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About lhsail

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Lakeway, Texas
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess and Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Not all of us can afford to sail in the top level suites. Some ports require the cruise lines to charge taxes on drinks sold while at port. Some lines absorb that as an expense. Some lines charge it directly to the customer. It all depends on how the cruise line chooses to handle it.
  2. Back to the real reason you inquired. We have about 20 cruises on Celebrity and about 10 on NCL, one of which we just returned from. We have been on the Equinox three times in the past three years and the NCL Epic twice in the past 4 1/2 years. The Epic is the only large NCL ship we have been on and, although she has her faithful, she is known for having design quirks. Definitely the least favorite ship we’ve been on. NCL by far wins for entertainment. The need to reserve for the big production shows is a bit of a pain, but I think you’ll find them of a much higher caliber than anything you’ve seen on a ship. In our opinion that’s where NCL’s advantage stops. Celebrity wins hands down in food, service and, especially if you’re a wine drinker, in the quality and selection of what comes with the drink package. On our recent cruise they were pushing you to make reservations in the main dining room every night. That is not my definition of Freestyle cruising and we’ve never had an issue with getting seated in Celebrity. We had dinners this time on the Epic in the main dining that were basically inedible. Had good food in the specialty restaurants. Someone mentioned the pool towel issue. I don’t like having to have a pool towel logged out to me with the threat that I’ll be charged $25 if I don’t bring it back. I’m an adult, I can be trusted with a pool towel. You’re doing the right thing to gain as much understanding of NCL as you can up front. I sincerely hope since you’re going on one of the new ships you’ll be totally impressed. We went into our most recent NCL cruise knowing what we were buying, but the itinerary was phenomenal and the price was very good. We didn’t let the issues ruin our trip and we met some nice people. However, we are most likely done with NCL.
  3. Thank you for posting your impressions. We missed a window of opportunity to snag a Haven cabin on this cruise when they dropped drastically a few weeks before sailing and I’m glad we didn’t spend the money. I’ve already shared my rantings about this cruise in another topic. I had heard comments on the ship that a lot of new crew boarded in Barcelona. Just another mismanagement by NCL. And totally agree the wine situation was very frustrating, especially when they started running out. FYI, one of the things that we enjoyed on this cruise was our mini-suite, although I still think the bathroom layout is stupid. Our cabin was spacious, lots of storage and was so quiet. We were frequently in the bar by Cagney’s. Probably ran into you.
  4. I’m sure the verandah cabins are just fine. I find the recommendations to use a Connoisseur Club agent a bit awkward. I have an agent I’ve worked with for a while now, but when I do a search on Oceania’s website his agency does not show up so I’m guessing they are not Connoisseur. I’ve already visited with him about this cruise and it just feels wrong to take my business elsewhere now that we’re booking a more premium level cruise.
  5. We are looking at the 26-day Monte Carlo to Miami on the Riviera in November 2021. We’ll be booking a balcony cabin, no suite unfortunately.
  6. We have cruised extensively on mainstream cruise lines and are looking to try something different and more upscale. We have found an Oceania cruise that interests us, it’s not until late in 2021. Is there a best or better time to book, or do the OLife offers, etc. stay pretty consistent?
  7. Sorry I’m just getting back to you. We just returned from our TA. There were several people on our flight from Newark to Barcelona who were on the cruise.
  8. Jost Van Dyke is a great option, but the NCL excursion is almost twice the price that Celebrity charges so we could not justify it on our recent cruise. Check out Aristocat Charters. It’s a catamaran snorkel tour. It was 6 hours for $135/person. They made three snorkel stops, served us lunch and drinks. Need at least 10 but they don’t take more than about 20. They didn’t have a charter open initially for our date, but they opened one and made it work. Highly recommended. Just do a Google search for Aristocat Charters.
  9. The ship has it’s quirks. We’ve been on it before and were willing to deal. Most of our frustrations came from things totally within their control. The things outside of their control, I just ask they keep people informed as much as possible. I’m done. I’ll take my money elsewhere and I’m convinced NCL could care less.
  10. There were many issues. One of the main dining rooms started turning people away at 8:30 the second night because they were “full” then the pagers didn’t work for the other dining room so we waited until almost 10:00 to get dinner. Food in the dining room that was inedible, then good luck finding your waiter to do anything about it. Hardly any wines available as part of the package and then they ran out of some. Buffet totally lacking in imagination and variety. Terrible service in O’Sheehans. The ship was crowded, crowded, crowded. Did I mention the ship was crowded. The prior cruise had some Noro issues and the ship had been sanitized. Public restrooms had broken soap dispensers, dispensers without soap and cold water coming out of the faucets. Experienced this more than once at the restroom by the dining room, quit using it. Communication was non-existent to poor. We received disembarkation information in our cabin after dinner the last night. We’re experienced cruisers so knew to check with guest services a few days prior and pretty much know the drill, but if you were a new cruiser or new to NCL you would have been lost. The only communication about the late departure the last night was an announcement around 6:00 that they were finishing up a maintenance issue. We left at Midnight. Since disembarkation was delayed they wanted to get everyone off the ship ASAP. That just resulted in backup and lines so you couldn’t get anywhere anyway. We were fortunate to get a taxi fairly quickly, but others were not so lucky. I’m sure I’ve missed some things (like ventilation so bad in the fitness center it’s a wonder someone didn’t pass out). There was also a feeing that the staff and crew really didn’t care. If you brought anything to someone’s attention you either got disinterest or you got placated. I know these are all first world problems, but it all added up to a very bad experience. We’ll be taking our cruising dollars elsewhere.
  11. We were on this sailing and know there was at least one death and we did hear 2-3. As one previous poster mentioned we were late leaving St. Thomas due to some repairs being made and communication on the issue was non-existent. We did stay up.for sail away around Midnight. Never really knew the exact reason for this morning’s delay but felt bad for those waiting embarkation. Like the precious poster we will never sail on the Epic again and that sentiment was voiced by many on the ship. We probably will never sail NCL again. Fortunately the ports were fantastic.
  12. I have read over the credit card coverage several times and have also had phone conversations with them so I am comfortable with that. We did decide to purchase an annual policy. No, not cheap, but what I was trying to do is get the best coverage we could at a fair price. Feel like we’re in good shape now.
  13. Just wanted to come back and say thank you for all the good information. We repriced yesterday dropping the Sip and Sail. Saved over $3000. Even for 29 days we can buy a lot of wine and pay a lot of $15 corkage with the savings. Looks like Dan Murphy’s is going to be fairly easy for us to access. Appreciate you all!
  14. We are going to Australia, New Zealand then back to the US through the Pacific in March and April, will be gone just at 61 days. Have been pricing insurance and it’s staggering. Yes, I know we’re protecting a significant investment, but still. We need cancellation/interruption coverage. I still have health insurance through our former employer’s group plan that includes international coverage. My husband is on Medicare, but has a supplement with some international medical coverage, but no evacuation coverage. The trip is a total of four cruises and I could put one of them on a credit card that has good cancellation/interruption coverage. I’m also considering an annual policy. The max on the cancellation coverage would be used up if we needed to completely cancel, but looking at prices it seems we might come out ahead. I don’t anticipate we’ll take any additional big trips the remainder of 2020, our son is getting married in July. Appreciate any thoughts.
  15. Sounds like we’ll be researching Australian wines.
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