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  1. Any info on the Breakaway? Specifically looking for butler info because it would make our day to find out that Putu would be on board. He was out butler last March and was fabulous!
  2. This explains why there was little availability last spring. Glad I booked ours (for 16 at the Drury) last March, which is an extremely rare super early book for me.
  3. Goodness. What a response. My bad for expecting to follow a written policy. The policy should be enough to protect kids and random employees (of any employ) shouldn’t be deciding what is and what isn’t sufficient. I’m sorry that your family’s divorce was disfunctional. That’s specifically what my ex and I have avoided because we know how damaging it is for the kids and that it has lasting impacts on them.
  4. Last time I didn’t have a print out of their official policy with to back up my actions. My ex and I are friendly and it’s not a problem to reach out to him like I did before; it was only a hassle. I’d rather take this route than pay for a notarized letter just because certain NCL agents didn’t know how to do their jobs. Others who may not be as amiable with the other parent should know of my experience.
  5. I'm torn on this. Last March I cruised with my kids (they were 15 & 16) who have a different last name than me. I filled out the parental form and had it with me, had their birth certificates, the paperwork that explained my legal name and why it's different from theirs, and had a (non-notarized) letter from my exhusband stating I had his permission to take the kids out of the country. They wouldn't process our paperwork and wanted a copy of their dad's drivers license, which we couldn't get because he wasn't available. Instead, his wife sent a photo of his passport and then they let us through. It's not what their policy said. I got the email because we leave in not too long and I reached out to my NCL travel consultant, told him the story of March and my worries. He said don't worry about it and print out the email and bring it with. I'm going to gamble that their stated policy that one parent is fine is their policy.
  6. I recommend having her sign up the first night as an option. My 15- & 16-year olds fought me on it last year and while they didn't do really any activities through it, they did meet a posse they hung out with for the rest of the cruise. They are now 16 & 17 and we cruise in a month with extended family. I'm still going to have them sign-up that first day so it remains an option even if they don't use it.
  7. I, too, bought the hydrogen peroxide wipes for our last cruise. I'm so not a germaphobe but wiping down all of the surfaces before we settled in just seemed to be a no-brainer. As for the Washy-Washy people, I brought my own safe hand sanitizer and we'd spray our hands ourselves instead of them. The main ingredient in most hand sanitizers, triclosan, contributes to antibiotic resistance and the high-alcohol based sanitizers can cause dry, cracked skin, which lowers resistance to bacteria and viruses. Additionally, we vigorously wash our hands often (the friction help gets both bacteria and viruses off of your skin), and try to avoid putting our fingers on things. Like, using a knuckle to push an elevator button, put the back of your hand on the stairway banister for support, etc. Finger crossed...
  8. I'd like to see photos of the stateroom in use. I only have one cruise under my belt and when choosing the one we're on this year, I really wanted to see photos of a certain stateroom with the Pullman bed down since I'm still a newbie and I couldn't find it. While you may not have that stateroom, posting photos of the cabin in use may very well help someone else looking at the same one.
  9. I like good champagne - like I *really* like it. While I found the complimentary bottles of wine undrinkable, the champagne made a just fine mimosa. I'm on vacation, it was a bonus, and mimosas are celebratory. What's not to like?
  10. We did the Family Suite on the Star (no Haven) and it was similar; it had a king bed, a queen pull-out, and a full murphy bed, plus a table for for - however no balcony but full length windows instead. With two teens it was awesome. Hope your experience is as good!
  11. We started and ended at Long Beach and upon final disembarkation our concierge, Suzanne, walked us past the line of people waiting to disembark that was over 1/2 the ship long (Star). Suite guests met at one place at a predetermined time (one had a few from which to choose) and she walked us right out. Same with each of the port stops. At one port stop she walked us through the bowels of the ship to the exit point (really cool to see what the back of the house looked like).
  12. This is absolutely true. My first cruise was last March on a ship that didn’t have the Haven, but they had a great price on a suite, so I bit. My teens loved it as much as my husband and I did. It was a great experience and worth every penny. The problem? We’re on the Breakaway soon and while I first book and inside and a balcony, I ended up upgrading to a Haven suite not at a deal because we all wanted the perks of the Haven, particularly the priority lines (or lack there of lines). I’ve already determined that this is going to be our last cruise because I just can’t spend this much on one vacation. Be forewarned.
  13. The staterooms have both US and Euro electrical outlets; if you bring an outlet converter then you can use both with ease.
  14. Putu was our butler on the Star in March and he was fabulous! He brought us extra bottles of champagne for mimosas in the morning, noticed that we weren't eating the sweets really so brought us more savory - except that he knew my daughter was crazy for the chocolate covered strawberries so he brought them almost daily. Hoping he's on the Breakaway in Feb... 🙂
  15. I sailed on the Star in March in a family suite on this same itinerary; this was prior to the refurb. It was my first cruise, so I can't compare it to anything, but my family (me, husband, two teens) really enjoyed it - enough so that we are on another NCL cruise in the next few months. The family suite was fabulous! I wondered if I would enjoy it since it didn't have a balcony, but the massive floor-to-ceiling windows provided amazing views. Even without being able to go outside, we all hung out quite a bit in the room since there was plenty of room in which to comfortably lounge, great vistas, and we were a two-minute walk to the pool if we wanted fresh air. The four of us get along well and have shared cramped quarters while traveling before, but we appreciated being able to section off the room into separate areas at the end of the day. The best part of the suite? Either Putu, our butler, or the filet for breakfast at Moderno! Enjoy your cruise!
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