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Everything posted by nyc2pdx

  1. wow-lots of amazing info here. As for opinions-I appreciate them all! Everyone has different experiences but we're paying a lot for that experience, so I like to know what I am getting into...Regent and Crystal may be good places to start. I looked at some Regent cruises but they were not solo priced friendly 😞 I'm going to take a look at Crystal. I've heard some good things, and you all have given me something to think about. In fact, I'm going to re-read each response later today and take some notes.
  2. I am about to embark on my second journey in NCL's Haven, and have another TA booked in 2023 on NCL in an Owner's Suite. But, I am thinking I might like to try a luxury line. Choosing one that might be a good fit for me is another story...but I would like some help from others who have been there. Reasons I like the Haven on NCL: Personalised Service Not crowded-can always find a deck chair a more subdued environment, no loud speakers at the pool blaring music or hosting the hairiest leg competition 🙄 The dedicated restaurant with excellent food The feeling things are taken up a notch, and the exclusivity I don't like to dress up. Granted, when I go to dinner, I tend to wear things like khakis and a button down shirt. I look neat. Ties are a huge no-no. Not really into wearing dinner jackets either. And of course, I would not like a whole black tie thing. If it is warm though, I would like to be able to wear shorts and sandals during the day with a button down shirt or polo (not really into t-shirts). With that said, I would like a cruise that has semi-professional to professional passengers. Friendly...This is my typical social group, so that is where I fit in. I also travel solo, and I am a bit of a foodie. I'd like to see if I can find a line where I would be comfortable, where it isn't stuffy. I like knowing things are being handled so I don't need to worry about things-like a concierge, and I enjoy having a butler in the Haven. I am someone who would enjoy an educational lecture or string quartet. Would also like to know it is all inclusive. This is why I buy up on the drinks plan on NCL-I don't want to have to think about it, just order what I want. So, Oceania, Crystal...not sure about Azamara or Seabourn. Thoughts?
  3. Yes, it is worth it for me. I am a solo cruiser too. But, it depends what you like, and what is considered valuable to you. For me, when I am on vacation, I like service. I don't like waiting on lines, and small spaces make me feel claustrophobic. To me, I value my space, and I value highly having a living space and a sleeping space in my cabin. Haven Cabin: Like I mentioned, the extra space is a big one for me. I like being able to spread out, and not feel like I am all in one tight space. I like to think of my stateroom as my own space, and sometimes I just want to be on my own. But that is me, you may not feel the same. Butler: I like the little treats I get, and knowing that someone is attentive to whatever I might want. I don't run him/her ragged, but knowing I am going to see the same person if I order breakfast everyday is nice to me. Knowing that there is someone in the background making sure things happen correctly is worth the $$ to me. Sure, I could get a bad butler. Haven area: Big plus for me. I like being able to go to the pool and not worry about finding a seat. Or, having someone bring me a drink, or keep me topped up. I like not being in a busy pool area with a ton of people. I LOVE the idea of a ship within a ship. I get the benefits of a huge ship, but the privacy and attention of a small ship in the Haven. I see the same people, make friends because I see the same people. I love that the bartender knows my drinks, and knows my name. Concierge: Enjoy knowing I can call them and they can pretty much get me into wherever I want to go. Made reservations for Cagney's but feel like French? No problem. A quick call to the concierge and its done. Service: I value walking up to a Maitre d' and they know my name and that I like sitting by a window. I like walking in and greeting people by name, seeing familiar faces, asking them what they did that day. Sure, I know the service is part of the show, but I put value on that. It makes me feel like I have nothing to worry about, and that makes a vacation to me. So, is the Haven worth it? Depends on what you value. For me, I probably would cruise more Oceania style or other more luxury brand cruises, but I really like the benefits of a big ship. So, Haven it is!
  4. This is news to me too. When I was on the Joy in Dec 2019, I just ate in the Haven outdoor restaurant. Ironically, I was the only one sitting al fresco. It was in the 60s, and everyone was sitting inside, but to me, it was summer weather coming from the Pacific Northwest! Which restaurant is it for the Haven on the Epic?
  5. I'm going to be on the Epic for Thanksgiving this year...I was wondering myself what it would be like. I hope they have some cranberry sauce! I used to live in the UK and every year I cooked up a nice Thanksgiving for friends. Was so much fun! If you put enough brandy in pumpkin pie, it tastes great, no matter what type of pumpkin you use! 😉
  6. Thanks all. I don't usually use airport porters, but do tip the porters at the pier. No doubt they work hard and fast. I didn't want to get into a 'tip' discussion, but rather just what people do in areas where tipping is not the norm like it is in the US. I'll certainly tip them in Rome.
  7. Since it isn't customary to tip in most of Europe, do you tip the porters at the pier when boarding at a European embarkation city? I don't want to create a huge thread about tipping, but I think most people in the US tip the porter $1-$2/bag at the pier when you hand over your luggage. I was curious if the same custom exists abroad. I don't believe the porters are employees of NCL (correct me if I am wrong).
  8. you mention crossings...do you mean transatlantics? If so, I am doing a Nov transatlantic on Epic-how were your crossings? warm? cold?
  9. Ah okay-so nothing is really changed...if you are on the bev plan, you still have to pay with OBC.
  10. Just noticed this on the Epic deck plans. What are these elevators? Where do they go? Seem to go to the suites on 17? Are they private elevators?
  11. I understood that you do the testing before handing over your luggage, just in case. Once you pass the test, then you go to security and check in.
  12. There is no cover on the Haven courtyard on Epic, unfortunately. I am going to be on the TA that arrives in NYC on Dec 5 before it heads to San Juan. I am fully expecting that once we are a day or so out of NY, it will be downright cold outside. I've heard from others that the captain typically takes a southernly route, coming across south of Bermuda and then swinging north into NYC. Maybe it will be okay for me for a day or so, and I would expect until you get a day or so out of NYC southward, it will be cold in December.
  13. I noticed on the Dailies something about Swift and getting things delivered to your stateroom. Is this something new? Previously drinks could be ordered but were not included under the beverage plan. Has something changed?
  14. Excellent job finding these videos! I am glad to see the table isn't tiny, although I would love to see a lounger on the balcony. I think they moved the faucets on the tub to the center...75 days to go!
  15. I am planning to fly to Rome on Nov 16th, arriving on the 17th. There is a pharmacy across the piazza from my hotel that does an antigen test. I'll do that the first day I am there. Of note, I picked up a few BinaxNow test kits and did a trial just to see. Was pretty easy to do. There are two tests in each box. I will be bringing a bunch with me because, well, I'm neurotic.
  16. Mine is the same. I believe you could get a better policy if you purchased it when you made your deposit. But, alas, I did not do that. The real expense of getting covid abroad would most definitely be the private air back to the US (if you are not hospitalized). I don't know if NCL has a specific policy, but regardless, it seems to change so often it might not be worth more than the paper it is written on!
  17. I can share what information I have based on my own research. As some have pointed out above, the Sail Safe program with NCL indicates that they will test at the pier and NCL will help arrange transportation home (I'm assuming with any insurance coverage). But, these rules are ever-changing, and recently changed to also having proof of a negative test result within 72 hours of the cruise. Gotta keep a close eye on the changing rules. If I tested positive in Rome before my cruise, I would have to cancel my cruise. NCL has said I can cancel and get a FCC (I believe). If that were to happen, I would need to work with my travel insurance provider and quarantine in Rome for 10 days until I had a negative test and could return back to the US. If I tested positive at the pier, I would apparently get some assistance from NCL to help with the quarantine and return home. I checked with my travel insurance and my policy with WorldTrips does cover Covid related expenses. I bought up on the Medical Evacuation portion to cover up to $1 mil. I never buy the cancelation insurance because I get this coverage through Amex (and I charge the entire trip to my Amex-which is a requirement of Amex). For covid related insurance, see this: https://www.squaremouth.com/travel-insurance-benefits/virus-medical Again, this is all based on my own research, and I don't claim to have all the answers...
  18. That is if I was going out of Seattle 🙂 In November I'll be in Rome to board my cruise!
  19. I've only seen that the number of people who have been denied boarding has been in the single digits for each voyage due to positive tests. I hope they would do a second test to confirm. I think all of us share in the fear we would be the one or two who do test positive at the pier and watch our ship go without us. You are certainly not alone! But, I am comforted that on a ship of 2000-3000 passengers, only 3-4 are found to be positive at the pier. On my cruise, I am going to take some at home tests and test myself before heading to the pier, just so I feel better about it. But, in the end, if I did test positive, I would never want to ruin everyone else's vacation by being onboard and potentially infecting them. I'd take my refund, and apparently, NCL will help arrange private transportation home (I'm sure in conjunction with travel insurance...make sure your policy covers transportation home!). Sure, I'd be super upset, but we can't always have what we want 🙂
  20. Thanks for the advice, CDC. Now which line is the shortest to board? I guess you can call me a fluffy cruiser. I’m a bigger guy. I got vaccinated, I wore my mask dutifully since day 1. I avoided public gatherings, meetings…did the zoom thing, did everything I was told. But I won’t live in fear. We take risks everyday but do things to mitigate those risks. For covid that means masks, washing hands frequently, getting the vaccine. I feel I’ve mitigated my risk. Cruising has never been a favorite activity of the CDC. Before covid, it was norovirus. Run for the hills! But if we all do what we can to mitigate our risks together, I am ready to cruise on a ship that is fully vaccinated (thank you NCL). Now someone pass me a glass of Veuve and let’s roll.
  21. I loved the seafood Benedict, but dinner looks amazing in the Haven!
  22. Has anyone had a bad experience tipping up front? And do you do half upfront and half at the end?
  23. I wonder if Haven guests will also need to pick an arrival time?
  24. Not sure why I can't complete my online check-in? I've completed everything, but still...can't complete it.
  25. Thats interesting-it notes bottles of NON-SELECT wine (including champagne and sparkling) are 40% off. I don't recall that being there before. What is select wine?
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