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About karoo

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    Cool Cruiser

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    dancing - especially rock and roll, travelling
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    Mexico, Caribbean

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  1. Matira Beaches is a good place to swim at Bora Bora, I also booked an excellent excursion with Maohi Nui. You can also book snorkelling excursions dockside. Moorea I'm not sure about beach swimming, but once again you could book snorkelling excursions once docked. Raiaitea there is an excellent excursion -Le Excursion Bleu - (not sure I've got the name exactly correct). it includes an excellent drift snorkel, other sites eg pearl and cinnamon farm and lunch. Second time there I also booked an excursion at the Information Office that included swimming.snorkelling on an island. They dropped you off for a set time got and then picked you up to do a river cruise. The snorkelling off the beach at the Island was ok, but not as good as the excursions on a boat where they dropped you in specific snorkelling spots, but the island was pretty. Both times I have been in this region I have been on Norwegian Jewel and managed to book snorkelling tours etc at the dock. PS You tender in Bora Bora and Moorea, but dock in Raiatea.
  2. Singapore to Singapore was cancelled once Vietnam closed their cruise ports. There's also a problem with Thailand. Singapore to Dubai is a different itinerary that doesn't include those ports. As CoronaVirus continues to escalate it's hard to predict too far ahead. NCL are in a 'no win' position-if they cancel too early and all the ports remain open those passengers already booked will probably complain, then if they wait and are forced to cancel other passengers will complain. I'm sure NCL will be happy when they're out of that region. CoronaVirus is out of NCL's control -countries are putting various bans in place at short notice to keep their residents safe. I'm just thankful I'm not on the Diamond princess
  3. Not sure what NFL is-I'm assuming it's the local US football games. I have seen these games played on the TVs in O Sheehans bar when I have been on the Jewel over the last two years and earlier this year, mainly in Aus/NZ/Asian and Transpacific waters. Maybe reception in Alaska in certain areas is difficult. Try being Australian-we usually miss out completely. I guess most of us feel the sacrifices of missing our favourite TV shows/sport are all worth the joy of being on holiday and cruising!
  4. I guess it depends which locals you talk to. I know the local tour operators that I booked through were all extremely grateful for the money they made that day. L'Excursion Bleue said it was the most tourists they've ever had in one day and I got that response from many of the operators. Nothing but positive comments. Even the Pago Pago bus driver/guide who took us to his kid's school, house etc as well as many of the highlights of the island -said when a big cruise ship (it's really midsize) visits they make lots of money. Visiting his home and family was very humbling and I'm sure the money he made that day was much appreciated. Tourism in many of these places is their number one industry. As long as we respect the people, are careful not to damage the coral I'm sure the money that pours into their economy all helps. JMO
  5. I was on the Jewel in 2017 and cruised Papeete to Sydney. I had an absolutely wonderful time and loved the ship. So much so that I have booked to cruise again and repeat the itinerary in November. Passenger capacity was around 2,000 and it didn’t feel crowded anywhere. I did a lot of snorkelling excursions booked privately through local operators in French Polynesia. They need a certain number to operate their tour to fit the cruiseship schedule which can be hard on the smaller ships. The Jewel, being a mid size ship is very stable in the water something I appreciated when getting closer to Aus as I remember past cruises on smaller ships in this region feeling quite ill. I had no problems whatsoever with the Jewel.
  6. I've done the Hawaiin Cruise with NCL twice-the only cruise line I would cruise with to this region as we wanted to go and spend our time in Hawaii. We didn't want to have to fly to the west coast of the US and then sail all those sea days just to get to Hawaii. It seemed easier to just fly direct to Oahu. Both times we spent a few days pre and post cruise staying at Waikiki Beach. The NCL cruise has Hawaiian Ambassadors on board that ran various Hawaiian themed activities. We loved it so much the first time we came back 5 years later to do the activities we couldn't fit in and didn't do the first trip.
  7. I have to admit that's the one show I can repeat watching many times. The rest that I've seen I don't need to see again. Although I think Jersey boys I would enjoy watching multiple times as I've seen it on the smaller NCL ships and I've loved it every time.
  8. I get it! i have the same feelings when I'm on the mega ships as the entertainment in the theatre doesn't have a great deal of variety. Only 2 different shows. One of the reasons I prefer the Jewel Class or smaller as there is a different show in the theatre every night and seating for all, so each night you can go to the theatre and see a different show. You don't have to book or go super early to ensure they don't give your seat away. On the Breakaway last year I didn't even bother with the shows as I'd seen both Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages 4 years prior.
  9. Woah! This is so not allowed! Hopefully the ship security cameras have picked this up and he's been warned this is not acceptable!
  10. I did a very similar itinerary to this leaving May 31st. The Cruise Director was Leurina so I'm assuming that's who it still is. She is excellent. So friendly and good fun! I was B2B so I also did the following itinerary Norway Solstice, so I was onboard for 26 days and had an absolutely wonderful time. Like you I stayed two nights in London, but on the morning of the cruise I got the coach from Victoria Coach Station to Southampton. I'm following this with interest as it will be great to take a trip down memory lane, revisit the itinerary and hear about the experience onboard from another passenger's perspective.
  11. Great review! I'm loving it. Just thought I'd add for anyone wanting to do a similar itinerary and book their tours privately. I booked the Blue Puffin Tour through the Tourist Office when I got off the ship. it was a similar price 900+ NOK, but I didn't get the early bird (booking) discount. I had disembarked around 9.30 and the tour left at 10am. It was excellent. I think from memory the CC groups left around 9, but you can correct me if I'm wrong. We had a young girl (uni student) as guide who had lived in the town/area her whole life and she was just so informative as well as interesting. I would thoroughly recommend this fantastic tour! The dried fish they had hanging up she called stock fish. (They were possibly cod originally.) I also booked on the day, the Flam Railway at the ticket/tourist office. There was plenty of availability as apparently various tourist companies book the tickets in blocks. What they don't sell they hand back a few days beforehand. I was also in Flam on the cruise before this one (B2B) and for all those passengers who wanted to book privately as they disembarked they were able to do so on the day. Some booked a package where you took the train up, then cycled down, others got off at one of the stations to zipline, while others booked a train, cruise and land combination, all available through the ticket office. I personally did the train only, but if I ever visit Flam again I will consider the biplane option.The NCL excursion is on the same train, they have about three carriages booked exclusively for the NCL shore excursions. Much more expensive, than just booking privately -but they do get a waffle and coffee. This option was also available as passengers I met onboard told me you could book to stop off for coffee etc and they combined this with cycling down the mountain.
  12. Yes- they relocated the crossing into the Arctic Circle into Galaxy. They had a ceremony and we all got anointed as ‘blue nosers’. Lots of photos etc with the ship in the background. The entertainment team were dressed up, Leurina had a special hat/helmet on and one of the senior officers was also assisting with the ‘blue nosing’ of the passengers.
  13. I'm loving your review! I absolutely loved this cruise and I'm certainly enjoying reading about the cruise from another perspective. I loved Galaxy Lounge and spent most evenings there with all my new cruise friends. It was just amazing -particularly on the many nights when the sun didn't go down. I also recognised some of the people in the Shanghai Bar- having a cabin Deck 9 just above it I usually went there for a pre dinner drink. I also did all my tours privately and had a wonderful time in all of the ports. I was also on the cruise before -so I definitely had a wonderful 26 days onboard the Spirit. I look forward to reading the rest of your review.
  14. I was on the Jewel for this cruise. The fire was actually an electrical fault that was quickly fixed, no problems. Tendering is always a problem in Bali as it is a half hour trip from the ship to the shore as the area is very shallow and the tenders have to go through specific channels, plus the ship has to drop anchor a fair way off shore. I had a wonderful cruise with no problems. The ship also informed us that tendering would be slow. I just went upstairs and waited until the tender for Platinum Plus was called as instructed to do so by the CD. I was on a private tour and was able to meet at the required time as the operator suggested not to start too early. It was an overnight so we didn’t have to rush to get back. This is the third time I have visited Bali on a cruise and it’s always the same situation. Yorkeys Knob Cairns also has issues as 2,000 people all returning at a similar time logistically all can’t get on the same tender. I just went and sat in the yacht club with many other cruisers and waited until the line decreased. The shore ex guy came in and informed us what tender to get on. No waiting in line for me. There were a few medical problems onboard, plus one of the gymnasts sustained an injury in training and was also evacuated in Semerang. Longer cruises generally attract an older crowd so the probability of medical issues increases. One TA I did had 5 fatalities. I had a great time on the 19 day cruise, however some people do like to whinge and overdramatize situations. This seems to be common on many cruises. The crew onboard were excellent, we had lots of variety with the entertainment onboard and most passengers I met and spent time with had a great time and enjoyed the many ports and experiences we had.
  15. Thanks-yes I've visited before-so clean! Last time though when i disembarked I took the ship tour that gave you a tour of various sites and then dropped you at the airport. This time I'm disembarking and wanting to go straight to the airport.
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