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We are not affiliated with Norwegian Cruise Line nor are we compensated in any way to express our opinions or reviews. We are simply two people that love to cruise on Norwegian's beautiful ships.
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Does anyone else have issues with packing?  Especially a long cruise! Dave and I are fortunate enough to live close to NYC, so we don’t have to fly which gives us the privilege of packing a little heavier than most but I still have the “what to take” dilemma.  Obviously, the essentials like hair and body product,mouth hygiene, deodorant, etc.  I run into problems when it comes to clothing.  How much do I pack? Do I pack for 5 days or 7 days? What shoes do I take? How many dresses do I pack?  So many decisions to make.

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged or even have gone on a cruise.  Due to an illness that I won’t get into,  Dave and I were unable to cruise for a long period of time.  Thankfully, that is behind us and we are back on our regular cruising schedule.  How I’ve missed cruising.  We are beyond excited to be sailing out of NYC on a ship that we’ve yet to sail on.  Gem!

We’re embarking March 2nd for the 10 day Caribbean cruise and I can’t wait! I welcome the warmth of the sun since it’s a great big zero degrees outside with a ton of snow on the ground in our part of the world.

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It’s been so long since we’ve cruised, I almost forget what to pack. lol Is it overkill to pack 5 cans of Off?  Probably so, eh? 😀

 

Good! Then vote for them! Hurry because it ends soon! :)

http://www.cntraveler.com/vote/readers-choice-survey-2014

There’s a bunch of questions asking you where you’ve traveled.  Unless you have an hour to do a survey, I suggest just saying “none of the above” until they ask you if you’ve ever been on a cruise. :)

It was Nov 10th 2006, We were on our 15th anniversary cruise!  We had just finished up dinner and were coming back to our cabin to pop open that bottle of Merlot that a very good friend of ours gave us for our 10th anniversary.  We were storing it in a cabinet but apparently it wasn’t cool enough because it tasted horrible!  So we dumped the wine down the sink and saved the wine bottle! We had been talking about doing a message in a bottle for a long time, since our first cruise on a non NCL ship.   The seas were fairly calm, we had a huge balcony, an empty wine bottle…So..well…now would be the perfect time!  We must have sat there for what seemed like forever to think of what to write on the note.  I can’t remember if it were my idea or Dave’s but one of us came up with the idea to write the lyrics to  The Police’s ‘Message In A Bottle’ and so we took a sheet of that wonderful little NCL paper that they used to give you in the books with postcards and pens (remember those?) and Dave neatly wrote the lyrics to ‘Message In A Bottle’ and scribbled “The police”  or “Police” on the bottom, I can’t remember which.

We must have played the song 20 times to make sure the lyrics were correct.

Just a castaway
An island lost at sea
Another lonely day
With no one here but me
More loneliness
Than any man could bear
Rescue me before I fall into despair

A year has passed since I wrote my note
But I should have known this right from the start
Only hope can keep me together
Love can mend your life
But love can break your heart

Walked out this morning
Don’t believe what I saw
A hundred billion bottles
Washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone at being alone
A hundred billion casatways
Looking for a home

We left the chorus out of the song but I do believe at the end we put “I’ll send an SOS to the world. I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle”

Dave neatly rolled this paper up and shoved it into our Merlot wine bottle, popped the cork back in as tight as we could and tossed it as far away from the ship as possible.   We laughed hysterically at the thought of someone finding a message in a bottle with the lyrics to ‘Message In A Bottle.’

Well, YEARS have passed since we wrote our note. lol  Two nights ago for whatever reason Dave searched ‘lyrics to message in a bottle in a bottle” and found the following article:

http://staugustine.com/stories/013007/community_4347475.shtml

So to Marti Cole, if you ever see this blog post. I’m sorry that the letter wasn’t a lot older but how cool that you found our bottle! We were aboard the Norwegian Dawn coming back from Freeport, Bahamas on our way back to NYC.

Dave’s parents were confused about the tipping system so I thought I would try to explain tipping to those whom have never been on an NCL ship.

NCL charges you $12 a day per person for tips.  These tips are for everything EXCEPT bar staff and wait staff in specialty restaurants.  So there is no need to tip your waiter at the main dinning room (my in-laws thought they needed to do this).

Whenever you purchase an alcoholic drink or soda there is an automatic 15% gratuity added to the price. Some people will tip an extra buck per alcoholic drink and others don’t.  The choice is yours.

Specialty restaurants (paid restaurants): When they give you your receipt you will notice a note that a 15% gratuity was already included. Feel free to tip extra if you had a waiter that was extra special (Or something like that).  Dave and I always tip extra in the specialty restaurants, depending on the service anywhere from $10 to $20.  You don’t have to because after all, 15% was included in the price.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO TIP YOUR ROOM SERVICE DELIVERY PERSON! Dave and I tip them $2.00 per delivery.

Your wonderful cabin steward.  Even though they do get a slice of that $12 per day pie, they have to clean up after you.  We always tip them extra but this amount really depends on what you’re comfortable with.

In a nut shell, technically, you do not have to tip anyone extra.  However, these are hardworking folks that work 7 days a week with no days off.  You will always see them smiling, helping to make YOUR cruise memorable.

We’re back home from our fantastic cruise!  It was so nice to be back on Dawn, even though there are some new changes that we’re not fond of, she is still such a great ship.  We missed her!  I’m sorry that there were no post while onboard but the internet was so slow, it was impossible.

The new location of the spinnaker looks really nice.  IT SUCKS!  There is not even close to being enough seating, the chairs are swivel style but half of them have their backs away from the stage. So you have to swivel this heavy chair around only to find out that you still can’t see the stage.  Sad to see what happened to this once fantastic lounge!

The new location of the Blue Lagoon. Dave and I differ on this.  He likes the old Blue Lagoon location better and I the new.  I like that you are seated now instead of seating yourself and having to wait forever for a waiter to realize you were there when they were busy.

The shop.  The new location is actually very nice but my only complaint is that it’s hard to find someone at the registers.  All three times I was in the store, I had to hunt someone down to ring us up.

Our balcony: The cabin was beautiful! We unfortunately didn’t get to enjoy the balcony itself due to the overwhelming stench of cigarette smoke.  I almost think that our cabin and Dave’s parents cabin were the only two non-smokers on the deck.

The cabins have nice LCD TVs in them, I’m not sure of the size.  Maybe 24 inches?  We discovered that you can’t change the inputs, so don’t bother bringing the kids video games.

The new card swiping system.  I’m not a fan! We had to wait for 20 minutes to embark because some people can’t figure out how to stick their cards in the slot properly.   Don’t even get me started on disembarkation. lol

So, a few things we didn’t like but overall the ship is still FANTASTIC and I’m glad that we were once again able to spend some time on beautiful Dawn.

In just two short days we’ll be heading down to Florida to take a cruise on Dawn for our first time since she’s been refurbished.  We are both excited and can’t wait to get lots of pictures!  We are also taking Dave’s parents on their first real cruise.  :::crossing our fingers that they will have a great time:::

Again, the hardest part about leaving is leaving the fur babies. I’m going to miss them.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been effected by this superstorm. We are heartbroken to see all the devastation.

Update: This video was removed by user =(

 

 

If you’ve recently been on a cruise and have been wondering about Lobster Night, I have the scoop for you!

Lobster Night is now on the first night of the cruise.  Yes, the first night!

Now, before you go and blow your stack.  Lets look at it from NCL’s point of view.  Cruise lines lose a lot of revenue and with rising fuel cost, they are trying to make cuts so they don’t have to pass these cost on to their customers.  Lobster is thee most expensive item on the menu and by not having to order so much, they are saving a lot of money.  A majority of people eat during the sail away party or eat in the buffet that night.

I know it’s a kind of cheesy thing to do but I’d rather eat Lobster on the first night than pay an extra hundred or two for our cruise. :)

 

So what do we take away from this post?  GO TO THE RESTAURANT ON THE FIRST NIGHT! *giggles*

Happy Sailing, everyone!