Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
NYCGavin

What do I need to know ? Just booked first cruise.

Recommended Posts

I'm going on my 1st. cruise by myself on 1/20/19 aboard the Norwegian Escape 14 day Southern Caribbean. I have a category H5 Haven Courtyard Penthouse w/ balcony. I'm taking this cruise to celebrate my retirement, I chose this cruise because I live in Manhattan and the terminal is just across town. Some questions I have, do they have any single events ? I'm 44 no kids never married. My passport expires in Feb. 24 2019 is that too close, it's after the end of the cruise but I think I heard that it may be an issue ? What's the difference between a Butler and a Concierge ? How does tipping work, I'd prefer to dole out cash on the last day all at once or should I tip as I go along ? What kind of comps can I earn in the casino, I'm a pretty heavy gambler ? What are some other questions I should be asking, what do I need to know ? Thank you :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Cruise Critic. Consider joint the role call for your cruise. We’re a pretty active bunch.

Escape Sothern Caribbean January 20, 2019

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2448936

 

I think you may need to renew your passport beforehand. I’ll let others speak with more clarity.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the answers to all your questions but will answer what I do know.

 

Yes, you should definitely renew your passport BEFORE you go. You can also use your birth certificate if you don't have a chance to get a new passport, though a passport would definitely be the preferred documentation in case there are any issues.

 

Butler deals with all the cabin issues, dvd requests, food from restaurants (like left-overs you want brought up to your cabin) and brings afternoon snacks. The concierge is for making reservations (shows, restaurants, excursions...).

 

Tipping--everyone has their own opinions about this. Obviously, we tip the DSC, which I always prepay. In addition, for my family, if we are pleased, but not thrilled with the butler, we tip around $33-34/day (there are six of us), if we love the butler we tip around $42/day and, haven't had this happen yet, but we would tip less if we were not happy. As for the concierge, if we don't use him/her we only tip about $75-$100 would tip twice that much if we used them.

 

We usually give the room steward and extra $40-$50

 

We always tip the whole amount on the last day.

 

Will think about what else I would have loved to know beforehand and let you know.

Congratulations on your retirement! Have an amazing journey!

Edited by dinkydee718

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm going on my 1st. cruise by myself on 1/20/19 aboard the Norwegian Escape 14 day Southern Caribbean. I have a category H5 Haven Courtyard Penthouse w/ balcony. I'm taking this cruise to celebrate my retirement, I chose this cruise because I live in Manhattan and the terminal is just across town. Some questions I have, do they have any single events ? I'm 44 no kids never married. My passport expires in Feb. 24 2019 is that too close, it's after the end of the cruise but I think I heard that it may be an issue ? What's the difference between a Butler and a Concierge ? How does tipping work, I'd prefer to dole out cash on the last day all at once or should I tip as I go along ? What kind of comps can I earn in the casino, I'm a pretty heavy gambler ? What are some other questions I should be asking, what do I need to know ? Thank you :cool:

 

Hello and welcome to Cruise Critic and NCL! Congratulations on retirement!!!

 

First, Get that passport renewed!!!

Sorry, I don't know about singles events.

Butler helps with things having to do "within (so to speak) your suite (serving meals en suite, brings snacks, replacing coffee/drinks each day, etc.)

Concierge helps with things going on around the ship and ports (meals, excursions, shows...)

 

Lots of differing opinions about tipping, however, you will need to either Pre-Pay the $17.50 per day (per person... 1 in your case).

 

If you look through previous posts far enough, you will find info regarding each of your questions, that might be much more helpful than I can offer. But other people will help with fantastic answers and more info, too!

Edited by ggTexasGal
addition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's the difference between a Butler and a Concierge ?

Simple answer...

Butler takes care of your wants/needs within the stateroom, Concierge takes care of your wants/needs outside of the stateroom. There are a few exceptions, obviously. For example, if you are at the pool but want your butler to go to your stateroom to get your sunglasses or sunblock. You would call your butler with your portable phone while you are by the pool and the butler would go to your stateroom and get the item requested and bring it to you.

 

 

How does tipping work, I'd prefer to dole out cash on the last day all at once or should I tip as I go along ?

<sigh>

This is sensitive issue on cruise critic for any line but even more so for NCL.

 

There is a daily service charge (DSC) that is charged per person 3 years-old and older per day. It goes towards most of the crew. Who gets what shouldn't be your concern. The DSC can vary depending on the ship and stateroom category. Your Haven suite is currently $17.50pppd. You can pay this before sailing or have it deducted from your on-board account daily. However, the butler and concierge are not a part of the DSC. You are free to tip anyone or no one. Drinks and drink packages have a 20% service charge. You can tip the bartender or not. The same is true for spa services. It is up to you but most people will pay their DSC and tip the butler and concierge. You will read that the DSC can be removed or adjusted (a volatile subject on the forum) but just save yourself the drama and pay it/have it deducted from your account. The service charges for drinks, for ex., cannot be removed or adjusted.

 

What are some other questions I should be asking, what do I need to know ? Thank you

Being a Haven guests gives you many advantages. However, if you do not take advantage of the opportunity, you may not get the most out of the experience. Many Haven guests do not ask for anything then return to the forum to find out that they "should've gotten more" than they did or that they should have been more specific with the butler as far as wants/needs. Some people never tell their butler what snacks that they prefer so the butler just brings the standard items. If you want more or less of something, don't be afraid to tell the butler. The same goes for the concierge. Use them (within reason) to enhance your cruise. It's what you paid for so don't feel guilty for asking.

Edited by Two Wheels Only

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the country, but the general rule is that if you need the passport to enter a country, they typically want it to expire after however many days they give for the typical vacation traveler. Typically it's 3 or 6 months. For example, I think a lot of European countries let US citizens stay for up to 6 months without a visa. So, they want your passport to have more than six months before it expires before they even let you in (or on the plane if you're flying there). Cruising is a little different and it likely isn't an issue... until it is.

 

If you're retiring, I can see a lot more travel in your future. You've got time now before the cruise. Renew your passport now. Just to be safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NO NEED TO RENEW your passport! You don't even need a passport for this cruise! Save your money and then renew once you get home you'll be fine. IF you were traveling by land and doing a land vacation SOME countries stipulate you need to have 6 months left on your passport in order to enter the country. Since you are on a cruise you are IN TRANSIT and therefore the passport rules of certain countries do not apply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm going on my 1st. cruise by myself on 1/20/19 aboard the Norwegian Escape 14 day Southern Caribbean. I have a category H5 Haven Courtyard Penthouse w/ balcony. I'm taking this cruise to celebrate my retirement, I chose this cruise because I live in Manhattan and the terminal is just across town. Some questions I have, do they have any single events ? I'm 44 no kids never married. My passport expires in Feb. 24 2019 is that too close, it's after the end of the cruise but I think I heard that it may be an issue ? What's the difference between a Butler and a Concierge ? How does tipping work, I'd prefer to dole out cash on the last day all at once or should I tip as I go along ? What kind of comps can I earn in the casino, I'm a pretty heavy gambler ? What are some other questions I should be asking, what do I need to know ? Thank you :cool:

The only question I can respond to is the passport .I have been told that cruise ships want passengers to have passports expiring more than 6 months from the date of the cruise .

I am thinking about booking this cruise as well and my passport expires in July 2019.I am going to get it renewed before this year is over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) ABSOLUTELY get your passport renewed. At one point they had t be valid for six months after you return.

 

B) Read ALL of this -> https://www.ncl.com/faq

 

iii) There is no requirement at all to tip anyone. Many (most?) choose to do so, but tip who you want, what you wnat, however much you want. (See the FAQ about tipping)

 

d) Find and introduce yourself to the cruise director. Fill him in on your status and ask him to give you pointers.

 

♫) Do NOT try to do everything in one cruise, you will end up feeling like you missed everything. You WILL be back! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It depends on the country, but the general rule is that if you need the passport to enter a country, they typically want it to expire after however many days they give for the typical vacation traveler. Typically it's 3 or 6 months. For example, I think a lot of European countries let US citizens stay for up to 6 months without a visa. So, they want your passport to have more than six months before it expires before they even let you in (or on the plane if you're flying there). Cruising is a little different and it likely isn't an issue... until it is.

 

If you're retiring, I can see a lot more travel in your future. You've got time now before the cruise. Renew your passport now. Just to be safe.

This is the correct answer. You absolutely do not need to renew your passport before going on this cruise, but why wouldn't you just do it now? It is best to always have a passport with over 6 months left before expiration, simply because a great travel opportunity could come up at any time and you really don't want to miss out over an almost-expired passport!

 

I put off renewing my passport once, and then I had to take an emergency trip. It was fine in the end, but it was very stressful to have to go down to the passport agency and let them know that I needed a passport by the end of the business day so that I could fly that night.

 

Sent from my H3321 using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it is a good idea to renew your passport, it's not required for the cruise and the Caribbean countries do not have the same passport requirements regarding expiration that most countries do. We sailed in January and my son's passport expires in February. Because we weren't traveling out of the country again until summer, we opted to wait in part because we had to renew in person and also because his passport is only good for 5 years. At check-in, the system will likely flag the passport because of the expiration date. In our case, a supervisor had to override it, but never said a word about the expiration date. We did carry a certified copy of his birth certificate just in case .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NO NEED TO RENEW your passport! You don't even need a passport for this cruise! Save your money and then renew once you get home you'll be fine. IF you were traveling by land and doing a land vacation SOME countries stipulate you need to have 6 months left on your passport in order to enter the country. Since you are on a cruise you are IN TRANSIT and therefore the passport rules of certain countries do not apply.

While this advice might be accurate, it is not good advice in my opinion. You don't want to be in a situation where you can't go somewhere just because your passport is expiring soon. You have to renew it eventually, there really is no good reason to delay the renewal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While this advice might be accurate, it is not good advice in my opinion. You don't want to be in a situation where you can't go somewhere just because your passport is expiring soon. You have to renew it eventually, there really is no good reason to delay the renewal.

 

 

 

I would suggest renewing too... you never know when a weather event may reroute your cruise meaning you end up visiting elsewhere!! Always aim to have 6 months or more on it...

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since most of the basics have been covered by other posters here are a few cruise-tips to consider as a fellow-Haven cruiser.

1. Ziplock bags are your friend! Pack some - you can put your daily treats in them and toss the treats into the fridge to snack on later.

2. My #1 Butler request - empty the fridge. There's no need to have a mini-bar that you get charged for when you have a full bar right around the corner. lol Plus it gives you more room for snacks (see 1 above)

3. The Haven restaurant has the BEST breakfast! *But if you like crispy bacon make sure you ask for it or it's kind of chewy.

 

While tipping is always subjective, I ALWAYS tip for good service. For me this includes the room steward and the Haven bartenders (who are included in the DSC) as well as the Butler and Concierge (who are not part of the DSC). I always tip on the last day before disembarkation and I always bring a pack of Thank You cards and write a little note to each one I tip. Yeah, I know... girly, but what can I say. lol

 

Make sure they are swiping your card whenever you gamble. My DH made fast friends with a guy and that was his #1 tip for gambling so they know how much you are spending. They definitely DO comp gamblers. I don't know the details, but the guy DH met told us that he gets comped for gambling and then he upgrades to the Haven, thus getting a Haven room for short money. One evening when the high roller area closed they pulled a dealer from another area and set up a private $100 table for this guy! So definitely worth checking into.

 

Hope some of these help. Enjoy your cruise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any answer about the singles events? I'm also going on the escape next year for the same reason you picked it (15 mins from my home). It would be nice to meet some people on the ship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely get the passport renewed.

 

 

Congratulations on your retirement at age 44!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Any answer about the singles events? I'm also going on the escape next year for the same reason you picked it (15 mins from my home). It would be nice to meet some people on the ship

 

This answer will be more generic with NCL and being solo than specifically for the Escape. Keep and eye on your dailies as there will be a solo meeting every day. Typically they have been at 5:30 located at a bar or in the solo lounge. There will be a solo host for the week who will head meetings and help with any group activities the solos may want like going to shows together, meal reservations, etc... I've been lucky and have had some really great solo hosts, but I have heard stories of some bad ones who don't seem interested in being the solo host. The meetings are a good way to meet people. I've made some great friends while going solo on cruises. Also, check out the CC roll call for your trip. It is also a nice way to meet people and make new friends. No guarantees though. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your early retirement! I agree with a lot of people here in regards to your passport. If you want to be able to use your passport for the cruise, you'll have to get it renewed beforehand. If you're OK using your state ID/license and birth certificate, then you can use those and not renew your passport. It's totally up to you.

 

There's a daily service charge that you can prepay before the cruise, or have it added to your account everyday of the cruise. Once on board, you can cancel the daily service charge and tip as you go. I personally pay the daily service charge, and then tip crew members who I feel did an exceptional job more, or if I order room service. You can choose what works best for you.

 

Since you'll be on the Norwegian Escape, there is a studio lounge on the ship. The studios are for solo travelers, and they have a nightly solo gathering. A lot of them are in the studio lounge, but I have heard that they hold them in other locations on the ships sometimes, so you can check your daily for the time and place. I have taken two solo cruises on the Norwegian Epic. The gatherings were always well attended, and a good place to meet people. I've made great friends who I'm still in touch with to this day through them. I'd also definitely recommend joining your roll call on here. You might find other solos, or even a group of people who don't mind you joining them sometimes, and be able to chat a bit before you board.

 

I hope you have a great time! I love cruising solo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm going on my 1st. cruise by myself on 1/20/19 aboard the Norwegian Escape 14 day Southern Caribbean. I have a category H5 Haven Courtyard Penthouse w/ balcony. I'm taking this cruise to celebrate my retirement, I chose this cruise because I live in Manhattan and the terminal is just across town. Some questions I have, do they have any single events ? I'm 44 no kids never married. My passport expires in Feb. 24 2019 is that too close, it's after the end of the cruise but I think I heard that it may be an issue ? What's the difference between a Butler and a Concierge ? How does tipping work, I'd prefer to dole out cash on the last day all at once or should I tip as I go along ? What kind of comps can I earn in the casino, I'm a pretty heavy gambler ? What are some other questions I should be asking, what do I need to know ? Thank you :cool:

As long as your passport doesn't expire before the cruise is over you will be fine. I would however renew mine, but that's just me.

Debbie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...