Tuesday, December 27, 2016

NCL Escape - Day 5 (Tortola, British Virgin Islands)

NCL Escape - Day 5
(Tortola, British Virgin Islands)

PLEASE NOTE: This review has nothing to do with Maraloha Travel. This cruise was for the purpose of the Reunion Cruise Group that I do every year in dedication and heavy advocacy for Travel Agents. It is also for purposes of giving insight to cruising and my personal experiences. Call your travel agent for more information about experiencing your first or future cruise.

So here it is... Day 5 of our cruise and we hit Tortola early in the morning and really not much to do here.  They did spruce up the shopping area, but not by much.  This would have been an ideal time to do a shore excursion, for instance, dolphin swim, snorkeling, or sea lion encounter.  However, we did not do that.  We made it a pretty leisurely day and went to the old market down the block, visited the new shopping facility, and got on board early.  I even got my head wrapped in the shroud by the locals.  Her name was Beverly and she was a sweetheart and pleasant to talk with.  Always happy and fun to be around.  I actually enjoyed that.  Pretty relaxing and not so much pressure or stress to deal with.  


  

As we ate lunch, we watched the ship sail away for another day at sea.  Back at our cabin, another delightful treat from Sean and then we joined Amy and Robert on our balcony's to check out the scenery as we left Tortola.









  

Such a beautiful sight!  

Tonight was pretty relaxing.  The only event going on was the 80's party at Spice H2O.  Been there, done that.. but it was nice to hear our favorite music again.  


 









So tomorrow is another day at sea and then Nassau, Bahamas! 

Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  

Tune in for day six of the 5th Annual NCL Reunion cruise on Norwegian Escape!


#dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #cruises, #vacation, #fun, #NCLEscape, #Reunioncruises

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

NCL Escape 2016 Freestyle Daily Schedule & Other Useful Documents/Links

NCL Escape
Freestyle Daily Schedule
Day 1  thru Day 7
December 3, 2015 - December 10, 2015

Click on the link to get the schedule
Please remember that schedules are subject to change on a daily basis. However, this is the most current schedule thus far.

Day 1 Schedule - December 3, 2015
Day 2 Schedule - December 4, 2015
Day 3 Schedule - December 5, 2015
Day 4 Schedule - December 6, 2015
Day 5 Schedule - December 7, 2015
Day 6 Schedule - December 8, 2015
Day 7 Schedule - December 9, 2015

Here are some other useful documents and links that has a lot of information.  I did post restaurant and bar menus from my previous cruise on this ship in 2015 along with the destination port maps and tons more.  Just click below. 

·       Mandara Spa
·       Shore Excursion Form (St. Thomas, Tortola & Nassau)
















































Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  

#dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #cruises, #vacation, #fun, #NCLEscape, #Reunioncruises

NCL Escape - Day 4 - St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

NCL Escape - Day 4
(St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands)

PLEASE NOTE: This review has nothing to do with Maraloha Travel. This cruise was for the purpose of the Reunion Cruise Group that I do every year in dedication and heavy advocacy for Travel Agents. It is also for purposes of giving insight to cruising and my personal experiences. Call your travel agent for more information about experiencing your first or future cruise.


Here we are!  Arriving in St. Thomas at 8AM and getting excited to get off the ship.  Just a beautiful view of all the other yachts in the ocean and enjoying the warmth of the air.  So yesterday, we signed up for this tour ($39 per person) to take us on a boat to go shopping downtown, breakfast and champagne toast.  Bad idea!  Don't do it.  Waist of money as we got on the boat, met with two representatives (one from Diamonds International and one from John Hardy), got downtown, went into Diamonds International, had a champagne toast and NO breakfast.  What a sham!  Never again.  We could have taken a taxi, paid less, and went shopping on our own.  I should have figured that out but I wanted JC to get some kind of experience because last year was a nightmare.


Onward now to see if I can get a piece of Marahlago Jewelry, one of my favorite designers.  Not really any discounts except for no sales tax and duty free.  Tried a few Tanzanite pieces, and of course could not afford it.  However, I did get my Larimar piece!  So worth it and a great investment.


Next, we went down to the straw market, just like last year to see if we could find any little "chachkas" as we call it, for the loved ones at home.  Found some good trinkets, magnets and a hat for a good bargain price and headed back to the ship.  We were both here last year and didn't want to spend all of our time shopping, plus tight on money.  




  


Back onboard, we went back to our cabin to get ready for dinner as we were invited to join Tony's family at Cagney's for his birthday celebration!  The food was ok as it was quite salty for my taste.  I don't remember the last time I was here that they cooked with so much salt, however, the steak was good, salad was good, and could not even have dessert (took it back to the cabin) as we were all stuffed.  We did a little ditty for Tony's birthday and his family are great people.  We really enjoyed it.

Great end to another perfect day.  Next up, tomorrow is Tortola, British Virgin Island.


Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  

Tune in for day five of the 5th Annual NCL Reunion cruise on Norwegian Escape!  Can you believe we only have two more days!  WOW! Time flies!


#dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #cruises, #vacation, #fun, #NCLEscape, #Reunioncruises




Tuesday, December 20, 2016

NCL Escape - Day 3 (Sea Day)

NCL Escape - Day 3
(Sea Day)

PLEASE NOTE: This review has nothing to do with Maraloha Travel. This cruise was for the purpose of the Reunion Cruise Group that I do every year in dedication and heavy advocacy for Travel Agents. It is also for purposes of giving insight to cruising and my personal experiences. Call your travel agent for more information about experiencing your first or future cruise.

Another day at sea and plenty to do onboard. Today, our Reunion Group had several exciting activities going on.  First up was the Q & A Session with the Ship's officers:

    

(From Left To Right: Sean - Hotel Director, Tyler, Cruise Director, Martin - Food & Beverage Director, Jose - Beverage Manager, Errol - Assistant Hotel Director, and Ronney - Executive Housekeeper) (Last picture read right to left)

The TA's really enjoyed this.  They felt that it was very interactive and more of a one-on-one session with the ship's officers that passengers would normally not be able to attend.  Lots of questions were asked and answered and overall we were very pleased that these officers were able to spend their time to meet with us.  After the Q & A Session was over, the TA's and I stayed a while to talk, mingle, and juggling ideas, sales tips and more at each other along with reviewing the rest of the schedule for our group.  

JC and I left as we had made plans to take some professional shots with Perspectives Photography Studio on board.  I always wanted to do this but never had any idea what it actually entailed.  I should have found out BEFORE we took these pictures but that was the catch.  I will explain later.  So we got to the studio and met with one of the photographers.  We were told that we could take pictures anywhere, on a beach, outside the ship, casual, dressed up--however we wanted.  So we had decided to do some pictures outside the ship and dressed up.  First, we went to the upper deck in the back of the ship to take some shots of JC and I near the water, etc.  After the wind was not cooperating well with our long hair, 45 minutes to be exact, we went back to the studio and decided to do more photos in two days.  We did try to do them earlier but there was so much going on the ship that we didn't want to miss certain shows or activities.   Two days later, we come back, take pictures in our evening attire and then later that evening we were able to view all the pictures (78 to be exact).

HERE IS THE CATCH:  Mind you even though there was no sitting fee, we were told that the MINIMUM package price was $399, $299 for me since I spoke to them the first day of the cruise.  Now, I don't mind that as I was willing to spend it.  However, the smallest package was for only ONE picture, split on three canvas'!  The next was five canvas' for 5 pictures (one for each) but $1,200!! Whoa!!! Geez!  I almost fell out of the couch!  So then we said what about the flash drive?  Can we just pay for the pictures on a flash drive?  They said it would cost $1,000!! Damn!  That was way out of my budget and I was not going to spend it.  They even tried to sell me the 5 canvas pictures with the flash drive for $1,400 and she was giving me a 20% discount which was included in that price.  NO WAY!   Pictures were nice but I was not going to spend it.  So, lesson learned on this one!

Onward now to the Library to meet with Tony and the other TA'S for the infamous Scavenger Hunt!  We had the entire group attend and this time everyone did the scavenger hunt individually instead of in groups like the past.  Tony explained the rules and off they went!  So as the TA's scurried around the ship for the hunt, Tony, JC and I all went to Spice H2O to wait for the first 3 TA's to come back with the right answer to the hunt.  So the winners were as follows with prizes:

1st Place - Linda Starkey
Prize: $100 OBC and Bottle of Wine from NCL and an NCL beach bag from me

2nd Place - Robin Cameron
Prize: $50 OBC and bottle of wine from NCL and an NCL jacket from me

3rd Place - Wanda Soares
Prize: $25 OBC and bottle of wine from NCL and an NCL jacket from me


Back at the cabin, JC and I had a few surprises!  First we had chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us along with and invite for an intimate dinner at the Haven Restaurant for our Anniversary courtesy of the Hotel Director!! Besides the dinner, the wine we had was also included which would normally not be on the ultimate beverage package.  Gotta love that!

  

  

 It was really wonderful to have a great anniversary dinner with my sweetheart and relax.  We really liked the food, the wine, and of course the dessert.  

    

After dinner, we had the opportunity to visit inside the Haven itself and take some really nice photos.

  


  

Another end to a perfect day at sea.  Tomorrow is our first port of call - St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  


Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  

Tune in for day four of the 5th Annual NCL Reunion cruise on Norwegian Escape!



#dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #cruises, #vacation, #fun, #NCLEscape, #Reunioncruises

Thursday, December 15, 2016

NCL Escape - Day 2 (Sea Day)

NCL Escape - Day 2
(Sea Day)

PLEASE NOTE: This review has nothing to do with Maraloha Travel. This cruise was for the purpose of the Reunion Cruise Group that I do every year in dedication and heavy advocacy for Travel Agents. It is also for purposes of giving insight to cruising and my personal experiences. Call your travel agent for more information about experiencing your first or future cruise.

Another day at sea and of course, a full schedule of things to do on the Freestyle Daily.  We really wanted to be able to relax a little so we decided to sleep in.  At around 11AM we went to visit Sean  (Hotel Director) at Guest Services to give him a gift that we had gotten him as a thank you for taking care of us, our group and my clients who sail on NCL Escape.  It was nice to chat with him again and discuss business of course.  


A little hungry at this point, we go to O'Sheehan's for a little snack.  My favorite is always the salad and warm artichoke/spinach dip.  YUMMY!!  JC had the wings as they were the safest for his diet and of course chased it down with a Strongbow (compliments of the free beverage package).  Then we stayed there and played Deal or No Deal.  Interesting game, expensive at $20 a card, but lots of fun.  The best seat in the house is at O'Sheehan's.  You can see everything below in the Atrium and not have to constantly look over people's heads if you were down in the Atrium sitting or standing, playing the game.


This evening at 6PM was the group Cocktail party so we decided to head to the cabin to get ready. When we arrive at the cabin, we get an invite to the Captain's party at the Haven and a little gift from Sean.  I have to say that it is always nice getting a little something to nosh on or a little drink here and there before we have to go somewhere.  For JC and I, it was very romantic.  


Down to the 5'Oclock Somewhere Bar we meet up with several Travel Agents from our group to have a cocktail or two and head to the Haven for the Captain's party.  The Haven is definitely a must see when on this ship or any of NCL's ships.  Its gorgeous, luxurious, and peaceful.  I love being there and being able to see the rooms and the private areas that only Haven guests have access to.  It was nice to meet the Captain, First Officer, Human Resources Director and the Cruise Director and chat with them on a more personal level rather than a guest level.    

   

Highlights of the Captains Party:

   

After chatting for several minutes we decided to head on out to see a comedy show at Headliners.    I must say that the comedian was hilarious!  The comedian was Clinton Jackson.  He has been touring all around the world and has been on many known TV shows and commercials.  If you get a chance and he is on the ship when you go, please see him.


After the show, JC wanted to walk around the ship and get an idea of where the fitness room was.  Even though it was closed, we were able just to see it and take some pictures. Yes, they do have a scale in case you want to keep a track of how much you lost or gained on your cruise! LOL!


So with another great day to the 5th Annual Reunion Cruise, tomorrow is another day at sea. More fun for our TA's!



Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  

Tune in for day three of the 5th Annual NCL Reunion cruise on Norwegian Escape!



#dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #cruises, #vacation, #fun, #NCLEscape, #Reunioncruises