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Posts posted by BarnCat1

  1. On 1/16/2019 at 10:22 PM, calizonian said:

    Stopped in Santa Marta in November on an NCL cruise. Why cruise ships stop there is beyond me. The town and area around it is very dirty and not even a shopping area. Nearly all of the excursions were hours away and up in the hills, which my brother says were lovely but long bus rides. We should of stayed on the ship but it was docked next to a coal export harbor facility so you couldn't sit out on the balcony. Abysmal.


    We have to stay on the ship as our NCL cruise arrives at 6am and departs at 2pm. Not enough time to go anywhere.  Is there nothing at all at the pier? 

  2. 20 hours ago, All-ready2cruise said:

    "Listen you idiot" bad idea to start name-calling when you're looking a favour and 

    "They started calling security and I may have made a comment that said you better get more than a couple because I'm a big guy," Robert said of the interaction., would be seen as a threat... good enough to get anyone thrown off a ship. 



    He incriminated himself on TV as well and didn't even realize it.  Case closed.  Kudos NCL!!!

    • Like 1
  3. 47 minutes ago, YankeesFan4Life said:

    They never mentioned anything about going in any earlier than the day before for $25...

    I was interested in a Mediterranean cruise and he eagerly explained all that to me because of the time zone changes and why it’s good to come in early.  


    Maybe it’s slightly different for each port? 

  4. 34 minutes ago, YankeesFan4Life said:

    I used the air deviation for $25, they never offered to book a hotel for me.  I have a 13yo daughter and 15yo son, so I would need a room that can fit everyone on separate beds....Therefore, after much searching, I found the Comfort Suites Miami Airport North which has 2 queens and a pull out sofa bed!  Room was like $179 and has free pickup at airport and free drop off at cruise terminal.  


    We just got our flights the other day, and they had me on a 6am flight, landing in MIA at 9am.  I immediately called them, and they were able to switch me to a later flight, leaving at 11am, no need to get up in the middle of the night to be stuck in a hotel room all day, unless I rented a car for the day.  So it is a double edged sword...good luck making the right decision!



    I was told the other day when I called that the $25 deviation fee brings you in 2 days in advance and you book your own hotel. 

    If you come in 3 days in advance they waive the $25 fee and they book one of their hotels for you.  Same with staying after the cruise. 

  5. Thanks everyone for your replies and the photos. 


    There is a Western Med cruise that embarks from Rome, with the same itinerary and  roughly the same timeframe, so we could always switch to that one and spend extra days in Rome instead of Barcelona, if we decide to go on the Western Med cruise.  I do wish there were some cruises longer than 7 days for that area.  


    There is also a Panama Canal cruise one way that transits all the way through the canal, we could very well consider that one too instead of taking the ferry excursion. Adds a few ports in Mexico and debarks in Los Angeles.  


    Still have some time to figure this out.  Maybe even hold off and get some reviews of the Encore too, new doesn't always mean better. 

  6. Tossing around 2 cruises for 2021.  Love them both but have to decide on one. 


    Western Mediterranean on the Epic, 7 nights, right now the promo is all perks, airfare included with the option to add 2 more days pre-cruise for $25/per person and book our own hotel or stay 3 nights pre-cruise and book one of their hotels.  West Med Ports are: Barcelona, Naples/Pompeii, Civitavecchia, Rome, Livorno Pisa/Florence, Cannes France, Palma Majorca Spain, Barcelona - I will be adding in either 2 or 3 nights precruise. Cruise is Sun-Sun (7 days)


    Panama Canal is on the Encore (new ship) 12 nights, UBP and SD only for perks,  w/ airfare included, same rules for adding additional days pre-cruise.  Panama Ports are: Miami, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, Santa Marta & Cartagena Columbia, Panama Canal/Gatun Lake, Colon Panama, Puerto Limon Costa Rica, Miami Cruise is Mon-Saturday (12 days)


    Roughly, the cruises are only about $1500.00 difference in price (but one is longer than the other).  Price difference is not a decision maker

    West Med is leaving in May and Panama Canal is leaving in February.  Leaving from NYC so weather could be a factor, but definitely not a decision maker.  Traveled in the winter many times


    Both are equally intriguing to me, for obvious reasons.  I know this will be everyone's personal opinion but which cruise would you prefer and why? 

  7. How does free or discounted airfare work on cruises that are only one way?  I am looking at an Alaskan Cruise with embarking and disembarking ports in two different cities.


    I asked this question on the NCL forum, but got no reply so I thought I would try here.  Any additional fees to come in a few days earlier and/or stay a few days later after the cruise?  

  8. Thinking about an Alaskan cruise, one way from Vancouver to Seward.  Priced out the trip and added the airfare from my local airport and it was $399.00, but this is a one way cruise.


    Does this include flying back from Seward or is it giving me the total based on r/t from Vancouver? 


    If I wanted to extend my trip  either at the beginning or at the end of the cruise, I am allowed to do that?  



  9. Price out the trip on NCL with and without the airfare (be sure to add in your airport transfers without the airfare)  then decide if you think you can get airfare at a better rate by booking on your own or if it's better to book with NCL.   I'm sure some locations are worth it to book with NCL, other locations fly with low fares and you might do better on your own. Staying a  day or so extra either at the start or end of the cruise is always nice to do, especially before the cruise. I am booking my own airfare for the flexibility and because I feel the airfare will not be as high as what that the price difference is on NCL from my location.  

  10. On 1/12/2019 at 8:17 PM, BirdTravels said:

    Specialty Dining reservations open 130 days prior to departure. What you are seeing is that you are too late and all pre-cruise dining is now sold out. 


    While you could keep checking daily (since 1 is the same as 2, because they are all 2-top or 4-top tables), the easiest thing is to go to Headliners/The Social on Deck 6, Mid-ship as soon as you board and add/fix your dining reservations. They hold tables for onboard bookings,,,, but they, too, will sell out. 



    Since 1 is the same as 2, can you reserve a table for 1 online precruise?  Will that guarantee a table for 2 and just tweak it when you board? 

  11. On 10/6/2018 at 5:44 PM, tallnthensome said:


    If food quality continues it's downward spiral while prices rise it'll all end for me. We sail as a family of four and I'm not going to pay for specialty meals for four every night in order to get "good" food all whle already paying thousands just to get aboard the ship. When we sailed the Carnival Vista last year the food was school cafeteria awful especially the buffet. We sailed the new MSC Seaside in April and their food was excellent in the MDR and buffet. We sail the Bliss for 15 days in March with two kids in tow and will be observing the food quality come then. If you want to serve mediocre food, I'll take my money elseware before shelling out another $100 plus every evening for their good stuff. I hope others would do this is well .......


    MSC appears to be a very good cruise line w/ good prices & itineraries.  I am curious if you had to schedule dining or were able to dine when you wanted (similar to NCL).  Did  you get a table for yourselves or did you have to share?  

  12. I am looking at two itineraries for the Southern Caribbean, both round trip from San Juan, both go to 5 ports each. 

    The common ports are St Lucia and St Kitts. 

    One goes to the 3 ports of Barbados, St Maarten and St Thomas and the other goes to the 3 ports of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire.  The ship is the same, only the destination is different. 


    Which of these two itineraries would be the best?  Is there something of more interest on one of the islands that would make it a better choice.  Not really interested in just hanging on the beach, would rather see things native to the area, history, natural areas, birdwatching, sealife, tours, etc.



  13. On 12/17/2018 at 2:33 PM, mapleleaves said:


    I'm on the Epic next yr for a Med cruise.  I chose this cruise for the itinerary, not the ship.  I'm totally unphased by the negative reviews.  So far I haven't read ANY that would ruin my trip. If dinner takes 2 hrs at Manhattan, I can eat somewhere else, or if I have a surly room attendant, I don't care ... I'm not spending the day with him, and if my drinks don't come for 15 minutes, who cares, where am I going? I'm on vacation.  As for the glass doors on the shower ... I don't want to watch my cousin shower so guess what, I'll pull the curtain.

    You gotta remember that we all have different expectations and tolerances.  So as you read thru the negatives,  ask yourself ' would that bother me', ' would it ruin my trip'.   As I said, so far I haven't read any that would negatively impact my enjoyment.


    My priority is the itinerary .... if I have good service, good food and good entertainment as well,  what a bonus!  If those things stink, who cares, I still had that great itinerary and was able to see and do the things i wanted. 



    I am going for the itinerary as well.  The bathroom is not a concern at all, actually I think I may actually like this set up better.

     3 hours in a dining room could be a concern, but we'll have to find these things out for ourselves.  I generally don't have any complaints about most things or places I have gone anyway,  so I'll have to wait and see.  It's just a little discouraging that the negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to this ship. 

  14. 10 hours ago, marktwothousand said:

    I have been in some Epic MDR situations with other guests at my table who were VERY angry with the service. Enough to call for the manager to complain. This actually happened when I dined with TWO separate sets of guests.


    *I* personally, having been on the Epic twice, have not had a problem with restaurant service. But then again, I don’t look for issues and things to complain about, and, when little mistakes happen, I don’t really care. Things just don’t bother me that much. It might bother me if was paying cash at a specialty restaurant, however all the specialities I’ve been to on Epic have been fine.


    on one of my epics, housekeeping and maintenance was so good, they fixed every minor issue I reported. Closet not opening properly, TV stand loose, issues with the phone, not enough towels...all fixed with a phone call. Twice a day service. On another Epic, I had only mediocre housekeeping service...it was once a day, and a minimal job was done. 


    where I would caution you about Epic, is...things to do. The venues are mostly lacklustre, the ship has a sense of “closed-in-ness” about it and there’s just that not much to do.


    my Advice is...if you’re going for friends, to be social, and see ports, it’s an OK choice. But If you’re looking for a “ship-as-destination” trip, Epic is really not the best choice. 


    The cruise I am taking on her is 5 ports in 7 days, so there isn't much time on the ship.  The destinations are the prime reason  I booked the cruise and no other NCL ships are doing all these ports.  All the stops are 8am-5pm, so days will be very busy.  I also have  speciality dining for 3 of the 7 nights.  I might only go to the MDR once or twice with all the other choices for complimentary dining.   


    There is one other cruise, on the Encore, that is around the same timeframe (Spring 2020), that I am looking at, but only goes to 3 ports and San Juan is arrival at 5:30 pm to midnight.  Brand new ship, but so many of the things on it have no appeal to me or my groups ages.  But the thought of a new ship is very tempting., especially the more I read negative reviews of the Epic.  


    How many issues could there be a one cabin?  We've never had any issues on past cruises that needed any attention.

    Glad to know they were quick in addressing them.  


    10 hours ago, 17cruisesnsl said:

    I brought the dailies home as I saw the requests before we left.  Had unlimited internet on ship but I wasn't sure how to upload pictures so I hope to start scanning tomorrow and if time permits to write a review.   Today,little things like delayed flights, unpacking, laundry, preparing for work tomorrow- i.e. Back to reality interfered.   


     I would love to see the dailies as well.  Thank you. 

  15. 4 hours ago, totalee said:

    I just got off the epic, It was by far the worst cruise I have ever been on. The MDR food was so-so at best. And the service was horrible it generally took over 3 hours for dinner. Most of the people at the table left before desert, because if you sat all that time you missed every activity offered on the boat. At breakfast one day a man at my table asked for syrup for his pancakes or Wafles and the server said no you cant have syrup because she brought out a sauce, the other time I went to the MDR for breakfast I asked for butter for my toast, she said she was going to get it, then disappeared never to be seen again that morning, One evening at dinner after waiting 20 minutes starring at my empty appetizer plate and empty water cup I had to go to the server station to get water to refill everyone's glasses.  I am Platinum on NCL and the service in the MDR was exponentially worse than any service I have every had on a cruise ship.  The Entertainment on the ship was good however and I felt sorry for the for the cruise staff people who had deal with all the people fed up with the horrible dining room service. I am trying to figure how to take out the service charge for the dining room people and still tip the others who did a good job.


    Did you say something about this service in the MDR?  Was it a very busy cruse?  3 hours is a very long time to wait.  All these negative reviews are really not making me feel good about my choice of sailing on this ship. 


  16. I am not concerned about the bathroom layout, or the curved room.  My concerns would be food quality, service of the staff,  entertainment and things like that as far as the ship.  I don't really care if I see the room steward (barely saw him on the last one but his service was good) as long as the room is made up and dailies are in the room every day.  


    We are sailing the Southern Caribbean and it's port intensive, 5 ports in 7 days, with only 1 day at sea. 


    All the Southern Caribbean cruises in early 2020 are on the Epic, except for two.  One is the Breakaway, with only 2 ports besides GSC (been there done that) and the Encore with 3 ports, one being San Juan but the ship doesn't arrive until 5:30pm.  This one is tempting, but I really like the 5 ports the Epic is going to on our sailing. 


    Unless we go with another cruise line it looks like the Epic, because of the destination, is the ship of choice right now. 

  17. How does the airfare work for a cruise embarking and disembarking in different cities? 


    It only gives you the option to pick your airfare round trip?  They're still listed for the promotion even though it's not a closed loop cruise.

  18. With the Free at Sea offer NCL gives you for Specialty Dining, how many nights is that for? Does it go by length of your cruise or the minimum 3 Meal Plan?  I can’t find it listed on my reservation but looking at the taxes for the Free at Sea promos I have, I’m thinking it’s the 3 Meal Plan for a 7 night cruise.  


    I’ll confirm it as it gets closer to booking, just thought I’d ask. 

  19. 15 hours ago, Abm234b said:

    Sailing the EPIC in March. We're nervous!


    I too am very nervous to read such negative reviews of this ship which we have booked for our next cruise vacation 

    She looks magnificent!  Please post your review when you get back in March! 

  20. 25 minutes ago, HeroG said:

    BarnCat1 that’s the kind of feed back I was looking for.  Free air is kind of a new perk of NCL after the repositioned the Joy so I don’t know how many people have actually flyed through NCL.  Any feedback from those who have would help clarify this issue.


    I checked the port city's airport list of airlines that they service and my cities airport list of airlines and NCL's list of airlines  as a process of elimination. Narrowed it down to only 3 or 4 possible airlines that could get us to the port city.  Some are non-stops, some have connecting, all are way above the price we were quoted.  


    Because of the huge difference in price (in my favor) I would be willing to pay the $50.00 per person extra to fly in a day early, if they would allow that.  I usually do like to have control over my flights, but in this case I think I will let it go. 


    i am very curious in others experience with this new perk.  

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