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littlelulu01

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About littlelulu01

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  1. Thanks again for taking the time to write a review. I really appreciate hearing the good and not so good to try and avoid issues. Hopefully the same great staff will be onboard. We’re the last Jade full med sailing for this year. Did you have prearranged transportation after the cruise? We have an 11 am flight so are hoping to get off the ship around 7am (docks at 6am). Do you happen to remember what time they announced clear to leave ship? I paid 150€ for Rome cabs to pick up 4 of us. They say they’ll be at ship with a sign.
  2. Thanks. Our obc is non refundable. I reserved, didn’t pay because of all the credits, way back when. shore excursions desk land side says I’ll be charged onboard for the price the day I booked vs the today prices. Fingers crossed on that as some excursions have really gone up in price since I booked. I took screenshots of original prices. From what I’ve been reading it will likely go smoothly with the charge/ncl credits applied after each excursion completed. I pre purchased specialty dinners so thanks for your take on the specialty venues. Wanted to insulate ourselves from mediocre mass production meals to some extent - if that’s possible on a cruise ship anymore. Tough competition in the med when food at a gas station in Italy can be better than many restaurants in the USA.
  3. Thanks so much for your shore excursions reviews! Perfect timing. We’re leaving for the Jade 2 week med soon and also doing the ship sponsored excursions this time around. Couldn’t resist with the nice chunk of obc and double shore excursion credit on our 12 port sailing. Question about the Santorini winery stop. I’m not really interested in the cattle herding portion of winery or a wine tasting. I booked the excursion to see the Akatori ruins and it just happens to have the same winery stop attached. Do you think a person could forgo the tasting aspect and just sneak off to an area for a seat and some views? How did you like the Jade? Specialty restaurants?
  4. For Americans Some insurance policies have pre existing condition waiver if purchased by final payment. April cruise, Nationwide cruise insurance and CSS come to mind. I know op didn’t purchase a plan but coverage is pretty confusing so I see how one can end up in his situation. If you miss the purchase at initial deposit waiver window most plans have a look back period of typically 60-120 days from day of purchase. The waiver is nice to have even if you don’t have any preexisting condition upon purchase. For example a young healthy adult might think there’s no need. We take no medication and are healthy. I didn’t purchase a plan upon initial deposit. Shortly before final payment my husband messed up his knee and went to the doctor. I ended up going with April cruise insurance because they had the waiver at final payment. He was healed and able to travel the day I purchased the plan. My luck something might happen to his knee on the trip and if it did we wouldn’t be covered with pre existing condition plan. In any case who wants to mess with proving your health, providing records...for 60-120 days prior should a claim be necessary. I’ve purchased expensive policies in the past and ended up canceling the cruise prior to final payment. The insurance company let me take the unused premium and put it towards a replacement cruise but I think you need to request and it’s not guaranteed. I also recently discovered our primary insurance plans, through work, actually does cover us outside the country - something I assumed it wouldn’t. Not all plans do but mine has the same coverage outside the us as at home. No coverage for a med evacuation though and also no reimbursement of expenses should we cancel cruise but something to check into if going on an inexpensive sailing. Med evacuation only insurance can be purchased on an annual basis. Op- one thing that might be an option - do you have anyone willing to go in your place? Your pcc or ta potentially might let you swap out 2nd passenger and then first passenger. If someone else willing to go in your place at a big discount you might be able to get a little $ back. If not, ncl will refund your taxes and port fees, beverage package fees, dsc, specialty dining service charges... they just won’t refund the actual fare. Cancellation penalty schedule is on their website. It varies depending on initial payment.
  5. This sounds more reasonable than op’s claim that he won’t be covered should he decide to travel. There’s countless scenarios one could plug in regarding how frustration op has with ncl are misguided. I often purchase non refundable hotels online. Once done I am not able to call Expedia and say, I want to change dates. It’s a final purchase and non refundable. If I want refundable I pay for an insurance policy or purchase a refundable room and pay more $. If I want a refundable cruise I purchase cancel for any reason insurance and pay more for it. Cancel for any reason has limitations too. The only options I see are; Go on the cruise & have fun if medically able to travel or cancel and chalk it up to an expensive lesson learned.
  6. Op- I’m not familiar with Canadian policies but from what you are saying - Canadian cruise insurance policies will not cover a claim for anything that happens prior to commencement of vacation nor will it cover anything you ever previously had treated if reoccurrence during travel regardless of when you purchased the policy. In addition your primary insurance will also cover nothing for travel outside your province. Sounds pretty harsh but if true I’d definitely had purchased the 90% cancel for any reason with ncl if I was Canadian! Idk how Canadian’s can travel within their own country let alone outside with those exclusions! But fyi in your situation- had you been an American purchaser of Allianz and purchased said policy with a pre existing condition waiver- your situation, as an American, still wouldn’t be covered. You are wanting a refund for travel costs but are medically able to travel. That’s not a valid pre existing covered reason for cancellation. Cancel for medical reasons is only covered if you are not able to travel due to medical condition and a doctor certifies this. Pre existing condition or not you are not in a medical claim situation.
  7. Regarding ncl giving you credit - no cruise line will do what you are asking for. So it’s kinda a moot point when you didn’t purchase their cancellation insurance to now be asking for a refund. Regarding cruise insurance- if you purchase cruise insurance at the same time as the cruise or within the allotted days, they often include preexisting condition coverage. It sounds like you are both currently able to travel though so canceling your cruise because you “might” have a flair up isn’t a valid pre existing condition cancellation reason even if you had pre existing condition waiver. Check with your primary medical insurance to see about coverage. Sounds like your options at this point are either go on the cruise or cancel with penalty.
  8. Not necessarily true about the insurance. It depends on the plan and situation. Some plans with Nationwide and April have some unique compensation reimbursements depending on state of residence that would in essence make up for lost airfare or extra hotel on top of Ncl’s offer. According to cruise line’s contracts (not just NCL) they can cancel at any time for any reason and need only refund your money. That’s in the contract I sign off on anyways. Of course if corporations followed their cruise contracts to the letter when things go wrong, it would not be long before they had a terrible reputation and nobody would sail with them so they often go above and beyond such as ncl did in this case. Ncl has really stepped up their game in the last year or so and is now on par or better with any other reputable cruise line’s offer when stuff happens. The offer for both of these sailings is a gesture of good will and a very genuine attempt for the cruise line to make it up to those affected. They have made great strides by trial and error, now avoiding major dry dock work on revenue sailings, planning a little more ahead for charters, stepping up when things go wrong and avoiding bad press. Going on a cruise in another country without any back up plan, without any money, without any ability to make changes on the fly if necessary is a VERY, VERY bad idea. Passengers affected by the cancellations could just have easily had some other issue that affected their ability to sail that was not NCL’s fault. Cruise lines are not an airline with extra ships sitting around to trade out when something happens. Major disruptions in travel could just as easily been related to a Boeing 737 max, weather, an act of war…. In those cases it would not have been NCL giving any compensation and insurance might not be covering any expense either. These passengers are not drifting at sea on a broken ship, being airlifted off in rough seas. They are safe on land and have nice compensation to look forward to. With a minimum level of planning ability these vacations could be salvaged and then some. If that wasn’t possible the combined compensation from ncl should be enough to get home and pay for a future make up vacation. Disappointment certainly understandable. The compensation from NCL is about the best case scenario one can expect when a vacation is altered for whatever reason.
  9. Everyone has different circumstances and definitely see how a cancellation last minute is not fun! Some are large groups, various mobility issues, lots of luggage, little funds available, non refundable airfare... If travel had already commenced and coming back early was too expensive, there were many alternatives. Last week they had inexpensive alternative cruises. They had crown plaza Rome hotels for $89/night. That’s the 4* hotel ncl uses with swimming pool... larger groups could get an Airbnb or villa in country and plan day trips with those who wanted leaving grandma or whoever behind at the pool for the day. We’ve done trips such as this in Tuscany before and they are very inexpensive. August is the busy crazy month with little hotel availability but even in August we’ve easily found last minute hotels... large amounts of luggage can certainly turn to a ball and chain with land based travel. I’ll NEVER bring more than I can easily carry up and down stairs at a brisk pace. Luggage storage is available at train stations or simply stay put in one place with day trips is another option with too much luggage. Venturing out in countries with a language barrier can be a little scary at first but thousands of kids do it alone, without parents, when they study abroad. They learn quickly and find its very easy to make WiFi calls and use internet at cafes for free, purchase airfare, hotel... every week for the last minute trip to Budapest... our daughter’s school counseled parents on importance of leaving them to their own devices and not worrying. Gives me hope that those affected by the cancellations will have some type of skill and resources to make lemonade out of lemons. I guess id pick a land vacation any day over a situation like herdingmom had with the Star limping around for months and ending up afloat at sea. To me that sounds scary and potentially disastrous!
  10. Sometimes it’s less $ to throw away the original ticket and just purchase a new one. $150 change fee plus the cost difference of what you purchased originally to what fare is today. There’s some very inexpensive alternatives (likely much less than $150) to get from bcn to fco on budget airlines. Im sorry but I’m Perplexed by those claims of being “stranded.” What if those “stranded” had instead got sick, missed the ship in port, missed a connection flight and had hotel expenses? the insurance company wouldn’t be paying the affected upfront. I got sick on a Europe sailing and saw ship doctor. I had to pay upfront and seek reimbursement for expenses. It took several months. 100% refunds plus 100% towards a future cruise for July 5th and 50/50% for the sailing terminated eary? I’d be off having a great land based trip and excited to get home and have a nice chunk of change to plan my next adventure! Granted its its certainly a bummer that a big vacation for those affected but Ncl’s offers must be a welcome benefit to most.
  11. Regarding travel insurance- some plans cover missing ports of call. Nationwide has a good plan but that coverage isn’t available for all states. April cruise insurance has missed port coverage. I think it’s $200/missed port up to $600. Some plans will let you move the policy to a future trip for a small fee that sometimes can be waived. Had I been on the July 5th sailing and hadn’t commenced my trip yet I’d probably still go on a much less $ land based trip and pick up a less expensive medical only policy, take my expensive premium for the high priced cruise and move it to another similar priced future cruise. Cruise insurance reimburses you for covered expenses after you file claims and they approve. It doesn’t purchase plane tickets, pay the medical bills upfront for this sort of thing, so there’s always a possibility of needing access to upfront money. Most plans have concierge services to help with the logistics so they can be of assistance with rebooking flights, tracking down lost luggage, help finding a doctor, coordinating services...some plans will also wire you cash in an emergency but thats just a service- not money the insurance company is giving you. Really important to have access to funds if needed for this sort of scenario or any multitude of other issues that can arise while traveling. I know when daughter did study abroad we had to show notarized bank proof of 10 or 20k cash in bank earmarked for her in order to have visa approved. Her school tuition took care of medical insurance coverage and had a doc on campus in Florence but extra medical was coverage was also mandatory. Unexpected travel changes certainly no fun and I feel for those affected. Sounds like ncl is making everyone as whole as they reasonably can.
  12. Idk. they might be upping their quality and menu choices. They are giving the bigger ships something extra in exchange. As of right now I don’t see anything except extra charges for smaller ships with less specialty venues. Specialty dining might be going the way of the beverage packages. Use it if a perk and otherwise not bother. I’m pretty sure at this point I’m not willing willing to pay a few hundred extra per day for specialty dinners without a package and at $39 extra for a meal with a package, I’d certainly expect great food and service, no exceptions. When the meals weren’t much extra I let an over cooked steak or poor meal slide - not worth it to send back/complain. But at the price they’re now charging I won’t. We eat almost all dinners specialty when sailing ncl. Since the per meal costs decrease with increased number of meals purchased I’ll likely just move to sail away rates and forgot free at sea for my non suite rooms. there’s typically a $400 spread on fas pick a balcony over sail away rates. I don’t need the beverage package so I’m fine without fas and just purchase a dining pkg oop. A little tougher choice for those that benefit from beverage perk to switch to sail away.
  13. I read the new t&c’s and it does look as though they’re making specialty dinner packages more inclusive however their smaller ships that don’t have the added venues like Ocean Blue. Right now those ships seem to be out of luck. Perhaps they’ll surprise me and add back lobster as a specialty venue choice on ships that don’t have all the extra venues and ocean blue. I’m not going to rush to judgment just yet on the increases. It might play out nicely. It might just just be a loading issue with adding new prices but right now the 5 meal packages are $6 less than the 4 meal packages on my ncl. I currently have three cruises booked; Bliss, Gem and Jade 14-21 nights in range and the only $24 increase I’m seeing is on the 3 & 4 night packages. I did end up purchasing additional packages for our upcoming sailing last night so thanks to op I saved about $50.
  14. Congratulations! Now you can work on creating Haven at home, well minus the butler, housekeepers and cooks. But nothing will feel better than someday having a house paid for and extra money going towards vacations instead of rent. Life flies by and 15 or so years from now you will be pretty happy paying off that mortgage! A resourceful person such as yourself will likely be planning the next vacation pretty quickly so best of both worlds.
  15. Plus the dsc/double tips for the meals you don’t eat in inclusive venues. I know food is subjective but if any of the inclusive venues were stand alone restaurants in my town they wouldn’t stay in business. We like the specialty venues and just purchase the specialty package for every night. I honestly wouldn’t care much if they raised prices to offset better food offerings but I suspect that’s not happening. It’s more a product of take all five perks for everyone. It’s not so much the prices going up that bugs me. It’s the quality going down at the same time. The last few times we’ve eaten in cagney’s it’s not been that great- no comparison to a good land based steakhouse. It would be nice if instead of just looking at bottom dollar profits they tried to factor in better specialty meals alongside the price hikes. Would love it if they said here’s this years hefty increase but now you’re getting this better cut of steak and lobster is back. Instead it’s everybody gets pick all 5 and they’ll likely just further cut back the quality alongside the price hike to garner more $. Free at sea isn’t so fun anymore. The email every morning about how the fas ends at midnight or in 36 hours... simply doesn’t entice me to do anything except not open it and hit delete.
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