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Everything posted by lgonquin

  1. Nice review, thank you. We were there nearly one year earlier to the day! I would agree with your assessment. Nothing flashy or exciting, just a nice relaxing day on the beach. Clean facilities, great service, drinks were good and the "snacks" were just that. I would recommend it to others and probably do it again. But i like to explore and try different things. I have my eye on Little French Key and will be searching for feedback on these boards.
  2. Looks like I’m traveling back in time to 2009. Taking the positive POV, we tend to spend little time in the room, but will hope for a decent mattress 😉. I’ll focus on and appreciate the updated pool area with Lime & Coconut, Portside BBQ, Music Hall, and Spotlight Karaoke. Then enjoy the common things with Symphony that didn’t exist when I was on Oasis the first time. Its a cruise. How bad can it be? 😜
  3. Just booked Big O for April 2021. Between the new updates and pricing, we went this route rather than Symphony. For those who have sailed post “Amplification”, what are your thoughts? It appears much effort and money were invested in public areas, but I’m curious if/what was done to the staterooms. Thanks for your inputs.
  4. We did this with a large group last February. Was worth the money and we were all very satisfied. I don’t recall the price, but I do recall it being very reasonable for unlimited drinks and snacks, plus transportation. Service was great. At one point they were standing at waters edge holding a new drink as we walked out of the water. Nice, clean facilities. Beach was nice. Not overwhelming, but perfect for a relaxing day in the sun. Go for it.
  5. I spoke to a very helpful NCL rep today as well. We’re planning a Med cruise from Rome. My concern was flight schedule and arriving the same day. When I inquired about arriving 1-2 days early, he informed of a flight deviation option, costing $25 p/p. And no requirement to use a NCL assigned hotel. Also deleted the arrival transfer costs. Very satisfied with the outcome.
  6. In these situations where you are traveling overnight, any idea if NCL arrangements account for or force the need for hotel? I can't imagine the stress of a flight schedule that arrives the same morning/day as cruise departure. Some sort of buffer would be nice. Not to mention if you wanted to fly in a couple days earlier to see the city.
  7. Would earlier in the season be advisable? Perhaps late May / early June to beat the summer rush and school kids?
  8. Ouch!!! Best of luck to you. I'm sure they will make good. Happy sailing where ever and whenever that may be.
  9. I received my cancellation Email and refund confirmation yesterday. A whopping $50 back to my credit card! Very disappointed this happened. Was looking forward to trying NCL for the first time. Not a good start.
  10. I’m new to NCL and all the discussion about recent changes to their drink packages has me wondering what is included with my “free perk”. The way I’m reading this is.... “Premium Beverage Package” (formally called Ultimate Beverage Package) covers all drinks $15 or less. “Premium Beverage Package PLUS” covers all drinks, regardless of price. When I look at my booking, it reads “Adult Beverage Package - Promo”. What is this and what does this cover? I thought I was getting the UBP, but now worried about a bait & switch promo scam. Anyone know what the difference is between UBP and Adult BP? This is from my booking...
  11. Prices jump around all the time. Keep watching your planner and purchase when it goes down. If it drops after you purchase, cancel and reorder at lower price without penalty. I got the 3 night pkg for $72 on my recent Allure sailing. Keep watching. It pays off.
  12. Agreed. Made a typically boring show entertaining. Beware, many laughs are at audience members expense 😁.
  13. We did the 10 - 2 time slot. Worked well. Enough time in the sun, then some free time back on board. Was a short 15 minute bus ride. Meeting on the pier was a bit chaotic. Signage was fine, but weaving thru the pier area and getting to the bus was crowded. Stick together and watch the leader. Nice beach club.
  14. Sorry, I can’t confirm valet service. With my own confusion over departure, I might have missed the offer. I can confirm Royal offers transfers to the airport at $16.00 p/p. Several in our party used this, but they self carried off the ship.
  15. Just back from the Allure, Feb 17th sailing to the Western Caribbean. I wanted to provide some quick thoughts and observations for anyone sailing in coming days or months.... First, these boards continue to be a wealth of information. Thank you to everyone that posts details or answers questions when asked. You all helped make this trip a huge success. Thank you! Boarding: Quick and easy. Arrived curbside at 10:30, thru check in and onto the Promenade, it was 45 minutes. Lunch at Park Cafe was uncrowded. Rooms opened promptly at 1:00. Shows: We did them all and enjoyed them all! Momma Mia was excellent. The singers are awesome. Ocean Aria and Blue Planet were as advertised. Worth the time and very enjoyable. Entertainment: Too much happening all over the ship. Can’t see or do everything. Highlights were Piano guy in Schooner was fun. Lots of sing along stuff. Pub guitarist was awesome too. Service: First off, these people work their @$$ off to make you happy. Respect that! Bar service at the pool was unbelievably excellent. How they learn your name and favorite drink I’ll never know. Never had to go without for more than minutes. Main dining was also excellent. We had 16 people with Anytime dining. We ate together several nights and they accommodated without issue, and on fairly short notice. Service was spot on. Nothing went back for correction. Food quality was good. No complaints. Even picked up the pace when we had show reservations. Specialty Dining did not disappoint. We did the 3 night plan at Chops, Samba and Giovanni’s. Food and service at Giovanni’s was BEST. Chops a close 2nd. Ship Shape: All in all, still a beautiful ship. Very clean and well maintained. She is showing wear & tear in some areas, but that’s being picky. All is good. Do not fret. Excursions: All I can say is do your homework and use Cruise Critic. Nassau - We walked around town and to The Fry. Stopped at a very crowded Junkanoo Beach and went back to ship. Cozumel - Researched on CC and TripAdvisor and decided on the Cozumel Bar Hop. Excellent day!!! The tour is everything as advertised. Well run, entertaining, and the bar stops are picturesque and everything you would imagine a paradise beach bar to be. Never felt unsafe. Nobody got sick from the water or ice. No worries about getting back to ship. They know your ship schedule better than you do and drop you pier side. Roatan - Went with ship tour to Sol Y Mar Beach Club (adult only, all inclusive). We picked this in hopes of it being an uncrowded getaway, staying away from the West End crowds. Not so much. But, the area is wonderful, well equipped and the staff is amazing. They met us in the water with trays of drinks without asking. Awesome service all day. In the end, the crowds weren’t bad and it was a great day. Costa Maya - Bummer! Due to high winds/seas, our scuba tour was cancelled. Nobodies fault, but a disappointment nonetheless. Tour was credited without issue. We made the best of it at the port bar/pool/restaurants. Was a good day. Departure: Just like boarding, it went quick and smooth. Running ahead of schedule. Out of room, off ship, grabbed luggage, thru Customs and standing at the cab stand in 30 minutes. Royal clearly knows how to handle large volumes of people. Side Note: Departure details used to be on a separate sheet delivered with the Cruise Compass. Answering the questions would result in tags and assigned times. Now they have a small paragraph in the Compass that refers you to a survey on TV. Old school me missed that (my fault) and required a visit to Guest Services to ensure a safe departure time. Problem solved. Suggestion: With increased use of the Royal app, you use the paper Compass less, missing important info like departure set-up. I would suggest going back to paper to force the point. By the way, the app worked well for calendar events, show times, reviewing your bill and making reservations. Texting worked, but was spotty and doesn’t provide notifications of new messages. You need to constantly look at your phone. Last thing, we had the dreaded “Alpha, Alpha, Alpha” call on Saturday afternoon. Captan announced later that we would be sailing full speed back to Miami and arriving approximately at 1:00 am. We did so and the ambulance promptly took the person away. No info on who, what happened or extent of injuries. Hoping for the best. As a result, there were no noticeable changes to service. Since most sleep thru arrival anyway, no issue. It was a great trip. No complaints or turn offs. Wonderful ship and crew.
  16. I’ve noticed a correlation between cancelling and rebooking drinks, meals, etc. I thought it was odd, in that drinks, meals, excursions don’t appear on your invoice, but the timing was very interesting.
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