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Sue Do-Over

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About Sue Do-Over

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ohio USA
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. In the big picture... kids/preteens/teens cost the cruise line more. They use 'free' kids programs - which require staff, supplies and facilities space. They do not shop in the giftshop or jewelry store. They do not gamble in the casino. They do not buy fancy drinks or wine. They do not buy spa services like massage and tooth whitening. Their room stewards (typically) have to make more beds, sometimes on a ladder. More towels to gather and replace, more trash, just 'more'. When 3 or 4 people share a room, their belongings are 'everywhere'... which means the stewards have to move stuff to make the bed, move stuff to empty the trash, move stuff to wipe the counters... and on and on and on. And that's perfectly well behaved, neat and tidy children who never run down the hallways, cannon ball into the pool, leave ice cream cones and half-empty sodas everywhere. I traveled with my kids starting when they were 8 and 10... we tipped extra.
  2. Perhaps one of the mesh/net hammocks, rather than this giant canvas thing with a metal frame that requires a great deal of space to accommodate the frame and the wooden cross pieces. I'd also be stunned if a cruise line let someone secure something heavy (once you're in it) to any structure. Sure, there MIGHT be a sturdy bar or rail... but also the somewhat less sturdy sprinkler system, etc. I guess people rig up all kinds of privacy curtains and holiday lights inside, and flags and decorations outside, so maybe I'm wrong. The OP might just be trolling to see what ridiculousness we can all be fooled into debating. Smile!
  3. If you play slots: the Free Play is loaded on your account, and you have to play it through the machines... you can't just cash it out. Winnings get put 'behind' the free play, so it gets played first. You can cash out the winnings any time, just not get $$$ for any unplayed value. If you play tables, they give you ridiculous super-sized Fun Chips. The chips can be placed on even-money bets only. If the bet loses, the chip goes away. If it wins, they pay the win, but take the Fun Chip (it doesn't stand for another play). The Fun Chips can't be exchanged for cash. You can have the free play split between table and slots, if you like, but it's not cash like in the old days.
  4. All lines set aside a percentage of cabins to TAs and other booking sites, which are all returned to inventory after final payment date. NCL offers booked guests the opportunity to bid on an upgrade, and they upsell/upgrade to fill the more expensive cabins, and work their way down. It's not an auction, but 'sealed' bids. You have no way of knowing how good your offer is compared to others, or how many upgrades will be available. New cabin assignments aren't shared until just a few days before sailing. Other lines use a team of upsell agents who work the phone system, which, IMHO, wastes a lot of man-hours making offers to people who don't want to move in the first place, and to some who have to 'check with spouse'. So, if you reserve a 'to be assigned' cabin, you'll be assigned amid the ranked top-to-bottom upsell offers. Bottom line, when the cruise line can squeeze a few more bucks out of you, and you're HAPPY to pay it... they'd rather have a block of inside cabins go empty - and reassign that steward to another project.
  5. On Epic twice in 2018. Remember that even on 'penny' slots, the minimum wager is 30 cents or more... there's nowhere to play for 'just' a penny or nickel. Table games... Craps was $10, Hold'em Poker, Three-Card, etc. all $10 minimum, which really means $10 or more to actually play a hand. We play all day on sea days, and never saw the table games at $5. On the plus side, with so many tables, we could usually get a seat. By comparison Princess has just one Hold'em table, while NCL Epic has three.
  6. in June of 2018, we booked RomeInLimo for the day. They picked us up (group of 4) in a comfortable van with plenty of room for our luggage. We had been to Rome before, so skipped some sites from their usual tour. Driver keeps the luggage secure all day, and he dropped us at our hotel around dinner time.
  7. Consider a one-way rental. We recently rented a car at Orlando/Port Canaveral, and drove it to FLL. Only Budget had locations close to both ports, with shuttles. Check a couple of rental agencies, because not all would have worked at both ends. Took their free shuttle from port to office, enjoyed the day doing some shopping between cruises, and dropped it off at a hotel/rental kiosk near FLL port and took a cab the last mile to the ship. With the cab, $65 +gas.
  8. Data gathering... NCL would love to know how much people are WILLING to pay for each tier of stateroom, to help them right-price in the future. If it also tells them what YOU are willing to pay, they can target offers to you specifically by email or when you log in to the site. At final payment date, any cancelled reservations, or unsold cabins in agency blocks are returned to inventory, and this process ensures NCL has people on stand-by ready to fill them. Personally, I think the bidding process is a brilliant solution. No random 'upgrade fairy' working the phones and dealing with people who didn't want to be moved, or who have to check-with-hubby before accepting an upgrade. I, as a guest, can decide exactly how much an upgrade is worth to me, and the computer moves people up based on the amount they're willing to pay.
  9. VIP seating is a joke. There's a 'balcony' around the circular room. A shelf affixed to the railing serves as your table. If you're short, like me, you'll have to stretch and strain to see the activity on the floor below. The performers direct their smiles at those seated at the tables/booths, and ignore the guests who paid premium upstairs. A few guests are asked to participate in one of the acts... all are selected from the tables downstairs (one pretty young woman, a muscular young man, and two other older men -- we've seen the show several times). Before the show, performers stroll around downstairs for pictures... only a third of them came upstairs at all. We have seen it several times because our family makes equipment/props, and like to see them in use -- plus it keeps us in touch with the aerial performers.
  10. As of Jan 3rd, SuperShuttle.com is $41 for 2 pax, NCL transfers are $20/pp or $40. A few other sites who book for SuperShuttle say $51, which apparently includes a mark-up for them.
  11. But you can take pre-packaged snacks (granola bars, bags of chips, PB crackers, nuts, candy, cookies, etc.) as long as they are still factory sealed. The premise is that they have been cooked/processed to kill any seeds or insects. Absolutely nothing fresh or opened, due to the risk of carrying either 'foreign' seeds or insects ashore. Especially fruits and meats, but includes other baked/cooked on the ship.
  12. Hosts are in the tip pool along with the dealers and pit supervisors. On Princess, tips are put in a FLEET-WIDE pool. Caribbean cruises (with American guests) make a lot more tip money than European or Asian cruises, and larger ships with more tables versus slot machines also make more. A few dealers on the Royal last month said that while some ships barely contribute, they still get a cut, with the percentage based on tenure/job title. For them, comment cards with their individual names (not just "casino team") go a long way toward promotion. On NCL, the tips are distributed at the SHIP level, which we confirmed on the Epic just a few weeks ago. Supervisors and hosts are also in their pool.
  13. We have had normal interior extension cords confiscated (the brown 6-foot kind), but not every time. When it DID get taken, the room steward replaced it with a 25-foot industrial orange one, that only allowed one item to be plugged in at a time. That particular steward was also absolutely diligent about unplugging electronics (phone, tablet)… and even my glucose monitor which charges via USB. If you're packing a cord, suggest you bring a new one that still has the safety-rating label, AND that you unplug your CPAP machines while you're out of the cabin to reduce the possibility of the steward 'having' to remove it. Just last month on the NCL Epic, I experienced a bout of kidney stones, and was curled up with a heating pad when the steward came to clean the room. Not only did he NOT hassle me about it, after he swapped out the towels and freshened the bathroom, he offered to 'fix the bed'. He smoothed the sheets, fluffed the pillows, and centered the heating pad... and practically tucked me back in. Yeah, he got an extra tip that week!
  14. I also use index cards. Mine has pictures of lobster and shrimp with the red 'NO' symbol that I carry when travelling in Europe. We like to eat at local restaurants and street vendors, and it's saved me from a few mistakes. If I even mention my shellfish allergy in the dining room, the head waiter will rush over and ask if I need help with the menu. Agree with the suggestion to bring a list of (common) food items that you CAN eat, so that a plate can be prepared for you that is safe. While they may not be able to prepare a pizza with a special flour or ensure that the cheese is a particular type, having a safe option will ensure that you always have a meal. If they don't have the specific flour or rice, for example, they'll default to the safest option. Plain/naked salad, omlette made with water, fresh fruits, etc.
  15. I have cruised a few times with a kneeling scooter (broken foot in a plastic walking 'cast'). I needed both hands to steer, so had to forego suitcases entirely. Instead, I packed my biggest backpack carefully, with weight at the bottom, and hung it over the handlebars, and wore a second (lighter, but still crammed) one on my back. Every item packed was carefully considered, for sure!
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