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Everything posted by debeni

  1. Thanks, Muckyduckway. We WERE on the same cruise. I’m sure we sat in the same lounges enjoying the great entertainment. We also found the shows in the Stardust Theater better than what we recalled on previous cruises. I’ll remember next time to save one of the Daily Entertainment sheets to recall the names. I’ve heard the cure for post-cruise depression is to start planning your next one (lol). Dean
  2. Does anybody know the names of the Lounge Entertainers on the Jewel NZ Cruise Jan-Feb 2019? We enjoyed them very much and wanted to add them to our review. I believe one was WT who was very creative and then there was a white-haired guy (Larry?) who captured us with his oldies but goodies. Then I also recall the Love Brothers.
  3. Is the Tasman Sea known to be rougher than others? Or is it that we were on a smaller ship? We crossed the Tasman Sea from Sydney to NZ back in late January 2019. I had never experienced such rough seas before. After dinner we swayed from side to side as we walked out of the restaurant. Most people were joking and having fun with the ship’s movements. We did not experience any associated sickness although we heard some people say they were taking Dramamine. We sailed the NCL Getaway (a large ship) on a Western Caribbean and then a Baltic Sea cruise and never noticed any movement. While on the smaller ship NCL Jewel (although still a large ship) we experienced a lot of rough seas when crossing the Tasman Sea. One should always bring some Dramamine and/or Bonine just in case.
  4. We were on the Jewel for the 14-Day New Zealand cruise that ended Feb 13, 2019.
  5. The internet speed on board is REALLY slow. It is frustrating to watch your online time decrease while you wait to bring up webpages. It took an hour to make a flight reservation online. To save time, we typed our emails in Word before going online and then did a copy/paste. We didn’t try uploading pictures, but I would think they would be very time consuming, if possible.
  6. I think you would need more time to fit in both. We just got back from Australia a week ago. We spend 4 nights in Sydney on the Rocks before a 14-day cruise of New Zealand, then back to Sydney to rent a car and drive around NSW for another 7 nights. Sydney is definably worth at least 4 days. We had a 48-hour ferry pass. One place we visited was beautiful Manly Beach. We then took the 24-hour Hop-on hop-off bus to see the city and go to Bondi beach. Took the Opera House tour and took the ferry to the Zoo. Sydney is one beautiful place. We left the Blue Mountains to after our cruise, but it definitely should not be missed. We also want to get up to Cairns one of these days, but it will have to wait for another trip. Norcal Beni
  7. We recently got off the Jewel on Feb 13thafter a 14-Day cruise to New Zealand. We loved to have breakfast at the Great Outdoors, Aft 12. It’s also a great place for an afternoon beer. We experienced all the bars and enjoyed the entertainment. (Atrium Bar, Magnums, Bliss Ultra, and the Spinnaker). Our favorite complimentary restaurant was Tsar's which we enjoyed at least four times. Never had to wait more that 15 minutes to get seated. The entertainment at the Stardust Theater was better than we remember from previous NCL cruises. We arrived 20 mins before the shows and never had a problem finding a seat.
  8. We stayed in 11618 on the Jewel during the 14-Day cruise of New Zealand starting at the end of January 2019. We were very pleased and did not hear any disturbing noises from above nor below. This cabin is not a part of a connecting set. The room is Aft on the Port side. A quick walk up one floor to the Garden Café and back to the Great Outdoors. We usually like to be on the side closest to shore. It is better to look out at the shore than the sea. Although often you are far from shore where it really doesn’t make a difference. When in port, our side was sometimes facing the shore and sometimes not. We loved to have breakfast at the Great Outdoors, Aft. It’s also a great place for an afternoon beer.
  9. We wanted to take a Norwegian one-way cruise from Sydney-Auckland or Auckland-Sydney, but they were earlier in the year (December, early January). The only time we could go was the end of January which was Sydney-Sydney return. From there the Norwegian Jewel starts to make its way back North to Seattle for the Alaskan summer cruises.
  10. We wanted to let you all know how we decided to spend our last 7 nights in New South Wales. We will spend 4 days in Sydney before our 14-day cruise of New Zealand. Although we did not plan this, we see we arrive in the morning on Australia Day. We will get to experience the boat parade and fireworks from our hotel rooftop on The Rocks. Our last 7 nights after the cruise: Rent a car at the airport and spend 3 nights in the Blue Mountains staying in Katoomba: Explore the surrounding area by car and hiking Drive to Galga to spend a day and night in a cabin at the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park Spend 2 nights over on the Central Coast Spend the last day around Sydney and the last night by the Sydney Airport Thank you all for your valuable input. Dean
  11. We bring the NCL luggage tags in my backpack and they staple them to our bags during embarkation.
  12. Thanks Globaliser for this great post. We will save the link and use it during our upcoming visit to Sydney this coming Jan-Feb. Dean
  13. There are free coffee dispensers in the breakfast/dinner areas. The Specialty coffees are not included with the Beverage Packages. We buy some bottled water using our onboard spending account given to us when paying for the cruise. In that sense, it is free. We also bring a water thermos or two and fill up in the dining area where I assume the chilled water is filtered. When boarding on one cruise they took my empty plastic water bottle from my backpack. That’s why we now bring souvenir water thermoses. They won’t take those (haha).
  14. Thanks, Mr Walker and Philip for the tips on the Zealandier and Arrow Tours. Leigh, would you please report back on your Zealandier excursion to Rotorua on November 16th. We’d love to get your input. Our cruise in is late January 2019. Dean
  15. Should we take a private or the NCL ship tour to Rotorua from Tauranga? Are there any recommendations or reviews of the following private tour companies? Am I missing any? Do we have to be concerned about getting back to the ship on time? Custom Day Tours customdaytours.co.nz Jim Archer tours - archertours.co.nz cruisetauranga.com shoreexcursionsgroup.com
  16. We have to pay $406 plus $498 for the Service and Beverage tips on our upcoming 14-day New Zealand cruise. At ~$65US a day, I think we should be covered. I don’t think we spend that much on tips while travelling outside of a cruise. Between us we may have four glasses a wine a day so that is a big per glass tip. We do however add an extra tip when we ask for something unusual that requires extra attention. We always research the local tipping customs wherever we go and follow the local standard, however cruises have their own standard.
  17. It is my understanding, those living in countries where tipping is not customary, do not pay the service charges. I could be wrong, but I do not think Australians or Brits pay the same service charge as we do in the US. Aussies and Brits please comment. I recall reading in a forum about tipping, 5 years ago, when going to South East Asia, some Australians saying that Americans were ruining it for them because of their tipping. Everyone was starting to expect a tip. Just repeating what I read. I too, am an American, custom to tipping but the customs are different around the world. That’s the experience of travel, is it not. We’ve been on 3 NCL cruises with the Beverage package and do not recall anybody leaving a tip at a bar. Then again, I wasn’t watching. I will have to observe on our next cruise.
  18. This will be our 3rd cruise with NCL but first on the Jewel. Thanks for the tips on the Great Outdoors, Spinnaker Lounge and the bridge viewing room on deck 11 forward. We will certainly give them a try. I read in another post that the Jewel is currently being refurbished in Singapore so will be like sparkling new for the cruises down under this winter. We don’t eat beef often but love to splurge at Cagney’s steakhouse. We have also enjoyed the Brazilian steakhouse Moderno.
  19. I think it is important to carry a digital copy of all your documents including a copy of your passport, visas, cruise docs, etc., to be available for offline access. There are many ways to accomplish this as we see above.
  20. I like to copy of all my important Docs and pdf’s onto my Smartphone for easy access when I do not have mobile access. Such as Hotel reservations, Plane tickets, pdf maps, Cruise Docs, Auto Rentals, etc. This is handy when you do not have mobile access to the cloud when out-of-country. I use the free App FileManager to read my Docs on my iPhone. There are many other Apps that do the same thing. Here is how I download from Mac to iPhone. Connect iPhone to Macbook. iTunes will auto-start, click on iPhone, scroll down to File Share (near the bottom) double-click on FileManager drag docs from Mac to the right column “FileManager Documents” Disconnect iPhone from Macbook To view from iPhone: Start the FileManager App to see and read the files
  21. With the travel Insurance on NCL you get a 100% refund if you meet certain criteria such as major illness, death in the family, etc. There is also a “cancel for any reason” clause where you get a 70% credit for a future cruise. Medical insurance is included although I’m not sure how extensive the coverage. We usually do not take such insurance however because of some other family members medical conditions we decided to spend the extra $500. Wow, it hurts.
  22. Good to hear. We are sailing on the Jewel down under at the end of Jan 2019
  23. We took the Getaway Western Caribbean cruise in Jan 2017. Liked it so much, we took the Getaway again for the Baltic cruise in Aug 2017. We are sailing the Jewel for a New Zealand cruise at the end of Jan 2019.
  24. How many Specialty Dining’s do you get on a 14-Day cruise with the NCL Promo Specialty Dining Package? The Promo on our 7-Day and a 9-day NCL cruises were for 3 dinings. I heard a rumor that we got 4 for a 14-Day cruise but cannot verify. I cannot find this info on the NCL website. Thanks
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