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Sand and Seas

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About Sand and Seas

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Far from Beaches, Western USA
  • Interests
    Travel, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, Windjammer
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean & Bermuda

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  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! We love the entertainment on NCL especially the larger ships. You might want to look at cruising on the Bliss to see Jersey Boys and enjoy their smoke-free casino. (Smokers have a smaller glass-enclosed casino on Bliss & Encore.) I'm looking forward to seeing Choir of Man on Encore after the holidays. We love cruising out of New Orleans too and always start our cruises by staying at Harrahs. They have a beautiful hotel and it's an easy walk over to the port.
  2. I do understand your point, but we don't go on cruises to play $5 and up VP. We used to play many hours of over 99% multi-line dollar slots in Las Vegas and New Orleans. (Can I say....it's a pain to have to file a state tax return in Louisiana to get back some of those automatic with-holdings!) Just not our thing anymore as odds are gone now at our favorite land casinos. It was pretty hard 'work' to keep chasing the odds while comps were disappearing too. Our cruises a few years ago were all certificates from CET and we rarely played on the ship at all since the odds weren't to my liking😕 Before we retired, we went to Las Vegas and New Orleans regularly to play the best odds VP. Did very well at Harrah's New Orleans in the High Limit slots playing 3/5/10 play Deuces before they lowered the odds. We used to have to wait to get on those machines but since they lowered the odds I've rarely seen anyone playing them. We no longer find it worth it to chase around Las Vegas trying to find some decent odds. We still can get nice suites comped in LV and some good meals but we just don't go there as often. We keep up our 'relationship' with CET so we can also get those comped rooms in New Orleans before and after cruises. Now that we have time, we like to cruise more. Now, we look at our gambling budget differently. We factor in the type of comped cabin we enjoy and all of the other comps we enjoy from CAS. I understand how this doesn't work for everyone, but we enjoy it. We often gamble less $$ during a week on a cruise than we did in 2 days in Las Vegas, but we enjoy the balcony or mini-suite along with the perks of being Platinum with NCL and Ruby with CAS. Yes, we know the odds are probably not set very high on those machines but we have had some very decent returns at times. I have to suspect they have a few machines set higher than the others or else I've just had that magic touch....at times😉 We worked hard enough to retire with a good entertainment/travel budget. We now take the gambling budget we would have spent in Las Vegas over a 2 day week-end to pick up a cruise certificate and instead plan to play that on the ship. It works for us and we are happy when we look at what our 'cost' per cruise is for what type of cabin & comps we get. I'm not the person playing $10 slots, either. You'll find me playing in the $2 to $4 range, but by cruising four times a year I'm keeping my Ruby status with CAS easily enough. I am deliberately playing in that range to win the $500 to $1000 jackpots as we really don't need more re-portable ones for taxes. This is what works for us, and I know it wouldn't be comfortable for others. No one should go on a cruise with the idea they will make money in the casino. However, I like the 'return' on our gambling dollars versus the cruise vacation we enjoy. We used to pay full list price for cruises many many years ago!
  3. Interesting to see you still have the same MDR lunch menu we had on our last cruise. Pics from the Encore are showing some changes to that. We had a great cruise on the Gem in August from Boston so we are enjoying your pictures. Hope you have a great cruise! Thanks for taking us along☺️
  4. For those concerned with the smoke in the NCL casinos, try Bliss or the Encore (and I think Joy?). They have enclosed the smoking area in a glassed in room. It worked very well on the Bliss. The majority of the casino is smoke-free and we were not bothered by any smoke from the enclosed smoking portion.
  5. They didn't charge us for steak sauce on our Platinum Dinner last month. I'm going to guess they wouldn't charge it if you are using a dining plan either. I can't imagine anyone eating at these places without a Dining plan now😕
  6. Fstuff, what are you playing on NCL? I used to play video poker, but of course the odds on the ships are horrid. I'm getting better comps playing slots now due to the increased theo without risking more money. I don't know what percent they have the slots set at, but it's been working much better for me than video poker. I've had a couple of cruises where I've earned 10,000 points and CAS has given me an additional 400-600 in comps (on top of my Ruby $400 obc). I attribute that to the theoretical for the slots.
  7. On a couple of cruises I have seen CAS sell squares on a board for a big football game. I don't know how much they were, but did see those boards displayed by the CAS desk.
  8. Cagney's menu has gone through changes on each of our last three cruises in May, August and November of this year. Three different ships, but changes seemed consistent with what people were posting here on CC. Just saw a live Getaway thread that does not have the Bacon appetizer at Cagney's that we enjoyed last month on that ship.
  9. Thanks for sharing your review with us! We were on the Getaway about a month before you and we must have had less casino smokers on that cruise as we didn't notice much smoke. Wish we had went to see the Cirque show. We love the entertainment 'night-life' on NCL. If you decide to try a cruise again, would suggest you try the Bliss or Encore. They have about 70% of the casino totally smoke-free. The smoking area of the casino is glass enclosed.
  10. We have found there is good availability in the 'stand-by' line for the 2nd (latest) theater shows. My guess is that people make those reservations, then are too tired after their day in port or by the pool to make that 2nd show.
  11. On some cruises, the M6 (Mini-Suite with Large Balcony) are cheaper or the same cost as the Aft B1s. If you can get a M6 for a good price, great balcony plus an awesome bathroom & shower.
  12. You shouldn't have a problem giving different credit information on embarkation day. You will see a number of people at the Finance desk on board making different credit arrangements. I do not enter a credit card during on-line check in and the system does not have a problem with that. Just select 'cash' and go on. Then at embarkation I give them a credit card to use for the cruise.
  13. Loving this thread! Thanks for starting it. Making even more notes for our Encore☺️
  14. If you go back to NCL, try the Bliss or Encore. They have used glass walls to enclose the smoking area of the casino leaving about 70% or so smoke-free. We didn't notice any smoke in the rest of the casino.
  15. Well that explains the major differences in the shops! I know the Bliss had 'Life is Good'....bought many T-Shirts on that one. Does sound strange that they park the Coach bags next to rum cakes. Great information and pictures in your post! The store sold Throw Pillows? Not something I've usually shopped for on a cruise🤔
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