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Everything posted by gymbomb

  1. We don't even get the "free" drink package on NCL because we don't drink enough to come out ahead paying the gratuities on the package, so this is definitely not a problem for us 🙂
  2. I also really like Princess. The biggest downsides to me are packing "real" clothes for dinner, and that they don't sail from my closest/most convenience departure ports.
  3. We tip our stateroom attendant -- usually at the end unless we ask for extra stuff early on. My starting point for that is about $20 per person, but it goes up or down depending on their service and our requests. We tip at specialty restaurants - less when using the dining package we already paid some tips on, more if using Platinum free dinners. We tip for bar service when we don't have the drinks package (because tips are pre-paid with the package).
  4. Does anyone know if spa appointments usually fill up quickly or are easy to get onboard? Bliss in March, Mexican Riviera. We're hoping to schedule massages on a port day. Would love to use onboard credit since we don't really have anything else to use it for. They wouldn't let me use it to book shore excursions ahead of time...
  5. I was the adult child (I think I was 27 at the time?) who did this in what is now called a club balcony on the Star. The older ships are a bit different in that there was a curtain that could be pulled between the bed and the couch area for a small amount of privacy. The sofa bed was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever slept on!! That said, I would 100% do it again for the free trip to Alaska. Well, maybe not now that I'm in my 40's, but if I were still in my 20's!
  6. I understand this is the general advice in the UK, and you shouldn't do anything you are uncomfortable with. However, in the US they do not give the same advice. And by the time your baby is old enough to go on a cruise, they are also old enough to chew on the remote control, kiss the dog, lick your phone, etc. so clean but not sterilized water would honestly be the least of my concerns!! I did cruise with both of my kids before they were a year old. We ran water through the coffee maker and used it to warm up bottles. I took a bottle brush, small container of dish soap, and a portable drying rack (https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Tot-Drying-Bristled-Cleaner/dp/B07YP59DQ7) all of which I highly recommend, along with disposable bibs and a lot of extra baby wipes! 🙂
  7. My 9 year old slept on one for the first time this summer. It had a decent rail and a ladder. I was (at least mostly) comfortable with him being up there, but would not have let my 6 year old sleep up there.
  8. Assuming your kids are over 40 pounds (most are at those ages, but my 6 year old isn’t yet…) get a couple of Bubble Bums that you can deflate and stick in a backpack while you explore.
  9. When we sailed with little kids (ranging from less than a year to a little over 2 years old) we took a small stroller, and also took a baby carrier to wear the toddler. We used both quite a bit, but I was soooo thankful to be able to wear the toddler! Being hands free is a huge help.
  10. Same. If I weren't sailing in the Haven I would 100% go with Escape, but in the Haven for a $2K savings I'd choose Epic.
  11. Laundry may also vary by ship. When we were on the Platinum behind the scenes tour on Joy this summer the manager of the laundry area told us we could have as much free laundry as we wanted, just to please not save it all up to send everything the last day. (I assume this was because it is easier for them if we send a couple of smaller bags than if we bombard them with a ton at the end of the week)
  12. We have sailed on the Epic in what is now called a club balcony with a baby. They provided a small pack n play, and we put it right inside the cabin door in the little area between the shower and toilet compartments. That way we could pull the curtain between it and the rest of the room. It was cramped, but worked well.
  13. My SH OBC was not applied to my cruise next purchase on the Joy last month. I ended up needing to spend $35 or so on the last day to use it up, so I bought the embarkation photo and then sent my husband and kids back to the arcade to use the last little bit.
  14. We ate at both and thoroughly enjoyed both. It was the best Teppanyaki experience we'd had on a ship in many years, and I could make an entire meal just of the rice!! Cagneys was also great and has better dessert options. Though the best steak we had on the ship was actually at La Cucina.
  15. It has been a few years (we were on the last sailing in early March 2020 before they shut everything down), but we absolutely loved it! I sailed with my mom in a balcony room. We thought the ship was totally fine and didn't experience any problems at all. Like others have mentioned, you spend all of your time in port so it isn't the kind of trip where it is important to have a ship with all the bells and whistles.
  16. We sent off our kids passports for renewals toward the end of March (had scheduled it earlier but then one of them got sick and had to wait until we could get another appointment...) and they just came back last week. I wasn't panicking because I knew they could go with birth certificates if needed, but it definitely makes me feel better to have them!
  17. We are in the same situation. Ours actually are fine, but we sent the kids off for renewal back in March and are crossing our fingers they are back for our trip next month. I guess worst case scenario we just take their birth certificates.
  18. Is this the one with the inflatables in the water?
  19. We have done this before and our car seat fit fine in the closet in our cabin. Depending on the kids ages/sizes, I recommend small/lightweight seats for travel like the Cosco Scenera Next, Cosco Finale, or Evenflo Maestro. You should be able to stack 2 of those so they don't take up twice as much space to store.
  20. It might be different. I think you would have more standing to demand a refund if you truly cannot get vaccinated for a verifiable medical reason than if you simply don't want to. I'll stop there as to not further derail this thread or start a vaccine argument.
  21. We would not use a thermal suite, and do not generally do extra fee activities such as spa, casino, arcade, etc. We like to go to some shows, visit a few specialty restaurants, and enjoy some relaxing down time when we are on the ship. This trip won’t be on our anniversary, it will be a couple of months later, but would be in celebration of our 10th anniversary.
  22. We are looking to book a trip to Bermuda this summer and I am debating Pearl vs. Joy. I have been on Pearl before and liked it. Have not been on Joy, but have mixed feelings about the larger ships. Price would be similar for an aft balcony on Pearl or a Penthouse (not haven) with small balcony on Joy. It is more convenient for us to leave from Boston, but it is not really a big deal to take the train to NYC. Overall Joy would probably be in the neighborhood of $500 more total, so not a deal breaker. What should I be thinking about that I may not have considered? We have been to Bermuda multiple times from both Boston and NY, mostly on Dawn but also on Escape. We have sailed in every room category from inside to Haven and are generally happy in anything with a balcony. This will be just DH and I, not the kids. Haven is not in the budget.
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