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Posts posted by susanstar88

  1. We depart today 8/5 from Chicago to Zurich, then bus to Lucern until 8/8 ... we board Kvasir in Basel heading to Amsterdam. Appreciate any river travel updates or how Viking is handleing route disruptions. So far, we do not have a Kvasir notification on Viking site ... good thing we are both seasoned travelers! We are bringing our adventurous brains .... happy sailing!

  2. Was just reading thru the posts for the Spirit & thought I would toss in my two cents on suite vs cabin thoughts... no matter which ship or which destination -- once you book a suite you will be always looking at a suite. The perks begin when you enter the ship (or before if you book a hotel with NCL) -- normally, the first to jump onto the bus (or boat, when in Venice) and always special embarkation (what a joy).


    Then all the other perks .... butler, concierge and complimentary breakfast & lunch at a specialty restaurant - someone to book dinner reservations, movies, special show seating - on & on! It sounds like you are a caregiver at home so why not have the pleasure of letting someone care for you? It's a joy!


    Happy Sailing .... our next is getting ready to be booked for 2017! Ten wonderful days on the Spirit, departing from Barcelona for my birthday - very exciting! :D

  3. To see the canal first - we booked a penthouse 9502 - forward.


    OMG - it was the best! Plenty of space with a king bed - it was wonderful & maybe the best we've had - except for the Owner's Suite we booked for our Greek Cruse. While many are looking for spots to see the Canal open very early in the morning - we were in our jammies & watching it all unfold with coffee in hand. We turned up the TV to hear the narration & filmed much of the actual opening.


    Columbia - we booked the walking tour (great & bought emerald earrings)

    Panama - booked the train (went thru Canal on ship & reboarded on other side)

    (saw much of the country & it was relaxing - Canal tour was excellent)

    Coata Rica - great river tour & chocolate factory (bring bug spray for ground ants - interesting)

    Honduras - snorkeling ... even in rain it was GRAND

    Belize - River tour & ruins (perfect tour)

    Mexico - we booked another ruins & wish we had done something else

    (tour was good but one ruins would have been enough & Belize was better)


    We cruised over Thanksgiving & my 68th birthday - it was a wonderful cruise and 11-days was NOT long enough! We flew into Miami and stayed in South Beach the day before & also stayed an extra night after at Roommate Hotel. Nice place right in the middle of South Beach....

  4. We are booked (and paid in full) for November 19 cruise --- we've got a nice Roll Call going with several activities to kick-off the week! Hubby & I just ran thru our excursions & we're in the process of the final selections - we've opted for a forward PH suite because we've gotten spoiled with the suite services!


    Hope to see you join ... we've traveled extensively with my past event management company (now retired & closed the company) ... but these are all new ports for us to explore! Getting excited and we are under the 65-day mark for sailing away!

  5. You will want to go back to Alaska ... we are returning in 2015 & heading farther up this time! Woo Hoo! Please get the waterproof pants, jacket, gloves & don't forget earmuffs - we went in the end of June but used most of these items for our excursions. We didn't bother with an umbrella for excursions because we had binoculars & two cameras (and a small towel in a waterproof backpack with zip-lock bags). We always brought water to share, even if guides said they would have & the day we forgot our hats, the guide had them. Sox that dry easily - cuddle duds (easy dry long undies)... kleenex was a must.


    We didn't bring boots but had really great hiking shoes from LL Bean - and that's where we bought our pants, jackets & gloves. We bought NCL sweatshirts (on sale) when we boarded so we didn't have to bring them along. Will do the same for the next Alaska tour... most of all ... have fun & you can search for my site and photos. It was a blast! Hugs & more from another NCL happy face! :D

  6. Can we leave USD for our concierge & butler or others when cruising in the Greek Islands or should we leave euros? We have already prepaid the normal NCL service fee in advance but being an event planner & knowing how dedicated many are... we do take care of those who care for us & we are in an Owner's Suite for this cruise.

  7. We have booked both ways... and have found the NCL personal TC very useful, and he's always tried to find the best deal & we made time payments directly online to NCL on our account.... received OB perks from him, the online OB perks & upgrades. Unfortunately, due to our own schedule, we we not able to book 9-months in advance so we didn't qualify for a second cabin upgrade but that was ok because we had our cabin selected & it was available.


    I'm an event planner with my own company and delighted to have someone do the work for me... happy sails to you! :D.

  8. We didn't go back as many years as some, however they easily were able to check our records back to 2004 & we thought then we wouldn't cruise again because our first was a work trip! Little did we know.... hooked on cruising now!


    If you've not tried another service person... I'd certainly give it a try. We were not required to present past papers.... it took her a bit of investigating but the wait was worth receiving our credit. Happy sails... :D

  9. NCL sent several OB perks to our suite... we booked an aft suite & enjoyed every second of having wine & cheese on our deck and drank Mimosas very early on our anniversary in bed! And yes, I did spend a wonderful morning in the Spa, while hubby just had some alone time.


    Brought fancy napkins & cheese to add to whatever was sent from NCL & I gave my hubby a card every day... often funny, with a bit of serious tossed into the mix! We enjoyed our day by walking the entire ship together & taking fotos everywhere we sat (goofy we are) ... and were in sweaters at Glacier Bay in June to celebrate our anniversary at Noon! Had dinner at La Bistro & enjoyed them singing to us! Our anniversary trip was magnificent ... and hope yours will be also! Happy sails... :D

  10. Do all that you can do ... just because you may not go back! We cruised last year & hope to return in a couple of years! Check out all the postings & photos ... I also have a couple of my own! The excursions are fantastic in each port ... We cruised NCL Pearl ... even in June a bit wet but we didn't care & we were prepared. Happy sails...:D

  11. I've been on MFP for a bit over a year now... have just passed the 20+ mark for my loss... don't go jumping around yet because I have really worked at this all my life! At 65 years... I don't know how long it will last but I'm working on it! And call me crazy but I have a hard time eating all my calories each day - so there! This is the first system that keeps me honest & logging food!


    My long-on is susanstar88 same as here and would love to have some friends who can share in my losses & accomplishments... as they progress! We depart in 24-days for Venice, then on to the Jade for a 7-day cruise with four more days in Venice. The good news will be all the walking & touring!


    I'm not certain how many times I will be able to log into the system so I will drop my days... but will work hard at entering my food on my iPad (even if I don't log the days when I'm not connected).


    Happy sails to everyone... :D

  12. I'm an independent event planner --- I book our cruises thru NCL personal cruise consultant (Tom) and he always gives a deal to us or lets us know what we should do. And if we had a group --- he would be more than delighted to give a great deal or find the best one for us! If I was in that type of business & in this type of times - I'd be trying to KEEP your business by giving you & your group the best value plus perks!


    Have you tried contacting the group department for NCL or talking to a personal cruise consultant to see what they can do for you... worth the effort - might be surprised. I am a DIY person but when it comes to our vacations ... I love having someone else do most of the legwork for us... that is why I pick up the phone! We book our air & NCL does the rest for us...


    And if that doesn't work or the advice you've gotten... I would not be willing to book without perks and pay too! Hope your sailing is happy...:D

  13. Highlighter, small envelopes, Ziploc baggies, tape & small stapler... and yes, never forget post it notes (live with them). Two small flashlights & I have a pen with a light on the top (for those dim restaurants) - dollar store item. Small size colored copies of passports to carry in our wallets - we each carry both of ours.


    We have an extra jewelery case now for our electric cords & chargers for devices (rolls & ties). This is so much better than the zip baggie we were using... the small compartment fits ear plugs & our adapter for Italy - chargers for iPad, iPod, Kindle & phones are in the larger areas. I also have room for mints, etc. for on the plane. It's a bright color & different color than my jewelry case -- however, if TSA wants a peek -- they can just open the case & everything is just zipped nicely.

  14. Depending on where you live & prefer to depart or port... we sailed from Seattle on NCL Pearl (aft penthouse) in 2012 ... OMG ... and loved every moment! We will return in a few years & try the extended portion to Denali & cruise.


    My neighbor is departing this week for Alaska on Holland because she & her sister prefer some of the cooking classes & on board experiences they offer. My husband & I wanted to experience EVERYTHING that Alaska could offer us and we did as much as we could ... whale watch, river rafting, Bering Sea boat cruise & more. Plus seeing Glacier Bay National Park (all do) was amazing ... we spent our 20th anniversary day there (June 28) ... now that will always stick in our minds!


    Check my long review ... might have a couple out there and I'm sure there are more about Alaska cruises. My advice ... book 9-months in advance to receive the best OB perks! Research the tours & do all you can ... you never know if you will make it back, except in your dreams & that's what we are dreaming for ... the next Alaska cruise! For us, we depart for the Greek Islands very soon ... happy sails to you!

  15. We spent the entire day on deck in sweaters... not freezing but drinking spiked coffee! I splurged and purchased my NCL coffee mug that day... and have used it every day since...


    PS - we also did not pack sweatshirts for the cruise! The first day on the Pearl, we went to the gift shop & purchased two beautiful sweatshirts 'on sale' --- we wore them every day we toured! :D

  16. OMG you will love Alaska ... search for my lengthy review but we saw more whales in Juneau than we've seen in Hawaii many times (Whale Watch Tour), Skagway, River Rafting, was wonderful & our guide (Steve) was extremely informative - this was safe, beautiful and full of history --- lunch was super & tons of laughs! A bus, boat, bus to raft site ... lots of great scenery & stories to fill the day. Do not miss the Bering Sea Tour ... someone else mentioned also ... you'll walk off the Pearl & onto their boat & sit right in the front row for a spectacular show with more sea life & eagles than you can imagine! Victoria ... the Horse Drawn Trolley was great to learn about the city & the painted houses... we sign up the last moment & were very glad we did.


    We were also glad in June to have brought LLBean rain jackets with hoods, earmuffs & gloves ... also to have quick dry rain pants & quick dry sox, Capri pants & quick dry long undies. We didn't need them every day but on those chilly river days -- it was wonderful to be able to be warm. Go to the Red Onion for a beer & onion rings (OMG) wonderful. We mailed postcards to our granddaughter from every port --- she loved it. From Victoria -- for ease, we mailed from the ship (they had Canadian stamps).


    We loved Cagney's and Moderno (Brazilian steakhouse style & go hungry), for a special occasion - try Le Bistro (French) and we often ate at the main dining room for dinner (Indigo).


    We were often participating in tours for lunch but we tried the buffet which had everything anyone could want --- however, for any meal there -- I would try very early for a great window seat for best viewing. :)


    We cruise the Greek Islands in a few weeks on the Jade and cannot wait to experience another NCL ship ... and another exciting location. Happy Sails...

  17. All of these 'food' ideas are great and extremely useful. Normally, the staff is more than willing to assist - especially when the requests are reasonable & given with the respect they deserve. We've actually found that making a couple of reservations for dinners or seating for shows worked absolutely wonderful! We had fallen asleep after an exhausting Alaska tour and nearly all the restaurants were packed ... we made a quick call and yup, no problem, meet you at the restaurant & we will have a table waiting for you! It was magical. We also really wanted to eat with the officers of the Pearl on evening ... he made that happen also..... it was a delightful evening with three other couples & two officers. A grand dinner in the main dining room (with stellar service) & several of us ended the evening having cocktails after dinner chatting about the inside workings of the ship (since I'm an event planner - it's of great interest to me).


    Regarding tipping ... we normally pay the service fees to NCL upfront which covers everyone and include additional gratuities for those we feel have given special service. Normally, our butler & concierge and in the past we have 'tipped' servers in Cagney's because we take advantage of their daily breakfast and often eat lunch there if not on a tour. Hope all the replies have helped you... remember the reason you've selected the cabin you did was for the services ... if you are not sure ... ask and they will be more than delighted to let you know --- but believe me, the requested they have see are probably nothing you'll ever request & I'm sure you won't forget to ask with a smile! :) :) Happy sails...

  18. Wow - we cruised NCL in Hawaii in a forward cabin ... have since switched to the aft penthouse suites for the view & less breezes... I guess if you cannot 'view' the water or feel the breezes, it depends on what you are prefer to have in your cabin. We love being able to take a few moments of time with coffee or wine to relax and enjoy the views of the ocean... with an aft suite we can do just that & even in our pjs without the world seeing us (and often in port). :) :) That fact alone, plus there are only the two of us, it's plenty of space... sitting, bathroom & storage. That's my two cents... I'm a seasoned event planner for land trips so that's my advice. We're heading to the Greek Islands in a few weeks & we're over the top excited. Happy sails...

  19. We normally book thru our NCL person ... however, I'm an event planner in Chicago and I'm accustom to doing the research! We watch for NCL deals for the locations we are most interested in (depart for Greece in less than 25 days).


    Also for long trips or special trips - booking 9 months in advance will probably get the best perks, deals & upgrades - depending on cc you plan to use or your age! We missed the 9 month cutoff but still received some great perks from our NCL guy for this trip - we will use many of the coupons & if we don't use the rest - don't care.


    We are building up latitude member points & will cross into another category with this cruise (love the perks with NCL & always select an aft penthouse for the extra attention)! Have fun sailing away...

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