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About lepidoptera

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Rochester, NY
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    knitting, sci-fi, reading, cruising
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  1. I love sailing in off-times, October cruises are great. Past the peak month of hurricane season, and parents generally not pulling their children out of school for vacations yet. Last year on the Breakaway we were well under 50 children on the sailing, most were under school age and then there was a very large German group sailing with the children.
  2. The Great Outdoors is an outdoor area behind the buffet at the back of the ship. It has dining tables to eat at, a bar and usually a smaller buffet with some of the food choices that are on the buffet. When I travelled on the Jade (this winter as a solo for a Western Caribbean) I started with an inside, called for an upgrade to oceanview when the price dropped and then won a balcony bid for $140 total. But I think if I sailed her again I wouldn’t worry about getting a balcony. Between Spinnaker and the Great Outdoors I could always find a place to relax and watch the ocean. Also love the Hawaiian decor on the ship. I sailed the Star (Greek Isles out of Venice) before the refurb, and I really liked her as well. I thought the layouts of the dining rooms were nicer. I hated how the Jade’s buffet was only one side of this ship, and relatively narrow. It was a real choke point to get through to the Great Outdoors on the sailing I was on. I also thought the Star did a better job of keeping the smoke in the Casino than Jade. Loved the five o’clock somewhere bar on the Star as well, we hung out there a lot and then would head out on the promenade to walk. Also not sure if it was just the location, but I liked the balcony itself in Star better than Jade-Jade’s seemed loud with wake noises.
  3. Two out of three of my NCL sailing have been delayed boarding, and once I was delayed getting off the boat until 10 or 11 pm. When it was late enough that we didn’t board until after dinner time, they had all the dining open for dinner. My sister and I finished our dinner right around when muster was supposed to start, but they let everyone who was eating, stay at dinner. They did not seat any one else though.
  4. For Santorini there were boats to Oia selling tickets when you arrived on the pier. Our ticket included the trip by their bus back to Fira. It was not a lot, maybe 15-20E pp? Also I wanted to say when we went we got the 3 transit pass for Venice (it was cheaper for us because we were under 30 years old, but I found it was worth it both for this and being able to get in any water bus) and took the bus from the airport to Piazzle Roma and then walked to our hotel the Dalla Mora. On our 3rd day in Venice we took a self guided tour of the lagoon using the public transport and went out to Burano, Murano, Venice Lido and some where else. It was a lot of fun and got us away from the mad crush of people.
  5. Unfortunately this time getting a balcony to get the the take 5 and the air perk is a lot more I already priced it-almost $2000. I love sailing in a balcony and wish I could do it this time. They both go through glacier bay, I just started looking at your Bliss review last night and it’s not making the decision any easier, beautiful pictures!
  6. No the itineraries are almost exactly the same, if they were different that would help me make the decision. The same ports, in the exact same order. The only differences are: Bliss leaves on Sunday at 1700 Sun leaves on Friday at 1600. Juneau Bliss arrives 1430 departs 2300. Sun arrives 1300 departs 2100. Bliss arrives in Skagway at 0700 departs 2015. Sun arrives 0800 departs 2000. The difference in time in port is minuscule and considering Bliss is bigger I think getting off and on will take longer.
  7. Thanks smplybecause and Eggs2Go a solo cruisers experience is super helpful. I’ve sailed a studio before and really liked it, and the studios on Bliss seem even nicer. Unfortunately I work labor day and labor day weekend next year so that rules out the 11 day and people already have vacation booked that interferes with the 10 day. But the fact that Bliss is smoke free is really interesting-I have asthma too and have to be careful in cruise ships.
  8. Lots of interesting thoughts here🤔 I’m sort of leaning towards the Sun (I wish I could do an 11 day!) thinking that I’ll be out on the decks/off in Excurisons and it will be more enjoyable with fewer people on a smaller ship. I’ve been struggling with which to book for a week now and still am not sure.
  9. I have recently decided to cancel my spring cruise that NCL changed the itinerary and decided to swap Caribbean for Alaska next fall. I have always wanted to travel to Alaska, and actually was supposed to take an ecology class there in college but ended up not being able to go. That ended up saving me a years worth of tuition and room and board because it allowed me to fit a 5 year program into 4 years, but was I was bitterly disappointed and have been telling myself ever since that I’d visit. Now the question is which ship Sun (9/25/20) or Bliss. I am a Solo traveller and Sun is at least $300 cheaper for the same (slightly different port times and leaves on a Friday) itinerary that Bliss does every week. $300 would be a nice amount to save for the more expensive Alaskan excursions. But $300 is not that any where near enough that I won’t take the Bliss if the Sun would make me miserable. I’ve sailed smaller ships and liked them. I loved Star for a busy Greek Isles trip with family, liked the Jade but found the solo programming not well done and felt isolated on a sailing with 3 sea days. I absolutely loved the Breakaway-so far my favorite cruise ship on any line-and loved the solo programming they had, we had a fabulous coordinator and had plenty to do on an 11 day sailing with 5 sea days. I know Bliss is “designed for Alaska” but I keep thinking I’ll be paying more for a more crowded ship, with more people to get and off the ship with a lot of gimmicks I won’t use like the race track and laser tag. The only things that I am thinking would make it nicer would be the observation lounge (if I can find a spot), my NCl fave Ocean Blue and the a higher probability of a good solo group. Is there really that much time on an alaskan sailing that I could enjoy the features of the Bliss properly? Can the Alaskan ports really handle a mega ship or will I be tripping over people? Which would you choose?
  10. In my experience they do. On the 11 day breakaway cruiseI went on they repeated Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor. However on the nights that had those shows repeating they also had shows in the big top that weren’t repeats-singers doing shows.
  11. Maybe it’s because you are in Switzerland? I know I have called and got price adjustments before final payment and have called to upgrade my room because a higher catagory room was the same as what I was paying. I actually just sent the travel agent an email today asking for them to adjust my price for a sailing for next year.
  12. I always bring a rash guard with me to help protect me from sunburn. Bring an extra bottle of sunscreen, better to have too much than not enough. Last cruise I didn't bring a light long sleeve sweater or shirt and really regretted it-it gets chilly in the dining rooms and the theater. Water shoes. Two swimsuits, it is the worst having to wear one that is still wet from the day before. An extra pair of prescription glasses if you have one. Ziplock bags to keep things dry in your bags. Mints to have after dinner if you don’t have time to get back to the cabin before going to the show. A small ziploc bag with a few bandaids and a few otc medicines that you might need, I bring bonine, cold medicine, stomach medicine and painkillers. I know that sounds like a lot but I really do pack lightly though. I choose a color theme for my cruises so everything goes together and I have to bring fewer out fits and pairs of shoes. Last cruise I took a small backpack and checked a carry on size piece luggage (I bring more liquids than allowed through security because of allergies I want to use things like sunscreen and shampoo that won’t give me rashes and hives).
  13. It really depends. A lot of the time studios are cheaper but once they start getting full I have seen cruises where it is cheaper for an inside with the supplement. I was price tracking a cruise I took in a studio last year and the prices shot up after I booked so that a studio was at one point $300 more than an inside.
  14. October is my favorite time to sail. I sailed the western caribbean in 2016 and it was warm enough for t-shirt’s/tanks tops but we also had several rainy days. Last year I did an Eastern out of NYC and the weather was beautiful. However going back, the seas were rough and the outside decks were closed for the last day.
  15. One thing I was surprised about when I was in the studios last year was how many people were not traveling solo in them. I met a group of 3 friends traveling together where they all had booked studios. There were several people in the studios sailing the 2 large groups on the ship. I met an adult woman who’s parents had her in a studio while they had some privacy in a suite. Also they had some of the entertainers staying in the studios. I think that is at least part of the reason the solo participation rate may seem low.
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