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Everything posted by calex

  1. calex

    Did you visit the Ship Doctor?

    In May 2018, aboard the Jewel on a 20 day Trans-Pacific cruise I experienced a diverticulitis flare up causing me to be admitted to the Jewel's Medical Center Clinic five times for IV antibiotic treatment. I really got to know the two doctors from Columbia and the three nurses from the Philippines. My onboard account was charged over $10,000 for my treatment. I was responsible for paying this debt prior to leaving the ship. Once I was home, I submitted all my medical bills to my primary insurance who reimbursed me for the treatment less my standard co-pay for a visit to the ER in the USA. Once my primary insurance was completed, I submitted copies of the processed claim from my insurance company plus the medical records to my TRAVEL INSURANCE company and they reimbursed me the balance of my out of pocket expenses. In Japan, I was sent by ambulance from the ship to the hospital for a CT scan. In the ER, I was swarmed by flock of non-English speaking medical folks who poked and prodded me everywhere. Communication was done using a translation app on a phone. My visit included the ER visit, x-ray, CT scan, and meds resulting a total bill of $570 paid on my credit card. My primary insurance picked up this bill at 100%. I am lucky I purchased travel insurance for this adventure. I booked a Hawaii cruise for this Fall and I purchased travel insurance shortly thereafter (not from a travel agent). BTW, we signed up for the NCL Mastercard onboard and used it to pay the medical bill. We were able to acquire more than the 30,000 points needed to get a cabin upgrade from an OV to a Balcony on the Hawaii cruise.
  2. calex

    Best place to shop for hawaiian shirts

    I know all about being an Aloha shirt snob. Got a closet full of Hawaiian made Aloha shirts. In Honolulu, you may want to try the Iolani Store at 1234 Kona Street 2nd Floor -- https://iolani.com/pages/store If you are on Oahu on Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday, you could visit the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet where virtually anything is available. Here are a couple of good links: http://alohastadiumswapmeet.net/content/home.aspx https://www.wunderground.com/weather/us/or/albany/KORALBAN48
  3. calex

    Best place to shop for hawaiian shirts

    I would second this idea to check out the Thrift Stores in Oahu. The Goodwill store I stopped at had a rack full of 2XL+ Hawaiian shirts. I ended up buying four Hawaiian made 2XL shirts which were in like new condition Most authentic Hawaiian shirts have a pocket where the pattern matches the shirt pattern. Plus, the tag says made in Hawaii.
  4. NCL's Access Desk is now including this statement in their emails starting in the Fall of 2017: "Guests can obtain an extension cord at the Guest Services Desk. Guests are no longer allowed to bring extension cords and power strips on board." Checking NCL's Prohibited Items list at https://www.ncl.com/prohibited-items, neither extension cords or plug strips are listed. Not list either are Surge Protectors which are a known fire hazard onboard, and have not allowed for years. Has anyone in recent history (since September 2017) had a non-surge protected extension cord or plug strip confiscated during the boarding process or onboard?
  5. calex


    Much more likely to see Futball games onboard than Football games.
  6. Thanks for the feed back to date regarding this line, "Guests are no longer allowed to bring extension cords and power strips on board", that now appears in emails from NCL's Access Desk. This note will not keep me from bringing a 12' extension cord with my CPAP machine. It is a long way from the one 120V power outlet on the desk to the head of the bed in most staterooms. Plus, it will probably be needed at our pre and post cruise hotels.
  7. calex

    Tropical Storm Patricia

    Really glad not to be cruising the Mexican Riviera this year. With Hurricane Patricia at Category 5, the impact zone includes a lot of the cities we have visited aboard the Norwegian Star out of Los Angeles: Acapulco, Ixtapa, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazalan... this one is going to hurt a lot of people. Definitely pray for the safety of those this will affect.
  8. calex

    Wine Corkage Fee in Cabin?

    No need to bring distilled water for your CPAP, see this post: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=47364780&postcount=17 Chris
  9. calex

    Fly in same day?!

    Glad to hear all went well.
  10. calex

    Best value drinks without UBP

    Does anyone know if they still have happy hour pricing in the Star Bar (or equivalent) from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM? Last November on the Star, during happy hour, you could get 2 for 1 on Blue Moon Beer, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, and a couple of cocktails. You did not have to consume them in the bar, and you could ask the bar tender not to open them. I would order 4 beers, drink 1 or 2, and bring the others back to my cabin for later.
  11. calex

    Cabins and luggage?

    Sometimes the luggage will not appear in your cabin at all if the x-ray process indicates security needs to further inspect your luggage. Instead, a letter will be delivered to your stateroom instructing you to go to a location on the ship (Naughty Room) for a further inspection in your presence. Frequently, the x-ray shows a bottle in your suitcase that they need to verify it does not contain alcohol. If they find something you are not allowed to bring aboard, they will confiscate the item(s) and return it at the end of the cruise. On our Panama Canal cruise last November, my DW's suitcase did not show up in the cabin and she did not have any prohibited items in it. Around 3 PM she received a phone call indicating they recovered her suitcase from the bottom of Miami harbor after an incident where a luggage cart rolled off the pier. She was instructed to go to an area on deck 4 where they would inventory all items prior to the items being cleaned by the laundry. Although it was an unfortunate incident, we did not allow it to spoil our cruise.
  12. calex

    luggage tags

  13. calex

    luggage tags

    Sealing the luggage tag with clear shipping tape is a WISE idea, When my DW's suitcase was being loaded onto the NCL Star last November in Miami, the luggage cart and all the items on the cart sunk to the bottom of Miami harbor. NCL had divers recover everything. The only thing in, or on, her suitcase that did not get wet was the luggage tag sealed in shipping tape. Some unlucky passengers were further delayed when the ink on the luggage tag smeared when they got wet and could not be read. Granted, having your luggage dropped in the harbor is not a normal event (at least we hope it is not normal), but it can and has happened. From that lesson, I will always seal my luggage tags in shipping tape.
  14. calex

    Cpap question

    Both my DW and I used CPAPs on our Panama Canal Cruise last fall. All it took to request the distilled water was an email to accessdesk@ncl.com requesting it. Make sure you include your reservation number, ship name, date and port of embarkation, and cabin number. Within a couple days, I received the following: From: accessdesk@ncl.com [mailto:accessdesk@ncl.com] Subject: RE: Request for Distilled Water for CPAP Thank you for contacting the Access Desk. The information provided has been noted. Please be advised that ship has been advised to provide you both with distilled water for the machines for the duration of the cruise. Please contact the Access Officer on board if there any problems or you require additional water. The Access Officer can be reached through the Front Desk. We also recommend that you bring an extension cord at least 6ft. long, as the outlet may not be close enough to the bed and the ship only has a very small supply and cannot provide one. Have a wonderful cruise. Regards, Norwegian Cruise Line® 7665 Corporate Center Drive | Miami FL 33126 Freestyle Cruising® ncl.com Note the recommendation regarding an extension cord. We also found it convenient to have an electrical triplex outlet to increase the number of outlets needed to keep the camera, phones, and tablets charged.
  15. calex

    Is Jewel going into drydock?

    Wouldn't it be nice if they added a couple of Panama Canal cruises between Los Angeles and Miami during those 4 weeks aboard the Jewel? Especially now that they are in short supply and the unsatisfied demand for this trip after the Star was cancelled in April. Most likely a block of charter cruises with an entertainment theme will be marketed soon. Looks like you had a great trip on the Dawn's northbound reposition based on the 7354 posts on its roll call that nearly crashed Cruise Critic. Hoping the fun you experienced can be mirrored by us on the Southbound reposition in October... fearing they will need to work on the Dawn's Azipods like her sister the Star in April.
  16. calex

    Is Jewel going into drydock?

    You are correct. They are missing from NCL.COM; but still showing at other on-line travel sites.
  17. Geri, Bill, Harriet, and others... I know we are all on the same side wanting a quality vacation and the best value possible without the needless drama that infects some of these threads. No need for CLOWNS today - just an honest sharing of experiences about our favorite form of vacationing. Organizing a M&G has its rewards which is getting to know a like-minded group of individuals with a common purpose of enjoying a quality vacation cruise. If you keep this your focus in organizing a meet & greet, anything else that unexpectedly flows your way is gravy and should be accepted graciously. Chris
  18. Interesting observation... I recent heard a HD at a M&G answer the question 'why our group was not being offered a bridge tour?' was because of the prolific writers on CC, and other social sites, that got passengers on ships that normally did not offer the tours to demand it. The corporate line pushed back out of Miami was to be consistent fleet-wide and not offer the bridge tour. Some HD/Captains may personally keep some discretion to offer limited free tours counter to the corporate push. So, if you get the 'perk' think before you write too much and it is gone for everyone. Then the option for non-platinum latitude members is to pay for the tour or not take it at all.
  19. ... and we hope there is not a NEW DENT from her unscheduled visit to Bermuda. Welcome back girl, we all missed you...
  20. calex

    child prices for La Cucina?

    What is more interesting is that I pulled up three different versions on Friday of the Free Style Dining Guide when I searched NCL's website and they are all active and valid links. Which one do you believe? http://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/Dining-Guide-10032014.pdf http://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/Dining-Guide-10032014.pdf http://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/DiningGuide_041015.pdf Check my post on the other thread on this subject: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=46366345&postcount=7
  21. calex

    New fee on NCL

    This may be one of the problems NCL is having sharing information. They have multiple versions of the same document available on the NCL.com website. I have pulled up three different versions of the Free Style Dining Guide this afternoon. This is the version linked on the DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTS page for the Free Style Dining Guide. The section on SPECIALTY DINING FOR KIDS remains unchanged in this version. http://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/DiningGuide_042115.pdf
  22. calex

    New fee on NCL

    Before April 10, this was the Free Style Dining Guide: CHILDREN EAT FOR LESS Children 3-years old and younger always eat for free. In our specialty restaurants, children 4- to 12-years old can choose from a complimentary Kids’ Menu or from the restaurant’s Specialty Kids’ Menu for half price. Excludes dinner and a show dining events. http://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/Dining-Guide-10032014.pdf Now it reads: SPECIALTY DINING FOR KIDS In our Specialty Restaurants*, children 3 years old and younger always eat for free and kids 4-12 can choose from a complimentary Kids’ Menu. http://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/DiningGuide_041015.pdf Another example of NCL's thoroughness in communicating with its customers NOT.
  23. calex

    child prices for La Cucina?

    The link to the Dining Guide you provided is out of date. The current Dining Guide appears to have been updated on 4/10/2015. The phrase 'or from the restaurant’s Specialty Kids’ Menu for half price' appears to have been removed on the new version: http://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/DiningGuide_041015.pdf Previously, it read: CHILDREN EAT FOR LESS Children 3-years old and younger always eat for free. In our specialty restaurants, children 4- to 12-years old can choose from a complimentary Kids’ Menu or from the restaurant’s Specialty Kids’ Menu for half price. Excludes dinner and a show dining events. Now it reads: SPECIALTY DINING FOR KIDS In our Specialty Restaurants*, children 3 years old and younger always eat for free and kids 4-12 can choose from a complimentary Kids’ Menu.
  24. calex

    Will it ever happen...?

    Considering any ship used exclusively in the United States must be under a US flag and built in the US per the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886; and the next two Breakaway Plus ships under contract by NCL are being built by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany: Norwegian Escape (October 2015) and Norwegian Bliss (Spring 2017). The likelihood of another new ship being constructed in this decade in the USA for the Hawaiian market is less likely than the newly enacted room service convenience fee being phased out.
  25. calex

    child prices for La Cucina?

    I recall seeing the same post where they stated the policy was changed onboard and they had no advance notice children older than 3 years old were being charged the full adult price if they ordered off the specialty restaurant's menu. Don't know if this was a trial on one ship or if it is fleet wide now. Or if the OP misunderstood something... Maybe someone that has cruised in April 2015 and booked a specialty restaurant for their children could chime in with their experience?