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  1. I adore the Joy hull art! It's so... joyful. The Encore hull art is not good. I wasn't enthused by the new Spirit art, which reminds me of a low-key version of Encore's. Prima's hull is beautiful.
  2. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH. So true. I actually had no problem with the Medallion app for check-in... *after* waiting about a month for them to fix whatever was causing the app to display my upcoming cruise as a cancelled Coral sailing rather than the shiny new Majestic one. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to trying out the Ocean Medallion tech. Wearing a little disc on a wristband seems less clunky than a keycard on a lanyard. I tried carrying my keycard in a pocket, but do you know how shallow pockets tend to be in women's clothes? Lost the blasted thing within an hour...
  3. The best time to take that photo is when you're at home, well rested and relaxed. Taking it at port after you've dragged your suitcase hither and yon over bumpy paths and up/down the shuttle steps, then waited for an hour in an endless line behind a group of people who don't understand the concept of "inside voice"... at that point, any photo they take will be of your "man, I really need a drink" face.
  4. Remember, we are doing the minimal contact, extra-speedy check-in these days. Instead of being photographed at the port, you upload a face photo onto the NCL app as part of the online check-in. FYI, I completed the online check-in for my October cruise and it automatically displayed the photo I used for the August cruise. Guess I'd better not dye my hair blue in September.
  5. Always do the math! The cheapest inside cabin price is likely to be for a Sail Away with no cabin selection and no Free At Sea package. Studio pricing always includes the current Free At Sea package. When you’re comparing prices, keep in mind what’s included in the price. Epic is kind of odd. This was the debut of the Studio cabin & Lounge, but the cabins are in a long line down the middle of the ship. The Lounge is by the forward elevators but there are Studio cabins all the way aft. On all other ships with this cabin type, the Studios are clustered together.
  6. If you haven't already, check out the Roll Call for your cruise:
  7. Oh, that's disappointing news. Between the removal of Gong Sha and the Americanization of Harmony menu (the original menu looked wonderful but now I doubt I'll make a reservation there), Majestic has lost some of its appeal to me. Granted, boba is readily available around here so I'm hardly deprived, but the thought of sipping a milk tea while watching glaciers was delightful. Oh well, a latte will do. Thanks to all who are keeping us up to date on this sailing! I'm on the September 5 one and have been following this thread avidly.
  8. You can pre-book specialty dining using the website or app. Right now they're not accepting pre-booking for entertainment; this will presumably change as they get into the swing of returning ships to service. Only a limited number of dining reservations are available in advance, so if you can't get the date/time you want you can book as soon as you're onboard. Your non-main buffet lunch options will be, assuming business as usual: The Local, at least one of the MDRs, and maybe American Diner (a la carte pricing). Also assuming business as usual, there will be a light lunch buffet i
  9. August 7 on NCL out of Seattle, September 5 on Princess out of Seattle. There is some chatter on the Princess board from the first Majestic cruise now underway but I don't know if anyone posting there is going solo. I don't recall if anyone has mentioned social distancing requirements/recommendations but keep an eye on the live blog. (maybe I should post that question for someone to answer!) EDIT: Good news! Table sharing is happening! https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2791112-july-25-2021-live-from-majestic-princess-alaska-sailing/?do=findComment&comment=615231
  10. To my surprise, there was a grand total of *one* cabin tour on YouTube, at least that I could find! It's pretty thorough though, and points out all the storage areas (nope, no drawers anywhere). Celebrity Edge Single Stateroom room tour
  11. Based on the vlogs from currently sailing ships, it looks like social distancing onboard (including dining and mingling) is not an issue on the U.S.-based 95% vaccinated cruises on Celebrity and Carnival. I have no idea why Princess is recommending social distancing on its 100% vaccinated cruises. On the one hand you have the text from the "Latest Safety & Health Protocols" email they sent me on July 2: "You'll now have the ability to identify your Travel Party before you sail. That includes your immediate family and other guests you're cruising with. No need to physically dist
  12. The referenced article appears to be combining two different sets of info, one outdated and the other current: That program matching up solo travelers seems to be from over a decade ago and no longer in use. The three Pinnacle-class HAL ships (built 2016 and later) have single-occupancy ocean view cabins. They're all the way forward on Main (deck 1) under the theater. Based on the photos they're well designed for a solo traveler and look airy & spacious, with a big picture window to bring in natural light and what looks like the same bed found in "regular" cabins. The location
  13. FWIW, I've prepared for cruise/travel season by purchasing a passport cover which also has a clear pocket that holds the vaccine card. Carrying the actual card around makes me nervous, though. It's easier to replace a passport than a vaccine card. I wonder if any of the lines are planning to accept Clear, IATA Travel Pass, or other electronic option?
  14. Only the August 6 sailing will be at Pier 91. Norwegian is doing a non-revenue shakedown sailing of Encore (employees, travel agents, VIPs) just before the first revenue sailing, and I think it returns on August 6. NCL brands have priority at Pier 66.
  15. As an experiment I decided to pack just a personal (underseat) sized bag for my 5-day spring Pacific Coastal cruise. It was NCL so no fancy clothes were necessary. I bought an Amazon Basics underseat rolling bag, described as having a 22-liter capacity. In a test packing I fit in one pair of jeans, three t-shirts, one dress plus lightweight cardigan, sandals, swimsuit, undergarments, and a small selection of toiletries. Too bad the sail date of that cruise was April 2020.
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