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About bonvoyagie

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Portland Oregon
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    Traveling and exploring new places
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  1. bonvoyagie

    Info needed on Alaska ncl Bliss

    Yep Tongass Trading Co. The other shopping mecca is Skagway.
  2. Also it is all downhill from downtown Seattle to the pier.
  3. There are several nice hotels (we last stayed at a Holiday Inn and Suites) within a walking distance of the Space Needle and the Paul Allen Music experience and the Gulully Glass Museum (all are in the Seattle Center area) and also near Pike Place market. The airport is several miles south of town and outside the area where tourists would like to go. There is an Enterprise car rental agency in the downtown area - you might want to consider a rental so you can visit things like Boeing in Everett and the Ballard Locks where sea water in the sound is kept separate from the fresh water of Lake Washington. Ballard is also the home to a couple of the boats from the Deadliest Catch.
  4. bonvoyagie

    Included phone calls

    This discussion has been very helpful to me as we also have the free 120 min of phone service as part of the distinctive voyages promotion (now long gone). It also included internet minutes, an additional 50.00 excursion credit and more. For me it came with my Panama Canal Cruise - I guess that would be considered a Distinctive Voyage. On our last Canada and New England cruise we were able to continue our same cell service plan for a flat daily rate so we used that instead of getting anything from NCL. This cruise will cross through several countries and the logistics of using our cell service will be impossible so the 120 minutes of telephone will allow us to keep in touch with home during our 21day cruise.
  5. bonvoyagie

    Grand Pacific Dress Code

    On cruises of 7 days or more there is a "dress up or not night" they suggest that on that evening that people dressing to the nines use the Aft dining room. The smaller mid ship dining room is casual all the time. Back in 02 they would not allow jeans or shorts in either dining room. The only exception to the shorts was Bermuda shorts while in Bermuda. Now they have laxed things a lot and do allow both jeans (they have go be nice jeans without holes or patches) and shorts. I have always gone with resort casual usually dockers and a collared shirt either polo or button down - no tie or jacket - I am on vacation.
  6. bonvoyagie

    Specialty Restaurants Lunch on Sea Days?

    You can check on the NCL web site but I think that Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville® at Sea would be open for lunch. I know that on other ships the other restaurants are only open for Dinner. The Bliss does have more options.
  7. bonvoyagie

    NCL does horrible in 2019 Cruise Critic awards

    I have not heard much about the new class of ships being smaller. I would have thought that if the mega ships were not good we would not have so many of them to begin with.. I have really have no desire to be on one of them - I love the Jewel class ships.
  8. Well if you believe the deck plans, the Spirit and Gem have very similar sized cabins - around 160 sq ft cabin with 40 sq ft balcony (numbers +/- 2 sq ft) Mini Suites are 218 sq ft of cabin and 54 sq ft of balcony. So I guess they are a bit larger - I have heard that most of this is in the bathroom area as they have the same bath module as the SE/SF suites - ie they have a tub-shower combination instead of just a shower. If you and your buddy want the ultimate in space the two bedroom suite is great - you may have to trade off who gets the master bedroom :)
  9. bonvoyagie

    No refund on transfer purchse

    I was asking my TA about transfers for our upcoming cruise. He said they could be made as little as 2 weeks prior to the cruise date. We did not discuss being able to get a refund if we booked them now and then changed our mind so this is good to know. From NCLs side, they need to arrange enough bus space to handle the expected number of people so they would have to have some sort of penalty for canceling at the last minute as they have already booked that space and probably can't resell it.
  10. On the Gem there is no in-between size cabin. Which NCL ship were you on where you could not use the sofa - or have the beds split apart? I do know that the suites all have king size beds that will not separate. I am not sure if the regular cabins on the newer ships are smaller than the ones on the older ships like the Gem.
  11. Having the bridge directly above you means that at night you will have to keep the front curtains drawn and the deck lights off - they cause reflections on the bridge windows. It also means that the bridge crew watching you - they have windows in the floor of those wings.
  12. bonvoyagie

    AK 2019 sailing empty?

    If that were the case they would start at 100% and not 0%. Also if you look at the HAL AK cruises they are not only in the 80% level but also they are raising prices to slow down the demand. When cabins are not selling up to expectations they usually lower the prices. Sometimes this also correlates to various promotions - but they are not necessarily related.
  13. bonvoyagie

    AK 2019 sailing empty?

    BQ I tend to lump the Sun into the Jewel class even though it is around 1000 pax less. But this year NCL has 10,500 pax capacity each week - 8000 doing RT out of Seattle and 2500 doing one ways NB and SB - that is more than 4 Jewel class ships and the most capacity NCL has ever had in AK. HAL has some of the smallest capacity ships of all the major lines - they also have some of the most unique AK itineraries and cruise tours out there. They are also running near capacity and have started raising prices. I believe they are going to have at least 4 if not 5 ships this year. Princess has been the gorilla of the AK market for years - their lodges and cruise tour packages are second to none. At one time they had 8 (maybe 12) ships in the AK market - mostly doing the Voyage of the Glaciers between Seward and Vancouver. They now have a RT out of San Francisco as well as Seattle. I believe that for this year they will have 4 ships on the one ways, 2 in Seattle and 1 in SFO
  14. The only bad thing about the bidding for a full suite (not mini) is that you do not get all of the booking perks of the suite and you loose the extra Latitude point, I am not sure if it has raised the prices for those of us who start in a suite or not. Been cruising since 02 and there was once an "upgrade fairy" who would contact you (or your TA) for the chance to move up a cabin level or two. I got one of those on my first cruise - it was not free but at a reduced price from the normal fare. They usually moved you up one category (maybe two) which in the end would leave some insides that they could dump at greatly reduced rates. If I remember right the upgrade came just before final payment. It is possibly better for NCL to do the bidding thing over the upgrade fairy thing.
  15. bonvoyagie

    AK 2019 sailing empty?

    Last season started with the three Jewel class ship until the Bliss arrived - then we had two Jewel and one Mega. Bliss prices were steep last year. I looked at a few other lines and HAL is about where I would expect they would all be at this time of year. Princess, RCCL,X and the rest all are running like NCL. Princess, NCL, and HAL have the majority of the Glacier Bay permits. HAL, Princess, and RCCL started the cruise tour business and therefore do run the majority of the Vancouver to Whittier/Seward one ways. Even those are running down. I do suspect lots of last minute deals. My mock booking on the Bliss found 15 aft balcony rooms and several suites both forward and aft.