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pe4all

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  1. Good balanced review. We bounce between CCL and NCL, now using NCL for travel to more "exotic" places - Hawaii, Europe, etc. I think a lot depends on what kind of ship you sail on. I like the buffet better on NCL - dh prefers CCL. We think the entertainment on NCL (especially their Broadway type shows) are better. We love Howl at the Moon dueling piano bars on NCL. We were just on the NCL Star - literally got off Sunday from Venice - and definitely liked the Serenity areas better on CCL - the Star's Spice H2O was "enclosed" and we like sun. We enjoy the specialty dining on NCL. Our balcony cabins on NCL seem smaller than CCL. Casino on NCL was definitely less smoky than CCL. Drinking on both ships has "evened out" with NCL's drink package- same amount of rowdy people imho. All in all, we will continue to cruise on both lines.
  2. This is me in a nutshell. DH always lets me go down the stairs one step ahead of him, or get off the elevator first. At first I thought it was just politeness and manly manners. Then I realized he would be turning the opposite way I was going, and he was always correct. It has now become a family joke - "whichever way mom is going, go the other way."
  3. I have also noticed extended wait times "due to call volume" as the recording says. What is interesting to me is that I sometimes use my landline to call, and then after a few minutes also call on my cell while waiting for my landline to be picked up, and my cell (2nd call) is picked up before while my first call is still waiting! No rhyme or reason for that!
  4. We love getting "a taste of the pie" rather than eating the whole pie. For us, sea days are nice, but we much prefer seeing as many different ports/countries as possible. We are sailing NCL on a 7 day cruise out of Venice (always been on my bucket list) to Kotor, Montenegro - then on to Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Argostoli, then Croatia, and back to Venice. No sea days. I explored many cruise options before deciding on this one. We did NCL 9 day Baltics last summer out of Copenhagen (exhausting, but loved it!) and will hopefully do an Ireland/Scotland cruise next summer! For us, itinerary is more important than the ship we sail on, as we are very easy-going, and we are not "foodies." NCL is a good fit for us at this point in our lives.
  5. Following! This cruise is on my bucket list. Have a great time!
  6. Definitely not true. 3 family members have pre-existing conditions. We use Travelguard, which covers this as long as we purchase the insurance within 14 days of booking the cruise. After I book my cruise my next call - literally within 5 minutes of booking - is to buy my travel insurance.
  7. What a terrible tragedy, and my thoughts go out to the family suffering this loss. It is apparent from the video/pictures posted that you can see the glass is tinted blue and not clear as was stated in some of the reports I read. Placing a child on a railing is dangerous in any circumstance. The family's lawyer stating the child wanted to bang on the glass as she does at her brother's hockey games seems to be a stretch to me. However, we live in a society that loves to place blame on everyone else, and sue at the drop of the hat. I only hope the family (especially the grandfather, who must be suffering from incredible guilt) finds peace in the future.
  8. We have sailed quite a few lines, but most recently have stayed with Carnival and NCL - Carnival mostly for the Caribbean, and NCL for European/Hawaii sailings. We swore we would never pay for specialty restaurants, but found we really liked them on NCL. (especially Cagneys and LeBistro) We find the buffet is better on NCL, and we love O'Sheehans. After so many sailings on CCL we found the entertainment a nice change on NCL - especially the "Broadway" productions, and Howl at the Moon. Balcony cabins on CCL seem to be larger than NCL. CCL has always been known as having "party ships" but we have definitely found that since NCL put in unlimited alcohol packages NCL has caught up with the amount of drunk people on each sailing as compared to CCL! When NCL runs their "free at sea" promos it might be worthwhile looking into them, but just be aware of the extra charge they tack on as service charges - that can bump your price up quite a bit.
  9. We usually over-exchange U.S. to euro before we travel. In addition to putting euros aside in envelopes for private excursions, private transfers, tips, etc. we take about $1,000 more in euro. We have never used an ATM (even here in the U.S.- wouldn't even know how to!!) and use our credit card (no foreign transaction fee) whenever possible. We clear 3 credit cards with the cc companies before we go, (all fee-free) and dh holds one while I hold one- the other stays in the ship's safe. We carry a few hundred euro off the ship - the rest stay in the safe. We have never "run short", and always come back with a few hundred euro, which we save for next trip, give to our dd who travels now and then, or just bite the bullet and change back to U.S. $$. Do whatever you feel most comfortable doing.
  10. Thank you so much for your review- it was wonderful! We will be doing cruise-line excursions in the tender ports (with the $50 credit) and wander/beach in Corfu and Argostoli. We also hired a private taxi to take us from the port on debark to the airport, instead of using NCL transfers. Hope we made the right move, as our flight isn't until 1:15 pm. Hoping our cruise in 1/2 as good as yours seemed to be!
  11. We did this cruise last August, and had a great time. Yes, the days in port are sometimes long, as are the excursions, but you really get a lot of bang for your buck. I think it is a great way to see a lot of countries in a little time. We did the W. Med the summer before that. We were exhausted after the Baltic cruise - but exhausted in a good way. We took the train excursion offered through NCL in Germany to see Berlin - we thought it was very relaxing, instead of taking a private tour in a car/van. In Russia we took a private 2 day tour. Long days, but we saw tons of interesting things. The summer palace was amazing. If you liked the med cruise, I am sure you will like the Baltic cruise. Oh - we absolutely loved Copenhagen, and were glad we went in 2 days early to explore. Our hotel was great (Admiral Copenhagen) This summer we will be doing the NCL Venice/Greek Islands/Croatia cruise!
  12. We have also had L-shaped cabins on a few ships. Love the longer balcony, as there is also a lounge chair on it. However, we have never had a sofa in our cabin, if this would make a difference to you. Also, cabins on deck 6 are also right over the comedy club, so if you are bothered by noise at night, this might not be a cabin for you. If you have an L cabin on deck 8 you may be woken up early morning by scrapping noise as they set the lounge chairs up. We always try to get deck 7 as it is sandwiched between cabins.
  13. I love pickle ball! There are companies that now run "pickleball cruises" and pickleball land vacays. I was on the CCL Conquest this past March, and right next to us at one of the ports was a P & O cruise ship- a line which I had never heard of until I researched it and found it was a Carnival brand. As I sat on my balcony, I saw they were setting up a pickleball net on their volleyball/basketball court, which was also lined for pickleball. Unfortunately, we left before they started playing. I would have sat watching for a bit.
  14. We had gotten Vibe passes on Epic, Breakaway and Getaway when we sailed on them - back when they were $99 for the week. We thought we had a great deal, and loved the area, even though it cost us $400 for my family of 4. However, seeing the prices have gone up to $200, we will save the $800 and find a quiet place on one of the decks somewhere.
  15. We had stayed at the Hotel Colon when we cruised out of Barcelona. It faced Barcelona Cathedral, and had plenty of restaurants around it. It was an easy walk to Las Ramblas, and the hop-on, hop-off was right down the street. Would definitely recommend it.
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