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CaliMom05

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About CaliMom05

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    California
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL

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  1. Definitely worth it! We were in a spa mini-suite on our Panama Canal cruise and it was great being so close to the observation lounge. And we spent a ton of time in the spa. It was almost empty during the canal crossing and we spent hours in there while we went through the locks. There are a lot of thermal loungers in the spa and it's at the back of the ship so it's very relaxing. You would get a great deal if you could snag a spa mini-suite at the minimum bid.
  2. Thanks so much OP for posting this. I was able to save almost $1,100 on our cruise fare and my TA revised our travel insurance to a lower rate since the cruise fare dropped so much. Saved almost $1,200 in total so again I appreciate this post as I don't usually check latitudes offers after I've already booked a cruise. Something funny when my TA called to amend the reservation to include the discount with NCL - the agent that she was speaking with on the phone didn't know about the promo so we had to send her a screen shot of the offer. Crazy but at least it all worked out in the end.
  3. We've sailed on both the Bliss and the Joy. We boarded after noon each time and had no problem booking on the touch screens while we were waiting to be seated in the dining room for lunch. I made sure I had my pre-booked items summary with me because in addition to the go-karts and laser tag, I booked the comedy shows and other events that we couldn't book online prior to boarding. When we got to the room and checked the TV to confirm that we had all of our reservations, there were a lot of events that were already waitlisted so I was glad I booked on the touchscreen. I did go to the Social later that day to change a couple of our dining reservations because our Joy sailing had date/time changes for both Jersey Boys and Elements that we had pre-booked online and we didn't find out until we got to our room and saw the notice. I had no problems changing the dates and times for the two dinners and in the Social there were several short lines that moved very quickly. I think I waited about 10 minutes - very easy and efficient process.
  4. Hey JasonShen, We were on the same cruise as you and really enjoyed ourselves. Here's a link to my review: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=658573 It was only me and my husband so I didn't experience the kid's club but you are right about the pool deck - it was cold and windy for a lot of the cruise and the water slides weren't open much. But I saw many crazy kids in the pools and hot tubs with parents either in the pools with them or waiting with towels on the outside. It's Alaska so I wasn't expecting to spend much time up there but it was COLD when I was waiting for my race on the go-carts. We really enjoyed the entertainment. Like another poster said from the Jewel, the "Dancing with the Stars" program we watched was hilarious and even though the Atrium was crowded, if we didn't find a seat in the Atrium we went up to the Local and viewed the action from above for the different events we watched or participated in. Did you ever go up to the observation lounge? There were board games available and I saw lots of families up there. There were also several events in the Atrium for families, like the cupcake demo, etc. Since our kids are grown and we don't sail with them or the grandkids, we weren't specifically looking for family activities but there seemed to be things available for the kids to do all around the ship. We also enjoyed interacting with the crew. We really didn't have a bad meal other than the buffet - it didn't come close to what we experienced on the Bliss. And our room steward was the best! He was new to the ship and had a training one day and made sure we knew that someone else was taking care of our cabin that day but to let him know if there were any issues when he came back in the evening. He was so awesome. We've only cruised NCL but I feel the crew was really great and this is what we've experienced on the other NCL ships that we've sailed on. JMO
  5. If you're looking for a place that quiet and relaxing get a thermal spa pass. We booked spa rooms because we love the thermal spa and I'd heard that it would be a great place to view the canal during the transit. We also had a balcony room so we watched from our room, from the open bow area, and from the OL, but during the last set of locks we were in the thermal spa and it was a great view. My husband and I both relaxed on the heated loungers and it was almost empty. I'm not sure how crowded it was during the other set of locks but for the last set it was awesome. And it was raining at that time so it was great being indoors and not getting drenched outside.
  6. I was on the Joy for the May 25 sailing and had booked both Footloose and Elements in advance. Surprise - we got to our cabin and the dates for the shows had switched. Footloose was on day 2 and 3 while Elements was on day 5 and 6. It wasn't a huge issue - NCL had already switched the shows for us based on our reservation time and we had a letter advising us of the change. I just needed to change one of our dining reservations because Footloose is a longer show and I did so without any issues. There's no prohibition show or silent disco on the Joy but there was a wine lover's the musical and all the usual comedy shows. Once we were onboard I was able to book the comedy shows, laser tag, and speedway with no problem. And there's always the stand-by line if you aren't able to make reservations for the time you want.
  7. Oh well that's a bummer for any future bookings we're planning. We'll have to decide if it'll be worth it for us to do the upgrade or just pay the difference on some of the wine I like lol. My husband's a jack and coke (pepsi on NCL) guy and is fine with just the regular package but he does visit Starbucks at least once a day so this info was really helpful for our upcoming cruise on the Joy since they have multiple Starbucks on board :) Thanks again!
  8. Thanks for the info on the plus package Coffee Goddess! I tried to send you a message to inquire about your TA who offers you those awesome deals on the paid grats on the PBP but I can't send a message via cruise critic message for some reason. Would you be okay with emailing me with your TA's info? bakers05 at verizon.net Thank you!
  9. Your info on the disembarkation is super helpful! I have a question - we are using NCL transfer to SEATAC but don't want to lug our checked bag to the shuttle bus. We've never used their transfer service directly to the airport before. Do you know if that bag goes directly from outside of our cabin to the shuttle bus? Or would it be best to use Port Valet and not worry about it.
  10. Thanks Jamie for the videos. I follow a lot of the threads that you are on because you have such valuable info and I noticed you said he's your fiance, not SO anymore. Are you engaged? Congrats!!!!!
  11. Yes there was music. But it was October 2018 when we sailed on the Epic so I don’t know if anything has changed since then.
  12. We were in a haven spa suite and it isn’t located in the haven area. The spa jacuzzi tub in the room takes up a lot of space and I don’t believe we had a table and chairs in the room. When we ordered room service the butler put our tray on our vanity tabletop I think. We only did room service a couple of times for breakfast when we had early morning excursions. You can also order pizza when you’re hanging out in the haven area from your butler. My husband said the pizza was “ok” but better than what’s available in the buffet. And the haven bar and lounge is awesome. We enjoyed hanging out there in the evenings. A nice relaxing time after busy port days.
  13. Thanks so much for taking us along with you and Sue. We booked the Bliss after your awesome T/A review. We’re already booked on the Joy (5/25) but your pics are upping the excitement level! My husband is especially glad about the separate smoking area in the casino. It was awesome to not smell like an ashtray after spending time in the Bliss casino.
  14. A couple of years ago we did a pacific coastal on the pearl from Vancouver to LA. We flew United / Air Canada to Vancouver. Prices were very reasonable for the one-way fare. Our ports were different - Victoria and San Francisco. We had a great time but upgraded to a suite as we took our daughter for her graduation trip and wanted the extra bedroom. A little pricey but we had a great time. Neither port was a tender port and we had delays in SF due to customs so they extended our time in that port by several hours. Although we prefer sailing on longer itineraries, I’d definitely do a pacific coastal again.
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