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taraavo

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Everything posted by taraavo

  1. Have really enjoyed your review, as always. Sorry your vacation is over but I'm ready to pick back up in ATL to get ideas for our next trip down!
  2. The Epic was my first cruise ever, too. My husband and I loved it. Our best two meals were at La Cucina and Moderno. If the Garden Buffet is busy in the mornings, take your food down the stairs and sit in La Cucina. The Atrium area and bar are nice, as is Maltings and the bar that runs between Moderno and Cagney's. There's a quiet sundeck on deck 18 where hardly anyone gathered, it was amazing. On sea days they set up a small bar there.
  3. pasta fagioli and carbonara, both from La Cucina, were two of our favorites on The Epic.
  4. You'll have a great time. I just went on my first ever cruise in March on the Norweigian Epic. My husband and I loved it. You're doing a good thing by coming here to research - I learned a LOT about what to expect. My first piece of advice is this: keep in mind that everyone here has different "favorites" and "hates". Take anything negative you read about your ship with a grain of salt and tell yourself you're going to have a great time, and you will. Epic is arguably the most hated ship out there if you read reviews, but we LOVED it. Get the reusable straws from Amazon if straws are important to you. If you drink a lot of water, take a Nalgene or something so you aren't having to buy bottles. I drink water literally all day and the water on the ship is fine. Use the beverage package to try new things. You can get continental breakfast delivered to your room for free but the other stuff has a room service fee. So, you can order coffee to enjoy on your balcony in the morning, etc. before heading out for breakfast. Make your Cagney's reservation now if you haven't yet. Try the wings at O'Sheehans/ The Local (whatever its called on your ship). Decide where you want to be for sail away and get your drink in hand, this was one of the most exciting parts for us, heading out of Port Canaveral with an Aperol Spritz on our balcony, embarking on our first cruise experience.
  5. Tiki Tango!! That's on our list for next visit to ATL. Thanks for sharing all the pics, etc.
  6. Our itinerary for the Epic says will be in Coz from 8-5. I've received mixed answers as to whether or not the ship changes to local time. Either way, when do they usually do the "all aboard" / when, prior to 5, do they typically require everyone to be back on the ship? It's hard to plan with my taxi driver without knowing these things. Thanks!
  7. I'm back with a question about phones. I'm aware of the internet packages (have a social media package), the existence of texting apps, etc. There is one 5 minute phone call that I absolutely have to make on a sea day. I know it will cost a pretty penny and I'm prepared to pay for it so my question isn't related to pricing, it's a phone call that has to be made and cannot be carried out via texting app. I have confirmed that my phone carrier is part of Norwegians CellAtSea program. Do I just make the phone call regularly or do have to have a certain app, etc. for it? Thank you!
  8. Thanks for putting all of the time and effort into your reviews, even if you can't do them on the fly anymore with the stupid app issues. It's always fun to read about your trip, especially the food and drink. You would definitely have followers were you to document some of your Atlanta eats and drinks. On that note - check out the Mai Tai's and Cobras Fang at SOS Tiki!
  9. Thanks for all of the tips so far!
  10. Oh I have another one - is there a bar at Cagney's or Moderno that you can get drinks from if you aren't eating there? I read about this on one of the other ships but wondered if Epic has the same. Thanks!
  11. Now that my cruise is so close, I'm thinking of additional random questions I haven't asked yet. If I hope to change a reservation for dinner on embarkation day, what's the recommended way to do it? Do I go to guest services? What are the touch screen kiosks everyone talks about? Also, on the itinerary on MyNCL, am I assuming correctly that times listed for port days are ship time and not local time? Thank you!
  12. It 100% looks like someone choking a baby. La Cucina is looking good. Glad I made a reservation there for my upcoming cruise. Thanks for continuing to share.
  13. When this debacle first started unfolding I thought "Surely whatever it is will be fixed by the time I cruise". ( I know that sounds selfish, and I feel for EVERYONE inconvenienced in both sailings so far). Now I'm legit concerned. We're supposed to cruise on March 2. It's our first cruise, ever, and I am beginning to actually worry.
  14. I've posted some other questions over the past couple of months about my upcoming cruise - first time ever cruising (on the Epic...so you can imagine I've been glued to the boards and social media groups). With all of the talk about drink prices lately, I thought I'd start a new thread looking for your tips on ORDERING. For example, do you ask for specifics when you get your margarita? Like, "fresh margarita with Patron and a float of Grand Ma"? I will 100% admit, loud and proud, I'm picky about cocktails and don't like lots of sugary mixers. Just looking for pointers on which bars or ways of ordering I can use to get good, fresh (not premixed) drinks without coming across like a total dolt and/or pain in the rear. What are your go-to's?
  15. FWIW I recently had to get an updated passport to reflect my married name. It was about 6 weeks before my cruise and the estimated turnaround time was 3.5 / 4 weeks. Even still, I was stressed, so I paid to expedite it. I got my new passport in under 2 weeks. Read the requirements for payment to save yourself time before you get to the clerks' office (Part of the payment for renewal needs to be a check or MO made out the state department; some of the smaller fees will be payable to your local government office). Your old passport will be sent off priority mail with tracking, and when the expedite office receives your request for the new passport, you can track progress online by entering your social and a few credentials. This soothed my nerves a little as I was able to monitor the expected shipping date and see when my "New" passport was on its way to me.
  16. Thanks so much for coming back to post your tips after your vacation. These are extremely helpful as we head out for our first cruise(ever) on the Epic in March.
  17. So excited to follow along with your review. First though, I have to chime in..... I LOVE Trader Vics; so glad you finally visted. My husband is a rum guy and we regularly go to the ATL TV's. The two bartenders you saw there are the only two bartenders who work there. They have worked together pretty much every single day for something like 20 years. And you're right, it is one of the only remaining locations.
  18. It's my understanding that once you make charges up to the amount you have deposited, you're "cut off" until you deposit more money. So, you can't actually "dine and dash" so to speak. If you deposit $200 and chip away at that until it's gone, you have to go deposit more money to keep spending.At least, that's what I've gathered from reading here.
  19. Yes, I didn't mention excursions or port spending because we know what those will be (we have GSC and Coz as our ports, and have our Coz day planned out / budgeted for). I guess in my initial post, I was primarily looking for tips on any charges we might incur while on the actual ship that wouldn't necessarily be obvious to a first time cruiser. We have a rental car on both ends of the cruise because we're spending additional time in the area, so that is sorted out as well. I've definitely read a mixed bag of opinions on the tipping, but I plan on having cash at hand for that as I see fit, particularly because I do in fact see us ending up at a regular bar spot. My husband likes good cocktails and I know that when he clicks with the right bartender who will make him Old Fashions he enjoys, we'll be going back to that spot again and again. Thanks to all for the great tips!
  20. Thanks for the photo! I'm bringing the brita bottles because that's what we own already in terms of refillable bottles. I'm sure the water is fine, I just need a vessel ;).
  21. Thanks, all. I drink a LOT of water so we're bringing a couple of Brita filtered bottles we have to use throughout the trip. I cannot in good conscience spend what they're asking for Aquafina....which I would never choose when buying bottled water, anyway. Re: the room service / continental breakfast, are you still charged the 7.95 delivery fee for the continental stuff or is straight up included without additional fees? I think having something to get started in the morning on the balcony sounds nice. I've also heard the coffee in the restaurants / room service is better than the in room coffee? Is there anything to that or just BS?
  22. Thanks for that reminder re: insurance. I looked at some quick quotes a while back but need to finalize something!
  23. Thanks for the quick replies! Yes, good lists of reminders on the "optional" things. And we plan to have a cash-stash for tips as well. We, too, have one major credit card and I'd prefer to keep it open for emergencies. I think the cash deposit will work best for us.
  24. My husband and I have our first cruise (ever) coming up in March. As every bit of this is new to me, I am trying to make sure I understand the scope of charges, credit holds, and additional onboard expenses that we might incur so that we budget sufficiently. 1) we have UBP with gratuities 2) We have 3 nights specialty dining with gratuities 3) I have prepaid our services charges ( I think that's what it's called? It breaks down to something like $13.99 per day pp) I have read that under no circumstances should we use our debit / bank card for the "hold" or authorization required when we check in (for reasons I well understand). Is a major credit card our only option? What amount can I expect them to hold for my husband and myself? I've read differing explanations of this. Some have said $300 pp and some have said $300 total for both of us. We're ultimately one "account", right? Also, is a cash deposit an option for this? and, when do we actually take care of setting this up? Finally, given the prepaid items I've listed above, what things would we do on the ship to cause additional charges to be incurred? Obviously eating an additional night specialty, or going to the ice bar, or ordering drinks beyond $15? Is there anything else I need to be aware of that might add up? I just want to make sure I have a grasp on all of this before we cruise so I'm not worried about it during, and so that we don't end with some unexpected or unpleasant surprise charges. Thank you all in advance.
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