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Everything posted by Justaddvodka68

  1. I just did my check in for my Nov 14th Anthem cruise. I purchased the Key a few weeks ago when i purchased the dining and beverage packages. When I checked in I got a 2:00 pm boarding time. I called to see if that could be moved earlier, because otherwise I'd miss the lunch and also, the Key is supposed to give priority boarding. I'm on the phone with them now and they're checking with their team, but they're saying there's no lunch and no early boarding and they're literally arguing with me that that's not what the program is and reading something else completely. But I have the website up, where you buy it and it still says. "Summary of your benefits:• Priority check-in and boarding on Day 1. Upon arrival at the terminal, follow The Key check-in signage to your designated check-in area.• Carry-on bag drop off and delivery to stateroom. Drop-off your carry-on bags in the Main Dining Room until 1:30pm.• Exclusive welcome lunch in the Main Dining Room featuring the Chops Grille Lunch menu. Seating is from 11:30am – 1:30pm." I know it's a pandemic and things can change, but it's a very expensive add on to lose two of the best benefits. And they're still advertising it as this is what you get! The accommodation is free room service (I don't use it) and a discount on all on-board dining, but I already bought unlimited dining so that isn't helpful. Please don't pile on me, I'm not complaining about it changing, just that they didn't notify. They were just going to charge me and have me show up to not have those benefits? And right now on the website they are still selling The Key saying it's all these things that it isn't. They just came back on the line and said that yes, it's changed and that's just how it is. So I cancelled. I'll just buy vrooom. the other things don't make it worth $350 for 2 people.
  2. We didn't like the Epic at all. Design wise. Felt disconnected from the sea. Didn't dig the casino set up. Felt like gambling in a hallway. That said, we had a blast. Family of 6, ages were 12-18 when we went. Lots to do. Great food. Great entertainment. You've sailed Epic before so I wouldn't fret. You know what to expect. It can be a great ship for family cruises as it's usually a bit cheaper than other ships, same itinerary.
  3. We traveled on the Bliss Dec 13th from Manhattan. Just wanted to pass along the advice to not purchase the unlimited go-kart pass on this itinerary in the winter. We had rough seas and rain for the first two days, closed the track completely. Then on port days it's not open until 7:30, and the first hour is reserved for double karts. That takes you to 8:30 and they close at 10:30, so two hours to get people with reservations and the unlimited people on the track. My kids were lucky to get in 2 rides each night. The next sea day it was open more, and the weather was decent, so they got in a few more rides, but then the next day was extremely cold with intermittent rain, so it was closed most of the day again. We complained and they did refund us the unlimited pass and charged by the ride for the number of rides the kids did get in, but they didn't want to. I had to really argue for it and even throw out, "I was thinking of getting some Cruise Next certificates, but I'm rethinking that . . . " before they caved in. We did know of course that weather would be expected sailing out of NY in December, but hadn't given much thought to how that would impact the unlimited carts. I guess I didn't expect them to have such limited hours on port days, and since we don't usually stay off the ship the whole time we were in port I figured they'd make up for the closed days by riding a lot on the others, but with such a small window of opportunity, it just wasn't possible. It was very disappointing because it was the kid's Christmas gift from their grandmother, and they had planned to ride to their heart's content. Of course we still had a wonderful time doing other things, but I just wanted to recommend that you're better off paying by the ride unless you're on a itinerary with great weather expected.
  4. There are pros and cons to each. Yes, NCL has the admin fee and you pay the gratuity if you choose the drink package and/or dining perk. That said, you get the perks. On Royal, you're buying a drink package. If you're diamond and get your happy hour drinks and your casino drinks, that may be enough for you. I prefer to have the full drink package I can use anywhere. NCL, like you mentioned, isn't transparent, but they're also flexible. You can get casino rate on any sailing and if qualified, you free cabins on any sailing, where Royal you're limited to your offers or the trade in values. I'm hearing more and more often lately that people are receiving great offers, but when you call the cabins are all gone and you can only upgrade if you can first get that cabin - and you can't downgrade to a lower offer, even when you've seen it and know it's out there for others. Royal's comp program is clear and actually pretty easy . . . which means people are qualifying in droves and that makes availability tighter. I'd also expect them to change the program at some point. I uploaded my land offer to urcomped, and have comps booked on MSC and Royal for 2020. Finishing out my 2019 NCL cruises and will be deciding in 2021 who will have my loyalty.
  5. Why would she need to get a matching that's playing on house money? She said nothing about reaching Prime within a certain bankroll, only within the time-frame. You can earn enough points for a grand suite in a few hours if your bankroll is big enough. Just find the highest denomination slot in the joint, hi bet max and keep feeding it!
  6. Play the first session, per your normal play pattern. See how many point you earned and how long it took you. Get your "points per hour" number. Then just do the math. Approximate how many hours you think you'll get in on the days remaining. Multiply it by your points per hour number. Then you can see if you're even close. If not, wait. If you're close enough, maybe up your play from $2 pulls to $3 to speed it up, or get a second card and play two machines. You can also speed up your coin in by playing straight slots, which generally have better odds anyway. Simple Triple 7 games $1 with $3 max bet for instance, with no bonus rounds or free spin features. (I know, boring.) Some nights are better than others for points. Depends on how your machines are paying and how fast you're spinning!
  7. NCL offers what they call the Atlantis Beach Break, 5 hours, includes beach chairs access to the dig, aquarium & casino. Stipulates no pool, no waterpark. The video on the NCL sites says access to all the beaches and marine habitats. Does that include the Dolphin Cay beach? I called the excursion desk and she was reading off their script and said "it says all the beaches." (I don't trust that.) Atlantis offers a Dolphin Cay Beach Break for $33 for people who want to observe the dolphins but not interact. My 19 year old daughter is doing the shallow water Dolphin experience with Aquaventure and my boys, 17 & 21 are just doing Aquaventure, through the ship. I'm unsure if I should do the Beach Break through the ship, or just taxi over and pay the $33 for Dolphin Cay access. I'd like the full Beach Break with the transportation and everything, but not if it doesn't access Dolphin Cay, because I want to be able to take pictures for her. Anyone do the $95 beach break through NCL have the answer?
  8. Thanks, I sorta figured. Don't tell my kids they can wear shorts to Cagneys! I guess I'll buy the extra 3 nights and make them join us. Thinking it over, spending 3 dinners with us is the least they can do!
  9. I'm sorry, I've done a search and can't find the answer. We're sailing the Bliss Dec 13th and trying to decide if we need to purchase my youngest son, the 3rd person in the one cabin a specialty dining package. Four of us have it as a perk. That's 3 meals x 4 = 12 meals. Can any of us use them as we see fit, or are they assigned to certain people? I'm surprised I don't know the answer to this but the times we've cruised with kids we didn't choose this perk. I ask because they're not foodies at all and perfectly happy in the main dining room, pub or buffet and would probably prefer it if they didn't have to change out of their shorts and t-shirts for the entire cruise. They're 17, 19 & 21 and not particularly interested in taking every meal with us. I was thinking of insisting on one dressed up meal at Cagney's for all 5 of us, then using the rest for just the adults. Will that be allowed? Thanks!
  10. Yes, I filled out the special request form online. I just wondered if anyone had experience.
  11. I'll be traveling on the Sky with my mom in a couple weeks. Originally, I was going with a friend, but she had to cancel, so I swapped my mom into the reservation. We have just an ocean view guarantee, which they've assigned. Looks like the room has a chair in the one corner, which if removed, would be a great place to park my mom's mobility scooter. Or, at the desk, if that chair was removed, and the scooter was folded up, it would slide under the desk to be out of the way. (So I'm not tripping over it when I come to bed hours after her.) Does anyone know if they'll remove that chair if I ask?
  12. Or book a fake name in with the BF. If he can't go, that cancels and she's already in your room. If he goes, the fake name no shows, (or you cancel before hand) you get that person's port fee back, but nothing else on that cabin, as if he was sailing single, he'd pay the single supplement. She's checked into your room, but stays in his. He can get an extra key for his cabin.
  13. There's enough noise from the water jets that if you're close to another person and just talking, it's fine. It's a group loud talking and laughing that was annoying.
  14. I would be super annoyed with this. You pay that extra for exclusivity. I'd have asked for a partial refund. Reason: Because I wasn't offered to buy just the sea days, why should people be offered single days on port days?
  15. Adding, my plans for future cruises, based on my experience on the Epic, is to not pre-purchase and check the spa out myself first. I'll see if they have the music. I know I could just bring my phone and earbuds and listen to my own, but it's not the same and I can't use that in the water. If they don't have the music, I'll wait until the first day and visit a couple times to see what the vibe is. If it seems people are using it as a party hot tub, I'll probably skip it and find myself another quiet corner to read/nap in.
  16. Things I love about the thermal spas I've been in on NCL and my plans for future cruises . . . -It's not usually all that busy and you can always find a lounger. -The tea and water bar. -The showers and changing area, blow dryers, etc. I never showered or did my hair in my cabin. The light was great for makeup as well. -The Spa itself of course is fantastic. Loved the pool with the strong jets to work the knots out, the heated lounger, the steam room and sauna. -It's open quite early and my husband is a bad snorer. We stay up very late in the casino and sleep in most days. When I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep for his snoring, I had somewhere quiet to retreat to, and often would go right back to sleep in there. It was lovely! Specific to the Gem, I loved the floor to ceiling windows and the spectacular view while lounging and the music they played, piano music with crashing waves and nature sounds. It really relaxed me and made for a very peaceful vibe in the room. I also enjoyed that they enforced the quite space rules. Specific to the Epic, I loved the huge deck outside the Spa suite, with the two large beds you could read/nap on and the extra loungers. However, that did take away from the view from inside the spa and the weather wasn't always nice enough to be outside. The Epic spa was also loud and even the sounds of the water echoed. They didn't have the music like the Gem so there was nothing to muffle the sound. Also if people were loud talking or laughing it was amplified and quite annoying. Pair that with the fact that on that specific trip there were several groups of people who would come into the spa with drinks, (which is allowed in plastic) and actually party in the spa like it was a giant hot tub. Talking, laughing, just having a grand old time. You rarely say an attendant, so to complain you had to get up and go out to the desk. They'd come in and ask the people to please respect the quiet space policy, which was posted all over. But a few minutes after she's leave, they'd be right back to the loud obnoxious behavior. It was really putting a damper on my enjoyment of the spa, so on the last few days I just went early mornings and avoided it except to shower and get ready for dinner.
  17. Not the OP, but based on how he stated it, a $150 hand at that game would be $25 on the Ante & Blind with the possible $100 bet pre-flop. That's how it was explained to me how they calculate average bet, and it's one of the reasons that both UTH and Mississippi Stud are better point earners than other table games. Not only is their edge high, but the floor can't possibly track and count how many hands each player risked 4X on and how many he checked through to the end, so the play is based on the average possible bet. So chances are playing as the OP described, he was tracked at an average bet of around 75, maybe more if he plays trips. The Ante+Blind+MaxBet/2+Trips is what was described to me. I only play $10 tables and go up if winning. My host always tracks my average bet at $35 average. 10+10+40/2 = 30+5(Trips bet). On Mississippi, (which I've never seen on a ship.) the points really rack up, because on a $10 table your average bet is $50+whatever you're putting on the 3 card bonus. (10+30+30+30)/2.
  18. You do have to file a us tax return to get the taxes withheld refunded, if the casino withholds. The casino shouldn't withhold funds for a Canadian and send it to the US, as they aren't on US soil. Many have testified that the casino may issue a w2g to a Canadian, without withholding. The Canadian can then just toss it in the trash, as they don't owe Canada taxes on them and they aren't obligated to file in the US. Whether you owe taxes or not has to do with the laws of your country. Whether the casino issues a W2-G or not depends on if they have a policy, either nationally or that casino to operate under US laws. The W2-G is a US tax form. The US can require that US citizens claim and pay taxes on gambling winnings, but it can't force casinos in other countries to withhold and file W2-G's on their behalf. So both of these statements are true. If the ship has a presence in the US, regardless of where it's flagged, they will likely follow US regulations regarding issuance of W2-Gs. The Bahama Casinos have no requirement to tax US citizens or file W-2s on payouts to US Citizens.
  19. Did you use all you bought or do you plan to use them on a future cruise? I too want to purchase as a supplement to the prime casino drinks. Was thinking if you knew you were going back again you could purchase extras to use on the first days of your next cruise. Tip to those wondering if your sailing will have them and when, you could try asking in a roll call for a recent past sailing of your itin.
  20. Adding that I could never walk up to a bar and eat what was there. I have to see the bartender take a clean craft and watch him fill it up and set it in front of me. Which was my experience on NCL. The bartenders would do this for each guest when they sat down.
  21. On NCL they have these little bottles that look almost like a tiny wine craft they put the bar snacks in that can't be reached into. You have to pick it up and dump a little bit into your hand. I love those because I have a huge don't touch my food phobia thing, to the point I make my family get their own little bowls of chips, popcorn etc and won't even share a bowl of nuts with my husband. (Which is stupid, I know, I mean I kiss him and so why does the idea that some tiny bit of his spit might touch my chip eeck me out so bad? I don't know!) I just can't stand the fact that people put their hands to their mouth and then reach in a common bowl of food. Even if I have just watched them wash their hands. Can't do it!
  22. We normally get the package, as it's a perk on NCL, so I thought I'd want the package on Royal as well. but it's expensive! I saw on here where Royal sells a package of 10 drinks for a price, around $80. I'm going to purchase two of those, in case we want a bloody mary in the morning or something with dinner, and utilize the casino for evening drinks. Should work out cheapest and keep the tab under control.
  23. My two Royals on NCL. First was Oct 2016 on the Gem, literally the third time I ever played UTH and the second last Nov on the Sky. I have to admit I've never had a hand pay or any slot win over $800 on a ship, but I've had luck at the tables.
  24. Just be sure to earn at least 2500 points on the Royal cruise to make Prime and you'll leave the boat with a free inside offer and receive another inside offer after April, plus you'll receive offers from URcomped that should be at least a free inside, maybe higher. If you want to keep receiving free comps, even it it's a little more that you usually play, play hard on that first cruise to get the offers rollin' in.
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