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About Sailing12Away

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Travel, photography, video games, my dog
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  1. We've used the "free" air promo 3x out of our last 4 cruises. First cruise from Rome around the Mediterranean I found a great price direct through Alitalia for $500/pp from JFK and jumped on it. Next cruise we had "free" air from JFK to Miami and almost missed the ship. There's a thread somewhere in here about that misadventure. Completely the fault of the airlines, but the NCL customer service folks made the situation worse. Nearly the entire plane was traveling either on the Jade, Breakaway, or Carnival and we all were running for the ships. They handled it wonderfully when we finally arrived in Miami and no one from NCL missed their ships, but no one likes that extra stress unnecessarily. Next one was "discounted" air from JFK to Honolulu. The prices NCL gave us were nearly half what we were seeing on our own, so we took it. We were sailing with my sister & BIL who were coming in 20 mins after us from ORD, but NCL wouldn't let us take the shuttle bus together with them to the pier, even though we stumbled upon them at baggage claim. Our experience with the shuttle was better than theirs (due to our measly gold Latitudes status vs theirs being none? who knows...), but we all made it to the ship on time with an extra $600 in our pockets each to spend on pineapples and hula dances. Last one was "fee" from JFK to San Juan. We flew in a day early and dropped both NCL transfer for that leg of the trip, got an Uber from the airport to the hotel. Coming home was a bit of a nightmare at the pier as they were very disorganized with luggage everywhere, no one watching it and random trucks pulling up to throw bags in the back and take off. I would of preferred cancelling that transfer and just getting another Uber. Long story short - just do some price checking. If it's in your favor, take advantage. If it's not, just ignore it. If you book your air through them, they are obligated to get you to the ship on time. With our Miami Jade experience, it would have ruined the trip regardless if we missed embarkation day. It was a short 5 day trip and the first port was 2 days away, so not sure if they would of put us up in a hotel in Miami for those 2 days or in Belize for 2 days - but it all worked out in the end.
  2. It does matter, because a port stop is very different from an embarkation stop. They're not required to let everyone off the ship at a port stop. They could potentially restrict it to just Canadian citizens or people on officially NCL sponsored excursions only.
  3. The one we're booked on is roundtrip out of Seattle, which is why we intentionally chose that one hoping that we'd have better luck.
  4. Hopefully optimistic that people keep wearing their masks, we don't get a second wave of horribleness, and things start going back to a reduce sense of normalcy. My guess is that for the Canadian stops they won't allow non-Canadian citizens off the boat. Or, it will only be with NCL sponsored supervised excursions. Either way I'd be fine with that. We splurged for Haven on this trip for a reason.
  5. How in the world were you lucky enough to capture this shot? Or am I just naïve and that's a statue in the water? Our New Zealand/Australia trip for Jan 2021 isn't looking promising, so we booked Alaska on the Bliss for the end of April as our consolation prize. Your photos and review are making me super excited. I can't wait to sit back and soak in all that nature.
  6. Find the martini bar, and they'll make any variety you want. I ended up sipping lots of cherry lemon drops after I heard someone else ask for one. Regular lemon drop but with maraschino cherry juice added to cut down on the tart. I'm also partial to the frozen slushie drinks near the pool bars, miami vice is a mix of strawberry daquari, pina colada and blue hawaiian in a pretty red/white/blue layer.
  7. My January 21 cruise to New Zealand was cancelled, so we booked an Alaska cruise for April 21 instead. The ones leaving from Vancouver had a better itinerary going through the inside passage, but we figured we would have better luck being able to sail if we kept with a roundtrip out of Seattle instead. Fingers crossed that we'll be able to go.
  8. For anyone who has sailed on one of the previous Star Trek cruises, would you happen to have a photo of the daily itinerary listing of activities? Just curious what types of events and goings on happen as we decide if we want to get on board for 2022.
  9. We were in 16019 in January and had a great time. You'll love the extra room, and the private bar area was our home away from home.
  10. I've gotten lucky with their airfare promotions in the past, with free flights for both of us from JFK to San Juan. Just repriced the 3 cruises I have booked for April 21, Oct 21 and May 22 - I'm still ahead of the game on each cruise by ~$2000 and would be giving up my 5 perks in exchange for just 2 perks and discounted air. So for me, this new promotion is worse than what I booked at originally. Other times it has been better, so it all depends. Just confirms that I need to keep booking early and price checking often. I'm still bitter about my cancelled New Zealand cruise, that was the deal of the century. I booked that 2 years in advance and for 2 of us in a mini suite with included air from JFK to AUK, then back home from SYD to JFK was less than $4,000 total for a 10 night cruise with all 5 perks. The airfare alone is more than half that price.
  11. We've done Haven on the Jade and Epic, and are booked in a 2br suite (non-Haven) on the Pearl for next October. Jade has Haven, but not a full 'real' Haven experience. It has the private courtyard and pool area, but no separate restaurant or bar. One of the specialty restaurants is reserved for Haven guests for breakfast, and another for lunch, but it's not quite the same. Epic was a full blown Haven experience with every single amenity. Quite a difference in experiences all around. Not to say the one on the Jade was bad per se (outside of our horrible butler), but we keep that in mind when justifying the cost of upgrading to Haven. Full Haven we're willing to splurge a bit more for than 'mini' Haven on the smaller ships, vs ships with no Haven at all. For the Pearl, there will be 3 of us in a 2 br suite. To upgrade to the Haven would have cost an additional $3K. On the smaller ship without a full Haven experience (primarily the bar), we couldn't justify that. The only thing we would get by having a Haven suite as opposed to our regular suite is access to the courtyard/pool area. Not worth it for us at that price point. If it was a full Haven ship - then maybe. Looking forward to potentially sailing this coming April on the Bliss in Haven to experience that Horizon Lounge.
  12. We were in the 2br Haven on the Epic last January for an 11 day around the Southern Caribbean. It was fabulous. My hubby spent every night at the Haven bar, the bartender knew us by name and our drink of choice was in hand within 60 seconds of sitting down with our preferred snacks as well. Even when we went to non-Haven restaurants, some of the staff recognized us and said hello by name (didn't realize they worked all over the ship and not just in the Haven areas). Night and day different to our first Haven experience on the Jade. You will love it.
  13. We recently booked an April 2021 roundtrip out of Seattle on the Bliss. Preferred the itinerary on the Jewel better, but since it is one way to/or/from Vancouver, we figured we would have better luck with being able to cruise at all this early in the game if we stuck with a US departure both ways.
  14. We had a Jan 2021 cruise around New Zealand that was booked 2 years ago. That was cancelled on us, so we were planning a regular land tour with us driving around the islands instead. Now we're thinking that will have to get cancelled as well as NZ/Australia doesn't want us to visit at this time. We've now got 3 upcoming NCL cruises booked instead. Opted for April 2021 to Alaska out of Seattle, hoping that we'll be able to fly within the US without too much issue. Booked Greece for Oct 2021 taking advantage of the 3rd passenger sails free deal and stole that cruise at the price we got for a 2br suite (20% off offer, plus an extra 10% from them cancelling the NZ cruise). Third one is for May 2022 from Barcelona to London, around Spain/Portugal with a bonus stop for wine in Bordeaux. I'm getting completely stir crazy from not being able to travel. We also wanted to book a Germany/Czech trip for Octoberfest in 2022, but holding off until we're at least able to complete one trip successfully in 2021. Wear your masks people, stop the spread! I need my vacations!
  15. I don't use a travel agent, haven't found one yet that was worth their weight in salt let alone gold. The frustrating part is that their website specifically calls out "doctors, nurses, pharmacists and those working in 'research' laboratories". Just a personal gripe that so many people out there know nothing about clinical laboratory scientists. Who do they think is running those 1,000 COVID tests each day? Research and clinical are two completely different worlds. One requires a license, the other just a HS diploma and training. Yet the clinical folks are always forgotten about despite the stronger mandates around them.
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