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About MaryBethV

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  1. I am really enjoying your "live from" - you have a great writing style and I love all the detail. I passed the link on to our 25yo son who is trying to plan a trip to Japan with his friends in the next year. 🙂
  2. On the Regal in February - they showed the Super Bowl in the Vista Lounge. They had a table in the back with some hot food, chips/salsa/quac, and desserts. And an ice sculpture...
  3. We are definitely looking at doing this when we take DH's parents next year! When we travel with our kids, we are usually rushing back to not miss an additional day of school.
  4. I was really enjoying your review. I'm so sorry for the loss of your close friend. 😞
  5. OK, my comparison thoughts for those that are interested. I'll list which line I thought was better under each item. PRINCESS (Regal) vs. Norwegian/NCL (Escape & Getaway) CABIN Room at the End of the Bed PRINCESS - Princess has almost double the walking space! We had a standard balcony cabin. Balcony PRINCESS - The chairs were more comfortable to sit in - they had a higher back and were adjustable. Bathroom NCL - More spacious. You could easily change in the bathroom without feeling like you needed to step into the shower to do so. There was also more counter space. Programming on the TV PRINCESS - Loved the free movies-on-demand and programming such as the Wake Show & travel documentaries. General Cabin Areas TOSS UP - Princess has a much better layout for accessing the closet. NCL has a couch as part of their basic balcony cabin. FOOD & DINING Main Dining Room PRINCESS - Princess offered entrees with shrimp, prawns, scallops, filet, lobster. These were offerings you really had to go a specialty restaurant on NCL to get. The food we had on Princess also had well-developed flavors, whereas on NCL we had a number of dishes that lacked flavor/seasoning, but were still very salty. Other Included Food Options PRINCESS - you have four options other than the buffet for food (and the International Cafe is fantastic!). While the pub-style restaurant on NCL (the only other included food option besides the buffet) had pretty good food, the location was loud and the service was spotty at best. Desserts PRINCESS - Hands down. Princess had REAL cheesecake, and the other dessert offerings were very good. NCL desserts looked ok, but they all tasted a bit blah/gelatinous. (The desserts in the NCL specialty restaurants were very good, however.) Anytime Dining NCL by a little - all they offer is anytime dining and they just seem to have it down to a science. We only had a couple of nights on Princess where we had a 15 minute-or-so wait time - so it wasn’t bad at all. I’ll gladly wait a few minutes for better food. 😉 MISC. Embarkation PRINCESS - pre-registering with the app made check-in a breeze. We literally walked right on the ship - no lines, no holding rooms. 15 minutes or less from curb to ship. Ship Layout NCL - It was very easy to find your way around their ships. Princess had layouts that seemed “choppy” and I think that made it very difficult to get your bearings. We also missed NCL’s distinctive patterns on the carpet in the cabin hallways that let you know which way was forward or aft. Top Decks PRINCESS - There is just more lounge area & pool area when it isn’t taken up with rope courses, waterslides, climbing walls and the specialty suites-only area like on NCL. While the activities are fun, they do make the pool and deck areas much more limited. Promenade NCL - they have a beautiful, spacious promenade deck with comfy outdoor seating areas all around. They even had seating for some of the restaurants and bars on the promenade. We did miss that on the Regal - while you can get outdoors on deck 7, the area is quite limited. Internet PRINCESS - not only is their Medallion internet much more affordable than NCL, it is much faster! On-Ship Technology PRINCESS - the ease of finding your shipmates was as easy as opening up the app on your phone (or going to an interactive screen in the elevator area) and locating them via their medallion. This was wonderful when locating our teenagers, and made everyone's experience more relaxing and safe. Website NCL - Their website for managing your booking/reservations/planning was much easier to log into and navigate than the Princess equivalent. If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask!
  6. Thank you - I don't even remember seeing that. They cram so much in those Patters!!! I will watch for it next time if the kids think it sounds fun. 🙂
  7. We did catch a few songs at the end of her time in Crooners on the very last night. She was very sweet and very talented! I'm not a big fan of Country Western music in general (at least not modern CW music), but the songs she sang were beautiful and we would have listened to her again if we had found her earlier in the week!
  8. Actually, we were the first to stop back at Princess Cays on February 4th - and our bungalow rental (and all of them, for that matter) was cancelled that day at least. Good to know that they are back in use!
  9. THINGS TO DO NEXT TIME An afternoon in The Sanctuary Afternoon tea Pub lunch See a show Swim in a pool Crown Grill on the last night? Try the food options by the pool Schedule a planned excursion or two in ports Is there anything else you just LOVE and think my list is missing?
  10. Great information - thank you! Taking notes...
  11. Thank you all so much! I'll just plan on calling the Dine line right away once on board.
  12. We are looking at booking a cruise where the promotion includes one night of specialty dining. Does anyone know how that works? Do we make reservations in advance through our cruise personalizer? Or do we have to wait until we are on the ship? Can we choose any specialty dining restaurant on any night? Thank you!
  13. I love different perspectives on cruises - thanks for doing a live review!
  14. Thank you! We would really love to go to Alaska - though we might bump it to 2021 since we really want to also take my husband's parents on a cruise next year for their 50th. Cost-wise, we could do two separate Caribbean cruises for the cost of one Alaskan cruise! Decisions, decisions...
  15. Sunday, February 10th | Debarkation Day Well, all good things must come to an end. I was up before dawn. We were already docked in Ft. Lauderdale and a few ships were still coming into port. We woke the kids up, did a little final packing, and had a quick bite to eat in the buffet. Time to say our goodbye's... Goodbye pretty cabin photo that makes me want to go to Bora Bora. Goodbye long, double balcony with fabulous views. Goodbye crazy 'free massage chairs' in front of Gelato. 🤣 Getting an elevator with 6 luggage bags was a bit crazy. We split up and took the "ride up to go down" strategy when necessary. All-in-all though, debarkation was a breeze. We had one last cappuccino from the International Cafe coffee bar - and then walked right off the ship with all of our luggage - right through customs - straight to the white tent right outside the cruise port where we were promptly picked up by our pre-arranged All Star Tours transport back to the airport. Easy peasy. FYI: Ft. Lauderdale airport was only allowing people to check luggage and into the main part of the airport 3 hours prior to their flight. Which meant we were stuck in the holding area for a good FOUR HOURS. This airport is too small for the demand (obviously) and poorly designed (one big Delta holding room with the gates lumped into one corner). We did notice they had areas under construction - so hopefully this is not the norm. If it IS the norm, and we have to take a late flight out of here next time, I am going to have to figure out a better plan - a short post-cruise excursion or SOMETHING. Any ideas? In the holding area - bored teenagers who would like to still be in bed... Thanks so much for following along! I'll be back soon with some final thoughts and a few comparisons to the cruises we took last year on Norwegian.
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