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About alyssazoll

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Lansing, MI
  • Interests
    Traveling, trips to the cabin, scrapbooking, sports
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  1. We buy a larger package so we are able to take bottled water of the ship with us while we are walking around the port or on excursions. You just have to drink it all/throw away since you cannot bring it back on board. You could always do that if 6 will be too many to drink while on the ship.
  2. They aired NFL playoff games when we cruised in January, so I’m sure there is a pretty good chance! They were on one of our TV channels, as well as broadcasted on the pool deck screen and bar TVs.
  3. I believe the perk for those sailings are “premium plus” packages. The premium plus beverage package is offered as a perk on the “open bar” sailings because it includes top shelf alcohol, along with bottled water, premium coffees, etc. Personally, I am more than happy with the open bar already included for those sailings and would not chose the premium plus perk. But some people are picky when it comes to the alcohol they drink. The water and premium coffees are a major plus for some people, too.
  4. I know “promotions” are excluded from sail away staterooms, but is it possible to get an invite to bid on a higher category still? Wasn’t sure if bidding was considered a perk/promotion. I’m aware that not every passenger/every cruise has a bidding opportunity, just curious if it’s been done. Thanks!
  5. Okay, I'm ready to start planning out next cruise now! Just some loose ends and final thoughts. We had a great time! We were with family on a beautiful ship, going to beautiful islands, with beautiful weather. We only saw rain our first night when we were in the hot tub. We were so lucky. Overall, the ship was great but there were some areas that I felt were smaller and more crowded. I think the Local Restaurant space was much smaller than O'Sheehans on the Getaway. The bar space was expanded, but the service was not good for us in that area. I also thought that Spice H20 was a bit smaller with less loungers. I did like that the pool deck was more open than the other ships. The go karts and laser tag are definitely cool, but didn't interest us. If we had kids it might have been a different story. We didn't go to any of the shows, again, because it's not really something we're into. We loved our room with aft facing balcony. We never had a problem catching an aft elevator. The forward elevators were a different story, especially after getting back from a port. But we would just take the stairs to deck 6 and walk to the aft elevators. We also loved all our excursions. It was money well spent, and none of them disappointed. The service overall was good, especially when you take into consideration the size of the ship and the number of people on it. So with that, thank you for those who followed along! Feel free to ask any questions and I'll try to answer as best as I can. I'm looking forward to the reviews to come to keep me occupied until our next cruise in December 2020!
  6. Sunday - Travel Day Home 5:00am came way too early and our vacation was officially over. Our JiffyJeff van was there 5 minutes early and we got to the airport with no problem. TSA was fast and we even encountered the nicest TSA agent I've ever met. It was nice to see that even without a paycheck, this man was still coming to his job and making the best out of it. We boarded, took off, and before we knew it, it was back to the cold.
  7. Finishing up my review today because I had an adult snow day! Yay! Except for the fact we're getting 5-8 inches of snow today, with windchills of -20 coming later this week. Saturday - Disembarkation & Fort Lauderdale: Back to Miami. We had an arranged pick up with JiffyJeff from the port to our post cruise hotel in Fort Lauderdale, so we were doing self walk off that began at 7:45am. On our last cruise, we booked the NCL shuttle to the airport and we were the last group off the ship, so it didn't seem chaotic at all. This time was much different. My brother and sister traveling with my mom did not have passports, which meant they had to use the forward exit off the ship. The rest of our group did have passports, and were told to use the aft exit. Since we needed to exit together for our transfer, we asked which exit we could all go through, especially because my sister and brother are 17 and 14. They told us to use the aft exit. The line for the aft exit was basically at the forward of the ship. While in line, a staff member saw my sister and brother's immigration stickers and said they couldn't be in this line, and needed to use the other exit. My group stayed in the passport line and agreed to just meet them outside. They went back to the other line, where they were told no, everyone should go back through the US passport line. They were super frustrated, and for good reason. I am sure that this is a common scenario and it shouldn't have taken three different times to get it right. For us passport holders, the process was really quick. They were using the facial recognition tool which was interesting. No filling out a declaration form, no agent reviewing it or asking you questions. We were off the ship by 8:10am, and my mom met us at 8:30 with her group. Our JiffyJeff pick up was easy. It was $200 from the port to our 2 different Fort Lauderdale hotels. We also picked up another couple from a different ship and dropped them off at the airport. We were staying at the B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale. We stayed there 3 years ago and very much enjoyed the private beach and amenities. We were dropped off before 9:30am, obviously our room wasn't ready, but we were able to leave our bags and use the resort. We went to the beach until 11:00am, and then went down to the Las Olas Beach area for lunch and shopping, which was about a mile from the hotel. While we were out we got the call that our room was ready. We swam in the ocean and pool for awhile. There was also another pool right across from our room where they do mermaid shows at the hotel. Super cool. We laid out by the pool and soaked up every last minute of sunshine that we could. It was 10 degrees at home! For dinner we went to Duffy's Sports Bar which is one of my favorite chain restaurants in Florida. We had an 8:00am flight home, so we went to bed early since JiffyJeff was picking us up again, and my mom's group at their hotel, and taking us to FLL. This was $100.
  8. Friday - Day 7 - Nassau (continued): Can’t forget about dessert! Eli and I both got the cheesecake (so good!!!!!) Nick got the 7 layer cake Ryan got the macadamia nut brownie We went up to Spice H20 for the farewell party, where we enjoyed our last drinks of vacation. We were all exhausted from playing at Atlantis. Plus we were doing self walk off in the morning, so we called it a night. I could feel the post cruise depression setting in already..
  9. Friday - Day 7 - Nassau (continued): Eli’s crab cake Ryan and I got the pork belly again Ryan, Eli, and I all got the 8oz filet mignon Nick got the NY strip. Eli loved how the waiter came around and loaded your baked potato lol.
  10. Friday - Day 7 - Nassau (continued): We did our souvenir shopping at Atlantis so we didn’t go to any of the port shops. I did have many ladies approach me about getting my hair braided, so if you want that done, this is the place to do it. We had dinner reservations at Cagney’s with our brothers, but here is the menu for the MDR.
  11. Friday - Day 7 - Nassau: ☹️☹️☹️ Last sunrise at sea. I fell back asleep since we weren’t scheduled to be in Nassau until noon. I woke up at 10am to go grab breakfast from the buffet. I wish the buffet had to go boxes or trays. It was not fun carrying my plate back to the room. Side note that we did order late night room service one time and got a pizza. No cost for the food, but $7.95 to have it delivered. We made it into Nassau at about 11:20. We booked Atlantis through NCL. I was so stressed about this...the ship cleared “late” at around 12:10 so we were lined up to get off. I heard rumors about people being kicked off the ship and/or medical evac in Nassau, which could be the reason we were late getting off. This was probably the most chaotic stop. We found our check in spot for Atlantis. They gave us wristbands and a map, and lead us through the maze of the port to buses to go over to Paradise Island. We got off the bus at Atlantis around 12:50. They explained that the buses back to the ship would start at 3:00pm and continue every 30 minutes, with the last bus coming at 6:00pm. All aboard was 6:30, so we decided to try for the 5:30 bus. I was getting real nervous about having enough time to do everything we wanted at the water park. It was about a 10 minute walk into the water park. You go through the hotel and casino before getting to Aquaventure. We got a locker ($28 for a large one that fit 2 backpacks) so we didn’t have to worry about chairs and our stuff being left unattended since we planned on using all our time being in the water. We brought our NCL towels but wished we wouldn’t have because they took up space in our bags and locker. Atlantis provides towels for Aquaventure. At 1:30 we were ready to hit the Rapid River! This was my favorite part. It’s like a lazy river and wave pool combined and it was so much fun! We did it multiple times and probably spent an hour total on it. We didn’t bring the GoPro with us because we didn’t think we could have it on the rides and stuff, but many people did. We were able to do all the water slides! I was really worried that it would be packed, but the most we waited in line was 10 minutes. Definitely make sure you do the slides that go through the aquarium. It was unreal to have sharks and other fish just swimming around you as you’re floating through. We did the famous body slide down the temple as well. We had time to grab something to eat as well. We got a combo meal with a burger, chips, and a drink and it was $12, which we honestly didn’t think was too bad. At 4:50 we grabbed our stuff and went to check out the aquarium. It’s the largest open air aquarium in the world! I didn’t take any pictures 😱 but a stingray swam over by us twice and it was amazing. It was very cool! We did end catching the 5:30pm bus and made it back with no problems. The driver on the way back was very informative and told us all about the things we were passing. Overall, it was a great experience. I could not believe that the water park was so empty. Obviously it was pricey, and when you look at cost to how much time you get, it is lopsided. But we had a great time and got to see everything we wanted at the water park. We are actually looking at staying at Atlantis in December to get the whole experience.
  12. Thursday - Day 6 - At Sea (continued): Ryan wasn’t feeling good to go to dinner, and Nick was off doing stuff with friends he made, so Eli and I went to dinner at the Manhattan Room. We went a little bit later around 8:00pm and the service was so fast. When you are seated they do ask you if you have show reservations to try to accommodate. Eli got the smoked mozzarella ravoli and the tilapia for dinner. I got the meatballs and beef strips. I didn’t like the side that was on the menu with this, so I asked for mashed potatoes to go with it and it wasn’t a problem. Dinner was great. We went up to the pool deck for the glow party and Caliente before going to bed. How is Nassau already tomorrow?!
  13. Thursday - Day 6 - At Sea: The final sea day! I woke up to catch the sunrise. Everyone was up at a decent time so we were able to go to Taste/Savor for a sit down breakfast. Ryan and Eli got the biscuits and gravy, Nick got French toast, and I got waffles. Relaxing was on the menu for today! After breakfast we went to the Atrium and they were doing the cake decorating show. It was pretty funny! We went up to 7 to play some of the acade games. Unfortunately the bowling game wasn’t open yet, so we played Deal or No Deal and the Mario Cart game. We decided to hang out at Spice H20 for most of the day. We loved the bartenders there. The boys were sun-ed out so we were able to grab a table under the patio at the bar. Later my mom and her husband joined us. Also note that there is a large smoking section at Spice that was always packed. Many screwdrivers and Bud Lights were consumed! But it was the last day at sea so we had to get our money’s worth 😉 We probably sat at that table for 6 hours enjoying our beverages, the weather, and people watching. We went back to the room to nap before dinner and start the dreaded packing to go home.
  14. Wednesday - Day 5 - Tortola, BVI (continued): When we got back on the ship, we had the lunch at the Local that I talked about previously. Horrible service 😞 We are typically very patient people, but we didn't go back to the Local for the remainder of the trip. After the buffet and a nap, it was somehow already dinnertime. We went to the Manhattan Room again. The Manhattan Room, Taste, & Savor (The Main Dining Rooms or MDRs) all serve the same menu that feature a nightly selection of entrees, as well as the classic entrees that do not change. Taste and Savor are a little too small and quiet for our liking, so we dinned in the Manhattan Room for all dinners that we didn't have specialty dining. We did not make reservations, and the longest we waited for a table was 5 minutes. My NY strip Ryan's 3 cheese baked ziti Eli's hake fillet After dinner, we went to find drinks. ***STORY TIME!!!*** This is why you tip your bartenders, especially if it's a bar that you plan on sitting down at, or spending a lot of time at. On the Getaway, we LOVED the Sunset Bar on the Waterfront, and Mark was our fantastic bartender. We hoped that Cavern on the Waterfront would be just as great. There was a show going on inside at the Cavern Club, so the outside bar was empty. We sat down, ordered strawberry daiquiris and gave the bartender $3 for the 3 drinks he made us. We enjoyed a couple more daiquiris, all while tipping the bartender, before the show at the Cavern Club was let out. Suddenly people were lined up for drinks. Before the bartender took new orders, he asked us if we wanted another round. Obviously we said yes because we knew it would take awhile before he got back to us, and tipped him again. The lady standing behind us waiting made a rude comment to Ryan about how we were served before her. Ryan politely let her know that we had been sitting there for 30+ minutes and tipping him. This is probably the same lady who complains about having to pay the daily service charge and refuses to tip cash...lol. Moral of the story: take care of your bartenders (wait staff, room stewards, etc.) and they will take care of you! You might even get a paper straw 😉 Anyway, we had fun rest of the night! Tomorrow would be our last sea day, then Nassau, and vacation would be over 😞
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