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MalervyC

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About MalervyC

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Norristown
  • Interests
    Cruising and traveling all over! Reading reviews and writing them!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  1. MalervyC

    Grand Stirrup Cay...shade?

    Or get a cabana...it was an amazing experience! No rushing to get a good spot, no one in front of you, shade and a ceiling fan. Best thing we did on our cruise!
  2. MalervyC

    Escape adult only pool

    I don't recall an adults only pool on the Escape. The Spice H2O water feature is the grotto, but you cannot swim there.
  3. Let me just say that wow - you are brave for going through all of that. I did not have the same gruesome experience on the Gem in May, but I did get a chest cold and had a very difficult time breathing. It was the first time I have ever needed medical care (knock on wood) while on vacation. DH and I decided to get trip insurance through Allianz due to his multiple back issues this year. We wanted to cover ourselves "just in case". We spent $150 for the both of us - and my total medical bill on the Gem was almost $400. When we got home, I submitted everything online to Allianz and within 2 weeks I had a FULL reimbursement check in my hand. I was shocked and happy it was that easy. I will ALWAYS get insurance now, because as many here said - you just never know!
  4. Hi!! We are at Moderno the first night 5/20, reservations at 5:30pm. Like I said we loved the Moderno on Escape, so much that DH and I booked it twice on that sailing! On the Gem it was a disappointment - but it won't stop us from booking NCL again! So far no reimbursement yet but I am calling every day! First time ever having to actually use trip insurance and I'm hoping it works out! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  5. Totally!! None of us got sick so it was all his fault (don't tell him I said that!) He bounced back in a few days. I'm still waiting for my insurance payout. Thinking maybe a cruise deposit?? :rolleyes::cool::p
  6. Cruising is so much fun! I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip and I hope to see a review from you in the future!
  7. I'm glad you had good service! We went the first day, maybe 4 tables. It wasn't crowded at all - but wow did it take a long time for the meat to start coming out. I'll never forget at the M&G on the Escape, one of the ship officers told us "If something is wrong, let us know. We don't want you to go home and write a horrible review!" So I made some time and spoke with Fortunato (maitre'd on the Gem) about some of the service onboard with dining. I gave both positive and constructive feedback. He was very receptive. I believe the white glove service we received at Cagneys was his way of making up for it. I called him the day after and told him how attentive everyone was to us and really, it was a wonderful SIGNATURE dining experience!
  8. I don't mind the food at O'Sheehans. DH enjoyed the burgers and as I said, I love the chicken fajitas. Not that those are hard to make, but they are tasty. I did notice in Teppanyaki that the lobster in the Surf and Turf is no longer an option, instead I think it's steak and jumbo shrimp.
  9. Hi All! We were on the Gem theweek before Memorial Day. The following is my review of the Gem and ourexperience: Travel from PA to NY with no issues;parking coupon still works and saved us $70 - whoo hoo!! Check in was a breeze but I feltlike they just kept shuffling us around to different waiting areas(and, yes, I have been on many cruises before, but it seems like the NYC pierlacks organization with embarkation). A few comments about the NYC cruiseterminal facility that I hadn't seen mentioned on CC before: Pier Café stand (which is accessible after checking in) had $4 breakfast sandwiches and $3 pretzels. NCL offers water and various fruit juices for free. There is a desk set up for specialty dining reservations that also contains menus to review. We went through security/check inaround 9:30am and were on board by 11:15am. I will say that recent upgrades made to the décor and added diningvenues made us feel as though we were on a newer ship. I was on the Escapelast year and admired the décor and flow of spaces. I could see some ofthose same themes on the Gem but with touches of individuality. Forexample, the little Gem stones (instead of up/down arrows) in the elevator- I thought they were adorable! Also, the matches patterns of the privacywalls to the carpeting in the buffet - very nice. :D Our room was 10042 - perfectlynormal balcony accommodations. The bed was flimsy so we had our attendant add afew layers of cushioning. The shower had THE BEST water pressure and Iloved the separate space for the WC and shower. Shout out to Anthony fromthe Philippines who was our stateroom attendant. He is truly a GEM and was verygood to us. He hasn't seen his family since August and is going homenext month - it's incredible the time they spend taking care of us. Yes,I realize it's a job for them, but one chooses to be happy, happy or nasty,nasty - and Anthony was always happy! :cool: Our ports were Port Canaveral, GreatStirrup Cay, and Nassau, Bahamas. We pre-booked two excursions in theports through NCL's site. Below are my thoughts: Port Canaveral is a nice place to spend the day. I wish it was a full day (like 8am-9pm) so that spending the day in a theme park would be worth it. We booked the Cocoa Beach/Village shuttle for $19 pp with a Latitudes discount. The shuttle drops you off across the street from the Ron Jon Surf Shop. The beach is gorgeous and has showers to wash off if you want a beach day. Here's a tip - don't go to Cocoa Village. You need to take a separate shuttle AFTER you get to Cocoa Beach, and if the return shuttle is full, then you must wait another hour for the next one. This was a disappointing excursion and I'm glad we didn't spend much money on it. Again, only my opinion – some folks may love this area but for me I’ll never go back. Great Stirrup Cay was an AMAZING day. We pre-booked a large cabana back in December with another couple we traveled with, so we split the $475 cost. The small cabanas were $425 – so we thought why not upgrade for $50? I’ve always wanted to experience a cabana rental and I’m glad to say I was not disappointed! We were in Cabana 3; it was quite spacious (can accommodate 8) for 4 people, with loungers and chairs, pillows and a table. We were provided with towels and floating mats for the water, as well as fresh fruit and water upon arrival. Included was also a $50 food credit and a few options of platters to be delivered to our cabana. The level ofservice we received from Kristopher our bartender made us feel like royalty. Heshowed us where everything was on the island and brought us continuous roundsof Bahama Mamas and Strawberry daiquiris (thank you, UBP!). We chose two platters – the lobster tailswith shrimp, and a charcuterie tray with salad and dips. DH said the lobsterwas rubbery, but who cares – look at that view! Speaking ofthe view, the cabanas are at the highest point of the island – so the breeze iscontinuous throughout the day. There was also a ceiling fan inside the cabanawhich made us very comfortable. The walk up from the water sucked but it’s asmall price to pay. To say we enjoyedourselves is an understatement – it was quite simply one of our most favoritedays ever on any cruise. I am officiallyspoiled and will book this excursion any chance I get. I cannot wait to go back to GSC again! Nassau in the Bahamas was our last port. Almost everyone goes to Atlantis, and with 3 ships in port it was the last place I wanted to go with a crowd. We spent a few hours walking along Bay Street (which was also very crowded as their Parliament was opening so lots of streets were blocked off). We were back onboard after 2 hours and spent some time on the ship. This was my third time to Nassau and I’m sad to say that it’s one of my least favorite stops. Now I must totake some time to recognize the amazing crew of the Gem for putting on anentertaining show at the pier to welcome guests back from Nassau. They were out in the sun for hours dancing,giving out water and cold towels, engaging with passengers and blasting music.The atmosphere was so fun and the crew was along with Mark and Zach createdthat for guests. The interesting part is that the Gem was docked across fromthe Carnival Ecstasy and shared a pier. Carnival guests were on the balconiesdancing with us, some of them even went through the welcome line! The Carnival gangway had a huge dumpster nextto it while the NCL gangway was seriously a party. NCL showed up Carnival big time!! We had the SDP and chose to eat atModerno, Teppanyaki, and Cagney’s. Moderno (which we ate at twice on the Escape) was a totaldisappointment. The service was super slow, the salad bar selection was poorand it took 45 minutes for the first gaucho to come to our table. It wasn’t dueto crowd, in fact we were one of 4 tables in the entire restaurant. It was as if the staff just wasn’t preparedto be open. Teppanyaki is always a great time!Food was outstanding but I was surprised to see that lobster was not an optionat all. Our chef was super entertaining, but our waiter (who was new) waslacking some basic skills. The food made up for it. We ate in the main dining room one,the day we were in Port Canaveral. There may have been 10 tables total in theGrand Pacific. The service was slow – and I think it was our servers only.Another table arrived after us with more people. They ate all courses and left before my DHand I got our entrees. We never went back to the main dining room. Cagney’s made up for the rest withsignature dining at its best. The steaks were perfect and the sides were superyummy, albeit small. Kudos to the NCL staff for the amazing service theydisplayed to us. I will be booking thisone again on our next sailing! We first experienced O’Sheehan’s onthe Escape, and I’m glad we were able to enjoy it on the Gem also. The chickenfajitas are so ding dang yummy!! We hadmany lunches and one dinner here. The buffet stayed true to having greatbreakfast option and lunches. Some of myfavorites were the Cuban panini, made to order pasta, salad bar options, andthe sugar free kiwi strawberry water. Ilove this stuff and I hope to see more sugar free options in the future! Wealso enjoyed the outside buffet on the back of the ship – it was the perfectsetting to have an evening coffee and split a little dessert. The roulette wheel in the casinotreated me very well this trip. The slots were hot all week long – PinkDiamonds and Rapid Shot – those two gave us some wins. We enjoyed the Deal or No Deal game a fewtimes, and our friends won the free cruise on the last day! Unfortunately, I got sick the nightwe left Nassau with a nasty chest cold that had been building all week. Aroundmidnight I threw the towel in and conceded to go to the medical facility to getlooked at. 11 cruises and I’ve never had to go through this before, so for anyonewho is curious – NCL charges $150 to see the doctor during normal hours(7am-8pm), and $250 during non-hours. Any testing or medications are extra ontop of that. I’ll be honest, in theelevator I thought, “What is this going to be like? Am I going to have somequack doctor that I can’t understand?” Iam not trying to be ignorant, but I was legit nervous! :eek: I’ve never been happier to be wrong.Nurse Martha Fourie and Dr. Raphael Tescon could not have been kinder or morepatient with me, and so I want to recognize them for the excellent care theygave me. $362 later I had two differentmeds and was on my way to getting better. Dr. Tescon told us there are peoplewho come in with worse conditions who don’t get the care they need once theyhear the charge because they don’t want to pay. I felt grateful, I know itcould have been worse, and we had trip insurance to submit the bill to when wegot home. My friend and I made a last-minutedecision to get the Thermal Spa Pass – another splurge for me that I hadn’tdone before. It was $139 pre-cruise but$189 if you booked on the ship; I was glad we pre-booked! The Mandara Spa onthe Gem was very nice, never crowded and enjoyable. The tile loungers OMG – Iwant one at home! Perfect for soothing achy back muscles. We enjoyed therefreshments and flavored waters. The hot sauna was also a favorite of mine,especially with my chest cold. We went 5 nights out of the 7 and it reallyhelped me relax before bed. I have two gripes: the first is that the spa isright on top of the Spinnaker Lounge and we could hear the thumping and badkaraoke very clearly. The second, noteveryone is a size 6. Could we get some additionalrobe sizes other than medium? I managed ok but I’m not interested in showingoff my goods. Come on, NCL… Our last sea day my DH came downwith a nasty case of nausea. I don’tbelieve it was Norovirus as none of us got sick and have not gotten sick sincecoming home. We think it was from thepoolside BBQ. DH ate some mussels that had not fully opened – a bad decision onhis part. He did not leave the cabin and was very run down. Anthony (cabinattendant) brought us broth and ice chips constantly checking in with us. On disembarkation day, we needed some helpgetting him off the ship. It was a little chaotic and unorganized, but NCL wasvery helpful and we could get off the ship and through customs with assistance. In closing, we had a nice week asidefrom both of us getting sick towards the end. I was glad to be able to spend time with my DH and friends. We had planned this trip last year and haveall experienced some personal losses/medical issues, so we were all lookingforward to this vacation. Sailing out of NYC is beautiful and it’s nice not tohave to fly. As far as I’m concerned,the other cruise lines can’t beat NCL’s prices and promos right now. I love Royal Caribbean, but the prices aresteep and I don’t want to pay $14 for a drink. I expect that we will book NCL always in the future and the ship classof the Gem is exactly our speed. If you haveany questions, please feel free to ask! Also keep in mind, these are my experiences and opinions. I’m far fromperfect, but I am honest and will share anything you would like to know.
  10. MalervyC

    Just off NCL Gem

    Thank you so much for the info! I can't wait to use my thermal spa pass!
  11. MalervyC

    Just off NCL Gem

    Do you know anyone who did the Thermal spa pass? Looking for reviews of how that experience was. Did you park at the pier and is the coupon just for Gem passengers still working?
  12. MalervyC

    Tendering question to GSC on the Gem

    If you have a cabana, do you also get priority tender?
  13. MalervyC

    Disappointed in POA

    We cruised POA in 2013 for our honeymoon. We ran into some nasty crew members but also others who were kind and enjoyed their job. I think that you will find that on any ship, for any cruise line - just like you would at any company you work for. I think POA offers the best experience of the Hawaiian islands. We chose this ship for the itinerary, not the ship. Went into it with no expectations and came out happy on the other end.
  14. We will be sailing on the Gem in 2 weeks - can't wait! Did you happen to check out the thermal spa? Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  15. MalervyC

    Escape - Live 1/30

    [quote name='TheDougOut'][IMG]http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/16/02/01/caf7c81386eb367695fc2eeb7874b4f7.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/16/02/01/232883fe93fa34f904536a2e46a819e1.jpg[/IMG] Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app[/QUOTE] Omg I nearly fainted! #foodporn
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