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Everything posted by erdoran

  1. The review you were talking about is for someone in an inside cabin who demanded Haven access because he writes some sort of vlog. I’ve stayed on Epic in haven spa suite and absolutely no problem with Haven access. If you are in a Haven anything your keycard lets you into the Haven. I did Bliss last summer for Alaska in courtyard penthouse (I never remember the H number!) on deck 17 and loved it. We’ve many times debated a non-Haven area cabin but have stuck with Haven after that first spa suite because we really enjoy the peacefulness of the Haven. Bliss Haven is lovely, we especially liked the lounge you pass through with a bar and outstanding bartenders—it’s a dangerous combo with the beverage package as we’d stop at the bar on our way to and from our cabin!
  2. You might be able to use it for the inflated DSC for Haven, and you MIGHT (not sure) be able to use it for tips for butler & concierge. Some folks also recommend withdrawing it at the casino and taking the 3% hit to do so.
  3. Since the $2 is kinda an oddball currency is there any problem with it being recognized as legit? We tip bartenders occasionally but frankly, I have a hard time with it because I have already paid $20/day in tips for what may be less than $100 paying list price (even though I have UBP) and I do think that is quite generous. It comes down to the whole “how much of the autotip do NCL staff get?” debate really. Tipping $20 on $50 or $60 of booze is quite generous! Having said that, there are times I feel uncomfortable not tipping - which in a way is wrong, because I have tipped and tipped very very well already.
  4. I for one hope it worked out for OP. I know how it can be, paying for something cash when you have the $$ to do so, and then you get hit with something unexpected and all of a sudden that money you have saved for the vacation is needed elsewhere, even if you aren’t a paycheck to paycheck person ordinarily. OP, want to update us?
  5. Hey, I’m not roll calling, I’m looking for excursion advice and suggestions, which have been super.
  6. On my Jade TA this spring 2019 the people in the Garden Villa (who were AMAZINGLY NICE!) held a big party for our rollcall. The butler absolutely took care of everything and even got the courtyard butler to help. I have no idea whether or not anything cost extra, but there was a bunch of food and booze-it was a cinco de mayo party and I remember guacamole, salsa & chips, and I forget what else but there were other goodies and I think also churros - and margaritas! I think during the height of the party the two butlers were there, the concierge, and perhaps other NCL folks helping out. A good time was had by all, and the butler was superb! And I know he was well-tipped (which he deserved - he was our butler too and we thought he was superb!)
  7. Thanks again for the suggestions. I’m slowly getting excursions going, two so far with more to come.
  8. Sorry about your fall. My hubby fell off a single step a bit over a year ago and had a bichondrial tibular plateau fracture aka broken knee - career-ending injury. 3 months on crutches, no weightbearinng, six months before close to reasonable activity. But for us it was a blessing in disguise as that pushed him to retire a year or two earlier. Never fun though, and I especially sympathize about the pain!
  9. you’ve articulated that nicely. I think at issue are expectations - peoples’ visions of a cruise is that everything, other than excursions, booze and shopping are included, so it’s a surprise when there are so many optional upcharges. But, like others have said, these upcharges ARE optional. You can cruise for a week on a mainstream cruise line and have a $0 bill, other than the “optional” daily service charge (which kinda isn’t optional, but it IS a surprise to some regardless). You can have 3 or more meals a day, free-flowing coffee & non-soda, non-booze beverages, be entertained every night, use the gym, go for a swim, relax in the sun, have your room cleaned....really not bad. For me the DSC was a surprise first time in but not after (long time ago, crummy TA). Beyond that, perhaps the constant subtle and not so subtle pressure to spend, spend, spend...but you get that at any tourist destination, and it can be tuned out.
  10. Um...well—I have two opposite stories to tell... story 1 - 10 am or so, hubby and I are on an upper deck, saving two chairs for family members who WERE slow coming out (but not hours). A woman walked up to me and said “no saving chairs” and parked herself and family in the two chairs we were saving - 5 mins later here comes family, nowhere to sit. Of course I was a doormat then, so I gave up my seat for them because I did such a bad job saving their seats :>dumb (but first cruise in 20+ years) story 2 - I legit had a chair right by the pool and was using it - no hogging going on. I had the NERVE to get in the pool and about 10 minutes later saw someone getting ready to take over my chair. I got out of the pool and was told “well, you got up!” Same type of thing another time - DH and I took turns going to the buffet and bringing our food back to our chairs, if we were gone too long we had to fight off the chair police who didn’t believe one of us had just gotten up to get food - isn’t the rule 30-45 mins, not 10 mins?
  11. I wonder what would happen if folks who saw people claiming chairs at the crack of dawn actually said something to them like ...”are ten people really going to be using those chairs in the next 30 minutes?” Perhaps embarrass them?
  12. I’m doing a very similar itinerary in January so very interested in your port experiences.
  13. Jan 5 sailing on Bliss, NYC to W. Caribbean - Orlando, GSK, Jamaica, etc, etc with 3 sea days going back. We’re in Haven so we do have that covered pool area and a hot tub. I’m debating the $249 for the spa pass. We are planning on being relatively lazy and not doing a lot of excursions, just walking around the ports pretty much and some beach time when we can find it. Debating the spa pass for $249 - but wondering if I really “need” it , specially since hubby not interested (which means cheaper for me :>). What have you particularly liked about Bliss spa? It looks lovely in pix, but who needs a hot tile lounger in the tropics?
  14. Best option is always to get a virtual credit card # for one-time use from your credit card company - some offer it, some don’t. I did it a couple of times when I would make a one-time payment for one of my adult children on something, for site that ordinarily does recurring billing (e.g. subscriptions) so I could make sure I wasn’t stuck making additional payments.
  15. You guys are the BEST! thank you! Taking notes and updating my roll call sheet with possibilities from all this. I can't wait!!! I love travel and have been to a lot of places; Arctic Circle is brand new uncharted territory for me!
  16. erdoran


    Italytours.eu has a Cannes etc tour - I think it’s “best of the French Riviera”. Our roll call had a couple of vans go on it. It was well-priced and excellent - we went to Nice, Cannes, Eze, Monaco, and I forget where else, but it was a very nice day. Highly recommend.
  17. It’s really weird that this happened in the first place. Seems like NCL has some explaining to do to OP and maybe work with him/her a bit rather than just “pay up or you are cancelled”—ie perhaps give him a week or so to pay, especially if it involves applying for the NCL card. How in the world would something like this happen? And why?
  18. Red-sol, are you on the Jan 5 sailing? I checked and sure enough, $249 but too soon to purchase. Doesn’t seem like a bad price!
  19. Anyone know timing on the Southampton debarkation tour? Ideally I want to be at LHR no later than 2 pm, preferably a bit earlier, will that work with that tour?
  20. Are there online reviews for TA’s? (Not here of course, not allowed). If there is something like yelp for TA’s, leave her a review and just state facts “I’ve called and left at least 10 messages and she has not returned a single call”, for example. “I had booked a cruise through her but because of her unresponsive ness to my calls I’ll never book anything through agency xxx again”.
  21. I did a 2 wk jade TA and loved it. There was a different show every night, most excellent, and there were some surprise afternoon shows too. I wasn’t impressed with the regular band, thought they were mediocre, but there were other evening venues with musicians, and karaoke every night in the Bliss. Like any cruise, it’s as good or as bad as you want it to be.
  22. My understanding is Haven guests can have anyone they want visit them in their suite/room, but they have to escort them into the Haven because otherwise they won’t have access. The rest of the Haven is off limits. I’ve gotten concierge permission for cabin crawls to quietly and discreetly walk the crawlers through the Haven to our suite but it was a given that it was a quick walk through, period, with hanging out in the suite afterwards. The key was I did clear it with the concierge. I would think anyone can have whatever guests they want in their cabin (within reason), it’s just the public areas that could be an issue.
  23. If I’m heading for the airport and home after debarkation, it’s a great way to use up extra local currency that I’d otherwise have to exchange and take a loss on, and assuming the crew is going to be in that region for a while, they’ll be able to spend it. I’m sure the crew is accustomed to a variety of currencies (reasonable I mean) - on a European route I’d think Euros are fine but not Yen or Baht, for example.
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