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JasonShen

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  1. I read somewhere on this forum about the go-carts or laser tag activities for the kids at the kids club. That did not occur for our cruise (I asked the counselors and also double checked the activity sheets). In view of the number ratio of the kids and the go-carts, I doubt they would do that. I think there's an age limit for the kids club, which probably is 12. You might want to double check if that's important for you. Our kids are way below the age limit and that's why I am not 100% sure.
  2. Thank you for taking time to reply. No, I did not consider the fact that someone would take such an effort to write a long review on a dedicated cruise website if he/she did not have much to say. I did recognize and appreciate that people have different opinions about the same thing (in this case the same cruise, if that does happen).
  3. Sorry that I did not see your post until just now. Also sorry that I did not keep the activities sheets for this cruise as I was not sure how much exactly this ship followed the agenda. Let me also take this opportunity to provide some details for this specific kids club, for the record and for those parents who care. I spent about 30 minutes total during the middle five days out of the 7-day cruise to observe the kids club activities. By observing, I meant that I was standing about 20 feet from the group, PAST the transparent swing door at the check-in counter (got permission from the counselors at the kids club). I might be one of the few parents who had too much time to do so ... Anyway, in one occasion which was supposed to be a group dancing activity, for about 6 minutes since it started, all I saw was the two counselors dancing by themselves, swinging around the room, providing no guidance or interactions whatsoever to the kids in the group. The kids simply ran around the room by themselves. Whether this was fun for the kids is not my point. When kids got a chance to run around in a group they are always excited. I am also not saying that the onboard activities need to be very educational. But I was indeed surprised that it was so un-educational and unorganized. Of course each cruise line and each ship is different, but I was deeply impressed that there was a volcano explosion experiment in our previous (also the very first) cruise and how much my kids loved going to the kids club every day, which made me wrongfully think that it was the norm. I know there will be defending members but I was merely stating my very limited but first-hand observation.
  4. We started cruising last December and only have two cruise experience so far: One RCL Vision of the Seas (last Christmas to Caribbean) and one NCL Joy (May to Alaska). For the recent one on Joy, the service and the dining experience at the main dining rooms were unexpectedly bad (described in another post). Just now I took a look at the cruiser reviews (I had been quite disappointed as that was a very precious family vacation), and noticed that the reviews for Joy have been diluted/manipulated. For example, the following one, the cruiser gave full score to every category but there are no concrete details at all, only very generic descriptions. I also could not find any other posts by that member. Even with this manipulation, the rating is still much worse than Joy's sister ship, Bliss. [Not sure if this has anything to do with the cruise line: It is OK that things are sometimes out of control and a ship is not ready for its prime time; but if the cruise line is not willing to face the issues to try to make the service better, that is very sad.] https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=659063 Not sure if this review is genuine
  5. Thank you for sharing your experience! We definitely will choose smaller ships in the future. (And yes, I saw Jewel at Icy Point and I told my wife that I almost booked that ship ... in an envious tone.)
  6. Ah, yes. When I was working on the ship at midnight, I came here to ask where I could find a quick bite. People suggested Local (perhaps it's you -- thank you for the information) and I did check out the place. Unfortunately, Local was not what I had in mind -- I went to the library to work after a shower and was in very casual clothes (not in PJ) so I only wished to find a place for a quick bite and then went back to work. VOS had a stand providing DIY burgers and slices of pizzas at midnight that suited my purpose well. Local was more like a bar place where you want to find a place to sit for a while past midnight -- which was good but just not what I wanted during those situations.
  7. We had our second cruise on May 25 to Alaska on NCL Joy. Here are some random thoughts about this cruise. Our first cruise was last December to the Carribean on RCL Vision of the Seas (a small and outdated ship). I made no attempt to make it objective and all thoughts are very personal. 1. The Joy ship is huge. Due to the temperature (the weather was nice though), many facilities (kids water park and water slides) were not open to the passengers most of the time, which defeated my original goal of getting a fun ship for the family. 2. The kids club (Splash Academy) has no windows. I took the time to check out their activities while my kids were there -- most activities were illy organized. After the very first visit, we had to force our kids to there. The counselors appeared to be very inexperienced. When we cruised with Vision of the Seas (there were windows to look out), my kids loved going to the kids club. 3. The two shows "Footloose" and "Elements" were fantastic! 4. The internet worked great (fast and stable) and I did not encounter any issues at all -- much better than that on VOS (which was very spotty). I was able to trade my free 250 minutes to unlimited basic internet from the NCL app on my phone (for $125 credit). 5. The onboard activities were terrible! The singing and the dancing programs for passengers were extremely badly organized. My wife was quite let down as she enjoyed the wonderful dancing programs at VOS and had great expectation before our Alaska journey. The organizers were not enthusiastic at all (and here I put it in a very positive way). 6. The main dining rooms, Manhattan and Taste (did not have the courage to try the third one), were extremely terrible. The service was slow and rude, and the food was bland. Before our trip, I read somewhere on this forum that the food in the main dining room was cold. Yes, it was true. 7. The buffet place was similar to that on VOS. Lots of choices. 8. I read somewhere from this forum that the crew on Joy looked overworked. Yes, that's exactly the feeling we had while we were onboard. 9. The go-cart was great fun for the family. 10. The free "game" that was projected onto the wall at the Galaxy Pavillion was great fun for kids. They drew their own animals and used the scanner to scan the drawing, then the 2D drawing became a 3D object and was projected on the wall. 11. Not too many people played in the huge Galaxy Pavillion room. I think it's a waste of space. 12. The Arcade room was way better than that on VOS. Kids loved that. 13. The spacious "chandelier" place was a huge waste of space. 14. We loved our balcony room. We used the balcony all the time -- especially since the onboard activities were so bad, we stayed at our balcony frequently. 15. No 24-hour free dining. I, unfortunately, had to work from 9 pm to past midnight and could not find a place to get something light to eat. On VOS, there's a burger/pizza place to grab something to eat at midnight. Conclusion: The overall service and onboard activities definitely are subpar compared with those on VOS. The entire crews were also inexperienced compared with the crews on VOS. I regretted booking this trip for my family for the precious family vacation and we will never cruise with Joy again. A question to experienced NCL cruisers: Is my experience unique to Joy, or is it universal to all NCL ships? ...
  8. Forgot to mention, this is my first NCL cruise. Does it matter?
  9. Thanks for all of the replies. At this time (Day 4) I still have not received any flyer, and my housekeeper did not know about this promotion at all (that surprised me). Should I simply put my items in the bag and list all items and hand to my housekeeper tomorrow? Thanks.
  10. Thanks for the information. Although I am not a gambler, definitely will check out the casino tonight!
  11. I read from several posts that there are $19 laundry per bag on NCL ships. I am now cruising with NCL Joy and all I could find is a bag in our room with a price list with the cost for each item. Could someone please tell me how this $19 laundry per bag works? Thanks.
  12. I am unfortunate to have to work during my cruise, at least for the first few night. I am working alone at a quiet place on Joy (and was last night) and was wondering where I could get some light snack at such a late hour? I searched but could not find any answer. Don't ask me why I did not go to the guest service to get the answer ...
  13. Thank you both for the very useful information. Our cruise ship will be Joy. I am from Missouri and always thought that Alaska is freezing, much like the winter here in Missouri, or worse. Did not know it's like standing in front of a freezer (or fridge?). We thought we need to bring our winter coats (four winter coats already occupy a big suitcase!) but maybe not. Could you please also let me know if a winter coat is necessary? I checked some YouTube video just now after reading your post. Is the outfit described in the following video accurately describe what is needed for a late-May early-June Alaska cruise? (The video is randomly picked.) Thanks.
  14. Our Alaska cruise is at the end of this month (May) and we have a balcony room. At this time of the year, do people use the balcony? I am asking because we have two kids so the balcony room seems to be a bit too tight for all four of us. I have been thinking to bid on a family room that is much larger but has only a virtual balcony. I figure if it's too cold to use the balcony at all, we might better off bid on the family room. Thanks.
  15. perdiax, thank you for providing your experience on the NCL internet. Sometimes not you bring your work to the cruise but your work finds you, no matter wherever and whenever you are ...
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