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Everything posted by Luvmypups

  1. NCL docks at Coxen Hole, so on your previous trip to Roatan you must have been docked at Mahogany Bay where there is beach access at the port. There is a wide range of excursions in Roatan so it would just depend on what you are looking to do. You might want to check out Roatan on the Ports of Call section. We have gone to West Bay on our own, Little French Key on several occasions, and a private resort where we eaten alive by bugs you couldn’t see..😳
  2. We have done NCLs Hawaiian cruise 4 times and love it. You shouldn’t go for the ship and what it has to offer as you will be getting off every day to see Hawaii. It will be a place to sleep and eat. After going multiple times and learning what we wanted to see and do, we started renting a car at each stop and driving. In Maui we even got a hotel in Lahaina for the overnight stay so we didn’t have to make the long drive back to the ship late in the evening. The only time you really need to have a great viewing spot on the ship is when you cruise along the Napali coastline and you won’t want to do that from your balcony anyway. We have had more fun each time we have gone and would do it again in a second. You will have a great time, it’s what you make of it, so enjoy!
  3. You can pull up to the port, unload your luggage and then follow the signs to cruise ship parking. You will cross the railroad tracks and take the first right which takes you into the “whale” parking lot. There is a huge whale mural painted on a building on the side of the lot. It’s not covered, but simple access before and after the cruise to get you on your way.
  4. Once you make it inside and upstairs and through security......then you will have a designated line for check-in and an area to wait in until you are escorted to the ship.
  5. We have traveled out of NOLA multiple times. With the NCL transfer, you still have to wait for others and for the bus/transportation to fill up. I’ve always found this was the slowest way to get to where we are going. I would do like @KarlChilders stated above, do the self assist off and walk a couple of blocks to the Hilton and get a taxi or Uber to where you are going - it will save all of the congestion at the port. Taxis are always lined up by the Hilton also.
  6. We have cruised out of NOLA quite a few times, we have never been delayed getting into port and are usually docked long before we wake up. We typically do the self walk-off and are to our car by 8:30am and on the road. I think you will have plenty of time to make your 1030 tour.
  7. If you book a Sky or Star class Suite on RCL on their newer/larger class ships-—(Oasis and newer)— there is a suite access only area of cabins like the Haven—although not all of the suites are located in this area—just like NCL. There is a large suite lounge (larger than the Haven lounge). It is not accessible to Diamond level and above RCL level cruisers as was stated, however, the lounge and restaurant are accessible to Pinnacle-level cruisers. Beer, wine, water, soft drinks are available in the lounge all of the time and there is a cocktail menu from 5pm-8pm daily. If you are Star class, you have unlimited beverages on the entire ship as well as unlimited dining in every venue, gratuities are also included. There is a private sun deck with a bar, loungers, etc. There is suite seating in some of the venues (main theater) but not every venue. The concierge or your Genie will make sure you get into any show you want to attend. We have cruised in both Haven (NCL) and Sky-level (RCL) suites and have found RCL to actually be a superior product In some ways and similarly priced in our experience. Sky class and above also includes unlimited Wifi. RCL definitely offers a cruise within a cruise experience as well. Both lines have there differences and advantages and it just depends on what you are looking for. We enjoy both lines for what each has to offer and choose which like to cruise based on the port they are leaving out of as well as the time of year.
  8. We sailed on the Dawn out of Tampa a couple of years ago. We got to the terminal around noon and it was a mad house. Like others have said, I think a lot of the issues are due to the small terminal. We were in a suite and there was no priority entrance, just waited in line that was all the way down the sidewalk to the next block, finally made it inside, weaved back and forth through the ropes as they allowed only limited numbers upstairs at a time to get to security. It took at least a couple of hours to get on the ship. It also took a long time to get off the ship, even carrying our own luggage. It took forever for them to clear the ship and if I’m not mistaken, they made all of the non-US citizen passengers go through customs first....that was before we could ever exit the ship. So I think the issues getting people off the ship quickly hinder their ability to get passengers on the ship. The issues boarding and exiting the ship definitely discouraged us from ever cruising out of Tampa again.
  9. Good information, if it wasn’t for these boards we wouldn't know much of anything without reading it here. It’s unfortunate that the cruise lines don’t do a better job explaining their products/services better and more consistently. I appreciate all the information.
  10. We have stayed in in suites/Haven several times but I still have a couple of questions: 1. Do you tip your waiter in the Haven restaurant each meal? If you don’t tip them with each meal, you may have a different waiter/waitress each time. I feel compelled to tip them with each meal we eat in the Haven restaurant... 2. Do you tip the hostess who seats you in the Haven Restaurant? She usually recognizes us and calls us by name by the 2nd or 3rd day At the end of the cruise? 3. Do they serve food in the Haven Courtyard? It appears they do but I’ve never seen how you go about sitting down and ordering it.
  11. Great review Sid, though I was way late to the party!!! I enjoy your reviews, food p0rn & drink pics...and your perspective. I can’t wait to hear about your Virgin Cruise!! Thanks again!
  12. Willa Jean for breakfast is a must have for us on our trips to New Orleans.
  13. Ditto on the WWII museum, well worth the time and money. Enjoy the restaurants and food while you are there. I suggest breakfast at Willa Jean but make reservations if you go. Domenica or Pizza Domenica is great for their wood fire pizza. Go on a carriage ride in the French Quarter to learn some history of the area.
  14. Just as a follow up and our experience with the UDP on our Allure cruise. We were never given any restrictions at any of the restaurants and never charged anything extra in any restaurant, including Izumi, with 2 proteins. For us, the service was the worst in Giovanni’s and it has always been our favorite. The restaurant wasn’t packed but the wait staff seemed overwhelmed and had trouble managing their tables. We probably enjoyed Izumi sushi for lunch and teppanyaki for dinner one night the most. It definitely seems they are expecting staff to do more with less these days. For us, the UDP was worth it.
  15. Wow! I guess I was really really late to the party and not-so-fun after-party, just finished reading your entire review. What a roller coaster! I hope everything is still on an upward trend for you and you are able to cruise during the holidays. Positive wishes for your continued recovery!
  16. Yay! Another cruise with A&L. Coming along while I wait for my Allure make-up in 2 weeks, thanks to Dorian. Have a great trip!
  17. We also eat in the specialty restaurants every night and we have the UDP for our upcoming cruise on the Allure in October. I agree that there is discrepancy between the package description and what people are being subjected to when on board. We were originally scheduled to be on the September 1 Allure sailing that got shortened and I emailed the suite concierge to make dinner reservations, who promptly told me that there would be a $10/person charge to eat Hibachi, therefore I emailed customer service regarding all of the controversy around the UDP and how it was being interpreted and this is the response I received: I will report back with what actually happens.......
  18. Thanks for your report on your experience with the UDP. We have always chosen to eat in the specialty restaurants and have bought the UDP for our upcoming cruise on Allure in October. I have been reading a lot about the inconsistencies with what the UDP is and how it is being handled on various ships. It seems to be all over the place on how it is being interpreted on each ship. I have sent an email to customer service asking the question regarding up-charges (Hibachi) and charges for requesting a second entrees and what restaurants are included......and in general the inconsistency in the UDP and description and how it is being carried out. Hibachi is supposed to be included but we were specifically told there would be a $10 charge for each of us. It’s not that we wouldn’t pay it, the problem I have is with their description of the UDP and appearing to be inaccurate in how it is carried out. I’m interested to see what my response will be..... Thanks again for telling your experience with it!
  19. Thanks for taking us along. We were supposed to be on the Allure 9/1 sailing but chose to cancel after making it all the way to FLL and they shortened it to a 4 nighter. We have rebooked for 10/13 but having your review to read for the last couple of weeks took a little bit of the disappointment away. It helped to vicariously cruise with you and your family. Your review was great and hope you had a great time. Can’t wait to hear your preference between the CLS and ATS! Thanks again!
  20. Following along with you. We were supposed to be on the Allure 9/1 sailing.....made it all the way to FLL on the Thursday before and after our sailing was cut to 4 days, we decided to rebook for the 10/13 sailing and headed back home after 2 days. At that point it was uncertain where Dorian would come ashore and was looking too much like it was going to be in FLL and we weren’t inclined to have to ride out what was predicted to be a Cat 4 hurricane. We were lucky enough to get the same category for almost the exact cost....just have to pay for airfare and hotel again. We can’t complain though, after 36 cruises, this is the first one that has ever been affected by weather and we always cruise late August/early September. Hope you had a great time!
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