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About Sailing12Away

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Travel, photography, video games, my dog
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  1. Because people are using it as a way to justify that the "free" drink package is not free due to the price difference. If I book a cabin and choose my own room, the price is $300/pp (for example). If I let NCL pick my room for me - guarantee cabin rate - the price is lower and only $250/pp (for example). You're right, the drink package has nothing to do with it. The price increase was for the convenience of choosing my own cabin. The argument that I don't care for is when people claim that by choosing the "free" drink package their cabin price suddenly becomes $350/pp, whereas the guarantee cabin rate is lower at $300/pp. They are claiming the increase is because of the drinks, not because of the ability to choose your own cabin ahead of time. Regardless of the drink package, it is always cheaper to let NCL (or any other cruise line) pick your cabin for you.
  2. There is something different. Picking a specific cabin, verses letting NCL put you wherever they want.
  3. I really wish people would stop comparing the sailaway rates to the free at sea rates - as they are not comparable. The sailaway rate does not let you choose your own cabin. You have no say in which deck, cabin, side of the ship, etc you are on. Hence why it is cheaper. Not because they "raised the prices" on the "free" perk rates to compensate, causing them to no longer be "free". It's because you're paying extra for the perk of choosing your specific cabin - not because of the 'no-so free, free perks'.
  4. I first visited Maui on a land only vacation for 6 days, and we loved it. Got to really get a feel for the island driving ourselves around, finding nooks and crannies and hidden beaches all over. My sister and BIL wanted to do a Hawaii trip with us, so we started planning things out. For what it would cost us to fly into Maui, stay there for 3 nights, rent a car, pay for all meals and drinks, then island hop over to big island or Kauai for another 3 nights.... it actually worked out cheaper to take the cruise and let someone else deal with the headache of planning all the logistics out for us. Plus we get 4 islands instead of just 2. The timing worked perfectly too as it fit in exactly the week we were looking at based on my sister's furlough. With 2 days in Maui, we're getting a car the first day to drive them around to our favorite spots from our last trip, and everything else we're still working on the details. There's pluses to both options, but I'm all for letting someone else do the work for me and magically waking up to my next destination when the price is right.
  5. If you need prescription snorkeling masks, consider getting one on Amazon. Hubby has horrible eyes (-9.0) and we got this mask for ~$50. Tried it out in the pool on our last cruise and he said it was perfect. Now I can finally convince him to book snorkeling trips with me for our upcoming POA cruise since he can finally see underwater. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OMCXLBM/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1
  6. We're on the POA at the end of July. We looked into booking this for the first night in Maui to get a sunset and star gazing tour, but it's all sold out for our night 😞 https://www.mauistargazing.com/ There may be spots available for your sailing. We're renting a car and planning on driving up to haleakala on our own for the sunset, and will resign ourselves to the naked eye and possibly binoculars. Still looking into other options for booking excursions, and we recently found this: https://www.tombarefoot.com/activities/cat/cruise-ship-compatible/39 Lots of options for cruise passengers, and we're looking into booking some for our journey.
  7. Pre-cruise Haven concierge on the Jade. Our Butler was useless.
  8. I was denied any substitutions or changes on my sailing 😞
  9. Only the one bottle. We didn't have a great experience with our Butler though, so our first Haven experience will probably be our last. Still waiting for NCL to respond to my letter to them.
  10. It's like we're following each other. I was on the Epic in May for a Mediterranean cruise as well, just got off the Jade last month, and then will be back on the Epic in January 2020 for the Southern Caribbean.
  11. I second the choice of visiting the High Line. It's an old abandoned elevated subway track, now filled with gardens and flowers, and benches, and people watching spots. Nice break from the regular hustle & bustle of the city. https://www.thehighline.org/gardens/ Great place not too far from the High Line to grab lunch is the Meatball Shop. Fair prices (for the city), good food. There's a few locations throughout NYC. https://www.themeatballshop.com/ As a native NY'er, I would personally avoid Times Square at all costs. For yourself, a tourist, it might be a sight to see. For all of 5 minutes. It's just filled to the brim with tourists looking up at the skyscrapers - like thousands of tourists, and tons of odd characters trying to sucker the poor tourists into paying them $5-10 to take their photo with them. If you want a photo with a dude in an Elmo costume, go to Sesame Place. Bryant Park is another alternative to the mega-sized Central Park, it's also right next to the NY Public Library, one of the biggest and prettiest I've ever personally seen. If you head in that direction and like sweets, check out Lady M Cakeshop. They make a mille crepes cake that is to die for - super light and fluffy. https://www.ladym.com/ Intrepid air & space museum is also a nice visit, and literally right next to the pier. The infamous Carnegie Hall isn't far either, if you're into fine art, MOMA is also nearby. I can literally give you hundreds of options for food or things to see/do, but need a bit more info about what you enjoy. Just please, skip Times Square if you want a real feel of NYC. Any real NY'er avoids it like the plague.
  12. I'm trying to book our car, and I'm getting very confused. I keep getting conflicting information from the rental companies about who does and does not still offer the shuttle service between the dock and the rental place. What was the car rental company you used again? And do you recall which other ones had shuttles? We were going to have the car for just the first night, and drop it back off around 10pm or so. When I spoke with Budget, they told me "the gate closes at 5pm" and I would need to get an Uber to get back to the dock. What gate would they be talking about? And why would I be allowed to return the car at 10pm if there was a closed gate as of 5pm? Like I said, I'm so confused!
  13. Last May we sailed the Epic after 3 days pre-cruise in Rome, and another 7 days post-cruise planned for Venice & Florence. The 3 of us stuffed everything we could into that 19.95 bag and it worked out great. Considering doing it again on our upcoming January 11 day cruise to cut down on how much stuff to bring.
  14. Just got off the Jade last month. The layout of the ship was odd to us, each elevator only goes up to a certain floor, so for us to return to deck 14 we had to walk back to the front of the ship each time. There's a nice semi-quiet area towards the back of the ship near the basketball court that was always empty to just sit and enjoy the sun and wind, and the outdoor garden cafe on deck 12 was nice to sit and munch outdoors as well.
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