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Everything posted by Smitheroo

  1. Point noted. I dont use paragraphs when I write comments either. I will
  2. You are right, the time I chose was for checking in at the terminal . You still have to wait in line. I didnt see anyone being turned away from being too early or else everyone followed the rules. Or 12-12:30 was considered to be too late for many people. No, there were no trays in the Garden Cafe. I didnt ask but I surely would have noticed some people using them. I never saw one. I was in the Garden Cafe a few times and saw everyone juggling their plates. No trays on the Joy or Encore either. I will specifically look for them on my upcoming cruise on the Bliss. No waiters removing trays from tables on any ship I've been on (3, going on 4. )
  3. I was on this same cruise, One thing you said that I identified right away was the lack of space if the crowds couldnt use the decks comfortably. I think not having an Observation Lounge or other large area is a big minus. The Garden Cafe was more of a feeding frenzy than other cruises I've been on. Since I travel alone, or when I'm with a travel partner we often split up for periods of time, I dont bother much with daytime entertainment but would just relax somewhere quiet which was hard to do. I found the Atrium to be loud and stifling. I was pleased with the nightime entertainment. Dont do specialty dining so cant comment on that. The MDR (savor and taste, never got to the tropican) was more than adequate for my taste. The food I received was well prepared and presented to me, always hot it it was supposed to be. If this sounds like I didnt enjoy this cruise that's not true. I did but I think it wouldnt be my first choice unless the itinerary was enticing. I really did miss an Observation Lounge. What did you think of the rough seas on Friday night and Saturday? Dont know how rough they were as I dont have a lot of experience with rough seas. I forgot to add I really enjoyed the pool deck on Sunday. I am bordering on elderly and there I was jumping in from the side.(yes jumping, like a cannonball) Must have been quite a sight getting back out as another passenger extended a hand to help me. I had an enjoyable time making friends with a boy of about 10 yrs old as he demonstrated his swimming skills and encouraged me to jump in. Sorry to say that the hot tubs are a complete turn off with all those bodies in warm water together.
  4. I was just on this ship 1/12/24-1/17/24 I was told to choose a time to embark. I chose 12:-12:30 pm. I think I arrived just before noon. (they said that if you arrive too early you will not be allowed to proceed but I wasnt aware of anyone checking) Lines moved quickly despite the constant overhead announcement "we need you to cooperate". I had to sit to wait for "general boarding" and by the time I got on I guess it was about 1-2 pm and it was obvious the hordes of people already on were on their third round of drinks. No seats at all in the Garden Cafe because no one was budging until the announcement was made that rooms were ready. A crew member found me a seat. Its difficult juggling plates of food and drink in a crowd who are dazed at the array of choices available. I have no idea why they dont provide trays to make this process easier. Too cafeteria like? I learned a lesson to forget the Garden Cafe and head right to the MDR even if it means waiting a bit. I waited anyway. If this sounds like I didnt enjoy the Getaway that's not my intent. The embarkation process on the Joy and the Encore werent much better with the Joy in Los Angeles being the worst
  5. actually, I've read that "TIPS" stands for "To Insure Proper Service" so that would seem the logical way would be to tip ahead of time. I dont, just thought I'd add to the discussion with what I've read about the history of tipping
  6. At the risk of being "off topic" I would like to update this comment I made. Just after I made it I got seated at the window at a table for 2 at the next 3 meals!!!
  7. My parents always tipped housekeeping when we traveled in the 1950's and 60's. We always stayed at simple motels and hotels , nothing ritzy She was born and grew up in Scotland ???? Dunno just know that she tipped. She seemed to clean out her purse with every coin she could find lol. As a teenager that embarassed me
  8. we must have been asleep at the Port of Los Angeles lol because I have no memory of anything other than long lines with disembarkation. I cant remember putting our luggage out or picking times to leave. I know that because I remember wondering why we couldnt just hang out in the Atrium until we had to leave. Some people seemed to be doing that. We were not aware of that option. (picking the last color) Probably just a first time experience
  9. I really dont know how they could get that many people off the ship in a timely manner any other way. I dont know if all the NCL ships disembark the same way or they have improved the process. I was on the Joy in Feb 2023 disembarking in the Port of Los angeles and it was a nightmare. Spent a long time on that line that snaked through the ship and spending way too much time not moving at all in the arcade. I dont remember anything about colors of tags but maybe there was. In Seatle we used Port Valet (which is even easier than self assist) so cant compare but this experience getting off the Getaway at MCT was effortless. You get to pick when you want to leave! (unless you have a transfer or other commitment) How much easier could it be? But you do have to read the instructions. This poor woman was distraught but I assured her they would find her bags.
  10. I missed your answer here. I ended up taking the NCL transfer to Newark Airport because after making the first walk to the ship I didnt feel like walking back up to the Port Authority. If I had known that my flight out of Newark was going to be cancelled (in other words, no notification from United) I would never have gone to Newark airport and would have arranged to do what you suggest here- take the Concord Trailways bus to Portland. I travel frequently on their Portland to Logan Airport bus and it is very comfortable with reliable service. Although I dont know if I could have canceled the ship to Newark airport transfer at such a late date and wouldnt have liked to waste $37.50 and then take the Concord Trailways bus. I guess there was no great solution but i ended up getting on a standby flight to Boston and then took the Concord Trailways bus from Logan home to Portland I'm hoping for some type of refund from United as there was a difference in fares but I'm not holding my breath.
  11. cant think of one in particular. he was playing oldies in the Atrium and i was working on my computer
  12. He was on the Getaway this past week (1/12/24-1/17/24) and he was excellent
  13. I just got off this cruise. Yes, it was rough as you described. The first day (starting in the evening) the next day, the sea day. it did thin the crowds down. Do you have experience with rough seas? I'd like to be able to classify this experience. It didnt bother me at all, other than walking around the decks and staircases. I remember someone posted about a cruise (not on this ship) with seas so rough that it sounded like a nighmare. I think it was Alaska. I'm just curious. When they report the seas were a certain number of feet, what would you call this one?
  14. I was on the Encore last September and we got off the ship in Seattle about 9 am? But I'm sure you could get off earlier. Port Valet made the process simple but we took our time as we were in no rush
  15. UPDATE: When I got off the Getaway on 1/17/24 at MCT I noticed quite a few people starting to hike up 46th street, even an elderly man with a suitcase much larger than mine.
  16. First, the process of getting on the ship is embarkation. Why isnt the process of getting off called disembarkation? Yet I have seen "Debark?" Anyway, that's what this thread is about, rather than add to my first Getaway Experience thread. Getting off the Getaway on 1/17/24 at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in NYC was a painless experience, at least it was for me. I thought NCL outlined the process extremely clearly even giving each passenger the choice of time to leave and choosing the corresponding color of tag and publishing all of this in the Freestyle Daily. Sometimes your situation dictated the color i.e. I was taking a transfer to the airport so I was assigned a brown tag which was delivered to my cabin the night before. Otherwise you got to choose the time and the color tags were in the Atrium. Self assist was no tag and very clearly explained. There are people who are just not "visual " and miss information when only distributed in visual form. i.e. I got in line at guest services to check on a lost item. A woman gets on behind me muttering "this is so stupid" so I asked her what was wrong. She said "I put my luggage in the hall last night just like i was told to. How am I supposed to know what color tag I am?" i told her that she was supposed to choose a color and attach it to her bag. She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language "It was explained in the dailies" Apparently she missed this part. She put her luggage out in the hall with no tag and they still took the bag. She thought the tag issued by NCL at the beginning of the cruise was sufficient. She was not aware of any other tag! I assured her they would find her luggage, perhaps there is an area in the baggage hall for bags with issues. Dont know how this turned out. As I said, the process was explained in the daily newsletter. If you had a question about it, guest services is always available to help. If the line was long , another crew member went up and down the line screening the question you had which could save time. The process became even clearer with the morning announcements as tag colors were called. I was given the approximate time of 8:15 am for the brown tags to be called and they were, at 8:20. The lines were not long and moved quickly. Next interesting experience..... At the podium where your keycard is scanned to make sure you have checked out, the passenger ahead of me handed the crew member a card which turned out to be a keycard from a previous cruise. The crew member asked where the current keycard was. "oh, I left it in my room" So the crew member makes a note of his room number. Simple, right? Well, the crew member then hands over the old keycard and the passenger waves his hand saying "keep it, throw it in the garbage, I dont care", turns and heads towards the gangplank. The crew member threw the card at the guy. Fortunately the rude passenger didnt see this happen and the card didnt hit him. Another crew member picked the card up and placed it on the podium. I sure hope that poor guy's day got better. Found my luggage with no problems in the area with brown tags marked clearly. The buses werent seen immediately but one question asked to one of the many people in neon green vests pointed me in the right direction. The driver had a list of all the people on the transfer. There was no specific time to leave but it was advised that your flight left after 12 noon. The driver knew which terminal each flight left from and advised. He waited until 9:45 for a few stragglers who never showed up and left. We arrived at Newark Airport as expected. I soon learned my flight was cancelled but that's a story for another thread somewhere else. So, to summarize. A painless experience. I have heard many complaints about MCT . I've now experienced 3 ports that NCL uses (Los Angeles, Seattle, NYC) and my order of best to worst is Seattle (really hard to beat Port Valet), MCT, and last, Los Angeles.
  17. OMG. Seriously, you people have way too much time on your hands. Ok, I made a mistake. I apologize. Get over it. I am on lots of forums concerned with many topics and this one has to be the one with the most annoying people on it. IF YOU DONT LIKE A POST THAT DOESNT INVOLVE YOU Just "scroll on by" (to the tune of Dionne Warwick's Walk on By) and I'm sure Complawyer can defend his/herself without your help. MYOB I updated my experiences (i didnt have to, I am sure the info will be useful to someone) and now I am gone.... again.
  18. I consider the DSC a fixed charge and would never consider removing it, so I dont consider it a tip. But if NCL actually wanted people to tip the dining room staff extra they would structure it so that there werent so many different people coming at you. (the way your are assigned one room steward who usually introduces his/herself to you at the start of the cruise) And its still possible to get yourself into a tipping situation if you desire by just asking for a particular waiter. This is a little off the topic but not really, I'm traveling this cruise alone but some I travel with a male travel partner. (he is my son in law almost half my age, so its not like we are a "couple" ) I realized on this cruise that only once was I seated at a window seat meant for two people. Yet when I am with my partner I would say at least half the time we are sitted at the tables for 2 by the window. I'm not complaining, just commenting. If I felt strongly about sitting at the window I would open my mouth and request it. But its an interesting observation, to me anyway. I've read women complaining they often get seated at less desirable tables in a restaurant. So may be on the ships they save those intimate tables by the window for the "couples"
  19. I meant they werent encouraging additional tipping. I didnt mean the DSC.
  20. I remember the days when you had the envelopes and put the cash in them and tipped everyone who served you I was young but watched my mother. It was the way it was done. But as you point out, many things were done differently such as specific sittings for meals so you got to know your waiter (and they were all men) very well. The system had to change and it did, in many ways. Otherwise I think cruising would have gone the way that transatlantic travel did.
  21. Interesting because I am now in the Studio solo section and have only seen 2 men in the lounge on 2 different occasions, no social gatherings, no bartender but refreshments available.
  22. when there are up to 6 people appearing at your table at one meal I would say that NCL is not encouraging tipping.
  23. ha ha, that's almost as volatile. Some people get really bent out of shape when asked to dress a certain way
  24. I wouldnt say I exactly "love" to tip but to me it just feels like the right thing to do but it depends on each person's perspective and circumstances. It is none of my business what anyone tips (other than if I ask for advice and they are willing to give me advice) I will say I am not very high maintenance. I make no special requests, I try to stay out of their way so they can do their job, I dont leave my cabin in a chaotic mess, I try to be neat and clean in the bathroom. In fact, I always tell them the first day that they dont need to make my bed, I can take care of that. Just bring me clean towels when necessary and empty the trash. Some will comply with my request, but others insist on doing the full job, in their nice way. So I let them. I dont make my bed often at home, so its not such a horrible thing to not make the cabin bed, plus I am the only one in the cabin. Doesnt sound like high maintenance?
  25. That's exactly what I meant when I say I tip my room steward extra as a general thank you for doing the work they do. Making beds, vacuuming and cleaning toilets. Ugh. And all that I have come in contact with are always so pleasant with a hello, or a good morning. I'm not sure if it always comes back to me but I guess it eases my guilt a little that they are doing the work they do while I am cruising. They work hard.
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