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We have sailed NCL frequently and in balcony or mini-suite cabins. We have never been snubbed by passengers or crew, ever.. We are not in the most expensive cabins, and have never been able to secure Vibe passes.  We have enjoyed pools and outside areas, and have made lifelong friendships. If you are travelling on the large ships, you are going to wait in lines, etc.  We have found adjusting our times eliminate a lot of “waiting”.  Enjoy your cruise.

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1 hour ago, Jolee Marie said:

So far we have only gotten 2 reservations for restaurants and we have 5 in our package.  My travel agent told me Haven gets 1st choice.  I asked if as should be paying for early boarding.  We have made sure are airplane reservations are early I did not know that was an option but shoud  we pay that to make sure we get on board on time if there are alot of people ahead of us. I am a sun worshiper.  I was reading about the deck in Haven and it sounds fantastic.  I have read about Vibe beach.  It also sounds fantastic but only 50 passes are sold.

Haven guests get the edge (that's one of the perks) but that doesn't mean you'll be locked out of opportunities!

 

Assuming you have an iPhone or Android, be sure to download the NCL app now and get it set up. You'll be able to use it before the cruise to book some restaurants and shows plus (I think) all the NCL-sold excursions. But here's the good bit... as soon as you pick up your cruise card, connect to the ship's wifi network and open the NCL app. Only 20% of restaurant spots are available pre-cruise which means that the other 80% are available to book onboard. You don't need to go to your room or to the wall monitors to grab seats at the places you want to try - use the app! Sure, the sooner the better, but you don't need to be the first onboard either.

 

If you can't snag a Vibe pass, go to Spice H2O and enjoy the free sunshine there. Look for a sunny spot on the Waterfront. Chill out on your balcony and wriggle your bare feet in the breeze. It's all good when someone else is doing the dishes, right?

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Don’t be discouraged for not being a Haven or suite guest! I have never been turned away at a restaurant or not been able to get a reservation. I don’t like to pre plan all my dinner reservations because I never know what I’m going to feel like eating or if I even feel like eating in a specialty restaurant. 
 

Boarding any cruise ship looks like a hot mess but it’s usually pretty easy. I always show up way to early because I never sleep on vacation but I have always been on board by 11:30. 
 

You are going to be so shocked and excited about what cruising looks like now.  I just know you will have a wonderful trip! 

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21 hours ago, coastcat said:

Haven guests get the edge (that's one of the perks) but that doesn't mean you'll be locked out of opportunities!

 

Assuming you have an iPhone or Android, be sure to download the NCL app now and get it set up. You'll be able to use it before the cruise to book some restaurants and shows plus (I think) all the NCL-sold excursions. But here's the good bit... as soon as you pick up your cruise card, connect to the ship's wifi network and open the NCL app. Only 20% of restaurant spots are available pre-cruise which means that the other 80% are available to book onboard. You don't need to go to your room or to the wall monitors to grab seats at the places you want to try - use the app! Sure, the sooner the better, but you don't need to be the first onboard either.

 

If you can't snag a Vibe pass, go to Spice H2O and enjoy the free sunshine there. Look for a sunny spot on the Waterfront. Chill out on your balcony and wriggle your bare feet in the breeze. It's all good when someone else is doing the dishes, right?

I love when some one else does the dishes.

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On 10/12/2019 at 9:17 PM, julig22 said:

Personally, I wouldn't but a lot depends on what port you are leaving from and what time you are arriving.  On my last couple of cruises, I've arrived fairly late (NCL booked transportation) and I've breezed through boarding.  From what I've seen, priority boarding seems to be hit or miss and maybe not always available.  I've only had a long wait at one port (San Diego) and they weren't very organized - mostly because there was another cruise ship and the Port Authority setup was bad, so the wait was at security, not check-in.  Needless to say some of those who thought they should have special treatment didn't get it at that point and were quite vocal about it!

 

Your cabin will be ready when it's ready....  If you arrive early, you will probably have to wait.  If you arrive closer to sail time, it will probably be ready. 

Good.  I was worried about getting on the ship in time without buying the pegboard.  I made sure are flight comes in early.  I can use that money for excursions.

 

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21 hours ago, Sweetnspicy said:

Don’t be discouraged for not being a Haven or suite guest! I have never been turned away at a restaurant or not been able to get a reservation. I don’t like to pre plan all my dinner reservations because I never know what I’m going to feel like eating or if I even feel like eating in a specialty restaurant. 
 

Boarding any cruise ship looks like a hot mess but it’s usually pretty easy. I always show up way to early because I never sleep on vacation but I have always been on board by 11:30. 
 

You are going to be so shocked and excited about what cruising looks like now.  I just know you will have a wonderful trip! 

Thank you. I pictured the boarding area a  mess.

 

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On 10/12/2019 at 9:17 PM, julig22 said:

Personally, I wouldn't but a lot depends on what port you are leaving from and what time you are arriving.  On my last couple of cruises, I've arrived fairly late (NCL booked transportation) and I've breezed through boarding.  From what I've seen, priority boarding seems to be hit or miss and maybe not always available.  I've only had a long wait at one port (San Diego) and they weren't very organized - mostly because there was another cruise ship and the Port Authority setup was bad, so the wait was at security, not check-in.  Needless to say some of those who thought they should have special treatment didn't get it at that point and were quite vocal about it!

 

Your cabin will be ready when it's ready....  If you arrive early, you will probably have to wait.  If you arrive closer to sail time, it will probably be ready. 

Thank you.  Sounds like I was worried about nothing.

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On 10/12/2019 at 9:29 PM, Two Wheels Only said:

 

Unless you want to buy a VIBE pass, there isn't much need. Other than starting your vacation sooner (a few drinks?) and possibly seeing the ship before the masses board, you won't miss not having priority boarding.

 

 

It can. Many variables as to how quickly/smoothly boarding is for priority vs. general boarding.

 

 

Most people don't. Certain suites are done before others but it's impossible to know when staterooms will be ready.

 

 

No need to worry. Some NCL guests have no idea of what the Haven is. Once on the ship, everyone is mostly equal. The Concierge category is kind of an in between of Haven and non-Haven but even then, there shouldn't be a feeling of being passed over/ignored if you are in a lower category. Guests booked in a Sailaway interior are treated equally to those in a mini-suite. Once outside of the stateroom, nobody else can tell the difference.

 

Yes, certain things such as priority tendering, on/off at ports, reserved seating, etc. are given to some guests but the vast majority of NCL guests are just like you and have a great time.

 

 

Leave it to me to worry about nothing.

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On 10/12/2019 at 9:29 PM, Two Wheels Only said:

 

Unless you want to buy a VIBE pass, there isn't much need. Other than starting your vacation sooner (a few drinks?) and possibly seeing the ship before the masses board, you won't miss not having priority boarding.

 

 

It can. Many variables as to how quickly/smoothly boarding is for priority vs. general boarding.

 

 

Most people don't. Certain suites are done before others but it's impossible to know when staterooms will be ready.

 

 

No need to worry. Some NCL guests have no idea of what the Haven is. Once on the ship, everyone is mostly equal. The Concierge category is kind of an in between of Haven and non-Haven but even then, there shouldn't be a feeling of being passed over/ignored if you are in a lower category. Guests booked in a Sailaway interior are treated equally to those in a mini-suite. Once outside of the stateroom, nobody else can tell the difference.

 

Yes, certain things such as priority tendering, on/off at ports, reserved seating, etc. are given to some guests but the vast majority of NCL guests are just like you and have a great time.

 

 

23 hours ago, Jolee Marie said:

Thank you, it is our first time on NCL

 

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On 10/13/2019 at 9:07 PM, bssc said:

We have always sailed balcony.  As for boarding, as noted above, it depends on the port.  On our last cruise, we walked straight on since the ship came from being refurbished and there were no passengers to clear.  On the other hand, we were in New Orleans and there was issues with getting people off so everyone sat until noon, priority boarding or not.

 

On the ship, no one really knows who you are so have a fun time.  

 

 

Thank you for your reply.  I worry about nothing

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1 hour ago, Jolee Marie said:

Thank you.  Sounds like I was worried about nothing.

Yes you were, but if you don't ask, then you will continue to be worried.  I'm glad that you weren't put off by the minority who like to post less than helpful responses.

I haven't been on the Joy, but I like to arrive at the port early to board.  I would rather sit around and wait until it is boarding time than stand in a long security line.

As others have said, unless the ship is late coming back from the prior cruise or the staff at the port are particularly disorganized, NCL is usually quite good at getting people on (and actually back off again) fairly well.  

The NCL crew have been some of the friendliest I have seen on the seas.  Even though there are some things reserved for Haven or other class cabins only, this isn't the vast majority.

Have an amazing cruise and don't let your worries get the best of you.

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1 hour ago, Jolee Marie said:

Leave it to me to worry about nothing.

 

Well heck, it sounds like you need a cruise! 😎

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On 10/15/2019 at 3:37 PM, Jolee Marie said:

I'm not worried about the elevators.  I told my husband he can eat what ever he wants but no elevators.  If you see 2 people huffing and puffing on the steps it's us.

 

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On 10/15/2019 at 8:03 PM, coastcat said:

Only 20% of restaurant spots are available pre-cruise which means that the other 80% are available to book onboard. You don't need to go to your room or to the wall monitors to grab seats at the places you want to try - use the app! Sure, the sooner the better, but you don't need to be the first onboard either.

 

 

Oye, I did not know that we might not be able to make our specialty dining reservations early. I had no clue that they only open up a limited amount of spots. Thanks for the forewarning. 

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31 minutes ago, CathieZC said:

 

Oye, I did not know that we might not be able to make our specialty dining reservations early. I had no clue that they only open up a limited amount of spots. Thanks for the forewarning. 

If you don’t see times you want for your number of guests, just call. They can usually get you booked easily, if that doesn’t work, you can use the app to book while waiting at the pier to board.  

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On 10/17/2019 at 9:38 PM, Zippeedee said:

If you don’t see times you want for your number of guests, just call. They can usually get you booked easily, if that doesn’t work, you can use the app to book while waiting at the pier to board.  

 

Thank you! I'm hoping with just the two of us, it'll be easier. 

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Don't worry about being treated like steerage. My partner and I are platinum and only ever book the cheapest non sailaway interior. (Usually deck 4). Never once have I ever felt discriminated against. The way I figure, NCL needs us plebes who book inside cabins to fill the ship and make money. 

 

Relax and enjoy!!! 

 

Phil and Ed

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