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Everything posted by BandBWCsmom

  1. Thank you. The only reason we are changing the equation is that the take all five offers is not offered for oceanview so in the grand scheme, it's less expensive to get a balcony or mini suite as we actually use all the perks.
  2. Thank you. I was searching for "family mini suite" and this didn't come up. However, I am still on the fence. Eeek! Is the larger balcony (which says room is 241 square feet) more actual living space? We always do Family Oceanview on Carnival just because it's 245 square feet and so more room to move and spread out than the balcony offerings (and has a separate 1/2 bath with a tub in addition to the bathroom/shower). I am wondering if it's truly 241 sq feet or does that include the balcony?
  3. Hi, Booked on first NCL and grabbed a family mini suite on escape. It appears from doing continued research that the square footage is really the bathroom and the tub appealed to us, BUT as the showers are glassed in (no water all over with showering down a five year old), I am wondering if a family balcony (B4) or a large balcony (Category B6 and says cabin is 245sq ft and balcony 70sq feet) might be better options. Also, I'm not clear how to tell exactly what the "additional bedding options" are for each of these stateroom classes. On all our Carnival cruises, the sofa turned to bed was great for our five year old and we put the 8 year old on an upper pullman. I tried youtube but all of the videos show the cabins prior to being ready for any additional guests. As the take all free is still going on for our cruise and is available for the balconies noted above, I really want to make the best choice for a cabin with four occupants. I'm sure I've found the right place to ask. Family Balcony, Large Balcony (Cat B6) or Family Mini-suite?? TIA
  4. I'm new to NCL too and booked on Escape. Can you clarify further? If you're happy, can you buy one for each person in your cabin (including children) and have $1000 cruise credit for $500??
  5. Hi, We are booked into a Family Mini-Suite on Escape. New to NCL. Does it qualify for the "suite" level gratuities or is it standard? I wasn't clear. We are fine paying whatever gratuities we are supposed to, so don't take negatively. More curious than anything. So excited to try NCL for the first time after 3 Carnival cruises in a row. RCL in March so really trying to see what we like best. We have two small children, so stuck with Carnival until now.
  6. Will do. And are the specialty restaurants amazing to match their descriptions online? First NCL so we are getting pumped.
  7. I got it. So sorry. Don't hold it against me. We are still recovering from vacation. I meant Escape. Looks like a fabulous ship!!!!
  8. Yes, Escape. Sorry. Can I claim post-vacation fog? That is good news.
  9. Hi we are just back from Carnival Breeze and eager to book another cruise. Thinking Norwegian Elation. Looks amazing. I was doing my due diligence and it appears that if my husband and I get the drink package, my sons must get the soda package. Is that correct? We have a 24 hour hold on a family mini-suite on Elation. It comes with the free beverage package which we will upgrade to include water and specialty coffees. What I noticed is that it appears my sons (ages 5 and eight) must get the soda package. My sons are not allowed to drink soda. Is this true and I read it correctly? And it doesn't include bottled water, correct? So I am buying them a soda package for drinks that they will absolutely never, ever drink? I just want to make sure I understand and I KNOW you all know. TIA!
  10. There is a yogurt parfait. I could totally be wrong. There was a fruit loop crusted french toast some days and regular with a banana on the others. I might be in vacation fog...
  11. We loved the country duo... from the north of england too. Who would think? Manny joined our cruise mid-cruise last week in Belize I think. Much better than who he replaced. Love him!
  12. It was not the new brunch menu (doesn't appeal to me as not enough of the plain jane stuff - think plain pancakes or normal french toast for the kids). I was glad it had not changed yet.
  13. We just got back from a cruise with our son who does the sofa bed. I bought an inflatable pool noodle. Put under the bottom sheet. He didn't roll out of the bed! Last year, we did the sofa cushions on floor and pillows. Every morning we found him on the floor. I didn't like that so much. https://www.amazon.com/Pool-Candy-Glitter-Noodle-Inches/dp/B07K4V5L2K/ref=asc_df_B07K4V5L2K/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=366290089327&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11523572178705158890&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011833&hvtargid=pla-984495505912&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=77897663922&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=366290089327&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11523572178705158890&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011833&hvtargid=pla-984495505912
  14. Yes, you have to be laid back. I've done a 5 star on SeaDream ... talk about catered to and the food was phenomenal. But, for a FUN family vacation ... this is great. You're not going to get five star food. That's okay. But, I really don't go to gorge myself. It's more about not cooking, cleaning or worrying. We laughed and played a lot together as a family.
  15. We just got back from the Breeze on Saturday. I had recently seen a review or two and was a little nervous Our experience was great. MarQ as CD really made the whole experience fun. My husband and I did silly dances with the crowds, laughed more than we ever have and really, really had fun. That's the point, right? Cleanliness: I did *not* see any disgusting bathrooms that were not maintained. One time, one sink had an empty soap dispenser and there was staff en route to that bathroom and I mentioned to her. I saw people cleaning all the time. Early in the morning, the spiral staircase got a full cleaning, walking through the casino they were cleaning everywhere. Hallways all being cleaned constantly. We don't usually do Lido Buffet, but when circumstances required it (overslept MDR breakfast one time) the attendants in the space were constantly clearing tables. We did go to the Mongolian Wok, Blue Iguana, Pizza and Guys'. I never saw giant piles of dirty dishes anywhere. It's important to remember this is a ship on salt water all the time. It's impossible for it to look pristine everywhere with salt air always around. Keep perspective and you won't be disappointed. Everyone was so nice. Yes, they concentrate on their work. But, I didn't see anyone appear beat down. I went out of my way to say Good Morning or Good Afternoon when passing by those working and I was always responded to in kind and with a smile. MDR: Our wait staff was so kind to us. We went out of our way to tip them well in addition to prepaid. Ronald, Rolando and Lou knew our sons' drinks the first day and went out of their way to serve us and quickly. Nobody appeared frazzled and everyone definitely knew their role and did it well. The seat coverings in the Blush DR need a steam clean or replaced, but it didn't ruin our vacation. FTTF: We had purchased FTTF as we travel with small children and appreciate early cabin access. Also, it helps to get all the luggage unpacked before muster/sail away so that the afternoon and evening are all about fun. Well, our luggage didn't arrive until after dinner while the whole hallway was lined with luggage of those that didn't purchase FTTF. I went to guest services and mentioned this. She acknowledged my concern and said she would take to her manager. I made no demands and just said that it was disappointing as paying $89.95 for it and really one of the two perks we buy it for didn't happen. The next morning, we woke to a letter from Guest Services saying that our FTTF fee had been refunded and we could maintain using the perks (priority access to Guest Services, etc). It was above and beyond in terms of resolution and we were very happy. Food: Not going to rock your world, but one can't expect dining such as a big city, 5 star restaurant when they're serving thousands of people. We weren't impressed enough previously with our steakhouse experience to spend the money to do it again. We did the MDR every night. Actually had some really amazing appetizers. All of the dinners were good. Not great. But with a great app and dessert - who cares? Waterworks: Kids loved, loved, loved it. I can't imagine my getting them on the Liberty again after their enjoying Waterworks. The slides about killed us old folks, but they must have gone up those stairs and down those slides 100 times per day. Camp Ocean - I had a Penguin and a Sting Ray. Both boys asked to skip dessert at MDR and go straight to camp. When we picked them up, they would occasionally ask to stay another hour. We used during the day too so we could go onshore in Belize without them and also after spending hours at Waterworks so we could relax by the pool. The kids enjoyed all the activities. Our childcare bill for the week (Night Owls) was about $70. I can spend that at home on one night of babysitter at $14 per hour. Sewer Smell: Smelled it in some hallways, back of ship on our floor. You walked through and out without issue. Remember, it's not a hotel on a foundation with a buried plumbing system. You're on the water with thousands of people doing their business. If my cabin had stunk, I am sure I'd be less blase about it. In our cruise FB group, I see some complaining about the smell in hallways, but didn't see reports from in cabin. Cabin: we had a family oceanview stateroom for two reasons: shower in the tub and not get water everywhere (you have two bathrooms) and the 241 square feet for a family of four. Abdul was our steward and was amazing. I noticed lots of people complaining about balcony location, room location, loud under the pool. But, they got room type guarantees. Pick your room based upon a deckplan. You get what you get with a guarantee. Oh, and bring a white noise machine and you can drown out everything. Our room was warm the first night. Uncomfortably so. Left Abdul a note that Sunday morning requesting a fan and it was there when we returned. Used for the cruise, but our room had cooled off and it was just an added bonus. We had noticed the second day that our room was much cooler. Must have had to do with being in port that first day, doors open for cleaning, etc. Not a problem after. Piano Bar: Brad was not our favorite. Lots of Elton John (you'll love if that is your go-to). Honestly, didn't think he was that decent of a singer. We only went for a few minutes before a comedy show or when the atrium music or shows were between times. Deck 5 mid: Found lots of entertaining trivia choices which were nice to do before early dinner and after getting cleaned up from excursions/pool. We were able to relax and enjoy a cocktail before going to dinner. People: The only rudeness I encountered was from some fellow passengers. That whole concept of let us off the elevator before you get on... lost on some. I just would say, "if you let us off first, there is more room for you to enter" and smile. That seemed to work. We took alot of stairs as that was our exercise! You can't fix stupid though, so don't let them bother you. We just hold our own children accountable for their behavior and we are accountable for ours. Ask me anything. We had a blast and can't wait to book another. It works well for families with kids. I've been looking at other lines (who doesn't) but hard to find an exact match on kids' activities, comedy (it's our favorite), etc. I think we're staying with Carnival for a while.
  16. I live about 20 min south of port canaveral. Evacuation warnings won't start until at least tomorrow. We don't even get a decision from the public schools until later today (they would be the shelters). We are supposed to sail on the Breeze on Saturday. Shutters up, everything brought indoors and turning a vacation into an evacuation (assuming we still sail)
  17. We sail the Breeze on Saturday (if it happens) and live just south of Port Canaveral so I understand the dual worries. When they cancel, how does that work? We do have trip insurance, but really want to do a vacation soonest. Just a straight refund?
  18. On the same cruise as you (Saturday). The big worry is what we have to cruise through to get around the storm and if we can do so in time. Judging by all the opening cabins, a lot are cancelling!
  19. We sail the Breeze on Saturday so time will tell if it's as dirty and disheveled in my humble opinion. I hope not!
  20. As a family that must travel with lovies, puppy, lion blanket I feel you and know the angst. I have my fingers crossed that you find it and I so appreciate this as when we cruise next week I will quadruple check having learned from you (I'm sorry). I hope you get it back! And a new one will not work. It has to be the one!!! We have back-up lovies for sickness, etc and it's not the same and my son calls them "new lovies til we get the real one back"
  21. You can leave him for lunch during port excursion. They do a taped off area in Lido. I don't recall snacks being offered, but we are sailing in 9 days so reach out after Sept 7 and I can let you know. I have a 5 year old and eight year old. The five year old would be in the same group as your son.
  22. We do Cheers for so many reasons. We can prepay it and not gulp at the end of our cruise on out of pockets. I did that once and the bill was so high and I thought that it took from the experience as I was worried about it. As the family bill-payer, that is the type of thing I sweat. By prepaying, I don't sweat it and it adds to my vacation as it's all handled and paid in full in advance. Additionally, to be able to get coffees, pelligrino, smoothies, soda if I wanted it. I drink alot of club soda with a splash of cranberry... that would add up as that is not free. It's hydrating and not alcoholic, but would add up by the drink. Been there and done that. To me, the lack of surprise adds value. To each their own.
  23. Thank you for sharing. We are on Breeze in 11 days!!
  24. When we sailed last August, Camp Ocean started at 8:30 the first night and was called "Explore Camp Ocean or something. Then they had Night Owls the first night starting at 10 PM (you pay for Night Owls, but cheaper than a babysitter at home and more fun). Whenever you're in Port, Camp Ocean starts earlier so when you're in Nassau, should start 7 something. And it's open through lunch. Sea Days it starts at 10 AM I think and you have to feed your own kids lunch and they open back up at 1. There are certain hours they combine groups (I had one in 2-5 and one in 6-8). Certain open play times, they combine. All of that info is in their schedules that they give you when you tour and check it out first day. It's open each night until 10 PM (Sea days or Port Days) and Night Owls til 1 AM.
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