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C Dog

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  1. Nor have we. Royal cancelled our April 4th cruise on Brilliance on March 13th. We requested a refund the same day. We have received 5 refunds for odd amounts, but are still owed over $2300 from the cruise fare.
  2. No kidding. It's ironic that Royal has been doing everything they can to make ships MORE densely packed. Each "amping"/drydock has resulted in less public/common space, dozens more cabins, and hundreds more passengers.
  3. Still waiting on our cruise fare refund of $9835.90 for April 4th cruise on Brilliance. Royal cancelled on March 13th; submitted refund request same day. It's been well over the 30 days they stated.
  4. Still waiting on my refund for our April 4th Brilliance cruise. Royal cancelled on March 13th; I submitted the refund request the same day.
  5. You are the first and only one I have heard getting a full cruise fare refund for a cruise Royal cancelled (during this suspension).
  6. The email I received from Royal on March 13th stating they were cancelling our April 4th cruise on Brilliance specifically stated the refund would come 30 days after I submitted the request. I submitted my request on that very day, and it has now been well over 30 days. If it doesn't come tomorrow, I will be calling my credit card company.
  7. Agreed. I also filled out the form for a refund on March 13 when RCCL cancelled our April 4th sailing. Nothing so far. Not even a confirmation email they said would be coming.
  8. Interestingly, I've only noticed this local drink tax on NCL (with a drink package). Must be built in to the cost of the drinks packages on other lines. Anyone been charged these taxes on any other cruise line?
  9. Going on Brilliance out of Tampa in April. Will we miss the Sunshine Skyway Bridge if we have early dinner?
  10. We have been on 6 cruises in the previous two years with 3 of those on Royal and 3 on NCL. Our most recent NCL cruise was on Pride of America in Hawaii this past spring break. I think that cruise is tied as our most favorite cruise ever... We didn't really experience some of the more common complaints, including the following claims: - "Service isn't as good": We actually thought the service was excellent everywhere on the ship. Absolutely no complaints about the service. I think our butler was the best we've ever had. - "More expensive": We have always sailed in 2 bedroom suites and this ship was one of the cheaper fares we've paid. (Cabin 8202). Note: Prices may have gone up since then as we booked before they started offering the included alcoholic beverage packages in Hawaii. - "Uninteresting ship": True, it is smaller, and there is no casino if you're into that. But we thought it packed in a lot for its size including the typical large assortment of NCL dining (including a free Asian restaurant and 24 hour car-themed diner, in addition to the dining room and buffet), not to mention at least 6 specialty restaurants for an extra fee. Also had an aft pool which is rare on NCL. That said, we probably like Royal and NCL equally, with each having pros and cons. Most notably: Royal: Better ship design. The center promenades are great. Most cabins are larger than NCL cabins. NCL: Better dining all around (we prefer the "freestyle" concept, the selection of food and selection of restaurants on NCL). It seems like even the smaller NCL ships have as many, if not more, restaurant choices than the largest Royal ships. Cabins feel smaller, however, the master bathroom in NCL's two bedroom suites is phenomenal. Anyway, doubt you can go wrong with either, although sounds like you would get more time on the islands with NCL. Here is a video of our trip this past spring:
  11. We just finished a southern Caribbean cruise on Freedom, and as I say after each cruise, I think it was our best one yet. The service was particularly wonderful, even better than when we were star class on Oasis last year. Just fantastic! But it's so disappointing to see this great ship is scheduled for yet another drydock in which dozens of cabins will be added leading to hundreds more passengers, with a corresponding loss of even more common space. Loss of the ping pong deck space for more cabins. Loss of fitness center space for more cabins. Loss of the On Air club for more cabins. Loss of the library for more cabins. And so on. This ship has already seen dozens of cabins added with the loss of a night club and additional fitness center space in its last drydock; now it's going through another! The same thing just happened with Oasis. When will they stop? So long as passengers don't mind increasingly crowded boats, I guess. I know this strategy isn't limited to Royal. One of the few negative things about cruising is crowds, yet cruise lines seem determined to make this issue worse, not better. I know they aren't a luxury line, but I wish cruise lines would keep passenger numbers to the level of the original ship design. How does this even work with lifeboat capacity anyway? (Rant over).
  12. Recently returned from a great Hawaiian cruise on Pride of America. This was our 5th cruise in 2 years of cruising, and 3rd on NCL. A few notes: - Stayed in cabin 8202, a "2-bedroom family suite with large balcony." This was significantly smaller than the 2-bedroom suites found on other NCL ships, although the balcony was indeed large and wonderful, giving both an aft and starboard side view. The smaller cabin size is tolerable, but the real limitation to this room was the single and tiny bathroom. We missed the 2-bath, 2-bedroom setup on the other NCL ships. - We frequently heard that the service is not as good as it's an all-American crew. We didn't find that to be true at all. On the contrary, the service was as good as any of our previous NCL or Royal cruises. - Many recommend a port side cabin on this ship for a better view of the Na Pali coast. We had a starboard side and were happy we did. I don't know if it's true of all sailings, but when we got to the coast, the Captain turned the ship multiple times for a great view from anywhere... this reminded us of our time in Glacier Bay where the ship also spun around several times. In the ports, the starboard side seemed to always have the view of the island (rather than the sea). - Really no lines anywhere and were able to get seated at restaurants immediately. I seriously think the biggest hiccup of the whole cruise experience was the waiter forgetting our soups at East Meets West! Anyway, we had an amazing time. A few highlights in our video:
  13. We have been on 3 NCL cruises and 2 Royal cruises, all within the previous 2 years and all in 2-bedroom suites. We like them both about equally, albeit for different reasons. Our opinions: Royal has better ships and ship designs. The common areas, from the royal promenade to the pool decks are just better laid out and feel less crowded. The two-bedroom cabins are more spacious but at the expense of much smaller bathrooms. NCL has a better dining experience. Not only in the taste of the food (admittedly subjective), but in the number of restaurants on board (always more than RCCI comparing equal-sized ships), the variety and selection on each restaurant's menu, and the whole free-style concept. Also enjoy not having to dress up in the hot Caribbean and packing that extra garment bag. The two-bedroom suites on NCL have an extraordinary master bath (double sinks, shower and separate soaking tub overlook the sea). I do agree with a previous poster that the "nickel and diming" seems significantly more excessive on NCL. Anyway, we've stuck with these two lines because they are both family friendly and have great family suites. Between the two, we now pick based on itinerary.
  14. I didn't think there were any more active surface lava flows anywhere on the island. Kilauea's 35 year eruption was determined to be over after 90 days of inactivity in December 2018.
  15. We are like you and have only ever sailed in 2 bedroom suites (2 adults, 2 children). We've been in the 2 bedroom suites on NCL Pearl, NCL Escape, the 2 bedroom Grand Suite on RCI Adventure OTS, and the 2 bedroom AquaTheater Suite on RCI Oasis OTS (star class). I think we really like both lines equally, albeit for different reasons. In summary, we feel Royal has better ships and NCL has better dining. More detailed preferences of each line below: Royal: - The two bedroom cabins are bigger as are the balconies - More activities on the ships (comparing similar size ships from each line) - Better ship design; better flow - Much easier to book excursions online and cancel/change/rebook when excursions go on sale - More varied itineraries from which to choose (bigger fleet) Norwegian: - More complimentary and specialty restaurants (comparing similar size ships from each line) - More items on restaurant/dining room menus - More flexibility in times (we much prefer the 'freestyle' dining) - Better food (although taste is subjective) - No need to pack a garment bag as overall less formal - Private space (pool, courtyard) in Haven - The two bedroom cabins have a much nicer master bathroom (double sinks; shower overlooks ocean) That's all I can think of right now. Entertainment seems equivalent, as does service.
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