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About Manbo

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  1. I booked once on board, I will never do it again. I brought all the information with me, including the room I wanted. As soon as I got home I had to cancel and rebook. The Cruise Next staff are more oriented for selling certificates. They aren't cruise consultants. They were not up to speed with the perks and they kept telling me the cabin I wanted was not available, but I eventually booked it when I got home. I my opinion, wait until you get home.
  2. The following is a quick review of the Escape, 7-day, western Caribbean Jan 25 to Feb 1, 2020 We are baby boomers with Platinum status. 13th NCL cruise, but first time on the Escape. Embarkation: Super fast. Arrived at the pier at 10:45 AM, we were on board at 11:06 AM. Disembarkation: Again, really fast! We waited for Yellow luggage tags to be called (right after Walk Offs) and we were in the Uber before 8:00 AM. The freestyle said to pick-up luggage tags after 3:00 PM on Friday however by 12:30 they were out and getting picked through! To get the Yellow tag (for Platinum or Gold status) I had to ask at the customer service desk. Be sure to go early and don't wait until 3! Vibe passes were still available by 3:30 PM after boarding. I don’t think they ever sold out. I was able to look in from the Sun deck during the first sea day and it did not look very crowded. It seems over priced ($209 per person) in our opinion. We had 2 at sea days and spent them both by the pool. Chair hogs were out in force. By 6:30 AM chairs were getting saved. One guy had towels and clips on 15 chaises by 7:00. I did not see NCL removing any towels, but they should have. Spice H2O had both chaises and chairs, but since there was little shade (and no little pool) it seemed it didn’t fill up as fast. However, we did enjoy both pool days. The food was very good and other guests we talked with agreed. Here is our list of restaurants starting with the best: Food Republic was awesome! We had both sushi and shared a bowl of Pad Thai. By far our favorite. Moderno was super good! La Cucina got a thumbs up! Manhattan Room (twice) was very good! We left full and happy! Cagney’s is over rated in our opinion. We both got filets and they were very dry (thank goodness for sauces). We can get better steaks at a lot of local restaurants. Bayamo was disappointing. I would not recommend it. Others on the ship seemed to agree. Entertainment: We saw “After Midnight”, “Flashback Four” & “Choir of Men” in the Theater. Loved them all! We also saw Golden Octaves in the Supper Club (for drinks only) and the Skyline Bar. They are great! As for the other musicians, we really enjoyed Dan & Ella, Diego (however his sets were a little too repetitive) and The Starbridge Quartet. Dave E is the piano player, and really good, BUT, I never want to hear “Piano Man” “Margaritaville” or “Sweet Caroline” again! Private Islands: Great Stirrup Key was an easy tender to get off the ship, but coming back was a problem as 1 tender broke down. We waited about an hour to get back. Some folks waited even longer. The Sun was also there, so by 11:00 AM there were no chaises left. There was a problem docking at Harvest Key, so we were delayed about an hour. As a result, a lot of folks stayed on board. But it is a beautiful place, too bad food and drinks are so pricey! Our balcony cabin on deck 11 was nice and very clean. We never met or even saw our cabin steward. We did meet Marian at the pool area and Anthony at the Wine Cellar. They both helped make our vacation extra special. We really had a great time and we both agreed, the Escape in now our favorite ship! Even though it is big, it never seemed too crowded. We will definitely sail her again!
  3. I do a mock booking on line before calling NCL to book the reservation (so I know which room I want and the price). When they pull up your account, they will see the Cruise Next credits you own.
  4. Having cruised twice on the Epic, I totally agree with your assessment. As for the bathrooms, we always pick a room with the bed closer to the balcony and away from the bathroom.
  5. We have watched a few Super Bowls on NCL ships and have decided that we would rather be home. A few issues: You don't get the commercials. Few if any pre game coverage. The last time there were pretty bad audio problems. Seating can be an issue. Get to the Atrium early to get a decent seat.
  6. I know that many disagree with me, but I have always found Cagney's to be overrated. We have better steak houses close to home.
  7. Just off the Dawn and thought the same thing as Jaja. It was a very cheap way to attempt to create "modern art" Something you would see on HGTV.
  8. Yes, we made reservations for Bamboo but made them several days earlier. I suggest making your reservation as soon as you board!
  9. The white hot party has been replaced with the Glow Party. It was mid week. Wednesday or Thursday. I don't recall hearing about a formal night, but on the second night there were a few folks dressed up in suits. No tux or gowns that I saw.
  10. Just off the Dawn. It was offered at $19 a bag, free for platinum.
  11. We tendered to GSK. It was beautiful! Plenty of lounge chairs. Clear water with good snorkeling! We were canceled on two previous cruises and very happy that we made it this time.
  12. Background: My wife and I are Platinum, our daughter and family joined us along with 2 grandkids, ages 7 & 4. The first cruise for them. Ship grade-B+. We found the newly refurbished Dawn very clean and well maintained. In fact, the cleanest ship we have ever cruised. We never felt overcrowded even though the cruise was sold out. Plenty of seating at the pool and entertainment venues. Very different from our recent experience on the Epic in January. The mattresses and pillows were very comfortable. Our only negative was the kids pool/play area needs some supervision. Kids coming down the slides and crashing into each other at the bottom is common and many a little kid was crying. We watched a little kid throw-up all over his father in the middle pool and then get washed off right in the pool! It was pretty crazy. If your kids aren’t tough, I would stay away. We never returned after the first visit. But our kids had fun at the pool with us. Food-B We enjoyed the Venetian and Aqua main dining rooms as well as La Cucina, Cagney’s, Garden Cafe and Bamboo. La Cucina was by far our favorite. I know that many will disagree, but the food was great and the service was the best on the ship! Loved Bamboo and main dining rooms. Our food was great at Cagney’s, but the service was terrible. Over 2 hours for dinner. We miss the pool side cooking and did get a little tired with the same old burgers and hotdogs at lunch. And the kid’s menu should have a few more options. Such as a pasta dish (besides Mac & Cheese), meatballs, etc. We didn’t use all of our specialty dining package because making a reservation before 9 PM is next to impossible once on board. Entertainment-A The shows in the Stardust Theater were great! We also really enjoyed Blue Moon, Azalea, V.I.P. band. Plus, we could always find a seat! The kids really loved Po (magician) and production shows. Staff- A+ A very friendly staff that did a great job! Big shout out to our server Irene at the pool! Luz was the Cruise Director and we really liked her. Embarkation & Debarkation-A Both went much smoother than we experienced out of NYC in past cruises. No complaints. We got to the ship around 11 AM and were on board around 12:15. No rush getting off, it took about 30 minutes total. Overall Grade-A Bottom line, we all had a great time! It confirmed that we prefer the smaller ships and we will be sailing on the Dawn again!
  13. We actually bid on a Mini Suite on the Jade and got it. The only noted difference was the bathtub and as mentioned by Turtles and April, it is high and ours was slippery! The location was not as good as our previously chosen balcony room. I will not be bidding on any future upgrades.
  14. We also love the Pearl! Thanks for posting! As for La Cucina, I have found it hit or miss, on some ships it was great and others, pretty sad. With that said, I only visit specailty restaurants when they are a part of a perk.
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