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    Travel, poker, independent excursions
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    NCL, HAL
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  1. sort of confusing. We are platinum and also have 250 package as part of our perks. On a 12 day cruise out of Singapore. So It appears we can use the 250 package as credit toward unlimited price, but not the platinum minutes as well. Can I 1) get this done with NCL before boarding so I don't have to go to the Internet desk. Or 2) need to wait til on board but do it all on line and not to internet desk, Or 3) have to visit internet desk to get the Unlimited reduced price due to my 250 minute package? I have seen LONG, SLOW lines at internet desk and probably will not get on the ship until 2 or 3pm. Thanks for the info.
  2. GTV Any chance you are on the HAL Mexican trip leaving 2 Nov. Was with you a year ago.
  3. I agree Step One is not as entertaining at the big shows with a story. Or even the "Frankie Valli" show. I understand there are very many tastes, but 45 minutes of just dancing to pre recorded music gets a bit boring to me. The NS Billboard and Rolling Stones room and BB Kings were great and very well attended (usually standing room only) - but not production shows. Those shown by earlier post of MSC shows look very tempting.
  4. You know all ships have their entertainment planned long in advance. Why do they not publicize the scheduled entertainment for at least 60 days in advance, with the "subject to change" wording?
  5. Just did B2B last week in Ft Lauderdale (Mar 24). Process same as above. If you switch cabins, keep old card to get off and before you get off get a new cabin one at Guest Services that morning. Everyone gathers in BB King until last non B2B person gets off. That sometimes takes quite a while (30+ minutes) as a number of stragglers. AND they waited until all of those had got bags and process thru Border Protection before letting you off the ship. From that point a very short process to go down to Customs area and walk past with passport open and then back on ship. No need to do another muster. We waiting on aft of Lido deck to "save" seats for those new Cruise Critic folks coming on for the Sailaway. We could not buy drinks until they ended the Muster drill.
  6. Is there a plan to convert the other HAL ships to have the Rolling Stones Rock Room installed? If so, how soon?
  7. Just off the New Statendam 31 March. Rolling Stones band was great with both some new groups and mostly old classics (CCR, Eagles). Get a seat 10-15 minutes ahead or you will be standing (or dancing). I agree, could turn down the volume 10%. Billboard piano is just across and also excellent. The nights both are playing, they run back and forth without interruption. By the way, BB Kings is just down the hall and as loud or louder than Rolling Stone Rock Room.
  8. Agree. Need to at least intersperse some singing with the dancing. and some props.
  9. Just off New Statendam for 2 weeks in March 2019. All cabanas sold out on week 1. They have a nice hot tub that was rarely used. Yes, plexiglass on side cabanas and half on rear (if I recall). But if windy, often at sea, still a breeze through the openings - sometimes too much so. Biggest complaint, they do not monitor who comes in too well. 1. Had some people come in and grab a towel and prop down on one of the chaise lounges (not inside a cabana). 2. Some think they can invite their whole family/friends in and use the area. We saw this happen a number of times. I reported to supervisor. They did kick out the people who just walked in, but did nothing to those who invited others into their cabana (and used hot tub, had refreshments, etc). There is no entry lock or wristband control. They do have a very small sign at both entrances. With 3 attendants and many people, it is hard to control. However, usually not too busy in morning or port days. Service is quite good. A few children at times, but none were wild or noisy.
  10. We did a similar (without cable car) from Shore Excursioneer. $35 pp for 4 hours. I would rate it a 2. First, all private excursions have to walk out of the port secure area to the main road. It is about 15 minutes hot walk once off the ship - and back to ship as well. Second, the rum factory is modern, but on lunch break and nothing running. The amber museum is not very good and a lot of "selling" going on. The main square is nice and decent church, but we only had about 20 minutes there. The cigar place is a desk inside a souvenir shop with 1 man rolling cigars. Van was air conditioned, but mic did not work so those in back could not hear well. I would have much preferred skipping the Amber Factory and drop 10 minutes off the cigar place and spending the extra 45 minutes on the square poking around.
  11. Before or After your Cruise, If you have time to kill, here is what we did. We arrived the late evening before the cruise and stayed downtown (Fairfield) near Las Olas and Rt 1. As I knew we had a late flight after the cruise, I talked to receptionist about leaving our bags there when we returned even though not staying that night ( mentioned a tip would come). She said fine. I tipped her $10. As we had 6pm flight after returning, we took Uber to the hotel and they held our bags. Then we went to the Hop On, Hop Off Water Taxi stop #1 (10 min walk from Fairfield) just south of the Riverside Hotel on the new river. For $23 senior, one can hop on and off all day until 10pm. Boats come about every 1/2 hour. Interesting trip and many stops including a few restaurants, beach, shopping, etc. One of the stops is the Hilton Marina (very close to the Cruise ship piers). Anyway, we did the full trip and had plenty of time to pick up our bags, Uber back to airport, and still 2 hours before flight. If arriving at FLL before 2pm, get a hotel near one of the Water Taxi stops. (Uber from airport to downtown is $15. Uber from downtown to ship about $12. ) Spend the evening on the boat and a stop for dinner. As Water Taxi runs to 10pm, if you start by 5pm, you have plenty of time. Or if leaving on a late flight after cruise, try to arrange for hotel to hold your bags and use Water Taxi to enjoy the day. You can Google it.
  12. It's not just a deck chair. Also a table with 2 chairs, blankets, pillows, breakfast and lunch available, champagne (unlimited when I was on Eurodam), chocolate covered strawberries, grapes, wonderful service, and most important a place you can call your own every day (shade and sun both available) - and leave stuff that is quite safe if you want to head out for an hour or two. I was on Eurodam and very few in Retreat, so excellent service. Yes, a bit expensive and not for everyone, but it is not "just a deck chair". And an inside cabin is just a bed.??
  13. You can call HAL special services and see if they have any open.
  14. RKA, Thanks for the detailed info. I was thinking of getting off for a couple of hours and take the crew bus (heard they can do it) into the mini mall very close to port. Then returning and getting on. To get some wine and other items. Sounds like that may be an issue. I will inquire when on board and see how it goes.
  15. Is there a poker table (usually automated) in the casino?? Heard they may have discontinued. Anyone do back to back at FLL? What was the process after 1st cruise? We have different stateroom for 2nd cruise.
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