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About Heartfelttraveler

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Georgia USA
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, NCL, Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Galápagos Islands, Mediterranean, French Polynesia

Recent Profile Visitors

606 profile views
  1. kaymoz - NCL has run a "Fill the Bag" laundry for $19.99 on each ship we have sailed. We have not had anything ruined yet. (Windstar broke all the buttons on one of my husband's shirts.) We have sailed Oceania in top suites both times. Although they offer unlimited free laundry service, I did use the free laundry room a few times. Breakfast - The suite breakfast restaurant is a sit down in one of the specialty venues. Very nice with French Press coffee and a nice menu. Great for sea days. On port/excursion days there is the main buffet with a good selection. Also, you can order a full, hot breakfast delivered to you suite - pancakes, eggs, etc. (If not in a suite any room delivery other than continental breakfast incurs a $7.95 charge😝) There are not set dinner times. It is anytime - show up and get in line. Never had to wait (unless we showed up before the dining room opened.) NCL dress is very casual. On our last cruise my husband was turned away from the main dining room when wearing nice jeans and had to go back to the suite and change. We had arrived back from an excursion late and we just dropped our stuff and headed to the dining room. He usually wears denim grey or tan slacks for winter cruises and summer weight slacks in the summer. Most of the time he wears a collared shirt. No jacket required. I tend to wear skirts and dresses in the summer and black slacks and tops in the winter. This sailing will be harder to pack for since our temperatures will flux between warmer, colder, and outright hot. We chose this particular ship and itinerary for the 7 ports and port times. The Star is a pretty old ship but has been refurbished recently so hopefully will be in pretty good shape. Still waiting to hear more about the mechanical problems they had recently. One of the perks/offers is the $50.00 per port credit if you book your excursions through the ship. Another is the free 250 minutes of wifi. I upgraded to unlimited for $125 total for one device. We take turns being online. I may also bite the bullet and purchase outright a high speed second line. Yep - even though we are both retired, we do not unplug. The free 5 dining package actually will cost you about $26 each. We enjoy the specialty restaurants. This ship has a Brazilian Steakhouse which we really enjoyed on the Escape. We also enjoy the smaller ships, but with so many sea days we wanted so have access to some activities. These are just our experiences. We choose different cruise lines based on if we are traveling alone, which friends we are traveling with, and itinerary offered.
  2. kaymoz - NCL has a two types of suites. For this ship there is not a Haven. (The Haven is a ship-within-a-ship area that is exclusive for Haven Suites.) You are correct that the Mini Suites just have more square footage, a bathtub and no extra status. The Suites are actually two levels. The Owner's Suites and above include a few extra perks (besides escalating square footage) such as the mini bar is included and replenished every day, 3 bottles of alcohol/wine in room. (6 bottles for the Garden Villa.) All suites have: Priority embarkation. Separate line at check-in and then ushered to a private waiting area. Private restaurant for breakfast Private elevator (skip the line) at ports. On a ship like the Star it is probably a service elevator. Butler Dining reservations open about 10 days prior to the rest of the cabins. (This is a moot point as we are past final payment.) If you book this and take the dining option, make your reservations when you book. If you do not get the times you actually want, you can try to change them once on board. Special seating in the theater for the shows Afternoon goodies delivered to the suite And others that I cannot think of at the moment. Can choose up to all four perks at booking. Just be aware that you are charged the 20% gratuity for the dining and alcohol option. The alcohol option gratuity comes to about $20.00 a day per person, which is still a pretty good deal if you both drink. We travel with friends who book balcony/veranda cabins while we book suites, so I know some about standard cabins also. I have several friends who did the Hawaiian itinerary on the Pride of America and said that if it was their first NCL cruise it would have been their last. So don't judge NCL by that cruise. The price of the suites have dropped dramatically (which has never happened to us before). Whether you opt for a suite or a standard cabin, I think that this is a pretty good bang for the buck. If you are looking at the suites just be aware that the SG Family Suite and the SA Deluxe Owner's Suite do not have balconies. We booked direct flights from Atlanta both ways on Delta. At this late date you would probably find better pricing r/t from Miami. That would entail collecting your luggage in Miami and rechecking in in MIA International. Let me know if you book on NCL. Especially on our cruise.
  3. I get blasted every time I offer this information. Oceania does several Tahiti to Tahiti trips each winter. We did it last year on the Marina (1200 passengers, although our sailing only had about 800.) The next two years they are doing the itinerary with one of their 675 passenger ships. We loved our cruise so much in February 2019 that we are booked on the Pacific Princess (675 passengers) for October 2020. The prices for the Princess cruise was just too good to pass up. We took snorkel excursions in almost every port and walked around the towns. We were pretty tired and usually were in bed shortly after dinner. (The sun rises and sun sets are spectacular in French Polynesia.) Ultimately it is personal preference. I would rather get a great deal on the cruise and spend some time pre and/or post cruise on one of the islands.
  4. Yes, we are booked on the Norwegian Star February 15, 2020. This ship is about 2400 passengers. It is currently undersold and has some fantastic prices. We actually booked in May 2018. In all our cruises we have never had a price drop. This cruise we got a price drop a few days prior to final payment. Then the prices dropped even more and we upgraded our suite. NCL is a mainstream cruise line. The shows are usually pretty good, although we are early to bed, early to rise so we usually on make it to a few. We are not loyal to any cruise line. We decide where we want to go and then I research what each cruise line has to offer. The Star just had some mechanical problems in the Mediterranean. I am assuming that everything will be fixed before it does the Transatlantic crossing for the winter itineraries. If you have any questions about NCL I would be happy to try and answer them from our past experience. (I am not a travel agent.) We travel in suites/Haven and our friends travel in balconies so I know the pros/cons of both. I don't know if you have the time to do a post (or pre) cruise extension to Iguazu falls, but we got some great deals for the flights and staying at the Gran Melia right at the falls.
  5. We stayed at the Pig-In-The-Wall in July. We loved it. We were on the second floor. There are no elevators and lots of stairs. They will carry your luggage up and down for you. The staff were very helpful and really love the hotel/restaurant and love their jobs. We spent the afternoon walking around the town. There is a lovely walk with inset brass markers noting the history of Southampton. There are lots of restaurants and even a shopping mall within walking distance. My only regret was that I was walking back from dinner and looked up while mis-stepping off a cobblestone curb. Yep, broke my 5th metatarsal and actually spent most of the night at A&E public hospital. But, the hotel staff was wonderful making calls prior to sending us off to the hospital. (She tried to get me into the private hospital but emergency was closed for the night.) They brought us fresh ice during the wee hours of the morning and made sure that I was comfortable. I would stay at the Pig-In-The-Wall again in a heart beat. Lovely, quirky, and fun.
  6. Any update on the repairs and current operations on the Star? Our cruise is not until February, but we will be cruising pretty far south and have lots of miles to cover.
  7. I don't know what your cruise line preference is, but Norwegian Star February 15, 2020 (Santiago - Buenos Aires) has drastically reduced the price of this cruise. It is a good itinerary on a 2400 passenger ship.
  8. We had a great time. (We have booked with him again in October 2020.) He moved us to different spots for the best snorkeling. He is knowledgeable of the islands and loves what he does.
  9. Our cruise will be stopping in Boston overnight. Does Oceania have a free shuttle from the port to Boston? If so how late does it run? If you have overnighted in Boston, how late can you return to the ship? We are planning to meet relatives for dinner in Boston and I am trying to plan our transportation from the port to Boston and back to the ship.
  10. Does anyone have any suggestions for any good books that involve Antarctica or Antarctica travel? When I booked my Antarctica Expedition with Hurtigruten (Fridtjof Nansen) they sent me a list of books that I might enjoy. They are mostly informative books. I enjoy fiction and non-fiction, and some biographies. I just happened to recently read a fiction book that I really enjoyed which had a whole section that involves a cruise to Antarctica. So for anyone interested, the book is "Where'd You Go Bernadette" by Maria Semple.
  11. On the Bliss November 3, 2018 Panama Canal. Several people from our roll call witnessed this. edited to remove face of winner.
  12. We are booked on the 12 night Antarctica expedition in December 2020. For those of you who have done this trip - Are there optional excursions in/on Antarctica? Or are all the landings etc. offered included? (I am not talking about pre and post cruise in Ushuaia or Buenos Aires.) I have looked on the Hurtigruten website for this year and all I see are the pre and post. (It will be much easier on the wallet if everything is included.)
  13. I have apparently posted this to the wrong board (River Cruise Ports) with a note that it was moved to forum River Cruising. I just figured out that I do not have to choose the sub heading and can choose the heading. I am excited to research those threads.
  14. I chose to stay in Bern for two nights. After we rent the car we would like to go to hotel Pilatus Kulm (if open) for late lunch and then to the hotel to check in. The second day we plan to go to Geneva. I would love to stay in Geneva but the drive back to the Basel airport for a 2:00 flight is too long. I have rented a car at the Basel Airport Switzerland side. We can take a cab from the port to the Hertz car rental. Unless anyone has a better idea☺️
  15. If anyone is still following - Is there a rental car agency close to the Basel port? Or that picks you up at the Basel Port?
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