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PelicanBill

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About PelicanBill

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Upstate NY near Rochester
  • Interests
    Travel, Science Fiction, Computers
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, RCCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. Anything I say in postings should be as sensible and civilized as I would say in a person to person discussion with someone I don't know. His comment was intended to inflict a judgement on me as a bleeding heart and degrade my opinion that cruise service employees are low paid and earn their income through needed tips. I would never make a statement that degrades anothers' opinion in this way. Nobody should. That is verbal bullying and it happens way too much here. He could have said: I disagree. I prefer to remove the DSC and tip only the people who I think have earned a tip. Or I choose to remove the DSC and I don't tip anyone. Or whatever his view is.
  2. The port rail line is a turnout from the Virgin tracks but well before arriving the Miami station... as the main line goes elevated to arrive Miami station but the port turnout is at ground level with numerous crossing gates. It will be interesting to see what is in store here. Also, a station in the port would be a bit of a walk for those in some of the terminals depending on actual placement. I think a shuttle van will be necessary on that end for some.
  3. If you stay downtown, there is also a free trolley bus from Biscayne Blvd. to 2 stops along the cruise terminals. It runs 7 days a week. My hotel offers a shuttle at 11am which might not get over there until 11:30...so I may opt to walk to the bus and get there a bit earlier myself.
  4. Wow. This doesn't help, as I had no plan to fight about it. Do you not consider this a rather personal attack on my point of view? "tip all those 'poor broke souls' you blather on about." It is unnecessary and rude. My remarks weren't directed at him, and were not rude or sarcastic. These words are and I would think 99% of people would agree.
  5. Quite sure that would be the next flight with availability... so you are standby, with your luggage, until they have seats. And if you are a family you need to be ready to split up because they may have 1 or 2 seats, and no way to be sure how many on the flight after that! Flights operate at very high capacities these days.
  6. So in additional to DSC I do make sure I have a few $5s if going to dining rooms, which I add for exceptional service only. And I carry a small bundle of $1s to use at bars. I have found that at crowded bars, my drinks are refilled more quickly, and when they see the $1 held in my hand with my card, the drinks are stronger. Purely personal preference. On some cruises I see a lot of bar tipping, and on others it seems I am the only one. I have a $20 bill set aside for my steward. Again, only if service is friendly, present, and excellent. We've had the full range. On our last cruise we saw our steward twice. Once on day 2, almost by accident, and again on the last morning when she knocked at 7:30 to tell us to leave the room (which by rule was by 9:00am). She did not get any extra. But that is not enough of a bad time to pull my DSC for her. But we gave the $20 to the Steward of the next block down, who went out her her way to greet us and ask if everything is ok or we needed anything... even though we weren't her cabin!
  7. Seems likely to be a glitch then. If you are in a roll call for your cruise ask if others see the same thing. Someone may need to call the NCL number to ask what is going on... good luck though, many reports of terrible phone service at NCL lately.
  8. I don't recall attacking your opinion, only expressing mine to encourage people to understand the impact when you decline DSC and tip directly. I will ignore the sarcastic and personal nature of your comment but say these words would earn you a quick ban if I were an admin. His argument is not to pay DSC at all; he wants to tip only specific people.
  9. NCL typically uses Punta Langosta, but there are any number of things that can change that. Breakaway docked at the International pier last year once when it was an unplanned added stop. If there are already 2 ships booked at Punta Langosta then they will take a space at either International or Puerta Maya if available. But at least 90% of time NCL docks at Punta Langosta. Source: I watch the ships all over every day on Marinetraffic. Today there are 3 Carnival ships at Puerta Maya, their usual dock. One Royal ship at International, their usual dock. No ships at Punta Langosta. Tomorrow NCL Breakaway will be here, most likely, as it has been often on Fridays over the last couple of months.
  10. When is the cruise? I have a cruise that stops there in 8 weeks. I can see 21 excursions including cabanas, kayaks, stand up boards, etc.
  11. really enjoying your two-stories-in-one report! I cannot believe how much damage can be done tripping over a gas hose. But I showed pictures to my family to convince them to never take such risks. Speaking of risks, Seeing all your zip line and thrill rides... I love them too and rode the lie down zip line in Labadee in June. But with some reservations... I read the detail in my travel insurance coverage and found that high risk activities are not covered for medical expenses or evacuation... including parasailing and ziplining. Yikes. So read your fine print and consider your risks everyone! I bought what I thought was better coverage than the offering NCL provides.
  12. Oh dear. So perhaps there is some context that will help if you didn't cruise before 10 years ago. Traditionally, cruising had a very fixed number of tipped positions who split tips to supporting roles. First, remember that tipped positions are paid less than other positions, with the intent that tipping makes up the missing income. Just as it works on land. Traditionally, you tipped: - Dining room waiter, who you saw every day for nearly every meal. they would split tips with the assistance waiter and bus person if they were tipped. - Maitre'd although many tried to evade this one - Room Steward who shared with an assistant if there was one - Bartenders/bar waiters As cruises adapted to flexible eating, this disturbed the tipping structure as people now move around to many venues and don't feel the need, or don't know how, to tip - you may be served by a dozen different people. At the same time, cruise lines saw an opportunity to make a few more positions tipped. The automatic service charge solved the first and enabled the second. And, they solved bar tipping by always including the tip in the pricing. If you eliminate your daily service charge and tip directly, you are hurting some of the people who work hard for you and are paid lower, needing tips to earn their expected income. Please don't take away the daily service charge. Just add a little for people who served you well!
  13. That would be weird and probably a fluke. It may be yield management... pricing fluctuates based on demand and desire to sell certain inventory. One thing I have seen is after final payment categories for choose your own disappear leaving only sailaways. I am guessing that is an effect of bidding in progress and they do not yet know how many rooms of each category are left until they finish a round of bidding awards. Another thing you will see is in the last 4 months before sailing the secondary market is selling "discounted" cabins... actually for NCL these are priced exactly the same as sailaways. But the price has often dropped and can be found to book on NCL's site as well. One such reseller actually makes it clear for the NCL cruises no perks included, but can be obtained for an extra charge (which means booking into a category where you choose your cabin of course.)
  14. The reality is there aren't that many obstructed views, and complaints about noise are very subjective. If there is a significant price different take your chances. If it really matters, as it does to seasoned cruisers, then you gotta pay.
  15. I tip tour guides or excursion crew about $10 per person (so $20 for the two of us). For drivers, I watch carefully to see if they provide service: Do they assist people getting on and off the bus, greet them, generally help make the experience pleasant? Then a few dollars or as much as $5.
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