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Luv Cruising Land or Sea

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About Luv Cruising Land or Sea

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Reading, MA
  • Interests
    Streetrodding and Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere a ship goes!

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193 profile views
  1. We are experienced snorkelers and we were also disappointed in the "snorkel trail" - signs were hard to read and we didn't see any more sea life there than other places. What do you recommend for good snorkeling from the beach either on ST or SJ? We are arriving November 13th and don't dock until 10:00 am on Regal Princess( we also don't leave till 10:00 pm so we have a nice long day to enjoy the beaches) but a late start getting to the beaches. There are two other ships in port that day ( Allure is one with 5000+ passengers and Carnival Conquest with 3000) We will be docking at Havensight along with Conquest. Thoughts on the best place to head for snorkeling? We don't mind laying towels on the beach and don't require a lot of amenities - if any besides maybe a bathroom.
  2. Same entrance as everyone else, but we did not see our luggage again until it was delivered to our room so that's one "plus". We did however keep a carryon with us, not knowing when the luggage would come up. Our flight arrived at 1:30 and we were on the ship just after 3:00 pm so we were able to go straight to our cabin and change for the pool!
  3. The transfer process was extremely disorganized and took almost an hour after we collected luggage. Taxi or "van shuttle" average about $10-12 per person - and would have gotten us there faster and cheaper!
  4. Good reason to have trip insurance - if you did you should check into reimbursement for the car rental!
  5. Report on "FREE AIRFARE" experience We sailed on the NCL DAWN Sunday March 17th out of San Juan. Flights were booked thru NCL "Free or Reduced Air Fare promo". We paid $99 round trip per person - great deal since several of my friends paid $500 per person or more! This travel was just days after the "grounding" of the 737 MAX. I called American to insure we were not on the affected flights and got the go ahead. We left Boston on a 6:10 am flight for Charlotte - on time with no issues. We carried on two small suitcases and checked on large one with snorkel gear and extra things we could do without if somehow that bag got "lost". We got to Charlotte a little early, giving our connection in Charlotte gave us about an hour and we had time to stop and get a breakfast sandwich on the go! Next flight to San Juan left on time and arrived on time. Got our luggage and headed to the meet up spot for the NCL Transfer. We kept that transfer just in case we were running late, but it was not well organized and we left the airport about an hour later. Taxi would have been cheaper and quicker and YES you can decline the transfers, and YES you do pay for them - they are not included with the airfare. The week was great until we started hearing the horror stories about missed connections, etc. Keep in mind this is NOT THE FAULT OF NCL booking agents! It all had to do with flights being changed because of the grounding of the 737 MAX - we heard that 60 ( yes sixty) people missed the ship in San Juan ( we left at 9:00 pm) and were sent to our first port of St Lucia to meet the ship on Day 3 ( we had a day at sea first). So we started thinking about our flights home - being retired we wern't too concerned and wouldn't have minded an extra day in SJU! We left the ship on Sunday morning - almost the last ones off. As it was, we sat at the San Juan Airport for a long time... our original flight was supposed to be at 2:24 so when we left the ship we just headed to the airport ( and glad we did - security lines were crazy!) but we still had time to hang out and have lunch....and then our flight was delayed to 3:15.... and then 4:00 and 4:30 and we finally left after 5:00. So knowing we would miss our connection in Charlotte I got on the phone and got the best available flights which were the next morning out of Charlotte with a change planes in DC. We got to Charlotte okay and American got us a hotel and food vouchers and we were finally at our hotel about 11:45 pm with a wake up call for 6:00 am! The connection in DC was altered slightly by changing arrival and departure gates to two different terminals but we made it with about 5 minutes to doors closing! So - was the "free or cheap" airfare worth it? YES IT WAS. One of our group members found out when we were at the beach (by another passenger) that her Southwest flight had been cancelled and they couldn't get them out till Tuesday so they switched airlines and got a flight out at 2:00 am Monday and paid twice the price as she had originally booked. Another couple missed their connection in Miami, spent the night there and finally got home to Tuscon at 6:00 pm the following night - these people had all booked their own airfare and still ran into mega issues so we were fine with all that went down with us. Things to know as they "extend" this program - you can now arrange for a pre-hotel stay on your own and pay a "deviance" fee of $50 to have NCL book your flights the day before the cruise. Originally you had to book hotel thru them and for us that cost would have been $280 per person for the hotel! That's nuts! Hope this helps someone else make the decision - as I stated most of the things that happened were beyond the control of NCL - the issues with the 737 caused any issues we had.
  6. We LOVE cruising out of San Juan... can't wait especially with the winds howling like crazy today here in the Boston area!
  7. As others have said you will see the cost if any of the airfare as soon as you hit "book". Be aware there are several restrictions - you will not see your "flight info" until 75-50 days prior to sailing and you are at the mercy of Premier Air (NCL Booking agent). Most flights are booked "same day" and can have one or more connections. You may opt to pay the deviance fee of $50 and fly in or out the day before or after. Until last week you had to book a hotel with NCL - this is no longer the case - you just pay the deviance fee. In my case flights to San Juan would have been about $1500 for the two of us - we are paying $99 each round trip but we are flying in the same day as the ship departs - at least she doesn't sail till 9:00 pm and we are due to arrive in SJU at 2:30 pm Transfers will be bundled in but you can opt out - cost is $29 per person each way. As other's have said you receive an "excursion credit" per CABIN not per person. You can use this credit to book excursions ahead of time but you must CALL NCLto do this. Booking on line will result in full charges and then a credit issued when you are on board.
  8. Okay - this new rule went into effect just a week or so ago so even the NCL agents are still learning the "in's and out's"... so here's the skinny - once ticketing has been done you cannot change your flights but under the NEW RULE when booking, you may pay the $50 per person for a deviation and they will book you one day prior or after and you may book your hotel on your own. Too late for us as we are ticketed and our cruise is less than 20 days away but good information to pass on to anyone else considering this perk. For us the savings by taking this perk is over $1200 - 6 months ago the flights to SJU from Boston were averaging about $700 per person and with one-stop and we paid $99/pp. Had I been able to take the deviation it would have cost me $150/pp for the airfare and the cost of a hotel for one night (avg $300 or less in SJU) so my savings still would have been almost $1000. With this new "deviance" rule in place it's a great deal! When considering the perks you want to choose you always have to price it out to see what works best for you...what you would spend VS what the cost is of the "perk" and also what the "fine print" is.
  9. Thanks great to know - I DID not get that memo from my agency! Will check into it now!
  10. The $50 extra is only applicable if you book hotel THRU NCL! We are using the airfare perk in March. $99 R/T to San Juan same day - got 6:00 am flights out of Boston (20 minutes from home) and change planes in Charlotte then on to SJU and the ship by 2:30 pm. I checked out booking the hotel and the cost was OUTRAGEOUS and negated the savings on airfare! They wanted more than twice the price for which I could book a hotel on my own so we didn't take it.... will post back after our cruise to let people know how it went! And as someone else posted the transfers are an added cost - $58 each
  11. 1. Easy fares (early booking) are typically lower than you will see as the cruise gets closer 2. If the price drops or promo's change before final booking you can call and ask for a price adjustment or cancel and re-book with the new promo's in most cases.( or a good TA will be watching this for you) 3. Deposit is refundable up until final payment (USA cruisers) Hope that helps....
  12. Since you are on the GEM assuming you are leaving from Boston? You will arrive Sunday afternoon and a lot of shops and places are closed so plan accordingly. We got bus passes at the visitor center and hopped on the #7 bus to go to Gibbs Lighthouse. You are dropped off at a little store at the bottom of a hill and have to walk about 1/4 mile to the light house. Nice walk and then you can climb the lighthouse for great views of the island (small fee $2.50?) Also not noted yet is that NCL has their own ferry now that runs from the dockyards to St. George - my favorite part of the islands. It is FREE and only for NCL passengers. It will be running weekdays from 8:30 am till I believe around 4:30 pm. In the past we have taken that ferry to St. George and then the #10 (or 11) bus from there to the Swizzle Inn/Caves - it's a much shorter trip than from Hamilton and you save money on the ferry. The bus system is something of a thrill ride in itself as you ride very close to the walls and shrubbery you will find yourself "flinching" but the locals are used to it and it doesn't bother them at all! St. George Village has some beautiful areas all within walking distance from the ferry. There's a beautiful little church, St Peter's, and Somers gardens with the Moongate stone should be in bloom while you are there. There are some old Church ruins and if you do venture up towards Tobacco Bay (can be done on foot but it's uphiill!) you can go beyond to Fort St. Catherine and explore there as well. TB is great for snorkeling and there is a little beach just beyond it called Achilles Bay - it doesn't have the services that TB has but if you like to snorkel this is a great spot surrounded by tall cliffs and lots of coral reefs.
  13. And it does not run on Sunday - We arrive on the Boston-Bermuda on Sunday afternoon but the ferry doesn't operate until Monday starting at 8:30 am (at least it was that way last year)
  14. Same here - we set our travel budget for the year and booking low and inside helps us to go more often! It's all in your attitude, and you have a great one - have a great cruise!
  15. The drink package is a good deal even if you are a "casual" drinker but you will pay $134 each additional for gratuities on the drink package and a $15 gratuity charge on the Dining plan so that $500 is more like $650. 3-4 drinks a day will average about $45-$60 (including gratuities) or approx $400 per person in beverages alone ( if you are not drinking "top shelf").- Internet is another $180 per week and a 3 meal dining plan is $94.60 per person... . You have to carefully consider apples to apples. Keep in mind the UPB also includes soda and non-alcohol frozen drinks. So, even if you keep your drinks to a minimum and don't buy internet minutes you will still spend about $500 per person on board.
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