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Nebr.cruiser

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About Nebr.cruiser

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    We live on a small lake in rural Nebr.
  • Interests
    Reading, gardening, outdoor activities, health and fitness, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    I've liked everyone we've been on; Princess, Carnival, Celebrity and now NCL. and some old defunct l
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Love the S. Caribbean route; also loved our recent Transatlantic

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  1. We just did this in May. I had a carry-on size suitcase plus a large tote, My husband 24" bag and small tote. Somehow on our trips from the ship to our hotel and from the hotel to the airport we were always able to find a spot for the luggage, always within sight and reach and usually right beside us. It wasn't the problem I thought it would be and people were very kind about helping or not minding our luggage near them. I purposely brought bags I knew I could lift if necessary, but it never was.
  2. That would be fine if there were decent comfortable chairs on the balcony. We used to get nice loungers; now most balcony furniture is practically unusable it is so uncomfortable--and balconies keep getting smaller too. But, so far not a really big deal for us as we don't even want to sit by the pool or other busy area. (It was a problem when we sailed with several children and needed to be by the pool). We've always been able to find seats in a nice quiet area, although sometimes it takes some looking.
  3. Well, since the 11's are now 20, it has been a while, but I am confident that kids are still well entertained. This was on RCL.
  4. We've actually had a lot of nice things happen to us on cruises, but one stands out. My husband and I were sailing with 7!!! grandchildren ages 5-11 (without their parents). It was a wonderful experience in many ways, if not exactly relaxing. I did tend obsess about the kid's behavior just because there were so many of them and so few of us! They are nice kids and pretty well-behaved, but still they were kids and could get noisy and excited. We tried very hard to keep them in line. I mostly worried about the evening meal. We all sat at a large round table with quite a few other tables close by. We talked about manners and noise level, etc. before each dinner but I know they were not as quiet as, say, a table of four adults, and we had our mishaps like spilled milk, etc. The last evening one of the ladies who had a table very near ours came over and told us how nicely behaved the kids were and how much they envied our being able to take such a trip with them and enjoyed sitting near us. That meant a lot--I teared up--because I had been so afraid others dreaded seeing us come in. Also the wait staff were phenomenal, singing, laughing, magic tricks, mind benders, each night besides great service (chocolate milk ready and waiting!)
  5. I've seen all kinds of figures but it seems to be hard to pin this down. I personally believe that with tips stewards and dining staff make a decent living. I would think Back of House staff probably make less in tips but might have larger base pay. Base pay (without tips) is very low, reportedly, and tips--that is the daily gratuity charge--make up most of the worker's salaries.
  6. We always leave the cruise line gratuities on and usually tip our room steward extra. We usually don't tip wait staff extra except for a couple of times when they went above and beyond; once when we were cruising with 7 !! grandchildren and they made meal times so special for them and once when, even in Anytime dining, we got the same wait staff most nights and they really treated us extremely well. But tipping extra is not necessary (as long as you leave the daily gratuity on) but a matter of choice. IMO removing the gratuities is very low.
  7. We didn't eat at the restaurant, so I didn't particularly notice, but I think she would be fine there. She might not want to walk along the cliff path, but I think she could still see some of the views.
  8. Princess is one cruise line which actually has a reasonably priced water package. I just bought 12 bottles for a little over $7 for our cruise in December. We will refill from there. Half liter bottles; I don't want full liter bottles because they are so big to haul around.
  9. For us, it would seem tacky with a couple of exceptions--for instance having a large group with children, which makes it easier to keep an eye on them--or maybe some special occasion. But not every day. I have seem some people who do this every day on cruises; I don't mind, not for me, but they must enjoy doing it. Otherwise, if we even accidentally dress kind of alike--khaki shorts, navy top, for instance-- usually one of us changes. I'm not a big fan of graphic tees anyway, and if fact most actual tee shirts don't fit me well unless I can find one styled for women, which is rare. My husband does wear some tees with logos or places we've been.
  10. Oh boy, really not worth it for us then. Not a fan of pop, although once in a while I like a Coke. I do drink a lot of water and although I only drink regular plain coffee at home, I would enjoy a specialty coffee now and then--but not in the bev. package! So sometimes we don't even book with NCL because of this. We usually get a balcony, so the other alternative is normally two free; has to be dining and internet, nothing else worth much to us, and those are pretty lame compared to the substantial OBC and/or free gratuities we get with other lines.
  11. We like NCL, especially their newer ships, but it is very frustrating to not be able to take advantage of the 4 for free offers since we don't really drink either. I am not paying all the extra gratuity for what would probably be no more than a few soft drinks and waters (if water is even included.) Normally neither one of us even drink pop, so it would be water and maybe some coffee (if included) for me. I wish there was some alternative, like free stateroom gratuities, but obviously they make more money by doing it this way. I don't mind the quite small extra tips for the dining package as we actually use and enjoy that.
  12. Unless the book is one of those someone has donated and it specifically says take one, leave one, then no. Imagine if everyone took home one of the 'regular' library books and left behind some used paperback--which is what is usually in that section? No wonder ship libraries are getting more and more skimpy.
  13. This probably what we took and the price might have been 20 pp rather than 15. We didn't pre-book, but it all worked out fine. I know the tram/train is cheaper but a lot more complicated to get to and use compared to getting off the free port shuttlel, walking into the cruise bus station and getting on the bus.
  14. We went to Bruges from Zeebruges in May. We did it independently; took a free shuttle which left us off at a place that was selling bus rides to Bruges--I think for $15pp round trip. The bus stopped in a parking lot near the river. The walk into town from there was 15 minutes or so and was very easy and scenic. We walked all around the very picturesque, busy downtown area, had a delicious Belgian waffle and then back to catch the bus back. Be sure to notice the times to catch the bus, (about every hour) especially the last bus back. It was an enjoyable day; we did not feel we needed a ship tour, but then we rarely, if ever, take ship tours.
  15. On the Getaway at least, we pre-booked no shows and had no trouble at all booking on board, either at the box office, the touch screen kiosks or by phone. We do usually cruise in slightly less busy times like early December. Maybe if you have to have a precise time slot, this would be more difficult. We also just walked in to a show when they opened to walk-ins--about 10 minutes pre-show. We also booked our specialty dinners quite last minute, even by just walking up. We prefer to eat late, which probably helps. Not being comedy club fans, I can't comment on this.
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