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kochleffel

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Everything posted by kochleffel

  1. My upgrade bid on the Breakaway was successful, resulting in an aft-facing balcony on deck 9. This is not a location I would have chosen had I been booking a balcony, but I'm not too worried. It's above Moderno, but wouldn't want to be directly above a lounge that has music late at night. IIRC, the Bliss lounge or its equivalent is open well into the wee hours.
  2. The Epic, a large ship, has just two main dining rooms, but Taste is as large as Taste and Savor combined on the -away class ships. All MDRs have identical menus and are usually served by the same galley. On some ships one of the MDRs doesn't allow shorts in the evening, and in general only one is open for breakfast (all days) or lunch (sea days).
  3. Taking the question more literally than you intended: my car keys.
  4. Various roll-call posts say that Alvin Oliva is now on the Breakaway. But did you really mean March 2021?
  5. I wasn't in 2019 (Epic, eastern Caribbean). All I got was an earful from the cruise director's staff for not returning their phone call to my cabin to confirm the arrangements. It turned out that voicemail for my cabin needed to be reprogrammed.
  6. I wonder, too, whether they really mean no meetings. If so, they wouldn't schedule self-led religious services, but only someone with a Friday Freestyle Daily would be able to verify that. And what about all the other things that bring passengers together, such as crowding into Headliners for bingo? The last time I was on the Epic, people started lining up for that more than an hour in advance. And all their silly games in the atrium? One possibility is that the goal is not to protect the passengers, but to protect the officers from mingling with the passengers.
  7. Well: A lot of searching and scrolling down the list did not find another roll call for that date, BUT I noticed that most of the Breakaway roll calls for the spring of 2022 have only one or two participants. The roll calls for this fall have lots, but if the others are like the one that I'm in, and those for the first two cruises, questions and anxiety about the Bermuda travel requirements are behind most of the posts.
  8. I've wondered about that. When I search by month I didn't find another, but that doesn't mean there isn't one with a subject line that keeps it from being found.
  9. It's true that transatlantic and transpacific roll calls tend to be especially active. So do cruises that can be used as B2Bs with a TATL or TPAC. In 2018 I took a Mediterranean cruise that was the line's first of the season, and many passengers had continued from the TATL sailing. I said already that it's May 2022. It's a Greek islands itinerary from Athens. One thing I'm seeing in other roll calls that are more active is that there are more people, having posted earlier in the roll call, posting that they've cancelled their trips. COVID uncertainty seemed to be the main factor.
  10. Incidentally, the Broadway production of Six shut down on opening night in 2020 and reopened last night. Here's an unlocked review.
  11. No experience with sailaway bookings. I changed my booking for the Breakaway on October 24 from a studio to an inside, because the Free at Sea offers had improved so much after my original booking and the fare (that day) to rebook a studio was much more than to change it to an inside. Only guarantee insides were available (that day) and within a few days I was assigned an inside on deck 5. On NCL it's meaningful to distinguish between sailaway and guarantee. Sailaway fares don't include any free at sea offers and the number offered is limited; they sometimes sell out early. Guarantee bookings are typically offered when the category is almost fully booked. Because of bidding for upgrades, in addition to cancellations, the lower categories almost always open up. This year, with ships intentionally less than full, I have no idea what is really going on.
  12. It will be really easy to organize the Meet & Greet, at least.
  13. For the May 22 sailing of the Jade, only two people have posted in the roll call, and the other, the OP, posted with a question about whether travel then will be safe, so I'm not sure that the OP has booked the cruise. Is it possible that I'll be the only CC member on that sailing?
  14. The Freestyle Daily for the current Breakaway cruise shows that Entourage will be open today, a port day, from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. With school in session, I wouldn't expect there to be many teens, but I have lived in a district that had three-season school, with 1/3 of students off each season.
  15. My recollection, not very recent, of Amtrak dining cars is that they were all 4-tops, so unless you had a party of exactly 4, you were going to share a table. On the Gem cruise, it was possible to get a table alone for 1-3 people, but it meant a longer wait. In contrast, on RCI in 2019, traveling alone with MyTime seating, I asked about sharing a table at dinner, but was seated alone every night but one (and always at the same table, with the same waiters). The one night I shared a table was when we were overnight at St. Petersburg. Because some passengers with early seating were on excursions that would come back late and some with late seating needed to leave for evening excursions, it was all MyTime that night and all shared tables. It worked out badly for me because of one ill-behaved person at a large table, but that is my only bad experience at a shared table.
  16. I was on a cruise on the Gem a few years ago where there was a mismatch between the MDR setup and the passenger demographics: it was while schools were in session, and there were very few family groups. Mostly parties of two, but the MDR had a large number of tables for six and not enough 2- or 4-tops. At breakfast, when only one MDR was open, parties of one, two, or three would have had to wait for a table alone, and the hosts recommended sharing. There was also some sharing at dinner, but less since the other MDR was also open then.
  17. Opposite question for me: I'm considering a booking on Carnival. It's a TATL, so not likely to be a party cruise; most of the passengers will be retirement age or older.
  18. The United Kingdom still has Bermuda on its green list, while the United States is on the amber list. So from the point of view of British health authorities, it's current safer than the U.S. Bermuda is on watch for possible elevation to amber, which would be the same risk as the U.S. These lists pertain to the requirements for entering Britain from each country. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england
  19. To my surprise, a couple of days ago I received luggage tags through the mail. I'm only silver with NCL and I'm not in a suite; my booking is for an inside cabin. From the roll call, it sounds as if they were mailed to everyone. OTOH, I'm bidding for an upgrade and if the bid succeeds, the tags will be wrong.
  20. The server will take and scan your card, and if you have anything (remaining) in the SDP should ask whether you want to use it. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you're limited to one of each course. They're thinking of Platinum dinner certificates, which do have that restriction. One other thought: NCL service in all dining rooms tends to be leisurely--or gracious, as they see it--so if you are eating before a show, tell your server.
  21. I also did this as a private excursion in 2018 and I definitely recommend it. The Pompeii ruins require a separate guide's license that our driver-guide didn't have, so a Pompeii guide met us there. Is it only Italy that requires ship-line excursions, or will they also be required at ports in France and Spain? I booked Palma and Barcelona excursions through Spain Day Tours, and they were helpful about going independently to places in Barcelona that the tour didn't include. I broke my glasses while on Mallorca and spent some time searching out Superglue in a village. The Mallorca guide helped me, but I found it own my own at a supermarket.
  22. Definitely a concern. However, the Bahamas and most, perhaps all, Caribbean islands are at the same risk level.
  23. I've never spoken with the PCC who continues to be listed on my booking confirmations. The one time I tried to reach him, he never called back. PCC #2 emailed me about an offer and I've spoken with him several times, to change bookings or make new ones. #3 called right after I had made the final payment for a cruise booked through #2, asking if I had any questions about the cruise. I thought he was asking if I had questions about either NCL's covid precautions or the Bermuda travel requirements, but he had no information about either. The next time I talked with #2 I mentioned this and he said that no one else should have called. #4 called the day after I put a new booking on hold. It was the weekend and I told him that I had to check with my office about the dates and he could call again on Monday afternoon. He didn't, and I completed the booking online. Do PCCs try to poach one another's customers? Does NCL employ a squad of people to post as PCCs? It reminds me a little of "Ruth Ames," the personal shopper at a department store when I was a kid -- all the women in the department answered to that name. These people do give different names, but those who call out of the blue give only first names.
  24. The U.S. doesn't allow cruises to nowhere; a call at a foreign port is mandatory, except for Alaska cruises this year. There is a chance of its being changed to a cruise to the Bahamas (GSC, Nassau) and southeastern U.S. ports. I have such a cruise booked for January on RCI (Charleston, Cococay, Nassau, Port Canaveral) and I'm not sure which I would cancel if I knew in advance. It's not rare for southbound cruises from New York at this time of year to be switched to a New England and Canada itinerary because of a hurricane, but AFAIK Canada ports are still not open to cruise ships. That is more problematic as a last-minute change because passengers usually didn't pack for colder weather. And a more general issue is that so much of the Bermudian work force is quarantined.
  25. I wouldn't do laundry right after disembarking if I were heading directly home. I might if I were staying on land for a while and needed clean clothes.
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