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Everything posted by natefish95

  1. I remember seeing your screen name in the roll call. Hope you enjoy the review and that mom and new baby are both happy and healthy!
  2. The guy in front of me ordered a mimosa, so I felt compelled to join him. I am, however, judging the person behind me who asked for whiskey neat at 5:30am. Next stop: Atlanta!
  3. Welp, that's enough talking to myself on a public forum. I'll continue this review from my phone (maybe). Chick Fil-A opens in 5 minutes (I think) and I board in 20 minutes (I know that for sure). Sayonara!
  4. Itinerary So today is April 2nd and I'm flying to Japan (duh). The plan is travel over land for about a week and then board the ship in Tokyo on April 10th. As fas as Delta Air Lines is concerned, my final destination is Tokyo, but I'm actually hopping on a quick ANA flight down to Osaka, where I'll be spending four nights. The first full day is going to be a "wake up when I wake up" day, walk around Osaka and check out a Japanese onsen (or sento-I forget the difference). The next full day is a day trip to Kyoto with the next day being a day trip to Nara and a food tour. Then I'm taking the shinkansen (bullet train) up to Tokyo where I'll spend 3 nights. 1 full day is a Mt Fuji trip and the next full day is a "take the subway to different places and get lost" day. I have another food tour booked in Tokyo too, but I just love food. The Japanese ports on this sailing are Sendai (maybe docking in Ishinomaki?), Hakodate, Aomori, and Kushiro (late addition). We then have FIVE sea days in a row, stop in Dutch Harbor (I hear docking there can be dicey), sea day, and then our final day is in Kodiak, AK. We get back to Seward on April 22nd where I have an NCL transfer booked to the Anchorage airport ($75). The plan is to store my luggage at ANC and go to the Alaskan aviation museum or head into downtown. I was in Anchorage last summer, but got there 27 hours later than planned after Delta cancelled my flights, so I didn't see much of the city. I have a big love/hate relationship with Delta. For shore excursions, I didn't book any through NCL because I didn't want to sell my kidneys on the black market. Seriously, $300 for a 4 hour sightseeing excursion? Absof***inglutely not. Something in the water down in Miami y'all. I'm a big wanderer and have a general list of things I want to see in each port, so that's the plan. It's so difficult to find things to do in Dutch Harbor this early in the season, so I'll just see what comes up. For Kodiak, I booked a half day off-roading/sightseeing excursion through a local guide. Again, it's still early in the season, so if the weather isn't great, that may not happen. My pre-cruise tours were all booked through Viator. After each one I will (maybe) give a quick rundown of the tour and will (maybe) provide links (if that's even allowed on this site).
  5. To introduce myself, I'm Nate and I'm from Washington DC (I actually live in Arlington but claiming DC is easiest), but I'm originally from Georgia and will always claim Atlanta as my hometown. I'm in my late 20s and love to cruise and travel solo. I keep all my cruises in my signature, so I can remember which ones I take. Ever since I graduated college in 2018 (Go Jackets!!) I've been trying to cruise as often as I can. Thankfully Uncle Sam lets me escape my cubicle pretty often. There's a bit of a backstory as to how this trip came about that y'all probably don't care about, but I'll share anyway because this cruise was definitely not on my wish list or on my radar...until it was. Last summer I got a hefty flight credit after volunteering to take a later flight back to DC. The number had a comma and I only got back DC 2ish hours later than originally planned. I could have used that to book all my flights the rest of the year...or I can do something I wouldn't have done otherwise. The gate agent in Montana said someone last week used their credit to go to Chile. South America could be cool... Or... I could go to Asia. I debated between Seoul and Tokyo, but then I was searching cruises and found this cruise. I could fly into Tokyo using my flight credit...and I could use 2 CruiseNext certificates for a very reasonably priced interior stateroom (including Free at Sea because obviously). So long story short, I booked this cruise about 7 months ago and I've been planning (off and on) ever since.
  6. It's 4:26am here at DCA. I've dropped my bag off at Delta and I'm waiting for Chick Fil-A to open. I'm also about to begin my 24 hour journey over to Japan to tour around on land before boarding the NCL Jewel in Tokyo on April 10th, which will then take us to northern Japan and then over to Alaska, ending in Seward on the April 22nd. Full disclosure up front-I have no idea if I'm going to keep up this, but I figured I would at least start it and try to keep up. If I fall off posting, or the wifi connection isn't great, I'll fill y'all in afterwards! For starters, I will not be as great as a lot of the other trip reviewers on here. There might be typos. My grammar may not be the goodest, and my pictures may not be award-winning, but you're reading this so you must be at least a little interested in this trip.
  7. I honestly don't care too much about the "Journey" name. I book based on itinerary, ship, and price. The special activities and "throwback sea day"are just kinda "meh" to me. I did a 12 day Venezia journey cruise last year to the southern Caribbean and it was great. I'm a lowly gold VIFP person and didn't feel like there was an overwhelming amount of platinums/diamonds onboard. It was very laid back and I loved getting into a routine for all the sea days. I love long cruises and would do another in a heartbeat. Pros -unique itinerary -less children -you get to know staff really well -unique activities (frog racing, knobby knees, horse racing, etc.) Cons -so many smokers -casino was packed (this was an elite cruise too I think...the casino mostly thinned out towards the end) -some verrrrrrrry entitled cruisers -lots of rude scooter riders -I ate too damn much for too long
  8. So the nightmare about first period was really just a premonition!
  9. That's when you gotta say, "I'm not sorry ;)" Re: bad southwest delays, I've had reallllllllllly bad aviation luck. I was delayed 27 hours going from DC to Anchorage last September. Delta s#it the bed, but they were able to rebook me on Alaska Airlines and reroute me through San Francisco (no extra cost to me and I still got credit for the original Delta flights). I thiiiiiiiink Southwest doesn't have interline agreements with other airlines and can't rebook you on other airlines. I'm still a Delta guy, but have a Chase credit card and can transfer Chase points to United. My Chase points are paying for my flights to Australia next year.
  10. This was way too short! The Jewel class is my favorite NCL class of ship. It doesn't have all the amenities of a big ship, but it has a nice spa, bar city, O'Sheehans/The Local, etc. I'll be on the Jewel for 13 days next month from Japan to Alaska. Venezia was also my favorite Carnival ship. Everything felt so new and I liked the Italian flair. The Amari bar was the best spot to do some damage. Deck 11 above the pool is a great, quiet place to relax. And the Pergola Bar never gets busy up there!
  11. Phew it worked! I guess I'll try a live review! Look for me on the NCL forum in early April. I'm spending a week traveling around Japan before the cruise (assuming there's no flight disruptions...)
  12. What’s the best way to post? I’m using my phone now and am going to see if attaching a picture shows up normal or fugly. I want the picture to show up in text and not as an attachment. I swear I’m a tech savvy millennial!
  13. I loved reading your review from your European cruise and Italy adventure. It looked awesome! I'm toying with the idea of doing a live review of my upcoming cruise since it's such a unique itinerary and trip for most.
  14. Always, always, always fly in the day before (or multiple if feasible). Here's a quick rundown of what happened before my 2023 cruises April 2023-flying to San Diego from DC for the NCL Jewel. Flight from BWI-ATL was cancelled the day before. Rebooked IAD-DTW-SAN arriving into SAN the night before the cruise. Make it to DTW and the connecting flight to SAN is cancelled. Booked a $600 last minute ticket on American Airlines. Stayed in a crappy DTW airport hotel (avoid the Wyndham Garden Romulus at ALL COSTS). On the day the cruise leaves, I fly from DTW and make it to DFW for the connection, but the connection is delayed 2 hours due to a bird strike. Finally made it to SAN at 11am and made the ship! September 2023-flying to Anchorage from DC for the Jewel 2 days early. First flight IAD-SEA is delayed 6 hours for maintenance and then cancelled. Rebooked on a later Delta flight to SEA, but that gets cancelled due to weather. I got rebooked on Alaska Airlines via San Francisco and made it to Anchorage 27 hours later than originally planned October 2023-flying to NYC from DC for the Venezia. Booked a flight the day of sailing only because there are tons of flight options between the two cities. My 6am flight was delayed 2 hours because a pilot called out sick. Thankfully DC is a United hub and they were able to call someone in. I've had some reallyyyyyyyy bad flight luck in 2023 (and already into 2024...). My next cruise is in April and i'm flying to Tokyo a week early to travel around Japan haha.
  15. I just went and checked, in September 2023 it was $199 USD per person for a 7 day cruise. For April 2024 for a 12 day cruise, the price is $279 USD per person.
  16. From what I've read, there is a men's/women's sauna and steam room (you can see them on the deck plans). They used to be free, but now have a fee I believe.
  17. Glad you enjoyed Venezia! I really enjoyed the spa area...once you found your way to the sauna through all the doors! The lockers and bench are super tiny, but no one on my sailing was very shy. Venezia is one of my favorite ships overall.
  18. I'm not familiar with that service, but when I was in Sydney, I took the Sydney metro directly from the airport to the Circular Quay stop and then walked the two blocks to the Marriott Circular Quay. I just tapped my credit card going in and then again on the way out. Super easy and cheap if you don't have any mobility issues or a lot of luggage.
  19. That looks like an awesome excursion! I don't think I've seen it listed on my cruises or never noticed it Were you using your phone condom at the beach? The pictures turned out really clear. What kind are you using?
  20. I had a GREAT time on Venezia back in November on the 12 day sailing. The little hot tub can comfortably fit 2 people. The only annoying thing is that the locker area is VERY tiny with only a little bench, so if there are 3 people there at once, it gets cramped. Also, the shower is no longer clear glass. They put a translucent covering over it halfway through my sailing.
  21. When I was Venezia, there was someone at the table with a shellfish allergy, so they cooked all the meat, veggies, rice on the grill first. Once that was cooked and served, then they cooked and served any shellfish. The person with the allergy did not have to worry about cross contamination on the grill at all.
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