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About dcipjr

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    Philadelphia, PA
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  1. Great explanation. I'm glad that's how it works! Hopefully that will settle the ongoing debate here on CC. ...nah, who am I kidding.
  2. I agree that it's a bit more convenient to have the towels already in the room, but it didn't affect us much. We aren't poolside people—and if we were, the towels are by the pool, so it's not a big deal. We got our towels for Bermuda on the day we arrived in port. The towel station was close to the Garden Cafe, where we headed for breakfast (so we could get in, out, and onto the island). We picked up the towels after breakfast, and there wasn't even a wait. Not saying that what they're doing is an improvement, or that everyone will find it convenient (they won't), but I suppose it'll save some work for the busy stateroom attendants, and it'll save some unnecessary washing of towels, for passengers that aren't beach or pool people.
  3. We bring our passport cards with us when we cruise, and leave the books in the safe, since it's more convenient. I've given up on using the cards to check in at the pier, though. The check-in staff has given me a hard time every time I've tried to use them, saying they'd need me to "sign a form" to use it. It'll be less hassle with a book, for sure.
  4. I've only been cruising since 2011, but the Sailaway pricing has remained reasonable, and sometimes even less expensive than pricing in years past. My next cruise ($499 pp for a balcony) is the cheapest rate I've ever paid. We opted to forego the perks this time because we aren't big drinkers, and will get a couple Latitudes meals thrown in anyway, and it's a great deal. I remember their old promos ("Free upgrades! Balcony for the price of an Oceanview"). It was lousy -- the "free upgrade" was based on the most expensive oceanview cabin available, so it wasn't a great deal at all. At least with Free at Sea, you feel like you're getting something -- or at least, I do. I've looked at other lines, but have always found them more expensive than NCL.
  5. Hah! We bid on a couple Haven suites, but only the ones that are true suites (with a separate bedroom). Having a separate bedroom is huge when you have a little one along with you, who has a nap and early bedtime. We're just in a balcony now, which we got last-minute for a steal, but we'll see if the upgrade comes through. I feel like it's going to be great either way. I can't wait! 😄
  6. I'm on your sailing, @DinaS, is the wait for the upgrade bid processing driving you crazy too? 🙂
  7. I checked mine, just in case, but no free cruise. Bummer. If they “gave” me this cruise I’d probably wind up just booking the transatlantic.
  8. That's awesome! Did they let you upgrade to a BX? Did you keep your perks (if you had them)?
  9. And only $499 for a balcony. We're driving distance to NY, so we jumped on this one.
  10. I'm not so sure they'll let you upgrade to a BX category if you booked a rate with perks. You may have to book a BF or higher. I'd call and ask.
  11. Bingo, moving people is generally done in case of plumbing or mechanical issues. It wouldn't be fair to ask for a reassignment if there's nothing wrong with your room, besides it being in a noisy location—some rooms are. I do sympathize; one time I booked an obstructed ocean view GTY on the Dawn; these are generally on Deck 8 midship, with full windows, that are partially obscured by a lifeboat. I got my cabin assignment: it was a porthole cabin all the way forward, and under the theater. I was disappointed, but they wouldn't move me, and it's the risk you take booking a GTY. In the end, it worked out fine, the theater noise was minimal and didn't disrupt our sleep one bit. Category IDs are selling for $499 on your sailing. You won't be able to upgrade to a sailaway, and Costco doesn't participate in the Upgrade Advantage program, so your options would be an oceanview at $649 or a balcony at $849. I'd probably just tough it out.
  12. This depends on your travel agent. Some have opted out of the Upgrade Advantage program. It typically takes 2 days after booking for the upgrade screens to appear in MyNCL. Log in to your account, click on your reservation, and see if one of the Messages in the Message Center is "Let's Get You Upgraded".
  13. When's your cruise? In my experience, I'm 2 for 2 with my bids, but they've always been processed the week before the sail date.
  14. I'd really sail on any ship if the price and itinerary were right. I don't think I'll book the Encore until I hear some reviews, and find out whether the lack of sundeck space contributes to overcrowding in other areas. I'm not much of a sunbather myself, but I do like quiet walks on the Waterfront, so I'm curious as to whether that will fill up with the lack of upper deck space. It may not -- after all, half of the Waterfront is usually shaded at any given time -- but I may hold off until I have more details. I'm not ruling Encore out yet. I would stay away from the Epic on itineraries that have a lot of sea days -- outdoor areas for walking are rather limited. The promenade doesn't wrap around, and it's obstructed by the lifeboats, plus there's no Waterfront. I love the Jewel-class ships; I was just recently on the Gem and it was the perfect size. The Escape is one of my favorites, though.
  15. Someone was mentioning on another thread about how the Encore was lacking public sundeck space, and I came here to read up and...whoa. People weren't kidding. I'm not a sundeck person; you'll very seldom find me on a lounger baking in the sun. There are a lot of people on a cruise that are sun-worshippers, though, and I wonder what's going to happen to them? I tend to go for walks in the shade, especially on the Waterfront, and read books, and my main concern is that the Waterfront will get overcrowded on the Encore. The loss of Spice H2O is pretty baffling, in my mind -- especially when it's replaced by the Galaxy Pavilion. Why not locate that somewhere else -- VR just requires a dark room. Like...anywhere in the interior of the ship. Weird. I'm very curious to read the reviews of the Encore and find out whether these concerns are warranted. If it's a total mess, I'd imagine it wouldn't be overly difficult to reconfigure the ship to bring back some of the public spaces, I'm just not sure how long it will take for NCL to make such a decision.
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