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About Yinster

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  1. My tips 1. Make sure in your carry on you have everything you might need like swimming costume, change of clothes etc when you board as it may be a few hours before you get your luggage. 2. Even though NCL is freestyle you find restaurants like the main dining room or others that are bookable tend to fill up pretty quickly in peak times. Same with bookable shows. However they will be a queue for walk ups on the night. 3. Dress up or dress down. NCL are pretty relax with what people wear most of the time. There are a couple of restaurants where you do need to dress up a little but as you are female you can get away with a nice pair of shorts in the main dining room. 4. Someone else mention you aren't limited to just one restaurant so try as many as you can. The same is true of the menu in the free restaurants. If you fancy more than one starter, main or dessert then just order what you want. 5. The dailies will be delivered to your cabin the night before so take some time to see what's happening on the day. 6. Do as much or as little as you want. You on holiday.
  2. Back from our 5 days cruise on Voyager of the Seas sailing to Penang, Malacca and Phuket. This was our second time with Royal Caribbean as we usually sail with NCL. We stayed in the Holiday Inn Atrium which is a nice hotel though out if the way from all of Singapore attractions. Breakfast was ample with lots of choices. For some reason our private transfer to the cruise was at 08:30. Far too early so I went to the foyer and told the driver we weren't going to use him so as not to keep him waiting any longer than he had to. We took a taxi around 11 to the pier. Reasonable fare of about £5. Once at the pier there were people collecting the luggages and then we proceeded through security. Once inside we noticed the huge queue at check in. Staff directed us upstair to another check in point. Here we got lucky as a male staff member noticed we were gold (from that one and only time we cruised RC) and directed us to the loyalty queue that said Platinum and above. There was no queue there at all. After checking in we were giving boarding card 1 and heading straight to the ship via immigration. In all it was the fastest time we ever got from pier to ship. About 20 mins. Our cabin wasn't ready so we headed to the buffet. It was alright. As lunchtime came, it got busier and by the time we left, people were struggling to find seats. Our cabin for this cruise was a spacious ocean view. Pretty big with a sofa and plenty of room between the bed and window for all our luggage on the floor. Our sea passes were in the notch at the door. Apparently RC are doing this now instead of receiving them in the pier. We met our stateroom attendant Xin who was very attentive and friendly. Saw him throughout the cruise was good. I come from a customer service background so I like to chat to crew members who make my holiday even better. The muster drill was ok. They scan our cards to show we attended. Then they shouted out those who hadn't scanned. First time I seen this practice and tbh I felt it wasted more time on those who took the time to attend. Here I noticed what mix of people we had. I tend to get up earlier than my partner so I had my breakfast at the café promenade whilst after she gets up we both go the buffet. Several times when it was busy, they opened Chops for extra seating at breakfast time. We ate at Windjammer, cafe promenade and Chops. When the buffet is busy it gets crazy. Chops was good. Better than Cagney in NCL. On the first night we attended a veterans memorial service. Thanks to RC for hosting this. Whilst I haven't served, it still has a place in my heart and mind. We did a lot of trivia. Met a lot of people. And the one shore excursion we did, it was actually good. Now the couple of issues we had. We pre-book the zoom and soft drink package. Given a cup for the soft drink. But no vending machine. We found out later the machine is broken and to go to any bar and get a drink. However it is limited. Coke, 7up, tonic water, soda water and maybe Fanta. We also discovered a day into the cruise you don't need the cup to show you purchase the package but just show your sea pass. Jing Jing from guest service give us a bottle of wine as the package isn't the same we signed up for. She also had to listen to my complain of no cold water running from the tap in the sink. First the maintenance changed my shower. Not the problem. So our shower now ran colder than before. Then someone ran the tap for 10 mins or so and said 35c is normal. No it's not. I did several other guests and discover that some were the same as me whilst other had cold water. It all depended on which deck you were. Anyway I still felt I wanted cold water so we were giving bottle water and $50 OBC. Also in our future cruise we will get 20% of what we paid for on this cruise to be put towards it That's I think are my thoughts and ramblings. If I remember anything else I will post.
  3. Day 2 was just as good. We went to two Instagram hot spots with Dewa. Then he took us to a traditional salt maker. One of my highlights. Not touristy and no pressure to buy unlike other tours. In fact there was nothing to buy. Just watching and seeing how salt is made from the sea to the stuff we eat. A donation was made and they give us two bags of the stuff. Both days we asked if we could get just get something familiar for lunch. So McDonald's and KFC were our choices. No problems paying everyone's meals. Much cheaper than a tour's buffet and something we know we eat. He also took us to Kuta shopping mall while we went to a particular store. Something tour companies don't do. He's so flexible with the schedule which is a real positive asset. Dewa also spoke fondly of you guys, the Canadians and Mogens. We chatted about Bali and life in general. One thing that did crop up is how he can drum up business. I told him he needs to create a brand, a company or he won't compete with others in TripAdvisor. A website is good but only if you can get traffic to come to you. Also told him to brand his car with simple information once he has a brand. Advertise when he's driving about. One thing I do think he needs to start doing is provide water even if it's just one bottle per person. Every other company does it and I know it's a small expense but it's what people expect when going on a tour. He has sarongs already which we gratefully used.
  4. Just to say we spent the first of two days with Dewa today. Absolutely awesome time with him. We chatted about our itinerary which has changed slightly since the last time we spoke. He's very flexible enough to do what we like and made time to take us to Kuta after a bit of temple spotting. My partner really wanted to visiting the Bali Memorial so it meant a lot to her even though we don't actually know anyone. Looking forward to our second day tomorrow
  5. The email came in last week for me. Right now we are in an ocean view. Not interested in a balcony which is two of the offers. However I do see the paranomic suite. I do know there is only two on the ship so have put a reasonable bid. Minimum was £50 so put £250 for 5 nights. I'm ok if we don't get it with only two and neither showing to buy for our cruise.
  6. Royal mail will be closed but not post offices that are franchises. So those connected to a shop like newsagents. No deliveries but you can still post things. You find that you probably won't realise it was even a bank holiday until you try to go to a bank. But there's plenty of ATMs in Edinburgh to withdraw money or money exchange places open.
  7. Funny thing was they had all the menus in the Haven so I was allowed to look at the menus but not order which I found strange. If that was the case you might as well put the menus in the concierge area. The maitre'd avoided us for the rest of the week until the last day. Apparently he will be going to Encore when it launches.
  8. Must point out that I was on the Epic couple of weeks ago and the maitre'd refused to allowed me to get something from Shanghai delivered to the Haven restaurant. Instead he did say ask your butler to deliver it to my room instead but as it is a spa suite then there's not enough room to eat anything in it unless I wanted to eat in bed. Previously on the Breakaway the maitre'd bend over backwards and I had meals from other restaurants deliver so I think it all depends on the maitre'd at the time.
  9. Most places are closed except for touristy places. Cafes and restaurants will probably be opened.
  10. Hope you don't mind but it's the Italian restaurant which is the level below the buffet right at the back where you can eat breakfast in. La Cucina. Also if you are waiting for an lift do think about jumping into one regardless which direction it is going as eventually it will go in the direction you want. Several times we did this and found no one was actually going in the opposite direction and we managed to over ride it by pushing the number frequently. This can only be done if the buttons haven't been pressed already
  11. The reason why there was a long line for check in on Sunday was because everyone who came from the transatlantic had to go through immigration first before they allow those embarking in Barcelona to do so. This meant all the crew and guests who arrived from the States. Hence longer queues than usual for most of the day We also had problems with the tenders in Cannes. So that was a later time for most people to be in port. Having sailed in the ship three years ago just after the last dry dock the Epic is feeling her age. We had a few problems in our cabin. All fixed and some money refunded. She's due to be dry dock again next year for six months.
  12. Having stayed in NCL haven in the epic and breakaway, we too have booked on the yacht club on the Grandiose in May 2020 Looking forward to comparing our experience as we are going on the Epic again next week to the Western Mediterranean. So similar route, price spent and around the same time. Can I ask what the dress code is like in the yacht club. One of the things I like about NCL Haven is shorts are acceptable at all times of the day in the restaurant and bar area.
  13. May 2015 Epic Haven spa 10 days Canaries Islands and Morocco It included drinks package and unlimited speciality dining plus shore excursions credit and something else £2000 per person. Only did it because we were originally in a mini suite for £1500 per person. So with Havana access and spa pass and other things added it was a no brained. Plus we also got 30 latitudes points so went straight to gold after only one cruise. Since then we been in Haven again for roughly same price but only 9 days and limited speciality dining. Still drink package and shore excursions. Won't pay more than that for the haven.
  14. Really hope Epic has this in May when we cruise as last May we were on Breakaway and they weren't doing it.
  15. There is a restriction on luggage within the MTR system. Check the website. One bag no bigger than 170cm and 130cm unless you have written authorisation. I remember a couple years back there was a huge uproar regarding large musical instruments not allowed to be transported by Hong Kong natives yet mainlanders were allowed big suitcases. Think the only exception is the airport express train but not sure if you can take more than one piece of hold luggage each. This train has limited stops and doesn't stop at sunny bay. Plus it is almost 10 times more expensive. You be better off getting a taxi
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