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About Hotspring

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Bellevue, WA
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    Scuba diving
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  1. Go ahead and voucher them and earn your credit card reward points or miles at the same time. (No way give them $500, you will make the rest of us look cheap by a factor of 2 or 3 in total).
  2. Yes, I think I assumed that and may have read it on these post before. However, I was surprised when I asked one of the Breakaway assistants that they did not share the tips made to the concierge. So we ended up doing 3 tip vouchers for the concierge, and the two assistants we ended up interacting with on our last trip. However, if we can just make one voucher to the Concierge team we are going to feel much better. (Of course we are going to use vouchers to max our out credit card points).
  3. Of course they do, I was just making a point. Similar some (but not most) teachers and professors complaining about being underpaid or working 9 months out of the year. On top of that they get free living expense and round trip air home and do get to see the entertainment and travel that the cruises offer. That 100K+ USD is a substantial amount to make in their home countries.
  4. Good point. That and tipping them as much as BirdTravels does would the being tipped over $118K/year for a souped up waiter/waitress job (52 weeks times a average of 13 cabins). But remember, they also are the ice runners and stock your refrigerators with your requests. On our last cruise are only special request to the butler was to exchange one of our unopened bottles of liquor for another and deliver one breakfast before an early morning excursion. We ended up tipping the steward more than the butler since we were in the OS, a larger room and balcony, and actually increased the tip for the concierge team because of additional help we needed because of Dorian. We did tip all extra when we for the two extra sailing days we got out of the Breakaway, but the butler only only got about 2/3 of what Birdtravels recommends and we can sleep nights. We aware that you can buy the tip vouchers from the Haven concierge and you really need to buy a separate voucher for each member of the concierge team that helped you. They apparently do not share their tips as we assumed in the past, we have tipped the head concierge $75 for a week when he did absolutely nothing for us---assuming he share with his hard working team.
  5. Actually I thought only one scene in a filthy bathroom was raunchy and made me uncomfortable watching with my mature (Last Week with John Oliver fan) 13YO daughter. Some of the dancing may be considered inappropriate but it is nothing more than what one typically sees on TV anytime. Great dancing, decent story, pseudo music while live do not come close the original cuts. We do not use the foul language used throughout the show, but it always good to be exposed to how other exist. When discussing the show with my daughter she indicated she enjoyed but revealed she has no desire to see the Adult comedy shows on the ship---had taken her to one at 9:30 not realizing it was an adult audience. Bottom line , kids younger than 13 - 14 should not be exposed to the show, IMO as a progressive.
  6. Fantastic review! Yes, it was odd reading how a wine drinker was allergic to grapes. But agree is pitiful that the butler did not honor your needs. Hopefully you did not leave her the $15/day/person tip to the butler that Birdtravels likes to recommend. Our butler did an excellent job, but we three only tipped him one third that including the additional 2 days (we did not make any unusual special requests). If all 14 of the cabins he was assigned were as value minded as we where he would still be hauling in at least $1,900 for nine days of work, or close to $98,000 annually for a goosed up waiter job. On Roatan, we took the Nature Preserve tour to see the sloths, monkeys, and birds without them being in cages. What is interesting is that they stated that it has been illegal to kill or eat iguanas for the last five years. Made sense and can be confirmed by Google. Now one needs to question the integrity of the outfit that took you someplace to eat endangered creatures. While you mentioned that the passengers were told to return to the ship by early morning Saturday to move to a new pier, you apparently did not hear from our deck mates and eventually the captain that some folks took one of those independent excursions that would not get them back to the ship until 10:30PM Friday. That is why we left so late. One has to wonder if we could have made it back to Miami before it was closed if we left at the scheduled 5:30PM departure time. After all we were only 89 nautical miles away from Miami when the Captain announced at 10PM Saturday that the Coast Guard closed the port again. At 21 knots we likely would have been there in under 4 hours, an over an hour shy of the departure delay Friday night. The ship did not even slow down or change course until after the announcement as observed on the navigation channel 21. The 'Ask the Captain' meeting in the theater Monday was meaningful, the captain and his officers were quite forthright with what was going on. He made it abundantly clear that it was the Coast Guard driving the decisions. IMO the cruises line were only working around their idiocy. While we did not RSVP to the Sea Day mingle, we were turned off when we saw the huge numbers that appeared to be attending. I guess we should have gone when we saw on the other site that anyone just show up. We only saw your family once, but perhaps that was because we existing more on West Coast time rather than East Coast. Thank you so much for sharing your family and well done trip report. You are absolutely the best!
  7. So you are saying that NCL was likely advise by noon 8.31.19 that POM was closed? The passengers were not advised until 10:00PM. Many had scrambled to check in their flights or rearrange flights after being told previously to cancel them because of the extended stay in Cozumel. The ship left Cozumel at 11ish on 8.30.19 because they chose to wait to pick up 25 passengers that took a independent shore excursion that would return them to the ship at 10:30PM. They had been advise they only needed to be back to the ship by 4AM Saturday for pier change. I have been assuming that only if NCL just left those folks in Cozumal it could have left at 5:30 as originally scheduled and docked in Miami by 9PM 8.31.19 and overnighted. We were only 89 nautical miles away when the announcement was made at that 10PM address. What a waste of passenger and airline time if they really knew by noon they were not going to Miami!
  8. Ship - Breakaway Deck - 16 Stateroom # - 16700 Stateroom Category – Haven Owners Suite Starboard or Port Side - Starboard Quiet Stateroom? – No noise from the decks below or above us. Unfortunately with the expansiveness of the balconies in this area of ship, we ended up hearing the arguments and struggles of the families on either side of us. To make matters worst, we had the family from hell in the Haven Deluxe Owners Suite next to us. Yes, we knew going in that the wall between our cabins was just a partition to allow the two cabins to be one. Yes, we read reviews for sister Stateroom 16100, but we were not expecting to hear full blown arguments with physical threats being made nor hear the loud screeching views of their 3 to 5 year olds who apparently have never been told to speak softly when in the midst of others. Typically example of their unruliness, when given the cabin binoculars to look at the sea, it did not work and he through it across the balcony screaming it does not work at 6AM one morning. While we have had connecting room cabins before, the connection was just through a door, we never had the noise problems we experienced on this cruise. Was stateroom a connecting stateroom? - Not usually but can be if the partition is folded up. Balcony View - Basically the exact view of as the Bridge Cam that broadcast on the ship at all times on Channel 21. Forward facing. Balcony Size? - Huge balcony. Had 3 lounger, two sitting chairs and a full size table. Since we did not need all 3 loungers, we asked to one to be removed and replaced with the sitting chairs to offer just a bit more walking space. Was wind a problem? - Not really. Particularly when one was sitting down or laying on the loungers, the wind was not noticeable at all. The balcony glass wall fully encloses the lower portions of the balcony. However, be aware when their is a chance of strong winds during the overnight sailings, the crew will bound the balcony furniture together making it unusable. We were sailing during Hurricane Dorian and lost access to the balcony furniture 4 of the nine nights of our 7 night cruise. If an aft cabin, was soot a problem? - NA Any specific problems with this cabin? - Even though the Breakaway was refurbished in 2018, it does have some wore and tear. The handles on the two outside sliding doors looked dirty, but the steward demonstrated that it was ingrown dirt from over the years. The handles would have to be replaced but it looks like they were welded to the doors. There was a slight crack in the master bathroom tile. Soap scum stains (but absolutely no soap scum) were seen on the back of the master bath room plastic shower fixture. Wish they had more than just a curtain between the master bedroom and the closet and master bath. Privacy was almost as non-existent as one sailing on the Epic. At least there was a regular door to the second bathroom and of course there was glass doors to the toilet and shower but you could still hear through that glass. Any other comments? - Comfortable and spacious cabin as expected. Really worth considering, particularly when there is a lesser risk of having the ship hoarding tons of kids in all categories. The living room sofa bed pulled out to make a queen bed but the mattress was springy with a foam egg carton top (as requested). While comfortable for kids and smaller adults it was not as comfortable as the Cal King bed in the master bedroom. Definitely not in the category as the type of bed to have romantic relations but perhaps that was NCL's inten for a living room bed likely to have kids sleeping on it.
  9. That was clearly a case where a Haven guest was trying to bring a non-Haven guest into the Haven Restaurant. Any one in a Haven room is subject to the same privileges regardless as to where their Haven room in situated on the deck. If you really are looking for space, consider the Haven Aft cabins with double baths and larger rooms and bigger balconies. The walk is good for you anyway regardless as to your health---you know it can only improve it. Even when we stayed in a forward facing Haven, we still got in over 13,000 steps a day on seas day because we had to go to things at the other end of the ship and prefer stairs to taking packed elevators and know the health benefits. Enjoy.
  10. I have heard from my part time TA SIL that the cruise lines offer extra OBC credits to motivate the TA to push their cruises over others. They do this separate from what they offer their direct customers who already appear to be in their pocket rather than considering other cruise lines. Therefore, the outrageous but nice OBC that Costco and private TA offer are likely non-refundable but spendable for Spa treatments, pedicures, specialty dining, shore excursions. In these days of internet booking the TA commissions are razor thin, they are certainly not enough to wily nily pay purchase $1,000 OBC from a cruise line to to earn a few bucks.
  11. No, pass must be presented to enter the Thermal Spa area on NCL ships.
  12. Yes, you can buy separate minutes or unlimited for each device, but it is more economical just share credentials among the devices. You use the credentials to sign on to the internet, then use the typical user credential to log in to email, Facebook, banking, etc. Not knowing about the ability to upgrade the 250 minute package we easily shared the log in credential among 3 smart phones and android tablet, a Fire, and a IPad (six devices 3 different users) through the week. Just be sure to log off if you do not have the unlimited plan. Next time ask someone else to work through sharing your minutes with others. Heck, they do not even need to be in the same cabin.
  13. Interesting conjecture. I would like to believe that this is what happens, but maybe it is just partially correct. Perhaps our daughter will only earn the points at a rate of one point for each night she had sailed. We are getting to platinum level mostly because we stayed in suites or because of Latitude promotions giving us double or triple points on top of the extra points with a suite. After, on nearly all of our cruises she was in the "additional passengers are free" category. She did not really enjoy the suite as we just shoved her on to the sofa bed and up to her teenage years shoved her into the Splash Academy on every voyage we took.
  14. All the more reason to prepay at booking. DSC can go up anytime but they never retroactively increase the DSC if it has already been paid. Almost makes necessary to book several iffy cruises couple years in advance with the prepaid DSC (even before final payment) to ensure that we are not paying more.
  15. We cannot, we use timeshare points. But otherwise a great suggestion! 🙂
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