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mking8288

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About mking8288

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  • Location
    "Big Apple" NY
  • Interests
    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, CCL, RCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Bermuda/Caribbean
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    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5nup7xtw3ell4g0/CruiseCritic%20Abstract%20-%20mking8288%20-%2011.2018A.doc

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  1. First, apology for hijacking yours ... snipped & modified for us. It's not being too "demanding" on expectations on getting a reasonable ROI (return of investment ... for our hard earned vacation dollars). Not going to discuss the merits of hotdogs, fried chicken, tuna salad, pizza, spaghetti and coal fish, or (plain) pasta fettuccine alfredo on a cruise and how upscale/appealing that is or not - food opinions are subjective & personal, especially when someone else is doing the cooking, etc. For 2020, like previous years, cruising isn't the only means for how we plan to spend our vacation time - especially when there is a world of choices out there. Perhaps, call it a time-out and give those sea legs a rest. Look around & do the search: there are some good, competitive fly & stay packages out there ... both domestic & international, as much as DW hate flying and the TSA theatrics. The key, vote with your own wallet & credit card - it's economics 101, supply & demand. Taking a good, hard look ahead for Cunad, Princess & Holland, etc. under the Carnival's corporate umbrella ...
  2. @thqu60 - if you aren't sailing wtihin days, you should have plenty of time to call in and cancel, request a change or downgrade to the UNL social media WiFi plan, at whatever online pre-purchase prices quoted. Or, just cancel for a full refund and book that yourself again, online - these are add-ons, should not give you any hassle. Get the agent's name for the record and remember to check your credit card used for the debit/credit being posted properly. Or, if you are using a T/A, enlist her/him to do it. In case of any non-refundable OBC that you might have, wait until you are onboard to get the social meida package (just cancel the 250 minutes purchased now, for a full refund.)
  3. Turtles & Bob, look ... off-duty crew members got it right, staying on the ship.
  4. AFAIK, nobody getting unlimited ship WiFi on NCL free, zero chance so it has to be paid for/charged against or prepaid in advance ... and if done properly, you get a $125 credit as partial payment credit - "not" OBC. NCL's online system do show that as an upgrade option or you can DIY onboard - it will automatically discount that when purchasing pre-cruise or agreeing to buy that. Probably another urban legend @NCL - it doesn't sound right nor make sense, given NCL's modus operandi. But, I stand corrected, nowadays, NCL is full of "surprises".
  5. Categories like BB, BC & BD are/should be considered lower categories than your BA-GTY. The next higher category is/should be B9 (Large Balcony) and those are mid-ship, Deck 8 and 9, if I recall - and considered equal or better to get assigned/upgraded into. B6 is Spa Balcony. Good luck & do let us know once you find out. If you just booked & paid in full, the GTY assignment might show up as soon as 12 to 24 hours, once the system finished playing processing any winning "Upgrade Advantage" bids & free up (possibly) a B1 cabin for your GTY reservation.
  6. Strong tail wind should be with the Bliss, nothing too terrible with sea swells or waves. We only worry a little if it is strong Gale force cross wind as it is a mega ship. Not going to be a smooth cruising for the rest of the way from the weather charts, but ... Not a serious snow event later today, latest 1 to 3 inches mix w rain, some sleets tonight. Almost 40°F in morning w 20 mph wind gust. Enjoy the sea day. Outdoors closed or reopened for those braved to sit on the waterfront ? 😬 ETA looks good for getting into NY around 4 am, near Ambrose channel. Cellular signals starting to get bounced around 15 to 30 minutes before reaching VZB, or about 30 minutes before passing Lady Liberty portside, if you are up ... get out your zoom lens. Then, go back for a little more sleep. P.S. about those outdoor furniture on the RC getting tossed, shouldn't crews be alerted to secure them ahead ...
  7. Jade sailings next month in Asia, between Hong Kong, Singapore has good last minute deals on Insides & Oceanview cabins, 10 or 11 nights. Airfares on your own aren't bad and if got miles to use, it's a steal. Very cheap hotel rates in HKG from last year's ongoing unrest. Heck, it's cheaper than sailing to Nassau from NY if you can work out the time, etc.
  8. Yes, sorry ... I stand corrected. It was an exclusive last month for the Norwegian Gem, that we sailed on. The offers we/everyone onboard received ... not pre-cruise, as this is fairly new. Of course, YMMV and subject to change without notice, including pricing & availability, etc. 🤫 🙊 Kindly refer to one's Freestyle Dailies for all offers ... I shall vouch only for the Gem's availability.
  9. Arrrh, coalfish & pollack, plus cod ... shouldn't salmon be available ? I literally went online to see what the heck coalfish was - unlike when a description of "white fish (fillet)" was given in the past. We also had red snapper last month. But, it's beginning to feel like going to the IHOP chains for their tilapia specials. Let's bring on those sardines instead, in the can with olive oil - yay, let's cheer for it. These aren't exactly, IMHO, the upscale cruise experience promised or is this, for our convenience; and, for a "nominal" upcharge plus 20% ... P.S. Check your Nav Channel about likely time to sail past the SOL ... if she's on schedule per AIS data uploaded, likely to go under the VZB around 4 to 5 am plus another 15 minutes nearing Lady Liberty, depending on speed & traffic. If your balcony is portside, should get a nice view - with your camera gears, set your ISO higher ... we had gotten several good ones even with smartphones by manually changing some of the settings.
  10. @PistolPete13 - You are doing pretty good with 90 airtime minutes remaining earlier, satellite WiFi is going to get slower & become more sluggish as folks will get online to reconfirm their disembarkation arrangements, checking in for their flights, calling limo services. Latest forecast for NYC area, expecting light snow-mixed rain Saturday afternoon, 2" to 4" at most, should be gone & clear by Sunday morning. AIS data suggesting ETA into NY around 5 to 6 am, translating into an early/on-time arrival. Looks like ship is handling well for 10' to 12' of sea swells & gusty wind, nothing terrible - overnight & into tomorrow ... swells & waves will improved but cross wind will increase + change in direction, might be briefly warmer than today depending on ship's course/heading, transitioning across the warm/cold fronts in the Carolinas toward the VA waters. Those videos should be very nice to look at, once you get them edited & uploaded, TIA. Enjoy your dinner & evening onboard ... ship officers & crew usually do a farewell at the end of the main theater performance. Tomorrow night, most folks will be busy packing, checking their $$$ OBC and eating early, and getting ready to say their goodbye in leaving the ships.
  11. Absolutely concur. We're on the Escape last January when "I" noticed the subtle changes, 2 days before it was announced & the Captain declared it, officially as an outbreak ... exceeding the 2% threshold. Our balcony cabin was on Deck 13 Fwd, walking by the "medical center" next to/beyond the elevators, multiple times a day and seeing What Pete wrote this morning is pretty much, validation of the earlier proactive practice(s) - quoting "Salt and pepper shakers are being put out in the buffet this morning for the first time all cruise. The danger of outbreaks must be past or the incubation period will put most of the passengers off the boat so NCL doesn’t care." Shakers are usually out ... what this implied, there were some suspected cases reported on the previous sailing, below the 2% threshold; and, out of an abundance of precaution ... vigilant measures were taken. Once it was officially declared, hand washing before walking into the buffet was enforced as a requirement, before getting sprayed on the hands again by crew members assigned. It was not voluntary and carried out ... can't say that nobody managed to bypass or sneak thru. All the "public" access restroom doors were left open with a stopper, etc. However, none of the MDR or Specialty Restaurants had hand wash sinks nearby - the use of the automated hand sanitizer was urged but difficult to enforce, and there're no washy washy crew on duty ( ... someone will probably comment about the merits of the sanitizer, please don't)
  12. Weekdays morning, driving with 2 or more, once you get back on NJ Turnpike, take advantage of HOV-2 car pool lane (until 10 am - thru Newark/EWR Exit 14A ... saving you a few minutes) in "Cars Only" to head north ... Google/Waze is a great driving "friend" of ours, trust in it. I would leave the hotel around 9:15 and allow about 1 hour, putting you near/at the pier anywhere from 10 to 10:30 am (I would say, about 1 hour on average, with the tail end of the weekday morning commuter rush) The Lincoln Tunnel, nearest to the pier is often congested with priority bus-only lanes in the "center" tube. If Waze/Google steer you to take the GWBridge approach slightly further to the north, go with it - especially if the ETA is more than 10 to 15 minutes sooner - and it's a straight approach from the Henry Hudson, just remember to keep right as you exit the elevated highway & transition to local, city streets (see photos above). Generally speaking, disembarking passengers parked at the roof-top should be leaving as early as 8 to 8:30 am and by the time you get there, say around 10:30 (there's a quick security sweep/inspection ... including, an EOD dog/partner) - should be plenty of open spaces to pull into. If Pier 88 is full and out of space, they are supposed to handle spillover using Pier 90 right next to them, and open up the gate - parking & port security folks are on hand to direct the flow. Check the MCT's port schedule for the days/weeks you are sailing to see how many other ships are using the terminal - that should give you a good preview of possible bottleneck ...I won't say never but 95% plus of the them, get their wishes to park. Some will use private, off-street nearby garages to park ... saving a few bucks a day. If you are coming via SUV, minivan and/or other large/oversized, over-height & over-wide vehicle ... roof-top parking is your best option and no surprised $10+ daily or holidays/"nearby" special events surcharges added. P.S. We sailed last month and being the "smaller" of the 2 Norwegian ships there, bumped to Pier 90 and rooftop parking was open - did not hear of any parking issues or the lot being full.
  13. Good morning ... very informative updates. Just looked at live shipcam, appeared to be calmer now and now rocking & rolling as badly. The Spinnaker, Bliss & other lounges must be full of folks - in addition to the atrium. Since they ran out of Malbec, they gotta offer a substitute instead at no extra "upcharge" for your inconvenience, right. NCL's port agent at Puerto Vallarta surely can be dispatched ahead to contact a Walmart warehouses to make an urgent delivery
  14. UA has some flights out of LGA but entirely out of JFK, and is as much as 60-70% of all the flights/traffic into/out of EWR (read it somewhere, Flyertalk ?) so that's probably a safe assumption for the one-way booking. Norwegian was charging $45 p/p one-way to EWR transfer from their Manhattan cruise terminal. If Princess offer the hotel transfer option at similar prices - it should work out (most likely, a weekday airport arrival, pre-cruise.) Or book a car service like Dial 7 or Carmel, used by many cruisers on CC with good results & fair, competitive prices (including us) or Uber/Lyft ... Just know that ground travel from EWR into NYC is the most expensive, regardless ... aside from using mass transit/shared airporter bus or rails/Path.
  15. @Level six - it's understood that the free shuttles are provided by the shopping malls as a partnership/goodwill for ship passengers as they are inter-connected/part of these multi-story malls with MTR stations below/nearby for convenience. I am sure a daypack or carry-on size backpack can fit but not designed/equipped for luggage transfer. Sorry, I stand corrected. Taxis are really inexpensive by USA standards, reliable, safe & efficient ways for joining the ship or leaving (disembarkation) - from popular/major hotels in KL or island-side, for $15 to 20 USD on average, less if you aren't staying very far ... maybe $10 USD ($75 HKD) at most from the nearest MTR station, if you wish to be frugal & don't mind taking the train and transferring, etc. The KTCT official website has a page dedicated to transportation info, including the green #86 PMB (Public Mini Bus) 16 passengers - with a dedicated route that serve the cruise terminal and MTR station @ Kowloon Bay ... those would be more appropriate, for a nominal charge (Octopus card accepted) if you are packed lightly for travel & cruising. $6 HKD each way - not even $1 USD. They are, however, also not equipped for handling luggage & oversized bags commonly associated with cruisers. Please kindly click here for the link.   Another - indirect - reason that, I'll mention this here on the thread (vs. using the other "safe" thread that some of you were following for months ...) is that the MTR Kowloon Bay Station, also known as Telford Plaza has been targeted, randomly, sometimes for unscheduled "Let's Shop" Lunch and/or Evening "gatherings" with the intent to disrupt and sabotage local businesses & shops, retail establishments in these malls or merchants nearby. It's best, until further notice & de-escalation of the ongoing social unrest and protests, to minimize and avoid these sensitive spots - especially when traveling with luggage, although "foreigners" as non-yellow skins are generally safe and not endangered. MTR systems - rails, buses, ferries & other means of transport are safe and fine to use lately ... a little common sense is still advised to travel smartly. Lately, it's been calm but possibly flare up next weekend. Happy & safe cruising.
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