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Posts posted by xitappers2bx

  1. So I don’t know why, but the spacing is messed up. I’m trying to conserve my Internet as much aspossible, with two sisters at home with a menagerie of kids (and tripletbabies) Internet is for keeping tabs on them. In Bermuda I’ll try and fix the spacing, but really, I know I’m anoutstanding writer (it’s my birthday today, so you can’t argue against that) but if you can’t bear the spacing issue, youcan read this later and it really will not hurt my feelings.


    Alright, back to vacation…


    It would appear that this will not be a cruise where I willbe sleeping in. Which is fine, althoughI hope to catch something comedy-related while here.


    Monday, breakfast. Ihave to say, I’m really not a breakfast person and really enjoyedbreakfast. They have all the typicalbreakfast foods, of which I don’t eat most, and some out of the world hashbrowns, some perfectly ripe fruit, and they offer both crispy and not crispybacon. I am so not a bacon person(really, don’t eat much pork), and it was delicious. My parents joined me for breakfast, and theyseemed to love it as well, and then I brought cereal and milk back to mystateroom for sleeping beauty.


    We wandered around a bit after getting ready for the day,checking out the Deal or No Deal game, checking out the line for bingo, andthen going to get lunch before the CruiseCritic Meet and Greet.


    Lunch was exciting because I found the Indian food. I didn’t eat Indian food until right beforemy 30th birthday; I had this whole list of 30 things to do before Iturned 30, and expanding my food horizons was one of them. Thanks to that foray into Indian food fouryears ago I have become a bit of a food snob in a very general sense, and theBug has been able to expand the foods she likes while criticizing those shedoesn’t. On the Epic last year, theIndian food was by far the thing I loved the most, I would start with that forlunch, and then end with something new just to try and did not see that therewas an Indian station here. Turns outthe Indian food is with the Asian food. I should have known that, and now I do.


    Lunch was delicious. There was the burger bar, with great looking hot dogs (no clue ifthey’re beef or not, but I will be finding out today), some pizza, the mostridiculously good chicken fingers, and fruit with some desserts. The Bug started with breakfast “appetizer”and then moved to lunch food. She’s alittle goofy in that, she has to eatbreakfast before moving to lunch.


    After lunch we met at the District Brewhouse for the CruiseCritic Meet and Greet. I don’t reallyhave anything to compare it to, but my mom said she had never seen a M&Glike that, and the people who attended seemed extremely happy. They had all of the exec-level officers whichwas really awesome, and they were giving out beer (and soda) and snacks toeveryone. The Cruise Director spoke a bit, and it was a really awesomehour/hour and a half. A lot of peopleshowed up as well.


    After the Meet and Greet we had about an hour to kill andthen a slot pull. This was my first timeever doing a slot pull, and I’m not really one who loves slot machines, but itwas fun to mingle with others.


    On our way to Bingo from the slot pull we walked past theAtrium and saw they were playing Deal or No Deal. My dad, who really wanted to play (and thereis a game today that we are going to do) sat down and we all ended up watchingthe second half of the game. I didn’tcatch this on the Epic last year, but it was such a blast, and even though weweren’t playing, it was awesome. So weare definitely doing this today. I cando whatever I want today, not only am I on vacation, I’m officially“mid-thirties.”


    Bingo. So this wascrazy; this was the game where they name the Queen and King… and as someone whodoesn’t win very many things, I 100% was not expecting to be named the BingoQueen. And then they called my name andI thought I was going to pass out. Thelast thing I want to do is get up on stage in front of however many people werethere, but it wasn’t that bad, and I didn’t die. And now I get to play bingo for free allweek, which the Bug thinks means shegets to play bingo for free all week. It’s a good thing she’s so cute. Bingo was a lot of fun; at home we play once or twice a month and itdoesn’t feel as much fun as it did on the ship. The prices were a little high, but it’s fun and that’s all thatmatters. I’m not a big gambler, bingo iswhere my “casino” dollars go.


    After Bingo we had some time to kill before dinner, but Iwanted to get showered etc. So I took asuper hot bath, and then a shower before getting dressed for dinner atModerno.


    Monday night was the dressy up night, and I thought welooked great. I’m feeling pretty beat upfrom a crossfit comp I did Saturday, so it felt nice to feel pretty while my quadsare dying and my shoulders scream at me. We go to dinner, and it was really surprising to see how many peopleshowed up in t-shirts, flip flops, and shorts. On the Med last summer in the specialty restaurants it seemed as thoughpeople dressed up. It would appear tonot be the case here. It’s not somethingI would let ruin my vacation (now that would be stupid), but it was something Inoticed, and was sort of surprised about. I know there are a ton of people out there who this would ruin theirvacation, so be forewarned.


    Dinner itself was stupid good. We got there right when they opened, and theappetizers were good, and fortunately our server, Rakesh, reminded us that weshould not fill up on that, because there is a lot of meat coming our way. I think because we arrived early they werestill finishing up the cooking, so while we had lots of the many steakvariations, and my parents enjoyed the lamb, it wasn’t until towards the end ofthe meal that the chicken came out and by then I was stuffed. The best part of the meal was when thegentleman with the pineapple came out. The pineapple is by far my absolute favorite thing. First, he brought me a fresh one, then wasmore than happy to give me extra slices, and then when I wanted anotherserving, he loaded up my plate with amazingness. If you’ve never had the pineapple, itsbasically the meat of the fruit, covered in brown sugar (I think) and baked sothere’s this stupid good glaze on the outside. They cut it just like they cut the meats, and you 100% have to tryit. I could have just eaten thepineapple for dinner. Dessert was alsogreat; I had the chocolate coconut tres leches cake that the Bug was absolutelynot going to try, but she did, andshe absolutely loved it, so being the kind and generous mom I am, I shared itwith her. My mom ordered tea, and sharedmy dad’s banana meringue (pretty sure I spelled that wrong). We explored some more after, took somephotos, and my mom went to play craps.


    For many people, this is where the night started… for me, we’regetting towards the end. We did end upwandering around a bit more because our steward wasn’t done in our rooms, butwhen we got back to the room and he was still there we just hang out on thebalcony, and enjoyed the cool evening, the sound of the waves, and the fact thattomorrow (today) was going to be all about me and whatever the heck I wanted todo. I have been taking photos too, sosometimes tomorrow (Wednesday) in Bermuda I’ll figure out how to upload themall.


    Today (1 May) is my birthday, so if you're glum waiting for your cruise, in my honor, do something nice for someone, and make their day better. It'll help turn yours around too! :) And if you do something nice for someone, I really would love to hear about it!



    And oh yeah, I’ve finished my first book of the trip.

  2. Thanks for the live report, heading out on the Escape in 13 days so I will be following intently. When you get to photographing would you mind snapping a daily schedule or 2, if not no biggie. Again thanks.



    Sent from my iPad using Forums


    I'll post photos of them when we get to Bermuda. I have international data, so once there lots of Internet access at no charge :)

  3. Unlike on the other ships, when you board you don’t enterinto the massive multi-story atriums that are decked out in gaudy mirrors andglass elevators. I do wish there wasanother bank of elevators in the center of the ship, but this seems to be thewhole breakaway design (and the Epic) where it’s just the elevators forward andaft.


    We made our way up to the buffet for some lunch, and we metan absolutely fabulous woman traveling by herself, she joined us for lunch andI do hope we run into her again. Thefood was outstanding, I did not take pictures of the first meal, but the beefshort ribs were absolutely to die for, and my food snob of a teenager thoughtthey were delicious, and the mashed potatoes were even better than rememberedon the Epic.


    There were multiple announcements that the rooms were notquite yet ready, but would be at 1:30; that didn’t stop people from trying toget to their rooms though.


    Alright… so the room. We originally booked connecting balcony rooms, but at 90 days out theprice dropped, so we moved to the mini suite, and I glad that we did. The price was negligible, but the additionalspace and storage make what could be an otherwise cramped room feelbigger. I think the fact we have a doorthat opens helps to increase the roominess feel. I was really on the fence about bidding for aHaven suite, but the fact that we would be separate from my parents, and thefact that a bid would be the equivalent of another cruise, helped to make thatdecision for us. Maybe one day, but thiswasn’t that day.


    I will post photos later, either when we are in Bermuda orwhen we get home, to go along with all of this. I’m a writer, not a photographer, but I did take some cool photos andvideo while pulling out of NYC.


    Back to the room. At1:35 the announcement was made that the rooms were open, so it was time tocheck them out. We (the Bug and I) arein an M2, and my parents are connected to us in an M3. The only difference that I can tell is thatmy bed is by the balcony, and theirs is by the bathroom. We each had a bottle of champagne waiting forus, thanks to our amazing travel agent, to celebrate my birthday and my dadsbirthday (later in May), so that was a great surprise.


    Comparing the stateroom to others, it doesn’t have the sameopen feel as the Epic’s mini suite, but I like the feeling of more privacy andthe elimination of the curtain splitting the “bathroom” from the roompart. I really did love the Epic though,and thought the bathtub was a lot wider. Our doors are right next to each other, unlike the Epic, you don’t walkin the center of the room, so it feels a little narrow is the closed offbathroom, but now 18 hours later, I do like the room a lot.


    Storage. I wasinitially really concerned. On the Epicwe had more storage than we knew what to do with! By the time we boarded that ship we hadalready spent a month living in Paris and we each had a huge suitcase, plus shehad a normal carry on size bag, and I had my favorite travel purchase of alltime, a King Kong bag. Turns out, onceour luggage came, there was more than enough storage, and it looks like for myparents, there was also more than enough storage. (The Bug’s clothes are small enough they aremostly fitting in the shelves under the TV. I will be sure to add photos later).


    The only bummer of this whole thing is that the balconydivider doesn’t open. But we have a doorinside the stateroom that does, so if we all want to sit out on the balconytogether, we can bring our own chairs easily enough.


    On a side note… I had reassured someone once that ourluggage never came late. While myluggage was waiting for me after the muster drill, it took until dinnertime formy parents to receive theirs. So sorrymom and dad!


    Alright… so the muster drill you’d think with the recentevents on that Southwest flight (living near Philly this was a huge deal andplayed heavily on our “news”) people would take it more seriously. I was surprised at how many times they had totell people it was time to get to their stations. I like how they had it broken down andorganized, different than on the Epic, when we boarded halfway into the cruise(Barcelona was where the vast majority had boarded) and we were all just in thetheater, although I liked getting to meet all the exec-level folks on the Epicand we didn’t get that there.


    After muster we went up to the rear of the ship, and enjoyeda kid-filled adults-only area. Weordered the obligatory sail away drinks, a virgin pina collada for my mom, abbb for my dad (and it was DELISH), and I ordered the mojito (also delicious, but, I did have a little drink envy forthe bbb).


    Unlike far too many other people, we do not have the drinkpackage. We aren’t huge drinkers, andnone of us could drink enough to actually make it worth it, and we don’t reallydrink enough to offset the cost of the additional gratuities, so we will pay aswe go for drinks.


    For anyone on the Escape… as the sober person, I doapologize for the fellow Eagles fans who got a little too happy last night andwere screaming the fight song. See, wewon this really huge football game about three months ago, and it still feelsunreal… so on their behalf, I do apologize. Their kids also apologized a few times.


    It felt like the ship was getting out of NYC pretty quickly;having cruised a fairly good deal out of NYC it felt like we were movingquickly down the river. I’ve been tryingto enjoy the sail under the Verrazano Bridge for years, and we are usually atdinner when it happens, so I miss it. Yesterday, I am happy to report, I did not miss it. I have video that at some point I’ll try andpost.


    The weather up here in the northeast has been anything butspring like until very recently, and yesterday it was chilly, a bit too breezy,and I’m still wearing my down vest, which sucks. Today the weather is a lot nicer. Sunny and warm.


    Dinner… we unpacked while my parents rested a bit beforedinnertime. Then around 6:30 we headedto Taste, which is right across from Savor. Taste only had two tops available, so they called Savor, and they hadlarger tables available, and we headed over there. I loved the design of this dining room, itwas smaller and more intimate, and I enjoyed it a lot more than the largerdining room like on the Epic and every other cruise ship on the planet.


    Dinner itself was very good. I don’t have any photos of theappetizers, but my daughter and the French onion soup, my parents split thecrab wontons and the Caesar salad, and I had the French onion soup and thecream of cauliflower soup, and everything was outstanding. For dinner, also not photographs, but mydaughter ordered the New York Strip, which came out perfectly medium rare, andit was great with the peppercorn on top; my dad and I each had the steakmedallions, which I thought the sauce on top was stellar, and my mom orderedthe ribs, and she said they were great. There are photographs of dessert to look forward to; my daughter had thewarm melting cake, my dad the strawberry shortcake, and I had the honey crèmebrûlée, which I could not have eaten any faster. Dinner was great, and while the service wasslow, I really enjoy not being rushed through meals like I feel doing timeddining on the other lines.


    After dinner we wandered around a bit, and then headed tobed.



    And that was day one.

  4. Hello world! I wasn’tgoing to do a live review, but it’s 7am on the first day, and everyone is stillsleeping, so why not. When we werewaiting for this cruise, it seemed like there were a good number of peoplewanting a live review of the Escape.


    So here we are.


    Who are we? There arefour of us on this little Escape of ours (I’m a writer, but I promise, no morepuns…). In one room is myself, a soon tobe mid-30 something and my 13 year old daughter. We have a lot of cruises under our belt, butthis is only our second on NCL. Lastsummer we cruised the Epic out of Rome, (and there’s a half-finished review outthere to prove it) and became totally hooked on NCL. My parents are early 60-somethings with evenmore cruises under their collective belts, and this is their first NCL. My sister had triplets earlier this year, sothis is a nice getaway for my parents who have been helping them out. More about them later, I’m sure.


    Oh. It’s also goingto be my birthday tomorrow (Tuesday, May 1). So there’s that.


    How did we get here?


    By bus, I’m not even kidding.


    Seriously. We werecoming from Philly, and there was a bit of a stress about how/when we’d get toNew York. Usually my daughter (who, fromnow on I will refer to as the Bug) and I will take the train to cruise out ofNew York, but my parents aren’t into that. Coming from Philly it’s pretty easy, but I’m totally not a morningperson, so we found a great group of folks staying at the Doubletree in FortLee, who also happened to charter a bus. Parking was $50, the room was $159, and being on the “executive floor”got all four of us free breakfast. ForNYC that was nothing but a steal.


    Getting to the terminal wasn’t all that bad, I get waycarsick, and the bus rise was fine. Oncehere, I was blown away by how much better everything was than the last time wewere here. I don’t know if it’s becauseit’s NCL and not CCL, but everything felt much smoother, and that was withoutVIP boarding that we get with CCL (on that line, we cruise in suites and that’sone of the very few perks). We didn’tget there until a bit after 11, but we weren’t in any rush to rush into a lineto rush into another line to rush into waiting (and complaining with everyoneelse about waiting). The lines werelong, but never stopped moving, and even though my parents and I were indifferent staterooms we were able to stick together so that was great.


    The whole security + check in process + boarding (we wereable to get right on) took less than an hour.


    And then just like that, we were on board.

  5. Everyone has been standing in line at the terminal for over 2 hours and the line isn't even moving. NCL called everyone and said escape will sail at the scheduled time....yea right


    To think... if everyone had listened to NCL's call and texts not to arrive until after 12 there wouldn't have been anyone waiting in line for two hours at 12:30pm.

  6. I think this is one of those things where supply and demand come into play; more people than ever are going to Alaska, as demand increases so does price. I don't think that's anything more than basic economics in play...


    As we prepare for our upcoming 2018 cruise on the Bliss, we came across a NCL Shore Excursion pricelist from our 2015 cruise on the Jewel (same itinerary). What do you think of the change in NCL Shore Excursionprices in 3 years?


    Prices below are shown2015_Price / 2018_Price



    Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show $35 / $49

    Ketchikan Highlights by Trolley $39 / $69

    Ketchikan Duck Tour $39 /$49

    Totem Bight State Park & Ketchikan Highlights $49 / $79

    Saxman Native Village $59/ $84

    Totem Bight State Park & Lumberjack $79 / $104

    Saxman Native Village & Lumberjack $89 / $114

    Rainforest Canoe & Nature Trail $99 / $129

    Lighthouse, Totems, Eagles $99 / $139

    Eagle Island Sea Kayak $119/ $144

    Mountain Point Snorkeling $119 / $159

    Rainforest Island Adventure $129 / $164

    Rainforest High TechTreasure Hunt $139 / $174

    Tatoosh Islands Sea Kayak $159 / $184

    Bearing Sea Crab Fisherman $179 / $255

    Magnificent Misty FjordsSeaplane $229 / $309

    Halibut Fishing $349 /$429

    Chauffeur Driven Hummer $599 / $699



    Mt Roberts Tramway $32 /$39

    Gold Creek Salmon Bake $49/ $69

    Mendenhall Glacier Explorer $49 / $79

    Historic Gold Mine $59 /$84

    Mendenhall Glacier and Hatchery $59 / $85

    Mendenhall Glacier and Mt Roberts $79 / $109

    Mendenhall Glacier & Gardens $79 / $104

    Mendenhall Glacier & Salmon Bake $89 / $114

    Mendenhall Glacier Hike $99 / $124

    Mendenhall Glacier River Float $119 / $154

    Sled Dog Discovery & Camp $149 / $169

    Whale Quest & Orca Point Lodge $189 / $229

    5 Glacier Exploration $209/ $299

    Taku Lodge & 5 Glacier $299 / $399

    Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter & Walk $299 / $429

    Helicopter Glacier Walkabout $379 / $499

    Helicopter Glacier Trek$409 / 499

    Dogsled Adventure by Helicopter $549 / $649



    Liarsville Salmon Bake $39/ $64

    Skagway Street Car $44 /$69

    Historical City, Gold,Salmon $79 / 109

    Yukon Territory Drive $119/ $159

    White Pass Railway $119 /$149

    Chilkoot Trail Hike $129 /$179

    Grizzly Falls Zipline $169/ $199

    Glacier Discovery by Helicopter $329 / $469

  7. I have a large group booked and the balcony cabins are currently on Deck 8 forward (EPIC) and it appears it's over the Bliss lounge. Is this going to be an issue when it comes to sound at night? We have a pretty lively group, and most of them will be the passengers making noise late into the evening, but was wondering about the sound from below if anyone wants to sleep early.


    I was on deck 8 last summer, right around the forward elevator banks and never heard anything at all!

  8. Just heard on BBC America about how much more violent Sweden has become recently with close to 170,000 refugees entering the country. They were saying Swedes might being leaving the country in larger quantities.


    Yes. There has been a remarkable increase in violence in Europe largely thanks to the millions of migrants flowing in unchecked.


    Now they did not say anything about travel, but for cruises to Russia and Sweden it does make one pause and say hmmm. What kind of shore excursion should I take or should I stay one ship.


    Yes, you should think about it, but really, you are most likely going to be safe. My daughter and I lived in Paris last summer and while it was a little scary at first, the reality is, you will most likely be safe, so long as you don't make yourself a target. You should take excursions offered through the ship.


    Should I even try to cancel the trip.


    NO WAY! Don't let them win and take something you want away from you! Although, due to the way the Russians treat large segments of their population, I would abstain from visiting Russia, you really should go on your trip and enjoy yourself ENTIRELY.


    Just wondering everyone's thoughts with this new information that's all.


    You're going to find a lot of biased, uninformed people having an opinion. The reality of the world today is you could be harmed walking to your car, going to dinner in a city, or on a cruise in Europe. Don't make yourself a target, don't wear flashy jewelry (I purchased inexpensive stuff to wear when we travel), don't carry huge wads of cash. Keep a copy of your passport on you, but leave your passport on the ship. Fill out the safe traveler form through the State Department, that will send you alerts. Book excursions through the cruise line, if they get cancelled you'll get a refund, and they have a vested interest in keeping you safe. And, in the very rare instance that something were to happen, keep an eye on what is happening around you and keep in mind a way out if need be.

  9. Sweden violent? You need to pick a different 'news' channel



    Sent from my iPad using Forums


    Just because your source of news doesn't cover the violence doesn't mean it's not happening:






    That's just three examples... there has been a lot of violence in Europe due to the migrants and the fact they are bringing violence and different standards of treating people than they do in Europe. Having lived in Paris last summer I can tell you there is a huge amount of violence against Europeans occurring thanks to the migrants. Just because your news doesn't cover it (you know, it sort of kills the 'migrants are fantastic' narrative) does not mean it's not true. The OP has a legitimate concern. Minimizing it doesn't change the fact reality is harsh.

  10. As upsetting at it may seem, and perhaps this is callus, but if you don't read the fine print, you can't blame the company or the cruise line for having such a policy, even if it appears to be unfair. It seems to be there are many insurance companies that will cover deployment as a reason to recover trip fare. Knowing many people in the military, the vast majority do not get quickly deployed and know deployment is always a possibility. There is also no reason the rest of the family cannot still go away and enjoy a vacation and spread the cost of the member of the military. Really though, you can't blame anyone but the person who chose that insurance company for not reading the fine print. There is nothing unsettling about a company following their own policy. There is something unsettling about people thinking they deserve special treatment.


    This is happening to a close friend of mine, not me personally. I am reposting their Facebook post to me and others All I ask here is your thoughts and possibly suggestions on things they might be able to do.





    For those of you planning a cruise or family vacation please verify ALL of the fine print and study company policy before booking.

    We were FINALLY able to schedule a family vacation. If you have adult children then you know how hard that is with schedules. Our trip is a Bahama cruise May 2018. So the short story is this - Apx 40 days from sail date we found out Anthony is being deployed overseas during the planned vacation. We contacted Norwegian Cruise Lines and CSA Travel Protection insurance company (where we purchased the travel insurance from) to notify them of the deployment.

    CSA stated "Military deployment is not a valid reason for filing a refund claim". NCL basically said the same thing. NCL will cancel the cabin within 30 days but penalize us 75% of the trip value. This is inexcusable. NCL and CSA do not support our military personnel who have no control over these deployments. It's not like they can say NO. It's a terrible practice. These insurance protection companies are a scam. They'll do anything to deny claims. And shame on NCL for their policy.

    So remember this the next time you plan a vacation. And yes, I've been filing the BBB complaints and other boards......

  11. Thanks so much! In regards to the whole ship & duration of the cruise, can stairs always be used? Our friend is claustrophobic and doesn't set foot in elevators.��...


    You can used the stairs anytime! I found on the Epic with just the two elevator banks the stairs was often the quickest way to get somewhere. Which is great, because who doesn't need a little workout when enjoying all that food?

  12. Ok, recently on here I have heard others say that they did get all of it back as OBC.



    Sent from my iPhone using Forums


    On our upcoming cruise when the price dropped we were able to move up from a balcony to a mini-suite, but they did not offer any OBC if we had decided to stay in the balcony room for the difference in price.

  13. She did say she tips accordingly for her, just prefers to do it herself.


    Honestly, I think she has a point. I never considered it until now, but I do think I’m going to adjust downward. I don’t think it’s right to charge for each guest in a stateroom when one is three years old. I would rather delete the three year olds daily charge, and give extra to the staff directly that helped with him, such as our room steward and the kids club area. That seems more appropriate.


    But why should I pay for a three year olds charges that aren’t really being used? Or maybe I’m wrong? I’m interested.


    Is your three year old using towels? Sheets? Eating food? Using the kids area under supervision?


    I used to take my tips off. Then I befriended (and became very close to, so much as to be invited to his wedding) with an employee on another cruise line. When he opened my eyes to the actual importance of tipping I learned a lot.


    First, you can take your tips off. But you aren't hurting NCL. You are hurting the people who work on the ship to support your trip, who you do not interact with. The people who do the laundry, clean the dishes, etc etc etc. You doing this to make a statement also isn't going to change the fact that tips are an important part of the salary of the workers.


    You're paying for a three year old to go on a cruise, so paying for the three year old's tips shouldn't even be an issue.

  14. This is what I found (and a quick google search would have found you the same thing):


    It looks like the visa is not required. With that said, the airline or cruiseline can choose to prevent you from boarding, so that's probably a gamble that is more expensive than the $75 per person visa fee.





    The Republic of Cuba


    Do I Need a Visa to Visit Cuba?


    Canadian citizens travelling on a Canadian passport do not need a visa to enter Cuba for tourism purposes for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days.

    Canadian citizens travelling on a Canadian passport need a visa to enter Cuba for business purposes.

    Holders of Canadian Permanent Residency status (e.g. Canadian Landed Immigrants) with a current and valid PR card and a current and valid passport do not require a visa to visit Cuba as tourists for less than 30 days. You must produce a valid passport and valid Permanent Residence Card as proof of permanent residency.

    PERMANENT RESIDENTS who are in doubt about the Cuban policy of visa-free travel should CONTACT THEIR AIRLINE for further details.



    NOTE TO U.S.A. CITIZENS: Persons travelling on a US passport do not require a visa to enter Cuba for tourism purposes for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days. Cuba welcomes US tourists. Cuban immigration officials do not stamp passports, so there is no record of entry to or exit from Cuba recorded in the passport. US law forbids US citizens to freely travel to Cuba and to spend any money.

    NOTE TO PERSONS BORN IN CUBA: Cubans who are now nationals of another country, but left Cuba after 1970, must enter Cuba using their Cuban passport.

    For more information about travel conditions in the Caribbean, please visit the Foreign Affairs Web site.

  15. In my own experience trying to figure out that sort of thing I've found searching for the stateroom category online often will get me photos of rooms very similar to, or videos of rooms similar to (same category which would in theory have the same set up). Only twice out of a lot cruises have we had a sofa that turned into a larger queen-ish size bed. It seems more common that the soft turns into a slightly wider than twin size bed and then something would drop down from the ceiling.


    But seriously, I would try and search online, that would give you a ton more answers than on here.

  16. I’m looking to book the NCL Escape to Bermuda leaving Manhattan 5/6/18. I have a couple of questions. If you have any comments on this ship, Bermuda or leaving from Manhattan, those are also welcomeclear.png?emoji-smile-1742


    I'm getting off the ship the day you'd be getting on, but the ship seems pretty darn amazing from what my research shows... there's a lot of videos on You Tube.


    Anyone cruise to Bermuda in early May before? Any idea what the weather will be like on the sea days in between Manhattan and Bermuda?


    It seems to be the weather will be similar to what would be in North Carolina. Right now, Bermuda has been chilly, in the 60s and low 70s. I've cruised from NYC to the Caribbean in winter and I am happy to know it won't be that cold (it does actually seem like spring is coming in the next week or so).


    What airport is the easiest to get to and from the cruise port?


    I have a serious hate-on for JFK. Like haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate JFK. That doesn't mean it won't be easy though. I am not opposed to using public transport, and very often will use NJ Transit to get to EWR since it is so easy.


    Biggest question: we plan to walk off with our luggage. We are looking to book a flight home that leaves around 11:30am. This would be on Sunday 5/13/18. Is this flight late enough?

    Below are our options:

    Leaves at 11:30am from LGA

    Leaves at 11:38am from JFK

    Leaves at 11:30am from EWR


    You'd probably be pushing it, but it's a Sunday, so probably not. I would probably book something slightly later in the day, but with that said, you should be able to get off pretty early so I don't think it's a problem. LGA is doing a lot of construction getting into the airport, so I may avoid that just in case fo traffic.


    We have TSA precheck but just want to make sure we will have enough time to get off the ship and make it to the airport in enough time to catch our flight.


    TSA PreCheck at EWR is beautiful, you have your own area, you just walk right up and go right through, takes less than 5 minutes start to finish.


    Opinions on taking an Uber or taxi to airport?


    Uber will be a lot cheaper depending on surge pricing I'd double check though.


    Lastly, I’ve read a bit on colored luggage tags for those who walk off. Can someone explain this a bit more? We always walk off but haven’t used colored tags for walk off.


    I'm not really sure about this, I think that's if you're giving them your luggage, we didn't self-assist on the Epic last summer and that was our first time on NCL. I know on other lines you do not have to use any tags.


    I’m not familiar with the NY airports or cruise terminal and am intimidated by what traffic might be.


    It's going to be a Sunday morning. It shouldn't be that bad, but I would check to make sure there aren't any parades or anything going on.


    Thanks so much in advance! clear.png?emoji-grin-1677


    I think the weather would be my biggest concern... right now I'm so stressed that it's going to be super cold and have been watching the weather forecasts slowly get warmer and warmer. So I'm hoping in another week and a half up here in the northeast and down in Bermuda are safely in the 70s.

  17. We just received notice from NCL for an opportunity to upgrade to The Haven on our July 4th cruise out of Copenhaven. It is my understanding there is a bidding process involved. So for argument's sake....lets say you bid $200 for the upgrade....is the bid per stateroom, per couple, or per person?


    It's per person for the first two people. We book minisuites, the cheapest bid to move to Haven has been $450 per person, but they say that's a poor bid. You can bid up to 2k or 2.5k but by that point you can just upgrade to the haven without using the bidding and save money.

  18. There in lies the question. Is school out or not? We are doing a 5/27/19 Alaska cruise. I know that school is done by then here in Arizona as well as in Colorado where our granddaughters will be coming from but I know of some places where school runs into mid June.


    We did Alaska a few years ago, not on NCL, by the third week of May, and there were less than 20 kids on board. I pulled my daughter out of school to do it (we go through June in the northeast). I would be surprised if there were a good number of kids, it seems like there are fewer kids on Alaska cruises, at least, that's the impression I got from the young women running the kids program.


    I will say, the lack of kids was not a problem. My daughter LOVED the almost one-on-one attention she got. And when the naturalist came on board while going through Glacier Bay she got to meet her, and they had a really cool program for them.

  19. i know it is no longer allowed. Do people still do it. What happens if caught? Do they give a warning, or straight to a fine.


    So... what you mean to say is, "I don't really care what the rules are, so when I break them, and annoy/irritate/make my neighbors balcony's unusable because I am selfish, will NCL kick me off the ship or just charge me a room cleaning fee?"


    You choose to smoke. You can choose not to be a jerk and inconvenience and upset others because you have a disgusting habit.

  20. I am now considering any hotel with free parking for pre cruise stay and then just park at Manhattan cruise terminal. So any pros / cons of NJ vs a hotel in NY outside of Manhattan but close enough to get in and out.



    Sent from my iPhone using Forums


    Jersey City is easy to get to/from Manhattan, just hop on the ferry. They have made is really easy and convenient to get to/from NYC from Jersey using public transit. I love staying in Manhattan, but I hate paying $70+ a night to park at our favorite little hotel, but sometimes hotels will include parking in their rate.

  21. Hello fellow cruisers---we will be sailing on the EPIC in January. This time we have cabin # 9078 which is a category BE. It has a really big balcony (it is a bump out), Has anyone stayed in this cabin before? Is it quiet? Are there issues with any noises? squeaking? banging? cleaning supply closet next door? I am noticing comments of the EPIC that some rooms rattle. I have plenty of time to switch rooms so any information will be helpful.


    The best way to find a review of the actual room would be to use the search function. We were on deck 8 on the Epic last summer, in 8060 which is one deck up and very close (maybe 5 staterooms forward) and we had no issues with any noise or banging. Also, no rattling or anything.

  22. We don't sail until March, 2019, on the Bliss and the option is already on our online check-in section. It is number "4 of 5. Onboard Payment Preferences". It gives a choice of credit, debit or cash. Next gives a place to enter the card information. Then Billing address and then lists each person in the cabin and lets you check off the list to whom the card applies. Then there is a standard check box for allowing NCL to charge the folio charges to the listed card.


    I would do a screen grab but am not sure how to "x" out the identifying info on the reservation itself (i.e. names, cabin #, etc.).


    On my, step 4 of 5 is arrival time. In order, it's personal information / contact information / proof of citizenship / arrival time / ticket contract.


    Maybe it'll show up, or maybe they're just not doing it in NYC.

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