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Everything posted by tbo

  1. I was able to get our cruise down by $492 and was able to add on the reduced airfare $99 round trip per person from Louisville to Los Angeles. Normally I'm pretty OCD about planning every detail, but for that savings I'm going to take a chance with them booking it for us. Chances are we wouldn't get a direct flight anyway, so why not. I'll probably try and go in 2 days earlier to sight see(and make sure we are at port on time!) and fly home on debarkation. Altogether we are getting flights and the cruise cheaper than the original price of the cruise-happy dance :)
  2. We had done 3 Carnival cruises prior to our first NCL cruise in 2017. I have to say that NCL won us over. We found the over all experience to feel like a step up. We sailed on the Escape so in all fairness, at that time, she was the brand new ship. The food, the shows, and especially the service were all excellent. It was impressive to see ship officers jumping in and helping out with the smallest of tasks and not just asking how our cruise was going, but genuinely caring about the answer. The crew were smiling and seemed to enjoy being there. It just made a world of difference. All that being said, you are going on the Epic and that ship seems to have 2 camps-love it or hate it. We are sailing on the Epic on Saturday. We aren't picky or hard to please and many of the complaints I've seen wouldn't bother us. Even if it's a lesser experience than what we had on the Escape, we will still sail with NCL. Do your research and be prepared. One of the things that are very different about NCL is that on the larger ships you can and should book your dining and shows in advance.
  3. Did you reserve that after you got onboard or did you have to wait until you got to HC to do book it? We are looking to do the same thing, thanks πŸ™‚
  4. What was it that made their cruise horrible? We are getting on the Epic on Saturday and I'm excited to go. I've been reading many reviews-a lot of not very good ones and some really good ones. But I take them with a grain of salt-some of the complaints that I've read wouldn't bother me in the least. Some of them wouldn't apply to me.Two different cruisers on the same sailing can and do have completely different experiences. I can tell by some of the reviews that the person was not prepared-they didn't do any research and didn't know to book dining and shows ahead of time. Or they got to the room and the bathroom set up was not what they were expecting. I think it's what you make of it, nothing is perfect. My husband and I are planning on having a wonderful time, but we aren't going to set the bar so high as it will be a bad vacation if things aren't perfect.
  5. We sailed NCL for the first time last year. We put up a $300 cash deposit total for both of us, but from what I understand we could put up whatever we wanted. We had a little bit left at the end of the cruise that I went down and picked up on the last night. We will be doing the same when we board the Epic this Saturday. We have 1 credit card for emergency use only so whenever we can use cash that is what we do. It sounds like you have a good plan for having most everything paid before going. Things you don't have listed: photos-casino-shore excursions-bingo-deal or no deal-art classes-spa-wine tastings-on board shops-cruise next certificates. I'm sure I've left something off, but if any of those things interest you you will need to be prepared for that. Of course they are ALL optional.
  6. We are using Cortran Shuttle, very good reviews. I had to make a change and emailed them, answer was quick and no issue with our request.
  7. We are sailing the Epic for the 1st time on Saturday and I cannot wait! In my research it seems like people who have the beds closer to the bathroom area don't feel like they have as much room in the cabin and they seem to not like the rooms at all. We have an aft facing balcony and I chose the bed close to the balcony. The video above from Morgan (very unofficial travel guide) was from his first Epic cruise, here's one from his 2nd and while he is still not happy with the bathroom set up, he seems to like the room better. You can definitely see the difference with where the bed is placed. I'd be glad to answer questions and give honest feedback when we return πŸ™‚
  8. We have done excursions both ways. For our upcoming Epic cruise(only 10 days away!), we will have 7 port days. I took several factors into consideration when looking and booking excursions. First I looked at the port-had we been there before? What type of excursion we wanted for each port and what the cost was. For ports that are new to us, I feel more comfortable booking with NCL, mostly for the reassurance that they are not going to leave without us. So for Jamaica-we don't care about climbing the falls at Dunn River and NCL offers a Ocho Rios Highlights tour that takes you around the city and you go to a botanical park, cost is $59/pp and we have the $50 shore ex credit-$68 for 2 of us sounds good so that's what we booked. Cozumel on the other hand we've been to a few times, we know how to get a taxi and are comfortable with going on our own. I have booked Nachi Cocom on my own for that port and we will go early so we can have plenty of time to get back to the ship. Costa Maya-new port to us and we want to see the ruins-we booked through the ship. The cost isn't much different with our shore ex credit and I know we'll be back on time or they will wait. One other thing that I didn't see mentioned is that for ports where you tender, the excursions booked with NCL will include your tender so you won't have to book that. Small detail, but IMHO it's nice to not have to worry with it.
  9. On a Dollar Tree run before Christmas I found their version of the poo-pouri, have not tried it but will be packing it for the trip. I always take a travel size bottle of downy wrinkle release. I usually take a pop up hamper, but our next cruise is on the Epic-we are in a balcony room and from the videos I've watched I don''t know where we will put it, maybe the closet? I always take scotch tape, highlighters and a few paper clips to stay organized. We take full size shampoo/conditioner/soap and I use the tape to secure the flip tops.
  10. It's a quick and easy phone call for shore excursions. I've cancelled 1 and changed another and they immediately show up on my vacation summary. I've read here that you can use your credits for reserving the clam shells on GSC and HC once on board. When I asked the representative I was told no. I'm still heading to the Shore Ex desk on first day to see if they will allow me to reserve, we are stopping at both so it would be a nice way to use up that credit πŸ™‚
  11. We have done an early December cruise and a late January cruise, neither time did I notice very many kids. Like you I enjoy and love my kids/grandkids, but adult vacations are much needed!
  12. We will be there on the Epic in January, would love to know this too. Sure would be nice to use our drink package while hanging the pool πŸ™‚
  13. Many, many years ago-2002 we had a CCL cruise transferred to us. The people who gave it to us had been traveling for 6 weeks and just wanted to be at home. One thing to note is that this was part of a group cruise sponsored by a building supply company, so it was a cruise that had been comped to them, and they paid to upgrad the room to a balcony. It was very last minute-maybe 10 days before the cruse. Call and ask, maybe they will work with you.
  14. Normally 2 swim suits, next cruise is 11 days and we have the spa pass, so I'll do 3. I'm going to *try* not to over pack, but I'm sure I will as usual. My plan is for 3 pair of nice capris and 4/5 nice tops for dinners and then mix/match. Shorts and tee's for excursions and sea days. I finally found a great sandal that can look casual or dressy, some pool flip flops, a pair of nicer flip flops, water shoes, and sneakers-shoes are a weakness for me!
  15. Impressed that they allowed 2 bags-did he bring the bags to you or were they already in your room? We are on the Epic in January for 11 days and I'm hoping we can do the same!
  16. Funny enough, the first NCL ship I researched was the Epic and I thought all of the ships had bathrooms like that and was immediately turned off of NCL. Then I found a video about the Escape. We went on the Escape and loved it. Fast forward to looking for our next NCL cruise, Epic had the itinerary and time of year we wanted, and with the Latitudes offer we got the take all deal, double points, and OBC for a great price. I don't think we are going to mind the bathroom set up at all-34 days until we get to try it out for ourselves!
  17. Just want to say thank you for posting, very glad to hear that it's there. Any chance you could grab some shots of the MDR menus? And bar menus would be great. Most important: Enjoy your cruise!! We are on the Epic for 11 nights in January-can't wait!
  18. Thank you for your review, I've been watching videos of the long lines at DRF and have seen people slipping and sliding. Were there lots of people there? We've never been to Jamaica and I know this is the thing to do there, but I think we may skip it. It's the 2nd port stop on our cruise, I can't imagine what it would be like if I were to get all banged up and limp through the rest of the cruise. We aren't spring chickens, hubby would do fine-he climbs for his job, but I'm unsure about myself. Konoko looks nice though. I'm considering the Ocho Rios Highlights tour instead, have you looked at that tour?
  19. The price is really too much. For our 11 day cruise it's still $161, so that's almost $15/day. We've thought about getting just 1 for the 2 of us, most of the time we are together. I sometimes will nap or go to the casino so hubby could use it on his own then. Still, we have 7 ports, we plan on getting off of the ship in 6 of those. I know on past cruises we haven't used the arcade, so we can live without it.
  20. Did you go on this tour? Would love to know how it was, thank you!
  21. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago, so from my experience, bidding is not closed, even now and we are 38 days out. If you can find the email from NCL where you bid, you can click there to view and modify your bid.
  22. Our firs NCL cruise was last December, we received an upgrade offer right at the 80 day mark. We did not bid as we weren't interested. We spent money on extra specialty dining, excursions, a little in the casino, a few purchases on board, and 2 pictures. Our 2nd cruise is in January, I waited for the invite and it didn't come. At the 72 day mark I called the upgrade department from advice here and was sent a link via email and the banner then showed up after the email. So as first time cruisers with NCL we got the invite. As a latitudes member who spent money on our first cruise I had to call and ask. Honestly, I don't think there is any rhyme or reason to most of it.
  23. I do not think this post was in any way melodramatic and I'm thankful to the OP for posting this. I would think a head injury should have been more thoroughly checked, but I'm in no way medically trained. The drop slide is not something I would do myself, but my husband did the one on the Escape. It was after he did the slide that we were told by another passenger about the door they use for people who get stuck. I guess it's good that they have pre-planned an escape route for someone getting stuck, but that's good enough reason for me to stay off of it.
  24. We'll be aboard the Epic on this date so I decided to look up where it would be most visible, looks like we will have a pretty good view, thanks for the heads up πŸ™‚
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