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About Hearthosesteeldrumsplayin

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Still looking!

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  1. Thanks for sharing the pix, Beamafar! I think I'll have to go with the rack of lamb now!
  2. Do you still need a code? I can't figure out how to message....it says "0" allowed per day!
  3. Booking last minute would drive the compulsive cruise prepper in me crazy. My main worry would be that all of the better cabins would already have been "sold" during the upgrade bidding. If you are having to coordinate flights, the cost rises the closer you are to booking, too. If you aren't having to worry about flights, you'll know when you are actually booking if what you want is available. Just in case, have something in the wings (like a land vacay) so you won't lose out on vacation time at work--if that is an issue. If you don't have to worry about those issues, then I'm jealous! And say, give it a whirl!
  4. Anyone need a code? I think it is good until April 21st (at least that's what I wrote down with my code). I was hoping to be able to use, but hubby doesn't want to take more time off this year, likely wedding pending for next year. First cruise on MSC YC in May, so may kick myself afterwards, but what can you do?
  5. Also wanting to book a SKY Cuba cruise in early 2020, but not available as of yet. I also didn't know why. When on the SKY in Jan., the cruise next desk said to look later in the year for 2020 cruises, so assumed they just haven't made the final port arrangements yet. Guess with Cuba everyone is still unsure about the political climate. Loved our cruise to Cuba, and want to repeat with DH.
  6. Did you go to the Cirq show? Looks like there are 2 on Meraviglia, but I only see 1 to book on Bellissima. Just wondering, as I love Cirque du Soleil Enjoying your review!
  7. We are cruising out of Genoa in May and also are flying to Milan. Last night I booked our train from Milan Central to Genoa Piazza Principe on the FrecciaBianca high speed train. I'm excited. If you are interested in the train, I would suggest reading info from Seat61 (just google trains from Milan to Genoa and it will be among the list). Anyway, he recommended going through Italiarail.com, if you have several people. I did this and found the prices better than booking direct thru Trenitalia (there are 4 of us). While it said no seat selections were available, when I booked, it gave me seats and the option to change, so that was a little confusing. I thought we might only have the option of e-tickets, but I was able to print them out when I booked (I'm tactile and want it in my hand!) While Italiarail.com does charge a 3.5 euro fee, you can email them and they will refund it to you (instructions are in the seat61article). I wasn't sure about it, but it was amazingly easy. The train option works really well in advance if you know what train you want, but there are also some provisions for changing trains. Tickets cheaper the further in advance you are and luggage does not seem to be an issue on the European trains. From what I can tell, it is best to wait until you are in the airport to get train tickets from Malpensa to Milan Centrale. They run very frequently and if you purchase in advance, you have to pick the time. I'm not confident in our flight arrival and baggage pickup, so I will pay a little more and purchase when I get there. As for shore excursions....Naples, we are doing Sorrento & Pompei---Pompei was really the only MUST on our list. We also have Messina--- Taormina & Messina; Valletta--- Rabat, Mosta, & Mdina; Barcelona---Gaudis Experience (we saw La Sagrada Familia many years ago and want to see again); have not picked anything for Marseille yet---if you hear of something wonderful, let us know! This is our first MSC cruise. We did the status match to Black (from NCL). We are trying out the Yacht Club to compare with the Haven. We lived in Europe 20 + years ago. Not sure how much has changed, but I would recommend always carrying toilet paper or kleenex with you, as it might not be available or for a fee in public restrooms. You can buy travel sizes (like for camping). Not sure its still needed, but better safe than sorry! Maybe someone else can chime in.... Have a wonderful time and a great new experience! There are both similarities and differences between our cultures and you will have a greater appreciation for where you live and a broader perspective on what others face. There are wonderful people all over this planet! Get out and meet them!
  8. Thanks for your review! We are on her in May and looking forward to our first look at the Med and MSC! I'll be following....
  9. I am also Platinum and on a 5-day Sky cruise, so am interested in the answer, too! Thanks for asking and thanks for those who can provide insight!
  10. Thanks to all for the replies, it certainly helps! I'm one of those voracious planners! 🙂
  11. I have been looking at things I can pre-book and there is a Cirque show with dinner or with a drink. We are in the Yacht Club, so have a restaurant and drinks included in our package. I have read mixed reviews on the dinner at the Cirque show, so not sure I want to pay extra for it. Can you attend the show without purchasing the dinner or drink package? Or is it only available with one of those selections? Also, from those who have sailed in YC....would you recommend purchasing the upscale package for dining or does the YC restaurant offer sufficient variety that we don't need to go upscale? We matched to Black, so should be able to have 1 upscale through that. This will be our first time on MSC, so trying to get the lay of the land. The cruise is on the Bellissima in the Med, if that makes any difference. Thanks in advance!
  12. What a refreshingly lucid and complete review! Thank you for sharing! We are in Yacht Club on Belissima in 2019 and are really looking forward to it! I hope that our experience is in line with yours!
  13. I've been on the Jewel 2X. Was the first NCL ship we were ever on, in the Haven and now hooked! Sky 2X, with 3rd upcoming Pearl 2X Gem, Escape, Dawn, Star so far only once each. Bliss upcoming. We usually sail based upon itinerary, but the Bliss I picked to check out the ship. (Although I have to admit I did a repeat on the Sky because I went with girlfriends in the Owner's Suite with the hot tub on the balcony, so I had to go back and take DH!)
  14. We have stayed at the Marriott Waterfront. Can't be the convenience for the ship and you can walk to Pike's Market, Space Needle, etc. Does not have a shuttle from airport, but in Seattle they have really stepped up their game....you can have your luggage sent straight to your airlines (check restrictions on flight times), which allows you to roam around if you have a later flight. They also will check your bags at the pier (I think about $3/bag) so you can drop them early and walk around Seattle, or drop them as you get off the ship and walk around Seattle. Quite nice and really brilliant marketing strategy!
  15. I book thru USAA.....the portion that is the TA fee is billed to the TA, so is not triple points, nor is the insurance if you get it thru them. However, the fare that is paid to NCL WILL show up as 3X points. I usually pay 2 ways: I charge the TA fee and the insurance thru my USAA card to get points thru them (I have EAGLE points), and the balance of the deposit and final payment to my NCL card. This may impact some of the perks of your USAA card, as they will cover some items if you put everything on that card, but since I purchase the trip insurance, I have never felt any pain over this. Also, be aware, that if you are using EAGLE points to offset some of your cruise costs, you will need to use that credit card to book the cruise (since you can get credit from BOTH the TA vacation points and use EAGLE points towards the cruise). I have essentially gotten free cruises that way (in as much as anything is really free!)
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