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About kfnesq

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Rockville, MD

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  1. OMG, we were in an aft suite and were woken at 5am to the trucks (beep beep beep.....)/construction/scaffolding being loaded once we docked in Miami! My husband was livid, as we had planned to sleep til about 8:30, have a leisurely breakfast and then disembark. We finally just gave in and got up and went to the airport early!
  2. Thanks for posting! I have all intentions of doing a review, it's sadly more in the form of bullets at the moment lol. Hopefully this weekend I can get my act together!
  3. Hm, good question. They close out all the accounts the night before/early the morning of departure...so I don't know if it would still work in the morning or not. Hence maybe the 6am (or earlier) deadline?
  4. If you booked and fully paid for the excursions, they should reimburse you the $50 credit once you take the excursion. I've always booked on the phone and not pre-paid though, so I don't for sure know how that would work. I assume they would just credit it back though.
  5. As far as I can tell, it is only available for purchase ON the ship. I believe it is now fleet-wide, though.
  6. That's kind of how we saw it also. We paid about $54 pp/per day for our last cruise on Royal, for what ends up being a pretty similar beverage package.
  7. We ended up going to the bar outside of Jasmine's which is where (per the signage) you could also purchase the regular package, and the wine packages, etc. However, the individual manning that booth, so to speak, really didn't know much about the upgraded package, and he had to call in a supervisor to figure it out. Again, it's new, so I get it--just took a bit of extra time to get it all hammered out. Once we purchased it, we had to go to guest services to get new cards, as well. You know, I never thought about two bottles but one would assume you could order two, as both parties would have the package. We didn't test that out actually--but I would think it would have to work that way.
  8. Well, I fly to all the ports so bringing any more than a couple bottles of wine on board is unwieldy for me. Secondly, I think I mentioned in my original post that most people wouldn't take advantage of this package. AlI I was trying to do was share my experiences in case other people were wondering how it works and then would be able to make a more informed decision. Which I kind of was what thought cruise critic was for.
  9. Correct. All wine by the glass is included (unless it's over $35 but I didn't see any that were). The bottles you get "free" can be ordered at dinner only (at any restaurant), BUT you certainly don't have to finish them and you can take them with you, leave them at a bar on the ship and drink them later, take them to your room, or whatever.
  10. Yeah, once we decided to spring for it, we certainly got our money's worth lol! Like I said, champagne every day is an option.... 🤣
  11. You can, but only (as far as I know) once you are on board. It's an extra $29.95 a day, plus 20% gratuity (can't get away from that!), so about $35 per person per day extra. For us, we absolutely got our money's worth, especially with some bottles being included. FWIW, if you're a Cabernet drinker, the Oberon was very good (normally $22.95 a glass).
  12. Yes, unfortunately both people have to upgrade (I assume to avoid one person buying everything for both people). It's funny, my husband doesn't really do any specialty coffees, and the ladies at the Starbucks kept asking him why he only got black coffee lol. They were like, you should try a latte, a mocha, a frappacino…. 🙂
  13. I didn't know that. I think because I had read about the new policy I was more alert to it? I actually don't recall if we've had them the first day before or not. And don't get me wrong, our steward was amazing. I wouldn't have asked for the towel animals if we didn't get them...but I was happy to see them each night. 🙂
  14. Or maybe you didn't want to know, but I will share anyway, in case it's useful to anyone. We are just off the Jade 11-day Panama Canal Cruise, and decided to upgrade to the PPBP. First things first: WHY did we do it? Well, I generally drink wine about 95% of the time. I don't enjoy fruity cocktails and I'm picky about the wine I drink. Additionally, my husband enjoys higher-end tequila, as well as wine. When we looked at what is included in the regular package vs. what the upcharges would be for certain things, we decided to try the PPBP to see how it went and if, in fact, it ended up being worth it. We were also curious as to whether "everything" really was included. So here's the lowdown: We got on board and immediately searched out somewhere to actually obtain this package. I assume since it's new, although it was advertised on the ship, no one really knew how to actually allow us purchase it, so that took a bit of time. Once we got it, they gave us new cards displaying the PPBP, but the card ALSO still said, PBP, so throughout the cruise we had to point out the PPBP so as to not get charged. Every bartender we encountered said it was the first time they had seen it, and I firmly believe we were the ONLY people on the ship that had it. That said, once they knew, they were very willing (and eager) to point out to us everything that was included. For example, I asked for a glass of water at one point and they were quick to point out that I could get a bottle instead if I wished. So what IS included? The link on the NCL site describes bottled water, specialty coffees, fresh juices, bottles of wine at dinner, and all cocktails, wine, etc. (in other words, the $15 cap goes away). We found this to be almost 100% true. There STILL is a cap, but it's $35. I assume this is to keep people from drinking the Remy Martin 24/7. However, the Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label is (an astonishing) $34.95 a glass and IS included. Did I drink champagne every day? Yes I did. The bottles of wine included at dinner were a decent variety and we took advantage of that several times as well. The wine menus now have the bottles that are include in the package identified with little stars ON all the menus (photos below). Again, we had to explain it to the waiter the first time, but the supervisors/wine stewards all seemed to be aware. We never had a problem getting bottled water at any time from anywhere. The coffees at the Java Café (Starbucks) were also included. Fresh juice is available in the buffet in the morning at the juice bar, and that was also included. Fresh OJ for my mimosa? Yes please. The package also included 40% off tastings (instead of the 20% included in the PBP), which we took advantage of as well. So a wine tasting was around $14 instead of the regular $19.95 (remember there is still the 20% gratuity added though). Was it worth it? To us, it absolutely was. I got to order whatever wine I wanted, and didn't have to watch my account for upcharges, etc. Could we have managed without it? Of course. But it made our vacation that much more enjoyable. The only negative, if there was one, is that no one really knew about it, so we had to keep telling people we shouldn't be charged, at least the first few days of the cruise. I let the hotel manager, beverage manager, and concierge all know that perhaps a little more communication about the package should be disseminated to the folks who actually have to deal with it, because I felt bad about constantly having to point it out. Everyone was really nice and gracious about it, though. In fact, at dinner, the wine steward began suggesting new wines for us to try, since they were all included anyway (by the glass), and the bartenders knew that when I ordered a gin and tonic, I wanted Hendricks. So that's it. I'm happy to answer any questions if you have them. I suspect that not a lot of people will take advantage of this package as it is a significant charge, depending on the length of the cruise. But if you do, it does work pretty much exactly as advertised, in my opinion.
  15. Just off the Jade and we had towel animals every night except the first night. I admit that that first night I was disappointed BUT didn't say anything having read about the new policy (also it was just my husband and I, no kids in the cabin). However, the towel animals showed up every night after that. Agree that it's just something that makes a guest feel special. FWIW, we were in an aft suite (not Haven though), so not sure if that makes a difference or not. This guy was my favorite, lol.
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