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Everything posted by elwood_98034

  1. Our concerns were severe food allergies. The Manager found us, and bought the head chef along with him. NCL are incredibly tuned in to food allergies, and have what are essentially quarantine areas in the kitchen where different food types never mix during cooking and preparation. I guess it is easier to run a tight kitchen, than be killing passengers because they got a shrimp in their cornflakes.
  2. It is a sin? I almost never leave my balcony during daylight. I sit there with my camera and binoculars, and hardly move. On the trip south my wife likes to sunbake nude if we get a sunny day. It is almost impossible to sunburn.
  3. It depends where you are from. We are from Seattle, so the weather in Alaska is much the same as it is here, but if you are from somewhere very warm you could suffer quite badly. I can be walking around my local supermarket in shorts and a t-shirt, and see an asian tourist wearing a down parka, because to them 13 degrees centigrade is freezing. To me it is just any other day. On the ship we use our balcony constantly, and swim when it is raining. You can't get wetter, right? Don't go crazy with the wet weather gear. A cheap umbrella works just fine. Or do what we do in Seattle. Walk around and get a bit wet. And if you get stuck you can always buy a really warm jacket any time you go ashore. You will look like a dorky tourist, but you won't be cold. Wear a t-shirt under your shirt, wear slightly baggy thick jeans, and bring a beanie. It can get windy near the glaciers, and your ears will hurt. As a buying tip we just buy Columbia. It is based in Portland Oregon, and is perfectly fine for 99% of what you might need it for. You will look like a local. Especially if your wife doesn't ever shave her legs. Don't stress.
  4. Do an internet search for 'ncl accessible cruising' and you will go to a page on their website where you can detail your concerns, and if you have specific requirements. Or you can go to the ncl homepage, about, accessible cruising. They will get back to you when you get closer to your cruise. Once onboard the catering manager will meet with you to discuss specifics. They are really good about it, and are used to people with special needs. Beware when you go ashore. The standards are totally different. If I find somewhere that I think is being deliberately difficult or is endangering us I always like to give them a honest review on the internet afterwards.
  5. We have had fairly indifferent meals at Cagney's in the distant past, and I have seen the odd recent Joy review that wasn't fabulous. What was your experience? I would appreciate your input.
  6. What did you say again? I was texting. Whut? Selfie LOL!
  7. To be honest, the thought of a week without the internet and constant emails and text messages sounds strangely attractive somehow... (I know you get it in the towns, but I can still pretend to ignore people) But I agree. It is hard to understand them charging for it. If I see a hotel charge for it I won't stay there unless I really have to. Over time they will be pressured into doing it. One Line will offer it, and that will make all the others follow.
  8. Nah. I don't like the sun. Been there, done that.
  9. To tell a sea story: We did a two night Celebrity from Vancouver to Seattle. It was a late season re-po after the Alaskan summer run. What it really was was a way to dump their sewage tanks that according to the USCG had to be done 100 miles off shore. So we went 100 miles offshore in a severe storm, and spent about 14 hours under severe weather conditions. We had two small children. Both my wife and I were totally incapacitated by sea sickness. She was puking in the toilet, and I was puking in the bathtub. Neither of us could stand up after 10 hours or so of vomiting. We tried to call the sickbay, but were told that there was a line of 300 people in the passageway, and that the ship was on lockdown, and unless it was a medical emergency we should remain in our cabin. That took 14 hours. When we finally returned to calmer waters the entire ship smelled of vomit. It was sprayed everywhere. Everywhere. Puddles of it. Splashed on the walls. Especially near the elevators and staircases. On the walls, the floor, everywhere. We eventually recovered a little, and went out desperately looking for food for our little kids. The buffet was closed. Everything was closed. The crew were restricted to quarters. In the shopping area, there was a crewman mopping up the duty free store. The floor was squishy from broken liquor bottles, and there was broken glass everywhere. The store had been trashed. He said that the only reason the ship turned around was because bottles were getting tossed off the shelves in the bars. Dinner that night was a lonely affair. I spent the next two weeks feeling like I had been in a bar fight from the projectile vomiting where I tore my rib muscles. My son was five at the time. He is 19 now, and still talks about the time Mom and Dad were in the bathroom in the storm. I'm actually ex Navy. If we had had an engineering failure where we were located IMHO the Costa Concordia incident would have looked like a shore excursion. I am never going anywhere near Celebrity ever again.
  10. NCL is alright. I doubt it is any better or worse than the others. We did a Celebrity once, and it was awful. We are just cherry picking our experience. Luckily we can afford to do that. By paying for some degree of exclusivity, I am not demanding exceptional treatment, but I am expecting the employees to do their jobs, and for people to not be rolling drunk before lunchtime.
  11. We are coming up for our 3rd Alaskan cruise. We are on the Joy in late August. Our first was a Sun forward penthouse (pre-Haven), and the second was just a regular cabin on the Jewel. We are doing the Haven this time. No discussion. Why? The cafe was usually packed, and it was nearly impossible to get a table, as people would arrive really early and stake out tables for the day. The loud music in the pool area was really annoying, and the drunks filling the hot tubs most of the day made us not want to take our kids there. Then there were the huge lines to get on and off the ship. The patchy service in the specialty restaurants was surprising as well. We had two dud meals in Cagney's, and a waiter once told me that the bar was closed in the Italian restaurant, and I got to walk half way down the ship to find one that was open. The Haven is much more expensive, but for what we are paying I don't expect bad food or drunks swilling beer at 10.00am and never bothering to get out of the hot tub to use the bathroom.
  12. I had a giggle at two different people who were saying Alaska was too cold, and hence the ship was no good. Tip of the Day: Alaska can be cold. We are from Seattle. Alaska is like North Seattle for us. If you look in one of the pools from August 31st onwards I guarantee you will see me and my kids in there. Say 'Hi' if you are walking past, but please don't complain that you are cold. If you see pale people walking around in shorts and t-shirts, it will probably be us. If you do forget to take a jacket with you, just follow the stampede of people off the ship in Ketchikan. They are running to the souvenir shop next to the ship to buy theirs. If you get a Starboard balcony it is quite amusing to watch.
  13. It doesn't make a lot of difference. The ship usually spins when glacier watching, and the scenery is equally nice on both sides IMHO.
  14. In my experience you will almost always get a specialty booking if you go early or late. There are also people who book but don't show, so you can try just walking in and asking. You never know. The cruise is what you make it. If you sit around and fret about everything you won't enjoy it. One thing that did annoy us was people staking out tables in the cafe. You could see that they planned to spend the entire day there. The problem was when there were a lot of them you had nowhere to sit to eat. Same as the pool area. If we saw towels on a chair and no one was around we just moved the towels, did our thing, and left again. The best thing is it is a big ship, so if something or someone irritates you there are plenty of other things to do somewhere else.
  15. You will get cell coverage through Puget Sound. You may get some coverage in the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Otherwise you will only get it when you're in, or very very close to larger towns. Past Port Angeles you could lose it until Ketchikan. On one of our trips we left the phone on, and it would occasionally start pinging like crazy as we had come close to a town, and picked up their tower. Remember to be careful of international roaming charges near Vancouver Island. We usually just go to Airplane Mode when we go to bed Saturday, and switch it back in Ketchikan. You won't get a signal, but your fone might beat itself to death trying to find a tower. That can drop your battery in just an hour or two. Technically the ship may cross into Canadian waters near Port Angeles which would probably be around midnight Saturday, but depending on the exact course you could be in either country. What time the ship decides to stop observing the sales tax thing is hard to say.
  16. We had some real loudmouths in Le Bistro on the Jewel a few years ago. Just obnoxious entitled older people. Car salesman/construction company owner type of people. Money, but zero class. We put up with it, and saw them around occasionally the rest of the cruise. They weren't hard to avoid from the constant noise they were making. We are on the Joy in August. This time we are doing the Haven. Hopefully, that should filter out most of the riff-raff, and if worse comes to worse we can just hang out in our huge cabin. That is exactly why we booked the Haven. Sorry to say it. I am not shy about asking for a different table, or just getting up and cancelling our dinner booking entirely if things don't suit us. That isn't being entitled, it is just expecting the same level of manners and consideration from others as we give to them.
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