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Starry Eyes

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  1. Hehe, try to hug or shake hands with everyone in the theater, and let us know how that goes over.
  2. Is your TA doing a lot for you, such as booking incentives and excellent service? If so, are those booking incentives (every cruise, presumably) worth more than the occasional post final payment price drop upgrade vs OBC tradeoff? Is the TA noticing these price drops him/herself, or are you doing it yourself? Does the TA provide good travel advice (or do you not need it at this point)? I tend to book direct as I like to control my own booking and do not need or like having a middleman. Nonetheless, if one has a really good TA, I doubt I would give them up over such an issue. Maybe be certain the good agent really understands your priorities when price drops occur. OTOH, I’d drop a bad or so-so agent in a heartbeat.
  3. Well, it does sound like that ship is a poor match for that cruiser. And the President’s week sailing was probably worse than most for that cruiser. Still, when I read the original post, the ship was not all bad...it just did not fit this person. I wish the thread title said: “Sunbathers avoid Encore” or “Pool deck fans avoid Encore” as most of the OP’s frustration seems to have been generated by the lounge chair issues. Any cruiser considering this ship would be well advised to consider this issue before committing to the sailing; pity the OP did not do so. Some dining issues were mentioned and are worth of consideration. I did chuckle that somebody with 50+ cruises would fret at the lack of “busboys” rather than the lack of “assistant waiters.” He must have been dining out on land too often lately, hehe, lucky fellow. Kidding about terminology aside, such service issues could be exacerbated by the President’s week sailing and the current limitations on new crew from certain ports due to viral outbreak...or it might be more systemic. Passengers better suited to this ship will be those who spend less time in pool/lounge chairs (or committed to getting Vibe passes) and who are highly attracted to those activities that do take up space on the decks. Personally, I meet the first criterion but not the second, so I might consider the Encore if time, itinerary and price were right, though I am not especially attracted to the ship. Even though I do not hang out on the pool deck, I want my fellow passengers to be able to do so happily; I’d rather sail with happy fellow passengers than with frustrated or angry ones. I hope NCL learns from reviews like this and dedicates more space to pools and decks in future designs.
  4. So, you know you are not entitled to anything (you have a contract, not a technicality), yet all three times NCL has made a good will gesture and offered you a free upgrade....yet you are posting to gripe? Aren’t you looking the gift horse in the mouth? Your original budget covered $xxx for cabin plus $yyy for shore excursions; doesn’t that budget still hold? Enjoy the extra space and be glad the cruise line made the goodwill gesture.
  5. We did two gty’s for the savings, not for the living room. With no single supplement (or a very low single supplement), it was cheaper to book a solo balcony plus a solo inside than toe book a double balcony, especially since we used CruiseNext certificates for both cabins. Also gained more Platinum benefits by booking separate cabins. The assigned cabins were not particularly close together, so the inside saw minimal use. Closer would have been nicer, but no chance of connecting cabins the way we booked. Had one of us developed a minor illness, such as cold, perhaps one of us would have retreated to the extra cabin more often; fortunately that did not happen.
  6. Also, you can apply more CruiseNext certificates (if you have them) if you get two cabins.
  7. We have done that. It increases our Platinum benefits. Also, I found a cabin comes with perks, DH can elect the drink package while I decline, as I barely drink any alcohol.
  8. It is a deeply personal decision, and, in the end, the only important feeling are your own. I am still booking cruises, though mine are from a port close to home and could be canceled at literally the last hour if need be. None of us know how bad the outbreak might become of if it might impact your ship. If after seeing coverage of quarantines you feel better about a land tour, by all means, book a land tour. Vacations are about pleasure, not worry. If the cruise really does not feel right To You, replant the trip so it does. And a land tour a Italy does sound fabulous, even to a diehard cruiser. have a wonderful time, whatever you decide.
  9. Oh, if the other networks book that expert or one’s like her and they repeat the “don’t book a cruise” line, prices will fall. Those of us who want to cruise can pick up some bargain cruises! It might even be a time to consider buying stock if it dips enough. If the situation does does become dire, those of us who booked may regret our choice. Then again, if the situation is dire, there is plenty to worry about beside missing a cruise. If, OTOH, the Coronavirus situation blows over, the cruiseline stock prices will recover from the hit. Just my thoughts over morning coffee. I am driving to cruiseport in an hour, smile on face.
  10. Yeah, cabin category doesn’t matter much if you are just there to sleep, shower, change, etc. My DH harbors a bias against inside cabins, but NCL last minute inside prices were so low, we are going to give one a try tomorrow...it’s been many years since we sailed in a traditional inside cabin. I hope it goes well, as it would open up more impromptu bargain sailing opportunities. If one cannot sail at the last minute (need to fly to port, etc), ignore those fire-sale prices. Concentrate on finding a fair price on a cruise that will allow to also make the rest of your travel plans such that you can get decent air fares, time off from work, etc.
  11. I can imagine a travel group from Asia that had to cancel due to travel restrictions. They could all have had balcony cabins. Or perhaps multinational company could have booked balcony cabins for top producer as an incentive and the workers had relevant travel history. In any case, I think it is limited to your ship (Anthem, perhaps based on other posts). I am on a different ship (Harmony) on same sailing date. There have been no big inventory changes on Harmony. Right now I see one inside and one suite on my sailing. There were a few other cabins earlier this week; basically the usual churn of a few cabins shortly before cruise. I could not detect any substantial impact of Coronavirus policy announcements on cabin availability on my cruise. (I was watching; I thought I might swap my gty assigned cabin if a better one popped up)
  12. Some people choose to personally devote some time to regularly checking cruise prices. By being attuned, they are adept a spotting deals and catch price drops. Others have travel agents who may keep an eye out for deals or price drops on their behalf. Some agents are undoubtedly more likely/better at this than others. Some very good customers likely get better service than the infrequent clients. If you do not care to devote your limited time to scouting out cruise deals constantly and you do not have a trusted TA doing it for you, do not feel bad; you have lots of company. Check prices a few times on the itineraries that interest you, perhaps on differently cruiselines (assuming you’d at least consider cruising other lines). Decide what your budget will bear. Decide what you feel good about spending. Like a poster above, I have a good idea of how much I will pay per person per day after port fees and taxes (some cruiselines have higher fees than others, so I like to look at the sum). If I am paying that rate or less I am happy enough. If somebody else pays less, good for them; it happens, though maybe sometimes I catch the bottom. For some destinations and some times of year, the rates will be higher; I suck it up and pay more if sailing those routes or times. Conversely, there are times I expect a bargain rate as demand is routinely low (such as Caribbean after Thanksgiving week into early to mid December).
  13. Certainly bringing your own bottles is the surest way to have the wines you enjoy at your fingertips. Of course, you must be willing to buy and transport the bottles yourself as well as pay corkage fee, but if you can shrug that off (we can) it works well. Until you board you will not know what wines will be on on Viva Vino list for your ship/sailing, as the list can change at any time. And of course there is a small risk they will be out of stock of a listed wine when you go to purchase your package. That said, if we could not/would not carry on our own bottles, Viva Vino would be our next option. DH enjoys wine, I drink very little, so beverage package is not a great deal for us as a couple.
  14. Experiences do vary. We have visited Moderno for many years now. The meats on our recent visits have actually been better (less rubbery) than the ones we were served a few years ago. Maybe it is different ships or different suppliers or different chefs? The meats are salty, though. Depending on the position on the skewer, sometimes I am served edge pieces that are more well done than I like (I disregard the toughness of those bits as it can happen on any visit, long ago or recent). I do enjoy the salad bar and. Love the pineapple. Since we can use the Platinum voucher, we keep visiting.
  15. Yes, we have different opinions. We probably have different educational and professional backgrounds, too. I hope you have a nice day, too.
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