Posted November 29th, 2016, 12:42 AM
On my transatlantic on the Epic I had booked LeBistro and was taking a new friend. However, on the day my stomach was giving me fits so I cancelled.
I called a few days later to book again and was told that LeBistro was booked for the remainder of the cruise. Now this was a 13 day cruise and we had only been on the ship about 6 or 7 days. I looked at my letter and it said LaCuchina could be used so I was able to book that. I told the rep that it was ridiculous that I could not use a Platinum benefit at this point in the cruise (before I knew about LaCuchina) but she was inflexible.
I would have taken this higher but decided to just book LaCuchina. I really, really hate the reservation thing on NCL for the shows especially. I had the dinner package and it is so hard to get reservations for dinner and a show that work together. I did the standby a couple of times for shows and it actually works better I think.
I just don't understand partly empty restaurants that have no reservations. I guess they just don't have the staff but that makes no sense to me. They "give" you the packages as a perk then make them very hard to use.
I used to be an an NCL cheerleader but not so much anymore. Some of the staff look so worn out and you see them at the start of the day and still at the end of the day. Most always with a smile on their faces, but still I feel for them. My room stewart was a gem but I could tell that by the end of the 13 day cruise he was just not as perky as before.
Anyway, I will continue to cruise NCL with 28 cruises thus far but I have less enthusiasm for the "extra" things to spend money on.
I couldn't have said it better. I was "somewhat" of a cheerleader, but with all the recent changes and now being able to get the free packages...things are just too crowded at the bar, crowded at restaurants, sucking up the internet....the list goes on. It use to be a special occasion to get the perks, now it's an every day thing. I have less enthusiasm as well. This is why I have been enjoying breaks and going on Carnival. It's a nice change for us and I am really enjoying them. I almost 99.9% I will cruise with them next. So sure that I purchased some gift cards with Verizon today...just to use as a deposit when I decide to book.
I LOVE the peacock mermaid tail you got for Sakari! Did it come with a matching top like her other tails? It's really beautiful!
Here's the 411 on Richard Branson and Necker Island:
Richard Branson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Branson
Necker Island: http://www.virginlimitededition.com/en/necker-island
The Necker Island website makes me want to go back to the Caribbean!
Kim, I think your feelings about The Baths were colored by the behavior of others which was...distracting, to say the least. When we were there, the other visitors were helpful and kind - even to people who were going the opposite way. It was such a completely different experience than yours. All I can say is think about what you saw and experienced and decide for yourself if you want to try this again or not. I imagine it is like most places where you can go 100 times and have 100 completely different experiences.
I did not check into the top/bottoms. I honestly don't really care for their "style" in bathing suits (you by them as a suit, not just top). They have the tie strings at the top and bottom versus the clasp hooks and the way they are designed in the front is just weird as well. They kind gap in places and it's just not a good fit. I have bought 2 of them so far to match her tails, but I don't think I will buy anymore.
Kendra informed me that she bought Sakari 2 mermaid tails tonight...purple and pink ones. Oh boy...she's going to be busting at the seams with tails this Christmas. Courtney/Kolin had also said they were going to get her one too.
So this Neckler Island...did you check out the prices to stay???
Oh my. Did I understand right that you pass this place on the ferry? I swear I almost took a picture of something that looked like this building and then thought, nah...it's just a hotel.
I believe it was colored by others as well...but I'm still not convinced that it's the right place for me. I will probably give it another try in the future...ONLY when we don't have others with us and can enjoy it. I'm just not sure if it would be on the "next" cruise there. We are due to return in October...but I'm double thinking it.
Kim, great review as always. The Epic was the first ship that my wife and I ever cruised on, as newlyweds, and she hooked us on cruising. Seeing her again 5 years later brings back a lot of great memories.
I'll have to admit, reading your Baths experience brought back memories of a different sort. We were there this summer, and I booked a ship excursion for the first time ever, since we had a short (7 AM - 1 PM) port time, and I didn't want to chance missing the ship, but wanted to see the Baths. Everyone said how wonderful and beautiful it was, and that it couldn't be missed. I was really excited about it.
And so we get there...and it's hot as Hades, and it's crowded. The excursion turned out to be the same ferry you were on, with an unceremonious "Well, here you are, the entrance is over there, have fun." We, along with the rest of the world, journeyed down the stairs, got to the bottom, and it was...pretty? I guess?
The rock formations were kinda cool, but I feel like they were built up to be more than they really were.
The beach was pretty...small. It didn't help that there were wall-to-wall people, with even more swimming into shore from another excursion.
We snorkeled for a bit, and the snorkeling was good.
Then, we hit the caves, which were neat but harrowing, and it felt kind of rushed. There people were in front of us and behind us, and it was hardly roomy in there—even less so with our backpacks, and the amount of food we were both consuming onboard. None of my pictures really came out because of foggy lens syndrome, and in the few that did, we look hot, tired, and uncomfortable. Which we were.
I don't regret going, but I would not go back if I found myself in Tortola. The snorkeling was good, but I've gone to beaches with cool rock formations and better snorkeling—Tobacco Bay comes to mind.
Later on, I sort of questioned myself—was it just us, or were the Baths, ya know, not that great? Reading through your review, I couldn't help but have a bit of a wry smile. Maybe it wasn't just us.
Yes, that's what it reminded me of-Tobacco Bay and I loved that place. However, I didn't have to climb things either. I just don't know. I'm torn about this place. It's hard for me to get excited about going again and trying it out when I think back at the bad time we had. I just don't know.
You are probably the second or third person that I have read that really didn't "enjoy" the baths like everyone else does. You are not alone.
This has got to get better! Fun loving Kim, on her favorite ship, with her family, having a down day at a beach. I've read all your reviews and have never read this before. I'm sure this is going to get much better, it has to.
I'm going to post again when this review turns around some.
I know right? It's just not me.
Is there a cost for the trampoline and the spider climbing thing?
Nope, no charge if you can ever find them open...good luck.
Hi Kim, Great review as per usual, the Epic was my first cruise earlier this year and it gave me the bug! Am off to Dubai in January for my second cruise We are going on a lot smaller ship, only 1300ish passengers, so am interested to see how it compares to the Epic...
I am organising the meet and mingle/greet, Do you have any advice on this? Am only at the stage of getting people's names, who do I have to get in touch with pre cruise? Sorry for bombarding you but I have read every review of yours in the last 6 months, You are a legend! If you don't know about it, no one does
Thank you, Lorna.
I have been on much smaller ships and it's definitely a different "feel" to it. I like them as well. They just never seem as crowded to me.
Here's something to get you started: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1300907
Oh I don't know about knowing about things....I'm still a young grasshopper with a lot to learn. So many helpful people on these boards.
[quote-aztek] Yay, another Kim review!
Ahhh the joys of vacationing with family or others ... some days are gems and others, well, you wonder why you do it. Luckily those occasions aren't often, but, they do happen.
We have a rule; you do what you want, I'll do what I want if we both want to do it wonderful, if not, no hard feelings, go have fun! Even with that there still sometimes a few stressful moments. LOL usually my sister wanting me to do what she wants to do, which is shopping and no thank you! [/quote]
Yes....family....ah....ugh....sigh. They like to do me in that's for sure. The problem with my family, they don't know anything about the places we go and are not on here. So, they would be totally lost if they didn't come with me. I do usually give them a choice and do research and go over it with them (by them I mean the girls), then we pick. But, I guess you win some and you lose some. Oh well.
The issue with the restaurants is not the number of tables, it is staffing. This was explained to me by an officer I met on the Gem last year. He said if they fill all the tables service slows down so much people complain even more than usual about how long it takes for dinner. I booked all of my restaurants and shows at 90 days just to be safe. Sorry you had such a rough time Kim. Things have changed a lot since your first Epic cruise it seems.
Yea, I kinda assumed that was the deal, but not for sure. I figured they staggered the people coming in so that when they were seating the last bit of the restaurant, then the first half that sat down should be about ready to go.
I just find it SO HARD to book anything before cruising, let alone 90 days out. Heck, I don't know what I'm going to be in the mood for as early as that morning while on the ship. We eat at different times and different factors go into whether or not we would come back from a port and even feel like dressing up and going somewhere fancy. That's why I like freestyle, which isn't so free on the mega ships now.