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The Traveling Man

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  1. On two occasions we have taken B2B cruises during which we passed from one Latitudes level to the next at the end of the first cruise. In each case our Latitude status was correctly updated and indicated on our room key cards for the second cruise. We received all the additional perks without having to do anything further to request them.
  2. Thank you for posting this. It certainly states clearly that, yes indeed, you can be held against your will in a quarantine facility.
  3. You're right. Booking a new cruise while already on a cruise works out best when the room you book is one you'll be happy to keep. If you're thinking about rebooking later for an upgrade, you'll lose the price advantage you received at the time you originally booked. In a sense, you already got a free upgrade at the time you booked, so upgrading to an even more expensive room takes you back to square one.
  4. It may have changed a couple of years ago, but we ran into this "Catch 22" on a couple of different ships in 2019 and earlier when we wanted to book a new cruise while still onboard.
  5. One other thing to keep in mind, though. When you purchase Cruise Next Deposits onboard, they don't become effective until after your cruise ends. That means you can't buy a CND and then immediately use it as a deposit on a new cruise that you book while you are still onboard. You could reserve a new cruise by means of a credit card deposit, or you can use a CND you had purchased on a previous cruise. NCL frequently allows more than one CND to be used as payment for a cruise, though, so you could book a new cruise with a credit card deposit, then apply your just-purchased CNDs soon after you return home.
  6. We have sailed on the Star four times, and on its sister ship, the Dawn, another four times. We love the design of the ships, the locations of the venues, the lounges, and just about everything else about them. Those last two cruises on the Star, though, not so much. Missing ports of call because your ship is traveling at half-speed on just one propeller, or dead in the water for a couple of days when both Azipods fail, is not my idea of a fun time. I don't really care that much for the Epic, for many of the same reasons that others have pointed out on this thread, but we do have a cruise on her scheduled for next month. Given the itinerary and the available sailing dates, it just made more sense than any other NCL ship in trying to get a cruise to dovetail with our land package tour of Italy.
  7. You are correct. I did not express it very clearly in my first response to this question, so I tried to clarify in a subsequent post. While you do get the benefits attributable to being in the Haven, such as access to the Haven restaurant, the services of a butler, etc., you do not receive any additional perks such as the Free at Sea benefits. And yes, it is true that NCL has promoted an "all for one and one for all" approach to FAS benefits during the year-and-a-half that they haven't been sailing, they could go back to the old "one if by land and two if by sea" approach at any time in the future. If and when they do, then the gist of my response would hold, that if, for example, you received two FAS choices with a Balcony, then won an upgrade bid to a Haven, you would not receive the additional FAS choices that those who paid full price for their Haven room would receive. Pah-tay-tah, Poh-Tah-Toe.
  8. There definitely is an advantage to booking onboard and it is completely separate from whether you purchase Cruise Next Deposits or not. When you book onboard, you can reserve the best (most expensive) cabin in a category (for Balconies, that usually would be a BA) but only pay for the least expensive room in that category, say a BF.
  9. You don't receive the extra Latitudes points. Before the pandemic shutdown, NCL usually offered one Free at Sea perk to Inside or Ocean View rooms, two to Balconies, and all four (or five) to Suites and Haven rooms. If you upgraded back then, you kept whatever perks you had, but didn't receive the extras. Now that every room (except Sail Away) gets all the perks, it really doesn't make much difference when you upgrade. If your upgrade takes you into the Haven, you do get butler and concierge service, as well as access to all Haven facilities, including the restaurant and bar, so both now and previously you do get the full benefit of the upgrade in that regard. What it boils down to then, under the current protocol with all the Free at Sea perks going out to just about everybody, the only thing you really miss out on with an upgrade is the extra Latitude points.
  10. Unfortunately, no. You keep the perks you had with your original room.
  11. Now I'm a bit confused. When we visited with you in your Aft Penthouse during the cabin crawl on our Encore cruise, your favorable review of your room made me rethink my upgrade bids on a couple of future cruises. I got the impression that you thought the vibration was minimal and barely noticeable.
  12. The Star has four or five independent Diesel engines. One of them was replaced last year during dry dock. The problems, however, that have caused the Star repeatedly to miss ports, cancel entire cruises, and in general become the most unreliable ship in the NCL fleet were with the Azipods. Each of the two main propulsion systems have failed multiple times, including February of 2017 when they failed simultaneously and left the ship adrift in the Tasman Sea. The engines were still operating on each of those occasions, generating plenty of electric power, but the Azipods stopped functioning despite having power. It certainly is possible that the Star will never again suffer a propeller failure that causes it to lose speed, miss ports, etc., but simply replacing one of the Diesel engines does not solve the problems with the Azipods. Each of the two units have been repaired multiple times, but each one has continued to fail multiple times after those repairs.
  13. The absence of a thermal spa on the Joy is a major difference.
  14. One of them is a private elevator for Haven guests. The other goes to the sun deck.
  15. If you put in multiple bids, NCL will automatically cancel the others once it awards you one of the upgrade offers. There really is no way of knowing which one they will accept and which ones they cancel. If there are several for which you are the high bidder, NCL will choose which one to award you. You do not get to pick your favorite. The best approach would be to bid near the maximum for your first choice and less for any others. You still may end up with one of your "take it or leave it" bids.
  16. We were on the Aug 28 - Sep 4 cruise. We had breakfast on the last morning in Taste. The Local also was open. Each of them have slightly limited menus on the last day, though. No Eggs Benedict in the MDR, for example.
  17. Here's what I would do under similar circumstances - call NCL, or your TA, or best yet your own NCL PCC and do a cancel / rebook to a higher category cabin. If the price drop was significant, then the new cost of the higher category stateroom may not be much more than the original price you paid for the lesser category room. Yes, you'll end up spending a bit more for the cruise, but you'll get a much nicer room and all the hassle of dealing with credits / refunds / etc. will be behind you and you can enjoy your vacation.
  18. For those who spent a majority of their career in a high-rise office tower, elevator etiquette seems like second nature. While waiting for an elevator to arrive, you stand to one side of the door to allow passengers to get off before you enter the car. Once on board, you glance at the control panel to see if you will be among the next to exit, so you should remain near the door, or if there are many other floor buttons lit before yours, meaning you should make your way to the back of the car so others can exit without having to get past you. When the elevator is close to your floor, you begin making your way to the front so you can exit quickly once the car stops on your floor. Easy peasy, but for persons who only ride an elevator once in a blue moon, it seems like they wake up in a whole new world each time they board an elevator.
  19. Keep in mind that you don't get to choose your cabin assignment if you win an upgrade bid. You have to take whichever room they give you that falls within the category for which you bid. Also, although you can modify or cancel your bid anytime after you make it up until NCL decides to accept or reject it (usually about two days before sailing), once they award you an upgrade there's no turning back. You must accept the room they assign. You can't say "No thanks, I'll just keep my original room." By that time, your original room probably already will have been assigned to someone else, likely to someone who bid for an upgrade to your previous level of stateroom.
  20. It depends on may factors, including how close to fully booked the ship is. Most NCL cruises are running at about 60% capacity right now, so that improves your odds. Itinerary is also a big factor. Cruises with lots of sea days attract more interest in Haven Suites and Spa staterooms. On a Trans-Atlantic cruise you likely would need to bid near the maximum to win a bid for the Haven. On other cruises, though, a relatively low bid for Balcony upgrade from an Inside might win.
  21. I agree. You should be able to cancel and rebook. NCL may try to refund the price difference as a future cruise credit, but you should be able to get cash back. We even have encountered a similar situation after the final payment due date. We were able to transfer our reservation to a higher category room (Balcony to Haven) and only pay the price difference between the expensive Balcony that we already had booked and the new lower priced Haven. It only cost us about $750 extra for a Haven Spa Suite on a 14 day cruise and it definitely was worth it.
  22. We had lunch at the American Diner on the last sea day. We wore our jackets and managed to find a spot out of the wind and with an electric space heater in the ceiling right above us. The weather still was a bit brisk, but pleasant. The lobster rolls were listed as an appetizer, but we made them our main course. They were GREAT! There are only a few places on the ship where they serve lobster, and most of them have a surcharge. The bread tasted just like what we've experienced in New England, the lobster was chunky and juicy, and the sauce (or mayo or whatever) didn't detract from the luscious lobster. There were only two or three other couples there, however, even though it was noon on a sea day. There were more staff members on duty than there were customers.
  23. We had a similar experience in Cagney's several years ago. Once we called it to their attention, they also cooked a new steak for us, then comped the entire meal by restoring our dining coupon to my account. We had dinner in Le Bistro the next night by reusing the coupon. I am sure that if you had called the problem to the attention of the restaurant manager, he would have taken care of things. Currently the Cagney's maitre 'd on the Encore is Nikola. We have sailed with him before and we know that he would be on top of something like an improperly cooked steak in an instant. Sorry your experience was less than optimal. We were on the cruise right after yours. Yes, some things were a bit less than unicorns and rainbows, but as someone else mentioned, this was only the third or fourth cruise for NCL after a year and a half shutdown. It could have been better, but we tried to cut them some slack and we gave them an A+ for effort.
  24. Yes. You will not be allowed in the cruise terminal unless you are wearing one of the colored wristbands that Eurofins hands out to persons who pass their COVID test on the day of embarkation.
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