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About eldrima

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    Atlanta, GA
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  1. Good info on connecting. The app is free to download. When connected at home over regular internet, it essentially acts like your MyNCL account. When connected through the ship's wifi, it has additional functionality like viewing schedule of events, checking on board account, making dinner reservations. You do not have to have an internet plan to use these features. Like iconcierge app, you can choose to pay a flat fee ($10 or less per device per sailing) to be able to use additional features while on board...essentially turns your smart phone into a mobile ship phone for texting/calling other passengers who have subscribed to the service and also allows you to call cabins. The additional functionality does not require you to purchase an internet package either. In the past, we have found this to be a very worthwhile expense as it allows us to split up and more easily coordinate a meet up...not always flawless but certainly beats wandering around a big ship looking for your party.
  2. @JamieLogical Awesome! Thanks for confirming! Looks like we will plan on getting there a little early and use that approach to make some dinner reservations.
  3. Thanks for the reply. I understand I will need to be connected to the Bliss WIFI in order to have the extra functionality of the app. I had previously read reports of passengers connecting to their Ship's wIFI while waiting in the terminal. Just wondering if anyone has done that on the Bliss and also wondering if the reservation functionality works prior to the 11 am early boarding time.
  4. So sailing out of Miami on the Bliss this Saturday. We didn't pre book dinner reservations early on and nothing much to choose from. I have the new NCL app downloaded and plan to pay to use it to text/call other passengers on board. In the past, I remember people saying they could connect to the ship's WIFi from the Miami cruise terminal while waiting to board and use the app to make "onboard" dinner reservations. Anyone have recent experience with this...bonus if it was on a Bliss cruise. The kids really want to do the go carts so that is another consideration. Thanks!
  5. I looked into SkyRoam and read a few threads on the CC forums and it appears travelers have had great success with it when in port or within range of cell towers however the service doesn't work when at sea. The Bliss itinerary we will be on only has 3 days in port and I believe my US cell provider will work and have a comparable cost as SkyRoam without the need to purchase or rent the equipment. Looks like the NCL data package is my best bet if I want coverage throughout the trip. I'm a Realtor and will need to be able to respond to emails and phone calls...plan on using Google Voice over the WIFI and/or use WIFI calling on my phone after turning it to Airplane mode and connecting to the WIFI subscription I purchase through NCL.
  6. My kids usually order off the kids menu at the specialty restaurants. Sometimes at Teppenyake they will order 1 hibachi meal to share...never been a problem. We once ate at Cagneys and my son told the waiter he was just going to eat some of mine...waiter asked how he liked his steak and brought him his own sirloin without charging us. We have always had great experiences at the specialty restaurants and usually buy a 3 or 4 meal plan if it isn't covered with the reservation.
  7. That was the price for the 7 day Bliss unlimited game card. That price for 15 days would be money well spent...I suspect my kids would be really stir crazy on a 15 day cruise.
  8. You might want to reach out to @TheDougOut...he organized a large one on the maiden Bliss TA trip he did a live review for.
  9. You are going to want to have everyone download the NCL app and pay the $10 to use it for the week...good for staying in touch on the ship. I'm planning on purchasing the unlimited data plan on our trip in a few weeks and then using a travel router to share the signal...it can allow multiple people to share one internet plan as long as you are all in the same location. I bought a Hootoo Titan off Amazon for about $42. Search the forum for travel router...current thread going right now about it. Enjoy your trip!
  10. I can weigh in on a few questions...stayed in a 2 BR Family Haven cabin on the Escape about 1.5 years ago. IIRC, your friends in the other room may be able to join you in the Haven lounge for cocktails or in your cabin and you may be able to make arrangements for them to dine with you in the Haven Restaurant but I don't think the dining can be a regular occurrence and I doubt they will be able to get in the Haven area without you accompanying them. There is a way to send in requests and preferences to the Butler ahead of time...think it was a concierge email address. We did that and our requests were met however I have read that people have had mixed results getting their requests filled. You could ask for a fruit plate, chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, etc.. Not sure what time you can leave the ship in Bermuda...about the same time as the rest of the ship however you can get an escort off the boat to speed it up a little. Never bought the Vibe passes but heard they are great if you want a relaxed environment without kids and limited other guests. We never found the Haven pool to be crowded so to me it would not be worth the added expense especially when we are traveling with children. Haven pool may have kids...Vibe will not. Depends whether that is important to you. Haven pool has light snacks (gummy bears, M&Ms, etc) that are self-serve and also a food server periodically drops by with a lunch menu. Your friends staying outside of Haven will probably not be allowed to use the Haven pool area so Vibe could be an ideal place to meet up with them if you can score enough passes.
  11. @dssking I appreciate it! I'm probably more interested in hearing if you have any issues with the travel router disconnecting from the ship's internet and if you have to come up with any workarounds. Also wondering if there are any sites or streaming services that you can't use without some sort of VPN workaround. My MLS team has a important matchup against a Costa Rica team while we are on the boat and I really want to watch it live. Got my Hootoo from Amazon on Friday and played around with it on the weekend connecting to my home network. It was easy to configure and connect to the router through WIFI or ethernet. My home internet usually ranges from 75 - 100 mbs down and 100 - 125 mbs up. When using the Hootoo connected to the router through WIFI then connecting my device to the Hootoo through it's WIFI, I was getting 5-7 mbs up and down. I then connected the Hootoo to my router using ethernet cable and I was then getting 50 mbs down and 70 mbs up...HUGE DIFFERENCE! Can't remember if any of the NCL rooms in the past have an ethernet connection for connecting to the ship's internet...if so, that is definitely the way to go if you plan on sharing a signal. I'll be on the Bliss so I doubt it will have ethernet jacks with the prevalence of WIFI devices today.
  12. I'll adapt what I consume based on the changes and will still enjoy the UBP. That being said, the UBP doesn't have the same perceived value it once did when my options are much more limited. I tend to be a beer drinker (micros, IPAs, etc) and wine with dinner and cocktails are less frequent unless I'm at an all-inclusive resort or open bar party and then I prefer Grey Goose, Hendrics, etc. Hopefully the District Brewpub prices haven't escalated to ridiculous upcharge levels for their brews. When I think about the DSC paid for the UBP, what drinks are offered, and my alternatives (pay for individual drinks, use the casino drink card provided by CAS instead of choosing the UBP and replacing it with a different perk, sailing on another cruise line, etc) the NCL value proposition is nowhere near as appealing as it once was. I realize it has been in constant decline however this change is pretty significant for someone enjoys some premium cocktails while on vacation. While I am not a regular Haven guest, I think it is foolish for them to charge Haven guests an upcharge on the more premium brands...I certainly think they should provide a complimentary Premium beverage package to anyone who pays retail rates for a Haven room (not necessarily for guests who bid and upgrade to Haven).
  13. @dssking would you mind writing down steps for doing this on your NCL trip or document with a YouTube video? I'm headed on the Bliss in about 3 weeks and just ordered the HOOTOO travel router...I'm more tech savvy than the average person but not an IT professional. Would love some reference or workarounds prior to leaving. Have a great trip!
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