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Everything posted by Megalyn

  1. Manhattan room is louder - much larger room and periodic floor shows. I have a mild hearing loss and find it much easier to have a conversation in Savor/Taste. My companions never had issues in Manhattan, so I don't think the noise level is intrusive overall.
  2. I'll buck the trend and say the Encore. To me, the 24 hour pub is important. I'm not opposed to the quality of the food in the buffet but I find it to be a bit of a hassle. Having someone wait on me is part of the pampering I enjoy on vacation.
  3. I was on the Breakaway in October. There was the family song with crew members standing around after one of the performances, but it wasn't the last night. I remember being surprised that it was so early but I don't recall it was 2 or 3 days before the end. Also, on previous cruises a video was shown of the exact cruise we were on - various games shows and such had the people in the crowd. Instead of it being played during the farewell piece it was just on in the atrium while we were disembarking.
  4. I was in my 40s before I had the confidence to solo travel. I wish I had started sooner! Instead I found "anyone" who would go with me and it wasn't always a good cabin mate situation.
  5. A few other cruise hacks I've picked up on - a universal adapter with USB slots is a great help. Limited outlets are available, so with the adapter you can use the European outlet to charge phone/watch/tablet without interfering with the need for curling iron, etc. Magnets - and particularly magnet hooks. I haven't been on the Bliss yet, but I've found the closets on other ships too short for maxi dresses. A strong magnet hook lets me hang them on a wall up near the ceiling so it isn't an issue. Yoga mat strap! It can be used to essentially give your beach towel a handle. Frees up a ton of space in your tote bag. Water bottle. There are plenty of places to get beverages on the ship, but they can all seem far away when you are relaxed and don't want to get up. With a 24 oz bottle I could stay tucked in a nook with my book much longer.
  6. Actually, I've always been able to book this in advance. I just checked and it appears as an option for my Feb 2021 cruise too. It's on My NCL, under the Beverage Packages and Venues.
  7. It's actually a bit of both. There is a section of the menu that remains each day - maybe titled Classics? And then there is a different section that rotates each day. The menu will be posted outside the restaurant so you can decide in advance whether you wish to eat there, but it only goes up a few hours before the meal. It is likely too late to get a specialty menu reservation by the time they are posted. Your options would be buffet, O'Sheehans/Local, or room service instead. The dessert menus also rotate, but they are not posted.
  8. They do have the Concierge class though. The Family Inside has a virtual balcony. If you are considering traveling with someone, the 2 bedrooms suite can be more affordable than two separate rooms with studios. I'm considering that for a trip with my dad.
  9. I've sailed both studios and inside staterooms. I much prefer the studios. The inside room felt like a closet - cruise line decided that X number of furnishings was appropriate and crammed them in however they fit. The studio felt more spacious even with lower square footage, simply because it was designed better.
  10. The top of the stool in the cabin is generally removable and you can put that over your table for an additional few inches of space.
  11. I've never added a person, but I can tell you how shore excursion perk works. It only appears on one person's account and they get all of the credit. If that person does not take an excursion one of the days, the amount is lost.
  12. Another thing to keep in mind is total trip price for the cruises. From the Midwest at least, flights to Boston or NY are significantly cheaper than to Miami. The several hundred I save on airfare would balance out the higher cruise price.
  13. One other difference in the ships is the Concierge class on the Joy. It's not as "First Class" as the Haven, but service wise it is a step above the regular rooms. I haven't been on either boat yet, but I figure it's worth a mention.
  14. There is something called Advance Check In for New Orleans that I've seen mentioned. There is a station at the port where you can check in your bag and they'll deliver it to the airport for you. So you would still need to obtain the luggage from the "warehouse" but could enjoy the luggage free day. I believe it was $25 per bag or $40 or two, but not sure that is current info.
  15. No specifics can be quoted for any port stops. Aside from weather changes that impact the exact arrival time, there is also the customs piece. No one is getting off until they say so.
  16. I much preferred the Pearl. Part of it is O'Sheehan's - I love the 24 hour pub. The second part was the Bliss Lounge. Very cozy, quiet seating during the day. Perfect spot to nestle in for reading.
  17. Star has actually been my favorite ship. I think it's the only non-mega ship that has a Spice H20. It was a covered area which didn't appeal to sun seekers, so it was an awesome spot for those of us who like to curl up with a Kindle. It has an O'Sheehan's - which scores it many points over the Sun for me. Plus, the sun deck area had staggered stadium type levels that prevented sun loungers from being stacked super close together.
  18. One of the solo cruisers on my Getaway cruise was doing several back to backs. The solo cruise coordinator changed each week. We ended up asking about it and at that time (Dec 2018) the protocol was for crew members to be switched out for every single sailing. One guy was on a career path to cruise director, so he rocked. Another one was resentful about being assigned the task for the week and spent the time on his phone, ignoring the guests. But as long as you are comfortable starting your own conversations with the other guests at the meetup, then the host is not essential.
  19. Or just make some dang water bottle refill stations like the airport where the size accommodates a tall bottle without touching anything!! Using the tiny cups from the buffet area to refill a 32 oz water bottle is not good for anyone. /end rant
  20. I can confirm that the app allowed me to make show reservations on board. The one piece that I was only able to do at the box office was book the "Canvas by U" painting sessions. I wish they'd get those on the app or touch screens some day!
  21. I've already booked a Panama cruise for 2021 & I chose the Bliss - which is essentially the same as the Joy. For me, the Observation Lounge was a huge selling point. I'm sensitive to heat/sun so having a great view in the air conditioning seems like an awesome option.
  22. You should also be careful about dosages when purchasing OTC meds in port. I packed Advil just in case for my cruise. I ended up with constant foot pain and ran out, so I hit up a pharmacy in port. They tried to give me 800mg ibuprofen with codeine. I kept explaining that I needed stuff legal to bring home! I ended up with 400 mg which I thought matched US dosage. Turns out my usual is 200 mg, so I really didn't need to be taking four of them.
  23. I really wish I liked the Sun - but I just didn't. I really missed having an O'Sheehan's for 24 hour snacking! My fave so far is the mid-size ships. I enjoyed both the Star and the Pearl - it hit that sweet spot of being small enough to have a different show in the main theater each night while also having the pub. I have also sailed on the Getaway and Breakaway. They were enjoyable, but I preferred the midsize.
  24. I haven't been on the Bliss, but I have sailed both the Breakaway and Getaway. The floor plan looks similar on deck 8 for Maltings and Sugarcane. Those are two of my favorite daytime reading spots. Nearly zero traffic since the bars are not yet open, plus fairly comfy couches that allow you to curl up. It may be a good option for when the Observation Lounge is busy.
  25. A limited menu would have been an improvement on my trip on the Sun. The waitstaff gave me a blank stare when I inquired about food. That's why I've avoided the Sun since - I want some type of O'Sheehan's equivalent to break up the buffet & MDR options.
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