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About VegasChic2014

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    British Columbia, Canada
  • Interests
    Cruising, beaches & exploring new cities
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean & Disney
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Italy & anything European!

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  1. I was reading the details about the service charges- Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests. While you should not feel obligated to offer a gratuity, all of our staff are encouraged to "go the extra mile," so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities for exceptional or outstanding service if you care to offer them. Also, certain staff positions (e.g., concierge, butler, youth program staff and beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those Guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. Additionally, there is an 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as an 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and an 20% gratuity and specialty service charge added to all specialty restaurant dining and entertainment based dining. This sounds like conflicting info. I know they charged me 20% on the drink packages, but then say the beverage service doesn't benefit from it? Am I reading this wrong? Thanks in advance for any clarification on this!
  2. We had done several sailings with RCCL and Disney before taking our first NCL earlier this year. Some things really stood out for me as differences- we were travelling with 3 kids (age 13, 11 and 8) staying in the Haven two bedroom. I found myself grumbling about the included drink packages. I felt they were designed to exclude key items that you likely will seek out over the cruise thus costing you more- either by a total package upgrade or continual $5 charges throughout cruise if upgrade not worth it. The premium drink package- seems to be all pop and alcohol- excludes bottled water, fresh juice, specialty coffee etc. Now they have a premium plus package which does include those but you have to have the alcohol in it as well and is priced accordingly. Kids drink packages are extremely limited...pop package or bottled water package. Have to get pop package (no bottled water in that) if adults have the alcohol package. If kids want bottled water, fresh juice, smoothies, virgin mocktails ...you have to pay for each and every one of them, no inclusive upgrade option. I know RCCL had a great package covering all the non alcoholic specialty stuff that was also great for kids. We were on Epic and there were no self serve pop stations- so for kids to get their pop when outside of restaurants they have to go to the bars where many adults are well into their unlimited alcohol packages lol. I’m not sure how NCL figures that is a good idea. Also, they just have the standard fountain selections- not the huge variety from the freestyle coke dispensers RCCL has. Internet- I believe RCCL has some of the best priced packages available and NCL has alternatively some of the most expensive. On NCL it was over $200 per device (was it $250?) for a week for the cruise we were on. No way all 5 of us were getting that! Quality of internet was comparable. The ships I had been on with RCCL seemed to have a more segregated section for the casino- where they allow smoking. You could smell the smoke permeating , but limited to more of the immediate surrounding area because it was somewhat closed off. On NCL Epic, the casino was just in the open main area of one of the decks where the entrances to restaurants and entertainment venues also were. It was not closed off like an enclosed or separate space. My kids were upset they could smell cigarette smoke while having dinner in the main dining room- we noticed it in a couple of the restaurants. If that’s a concern for you then you may want to check the deck plans on the ship you are considering to see if it’s designed in a similar way. I’m still not sure if I’m sold on the freestyle dining. We were in the Haven so expected to dine there for the trip. Once we realized the menu didn’t change each day my hubby wanted to try other restaurants for more variety and change of scenery. By that point all reservation times were full at all restaurants- so we had to wait in line for tables to open up. They did fast track us since we were Haven guests so it wasn’t ever much of a wait- but not sure how much longer the non Haven guests waited without that line jump. You can make reservations in advance online but it’s a limited number of tables- if unable to book in advance you reserve while on the ship. For me it’s just extra planning required compared to just knowing we always have a table at xx:xx time. In the Haven they do an excellent job with priority disembarking, but the final day the route they took us off the ship made me extremely uncomfortable. After meeting in the lounge they took us through back stairs etc which ended out at the front of the line right in front of a loooooong line of waiting passengers. Great for us but we were met with the other line guests literally yelling at us “hey, we’ve been in line three hours you aren’t better than us just because you paid money” “go to the back of the line” and other nasty remarks....in front of our kids. OMG! We were suite guests on RCCL with priority boarding etc, and never experienced that. I’ve read about fist fights breaking out at times since then....I think NCL needs to fix whatever they got going on in that process. Yikes. Despite what sounds like a bunch of complaining (not intended) we enjoyed the cruise, and we have since booked another cruise on one of their itineraries again due to favourable timing. The shows were good, the Haven did provide an elevated level of service and our favourite specialty dining was Tappenyaki. I do prefer RCCL but I’m fine with NCL too and will adjust expectations in those areas now that I know the differences! Sent from my iPhone
  3. Good to know, we are 16708 so it will be past the concierge desk then!
  4. This one will be on Breakaway....we are in a 2 BR. We did sail on Epic in the Haven 2 BR earlier this year, and there was another key card entrance that went right to the suites, just not sure if it's a no-no lol!
  5. We sailed NCL for first time earlier this year. We had the free 250 package included which I used, then my husband purchased an extra unlimited plan for keeping up with work. When my plan ran out, concierge showed us how to log into the unlimited plan of my husbands....it just involved clearing the cache on my device since the log in would automatically go to the 250 that had expired. I believe it can be shared, it’s just an inconvenient use of time everyone checking their stuff back to back rather than doing it at same time. It seemed a fast enough speed, we didn’t have any lagging on videos etc. I do like that NCL will put a credit from the 250 plan towards upgrading to the unlimited, but this time around I’m calling and getting it done in advance so I can get the 15% pre cruise discount applied since I do find their pricing high compared to other cruise lines. Also, even in the Haven the line up to discuss doing the change took forever....lesson learned!
  6. Hi everyone! We are booked in Haven, but will be cruising with others that will be in non Haven cabins during the cruise. I understand that guests are not able to do the Haven dining etc, is there any issue for them coming into the Haven area to spend time in the suite? Any do’s and don’ts we should be aware of? I anticipate this is considered a completely private part of ship and they can’t be in common areas like pool deck either, but curious about the suite. Thanks!
  7. TOTALLY agree! It’s freaking me out they are considering this. Her husband isn’t sure if he can get another day off of work, but I figure with 4 months lead time surely he can switch some shifts around with others to ENSURE there are no hiccups! Flying same day from Toronto, Canada- in January - seems to have way too much risk!
  8. Thanks a bunch! In regards to the times listed though....would you think the all aboard time on departure day is really 2:00 with sailing at 4:00? Every cruise I have been on, seems to me we always started sailing around 6-7 pm....which would seem to line up with the 4:00 really being the “all aboard” time....but obviously every cruise is going to be different! My sister is considering flying into Orlando on the day of the cruise and I’m worried she may not be allowing enough time if she experiences any delays...a couple hours can make a big difference!
  9. Hi everyone! I’ve been on several cruises but all the recent pier runner pics have me a bit worried lol. I was looking at our itinerary for an upcoming cruise and what is stated doesn’t seem to make sense to what we have experienced based on the following: It says 2 hours prior to ship departure everyone must be on board. Looking at the departure time, that means everyone needs to be on the boat by 2 on departure day? In Grand Cayman, everyone on by 2? That sounds really early to me. I’m thinking 4:00, the time shown as “depart”, must really be the all on board time, not the time we leave the dock? It say disembarking 2 hours after arrival as well? Again that doesn’t fit my memory....that would make Grand Cayman a 10:00-2:00 stop with all these 2 hour windows?!? And Cozumel 12:00-4:00? This doesn’t even fit in most of the excursions offered. Have they worded this for an abundance of caution, poorly chosen terminology, or are the stops on this trip really that short? Thanks in advance for any comments!
  10. Thanks so much, really appreciate that! Enjoy your cruise!!!!
  11. Does anyone have any pictures of this suite (8000) since the last refurbishment, I believe in 2016? We have this suite booked for July 2020 out of Venice. When we booked the agent thought this ship may be going in for an "AMPLIFY" refurbishment schedule later this year although we can't find any details indicating that. All the pics we have seen so far seem to be quite old and possibly before last update. We have done a few RC cruises and loved them all, just want to get an idea of what to really expect. Thanks for any details!
  12. We are moving!!!!! Finally! i am afraid to find out what really caused that delay!
  13. I’m on Epic right now as well and not sure I’m buying that this is a medical situation. Wouldn’t they just remove the passenger and send the rest of us on our way? After all the recent maintenance issues I’m not feeling confident right now.😬 it’s now almost 11 pm and still not underway, yikes!
  14. Whew! Thanks for the info, I started getting worried we wouldn't be able to use as much of the amenities as we had hoped! I'm sure we will still be out checking out the larger areas with slides etc, but happy to know we can all enjoy that area! Thanks for the well wishes, really looking forward to trying NCL!
  15. Hi everyone! First time sailing with NCL and have booked the 2 bedroom Family suite in the Haven. I see that the Haven sundeck is for guests 16+. Our family has a 13, 11 and 8 year old. Is there a Haven area the kids can get pool time in? Odd that they would have family suites available in The Haven if there isn’t an area that can be used. Thanks in advance for comments on this!
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