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About lizp

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Burlington, Ontario
  • Interests
    Travel, TV, Quilting
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, RCI, NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. You can and should absolutely do both! Sintra is beautiful, we have been twice on two separate trips, both times going to Quinta da Regaleira, where it is truly a pleasure just to wander the grounds. We've had excellent experiences with We Hate Tourism Tours on multiple tours with them. Very accommodating, fun tours that run a bit off the beaten path of your typical touristy excursion.
  2. I hope you and your friend have a wonderful cruise!
  3. If I lived my life like this, I would never be able to go on another vacation again, unless it was within walking distance of my home. Planes, trains and automobiles -- plus any boat larger than a canoe, and also trams, subways, rollercoasters -- all have the potential to make me VERY motion-sick. VERY. Pretty much anything that moves, fast or slow, straight or loopy, can and probably will make me green around the gills. Sometimes I can just deal with it, if it's a short-lived adventure like a water taxi in Stockholm, but if I'm on a long, bumpy plane ride, I'd rather pop one of those M&M Dramamines than enjoy the contents of my stomach a second time. Knowing that there are drugs I can take to alleviate that discomfort is a WONDERFUL thing, and I am not afraid to rely on modern medicine now and then for my own comfort and well-being. It has been my experience that people who have never experienced motion-sickness simply can not comprehend just how awful it is. There are even people out there who think motion-sickness is just a mental thing and not a physical reaction and those of us suffering should just "get over it" and we'll be fine. If you are not experienced in something, why are you weighing in? Who are you to judge how someone else lives their lives?
  4. I recently posted about my experiences with both the patch and bonine: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2579682-seasick-patches/?tab=comments#comment-56379888 As I find with many different types of medications I've taken, if there is a side effect, I will get it! The side effects of the patch became too much for me and I switched to Bonine and was completely fine!!! As someone who can get motionsickness from turning around too quickly, it was WONDERFUL!
  5. I did not think of ANY of those factors....! Definitely the majority of guests on our sailing fell firmly in the retiree-age bracket, longer cruises tend to be tough to get enough vacation time for, I guess! It did seem like nearly everyone we saw had the UBP, but I don't recall a frat-style party atmosphere, just a lot of folks thoroughly enjoying their time and their drinks in the bars and lounges! The rowdiest crowds we saw were in the lounge at the champagne bar...... There was a piano player doing sing-along hits most nights who seemed to have a bit of a cult following -- the ladies LOVED him, and the singing along was..... well..... you can imagine what drunken ladies singing along to a mediocre piano player sounds like! I imagine the length of the cruise (and thus the cost) definitely steers the population towards being more mature and/or professional.... Taking 2 full weeks off is not a luxury everyone has in their job, and paying the costs for a 2 week cruise probably prices it out of the average cruiser's budget.
  6. It is possible that the length of the cruise helped to contribute, as it seemed like you had great opportunity to get to know the staff quite well! The biggest difference we saw was in personal service -- waiters, bartenders, stateroom attendants especially were much more friendly and cheerful, happy to chat and happy to be providing you with a service while on vacation. Having cruised Celebrity and RCI prior to our first cruise on NCL, we were used to the magic of literally everyone knowing your name, but on Jade that just didn't seem to happen. It's such a small thing, but always so nice to feel remembered, and it feels like when you're remembered that you get better service -- does that make sense? So maybe on the 2 week stint we felt more remembered? I know I have read a ton of experiences on NCL's larger ships here on CC (love those live reviews!), and seem to see a higher number of complaints than I've seen for the smaller Jewel class ships. Maybe the smaller ship size -- so smaller crew and fewer passengers -- just lends itself to a nicer experience for everyone? I can't point to any one thing that made this cruise so much better than the last, but much like the death-by-a-thousand-cuts leading to overall disappointment, this seemed like all those little things were just that much better and made for an overall better experience!
  7. Great to read this honest review, thank you for taking the time! Also, congrats on your anniversary! Your experience reminds me very much of the first time we cruised with NCL, on Jade (review here: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=516183). That cruise was not our choice of ship or itinerary (it was a work perk bonus trip, so no complaints!) and we were quite disappointed in the overall service and felt very nickle-and-dimed. It wasn't a terrible trip, but it felt like there were a pile of little things that were just not quite right, and when those add up, you're not happy. I totally sympathize with your feeling that this trip was a bit lackluster. We vowed not to cruise with NCL again... but "never say never," we just got off two weeks on Pearl and LOVED every minute of it! (We chose the cruise based more on itinerary than ship, so we felt the itinerary was worth the "risk" of trying NCL again.) We felt that NCL had really stepped up their game comparing one cruise to the other.... Service was way better, food was better, drinks were better, pretty much everything across the board was improved. (Embarkation and Debarkation in Tampa were a bit of nightmare, but that's another story for another time...) In preparing for this most recent cruise, I read review after review after review here on CC. For the same sailings, there'd be one guest complaining about literally everything, and how terrible the entire trip was. Next review, same ship, same date, 5-star, happy guest, best trip ever! I think so much of the cruise experience is based on expectation, and it is so easy for the little things to leave you feeling disappointed.
  8. Resurrecting an old-ish thread to report on my first experience with Transderm Scop patches. I get motion sickness. BAD. Doesn't matter how smooth the seas are or how good the driver is, I get sick. I have made myself car sick when I'M THE DRIVER, that's how sensitive I am. I'd done 3 cruises prior, and done ok with no medication or just Gravol and a nap when things got bad. But the worst I'd experienced was on NCL Jade (in very calm Mediterranean), and knowing I was going on NCL Pearl, I knew I needed to try something. I got the patch and I got Bonine as a backup. Ginger pills (or other forms) do nothing for my seasickness, and Gravol, while amazing, knocks me out, so not really practical for day-to-day use. We bought the patch here in Canada (at Costco, where they are SUPER cheap in comparison to over-the-counter at the pharmacy, and you do not need a membership to buy something from Costco pharmacy). I tend to experience side effects on a lot of drugs, but my mom (who also hits the side-effect lottery a lot) had just gotten off a trans atlantic cruise and used them with no ill effects, so I was optimistic. Days 1-3 on the patch were GLORIOUS. I could not stop exclaiming to my travel companions at how delighted I was that I wasn't feeling motion sick AT ALL. I could feel the boat moving, and I knew I *should* be feeling a little green around the gills, but it was GREAT! Starting around day 4 I started getting dry mouth. Ok, that's a manageable side effect, just drink more water, suck ice or hard candies. Another couple of days in and I had THE WORST SORE THROAT I have ever had. I thought I might have strep throat, it was SO bad. Another common side effect, but this was agony, and stressful to boot, as I worried about the cost of a doctor's visit, even with insurance. After a terrible dinner where I burst into tears before the appetizers even arrived, I decided that no amount of relief from motion sickness was worth this misery. I whipped off the patch and went to my backup option: Bonine. Bonine is not available in Canada, but I'd ordered a couple of boxes on Amazon delivered to my travel companion's home in Florida pre-cruise. I got enough to last me for the duration of the cruise at 2 pills per day, so I had plenty for my 2 week cruise. You guys! Bonine did the trick!!! The transition from the patch to the Bonine was seamless, the sore throat faded and so did the dry mouth (though not as much, it was still quite dry on the Bonine but not as bad as on the patch). I am so so so amazed at how well this worked for me! Bonus effect: no car-sickness on excursion buses on horrible bumpy windy roads! I felt a bit more tired than I would normally, but vacations are the best time to take naps! I even *enjoyed* the motion of the boat rocking me to sleep at night! We experienced a few days of very high cross-winds on our cruise, so there was a TON of motion on the ship..... I am still amazed at how well I felt through all of it! I am over the moon at how well the Bonine worked. I will talk to my doctor about getting Meclizine in Canada, but we are in the US enough that I can keep a stock on hand with a stop at the pharmacy when we're visiting.
  9. Woah, that's a HUGE time difference! I HATE when flight times change. We had flights booked last summer (not for a cruise) where the original booking allowed us a 2-ish hour layover at JFK. Subsequent flight time revisions (I think there were FIVE!! revisions) left us with 38 minutes.... Which was within the airline's allowable layover time for JFK, but left me VERY anxious about making the connection. We managed to get to our gate with about 8 minutes to spare.
  10. Hmmmmm.... When we cruised on NCL Jade a few years ago, our cabin was adjacent to our travel companions (friends, not relatives). We asked our steward about opening the divider, and he told us no, and that they would only open them for immediately family in adjacent cabins (as it allows access to your cabin from the adjacent cabin and thus is a security risk, but ok for families, apparently). Our friend used a pair of tweezers to "unlock" the divider (it was just a hole with a rotating socket that latched it, so very easy to do), so we enjoyed our double balcony together, and we just closed it over when we weren't in our cabins. I guess I a) shouldn't have done this! and b) shouldn't be telling you this! 🤣
  11. I have a couple of thoughts.... 1. It being winter and NYC, lots and lots of people have very pricey (generally with winter coats, pricey = warm!) winter coats. I'm in Canada, and lots and lots of people I know spend a large amount of money to be warm while they walk or wait for public transit in the winter. Just look at the prices on the VERY popular Canada Goose jackets, and consider the prices of typical ski and snowboard jackets to get a sense of how easy it is to have a winter jacket that is an investment piece. It doesn't have to be flashy or fur to have cost a lot of money. 2. Is it possible that the new guests in the room (or even the room steward) thought the coats belonged to the previous (exiting) guests and turned them in to guest services, then the coats were taken off-ship to try to reunite with the debarking guests? Someone else also recommended checking in with lost-and-found, which is always a possibility. 3. I agree with many of the previous posters that the coats should NEVER have been left in a room that was not their own. But, what is done is done, can we just try to help the OP try to navigate the situation?
  12. Ship - Pearl Deck - 9 Stateroom # - 9020 (also same comments for 9040) Stateroom Category – BC Starboard or Port Side - Starboard Quiet Stateroom? (With comments on problems) –Very quiet Was stateroom a connecting stateroom? - No Balcony View - Give comments on view, noting if location of any obstructions was an issue. – Great location, and could see into the bridge overhang, which was kind of cool! Balcony Size? Normal or oversized for class? - Normal. Space for 2 chairs and a teeny tiny table. Was wind a problem? - No If an aft cabin, was soot a problem? - N/A Any specific problems with this cabin? - We LOVED it, especially the balcony! Just enough room for 2 (I don't know how more than 2 ever enjoy a standard size stateroom though!), closet had plenty of hangers, lots of shelf space, 3 well-sized drawers. I liked that there was a light in the closet, but I didn't even notice it until halfway through the cruise! Enough outlets, and the USB ports in the bedside sconces were great! Asked for foam mattress topper after first night, bed was perfectly soft and comfy after that. I wish there had been room for a second bedside table, but hubby made do with putting his stuff on the adjacent sofa bed. Shower mixing valve seems a little crazed... when the ship would move side to side, the temperature would increase or decrease slightly... More of a quirk than a real issue for me. Air conditioning was never quite cold enough for our tastes, but we like it cool! Walking past the bed is a bit of a one-way street, but we made it work. Any other comments? - Close to the elevator, but out of the way so not a lot of noisy traffic in the halls. Sandwiched between staterooms above and below, so no noise issues at all. Great location if you have a spa pass, as the spa is just a quick elevator ride directly up to deck 12!! A bit far from the buffet, but maybe the walk is a good thing!? Very happy with the decor post-renovation! Beautiful colour scheme.
  13. My Mother-in-Law has a similar mixture of food allergies (basically she's celiac and dairy intolerant with a pile of extra allergies and sensitivities added on, everything from mint to alcohol to white potatoes and rice). She always carries little cards in her wallet with a list of her allergies so nothing gets forgotten between the table and the kitchen. We've traveled with her overseas and she even carries a translation of the card if we're going to a non-english-speaking country. It might be handy to have a similar printed-out list for the Maitre-d and chef to have for reference. She also travels with a stash of protein bars and other snacks that she knows she is safe to eat, to tide her over if a menu is very limited or on days with heavy travel where she's not certain of the safety of her next meal. I second what mef_57 says above.... Sometimes there can be a bit of a language barrier which can cause confusion, and worse.... you end up getting sick. MIL, for example, can't have cow dairy, but is 100% a-ok with goat or sheep dairy. Sometimes this doesn't come across well...
  14. We have and older version of this: https://www.amazon.ca/Anker-Charger-Foldable-PowerPort-Samsung/dp/B00VH8G1SY?ref_=bl_dp_s_web_7774590011 While it does say it has surge protection, We didn't have any issue bringing it on board. It travels everywhere we go.
  15. How many outlets do we really need anymore? I know when we did our first cruise 10 years ago, we needed a TON: hair appliances, laptops, camera batteries, iPod, etc etc. But now..... We have a USB plug in brick with 4 USB outlets that can charge everything (phones and iPads are all we travel with, plus a couple of external battery packs to take on excursions) except our camera battery and bluetooth speaker. Curling iron and hair straightener only get plugged in when using them, CPAP only takes up one outlet. We just got off the Pearl for 2 weeks and had zero issues with the number of power points (balcony cabin: one outlet at the vanity mirror beside the hair dryer, 2 power and 2 USB outlets under the TV, and 2 USB outlets in the wall sconces beside the bed), and we're heavy tech users. The new USB outlets in the bedside sconce lights were VERY handy for charging our phones overnight, we didn't even use the USB brick!!
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