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About Oakman58

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  1. We booked a whale watching excursion in Cabo through NCL. I have no idea what company they used. The boat was large, 2 decks, and they had restrooms onboard. Chips and salsa along with alcoholic beverages and beer and soda was served and included with the price of the excursion. The excursion started with a tour of The Arch at Land's End where we saw seals basking on the rocks. From there we headed out into the open ocean and on our excursion we were extremely lucky and saw whales breaching. That activity included flipper slapping. It was awesome. To appreciate how large these whales are some perspective is needed. Check out the size of the whale's flipper in relation to the boat in the picture.
  2. Don't assume anything when it comes to cruise ships. If you have electronic devices that need charging do it in your room. If you use those devices so much that they run down during the day then bring along a portable charger/power supply. I made the mistake of assuming that since the Breakaway had undergone refurbishment last year there would be at least one USB charging port in the room...WRONG!
  3. If there ever was a poolside casino, it ain't no more. I think NCL failed to remove it from the ship diagram when the ship was refurbished in 2015. I specifically looked for it on my cruise in 2017 and I'll look again this January.
  4. Well, if you have the Internet you can use that to place a bet with an online bookie.
  5. Not on NCL but my wife would love to do the 128 day Grand World cruise offered by Holland America. But with a balcony cabin costing a mere $43,500 per person I'm pretty sure that will always be nothing more than a pipe dream. It even includes the Amazon River, Panama Canal, and Suez Canal. I wonder how many visas I would have to buy for that cruise? Perhaps if I start buying lottery tickets I might have a chance.
  6. Correct. The only NCL ship subject to U.S. laws is the Pride of America which is a U. S. flagged ship.
  7. Also it was much easier to stiff the crew by not putting anything in the envelopes.
  8. You are so right. A teenage son will need some serious privacy at some point.
  9. Generally speaking, a bathroom trip in the middle of the night will be much quieter and less light with the conventional all-in-one bathroom. If the bathroom setup on the Epic had been popular the ships that were built after her would have that same bathroom setup.
  10. Oakman58

    Advice Needed

    At the very least you should do a 7 day cruise that visits a glacier area. There are plenty of things to do in the main tourist ports so a second visit shouldn't be an issue for you. A cruise on the Holland Eurodam would take you to Icy Strait Point and Sika along with Juneau, Ketchikan, and Glacier Bay National Park. Those two sea days the 5 day RC cruise does (40% of the cruise) will be in the Pacific Ocean and if seas are rough there's a good chance your friends will never cruise again. Also don't let some loyalty cruise program dictate which cruise line you use for Alaska. Princess and Holland do Alaska the best.
  11. Oakman58

    Advice Needed

    Are your schools not out during the summer months? The 5 day Royal Caribbean isn't a very good choice for Alaska.
  12. Here's a picture of the coffee maker sitting on the desk in our balcony cabin on the Breakaway.
  13. Since the OP is in the Haven the following is from the NCL FAQ site. I highlighted the section about tips for the butler and concierge. The DSC covers a lot of the behind the scenes crew such as kitchen staff, laundry staff, etc. Removing the DSC is basically taking well deserved money from them. "Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests. While you should not feel obligated to offer a gratuity, all of our staff are encouraged to “go the extra mile,” so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities for exceptional or outstanding service if you care to offer them. Also, certain staff positions (e.g., concierge, butler, youth program staff and beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those Guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. Additionally, there is an 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as an 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and an 20% gratuity and specialty service charge added to all specialty restaurant dining and entertainment based dining." As far as I'm concerned the DSC is part of the cost of cruising. If you don't want to pay it don't cruise. Most major cruise lines now have a daily charge added to your bill to cover gratuities for the staff.
  14. I had no issues with the Westmark in Anchorage. Here's a couple of pictures of our room at the Westmark, it was larger than we expected.
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