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Everything posted by Sigyn

  1. What are the best places to dive in Florida in October? Is there anywhere that's not too brackish in the Pensacola area? Trying to find somewhere that's a relatively short distance to get to, so that would be Pensacola, Tampa or Jacksonville.
  2. I'm Gen X - age 55 - and I have no real interest in loyalty programs, other than Delta Airlines and that's because I can buy in with my purple AmEx branded card and get access to the lounges at the airport and other nice perks. I get upgraded quite frequently to first class just because I use my card a lot. I shop around with hotels and cruises and rental cars and everything else and never stick to one thing. I do the same with airlines, too, if there's more than 25% or so difference in fares. It's not worth my upgrades and free luggage and such if it's more than that. I just don't care about free water and free laundry and a few extras like that from a cruise line if I've gone on 10 or 20 cruises. That seems like a ridiculous amount of buy in for very little reward.
  3. I'm interested in this thread because I've been shopping around cruise lines this past year, after only cruising on Carnival in the past. Since December we've gone on NCL, Royal Caribbean and, just last month, Celebrity in a sky suite on the Millennium. Such a bummer that they changed everything already. We loved Celebrity for our July 7-14 cruise, but it was right before they changed from having individual butlers to a butler "team" so now that the experience has lessened we have no interest in going back. We had a lovely experience on the Norwegian Prima in December, so I've booked our next cruise on the Norwegian Joy in the Haven for March 2024. I've heard great things about the Haven, so I want to try it before we switch to Oceania or Viking. I'm open to trying those, since we did enjoy our suite experience, but since we have a teenager (he'll be 16 in two months) I want to opt for more family-friendly cruise lines when he's with us.
  4. Thanks for the info. I'll just book my own as planned. I usually have enough frequent flyer miles to get at least one ticket free anyway.
  5. Excellent point, but I'm not doing it for the extra meals. I'm doing it for the better drinks and the upgraded Wi-Fi and the $50 off the second person on excursions. I paid $686 for FAS Plus and I've already saved $100 on the two excursions I booked immediately afterward, and so that means I paid $586 for the upgraded WiFi and the better drinks and we get the two extra meals each as part of it, which we will enjoy even though it wasn't necessary. Not cheap, but reasonable enough for me. We like getting Starbucks each morning on the ship and my husband is a big fan of certain red wines and bourbons. I've also heard you can only get Vueve in Le Bistro, so we can eat there a couple of times so I can get my fix.
  6. We dined at Palomar on embarkation day and that worked out just fine.
  7. He is. Thanks for the reminder! the reason I couldn't remember how many extra meals we have with the packages is because, despite having the very same thing in December, NCL screwed up and didn't apply my son's meal package to his account, and I had to visit guest relations three times over three days before they applied it, so they they comped him one of his specialty restaurant meals, and we had that one as an extra, so we used it at Food Republic and were able to get enough for the three of us to eat dinner with just the one meal. (Food Republic is awesome!) But that totally threw me off.
  8. I bought the four meal package for my son so that he has four meals to eat with us. He'll be 16 when we cruise so yes, he can eat a lot! We're in the Haven, so we have their restaurant to dine in as our non-specialty meal nights. It will be quite the foodie trip!
  9. yeah, it all depends on what matters to each person. for us, we like the music in the small venues but we skip the big theater productions. I agree on the pricing. We paid around $6,000 for the two of us in the smallest sky suite guarantee in the Retreat on the Millennium for Alaska. Or was it $7,000. I forget at this point. My brain is old. But we are "only" paying $7,800 for three of us in the Haven on the Joy to the Caribbean during spring break and it's a two room suite. Altho I did have to pay $650 or so to upgrade to free at sea plus to get the better drink and WiFi package and that came with the Retreat. Still a better price tho.
  10. We have three people flying, not sure if the BOGO is a deal in this instance. Also, can it be added after you book but before final payment?
  11. I bought Free at Sea Plus that has Unlimited Wi-Fi. It says you have to call for Premium Wi-Fi with streaming. I had Free at Sea Plus for our December cruise last year on the Prima. I guess we just did Unlimited Wi-Fi because I don't recall upgrading to streaming. Does anyone know how much it is to upgrade to streaming? I don't care about it but I know our teenager will. Here's the screenshot of Free at Sea Plus with the description.
  12. I'm serious about the Retreat v. Haven stuff. When we boarded last month on the Millennium, I asked our butler for afternoon snacks and he said, "Well, most people don't want snacks anymore since the pandemic. We have snacks in the Retreat lounge at 3 pm." I said, "I'd like for you to bring us snacks." I asked for a cheese plate, fruit and salted nuts each day at 3 pm. I received a plain bowl of unsalted pecans one day and a cheese plate and a fruit plate, but that was the only time I saw nuts. One day there was shrimp with cocktail sauce with a cheese plate and fruit. Another day there was a meat plate randomly added. It was so bizarre. I gave up. We were actually hungry at 3 pm/4 pm when we'd get back to our cabin because we were in Alaska and out on excursions every day and we wouldn't go to dinner until about 7 pm. I wanted my snack and I didn't want to go down several decks to the lounge to get it. 🤣
  13. We were port side on our recent Alaskan cruise and I had thought beforehand that maybe starboard was the best side. I was wrong. Turns out it didn't matter. You go through so many narrow areas on the Inside Passage and you see so much from both sides of the ship. It's just gorgeous for your entire cruise. On two different nights I saw smaller ships in the distance and managed to get great photos of them from my cabin. If I'd been starboard I wouldn't have gotten the photos. You just never know what you will see.
  14. Just want to say these snacks look SO MUCH BETTER than what we had in The Retreat on Celebrity last month. I can't wait to be in the Haven next spring!
  15. There are three of us traveling - my husband and myself and our teenager. I bought the Free at Sea Plus package. I've attached the screenshot below of the specialty meals we had with Free at Sea, and now what we have with Free at Sea Plus. So does this mean that my husband and I each have two specialty meals? I got it wrong on our December cruise when I bought what I thought was the equivalent number of meals for our son, so I want to make sure I do it right this time. Thanks!
  16. It wasn't open, but Indulge Food Hall was. We love that place. It was open for lunch on embarkation day and every day. We ate there and loved it. If you go on embarkation day, get there asap because it filled up fast. We were able to get a table by heading there right after muster. We loved Food Republic, too. We had dinner there one night. Wonderful food and yummy desserts, which was totally unexpected.
  17. I've been on the Prima but Vibe was sold out when I booked my cruise three months ahead of time so we couldn't do Vibe. Those on the ship that had it, tho, loved it. As a solo cruiser I think you'd especially appreciate it because you'd be able to meet other people and hang out and enjoy yourself. As a fellow reader, I understand the lure of a good book. So, take your book to Vibe and relax on the loungers and read there.
  18. Can I have a refund for my future deposits since I will not be getting the same service of a dedicated butler I paid for? If you booked a refundable/flexible deposit, you can always change or upgrade your booking. If you booked non-refundable, rest assured all services and products will be provided, as expected by each guest. The Retreat team will continue to exceed expectations with an unforgettable experience. A very long-winded and avoiding the question way to say "NO" - they should run for political office.
  19. The thermal suite on the Prima is fantastic. I spent a lot of time there on our December cruise. Gorgeous views for the thermal loungers. I'd lay there and read a book and the atmosphere was so peaceful. I agree there are a lot of padded loungers outside around the ship, too. We were on a totally full ship for Christmas but managed to find one or two in the aft bar area on Deck 8, I think it was. We loved that bar.
  20. Don't even get my husband started on the IT incompetence. He's an IT project manager, former programmer, and on our cruise last month we ran into all sort of glitches with info not in the system or not having been transferred over to our account, etc., due to a crappy IT department. He explained this, and the fix, to the concierge and she just smiled. But didn't seem to care.
  21. I can't imagine they've had a single call with positive feedback. That's marketing BS at its best - and I should know. I'm a marketing executive. lol. Here's what we know. There is a butler team replacing individual butlers. Yet they are laying off butlers, so there will be fewer of them. Therefore, service will be negatively impacted. You can't do the same with less.
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