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About PatandStu

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ottawa, Canada
  • Interests
    SLS - SMPM

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  1. Loved the sea days going south-by day 2 we were in shorts. I was with my sister and parents. I loved the wind-down, relaxing aspect & it gave us a chance to fully explore the ship. (We were on the Breakaway out of NY). On the way home, we just wanted to be home. It didn’t help that we hit very windy weather which forced us to stay inside. We didn’t feel the need to have laundry done, we each had a medium sized suitcase. Our dinner dresses were worn twice and a couple of pairs of shorts worked well for the ports.
  2. Love the Bistro. Our favourites are mushroom soup, scallops & rack of lamb.
  3. We were able to transfer an onboard credit (offered by NCL after their airport shuttle was overbooked & we were left on our own) from my brother to me by emailing a copy of a notarized letter authorizing the transfer to NCL customer service.
  4. NCL sails out of the Pan American pier which is a taxi ride away from any hotel. We stayed at the Sheraton Old SAN Juan, $22 taxi from airport and $19 taxi to pier (when shared by 4 passengers). Hotel was awesome. Great service, excellent luggage storage & walking tours right outside the door. We had a deluxe king with Bay view for about $300. Hotels a bit further away we’re priced &180-$250 but not as convenient.
  5. I know, lots of people love the Dawn but it wasn't for us. The food was good to excellent, and the service was excellent except for a few individuals who did their jobs but looked reluctant. The Dawn is not our favourite for a few reasons. Firstly, it might have just been the crowd on our sailing, but after 10:30pm, it seemed like everyone was in bed. The Bliss lounge had music but only a few folks milling around. The piano player and duet, although talented, seemed to play to an older crowd and were done by 10:00 (even though the daily said "8:45 to close"). Our biggest disappointment was in the location of some specialty restaurants - Bistro, Bamboo and La Cucina. We opted out of going to Bamboo (open to lounge below and major hallway to the theatre), the noise level was so loud we couldn't hear the hostess speak. La Cucina and Bistro are right outside the cigar lounge which opens to the inside. We knew we were heading in the right direction when the strong wafting of cigar and cigarette smell hit our noses. Seriously NCL, there is no where else to put the cigar lounge? Perhaps with a door that opens to the outside? Then, NCL decides to put the piano lounge right outside the Bistro and La Cucina. At least Bistro has a door, but every time the door opens, the piped-in restaurant music competes with the piano player. La Cucina is open to the lounge. At one point during our dinner, the crowd in the lounge decided to sing along, loudly! The specialty dining is important to us. We struggled with asking the servers to slow down the service. I don't like when my 2nd course arrives before my appetizer is only half finished! Or when my wine arrives when my meal is almost done! We always booked a later sitting and learned to tell the servers right from the start how we wanted our meal paced. I realize some people like to eat and get out, but we prefer to take our time and enjoy our meal; we felt more rushed on this ship than on Jade and Breakaway. For a smaller ship, I prefer the Jade. It has nicer bars and an outside spot for breakfast which we missed on Dawn. We had a good cruise, we enjoyed our ports of call. There were some excellent staff members who called us by name every time they passed us, and the food was good with some excellent stand outs. But, because specialty dining and late night parties are important to us, we won't be on the Dawn again.
  6. When we used the NCL transfer in Miami, it was on our edocs. On the 2nd last day there was a “chart” delivered to our stateroom. It clearly showed the time & colour luggage tags for those with flights before a certain time, or after. But caution, the chart said we were to have green tags disembarking at 8:45. But aqua tags (for 9:45) were delivered to us. A quick trip to guest services fixed that. As we departed the building a security guard pointed us to the bus.
  7. Non-refundable obc cannot be used for gratuities or for paying things in advance (like shore excursions). Refundable obc can be used for gratuities. It’s all in the wording.
  8. Dad just confirmed he had sea bass & it was excellent.
  9. Thanks. My edocs (Dawn) say 8:00-5:00 but I wasn’t sure if that was island time. I appreciate the responses.
  10. That’s not the same menu we had on the Jade. Dad was disappointed there wasn’t a fisherman’s platter. He doesn’t like salmon so it wasn’t that, but whatever it was, he loved it.
  11. I can’t remember which fish was on the menu when we were on the Jade in October but I know for sure my dad had a fish dinner.
  12. We always book for 4. If the other couple cancels, we simply stop at the reservations desk on the way to dinner to inform them. We’ve never been charged for folks not at the table.
  13. We will be at St Maarten on March 8. We’ve arranged a private tour but are concerned there may be a difference between island time & ship time. We’re to meet the rep at 8:45 island time. Can someone tell me if there’s a difference? If so, what is it? Thanks
  14. We (4 of us) went to Cagney’s twice on the Jade last October and had no complaints whatsoever about anything we were served.
  15. On the Jade last fall, all our meals were excellent-Cagney’s, Bistro & MDR. On Carnival last year it was hit or miss. One night the best duck I’ve had in a long time, the next night a pale chicken breast & frozen veg.
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