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About Megalyn

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  1. I'd be less cranky about the drills starting late if they didn't start lecturing about no phone/ebook usage so early. These can include threats about taking away your device. I have absolutely no problem paying attention during the presentation. I even watch on flights since it seems rude to ignore the flight attendant. But the expectation of me putting my book away when you aren't actually doing anything yet drives me bonkers. The benefit of the indoor muster stations like the theater is that at least you get to sit down and be in air conditioning. But it's easier to hide behind someone with your Kindle when you are lined up 5 deep outside. 🙂
  2. But realistically, don't those same things apply to most travel? Flights can be cancelled, weather can keep you stuck in a resort, other people in your hotel can be involved in a brawl, you can get sick anywhere. The only piece exclusive to cruising is that you are trapped with the others. But even with the upset happening on the cruise in Norway right now - the other passengers were able to simply avoid the atrium and stay away from the mob.
  3. If you pre-pay, you will received a credit onboard after the excursion is completed.
  4. Buy a bathing suit - and you are ready! Please don't put additional pressure on yourself.
  5. You may also want to speak to your doctor about some anti-anxiety meds. They are commonly used for people with a fear of airplanes just on travel days. It may be worthwhile to have some on hand just in case. It will provide you with an option if a storm hits. Even having them in your possession may give you more peace of mind. Best of luck & I hope you have a wonderful time!
  6. As far as the spa portion - yes, the primary perk is access to the thermal spa which could also be purchased separately. The rooms are also located closer to the spa. For a 7 day cruise, the thermal spa pass is usually $199 if you purchase in advance. The spa rooms can often be over $1k more than the regular balcony.
  7. Your perk doesn’t get applied until after the excursion. So if you pay $150 and go, you get $50 back. If you don’t go, you get the $150 back. If you don’t book a replacement for that day you lose the credit. If your onboard account is negative with refundable credit at the end of the cruise, you receive a check several weeks later. That happened on my last cruise since I had booked excursions early so I could budget one per month. One was cancelled due to weather; the other I cancelled since I wasn’t feeling well.
  8. Greetings! I had a bad experience with Carnival many years ago with the shuttle from the airport to the boat. It was an early flight and we ended up waiting nearly three hours at the airport for the bus to leave. It wouldn't have been as bad if they were up front about it, but kept saying "soon" so that we were not able to wander around. I vowed not to do the bus again and to get a cab. I grabbed a cab (Miami airport) last year for an NCL cruise and ended up feeling unsafe - I'm a solo traveler. Very angry cab driver without strong English skills. Things were so packed around the port that the police made him do laps before queuing in line for dropoff. Driver blamed me since he was using for extra gas for a flat fare. I had no issue with giving a larger tip, but couldn't really communicate that well. I seriously considered getting out of the car at one point when we were in backed up traffic but my luggage was in the trunk. I got my free flight information for my cruise next month and I'm due to arrive at the airport at 10 am. I'm torn on whether to cab or bus it this time. I feel like both of these experiences were the exception to the rule. Leaning towards the bus since I'd rather be inconvenienced than terrified but I thought others may have experiences to share about the NCL shuttle bus service to help me decide.
  9. "Lactose free" milk does contain lactose - it just also includes lactase (same as Lactaid tablets) to help digest it. Since you can tolerate that, you should be okay using the tablets as well. You could certainly ask for special preparation, but carrying along some tablets as well will ensure you can enjoy the foods regardless. I actually pack two bottles of pills for cruises since the soft serve ice cream machine is one of my very favorite parts of the boat. 😀
  10. There are two other "benefits" to booking a studio. They are in a separate section of the ship, behind an additional locked door. It's similar to some countries that have a "single ladies wing" in their hotels. It's considered extra security because less people are wandering around that could push in when you open your door to enter/exit. The other piece is the studio lounge. Concept was great...in my experience the execution was less so. NCL originally planned on having solo events in the lounge, but since many solo's booked their own non-studio rooms they had to move everything to a public area. That kept the lounge empty on my voyage. I didn't consider either of those pieces a real benefit to me, so I don't plan on booking studios in the future unless there is an excellent deal.
  11. I also bring a universal adapter with me. Cabins have both US and European plugs, so you can convert the European one to work for your devices. My adapter also has USB ports in it, so I don't need a separate one. The remodeled ships have some USB ports already, but if you have multiple people with phones/tablets/smart watches then additional ports are helpful. That gets me enough space that I don't need to pack bulkier cords.
  12. Just make sure you download the app and have it available on all devices before you leave. I made a point to download it on my iPad but didn't think about my iPhone, since it was already there from previous cruises. Apple had archived it to save space due to lack of recent use. NCL gives you a free 10 mins of internet to get the app downloaded at sea, but it was so slow that I couldn't get it completed.
  13. In my experience, you will not be choosing your tags if you are taking the NCL shuttle. They provide you with the tags in your stateroom when they assign which group you are leaving with to accommodate their shuttle times.
  14. My flight info is available! I've not received email notification like last time, but it was present in my edocs. The record locator number was incorrect, but since it listed specific flights I was able to search on AA.com and find it. It was ticketed on Sept 11 which was 32 days out. They booked my traveling companion and I both in middle seats, even in different rows, so I did an immediately seat change to place us together before it sold out.
  15. You selected your airport of choice when you booked the free air. I'm not sure Midway was even an option, but you should be safe if you selected O'Hare. I booked free airfare on a cruise out of LAX last March, coming from ORD. We flew American and were able to log in with our record locator to change seats, so I'm assuming it was not Basic service. We did not arrive in LA until about 1pm which made me very nervous but worked out fine. First time ever boarding a cruise without standing in line! The flight home was not optimal. It left around 8pm. We chose to go to the airport early and do standby, but because of a cancelled flight there were zero options left on the earlier flights.
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