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Everything posted by HowardK

  1. As i've done 6 NCL Cruises in the last decade- I saw a 9 day in 2021 - mid-May that does the ABC islands? Has anyone done this route? It does Aruba, Bonairre, Curaco and Puerto Plata. Was wondering how these ports are solo vs. some of the others (Canada/ Bermuda etc...) I was either going to do this or a repeat back to Canada/New England. I haven't been on the Breakaway since 2013 and 2014 and love the ship and see they have made some changes but kept Howl at The Moon.
  2. The Escape had 2 different ones- its my favorite type of wine!
  3. You picked a good ship- I went on around 5 that had the studios etc. Besides the solo activites participate in others as well and you will meet people. Also, its your vacation so do what makes you happy. I never felt out of place at all. Also, remember you won't ever likely see any of the people ever again unless you want to so relax and enjoy.
  4. The group on my May 2018 Escape Howl at The Moon were fantastic! They dug out songs that weren't played on other Howl at The Moons such as Timber and the Real Slim Shady. These songs worked amazingly with piano and drums. They let me sit in with them and do Billy Joel songs several nights. Although the Encore doesn't have it I am going to do the Breakaway again for sure.
  5. Good thinking! Investing can pay dividends and gains further down the road and cover a whole cruise.
  6. I would probably do 2 - but sometimes I try to pick weeks/months where I can land a upgrade the week before for paying the difference- it worked on the Escape for Bermuda last year but not for Canada/New England as it only had 3 sailings.
  7. It was around under $1 each drink- best $8 ever spent in my opinion!! Usually can get 1st drink at Oshennans by 1130 am or so. Get 2 at once though as it gets busy
  8. It's not really free anyway which is a whole different debate. If your gratuities are $138 for example for the package and you have 46 drinks it is essentially $3 a drink. 23 drinks and $6 a drink. I assume cruise fare is then nothing pertaining to service as then there are the $105 in total DSC fees. Some of the cruise fare itself factors in the alcohol purchased and staffing. I know this for a fact as I know accountants/financial analysts in the industry. So if the drinks are watered down as some say essentially one is paying $3-$6 per watered down drink and that seems like a real bargain. The cruise lines have made it as if the fare you pay is some sort of privilege to let you on the ship and everything else should be an upcharge in service.
  9. I loved the Escape in particular The District, Howl at the moon spice h20 and cagneys. I liked the grotto but preferred the simpler version on the Breakaway and the H20 pool on the Epic. I hope the Epic comes back to Miami or even NYC if it would fit under the bridge. I loved the bowling alleys, and how it had more inside space (which is nice once in a while). I don't think you can go wrong with the escape.
  10. My cousin Dave from Dayton and his wife went for 21 days and had a hard time adjusting when they got back to reality. I would think 7-10 is the best. That's just me. I knew he had problems when he tried to use his UBP card at happy hour in Cincinnati.
  11. My cousin heard they were putting 2 racetracks on the ship and maybe making a pool smaller to accommodate as the pool makes no money anyway. I think they were going to add a grandstand as well so people could pay to watch the people who paid for the racetrack. He thinks he also heard they were going to charge for the buffet. I don't really believe any of this is true though.
  12. Hello I did the following May of 2018; I had paid $1,099 base for the studio (then had another $200 off from NCL mastercard points)- a week before sailing I saw a Balcony (not a GTY) for 1 person was $1,149. I paid the $50 difference + another $20 as the gratuity for the SDP had risen since my original booking. I selected 250 minutes free internet as a second promo that I got with the balcony. However, I then paid around $130 more for unlimited premium internet after boarding. Note I didn't need the premium as I wasn't streaming but it was easy for me to be convinced due to the 4 dark and stormy's consumed in the prior 2 hours.
  13. I agree- I tipped one a litte more than normal $10 for 3 bags and he put them right on the conveyor belt outside the terminal so I saw they got right on. In terms of drinks, if someone goes to get me a drink I'll tip them, if it's at the bar then no. I'm already tipping in actuality perhaps $3 a drink to begin with if the pacakge is free and the gratuity is $120 (assuming 40 drinks for the week)
  14. On the Escape- I upgraded my 250 minutes to the premium for around $100 or so more - note they will try to upsell you on a version with streaming- to be honest I had already downed 4 dark and stormys the 1st hour so went along with it. On the Escape it opened at 2 so I went there first thing- note if you go again on cruise your login changes. Can you just cancel the social media package now beforehand? - then do the upgrade on the ship.
  15. I second that- Doug's reviews are great and he puts a lot of effort into them as well-
  16. Drink package was great- I averaged 38-42 on the last 2 cruises from what I remember. As you said in another thread- if you don't like a drink you just get something else or 2 more of the same thing you are drinking if it is good. However, training is usually a good idea before going on a cruise (i.e. a drink or two a week)
  17. Great pictures and your collection of replica cruise ships is great!
  18. I prefer to just book online- I don't like getting harrassing calls and emails from them- its really obnoxious.
  19. How much does each coffee cost- $6.95 ?
  20. Are they still offering unlimited passes for the week or did they end?
  21. I was simply trying to assist the original poster. Enjoy your evening.
  22. Hello, went last year- Bar Harbor was my favorite port- I did on NCL an excursion that was perhaps a 3 hour boat ride all along the area it was fantastic- Halifax I went to the Maritime Museum and walked along the water front. St John I went to the New Brunswick Museum which I liked, but would have liked to have done an excursion on the water- maybe I'll go back
  23. I took a nice walk on the waterfront and went to the Maritime Museum- lots of vendors along the way for food, ice cream etc... I liked Halifax a lot more than St. John
  24. Hello I went last year and you are fine using U.S. dollars- the only thing is they give you change in Canadian currency; just be sure to put a travel alert on your cards beforehand to let your issuer know you are using it there.
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