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    travel, quilts,dogs FAMILY
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    Greek islands

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  1. We received three calls after our June Allure cruise.
  2. We had a heating pad 3 weeks ago on Allure. I did not realize it was on the prohibited list. It was not confiscated.
  3. We were on Allure a few weeks ago and were very underwhelmed with CK. We wont bother with it next time. Lobster in Chops was okay with the sauce but better with just the butter. We agree with your first post - meh.
  4. Bijoux T. is actually a large chain. They are all over the place in the states. I last saw one in Las Vegas
  5. NCL has gotten silly with their suite prices. They tout the " BOOK A SUITE-GET ALL 5 BONUSES!!!. When we booked the Allure I had a deposit on one of the "Aways" on NCL. It was an H5 aft balcony which we have had in the past and was an itinerary we liked. It was 8200 as the price also includes the service charges on the "free" beverage package, dining package" . I didn't feel like leaving out of Miami so decided to check out Royal again and I am really happy that we did. Flying from FLL to BWI is easy; when we cruise out of Miami we have the added hassle of getting there from FLL. I have also been noting an interesting tidbit on flights. Unless is it overseas we have been flying Southwest. Cheap, good selection, no change fees , free baggage. For this trip we had to change our flight 2 weeks before the cruise from leaving out of Baltimore to leaving out of Atlanta. It was the slightly cheaper to take Delta First Class ( with 2 free bags!!) than taking a Southwest flight . We have done this multiple times for fights we booked relatively 'last minute". Even though this was a short hop, after the drive from Gburg and then the flight delays; that big, wide seat was amazing and our luggae tagged as 'priority " and first down the chute. Not only was it cheaper than Southwest, it was cheaper than Delta's own economy class when you figure in the luggage fees. Yeet!
  6. CHEF'S TABLE : ALSO KNOWN AS "A NEWLY DISCOVERED CIRCLE OF HELL.", " WANNA SHARE MY EDIBLES' and " " HOW's YOUR FISH? TASTY? GOOD !LET ME TELL YOU HOW I PERFORMED MY 4th WIFE;'S C SECTION- NO, I'M NOT A DOCTOR- I'M A LAWYER" Will comment on this later tonight or tomorrow. If you have any questions about STAR treatment or Genies or the ship in general, hit me up! ( I'm so woke😉) We did not visit the suite sundeck, did not go to the pool and missed the ice show so cant say much about that. We saw all the other shows and ate in every specialty but Giovannis.Used the infirmary. Did not go to sports deck, flow rider or art auction. Forgot to even look at the pictures they took of us. Didnt use Freestyle machines. So- other than those things, ask away!!
  7. Im not sure where I left off and dont feel like looking so l'll head off to a few Haven /Star Class comparisons. Genie vs Butler: NCL loses. While I understand that each butler on NCL has more suites to care for than the Genies; we have found them to be invisible most of the time. We had ONE outstanding butler on Getaway when we had suites that we outside of the Haven ( but still Haven class suites) . on e each NCL cruise we have been since the butler inception there will be a family or two that will be very "Extra" as the millenials say. What does a butler actually do for an average family? Bring you a snack in the afternoon. Perhaps bring you cookies. We don't have cocktail hours in our suites and the like so I have no experience in this area. Butlers on NCL can bring you cocktails but it is not included in the drinks package. Genie team gets those martinis right to the suite! Our last butler was on Epic last summer. One of my boys ( adult) was feeling awful when we reached Naples - bad headache, hypersensitivity to sound - and decided not to leave the ship. We gave him his imitrex and Aleve and he wanted to just sleep. He got sick at breakfast and we asked if his order could be brought to the suite. This was done. After making sure he was okay we ran off to Pompei. The butler who brought the breakfast was not our usual butler but he came back every 45 minutes to make sure our son was okay; when i thanked him later I noted he handed me a paper with our cell phone #- he asked my son for it in the event that we needed to get back to the ship quickly! (It turned out to be an ear infection which "cleared" when my son's ear drum perforated on the flight home several days later. Messy, messy ) This is actually our only memorable NCL butler interaction. The Genies go to Butler school in England and receive a pin that looks similar to a Red Cross emblem indicating that they have learned to buttle the British way ( Fraisier Crane would be impressed!) One area where NCL wins is in the daily treats/ snacks. They were only provided on sea days to our suite. Remember - the Genie knows your schedule especially if you have excursions booked thru RCL which we did. We rarely purchase excursions thru the cruise line but it worked out well for us. Getting back from Jamaica excursion late and having had a NASTY lunch , an in-suite tidbit or morsel would have been appreciated. I do not know if this is the Genie's domain or not as I had our treats delivered by a galley staffer the first sea day. Another glaring omission was the lack of fresh flowers and a fruit bowl in the suite. This was our first cruise on either line where we did NOT have fruit and flowers. I LOVE having the fresh flowers and a banana and some grapes. LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT!! Haven has better pens, hands down! Suites on Royal have plastic pens, Haven has nice silver metal pens that last a long time. the concierge gave me a handful when I asked for one. I have enough to last quite some time The hair and body care amenities are a toss up-actually a slight edge to Royal simply because of the sheer size of the LOccitane bottles. Haven has Bulgari and provide a 4 oz bottle the first day, any refills are the 2.5 small ones. This is not an issue unless you have three young adults showering every 12 minutes . I prefer a large bottle that i dont have to worry about becoming empty and leaves a large amount of shampoo and conditoner for me to toss in my luggage so that I can smell my cruise over and over when i shower SIDE NOTE: One of my sons collected multiple Bulgari soaps as they were replaced. He would pop the wrapped ones in the drawer. I asked him why he was doing this and he said he was just seeing how many bars he could collect over the course of the cruise. He ended up with quite a few and the steward was hip to his game and started leaving him extras. I was cracking up when we were unpacking at home and he had about 15 soaps from the ship and the hotels we stayed in in Rome. He ended up selling the soap on Ebay for 8 bucks a bar. Yes, I'm mortified.
  8. For our Grand Suite the price and the Royal Up cost the total was 6,300. We were not even bidding on the suite we received. We received a higher class than we bid on. It was genuinely the nicest suite we have been in . We booked in March of this year, received a PA discount and a few other ones; watched the prices and caught a $500 reduction prior to final. We actually ended up paying LESS with the Royal up than we would have paid if we stayed in the Grand Suite and paid for drinks, specialties, etc. I had thought it was an even deal but was using the price of our upcoming Freedom trip by accident. I did not mean to desert this thread- been trying to play catch up at home and work!
  9. We booked when we were Sky class , requested and recieved B2. This did not change after our Royal Up bid and subsequent upgrade to Sky class. We contacted the concierge 3 weeks prior to sailing
  10. Make sure your preferences allow for RCL promotional offers/emails. We were " not eligible" until I double checked this and saw I had not checked it. Within a few days we were "eligible", an email came after that. Landed an amazing Star suite for minimum/weak bid 5 days before sailing. We have a Freedom cruise coming up in 6 weeks and we have been able to bid on upgrades without getting an email. We aren't bidding but it is available for both the suites we have.
  11. We were on Epic the second week of June last summer. What a terrific cruise!! Their Haven lounge and restaurant are the best we have been in. I was very surprised to read a review of Chops from the same week we cruised Allure that HATED it! We really enjoyed it! Te filet was amazing!
  12. The difference is that a glass of wine is included in the drink package and a bottle is not. If you only drink 1-2 glasses each there s still some left in the bottle. If you order a bottle you do receive a discount but it isn't "free". We even were offered the bottle when I had one glass with our Tapas! They were very wine generous .
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