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Everything posted by havanadaydreaming

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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!)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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?
  14. I love this itinerary, you will too! Here's my two cents: ST LUCIA - we booked an island tour with COSOL TOURS and it was an amazing afternoon. They are the nicest people ever and tons of fun. Sitting between the Pitons in crystal clear water is a top 5 Caribbean memory for me. Sadly, the owner was murdered a few months ago but I think his brother is keeping the business running. no matter what I'd highly recommend getting to the Pitons someway or somehow. ST MAARTEN - another top 5 Caribbean memory is watching the planes land at Maho Beach. ST KITTS - we found a very inexpensive option here, Palms Court Gardens, and walkable from the pier. They have a pool overlooking the bay, I spent the afternoon there. I was surprised to bump into our Cruise Director there also. Great minds! They have a pool bar, restaurant, etc. day access was $8 I think? If you are Hamilton fans hop on over to Nevis and walk in his childhood footsteps. ST THOMAS - catamaran time, hopefully to St John. BARBADOS - we took a catamaran here, wish I could remember the name of it. they were 100% awesome. I had my fill of adult sodas and was feeling fine upon debarkation. I'd love to get back and see more of the island from land.
  15. Do you get emails from NCL cruise consultants? I had one assigned to me a couple years ago when I booked my first NCL cruise. I think he left the company and I was issued a replacement but I haven't received emails from NCL in a year or more despite booking two cruises this year. Not a big thing but I was curious. How do you book a cruise? Through a consultant? Travel agent? ncl.com? or calling Ncl?
  16. I have a couple fairly peculiar things I enjoy when cruising. how about y'all? *I absolutely LOVE tracking the ship's location on the cabin TV. Sadly, Carnival does this better than NCL, more detailed information about location and the identification of islands nearby. As I become a more seasoned cruiser I have a pretty good idea where we are at and which islands are which, but when I was a newbie I was really interested in learning the names of the islands I could see from my balcony. *I enjoy the art auction. I find it fascinating what some people will spend and how many pieces they will wind up purchasing. (the "champagne" sucks, however. ha!) *on land I despise buffets, on NCL I absolutely love them. when they're not crowded I enjoy them even more than the MDR, I think.
  17. I'm a top shelf drinker and I had absolutely no problem on the Sky in February. The key is to order something that has to be hand made ... you'll notice several of the drinks are pre-made in jugs. Those weren't the bees knees, in my opinion. But other than that I found the Sky to be a neat little ship. Different than the megaships, but still fun. $189 for four nights, drinks included is a fantastic value.
  18. No lasagna? my wife loooooooves lasagna from Cucina, we have a table booked end of month on the Epic.
  19. i don't know much about the Getaway but i know we were able to use a dining credit to get a greatly reduced table at the Cirque dinner show on the Epic later this month. on the Epic there was a Jersey Boys dinner show, but i don't think we had to pay for that. food was good, not great and we enjoyed the show. We have enjoyed each of the specialty restaurants we've dined at on NCL, i don't think you'll go wrong by choosing any of them. i say take a chance on one that you might not select normally. (saying that, we are booked for three places that we've dined at previously....Cucina, Teppanyaki, Cagneys....i REALLY wanted to squeeze in Bistro for the first time but just couldn't eliminate one of the others after we booked Cirque. HA!)
  20. we love hibachi so Teppanyaki is an easy choice. Cagneys was pretty strong, too. mmmmm steak! my wife LOVED the lasagna at Cucina, said it might be her favorite ever. I think Bistro would be a safe choice for "non-spicy". we did the Brazilian steak restaurant and it was, as expected, a lot of meat. I really don't like to eat THAT much on vacation but if that's in your sweet spot it's a great place. i didn't expect to like the salad bar as much as i did. bonus!
  21. I haven't seen it very often. We have one end of month that added 2x points on a Distinctive Voyage affer we booked, confirmed we get 22 pts for 11 night cruise. pretty cool, isn't it>?
  22. So...my wife and I are looking at possible 2019 cruises in Europe. I've never been to the continent and know little to nothing about the best "deals" there with NCL. Any tips/recommendations? We should have free airfare to Eurpoe based on AMEX points so I'm not picky where to depart from. We prefer warm climates when we travel. I know she says Santorini is one of her top places she's ever visited and I'd love to see the Vatican one day but neither is a requirement for this trip. We will want a balcony, for sure. Thanks, in advance, for our time and advice. much appreciated.
  23. I recommend booking shows and dinner. In my experience Teppanyaki and Cagneys book fastest, the rest of the specialty dining not as quickly. Many of those places will have times available well past embarkation. You can book those off your television in your cabin. I always try to book a dinner or show on each sea day so we have something to look forward to after dark. just my two cents.
  24. I'll be on the Epic in 3 weeks, the bathroom layout is odd. But....we'll be taking an 11 nighter cheaper than 7 nighters during same timeframe. I highly recommend the UBP. I booked a sail away rate on the Escape and wound up losing money by not paying a little more for our balcony room and getting the package. I ordered a Knob Creek bourbon on the rocks on Halloween in the H20 while Beetlejuice was playing and it came up to $22. oy!
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