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Semi-Live Norwegian Joy to Bermuda - Norfolk, VA - May 8, 2022


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Getting an early jump on our next NCL in the morning, embarkation at MCT, Pier 88.  Booked a prepaid Carmel car service ride again for our transfer in a "luxury sedan" for 3 passengers & 3 pc. of luggage (hand/small cabin bags do not count) from N.E. Queens (past LGA airport) to MCT for an all inclusive fare of $72, tips - tolls - congestion surcharges, etc.  A quick ride across the Bronx on I-95 (CBE) & south on the Henry Hudson Pkwy, direct to cruise terminal in less than 30 minutes. 

 

Check-in time is between 10 - 10:30 am - DW and myself plus a SIL in our cabin, checking 3 bags with the porter plus smaller carry-on with the essentials.  eDocs, Antigen Rapid (negative) test results ** and Bermuda Green Travel Authorization issued, printed plus digital backup.  A 2nd. cabin with 3 more, seniors in tow (Platinum & Gold) across the hallway from us (slightly different layout) and they have the same check-in time, arriving separately - linked reservations in the system, not that it matter. 

 

Cruise Norwegian App installed & updated on our Androids (12.0 stock OS) dual sim (T-Mo & Google Fi for 4G int'l data) plus a backup iPhone 2020 SE, also configured for dual e/sim ... Google Fi for 4G int'l data)  BTC is the partner carrier in Bermuda with good 4G services, no 5G on the islands, yet.  Onboard, NCL's satellite WiFi is the only choice - thus, always a question of whether it's truly reliable, functional and adequate to sustain "live" reporting and blogging at sea.  

 

** It is not necessary to use the "preferred" or recommended testing partners by NCL, here in NYC - RRT is one of the numerous labs that generate clinical reports acceptable (Quest Lab is another) - not just for airline travel, for cruising and for Bermuda's Green TA use.  For the 2nd. time within the last 2 months, we took advantage of the free testing at a mobile location near us, once registered with an account via a QR code link there, with a smart/i/Phone - it's quick & easy.  The typical Rapid Antigen report issued is below, edited for biographical details.  Ditto for using one of the many proctored or supervised home testing options.

 


 

 

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Posted (edited)

Among the answers that we 👴 are (and a few of you 😉 ) looking for, is how well does Priority Embarkation and/or check-in works at MCT ... we did it recently cruising on the Getaway and it was smooth & quick, simply invoking & asking about where being Latitudes Sapphire - it was a little confusing but it worked then. 

 

We booked 2 of these not for the extra perks and knowing full well for what's (likely) excluded and/or no longer provided, discontinued and changed - we simply wanted the extra space, extra bathroom and it is just forward of the Fwd elevators (not exactly true mid-ship but close & easy to access the stairs) - Deck 10 is what we chose, could've been Deck 13 ... Deck 14's location being too far forward & a bit higher.  We declined the 50% off "sales" pitch to bid up to Haven - less space & costing more, no thanks.  

 

This time, I contacted the Pre-cruise Concierge desk as we booked last minute & wanted to confirm 2 Specialty Dinners for all 6 of us - will know how well that worked out once we get onboard.

 

Let's see how this week go for us, come for a virtual cruise, and feel free to comment & ask, if we can help find something out - best efforts to do so.  Highlights, alerts & important tips will be posted as appropriate - time to roll ... 

 

Mrs. M and SIL (slept over) excited & woke up extra earlier ... relaxing now, finished morning coffee - a matter of waiting for car service pickup shortly.  Hope we can bring a smile or two, and ...

 

Happy Mother's Day to all, BTW - mking8288 / Henry 

 

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Link to some of the questions posed yesterday - regarding the Joy & Bermuda TA, and the latest "update" emailed from NCL -

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2850492-mct-and-mking8288/#comment-63168825

 

 

Edited by mking8288
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Thanks for posting. We'll be onboard starting 12 June in a similar room, an SC category suite. Looking forward to hearing all about your experiences, particularly your experiences with the Concierge "services".

 

It's my understanding that if you elect to stay onboard during the Norfolk stop, you do not have to be re-tested to meet the Bermuda requirement, can you confirm that? The requirement for a second test is still in the "official" Bermuda requirements but I've seen many comments that the requirement is waived if you stay on board, I'm curious as to how this managed by NCL.

 

Have a great trip...

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As of 2 days ago, with most of the "Upgrade Advantage" bids processed and done, I recounted one of the key cabin (sub) categories - balconies available/unsold - approximately 200 of them in assorted decks, forward & aft and mid-ship ... and in a few sections, practically entire corridor "vacant" - should be interesting to find out the headcount / occupancy #'s onboard this week (really, as given ... ) 

 

All of the SC cabins are gone, except for 1 ... from what I tracked, half of them - likely - from the upgrades.  The acknowledgement from the Pre-Cruise Concierge Desk this week - 

Thank you for your inquiry. We have sent your request for dining directly to the ship and it will be confirmed once you are onboard with Concierge. You will not see the request on your end as its sent internally. Please speak to the maitre' d in regards seating as we cannot guarantee seating. If you have any further questions feel free to let us know. 

At your service,
Norwegian Concierge Desk
P: +1 855-625-4283
NorwegianConciergeDesk@ncl.com | www.ncl.com
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
7665 Corporate Center Drive | Miami FL 33126

Haven Email template pic

 

 

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Norfolk is expecting moderate flooding over the next few days and will likely close the flood walls downtown.  That might impact your Norfolk stop tomorrow.

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Posted (edited)

Our ride is here, it's a Toyota minivan, free upgrade from a sedan. Off to a good start.

 

MVA (motor vehicle accident) delays on the West Side Hwy, plan B - RFK Bridge & crosstown via Harlem, then southbound to Pier 88. 

 

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Edited by mking8288
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Enjoy your cruise.

 

Just a note, Google Fi also uses Tmobile, so having a dual SIM phone with Tmobile and Google Fi is kind of redundant. I dual SIM Verizon and Google Fi. Normally, Google Fi is my primary for voice and SMS (preferred number) and Verizon for data (unlimited), but had to remember to switch when I got to Bermuda.

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There is a USCG inspection & drill, delayed boarding for all. 10:45 am and we're thru the entire check-in, different than the Getaway, with documents checked first after going thru security screening, there's really no priority except for Haven & accessible. Not sure if I like this new setup, given Zone or Group #15.

 

Luckily, I saw the Platinum lounge & took the group inside. 

Check-in for all are in the back or far end of the building, a long walk if you have lots of unchecked & heavy luggage. 

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Following closely since we will be on same itinerary on the new Prima in May 2023. Anxious to hear about the Norfolk stop. Still puzzled as to why Norfolk?

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Posted (edited)

Looks like the inspections are done, ship security getting ready for early boarding groups.  Escorts & Haven team coming down into the terminal to ...

 

We are skipping Norfolk, VA - 2 full sea days. 

 

BTW, cruise terminal now has free, open WiFi.

 

 

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Edited by mking8288
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12 minutes ago, mking8288 said:

We are skipping Norfolk, VA - 2 full sea days. 

That will be welcome news to many, I'm sure.  Certainly eases any tension surrounding additional testing protocols.  

Get on that ship and have fun!!!!!!!!

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47 minutes ago, mking8288 said:

There is a USCG inspection & drill, delayed boarding for all. 10:45 am and we're thru the entire check-in, different than the Getaway, with documents checked first after going thru security screening, there's really no priority except for Haven & accessible. Not sure if I like this new setup, given Zone or Group #15.

 

Luckily, I saw the Platinum lounge & took the group inside. 

 

Check-in for all are in the back or far end of the building, a long walk if you have lots of unchecked & heavy luggage. 

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Thank you for reporting back on the check in/embarkation process.   Sorry to hear they are not acknowledging the non Haven suites as priority.   Those guests are suppose to board right after the Haven guests.  

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Just got off the Joy today, since you are not stopping now in Norfolk due to the weather for future cruises that stop in Norfolk, if you do not get off you do not need to be retested, see official letter from my cruise attached, if you do get off after 5pm Monday evening right across from the card room they had a private meeting room set up doing testing for those that required it.  Enjoy the Joy, great ship wonderful crew, and not too crowded.

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2 hours ago, mking8288 said:

We are skipping Norfolk, VA - 2 full sea days.

 

Did they say if this is because of the storm coming up the coast? Heading straight to Bermuda would be a much smoother ride than sailing into gale force winds down the coast to Virginia.

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3 hours ago, mking8288 said:

Luckily, I saw the Platinum lounge & took the group inside. 

 

 

There is a Platinum Lounge at the MCT?  First time being Platinum when we cruise this summer

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Bummer, no BTS tours, no Dine with Officers or Wine Tasting, but going stop there to get a gift - likely OBC, plus another Sapphire pin, gave mine away from last month. 

 

Lunch at The Local, food was good but service chaotic with the rush. Stopped at Joy Theater to check in for our Muster drill station. Will find out whether shows are on or not ...

 

Upgraded to unlimited basic WiFi, $110 for the 7 nights, credited $100 for my 150 free minutes. Not stopping at Norfolk, might as well get this to stay connected.  Cisco WiFi router right in our living room, nice - that should do it. 

 

Patrick Berido is the concierge for these suites. 

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