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Cruise Critic Community


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    Perpetual Flip-Flop State
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean and Norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Labadee and Southern Caribbean

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  1. We LOVE Solarium Bistro. We ate there almost every night on Harmony. Allure will get Solarium Bistro at refurb, which we will enjoy in November! As stated, it is free, but you can order some upgraded charged items if you want to. We saw all ages of kids there, but the tables are farther apart than in MDR, which makes it a more quiet and relaxing atmosphere. I always order the lamb chops for $9.99 one night as a splurge... very good! The only disappointment is that the desserts have changed quite a bit and they no longer serve the delicious “bienenstich” kind of pie. 😔
  2. There’s a limit? 😂😂😂 Never too much... From APDMOM who always posts too many pictures. 🤗 Thank you for the list. We will be on Adventure in 6 weeks and I usually inherit DH’s 3 drinks or get bottled water. This new virgin option will cut into my free drinks 😂
  3. Yes, you should be able to upgrade for a lower price than just buying premium. You will probably have to call MSC if you do not see the reduced price for the upgrade. 🙂 Enjoy your first cruise! You chose an excellent ship - much better than what we chose for our first cruise. Welcome to the addiction of “cruise-life“!
  4. Love the pictures!! Really looking forward to seeing a few of these ports on our December cruise on Celebrity Constellation. We will have 2 days in Cartagena, so I am glad to see you enjoyed that stop. 👏 Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and details. 👏
  5. From our Alaska experience, I would highly recommend a balcony for the very reason that it is colder. We saw so much wild life from our balcony. We would go outside bundled up, take pictures and enjoy the views, then step back inside to warm up. On my review, so many other passengers on our same sailing said they never saw any wildlife... On the upper decks, you not only have to deal with the crowds, but the often cold wind too. Also, we noticed the Celebrity and RCL cruises are very pricey in Norway. MSC has great prices for balconies - about half the price of RCL. We have been on 2 MSC cruises and the value is excellent. So, I would recommend you splurge on the balcony with a lower cost cruiseline. You can status match with MSC’s loyalty program too (e.g. if you are diamond on Royal Caribbean, you can match to gold on MSC).
  6. Thank you for posting this! We have an aft on Virtuosa for 2021, but I was afraid we would miss a lot... maybe it is just the thought that we will see everything last. 😂 If you had to do it again, would you opt for the aft for Norway, or one of the sides of the ship?
  7. I am interested in the feedback about aft facing balconies in the Med and Northern Europe too. I love them for Caribbean cruises, but don’t know if they will afford the views that we would love to see in Europe...
  8. I think the key to every cruiseline is to know when to book. Royal typically does not do last minute price drops on their 7+ day cruises. So, we book as soon as new itineraries come out. We pay an average of $137 pp pd for a balcony (taxes and fees included). This spring break, we have 8 days on Adventure of the Seas fo $120 pp pd. We had an NCL booked on Encore for $157 pp pd in June, but found an irresistible deal on MSC for 2 weeks at $90 pp pd in a balcony. I am anxiously awaiting Nov 2021 NCL itineraries, because we would love to book NCL for a change, but current prices are MUCH higher than our other 3 preferred lines.
  9. Does anyone know what these codes mean in our summary? Does GRAT have anything to do with gratuities? It is for a 12 day cruise, non refundable deposit. The reason I ask is that I am wondering if the GRAT code is a discount for gratuities, and we will still pay gratuities onboard. Or, is this just a sale code and 2 of us are already covered for gratuities? We purchased the one perk offer with free gratuities for 2... 🙂
  10. Thank you for following along, Nancy! I agree that the shorter drive to Port Canaveral is always tempting. 🙂 It is easier for us too. We are starting to get used to the longer drive, but I will never get used to the Miami/Fort Lauderdale traffic and driving culture 😂 We are considering the Brightline train from West Palm Beach for future cruises.
  11. Regarding the light show: It is true that you can watch it from the ship or from the beach. However, I would recommend watching it from the beach. It got crowded by the rails on the pool deck and more difficult to see. Also, you could not hear the music that accompanies the light show, as a movie had started on the pool deck. In June, I will be on the beach instead. 😁
  12. @kealalani, You are welcome! Unfortunately, the stairwell right by the aft of the Marketplace is only for Deck 15 and 16. The staircase that you see “inside” the Marketplace is a crew only staircase. At least you will walk the calories off as you make your way to the midship elevators/stairs and enter the buffet from there. MSC is the only cruiseline I know that posts crew staircases on their deck plans. It is very confusing... 😬
  13. Glad to hear! Yes, they will then enjoy Meraviglia. The slides are quite fun and the waterpark is great for younger kids. The bamboo pool is also a plus on this ship, as it has the retractable roof and is therefore an “all season” pool. So, if you run into a rainy day, they can still swim. Enjoy your cruise! BTW... If you have high status on hotel chains or travel chains, MSC will status match. Even if you have never taken a cruise, you could use hotel or other travel chain status to match for some perks on MSC. (I thought it included airlines, but those are excluded)
  14. @kealalani, It is far aft on deck 15. You get there by walking clear through the Marketplace buffet. You can also get there down a set of stairs from deck 16 by the Horizon Pool. The area is marked with yellow in this image. There are sliding glass doors in the far back of the buffet that lead out to this area:
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