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ajtraveler66

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About ajtraveler66

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Southern Illinois
  • Interests
    reading, traveling, writing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    alaska

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  1. I think I have to agree with you on "Onda". We did "Ocean Blue" too. It was fine, but "Onda" was superior. ... We always love going to "Le Bistro" French restaurant too. You certainly can't go wrong there.
  2. We were extremely impressed with "Onda" on the NCL Encore. At this point, I don't think it is any of the other ships. I'm hopeful that NCL will put "Onda" on some of the other ships as well in the near future.
  3. Just returned from NCL Encore cruise to St. Thomas/Tortola. I absolutely loved it, and I definitely want to go back again some time. Hopefully we will be cruising again next February. So now we're debating on whether to repeat the cruise we just did....or to check out the W. Caribbean. [Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, Honduras]. We're talking beaches here. That's our main interest when we get off the ship.
  4. We did the St. John's Champagne and Snorkel. (Catamaran). It was a decent excursion, but we were only at the beach for about an hour. I went because I heard that St. John is so beautiful...and it is. I think if I went back on that cruise again, I would do something on St. Thomas...and do it with a reliable private tour. (We were at port at St. Thomas around 8. Our tour to St. John didn't go out until about 11:45. In essence, we wasted a good three hours while in St. Thomas). The USVI and British VI are relatively close together. It's a shame that a ship can't be at port at St. Thomas or Tortola and be there for two days or so. [Bermuda cruises, for instance, are at port for over 2 days. It's so nice not having to worry about the clock. ... But then, I don't make the rules].
  5. Recently went on the Encore to the Caribbean. It is an absolutely beautiful ship. If I have any complaint, it would only be that it was very loud and noisy--even in some of the specialty restaurants. This may sound like a stupid question, but are any of the NCL ships known to be less noisy than others? I've been on several of the NCL ships, but I don't think I ever noticed the specialty restaurants to be quite as noisy as they were on this one. Perhaps it's just the fact that we were in the Caribbean which--in and of itself--suggests 'party' atmosphere. Just curious.
  6. The excursion was thru NCL and it was called "Escape to Jost Van Dyke". I'm sure other ships use the same excursion. It's the "Soggy Dollar Bar", by the way....not Soggy Bottom... and it was there, right next to Hendo's. Yes....the beach was very nice. It was pretty crowded and there were a lot of boats near the beach....but that didn't seem to interfere with anything. ... Overall, it was a wonderful excursion. I just hope you don't have to waste your time at a restaurant like we did. I have no complaints other than our wasted time. Guess I'll have to go back and do it right. LOL. The video that NCL has put out on their excursion offerings gives you a pretty accurate picture of what it looks like. Hope you have great weather like we did. ENJOY!
  7. Just got back from a wonderful cruise that included St. Thomas. I took a ship excursion from St. Thomas over to St. John. I loved what I saw, but I only got to spend about an hour there instead of the two hours of beach time we had been counting on. (Long story). The excursion didn't start until about 11:45....and we had been in the port most of the morning. It seems such a shame that the ship didn't offer a longer excursion. In some ways, I wish we had arranged for a private excursion, but it's always nice to have the 'security' of being on a ship-sponsored tour. Would love to go back to the Virgin Islands. Any suggestions on how to make things better that next time? As a commentary....I enjoy the NCL Bermuda cruise because the ship is at port for over 2 days...and it makes for such a relaxed time. That said, with so much to see in the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands, it is such a shame that ships can't arrange for a multiple- night stay while at port in this magnificent part of the world. Maybe they'll read my post and do something about it. Ha, ha!
  8. You should find it by navigating through this link. Look for the restaurant and there should be some click-on menus. Not sure how up-to-date they are. But the Onda one looked current from last week. https://eatsleepcruise.com/2019/12/norwegian-encore-restaurant-menus-and-dining-guide/
  9. We just returned from a cruise to the Virgin Islands on the NCL Encore. (A wonderful cruise, by the way). While on the boat, we ate in several of the complimentary and specialty restaurants....all were good. But after all was said and done, all four of us within our group agreed that our dining at Onda (by Scarpetta) was the finest and most enjoyable. Everyone raved about their food. I ordered "Mezzelune" and it was the lightest and best-tasting ravioli dish I have ever experienced in my life. I had the "Panna Cotta" for dessert, and it was unbelievably good. If you are on the NCL Specialty Restaurants dining plan, don't pass this restaurant up just because it's not the Italian restaurant you are familiar with on most other NCL ships.
  10. What a beautiful beach we got to see on a fine sunny day. That's what we had. And we could have had three hours of it. Unfortunately we blew it because we planned very poorly. We thought it would be fun to eat at a restaurant on the beach and then actually take in the beach after we had eaten. DON'T DO LIKE WE DID. We wasted almost 2 hours of our precious time waiting to be waited on and then waiting on our food. By the time we got to our beach time, we couldn't relax because we had to start watching our watches...so we wouldn't miss our catamaran back to the ship. ADVICE: You can eat ANYWHERE, but you can only experience this tremendous beach for the three hours that you are there. Come on a full stomach. Enjoy this absolutely wonderful beach, and then eat when you get back on the boat. I am not complaining. I just wish that I would have read a post such as this prior to my going on this really wonderful excursion.
  11. We will be doing the St. John Champagne/Catamaran Sail excursion next month. We have no desire to snorkel; we are only interested in the beach. How do we get to the beach once the catamaran arrives? We will have items with us that we will want to keep dry...so if the catamaran does not go into shallow water, we are hoping that a small raft or small boat can bring us ashore. Just curious.
  12. We are to fly into Miami the day before our cruise this February. We have gone through a travel agent and they have us booked at a hotel near the airport for our overnight stay. It is the Pullman Miami Airport Hotel. Getting to the cruise terminal will not be an issue for us because we will have most of the next day to get there. However, we'd like to have a little fun time that night while we are in Miami (maybe go to a good Cuban restaurant). Knowing all of this, are we going to be fine with the airport hotel location. Or would we be better off calling our agent and arranging for one closer to the port. Also.....do most hotels provide a shuttle service to the port area?
  13. We will be taking the Jost Van Dyke excursion to White Bay Beach while we are ported at Tortola in mid-February 2020. Our party of four's average age is 65. We are wondering which restaurant/bar would be more suited for us for lunch and beverages? I'm guessing that it would be Hendo's, just from looking at the website pictures. But pictures don't always tell the whole story. If we choose to have lunch at Hendo's are reservations required? Pro's and con's of each place would be helpful. Thanks much.
  14. We have purchased the "Champagne Catamaran Sail to St. John" and are really looking forward to it. Too many have told me that St. John is a must while at port in the USVI. We do have a few questions for those of you who have done this excursion (or plan to do it soon...and know the answers). Evidently, our boat goes to Honeymoon Beach... Are there chairs/umbrellas available at the beach? What about food & beverage vendors? I know that food and beverages will be offered on our return to the cruise ship, but we need to know whether to bring our own water, etc. in the event that the beverage vendors are not nearby [We realize that this is part of the National Park....so I certainly would understand if stands are unavailable]. Our main focus, of course, is the beach and the water, but to help us better plan, the answers to these questions will be helpful. Thanks.
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