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Wedgie23

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Everything posted by Wedgie23

  1. Haha no worries no offense taken. I have an autoimmune condition which causes my immune system to be overactive. My body attacks itself as is and anything else introduced causes it to go into over drive. Other people's sniffles become my full body hives, 3 week chest cold and tends to require steroids to lower my immune system as it's a case of my bodies cure becoming more dangerous than the disease. Right now my family is looking at me as the canary in the mine to see if the virus has entered our home. Not touching my face comes from years of working counting money where your hands quickly become absolutely filthy and you develop the habit of simply not touching yourself. I wouldn't say I'm as adamant (except for now) with sterilization outside of cruises as I am on but it isn't too far off. Always wash hands before I eat, purell at the ready if I'm out. I wipe down a shopping cart handle before I touch it if that counts? If I'm out and eating any kind of hand food I always make sure I haven't touched anything in between either washing my hands or using sanitizer and using my hands/fingers to eat. Though I have to admit, the last couple of weeks I've gotten into the habit of wiping down my groceries as I put them away and I think I'm going to continue doing that once this is behind us. I worked in a grocery store so I do know first hand how many people are touching the stuff on the shelf and how dirty those things can get. Who washes their hands when they grab a snack from the pantry? This isn't the only virus that can live on surfaces for days it's only taken me a couple extra seconds per item. I don't think I'd classify myself as a germaphobe, dirt doesn't bother me, gross stuff I don't flinch at, I tend to not bother with seat protectors in public bathrooms, I only care about the viruses and bacteria thats going to make me sick.
  2. Currently South Jersey, formerly Suffolk County NY. Were "locked down" in it's limited sense community wise. Personally my husband has been deemed essential and while that is true in a sense, his company is taking full advantage of the declaration and having him out doing everything normal and not just the 'essential' functions like I'm sure so many other people are dealing with. His jobs have him going in and out of hospitals in the tri state area so likely for us it's not if but when. I own a duplex with my parents renting our other unit. Even though we live in essentially the same house I haven't seen them in weeks now because every day my quarantine restarts even though I haven't left the house in.... 3 weeks now? 4? It's all a bit like groundhogs day because I can't quarantine like others so my time spent away to keep them safe feels unending. That's been the most difficult part for me personally, knowing my Mother in particular is bored and scared and I can't just go... right downstairs... to her apartment and spend time either comforting or distracting her without risking her. My younger brother lives with them and works at a hardware store which has also been deemed essential which other people have apparently taken to mean is the place to go crowd and hang out in more than ever. His company as well has taken full advantage of the 'essential' declaration and has made no attempts to distance people, provide any amount of protection to their employees or even limit the crowds in their store. To quote a tweet someone in my neighborhood sent out to our Gov. "Please explain how it's too dangerous for 10 members of my immediate family to gather for a funeral for my grandfather but it's safe to have 100+ in walmart right now?" Not trying to get political just voicing frustrations with the current social distancing system protecting some and throwing the rest, and their families, to the wolves. My brother isnt allowed to wear a mask at work but does so at home though other than in the bathroom or for a meal spends all his time in his bedroom now to limit exposing my parents as much as he can as well. I think the reason the situation is bothering my mother as it is is because suddenly her family has been broken apart together, if that makes any sense. I suppose thats it from my end in the grand scheme of things seeing what others are going through it's nothing but mindless worry. Apart from grocery stores and hardware stores it seems most are paying head to the lock down, streets are mainly empty from cars... from what my husband has told me at least. Anyway thanks for the rant space, this was a nice idea and felt better writing than just constantly telling everyone around me (via text) how fine everything is going to be and not to worry = )
  3. I went to Bermuda in November out of NYC. The weather in Bermuda was good or at least warm but going and coming were quite cold and most stayed inside. I went early November and beaches were still a possibility, I only dipped my feet in myself but the water was not freezing. The casino opened at 9 while we were docked in Bermuda on the Dawn. For some reason I really thought on the Breakaway a few years prior it had been 6 so I'm not sure if time is ship specific, the rules changed or I'm just remembering wrong.
  4. I'm already booked for 2021 however this whole ordeal does have me questioning future cruises. For reference I'm the weirdo wiping down a slot machine before I use it, who comes on board with their own kit of sanitation supplies and disinfects the entire state room, I purell both before touching tongs in the buffet and again at the table with my own industrial strength 'noro' killing sanitizer and use the ships every time I pass one. I'm well trained in not touching my face. Despite this I've returned sick on 2 of my 3 cruises, nothing major, just colds but for as much as I clean and sanitize I cannot stop one of the other 40 people in an elevator breathing their germs on me. Now that they have gotten rid of straws I have to just try to watch that I don't drink from the side of any cup the bartender had their hand on. That bartender has been touching hundreds of room cards and I'm sure not everyone on the ship is disinfecting theirs 3x a day like I am (I brought my own straws on the last cruise just for hygienic reasons). Anyway with them putting so many people on ships and packing people in so tight, looking at Encore tighter than ever, there just really is no way to protect yourself in such an environment no matter how stringent you are with your own sterilization practices. We all like to focus on the things we can do to prevent illness but the reality is if anyone that physically close to you is coughing or sneezing it doesn't matter what you touch, you're going to get sick, when you are constantly engulfed on all sides by people around you the odds go up exponentially. I really like cruising and my main gripe with Norwegian is how they overpopulate their ships to the point of them just being uncomfortable and honestly I don't know if I'm really comfortable in that kind of environment anymore. Poor princess but could you imagine what the numbers would have been on Encore? Epic? Or even one of the bigger RCL ships? NCL is putting hoards of people practically on top of each other, pool side pics from Encore look like one of those awful body trenches from WW2. Higher end lines give you more space per person at the detriment of fun and money but I know I'd personally enjoy my vacations much more if I didn't seem to come home with some bug no matter what ridiculous sanitation ritual my husband and I undertake.
  5. Thanks so much for all your info. I don't know how I missed that elevator on the plans, that would make it easier if you're carrying a bunch of stuff. Still hoping that the public deck is there with direct bar access but we shall see. That's so funny! Glad to see I'm not the only one in the new mystery cabin, I was starting to wonder if I was going crazy booking a cabin everything but the direct NCL deck plans say doesn't exist. My Joy sailing isn't until May 2021 so I'm hoping before now and then someone will shed some light. I'll be sure to keep you posted if I am able to uncover anything, if not I'll just hide a note for you behind the coffee pot with tips and tricks lol.
  6. I booked haven for the first time on Joy I hope I didn't rush the booking though because I'm noticing some odd things. The room I chose, 15130 seems to have been added since the referb and I'm unable to find any information about it. It's listed as a Penthouse Suite With Balcony. There appears to be 4 others like it on deck 15. I chose this one because it appeared as though it would have the slanted balcony and from what I've read here that tends to mean the balcony is a bit bigger. Other than NCLs deckplans other sites don't even list the room as existing and I can't find postings from anyone who has stayed in it so I'm wondering if I should be concerned or if the slanted balcony in this funky add on room would be not only not larger, but smaller? I notice looking through the deck plans deck 15 isn't near the actual Haven areas which are on 17, 18 and 19. Is this going to cause me any issue? I've heard you need an access card for haven areas but I had thought haven areas were kept more together, even though I'm not staying on the deck with the haven areas will I have any trouble getting access to the haven spaces? I know with the addition of concierge class rooms some people have made the mistake of thinking they had access to those spaces when they didn't but just to be 100% sure, so long as your room name has 'Haven' in it all 'Haven' categories of rooms still enjoy all the haven perks and spaces? I tried to read as much on the board about Joy's haven sundeck and it seems there's a bit off mismatch of info so I'm hoping someone whose recently been on board might have an idea. The deck plans show the haven sundeck on deck 19, right next to Vibe and a public sundeck. Some people have mentioned the public sundeck area has actually been converted to an extension of vibe. Is this true? That would mean the haven sundeck is completely closed off from the public areas of the ship, the only way to access it would be the courtyard on 17 since without a vibe pass you couldn't walk through vibe to get to the haven and that would also mean there is no bar available on that deck to anyone without a vibe pass. It would just seem very odd to completely cut off the Haven sundeck from anything but 2 flights of stairs and also if you wanted to have some drinks in the sun you'd need to carry them up 2 flights from the haven bar as well. Deck 15 is directly under the pool and garden cafe. 15130 seems to be right under the division between the buffet and pool area, should I be expecting it to be a particularly noisy cabin? Thank you anyone who has any info.
  7. Gratuity on a spin class?? Is that in any way normal?
  8. Was that the one where they were full on breaking the ship apart- had workers with hazmat or breathing apparatuses sanding away parts of the ship feet away from decks of people? People got covered in dust and started wheezing? I'd only seen it in pictures but it looked like just about the entire outside became unusable for the trip due to it being fenced off or I'm guessing just the fumes alone. Did the passengers ever get their refunds? I really can't believe any line would have done something like that and certainly not Norwegian. I don't even think 'refund' would be enough for a situation entirely of the lines own making that has the ship unusable or dangerous to it's passengers. Other than a gap of sailing dates for a ship is there any way to know for sure when it is going into dry dock? Sorry if this is a derailment from the OPs question.
  9. Hardcore NCL people may be distraught about the direction the line is going but I don't think many of them would say they had absolutely horrible times on their vacations even if they may be looking towards other lines. Perhaps if you gave some specifics of things you've read that are concerning you about your vacation people can tell you the realities of what those issues are like/how often they occur and how possibly to mitigate or avoid them completely.
  10. Agreed. Gem is doing the Bermuda run from Boston while Encore does it from NYC. For me it adds about 6 hours to the drive but I'd much rather do that than deal with everything it looks like they are doing to Encore. Less passengers/smaller ship alone would be preferable but all the Encore's upper deck mess just doesn't sound like something I'd like to deal with. Gem doesn't have H20 either but it does have Bali Hai which I understand to be similar. At least no Go Karts and Laser Tag taking up all the room or turning it into a Disney cruise with thousands of kids running around. Don't know if Boston is feasible for you to get to. Celebrity does Bermuda runs from Cape Liberty NJ. Haven't been on a Celebrity ship myself, not a huge fan of dress codes or overly stuffy environments but I might check them out after next Summer. Not sure when you're looking to go but Escape is still doing NYC to Bermuda for the rest of 2019 and Dawn will be doing one 7 day run this November.
  11. Gem is doing Bermuda from Boston Encore will be doing Bermuda from NYC.
  12. Someone posted this FAQ for the meal package in another thread https://www.ncl.com/specialty-dining-package/faq Margaritaville and Food Republic are now included. $7 per person upcharge on top of the dining plan for Pinochos Tapas place is now not listed. If the new FAQ is correct and seems to have happened right before this change it would tell me they are raising prices in the other venues to cover things that are now included. Realistically it doesn't make much sense to have 3 restaurants going unused because they were all ala cart or had a 'walk in the door' fee. Now it seems every restaurant it useable to people with the dining perk but with more restrictions towards the higher priced items per restaurant. I don't think this is them getting more money I think it's them evening out for including more. Personally I'd rather have more restaurant options overall and pay upcharges only if I wanted something more expensive than pay an upcharge just to walk in the door.
  13. That's funny, hour and a half-2 hour line from heck I experienced on the Breakaway when I opted for their standard-bags removed for you option. I did not want to repeat that on Escape so we did walk off with bags even though we were on the 12th floor, luckily we were able to get an elevator, though were surprised they were not running any dedicated elevators to disembark level like they did while in Bermuda. Time from in the room to in the car was under 30 minutes. As Escape seemed much more crowded I imagined that march was somehow going to be even worse. After talking to friends and reading more about it here seemed we just lucked out and it's a crap shoot no matter the ship, no matter the time, no matter the method.
  14. On the Escape I overheard several people talking about blowing off reservations, both for the restaurants and for one of the shows. It seems it's become common practice to book whatever you can when you get on and show up to whatever you feel like. I found this frustrating because by Monday the show I wanted to see was all 'sold out' for the week. Specialty dining booked up very quick also. I had an unrelated issue I needed to go to guest services about and to make it up to me they were going to try to get us a reservation for Le Bistro on the last night. The rep had to spend quite a few minutes on the phone, was able to come up with a time of 9:30 and told us we may have to wait since they are completely booked, totally fine. We show up to a restaurant with 1 other group in it and dozens of empty tables. Since they want to make extra money everywhere they can they should start with charging people for no shows. Every other passenger is inconvenienced by this 'rush to book then don't show up' mentality some others have. A $5-$10 dollar charge per person for anyone who makes a reservation and doesn't even bother to call and cancel should give them some of the extra cash they are clamoring for while also making things better for everyone else on board.
  15. I preferred Breakaway to the Escape but I suppose that could be rather subjective as there was a 2 year gap between when I sailed. I found the Escape much more crowded which while the Escape does have a larger capacity could be due more to how full each individual sailing was when I took them, I have no idea. Most of the downsides of Escape had to do with the amount of people on board so I suppose given I don't know how full one sailing was V the other isn't a fair comparison. Many of the smaller changes or cut backs most likely would be fleet wide so would have been noticed all the same on a second sailing of Breakaway years later. That said if all else were the same and I could chose Breakaway or Escape I would chose Breakaway.
  16. I was on Escape last month and had towel animals. I did not request them but did thank my steward for making them and left it in the hero card how much they were appreciated. I'm assuming turn down means nighty spruce up when the towel animals are made and the dailies left? Then yes. That's sorta the rub. They stated when they removed them from some ships anyone who still wants them can ask but now people need to feel guilty for asking for something that was once standard but is now special request. I'm sure the stewards are given less time to make up rooms on those sailings because they arent expected to be making them. I wouldn't have asked for them myself because I don't want to annoy them with a 'special request' that isn't a need but I would have been disappointed if they weren't there. Disappointed enough to ruin the cruise? Absolutely not, but the towel animals are so iconic to NCL they would have been missed. I found them to be perfect little exciting ends to perfect days. Oh well, I suppose if they aren't there on the next cruise I'll send hubby down to the class and ask him to surprise me with one every night, I'm sure that will go over well 😃
  17. You and a few others are misunderstanding OPs predicament. He used a debit card. On the cruise NCL placed various holds (with his permission) on his debit card in $500 increments, so assuming $1500. OP interpreted these 'holds' as charges of what he has spent. After the cruise, with the $1500 of holds still on his account, he was then charged the $1,4XX he spent. So currently NCL is holding $1,500 even after they received the $14XX payment. Now OP is in the situation of having twice as much as he spent missing from his account until the holds are released. Judging by other posters here it could be the bank, not NCL, taking so long to release the holds and this is the reason why people don't use debit cards for their accounts but OP isn't disputing they spent $14XX he was disputing what he viewed as double charges after spending $14XX but having $3000 gone from the account. His dispute will be denied once his bank sees the double charge is 1 charge and 1 hold but I'd think most people not used to cruising or cruising under a debit card wouldn't be expecting to see twice as much as they spent MIA from their account when they got back.
  18. Thank you very much for letting me know your personal experience in that room. It looked very small and seeing pictures someone posted of the bed once it was set up looked like it was rather short but hard to judge, it certainly doesn't seem that it's worth paying more to stay there. Thank you all, it seems the best option would be 2 balconies.
  19. Well supply/demand, you know that whole dance. If you check out the thread about them removing the open bar from Sun sailings apparently they are moving it to do Alaska runs. So that would be 3 (or is it 4?) ships just for Alaska that's how popular it apparently is. I imagine once the Sun starts doing runs a slight reduction in fare. I get what you're saying and while I don't disagree I think the Alaskan itinerary isn't really the best way to make a fair comparison.
  20. Ah roger that. Though it is another space taken from the public. Was the existing Haven area too small for haven guests? Anytime I see pictures of the Haven areas they always look like a ghost town. I do understand more with this one why there may be a need to change it entirely if they are going to change it. Just removing the sign could lead to some interesting misunderstandings. Could it be possible they have put a door at the top of the stairs to restrict access to 15 leaving 14 unrestricted? I suppose you wont really know until someone comes back from the ship but all hope may not be lost for your spot.
  21. That sounds wise. However you do your research, make your purchase then they change it on you after. Getaway and if it is true, Gem customers researched/booked/paid before the changes. How is it the customers fault they didn't anticipate a new pay wall installation between ticket purchase and sail date?
  22. If I'm not mistaken isn't the 'freestyle' sun deck on top of the ship at 15 the nude part of the deck? And isn't Gem one of (if not the last) remaining ships to allow public nudity on one of their decks? If so I can't say it's particularly surprising to see it gone. I haven't sailed on Gem but I have been debating it so my research on the ship is not first hand and could be incorrect. Hey I'm not saying if that's your thing theres anything wrong with that, you do you. You and anyone else can still tan in the buff on your balcony if you desire not really sure there was a need for people to do it with strangers. I think the majority of people were staying away as is for their own reasons. Zero judgement if that was your thing but if there wasn't enough demand for a nude deck it makes sense not to have one. It is disheartening to see it go right to another Haven area though. Seems like it would have been a good place for a mini Spice/H20 style area all passengers could have enjoyed. Perhaps they didn't want to just remove the 'freestyle' placard and leave it public as it could lead to confusion with prior guests believing nudity was allowed there and either still avoiding it or still birthday suiting it not understanding the rules were changed?
  23. Thank you every one for your replies and sharing your experiences with me. I am trying to wrap my head around paying that much more just to ensure were on the same deck but my parents have never gone anywhere which would make them nervous travelers. If I think they would feel more at ease knowing I am either with them or right down the hall I guess it's worth it. I'm still torn about 2 balconies or the 2 bed room either Haven or regular suite which is a nice option Gem provides. Regular 2 bedroom is $834 more than 2 regular balconies, the haven version 3.1K. Even with Haven perks I just don't see 2 adults being comfortable in the tiny second room but I do see how it would be nice to have a table large enough for the 4 of us to have in room breakfast or sit and decide what to do that day. But having 1 state room means additional charges for passengers 3-4 in specialty dining when passengers 1-2 use the perks. Separate balconies would give the same perks to everyone. If booking Haven do all passengers receive specialty perks such as dining/drinks or still just 1-2? Those who have stayed in the 2 bedroom, do you think 2 adults would be comfortable sleeping in the small room?
  24. I believe the reason this bar is underutilized is because regular passengers have no way to know it's there. It's not on the ship map, it's not on the sign pointing towards vibe that there is a public bar there. I don't think expanding vibe into this area is near as bad as what they are doing with Encore. The doubling in price of vibe is pretty recent. I'm curious what anyones experience getting vibe passes has been since. $100 a pop it was a race that sold out, at $200 is it still a race or come midway through the cruise are they still not sold? Those of you getting passes for the more expensive vibe, are there the same amount of people there as before?
  25. Quite welcome. FYI a poster in another thread informed me that as of a couple weeks ago Margaritavilla and Food Republic are now included in the meal package. I'd double check with the matri'd but sounds like there is now some good lunch options.
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