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Joanne G.

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About Joanne G.

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    Wisconsin USA

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  1. I share the disappointment of everyone who has missed a port. In 20-some cruises in the Caribbean, plus one each in Hawaii and the Mediterranean, we never missed a port. Then, this past April, on a Princess cruise in Europe, we missed the first port of Zeebrugge in Belgium due to weather that delayed our departure from Southampton. Turning a port day into a sea day on a 7-day cruise in Europe was a huge disappointment. We had very much looked forward to a visit to Bruges. And a sea day in the North Sea isn't quite like a sea day in the Caribbean or the Med. But missing a port is something all cruisers on all cruise lines have to accept as a possibility, and the change may happen while you are board, as it did for us. Sometimes a land vacation is a better choice for a must-see destination. I booked an NCL mostly-British Isles cruise for next year, and the first stop is Zeebrugge. 😊
  2. Thank you for the tip. I will do that for sure. I haven't been on NCL for many years, and I am learning so much on this board.
  3. Is this likely to be true on other ships, such as the Star? That would make me very happy! ☕😄
  4. Does NCL offer the $20 a bag laundry deal on every ship, every sailing? I will be on a 14-day British Isles cruise on the Star, plus a couple land days, next spring. Figuring I will be needing heavier clothes for chilly, maybe rainy, weather, that sounds like a good deal. It's cheaper than paying a fee to the airline for an overweight bag. I understand no one can guarantee that it will be available on my particular cruise, but I hope for reports that it is pretty standard. Thanks.
  5. I have a black skirt like that, which can be dressy or casual depending on the top and the footwear. It’s great for travel. I came across some silicone shoe covers on Amazon that may be a good idea in a rainy climate. Now I am looking for quick drying socks. I can rinse out underwear and even a t-shirt in the bathroom sink, the athletic socks that I wear with my walking shoes take so long to dry. I can’t go along with Rick Steves’ suggestion to wear them more than one day. 😮 I am also looking for pants that are lighter weight than jeans. I may never get to the point of carry-on only, but even if I check a bag, the lighter it is the easier it will be to manage.
  6. Good luck! 😄 I will probably have to revise my packing procedures for my 26" checked bag for a 14-day cruise plus 3-days pre- and post cruise stay! And in the cool, possibly, rainy British Isles. Rain jacket, extra shoes in case a pair gets wet, etc.
  7. Thanks for clarifying. I see the difference between solos choosing to eat together and a cruise line assuming solos want to be together. The nice thing about NCL or the other cruise lines' versions of "freestyle" dining - if you have less-than pleasant table mates, it's only for one night. If you have great tablemates, you can make plans to be together again.
  8. 2 weeks in a 22" carryon is impressive to me! Maybe on a cruise, with laundry facilities or services, but on land? Maybe I need to rethink some of my packing procedures. I know many people can pack more efficiently than I do. (It did just occur to me that I probably wouldn't need formal/elegant wear (dress, shoes, evening purse) on a Rick Steves tour. Or bathing suits, cover-up and flip-flops. 😉)
  9. Dumped? I find that an odd word choice. My experience is that solos, couples, and families are equally likely to be interesting or boring or friendly or rude or exhibit any other human quality. That being said, as a solo, I would probably be more comfortable at a table of solos than, say, filling in the 6th seat with a family of 5, or being a 5th person at a table with 2 couples. I picked NCL for my upcoming solo cruise because of the itinerary, but I am pleased to find out that they appear to take a special interest in solo cruisers, especially for dinners. I may or may not take advantage of it, but I will appreciate the option if it is done on my cruise. As for the original question, I would agree with those who suggest the OP would be happier on a line with traditional dining, especially since their own dining experiences on NCL have not been to their liking. Or look at Anytime Dining on Princess - in my experience, a friend and I were put at bigger table without being asked. It appeared that unless you requested a table for two, the assumption was that you would be willing to share.
  10. "Best value" is definitely subjective. Like others on this thread, my next NCL cruise is as a solo. Best value for me is the $50 per port shore excursion. My cruise has 12 ports in unfamiliar cities in Europe, and the sights can be some distance from the ports. I feel more comfortable booking excursions with NCL rather than going off on my own, and that $50 credit is all mine, not shared with a cabin mate. Next best value for me is the internet time, because I like keeping in touch with friends and family. This is even more important as I will be solo on the cruise. Based on the rates for buying internet time without the perk, the 250 minutes appear to be worth $125.00. I will upgrade for more time when onboard. Specialty dining? Not for me. I would not use that for dining alone. I picked the beverage package as my 3rd perk. I was shocked at the amount of the tips on a 14 day cruise! But it works out to about the value of a couple drinks a day if I bought drinks individually. So, I will make use of it. (I was disappointed that it doesn't include specialty coffee or bottled water.)
  11. Thank you for the encouragement. Happy to hear you had a fabulous time. I absolutely would get my own room. His single supplement seems quite reasonable. I bet it would be a good idea to book early to be assured of single room.
  12. It's only because of Cruise Critic that I know how to use the $50 per port excursion credit - that I have to call the excursion desk and book over the phone rather than booking online. I am very happy to learn that I don't have to pay up front and then deal with a big onboard credit (I have a cruise with 12 ports) that I may not be able to use. I also learned to make sure I get the Latitudes discount price for excursions. These boards are great! Now, my question is how far in advance can this be done? I have read the information on what excursions NCL is likely to offer in the ports I will be visiting, but I don't see specific information on excursions for my cruise yet. It's not until May, but I enjoy advance planning.😉
  13. While I had the Hub app on our Sunrise cruise last month, I didn't use it enough to find out that we could reserve an Anytime Dining table with it. We did the odd routine of checking in on Deck 5 before heading to the dining room. But it really wasn't a problem, and we never had to wait in line to check in. We typically ate early, like around 6:00. Maybe there was a line later. Regarding the lack of trash bins, I read somewhere that the cruise lines follow strict procedures about how to dispose of the various types of trash - what can be recycled, what can be incinerated, what to do with food garbage, etc. Trash bins for passenger use would have everything tossed in together, requiring sorting at some point. It's my understanding it's easier on the crew to allow them to pick up cups, cans, bottles, cans, plates, etc. So, while it goes against my nature, I leave cups and glasses, even disposable ones, on a table in the nearest public area. I enjoyed your review, having just been on the Sunrise. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I have visited lovely Glasgow on a land vacation, and I will be there again next year on a British Isles cruise. Checking out excursions for that - leaning towards Stirling Castle.
  14. I recently paid $14.99 for one 5 x 7 on the Sunrise.
  15. Yes, I have checked out Rick Steves tours and am giving serious thought to one of his 7-day Paris trips. At first I was turned off by the apparent requirement for all of his tours for packing carry-on luggage only. I am well aware of all the tips for packing light, but that was still a turn off for me. Is that enforced? But then I got to thinking - his tours don’t include air, so no one is going to be at the airport checking out my luggage. And since the 7-day Paris tour doesn’t involve bus transport between cities, no one is going to be handling my luggage but me. So I figure I can check a bigger bag if that is my preference. I agree that his single supplement fee is reasonable, compared to the usual case for solo travel.
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