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luvavacation

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  1. Oops! Sorry, I knew that, I guess it was wishful thinking in the subconscious! Thanks for making sure that I was aware of this, I do appreciate it.
  2. At this moment, the cruise is still being sold with the original ports. The room for my family is now going for over $7,000. I would be a very upset client if I booked this cruise, paid it in full (as it has to be for a Haven room at this stage), and then found out in a couple days that NCL "made this difficult decision with my safety and well-being in mind". I would expect a cruise line to update its information as soon as it makes the decision to change the itinerary. You all may not find this deceptive, but I do. I also find the handling of this to be rather inept on the part of NCL, and not getting the parts is no excuse for selling an itinerary and then providing no means for the consumer to change to a different ship when "my safety and well-being" is in mind. I intensely dislike when companies are inept. The vast majority of you may be perfectly fine with playing the odds and have no qualms about being on a ship with known issues that will not be repaired 4 months in advance (and many people do not read discussion boards before choosing a trip, and thus would not know there were issues with any ships). I do not wish to be stuck at sea, bobbing around. If others wish to be, then go, and enjoy yourselves, it might be fun. But for me, and my family, we need to get back home, and while missing a much desired port can be dealt with, the possibility of a problem with the ship at sea, that is too much of a gamble for me. I am kicking myself for not purchasing Cancel for Any Reason insurance. I always purchase it! But my husband said it's his birthday, we would not cancel this cruise, why bother, save the money and do some nice excursions. I am never listening to him again!
  3. First, I would like to apologize for the blue highlighting in my original post. I didn't see it on my phone, but I see it on my desktop! Oops! Second, I really only read the boards when I have a cruise in consideration. Thus, while I had heard of problems with some of the NCL ships, I had no idea that a company would allow a ship to just keep sailing, months later, with the problems continuing on. I suppose I made the great mistake of trusting a corporation that the ship I set foot upon was in the best condition possible on the day it was leaving port. Then, if we missed a port due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstance, oh well, it happens and we make do, but this, this just feels sneaky. The more I read now, the more my eyes are opened and I see that this is happening on a few ships in the NCL fleet. I suppose I wouldn't be as irritated by this if we had booked just a standard Caribbean cruise with islands that we had done numerous times before and this was just a cruise for fun, but no, this was booked specifically because it left from a port close to our home, and it went to islands we have never seen, plus it's during my husband's birthday. If we had received the information of the port changes before we made final payment 10 days ago, then I would have looked into other options for his birthday, but for the cost of this trip, I am not pleased about the change in the itinerary. I didn't think NCL was like this in the past. I thought customer service was more important at one time. I suppose my Pollyanna view of cruising is incorrect and needs a reality check.
  4. Norwegian Star has experienced technical issues that affect the overall speed of the vessel resulting in a revised itinerary on your upcoming sailing March 29, 2020. While we regret this change, we assure you that we have made this difficult decision with your safety and wellbeing in mind Just received an email with the above information. Bonaire being removed for Nassau, and Curaçao stop shortened. Ok, things happen, but 4 months out, wouldn’t it be expected that a problem would be fixed in that time? Now I’m wondering if this could turn into a cruise with a ship that doesn’t move (was that a Carnival cruise that happened to a couple years ago?). We booked this cruise for the ABC islands. Final payment was due about a week ago and NCL conveniently decided this now? Nice of them to let us passengers know ahead of time, but the timing is not producing any goodwill. I know ports can change, my family has had many cruises over the years and we get that. Sure would’ve been nice though to be informed before final payment was due last week, since the price we paid for this cruise is not the price we would pay for a cruise with Nassau. Been there, done that 10+ times, not wanting it again, really looking forward to the ABC islands! Most of all, sure do hope we don’t end up just bobbing in the ocean!
  5. I have been following this because my husband and I were booked on a cruise for this month, with the specific desire to go see Ocean Cay. We have cruised a lot, been to many Caribbean Islands, and seeing the private islands is part of the fun for us. We cancelled and will rebook for later next fall, with the hope that all things run smoothly by then. Until then, I am learning so much from all of you, and one of my worries was the shark situation in that area of the Bahamas. I am thrilled to read that there will be a shark net. Yes, I know sharks are in the ocean and we just visit their home, but I have a fear and knowledge of a net will help me relax. There was a question as to which other line has a net around the island. Disney Cruise Line does (we are friends with some former cruise line cast and also learned all about it on travel agent sessions back in the day)! It is only around the family beach, not the adult beach. The adult beach is on the other side of the island and it is left to look like an actual, natural Bahamian beach. The family beach is regularly inspected for any holes and wiggle-in spots for the sharks, and the swimming area is regularly swum and explored by the live-on-island castmembers. There have been barracudas in the family beach swimming area, but unless too large or aggressive, they are left alone. That net, however, is what encourages me to snorkel without a pounding heart and darting eyes in all directions! I am so glad MSC will be doing the same!
  6. I’m sorry, Beamafar, I am the OP of that post, and was not aware I was not supposed to clarify how things are now, before my friends decided to cruise with us? This will only be my 3rd MSC cruise, and I was unaware that some of the things we enjoyed on our previous cruises had changed. Better to be sure of things before we sell our friends on this cruise than be surprised once onboard, no? 😊
  7. After raving about Yacht Club, and the frequent trips my family took to the Venchi for anything chocolate, and the gelato stations, friends have decided to join us on a Meraviglia cruise, which my family booked last winter for January, 2020. Our previous MSC cruises were Seaside and Divina, in Yacht Club. We, including our friends, are previous Disney Cruise Line "cheerleaders", (and have all sailed on Carnival, NCL, and RCL, too) but for less than what we pay for an inside cabin on DCL, we can do Yacht Club on MSC, well, let me say that my family enjoys the YC treatment and will willingly give up the amazing crew at DCL for the MSC Yacht Club experience! Getting together with our friends this weekend. Thought I should come and read up on any new changes to MSC before we meet with our friends to finalize plans. It's been awhile since I checked what's new on MSC, but surely, I must be confused, because I am reading that the chocolate martinis, milkshakes, coffees, and gelato are no longer included for YC guests. I realize that Venchi is not on Meraviglia, that it is a different chocolatier, but still, we were looking forward to our chocolate visits and gelatos! Also, I am reading that Ocean Cay may not be completely finished, and in fact, it appears to be confirmed that the YC section will not be ready at all. Also, the food on Ocean Cay is not included. Is this all true? We will probably still do this trip, and have a great time with our friends, but I want to be sure I don't disappoint anyone that is expecting an evening walk to the chocolate shop for a chocolate martini and a gelato chaser, and access to a quiet area with cabana on the private island, as an included perk.
  8. I am so sorry, but for the life of me, I can not remember who the Activity Manager was! We only went to the first show with the comedienne, and if it is the guy that came out and spoke before and after, then I can tell you that he spoke Spanish and English, I think he said he was from Peru, and he seemed enthusiastic but not irritating (we have experienced a couple of these people that we just didn't care for, but he seemed personable). I am sure that is not much help, but we spent most of our cruise catching up with our friends, so we didn't attend many events and I managed to leave my folder of collected papers behind on the nightstand. Hopefully someone else from that cruise will be able to help with your list.
  9. Recently home from the Majesty of the Seas. We did a 5 day that went to Cozumel and Costa Maya. This was the second RCCL cruise for my husband and I (our first was in Star Class on the Anthem to Bermuda). I have no real order for this sort-of review, mostly just random thoughts, if that's ok. Our room was on deck 9, room 9504. Our porthole looked out over a crew walkway below us and then the ocean. Being at the front of the ship, we were one of only 3 or 4 rooms on that side that didn't have a lifeboat in front of our view. I was happy with the view, considering how inexpensive this cruise was. For the record, in the 25 or so cruises my husband and I have done over the last 20+ years, this was only our second porthole room (previous on Disney). We always have a balcony, and we did miss having a balcony, but we managed. It helped that the room layout was the larger porthole category, because the other rooms would have been way too small for our comfort level. The bathroom is small and smelled faintly of sewage constantly (just how the ship was, could not be changed). The toilet was like an Eastern European toilet, with a ledge in the bowl that holds everything (including liquids and paper!) unless you push it down with the toilet scrubber. Very weak flushing water. Oddest toilet ever in our cruising experience. Definitely take Poo Pourri spray and air freshener! Our shower had very low flow, and it took a long time to get hot water. Running the sink first helped. The handheld shower head did not even have enough water pressure to shoot the water up when it was turned over. Others on our floor had the same issue, and according to the room steward, this was the norm, nothing could be done for the water flow or temp. I was happy to come home to our not water-conserving but so very water-blasting hot shower! The shower had a pump that was shampoo/conditioner combo, and we had one little round hand soap. Our room steward provided more hand soaps at our request, no problem. If you are particular about your shampoo and conditioner being separated, bring your own. I am, and I always do bring my own, but others traveling in our group did not and their hair was not appreciative of the RCCL offering. The bed was hard, so very hard, but I requested a mattress topper after the first night and that was a great improvement. Sheets were smooth and not pilling. The room needs refurbishment - it has definitely seen better days. There are also only two outlets, right under the telephone on the wall, and they were so loose that nothing we plugged in would stay. I had to prop up our cords with my makeup case. The pools were much too cold for this Floridian, and the hot tubs were more like what I prefer for my pool. Hot tubs were not at all hot, at least not when we went in them. The crew was very friendly and always offering to assist you in any way! We were very impressed, and felt the crew was on par with our gold standard of great crew, the Disney Cruise Line crews. My husband and I were very impressed by the great service and pleasant interactions. Food is subjective, but for my husband and I, we were not impressed. Desserts were never good, always much too sweet or just tasted off (though admittedly, I grew up with good European chocolate, and detest Hershey's, but even my Hershey loving, all sweets loving, husband did not like the desserts). Actually, the apple pie at dinner was my husband's go-to dessert. He liked that pie. The ice cream, not so much. Very icey, not creamy. If you like seafood, I hope you like lots of salmon. There is a lot of salmon. I do not like cruise salmon, as I find it too fishy (fresh salmon, however, fantastic!) so if nothing else was offered, I usually just skipped the main course. FYI, the swordfish, at least the fish we and others at our table received, was very bad. As if it had been boiled, then heated up, and turned into mush. Very bad. Our waiter and our drink server were excellent. The head server was also very attentive. What I did not care for was how rushed the meal was (we had late seating at 8:00). This is the first cruise ever where our table was done with dinner within an hour every night. Some may prefer shorter dining times, but we enjoy catching up with our tablemates over a leisurely dinner, but menus given and orders taken with minutes of sitting down and food courses were brought out so quickly. Much too rushed, but this was the norm for the dining room, so we made do. Johnny Rockets was not worth it, for the price, at least for us. My husband said the burgers were just fine elsewhere on the ship, we didn't need to spend the money. Service though was great. The Compass Grill is fantastic! Go there for salad - much fresher, not picked through, and the food, though limited, was good quality. Excellent paninis and sandwiches, too. Buffet was fine. We usually headed past the first food section at the entrance to the one at the very front of the ship. Usually it was less crowded. The people walking around cleaning tables and such were also very pleasant and friendly. You don't witness usually every crew member smiling and seemingly to be happy to clean tables! We were really so very impressed with all of the crew on this ship! Overall, this was a fine cruise to take with friends, but if it was just my husband and I, I think we may have been bored. I prefer larger ships with lots to do, but admittedly, navigating a smaller ship is definitely easier, and it is much faster to walk from the dining room back to my room at the other end of the ship for my forgotten shawl! That was a definite advantage for the smaller ship! Our one really low point - getting off the ship was absolutely ridiculous. It should not take almost 2.75 hours to go from the line on the ship to the exit of the terminal. I don't know if this is the norm for Fort Lauderdale or this was due to the lack of customs agents during the government shutdown, but we did a whole lot of waiting and not moving. Worst debarkation ever, but admittedly not RCCL's fault. Just a bad way to end the vacation. But the crew was smiling, so there's that! If you have any questions, please let me know and I will answer to the best of my ability.
  10. So everything else, food related anyway, is included except Starbucks! Oh we are going to love this! Thank you!
  11. Thank you for your concern:confused:. I was not expecting to expound upon that incident, but I will say it was a long time ago, it was my family's first NCL cruise and first foray into the concierge class of cruising, we were not as savvy on "chain of command" as we are many years later, and it was not handled well by NCL at the time but I am sure they have improved their customer service since then. I hope that alleviates what I shall assume is your desire for clarification, despite your intended sarcasm.
  12. Husband and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary on the Anthem to Bermuda in September. We have sailed other cruise lines, found something to like on almost all of them, and are Platinum with DCL. Would have chosen DCL again, but hey, it's our 30th anniversary, and I want something new :D, so we are going with the Star class for less than concierge on DCL. Saving money is important, right?:halo: I am trying to find out a few things about RCCL, and Anthem and the Royal Genie stuff, but I have questions that I can't find the answers to. Perhaps someone here can help? 1. Reading through other people's posts, I saw that people tip waiters at every meal. Is this the norm? Isn't that included in the tips? If I eat at a specialty restaurant or at the Coastal Kitchen, am I supposed to take money for the waiters? If so, how much? And for all the meals, or just dinner? 2. Is there a list somewhere that shows which eating places have a charge for Star class? I can't figure out which eateries are included and which aren't with that level. Or does level not matter, and the for-charge eateries are the same for everyone? 3. I see that room service is included, and also meals from restaurants as room service. Does this include the meals from specialty restaurants or just the Coastal Kitchen? 4. Can I eat in the main dining rooms if I am in Star class, or are we only allowed to eat in the Coastal Kitchen? 5. Does the room have a doorbell for the Royal Genie to use, or do they just walk in after knocking? We have a 2-story room, so I am not sure if we would hear a knock all the time. Once had a butler on the NCL Pearl that seemed to have an aversion to the doorbell and would just walk into our room whenever, and was not bothered at all the time he came in with the afternoon snacks as I was standing in the room in only my underwear. I, however, was bothered! Prefer to avoid that on RCCL. 6. Are there discounts in the onboard shops for the Star class? Or a free photo or something? Finally, if you have sailed either NCL Haven, MSC Yacht Club, or DCL Concierge level, what about the RCCL Star class stood out for you that you wish the other cruise lines offered? Thanks for the help! Looking forward to a great cruise on a new line for us!
  13. I was reading another thread but didn't want to hijack it so I figured I would just start a new post. For the themed nights, do passengers on MSC tend to dress for the nights? We have dressed in white for the White Hot party NCL, and my family also has full on pirate outfits/gear for the many Pirate Nights we have attended on DCL. Would we be out of place dressed up in our pirate costumes? Or are these nights more something where the crew dresses in different outfits for the evening, but passengers tend to just wear whatever they have? Also, just to confirm, but Formal Night isn't full on ballgown and tuxedo formal, correct? My daughters and I have some gorgeous gowns from past Formal Nights, but sadly, it appears "formal" may no longer mean what it used to 20 years ago, at least on the cruise lines we are familiar with these days. Is it different with the MSC cruises? Does being in Yacht Club make any difference? Will people in Yacht Club also dress up for themed nights, or is it too insulated and apart from the main dining rooms that no one really participates in that section? My husband and son-in-law will be thrilled to not bring along another suitcase for our gowns and pirate outfits, but the daughters and I will be kind of disappointed. On the other hand, we don't want to look silly and out of place either (though as my mother would say, "when will we ever see these people again? :D).
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