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About cementhands

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    New England
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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    celebrity, ncl, RCL, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
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  1. Coming back to Tampa a few years ago we were stopped by fog. We enjoyed an extra night. Total mess for passengers waiting to board. Fog was severe. The bridge was the issue.
  2. I’ve often booked cruises on Wednesday before thanksgiving or Friday right after. Both times I found the lowest prices for inside cabins. I’ve also noticed that when the stock market takes a dip rooms become available and prices drop.
  3. First cruise hints. Bring a highlighter and mark next day activities schedule so you don’t miss anything. Bring cruise compass ashore for information if you have any issues. Read reviews for ship to get hidden tips from seasoned cruisers. Bring any prescriptions in pharmacy bottles. Any special medical issues have information document of doctors back home. Smile and enjoy your cruise and let loose. You’re never going see these people again. Buy new underwear and socks. Leaving them home. Take old underwear and socks and throw away onboard after using. Now have room for duty free booze or souvenirs. Go home to new undies and socks!!!!
  4. We’re looking at an 11 night Ncl cruise with 10 ports out of San Juan and are getting the cheapest inside cabin. We can get the drink package for same room for free but the room cost increase is about $1,000.00 for gratuity and up charge. My wife doesn’t drink and I’m not a big drinker. So being on shore every day it will be a waste of money. We’re diamond on RCL and we enjoyed the diamond lounge and never use up our 3 drinks in other bars. Cruising more often fits our lives.
  5. Good reason to keep prescription drugs in original containers. A few years ago I met a Doctor onboard and his wife who had medical marijuana. He said he had all legal documents. I’ve wondered about what could happen if overzealous police from a local country might do. A few years ago a cruise ship were on was searched and the crew was caught smuggling cocaine in the seat cushions in a lounge. Pre security cameras. What a scene. Scary.
  6. We have our own snorkeling gear and get off the ship walk to tent and buy round trip boat tickets for snorkeling at Klein Bonaire. The small island across water. Excellent snorkeling with the current. It’s a beautiful snorkeling reef. Sea turtles and deep drop off. $20 each a few years ago. Boat shuttle are constantly going back and forth on the 1/2 hour. One of our favorite places. Polar beer in restaurants in town. Very walkable. Enjoyed Bonaire several times. Can’t wait to return.
  7. MDR Breakfast the raisin bread. Lunch tutti salad. Solarium cafe roast beef sandwich and chips. Surf and turf lobster tails and beef. Caesar salad with anchovies. Mushroom soup in solarium cafe. Creme brûlée. Cheesecake. Shrimp cocktail.
  8. On the Grandeur February often we were greeted by a RCL staff asking to see our diamond cards. Different person nightly. On Visions October same. This is open up into the South Pacific lounge. On Anthem you swipe your card to get into the diamond lounge with overflow into upper dance hall. My wife used her loaded 3 drinks while on RCL Visions 9 night with our daughter a few years ago. Our daughter was with mom alone sharing a room and denied access. Rules are rules. I’m very happy with RCL perks. It took a long time to get to diamond.
  9. I feel your frustration. Contact Ncl for upgrade on the rooms you have. Ask for free specialty restaurant. Once back in 2013 we were going as a family reunion during thanksgiving week on the Epic. All had inside rooms. 9 rooms 17 family members. I called our travel agent about price dropping and nothing. I asked for room upgrade and got one for myself. Then I thought about it and got back to TA and requesting all upgrade. Low and behold we all enjoyed balconies. A few were back of ship. It might have been because of thanksgiving week and prices drop. But the squeaky wheel gets the oil!
  10. Baltimore area cruisers love the Grandeur. Multiple repeated cruisers. Loyal to RCL. I’m sure they know that in Miami corporate. The uproar would be overwhelming. We have enjoyed the Visions Grandeur and other RCL small ships multiple times. Certain ports can’t accommodate the bigger ship. But who really knows what RCL plans are? The bottom line is what fuels the industry.
  11. We started cruising on Carnival when we were 40. And throughly enjoyed it. Then one day in port I looked up at a Celebrity ship with tennis and basketball court and said someday. Long story short we enjoyed Celebrity for a while but found not enough activities. So we enjoyed Princess and then RCL. 14 cruises out with RCL. Several with NCL. One and done with HAL. We’ll be back when older. Loyalty program with RCL is great. Now diamond. 4:30 to 8 pm lounge with drinks. Elite on Celebrity gets us 2 bags laundry plus drinks lounge in evening. I would recommend giving RCL a try. You can always go back to Carnival. And I would never bash anyone’s preferences. To each his own. But once you get all the perks of RCL and enjoy the activities it’s hard to try out others.
  12. It depends on service. Recently on Grandeur $10 spot. Same for waiter and assistant. I even gave assistant maitre de each a $10. Excellent service. It is a personal decision. The cruise was 12 nights. Other cruises maybe not. It depends on service. When we were younger and cash strapped we didn’t. We didn’t have it. But now a bit more generous for great service.
  13. Is Zumba still a sea day daily occurrence in the 270 big lounge at back of the ship? Beatles tribute band on each cruise? We were on Anthem back when new 2016 and food and service in the 4 MDR was not good. Is the food and service In MDR on par with other RCL ships now. Any theme parties? We enjoyed one in the seaplex -great fun.
  14. We’ve enjoyed 2 cruises out of New York City in January on NCL Spirit. Loved it. First night the weather can be rough but you’re inside relaxing and enjoying food and shows. Also did a Ncl Dawn out of NYC. Seperately 3 out of Bayonne in January or February. 2 out of Baltimore in January or February. Our reasonings are we drive down a day early staying at a park sleep cruise with breakfast and parking and shuttle. Recently on Grandeur February out of Baltimore $139 for hotel best western plus elk ridge Maryland. Similar for New York City a bit more expensive. Drive from New England for us is worth avoiding flights and delays and cancellations. Don’t get me wrong if I could I would fly to Florida for a cruise but my back kills me flying. Give it a try you might like it. I’m amazed that some fly from Europe and cruise out of nyc or Bayonne in the winter.
  15. Best western plus elk ridge Maryland. Recently refurbished. Nice indoor pool and sauna. Stain glass pub next door with excellent crab cakes. Just stayed here in February 2019 pre cruise $139.00 through trinity reservation. Parking shuttle service and breakfast. Safe. Clean. Our second time. Timbuktu’s Restaurant is a mile for more expensive crab cakes excellent. Easy to get to. Many repeated cruisers. Friendly staff The shuttle dropped someone off at airport while taking us to ship
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