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p5woody

First time on NCL - Bliss 12/13 out NYC questions/suggestions

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Looking for any recommendations or suggestions. 

This vacation is for my wife and I, no kids.  We have been on 10+ cruises, (RCCL, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity), however this is our first time on NCL.  We booked the cruise two weeks ago, so we were a little late in making reservations.  We decided to take the free perks - Drink package, shore excursion credit, dining package, and internet

 

Park and Cruise: We are driving in from Harrisburg PA, so we plan to stay the night before at the Hampton Inn - Ridgefield Park.  They allow parking for the duration of the cruise and offer a free shuttle round trip to the Manhattan terminal.  Any other suggestions?   

 

Room 13866: We booked a Guarantee Balcony cabin - we were assigned Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom - 13866 (Category: BA).  We are fairly close to the elevators, you think we will have issues with noise?  My wife hates being near elevators, people tend to talk too loud and she is a light sleeper.  I think we should be fine but she is concerned, might try to upgrade to a mini-suite if noise is going to be an issue.

 

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Specialty dining:  We choose Tappanyaki, Cagney's, and Q, should we try to make any changes once we are on board? Currently most of the other restaurants are not available until after 9pm, that is too late for us.

 

Tentative schedule: Shows are in blue and Shore excursions are in green

12/13 - Leave at 3pm - (Teppanyaki-5:15pm)

12/14 - Sea day - (Six - 7:30)
12/15 - Orlando 1pm - 9pm - Cocoa beach transfer
12/16 - Great Stirrup Cay 10am - 6pm - wave runners - (Cagney's steakhouse-6pm)
12/17 - Nassau 8am - 6pm - Seahorse sail and snorkel - (Q-Texas BBQ-6pm)
12/18 - Sea day - (Jersey Boys-7:30pm)
12/19 - Sea day

 

Drink package:  First time doing a drink package on a cruise.  We are not big drinkers, not even sure what cocktails we like.  Any drink suggestions would be great.

 

Anything I missed?  all feedback welcome!!!

 

Edited by p5woody

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As far as noises coming from the elevator banks, it should NOT be a problem, you are 3+ doors away from the hallway openning ... and those aren't sheetrock insulation/partition walls - it does a good job of deflecting normal noises & conversation.   Loudy & inconsiderate fellow cruisers can be anywhere on a ship's deck & location, especially if they happened to loiter and stand outside in the hallway, near your stateroom.  

 

P.S.  Furthermore, the bed inside the stateroom isn't right next to the entrance/doorway ... now, what about partying folks next door and/or honeymooners being neighbors #wink #wink - spending plenty of time in their cabin.  Talk about being awaken in the middle of the night, LOL.  

Edited by mking8288

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9 minutes ago, mking8288 said:

As far as noises coming from the elevator banks, it should NOT be a problem, you are 3+ doors away from the hallway openning ... and those aren't sheetrock insulation/partition walls - it does a good job of deflecting normal noises & conversation.   Loudy & inconsiderate fellow cruisers can be anywhere on a ship's deck & location, especially if they happened to loiter and stand outside in the hallway, near your stateroom.  

That is what I thought too, but wife had me second guessing myself.

 

Another question, how long do you plan for specialty dining? and dining at the MDR?  For example if we go to the MDR or specialty dining at 6pm will we make a 7:30pm show?  The last cruise (princess) I was on it took almost 2 hours in the MDR.  Most nights it wasn't a problem but had to rush out a couple of times.

Edited by p5woody

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@p5woody - As a general rule for Specialty Dining, allow 90 minutes for a typical 4 to 5 course meal, especially at peak time ...  you can do it - usually - in less time by telling your server to rush it, that you need to be out of there by a certain time.  Plus, add 10 to 15 minutes to get to the theater for the show, doors open 30 minutes prior & seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis; as the reservation is only a "guarantee" that a seat is available & you won't end up waiting as standby to get in.  Hence, I would book dinner for 5:30 pm - allowing 90 minutes (be done by 6:45 to 7 pm with 15 minutes to spare, make a restroom pit-stop, and sometimes do that long walk to the theater - go inside & find better seats, as those tend to fill up 10 - 15 minutes before curtains up. 

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They only release a limited number of dining reservation before embarkation.  As soon as you get on, go to the dining reservations area and make the reservation/changes you want.  I've done this for groups of up to nine and had very few issues getting the times I want.  Personally, I would add Le Bistro or Ocean Blue to your list.

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I was in basically the same room on the opposite side of the ship and a deck up - no elevator lobby noise issues, didn't hear much in the way of people making noise in the hall as they walked past to their rooms (but the clientele on your trip may be different).

 

Q was OK, Cagney's was good, I haven't done Teppanyaki on either of my trips on the ship.  The timing suggestions are pretty good - if you have a reservation for a show you want to be there before the standby line is allowed in, but I also noted that the theater didn't fill for either show.  Again - different clientele and I went to the 7:30 seating on the first night of each show.  Both shows are good, by the way, it was a GREAT move replacing Havana! with Six...

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You seem to have a great plan. If you do Manhattan, I would Recommend going early. We just happen to go when it opened and got a table for two by the huge windows at the back of the dining room. It was a highlight for us as we were sailing off.

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The only thing I would do different is to try La bistro or the Ocean seafood which are the best rated restaurants on the ship. The Q I found the meat to be very tough not tender I will be joining you on the Bliss on that date.

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53 minutes ago, waterjock said:

The only thing I would do different is to try La bistro or the Ocean seafood which are the best rated restaurants on the ship. The Q I found the meat to be very tough not tender I will be joining you on the Bliss on that date.

Is Ocean seafood included in the dining plan?  I love seafood, wife not as much, I will have to check the menu.  Thanks!

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Only suggestion I can make is- would it be possible to consider either then train from Harrsiburgh to NYC or even a bus? Then staying at a hotel near either penn station or port authority - this way you don't have to drive, keep your car keys with you on cruise etc.. and won't have to drive back after your cruise.

 

I originally was going to go on the December 13th myself but had a conflict and can't go- 

Terms of food- I would actually recommend Cagney's twice.

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Did you buy the beverage package because the guarantee balcony does not get any of the perks?

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5 minutes ago, mesci14 said:

Did you buy the beverage package because the guarantee balcony does not get any of the perks?

Guarantee balcony gets perks, sail-away does not.

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2 hours ago, mesci14 said:

Did you buy the beverage package because the guarantee balcony does not get any of the perks?

As hallux mentioned above, I booked a guaranteed room category and it included the free perks Drinks, specialty dining, wifi, and shore excursion credit.

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We are staying on the Cruise Package at the Hilton Garden Inn the cruise 

before yours (12/1/19).  We did this package last year and found it to be the best deal

and worked flawlessly.

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Hadn’t considered the park, ride & cruise type of thing.  I see it on the Hilton Garden In website but not on Hampton Inn Ridgefield, do I have to call and ask about it?  May be too late for this cruise, we already have our Amtrak tix, but perhaps in the future....

 

BTW someone on our roll call is saying that Cagney’s and Ocean Blue are now surcharging for lobster....

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I was going to book the Hampton Inn Ridgefield last night and I also noticed it is no longer listed on the website.  The price previously was $234 for 2 people + $50 for any extra adults, I did not call to see if we could book it.  I also looked at the Garden Inn and they have it listed at $319 and $349 for 4 people. 

 

I ended up booking the Fairfield Inn and Suites, North Bergen NJ for $249 for two people.

INFO: Manhattan Cruise Terminal - Park, Stay, Ride & Cruise Packag, includes breakfast, wireless Internet, Transportation to Cruise Terminal tickets, self parking, 10 nights parking after stay, 2 way transfer.  You then have to call them to setup shuttle times.  

 

 

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Mine is a 14 day cruise....description says 10 nights.  Anyway, at this point I’m pretty sure my Amtrak is non-refundable, but this is a great option for the future, thank you!

Edited by erdoran

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3 minutes ago, erdoran said:

Mine is a 14 day cruise....description says 10 nights.  Anyway, at this point I’m pretty sure my Amtrak is non-refundable, but this is a great option for the future, thank you!

For future reference, here are my notes based off the website for the Hampton Inn.  This one doesn't specify the number of days.

 

Hampton Inn Ridgefield Park - 234

100 Route 46 East, Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, 07660, USA

Our Manhattan, Park, Ride and Stay package* includes:King or Double/Double room accommodations.Free parking for one car at our hotel for the entire duration of the cruise.Free WiFi Access. Prices include up to two adults. Any additional adults are $50.00.Children under 13 years old to 5 year old are $25.00 round trip. Children under 5 y/old free.Transportation to the Manhattan Terminal-Daily scheduled drop off at 9:00am Pier 90 and pick up between 9:30am to 12:30pm at Pier 90

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