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Everything posted by CarrieAP

  1. Be careful about this. My understanding is the reverse- DSC is taken from refundable because non-refundable typically can't be used for this. For example we get non-refundable stock holder OBC and cannot use it toward DSC. But we can use the refundable OBC from our TA.
  2. Coconut’s is our favorite, though can get busy. We ate there last month for late lunch/ early dinner to ensure we could get a nice waterside table. We stayed at Westin this trip and the on-site restaurant Luna’s exceeded our expectations: food, service and atmosphere. Sits up above street level with great view of ocean and plenty of outdoor seating, covered and umbrellas.
  3. @Beamafarbriefly disoriented when I read your post here on the NCL boards lol. Always appreciate your helpful advice and perspective regarding MSC. Will be curious to hear more about your comparison of the two lines when your cruise is complete. Epic was our last cruise ship pre-covid. Enjoy!!
  4. Odd. We booked 8/28 Edge last month and I just completed check in last week. Seemed all slots from noon till later were open. Spending two nights in hotel so 12 was perfect for us.
  5. Thank you for sharing your trip with us!! Boarding in 2 weeks so adds to the excitement. 1st Celebrity cruise! We have Oct B2B on NCL Jade in Greece booked but your last report inspired me to fit an Edge sailing in.
  6. We're in a similar situation, preferring a traditional balcony for our upcoming Edge cruise. Decided to book an ocean view verandah with porthole (category 1A). You may want to consider this option? Do ask a TA because ours located a cabin even though Celebrity's website showed them sold out. And Happy Anniversary!! Our 35th was in April so excited to be able to cruise again to celebrate.
  7. Thank you for sharing the details of your story. Hope you continue to feel well and recover soon.
  8. Well this proved to be good timing on my end for once. Placed a hold on Edge for 8/28 yesterday, finalizing booking today. When I went to book our flights the options seemed quite different. Makes sense now. Thanks for the heads up. We have flights to Athens on American in Oct and those have changed significantly. Arriving 3 days pre-cruise and one day after which thankfully minimizes timing anxieties.
  9. For us I view it as we're taking a calculated risk. Last Sept we flew to Florida to visit Universal/Disney. We were not vaccinated then, we are today. Would I go now? Not a chance. Too many variables have changed. Then, the covid numbers were low, parks capacity controlled and very strict precautions were in place. Today it's a free for all. All eyes were on the parks when they opened; today they're on cruises. The cruise lines are highly motivated toward success and good PR. They also need to get passengers on board so policies for refunds are more liberal than they will be down the road. For me, this is reassuring. If I'm honest I felt more comfortable when I booked our trip (Jade from Athens B2B) In April than I do now. This variances have thrown more curve balls our way. The risks are higher so I'll make some adjustments and solidify contingency plans. One of which could include cancelling if conditions become less favorable as October comes around. There is though that determined part of me that really, really wants to go on this trip. Damn that urge is strong lol. No doubt this has some effect on my judgement. So yes, I'm sure I fall somewhere on the "nuts" continuum. As far as caring what others think, I just turned 60 so it's much easier to let it roll off. Good question- thanks for posting!
  10. Pay onboard using some of the OBC received from TA
  11. For me it’s mainly about saving $$. We booked with a TA for our Greece back-to-back cruises in Oct. Balcony cabin. I gave her my preferred location, she found a cabin we could stay in both legs and also offered input from her experience sailing on the Jade. All good, but more significant to me is the $300 OBC we’re getting on each cruise. I have a hard time understanding why many cruisers are hesitant, or even solidly against, using TAs. $600 is a solid sum of money to me. We didn’t have to wait on hold as she seemed to book directly into NCL’s system during our call. We’re flying directly from US to Athens for a few days prior to the cruise so sorry not able to give any guidance on that question. Seems our vaccination status is definitely favorable but all seems to be a moving target right up until travel date.
  12. I also learned about Informed Delivery from cruise critic! Though there's been lots of needling chatter this past year, it's nice to see the good fruits of these forums.
  13. I'm so sorry; that really stinks. At this late stage those of us booking the "new" cruises did so with the confidence that they are highly likely to sail. That would feel like someone pulling the rug out from under me. Yes, in ordinary times they did charter cruises, but typically with very extended lead times, well before international air and other travel arrangements were made. I am booked in October and can't imagine my reaction if this would happen to us.
  14. We spent 5 nights at Skt Petri fall of 2018; 1st time in Copenhagen, before our 1st TA. It is a lovely hotel. We really enjoyed the location, though admittedly we're more mobile than your husband so walked absolutely everywhere. It's a nice neighborhood in the midst of a sprawling university type area. Nice blend of tourists, students and locals with restaurants, shops and such. I loved that our room had a huge window seat overlooking the street below- perfect perch for people watching!
  15. While not a Regent tour, for Alhambra perhaps consider using Spain Day Tours? Our last cruise was an NCL TA Nov 2019 during which we had a number of outstanding tours with them. Our day visiting the Alhambra is a precious memory.
  16. Just booked back-to-back cruises on Jade out of Athens in October. Used our new to us TA we just started booking with in the before times. She was knowledgable, had sailed the same ship in Mediterranean so gave valuable guidance with cabin selection, and is giving us $250 OBC for 1st leg and $300 for 2nd. The amount was higher than expected for balcony cabin. NCL has a great website for planning so we lose no control over meal reservations, shore excursion etc. Obviously I'm a proponent of using a (good) TA.
  17. Cruise Critic posts updates that help distill some of the ever-evolving changes. Under the "More" tab at the top of the page there is a "News" section. I found this helpful and maybe you will as well.
  18. Just booked NCL Jade 7N back to back starting 10/10. Have never been to Greece so jumped on the opportunity to book a “highly likely” to sail cruise. 7 nights is short for us, plus the distance, so figured repeating it a 2nd week would give us some cruise ship time while also allowing more options at each port call. We’ll spend a few days in Athens pre-cruise so our 1st return to cruising adventure is far exceeding my expectations.
  19. This week we should be sailing the last leg of our 34 night transatlantic/ Baltic/ Norway cruise. We retired (unexpectedly) early a few years ago and resumed our love of cruising. After a couple of Caribbean cruises we realized we were a bit bored and decided it was time to venture out further. I love reading trip reports (thank you to all who have shared their experiences!) so became inspired to start visiting some of these beautiful places I was reading about. Our first cruise across the Atlantic was a big deal to us because it was also our first trip to Europe! Yup we are traveling newbies, feeling like mere infants compared to many of you. In 2018 we were thrilled to land in Copenhagen 5 days before our westbound TA and remained spell bound at each port stop along the way. Needless to say we were hooked! Since then we made a goal to take 2 long trips/ year, combining land travel with our cruise. We still have a 21 yo daughter at home to watch the house and dogs so wanted to take advantage of her presence. So me, being a cruise critic addicted planner, relished my time on this site. Then of course this damn coronavirus threw all our lives off course. I spent 30+ years in healthcare so have been soaking up all the news I can learn about this horrible virus. Being human, I've gone back and forth through all the stages of loss from denial, bargaining to anger as I adjust to our new reality. Finally I think I'm transitioning into acceptance. In my head I'm starting to let go the dreams I had for each one of my trips. The world has changed and will be changed for some time to come. We all hold various opinions regarding timing and each have to work through our own reasoning and emotions. For me, personally, I can't see myself realistically planning an international cruise sooner than 2022. It has actually been freeing to reach this point of acceptance. Before, I felt stuck and frustrated with so much up in the air. Now I have a clearer idea how I want to proceed. This, finally lol, brings me closer to why I'm posting. My husband and I are not tied to any one cruise line, instead being more focused on itinerary and value. Recent past cruises have been on NCL and MSC. We do though have a Regent cruise booked for this Sept on the Navigator from Barcelona to Montreal. Happened upon it just as the ship's schedule was adjusted to accommodate a 2nd dry dock and the price reflected its late change. We booked ASAP and since then I have been a frequent reader of this board. In my mind this would be a once and done Regent cruise because while Regent sounds lovely, the cost exceeds our budget. Now of course our Sept cruise is up in the air and I'm doubtful it will sail as scheduled. We've already paid in full so will look at options when the time comes. The cruise following this one is in March of next year on NCL, from Dubai to Rome. Great price, great itinerary and I am perfectly happy sailing NCL. The timing though stinks because there is no way I can seriously plan for a cruise I don't believe will happen. I just wouldn't be able to get excited, holding my breath from now till then. So I looked ahead and don't see NCL offering a similar itinerary for 2022. Then, for some unknown reason, I checked Regent and lo and behold found a cruise from Dubai to Istanbul. It's on the Explorer in April 2022. When I saw the price though I choked on my coffee, spraying it all over my computer screen. We are talking magnitudes of $$ higher than I was planning on spending. Also magnitudes of $$ higher than I can justify spending for ONE trip. But then all your voices started talking in my head. Some of you were telling me about the benefits of Regent, others the value it offered, and some the justification for the cost adding everything up. Seriously. I could quote a few of you, but of course my mind has assigned a voice that is probably far different than reality. Once I quieted you all down, not an easy task lol, I started to think. Gradually I began justifying the cost with the savings from the cruise we should currently be on (MSC- I need my refund!), combined with the NCL one we are canceling. Add in a big dash of feeling sorry for myself for how Corona has squashed my plans and voila- I'm 99% sure we're going to book this cruise!! And now, after what feels like forever, but has in reality been a mere few months, I am excited once again to think about cruising, the anticipation, and the fun of planning. Once I sprung the idea on my husband he saw the light and that cruise glow is gradually coming back into his cheeks. This is a great itinerary that I want to make the most out of so am ready to go all in, including an overland tour to Luxor and even a post cruise tour in Istanbul. I like to maximize what I get for each dollar so usually arrange my own tours and such but given the port stops on this trip I'm eager to give Regent a go and let them do the planning, even if it costs more than I'm usually comfortable spending. Two years is a long ways away but according to the experienced cruisers here I think it will be worth the wait. I hoping you'll all share your wisdom, advice and suggestions, even a differing opinion or two. This is a tough time all around and sadly the halt to cruising has changed the tenor of cruise critic, which is understandable. Personally I'm realizing that an eye toward a more distant horizon is giving me hope that cruising will eventually return to a closer version of its former self. Booking this cruise is a huge step in restoring my faith that I'll get through the next two years and come out good on the other side. We still have a long way to go but getting back to conversations about cruise specifics with questions and answers will help. Of course there are unknowns and yes there will be changes, but some things will fall back into place and that's where I hope we can spend some time together. I'm so excited thinking about this cruise; a trip that would normally be beyond my means. Thanks for reading and I look forward to being a more active participant on this board! Carrie
  20. As others have indicated it's timing of your cruise, and I'd add destination & demographics. We were able to upgrade outright from Spa mini suite to Spa Haven for $1500 total for 16 nights on Nov Epic TA. We could have upgraded to 2 bedroom for same price. I didn't hear of anyone winning a Haven bid and it seemed the cabins were booked/upgraded as the prices dropped. This was an unusually low price point for Havens so assume most folks booking this cruise were seeking bargain rates. Also minimal children or families onboard, who I expect typically book the larger 2 bedroom cabins. Of note: our upgrade price was lower than shown on the website so going forward I encourage those interested to call NCL for a quote as you may find it even cheaper than bidding.
  21. Disappeared for our 4/12 cruise as well. Had it in my cart but wanted to check with my husband 1st, then next day gone.
  22. I've sailed in YC and have 2 weeks outside the YC booked in May. We spend most of our time onboard outside the YC and the vibe has always been upbeat with folks looking like they're having a grand vacation. MSC offers a nice product for the money and I'm certain we'll enjoy our fantastica cabin as well. I love the Divina but won't pay current YC prices so would happily book another category to sail on her again. I would love to see more non-YC posts and responses. I seek out posts that apply to whatever I'm sailing next so all you non-YC people please jump in to share your advice and experiences! (We also sail NCL so note they add 20% service charge to drink package and don't offer specialty coffees or bottled water, so it's hard to make a nose-to-nose comparison when looking at drink package perks. Each line seems to have their quirks.)
  23. We were on this past November's TA from Barcelona to San Juan in a Haven Spa Suite and loved it!! Kind of an odd cabin with the round bed in the middle, but a wonderful balcony with 2 padded loungers and 2 chairs/ stool. We were in 14147, regular size balcony, with some have larger ones. We ended up with nice weather on the sea days and loved Posh sundeck, Haven courtyard and our balcony that we only went to the spa once. Usually we spend a lot of time there but were so many places to chill. I think the Haven in general is overpriced but we felt we got value for the money on the Epic, especially when you can enjoy the amenities on a longer cruise like a TA. The restaurant is outstanding and that combined with specialty restaurants offers many great meals. Le Bistro was our favorite. The ship as whole was much better than reports indicated. Outstanding entertainment, venues, etc. We would happily sail it again, either in Haven or out. In my opinion you've made a good choice and should have a spectacular cruise
  24. We're already booked spring of 2021 on the Dawn, our 1st trip to middle east, if we weren't I'd be seriously interested in this cruise. We just started doing TA's last year (also our 1st time outside Caribbean) and are hooked, particularly when they have interesting itineraries like this one does. Amsterdam is on my bucket list so would be perfect to spend time there after. I say go for it!
  25. There's really not a lot of these and all are located in same general area. Not great being under the pool deck but that is an issue with suites on others ships and lines as well. We were in 14147 for the Nov TA which if I recall is kind of in the middle. Some noise in the wee hours of the morning when they were spraying the deck but not as bad as anticipated. The days were quiet with shoe steps heard once in awhile Big perk on these cabins in the Epic is the large balconies- some are enviously large.These are located on the ends of "bump out". Ours was regular size but still had 2 nice padded loungers and 2 chairs with small table. We used this balcony more than any other we have had. Great Haven on the Epic which is why we upgraded.
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