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MaryBethV

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About MaryBethV

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Michigan
  1. MaryBethV

    Change in Traditional Dining Times?

    I agree! We've been on two NCL cruises this year and are looking forward to our first Princess cruise this coming February - but I have to say I'm a little apprehensive about the any time dining (ATD) we selected on Princess for our family of four! NCL has ATD down pat (we had a 5-10min wait maybe once each cruise-that's it!) - I think Princess should honestly look at how they run ATD. I also loved that with NCL you can reserve all your dinner times/venues 90 days in advance or just wing it while on the cruise. If you want the "traditional dining" feel - you just reserve the same time/same dining room for the entire cruise! I really don't see why Princess over complicates things with one dining room TD, another ATD, and one both depending on the time. Confusing and the opposite of streamlined. Maybe Princess is hesitant to really change things because they have so many returning passengers, but it is a bit of negative for a first time Princess cruiser to read review after review about how bad they are at ATD. 😞
  2. Enjoying your review! Is there a charge to ride the chairlift to the beach at Mahogany Bay?
  3. MaryBethV

    BLISSfully sailing Alaska - Live report 6/23/18

    Looking forward to the rest of your review - have an amazing trip!
  4. They need a new recipe I think! We were on the Getaway in May and the miso soup was seriously inedible. The rest of the meal was good! Loving your review and dreaming of cruising to Alaska. :)
  5. Loving your review! Thank you so much for taking the time to post. :)
  6. I don't know if the seat folds down on the standard scooter. (Ours was the heavy duty model.) You can visit the Special Needs at Sea website and live chat with someone from there and ask. The basket just slid off (upwards) on our scooter. Hope that helps!
  7. MaryBethV

    ***LIVE*** Norwegian Getaway June 3 - 10

    Looking forward to your live review!
  8. MaryBethV

    Getaway! May 6-13 Trip Report & Review

    Yes, they do - and in the buffet. It was a little thinner than the maple syrup we are used to, but it was still good!
  9. MaryBethV

    Review of the Getaway May 13/20

    Thanks for the review! I'm considering a family oceanview now (and after seeing CC photos of them on the Bliss). I'd really miss the balcony - but love the separation between the sleeping areas and the larger bathroom.
  10. Yes - (on the right ship - see below) No On our cruise earlier this month on the Getaway there were a number of public places we avoided due to smoke. The entire open area of 6/7/8, the starboard side of the Waterfront near the Sunset Bar, and Shanghai's noodle bar next to/practically IN the casino. In addition to that we encountered people smoking on the Waterfront in places that were not anywhere near the Sunset Bar, and we had to come in from enjoying our balcony at least 3 different times from people smoking on their balcony and it blowing back to our balcony. It was not an issue nearly to that degree on the Escape (no smoking on the Waterfront, did not encounter people smoking on their balcony or in unauthorized areas, etc.), and it appears that NCL has taken further steps to make it a non-issue on the Bliss. So would I book the Getaway or older NCL ship again? No. Would I book the Escape or newer NCL ship again. Yes!
  11. MaryBethV

    Getaway! May 6-13 Trip Report & Review

    Love that you have two goldendoodles too! DH is saying "no more pets" - but if I could take bets on him being the first one to cave and bring home a puppy, I would! ;):D
  12. MaryBethV

    Getaway! May 6-13 Trip Report & Review

    I, on the other hand, AM a crier. I probably wouldn't have been able to breathe through my nose for days! :') Good thing I passed on watching that then. I will most definitely be prepared with tissues when I do.
  13. MaryBethV

    Getaway! May 6-13 Trip Report & Review

    And thank you for the condolences on the loss of our dog. You are all so sweet!
  14. MaryBethV

    Getaway! May 6-13 Trip Report & Review

    A few final thoughts... Service & Standards We had good service overall (with very few exceptions), and some that was exceptional. Bed sheets & towels could definitely be held to a higher standard. Obvious stains shouldn’t be acceptable. The indoor public areas, public bathrooms, and exterior decks were very well maintained and always clean. Entertainment The waterslides, ropes course, mini golf, and the teen lounge were great to have for our family. We personally didn't feel that the Burn the Floor show theme and choreography was child/teenager friendly. DH and boys enjoyed the 3D movie offered in the theater. Food & Beverage Overall we would rate the food fair to good, but (in our opinion) it did not measure up to the food we had on the Escape a few months ago. There was one standout meal (LaCucina) and a few standout entrees (such as: the veggies and shrimp & filet at Teppanyaki, the warm chocolate lava cake and the cajun shrimp with short ribs in the Main Dining Room, the curries in the Garden Cafe). On the flip side, there were a number of entrees that could use some improvement (such as: the caesar salad with salmon “appetizer”, sub-par cuts of the NY steaks in the main dining room). Breakfast, whether in the Garden Cafe or a main dining room, was consistently delicious. The beverage package was really nice to have (DH and myself). In addition to that we ordered sodas for the kids a couple of times (but were never charged for them). The selection of non-beverage-package drinks was also quite good - no complaints from the kids at all. They were happy with water, milk, lemonade, tea, and the fruit-flavored waters in the Garden Cafe. Loved the Sugarcane Mojito Bar! Missed the District Brewhouse and the Wine Bar from the Escape Internet / Communication Social Media Package: The kids got a TON of use out of it. It caused a few squabbles due to the ability to kick the person using it off survivor-style when you wanted to use it. :') The only time Mom or Dad got to post photos or check Facebook/Twitter was early in the morning when all the kids were still sound asleep. Next time the parents get their own internet package I think! iConcierge app: No notifications when you texted someone, or texts coming in a good while later than they were sent - made it fairly useless for us. We wouldn’t purchase it again unless we can’t figure out a better option. Low speed data included on our cell phone plans: This was probably the most useful when we were close to or in port (except for Harvest Caye in Belize). We even had a relatively strong 3G signal in some places. Smoking If you have read the trip report from our cruise on the Escape in February, you know that we LOVED the waterfront on that ship. On the Getaway, however, there is smoking on the waterfront area outside of the Sunset Bar on the starboard side. And not a little bit of smoking either - like 20+ people gathered at/near the bar smoking away. We also encountered people at other areas on the waterfront (nowhere near the Sunset Bar) who felt entitled to light up where they were as well. There were at least 3 times when we had to come in from our balcony due to people breaking the rules and smoking on their balconies. :( The smell of smoke was MUCH more noticeable in the casino area (and the surrounding open area of decks 6/7/8) than it was on the Escape. The smoke issue sadly was enough of an issue that I would not book the Getaway again because of it. For next time... Eastern Caribbean instead of Western (In my opinion the beaches are better and for the most part the ports are more safe.) Forward balcony room (less chance of people smoking on balconies blowing smoke your way). The Garden Cafe and the Observation Lounge in the forward section of the Bliss & Encore also make a forward room location very appealing on those ships. :) More clearly defined rules for the teenagers and a better plan for communicating with them. Specialty restaurant reservation for the last night to guarantee a great family meal. Thank you so much for following along! We did really enjoy this vacation, though I'm not sure when we will cruise again. I am looking at the Bliss & Encore for 2019 or 2020 - either the Eastern Caribbean or Alaska. Or maybe a different cruise line - who knows! Getting off of the Escape I couldn't wait to cruise again and bring our kids along. This time wasn't quite the same... probably due in good part to not feeling well and lack of sleep, but also due to just liking the Escape better overall. However, I learned some things that will make our future cruise choices better for our family and I'm sure the boards here will inspire me to plan something sooner rather than later. Feel free to ask any questions you may have and I'll do my best to answer them. I'll also try to pop back in and share some random photos that other family members took - especially of things I missed!
  15. MaryBethV

    Getaway! May 6-13 Trip Report & Review

    At that point we pretty much blinked and woke up to this familiar sight... It was a RAINY morning in Miami - if you want to know how rainy, go read natefish95's really great review because he was getting on as we were getting off. After a quick breakfast in the Garden Cafe consisting of eggs, sausage and A LOT of coffee, we triple checked both rooms to make sure everything we came with left with us - then headed down for our 8:45 disembark time. The line was pretty short and never stopped moving. We picked up our large suitcases were and were on our way to the airport via a taxi van in no time. This time (as opposed to the same trip to the airport a few months earlier) we had a great driver who did not cause us to fear for our lives. Always a good thing. ;) I'll be back in a little while with some final thoughts.
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