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Everything posted by LisaLisa87

  1. We visited Santorini on a cruise a few years ago and debated whether to book a tour or go out on our own. Since we didn't know when (or if) we'd be back, we opted for a private tour so we'd see as much as possible. We were very happy that we did. Our guide took us all over the island and was extremely informative. He took us straight to Oia so we'd beat the crowds. We visited both a red sand and a black sand beach, as well as a vineyard. He also took us to a little restaurant on the water that was off the beaten path, where we invited him to eat lunch with us. We finished off in Fira, where we shopped for a little while before getting in line for the cable car. It was an amazing day and worth every penny for the private tour (which cost 400 Euros + tip for five of us).
  2. Thanks @bookbabe. I read that thread, but there isn't much recent info. The OP also mentioned at one point that it appears NCL has changed the numbering for the villas.
  3. Hello! We just pushed out our FCC from April 2020 for (hopefully) the last time, to the March 5, 2022 Escape sailing. I was researching GSC and learned about the Silver Cove Villas -- not new info for many of you more seasoned NCL cruisers, but news to me! I have a few questions: 1. In the Planner, I'm seeing 3 different Lagoon Villas, but no Ocean (or Ocean View?) Villas. Are the Ocean Villas for Haven guests, or are there just none available for my sailing? 2. I called a few minutes ago to reserve one of the studio Lagoon Villas and apply my ShoreEx credit. I was expecting to pay the balance onboard, but I was told I'd have to pay now. Is that a policy change that I missed, or does it only apply to these villas? 3. Does anyone have a map with the villas numbered? Thanks in advance for any assistance!
  4. You can never go wrong by choosing Joy. 😉
  5. Thank you for the input, everyone! I decided to book the Escape. I would have liked to go to Harvest Caye, but everything else tipped in Escape's favor. Happy sailing!
  6. Yes! That's the embarkation date for both cruises we're considering. Funny coincidence!
  7. You were perfectly clear. I confused myself! 😂
  8. That's very helpful. Thank you! I'm leaning toward Escape at this point since we're not spa people. UNLESS we decide that this should be the cruise where we become spa people. 😁
  9. We really aren't spa people, although I have gotten a massage on a couple of cruises. We bought day passes to a thermal spa on another line once but weren't impressed. Maybe we just haven't encountered a really great spa??
  10. Thank you! Any cons for either ship?
  11. Thanks, Jamie! I give the edge to Escape based on your lists. I don't see us paying for the go karts or laser tag on Joy. The Observation Lounge looks great, though. And we do love a private island day...
  12. Hello! We're hoping to finally use my FCC from my April 2020 cruise and have narrowed our options down to the Escape or the Joy. Both are 5-night cruises and they're within $150 of each other, so cost is not a factor. I'd book a Club Balcony on either ship (there are 3 of us and the larger bathroom is a plus). The Escape sails from Orlando and stops at Cozumel and Costa Maya. The Joy sails from Miami and stops at Harvest Caye and Costa Maya. We've never been on either ship. We've been to Cozumel several times (and really like it) but have not been to either Costa Maya or Harvest Caye. We're moving to FL next week so we can drive to either port, and we'll be traveling with our 18-year old daughter. Which would you choose given our set of circumstances, and why? Thanks in advance for any input! I can't wait to be on a ship again!!
  13. Totally agree. We stayed in a 1BR ATS on Allure and the bathroom wasn’t nearly as nice. We were on deck 11 and both the room and balcony were larger than the ATSs on deck 12 and much larger than those on deck 14. We loved the ATS and would stay in one again in a heartbeat.
  14. DH and I love Dream Cruises and watch all the time. The episode about the Allure is one of my favorites. I set my DVR to record the Joy episode on Thursday. We’re booked on her in December and I thought it would be fun to get a good look at her. Sadly, the episode was about a river cruise boat called Joy. 😢
  15. Yes — We had a close call on the way to the house from the airport!
  16. I'm definitely losing some of my enthusiasm for cruising the longer this goes on. Initially, I was emotionally invested in using the FCC from our canceled April 2020 cruise as soon as possible. I applied the credit to a cruise in April 2021 but later decided to push it out to December 2021. I'm finding that, while it would stink to be out the money if NCL goes under, I just don't care as much as I did early on. The only other cruise we've booked is a DCL cruise in 2022, and only because it's a unique itinerary (for them). I'm not going to book anything else until things are more or less back to normal. In the meantime, we got a nice travel fix with a 7-day land trip to St. Thomas over Christmas. It was amazing, and I highly recommend the USVIs for anyone contemplating travel in the near future!
  17. We returned from a week on St. Thomas on Sunday. This was a 50th birthday trip for DH that had already been rescheduled twice, so we were determined to make it happen. The USVIs require a negative Covid test and screening via an online portal within 5 days of arrival. Once there, we picked up our rental car and headed off to our villa on the northside. We've visited the island 6 times while on cruises, but this was our first time staying there. We did a few of the things we've done while on cruises, like spending time at Magens Bay, shopping in Charlotte Amalie, and snorkeling via a power cat tour. We also did some new things, like taking the ferry to St. John (once via the car ferry and once via the passenger ferry), checking out some different beaches, and trying out some of the top restaurants. Beaches we visited: Magens, Sapphire, and Lindquist on St. Thomas; Honeymoon Beach on Water Island; Cinnamon and Trunk on St. John. The weather was great -- low to mid 80s during the day and mid 70s at night. Driving was an adventure since they drive on the left there, but DH mastered it by the second day. Everyone there took mask wearing while in public very seriously. It's clear that they want the islands to remain open for tourism. We chose restaurants with outside seating, and the two places where we ate dinner both did a great job spacing the tables out so we had plenty of room around us. We ate at Oceana in Frenchtown and Old Stone Farmhouse on the northside, and both were fantastic. We also had a private chef come to the house twice. He was great and his prices were reasonable, especially given the very generous portions. Happy to share that info if anyone is interested. We went to Charlotte Amalie to shop twice. The first time we went late in the day and most of the stores were closed. The second time we made a point to go earlier and we found that most stores were open. There were other people shopping, but nowhere near the numbers you'd see with cruise ships in port. Our snorkeling tour was with Seas the Day Charters. They took us to Buck Island to snorkel and then to Water Island where we anchored just off Honeymoon Beach. We were there long enough to enjoy lunch and a couple of adult beverages at Dinghy's. 😎 The tour was very well run, and the captain took mask wearing very seriously. We had to wear masks at all times except while eating or drinking or in the water. All in all, it was a fantastic getaway and I would highly recommend a land trip to the USVIs for anyone contemplating travel at this time. Being on St. Thomas really did give us a much needed cruise fix, and we'll certainly know our way around the next time we're there for a port day!
  18. We’ve only been on one cruise that was actually over Christmas, and that wasn’t even our primary reason for choosing that week! We were celebrating my 50th birthday on 12/23. We loved the decorations and festive atmosphere and had a great time. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but we may have just been unlucky. I found a great collapsible Christmas tree for our room.
  19. That’s what we did. We watched from the Aquatheater the first time and from our balcony (11730 on Allure) the second time. It was even cooler to watch the divers practicing from our balcony!
  20. If I can get this to work, the video I took when we were on Allure will answer some of your questions. The wow factor of the balcony was real. We spent a lot more time out there than we’ve spent on any other balcony we’ve had. We caught the AT show from there a couple of times and also got to see the divers practicing. The wake view was amazing. In one of the ports, someone yelled over from another ship and asked what kind of room we were in. 🙂 ETA: I'll try to post the video again later. I'm having issues with my privacy settings in Vimeo.
  21. We stayed in 11730 on Allure and LOVED it. The balcony and view were amazing. We liked being at the back of the ship. The walk to the elevators was no big deal and the big upside was that it was extremely quiet back there due to the lack of foot traffic. We’d stay in an ATS on deck 11 again in a heartbeat.
  22. I booked over the phone so I could ask questions. I got lucky and got a knowledgeable, patient rep. When I booked, NCL was running a 30% off promo. First, the 20% discount was taken off of the regular/rack rate cruise fare. Next the 30% off was applied. Then the port charges and Free at Sea service change were added, and finally our FCC was applied. We were booked on the Epic April 4-11, 2020 in a mini suite. We booked the same category (now with a *new, improved* name, LOL) on Encore for the same week next year. We did not put any additional cash down and will owe about $500 at final payment time (if the cruise sails). That’s offset by a $280 OBC, so the net cost is only about $300 more. I understand that cruise prices may go way down, but I’m fine with the way things currently stand. If prices do drop dramatically, we’ll upgrade to the Haven.
  23. I called on 3/6 to cancel DD’s beverage package and SDP and our upgrade to unlimited WiFi. I called the next day and canceled the Free at Sea promotions so I’d get the service charges/gratuities back. I was told I’d get all the refunds in 7-10 days. Exactly one week later, I got the refunds for DD’s bev package and SDP. I still haven’t received the other 2 refunds. I called a couple of days ago and got the same lame excuses everyone else has gotten. My refunds are “pending,“ but they can’t tell me how much longer it will be until they’re processed. I was told the amenities department handled the first two refunds and another department is handling the others, and that department is backed up because it’s the same one refunding people’s cruises. Not totally buying it since I called before any of that started. I’ll keep checking, but I have a feeling it’s going to be at least another few weeks.
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