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Sailing12Away

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About Sailing12Away

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    NY
  • Interests
    Travel, photography, video games, my dog
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. I think it depends on who you get and how persistent you are. We were in a DOS in February on the Jade and when I asked for help in booking an excursion - no problem. Emailed them again about 2 weeks later to request a second excursion and was told "we don't do that, you have to do it yourself". I was like, wait, what? Isn't that exactly what your job is? And if it's not, why did you do it once but not now? They ultimately ended up booking it, but it was odd.
  2. Our only experience in Haven was on the Jade in a DOS. Our butler was pretty bad and unresponsive, so I'm hoping that was just bad luck. Cabin steward was great, but not enough for us to justify spending that kind of money again anytime soon. When I complained to customer service when we got back they gave us a whopping $100 OBC. Gee, thanks.
  3. We've done it twice and are planning on doing it on our next 2 upcoming cruises as well. If the price is right and better than what you can do on your own, go for it. Our first time we had flight delays and almost missed the ship, but that would have been on them to find a way to get us caught up. Next trip was much better with no issues. First time we were put on American Airlines, second time was with Alaskan Airlines. Once you get your flight assignments in your edocs you can find your record locator number. Use that on the airline's website to manage your trip and pick your seats. I didn't have to pay extra, but my sister did because she waited too long and had to pay for extra leg room seats in order to sit next to her husband. Checked baggage costs extra (on average ~$30/bag depending on the airline). NCL also includes an extra fee for transfers to/from the airport to the ship. You can request these to be cancelled if you would rather take a taxi. Depending on the airport/port, the peace of mind is helpful. The biggest downside is you have no say in which flights they put you on (early morning vs later afternoon), which airline (they tend to go with AA and their subsidiaries most often), and how many layovers you get stuck with (although they do try to limit them as each leg adds a step for things to go wrong).
  4. Sorry, but I'm still confused. I was always told that in order to use the $50 port credits, I had to call to book excursions or book onboard. You couldn't book online yourself if you wanted to claim the $50 credits. Has that rule now changed? I would obviously prefer to book online myself than sit on hold, but don't want to lose that $50 credit. It's not much, but on an 8 port cruise it adds up...
  5. We failed horribly on the Epic as well. Sailing her again in January and hoping for a better go around this time (although we've already forgotten everything and will probably fail once again.)
  6. We did this cruise last May and it was great. I've got a fairly lengthy trip review if you want to know all of our favorites and lessons learned.
  7. Same with us. We did the Little Train to Nice during the film festival. Was traveling with my MIL who has some mobility issues, so this was perfect. You start off with a little time in city center at the marketplace where we grabbed some fresh pastries and coffee. The little train ride was nice with great views up at the top. After we got back hubby & I walked to the festival area - too early in the day to see anyone or anything, but we got pictures of the red carpets and security lines. Palma was one of our favorite stops. We had no plans, just took the shuttle to city center and wandered the streets. Found a great chocolate shop, a butcher selling mini chorizos in a cone, got lost, fumbled our way speaking broken Spanglish to ask a local for help in getting back to the mar (uno izquierda & dos derecha), then back on the boat. We went in with no expectations, and I think that helped too. I have a full review of our Mediterranean trip last May in my signature if you want more details that I'm not remembering now.
  8. We've had a bottle waiting for us in our room on all 3 of our NCL cruises. First cruise we were in a mini suite, maybe that helped? Second and 3rd we were Bronze. It's not too bad for free.
  9. Is the cruise still on sale now if you did a mock booking online? You may be better off re-booking directly yourself and then telling the travel agent to shove it and give you a refund. I don't understand how it would take over 6 weeks of back and forth to get an adjustment.
  10. Alaska is on our list of future cruises to book, and you put up a lot of good tips - so I thank you for that. For us, coming in from NY we'll have long flights regardless of where we fly into.
  11. The Epic has a cirqe de solei type of dinner show that costs extra. The other big headliner shows are free.
  12. It's funny how opinions can vary so widely. I was literally on the RCC website a few mins ago trying to find a cruise to replace our currently booked Jan 2020 one, but gave up. I can never get a full, accurate price as you can't add on drink packages or dining options until after you book. With NCL and their current 'take all 5' promo, everything is included in your price so there's no guessing. Drinks up to $15 included, anything exceeding that price you pay the difference. Free specialty dining for a few nights of your cruise, with plenty of other free options for dining at any time day/night that you want a snack. Main entertainment shows are included for free, with tons of other smaller options depending upon the ship (comedians, musicians/bands, game shows, educational seminars). Comparing NCL to Carnival and calling them equivalent is a low blow.... not even close. NCL and RCC are very similar in terms of clientele, but I tend to associate RCC with more of a family oriented ship with lots more kids things (completely dependent upon the ship though, as the newer NCL ones are a tough competitor). We've been wanting to try one of RCC newer ships with the penthouse suite, but again, I find it nearly impossible to find a cruise that has these rooms available and always just end up giving up. My best suggestion is to look through some of the trip reports for the ship you're interested in, and see if people have posted pictures of the daily newsletters. That will tell you exactly what type of entertainment is on your ship and your teen can see if anything catches their eye.
  13. Possibly the most frustrating thing of all.... Epic is still listed to be coming into Bonaire on various websites for the port itself. So I truly don't get why they are changing the itinerary... https://www.cruisemapper.com/ports/kralendijk-port-453?tab=schedule&month=2020-01#schedule
  14. The poor communication (which I'm seeing is a chronic problem for NCL) is the biggest issue. As others have pointed out, changes happen due to things beyond the control of the cruise ship company and they have to keep the safety of their passengers as the #1 priority. But to make these changes to multiple ports, more than 4 months in advance.... it just sounds fishy. Natural disaster coming through and destroying an island - no one will question that. Political unrest in a country making it unsafe - no one will question that. A bigger ship promising more visitors to an island getting priority at the dock and our smaller ship getting bumped - it sucks, but if that was the truth we would get over it and move on with our lives (provided there was a refund of port fees, which I still have not seen any mention of). Biggest issue is that their website this morning was still showing all those itineraries as they originally were. Making it impossible for me to switch to a different cruise if I wanted, until they get their sh@t together.
  15. You think that's bad.... our 11 day sailing on Jan 5th is losing 3 ports and only getting replaced with one - Tortola. We lost Bonaire, St. Maartin, and St. Thomas in exchange for 2 extra "relaxing sea days" and Tortola. As someone else mentioned already, we intentionally booked this sailing for the port heavy itinerary and low number of sea days. I hate sea days. Was curious to see if sailings on other dates were changed as well, and it seems almost random as to which ports were changed - unless some people didn't read their emails correctly. Literally just got home from the POA an hour ago, so waiting for customer service to open up and give them a call regarding our options. We booked this trip in May 2018 - so we got a great deal with tons of perks. If I have to rebook now for a different sailing to keep the ports I want, it will probably not be worth it. Plus we were planning on grabbing more cruise next certificates in January as we are now out of them. If I had to completely change my trip and rebook a new cruise, it would have been better to do it while I was literally just onboard and entitled to those perks when you book while on a current cruise. Not a happy camper right now...
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