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chrpai

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About chrpai

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Austin, TX
  • Interests
    Tech Diving
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL

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  1. Just got back 3 days ago. If a form was an option I wasn't aware of it. Seating was first come first serve. The seats are solid wood chairs that aren't very comfortable and there are large wood columns that break up the room and block the view. You'll probably not get served drinks and they don't come around very much so load up before going in. Also check who the headliner is and get a good seat you can walk out quietly if the show is the same as the one previously in he week.
  2. Do you already have the specialty meals plan? If you don't and you aren't a big drinker yourself I would call and switch to that instead. It's not too late. I wasn't that impressed with the MDR and buffet options.
  3. I just got off the Getaway a few days ago. In the buffet there was scrambled eggs that were very watery, two different kinds of something similiar to an eggs benedict, boiled eggs and an eggs made to order station. The omelettes aren't really made a way that I care for so the eggs over easy was my best option. One days they were more like eggs over super easy but the other days it was better. In the MDR the various "entrees" included one of the above choices as the egg. No mention of eggs made to order but I bet it's possible if you ask.
  4. Let me put it this way... on my other three trips all four of us never noticed before that breakfast never changed. It sure seemed like this trip stuck out in that way. I stay at hotels frequently and it's common for a couple things to be different on different days of the week. A different protein and egg combination at least is typical.
  5. Another point I remember... I didn't meet my room steward until Wednesday. That seemed unusual compared to my previous cruises.
  6. We did notice how long MDR service took but I didn't think to write about it. You are correct though service was very very slow. My kids sat at the sports pub for 45 minutes waiting to get their food. We sat down at a different table a few minutes later and pretty much got it right away. Embarkation seemed like complete chaos. Disembarkation was the easiest I've ever had. We were self assist and in line early... immigrations had 1 officer barely looking at passports and no customs checkpoint at all. I was on the road by 7:45am. I had not heard the story about people being help up in Costa Maya. I know there were like 5-7 names they were trying to find when it was time to leave. One more big negative on this trip: On about 5 occasions I overheard customers getting very heated and abusing staff. One male customer was upset about tendering and was asking for an update. The female officer gave the book answer of what was going on and the male customer started screaming at her with a bunch of F bombs being dropped about how she was worthless to him because she wouldn't answer the F*ing question. This was right outside the fwd elevators on deck 6 for everyone to hear. I felt really bad for her and almost got in the guys face.
  7. I have a HDHP healthcare plan with no copays. I'm very aware of what meds cost. One of the meds is literally $3.97 OTC at Walmart and they charged $100 for it.
  8. I just got back from the Getaway which was my 4th cruise (2 Carnival and 2 NCL). My first cruise was the Carnival Magic and the second was the NCL Jade or Gem or something like that. I have to say, I don't think I'll take NCL again any time soon. This is a bit of a surprise to me because I remember liking NCL better then Carnival last time. First the good. The entertainment (except for the comedy) was really good. Burn the floor, Million Dollar Quarter, Aerosmith Tribute, Pour House band, Illusionarium theater (escape and cirque) were all very very good. The ship was really nice. The tropicana room was also really nice. The thanksgiving meal hit the spot. Ok now the not so good. The food. The breakfast buffet and lunch buffet was the exact same food every single day. I never saw any variety from day to day. Even when I went to the MDR for breakfast it was the exact same food. MDR lunch and dinner were ok but unremarkable. I never really saw anything on the menu that jumped out at me as OMG I must have that. We ate lunch in Houston on the way home and everyone note that our quick serve meal was better then anything we had on the ship. It seems like NCL really expects you to pay to go to a specialty restaurant to get the level of elegance that one used to get in the MDR. Am I wrong here? My issue with the comedy was seeing the same comedian twice and not realizing that he was going to be doing the exact same act both times. He got offended when people weren't laughing at his jokes. I remember on other cruises the comedians switched ships midway through so you had fresh acts throughout the cruise. Our cabin seemed really small. Maybe my kids are just getting older. Harvest Cay was OK. Food and drink prices too high to bother spending money although the $5 coconut waters were a hit with the kids. I really dislike the gauntlet trying to get in and out of ports. Cozumel isn't too bad but Roatan and Costa Maya is just damn annoying. Having never been to Costa Maya before I was impressed with Mahahual. The kids all went diving for the first time and we hung out at the Tropicante which was a really good choice. My final thought was my wife had to go to the clinic on board. I don't have a problem with the $150 Dr fee or the $40 lab test but being charged $50 and $100 for two medicines that cost less then $10 each back home is just predatory and inexcusable. We worked out a resolution that I felt was fair but it basically left me in a state of being done with NCL.
  9. No mojito flight either? Dang. I guess my wife will just have to order one drink at a time, take a sip and throw the rest out until she finds one that she likes.
  10. I'm assuming that this isn't covered by the drink package then? ($15 limit)
  11. But if people didn't ask questions how would you ever have 10,000+ posts? Seriously... I read the terms and conditions but it always seems like there is a weaselly way to look at it. I just wanted to make sure I understood how it's really done in the real world.
  12. Is there a gotcha? We have 2 adults and 2 kids in our cabin. If one or two people did an excursion would you still get the credit?
  13. I've only cruised a few times but when I shop for a cruise I know what I'd prefer and what would be good enough. I also know what each of those are worth to me. First cruise (Carnival) was a balcony , second (NCL) was an oceanview. Third (Carnival) was an interior with a too good to pass up upgrade to an accessible with an obstructed window view. If I can get a better experience at a price point that makes sense to me then I'll take it. Otherwise just be happy with your original choice.
  14. I'd assume they have to pay for all those "free" $50 per port shore excursion credits somehow, right? ;)
  15. Every "refresher" that I've seen in Mexico and the Caribbean has been a complete joke. Really just a way to shake down the tourist for some cash without really going over any meaningful theory and skills. Your more likely to get more out of your refresher at a local dive shop. Even better IMO is to find a group of local divers and just go diving with them. I run a facebook group with about 500 divers in it and we get people come through all the time saying they haven't been diving in awhile and would like to get their feet wet. There's never a shortage of highly qualified divers willing to hang out for an afternoon and help another diver out. I haven't had a single dive operator from a cruise based excursion ask to see a log book. They *might* ask when your last dive was.... only you can decide how honest you need to be at that point. Just be honest with yourself first. Some people dive so infrequently that they really might need to take open water again and some have dove so much that they could take 5 years off and still be perfectly competent in the water.
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