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Everything posted by ColdCruise

  1. 👍 Thanks for letting me know @bluesea777 … at least I got the right map! I’d have preferred a ship’s photo from Reykjavik but if I waited, chances are someone else would post a photo of themselves and it would become my headline photo (happened on my Viva TA trip report - dang it!) Sky, Star, Sun … I get those 3 confused all the time. Heaven help me if I’m on one and there’s another one docked next to us in a port ….might try to get on the wrong one 😝 I’ll follow up with the mods to fix that!
  2. Here it is … hopefully a GREAT itinerary in which NCL,safely sails the Star into all the ports per our booked itinerary. Well my fingers are crossed 🤞🫰, my packing list made and the actual packing sorting commences this weekend!
  3. Cruise Next limited time - makes for an even happier Independence Day for the cruise-addicted 🛳️🥳🎆🎇
  4. This is definitely YMMV - we had to wait over 30 minutes for MDR seating a couple evenings on last cruise (Sky, 14 day Caribbean). MDR lines were long first week, luckily people disappeared on 2nd week and it was ”walk right up, sit right down…” guess everyone went to the buffet, which was not that great of a selection, but to each their own.
  5. I’ll mention that Norwegian changed applicability of the FAS within the past 2 years. Our initial info for our almost-inaugural Prima had a more restrictive list of restaurants for FAS and Latitude dinners, but by the time we boarded every specialty restaurant was fair game. Prima /Viva - great restaurants, i especially recommend Onda & Paladar
  6. @EngrJones absolutely, people get all territorial about who said they’d organize the M&G first. there’s 1 travel agent who will create roll calls years in advance and one of her 1st posts is she will organize the M&G, then books blocks of hotel rooms and tries to get roll callers to book there. Plus she likes to play with the faces group and tries to get people to join that group so she organize excursions. Never met her cuz I dropped that cruise for a better itinerary, but was astonished by her activity so checked her other posts … same pattern. people always making power plays or trying to make a buck … off putting.
  7. That’s a very nice experience and memory @The Traveling Man, now I understand why some roll calls see people almost arguing over who is managing the M&G. i volunteered to coordinate the M&G on my last cruise as no one had done so (late-ish booking, 3 months out) because I enjoy meeting other cruisers, and CCers. I didn’t get any special perks but it was nice to be able to run into the department heads around the ship and recognize them (I am terrible with remembering faces to go with names) and have conversations … because almost all the officers were way better at recognizing people than I am!
  8. If something has an upcharge for FAS or Latitude meals, this is explicitly indicated on the menu along with the amount for the upcharge. Look through some cruise reports for posted menus. Several in my reports, but will point out @BirdTravels’s very extensive posting opus with comprehensive menus (Bird cruises way more often than I can). Of course, there are other prolific cruise reporters who post menus, Bird just came to mind.
  9. We stopped in Punta Delgado on out Viva TA (Lisbon-> Miami),I wish Cape Verde was on that trip! Viva was a great ship for a TA, enjoy….now I’m going to check the cruise out!
  10. Woop! Way to go, NCL Sky staff & crew!!
  11. What are CruiseNext guests? I thought that is the discount certificate program. Do you mean people escorted by the CruiseNext desk team … who area also the Latitudes team?
  12. Same with our last cruise on Sky - no MDR open for embarkation lunch. Also the Local/O’Sheehans wasn't open for lunch… ever … and the to be clear didn’t serve any meals the whole 14 day cruise until 5pm. It was just a bar extension to the Great Outdoors until 5pm. cost savings = cut backs
  13. Teppanyaki is a Fixed Price restaurant- it a venue with a set price. BOOK it first, regardless of WHEN you plan to go. Bistro/Cagneys have menus with per-item pricing, ie à la carte. Everyone’s bill will differ, so NCL doesn’t know the price of your meal beforehand so they don’t pre-charge you when you make a reservation. BOOK those AFTER you make all the set-price reservations. NCL restaurant booking sequence is unrelated to which order you with visit the restaurants.
  14. @CCJack please post back after you get onboard to let us know how it worked out or if you had to make your own inward arrangements from Venice to Split. Based on previous observed handling, I think if your flight will only result in a short delay, NCL will hold for you, especially as they’re providing transfers. That transfer vehicle is probably bringing more than just your party to the ship. We were on Prima from Amsterdam during her inaugural season. We had a 4pm departure. That was the summer when European air travel was rife with huge delays. After we embarked, NCL announced departure was delayed until midnight. This allowed several flight-delayed passengers to make it onboard. However, it messed up our next 2 days schedule and ports. When we arrived at our first port of Kiel on the 2nd afternoon, there were about 6-8 people waiting to embark. They said they used NCL air and NCL got them to Kiel. I hope that’s a representative response for Norwegian. Side note - we booked our own airfare for that cruise to arrive 2 days earlier, although originally had the BOGO. Our PCC didn’t enter the 2 day deviation we requested and we got our NCL procured flight times that had us arriving after 12pm. Luckily NCL records all call to their agents (don’t use any private cell numbers so you’re protected by this!), so we escalated to the troubleshooting department (forgot precise name). and After they validated through the recording that we had requested the deviation, we came to an agreement whereby we purchased our own tickets and they gave us nonrefundable OBC equal to the airfare costs. Of course, that meant we weren’t actually made whole because we had a sh**load of OBC to spend and had to book overly expensive excursions we would not have otherwise done in order to use that OBC (we were in a spa cabin, so buying spa packages wasn’t option).
  15. @nomoe We had an OV on Sky in Feb/Mar this year. It was deck 7 foreword,y the 1st cross hallway, do not advise this due to noise when docking and anchoring. Of course, if you’re “ before the crack of dawn “ types, then that would be okay. Room was tight - we had to separate the beds because there was 1 Pullman that made it difficult to get to that side of the bed. Shower curtain. OTOH it was convenient for disembarking and the atrium bar.
  16. Call NCL and ask. I definitely recommend the spa on an Epic TA - great thermal spa.
  17. NCL had posted somewhere they were rolling out the new pricing info mandated by California on 25 or 26 Jun, not waiting till July 1. Makes sense to have that info out before the weekend and so they can address any glitch pes before the law kicks in.
  18. The Parke West Art team pays crew members to help them during auctions, it is away the crew members can earn extra money above their NCL pay. Often members of the entertainment venues such as production crew are assisting because they are available during daytime or when their shows are not scheduled for that day. @stinkyharriet I remember seeing those performers helping with the art auction. On our 11 day transatlantic they only performed 2 days, so plenty of down time.
  19. Not quite true - some if the ships have lost their Broadway style shows months ago. The Sky did not have any on a 2 week Caribbean cruise in Feb/Mar, or the 2-3 iterations before we boarded her. During the behind the scenes Platinum+ tour, the theater manager or tour guide stated we were lucky as they had multiple guest performers but that shorter cruises might only get 1 guest performer, the two in house made up musical competition & Icon shows and game shows as fillers. on Star next month, waiting to see what the entertainment is - app lists 2 game shows (deal & wheel), “Band on the Run” (seems like a 70s-era music variety show) and something called “Paradis” (no “e”) about “Bohemian Parisian culture”. Anyone seen those last two?
  20. Icons was one of the in-house shows on the Sky in Feb/Mar. so so no real plot or story, just performers playing and singing sons from Iconic singer/musicians. But it was better than a game show you had to pay for, but far less satisfying than a named Broadway-style show. I would not go again.
  21. The shows on our last NCL cruise were pretty disappointing. They were 2 in-house shows which were musical competitions between the show performers. Stitched a bunch of songs together with a very thin story line. At least they were well attended . This was a 14 day Caribbean cruise in Feb-Mar. the other performances were jugglers, magicians who juggled, a guest soloist and a game show-Deal or No Deal. That was IMO a bait and switch. We sat in the theater 30 min past posted show time then NCL cancelled the “show” because not enough people PAID To PLAY (including us). then later in the cruise there was another game show. Forgot which one. Anyways again not enough people paid, so they switched the sane to a different one. It was kind of boring. on Prima and Viva the games were actual games. Prima was Price is Right and people were seemingly picked randomly from audience. It was clear the selectees had never seen the iconic American game show because they had no clue what it was about & at least one contestant did not have a good grasp of English, which i felt was unfair to her, especially combined with her unfamiliarity with the game’s concept. Viva handled the contestant selection better - people volunteered to play and there was some sort of try out earlier in the cruise so the contestants were clued in. the Sky game set up sucked and I have low expectations for the entertainment program in my upcoming Star cruise. NCL’s entertainment program has been a big draw, combined with the good to great food and interesting itineraries. Entertainment is down in quality, food is slipping (esp recent changes to Cagney's and the Sky Local only open for dinner with a very abbreviated menu) and there have been a lot of skipped ports that have resulted in us cancelling reservations. Unfortunately just before the announcement of entertainment and dining degradation we purchased several CruiseNext. Waiting for double up opportunity so we can use them on fewer cruises. We are booked on our first RCL cruises the fall….
  22. You’re welcome - have a fun trip !
  23. My husband is a bit over 6’2 and good headspace but I think it depends on where the length is - torso or legs. I contacted Mandy & Hans with a similar question - they were very quick to respond and we booked. Contact them to be sure :)👍
  24. I would book it now since there’s availability. If you wait a week, it might not be an option. Then you have until 48 hours before port arrival to decide … just don’t forget! (although i still would decide in advyof the 48 hours and not wait till the last minute to cancel )
  25. Just chipping in with my $0.02 - go longer and due the (hopefully) polar circle so awesomely beautiful and unmatched. Plus as others mentioned your “waste” 4 days crossing the Drake plus your embarking/disembarkation days, so 9 only gives you 4 days expeditioning (made that word up 😉) and always that is subject to weather and seas. i did not sail with Atlas, but sailed on a sister or twin ship to the Atlas ships . Our cabin was just forward of the front stairs, so not quite midship, and was a balcony on deck 6. Midship and low is definitely the way to go on a Drake crossing. Even on decks 5&6 the waves were saturating the floor of the deck and occasionally hitting our window one day. I went end of Feb-Mar 23, there’s a trip report on cruise critic. The penguin babies were mostly moulted and our penguin guru said they’d be leaving in a couple weeks. Unfortunately the late hatchlings we saw would not make it. also if presented with opportunity to kayak or SUP do it at least once (I chickened out) - the group that only signed up for the one-time option came across a couple sleeping whales bobbing in the water …inside the Antarctic circle. Super photos! im considering going with Atlas Jan 25, just get my friend on board.
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