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lupaglupa

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Everything posted by lupaglupa

  1. Just off the Gem and have all the Freestyle dailies and the week-long Entourage schedule available if anyone has questions, wants copies.
  2. Thanks to everyone who responded. We have never intended to lug our bags around. On every prior cruise where we have walked on with bags we have gone straight to our cabins and left them. Since that is not possible on NCL we will likely check them. Happy sailing to you all!
  3. Blocked off as in that part of the ship is closed to passengers?
  4. We don't have huge bags - they've made it through every scanner in every other port so I'm not worried about that.
  5. A few cruises ago we started walking on with our bags instead of checking them and found it made our first day a lot easier. We have always been able to get into our cabin, even when boarding very early in the day. This has worked for us on several different lines. But I've only been on NCL once before and it was a horrifying embarkation - everything that could go wrong did. That was before we habitually walked on with bags so we did check them and did, eventually, get them. Based on that one experience, I'm nervous about getting on the Gem this Friday with our bags. What do experienced NCL cruisers suggest? Are cabins usually ready?
  6. We booked directly with NCL. I guess they can see that when they pull up the reservation, they have never asked me how I booked. I would try calling directly and asking if there is something they can do. It can't hurt. I find when I'm the sweetest, nicest, most polite version of me I get really good service 😉
  7. We had a price drop after final payment and were able to switch to a better cabin with no problem. There are a few rules, most importantly the new price per person had to match or exceed the old price per person. We ended up paying a very small amount to go from an OV to a balcony. And we kept all our OBC, Free at Sea choices, and dining reservations. It took a little time on the phone but they were very nice about it. I just called the regular line, not a special number or person and they were happy to help. You should call!
  8. Cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary - you'll see nearly everyone dressed up on the three formal nights - and a glorious sight it is! I know lots of people enjoy having the option to be casual every night but if you like to dress up, Cunard is the line for you.
  9. Times Square is full of large versions of the stores you see in most US malls. Unless that sounds thrilling, I'd avoid it. It isn't a very New York experience. Central Park is large and lovely but it is a big park. Seeing all of Central Park would take a LOT of walking. You could walk to the small and charming zoo, which is not far into the park from where you would likely enter at Columbus Circle. New York is full of iconic sights - the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, any number of excellent museums... the choice is almost unlimited. If what you want is to get a sense of the city, I'd suggest walking to a restaurant in a circuitous route, then walking back. Just looking around at the buildings and people watching is a lot of fun (especially in New York!). If you can Uber you can expand your range. The High Line, which others have suggested, is very cool and fun to do. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (which is in Central Park) is amazing, even for a short visit. Going to the Top of the Rock (at Rockefeller Center) gives a great view and usually has shorter lines and less waiting than the Empire State Building. Honestly - in New York you can't go wrong.
  10. Is there a map that shows the routes?
  11. Gotta echo others here. March is not spring in NY. It can be quite cold and snow is not uncommon. Bear in mind that cruising out of NYC in cold weather means you cannot enjoy the outside parts of the ship the first day and last days (and maybe more, depending on the weather). If the ship you choose has lots of outer areas that require warm weather, for instance, no retractable roof for over the pool, you will miss out on those cold days. Our one trip sailing out of NYC in cold weather we found the ship very crowded on those days as the ship wasn't designed to have all the passengers restricted to only the inside areas.
  12. The review is from a trip taken last October. Most hotels/cruise lines are very quick to treat a room once they have been notified. I can't imagine they did not respond to this complaint by now.
  13. One thing we found sailing out of NYC in February - the ship feels very crowded. Each ship is designed for a certain number of passengers spread out over the total space. But when it is cold outside, large parts of that space can't really be used. So, yes, you have to plan to be indoors for the days of cold weather. And so does everyone else. But the ship isn't designed to have everyone indoors all the time (like, for instance, the Queen Mary is). These ships are designed to take advantage of warm weather. Restaurants have some of their tables outside, the pool has no glass ceiling, the jogging track is on an open deck, etc. When everyone is inside, it gets really crowded. The feel of the ship was very different on those days - it felt to us like there were too many people on board. Getting seats in the restaurants was hard. Activities were jammed. It wasn't relaxing for us. When we got to the Bahamas and the weather was mild enough to use the outdoor space, it was a completely different cruise. But that was a small percentage of the overall trip.
  14. I'm so sorry - what a pain for you. We upgraded and our dining reservations went with us. Hopefully you can get yours reinstated without too much fuss.
  15. I think the responses here fall into two camps - and they aren't about who does or does not think the staff deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. Some people see the DSC as an add on that gives *extra* money to the staff and is, as it is advertised by NCL, an additional and optional fee. Others see the DSC as a part of the cruise fare and an integral part of the monies paid to the cruise staff. Depending on which side of the divide you fall on, you choose what you feel you owe at the end of your cruise. It may be that everyone here feels they know exactly which side is right, but, if you are uncertain, I would point you to this interview on Cruisecritic - https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=1059 - and this quote - "Tipping is serious stuff. It represents well over 95% of what the crew makes...Auto-tips were a Godsend, because anyone who thinks he/she tips enough voluntarily is usually wrong. The auto-tips were figured by how many guests are assigned to your dinner section. If you had a small section, say only 18, you were constrained by that number. The biggest sections were 22 or 24, which are a whopper of a section. But there is a lot more money to be had for that extra strain during dinner. Thus, even if the guests don't go to dinner, you get those auto-tips. They are automatically split between you and your assistant waiter for the cruise. Since you work breakfast, lunch, midnight buffet, and room service without any specific pay, those tips are well earned even if the guest opts out of the dining room constantly (by going to the supper club, for example, or eating in port)."
  16. Latebloomer is this shuttle the same as the Bermuda Triangle Tram? I see on the BUEI website that there is a charge for the full circuit on the tram - no mention is made of a free shuttle. As we plan to go to BUEI a shuttle ride one way would be great for us so any info you can share would be much appreciated.
  17. It really does say something about the folks on these boards that you start off expecting to get called names, and with good reason IMHO. My advice would be to pay the service charge, which goes to a variety of workers not just MDR staff, and adjust the cash amounts you give as extra tips. Unless at the end of the cruise you feel you received particularly bad service, in which case you might want to adjust the amount based on that. I do agree with edoran that it would be preferable for the cruise line to just fold the service charge into the fare and be done with it. It seems this will be the policy on the new Virgin line. Maybe that will spur other ships to follow suit.
  18. When went a few years ago from the Breakaway we were let in early at the Space Center and had access to exhibits before the general public. If that is still the case it might influence your decision - we saw a lot in that early time.
  19. New York at Christmas is lovely - maybe a trip just for that (with no cruise) is something to put on your to-do list.
  20. For now I am holding at the balcony but if the price drops on the mini suite I may go for it - it does look like there is more room to get by the pull out couch. Three or four in any cruise cabin is a bit of a jam but a crowded cabin is well worth it if it means we can cruise!
  21. We took the Breakaway out of New York in February - don't do it! The weather is cold and the north Atlantic stormy. The outside areas of the ship were closed off and the inside areas crowded. If you have the option to leave from a warmer port you will, IMHO, have a better cruise
  22. Thanks to all who gave info and advice. Looking online today at price drops and I'm wondering if the layout in a mini suite would be better - but I can't tell from the pictures I'm seeing on line if the third bed would be the couch sideways (which would leave a lot more space) or the couch pulled out (which would be much like the balcony I have now. If the mini suite would solve this problem I'm good with paying a small amount more to upgrade.
  23. We are sailing on the Gem to Bermuda this April in a balcony (BB) cabin. Our son will be in the bed made from the couch placed between the main bed and the balcony doors. Looking at photos and room layouts, I'm concerned that we will have to climb over our son to get to the balcony. Has anyone had any experience with this? I hate to have a balcony we can't get to.
  24. Can a customer in the U.S. use the Norwegian Hurtigruten website to book shorter ferry routes (havn til havn), for example, one way from Bergen to Ålesund or round trip from Trondheim to Bodø? We would like to take Hurtigruten on one part of our trip while taking NSB for other legs.
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