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Everything posted by havanadaydreaming

  1. VideoTech nailed it. A couple years ago the weather was not very pleasant in St Thomas. We had booked an excursion through NCL for a catamaran ride to St John. They offered us choice to take the excursion or get a full refund. I was duly impressed. I don't think a privately booked tour would have offered a full refund. My first excursion at my first port of call I ever visited was booked through cruise line and I loved it (mountain bobsled ride in Ocho Rios). That said, my favorite excursion I've ever taken I found on my own via Trip Advisor and booked. (Cosol Tours in St Lucia) Our 2nd and 3rd favorites were found online also (Little French Key, Roatan and Marina Cay, Tortola). We look for the most unique things to do everywhere we go. Sometimes the boat offers something very comparable. Sometimes they don't.
  2. First time buyer here. First cruise on NCL was 7 nights on the Escape. At that point I had only been on Carnival and I kinda thought NCL was more expensive than CCL...was likely a one time booking. But, I LOVED NCL. We couldn't pass up a 4 nighter on the Sky this past February for $199 OV, our first non-balcony. Had tons of fun! My wife and I started thinking that NCL was our new preferred cruise line. Just got off the Epic two days ago and we bought $1000 Cruise Next certificates and received a $500 OBC. Passes can be used within four years and are fully transferable, can use two certificates for a balcony+ room if booked six months in advance of departure. Hard to pass that deal up moving forward, I'd say. (we still have $1200 of Carnival gift cards we've accumulated past couple years so we shall do one more Funship cruise. I read the small print on the $100 NCL gift card I forgot in the car and learned it charges $3/mo fee if not activated in 12 months. that's unfortunate!)
  3. one starter (app) one soup or salad one entrée item (no dollar limit - you can order the pricier "featured" items as part of the UDP) one dessert
  4. whatcha want to know? ate their earlier this week... still had ribeye. filet. prime rib. porterhouse. no tomahawks now.
  5. My wife did a last minute cruise one year, was the Rick Springfield cruise. She didn't get access to the concert however. I've heard nothing but good things about the Monsters of Rock of Megacruises. it would be very cool to bump into some of the musicians in common areas like other passengers.
  6. i'm back to work today from an 11 nt Epic cruise. we booked it at $1039 balcony beginning of year as a distinctive journey + 5 free at sea. before the final payment we upgraded to $1079, with $50 more obc pp and on a deck three levels higher midship (deck 11 vs deck 8). the reason I say this is that Sail Away balconies reduced to $599 the month before our voyage. the regular priced balconies actually went into the $1300s. I did a $599 sailaway once on the Escape and it cost me money not having the UBP/SDP, but regular balcs were only $899.
  7. just off ncl cruise, read Sky is getting refurbished or upgraded Feb 2019. we sailed on it Feb...had a fun trip. i like the tiny ships on occasion
  8. Just off the Epic and i thought andre was a top shelf CD. on announcements and daily tv segment he repeatedly encouraged people to high five hime later that day, many took him up on it. he was very good at hosting shows and trivia etc. him and Butchy Baby from my 1st cruise on Carnival Breeze really stand out as the best in my cruise history.
  9. just got off Epic this morning... Cagneys and Teppanyaki were still fantastic. cagneys lacked the tomahawk options we had there previously but still delicious. le bistro, meh. food at Cirque much more meh. i hate to say that im usually not critical.
  10. We got $100 OBC each for balcony room booked earlier this year.
  11. ill be at GSC Monday and will check out the pigs. ive always wanted to do that but my hunch is that the Exuma experience is the major leagues and GSC significantly below that.
  12. I concur with Hammer in previous post. I love to book a direct flight day before cruise and have almost an entire day in Miami/Lauderdale and I wouldn't want to have 1-2 layovers if it meant travelling for 8+ hours when I can get there in 2 on my own, albeit not free. however, many years ago I would have definitely been much more interested in saving airfare than time...I had much more of the latter than the former.
  13. i think zq nailed it. we're headed on cruise this weekend and plan on hitting the pool at Harvest Caye - inexpensive + sun + water = good times. I don't do the pools on the ship so I love getting to some at port. Costa - heard lots of positive buzz on Tropicante, I'm debating heading there too. My wife loves massages and she can get one on the cheap there. plus, I can have a could adult beverages waterside and even check out the bookstore, which I'm fascinated by the fact it exists there. Cozumel has lots of access to all inclusive resorts for a day, tends to be the most affordable place in the Caribbean for day passes in my opinion. Cozumel has three ports and I've only been to one, on Carnival. Lots of shops, hard to find the exit! There are a few bars and restaurants on the water to boot. Cabs, if memory serves, are a bit pricey...but necessary to get downtown. it's a loooooong walk!
  14. mmmm, tomahawk. had that on the Escape a couple years ago, but I actually preferred my wife's Filet. will be on the Epic in 10 days and will report back if need be.
  15. Someone is debating cancelling the Cucina reservation and doubling up on Cagney's or Teppanyaki, all over a slice of lasagna. (she didn't enjoy the slice she had in MDR, NCL Sky, last Feb) I could live with that!
  16. my pals who have sailed RC and NCL have told me they think the lines are pretty comparable. Wish I could comment on RC but I haven't been on their cruises. I've have sailed Carnival, MSC and NCL. I would say that MSC is more comparable with NCL than Carnival(food and entertainment a step up), but I've enjoyed every cruise I've ever taken. I would say do NOT consider booking sail away NCL rate unless you do not drink much at all. I may be in the upper half of adult beverage consumers on a cruise ship and I tried to save $300pp on a weeklong itinerary. welp, that didn't end so well.
  17. when I was a novice cruiser it seemed the ship was often moving at a brisk pace moving from port to port. recently I've been on ships that sometimes move at a snail's pace due to the physical geography of the ports on the itinerary I selected (like st Thomas to Tortola, etc) Which do you like better? years ago I'd want the most knots for the buck... nowadays I don't mind the slower cruising, less wind in my face at night on the top deck. thoughts?
  18. Teppanyaki - terrayaki steak Cagney's - wife had the filet, I liked it better than my ribeye Moderno - surprisingly liked the salad bar more than anticipated. if you're a carnivore this is the place to have a meatfest. La Cucina - surprised it was app, pasta, entrée, dessert. a LOT of food, wife loved the lasagna.
  19. I'm a big Miami Vice (tv show) fan and I always have one of those in hand at departure port sailaway. cheers! (love that show too!)
  20. Ironically I received an email this morning from a cruise consultant. and a call. previously calls came from Miami, I guess the new fella is in CA.
  21. Biggest boats I've been on were new, or new-ish, at time of sailing: Carnival Breeze and NCL Escape. Afterwards we sailed significantly smaller and older ships on both cruise lines. I expected not to like them as much but they were perfectly lovely. Granted, they didn't have ALL the bells and whistles but they didn't dump 4k people at port either. It was pretty cool being a smaller ship in port when we were the only ship in port.
  22. lots of good info here. thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I think the largest city I've cruised to is San Juan Puerto Rico. I can't fathom trying to see Florence or Rome, etc, in one day. That would be cool to do repeatedly but I think I'd feel a sense of loss for not being able to experience more. Definitely requires the 3-4 days, as stated above, to get a decent taste of those locales.
  23. I usually lose, lose, lose and fairly quickly at the slot machines at sea. has anyone here had a winning evening? tell us all about it, please. We've been to Vegas a few times and I've never played a blackjack or craps table but I'm leaning towards playing the PASS line at craps table instead of slots on our next cruise. it's more social and hopefully slows the financial losses.
  24. Man, I was reluctant to admit this...glad there is another bird of a feather on the open seas. My wife LOVES to sleep in and I find it irresistible not to turn on the bow channel to wake here up. usually with "what is THAT music" comment thrown back at me. ha!
  25. on the Escape we went to Teppanyaki, Cagneys, Cucina and Moderno. All were really good, easily the best food I've had at sea. I'd say Teppanyaki and Cagney's reservations fill up the fastest. I booked both of them for my upcoming Epic cruise as soon as we were allowed to do so, I think it was about 120 days from cruise date like mentioned above. We have tables at those two on sea days, which is kind of "our thing". I'm not sure if sea days are the most popular dates for specialty restaurants but maybe?
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