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Everything posted by mconthehighseas

  1. Your best bet is to write to the operator and ask them. Keep in mind that they depend on the cruise ships for most of their excursions, and they should know when the ships arrive. Also, if you can arrange not to pay until you get picked up, that can take some of the pressure off you
  2. I still use a TA, even though I do most of the planning on my own. If there are changes to itineraries or a cruise gets cancelled, the TAs get notified before we do (in my experience), and that extra time is invaluable for making changes. I also don't like dealing with the people who handle the phones for Royal; I have found them to be frustrating. But I know people who have had excellent luck and use "their" specific sales agent. Some TA's can get you extra perks or send a bottle of champagne to your cabin. But all of this is personal choice. If you have a good relationship with a TA, I'd stick with them. Otherwise, it probably doesn't hurt to try going a different route.
  3. I had not heard that it had reopened. When did that happen? https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/us-embassy-haiti-capital-closed-tuesday-due-nearby-gunfire-2023-08-08/
  4. I think the incident in 2016 has nothing to do with the situation today. If countries are closing their embassies and telling people to stay away, it is concerning, but the cruiseline is not going to put people and property at risk. If they think there is a potential problem, they will not take people there, even if it means diverting at the last minute.
  5. The problem is different than previous years where there was unrest, because now the US Embassy has been closed. Other countries have shut theirs as well. It's a situation that bears monitoring, and hopefully things will improve before your cruise. Royal Caribbean has to be monitoring this as well, and if they think there is a problem, they will divert ships to a different port. They do have security at the perimeter of the leased property, but they have to be sure that their personnel can handle whatever problems could arise. Royal may wait until the last minute to let passengers know, but they will not knowingly put passengers, crew and vessels in harm's way.
  6. We were on Prima last month on a Iceland to England itinerary, so my views about Onda may not apply to a warmer cruise. Some of the restaurants are meant to be enjoyed outdoors, and we would not do that! Our favorite restaurant was Palomar, a seafood restaurant. The food and atmosphere were wonderful. I enjoyed the food at Onda, but it was NOISY! Try to sit away from large parties. If the doors/windows were open, it might have been nicer. My son really enjoyed Hasuki, the Japanese teppanyaki restaurant. He said the rice was bussin bussin, which means good. It was another noisy restaurant, but that goes with show atmosphere. We also went to Cagney's, but I don't remember much about it other than the walls looked like dressy cinderblocks. I do want to add that the service was very good in all the venues. You could tell that the wait staff was trying very hard to make us happy.
  7. You can wait, but if you have an idea of what you want, your genie Unless things have changed, if you have a genie, your specialty meals are already included your cruise fare. We've waited to make reservations until we got on the ship on one cruise, and we worked out our plans with the genie in advance on another. Both times, we got what we wanted. It is good to let the genie know if you like eating specific times or if you have likes or dislikes. Part of their job is to set up an itinerary for you in advance, but if you really prefer to wait to the last minute, you can do it. The thing I didn't expect was for them to think about things you never considered. Do you want specific snacks in the afternoon? Do you want to set up a party? Do you want coffee and pastry - or a complete breakfast - delivered every morning? What do you want your fridge stocked with? Get ready to be spoiled!
  8. I have two more butler questions. Do we get escorted to special Haven and/or suite seats at the shows, or do we have to hope our room keys will give us access? And about how many cabins does a butler have to care for? Our cruise is getting close, and I am having trouble remembering everything I read - stress and excitement will do that!
  9. It probably depends on the vendor. I waited too long to book an excursion on our upcoming cruise, so I was put on the "Haven waiting list". Even though there are no waiting lists online, they apparently have one for the rest of the ship and one for the Haven. You are still at the mercy of someone who booked before deciding to change their mind, but you are ahead of others. I would call to see what they tell you, and have a Plan B just in case
  10. I have 2 questions related to alcohol. First, can you buy a bottle of alcohol (like vodka or gin, not isopropyl) to keep in your cabin? I know most mainstream lines don't allow that, but Norwegian is so different from other lines in several ways. And second, does anyone know where I can find a beer or drink menu? I know these are aren't strictly Haven questions, but this thread is a sanctuary from the rest of the board!
  11. I'm the reason for the detour. Someone asked if Prima can use tenders, and I gave info from NCL. Prima is supposed to dock at Isafjörður on the 7th btw. How many cruises have missed Isafjörður?
  12. Prima is scheduled to use tenders in Geiranger, and don't they usually use lifeboats for tenders?
  13. Thank you so much! We just went shopping, and got khaki shorts that are comfortable! My stress level went down significantly
  14. I have a dress code code question. It's not totally related to the Haven, but if I ask elsewhere on the board, it could start a battle, if not a war. I am asking for information only, and I know that someone here knows! How strict are the restaurants about no shorts after 6 pm? My son is 10, and hates long pants. He might consent to wear them if the temperature is below freezing, but indoors he doesn't. He does not wear jeans or torn clothes, btw. Will they make an exception for reasonably behaved kids, or do we have to eat before 6?
  15. I am going to add to #1. This is one of the few threads on Cruise Critic where you can ask a question or make a suggestion without fear of reprisal. I think that's a testimony to the tone you set when you started this thread.
  16. This is such a great idea. I wish I had seen this sooner. I usually bring thank you notes to give to the crew and we put our tips in them. When we cruise during a holiday, we bring holiday cards!
  17. I just saw that there is a wireless phone for contacting the butler. Is this in addition to the room phone? Can it be used for contacting the concierge as well? I'm guessing that things can vary from crew to crew, but I am interested to know generally when to use that.
  18. I was sent an email about 2 weeks ago about bidding for an upgrade. I just checked to see what rooms are available, and NCL shows that all cabins except insides are sold out, yet they are letting me bid on 3 different type cabins. Haven't decided on a bid yet, but I thought I should at least share this info here. We cruise in less than a month. Other info for the people who asked how far out people had booked: This is our first NCL cruise, and we booked almost a year ago.
  19. I called the pre-cruise concierge today, and I learned a lot of what most of you posted today! I had tried to make a reservation online, and since I could not make reservations for 3 people, I called. The only restaurant that she recommended we make right away is for the Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, since seats are limited. We will be cruising soon, and my family does not like to plan, so I did not have many options. But now we at least have an OK reservation for that restaurant, and hopefully someone will cancel at a better time. The woman I talked to was Robin, and she was VERY helpful. I learned from her that the people at that desk take turns answering emails, on different days. I know some of you mentioned Maria earlier, but if she is not available, it looks like she has some good colleagues. I am a few days from check in, and I am so grateful for this thread @Sthrngary. I have cruised other lines before, and each one has its quirks, but I needed a lot of help planning our first cruise on NCL for some reason.
  20. That was fast! I'm used to waiting a day for one answer, and I got lots - thanks to all of you. Thank you John Bull, your replies make the others make more sense to me. I appreciate all the info you include. The cruise starts in Iceland, so it is international. We will be in Brugge/Bruges the day before. We arrive on a Sunday, so I'm guessing that will mean more ships in port, but I will look that up. We will be on the Norwegian Prima, which is bigger than many ships, but not the biggest. We aren't catching a plane, so we don't need to be anywhere at a specific time. So the biggest question will be when will the ship schedule us to debark, and that could get decided as late as the day before. Thank you all again
  21. Our next cruise will end in Southampton, and we have arranged to be picked up at the terminal. Our driver wants to know what time to be there, and I am clueless. I have no idea how long it will take to get luggage, clear customs, etc. Some ports are quicker than others. With a 6 am arrival, does anyone have a recommendation for what to tell our driver? And don't worry, I will make sure s/he knows that things can change, depending on weather, world events, etc.
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