine, don't drink it (de gustibus non est disputandum). And sure, Veuve Clicquot is better so your wife was right about preferring it. It is not a top champagne, though. It's merely one of the most popular ones, a far cry from the really good ones like Louis Roederer Cristal, or Krug Grande Cuvée (both, better than Dom Pérignon). Outside of the most prestigious labels, I'm very fond of Taittinger. Try it. It's truly delicious. When I lived in Paris for five years, Taittinger was my wife's favorite. If your lady likes Veuve Clicquot, buy her a bottle of Taittinger (it's similarly priced), she is likely to love it. I was never too fond of Veuve Clicquot, always felt that Taittinger was better, at that price range. My favorite one is the Cristal. It is not only outstanding, but the bottle is very elegant. Unfortunately, it is very expensive so I only buy it from time to time, otherwise it would be my go-to champagne every time. So, Taittinger fulfills that niche for me, and when I want to splurge, it's Cristal. Now, if your wife cares for a top bottle of prosecco, try this one: Ruggieri & C, Giustino B Extra Dry. This one comes from Valdobiaddene, one of the best micro-regions. Three others from the same town are also just as good: the Nino Franco Brut Nodi, the Ca' dei Zago, and the Graziano Merotto Cuvée del Fondatore Rive di Col San Martino. These bottles are priced in the 40 to 50 range and they are as good as some of the best champagne bottles (OK, not as good as the Cristal and the Krug, though, but at one fifth of the price, they are outstanding in terms of price-quality ratio).
  5. Verve Cliquot? It's Veuve Clicquot. And no, that prosecco wasn't sweet. Maybe what you had was a Mimosa or a Kir, made with the prosecco. That would be sweet.
  6. Yeah, yeah, funny. I happen to be Italian, and from the Veneto region, that is, the region that makes prosecco... So I've had every prosecco you can imagine, and no, that one wasn't bad at all. Sure, it wasn't a Prosecco Superiore DOCG, it wasn't from Conegliano or Valdobiaddene or Asolo (the three best micro-regions), and it was merely a DOC which doesn't mean it was bad. People get predisposed against what doesn't harbor the more prestigious labels but sometimes smaller and non-prestigious producers from the larger area do a good job. I've had many DOC regular proseccos that rivaled the best ones, and at more affordable prices. Maybe the particular bottle from which they poured it for you was open for a long time, not at the right temperature, whatever. The ones I had were delicious. And mind you, I only ate at the buffet once, and just because I was in a hurry between a show and a shore excursion. I don't mind paying more, if it's worth it. It's a question of price/quality ratio. Look, if you are into the top wines and spirits, like I said, the upgrade might make sense. But if you aren't, and most people aren't, it doesn't, given that the upgraded package is much more expensive, and the price difference between the upper tier of the basic package drinks and the drinks that aren't covered wasn't that big; you also get a discount if you have the basic package but order the eventual higher priced drink. It's all I was trying to convey. I was trying to be helpful. But only each individual customer can make this decision. If you are into higher-end drinks and the upgraded package makes sense for you, by all means, get it.
  7. No, we’re all paying customers. It’s not free. It’s included in the price you paid for your cruise. All included amenities and entertainment are part of the money you paid and a fraction of it goes to the musicians’ salaries. There is no free lunch. My analogy is actually more accurate than yours. If you play an instrument as an amateur for free I’ll forgive your mistakes, but if you are a professional playing for a salary and I’m a paying customer I have the right to criticize. Funny that we are posting on a website forum called the Cruise CRITIC and you’re berating me for criticizing.
  8. The drinks package upgrade is really a bad deal. It's not necessary at all, given that the $15 allowance per drink for the basic package covers most drinks offered on board. If you have the basic package, the few upscale drinks that are not part of it can be had at a discount if you absolutely want them. I never felt the need, since the options included in my basic package were always satisfactory. If you are a big wine person, just buy out-of-pocket a bottle or two during one of the specialty meals (again, you'll get a discount), or a by-the-glass selection above your basic package. You won't need to do it all the time, so the much much more expensive upgraded package is likely to be a rip-off unless you are really extremely into upscale wines and spirits and you want the top options every time. I guess that for a really snob drinker the upgraded package makes sense... but even though I do know my wine and I do enjoy upscale wine when I dine out, and I like some upscale whiskies as well, I felt that the options I had with the basic package did keep me happy enough. For example: sure, the top champagne flutes were not in my basic package... but the prosecco selected by Norwegian Bliss was truly delicious and didn't make me miss the more expensive champagne flutes.
  9. LOL for the ego thing... I met people on the ship who were in more expensive accommodations than ours, and seemed less wealthy and less sophisticated than we are, and met people who were in less expensive accommodations than ours, and seemed wealthier and more sophisticated than we are... With many cruises selling out fast, the kind of cabin someone has is not always a close match to what that person can afford or is used to. Besides, the value of human beings is hardly a match to how much money they have. I know some humble people who are much better human beings and much more fun to be around than some wealthy people I also know. One of the things I enjoyed while cruising, was the fact that almost with no exceptions, everybody was very friendly and outspoken and we made friends everywhere, regardless of social class. So, put your pride aside, relax, and enjoy the trip!
  10. Like others said, this is inconsequential. Only a portion of the seats are booked online. We just came back from a Bliss cruise and although all restaurants that interested us seemed sold out when we looked online, when we got on board, we were easily able to get all restaurants we wanted and at the times we preferred, even though we changed our minds a few times and made last minute reservations. We also showed up without a reservation to one of them, and they still accommodated us. It seems like people book spots way in advance, afraid of missing out, and then they change their plans and there are always cancellations and spots left for waiting lists.
  11. On the Norwegian Bliss, the pool was almost as warm as the some of the hot tubs (which should actually be called the lukewarm tubs). I loved the water temperature in the main Norwegian Bliss pool.
  12. I was on the Bliss last week, not the Joy. I hear they are quite similar, almost identical, the Bliss being a bit newer. Restaurants: We went to 5 paid ones and 5 complimentary ones. Paid: La Cucina, outstanding. Best meal of the trip. Food Republic, imaginative, creative, well-presented, exquisite mostly Asian fusion food. We very much liked it. Los Lobos, surprisingly good. We thought, Mexican food, eh... but thankfully we went there, because it's Mexican food with a modern twist and it was very, very good. Le Bistro - surprisingly, disappointing. It's considered to be their best restaurant, but clearly wasn't. And it's not because I dislike French cuisine, much the opposite, I love it, and I lived in Paris, France, for five years. I know French Cuisine. Le Bistro was mediocre at best. Ocean Blue - also surprisingly, as it is considered the other upscale one together with Le Bistro, rather ordinary. We had better seafood in other venues on the Bliss than on the specialized seafood Ocean Blue, paradoxically. Complimentary: The Manhattan Room - pretty good, almost as good as the best paid ones. Savor - rather bad Taste - rather bad. Breakfast there at one point was almost disgusting. The Garden Cafe - large, chaotic buffet, small tables, too crowded, the food is mediocre The Local - pretty good, relaxed, peaceful The Observation Lounge, also complimentary, has nice snacks throughout the day.
  13. I was on the Bliss last week, in Alaska. The Internet was good and speedy. Only in Glacier Bay it was spotty, but then, who cares? When you are in gorgeous Glacier Bay you want to be looking at the glaciers, the mountains, and the sea; not browsing the Internet. I understand that people have different needs, but I kept considering if I should upgrade to the unlimited WiFi (I had the 250-minute package). I'm glad that I didn't because I ended up not even using the full 250 minutes. I mean, there was so much to do aboard the Bliss! I'm a big Internet user at home, but during these 7 days on the Bliss, the last thing in my mind was going online. I was mostly in swimming pools, hot tubs, restaurants, observation lounges, shows, night clubs, gift shops, shore excursions, etc., places where I didn't need or want the Internet. Besides, the Bliss stops at four ports of call, and all four have rather strong cellular service. My Sprint LTE data on my iPhone was very strong in all four ports of call, so, when I was traveling on buses to go to excursion sites, I was catching up with social media, email, online news, etc. for free, so that when I was on the ship I didn't need to do that. For my needs, 250 minutes did the job, and I ended up with some 50 unused minutes, actually. We're in such a social media-dominated world!!! If one goes to Alaska for seven days of all places, it's nice to disconnect and enjoy the gorgeous views and spectacular nature and wildlife. Turn off your smartphone and your tablet... there are better things to do while cruising. You can be online all you want at home, when Glacier Bay, whales, bald eagles, snow-capped mountains, gorgeous lakes, and friendly company are not around you.
  14. You aren't big drinkers. We aren't either. But the booze package did make sense for us. We'd each have some 3 to 4 drinks per day, my wife basically almost always drinking the Norwegian Bliss' very good prosecco, and I varied a bit more, with red wine, white wine, and some Mai Tais, Mojitos, and caipirinhas. I figured that if I had paid for each drink we had during the 7-day cruise we'd have spent twice as much as what the drinks package costs. Internet: we got the 250 minutes WiFi package and in 7 days we used about 200 minutes. I think you typically don't need more; when you're cruising you want to relax and enjoy your spouse, not necessarily be on social media contacting all your friends or reading the news online. We actually could have used just 150 minutes... the last day we used more, just because we could. Remember, in four of these 7 days you'll be in ports of call, which do have cellular service, so when we needed bigger online presence, we saved it for our Sprint cellular data allowance when on shore.
  15. You mentioned noise protection: I found that my cabin on Deck 9 of the Norwegian Bliss was extremely silent. I never heard any noise from the neighboring cabins, or from the one on top. When the sea was rough and the ship rocked a bit more, there were some structural pops. For the two nights when it happened, I simply used a pair of foam ear plugs and slept like a log.
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