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About AKR2011

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    The Catskills, NY
  • Interests
    Cruising, Hiking, Board Games, Reading, KenKen
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Thank you so much for another awesome review! I am so sorry to hear about your health and am thinking of you and your family. Just a thought for you. The Escape is headed to Bermuda this summer out of NYC. She is a beauty! The Gem is also headed that way out of Boston. You're right; Caribbean itineraries on NCL in the summer are not great. I always cruise in mid-late November, and I have gotten to some awesome places.
  2. I always look forward to your reviews and can't wait for another. I hope you have a fabulous cruise next month! ⚓
  3. Your review is fabulous as always. I love seeing all of your snorkeling pictures. That tour in St. Lucia is giving me ideas. We'll be there on our next cruise in 2020.
  4. I agree with many of these things, but my #1 is a Spinnaker! Or some other large venue to keep the activities out of the atrium. That is my biggest beef with The Escape. No one wants to sit in uncomfortable folding chairs because they run out of space EVERY DAY. I am looking forward to heading back on The Gem next year just for this fact alone. I'll miss the dining options and District Brew House the most, though.
  5. I'm so happy to see that you're back with another review! I am so sorry to hear about Billy's losses. It sounds like this cruise was a nice break for your family. And congrats on Sakari's latest art achievement! That school sounds wonderful. I've been enjoying her artwork over the years, and it's so cool to see how much she's grown and will continue to grow. I absolutely love that it's always included in your reviews.
  6. I don't usually see a change. I was on The Escape for 14 days this past fall and ate at Savor for breakfast just about every day. I did lunch in there at times too. The service was always great, and the staff got to know me well over the two weeks. It is quieter then, so that was a plus. We only ate in the MDR a couple times for dinner, but the Manhattan Room was great, and that was towards the end of our two weeks.
  7. I voted $20, but usually tip that at the beginning, then another $20 or so at the end. We only stay in an Inside, but I like my towel animals. I haven't cruised since these weren't guaranteed, so I'll continue my usual tipping in hopes that I continue receiving my friends each night. I also keep the service charge in tact. I know others adjust that, but we do not touch it. I do believe that some of that goes to our steward. I did ask once and was told that some of it does.
  8. The breaking point for me would be taking away the beverage package perk. We appreciate it so much, because that's one less thing to budget for. I still remember when they had $5 Happy Hour drinks and various other specials that were affordable. I could have 4 drinks for around $30, and that was my budget per day at the time. I kept a notebook to keep myself in check. Since then, they keep raising the alcohol prices, so without the package, it just would not be worth it. I would look to cruise on another line immediately. I don't need to drink nonstop, but it's vacation. I should be able to unwind without completely breaking the bank.
  9. Thanks! I forgot all about this post. I think I read his original one, but I forgot that he talked about the voucher too. So helpful!
  10. Do you make reservations ahead of time for your Platinum Dinners, or so you do it on board? I just became Platinum too 🙂
  11. This makes me so sad. My husband and I work incredibly hard, and once every two years or so we can afford to cruise. It takes a lot of budgeting and working to find the right itinerary that will work for our time off, budget, and goal of exploring new places. We fell in love with cruising, because we work in the service industry ourselves and enjoy that we can be guests once in awhile. We only book an inside room to save money. We spend plenty elsewhere doing unique shore excursions, having a few specialty meals, drinking (we used to budget per day and now get the package instead) and budgeting for a round of Deal or No Deal or Bingo here and there. We fell in love with NCL from the get-go because their service has always been great, and no one every cared that we stayed in an Inside rather than The Haven. The bartenders give great service no matter what, and the Cruise Directors and staff have always made our vacations special. When I get home each night, I can't wait to plan my next day, but first, there's the towel animal. We only had mints on our pillow one cruise back in 2016 when we had issues with the toilet flooding our bathroom. They were trying to be nice. It as a nice touch, but I can't say it made a big difference. However, towel animals remind me that I am on vacation, and it's a special vacation. My husband always makes a point to talk to our steward on the first day and let them know how much I love the towel animals. He slips them a tip right off the bat as he explains this. Then I always leave an extra tip at the end. I know this all may sound silly, but Towel Animals are a very special part of our NCL experience. My husband has said that he loves seeing me smile when I walk in each night, even though I've seen all of the animals in the past. Like I said, we work in the service industry. We know how hard the staff work and are happy to tip them as a thank you. If anyone from NCL is reading this, I really hope you understand that a towel animal is more than just dirty laundry. It is that true feeling of being on vacation and knowing that you are cared for. This is what started us with NCL. The staff work so hard, and we've remained loyal over the years. We hope to continue being loyal, but all of these cut-backs lately are not making that an easy decision.
  12. I am curious how you can find out when ships are scheduled for drydock or Norwegian Edge upgrades. The NCL site lists the most recent ships, but I don't see a schedule of what's to come. Does anyone have any insight on where I can see a schedule or know of ships being upgraded soon?
  13. Just another note about sailing from NY, which you probably are aware of. New York is NOT Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Tampa as you previously sailed out of. Therefore, the first and last two days are cold. Just prepare for that. You may be in the 60s on the first and last day, but that's about it. Pack some warmer clothes if you want to enjoy the awesome views of sailaway from NY.
  14. Pepsi has "Spire," which is essentially the same thing. I've seen the machines a little bit in the northeast, but I definitely see the Coke ones more. I'm a Pepsi drinker and would LOVE to see Spire on board someday.
  15. Oh no! This makes me so sad 😞 I used to always get the Fruits de Mer when it was a full entree. Then when it was just an appetizer my last couple cruises, I would order a double and make it my entree. It's my absolute favorite dish on board. This is the worst change 😰
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