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About Markanddonna

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Westerville, OH USA
  • Interests
    Genealogy and writing

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  1. The porters only put the luggage on a cart and perhaps wheel them into the terminal. The NCL crew are the people who deliver your luggage to your cabin.
  2. You can't find out until you board and even then, it may not be told to you. I've seen the actual number and breakdown into age groups posted in the kitchen on several cruises when I took a behind the scenes tour.
  3. We stayed in Potts Point at Hotel Challis. We picked up the HOHO bus right around the corner and the van that took us to the Blue Mountains was just a five minute walk. About 1/3 the price of the Quay area. I have information on my website about Australia. Go to http://www.DonnaGawell.com and look for "travel to Europe and Australia" in the menu.
  4. We found the NCL Getaway to be the most crowded pool deck. That's what happens when you double the number of cabins and squeeze the buffet, fitness area, pools and waterslides on one deck.
  5. We have been on Carnival and lots of NCL cruises. We were so impressed with our Feb MSC cruise that we booked three more. The food was just the same quality but the service was excellent. I was blown away with how very pleasant the customer service folks were.
  6. I've been on both. Let the itinerary guide your decision. If equal, choose the Jade.
  7. If only those very sick folks would avoid the theatre.
  8. We found that booking when a sailing is first announced often yields the best price. Our most recent on has been reduced four times and NCL honored each reduction. Our price is still above the current price with just two months before we sail. There are a lot of things to consider: if you want a very special cabin, it needs to be booked very early. For those who travel in lower priced cabins, you can often get a great last minute price but then the airfare is often higher.
  9. If I had the choice, I'd also go with the Divina. That Med cruise is pretty port intensive!
  10. We have just one MSC cruise under our belts but were matched to black, so that was nice. Our early booking online experience had some hiccups, but they were resolved before final payment. The onboard customer service was outstanding- so helpful and friendly. We didn't travel in the YC, but had a wonderful experience. Keep in mind the vast majority of passengers are NOT YC and most manage to have a great time. MSC is now one of our top favorite cruise lines!
  11. I'm presenting a budget travel lecture this week and since I'm NOT a travel agent, I'm attempting to be objective based on my experiences and the information I've gathered from the wise people on this board. I've learned you really can't generalize because ships and each sailing vary based on: - the age and size of the ship - the destination - types of passengers on that cruise. -the time of year -cabin choice (you can't compare an inside to the Haven or Yacht Club) -the atmosphere resulting from the captain and other officers -Length of cruise So, any cruise can be filled with mostly mature adults in November, but spring break will be an entirely different population with a party atmosphere. A three day cruise experience out of Miami will be a world apart from a 23 night transpacific. Read the review section and there will be one star reviews and rave five stars on the same sailing. How could that happen? Perhaps the one star was written by someone traveling with a special needs person and feels they weren't adequately attended to by the staff while the five star was a person in the Haven with a full drink package.
  12. Just like everything else, wise and generally healthy people take the necessary precautions and prepare. - Get your flu shots - Try to eat with your utensils rather than using your fingers (cut up the pizza, etc.) - Wash your hands frequently and use the paper towel to open the door. - Wipe down door knobs and handles in your room, Include the remote with a Lysol type of wipe.. - Bring a small medicine kit with you, especially if you have many sea days. The small assortment of medicines in the ship's gift shops will be the most expensive meds you'll ever buy. - "Cruise cough" is a frequent occurrence, esp. on longer trips. You can assess the severity of the problem by counting the number of coughs in the theatre. Passengers usually don't stay in their cabins if they are sick. - Many with noro virus won't let the ship know because they are quarantined for a few days. This may seem a bit obsessive, but we have suffered through the common cold and bronchitis on cruises. We stay in our rooms if we have a fever and the other brings food from the buffet. Cruises DON"T do a very good job of screening people for illness before they board. We ate with a man who had almost died a few weeks before he boarded (hospitalized, etc.), and he looked awful and very sickly. He "disappeared" after the first two days on a 23 night transpacific. I have no idea of how he passed through the screening.
  13. I also imagine that many who are "invited" to receive these last minute bookings have their acts together with passports, Global Entry, etc. These trips aren't their first rodeo. We mere mortals don't receive these invites...😁
  14. We were new Black Card status in Feb 2019 and my DH celebrated his birthday. His cake was free because that is a black status perk. I requested the cake at customer service, and they were delightful. While our cake was free, it was delicious (Italian cream cake.) If you pay for a cake, you get more choices. They took down all the details and it was promptly delivered to our table in the MDR on the correct day.
  15. Even if there are lots of cabins available, cruise lines have ways of filling them up at the last minute: local residents whose suitcases are always packed and employees and families of partnering companies (usually airlines.) These folks get the rock bottom rates.
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