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Everything posted by evanskl4

  1. No, there was no free room service. The only "perk" was that they brought cookies to the room once or twice.
  2. Unfortunately that wasn't the case on the Joy recently. Veuve was in Le Bistro only and they would only bring it by the glass (said we had to pay if we wanted a bottle). 3 of us had P+ and the other 3 didn't so we were trying to get enough glasses to share but they would only bring one glass at a time.
  3. You can pay with cash, credit card, or paypal but each has a different tax rate. We used paypal because it had the lowest tax rate (5% versus I believe 15% for cash and even higher for credit card). There were 14 of us, so we had our own van. I am not sure how they handle smaller groups. Enjoy! Kelly
  4. Sure - happy to help! I booked directly through the resort. I sent an email to info@littlefrenchkeyresort.com and got a response pretty quickly. They sent very specific directions on where to meet their driver (and his "assistant" Sebastian who was 11 or 12 and spoke perfect english) who was waiting for us when we got off the ship. We did not pay anything in advance. They first took us to the sloth sanctuary, we paid directly for entrance there ($15pp I believe), and then they drove us to the place where we paid for our LFK tickets and boarded a ferry over to the resort. At the resort, they had signs saying what time we should leave for our ship, and Sebastian came back to make sure we got on the ferry in time as well. We made it back on the ship with plenty of time to spare. Happy to answer any other questions! Kelly
  5. I wish I had tried La Cucina. It wasn't even on my radar. I'm a pescetarian so I didn't think about Cagney's either. I really only went to Le Bistro for the Veuve lol.
  6. Only available in Le Bistro, and only available by the glass, sadly. This is a recent change so your son may have seen it listed in an older promotion.
  7. I just returned from Paradise Beach and our kids (ages 6-13) LOVED it. It was nice for adults too. A bit hectic for my tastes, but it was Thanksgiving so that could have made it extra crowded.
  8. I am back from my trip and can report on Little French Key Resort. This was my favorite excursion of the trip. Their communications were clear and everything went really smoothly. We found our driver and they first took us to AJ's Sloth Sanctuary. What a great experience! We were able to hold sloths, macaws, gerbils, and capuchin monkeys. It was obvious that the animals are loved and well cared for. The drivers then took us to the place where you pay for your package (you don't pay anything in advance), and we boarded a small ferry to go over to LFK. While the place isn't perfect, it is quite beautiful, and the service was great. We had a fantastic day there. We had plenty of space, enjoyed snorkeling, kayaking, and just swimming in the beautiful clear water. It was my mom's 85th birthday and she celebrated by jumping off the rope swing! Happy to answer any questions.
  9. Thanks! I was wondering if anyone had read it! LOL 🙂
  10. Part 2 Ports Roatan, Honduras - this was probably my favorite port. We booked an excursion through Little French Key Resort. Their communications were clear and everything went really smoothly. We found our driver and they first took us to AJ's Sloth Sanctuary. What a great experience! We were able to hold sloths, macaws, gerbils, and capuchin monkeys. It was obvious that the animals are loved and well cared for. The drivers then took us to the place where you pay for your package (you don't pay anything in advance), and we boarded a small ferry to go over to LFK. While the place isn't perfect, it is quite beautiful, and the service was great. We had a fantastic day there. Harvest Caye - This port experience was somewhat tainted by an issue I had with excursion tickets. All 3 families in our group purchased our excursions at the same time (about 2 weeks before sailing). The other 2 families got their excursion tickets - we did not. I went to the Shore Excursion desk but there was no one there so I went to Guest Services. The person there told me she could not help me but to just look around the ship for someone wearing a blue shore excursion shirt. Sigh. After not finding anyone, I called later to Guest Services again and they told me no one on board could help me - that I needed to wait until I was off the ship and find someone at the Harvest Caye Excursion Desk. Basically, we were able to do one of the excursions we had booked, but we were not able to go with the rest of our group because it took so long for them to find a manager and fill out paperwork about the issue. We skipped the other excursion because we didn't want to deal with the hassle and I was able to get a refund from NCL. Overall, it was just a frustrating way to start the day and I wasn't really able to enjoy the port that much. It was also really crowded and difficult to find seats anywhere. Costa Maya - Our group booked a snorkeling excursion here but it was maxed at 12 so my mom and I stayed behind. Others enjoyed the excursion and they saw a sea turtle so they enjoyed it. I did get off the ship and walk through the port area shops and saw the flamingos. It was actually quite nice to stay onboard though and enjoy the pool area without crowds! Cozumel - There were 8 ships in port this day, so I made sure to book something in advance. We went to Paradise Beach for the day. It is a kids' dream, with tons of inflatables in the ocean and a large pool. We did the All Inclusive and the servers were great - they kept the food and drink flowing all day! It was very hot and a bit crowded though, so we were all pretty tired by the time we made our way back to the ship. Debarkation and Post-Cruise We had priority debarkation because of our family suite, but we had a late flight so weren't in any hurry to get off the ship. We had breakfast in the buffet and then hung out in the Observation Lounge until around 9am. It took about 20 minutes to make our way off the boat, but customs and finding our bag all went very smoothly. We booked a Resort Pass at the Hilton Blue Lagoon for the day since our flight was so late. They had a nice pool, a starbucks, and a restaurant. And lots of iguanas around! Highlights and Lowlights Highlights - the ship is beautiful, and even though it was at full capacity, it didn't seem terribly crowded. Most of our party were first-time cruisers and they were all pleasantly surprised how much they enjoyed it. Our kids got the Arcade Package and it was money well spent. They used it every day. Although only certain games are included in it, so we had a few extra charges because the kids didn't realize the games they were playing weren't included. The food was overall pretty good, and the buffet in particular was better than I expected. We had ideal weather all week. Generally, we had no major issue with embarkation/debarkation, or getting on/off at any of the ports. Lowlights - service just wasn't as good as I was expecting. I requested an egg crate for our pullout sofa twice but never received one. The excursion ticket issue was frustrating. We had communication issues often and there wasn't ever anyone who could really help. One thing I failed to mention previously is that we prepaid all of our gratuities so it would be one less thing to worry about. As we reviewed our folio during the week, we noticed the service charges showing up, but we assumed they would be removed at the end. They were not. So on the last morning, we had to go down to Guest Services, wait in line, and try to explain that we had already paid for these charges and were being double-charged. They did finally remove them but again, it was not an easy communication and added frustration. All in all, I will probably not cruise NCL again just because of the management issues. I'm not totally ruling them out, but in my experience, RC has better customer service and less confusion. I'm happy to answer any questions! Kelly
  11. I learned so much useful information from this board, so I wanted to share some feedback from my recent cruise on the Joy. Pre-Cruise and Embarkation We flew into Ft. Lauderdale late Friday evening and stayed at Cambria Hotel Dania Beach. We chose that hotel because they had suites (there were 5 of us) a free shuttle from the airport. They said the shuttle would take an hour to get us, so that was useless. The hotel was pretty terrible in general and I would not recommend it, although the onsite restaurant was decent. We used Jiffy Jeff transportation to take our full group of 14 from the hotel to the Port of Miami Saturday morning. They were prompt and communicative, and got us to the port quickly. There was a major accident that closed 95S but we were able to take the express lanes and were not impacted. We got to the port around 10am and there were only very short lines. We supposedly had Priority Embarkation but there did not seem to be any difference - they just sent everyone to the same lines (except Haven of course). It was pretty painless though - we were on the ship by around 11:30. Maybe this was due to people being stuck in the accident traffic... We were on Deck 10 which was in the last set of rooms to be ready, so it was probably around 4pm before we were able to go in. Our bags were never delivered to our room but we found them down the hall. Maybe they would have been if we had waited but I was anxious to unpack and get settled. The Ship I had studied the layout quite a bit so I had a decent idea of where things were. Generally the Joy is very pretty and in good shape. After running around in a few different line to confirm reservations, I made my way to the Observation Lounge on 15 which was definitely my favorite place onboard. I came there every morning for a pre-breakfast snack and to watch the sunrise. Lovely. It was pretty easy to find your way around, especially if you know that the fishies swim forward. https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNkXDabpgSRU2j_Xb2tod5Tu2WxjHqBGdgdn98t Our Cabin We had one of the inside family suites unique to the Joy. I booked this ship specifically for this room type, as I was traveling with my mom, husband, and 2 kids. The room was spacious with plenty of storage and it was great to have 2 bathrooms. Personally I liked the virtual screen window - it was cool to see the view outside without leaving the room. There has been much confusion about the perks associated with this room type. This is what we got: - priority embarkation/debarkation tags (not really priority embarkation but at least our bags were marked as such) - snacks twice during the week (chocolate-covered strawberries and a plate of 4 cookies) -all movies in room were free (maybe they're free for everyone? Not sure). Our kids watched alot of movies though so this was really nice. - supposed access to a concierge, but they never answered the phone - no free laundry or room service Restaurants We ate in nearly every free venue on the ship and 3 specialty restaurants. I thought Taste and Savor would be preferable to Manhattan given that they are smaller, but we discovered that Manhattan was actually much nicer and had better service. The kids in our group loved the buffet and ate most meals there. Also of note: - Ocean Blue put us in a beautiful private room surrounded by wine bottles. That was probably my favorite dining experience. - Le Bistro was disappointing. There were communication issues with our server and overall just not worth the money. - Food Republic was chaos for us, as we took all the kids and were all sitting at different tables. The staff handled this seamlessly and even accommodated quite a few modifications to orders. The food, IMO, was meh, but I was very impressed with the service. - In general, all the restaurants took way too long. We would have to wait 20-30 minutes to receive the bottles of wine we ordered. Sometimes we would get appetizers before drinks. https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNIiwz33YI3TIkM_CZzfYvUHd7rdeIyPcUlWje1 FAS Plus Since there is much discussion about FAS+, I thought I would share my experience. We had 3 people with FAS+ in our party. It was generally 7 adults having dinner together. We were able to order 2-3 bottles of wine to be shared amongst the group. - the Pommery Rose was the only high level champagne available. I liked it, although it was not as good as Veuve, - Veuve was available, but just not included in the FAS+ (so it is not an issue of availability) - The only place that allowed us to get Veuve was Le Bistro. We tried to order 6 glasses (2 per each FAS+ account) and the server said yes, but then only brought 3 glasses. We could not communicate well with him and it was a bit frustrating. - none of the wines available were very good, in my opinion. I think I tried nearly all the high end reds and many of the whites. A couple were drinkable. - Husband enjoyed the Macallan Quest Whiskey - I was disappointed that away from dinner, it was difficult to find any good wines or champagnes by the glass. During the day, A-List and Cellars were not open and the other bars didn't carry any premium plus wines. - I would still get FAS+ again. It was worth it for us to be able to have bottles with meals and starbucks/water freely. I had a gingerbread latte every morning which was such a treat! Part 2 will focus on ports and the highlights/lowlights.
  12. Still not showing for my cruise that departs Saturday, but I have the confirmation email in case there are issues!
  13. I'll be there in a couple of weeks (Thanksgiving Day, in fact) so I can report back about the food. Can't speak to the daybeds though as they are all booked the day I am there! That concerns me a little...there are 8 ships in port that day... Does anyone know of PB limits the number of admissions?
  14. Strange. I am in a 2 bedroom family suite in a couple of weeks and I already received my priority boarding luggage tags in the mail. I have friends in the same room type that did not receive them. I wonder if if it because I booked the room earlier (like a year ago) when these things were still offered/promised?
  15. I just checked in the other day for my entire party of 5. Other than the passport and cc info, you just need an emergency contact for each person. It will also ask if you want to purchase a transfer from the airport to port and back.
  16. Can we book excursions (ziplining/kayaking etc) onsite or do we have to do it in advance?
  17. I think so. I've been trying to book things (both in the app and online) and I keep getting an error message.
  18. Yes, I followed your trip closely - thank you so much for sharing such a wealth of information 🙂
  19. Good to know - thanks. I originally booked on the day reservations opened for suite/haven guests, but still wasn't able to get the times I wanted, so when I got the letter in the mail with my luggage tags that said to contact the Concierge Desk to book services pre-cruise, I figured it was worth a shot!
  20. I am in a suite on the 11/18 Joy sailing, and I have been working with the concierge desk to make dining reservations (there are 14 of us so it's a bit complicated - we are not trying to always eat together but trying to get multiple tables). This is for both specialty and MDRs. The concierge told me that they have added my preferred dining as requested but told me I will not see the correct information on my side, as they have sent it internally. Indeed, I do not see it on my reservation but I still see old times that should be negated now. Has anyone else experienced this? I just want to know whether I can trust that these reservations are confirmed or if I need to run to the concierge desk when I get onboard to try to work this out.
  21. I used resortpass.com to get a daypass to a hotel near the airport for the day.
  22. Thanks - this is helpful! We're actually a large group with 5 kids 11-12, and adults, so I was looking for a place where the adults can relax on them beach while the kids have adventurous things to keep them busy. I was actually considering Paradise Beach as well, and sounds like it might be a good option for us!
  23. Which would you recommend for older kids? We will have 11 and 12 years with us and trying to decide between these 2.
  24. Same here for my Thanksgiving week trip. Please report back on any other perks if you're able. Thanks!
  25. Thanks for the detailed review! Still working on finalizing my plans in this port, so it's really helpful. Glad you ended up enjoying the day!
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