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Everything posted by pcakes122

  1. I do only stay in the Haven or suites on NCL, but I'm also disabled and on a mobility scooter and my experience is that people have gone out of their way to be gracious to me even when I am outside of the Haven. I was thinking this was my experience, perhaps it's just my attitude? Life's too short so I choose to only see the good.
  2. Perhaps just your experience? I cruise six times a year and have done so for years and haven't seen that. I haven't been on one of the rare cruises that is caught in a hurricane or was completely rerouted, but again those are rare.
  3. I don't think most people are unhappy with NCL. I don't even think most members of Cruise Critic are unhappy with NCL. I think that most POSTERS are unhappy - because human nature drives people who are unhappy to "vent". Just look at the full NCL ships that leave ports every single week. That, in addition to my own observation that most people I've witnessed on my NCL cruises are having a "good time", is my evidence that "most" people are not unhappy with NCL or NCL's supposed "nickle & diming." There's maybe 100-ish posters (if that) that are your chronic complainers - a VERY small cross section of NCL customers. (Also note that with all their dissatisfaction, so many "unhappy" folks still frequent the NCL boards.)
  4. Annnnd it's a now a tipping thread LOL. What I don't understand is why you would even bring up the topic of the DSC with employees during your cruises. If you have any doubts that they are not being fairly compensated, you can simply remedy that by leaving good cash tips. By asking them about the DSC and whether it's better to remove it implies that you can't afford to do both (pay the DSC and give cash tips.) My advice on that front is to just wait a little longer to book if you are on a budget until you actually have enough money to cover all your vacation expenses.
  5. Actually, this discussion is not about the DSC. This discussion was started by a former NCL employee who is being gracious with his time & information by sharing with us. How about let's skip the thread hijacking and not turn this into another tipping argument? To the OP - thanks so much for coming here! I've never been on the Epic but I still thank you for great service!! Good luck in all your future endeavors!
  6. Somebody definitely poured an unknown something into that body wash! I hope no one used it. 😲
  7. I agree it's personal preference, but I have to add that I'm one of those who consider tipping in advance as an insult as well as a bribe. (The implication being that if I don't tip you in advance you will provide lousy or minimum service and/or you are only motivated by money so let me wave some cash in front of you.) Either that or it comes across (in my opinion) as a lack of travel experience/tipping culture. Like "Ummm, never been in any kind of a fancy place before, do I tip you now? 😂 For the past few years I have cruised exclusively in suites or Haven when on NCL and I can honestly say that, while some butlers are better than others, I have never had bad service (I don't tip upfront.) Every person that I've encountered seemed motivated to do a great job just because that is their work ethic.
  8. Someone in a Haven FB group posted that they directly asked their Haven concierge last week what was an appropriate butler tip and the concierge advised that the usual tip was between $100-$200 per CABIN (not person), depending upon the level of services required.
  9. Yes, NCL charges the $20 per day admin fee on each comp. I've been getting great comps from them this year (Haven), so it's worth the $140 a week (plus port charges of course!) On the other hand, I have tons of offers from Royal but I just cant get myself to book. I just don't feel the love from the hosts in Royal casinos. BTW, on a whim I called Celebrity Blue Chip (haven't sailed with them since 2017 so I no longer have tier status) and they offered me a veranda on the Summit next summer. I know they no longer are "officially" reciprocal with Club Royale, but I wonder if they can still see my Royal play?
  10. Congrats on your 50th anniversary - how wonderful! What a sweet surprise for your husband - you are going to have a fabulous time! And while I also will say that the Volcano Nachos at Margaritaville (not part of the Haven) are great - I would not choose Margaritaville as the place for your first meal! 🙂 The Haven Restaurant is just lovely with a great lunch menu and is located right within the Haven. It is the perfect start to a week of being pampered! (Just left the Escape Haven myself on Sunday....lucky enough to have been many times and it never disappoints!) Congrats again! 🙌🎉
  11. The OP's question is actually not clear. If you are asking do people hit jackpots on cruises? Absolutely. ALL THE TIME. If you consider a "jackpot" a single win of over $1200 on slots, I average about 3 "jackpots" per 7-day cruise. If the question is truly "do people win" in casinos, the answer is "sometimes". It's just like Kenny Rogers said - "you gotta know when to hold 'em and no when to fold 'em (and especially know when to walk away!!) If it costs me $1500 to hit a $1200 "jackpot", of course I don't consider that a win. I've hit $3,000 "jackpots" that cost me $5K to hit. Again, not a win. So if people want to know if the machines actually pay out - yes they do! Will you be a winner? Depends on how smart you are! 😉
  12. As others have said, cruising in the Haven really depends upon what you personally want from your vacation. My vacations are primarily to "unwind" from a hectic job, so to be on a ship with 4K people & crowds and no real place to hide (regular cabins are great for sleeping/dressing - but too small for hanging out or unwinding!) is NOT relaxing to me. I don't need the Haven on the Jewel class ships - on those I book non-Haven suites. But on Breakaway & Plus class ships, the Haven is the only way to go for me. You have all the options (entertainment & otherwise) available on a huge ship, but a nice, quiet "haven" in which you can retreat from the crowds and enjoy a much higher level of service. I always laugh at the gummy bear comments (I never realized so many people are addicted to gummy candy LOL), because that is the LEAST of treats you can get in the Haven. (I have cruised the Haven many times and have never had a single gummy bear!) You can get ANYTHING YOU WANT in the Haven! If it's on the ship, you'll get it right away - if it's not on the ship, you'll get it after the next port stop. The cabins are bigger and designed for comfort (e.g. a REAL, fabulously comfortable King-sized bed, spacious bathroom and living space, comfortable padded loungers, etc.) Casino is chilly? Call your butler on your provided hand-held phone and ask him/her to bring your sweater. Want morning coffee & warm almond croissants on a fully set table the minute you open your eyes? How about a cup of chamomile tea served in bed while you are under the covers watching a late-night movie? Want dinner served at sunset on your balcony - but you want the Ceasar salad from LaCucina, the escargot from Le Bistro and a burger from O'Sheehans? That x1000 - THAT is your Haven cruise. I totally agree it is not for everybody - but it is SO much more than gummy bears! 🙂
  13. Try his wife - her name is Diane. I'm not friends with them but I am friends with another crew member who knows them.
  14. He's on Facebook - why don't you just message him and ask him what ship he's working on? (His name is Junifirst Ohoy)
  15. I have to second this. I mostly cruise NCL, but I do at least one Anthem cruise a year since I get offers from Royal's casino. I have yet to have anyone on the Anthem recognize me on repeat visits - but I have cruised 6 different NCL ships and EVERY time I cruise there are crew members that remember me (and they are not faking it - they can actually recall details about my previous cruises that even I have forgotten!) It feels like "family" when I step back onto an NCL ship. I don't know how they do that, but they do it very well!
  16. Thanks - and you just keep on laughing at people who are trying to raise awareness of environmental issues. Says a lot about who you are. I'm done, too.
  17. Nope. You reacted that my post raising awareness of this issue was "funny." I don't find it funny. The OP didn't realize the impact of shooting a plastic cork into the ocean (or they wouldn't have done it and/or included that shot in their video), AND it didn't even register with you when you watched it - both of those are examples of the lack of awareness of why plastics+ocean is an issue. I posted to raise awareness and I'll keep doing it until people get it.
  18. Your sarcasm aside, I just hope it's not in caught in the throat of a sea creature. Some of us care about stuff like that so we're aware when we see it. P.S. No one objects to popping champagne (cheers!), but the ocean is not a good target. Maybe point towards the inside of the cabin?
  19. Lovely video but honestly I might edit if possible to remove the cork footage. It's really jarring to folks who are conscious of the environment and distracts from the rest of the video (I couldn't stop thinking about it.) Good luck with your channel! 🙂
  20. I think so too, thanks 🙂 The other issue I have is that I need an accessible cabin - so even the few & far between Anthem sailings are usually sold-out in terms of accessible cabins (Royal doesn't do a great job of vetting who gets to book those so sadly people who don't really need them book them for "extra space.") I've voiced my concerns to many Royal casino reps and asked that they pass the message along to supervisors - but I probably should write to the executive team (and include my NCL Win/Loss statement LOL) NCL used to charge double for solos for players - but then they got smart and realized that for their top tier players (Ruby/Elite levels) it was hurting them. Many serious players cruise solo because we like to go frequently and all the family/friends can't go as often. Plus, when I travel with family/friends I actually play LESS because I'm distracted and doing more socializing than gambling. NCL realized this and made the adjustment. NCL also doesn't use a certificate system or rely on comp "lists" of sailings. You just call with a cruise in mind, they review your actual play/ADT and make an offer at that time. I'm happy to be getting Haven offers (NCL's suite-level) which is another reason I don't even entertain the thought of paying to take a Royal cruise. Thanks for all the good suggestions, though! You've definitely motivated me to share my thoughts with Club Royale's executive team.
  21. Thanks, but it unfortunately it does apply to me. 😞 As I mentioned, I can't "choose from the list" of cruises, because most of them leave from Florida or ports other than NJ/NYC. (I am disabled and can't fly to Florida, etc.) So, if I want to use the "trade-in value" of the offer, that amount is deducted from the regular fare X 2. For example, say I have an offer for a comp Jr. Suite for 2 on the Allure from Florida (which I can't do), and the trade-in value is $1,000. I can pick any other cruise I want from Royal - so I choose an Anthem sailing out of NJ that is $1599 per person. To book that cruise, they double the price to $3198 if I am going solo - and then minus the $1K trade-in value. So my final cost is $2,198. I am not paying that to cruise on Royal when I can get comps out of NYC on NCL.
  22. I love the fact that Royal is very upfront about what you need to earn a free cruise certificate (NCL doesn't have certificates) AND they keep sending offers by mail/email AND they have the website where you can see all your offers in one place! They are doing all those things right! I prefer NCL right now because I usually cruise solo and I can only sail out of NY due to mobility issues. Royal's offers don't have many options out of the Northeast, and although the offers have trade-in values, Royal still charges DOUBLE for solos even for casino players. (NCL at the top levels does not charge any solo supplement for players.) Also, NCL has alot more cruise options out of NYC. I would love to book more Royal cruises - but those issues are holding me back!
  23. What Garmy4 posted (which is true) is that if you choose to use your points for "free play" (I did), you do not earn MORE points on those points. So in my case, I had approximately $760 worth of free play on my 38,000 points. When I played that $760, I did not earn additional points (as I would have if I was playing $760 of my OWN money.) At the end of the cruise I also got OBC against my folio charges - but that was strictly based on my losses. The casino hostess approached me mid-day on the last sea day and let me know that she would be able to comp me about $600 - however I did not have that much in charges on my bill at that point. She encouraged me to "go shopping" (which I did 🙂 ) and she then posted a credit to offset those charges on my bill. I didn't think Royal did that anymore, but she told me that they still do it for "significant" losses (whatever that means to them!)
  24. I'm confused because I thought you said you used your points for OBC? Are you saying you converted your points in the machine and used them to play AND you also told the host to convert the same points to OBC? Or was the OBC based on your loss? (Royal also gives this - I received $600 on my cruise.)
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