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Wedgie23

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  1. Gratuity on a spin class?? Is that in any way normal?
  2. Was that the one where they were full on breaking the ship apart- had workers with hazmat or breathing apparatuses sanding away parts of the ship feet away from decks of people? People got covered in dust and started wheezing? I'd only seen it in pictures but it looked like just about the entire outside became unusable for the trip due to it being fenced off or I'm guessing just the fumes alone. Did the passengers ever get their refunds? I really can't believe any line would have done something like that and certainly not Norwegian. I don't even think 'refund' would be enough for a situation entirely of the lines own making that has the ship unusable or dangerous to it's passengers. Other than a gap of sailing dates for a ship is there any way to know for sure when it is going into dry dock? Sorry if this is a derailment from the OPs question.
  3. Hardcore NCL people may be distraught about the direction the line is going but I don't think many of them would say they had absolutely horrible times on their vacations even if they may be looking towards other lines. Perhaps if you gave some specifics of things you've read that are concerning you about your vacation people can tell you the realities of what those issues are like/how often they occur and how possibly to mitigate or avoid them completely.
  4. Agreed. Gem is doing the Bermuda run from Boston while Encore does it from NYC. For me it adds about 6 hours to the drive but I'd much rather do that than deal with everything it looks like they are doing to Encore. Less passengers/smaller ship alone would be preferable but all the Encore's upper deck mess just doesn't sound like something I'd like to deal with. Gem doesn't have H20 either but it does have Bali Hai which I understand to be similar. At least no Go Karts and Laser Tag taking up all the room or turning it into a Disney cruise with thousands of kids running around. Don't know if Boston is feasible for you to get to. Celebrity does Bermuda runs from Cape Liberty NJ. Haven't been on a Celebrity ship myself, not a huge fan of dress codes or overly stuffy environments but I might check them out after next Summer. Not sure when you're looking to go but Escape is still doing NYC to Bermuda for the rest of 2019 and Dawn will be doing one 7 day run this November.
  5. Gem is doing Bermuda from Boston Encore will be doing Bermuda from NYC.
  6. Someone posted this FAQ for the meal package in another thread https://www.ncl.com/specialty-dining-package/faq Margaritaville and Food Republic are now included. $7 per person upcharge on top of the dining plan for Pinochos Tapas place is now not listed. If the new FAQ is correct and seems to have happened right before this change it would tell me they are raising prices in the other venues to cover things that are now included. Realistically it doesn't make much sense to have 3 restaurants going unused because they were all ala cart or had a 'walk in the door' fee. Now it seems every restaurant it useable to people with the dining perk but with more restrictions towards the higher priced items per restaurant. I don't think this is them getting more money I think it's them evening out for including more. Personally I'd rather have more restaurant options overall and pay upcharges only if I wanted something more expensive than pay an upcharge just to walk in the door.
  7. That's funny, hour and a half-2 hour line from heck I experienced on the Breakaway when I opted for their standard-bags removed for you option. I did not want to repeat that on Escape so we did walk off with bags even though we were on the 12th floor, luckily we were able to get an elevator, though were surprised they were not running any dedicated elevators to disembark level like they did while in Bermuda. Time from in the room to in the car was under 30 minutes. As Escape seemed much more crowded I imagined that march was somehow going to be even worse. After talking to friends and reading more about it here seemed we just lucked out and it's a crap shoot no matter the ship, no matter the time, no matter the method.
  8. On the Escape I overheard several people talking about blowing off reservations, both for the restaurants and for one of the shows. It seems it's become common practice to book whatever you can when you get on and show up to whatever you feel like. I found this frustrating because by Monday the show I wanted to see was all 'sold out' for the week. Specialty dining booked up very quick also. I had an unrelated issue I needed to go to guest services about and to make it up to me they were going to try to get us a reservation for Le Bistro on the last night. The rep had to spend quite a few minutes on the phone, was able to come up with a time of 9:30 and told us we may have to wait since they are completely booked, totally fine. We show up to a restaurant with 1 other group in it and dozens of empty tables. Since they want to make extra money everywhere they can they should start with charging people for no shows. Every other passenger is inconvenienced by this 'rush to book then don't show up' mentality some others have. A $5-$10 dollar charge per person for anyone who makes a reservation and doesn't even bother to call and cancel should give them some of the extra cash they are clamoring for while also making things better for everyone else on board.
  9. I preferred Breakaway to the Escape but I suppose that could be rather subjective as there was a 2 year gap between when I sailed. I found the Escape much more crowded which while the Escape does have a larger capacity could be due more to how full each individual sailing was when I took them, I have no idea. Most of the downsides of Escape had to do with the amount of people on board so I suppose given I don't know how full one sailing was V the other isn't a fair comparison. Many of the smaller changes or cut backs most likely would be fleet wide so would have been noticed all the same on a second sailing of Breakaway years later. That said if all else were the same and I could chose Breakaway or Escape I would chose Breakaway.
  10. I was on Escape last month and had towel animals. I did not request them but did thank my steward for making them and left it in the hero card how much they were appreciated. I'm assuming turn down means nighty spruce up when the towel animals are made and the dailies left? Then yes. That's sorta the rub. They stated when they removed them from some ships anyone who still wants them can ask but now people need to feel guilty for asking for something that was once standard but is now special request. I'm sure the stewards are given less time to make up rooms on those sailings because they arent expected to be making them. I wouldn't have asked for them myself because I don't want to annoy them with a 'special request' that isn't a need but I would have been disappointed if they weren't there. Disappointed enough to ruin the cruise? Absolutely not, but the towel animals are so iconic to NCL they would have been missed. I found them to be perfect little exciting ends to perfect days. Oh well, I suppose if they aren't there on the next cruise I'll send hubby down to the class and ask him to surprise me with one every night, I'm sure that will go over well 😃
  11. You and a few others are misunderstanding OPs predicament. He used a debit card. On the cruise NCL placed various holds (with his permission) on his debit card in $500 increments, so assuming $1500. OP interpreted these 'holds' as charges of what he has spent. After the cruise, with the $1500 of holds still on his account, he was then charged the $1,4XX he spent. So currently NCL is holding $1,500 even after they received the $14XX payment. Now OP is in the situation of having twice as much as he spent missing from his account until the holds are released. Judging by other posters here it could be the bank, not NCL, taking so long to release the holds and this is the reason why people don't use debit cards for their accounts but OP isn't disputing they spent $14XX he was disputing what he viewed as double charges after spending $14XX but having $3000 gone from the account. His dispute will be denied once his bank sees the double charge is 1 charge and 1 hold but I'd think most people not used to cruising or cruising under a debit card wouldn't be expecting to see twice as much as they spent MIA from their account when they got back.
  12. Thank you very much for letting me know your personal experience in that room. It looked very small and seeing pictures someone posted of the bed once it was set up looked like it was rather short but hard to judge, it certainly doesn't seem that it's worth paying more to stay there. Thank you all, it seems the best option would be 2 balconies.
  13. Well supply/demand, you know that whole dance. If you check out the thread about them removing the open bar from Sun sailings apparently they are moving it to do Alaska runs. So that would be 3 (or is it 4?) ships just for Alaska that's how popular it apparently is. I imagine once the Sun starts doing runs a slight reduction in fare. I get what you're saying and while I don't disagree I think the Alaskan itinerary isn't really the best way to make a fair comparison.
  14. Ah roger that. Though it is another space taken from the public. Was the existing Haven area too small for haven guests? Anytime I see pictures of the Haven areas they always look like a ghost town. I do understand more with this one why there may be a need to change it entirely if they are going to change it. Just removing the sign could lead to some interesting misunderstandings. Could it be possible they have put a door at the top of the stairs to restrict access to 15 leaving 14 unrestricted? I suppose you wont really know until someone comes back from the ship but all hope may not be lost for your spot.
  15. That sounds wise. However you do your research, make your purchase then they change it on you after. Getaway and if it is true, Gem customers researched/booked/paid before the changes. How is it the customers fault they didn't anticipate a new pay wall installation between ticket purchase and sail date?
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