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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. In a word, "no". We were on Getaway for the abbreviated TA cruise that was shortened from 12 days to 10 because of an earlier-than-planned drydock. One of the senior officers explained to me during this cruise that if the dry docking facility can take the ship earlier than the scheduled date then NCL must bring the ship in earlier. Apparently there are VERY large financial stakes involved also. So if the dry dock where PoA is scheduled becomes available earlier you may find YOUR cruise cut short or cancelled entirely. Also as several others have pointed out the crew will be in major drydock prep mode. On Getaway, for example, about 1/3 of Deck 7 was closed off for this prep work. There were doubtless other tasks being performed BTS; point being that many crew members will be doing tasks related to the drydock AND their regular duties so you may not get the same level of service. No criticism of the crew intended! My point is they'll be MUCH busier than usual. IMHO I would schedule your cruise WELL after PoA comes out of dry dock/refurbishment. This way you'll get a NEW ship plus you won't have to worry about your cruise being cut short or cancelled. In any case, I hope you have a great cruise!
  2. @Cruise4Twos One gimmick I learned from my prior PCC was a "courtesy hold". If you can't contact your regular PCC then call the 866 reservations number & ask the customer service rep or whomever you get for this. Unfortunately it's only good for 6-24 hours, depending on when you call (I think it expires at midnight). This will "hold" your reservation at that price & cabin category. I did that for our last TA cruise while I booked last minute airfare from London back to NY (successfully). I then called her back before the hold expired & completed the booking. If you don't like your particular PCC just call the regular 866 customer service number, ask for a supervisor & request a new one. I've not had to do this but others who have done it can perhaps speak to this better than me.
  3. We got a similar notice from Ms. Ewart last May one week before sailing that our TA cruise was being cut from 12 days to 10 for the same reason: Getaway was going into dry dock early for scheduled maintenance. I thought our experience sucked big-time but yours is a LOT worse! VERY VERY sorry for you!! During our TA cruise aboard Getaway I asked one of the senior officers privately after a Q&A session how NCL could do this to its pax? He explained that if a ship is scheduled for maintenance but the dry dock becomes available earlier the ship MUST be brought in earlier. Also, as he explained to me, there are VERY large financial considerations involved. He wouldn't go into detail but I'm not surprised. As several other posters have stated PoA is unique as a USA-flagged vessel & crew so NCL just can't move another ship in to take its place. Also I wouldn't be surprised if there are USA-specific regulations re: dry docking/scheduled maintenance that NCL has to follow with PoA. So if the schedule of the dry dock facility changed then NCL would have to change PoA's schedule also. As I stated above I REALLY feel bad for you, having "been there, done that" myself but on a MUCH lower level of suckiness. I hope things work out to your satisfaction!
  4. We were on Breakaway back in October '18 & a LOT of people were streaming the last season of Game of Thrones (GoT) episodes on their tablets/laptops. I shoulder-surfed a couple & quality was VERY hit-and-miss. BirdTravels put it best; it's SATCOM Internet via WiFi that you're sharing with 4500 or so of your new best friends PLUS ship communications. You're all sharing the same "pipe". And since you're sharing the pipe with ship's communications also, guess who gets priority if BW gets spotty (as it sometimes does with SATCOM). Hint: NOT you! 😫 Bottom line: if you've already got the free unlimited wifi package then stick with that. I wouldn't pay any extra, IMHO. Good luck & hope you have a great cruise!
  5. @Petoonya How do you get such detailed information, if you don't mind my asking?
  6. It may also depend whether it's a 14 day cruise or two 7 day cruises run back-to-back (B2B). We purchased our Greek Isles cruise in '15 as a 14 day cruise. When we got aboard we discovered it was actually TWO 7 day cruises run B2B with different ports, both cruises terminating/originating in Venice. We're Platinum so we got TWO free bags of laundry instead of the usual one. I remember they had two $20 laundry bag deals during the 14 days, however. So I think as far as NCL was concerned it was two 7 day cruises. Hope you have a great cruise!
  7. We had this happen several years ago; price dropped like a rock a week after we booked & paid through our NCL PCC (cruise was about 60 days out). Our PCC got us bumped up to a balcony from our GTY/SA Inside cabin category with no additional $$ plus a $25 OBC for the cabin! Woo for us! Lessons learned: 1) Use a PCC whenever possible instead of the NCL website. This way if the price drops you have an actual human being with a "real" phone# to interact with instead of the generic 866 customer service phone line and whomever picks up at the other end. Our PCC also warned us then that this would be the ONLY compensation we'd get, even if the price dropped further. 2) TA's can be hit and miss; we used my dad-in-law until he passed and then had good and bad experiences with other non-family TA's. We've been using NCL's PCCs with good results the past 3-4 years. Unfortunately they turn over quickly (our current PCC is the 4th we've had) so keep that in mind. As previous posters have stated if you placed your original reservation through a TA then you have to deal with the TA; NCL will NOT talk to you. For that & other reasons we use NCL's PCCs. Good luck & hope you have a great cruise!
  8. We had to cancel a Caribbean cruise several years ago due to a family illness. We did NOT have any cruise insurance but we DID get the taxes, port fees & DSC we had pre-paid within a week to 10 days via a credit to the CC we originally used to purchase the cruise. Sorry you had to cancel your cruise! If I may be permitted to ask a personal question, did you buy your trip insurance via NCL or a 3rd party? As a result of our experience noted above we now ALWAYS purchase trip insurance. Lesson learned!
  9. You're in for a LONG wait.... Example: we were on the abbreviated TA cruise back in April-May on the Getaway that was cut from 12 days to 10. NCL allowed us up to $300/pax for hotel fees & other stuff as part of their compensation package. We submitted our hotel receipts via the website (like you did) in mid-May. The website says, "Allow 15 business days". Not even close! We got a check from NCL on August 12th; almost 3 months to the day from when we submitted the claim. So as I said to start with; you're in for a LONG wait. Oh, and in answer to your other question, yes, you'll get a check. In all fairness to NCL they've had some major personnel issues, systems issues, the Cuba cruises re-routing, etc. etc. Supposedly they've "hired-up" and have been bringing new customer service reps onboard for the last few months. However the last we heard from NCL (in late July) they had tasked ONE person at their HQ in Miami with processing compensation requests, such as yours & mine, that require a check being issued. Maybe they've assigned more people to process these compensation requests by now but I wouldn't count on it. In any case, good luck! Hope you get your check earlier that we did!
  10. @bmwmanSo you're saying we can expect NCL to eventually join the likes of Eastman Kodak, TWA, Pan Am, Sears Roebuck, Lehman Brothers and a myriad of retail department stores on the business ash heap of history? ALL of the aforementioned companies were also guilty, at one time or another, of sacrificing long-term customer relationships for short-term financial gain. Better sell your NCL stock then! 😵 It's no great surprise that cruise ship companies' revenues and margins are under tremendous pressure to perform. This will be reflected in their stock price and investor's (like yourself's) expectations.The competition within the industry has also grown exponentially over the last 20 years. You alluded to it in your post re: HAL & Azamara. Based on this you could argue that loyalty programs (Latitudes and other cruise lines similar programs) are outdated and outmoded in the present competitive climate. That potential cruise pax are looking for value for their vacation $$. Period. Brand loyalty no longer has any real business meaning or value. It's a valid argument. However I also remember that during the "Farewell" show on the last night of an NCL cruise either the CD or ship's Captain would tell the audience as part of the farewell, "We know you have many choices where you can spend your money for vacations. So we really appreciate you sailing with us!" I hope someone in NCL's senior management still believes that...
  11. @hallux I noticed the RCCL program but didn't see that Carnival had one also. Thanks for the heads-up! I am neither a Harvard or Wharton Business school grad but I do not understand why major corporations, like Carnival, RCCL & NCL would deliberately devalue their respective loyalty programs for short-term financial gains like this. I fully realize that competition in the cruise ship industry is pretty fierce but this seems to me to be a very short-sighted way of attracting new customers to their "product" but also potentially alienates their existing longtime customer base. Perhaps a graduate of one of the two business schools I cited can explain the business sense of this. I cannot fathom it... PS - pun intended....🙃
  12. Back when the Dawn & Gem-class ships were new all the ships in each class had self-service laundry on Decks 10-12, I think. We used them quite a bit before before achieving higher Latitudes status that included a freebie bag of laundry for each of us on every cruise. We were on Gem (back in '16) and needed to launder some stuff quickly & discovered the self service laundries had been removed! Bummer!!! I still had the incomparable Klaus Lugmaier's email from the Gem's inaugural season (he was Hotel Director on the Gem for that first season in 2007) so I emailed him after the cruise & asked where they "disappeared" to? He told me they had been removed during the first refurbishment of each ship due to lack of use. He told me in the email that they hadn't gotten the use NCL had anticipated so they converted them to inside cabins. So the Dawn DID have them at one time...
  13. My local Wells Fargo here in MD has Euros & British pounds on hand at all times for exchange. Rate runs a day or two behind the current market but no extra fees as casofilia correctly points out above, courtesy of NCL at the reception desk onboard. In all fairness to NCL they are NOT in the currency exchange business; they do it as a courtesy for their pax so you will be charged for this service, like any other service offered onboard...sigh 😑 You'll need Euros at some of the local markets & such that don't take credit cards; we found this out in Croatia/Dubrovnik/Split during our Greek Isles cruise out of Venice back in '15. Cash IS king, as correctly pointed out above... Word of advice based on personal experience: Take TWO credit cards (one as backup) and make sure you tell the banks that issue them that you'll be traveling with them & the dates of your cruise. They usually have a place on their website where you can enter the dates & countries you'll be visiting. Otherwise you run the risk of having your card refused; we had this happen to our daughter once on a cruise where we "loaned" her one of our credit cards; lesson learned! Hope you have a great cruise! The Greek Isles cruise(s) are fantastic!! Wear good walking footwear!
  14. @mking8288 Great pix!!!! I echo previous posters! We've been Platinum status for quite a while & take advantage of the free bag of laundry for each of us on every cruise. It ALWAYS comes back to us as pictured above; neatly folded & in a nice wicker basket! NCL does a GREAT job at laundry! Hope you have a great cruise...and clean laundry!!! 🤩
  15. As I pointed out in a previous post, this is just a way for NCL to raise "newbie" pax to elevated Latitudes perqs without having sailed on NCL for the requisite number of sailings. Thanks again, NCL, for diminishing our Latitudes status! So much for "loyalty"...😳
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