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Everything posted by AwesomO

  1. How old are your children? In the US, kids 5+ may tentatively be able to be vaccinated by the end of October. It will be a super tight time frame depending when it becomes available, but there is a slight chance your child can be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving.
  2. We went in early January one year and nobody was in the pools until we got further away from NYC. Also, the ocean was movin' and groovin' which closed the pools most sea days anyway.
  3. Are all the tubs in club balconies annoyingly tall? We're going to be sailing on the Gem. I'm now considering packing a folding stepstool. Not ideal, but if even adults struggle with the tub, I'm sure both my kids who are under 10 will have a hard time.
  4. NCL passenger or not, it's definitely worth keeping in mind for ANY international travel. Unless you are driving yourself, you are going to be stuck until you test negative because if your only means home is a plane that requires a negative test, you are going to be SOL unless the airline has an opt out for recent COVID infection. So it's just wise to consider this no matter how/where you travel.
  5. If you are referring to the premium plus beverage package upgrade, it does indeed include Starbucks beverages (aka specialty coffee). https://www.ncl.com/terms/premium-plus-beverage-package-full
  6. The sleeping arrangements are a little different from a balcony too, at least on the Gem. We are sailing as a family of 4 and the pull out couch is a double on the Gem in club balcony, whereas in a regular balcony, the couch was a single and an additional drop down bed. And supposedly you're guaranteed a curtain to separate the two sleeping spaces whereas a regular balcony maybe maybe no.
  7. I don't think there are any exceptions to the testing requirement.
  8. I doubt it will go away. More and more countries are requiring people to be fully vaxxed when traveling through/to them. If NCL lifts their policy, that will continue to limit the ports they're able to visit.
  9. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-rapid-testing.page You already canceled so too late now, but for future reference. Free, and results can be back faster than 24 hours depending on how busy they are that day. I also had testing done at a NY Health+ Hospitals location in the Bronx and it's not a rapid testing location, but my family had their results back in ~24 hours. My son's took more like 36 hours. They also ask you if you're traveling so maybe they expedite it if you are. I wasn't so I'm not sure.
  10. I personally would not risk having to make last minute changes to Christmas plans with my family, particularly with children involved. I'd look into a cruise line that currently allows unvaccinated children, or a land based vacation unless you are ok with potentially having no travel plans for Christmas.
  11. Yeah, there will be a lot of fake cards out there, especially considering that these are much easier to fake than drivee IDs are. I saw an article somewhere about the person selling them believing they are saving lives. I'm sure they will crack down on it if it becomes an issue, but right now they're focusing their resources on actually vaccinating people. Or trying to anyway.
  12. I don't really agree with this. DeBlasio want tourists to come back, he wants everything open. It's additional jobs for people who work at the port. With NCL especially requiring full vaccination, I don't see why they wouldn't. It seems pretty in line with their current goals for the city: reopen and vaccinate. I think they are wise enough to know canceling cruises does not mean that people will come to the city instead.
  13. If haven guests don't get to book 130 days in advanced, I wonder if the 125 for club balconys will go too. Or is that policy change only for certain ships?
  14. That buffet theme is SO FUN. Best thing ever. Wanted to do something similar with my family when we finally got together but never had the time to pull it off.
  15. I wonder if this has anything to do with social distancing protocols and limiting the number of guests in the indoor dining venues. With fully vaccinated passengers and crew, it shouldn't be much of an issue, but maybe with the way everything is constantly changing, 120/130 days out feels more like 2 years out.
  16. I'm surprised Philadelphia doesn't have a free testing system. Well, maybe they do just without a quick enough turn around. We got PCR tested from one of NYC's locations for free on Saturday morning and had results for 3/4 people in the family less than 24 hours later. The 4th came through layer in the afternoon, so maybe 36 hours later. There are free rapid testing sites as well that use PCR and can get your results back in a few hours if the lab isn't crazy, otherwise up to 24 hours. That one tests for flu and RSV too
  17. Earlier this year I thought I was booked far enough in advanced to have confidence that they would have it all figured out but I haven't been reassured by NCL or the current state of affairs.
  18. False positives can happen with most any tests. Fortunately most don't require you to isolate as a result, but they do typically warrant further testing. Hopefully tests get increasingly more accurate and less frequent. My personal opinion is that the best we can hope for with COVID is that enough people get vaccinated or reach natural immunity so that a simple case of sniffles no longer requires testing and isolation. It's not going away, but as long as hospitalizations and deaths go down, hopefully we can treat it as any other seasonal illness we deal with for the majority of the population. Maybe by my 2023 cruise we won't have to keep testing... 🤞
  19. Previous PCR tests only tested you for COVID. They could tell you if you had COVID or not at that's it. So if you have a cough and sniffles and fever and you took one of those tests, if it came back negative, that meant you don't have COVID but whatever you do have was a mystery. If it was positive, that meant you had COVID. It was not an inaccurate test that would turn positive if you also had the flu. The new tests can test for both COVID and influenza. The test results will list a positive or negative for each type of virus. So you could be negative for COVID but possibly positive for influenza. My husband had one of these done earlier in the year. His also tested for RSV. Each virus was listed separately so you knew what you were testing positive/negative for.
  20. Last update I read, at least for the US, trials should be finished/published in the fall, with possible vaccines starting midwinter. Children have a longer safety data followup period (or something like that) at 4-6 months compared to 2 months for adults. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1274057
  21. So, I don't book solely for the Starbucks, but I can't tell you how excited I was to learn it's now on board the Gem. I don't really drink alcohol,but an iced caramel macchiato from SB is my idea of a good time. I was sorely tempted to upgrade to the premium plus drink package so I could have access to unlimited SB. But there's no way I could drink that much to make up for the cost even if I tried haha. Better off just buying one or two per day.
  22. So far, the only difference to the sale is that they're now adding cruise first certs as a perk. They did bump up the amount though to $250. I don't take that as a good sign.....
  23. I hope that's the case! I'll be interested to know too. Based on the ncl website, I'm not sure that will be the case though, unfortunately. https://www.ncl.com/no/en/cruise-faq/norwegian-cruise-line-now-charging-room-service " Is Norwegian Cruise Line now charging for room service? Norwegian Cruise Line has introduced an enhanced room service menu. The new menu offers an expanded selection for breakfast, in addition to a wider variety of options available 24 hours. Individual items on the menu remain available on a complimentary basis and a convenience charge of up to $9.95 USD will be added to each order placed (Morning coffee, continental breakfast and orders placed by guests sailing in The Haven will not attract a charge)*. A 20% gratuity and beverage service charge will be added for non-complimentary beverages and special occasion items. Room service is one of up to 29 dining options offered across the fleet, and guests continue to be able to enjoy a wide array of complimentary choices onboard 24 hours a day. *Prices subject to change." Edit to add: I just checked the description of inside and OV rooms and they say the same thing about room service. They definitely should include the extra fee in the description.
  24. Sorry to go slightly off topic; I read that club balcony suites get a free bag of laundry as a perk, is that accurate? Sometimes I see it listed as a perk and sometimes I don't so just wondering. We'll be on a 10 day cruise with 2 children so even one complimentary bag may not be enough 😬
  25. I am sailing out of NYC in Feb (but not until 2023) so I don't plan on using the balcony a ton, per ce, BUT, I felt it was critical in the event IF we had to quarantine in our room, I just don't think I could do it if I didn't have access to outside. Plus a little extra space to move about that wasn't just sitting on the bed also seemed important.
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