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dcipjr

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About dcipjr

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    Philadelphia, PA
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL

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  1. Kim, only you would write a review of breaking your leg in addition to the cruise review—that, ladies and gentlemen, is serious commitment to CruiseCritic! Thanks for coming back and writing a new NCL review! It has certainly been a while—it's unbelievable how grown-up Sakari is. I remember her as being really little. I found your experience on the Breakaway interesting; last time we were on her (2017), we noticed that the staff seemed a bit more run-down than usual. We since were on the Escape and the Gem, and didn't encounter that at all. Maybe it's just the Breakaway? Strange... I was wondering—you guys have been cruising with Sakari since she was pretty little, and if memory serves you typically cruise in inside cabins. How did you handle early bedtimes when she was young? Our daughter will be 2 in October, and has been on 2 cruises already, but we've always wound up springing for the bigger cabin, all the while wondering how we would fare in a small inside cabin. Maybe Sakari had a late bedtime?
  2. Honestly, I’d just look at which cabins are currently priced at the price you paid; you might be able to upgrade to a higher category. But, in general, that’s the breaks...would you feel bad if the price went up by $1000 and call in to offer to pay more? I didn’t think so.
  3. Yes, you already paid it. There’s nothing additional. What you already paid works out to be roughly $18 per person per day, sorry if that caused any momentary panic. 😆 I seem to remember the texting being $10 per person. That might have changed since we last went.
  4. That's just so people don't go ordering more than one main course per person. Starters and desserts are included.
  5. The Platinum dinners are per-stateroom. If your daughter orders off the kids' menu, she's free in the specialties. If she uses the regular menu, it's the regular price (bummer). If you wanted to ditch your poor husband, then yes, you could have her as the second guest -- I believe it's a voucher that would work for whomever is at the dinner. One Platinum perk that is per-member is the laundry bag. You and your husband would both get a free bag of laundry. For photos, if memory serves, my wife bought a package of a few photos last time around, and got the Platinum discount on the package, so I'm pretty sure that it applies to photo packages. For texting, NCL has the Cruise Norwegian app, that will let you do texts, calls, and group chats for anyone else that has the app that's onboard. It's a one-time charge, but I believe that it's per-person. For drinks, unfortunately, you can no longer bring soda or water or any other beverages (except wine, paying corkage). They really want you to pick the beverage package perk. You still have to pay roughly $18/day/person for the gratuities on the included drinks package (don't get people here started... 😁) but it's still a good deal for short cruises. If you start looking at longer cruises, that adds up to the point where your liver and wallet may not be able to take it.
  6. Once she's 6 months old, she can sail, and she definitely counts towards the room capacity, which is the total amount of humans in the room: adults, kids, and babies. She won't have to pay the daily service charge -- children don't pay the DSC until they turn 3.
  7. The earliest I’ve been on the island was May 2nd, but it was plenty warm at that time—highs in the mid 70s. It’s perfect weather for touring the island. October is much the same, from what I hear. Water temperatures are a bit cooler during those months. The ocean temperature was 71° when we were there. Some may consider that cold, but growing up and going to the shore in NJ when I was a kid, that’s what the Atlantic felt like to me on the 4th of July, and it never stopped me!
  8. I can’t say that I agree. Bermuda does have beautiful beaches and great snorkeling, but that’s really only the beginning. The town of St. George has a ton of history, and there are forts all over the island to explore—Fort Catherine is a beautiful fort which has been preserved, Fort Hamilton is a incredible (and free) fort where nature has taken over. There’s also the zoo and aquarium, great shopping, the Crystal Caves, the Dockyard...we’ve been there six times and there’s still stuff we haven’t done. The Caribbean also has a seedy element to it, which Bermuda does not. It’s a much friendlier place. There’s plenty there for folks that don’t like beaches. I’d highly recommend it.
  9. People always can find things to complain about. I find when I’m walking up that ramp to the ship, and stepping onboard, the complaints kind of just melt away for me. There are certainly some things about NCL I would change, and I voice my opinion to them on the surveys, when I’m asked. But they’re all minor things. When it all comes down to it, cruising is still my favorite way to vacation, by a long shot. Enjoy your cruise!
  10. Check with your concierge—that’s one of your perks. They’ll be able to tell you whether you need to do the muster drill again. Since you’re in a suite, you’ll have a butler, and a suites-only breakfast and lunch restaurant. When we were on the Gem, breakfast was in Moderno and lunch was in Cagneys, but the exact location will depend on the ship. You’ll have priority seating, priority embarkation and disembarkation—which will come in handy on that turnaround day when one leg of the B2B ends, and the other begins. You’ll also have priority tendering, if any ports tender. I’m sure I’m forgetting some perks, but suffice it to say I think you’ll be quite comfortable for the duration of your cruise! Enjoy!
  11. Hey @graphicguy, I have a cruise booked that I booked directly with NCL. I’m 0 for 2 on getting a phone representative to apply the Amex perks to my booking. Both of them have just said they didn’t know what I was talking about. What exactly did you tell them to do, to get the perks applied to the booking? I lead them to the page, and I know there’s a link of sorts on the page: “To obtain benefits, travel agents must visit americanexpress.com/asdonline. Participating providers and benefits subject to change.” There’s a login there on the link, but neither rep that I talked to knew what to do there. I was thinking of calling Amex and asking them, but I don’t want to get the booking transferred to Amex’s TA because then I wouldn’t be able to call NCL for price drops and upgrades. Any pointers?
  12. We did a 14-day back to back cruise in the Caribbean in 2016. We booked it as a “14 Day East and West Caribbean (Back to Back)” on NCL’s website, where it was offered as a back-to-back sailing, under a single reservation number. I could have booked the two cruises separately: the sailing consisted of an 8-day East Caribbean cruise followed by 6-day West Caribbean cruise, both from Miami, both of which were separately bookable on NCL’s website. I booked as a combined itinerary, because I wanted us to have the same cabin—and that worked out well, since we wound up upselling to a suite, and we had that for the entire 14 days. We were told to attend the muster drill on both sailings, and we did. Honestly—I would just ask at Guest Services, and do what they tell you to do. All the ship’s services are closed during the drill anyway, and for us it was kind of fun (“hey, we’re doing this again!!!”) We weren’t platinum during that sailing, so I can’t speak to whether you get a laundry bag on both legs, but it’s very possible—we got a bottle of the sparkling wine on both legs, and that’s a Latitudes perk, so that means other Latitudes perks might repeat for both. We did have to get off the ship. We were given a sticker that said something along the lines of “still on vacation”. We could have gone to a small room where we could wait to re-board once the ship was cleared by customs, but we chose to spend the day in Miami Beach.
  13. Dropping what exactly? It’s a cruise ship, people are generally pretty well-behaved—it isn’t Lord of the Flies out there. I think you’re worrying too much. 🤣 Go enjoy your vacation! We had an aft balcony one time and it was gigantic, covered, and spectacular. Never did a large on the side of the ship. Motion tends to be less on lower decks, but go to the pharmacy and pack some Bonine if you’re worried about it—people swear by it here. I’ve never had a problem with motion sickness.
  14. We won a bid for a non-Haven 2BR suite on the Gem, and it was awesome. Pricing on the Haven 2BR suite was a lot more—and really, the regular suite got most of the perks anyway. To my recollection, the only thing that the Haven suite had that we didn’t was Courtyard access. I’d save the Haven for a bigger ship, like the Escape or Bliss, and do a regular suite on the Gem. Others are correct that the second bedroom is small—it actually looks similar to an Inside cabin would on the Gem, if you’ve ever been in one of those. I would venture a guess that two early-twenties adults would be fine in it, provided they aren’t NBA players. Your 6-year old could bunk in with you in the main bedroom (though the beds don’t separate), or the couch in the living room could be made up as a bed as well. She could also go in the second bedroom in the pullman bed, though that might be a bit cramped. Having the living room and suite perks is awesome. When you swipe your keycard to get in the “front door” of the suite, there are two more doors in there with keycard readers: the second bedroom, and then the living room. So you can close off the different areas of the suite. There’s also a slider between the living room and the main bedroom. I would imagine that 3 adults and 1 child could be comfortable there.
  15. Thunderstorms according to whom? Your phone’s weather widget will probably just show you thunderstorms every day. Don’t buy it. Go to the Bermuda Weather Service: http://www.weather.bm They’re the best source for Bermuda weather. You’ll notice that they don’t predict more than 4 days ahead, because going further out would be more like a guess than a prediction for Bermuda. If you’re leaving on a Sunday, check weather.bm on the day you leave, and then you’ll get a feel for what it’ll be like.
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