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About dcipjr

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Philadelphia, PA
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  1. We will not be cruising for the duration of the pandemic, regardless of what modifications are made to the cruising experience. There will be plenty of time for cruises later.
  2. What happens to NCL probably will depend on how long the social distancing, travel restrictions, etc. go on. It's increasingly apparent that this social distancing period will not last two weeks. Based on China's experience, I'm thinking that Memorial Day (end of May for non-USA folks) is probably realistic for when we'll be out and about again—and that's just in our neighborhoods here at home. It's probably going to be a lot longer than 30 days before the cruise industry can operate normally again. The general public's appetite for travel, as well as their disposable income, may both be constrained for a while. Speaking for myself, I look forward to my next cruise—but I have no idea when it will be plausible to go again. I hope NCL can weather the storm, but if they can't, once life is back to normal, someone else will snatch up the ships, the crew, and the passengers.
  3. We recently got off the Joy on a 16-day cruise. It was amazing, and we didn't have any trouble onboard, though the lines were a bit long on the embarkation and disembarkation days. I did think about canceling (as a contingency plan), but it didn't get to the point where I was ever serious about canceling. I decided that the cruise was paid, the travel arrangements were booked, and there was no immediate danger to us by going on the cruise. There was the possibility of quarantine, but nothing imminent. The situation has definitely evolved since we boarded on February 14th. If we were doing the same cruise on March 14th, would I go? At this time, I would still say yes. There's still no immediate danger. I would proceed with caution, of course, and if anything were to happen that would suggest that we would be assuming an undue risk by going, I would reconsider. I'd say to keep your options open. Make the best decision that you can, given the information available to you at the time. That's all we can really do in life. Am I planning to cruise again in the next 6 months? No, but that's mostly because we weren't planning on traveling during that timeframe anyway. It seems as though reducing unnecessary travel could help slow the spread of the virus, and we don't have anything booked. So I'm looking at this as a time to stay closer to home. I still bought a couple future cruise certs onboard, and hopefully by the time I'm ready to use them, the situation will have stabilized a bit.
  4. Hanlon's Razor applies: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." Frequent visitors to CC know that technical issues are not uncommon on NCL's website. I would imagine changing a sailing's origination port is probably not something they do often, and the system may be having issues making that change. I don't suspect anything nefarious is going on here. But that's not to say NCL couldn't be handling this better. It would not be unreasonable to hide the sailing from the website, and I don't think it would be unreasonable to cancel the sailings outright, rather than risk a quarantine and illness to passengers and crew.
  5. I wouldn't take a cabin with a forward-facing balcony, because the winds probably would preclude me from using the balcony for most of the trip. If it was a cabin like the Breakaway's forward-facing Haven Penthouse—where the window is forward-facing, and the balcony is on the side—then sure!
  6. When we did a B2B on the Escape in 2016, we were required to attend both muster drills.
  7. I'm so excited! We will be transiting the canal five weeks from today on the Joy. I'm about about halfway through "The Path Between the Seas" and it's been a fantastic read so far. I can't wait to see it in person.
  8. I've seen every cruise ship I've ever been on get slammed in the CruiseCritic Reviews section (not the boards themselves). Don't let it bother you. Have a great time!
  9. I've gotten upgraded when the sailing is sold as sold out, and not visible on NCL's website (or on other TA websites). Bear in mind that what NCL's system chooses to show you does not always reflect that actual status of the ship.
  10. I think it totally depends on your sail date, your itinerary, your ship, your port -- and most importantly, how many other people have chosen to sail that date, itinerary, ship, and port. They're going to try to maximize profits coming from a ship. If that means lowering prices to encourage people to book, that's what they'll do. They'll try to fill the ship and get the most they can out of each sailing. I don't usually book cruises super far out, so I can't comment on whether prices are lowest when the itineraries first go on sale. But I have noticed that prices tend to be higher when they think people are going to want to book their vacation -- maybe 3-12 months ahead of time. Once you're significantly past final payment and into the penalty phases, they'll drop prices if they need to fill the ship. If the ship fills and starts selling out, prices will go back up. A lot of it is luck of the draw. We had a rock-bottom price for a last minute cruise in October, the cheapest we've ever paid. On our upcoming cruise in February, prices were low in December, and then went up in January, and we booked in January because we were afraid our desired cabin category would sell out. It didn't, and the price dropped. I could have saved $600 by waiting a week. Oh well, we got the cabin we wanted at a price we were willing to pay. I guess that's all that matters. 🤷‍♂️💸
  11. Oh, I wouldn't tell him -- let him have his fun! Next time you're on NCL, maybe he'll see Crispy Bacon again and get to take credit for it. Perhaps they don't make it every day, and decided to put it out because he said something. Maybe what he said will lead to fleet-wide crispy bacon. You never know! 😄
  12. I'm not sure if it's an everyday thing, but I definitely saw it when we were on the Escape in October. I distinctly remember seeing "Crispy Bacon", taking some, and lo and behold, it was crispy! 🥓
  13. You can also just ask for tags at the pier. When we got upgraded, I didn't have a chance to reprint tags, but the porters at the pier were happy to just stick new tags on our bags.
  14. It was our first cruise! We loved it! The Epic has its quirks but she's a fine ship, and well-suited to a port-intensive itinerary like the Mediterranean.
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