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About cloud_nine

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  1. Cannes and Majorca are both very easy to explore on your own. For Palma, I have gone to the cathedral and walked around and shopped in that area, and I've also done a beach day (Palma Nova has some beautiful beaches but will require a taxi to get there). Cannes is just lovely to walk around on your own.
  2. You're mixing up genies and concierge. The genies are your butlers, the concierge is the concierge on RCI star class.
  3. My mum turns 70 on our cruise and I was debating on getting her the birthday package. My only problem is the cruise is in 13 days. Is it too late to order now? First time on NCL and not sure how far in advance this needs to be preordered.
  4. Wanted to add that if you're a drinker, the alcohol beverage package on NCL is better than Princess' in which you've got a limit to 15 alcoholic drinks per day. However, Princess' drinks package does include specialty coffees and fresh juices unlike NCL.
  5. Following. We'll be in an aft penthouse on the Star in August.
  6. Depends on when in September you're going. Early September is usually pretty hot still - especially Greece!
  7. Royal Caribbean in general is overpriced now, even on their small ships, that's why we switched to NCL for this summer. A Grand Suite on RCL on the itinerary we are doing on the Star in August (in a smaller class ship might I add) was more than a thousand pounds more than a Penthouse Suite on the Star (which also netted me Premium All-inclusive, which was still on-going at the time - meaning everything was included and I won't be paying a cent on board). Royal Caribbean couldn't even compete price wise! As for the Jr suites, I like them on the Freedom Class and Voyages class ships because of the walk-in wardrobe and there's not as big a gap in the perks as there's no suite restaurant on non-Oasis/Quantum Class ships etc. But I wouldn't book a Jr suite on Oasis/Quantum Class ships. Your card doesn't have access to Coastal Kitchen (which is next to/part of the Suite Lounge) so if you want to get into CK for dinner you have to knock on the door, which is a bit embarrassing. You also can't book CK online in advance in a Jr Suite (or so I hear) so you have to do it the minute you get on the ship as you're competing with actual Suites and Pinnacles. So that would make for a bit of a stressful boarding day.
  8. A Jr suite on Royal is not a real suite. In comparison, it is equivalent to a mini-suite on NCL except you get double loyalty points and dinner in CK. It really shouldn't even be included in your comparison of Haven vs Sky/Star Class if your trying to compare apples to apples.
  9. I can answer this for you. You don't need to have a ticket for the tender back, you just queue and then get on an available tender boat. Also with every cruise I have been on, they ask you to be back to the ship 30 minutes before set sail time - meaning that if you have a 10pm departure, you would be need to be back to the ship for 9.30pm. They usually also tell you what time the last tender boat leaves. As for how long you would need to start making your way down, it really all depends on how busy it is that day. The cable car only takes about 5 minutes down and 5 back up but they don't hold a lot of people so if everyone waited until the last possible time, I'm sure it would be very busy and the queues would be long and time-consuming. Basically the answer is you don't know how long it will take until you see how busy it is on the day of.
  10. Loving your review! Did you happen to get any pics of the MDR menus? We're on the Star in August and want to have an idea on what days we want to eat there and what days we want to do specialty dining.
  11. We have a suite booked in August and got the service charges included. On the app it says "Free Pre-paid Service Charges for Suites and Haven". So I'm assuming you wouldn't have to pay anything extra.
  12. I haven't done Santorini on NCL but have with RCI and would definitely recommend an excursion. With RCI the people on shore excursions were all tendered off first to a different dock where you skipped the cable car altogether and just got on a bus to Oia. If you don't do a ships excursion you may not get off the ship as early as you'd like (and then of course you have to either wait for the cable car or get a boat over to Oia). You still have to get the cable car back down from Fira (where they drop you off) though. I wouldn't recommend the steps - they're very slippery, so do make sure you're at the cable car much earlier than you need to be back on board as the lines can get pretty long. We're doing this cruise in August so if you're on it before us, make sure to come back and give tips of your own! First time on the Star for us!
  13. Don't know about Iceland or Norway but if you are going to tip in Scotland, you should tip in pounds as the dollar to pound exchange rate is terrible at the moment.
  14. Argostoli has some nice beaches too (although the one with the fabulous view is quite far out). We're doing this itinerary in August.
  15. If you're doing Santorini (which I expect you are) I would definitely want an NCL shore excursion so you can skip the cable car ride up. Tendering plus waiting for the cable car can take a bit out of your day, so shore excursions are the way to go with that one.
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