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About Carnac767

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    St. Simons Island, GA
  • Interests
    Skiing, scuba, skydiving, traveling, college football (Go Navy, Go Dawgs), photography, sailing
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Great info, Simon. Thanks for taking the time.
  2. Okay, this is planning for something two years away, but I like to do my homework. We're veteran cruisers but venturing to Dubai will be something new for us. We just booked the NCL Dawn, which has a 22-day sailing from Dubai, with port calls at Abu Dhabi, Aqaba, Safaga, Ashod, Haifa, and then other Med ports we've already been to. Right now we're looking at spending time in Europe before we fly to Dubai, so we won't be totally nuclear jet lagged when we get there. Some of the initial questions for folk with experience in the areas: recommended hotels in Dubai, must-see in Dubai (where going to give ourselves a couple of days there), best tours in Abu Dhabi (we're in port 2 days), ditto for all the other ports. We also overnight in Safaga. Thanks in advance for any advice and recommendations.
  3. My best price drop experience was ten years ago when I booked an Eastern Med cruise on Jade over a year in advance. This was a bucket list cruise (the Vatican, the Parthenon, and the Pyramids), so we booked early to get the aft balcony we wanted. It was the height of the 2008 financial crisis. Over the course of the year NCL kept lowering prices, as vacation travel was a casualty of the recession. We went from the aft balcony to an aft penthouse, for $2200 less than our original booking. To top it off, they offered us an upsell to the Garden Villa days before sailing.
  4. Ditto on the Sheraton Old San Juan. That was our layover hotel at one time: nice hotel and excellent location.
  5. I remember you, Lyn. Did you ever get compensation for your things stolen in Barcelona?
  6. It's not a big deal. I'm just saying it's a heck of a lot easier to adjust to Central European Time over the course of 15 days rather than doing it all at once. But that's my perspective as an airline pilot who routinely has to change 9-12 times zones two or more times a week. Most of the west-bound TAs usually don't feature as many port calls, so it's all a matter of personal preference. The ultimate beverage package makes it a moot point for me.
  7. Last April's TA on Epic from Port Canaveral to Barcelona was smooth as glass. The only rough seas we encountered was after entering the Med and that only lasted about 12 hours.
  8. Hardly. You change advance the clock six times over 15 days. It's not that big a deal, and most people do stay in Europe for a while after the crossing.
  9. Epic often has to use tugs because she doesn't have Azipod motors.
  10. On the Epic's TA in April, you had to show up three hours ahead of time at the Cavern Club to get in. They moved them to the theater for a show, and people still got in line three hours before the show started.
  11. Great stuff, Cheng. I appreciate your insight. Getting underway and coming into port were two of the most hair raising opportunities when I was on carriers. I've found the contrast with how it's done in the cruise industry quite enlightening. In Cadiz last April on Epic, it took six tugs to get us off the pier, as there was a Levanter blowing at 30 knots, right on our beam and pinning us to the pier.
  12. If you can afford it, Epic has the best Haven in NCL's fleet, imho. I haven't sailed on Bliss or Breakaway, so I can't comment on them, but I have tried all the others. Don't really care for the overall ship design, however. Epic is NCL's redheaded step-child. It was the first to feature solo cabins. To accommodate those cabins the midship elevator banks had to be removed from the design. The promenade deck is odd, in that it doesn't make a lap around the outside of the ship. You have to walk back and forth on the same side. We sailed on her last April on the TA and liked the Haven so much we're doing it again in two months. We made a lot of new friends on the last crossing. Most of them were fine with their cabins, though some of the taller dudes said the bed was too short for them. The entertainment was great. Cagney's, Moderno, Teppanyaki, and Le Bistro were first rate, as was the Haven restaurant. My pasta at La Cucina was not very good. We ate in the main dining room a couple of times, and thought the food there was fine.
  13. I've asked the staff that question. While they're happy for any gratuity, they far prefer to receive cash in the currency of the ports you'll be visiting. You can get Euros at the Guest Services desk or from the ATM in the casino on Epic.
  14. Don't bid on a suite, because if you upgrade to a suite, you'll be ruined for life and won't be able to cruise in a non-suite again. It's like the Seinfeld episode "The Airport," when Jerry tells Elaine he has to take the one First Class seat that's available. "You've never flown first class, you don't know what you're missing. I can't go back. I WON'T."
  15. Any cabin in the category H or S gets at least the minimum Haven/Suite amenities, regardless of location aboard the ship. Deluxe Owner's Suites and Garden Villas have a few more upscale amenities.
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