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tomk3212

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About tomk3212

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    MD
  • Interests
    Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. Probably not but there's no harm in asking. If you call the main reservations number or if you have a PCC you could also call him/her, especially if you booked the cruise through your PCC. If you've booked through a travel agent you'll have to deal through them & your chances of a last-minute upgrade are probably slim. I've never heard of anyone upgrading at the pier...am not sure if there's anyone from NCL at the pier who'd have the authority to do so even if an upgrade was available... In any case, hope you have a great cruise!
  2. Do a search of this board for "NoobCroozer"'s survey & accompanying comments from a bunch of us. You'll get all the info you'll need to make an informed decision. My 2 cents: 1) If you're concerned about time-to-board at the NYC cruise terminal your solution is VERY simple: get there AFTER 1PM. You'll beat the initial boarding scrum and your experience will be MUCH less stressful. 2) IMHO based on the above I do NOT think at $179/cabin the so-called "Priority Boarding" is worth the extra $$. Truth-be-told, as a Platinum Latitudes member who has EARNED the Priority Boarding perquisite I very much resent NCL's cheapening of this perq by "selling" it in this fashion. Again, my 2 cents. Hey NCL, why not just offer Platinum & Platinum Plus Latitudes level on a per-cruise basis? Say $999/pax for Platinum and $1299/pax for Platinum Plus?
  3. "ANY day on ANY cruise ship at ANY time is better than a day at home or at work." This is a quote I saw here on CC over 15 years ago and it's still true today! You also have to keep in mind that people who feel in their own minds that they've been gypped or didn't get the best value for their money are going to complain and write bad reviews. We were on the Gem back in 2007 on one of her first voyages (Western Med out of Barcelona) and had an absolutely fantastic time! Crew was great, ship was fabulous and clean, entertainment & food were great. We were pleasantly surprised on how well things ran, considering this was only the third voyage Gem had made with paying pax. Of course we also had the incomparable Klaus Lugmaier as our Hotel Director for that cruise so that may also account for why things ran so well. Yet with all this said a month after we got back I saw a review here on CC where someone on the same cruise gave the ship a 1 out of 5 rating in their review. DW read the review and wondered whether we were on the same ship... So bottom line, take what you read here on CC with a grain of salt...and that grain may be as large as the ship the person is supposedly reviewing! Hope you have a great cruise!
  4. @gigito2 I've never seen any cruise ship show reviews, per se, like you'd see in the NYT or Rotten Tomatoes here on CC. You just have to sift through the plethora of cruise reviews and see if anyone made comments on a particular show. Also keep in mind the person writing the review is probably NOT a professional drama critic so their tastes may not coincide with yours. For example, we saw 'Million Dollar Quartet' last year on Getaway; I LOVED it and saw it twice; DW didn't care for it and left before the encore. NEITHER of us cared for 'Rock of Ages' on Breakaway. As BirdTravels correctly points out the Broadway-type shows on the B'away & B-away Plus class ships are contracted for 5 years. I do wish, however, that NCL would publish a list on their website of which shows are on which ships.
  5. We were on the abbreviated Getaway TA last April-May when NCL decided with about a week's notice to cut the TA from 12 days to 10 and eliminate the 2 most popular ports. The kerfuffle here on CC was almost seismic plus the phone calls and emails inundating NCL HQ in Miami shamed NCL into changing the $300/pp from airline-changes only to $300/pp for ANY additional expenses. They also added a few other incentives plus itinerary changes but only after the avalanche of complaints here on CC & the aforesaid emails & phone calls to NCL corporate. We made the decision to stay in the UK for the additional 2 days and got $600 for our hotel plus taxi fares in-and-around London & out to Gatwick to catch our flight. At some point we'll also "cash-in" our FCC credit of 25%. We were also looking at the Star TA this year and are VERY glad we didn't book it! We were looking at the price to come down some more, to be honest. We were also booked on another TA out of NYC in April but decided to cancel before the final payment. I don't know what the problem is at NCL but these "incidents" with ships going into dry dock seem to be happening MUCH more often than in the past. They also seem to be doing a LOT of back-peddling in that when something happens they offer some compensation then adjust the compensation after gauging pax's reactions on CC, social media, phone calls, etc. So IMHO, I just do not trust NCL any longer to "do the right thing" unless prodded or shamed into doing it. So in answer to your original question, I'd book my own air rather than rely on NCL. If they offer airfare I'd take another perq. instead. Again, my 2 cents. Hope you have a great cruise! We did the Greek Isles & Turkey out of Venice on the Jade a few years back. Had a great time!
  6. @april42749 Boy are YOU correct!! I thought it was just me who couldn't find anything last-minute out of NYC!! I think part of the reason we're not able to score the last-minute cruise deals we used to is that cruising itself has become SO much more popular than it was 2 or 3 years ago. Look at all the new ships coming out this year & next; Carnival, RCCL, NCL, etc. wouldn't be spending close to a billion USD on new ships if they thought the market was saturated. As several other posters have pointed out you do have an advantage of sailing out of FL where there's LOTS of choices for a cruise vacation, even during spring break! I wish you the best of luck in finding something in your price range and, if successful, hope you have a great cruise!
  7. Have sailed out of NYC on NUMEROUS occasions. My tips: 1) As MANY others have said get to the terminal after 1PM. You'll miss the initial "scrum" of everybody-and-his-kid-brother trying to board the ship at 1130. 2) "Priority boarding" @ $179/cabin...yeah, right...another $$ grab by NCL. I would absolutely "pull" this added "feature" from my cruise ASAP. 3) The NYC cruise terminal does have some unique issues that other terminals don't. For example, the initial TSA screening there seems to be more robust than other cruise terminals we've sailed out of so that may take longer. I've also experienced times where TSA doesn't have enough people to handle several cruise ships leaving on the same day. 4) Once we attained Gold Latitudes status we got a Priority Boarding number (#1 or 2) so we board right after Haven & Suite pax and the physically challenged folks. Even with Priority Boarding, however, you're going to WAIT till 1130 to actually start boarding. Also there always seem to be technical "glitches" during the initial boarding process. Examples; not enough NCL crew swiping pax key cards to board OR the laptop being used to swipe cards used goes down. We lived in NJ for over 30 years (we now live in MD) and cruised out of NYC on many occasions, as I stated earlier. Cruising out of the NYC cruise ship terminal is hit-and-miss; sometimes it's smooth as silk and other times not so much...lol As I said arriving after 1PM should solve most of your wait time issues. Hope you have a great cruise.
  8. If you're in the Haven you'll be amongst the first to get off. The ship actually arrives at the dock sometime between 4 & 6AM so as BirdTravels points out you should be able to get off right at 7AM. The harbor in NYC has some very wicked tides so if the ship is delayed en route to NYC you may run into some docking issues if the Master & Harbor Pilot have to wait for a slack tide period. You also asked how late you could stay aboard? They want everyone off by 10AM so they can start prepping for the next load of pax boarding at noon. I'm not sure how long they allow Haven pax to remain aboard but with normal arrival time we've stayed on board as late as 945 AM. Hope you have a great cruise!
  9. Gem is a VERY nice ship! If you look at my expanded signature you can see we've been aboard her MANY times! It's not as big as the newer ships so it doesn't have all of the features of those newer ships but we still think it's a great ship to cruise on! Check out Leo! He's a guitarist/singer who plays in the lounges & in the Atrium. If you're sailing out of NYC get to the cruise ship terminal after 1230PM to avoid the initial "crush" of everyone else getting on board. The MDR (Deck 6) may be open for lunch (I think it's open 12-2PM) so you can start your cruise with a nice leisurely meal and avoid the thundering herds up in the buffet at the Garden Cafe. Hope you have a great cruise!
  10. IMHO it's certainly NOT worth the price they're charging! As several other posters have pointed out it'll speed you up by maybe 15 minutes, tops. We're Platinum & almost always sail on NCL out of NYC so we get priority embarkation in any event. You'd be much better off getting to the pier by 130 or so & skipping the initial "crush". If your parents have mobility issues by all means let NCL know because that'll bump them up in the line to get on board also. Hope you have a great cruise!
  11. You stated that your "friend" is traveling with his "family"; does either parent have "custodial" children traveling with them? https://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/ParentGuardianForm_01302012b.pdf You may want to check this out.
  12. The BTS (Behind the Scenes) tours on all NCL ships do NOT include either the engine room spaces or the bridge. As CTCruiser pointed out above you'll see the galley/kitchen & some of the refrigerated areas associated with them, laundry, recycling & the backstage area(s) of the theater. At one time, years ago, they DID include the bridge on the BTS tours but they haven't done so on the last 4 or 5 that I've been on lately. I don't think they've EVER included the engine room spaces due to safety issues. If you're Platinum or above you get the BTS tour as a freebie; make sure you sign up at the CruiseNext desk the day you go aboard because they fill up quickly! Otherwise it's $50 or $75 pp.
  13. We're looking at this same cruise ourselves! It looks like an interesting itinerary. We did a similar cruise out of Copenhagen several years ago that went to Iceland also. I like the fact that it'll be overnight in Iceland so there's plenty of time to visit several sites around Reykjavik and not just the city itself. We went to LeHavre & Bruges last year on the abbreviated TA aboard the Getaway. Highly recommend both stops! You should have enough time to hop a train and visit Paris from LeHavre or tour the D-Day beaches if you prefer that. Bruges is lovely! Highly recommend that also! A friend of mine did the Jade TA last year (different itinerary) that also terminated in Amsterdam. He stayed there for a couple of days and really liked the city. So you may want to consider that also. As for the Jade we've been on her & her sister ships MANY times (look at my expanded signature) and have always enjoyed ourselves. Yes, they don't have all the "bells and whistles" that the newer B-away & B-away-plus ships have but they're still great ships to cruise on! As I said we're also looking at this cruise so maybe we'll see you aboard!
  14. @ace6636634 Yes for the length of the cruise. It's per pax/per phone so if there's two of you and two cell phones then BOTH will have to pay the $9.95 charge. DW & I used it on our TA on the Getaway last April. Easy, peasy!
  15. The Gem is by far our fave NCL ship in the Jewel class; we've been on her 7 times! If you like guitar music check out your Freestyle Daily for where Leo is playing. He is superb!! Hope you have a great cruise!!
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