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About terrymtex01

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  1. LOL.. thank you. I still do that, be it for a cruise or land trip..
  2. Thank you all for your replies. We are taking Doug's parents on this cruise as it will be their 50th wedding anniversary so we both booked separate rooms through CAS, but we will be in one and Doug's parents in the other. Although I cook with wine often, neither Doug nor I drink it. I'm a gin person and Doug whisky. So we have never paid attention to how the complimentary bottles of wine worked. We have always given them to people in the restaurant, etc. But his parents both enjoy wine so we were checking out the options. Haven't been on CC in a while, we have taken several land trips recently that were on our bucket list. GaryCarla and NewMexicoNita, great to read your replies old friends. I have missed you.
  3. We are traveling as a family with two staterooms, each stateroom will be Platinum Plus. My question is concerning the bottle of wine you are given with the dinner perk. Are you able to take any leftover wine back to your stateroom.
  4. terrymtex01

    Review of the NCL Jewel Alaskan cruise May 23rd

    I do agree, and I should have mentioned him, but Steven was great. It was great meeting you all as well. Glad you made it home safely.
  5. terrymtex01

    take out at O'Sheehan's

    We just got off of the Jewel like two weeks ago and we saw people taking food to their cabins from the buffet, but I know, at that time, they would not let you take anything from a specialty restaurant. We even talked to a ships officer about that.
  6. I just submitted my review for the cruise we took in May. Of course it takes a few days for it to be seen, so posting it here as well. NCL Jewel - Alaska May 23rd – May 30th This is my review of our cruise vacation on the NCL Jewel to Alaska. This is simply my opinion and nothing more. The ship – The NCL Jewel is a part of their jewel class of ships. We have been on a couple of NCL ships with a very similar layout. We found the interior of this ship to be well maintained, very clean. The exterior, however, was just the opposite. This was our 10th cruise with NCL and the worst condition we have ever seen the outside of an NCL ship. Everywhere you looked on the outside promenades you could see rust and huge chunks of paint missing. I am not for sure why, as we have always seen NCL crews actively maintaining the ships exterior, but not on this cruise. We had invited family to go on the cruise with us and after all of the bragging we had done on NCL, I would have been completely embarrassed if they had come on the trip with us. In fairness to NCL, I asked the Concierge to please reach out to the officer in charge of the exterior condition of the ship as to if there was a reason it was in such disrepair, however I was never given a response. Also I don’t believe there is anything NCL can do about this, but the bank of elevators located in the middle of the ship were almost impossible to use. It was virtually impossible to catch an elevator going up or down that was not full. Most of the time this bank of elevators are busy, but this just seemed worse than usual. Also, this cruise seemed impossibly crowded. Yes it was an Alaskan cruise, and I know that a lot of the activity onboard the ship is inside, as opposed to a Caribbean cruise, however this was our third cruise on this itinerary (except for Victoria) so we are not new to Alaskan cruises. If you are a smoker, you can no longer smoke on your balcony; however, almost every area that is an open deck is a smoking area. Plus you can smoke in the casino and in the cigar lounge. Our stateroom – we were in the Aft Penthouse 8630, and I have to say, we may have been spoiled by staying in the Owners Suite as many times as we have, but we found this suite, this time, to be too small. There was no comfortable seating anywhere in this suite and the carpets were well worn (one of the few complaints I have of the ships interior). Our Butler was Richard and our Steward was Putu. Both of them did great jobs. We do not like to interact with the Butler and Steward during our vacation because even though it is what they are there for, we feel like we are bothering them. So the first day when the Butler introduced himself we told him the basics of what we would like as far as our stateroom and he was amazing and made sure it happened, without being visible. For the first time in a long time we felt both the Steward and Butler well earned their tips. They both really went above and beyond. One last concern we had was on the last morning of the cruise (disembarkation day) we had NO hot water in our cabin. We tried to call people to report this, but at 6AM no one was answering the phone. Now I do take some responsibility for this as we did not think to call the Concierge or Butler, who most likely would have been able to get someone to help us, but we just were not awake enough to think of that, until after our cold showers. For some reason, we later learned this was limited to our stateroom and no one else around us had this issue. One option you might want to consider if looking into the Penthouse, is seeing if you can find a third person to join you on your cruise. The Penthouse was $7K for the two of us. But if you can get a third to join you on the cruise and you have to pay $10K for the Owners Suite, the per guest cost is less (especially if you can get the special third and fourth guest for free). Even with the third guest, the extra space would be worth it, along with the extra perks. The staff – Overall the staff was just amazing. We never encountered one that didn’t seem to love their job and that were happy the passengers were onboard. There were two specifically worth mentioning. Florentina, the ships Concierge, was fantastic. In a world of being told what could not be done or being constantly told no, she never once acted like something we wanted or needed was impossible. In my opinion, she is THE example of what a Concierge should be. Then there was Claudia, the ships Group Event Coordinator. At the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet I mentioned how on a past cruise we were given a private tour of the ships Galley and what a neat experience that was, and a few days later we got a call from Claudia and she had arranged one for us on the Jewel. Again it was a neat experience and explained something I will mention later on in my review. The food – When we booked this cruise we were offered three promotions. One of the promotions was free Ultimate Dining Package. I believe this would have cost us $184.00 PP for the cruise (but I may be mistaking it for the Ultimate Beverage Package which we also were given) and would have been well worth the cost had we had to pay for it. With this package you can dine in any of the specialty restaurants every night of the cruise at no additional cost. You can also get the up-charge entrees for no additional cost. During the cruise we ate three times at Le Bistro, once at Cagney’s, once at Moderno, and twice at La Cucina. All of them were great but Le Bistro and La Cucina were the best. At Le Bistro I HIGHLY recommend Fruits de Mar if you like seafood. I had it twice and LOVED it. This normally would cost $10.00 above the charge to eat in Le Bistro, however if you buy the dining package it would be included. For breakfast and lunch we at in the dining option that is given to suite guest. Basically the same menu that we have seen since this perk first started. We did eat twice in O’Sheehan’s, which is an included restaurant for all guest and we found it to be good. It is mostly comfort food and I think their meatloaf and mashed potatoes were very good. Chin Chin’s is now an included restaurant as well. This used to be one of our favorite restaurants onboard any NCL ship (goes by different names depending on the ship) however since making it an included restaurant they have changed the menu. We tried it and were very disappointed that the food quality has changed as well. Earlier I mentioned that we had a tour of the ships Galley and this was for the main included dining areas. One thing we were shown was how they make up the plates of food and how there is a photo at each station of how that plate should look. This is true, I believe, in most restaurants. However the few times we dined in O’Sheehan’s I noticed it was difficult to ask for an alteration to a plate. Like for instance when I ordered a burger and asked for extra lettuce, I never got it and when I ordered the meatloaf and asked for extra gravy I had to request it again when my plate was brought out. It could have been the server, but I did see him write down extra gravy on his little pad. Not really enough to mention, but thought I would anyway. Excursions – I am a huge advocate that you should utilize ship excursions if possible and for the most part, we did. In Ketchikan we went on the Misty Fjords excursion, in Juneau we did the Tracy Arm excursion and in Victoria we did Butchart Gardens. All of these were great and well worth the cost. In Skagway we actually rented a car through Avis and drove to Carcross. I HIGHLY recommend doing this. Yes you miss the train ride, but for less than $200.00 you have your own self paced tour and the views to Carcross are AMAZING. Much better than riding the cramped and crowded tour bus just to be able to take a train ride back. If I am to be totally honest about the excursions, while Tracy Arm and Misty Fjords were great and exactly as described, on both it seems like Allen Marine (the tour company) is cutting cost or something compared to the years before when we took these exact same tours with them. In the past, on both of these tours they would navigate the boats closer to the shoreline and we would almost always see whale when they did that. This time they didn’t. When I asked why one of the tour guides went and asked the Captain and was told “it’s Captain’s choice”. So make of it what you will, but that was a little disappointing. Casino - A large part of our cruising experience is the casino. The casino on board is very nice, it was clean and it had a lot of fun machines. However the machines were EXTREMELY tight. We know the chances of you coming out ahead in a casino are nil, however we have fun if the machines pay out enough to at least let you keep playing for a while. These did not. Only one night did we have that kind of luck. The Casino staff was very nice and pleasant. If you have the ultimate drink package they ask you to use that in the casino rather than the casino buying your drinks. The only reason I have a problem with that is that means every time you want a drink you have to pull out your room card and then you have to sign the ticket. Again, nothing major, just another way you as the customer are put out. Also I used to be a big fan of the Casino at Sea’s players club, but they have become so restrictive with their players club it just isn’t worth it any longer. Last Nov we spent 14K in the casino on the Jade, but because we did not sail again by March 31st of this year, we lost our players club level. I understand there needs to be limits on how long your status remains but I feel it should be a rolling year, not a set year like it is now. What we were told is it starts over April 1st of every year. Overall experience – for years we have been huge fans of NCL. Like anyone, we can choose any cruise line to take our vacations with. Who you choose to cruise with is a very personal experience. For us, we believe the time to part ways with NCL is here. The experience with NCL just isn’t what it used to be. In general everywhere you go onboard is more of “we can’t do that, we don’t have that, we no longer offer that”,etc. While the Ultimate Dining Package is a great deal, food wise, the experience in the specialty restaurants has diminished since they are now more crowded. With the Ultimate Beverage Package we saw something on this cruise we have not experienced before on NCL, drunken people everywhere. Ok, ok.. I always try to be truthful in my reviews, so yes one night I did have one too many martinis, ehehehe.. But I wasn’t falling down drunk or obnoxious. I’m not saying we will never sail NCL again, it will depend on the itinerary we are looking for. However instead of us being exclusive to NCL, we now feel like there may be better options for us.
  7. terrymtex01

    Statement from NCL on drowning on GEM

    I so totally agree. People love to assign blame especially when they have NO CLUE what happened. How disgusting.
  8. I am not new to CC by any means and I am not new to cruising. I do hate starting a new thread when the information is already out there. But I have searched (using CC's search function) CC and I have searched HAS's website and I cannot find this simple bit of information. We are considering using HAL for a 2016 Alaskan land and sea tour and I wanted to find out what kind of deposit does HAL usually expect when booking a cruise. Is it a specific dollar amount, or a % of your total package, etc. I appreciate any information you can supply me with.
  9. terrymtex01

    Ncl all in package.... Really!

    OMG.. perfectly said and it should have stopped with that.
  10. I just have to say this.. and I may be mistaken on when you posted this.. but if you took time out of your hard earned vacation to post this..that is where I think you are wrong. So you didn't read the conditions of the credit.. so what.. but please.. ENJOY WHAT PART OF YOUR VACATION YOU CAN. And, if you spent more than 150.00 onboard, trust me, your credit will go towards that. Who cares where the 150.00 OBC goes, as long as you get it. Am I missing something?
  11. terrymtex01

    Norwegian Cruise Line Bans Smoking on Balconies

    Smokers.. do not be alarmed.. Just get a good ecig and you will be fine. There is no way it can be proved you smoked yours inside your cabin. Mine smells like lemon/lime so I was having a gin and tonic with lime. Even on the balcony, you expel so little "smoke" who would be able to see it or detect it?
  12. terrymtex01

    Hope the NonSmokers are happy-Price Jumps on every cruise

    Smokers.. simply get a good quality Ecig. There is no way they can prove you were smoking on your balcony or in your room. mine smells like lemon/lime.. I was merely have a gin and tonic, not smoking my ecig. Believe me if you get a good one, it will satisfy you.
  13. terrymtex01

    Norwegian Cruise Line Bans Smoking on Balconies

    Smokers trust me.. there is no way they can prove you were smoking an ecig in your room or on your balcony. Just get a good high quality ecig and you will be fine. Ecigs do not smell like smoke. So join me and smoke an ecig all you want.. balcony or otherwise.
  14. Agree 100%.. we love the Sun and the Spirit both because they are very unique ships to NCL, and the smaller ships just give a real cruise experience, for lack of a better way to put it. Ships like the Sun and the Spirit are the reason we fell in love with cruising. OMG.. funniest thing I have read on CC in a long time.
  15. terrymtex01

    Fire & Ice

    They are AMAZING. We keep hoping some day we are lucky enough to sail again on a ship where they are performing.