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About brookie848

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  1. If you do decide to look at Royal, be very careful in your research. Suite benefits vary depending on the ship and the class of cabin you book.
  2. Keep in mind that your muster drill may be some time in the late afternoon.
  3. Thanks for all of the information. While I love going new places, doing the research that goes with it can be overwhelming. Enjoy your upcoming cruise!
  4. I would not bother with the transfers. NCL pushes them hard -- and talk about the lack of taxis in San Juan. That hasn't been the case for us. We've cruised out of San Juan twice -- the first time we landed about 11:00 a.m. the day of the cruise and had no issue getting a cab to the pier -- we shared one with others for a very reasonable price. This year, we arrived the day before and got in line for a cab around 5:45 p.m. There was a decent-sized, line, but it was very organized and we only waited a few minutes. Both times we disembarked, we left the ship early in the morning and there were an unbelievable number of cabs lined up waiting to take people where they needed to go (they were backed up to the main road). The "funny" thing is the day before when we went to the disembarkation meeting for suites, NCL was saying that there were really no cabs available and to sign up for their shuttle. Depending on how many people are in your party, this can get really expensive! A cab ride between the airport and the pier will run you about $20-25, depending on how much luggage you have. Taxis are regulated when travelling between these two destinations. Another consideration if you take the shuttle is that you will be separated from you luggage. Some people more more comfortable with that than others.
  5. We've been in a suite on the Dawn without a Haven and we do miss the Haven area a bit. Since we normally stay in 2-bedroom suites, we missed not walking through the Haven lounge area and getting a drink on our way in/out of our cabin. I think it may also depend on the itinerary. We were on a port-heavy itineraries (only one sea day), so we didn't have a lot of time to miss not having a Courtyard (although we did a time or two). We actually enjoy eating in the MDRs a couple of times on a cruise, so not having a Haven restaurant wasn't a deal breaker for us. It is a different experience, but it is one we were okay with, especially if the itinerary is something we are interested in doing.
  6. When we were on the Dawn a month ago, we were told the limit was $25 for our Platinum meals. We were never charged for anything we ordered (we always have OBC, so we just order at will and are okay if we are charged).
  7. Kim -- Thanks so much for your awesome reviews. I learn so much from all of them. I'm starting to research our 2020 cruise. When you get a chance, can you let me know which ships you were on when you visited Aruba and Curacao (that way I can search for your threads)? Obviously this review you visited those two and I know you've done land vacations in Aruba. I'm trying to figure some things out since these will be new islands for us. Also, have you been to Bonaire? Our time in that port is short and I'm trying to figure out what we will plan on doing. Thanks and enjoy your upcoming cruise out of Puerto Rico. That is definitely our favorite place to start our cruises!
  8. One issue we had with this beach is that there was a lot of coral in the water -- you really needed water shoes. Just be aware of that if you go. Another thing we noticed is that it is quite a walk from the restaurant to the water. Not a big deal for us, but it did take a while for our chairs to get set up (maybe 20 minutes or more) since they have to be carried down from the restaurant. This had a lot to do with our timing -- we got there right after another group. There was only one person setting up chairs/umbrellas. How early do you plan on getting off the ship? If you get off early enough, you shouldn't have trouble finding chairs and shade any place you go.
  9. And don't believe any employee that tries to push you to the buffet. If you get a Daily when you check in, it will have the hours of restaurants open for lunch. Enjoy!
  10. I always bring some snacks from home (pre-packaged) with me since I'm a Type I diabetic. I know it's not allowed, but on our last cruise, we brought leftover La Cucina pizza with us to Jost Van Dyke. We had the early excursion and it was good for a mid-morning snack to go with the Pain Killers. Another couple had sandwiches from the buffet that they brought with them. Later, we all ate at one of the local restaurants, but we had things from the ship just in case. It can be done, even though it's not allowed. As others have mentioned, some ports are more strict than others. You may want to check on the ports boards to see if others have had issues.
  11. Probably not quite what you're asking, but we've had leftovers (pizza from La Cucina) and dessert from various places packed to take back to our room. They usually try to give us napkins/silverware to go with it, but we always decline those since we're in a suite and already have those in the cabin.
  12. As an FYI we've worn bathing suits and cover-ups to breakfast in the Haven restaurants for breakfast before leaving on an excursion -- and we weren't the only ones. You should be fine with what you described above for breakfast and/or lunch.
  13. There is no dress code, but I wouldn't go in wet from the pool. Depending on the ship, they may have an outdoor Haven eating area. My husband wears sneakers all the time for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Haven restaurant. He usually has shorts on as well (as opposed to long pants). I don't see the point of making him dress up for dinner while we are on vacation.
  14. Which cruise line and port are you using?
  15. We were upgraded to one of these for free. It was nice, but definitely not fancy.
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