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About bkrickles1

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Long Island, NY
  • Interests
    Sports, Music, Vacationing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL, Celebrity & NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Has anyone stayed here? La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Miami Airport North I got a pretty good deal for Jan. 18, 2020 to sail Encore on Jan. 19. We just need a simple room for the 3 of us and we'll be heading over to the pier early in the morning. We just need it to be clean.
  2. Got a good deal on a balcony cabin on Encore for January and the only upgrade I'll be interested in is the spa balcony. I'm not interested in what I'd have to pay to upgrade possibly to Haven but maybe I could get away with a smaller bid to just step up to the spa balcony. My wife and daughter would probably love the spa. I'll see how it goes when it gets closer.
  3. Exactly, you beat me to it. Lol! I did spend time at the Waterfront on Escape and it was really pleasant. I'm looking forward to doing the same on Encore in January and I'm really interested in the Observation Lounge too.
  4. You can still get plenty of food on the Escape at that time, but you have to go to O'Sheehans to get it. An while it is a sit down establishment, there are plenty of snacks, burgers, etc on the menu. It's just not a grab and go place.
  5. I've seen a number of people tip in cash over the years, and as I stated previously, I do it on every cruise for many years now. I don't tip on every drink and not at every bar. I have a couple of go to bars where I establish a relationship and I'll tip early and then every once in a while. I don't hand the cash over either. I do put it on the bar for the bartender to see when he/she brings me a drink. For me it enhances the experience and has helped me reduce the wait time for a drink at busy times.
  6. While I sincerely hope you are right, I highly doubt it. What makes the whole thing a little more odd is that they've also removed Spice H2O adult area, so free sun deck space is extremely limited for a ship with 4000+ passengers. Maybe there's something in the plans that we're, so far, unaware of. I hope so anyway....... I'm sailing January, 2020 and got a really terrific deal so I won't cancel, but I have thought about it because my crew loves hanging out up on deck and it could be a little busy up there. Fingers crossed.
  7. I totally agree. I also bring approximately $100 in 1's and 5's. On sea days and some port days, we spend the majority of our time somewhere on a sun deck and I typically find my go to bar on the very first day. I'll tip the bartender there $10 on my 2nd drink and I'm never forgotten for the entire week. I'll add a buck or 2 every once in a while throughout the days and, as you said, I'll not have to wait if the bar is busy. If I'm lucky enough to get some poolside service, I'll tip that person as well so the drinks keep coming throughout the day without searching. Sometimes even getting served while lounging in a hot tub. Love my sea days! I'll also usually find another bar for pre dinner drinks and do the same there and, again, I'm never forgotten. On the Escape last year my go to for pre dinner was on the Waterfront at the 5'oclock Somewhere bar. Such a beautiful spot to have a drink late in the day before dinner. I also enjoy the extra tipping, as they do, and it usually leads to some interesting conversation and enhances the overall experience. And who doesn't want an enhanced experience? LMAO!
  8. Absolutely. I used one card for my cabin and the cabin my daughter stayed in last July on the Escape. I thought I remember doing it online, but maybe I did it at the terminal.
  9. Like you I have historically booked with rccl. I sailed the ncl Dawn when it was brand new, but before that and up to July 2018, I was exclusively a rccl fan. In July of last year, we sailed the Escape and like many have said here, there were many more similarities than differences. We thought food and service was comparable. We gave the edge in main theater entertainment to rccl but enjoyed all of the other entertainment on ncl a little more. Howl at the Moon and The Choir of Man just can't be beat. I would say the crowds on our rccl cruises were a little more subdued. On the Escape it was a bit more lively. RCCL uses their different venues more efficiently for games, trivia, etc and NCL crams almost everything into the Atrium. We weren't big fans of that. We definitely prefer the freestyle dining. We'd grown tired of the set meal times and had decided before the Escape cruise to not make dinner the most important part of our days. We ate every night in one of the mdr's and never had much of a wait. There's a beautiful bar next to every mdr and we would have a drink and wait the few minutes to be seated. Of course I also love the casual dress. I didn't even bring a pair of pants on this last sailing. One night we had very little time before a show and just had appetizers in Savor so we were in and out in something like 30 minutes. That has to be a record. Lol. Anyway, we thought the 2 lines were very similar and had such a fun time on Escape that we're sailing the Encore in January, 2020.
  10. Yes. I knew that. She'll be 19 and would love vibe. My wife is the one I'll have to convince. She hates up charges on cruises and $600 is a lot to spend. Again, I'm going to wait until encore starts sailing and see how everyone's experience is.
  11. I'm guessing no but who the heck knows. I'm actually thinking about getting vibe passes with the reduced outside free deck space on Encore. I enjoyed the area outside of vibe on the Escape on deck 19. It had a bar and whirlpools. Very nice spot. I have to decide whether it's worth it for me, my wife and daughter. I'd have to convince my aunt and uncle to join us in getting passes and then we'd actually have to go and get them when we board and take the chance of being disappointed. We're cruising Encore January, 2020 and will be on board every day except for our stops in St. Thomas and Tortola. We'd have 5 days to enjoy Vibe and that might be worth it. I'll be paying attention once the sailings begin to see if Vibe gets sold out every week.
  12. Yep, it was one of my go to spots before dinner while I waited for all the slow poke women (wife, daughter, nieces and cousin) in my group to get ready. Lmao! The other spot was on the Waterfront at the 5'oclock Somewhere bar. Just a great spot in the late afternoon/early evening.
  13. I wouldn't worry about it. I spent a lot of time in DBH last July on the Escape and never had to pay any extra. Of course I didn't try every beer, but I did try a bunch of them and never had to pay. It's an awesome venue with music at night and, as DAWG said, there's a full bar for other cocktails too. I was the only beer drinker (also the only male) in my group of 6 and they would still join me for a pre dinner drink. Comfortable seating and great ocean views. Looking forward to it again on the Encore in January.
  14. On the Escape last July we loved Howl at the Moon and The Choir of Man. Some of the best entertainment on any cruise I've gone on. Definitely enjoy freestyle cruising, although you can pretty much do it on other lines too nowadays. Didn't bring any pants last year. Every night in nice shorts and a nice t-shirt or button down. Light packing is always good and I love to dress comfortably. Drink package perk, for me and my family, works great. We have no problem staying within the $15 limit and I like how NCL allows 2 drinks at a time. Had such a terrific time on Escape last year that we're booked for January, 2020 on Encore.
  15. With all due respect, and I truly mean that as you definitely have more experience cruising than I do, are you sure the entire DSC is going to the crew as tips/gratuities? Because, if it's not, then it's not the same thing. Even if 90% is going to the crew, and I don't believe for a moment that they are receiving that much, it's just not the same thing. And I know I'm only guessing here, but I bet they're getting closer to 50% of that DSC money we contribute. When I handed cash or an envelope to someone, I knew they were getting 100% of that money. Please correct me if I'm dead wrong but I don't know how anyone could possibly know how the money is split. I mean, it is a lot of money. If there's 4000 passengers and 2000 crew, that's approximately $400,000 being collected for a 7 day cruise and that would be $200 per crew member (and I'm sure officers and others are not included in this) per week. I just don't think the numbers add up.
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