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About tlc1972

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    Cruising, of course!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland, NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. If you get snag the Haven at a decent price (and only you can define what a decent price means to you) and as long as you are on a ship with a fully dedicated Haven area (restaurant, bar/lounge, pool, etc.), then I would recommend trying it out. I actually think the Haven restaurant food quality is a step above the MDRs, both in taste and presentation (just unfortunate that the menu never changes for the duration of the cruise). The service in the Haven restaurant and bar is also a notch above and you won't find yourself in as many struggles trying to get the attention of a server or bartender. I was skeptical about the butler, but she turned out to be a nice perk and came in real handy when we opted for in-room dining one night . The Haven is more than just gummy bears and mass-produced cookies. At least that was my experience on Escape a couple years ago. And I'm going back to the Haven, this time on Bliss. The Haven observation lounge was enough to convince me, especially after hearing that it's often quiet and not fully utilized by guests.
  2. Going back a couple years, but my experience with Moderno was actually positive and ended up being one my late stepfather's favorite meals of that cruise (and we were in Haven). Service was fun, the meats were cooked to everyone's liking, and there seemed to be something for everybody at the salad bar. My group talked about the grilled pineapple for months after our cruise. However, it sounds like experiences since then have skewed more negative. Disappointing, because we really did have a great, fun meal.
  3. LA based here, so my recommendation is that you rent a car out of San Pedro/Long Beach and drive to San Diego. On a good day, that should only be about a 90-minute ride. With traffic, maybe closer to 2 hours. Flying to San Diego from Long Beach isn't worth it, considering they are so close to one another. It would be like flying from JFK to Newark.
  4. Now that I've got the inaugural sailing for Apex booked, I need to admit that this will also be my first "European" cruise. We start in Southampton, with two stops: Brussels and Amsterdam. In addition to gratuities, I'd also like to leave additional cash for the crew. Which currency do you recommend? USD, GPB, or Euro?
  5. Thank you @Georgia_Peaches, @twodjs, and @Doctor G! Sky Suite it is. Cannot wait!
  6. My cruise experience has been NCL (Haven), HA, and RCCL, but I'm really interested in the inaugural cruise on Apex next year. Here's my dilemma: AquaClass Suite with two perks (which I pick) or Sky Suite for an additional $640+ with all four perks. Which would you book? Is having Luminae as the DR for Sky Suite any better than Blu for AquaClass? This is a short four-night cruise and has two ports of call, so I'm not sure we'd make great use of the spa access that comes with AquaClass. Pricing is already steep and trying to figure out what's the bigger bang for the buck. PS: My perk options are OBC (up to $300), classic beverage package, unlimited WIFI, and paid gratuities. If I had to pick two, I'd probably go with the OBC and paid gratuities.
  7. I believe you are thinking Vibe Beach Club, which is not attached to Haven. The Haven already has it's own private pool, hot tub(s), and outdoor deck areas (on some ships). Vibe Beach Club is a pay-for exclusive deck area that includes hot tub(s) and bar, usually located near The Haven area. They only sell as many passes as there are chairs in Vibe (someone can correct me if I'm wrong).
  8. It's not on the menu, but I remember seeing bagels, smoked salmon, and spreads along the "grab and go" breakfast area (located along the back wall with other meats, cheeses, breads, and parfaits).
  9. I've only sailed in the Haven once before (Escape), but returning at the end of next month (Bliss). I also did not encounter any unruly children running around, nor did we have any misbehaving adults for that matter. Maybe we've all gotten lucky, but could also just be timing - I think I read in one complaint that they sailed during spring break.
  10. This would be ideal, having the drill the following morning. I'm imagining chaos at the terminal that evening and even after getting on the ship - trying to rush through a drill that same night would probably only add to the craziness. NCL definitely needs to get their act together. I'm on the NCL site right now and still able to make reservations for Teppanyaki on Monday, September 30th at 5:45 pm. I think some others reported not seeing these options or maybe the reservations previously made, yet here they are...
  11. Been updating the folks on the roll call thread, but thought I'd share the latest news here as well. I received a call from an NCL supervisor yesterday, which took me by surprise since I didn't request for a follow up. In any case, she agreed that the boarding time appears to be 7:00 pm (as indicated on my e-docs), but still seemed really confused as they haven't received any updates or notifications about this either. Because I'm in booked in the Haven, she told me to arrive earlier and I should be able to board even before the 7:00 pm time slot. Have to take this all with a grain of salt, though. Some guests are reporting that their e-docs still read 12:00 pm noon boarding time and it doesn't sound like anyone has received an official notice from NCL about the later boarding time. I guess anything can happen at this point. But if we follow the Vancouver port itinerary, then the earliest Bliss is docking will be 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm. Just not sure why NCL cannot connect with Vancouver to confirm this and update all guests. Also, I plan on sending NCL a complaint. I get that itineraries can change, but to sell a six-day cruise that is now really 5.5 (or less) days feels just wrong. I'm sure it won't go very far, but maybe if we can get enough guests to complain...
  12. There was a "brief" promo that was allowing non-Haven passengers to dine in the Haven restaurant for $50 per person (provided there was availability). Whether Haven-paying guests complained enough or non-Haven guests thought the price-point was too rich, the promo is over (and that makes me happy as returning Haven guest).
  13. Thanks for sharing your experience from last year, @adoris. Let's keep our fingers crossed that remains the same for this year (though NCL is reassuring me that it will be).
  14. Quick update: I reached out to NCL for more details. Probably should have done that before posting. According to the NCL rep, we are able to board earlier, starting at noon. She's baffled why our e-docs are reading much later, but reassured me that this is an error. Regardless of the late sailing time (as pointed out by @www3traveler), she insisted that boarding begins in time for lunch. I should be receiving a call/email from Haven concierge at the 45-day mark, so will re-confirm with them at that time.
  15. I'm booked on the Bliss for a 6-day coastal trip from Vancouver to LA and just noticed today that the boarding time on my e-docs is 7:00 pm. That's right: PM. I have never experienced such a late boarding time and now faced with what to do with my crew, which includes two who are a bit mobile-challenged. Walking around downtown Vancouver won't be an option, so any suggestions other than a very late check out from the hotel? I also have to admit that I'm frustrated with the late boarding time. NCL just got away without having to deal with a lunch and, in some cases, even dinner as I imagine a number of guests will probably eat before boarding. I mean, the muster drill alone would cut into dinner time...no?
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