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Everything posted by hallux

  1. I usually trust what BirdTravels says. And you both may be correct. It likely depends on how the OBC is 'bought' by the TA..
  2. I can't compare the Joy specifically as I sailed her during the restart when passengers were somewhat limited. However, I have sailed on the Escape and Bliss which are very similar, including the Bliss on a Panama Canal cruise this year. One benefit to doing that itinerary is that you won't have a ton of kids on the ship so it will be at double-occupancy rather than double+. Wait times for MDR seating were minimal. The only day I really had trouble finding a seat in the buffet for breakfast was transit day, and that's because the buffet has a view out the front of the ship. I've sailed on Explorer of the Seas, that ship felt cramped compared to NCL's Breakaway+ ships (the 3 I've been on are this class). I've also been on one of Royal's Quantum class ships, the Joy feels like that size of ship as @BirdTravels mentions. Otherwise, the info given by BirdTravels is spot-on...
  3. This is why the 'umbrella' ownership groups of the cruise lines have other lines that DO cater to those needs. NCLH doesn't happen to have one of those lines with as small of a ship as you want, but the Royal and Carnival corporations do.
  4. You had to call and ask, right? It wasn't an automatic upgrade. I'm confused about this - NCL has refundable deposits right up to final payment, unlike another line that charges you extra if you want that option, I'm not sure what this is about waiving the cancellation fee? I agree with @debenson0723 typically if you're getting a cabin upgrade because of a price drop AFTER FINAL PAYMENT the new cabin has to be at least $1 more than you paid for your original cabin. At least that's been the policy...
  5. I did it from the other side, my port stop was Panama City after the transit.
  6. I did an excursion that went in the old locks in a much smaller boat...
  7. I experienced that in FLL - I flew in to FLL for a cruise from Miami, originally had an Uber booked to get me to Miami but then decided I'd try Brightline, after missing the train I pulled up the Uber app and found the fare from the Brightline station to be $20 less than from the airport but a net savings of only $10 as the shuttle to the train station from the airport was $10. I was SUPER surprised to be able to easily get a FLL-Miami Uber in less than 5 minutes. I'll be dropping some people there in July - they're doing a TA on Princess and can't get one-way transportation from Albany unless we rent a van (there are 4 of them, plus me as driver, we don't have a vehicle for that capacity with luggage). I've taken people there before, it's unusual, not HORRIBLE.
  8. There's a bulk carrier, Vitality Diva, that is ahead of the Encore, she passed through the old locks, so it's probably a scheduling thing, alternating vessels that can go through the old and new locks.
  9. @dmwnc1959 I'll be honest - the pics I got exiting the lock in the dark are kinda cool.
  10. Which is exactly what happened to my cruise. I have pictures and a short video clip from The Waterfront as we sailed out of the last lock between 7:15 and 7:30 PM. It was dark because it was Jan 31. I was eating dinner as we were descending in the locks.
  11. My Bliss transit earlier this year did something similar. Something about timing of ship transits, it ended up making us 'late' for exiting the canal and we had to tie up at the exit of the last lock on the Pacific side to wait for low tide to pass under the bridge.
  12. I believe you're right. That lagoon with the waterfall looks to be the current tender dock location.
  13. Look at the PDF confirmation you got after your upgrade, the perks you get should be listed on that document. Page 2, in the add-ons section.
  14. Usually with post-cruise excursions (speaking of those in the US), you claim your luggage at the cruise terminal (or walk off the ship with it) and it is then loaded on the bus for the excursion. The "time on your own" is usually given a deadline to return to the bus which then takes you to the airport. Does it make getting off the ship easier? Sometimes. Excursions are scheduled to meet in a location on the ship, you are then escorted off the ship, sometimes through a crew-only area and skipping to the front of the debarkation line. With the above info in mind You may be best off booking a car service (check the ports forum section as some may have suggestions there) to get you from the ship to the hotel. You MAY be able to coordinate leaving the post-cruise excursion before the airport, but you'll need to manage getting your luggage to your hotel from where the "on your own" starts.
  15. The Bliss has the reservations team in Teppanyaki on embarkation day. This previous thread confirms this for Joy -
  16. And yet the Prima still calls at GSC. Because they don't use the ship's lifeboats as tenders there, but the ship can still call at the tender port...
  17. It was the most-recently replied to thread when you posted yours -
  18. This is what I was trying to get at with my comment @schmoopie17 @purplecow15
  19. Are you SURE that was an NCL? NCL doesn't sail from FLL...
  20. But won't you have the opportunity to book those for the days after they leave? Each cruise booked as a 10 night with their respective embarkation/debarkation ports. That means you'll have 4 days (20th-24th) without that group of passengers.
  21. Because there are fewer restrictions on port-to-port transport of passengers than there are in the US I believe this is fairly common on cruises in Europe.
  22. If they do this I will consider this ship for warm-weather itineraries...
  23. Not just very common but REQUIRED unless they visit a distant foreign port as explained by @zqvol
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