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About rmurray847

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Albuquerque, NM
  • Interests
    CRUISING, travel in general, concerts, movies, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCL and Norwegian are all I've tried so far.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    WAY too many to pick one or even a handful. Every port holds at least some fond memories

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  1. The Jewel is one of our favorites. Great layout, plenty to do and seldom feels crowded. You'll love it.
  2. We have booked an excursion to Misty Fjords (sea plane and boat). It's about a 3.5 hour tour.
  3. We'll be in Juneau, Skagway & Ketchikan on our upcoming cruise on the Bliss. First time in Alaska. We're all set with excursions, and feel we're pretty well prepared. But in each port, we have a couple hours free (for eating, beer & shopping). Whenever we cruise, we like to find "Local, handmade" crafts. I know these ports will be crawling with mass-produced stuff and items important from China. We fully expect that. But usually, somewhere in the craziness, there are local items to keep an eye out for. Wood-carvings, jewelry, baskets, etc. etc. Those of you who've been before...what kinds of "unique to Alaska BY Alaskans" stuff should we be keeping an eye out for? (And if it matters, which port?) I appreciate the help in advance.
  4. Unfair edit: I think the cruise line will probably insist you dress in SOMETHING, even for the MDR!!!! You can get away with quite casual, I would say. Some form of long pant and a shirt with buttons (even a polo shirt) will be more that sufficient.
  5. If you can get at least two decks above the Waterfront, that's desirable, IMO. Otherwise you are looking down on the roof of the Waterfront. To a large degree, if you go to any balcony and look STRAIGHT DOWN, you will have something obstructing, whether lifeboats or Waterfront (at least mid-ship, where you're talking about). Honestly, the distraction is minimal. We were two decks above Waterfront on our TA on the Breakaway, and never really felt "gosh, I wish our view wasn't blocked", especially if we were sitting on the patio chairs. I know there are websites where folks have posted photos of their cabins...google ship and cabin number. Maybe you'll see some postings there that might steer you towards which cabins have beds where you want them.
  6. We preferred Grand Pacific as well, although Alizar feels less formal. But it has lower ceilings and a more closed in feeling. Jasmine Garden can indeed be quite noisy, but it's worth a try just as a change of pace. It's nice for lunch too (sea days). Also, the shopping area on the Jewel class is mostly confined to one big shop at the back of the ship. (The Atrium has a few little spots.) It felt more like a department store and less like a mall. It is certainly not as grand as what one generally gets on many of the larger ships.
  7. When we've sailed on Royal, they do ask this as part of the booking process (or somewhere along the line). But NCL doesn't seem to, as others have noted. Default does seem to be together.
  8. TRUE. I saw a price drop on our Alaska cruise, and immediately called. By the time someone answered the phone, it was back up again!
  9. We LOVE the Great Outdoors on Jewel Class. Grab a snack (or a full meal), get a drink at the bar and sit at the back of the ship for sailaways. Somehow this place is never terribly packed (except MAYBE on the first day). As mentioned, Spinnaker is very nice if you need a quiet spot during the day to read, enjoy views, but not be outside (maybe on a windy day?). We find the layout for this (relatively) small ship to be very thoughtful and engaging. Love the Jade!
  10. Yes, they do tell you that. But it can never hurt to call. They may do a little something for you, just to keep you happy. And yes, one can drive oneself insane over the price...book what price you're comfortable with. Then after that, if there's a drop, and you are able to get some small concession, it's a WIN! Our TA last year has probably 12 price drops after we booked. (And that was just 90 days out.) Lots of volatility. I got a few concessions (modest OBC and a cabin upgrade)...but I really just had to be happy with the rate we had paid (which I thought was pretty good on a per day basis), and we looked at the other stuff as a bonus.
  11. I live in New Mexico, and have NO interest in any ship's Mexican restaurant. (Of course, we also have steak restaurants in New Mexico, but I'll still eat at Cagney's...gladly. So, just a smidge of hypocrisy in what I just said!)
  12. LOL. Yep, I'd rather see the ship waiting for me a few yards away than stare at the lobby in our hotel. If we want to spend serious time at the city we're departing from, we'll just come in earlier. For us, now, the day of the cruise is all about the cruise!
  13. This is certainly true for us as well...but we still find ourselves (especially on sea days) focused on food! We are only modestly picky about food, and we always find plenty we enjoy at the included venues. We enjoy the MDR experience in particular. The specialty restaurants are a one or twice per cruise treat. Discussions about food on these boards are certainly the best way to see the EXTREME diversity in tastes and expectations. No one is wrong in their opinions...but some folks certainly get belligerent if someone disagrees with them. In particular, I have to scratch my head when one person says they (for example) like the buffet on the Breakaway, and someone else not only disagrees, but implies the person who is satisfied is a moron or worse. Yes, let's try to make people who were happy with their experience unhappy! Sorry for the rant...not directed at you Stealthdog!
  14. You do not HAVE to pre-book. My wife and I prefer to make reservations in advance though, and then change as we go if need be. That way, on those days where the time works out...we're in good shape. We like to go around 6:45 - 7:00, and that's peak time...so it's been good to have the reservations then. But if the Daily Schedule comes out and there's something we want to do that conflicts...we'll change it or cancel what we had.
  15. Yes, keep trying. I have found different reps give different answers. I've always wondered if they are incentivised by how little they cave in on giving upgrades/freebies in these cases. If they flat out won't upgrade your cabin, at least request some OBC. That can't possibly screw up a free air perk (if that's what they continue to say).
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