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Everything posted by brovol

  1. Wife and I are not big drinkers, but I like the idea of not having to even calculate costs while on the cruise, and just getting what you might feel like getting, without regard to costs. She likes specialty coffee drinks, so that's a bonus too. I also need to stay in touch with work a bit, and like to be able to reach out to family and friends, so the internet is a big deal. gratuities must be paid regardless, so why not get that over with before the cruise. The plus plan with Princess seems like the best value of the prepackages on mainstream cruise-lines.
  2. We are platinum on Princess Cruise, and gold on NCL. We have also cruised most other mainstream lines many times, so I have a fairly good perspective. In short, we prefer Princess overall, but personally I love NCL freestyle cruising. Like others here, I have to wear a tie at work, and I never want to wear one while on vacation. NCL generally has better deals, and I consider it to be a slightly higher value, more often than not, then princess, or other cruise lines for that matter. Princess is a little bit more refined though, and seems a little higher end in most respects. Comparing food from one cruise line to another I think is inexact, subjective, and impossible. I think it is easier to do from one ship to another than it is between cruise lines themselves. The cruising experience is fairly consistent through all of the mainstream lines. It is generally a good product, regardless of which cruise line, or ship you sail. Cruising is like pizza and sex; even when it is bad it is good.
  3. It looks like the Royal class ships are different on the emerald deck after the Regal and Royal were built. Not even the same cabin categories. Looks like when the Majestic was built, and thereafter, they bumped the emerald deck out to match the width of the promenade deck below. thus the difference between what I was seeing and what is depicted on cruisedeckplans.com for the Royal. Thanks though.
  4. Actually, looking at pictures of ship exterior, I am now concluding that the balcony is extended beyond the balconies above, and is not covered. Contemplating moving my cabin.
  5. You guys are quick, and good!
  6. I am not seeing anything regarding my on board credit, which is supposed to be $150. Any special place they put that?
  7. It is still interesting to me that it says nothing about being a "princess plus" package. In fact, it says it was a "complementary gift" from my cruise agent, which is absolutely not accurate. We paid the additional amount for the princess plus perks. I suppose it doesn't matter, as long as we have it. It is just a bit curious.
  8. Thanks for the replies!
  9. Just booked a mini suite (MF) in the forward quarter of Emerald deck (E206) on the Sky Princess. Looking at ship photos, and counting cabins from the front, it looks like we will be well clear of the lifeboats, and should be able to look directly down from our balcony to the sea. But I am wondering whether our balcony will be covered, or will be open. We would much prefer it to be covered. Anyone know, one way or another?
  10. When I look at the cruise I just booked on my Princess account it doesn't say anything confirming I paid for "Princess Plus". How can I verify?
  11. I watched a few videos regarding the infinite veranda. I get what you are saying, but at the same time, as many balcony cabins I have been on, essentially you have a glass balcony rail, with walls separating your veranda from the balconies on each side of you, and most cruise ship balconies are covered completely; so in essence balconies on most cruise ship cabins are little more than room extensions with open air from the top of the handrail to the ceiling. That is essentially what you have with the infinite veranda when the separation wall is closed, right? The advantage of the infinite veranda, at least as far as I can tell, is that it expands the room when you close the window up and have that opaque separation wall open. I think it is a fantastic idea, and can't believe no one else thought of that before.
  12. Thank you all for the insight.
  13. Wife and I are well seasoned cruisers (25+), on many lines, but never on X. About to book Thanksgiving week, and chosing between the Edge or Reflection. I would like to check out the infinite veranda on the edge, and the ship looks pretty cool, but so does the Reflection, and a balcony cabin would be about $800 less on the Reflection. We are pretty casual people. Curious what Celebrity folks have to say about the two ships, and if you prefer one vs the other. Itineraries are comparable in our mind. Thoughts?
  14. I have generally considered Princess my favorite line, and we sailed Princess mostly for many years. Princess, in my opinion, had nicer, roomier ships, and was a bit more refined than most mainstream lines. But we have been sailing NCL more in recent years. It seems to provide more value, more itineraries, and I really appreciate the "freestyle" approach. We got kind of hooked on the NCL haven suite experience when we were traveling with our kids, but now that it is back to just my wife and I we are still sailing NCL. Don't get me wrong; I would book a Princess cruise in a hart-beat if the itinerary and price was right, but that is true with most other lines too. NCL, if you want to generalize, is slightly closer to the Carnival style when compared to Princess. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is a bit more of a party and drinking crowd (which can be fun), whereas Princess is more reserved. I would give it a try I was you. All cruise lines are a bit distinguishable in style, but at the same time, more alike than different.
  15. In short, there are no disadvantages to using a good TA. By good TA I mean an experienced, connected cruise TA, as opposed to the person in the neighborhood travel agency, who may of may not have specialties in cruises. I have used a cruise broker for 30 years. It used to be more advantageous in the old days, before the internet kind of evened the playing field, but even now our TA can provide a lot of insight, give valuable advise on promotions, handle the booking itself, and deal with the cruise-line whenever you have an issue, need to make changes, or deal with problems. TA's have separate contact lines with the cruise-lines, and resources you might not. Mine is part of a couple groups which buy cabins in bulk, which can also provide value. We also get separate "perks" or rebates through our TA every time we book a cruise. Even though we book through our TA, I still have the same access to NCL customer service that I would if I booked directly; and I have called them many times on matters where I chose not to go through my TA.
  16. Wife and I have sailed on most of the mainstream lines multiple times, and find that, while they all have their own general character, they are still more alike than different. Most of the things people either rave about or complain about a certain cruise line, as compared to another, are subjective; food, entertainment, etc. I enjoy a very casual vacation, with several options, but little commitment. There are a few things I would have NCL do differently, but i do appreciate the "freestyle" concept. I have to wear a tie to work each day, so the last thing on want on vacation is to pack and wear one. Food is a big deal to me, and NCL satisfies my palate. It seems that each cruise line has some great food concept that it does particularly well. Love the bread pudding on Holland, and the sandwich/deli station on Carnival. In short, I wouldn't hesitate to cruise with NCL. And besides, cruising is like pizza and sex; even when it is "bad" it is still good.
  17. Pot meet kettle! If folks are among the group (elderly/unhealthy) which is actually vulnerable to serious problems secondary to covid-19, and wish to take full precautions to "be safe", then take whatever precautions you want in order to "feel safe", including but not limited to living your life in a bubble. The rest of us will do the same, and by that I mean we will exercise self responsibility and judgement, making whatever choice we care to make; including not wearing a mask. This concept is called "equity" or "liberty", and is the very definition of "fairness". It is obnoxiously "selfish" to expect the government to impose restrictions like mask mandates on people who don't wish to wear one. It is like expecting the laws to be changed to make driving a vehicle illegal for everyone because YOU personally think cars are too dangerous, and prefer walking. This is particularly true in the case of covid-19 restrictions, when the clear and overwhelming "data" establishes the great weight of risk is with people over 70, and those with premorbid conditions; both groups who can be provided special precautions without stifling life, liberty and the economic wherewithal of everyone else. It amazes me how the mask-police-state folks stand on a stump, and in such a self-righteous way, preach moral superiority, all while acting as if they were a communist dictator ready to throw another "non-elite" to the Gulag for challenging the logic or wisdom of their latest imposition. How about instead, you spend a few hours without digesting the MSM spin, and actually think independently about the distinctions between fact and fiction, and right versus wrong.
  18. This is just wrong. I just got my credit on a cruise where I got the free at see promos. The stock-owner credit applies to all NCL cruiser who have 100 shares or more. It is $100 per cabin.
  19. Wife and I have the Breakaway booked for end of March 2022; after our bookings for the same cruise in both 2020 (Getaway) and 2021were cancelled. We are hoping the third time is the charm. We booked the same spa club-mini-suite, for the same exact week, each of the three cruises, and both the second and third bookings were fully covered, and then some, with the FCC we got from the first cancellation. (Actually were also able to prepay all gratuities, and streaming internet, as well as a few other things with leftover FCC, and still have almost $200 left). I booked the new cruises right after each cancellation, but have had my TA check each time the new deals come out to see if I should get some adjustment. So far any difference has been de minimis or minute at best, so we haven't needed to adjust at all. Contrary to what some on this forum have stated, I dont think the pricing has gone up much post-covid, and think it is actually fairly reasonable, all things considered. I am more concerned about the covid related restrictions for the cruises once they sail. I want to experience an enjoyable cruise, and if logic-defying rules destroy the experience, then why bother. Not opening up the debate, but suffice to say I fall within the minority, I think, believing that business closures, and mask laws, conflict with liberty, and folks should decide on their own what to do. But I'll digress on that point. I hope the Breakaway is a great choice, for you, me, and others who book.
  20. Wife and I have been on 25-30 cruises (lost count), including several with NCL. We tend to have dinner in the MDR, but occasionally eat at a specialty restaurant. Although every meal isnt always perfect, we have generally been pleased with the food and experience in the NCL MDR's. And if you dont like something, dont eat it; order something else. We typically go on 7 day sailings, and never get sick of the MDR. We like NCL for its freestyle cruising. I have to dress up for work every day, and hate having to do so while on vacation. But the food on NCL is generally as good as the other mainstream lines. Each company does some things better or worse than the others, but it is fun to be able to compare the pros and cons while sailing. And cruising is like pizza and s_x; even when they are bad, it is still pretty good. I doubt you will be disappointed with the NCL cruise.
  21. I have always found the ship water to be quite good, even from the bathroom sink in our cabins, and i tend to be a bit picky with my water. Ship water is what i drink 90% of the time when I am on a cruise, and I drink a lot of it. My wife and I take the stairs instead of elevator, do a lot of walking, and exercise at the gym daily, so we drink a lot of water. I dont know what the CDC inspection violations referenced above mean in terms of the actual water quality, but I can tell you it tastes good, and never has made me sick or queezy, even after almost 30 cruises. The water plants on ship are high end, and at least match those of most municipal systems. In my experience, NCL has self-serve juice and lemonade always available in the buffet. It is from concentrate, and is usually better after adding some water, but it is very decent quality.
  22. I follow rules as a strong rule; however, the drink deal should be good for at least 5-6 drinks per person per day, so if you are only getting 1 or 2 for yourself, I wouldn't lose sleep for the sin of grabbing a buddy 1 or 2 drinks per day. I am not advocating that, but I promise most wont pass antagonistic judgement towards your soul. My wife and I don't drink much, but get the drink package when it is a promo option. We will each get a couple drinks here or there, then comment to each other how we waste the benefit by being "lightweights" Meanwhile, others all around are getting more than the value of the deal by pounding 30 drinks a day. More power to them; but the point being, NCL has a figure in mind about what the average passenger will drink with the package, and you will be well under that, regardless.
  23. Couple questions. We have some leftover FCC after rebooking our cruise (for the second time) on the Breakaway. It looks like we could purchase a spa gift certificate, then use it on board (we already prepaid gratuities and the unlimited streaming internet with FCC, but still have more to use). We are in a club spa minisuite, and I am not sure if that gets us any additional discounts for massages, but it looks like we get 20% off because we are gold latitudes (while in port). So we are thinking about getting a couples massage while in port one day. NCL website doesnt say what that would cost. Anyone have any idea? And, do they do a pretty good job? Feel free to offer any other insight you can provide regarding onboard massages.
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