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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. OP, welcome to CC's 1st. post. That's Columbus Day weekend and a shorter school week, and could be popular ... I would not be looking for a price drop (on SailAway rates, without the "free" perks) until very close to sailing date, if booking are still behind. Weather-wise, this year is supposed to be one with average to below norm # of hurricane and storms on the Atlantic coast; with, the Northeast trending in getting those peak to late season ones coming up, sometimes turning toward Bermuda ... ships are known to getting chased around or running ahead/behind them - and, Canada/New England ports are full of scheduled cruise ships docking. Always be prepared for a rocking & rolling ride 700 nm into the middle of the Atlantic; and, serious consider trip insurance vs. going self-insured (and, rolling with 3 dices.) Otherwise, Bermuda is nice in early Fall, very comfortable air temperature & not humid, unlike the Bahamas & Caribbeans - NCL has been extending the Fall runs to Dockyard, doing two 5 days run into early November. It's very easy to get around with ships berthed overnight, free to come & go at all hours. Lots to read, research & consider ... do take time to read some of the feedback from last year on older CC threads.
  2. The offer and options to upgrade is available once onboard and logged into the ship's WiFi inTRAnet system, and can be done easily DIY via the app or browser. Not as a pre-cruise option. Prices are subject to change, without notice, given NCL's "proven" track records ...
  3. Just call NCL directly to do a mock booking, speak to one of the call center agent, provide them with the code - they will be able to tell you about any restrictions, based on "their' reservation/booking system and of the codes, etc. Then, have an available CruiseNext deposit be applied as well - should be an either go or no good. It sounded like a partial credit or refund from a previous NCL cruise, I believe they can be combined when making a new booking - reduce the final payment & just stacked on top of the deposit credited against the cruise. To play it safe, don't book an upcoming cruise where full payment is due withn 24 hours or less, as you can easily cancel with zero penalty and just tell the agent you will re-consider. As always, not the answers you liked, politely hang up and call, speak to a different agent or ask for a supervisor escalation if you feel the need. Good luck & it's always helpful to others to post your success & outcome. Maybe one of the old-timer regulars #Dexddd with ship/port/propulsion issues, that had these refunds can speak to it from direct experience, yada yada.
  4. Well, we witnessed first hand on the Escape this January during our 2 weeks on how NCL deployed mitigation measures ... sorry to hear about this, but this is more common than one realized, and not "exclusive" to NCL nor other cruiselines ... whenever folks are living/eating in close quarters and eating in fairly confined settings, doesn't take much for this contact illness to get passed around silently. It was noted, with the introduction, that "some" of those that fell illed were crew members ... I have no idea if they ate ashore while off-duty on shore leaves or what. Also learned (post-cruise) that the one of the ship's medical doctor her/himself also got hit by the stomach flu bug ... so much for best practices with infection control. Barf bags were out, portable sanitizer dispensers at the elevators, hallways & corridors and stateroom doors & handles (including bathroom doors) wet wiped down with bleach solutions, etc. etc. Single-use ??) paper menus for the MDR, guests' key cards getting cleansed when handled by crew, etc. It could be worse, at least they aren't distributing N-95 masks and latext gloves (we cruised during the SAR days then, old timers probably remember.) Relax & go with the flow and be vigilant - we "survived" those 9 or 10 days ... and, was one of the grounds for not doing the towel animals & not refilling the ice buckets daily (except by special requests)
  5. @AGard - yes, there are terminals for public use, free - you only "pay" for live "air time" when connected to satellites WiFi @ the iCafe Center, located off the starboard side of the ship in the atrium lobby. For the last sea day (maybe last 2 days before disembarkation) - a "special" is offered, both as a 15 minutes or 30 minutes plan, for those wishing to reconfirm & booking their return flights and onward travel/hotel arrangements. The 30 minutes plan was, trying to recall the specific price, $30 (use those non-refundable OBC, if available ...) - but, caution advised - as WiFi would be sluggish & slowest on those final days when folks tried to log into their travel sites online to select seats & reconfirm flight details, etc. Option - have a trust-worthy family member or friend do this on your behalf and/or have one's own T/A do it. For each PNR booked, had spend as much as 5 minutes just trying to log into the secured sites and wait, especialy if paper BP has to be printed - rather frustrating. It's better with a digital check-in can be done, faster & easier or wait until the ship is within range of cellular signals from land towers to retrieve the passes, as it's usually another 1 to 2 hours before one can actually early disembark.
  6. You buy for the duration of the whole cruise, not for a specific day. But, you can start on day 2 on a 7 day or as late as day 4 on a 15 days cruise, if done onboard with a minor savings. Here are some of the tip sheets/mini-guides available at the ship's iCafe, pick these up on embarkation day for the latest info and changes, if any, etc.
  7. This was from the Escape - I don't believe the Room Service menu has changed recently (or about to ...) to give you a general idea of what to expect. Disclaimer - they are subject to change without notice and there could be variations unique or specific to the ship and region. You can pretty much order as much as you wish, all for a $7.95 convenience fee ... breakfast is complimentary, between 6:30 and 10 am, unless you are ordering the 3 "hot" items.
  8. OP, here are pictures of our GEM oceanview - deck 5, midshop (pictureview) that sleep 3, with 2 of us - the bed on the wall really didn't pose any problems for us. We loved the location, midship but sort of forward, and still not ahead of the front elevators & stairs, and, very quiet below the casino's corrdior above. We've also stay on deck 8 obstructed OV and deck 4 porthold OV. If you don't mind the obstructed lifeboat views, deck 8's cabins have a few with just 2 beds, sleeping 2 - same size; and, I believe several of them are sideways; and those "feel" roomier - you are steps away from O'Sheehan's - just stay a little further away from the staircase & elevators, noises coming from the atrium lobby below (sometimes, but they quiet down by 10 to 11 p.m. except on the last evening ... LOL with the farewell partying) More pix & comments in the Gem review that we did last year ...
  9. This is true whether you are on the social media, timed/MB data plan or unlimited plan, only one registered/activated device can be online at any given time - you can have multiple devices sharing the same billed account with the UID & log-in password that you create yourself. Each new device/user signing in will see a prompt/pop-up that another device is active/online, and give you the option to "boot" that offline so that yours will be "connected" instead. So far so good, now the other person wanted to get back on -s/he can do the same - see the prompt/pop-up, and, then proceed to "boot" the active user/device online OFF. Simple, sounds fun & easy.
  10. Yes, correct - see picture below - on the lower / street level under the elevated "dropoff roadway that is overhead or above - as part of the cruise terminal complex. Visualize the pier as a typical airport terminal - there are designated bus/transportation bays for motorcoaches & buses to pull into ... there will be "reps" with signage, pointing which way to walk toward. No need to cross the wide 12th Avenue when disembarking.
  11. I don't recall seeing an Accessible Inside cabin on the Gem but we've seen the Accessible (obstructed) Oceanview last year - pretty similar with more room. They all were designed with two (2) outlets, one for 110 volts and one for 220 volts ... they look liked the ones in the pictures below (ignore the upper left one, as that's for the BA/Escape) Second pix of that of an Oceanview and setup is typical (beds can be split apart, along the long walls - one outlet is by that table, second outlet is on the opposite wall. You should get in touch with NCL Special Needs - if not already - about your mobility scooter, as it needs to be stored & recharged overnight.
  12. Sorry about incorrect info about outlet availability, there is NONE. There is a 110 volt outlet by the desk and another 220 volt outlet on the opposite long wall by the refrigerator. Some of the cabins (not all) had been updated (from our 2018 Gem cruise, also on a cabin crawl & saw various categories) with bedside USB charging port but they aren't of any use. Yes, you can bring a (long, 12' or 15') long extension cord, just not one with a power strip with surge protection due to maritime fire safety hazards. Route that along the wall under the bed to minimize tripping hazards.
  13. From 2018 - late season in early November on the Halloween "Escape" - the NCL Ferry @ Dockyard to/from Hamilton starts at 9 AM - and each round trip is about 2 hours (basically, return from Hamilton nearly empty at 10 AM). 2nd. run at 11 AM, then 1 PM and 4 PM (last of 4 round trips) - coming back at 12 noon, 2 PM and 5 PM from Hamilton. The first one in the morning will be packed, get there early & join the line - as those on NCL Shorex WILL be there & escorted on first - it is the fastest way to get there, sea conditions permitting ... could be a choppy ride, those prone to motion & seasickness, please "plan" ahead. We took the 11 AM over last November on a Thursday, there're no more than 100 people heading out and far fewer coming back at noon ... The last return is 5 PM and expect that to the crowded. Especially for those with mobility issues, I would consider taking the 3 PM back to Dockyard (and not the last run at 5 PM) - taking the pubic bus to downtown St. George's, then transferring onto the Dockyard bus line is an option, but it isn't accessible friendly ... but, an expensive taxi ride is possible. Ask for the ferry schedule onboard, otherwise, it is posted on the pier at the roped waiting area for boarding, just steps away from the terminal building ... but, be prepared for the sun, heat & UV lights. Ferry's crew are very friendly and helpful, and we watched him assisting frail passengers during the boarding process. Note; these are oversized images, zoomable - ferry's 2018 schedule isn't as clear as it can be.
  14. Off-topic again, hello Az ... I trust all is well, enjoy your upcoming MSC run. We haven't book anything last minute this Spring yet - cancelled plans flying out to West Coast next month, definitely doing a land-based food trip north of the border in early June with the favorable currency exchange rates. Susan's ex-coworkers sailing T/A on the GA shortly & one of BIL/SIL also doing the milky NCL route again with Spring breakers, yike !! Regards - Henry No tricks with the lamb chops like using a smaller plate for optics of being a good-sized portion. It's raining in NY and settling for pasta & pizza, those desserts, arrrrh !! Not showing them to Mrs. M or else, I will be in deep trouble. BTW, is there an alumni gathering for NCL on MSC these days ... ha ha, if not - may I suggest that Az and you & others, consider starting one
  15. Following along, please upload whatever pix you got for the "ship" - how are the interiors of the (yours) staterooms ? Some feel that it's an old ship but it was rather big and refreshing then, we are still on the fence about this "teenager" as it's been a long time (2003 & 2005, yulp) - we still missed the old Blue Lagoon & its *23/6 hours menu, since relocated & renamed O'Sheehan's (Local, for newest ships). How was the crew & if you recall, and, the senior officers/captain, etc. ? Thanks in advance.
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