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About rwmartin

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Interests
    Cruising, Reading, Hanging with the Family
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I'm hearing a resounding "YES!" from everyone. Thanks for everyone's feedback and suggestions for making a M&G worthwhile. I'm going to go join my roll call now. Thanks again!
  2. My wife and I will be going on our 4th cruise in the fall. I discovered CruiseCritic since our last cruise (nearly 10 years ago) and I enjoy reading the boards. We enjoy meeting people and have gotten to know some people, by chance, on previous cruises and ended up going to dinner together or meeting for the show on one or two nights. So, I'm interested in the Meet and Greets, but I'm wondering if my wife and I will fit in. We're in our late 40s and we will have been married 25 years when we go on the cruise. Based upon your experience at Meet and Greets you've attended on NCL ships, will we fit in? Will there be other people our age and with our limited cruising experience? Or will it be mostly retired folks who are Platinum with lots of cruising experience? I'm a bit of an introvert in new situations, so, I'm just wondering what to expect. Thanks for sharing your experience!
  3. We did the bridge tour 20 years ago on the Norwegian Dream. It was very cool and we've gone to the bridge viewing area on every cruise since. I'd like to do the BTS tour on our cruise in the fall, but I'm not Platinum. Is it worth the $79 if you have to pay for it? I've seen videos on YouTube. Am I going to see anything those videos don't show? Thanks!
  4. My son just got his first passport. Took only two weeks. So, if you’d feel better having them, you should have time. But the others and NCL are correct. If you’re leaving from and returning to the U.S., you’ll be ok with just the birth certificates for most ports on a closed loop cruise. There’s one port in the Caribbean that’s now requiring a passport but I don’t remember which port it is.
  5. You’re right but the ones I saw were saying you can get Lactaid milk, such as for cereal. But they didn’t talk about whether the kitchens would make the regular dishes that were on the regular menu for everyone but use lactose free ingredients. For example, if a dish with a cream sauce was on the regular menu or mac and cheese was on the regular menu, would the kitchen make that same dish for me but use lactose free ingredients. I hope that clarifies how my question is different than the posts I’ve seen. Thanks!
  6. I did a search and found many posts but I did not see any that addressed my specific question. If anyone has firsthand experience with my specific question, I would be interested in hearing from you. Thanks!
  7. Hello! I've seen a lot of posts about the Access Desk that helps folks with allergies. It sounds like NCL has it together in this area. My issue, though, is lactose intolerance and not an allergy. So, unlike a shellfish or peanut allergy where the food needs to be avoided altogether, I just need mine prepared differently - with lactose free milk or other lactose free dairy products. In my house, for example, I eat all kinds of dishes with dairy. We just always have lactose free milk on hand for cooking, lactose free ice cream in the freezer, and even lactose free cheese for mac and cheese. (BTW - All Cabot brand cheese is naturally aged and, therefore, lactose free.) My question then is this - will NCL prepare a regular dish which includes dairy but substitute lactose free milk or other lactose free dairy products so that I can enjoy it? I know I can avoid dishes with dairy altogether, but since there's an alternative way to prepare the same dishes, I'd rather enjoy the dishes I want, just prepared with lactose free milk or products. I know I can contact the Access Desk at NCL, but I wanted to see if anyone else has first-hand experience and, if so, if they had any pointers. Thanks!
  8. Lots of great info and ideas. Thanks so much. Quick follow-up on the NCL laundry service. I saw in one reply here and mentioned in other posts that NCL washes everything in hot water. Is that based upon what’s on the laundry order form or some statement from NCL? I wash very little in hot water and the comments about NCL washing everything in hot water is why I’m asking about washing clothes myself. So, just wondering if this is really true or just a perpetuated rumor that hasn’t actually been substantiated? Thanks!
  9. Hello. I've seen topics about the laundry service NCL offers and about the specials and tips for getting everything into the bag without it ripping. I've also read some of the horror stories (though rare) of clothes being ruined or lost. I don't think I've seen a topic on doing your own laundry in your cabin bathroom, though. My wife and I will be on a 14 day Caribbean cruise next year plus a couple days in Tampa pre-cruise. We don't want to pack 2+ weeks of clothes, but we also don't want to wear the same clothes multiple days. So, besides the laundry service, I'm wondering what folks may have done on a longer cruise to ensure they had clean clothes. Has anyone just washed a few items themselves in the sink in their cabin bathroom and hung them up to dry? If so, what do you take for detergent? Any special tips you can give? Thank you!
  10. Hello! My wife and I will be traveling on the Jade in November/December 2020 on a 14 day cruise. On longer sailings, do they repeat the main shows or do they just bring in more singers, comedians, magicians, etc. to fill the extra evenings? Thanks!
  11. Hello! My wife and I are taking a cruise on the Jade just after Thanksgiving 2020 to celebrate our 25th anniversary. The NCL website lists the main shows that are appearing on the Jade right now. These are the same shows they've been promoting since I booked this past January. How likely is it that these shows will still be the shows 16 months from now? In other words, how often does NCL change their shows? Thanks!
  12. I booked a cruise on the Jade this past January to sail just after Thanksgiving 2020. (I know. I book really far out.) When I booked in January, there was a $99 flight option that I took. A couple weeks ago, I heard on the CC boards about a 20% Latitudes discount and contacted my travel agent to take advantage of it. In order to do so, I had to give up my $99 flight option since it wasn't part of the 20% discount promo. My trip is too far out to find actual flights, but I priced out flights for the same period this year and found flights totaling $500 for both my wife and me. Assuming flights are the same next year (I know there's a possibility they won't be), I did the math and figured I'd be saving by taking the 20% discount and paying for my own flights. So, I asked my TA to make the change. Well, she did and then came back and told me I needed to select a new Free at Sea promotion. I chose the $50/port excursion credit. I have 9 ports, so, that's another $450 in my pocket. So, my advice is to always see what it would cost you to book your own flights compared to any other savings you can get. In my case, it was much better to book the flights myself.
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