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CarolinaMamma

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About CarolinaMamma

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina! USA
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity

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  1. We stayed in a mid-ship OV cabin on deck 5 starboard a few years ago and did not have any issues with anchor noise. We DID have some odors from the incinerator the last night of our 9-night sailing, and, not being able to to let fresh air in was a problem. I loved the Spirit, though. The back area with the pool was my absolute favorite place to hang out. Hope you enjoy your cruise!
  2. Trying to optimize our dinner and show reservations so they won’t conflict with other things we or our teens may want to do. I remember we were surprised by a teen goodbye dinner last time (had conflicting specialty restaurant reservations that night), and we like to go to Howl at the Moon whenever it’s on, so want to plan around that. We will be on Epic April 4th, but her other sailings before that are Southern Caribbean. I think any NCL 7-day Western will give a good approximation of what is likely to be scheduled on our sailing. I’ve searched this board and can’t find anything. Thank you.
  3. If we were ordering 2 drinks at a time, the bartenders usually only asked for one of our cards, because it was quicker for them to just run one card. My husband would also sometimes go downstairs and get us both coffees on his one card, so I think getting 2 drinks on one card is not a problem. When we’ve ordered drinks for us and the kids at a bar, the bartender usually just asks for our two cards and not the kids’ cards, so we don’t end up paying for their drinks. We’re not trying to cheat the system. They are just trying to serve a lot of people quickly, and this is what they do. I wish NCL offered a premium non-alcoholic package, like Celebrity does, because my teens like sparkling water and coffee drinks, and don’t really drink soda, especially Pepsi products.
  4. I booked over the phone with NCL yesterday. They did not charge gratuities on the beverage package for the 3rd and 4th passengers, who are under 21. So whatever is going on with the site, if you book by phone, you should be ok.
  5. We just booked yesterday, and I’m trying to decide whether to do this upgrade from the “free” beverage package. I have questions about the included wine bottles. Is the wine list the same at each restaurant, or would different specialty restaurants have different wines? What about the Haven restaurant? Is it clear on the menu which wines are included in the package? For those who have tried the wines, how are they? On our last NCL cruise, we brought on 8 bottles of wine and paid the corkage fee. Well worth it, as these wines would have cost $60-$100 in a restaurant, maybe more on a cruise ship. We are not super-big drinkers, though we like it to be premium when we drink. We also drink a lot of espresso drinks, bottled water and sparking water. Almost nothing in the regular beverage package appeals to me, as we don’t drink sweet cocktails or soda at all. I’m still having trouble understanding how the two of us would drink $500 worth in a week, but maybe we could. And I do like having almost the entire cruise experience paid for upfront.
  6. Just booked for our family of 5. This will be our 10th cruise overall, our 4th time on NCL, and our first time in the Haven. We have some dietary restrictions in our family, which have not been a problem on any of our previous cruises. Given the higher level of service in the Haven and the fact that the menu is the same every day, I’m wondering how best to handle them. Our 20 year old is vegetarian, and I see almost no main courses on the Haven menu that are vegetarian. I’ve heard that “they will get you whatever you want,” but what does this mean exactly? Does the person have to think of what they want and ask for it? Should they look at menus from other restaurants? Will the staff offer some options? Will they serve you something from a specialty restaurant, and if so, is there an up charge? In the past, we’ve done a different specialty restaurant every night and the vegetarian just picked from the one or two vegetarian options on the menu, and it didn’t get monotonous, because we were in a different restaurant every night. My husband and I both eat keto/low-carb, and are pretty good at figuring out what we can eat. On a cruise, we usually do a salad, a protein, skip the sauce, and a vegetable that grows above the ground, and if we have dessert, it’s a cheese plate. The sauces and salad dressings can have hidden flour or sugar. Are the wait staff in the Haven more knowledgeable than in other restaurants about what is in the food? Would they get to know us and remember our dietary preferences? I don’t want to waste a lot of their time sending them to the kitchen during a busy mealtime to ask if this or that has sugar in it. Is it possible to meet with someone in advance (if so, who?) to go over the menu so we know what we can eat? Would the Haven be willing to adapt a sauce or dressing to eliminate the sugar/flour, or do they only make it in large batches? Just trying to get an idea of how best to work with them to meet our requirements in the most efficient way while still having interesting options. Thank you.
  7. We’ve cruised at this time several times, because we have school-aged kids. You can expect a more crowded ship with lots of kids and teens. In my experience, the teens are far less rowdy than some of the adults. We were on Breakaway last year during spring break, right after the Oasis accident, so a lot of their passengers were re-booked onto our ship. The first sea day the pool deck was more crowded than usual, and not a pleasant place to be. After that, though, there were still plenty of loungers and plenty of room in the pool throughout the day. We bought spa passes, and my husband loved that adults-only respite from all the noise. Make your show and dinner reservations in advance, because everything will be full. Mostly, it’s all about the attitude. Plan ahead and have a great cruise!
  8. Just discovered that our 20 year old will be joining my husband, myself and our 2 teens on a cruise I’m planning, I have to get the 5 of us into 2 cabins, because one person over 21 is needed to book each cabin. Am considering various combinations on either Equinox or Edge or NCL Haven, which has the 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom family villa.. I’ve read on this board that if you book a suite with an adjoining veranda, then its considered a “family suite” and the people staying in the veranda cabin have access to the Retreat. My questions: 1. is thus “family suite” arrangement only on Edge, or can it be done on S-class ships? 2. Does access to the Retreat include Luminae? 3. Am I going to have to call Celebrity to do this? Seems like it’s really hard to book 5 people without calling the cruise line directly, but I was hoping to book with a certain big box TA to get a nice gift card. Final payment date has passed, so I can’t transfer to a TA after booking with Celebrity. 4. Does Luminae have assigned early and late seatings, or can you go whenever you want? 5. For those who have done this, is there am up charge for the people in the veranda cabin if it is combined into a “family suite,” since the people in that cabin would be getting some of the suite amenities? Thanks for any advice you can provide.
  9. Thinking about booking 2 side-by-side cabins on Edge for our family (Us plus 2 teens) and trying to decide between connecting CC cabins in a less desirable location or non-connecting AQ or CC cabins in a more desirable location. Do the connecting infinite verandah cabins just connect via a single doorway? I’m guessing since the balconies aren’t truly balconies, there’s no way to make one large balcony like you can do on some other ships, How “worth it” Is Blu? I’ve never sailed AQ, but we are foodies and do like to eat low-carb and fairly clean at home, and we like good wine. I’m wondering if the food is that much better than the MDR, and if they’d be better able to handle our special dietary requests, since we’d be eating there nearly every night . This is a strange one, but are there any non-hot areas in the thermal suite? I have MS and my neurologist advises me not to get in a hot tub, sauna or anything that is going to raise my core body temperature by much, lest I not be able to get out. I can do “therapy pools” that are slightly warmer than a regular swimming pool, but a hot tub is too hot. Since the thermal suite is adults-only, it may be a waste to pay for AQ if my husband is the only one of the four of us who will use it. The price difference between CC and AQ is approximately $220 pp for the 7-night Cruise, give or take a little depending on which level CC we are talking about.
  10. Tell me more about why you prefer Haven benefits to X suite benefits. I’m curious!
  11. I am now seeing that some S3s on Edge connect to either veranda cabins or inside cabins. Maybe that would be a solution.
  12. Thanks for the candid opinions! We can also get a 2-bedroom (And 2 bathroom!) family villa in the Haven on NCL the same week for about the same price, so I’m considering that as well, but I like Celebrity better,
  13. Traveling with our 2 teens and debating between 2 balconies or a sky suite on either Edge or Equinox. The pricing is coming out very close, once you factor in that we like to upgrade to non-MDR dining most of the time. Has anyone tried this? Would we feel cramped and go crazy? I see that some SS have trundle beds, but I don’t know how to figure out which ones. We’ve always booked 2 balconies, except for one time when we had a family veranda on Infinity when the kids were little. I’m a little hesitant to share a room and bathroom with our kids, but the suite perks, quiet sun deck, better restaurant and nicer balcony are so appealing.
  14. Haven’t sailed with Celebrity in awhile and trying to decide which perks to choose. if we choose the classic drinks package as a perk, can we pay the difference to upgrade to the premium package? And if so, can we do this in advance, or once we’re onboard? There is almost nothing in the classic beverage package that appeals to me. We drink espresso drinks (2 per day( sparkling water, bottled water, and not too much alcohol, max 2 drinks per day, but when we drink, we like it to be high end. We Plan to book 2 balcony cabins, and will be traveling with our two teens, who also like coffee and sparkling water. In the past, I’ve gotten the premium non-alcoholic package for all of us, and just bought wine and cocktails a la carte. just wondering if we can upgrade the beverage package for not too much money, or if it would make more sense financially for me to choose a different perk, like OBC or tips, especially since we’re traveling with teens, who wouldn’t be eligible for the alcoholic drinks anyway.
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