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About jcathers1

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    Cool Cruiser

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    NCL, MSC
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  1. We were on the same cruise, and I can't say I agree with all of this. We thought the food quality and preparation was fine. Some of it was quite good, others was just ok. None of it was bad. We would put the YC restaurant on par with the Haven restaurant, which we liked. Again, taste in food is subjective. I agree that the service could have been speedier. Everyone had a good attitude; just seemed like there weren't quite enough folks to staff it adequately. It did seem slower than it did last June. Regarding not being able to accommodate a larger party, I would have been upset about that, too.
  2. Which night was this? The PR day? We were just on the ship for the 6/8 sailing and must have missed this. Did they put a notice in your rooms, or was it advertised in the TSL? We will be back again in July and don't want to miss it again.
  3. My family will be doing a 1:00p-5:00p snorkeling excursion in St. Thomas, but we are there from 7:00a until 7:00p. I would like to do something in the morning (and lunch) before the excursion, but don't really want to stray too far from the port in the morning. Any suggestions for something that is close/easy to get to? Also, we are using Aqua Marine tours, so any feedback on them would be appreciated as well. Thanks.
  4. Out of curiosity, did you have to go to the concierge to get the $100 OBC offered to you, or was it automatically added? We complained to the butler and concierge, but were never offered anything.
  5. My wife and I just got off the SS, our second time on the ship. Some things that stuck out to me: The staff (inside and outside the YC) were very nice/friendly. We didn't have one issue with someone being dismissive or rude. That said, my wife and I agreed that service felt significantly slower than our previous experience, especially in the YC (and we are not needy or high-maintenance). It feels like they have fewer staff than they did a year ago. Everyone seems to be working hard; there are just too many passengers per crew member. This was especially apparent in the Top Sail Lounge. We could wait for more than 20 minutes with empty drinks/no drinks before someone would some attend to us. Many times, I would simply go to the bar myself. There was only one (or at most two) bartenders, and often the wait staff would be lined up at the bar waiting for drinks. Our butler (Glen) was very attentive and we saw him multiple times throughout each day. This was not the same for others on our cruise with different butlers. We made friends who told us they had waited two days to get an additional pillow, and finally had to stop by the concierge desk to get one. The YC concierge is far less effective/powerful than the concierge in the Haven (in our experience). We were often given confusing/conflicting information. There also were more communication/English language issues than we experienced in the Haven. Our toilet would not flush for periods of several hours during the first few days due to maintenance issues. Apparently, someone had flushed something they shouldn't have. Our room steward, butler, and the concierge all assured us it was not a big deal because "it wasn't just us, but the entire deck in the YC that was experiencing the issue". The messaging was coordinated, and strange (as if we wouldn't mind not having a toilet, as long as others didn't have one as well). We also found out that friends were offered $100 OBC for their toilet issues; we were offered nothing. That lack of consistency was frustrating. We found the food to be very tasty, both in the YC, at the specialty dining venues, and the couple of times we ate lunch at the buffet. The pizza is great. The YC pool only felt crowded once throughout the trip, on the final sea day. They had a seafood extravaganza buffet at the grill for lunch that day (quite good). We did see some rude/boorish behavior at times, including perhaps the most disgusting treatment I've ever witnessed toward weight staff. He was rude, mean, and sarcastic toward three (that we witnessed) different individuals. I was going to say something to management, until I saw him behaving this way toward an officer, so I knew they were aware of it. Venchi and crepes were included. My wife had to visit the health center (she had been fighting a head cold for most of the week and couldn't get over it). It was $132 to see the doctor and get antibiotics and cough medicine (which seemed like a fair price to pay for something we really needed at the time). This was our first experience at the health center on any cruise we had been on. Embarcation was the fastest we've every experienced--we were on the ship and had a cocktail by 11:15am. The ship is beautiful, the ports were fun, and the weather was great. We had a really nice time. We will be back in the YC in July with our kids and 10 other family members in July. Hoping for another fun cruise. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer if I can.
  6. Does anyone know where I can find the Seaside spa/hair salon hours? Specifically, are they open on embarkation day? TIA.
  7. I actually did not get any answers. We decided to book with Caribbean Paddling (the 2-person kayak excursion). They agreed to modify the times for us to accommodate the shortened port times. We are being picked up from the pier at 8:00a and will head back from the ferry at 12:30p. We should get 3.5 hours on the island.
  8. I read through the St. Maarten board and considered posting, but there wasn't much traffic there. I also considered Trip Advisor, but I know that these excursions can be booked privately, and each cruise line seems to offer it as well. I imagine the experience for Seaside folks is different from those on Royal, Princess, etc. due to the different port times. That said, I will look through Trip Advisor to get a general feel. I was just hoping someone would have some experience with the excursion that is offered to Seaside folks with the 7:00-14:00 port time. Thanks.
  9. Does anyone have any experience with this? We usually opt for private tours, but with the abbreviated port time in St. Maarten, we are considering going through MSC. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  10. Yes, we enjoyed Bong (and Miro) quite a bit. They were also always great with our kids, making them smoothies and other creations. The lounge in the Haven is quite a bit more compact than the TSL, so it felt like more of a gathering spot for us. That's not a knock on the TSL (we are on Seaside again this Saturday), but just a difference we noted.
  11. I think this can be hit or miss on most cruise lines and varies from bar to bar. I wouldn't say our bar experience on the Seaside was particularly memorable, which I guess is good. I will say that the bartenders at the Haven bar on the Escape and Getaway were extremely talented and proud to be "mixologists". They would even entertain guests by asking them about their preferences and then making something unique for them on the spot. Very cool. I didn't get the same vibe from the YC bartenders, but maybe I just didn't engage with them as much.
  12. We used them on the Seaside and loved them. Especially nice for the kids to run back and forth from the room without me having to dig their cards out of my pockets all the time. If you don't like them, use the cards. No bid deal.
  13. Why do you say you'll stay closer to the ship?
  14. Can you get away with it? Probably. But it is a terrible idea.
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