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About CruisingNole

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    Orlando, FL
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  1. Really? Every time I’ve eaten at a specialty restaurant on an Oasis class ship, they are practically empty. One of our favorite meals was at CP 150 and we were literally the only table in the entire restaurant.
  2. I have never dined at Izumi. Mostly because I live in a city where sushi is everywhere and I can have unlimited made to order rolls for $20. I can see how the restaurant is appealing to some, but personally I only eat at speciality restaurants where I can get a meal that is, well, “special” to me. We don’t typically dine at high end steakhouses so Chops is a nice treat. I’d say the same about Giovanni’s. That being said, the only times we have eaten at speciality restaurants are on 7 night cruises (celebrating a special occasion) where we were fortunate to purchase the 3 night plan for $72pp. I’m not sure I’d pay anymore than that, especially since the MDR is just fine for us. To each their own.
  3. According to my Royal invoices from 2017-2019, they do not charge anything for drinks consumed in port other than the cost plus 18% gratuity. These sailings all left Florida ports and visited various places in the Caribbean. NCL all inclusive on the Sun out of Florida also does not charge taxes on beverages consumed in port.
  4. You’re really firm in your beliefs, eh? The most expensive times to cruise in the Caribbean are during Thanksgiving, Christmas and any other times when schools are closed. June and July are probably the most expensive months you could choose during summer. Pricing is based on demand, and since these cruise are in demand, they are priced higher. It’s not too complicated.
  5. Check out Allianz. Reasonably priced and offers broad coverage. Not the cancel for any reason, but it’s otherwise quite comprehensive. We have a trip to Europe this summer and the policy is $147 for a $3,000 trip. Not a cruise, but the cost for the plan would still be the same if it were.
  6. There is no credit card on the planet that has “cancel for any reason” coverage. It’s absurd to even think a card would offer that. They’d lose money.
  7. Agreed. NCL is lightyears behind Royal. Just the fact that NCL actually charges for Internet by the minute like AOL did in the 1990s is laughable. If you’ve never sailed on an Oasis class ship, you need to try it. At the very least it will give you that “wow” factor unlike anything NCL has to offer. They really are quite impressive, especially the aqua theatre. Unlike NCL, all shows are free. Regarding drink package and Internet, I paid $54pp (plus 18%) on Oasis last year. The prices fluctuate based on sailing. At the end of the day after doing all the “math” you’ll see how “free” that NCL drink package really isn’t.
  8. I have noticed (and I do not think it's a coincidence) that ships like Epic often miss GSC due to "bad weather" but small ships like Sun always tender. My logic (or maybe lack thereof?) is: 1. The resources used to tender thousands of people are enormous. At the time GSC was purchased, ships as large as Epic did not exist nor did anyone plan on them to exist. 2. NCL controls alcohol sales both on and off the ship so there is no financial loss in that department if GSC is missed. If anything, more drinks will be sold on the ship because people will be bored. One might argue it doesn't matter since "most" people have the "free" drink package, but that exact number is unknown. 3. NCL controls food consumed on and off the ship. Everyone at GSC eats for free. If they keep everyone onboard, there is opportunity to make additional specialty restaurant revenue. 4. The only revenue they are missing is through cabana sales, etc on GSC but the majority of passengers do not use these. Even at capacity, I still doubt more revenue is being made on those vs all the revenue opportunities by keeping everyone onboard. 5. After reading this forum, you'll notice that passengers really don't care one way or another. And if they do care that the stop was missed, they sure do get over it very quickly. So what's the incentive to tender?
  9. I think people particularly gripe about NCL because they are cutting "too much, too fast." While it is an industry trend to cutback offerings, NCL is a bit overzealous and not at all discreet about it. All while raising service charges and fares at the same time. Example: Raising the DSC and then almost immediately afterwards, they announce no more towel animals (which are made by the staff who supposedly receive said DSC). It's really just adding insult to injury. I've got one more NCL cruise booked and afterwards I'm taking a break and sticking with a few of the other cruise lines that sail from FL. One thing I always liked about cruising was that I could hop on the boat and (for the most part) know that I've already paid for just about everything. And after I made that payment, I knew what I'll be getting in return. No surprises. Well...that just isn't the case anymore.
  10. Every other cruiseline "absorbs" the taxes and do not charge passengers. But of course, NCL does charge the passengers...
  11. Epic sure has had a lot of “maintenance” this year.
  12. Give your room steward $20 on day 1 and tell him/her you'd like a towel animal every night. You'll get them. NCL is kind of like an economy airline. You pay for the base fare to step on the ship, and from there you decide what add-ons you want.
  13. The example I cited was something that was told to me...not something I've seen. Heck, maybe it never even happened. The point is that behavior such as that is certainly the exception and not the rule. I've never seen anyone order an "inappropriate" amount.
  14. In MDR on Royal, lobster tails are free one night per cruise. As many as you want. I have heard of people eating 20+. I usually do 3, accompanied by prime rib. The servers de-shell each tail for you at the table. Don't justify the corporation being cheap. I find it hard to believe lobster tail costs them any more than a good cut of beef. I get them at the grocery store when they are on sale for less than $5 each. Keep in mind at the massive quantities Royal purchases them at, they are definitely paying less than $1 a tail. NCL would pay the same. If Royal can afford to do it, so can NCL.
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