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Everything posted by DuckTollerFans

  1. A friend of ours traveled to China for his job, and the company chartered (all? a big portion?) the Joy for a corporate outing when it was very new, the inaugural cruise if I remember correctly. He didn't love the ship - felt all the focus was on indoor activities, other than the racing track. He's typically a RC cruiser, fwiw. After watching recent videos of the Joy on YouTube, it's clear the refurbishment was a vast improvement.
  2. Going back to a post a few pages ago.... Interesting to see that NCL is also using Libby. I am hooked on Libby and can access 3 different systems at present, including NYPL, Brooklyn, and my own county - Monroe. I looked at my account "Add a Library" -- only showed Norwegian Prima and Viva at present. Spent a fair amount of time in Spice H20 or on the Waterfront with my Libby audio book last month. Easier to continue watching people or the sea with audio!
  3. Thanks for all the photos. This has definitely upped my interest in sailing on the Joy, possibly this September to Quebec. We were in Bermuda for a few hours only on 4/28 (Getaway) and very much enjoyed the National Museum and the grounds. Beautiful views, and we happened to be on the veranda at the Commander's home when the Gem sailed in to join the Getaway. Fun to see them lined up.
  4. Last week (4/24/24) we took the NCL "Escape to JVD" excursion, and without a doubt it was the best excursion we've taken on any cruise. Could not be any easier getting to the Rebel Yell from the dock. The gorgeous ride from Road Town to the island. Helpful staff as you walk off the catamaran into the water...kind of awkward but they held hands or bags as needed. Super soft sand. A lot of loungers or chairs; a bit crowded as we were the second load of NCL that day. The water temp was perfect and such clear water. (No snorkeling -- did not see one fish) Fancy boats anchored right in the swim area. Bars right there. Decent restrooms. Didn't eat at either of the bars so can't speak to that. It was our favorite day of the 10 day cruise, and we'd choose this excursion again in a heart beat.
  5. OK, good to know. Yes - we've purchased Cruise Next each time and have one left. Upgrading within the category of stateroom and/or location isn't too important for us. Thanks for the info!
  6. Are there any special discounts/perks etc if you book another cruise while you're onboard vs booking while at home? They promote it, but to me that's emotion-based marketing -- hey, don't you want to do this again! OF course you do - Sign right here. If the benefits are real, I'd be looking at something about 5 months out from when we're onboard.
  7. Is this only on the app once you're onboard? That would be very handy. Made a note to try this .. sounds great!
  8. Hello from Rochester! Are there any wine or whiskey tastings that interest you? 2 of those would cut a big chunk into your $50.
  9. Oh, Henry, I used to like you. I will say we've enjoyed the sushi we've had especially on the Gem. A couple of rolls before a show, to keep us from "starving" (as if), and then dinner after a show.
  10. The entertainment for shows etc ... too early to know. There's been a lot of changes recently and who knows what more will happen. But the excursions are fairly consistent and can help you know how to budget your time and money. It also gives you time to research the ports to see if you'd rather venture on your own. Be like the rest of us -- start obsessing early! ๐Ÿ™‚
  11. Kind of related question .... I seem to recall reading that you can access Cruise Critic w/o using up your own internet minutes? Is that something I dreamed up? I am considering a semi-live for next month, but also not willing to upgrade my 150 minutes.
  12. We had made reservations late that February for a May Canadian/NE cruise. At some point before the 13th I read that Canada was not allowing cruise ships in until further notice -- so then we just waited to get the official word from NCL. We rebooked with all the FCC etc to head to Bermuda in 2021 -- also got cancelled so we rented a lovely Finger Lakes cottage. Then finally, in March '23 we were able to sail the Gem, then at ~50% capacity. Staff still wore masks, as did some cruisers. Many of the Caribbean ports were still in flux - when we booked, there were 5 ports listed, by the time we actually sailed I think 3 of them were substituted. We were just happy to be sailing anywhere by then. Last fall some friends were on a non-NCL cruise (forgot which) when the husband tested positive. He was stuck in the cabin the whole time and thankfully they had a balcony. But his wife could go out and do whatever she wanted. Doesn't make too much sense.
  13. Yes! It was 2018 and our first cruise ever. (Gem/Bahamas) I still fondly remember Pat walking around the terminal looking for the roll call folks and giving us beads! Talk about a great welcome to cruising. That whole week had a lot of great activities onboard, thanks to @PatJim organization!
  14. We can play in a bar and cover all the bases. Why choose?
  15. Top moments: * First cruise ever: stepping on the ship. Seriously, that moment you're onboard for the first time ever is unforgettable to me. * Like @bkrickles1 and his family: Totally swooned over The Choir of Man. Their musicality and performance and energy make it the best show I've seen on a ship and better than many seen in a theater. I play the CD and I'm transported back to the ship, grabbing a beer onstage, and being wow-ed. And as an amateur musician I'm always analyzing their harmonies and picking one to follow. ๐ŸŽต * Meeting wonderful people, many of them b/c of the interactions here on CC first before you board. Even if you don't do much with them, seeing their familiar faces is nice. Checking in with how they're enjoying the cruise, their tips on whatever. Maybe getting together on a sea day for a drink or a game of Left-Right-Center. (note: add to packing list) * There's a local dive I go to often enough that the staff *should* know my name by now. But they don't. On a cruise, it takes no time for staff to start greeting you by your name, especially in some of the bars. And they engage - asking you how you spent the day, or telling you about their home country. (like Mauritius -- will I ever meet someone from there again?) There's that famous Maya Angelou quote: "'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." And I think cruising is like that. Happy to be in sailing along the beautiful sea, or exploring in a new-to-me location, or not having any worries other than what to eat or drink, all that .... and knowing I am fortunate and grateful to be able to do vacations like this.
  16. So, my phone app says it's getting up to 65-67 here in Rochester, NY today and only 63 in Bermuda. Crazy.
  17. I'm also in Rochester, Red-Sol. I have the same interest in any time in FL as you do - 0 - plus I have no interest in flying. And tho some posters mention cheap flights out of NYC with its 3 airports, it's not so cheap or convenient from other cities. Some friends left last week -- 6 am out of ROC, then to DC, and then FLA to board the following day. We could leave our house at 6am, drive, and still easily make a sailing out of NY. (we always go early though) We were supposed to sail out of Boston in May 2020 but we know how that worked out. We'd consider Boston again if the destination was right.
  18. Oh, Quebec City is delightful! We visited last September and wish we'd been there longer. We're thinking of another trip that way this fall to take in more of the charm! This was a road trip via Vermont, eastern part of the province and Montreal. Maybe even a cruise to or from Quebec out of either NYC or Boston. We're about equal to both. We saw a Celebrity ship docked while there -- and the obvious cruisers with their lanyards. Hope you can add a couple extra days to enjoy the city.
  19. I'm weird in that I like the excitement of waiting in the terminal. It's a great people watching exercise. On my first cruise ever, the woman who organized a lot of activities walked through with Mardi Gras type beads asking if they were part of the CC "gang." Talk about a great welcome! I'm one of those people who like to guess where folks are from, what's their story, figuring out if it's their first time, all that. And wondering who I may make friends with by the end of the week - and who I may want to avoid. (such as rude behavior to staff) So when it's time to complete check-in in a few weeks, I'm going for early!
  20. I usually get the lamb at Cagney's and have been pleased with that. And some of the vegetarian options in Ocean Blue and Le Bistro sound very good....might have to give that a shot.
  21. How did they go sledding? OK, so maybe that was a 70s thing to use the dining hall trays as sleds...
  22. Thatโ€™s what I like to hear! No stress. longer boat rides like that make me happy!
  23. @bkrickles1 about the excursion- does the Rebel Yell leave from where the ship is docked or do we get transported across the island for a shorter ride?
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