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About DaisyGoldberg

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  1. DaisyGoldberg

    Service dogs on board ship

    I have an acquaintance who raised a service monkey -- like service dogs, before they can receive formal training they need to grow up in a human household and become socialized to life with people. They take many more years than puppies to reach maturity however, so it's a big commitment. Because they have hands and fine motor coordination, they're able to do things like operate appliances, aid in tooth brushing, etc, that dogs and ponies could never do, which gives the person a little more personal autonomy than they might otherwise have. I've only seen one service animal on Norwegian -- a standard poodle. Not sure what kind of service he provided, but he came into the theatre and curled up tightly at his owner's feet and disregarded the commotion onstage and in the audience, which is what you'd expect of a very well trained service animal.
  2. DaisyGoldberg

    Bed Comfort--2 bedroom suite on the Dawn

    I second the fact that the bed is extremely close to the ground. I would not put an elderly person or anybody with physical limitations in that bed. The room is fine (you can always keep the door open if you're claustrophobic) but the bed when fully opened is basically the height of a regular sized mattress on the floor. If she's a really small person, the sofa in the livingroom is quite comfortable, I thought. I'm not a small person and had quite a comfortable nap there. I contemplated moving there for the week and sleeping on it with a blanket (not pulled out and made like a bed) rather than climbing up out of the bed in the 2nd bedroom, but got used to it and dealt with it.
  3. DaisyGoldberg

    Any details on Syd Norman's Pour House??

    Darn. That blues club was the major selling point for the Breakaway for me ever booking it again. Guess it makes it easier to pass.
  4. DaisyGoldberg

    Ncl Butler Tipping

    We've been doing the $10/pp thing for years now and have never been knocked over with extreme gratitude as if it was incredibly extravagant. We hand them an envelope, or leave it prominently in the room on the last night while we're out, and they open it later. We ask for virtually nothing. Maybe we're overtipping, but we consider it part of the vacation tab. I should note that we're typically two people. The butler's duties for 2 people aren't significantly less than their duties for 4 people unless you run them ragged, so I think even the $10/day people don't typically mean x 4 people in the cabin. Though if you have little ones that are really making a lot of work, you probably should! My rationale is that even though I might not call on the person a lot, they're assigned to answer when I call, so $20 for that resource for the day isn't out of line as a gratuity when I regularly turn over $15 for someone who took an order, brought plates and drinks to the table and was in my life for maybe an hour. But YMMV. We usually tip the steward the same as the butler, because he/she is doing the heaviest work. And the concierge the least because we interact even less with them.
  5. DaisyGoldberg

    Sail away rooms

    I've had luck getting immediately assigned a mid ship balcony about 6-8 weeks out. A $500-600 price differential will easily pay for whichever perks you really want, with money left over. Only sailed Princess once and the food was awful. It was the final Alaska sailing of the year, so maybe they were just emptying out the freezers or something, but there were no vegetables! Every entree seemed to come with three carrot sticks wrapped in a scallion. Occasionally there was a surprise piece of asparagus. In the buffet, there was one hot vegetable, usually some kind of mixed veg. Other than that... nothing. Even the salad bar was mostly luncheon meat and bread! By day four we treated it as a joke and it just got funnier over the next week. Had a very nice dinner in the steakhouse, but other than that, it was really astonishingly bad. And the entertainment was not good either -- dancers not in synch, etc. All that said, Alaska was so fabulous I'd do it again if they were the only ones going. The room was fine, the excursions were good, we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge... we had fun anyway. But it did move Princess down to the bottom of my cruiseline preference sheet.
  6. DaisyGoldberg

    Dawn Penthouse Suites

    I don't have accessibility issues, but last year on the Breakaway I had an H5 Haven penthouse with balcony. I knew going in that it didn't have the shower, but while I prefer a walk in, I got it on an upgrade and didn't really think it was a big deal. The height of the side of that tub (a soaking tub) was really astounding. I'm 5'5", rather long-legged, and I had to lift my knee well above my waist to step in -- and because it was a soaking tub with slanted sides, also had to step way in. There's no way anybody with mobility issues could handle that, especially in less than calm weather. It was made much worse by the fact that there was literally nothing to grab onto but the glass doors, which aren't built for that purpose. Getting out I could reach for the vanity, and getting in I could reach across for the gripping bar, but neither was in easy reach or aligned for the purpose. And somebody even marginally shorter probably couldn't have managed. I noted at the time that the room really should come with a bigger warning than "this room does not have a walk in shower." I'm pretty surprised that they haven't re-designed the shower doors, at the very least. I've never been in another cabin without a walk in option, so I don't know if this is a fleet-wide issue. But even if you manage fine with a tub at home, I'd expect you to find those tubs challenging. Hopefully at a minimum the newer ships have addressed that issue.
  7. DaisyGoldberg

    Trip Insurance

    My mother and her friend had to cancel a trip because my sister was hospitalized a couple of weeks before the trip and was going to need my mom taking care of her after she was discharged. Mom had the NCL insurance and we had to provide some documentation from the hospital and my sister's doctor, but they refunded both fares pretty swiftly, everything done via email. I think the only money she lost was the cost of the insurance and some other small item.
  8. DaisyGoldberg

    Tipping at Cagneys/Modernos for Suite guests

    Be sure to check your room charges when you leave tips on dining plan meals. Once we tipped our waiter but the room charge showed only the cost of the drinks we had purchased. I went to the desk at the restaurant and asked them to make sure that the waiter received the money we had tipped, because our electronic record didn't reflect that they'd taken the money off our account. Didn't want the guy stiffed. Took a few minutes for them to understand that I was disputing a charge in their favor (!), but once they did they figured it out and thanked me on his behalf.
  9. DaisyGoldberg

    Does NCL keep notes on guests?

    I've sailed multiple times in suites and Virginia is the only concierge that I felt "remembered" me or gave me some kind of attention that could conceivably relate to prior experience. So I used to think there were careful records, but maybe they were just her personal notes. Because I can't say the last 4-5 experiences brought any kind of special attention. We're good tippers and ask for virtually nothing, so maybe they all got the word we want to be left alone?
  10. DaisyGoldberg

    Fresh Lobster

    Lobster prices have plummeted since the China tariffs were put in place. Good for lobster eaters, not so good for Maine lobstermen/women. Consider it a kindness to eat as much as you can stand on the U.S. side! ;)
  11. DaisyGoldberg

    Canada/New England "Must" eats

    Moxie has just been sold to Coca Cola, so get it before they "improve" it. (Can't stand the stuff, myself, but I know many love it)
  12. DaisyGoldberg

    reserving dinners on the Norwegian Dawn

    Make them in the terminal if you find a table, or as soon as you board. Back in June by Day 2 there was very little availability between 6 and 8 pm for the most popular restaurants, despite the fact that when I was in them, they were not anywhere close to full. Very strange. So snap them up ASAP.
  13. I saw all the warnings and still raised an eyebrow at the language (in a "wow, they actually did go there!" way). Not horrific in the grand scheme of things, but a definite departure from the usual PG (at most) cruise show language. It wasn't an episode of Deadwood, but a little jarring. As I recall it was less about language and more lewd insinuations/gestures, etc. I personally wouldn't have a problem with middle teens seeing it, or tweens who are mature enough to appreciate that they're watching adult material and won't parrot it for effect later. You know your kids. However, if you already know you're strict about that sort of thing, I would err on the side of caution.
  14. DaisyGoldberg

    Has anyone cruised on the Dawn recently?

    Second City stopped last year -- unless they're back? I was on the Dawn in June and had a great time. Only caveat I would give is that if you want specialty dining, book ahead of time. The concierge was not able to get us any reservations before 8 pm in Cagneys all week, and had a tough time adding two people to our already booked meals at Le Bistro and Moderno at 6 and 6:30 on different nights. At first we just figured they were super booked (which is what he said) but when we went to both Le Bistro and Moderno, there were fewer than 5 tables full in each restaurant, and maybe up to 7 or 8 when we left both places an hour later. Maybe there was some weird staffing freakiness going on that they were covering up for or something, but it made no sense to me that these top restaurants were half empty at peak times and we literally did not end up using our (free as perk) 3 meal dining plan at all because supposedly the entire ship was "booked solid for the week." (Used our platinum vouchers for the other meals) We cruise enough that the food aspect isn't paramount, so it wasn't an enormous loss, but had I spent money for the meal plan (come to think of it I did, since I paid the tax!!), or looked especially forward to special meals, I would have been really disappointed/angry. So even though you may not know what you will want any particular day, book something at a time you like anyway - you can always cancel!
  15. DaisyGoldberg

    US DOLLARS accepted in Bermuda

    There's a charity box set up where you pass through the building on your way to reboard the ship so you can donate any local currency/change you end up with when you are leaving for the last time.