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  1. We’ve done Teppanyaki on two different ships in the past two years, and both times it was very good. We did Cirque Dreams recently, and the food was nothing special. But Cirque is really all about the entertainment , not the food, and despite the additional up charge, the entertainment was definitely worth it. Two members of our family eat at Ocean Blu on the last night of a cruise and were pretty disappointed— portions were unusually tiny portions— they suspected this was because they were running out of food.
  2. We have used a car/limousine service to take a family group of four from Quebec City (Fairmont Chateau Frontenac) to Montreal airport before. Great service, but definitely pricey. Limousine A1. If you want to have someone drive you, you might consider finding a tour company that would not only provide inter-city transfer but also take you to one or two sites on the way? Might make the cost more worthwhile.
  3. Agree that Sausalito will make for a pleasant afternoon strolling in and out of shops, getting ice cream, watching the boats, etc. And there are nice views and photo vantage points looking back over the water into the city. But you’ll give up the opportunity to try to see more high profile sights directly in SF. Depends on what you’re in the mood for.
  4. Egg is a tricky ingredient to avoid. A member of our family is allergic to egg, and when we cruise, we usually have to avoid most baked desserts, pancakes, waffles. For breads, rolls, and pastas, we ask the waiter to check with the chef about the specific ingredients, since some contain baked egg, some not. Some ice creams contain egg, other not- again the need to check the ingredients. One blessing is that soft serve ice cream does not contain egg - so we often end up stopping by the buffet after a table service dinner so that she can get soft serve ice cream as a dessert. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to bring some eggless cookies or cupcakes with you just to be able to offer an alternative if there are no other desserts on hand. Of course, if your daughter’s allergy does not extend to baked egg, that would make things easier. Some egg proteins are degraded with baking, so some people can eat baked egg good even though they can’t tolerate other egg.
  5. I used them to book an excursion in Cozumel - the Mayan ball game excursion. Everything went very smoothly. I think they may play a middle man role- connecting cruise passengers with locally based tours and sites.
  6. Are you looking for outdoor areas only? If not, The library on the Breakaway is small, but it is quiet, and there are windows to look at and watch the ocean go by.
  7. We’ve primarily used butler service for room service. We’ve tended to get most of our breakfasts via room service while traveling in suites. We’ve never asked to have the food formally served to us, but the buter has always set out all the dishes, cutlery, linens, etc the way one would expect in a full service room service meal. And the butlers have also brought the standard evening snacks, replenished ice in the room at night, etc. On one cruise, our butler also enthusiastically offered her assistance with a number of other services that we would otherwise have looked to our concierge or steward to provide (or would just have just done without). That is, she made spa reservations, escorted us to the dining room or to shows (to ensure that we would get priority seating), escorted us off the ship (to ensure that we received priority disembarkation), and took our laundry and dry cleaning in and out. She was basically our point of contact for all our service needs (except for cleaning of the room by our steward), and we ended up tipping her very generously at the end as a result of that.
  8. Both times that we’ve cruised in an NCL suite, the in-demand movies were free. The most recent trip was in February.
  9. Sorry to hear you recently suffered from pneumonia. I hope you’re now feeling much better and will soon be in a position to enjoy a cruise. On a recent NCL cruise to the Western Caribbean, I don’t recall any questions asked during check-in about respiratory symptoms specifically. It occurs to me that there are many people who suffer from chronic respiratory symptoms due to conditions that are not contagious — for example, COPD, chronic asthma. There may have been a question about having a recent fever — which can be a sign of active infection, whether respiratory or otherwise.
  10. Am I right in thinking that the Haven on Jewel class ships doesn’t include a Haven-specific restaurant? This would seem to decrease the value of the Haven on these ships. Sometimes it’s nice to be spontaneous rather than always having to make reservations in the dining rooms for table service dinner (or risk waiting in a long line). Also, is there Haven-specific concierge service on these ships? Or does one go to the general ship concierge desk?
  11. Some Haven perks are just as relevant to children just as well as adults— such as priority embarkation and disembarkation or priority reservations for seating for shows. It can be challenging if only part of the family has these, but not the other half. And it’s common to see children in the Haven restaurant on ships that have those.
  12. Thanks for the advice and the context. We’ll be sailing out of Vancouver, so hopefully that means we’ll miss the potentially rough patch outside of Seattle. But there will be some time in the Gulf of Alaska at the end - we’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best!
  13. We would appreciate some advice about potential rough seas in Alaska. Our family has done some cruises of on larger ships in the Caribbean and around Hawaii. Very little motion on our Caribbean mega ship cruise, more motion on a medium large ship in Hawaii. On that Hawaii cruise, my daughter and I both felt seasick, especially me as I tried to pack on the last night with the ship rocking back-and-forth —pretty unpleasant! Just what can we expect on a northbound inside passage Alaska cruise in August? I’ve heard that rough seas are a possibility. I’m wondering if we’re biting off more than we can chew.... We are currently reserved on and a medium large size ship, forward, mid upper deck.
  14. Thanks to all for the helpful information!
  15. Hi! I'm thinking about taking my family for a first-time cruise to Alaska on either NCL or HAL (very exciting for us). I've read some posts suggesting that the "suite life" is better on NCL than HAL. But many posts don't give too many details, so I'm not sure I understand why that's the case? Looking on the NCL and HAL website, it seems like the amenities would be pretty similar between the two. For Alaska cruises, the price of a deluxe suite on HAL seems similar to a penthouse suite on NCL, but the dimensions on the NCL website suggest that the NCL penthouse would actually be smaller? Can anyone share their thoughts on why a NCL penthouse would be worth the money?
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