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About havanadaydreaming

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  1. I'm no expert but i'll throw a dart at the wall. usually, cruise ships drydock to both upgrade cabins/common areas to be more modern and to retrofit ship with current popular amenities (specialty restaurants/shops/etc). Carnival retrofitted older ships with the Guy's burgers, Blue Iquana/Red Frog bar on lido...all very popular. soooo, I don't remember the Escape totally (sorry!) but I know it recently replaced Margaritaville with American Diner mid cruise. I figured that would have happened at drydock. it has the popular Waterfront feature that offers outside dining
  2. the newest NCL ship I've been on is Escape, so I'd be very interested in sailing anything newer. I also like the uniqueness of the smaller, older ships (Sky, Carnival Paradise) we've sailed. we only booked the Epic and Sky due to cruises being the best bang for the buck at the time of sailing, but we loved each of them. I'd go on the Epic again in a new York minute, the bathrooms are wacky but not a dealbreaker. Epic EASILY had the most storage in our cabin, and by a wide, wide margin. that was nice. Sky didn't have one of my (admittedly weird) favorite things - the
  3. thank you! I am very much a preplanner/researcher. I like to know as many details as I can about the ship, ports, things to do, etc, etc in order to make the best decisions possible. However, on coastal trips on the mainland some of our favorite "finds" are when we just wing it and explore. that said, I struggle to not know everything I can about a place i'll only be 6-8 hours and possibly never again.
  4. Has anyone ever taking a cruise and not know where they were going? That's a pretty ludicrous question without context...my wife is surprising me with a trip mid summer, one that should be of fairly significant length or new to us itinerary. (I just had one of those iconic birthdays that ended in a "0"). My best friend's wife is a TA so they arranged all the flight and cruise details unbeknownst to me. My wife even ensured with my 2nd in command at my office that I was ok to take vacation during that timeframe. I don't know where we're departing from, where we're g
  5. My son and his wife were on this cruise for their honeymoon. He had some interesting updates. Evidently the Escape was late getting into Port Miami on 2/29 - which delayed embarkation. I don't think he got onboard until 4pm or so (they had a 1pm arrival at FLL via NCL "free airfare" promotion"), they had a fairly lengthy wait at the terminal after being shuttled from Lauderdale on the NCL bus. He said the CD was fantastic. He's only been on one MSC and one Carnival cruise previously, but that gave him enough frame of reference to compare/contrast. He LOVED Cagney'
  6. My unrelated opinion on the Margaritaville at Sea "failure". I would have loved to have seen the menu pared down to just "Cheeseburgers in Paradise", much in the same manner at Guy's Burger on Carnival. Only a few choices, efficient to prepare and serve fresh. Complimentary. I know the Margaritaville was complimentary originally and it was mobbed, huge lines all the time. It was kind of a train wreck and folks didn't really enjoy the experience...so specialty dining pricing went into effect (a big dud) and then a la carte (which was a little more popular, but not a hit).
  7. Just for kicks I just checked out the info on Escape on NCL website, it still shows Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea on the deck plans, etc. For the vast majority of cruisers I don't think this update will have an impact. American Diner will be pretty comparable and maintains the a la carte pricing for its dining. However, I'm a big time parrothead(53 shows attended and counting) and we booked our cruise several years ago on the Escape specifically so I could get to a Margaritaville at Sea (I know, I know...ha). I really enjoyed being able to go up there and at
  8. I haven't heard and my son, who just disembarked today, didn't see any notifications on HC. odd, he said the Landshark pool didn't open until 11am. we were there last year and I don't recall the pool opening that late in the morning but it's possible we didn't get there until 11 or so.
  9. My son is on the Escape this week (honeymoon cruise) and just told me that the Margaritaville At Sea was changed mid-cruise to an American Diner. Also, the 5 o'clock somewhere bar was shuttered. in addition, the Landshark Landing at Harvest Caye was closed for remodeling. First I've heard of this. Anyone have details if this is fleet wide?
  10. I just watched a youtube video on a Balmoral excursion from ship yesterday. it didn't wow me. cruisers said it was $69pp and their lunch was $56 for a couple sandwiches, chips and sodas. the pool area looked kinda cool, not too many out islands have what I assume is a fresh water pool on them. there was only one beach area for the cruisers most of the rest of the island was blocked off for Sandals. Ive seen video on the Blue Lagoon and it looked superior, give it a looksee. that said, we are in Nassau next month and have a beach visit excursion to Rose Island. stay tuned!
  11. Almost everyone I've seen in the specialty restaurants (guys) wear slacks, usually a golf shirt/long sleeve collared, and shoes (not sandals). im sure there have been folks who wore dress shorts but I literally can't recall them outside the MDR/buffet. I've seen ties and even sportcoats but not anything approaching formal, not there would be anything wrong with that.
  12. last M&G we attended there was a white elephant gift exchange, where each gift could be swiped up to 3x. I think there were almost 75 participants and it took forever. I had one of the last choices and I refused to steal anything in order to do my part to help move things along. There were several, how do I say, LARGE personalities who kinda made the event exhausting. My recommendation is to set a floor price for any gift bag cruisers bring, perhaps $15? I know we personally spent 2x our limit to hopefully ensure whomever selected ours wasn't devastated. there were quite
  13. Anyone know of new additions or changes to ncl main theatre shows in '20? Normally I'd just go to ncl website and search ship by ship but I've made commitment to the Mrs (who booked surprise cruise later in year) to stay off the website, even without logging in. Ha! ***We saw Priscilla on Epic and it was way better than I anticipated. We liked the Cirque show but i hated the cramped seating at dinner table, itty bitty living space! We missed both shows on Escape a few years ago -went with Jersey Boys dinner show instead.
  14. Cagneys Teppanyaki Moderno Bistro Cucina Supper Club That's my rankings, so far.
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