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Jasukkie

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  1. Your reviews really stand out Noreen, love all the little details of your experience. Looking forward to more!
  2. 6000 people who all feel entitled to get x-dollars of experience that they have paid for can lead to problems. The only thing I could suggest if you want to cruise again is shifting expectations as things come up. Bad experience in the dining room? The Windjammer's not so bad. Chair hogs by the pool? Eat a late lunch and hit the pool when everyone else is going to dinner. Fighting for "good" seats? You can die on that hill if you want but this is cruise ship entertainment, not Pavarotti/Beyonce/whatever floats your boat. The back of the balcony's pretty great too and you can beat everyone to the elevator. Strategize to maximize your enjoyment.
  3. I was on Jewel, another Radiance class ship like Brilliance, and there was an occasional sewage smell wafting through public areas. It wasn't constant or overpowering, but you know it when you smell it. I have no idea what causes that but it was noticeable and not contained within restrooms so I don't think it was direct #2 smell.
  4. I've never asked but will next time just in case. I think you are probably right.
  5. Does anyone know if this discount can be combined with Interline bookings? (aviation employee discount)
  6. I've done it a few times, no horror stories. On Anthem, we were assigned a far forward interior, so a very long walk from the elevator. This was a hurricane affected cruise so we thought there might be cancellations. We paid $100 to upgrade to a midship balcony. This was done after boarding at guest services. Another time on Anthem we were placed in what I consider to be an ideal location, right by the forward elevators on deck 6. That was a balcony GTY. Recently on Jewel, we did inside GTY, assigned deck 4 in what looked like a good location midship. We did RoyalUp and then got a midship balcony on deck 7. Some people might not be happy with that because the balcony overlooks the lifeboat roofs but it was a total non-issue for me. It felt more private, rather than being open to the promenade deck if the roofs weren't there. I would not hesitate to book a GTY again if the price makes it worth it. It's not for everyone though, and it may depend on the ship too. I felt very lucky we weren't placed near the Centrum on Jewel because of the smoke.
  7. I am following up my own question in case others are searching for this information in the future. I'm not sure why the description says 1,281 yards lol. It is about 4 miles of walking, from Miradouro Vista do Rei to Miradouro da Lomba do Lambo do Vasco. It's a dirt road along the rim of the crater, offering beautiful views of the 2 lakes to your right, and the sea to your left. There are some steeper sections but nothing difficult for someone who is used to hill walks. There are some uneven surfaces in the dirt road but this is in no way perilous or dangerous, no cliffs or places you could fall. I just wore regular sneakers and was fine. We were lucky and had a nice day, a mix of sun and clouds, and about 5 minutes of light rain. The tour also stops in the town of Sete Cidades for 30 minutes, and at a couple of other good picture taking points.
  8. I can recommend Anthem which will be coming to the UK. The casino is smoky (on US sailings) but there isn't the Centrum design which spreads the smoke up the interior of the ship. Avoid Radiance class ships. It's a shame because they have so many positive features.
  9. I'm just off my first experience on a Radiance class ship, the Jewel transatlantic. There were many things to love, especially the size, but the casino smoke in the Centrum is likely a deal breaker for me for future cruises. Fortunately we had a forward cabin. I can't imagine having a cabin just off the Centrum. It really is a chimney. The entire length of the starboard promenade on deck 5 is smoking. On an eastbound transatlantic, this is also the sunny side of the ship. Our balcony was just above this but it was not an issue, helped by the lifeboat roofs and wind. Starboard on 11 is also smoking, which you will smell if you sit on that side to see the movie screen. Unfortunately the port side view of the movie screen is more obstructed. There's more smoking on deck 12. It's impossible to do smoke free laps on this class of ship. It didn't ruin my cruise but it did seem to be a striking difference from my experience on Anthem. For those who are allergic or asthmatic, I would not sail on Radiance class.
  10. I am just home of the Jewel TA that ended in Civitavecchia two days ago. I never saw what you are looking for in my cruise planner. They had tours of Rome, ending at the airport, which was around $159 as I recall. We opted to join a group doing a private van service from the port to FCO. We had an evening fight so we stored our bags at the airport and went to Ostia Antica by Uber. It could be that we missed the option for direct transfer as we booked late.
  11. It's a quick and easy process to change the beds. BTW, if you would prefer a little distance between beds you can move the furniture around. You can put the twin beds against the long walls of the cabin, leaving a much clearer path to the sliding door to the balcony. We did one bed by the sliding door, opposite the loveseat, and one bed with it's head against the bathroom wall if you can visualize that. Took all of two minutes to move the furniture. Just put it back in the original configuration when you are done.
  12. I just wanted to report back on our experience. We shared a van from the Civi port to FCO at 8am. If I were doing this again, I would book for 7am because we easily self-disembarked and were out much earlier than expected. No lines to leave which was a surprise. Once at terminal 3 at FCO, we found the baggage storage office on the lower level. Again, no lines or waiting for this, very easy to use, 6 euros per bag. A cab driver wanted 35 euros to go to Ostia Antica. We decided to go with Uber for 25 euros. It was challenging to find our ride but once we did we had a pleasant experience. If time were no issue we would have used public transportation but we only had 4 hours to play with. We were dropped at the entrance to the park, paid 10 euros each (again, no line) and entered. There were several school field trip groups but it's a huge place and never felt crowded. We enjoyed lovely weather and only wished for more time. Thankfully we had no trouble getting an Uber back to the airport. We retrieved our bags and much to our surprise there was no line to get through security. Fortunately it's not a bad airport to kill time in. All in all, very glad we chose this wonderful place to spend our 4 free hours, very conveniently located near the airport. Would definitely recommend.
  13. The one on Anthem is about the size of a classroom. I did not feel claustrophobic at all, but I relate to many of these posts. It hit me yesterday when waiting for our ground transportation and people filled in around me with their bags. It was an open air situation but I can't be penned in like that. Fortunately I was able to move.
  14. Thank you so much, that's some great, detailed information! I'm going to go forward with this plan.
  15. We are arriving on Jewel of the Seas to Civitavecchia on 12 April, a Friday, and flying out of FCO on a 6pm flight that night. Ostia Antica looks like the right combination of interesting, scenic, and quiet for us, compared with trying to see the tourist spots of Rome city in 4 hours. Clearly, there is no way to drag luggage around the park there. I'm thinking of joining a group car service to go from the ship to the airport, placing our bags in storage there, and then getting a taxi to Ostia Antica. If all goes well, that should give us from approx 10am to 2pm to explore, and then we would return to the airport. That seems to be the tricky point. Would we need to book a driver ahead of time to go from Ostia Antica back to the airport? It seems very time consuming to take the train back into Rome and then back to FCO. How hard would it be to call for a cab from Ostia? Also, does anyone know how far in advance bags could be checked in for Norwegian Air? Just wondering if we could save some time from not having to retrieve bags from the storage service.
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