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mking8288

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About mking8288

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  • Location
    "Big Apple" NY
  • Interests
    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, CCL, RCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Bermuda/Caribbean
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    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5nup7xtw3ell4g0/CruiseCritic%20Abstract%20-%20mking8288%20-%2011.2018A.doc

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  1. NCL site "appeared" to be functioning at/near its normal state, between late yesterday and now, when we did some mock bookings ... Latitude accounts looked okay ... no active bookings to worry about getting "bumped" or cancelled due to any false "payment past due", etc. As always, Y.M.M.V. Windows 10 64-bits OS has its share of upgrade issues lately, got an open source Linux laptop to get online, just in case
  2. Good point on the last minute adjustment due to rough seas & the month of September can be a challenge, even when sailing northeast toward Canada/NE ... OP, your northbound one-way is done once a year, the southbound out of Quebec is a shorter one, once a year - highly unlikely for another here to guess. Except, NCL will be planning & know ... look at your sailing's itinerary to get an idea of non-sea days, as on 1 or more days - it doesn't sail until 6 or 7 pm - with just one show scheduled for the evening (like Day 1, the one & only, Welcome Abroad show at 8:30 pm as I recall.) If you follow my SIGNature link below, first one is the Dawn - posted the Freestyle Dailies for all 7 days, it has all the details and should give you some idea of how to plan around the shows, no reservations necessary or taken - walk in on a first come, first serve basis & plan to get there 15+ minutes early for best choices in seating. Otherwise, you can usually find some seats on the either side. MDR meals, allow 90 minutes but always tell your server team of your plan so that they can do their best to rush it, skip the dessert & coffee if you can. Ditto if you do Teppanyaki and other specialty meals, 90 minutes to 2 hours on average.
  3. What is the itinerary for your Dawn sailing booked ? Stardust Theater shows last usually no more than 45 minutes. Nobody likes guessing, I know.
  4. Sorry, IMHO, this is something that a "cancel for any reasons insurance" bundle is designed for .... Premium is too high, shop around & compare. Hmmm, look at this differently ... it's mid Winter and what if - unlikely event of - a massive blizzard delayed matters. Priorities.
  5. The newer ships (BA, GA, Escape & Bliss) will have at least 2 US style standard 110v plugs and 1 or 2 220V Euro (round 2 pins) plug(s). Older ships might or might NOT have USB port(s) integrated into the bedside LED lamp post recent dry-docking (Dawn does NOT have them.) Ships like the Gem or Jewel will have at least one 110V and one 220V plug for use. Three of the "older" ships including the Dawn & the Star also has a single UK style 220v flat blade plug (ships were designed originally for sailing the Asia/Euro markets & fitted for a coffee maker/hot water kettle ... in all cabin categories, unlike recent years, only for balconies & above)
  6. For the Dawn, in the old days - homeport in NY - the main pools were (supposed to be/capable of) heated and the ship's navigational channel displays wwould show its temperature as well as that of the hot tubs (and, the kiddie pool.) I don't recall the Star or Jewel, or the Gem for that matter, having its main/adult pool heated then - water temp on the Dawn was shown as around 79 degree F from a decade + ago. We never bothered to go near, let alone into these oversized bath tubs - they drained them nightly for cleaning & then refill them ... bringing the pool up to a comfortable temperature range does take a while. Of course, the *Away/Plus class ships do not/never displayed the detailed ship navigational data/stats the way the "older" ships do. This would be a good & friendly questions for someone at their next CC Meet & Mingle gathering onboard one of these ships in question.
  7. Well, no can't do - it "should" not take more than a few minutes to fix a simple programming mistake or reboot their DBMS and server. Still, not seeing anything different. Hello, I.T. - waiting ... and, of course, we know it is T.G.I.F. P.S. Has been traveling abroad for the past week and got the non-USA URL link, which appeared fine for basic look-up ... didn't tunnel back in over VPN. Now that I'm back in - catching up on several posts on different issues ... this isn't funny for those sailing shortly.
  8. Hmmm, it seemed NCL's website is crashing, big time, seriously ... not a joke or faked news. Cannot pull up any cruises for July, August or September 2019 sailing out of NYC - must be doing well, all the Escape cruises are fully booked and/or sold out, etc. Maybe, just by chance, they are reshuffling the ships due to the Cuba "situations" ??
  9. I stand corrected ... should the options are outdated & discontinued by NCL, as always, YMMV. As Option B. To call back home, you'd need the full internet package, as well as WiFi calling on your phone (and other specific steps per your device's user's guide, most importantly - airplane mode ON and cellular/data roaming turned off) Option C. Use the "Norwegian App" installed & activated on the smartphone/iPhone to make calls onboard to landline & mobile numbers for 79 cents a minute, over ship's inTRAnet (without needing any WiFi package, free or purchased/add-on) ... over satellite when in range, subject to limitations & coverage and other interference. Please see official NCL guides below for details (image #1 - lower right section) as a general reference. There are other options, which I shall not get into - none of these constitute an endorsement of mine and/or approval of not, for using them.
  10. Based on our recent Dawn experience disembarking and also reading about other ones (returning from Canada/NE) - expect the ship to come in early & should be docked before/by 6 a.m. However, porters aren't there until 7:30 or 8 am like CBP, and the earliest time for them to start off the Express Walkoff is about 7:30 am ... and it's far easier to "empty" a ship of 2,200+ pax instead of 4,300+ on the mega Escape, using 2 gangways. Unless your DH is coming from points in south/central/western end of NJ - you will have plenty of time to call him as the ship start to sail past the Rockaways & approach the VZ Bridge, whereby it is very easy to pickup a strong cellular land-based signal to make calls, no longer roaming or needing ship's satellite WiFi - to leave & come into NY to have you picked up. As noted, if you can manage your luggage (and/or use porter services for a faster exit ... well worth the extra, minor expense of tipping for the services & able to fast track thru CBP) - you should definitely be able to reach the "outside" area on 12th Avenue at the cruise terminal by 9:45 to 10 a.m. Traffic in that area is not as light on a Saturday vs. Sunday but if you walk across 12th Ave & up one block to W. 49th Street, one-way running from 11th Avenue toward 12th Ave (facing the Hudson River) ... with a bus stop on the corner. That would be a good area to wait for him to pull up & jump in to head home. Have him find a parking spot (avoid those no-standing & no-stopping zones, watch for the signage) on W. 49th Street or perhaps nearby on 11th Avenue, and only turn or come down that block when you are cleared & on 12th Avenue, waiting or ready to cross W. 48th Street. NYPD and traffic agents were there "chasing" cars & drivers away & to keep moving along 12th Avenue. Otherwise, go mid-block east toward 11th Avenue on W. 48th Street, as it will be easier for anyone to pull over without getting horned at ... far too many car services, Uber/Lyft & limo all trying to wait right at that corner, making it unsafe & dangerous to stop or pull over & double-park to wait.
  11. @htnut - IMHO, onboard Cisco-driven hardware and server(s) can easily handled voice calling & text messaging within the ship's closed loop system of firewalled data traffic, i.e. sort of like the token-ring LAN days. The benchmark network speed I obtained was rather fast and don't see the need to route externally to the inTERnet, unless it is for external data traffic.
  12. You setup & use your individual MyNcl account login to register & activate your device(s) to use the App, one at a time. 3 uses will be billed at $9.95 per user x 3 to your onboard account(s) It's not rocket science & pretty simple. These screens are only displayed when connected to ship's WiFi inTRAnet onboard and no WiFi data or minutes are debited.
  13. We sailed the Dawn last month, directly booked an Inside GTY & OV midship picture window about 25 days out - not sailaway rates, took the "free" WiFi & as a second choice, 3 specialty dining, along with Latitude past guests offers. Assigned to Deck 11 Fwd (IB category) about 3 days later - same day "invited" to the Upgrade Advantage bidding. As prices dropped further, booked 2 additional Inside GTY, no perks - about 10 days out - split 2 Platinum members into 2 cabins to take advantage of the extra comp'd dining & bottle of wine. Staterooms assigned 2 days later, Deck 9 Fwd (ID category) and same afternoon, invited to do the Upgrade Advantage bidding. With port-intensive itinerary for 7 nights Canada/NE, bidded for OV & barely above minimum for a balcony - 2 adults per cabin works fine for us and we don't care for UBP or shorex "credits" against overpriced tours. Notified at day 3 prior that bid (covered by other OBC) for OV accepted (Deck 4 Fwd) - and 2 remaining bids expired/notified on day 2's cutoff for the balconies. Specialty dining booked (2 nights out of 3 for all 8 of us) on day 1 and 2, only pre-booked LeBistro a week prior to sailing - Teppanyaki costed us $72 for 2 in each of 2 cabins, net of $22 (after applying OBC) in 3rd cabin and ** "free" for 4th cabin. Moderno was "free" for everyone. Servers appreciated the cash tips. In short, works for us ... and, we paid directly for fresh lobster rolls ashore in Bar Harbor & Portland, Maine.
  14. This is the official LGA Airport website, online with real-time & updated info 24/7/365 - I recommend that travelers & CC'ers using LGA to bookmark and use this, for current info & alerts, changes, etc. - not weeks or months ahead, but maybe at a week out to 48 or 24 hours prior, to upcoming & last minute changes - as the construction work appeared to be on schedule but very dynamic, and fast moving. https://www.laguardiaairport.com/ << Bookmark >> For all practical purposes, summer is a busy travel time for visitors to NYC, extending into the late Fall with foilage cruises ... and it's baseball in season at nearby CitiField, which can impact both local commuters & travelers alike - on Saturdays, airline traffic is lightest but not on Sundays, and weekdays are always unpredictable A picture is worth a thousand words - here's 2 more that I took recently while sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the parkway ... one can always wave at someone in the new multi-story parking lot. Plenty of construction work ahead ... and that's not including the LGA AirTrain connection, a hot topic by itself.
  15. Here are some of the latest photos I took last week & this week while at LGA, going to/from Hertz rental, which is located east of the (main) Terminal (B) & also T-C & T-D, closer to T-A used mainly by JetBlue, all of which required a transfer via the free blue or red shuttle, depending on where you "deplane" - to T-A's parking/staging area for ALL rental car pickups. Suffice to say, LGA is the middle of its multi-year redevelopment & construction projects, while some of the newer multi-story car parks & for-hired vehicles (ride-sharing & car service/limo) are slowly being migrated to these structure, now much closer to the highway (Grand Central Parkway or GCP) - the terminals are far from finished, although some of the newer gates are open for business. CC cruisers arriving & departing same day for cruises - allow plenty of and sufficient time, plus extra reserves, to get into the airport AND to make it to your airline's terminal, in addition to getting thru TSA (pre-check or not) security and finally to your aircraft's gate, even if not checking bags and doing carry-on compliant bags only. Ground transportation has always been & remained on the lower/street level, look for signage - some digitized and up-to-the-minute in real-time, about the next arriving shuttles, buses or where/what to tell the driver, exactly, on where you will be standing or waiting ... there is absolutely no place for the driver/vehicle to stop & wait - airport security will chase them off & to keep moving. From Terminal A (or Hertz) - I get into a shuttle to go to T-C (used by Spirit & Delta) on almost the far side of the airport - it took easily 20 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic that was 3 lanes wide, trapped & stranded are those airporter buses & coaches ... doing load & run, with passengers & luggage. From there, it was another 10 minutes to exit the airport's ever-changing (often, unmarked or confusing) network of service roadways - to get onto local streets & the nearest highway's entrance ramps. I also took a few pictures of some of the local "motels" used by the city for a variety of purposes, including emergency housing for disaster/fire & human/social services. One of them is near a MTA city bus stop near the Hampton Inns, next to the NY LaGuardia Plaza Hotel ... all of them located along Ditmas Blvd a/k/a "hotel row" - across the highway/parkway from the airport, it's "walkable" but not recommended, as there is really no clear & safe walk path to make it luggage friendly & accessible. Traffic congestion in front of Terminal B, many considered it the old "main" terminal used by United, American, Air Canada & others ... was the worst. Terminal A used by JetBlue on the western end, known to many as the (old) Marine Air Terminal is much less congested - and can be reached by a different exit/entrance ramp from the parkway. Hotel shuttles, like car rentals, will meet & pick up - especially during the day & peak period, only from T-A's designated lot area, clearly marked. Dropoffs are - usually & normally permitted - at individual airline terminals.
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