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Everything posted by mking8288

  1. Whenever we travel, there's always a 6' and 10' USB (2.0 & 3.0) extension cord in the gadget pouch, easier to mix-n-joint together with the stock 3' USB cable for a 9' or 13' reach, 19' with three of them together to safely run them along the wall, out to the balcony. Amazon, Best Buy, eBay or MicroCenter - like the braided ones - minimal bulk & weight, stuff them into a corner or inside a pair of shoes, etc. No bedside outlets that I know of, and even on some of the ships retrofitted with bedside usb lamp & integrated USB charging ports, NOT all the staterooms has them
  2. Facts of life - death is part of that passage, inevitable - final stage/step. Folks live and expire daily, sometimes - while away from their home or normal place of stay, including while in-flight and on a cruise ship. Sad but true, sometimes of natural causes. Other times, due to pre-existing chronic medical conditions and/or acute onset, unexpected events. Then, there are unnatural causes, trauma and accidents, and/or from unplanned encounters (victims of crime). T/A crossing typically has a different, older demographics and longer duration at sea - thus, their final & eternal disembarkation can be expected to take longer due to regulatory requirements by governing, local authorities. I don't necessary see it as news worthy, unless the probable & likely causes of death are deemed suspicious and forensic exams pending. Hazmat response can be called in for a variety of reasons, not necessary for a clean-up ... like those that occuring at health care facilities, prescribed protocol are in place and carried out as indicated. Last but not least, HIPAA and common sense guidelines governed what info is disseminated to the "public" out of respect for privacy wishes. It can be upsetting for those personally involved and/or witnessing it, and keeping it low key and discrete can be helpful toward closure & healing for the loss of loved ones. Imagine if you or your loved one is ... Go to social media for a breaking news announcement and call the news desks to go live ? I think not. My two cents, of course. Feel free to disagree. RIP for those that departed on their final sailing in life.
  3. mking8288

    Is Seoul DIY?

    OP, have a look at this on TripAdvisor - pretty much validates what others said already, with a little more specfic about ground transportation at the Icheon Int'l Cruise Terminal. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294197-i8161-k10242107-Help_with_Exact_way_to_go_from_Cruise_Terminal_to_Seoul-Seoul.html First, what is on your must do sightseeing list - whether it's DIY or guided tour, or via ship's Shorex ?? It might help to narrow things down & come up with a short list. 1. Most taxi drivers in SK do not speak English, int'l taxis for "foreigners" at ICN airport are available, priced higher & probably much harded to find at the port, in town, etc. Airport's help/visitor's desk helped us write down our hotel's name, address for us to show the taxi driver ... dispatcher/supervisor on duty outside at the taxi stands speak a little English, the rest of them will just smile, wave & point. 2. Use/setup offline mode with Google Translate - you will find it handy & useful. Download & save offline Google Maps. WiFi are widely available all over SK, super fast - like 5G speed, amazing speedy & free at the airport - cafe use might require a purchase, coffee is like $4 USD (high standard of living). 3. Traffic in SK is horrible, miserable but orderly - friendly - no horn honking, but slow as in moving gridlocks. Patience & allow extra time are the keys to getting around, buses & taxis aren't any faster - different subway/trains (local, express & high speed options - depending on where, when = how ... transfers probably needed and signage can be confusing, not as visitors friendly as in Japan, Taiwan or Singapore, etc.) If you need help/directions - ask the younger/college age generation for best chance ... older folks most likely willing to but unable to assist. 4. Cruise terminal is near the ICN (Int'l) Airport and at least 75 to 90 minutes to downtown/city centre - depending on time/day/traffic conditions - AM rush hour starts early, ends late & start up early for the afternoon rush, into the mid evening - probably 1.5 to 2 hours each way, at least via taxi, bus or "private transfer". Based on the M's schedule that I'm reading, your actual time in exploring & seeing things in Seoul is about 5 hours, no more than 6 hours - subtracting 4 hours of transfer time - pick & choose what you want/like to see carefully, lunch on the go / quick bite ... same for light dinner, to get back to ship with the evening rush. 5. Cosmetics & skin care products are excellent buy & priced low/nice - DW loved them all. Everything else - shopping wise is expensive, except at authorized duty-free shops (know your "home" prices ... ) Get some SK Won (KRW) or dollars handy/available for fares, small purchases - credit cards widely accepted everywhere. Tipping is NOT expected nor required in general.
  4. Hey, woohoo ... I dunno either - besides, got nothing to do with customer service, for their own (in)convenience. OK, seriously - let me give it my spin, just a semi-educated guess - with these repo (between Miami & NY ... a little further than Port Canaveral. and no passengers onboard, just whoever is on the bridge & crew ... working, cleaning, maybe a little partying in between - on their own off-duty time). First, sailing before midnight - NCL get to charge for that day's DSC. Yay for FDR & stockholders. Boo for cruise passengers. Port charges & fees, taxes ... it's a win-win, maybe - depending on who's asked and responding. I stay out of the mud bath & debate, etc. Running (near) top or full speed, all ahead for NY - NCL ships generally need 2.5 days at sea to sail between these ports. In this case, they unload pax on Friday morning in a hurry and can sail, as early as noon northward. Some 50 - 55 hours later, hightailing on its fast run into NY Lower Bay by late Sunday afternoon or evening for a sunset arrival. Between these 2 ports - need time to restock & provisioning, and take on inbound passengers, luggage & crew transfer (if any - to/from shore leaves or vacation) ... boarding 4,500 pax do take time, 3 to 4 hours isn't uncommon. Pax flying in on "free" NCL Air (if any & offered/booked) should have plenty of time to make it from LGA, closest & mostly hated airport with its short 7,000 runway ... herd the late ones to the buffet, saving a few MDR meals not served, for nickels & dimes saved. Starting to make sense, huh. Run the mandatory muster drill at 10:30 pm hopefully before the seniors go to sleep & the overeaten ones doze off - an on-time departure (hopefully) passing the Statue of Liberty at 11:30 pm for a late night sailing under the VZ Bridge at midnight ... hold a star-gazing party. Extra bonus, room stewards don't need to do evening turn-down services, set it once & good until the next morning to resume regular routines ... "they" win, again. No pom poms. Weather factors, rough seas, tides, CBP & PHS inspections, Right Whales sightings, etc. will simply complicate the timing further leaving at 11 pm. Actually, there are some crazy itineraries next year - 4 nights round-trip between NY & Bermuda ... Marketing and accounting, apparently done their financial analysis on P&L, being it return on Labor Day weekend. P.S. Dexddd - below / this is for you ... first, my BIL & now one of the nieces rubbing it (embarked from Spain 3 days ago) ... Mrs. M now demanding to seriously look into options for 2020 & beyond, "am in "trouble" or not) Meanwhile, some of the early booking prices on NCL for 2020 are plain silly & ridiculous, either we find & nail some last minute ones on a good/fair price or else, stay on air-land-fly options. I know ... what you are going to tell us.
  5. Hotel package w. extended park & stay to/from Red Hook's Brooklyn pier, never read/heard about it - highly unlikely since the round-trip toll costs to the driver/vehicle is somewhere around $40 ... unless it's a Staten Island, NY one in the direction of Bayonne or Goethals Bridge off the SIE or Rt 440 - which would make any kind of Manhattan sightseeing a time-consuming one (SI Ferry & SOL would be easy)
  6. Pre-2015 dry dock, Gem's Bliss Lounge was just as inviting ... No views whatsoever, lights on a dimmer ?? with dozens of loungers & oversized sofa and several beds ... bring your own pillows, blankets & throws - optional. Hardly anybody inside when we've roaming around, let alone seeing anyone taking a nice nap. Remodeled since, last time we're there for the Latitude CruiseNext marketing seminar/reception - beds were gone.
  7. mking8288


    Hello, Muriel - what are your interests, seeing Taipei ? Looks like your stop is actually mid-April on a weekday, 7 am docking & 7 pm sailing from KL. Are you into food/dining, shopping, musuem & history (not everyone into them) or maybe seeing Buddist temples (hundreds of them, all over TW island) or nature ? Probably, a combo of several - while mindful of the port time - taxi around the city, train (on a schedule) could be more reliable & dependable - figure 1 hour to 90 minutes each way, including some walking to the nearest station. By taxi or Uber/equivalent - depending on traffic, it can be as little as 45 minutes ... driver's English/language proficiency might be limited - Google Translate (off-line mode) and/or pre-written destination/info in Chinese would be helpful to show, point & ask around. The various musuems & memorials are good for photos, maybe watch the changing of the military honor guard on the parade grounds (not really fancy, but ...) and a meal / coffee & dessert stop at Taipei 101 (once the tallest building in the world) with all the indoor mall shops, eatery and food courts, cafe in the basement. Ride to the top - buying admission tickets in advance is recommended, lines or queues can be long - we just didn't have time. The shopping district and the eatery aren't far from city centre, easy taxi ride away or underground subway, etc. KL's train station isn't far from the cruise terminal where all the ships docked, less than a 10 minutes easy walk on flat pavement - should be easy to find/ask the visitor's desks at the port or even locals to point you the way. Signage for popular tourist spots are bilingual in English - download Google offline maps to use ... cruise ship maps or guides often don't really help, not to scale. We're at the museum above & kind of rush thru seeing the artifacts, the crowds then were crazy - I can spend 3/4 day but DW has no patience for it. Have you checkout TripAdvisor for ideas - Youtube has virtual tours too ... Checkout this article for ideas - see these visuals from our trip 4 years ago, anything appealing ?? https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/taipei-itinerary/ Did an escorted deluxe land tour around the entire island - many places just can't be done off the ship for 12 or 18 hours, even overnight ... missing the infamous night market's sights, sound, smell, taste and real food - only 2 nights in Taipei then. If & when we go back, just going to do & stay longer in Taipei.
  8. Almost has nothing to share, report or comment on ... upcoming GEM 8 nights sailing (Dec. 13th - NY / FL / Bahamas) - already down to the single digit dance with folks, 7 Days To Go only. Sail Away prices in multiple categories dipped to its lowest point more than 5 or 6 weeks ago, as the Upgrade Bidding opened up at 80 days, with a very substantial across-the-board unsold inventory shown (on the "other" site, not allowed to mention/share ... sorry) Balcony SA-GTY (Exclude Offers) as low as that of Oceanviews, only slightly above Insides ... some folks were able to call in, ask for and got free, no-cost upgrades (or, minimal upcharge) - even from Balconies to Mini Suites (all on Deck 11) Haven inventory was still available in most categories - except for the 2 Garden Villas, already sold out ... months ago. Prices then reversed and bounced higher, never returned to its lowest (earlier, as noted above - inside Final Payment / penalty window) First to go / disappear - listed as SOLD OUT - were the Haven sub-categories, all gone weeks ago. Then, the remaining suites gone - followed by about a month ago, the mini's and most of the balconies ... remaining were the OV and I/S. An exceptional pattern - solo discounts never seen/noted - supplement not waived - for the last 2+ months. For all practical purposes, the itinerary / cruise disappeared on NCL dot com and even when it showed up, sometimes all "Sold Out" even for Insides - when mock booking was done. This is a "different" pattern and trending, not the usual ones - maybe, it is the result of "RateGain" model being applied by NCL here. My translations - path to a successful & winning "Upgrade" bid is / was little to none/impossible as everything appeared sold out. No subsequent shared reports by anyone (Roll Call) of a winning bid to Haven, or to a suite, or upgrade to a mini, or upgrade to a balcony. Not really seeing anyone else posting directly on other recent past Gem sailings (sailed this Monday to the Caribbean ... next up, the holiday cruise to the Caribbean, definitely sold out & beyond full double occupancy) Long story - 2 days ago, we lost on Inside sideway, midship on Deck 8 (IA category) and ending up on Deck 5, midship (O1) with a picture-window family oceanview. Both sleep up to 4 and both starboard side. Since other bids are possibly still pending, up to 2 days prior (5 more days) - withholding the winning" amount charged. Let's just say ours - inside the fair range on the scale/meter, passed the "poor" border ... a little higher than we typically will "offer". Bid for balcony failed - that's right around poor/fair. Min. bid was $25 for OV and $50 for "B" - which would barely move the pointer on the meter/scale. Sometimes, we get our Balcony bids accepted, other times (like this one) - we only get our OV wish - at least, our batting average is still pretty good. Forward looking, perhaps NCL is going to take some of the higher/est bids earlier than the past, then move downward to the next lower tier & work on filling up those cabins - releasing them for those lined up below to get upgraded ... sooner than last minute. Just my guess, of course on the Calculus game.
  9. "Free" shuttles are not designed for dis/embarkation passengers with luggage as there is no provisions for bags. They are courtesy coaches that typically go to Kowloon Bay/Mall next to the MTR - given the recent/current "situations" in HK with the unrest & unpredictable disruptions (including mass transit) ... I second the advice to queue up for a taxi - direct to get to your local destination, anywhere from $10 to $15, maybe $20 USD to popular drop-off in-town (hotels) Airport should run about $45 to $55 including toll & tips (10%). Airport Express train sometimes will skip/bypass or not stop at the nearest Kowloon AE Station - not practical nor advisable to cross the harbour to island side for the AE trip. Safe travel !
  10. CCBS (and across the side street - Ron Jon) is attached/connected to the hotel, with a Starbucks (free WiFi) & restrooms. Walk across the main road and one block to the south is a McD (free WiFi) as part of a strip mall (liquor store ? not 100% sure) - opposite the direction of the public beach. No changing facilities that I recall, wear your swimwear before leaving the ship - there is running water to rinse off loose sands at the beach entrance. It's about 10 minutes from the cruise terminals but a very, very long walk due to restricted/prohibited access for pedestrian via the bridge. Shuttles pickup to return to the piers all meet/wait/leave from there, just make sure you get back on the "correct" one for NCL, etc. Taxis also available, charged by headcount.
  11. HI Chelsea on W. 26th Street would get my vote, with the givens - you can see many attractions on food. NY will be warm by early May, comfortable walking shoes - nearby, you can access the Highline Park & Chelsea Market indoor mall. Do not stay at the ancient/historic Hotel Penn next to/above NY Penn train station - a walk thru the lobby is fine. Frugal travel - if you pack & travel light and can do steps/stairs when elevators & escalators are not nearby, ground transport from LGA to the hotel can be done via Q70 SBS limited airport bus to transfer to the subway to W. 23rd Street F line station stop, for a 3 blocks walk to the hotel. Flying out via JFK, quite walkable to NY Penn train station or even via subway out to Jamaica subway/LIRR station to connect to the JFK AirTrain (similar to YVR in Richmond, BC) - or via a flat rate yellow taxi trip from anywhere in Manhattan to JFK (only) - including a toll, tips & surcharge, etc. for about $75 USD. Weekdays, the HoHo bus loop can be slow despite the bus-only lane - downtown portions is better suited, midtown & elsewhere - walking is sometimes just as fast. By using a Metro card for bus/subway fare, you can get a one-time free transfer between the bus/subway (valid for about 2 to 2.5 hours ...)
  12. mking8288

    Is Hong Kong safe?

    Mid-week - with a heads-up for those heading to/disembark/embark in HK this weekend/early next week, to be aware of (as it pertain to cruising/cruise & airport/ground travel) ... SCMP news site should/will likely be reporting them as well: Dec 7 - Sat. Call to disrupt airport access - bridge/highway access in the early afternoon. Airport Express train should not be affected. Bus, taxi & private vehicle will likely be impacted - if they are able to ... Expect police presence, including checkpoints & roadblocks, etc. Dec 8 - Sun. Large scale gathering in Victoria Park to Central, via Wan Chai area (HK island side) - starting at 15:00 hours. Avoid the island and beware of disruptions are possible in other areas to distract and divert law enforcement resources. This is a major flash point/hotspot. Stay tuned to local, live news & alert, etc. Cruisers ... this could be the "all hands on deck" and sounding the "general alarm" drill ... with another call for a midnight deadline. Dec 9 - Mon. Call for Triple Strike ... General Strike if demands aren't met overnight by authorities. Impact unknown - morning commute & travel can be a serious problem all around. That's it for now, please exercise caution and be mindful.
  13. Party of 4, with 2 school-aged children, what is on your bucket list of things to do, places to see, and any preference for dining ... going back & forth between NJ and NY can add up, both time & money. First time visiting NYC or been here before, familiar and/or comfortable with taking the subways ? Are you driving a 4 door sedan or mini-van/suv ? Commercial garages in NYC will surcharge for parking anything other than a sedan, aside from roof-top parking at the pier and NJ hotels ... Park on the Hudson River's NY Waterway's garage for the day, ride the ferry across & start your sightseeing can be an option. Another would be to drive into NY early enough (before 10 am) for a weekend early-bird/all day parking special for maybe $25 to $30+19% taxes/fees - do the rest on foot & subway. Many options & possibilities to zoom in and narrow down. BTW, welcome to CC with your post #1 on the count.
  14. I-95 construction advisory around Stamford, CT area - well, on weekday mornings - beware of commuters & the bottleneck, lots of folks drive to/from NY-CT across the state lines each day. The choke is at the NYS line where it split to/from the I-287 toward White Plains/Tappan Zee Bridge - stretched & extend up to Exit 6 or 7 at the Stamford exits. It doesn't look like they will be done anytime soon. Coming from NYC/Westchester toward CT/MA - it can backup for quite a few miles. Narrow lanes & bypass onto the shoulder lanes. Use Waze/Google Map or whatever real-time GPS aid to help plan that drive into NY. Add 15 minutes to the planned trip time for a weekday morning, just in case ... heading to MCT for the Gem sailing, a 90 minutes drive time should suffice via 138East/Carol's shortcut thru the area via the Cross County Pkwy. Another idea - if you want to get thru the Stamford bottleneck that night instead - also, look at Yonkers, NY as the place to call it a night, just north of NYC - almost nearly Riverdale, off the I-87 or Cross County Pkwy - I see a Hampton & Courtyard at reasonable rates, 1 or 2 notch more than rates in CT (about $120/night + taxes/fees). From that area, easy to connect to the Henry Hudson at Riverdale, cross the river into upper Manhattan & continue south to MCT - 30 to 45 minutes toward the tail end of morning rush hour - relatively safe & easy. Checkout Tripadvisor reviews first.
  15. Non-refundable OBC can be "cashed" out as cash at the casino, with a 3% fee (for your convenience, of course) - you can then use it as desired, like handing the server a cash tip for service excellence, above & beyond - i.e. for that comp'd Platinum/+ dinner for 2, should one choose to (whether it's 10%, 15%, 18% or 20% ... of the "adjusted" fair retail value of the meal). As others noted, NCL is purposely vague in guidance on whether additional tipping and/or service charge is expected, recommended ... but always cheerfully accepted & welcome, regardless of who is pocketing it all or allocated by splitting/sharing. Just do what you feel is appropriate ... the server isn't going to come & chase anyone down for not leaving extra With cash in hand, you can use that to indirectly cover some of that DSC. Friend of ours failed to do that with their non-refundable OBC, thinking that it would offset their DSC ... saying he knew the charges were posted nightly, until it was too late on the morning of disembarkation, forfeited $150.
  16. The problems at Pier 88 quite possibly related to 2 broken/out of service gangways on one side of the terminal, promptly ships to dock on the opposite side next to the Intrepid SASM. According to NJH's live update onboard the Gem this morning, the building was/is without heat ... not nice/good either. More particulars might be posted here ... next Friday, both the Bliss & Gem will be back, docking at P88 ?? and P90 - going to get interesting, for sure. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2714167-norwegian-gem-122-back-in-ny-still-on-the-hudson-not-pier-88-yet/?do=findComment&comment=58884310 When we came off the Dawn this Spring in NY, crew on the gangways did a great job, managing the flow of foot traffic onto the pier's long "sidewalk" into the building ... and it was nice, warm & sunny then. CBP has been using facial recognition for a while to speed most thru the screening ... but, things happen.
  17. Oh mine, thanks for all that. I was trying to follow some of the comments on the Roll Call about all this, yike - this can still be ugly next Friday, with both the Bliss & Gem coming back the same morning from the Caribs for another turnaround. Not having heat isn't nice but for many, not eating until 4 or 5 pm ... not good at all. Did NCL issued alerts, text messages or robocalls to try to alert those in-bound to the pier about delayed boarding ? Well, seas looking much calmer now, still choppy earlier; and, ship was flying along at 22+ knots (no engine/propulsion issues) last night off NJ coast before it gone out of AIS tracking range. Oops, between this & what NJH posted above - beginning to see more pieces of the broken puzzle, explained the reason for the Bliss to be docked on the other side of Pier 88. Broken gangways should not affect the building's heating system - unless, it's down for maintenance too. In all fairness, these are port facilities and not really problems that NCL can directly "fix" on the dime ... but, surely - the cruiseline will take the heat, in part for not possibly alerting the passengers, fairly or not. Oddly enough, our friends that came off the Bliss on Sunday morning, at Pier 88, said their disembarkation was smooth, easy & quick ... unlike boarding the week earlier. Well, I hope that some of these issues get worked out & resolved, folks on next week's Roll Calls should get a heads-up on these ... and, our turn to see the "dump" first hand.
  18. Google Voice calling over WiFi from abroad back to the USA has been free, always and should remain so - established ours 10 years ago. It has a nominal charge calling abroad to another country, i.e. Taiwan to South Korea was/is 4 cents a minute over WiFi (this can be done on Androids but also works great using an iPhone) Google launched Hangout several years ago in an effort to replace GV, but lately - reconsidered & in the process of phrasing HO out, back to GV again. GV can be configured to work together with HO, and use the HO "Dialer" but it can be disconnected. Just use GV's "Dialer" to make calls - with either Apps, do NOT use the stock/device's Dialer, as that can route calls over cellular (roaming = $$) data. Back to OP's question, any of the WiFi plan/minutes should work on GV and/or HO while at sea, just make sure cellular data (home or roaming) is turned off or disabled. The social media package is said to work too - we just don't want / need it. Going to be on another NCL ship next weekend - and will re-test Skype, GV, HO, FBM, WA and spouse's WeChat option to re-evaluate functions. It would be foolish for NCL to block and restrict WiFi calling and VoIP calls by closing UDP/TCP comm ports. I know for sure, that, six months ago - we used another VoIP App, "Ooma" which uses/display our ported "home" number to call back home from Canada while at sea, it worked great w. HD voice quality. Unlimited WiFi with streaming (on NCL) will most definitely work with WiFi and VoiP calling - it is their top of the line package and $$. For enterprise/G-Suite accounts using Hangouts - it has been replaced by HO Chats and Meet. Google needs to make up their minds about launching, pushing & retiring all these products - supposingly, HO for consumers will come to an end in 2020, who knows for sure ... Google Voice, it seemed, will stay and be around - and most calls made remained free. Confusing, just Google for the latest ... LOL. For us, Google Fi and Google Voice/Hangout together is a great combo - 200+ countries, except while at sea - a little satellite WiFi will do for urgent/emergency use, gotta love those 30/60 free P/+ minutes when we are on a NCL ship.
  19. That helped explained a piece of the puzzle b/c I tracked the GEM late last night north of south NJ, north of Atlantic City doing around 10 knots - later than her "typical/usual coordinates" for the late evening hours. Typically "should" be going faster at 15 or 16 knots to make up for its lateness. Unless, maybe, could it be rough seas, choppy waters & waves - rain itself should not be a deciding factor. Don't believe you folks had anything close to gale force wind across the bow/stern. Yesterday morning, the Bliss was in super, super early - at Pier 88 by 8 am, our friends on her ... promptly did the turnaround & sail on time at 3 pm. The first wave of Express Walkoff and/or Haven guests didn't get cleared to leave until noon ... (and, I read on this week's Roll Call that they didn't reached a zero count for disembarkation until 2:30 or 3 pm - that's rather miserable - can't imagine anyone but with evening flights making it, if they had to fly home, with the weather.) Do you recall who is/was CD and/or the rest of the senior NCL officers on the ship.
  20. Gem is finally on her way ... backing out of Pier 88 within the last few minutes. Bon Voyage ! According to posts on the Roll Call, folks were waiting at overflow hold - Pier 90 for the ship to reach a zero count as late as 3 pm ... some with higher group #'s were still not called to go over at 5 pm. Footnote: even if folks with flights after 1 or 2 pm (or, rebooked them with most travel waivers issued by legacy airlines) - not sure if they can make the ground transfer and to the airport(s) in time ... LGA with 2.5 hours delay, JFK at 90+ minutes delay and EWR with 3+ hours delay and of course, what truly matter is individual's flight and airline.
  21. If by chance, those disembarking today have the inside "scoop" for the late arrival, please feel free to share & comment. Overnight, saw the Gem tracked on Marinetraffic, just north of Altantic City, doing under 10 knots & not in a hurry - could've easily get to the pier by 9 or 10 am, unless seas were choppy with the rough weather ... Curious minds like to know 👴 BTW, if those on her were at the M&G, kindly post who's who among the senior officers, ie. Captain, HD, CD, F&B, Concierge & Butler, etc. - folks on next week's Roll Call would love to know ahead and thank you in advance. Scheduled to sail at 16:00 today and return next Friday at 10:00 - safe to bet that she isn't going to leave the pier on time for another South Caribbean trip.
  22. Most of the time, NCL ships don't need / want to run all 4 engines to drive the pods, power generation, etc. onboard - fuel consumption/economy being among the reasons. If she is averaging 20 knots, then it suggested to me that all 4 engines were running - similar to a car engine with 6,000 or 7,000 rpm redline, it is more efficient to run in the optimal range - somewhere between 2,000 to 3,000 rpm on ours and that's above the posted speed limit in gears. Chef ChangKP75 should be able to offer his tech expertise on this - on this class of ships, it's fairly common to run between 15 to 20 knots, maybe 21 or 22 knots with a good tailwind - of course, we've been/rode them at 23 to 24 knots, almost 25 when pushed to "punch" thru bad weather, rough seas & get away from stormy weather. Passenger/crew or ride comfort, tend to take a toll. Relax, plenty of time for any & all regular maintenance and some of the "repairs" can be done with techs & engineers onboard, depending on the issues, parts & work required. Distance between some of the ports, including the ABC aren't that far apart ... not like going across the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico, etc.
  23. Lyft is available in NYC (just like Uber ... both FHV are regulated under jurisdiction of NYC's T&LC - inspected & insured, etc.) ... they should be readily available at/near area airports, cruise terminals and most of Manhattan. Many drivers are on both ride-sharing platform. Taxis and FHV are now subject to a congestion surcharge for ALL pickup & dropoff in Manhattan, south of 60th Street, river to river - $2.50 or $2.75 per trip/ride, along with other (small) regulatory fees/rush-hour add-on, etc. Still prefer to use car service & their mobile app when on the go - Carmel. Others prefer Dial 7. For us, Lyft used as a backup/last resort option - 2 to 3 times a year, on average.
  24. I'm in favor of this "motion" that it isn't easy to swing or flip that handle 90 degree to lock/unlock the sliding balcony door (Breakaway & Escape) There is (by design, should be on all the ships - including Bliss, Joy, Encore, etc.) an extra safety lock/sliding bolt mechanism near the top of the sliding door frame - from inside the stateroom. I wouldn't under-estimate the 6 or 7 years old ability to figure this out - especially s/he watch the adults locking it. Think about it, 3 and 4 years old had been known to fall out of high-rise building with window guards, sadly. However, to do that -a chair, stool or other means - needed to reach high up, remove that and it's less likely and limit the odds. There is a single sitting stool in these staterooms - put that out on the balcony before locking up the sliding door from the inside. Wait, children should NOT and never be left unattended in the cabin without an adult being there to supervise ... use KidQuest or whatever other resources are available !!
  25. Our friends just came off the Bliss yesterday - a few remarks from them. It's a nice ship, holiday sailing and packed with plenty of children & teens (unconfirmed, someone said around 1,200 onboard) - but it wasn't all that bad. They managed to get to do their daily workouts in the fitness center. Food was okay, not impressed with some of the menu changes (discussed elsewhere ... ) but it is what it is. They used their 3 SDP and WiFi worked - used their 250 minutes. First 2 days, entire ship was on full alert since the previous sailing's noro-like outbreack (apparently & compared to the Joy ... not as bad) as the stepped up measures were scaled back/lowered by the 3rd. day. Booked thru CAS for an Oceanview - GTY only as none was available to be selected, assigned was an in-category upgrade to a larger family OV that sleep up to 5 or 6, Deck 5 midship ... starboard side. No issues whatsoever with choppy or rough seas, if any and she being afraid of chilly weather, didn't mind not staying in a balcony. Disembarked and manage to take home a small win from the casino. As for the itinerary and stops, nothing to write about - too short in PC, stayed onboard. Managed to tender & go ashore at GSC ... and Nassau, well.
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