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About kpjb

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    St. Maarten

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  1. Long pants and collared shirts for guys. They didn't seem to care about what women wore.
  2. There are two companies that run shuttles. Sensation Ferries and Speedy's. They have similar pricing, so the decision is mostly on what time their shuttles run and what's convenient for you. There is no discount for booking ahead, so you can just walk up to them. It's about a 5 or 10 minute walk from where the ship will dock to the smaller dock that the shuttles use. They'll take you to Virgin Gorda where they'll put you on a private bus/taxi and take you to the top of the baths. You will still need to pay to access the Baths, it's $3 for adults, free for kids. They'll ask what shuttle you're taking back and tell you what time to meet back at the top. It was very easy.
  3. I'm not sure about that. We had the free 250 min of internet and just used that whenever we needed, still had about 100 left over at the end of the week.
  4. When we were there a few weeks ago, the deepest area of the main trail through the baths was waist deep. You should be fine as a non-swimmer.
  5. No, it was on the 5th or 6th night of the cruise.
  6. Just noticed this... that was supposed to say a MAGICIAN on board. There are always comedians on board. The shows were in the main theater and complimentary.
  7. NCL's "private brand" wine used to be called North & South. Now it's called East & West. I thought I was going crazy, but I confirmed afterward that the name did indeed change. I'm thinking that they just put them up later on this ship. On the Getaway it looked like they were making good money off of pics by the decorations, so I can't see them not doing it at all. It was on the Breakaway, and no idea why. I did not investigate further! :)
  8. So I got caught up with the holidays and never put together a review for our Breakaway cruise from the first week of December. Everyone knows the deal, though, so I'm just going to give some random thoughts about our first time on this ship. First time cruising from Canaveral and not Miami. There were dolphins swimming along side the ship out to sea, that was fun. We were told to get to port no earlier than 11am. We arrived about 10:45 and were on the ship about 10:55. No holding area or boarding groups, just checked in and walked on. Upon embarking, we went directly to reservations to change our La Cucina res to Ocean Blue and it was totally sold out for the week. That was disappointing, I thought there was a percentage of tables that they did not book ahead of time. Manhattan room was strictly enforcing the dress code. We walked up just to see if they'd stop us, and they did. I was wearing khaki shorts and a polo shirt, and had to go back to the room to put on pants. What's weird is that my wife was wearing a Harry Potter t-shirt and jean shorts, and they told her that she was fine. (She changed, too.) Our service in Cagney's and La Cucina was EXCELLENT. Like, over the top, tipped them extra, filled out vacation hero cards for both of them. Our service in Teppanyaki was subpar. We were in Teppanyaki on the Getaway last year, and it was the surprise hit of the cruise. This one was not much of a show and had a disappearing server. The filet in Cagney's was done perfectly, but I have to laugh at prices if you were paying out of pocket. My son got the bacon appetizer. It was $14 and was literally 3 pieces of bacon. Glad it was "free." LOVED the Baths in BVI. Went on our own and my family of 4 went for the price of one adult on the ship's tour. It took customs an extra long time to clear the ship at USVI, so the captain let us stay in port an extra hour. (You could tell our speed was MAXED OUT on the way to GSC that night.) Haven't been to GSC in a few years. Seems like there's a lot more service areas for drinks and much more food variety now. The hand shaken daquiri at the Bacardi bar was excellent. On our tender back from GSC there was a naked dude out on his balcony. I think it was a mistake because when people started pointing he hustled back in. Didn't do ship excursions even with the excursion credit, but to my surprise, if you rent anything on GSC it counts as an excursion. So the kids' floater rafts ended up being free. My wife and my first cruise featured Frank Townsend as the comedian. We both really liked him, and to our surprise he was on this sailing! Talked to him a few times, really great guy. Got to sneak away from the kids late one night to catch his adult show. There was more entertainment on the ship than I remember. In addition to the normal shows and comedy night there was a comedian on board who did a couple shows a night in the theater on two evenings. 80s night was sort-of boring. They need a DJ or at least a playlist made by someone that actually lived in the 80s. He played 3 Bon Jovi songs in an hour, and 2 of them were You Give Love A Bad Name. Bar service was prompt across the ship, with the exception of Spice H20 during events where they definitely need more staffing. I swear that every bar makes Old Fashioneds differently. OMG, Syd Norman's was fantastic. We didn't do a lot at night with the kids in tow this time (14 and 8 ) but on the last night after the magician I went over just to check it out. Told them I'd be back in 1/2 hour and I ended up staying the whole night while they slept. What a fun band. It was 80s prom night and they were all decked out, and had so much energy. Even the bartenders were dancing along. The place was packed. This is such an improvement over Fat Cats and the Grammy Experience that preceded it on the -away ships. There were no prime rib nights at O'Sheehans which I didn't mind, but I know a lot of people like that. Last year on the Getaway I swear there were 3 of them. They had Ribs, Chicken Parm, and a few other specials instead. They had a complimentary themed lunch buffet available in Moderno on sea days. I don't remember that in the past. What's with the hot dog carts everywhere? Atrium, Spice, Pool Deck. I couldn't escape the hot dogs! When did North & South wine become East & West wine. It was bothering me the whole time that it was called East & West. I thought I was going crazy, then sure enough I looked at an old menu when I got back and it did used to be North & South. Martini bar on the Waterfront is good, but I still prefer the mojito bar being there. At one point I was charged for a bottle of wine instead of a glass. Luckily I check my on board account daily (to make sure the kids didn't spend $5000 in the arcade) and saw it. After repeated explanations to Guest Relations, they said they'd have to talk to the bar manager but that he was too busy right now and to check back the next day. Totally thought I was getting the runaround on this, but the next day there was a credit on my account. This was a much different crowd than we're used to. More families with younger kids and older folks. A lot fewer 20s-40s couples and friends. Very American, not many Europeans/South Americans/Asians. The pool was NEVER crowded, and usually that's the party spot. I attributed this to sailing out of Canaveral... more families and old people in the Orlando area, and Miami is probably an easier international flight. It was a good time, but way more laid back than I'm used to on the big ships. There were no Christmas decorations at all on the ship. Last year we sailed the Getaway on the same week and they were fully decorated when we came on board. Well, I think that's it. It was a good week, great weather. Fun time. There are a lot of complaints and bad reviews on this ship. I was worried when we booked it, but we didn't experience anything that would keep us from going back on her. Don't believe what you hear. Experience it for yourself.
  9. This was the case on the Breakaway a couple weeks ago as well.
  10. Yeah, just ask for a double or don't get the pre-mixed ones. You can watch them pour the alcohol in, so you know what you're getting. Different bartenders will also pour differently. Last week some of them would put a shot of rum in a daquiri and mix it. Some would double up, then put another on top when they were done.
  11. In that case, everyone dressed nicely in Cagney's on their own.
  12. Breakaway last week they were definitely enforcing pants and nice shirts in the Manhattan room and Cagney's.
  13. I was referring to the two Virgin Island Brewing beers pictured above, which are actually brewed in Florida then imported to USVI and distributed from there. That place looks great, though. Is it anywhere near the port?
  14. No, my kids use their own cards because they're kids and they think that it's fun to order the stuff on their own. I've never been charged for the kids getting drinks when I had the bev package. As I said, it won't show on their key cards, and they may not "technically" have it, but they have it.
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