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zactak

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About zactak

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    New York City
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Sint Maarten

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  1. Hi Ptroxx, welcome to CC! NCL is a great line. I've gone on two other NCL ships by myself and had great times.... I'm going on an Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Bliss next week. I'm sure you'll have a great time on the Joy and to Alaska. CC has roll calls, which connects you to others booked on your cruise and it looks like there's a couple of pages for your roll call!
  2. This is sound advice here. I'm going on the Bliss in May and got a bid email a month or so ago. We're in an inside cabin right now, but balconies are now only about $100 more than what we paid in August of last year. If I went through the bid process, and my bid was accepted, I'd be spending a lot more than what I would if I just called and upgraded normally.
  3. My point is there's no hardline policy that states it is 24-48 hours. Does it happen within that time frame? Certainly. Is it guaranteed that they will receive the offer to bid, if they're chosen, within 24-48 hours after booking if they're 80 days or under? No.
  4. You likely got an upgrade email so quickly because you booked your cruise close to the departure date. Cruises that depart later likely won't have a bid email that quickly after someone books. In my case, I booked my cruise 10 months before, and received a bid email six months later (my cruise is on May 26). It's also important to note that if you do receive a bid email, you probably won't get an immediate response if you choose to bid. You may not be notified if your bid was accepted until it gets closer to the time you sail.
  5. I board the NCL Bliss a week after you disembark from yours. I am doing the Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watching Photo Safari. It's through the cruise line, but is done by Gastineau. I prefer third party excursions, and when I went to Gastineau's website, it redirected me to the excursion on NCL's site (the site asked what cruise line I was going through when I checked availability). The excursion page on NCL says it's an "intimate group" and that seeing a whale is "guaranteed."I know Gastineau is highly regarded on here, which is one of the reasons why I first looked into them and was comfortable booking it.
  6. I was able to switch by calling. I switched from a dining package to an internet package (sounds weird, but I was finishing my bachelors degree around then and didn't know if I would be able to take a break for my vacation, and wanted that safety net).
  7. I did the western-bound TA from Barcelona to Port Canaveral on the Epic in 2016 and it was extremely smooth. The captain said it was one of the smoothest he has ever experienced. I was slightly bummed we didn't even have a little rocking.
  8. It's been a few years since I have been in the studio, and it was never on the Breakaway, so someone with more recent, and ship specific info if anything has changed from my experience. My experience is from the Epic in 2013, and I didn't have a studio, but stopped by the studio lounge on occasion during 2016. There was a bartender, but they were only around a little bit before the studio gathering in the evenings, and they left when most people cleared out after the gathering. I never saw a bartender there otherwise. I love solo traveling, and the studios with the studio gatherings are great! Have a good time!
  9. They don't open up all reservations online, so there are still time slots open. If you have specific restaurants or specific times you want to go to a specialty restaurant, then as NLH Arizona said, you will want to make reservations as soon as you can once you're on your ship. I haven't done too many specialty restaurants, but I've never had trouble calling a restaurant I want to eat at that same evening and getting in with either a small wait or seated immediately, sometimes that was with large groups too. That was on the Epic, so I don't know if the Bliss is any different. But, my method of calling that night isn't guaranteed, so you have to weigh if you're fine with potentially missing out or if you'd rather try and getting reservations once on board.
  10. I can't speak for the Escape, but I have stayed in a studio on the Epic, and there was an ice bucket that my room steward would fill in my studio room. The studios really are great spots for one person, so I am sure your daughter will love it.
  11. I just wanted to emphasize this. 48 hours before the port arrival time. I just booked an excursion last night for my cruise in May, and my documents stated this.
  12. I don't think david_sobe's intent was for the OP to look at different ships or itineraries, but rather to point out the problem with comparing the Summit and Escape by illustrating how ships around the same age and technology is a more accurate comparison.
  13. You're comparing a four year old ship with water parks and things with a ship that is 18 years old. A ship with a recent dry dock is rarely ever going to be on the same price level as a newer ship. What a person looks for in a ship/itinerary, the level of service, and the quality of food is pretty subjective. I was on the Celebrity Constellation years ago. I hated the environment, the service, and the food was just OK. I've almost always had great experience and food on NCL.
  14. I don't think it's an NCL thing. I think it can be really dependent on location, time of year, and the demographic of the passengers who are going on that specific cruise. Whenever I am considering cruises, I will check the roll call to see how active it is (the roll call doesn't effect my decision). There have been RCCL, Celebrity, and NCL cruises with less active roll calls, then I've had very active roll calls too. I'm going on an Alaskan cruise on the Bliss at the end of May, and my roll call is a bit slow too.
  15. I'm going on the Bliss with my cousin, who is a vegetarian, in May. So, I've been paying a bit more attention to food choices for this cruise. I'm rarely interested in specialty dining anyways, though. I'm not entirely sure, but I'd assume another option you might have is if there's a specialty restaurant your family is interested in that may not have as big of a selection for your daughter, you might be able to arrange for your daughter to have a dish from another restaurant, food from the MDR/buffet, or get a "special" dish with some advanced notice (like 24 hours) that wouldn't burden the kitchen too much. That way you wouldn't have to worry so much about limiting your daughter's choices while having to pay for that limitation (getting something at the specialty restaurant that she doesn't necessarily want), or limiting your own choices because of her dietary needs. What I said isn't based on any knowledge I have, but certainly something else you could look into.
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