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About Danitroline

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    Cool Cruiser

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    travel, quilts,dogs FAMILY
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    Greek islands

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  1. We had a heating pad 3 weeks ago on Allure. I did not realize it was on the prohibited list. It was not confiscated.
  2. We were on Allure a few weeks ago and were very underwhelmed with CK. We wont bother with it next time. Lobster in Chops was okay with the sauce but better with just the butter. We agree with your first post - meh.
  3. Bijoux T. is actually a large chain. They are all over the place in the states. I last saw one in Las Vegas
  4. NCL has gotten silly with their suite prices. They tout the " BOOK A SUITE-GET ALL 5 BONUSES!!!. When we booked the Allure I had a deposit on one of the "Aways" on NCL. It was an H5 aft balcony which we have had in the past and was an itinerary we liked. It was 8200 as the price also includes the service charges on the "free" beverage package, dining package" . I didn't feel like leaving out of Miami so decided to check out Royal again and I am really happy that we did. Flying from FLL to BWI is easy; when we cruise out of Miami we have the added hassle of getting there from FLL. I have also been noting an interesting tidbit on flights. Unless is it overseas we have been flying Southwest. Cheap, good selection, no change fees , free baggage. For this trip we had to change our flight 2 weeks before the cruise from leaving out of Baltimore to leaving out of Atlanta. It was the slightly cheaper to take Delta First Class ( with 2 free bags!!) than taking a Southwest flight . We have done this multiple times for fights we booked relatively 'last minute". Even though this was a short hop, after the drive from Gburg and then the flight delays; that big, wide seat was amazing and our luggae tagged as 'priority " and first down the chute. Not only was it cheaper than Southwest, it was cheaper than Delta's own economy class when you figure in the luggage fees. Yeet!
  5. CHEF'S TABLE : ALSO KNOWN AS "A NEWLY DISCOVERED CIRCLE OF HELL.", " WANNA SHARE MY EDIBLES' and " " HOW's YOUR FISH? TASTY? GOOD !LET ME TELL YOU HOW I PERFORMED MY 4th WIFE;'S C SECTION- NO, I'M NOT A DOCTOR- I'M A LAWYER" Will comment on this later tonight or tomorrow. If you have any questions about STAR treatment or Genies or the ship in general, hit me up! ( I'm so woke😉) We did not visit the suite sundeck, did not go to the pool and missed the ice show so cant say much about that. We saw all the other shows and ate in every specialty but Giovannis.Used the infirmary. Did not go to sports deck, flow rider or art auction. Forgot to even look at the pictures they took of us. Didnt use Freestyle machines. So- other than those things, ask away!!
  6. Im not sure where I left off and dont feel like looking so l'll head off to a few Haven /Star Class comparisons. Genie vs Butler: NCL loses. While I understand that each butler on NCL has more suites to care for than the Genies; we have found them to be invisible most of the time. We had ONE outstanding butler on Getaway when we had suites that we outside of the Haven ( but still Haven class suites) . on e each NCL cruise we have been since the butler inception there will be a family or two that will be very "Extra" as the millenials say. What does a butler actually do for an average family? Bring you a snack in the afternoon. Perhaps bring you cookies. We don't have cocktail hours in our suites and the like so I have no experience in this area. Butlers on NCL can bring you cocktails but it is not included in the drinks package. Genie team gets those martinis right to the suite! Our last butler was on Epic last summer. One of my boys ( adult) was feeling awful when we reached Naples - bad headache, hypersensitivity to sound - and decided not to leave the ship. We gave him his imitrex and Aleve and he wanted to just sleep. He got sick at breakfast and we asked if his order could be brought to the suite. This was done. After making sure he was okay we ran off to Pompei. The butler who brought the breakfast was not our usual butler but he came back every 45 minutes to make sure our son was okay; when i thanked him later I noted he handed me a paper with our cell phone #- he asked my son for it in the event that we needed to get back to the ship quickly! (It turned out to be an ear infection which "cleared" when my son's ear drum perforated on the flight home several days later. Messy, messy ) This is actually our only memorable NCL butler interaction. The Genies go to Butler school in England and receive a pin that looks similar to a Red Cross emblem indicating that they have learned to buttle the British way ( Fraisier Crane would be impressed!) One area where NCL wins is in the daily treats/ snacks. They were only provided on sea days to our suite. Remember - the Genie knows your schedule especially if you have excursions booked thru RCL which we did. We rarely purchase excursions thru the cruise line but it worked out well for us. Getting back from Jamaica excursion late and having had a NASTY lunch , an in-suite tidbit or morsel would have been appreciated. I do not know if this is the Genie's domain or not as I had our treats delivered by a galley staffer the first sea day. Another glaring omission was the lack of fresh flowers and a fruit bowl in the suite. This was our first cruise on either line where we did NOT have fruit and flowers. I LOVE having the fresh flowers and a banana and some grapes. LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT!! Haven has better pens, hands down! Suites on Royal have plastic pens, Haven has nice silver metal pens that last a long time. the concierge gave me a handful when I asked for one. I have enough to last quite some time The hair and body care amenities are a toss up-actually a slight edge to Royal simply because of the sheer size of the LOccitane bottles. Haven has Bulgari and provide a 4 oz bottle the first day, any refills are the 2.5 small ones. This is not an issue unless you have three young adults showering every 12 minutes . I prefer a large bottle that i dont have to worry about becoming empty and leaves a large amount of shampoo and conditoner for me to toss in my luggage so that I can smell my cruise over and over when i shower SIDE NOTE: One of my sons collected multiple Bulgari soaps as they were replaced. He would pop the wrapped ones in the drawer. I asked him why he was doing this and he said he was just seeing how many bars he could collect over the course of the cruise. He ended up with quite a few and the steward was hip to his game and started leaving him extras. I was cracking up when we were unpacking at home and he had about 15 soaps from the ship and the hotels we stayed in in Rome. He ended up selling the soap on Ebay for 8 bucks a bar. Yes, I'm mortified.
  7. For our Grand Suite the price and the Royal Up cost the total was 6,300. We were not even bidding on the suite we received. We received a higher class than we bid on. It was genuinely the nicest suite we have been in . We booked in March of this year, received a PA discount and a few other ones; watched the prices and caught a $500 reduction prior to final. We actually ended up paying LESS with the Royal up than we would have paid if we stayed in the Grand Suite and paid for drinks, specialties, etc. I had thought it was an even deal but was using the price of our upcoming Freedom trip by accident. I did not mean to desert this thread- been trying to play catch up at home and work!
  8. We booked when we were Sky class , requested and recieved B2. This did not change after our Royal Up bid and subsequent upgrade to Sky class. We contacted the concierge 3 weeks prior to sailing
  9. Make sure your preferences allow for RCL promotional offers/emails. We were " not eligible" until I double checked this and saw I had not checked it. Within a few days we were "eligible", an email came after that. Landed an amazing Star suite for minimum/weak bid 5 days before sailing. We have a Freedom cruise coming up in 6 weeks and we have been able to bid on upgrades without getting an email. We aren't bidding but it is available for both the suites we have.
  10. We were on Epic the second week of June last summer. What a terrific cruise!! Their Haven lounge and restaurant are the best we have been in. I was very surprised to read a review of Chops from the same week we cruised Allure that HATED it! We really enjoyed it! Te filet was amazing!
  11. The difference is that a glass of wine is included in the drink package and a bottle is not. If you only drink 1-2 glasses each there s still some left in the bottle. If you order a bottle you do receive a discount but it isn't "free". We even were offered the bottle when I had one glass with our Tapas! They were very wine generous .
  12. We are taking Mom on her very first cruise in August to celebrate her 90th birthday. My husband and I have done the Mystery thing a long time ago and did enjoy it-I cannot remember what ship. Questions : How is the meal? Is the "mystery" fun ? We want this to be a great week for Mom and she is quite a mystery buff. There are 6 of us and its a bit pricey, but I dont want to waste the time and dollars if it is "meh". THANK YOU!!
  13. We ordered by the glass and were given the bottle to drink at dinner AND to take with us if we desired (or had not finished.) Never an upcharge.
  14. Lets talk about FOOD!! AND SERVICE and an unknown Genie Izumi- already covered. Service was excellent as were the rolls and sushi. RCL beats NCL for sushi by a lot. Chops Grille: We ate here twice . Our waiter was Hamid and he was quite sweet and had a great sense of humor. With Star class you do not have an upcharge for the seafood towers, lobster- eat whatever you please. Both nights we had a tbele where one of us could "people watch" out in Central Park. We were surprised at how fast the service was- not quite Manhattan " get 'em in and out" fast, but actually a little speedier than I like. But it is a minor complaint as the food was delicious. I had read many Allure reviews and some complained about 3 hour meals and missing shows- we did not have this experience except at Chef's Table. It was 4 hours of my life I will never get back!! The first evening we ate at 6:30ish and the place was pretty empty. The second time we ate at 7 15 and Chops was hopping! Each table is given a complimentary pork belly that is fork tender and delish. Of course when the waiter brings it he says that it is a special treat just for your table but every table gets one. Either way it is delectable. Both nights I had a filet with a lobster; they take the lobster out of the shell for you making it easier. It comes with a sauce which is tasty but the second evening I decided on no sauce so that I could have that Down East real lobster flavor soaked in butter. I was not disappointed. I rate this a "Do NOT Miss!! The second night that we ate at Chops we witnessed the interactions of another Genie with a large family- maybe 8 people. This Genie I found a bit over the top but I WAS eavesdropping. Actually the entire place was eavesdropping as the table was loud, allowing youngens to run around...yada yada. The Genie (who was male) seemed like he was playing a part in a stage production. A little too schmoozy for my taste. He lavished so many compliments on each member of this family that it almost seemed like mockery. But that is simply my opinion and I had indulged several glasses of a delightful red called Andrew Peace cabernet. And I have a feeling that over the course of the week the Genies can adjust their behaviors to the schmooze level each client requires. We are minimalists . With us you over schmooze, you lose. QUICK COMPARE: Chops beats NCL's Cagneys hands down. Food is better. Very simple. 150 Central Park LOVE this restaurant. Small menu in a small venue. Service was the best we received anywhere on the ship. ASK FOR CARLOS!! We met Carlos while he was hawking Basil Cucumber martinis and taking reservations in the promenade . Very refreshing and tasty martini! We told him that we had reservations for Friday and when we arrived the maitre d told us that Carlos was waiting for us. He brought us two martinis while we perused the menu and ate their signature Parker House rolls . I had not seen the menu prior to our dinner there and was initially disappointed as there seemed to be many sauces on the entrees. We decided on a lamb Wellington and lobster thermidor . WOW! Both dishes were outstanding. My parents are from both from Maine and I have a cousin who is married to a lobsterman. I have always wanted my lobster unadulterated except for butter and lemon. Why mess with perfection? This mess was yummy! The pace of dinner was just right . This was a memorable meal. Again we skipped dessert and found a sampler waiting for us in the suite later that night. This meal was an A+ all around. STAR CLASS NOTE ( and I'm not sure if it applies to ALL suites /Pinnacles ) The deluxe beverage package is included. Anytime we ordered a glass of wine the waiter gave us the whole bottle. We were told at Samba that this was a perk of having a 'black card". The waiter/waitress would always ask if we wanted to take the bottle with us at the end of dinner or lunch. Maybe this is routine on RCL. I dont know.Sometimes I would have a glass of wine and the hubs a beer; still the bottle was offered "to go". SAMBA GRILL Samba is in a very distracting location. If you want a romantic or quiet setting this aint it. We really like the NCL version "Moderno"; I eat at Moderno for the salad bar and grilled pineapple. We had reservations, of course but it took a bit to to us seated despite the restaurant being a perhaps 50%. After we were seated we had to eventually ask for a waiter. First a lady came by to introduce herself as our waitress/ meat giver . She never came back. We asked again and a very pleasant fellow came over and said "you're supposed to just go to the salad bar when you come in" We politely replied that we wanted to order a drink first. He took our order- two different wines- and we headed to the salad bar. The salad bar was very similar to the set up on Labidee with many of the same packaged salads. It also has pre-packaged desserts. Didn't eat much from the bar. When the waiter recognized our green card he came back and we received our meats. There is not a single one that I remember as outstanding. At one point the waiter was filling my water glass, knocked my wine over and it spilled all over the table and floor. I used my napkin to prevent my dress from becoming stained and asked him for something to put on the floor. To my bemusement the puddle of wine stayed under my seat for the rest of the meal. This restaurant is a "SKIP NEXT TIME". The restaurant is in the Solarium and the Solarium is still in use. Including over-imbibers in a hot tub. we were seated almost under a stairway which was also distracting. CHEF's Table is for a post of it's own. I may need to consult our attorney before I write about it!! 😂 SABOR: Small menu, delicious food, ate lunch here twice. Excellent service and drinks; one day we were able to watch a diving competition while we munched. VINTAGES DO NOT MISS THE TAPAS! This is a lovely place . We had lunch here on day and were the only guests. We sat on a sofa , had multiple small plates and really enjoyed ourselves. Our waiter was chatty in a good way and we had a delightful time. Wish we had tried this restaurant earlier in the cruise. Highly recommend! The tapas menu has a wide range of delights; I was transported back to Barcelona!!! DINNER AT COASTAL KITCHEN: While I understand the desire for a smaller, intimate venue and maybe I understand why people clamor for CK- actually, I DONT understand!! Our dinner was not good. This dinner had followed not good lunch and not good breakfast so we should have gone elsewhere, but I HADto try CK for dinner. The service was really slow, the wait staff was just as confused as they were on embarkation day. Despite asking several times we never had a drink order taken so the hubs went over to the suite bar and got our cocktails. This action DID pique the interest of the maitre d who later came by and asked if we wanted another drink . I cant remember what husband had, i had a ubiquitous pasta with alleged veal sauce. Meh. There was an abundance of gold name tags at this meal. Everyone was polite. Quick Compare: NCL Haven Restaurant again beats CK by a lot. Service and food are better in the Haven. However, the CK has a better view than the Getaway class ships. Did we complain or mention anything to the staff? Nope. Not that big a deal . I read some posts where cruisers go to great lengths to discuss the food and the service with the chef and with everyone's boss. I m on vacation. I don't want to waste my time giving a dissertation on why the food was bad. I also don't like being fawned over after I complain about something. This has happened in the past and it is almost embarrassing. I can grab a bite elsewhere or ...just have another cocktail!! MDR- Breakfast Ate here once and it was awesome. Suite Lounge SNACKS SPREAD WOW!! Really nice variety, something for everyone. Great views from the lounge and restaurant but the lounge did get crowded. We took a plate and went back to our amazing suite. NCL does NOT have the pre-dinner snack spread like this- RCL hit a home run with this. Cocktails at suite bar were excellent with fast and happy service. RCL wins the bar service over NCL simply because of the waiter who comes to the suite and asks for your order. STAR NOTE: you can also call your Genie for drinks. We did not do this but Daniel did get calls with cocktail orders while he was hanging out with us. I dont know if he delivers them or if the bar staff does. This is a really nice perk especially if your suite is not on deck 17. If i was in an ATS I might use the Genie for this especially after a day out on excursion or too much time in the sun. Way to go, RCL!
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