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  #61 (permalink)  
Old May 2nd, 2010, 07:26 PM
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Well Wando...

I intentionally booked one of the Studio Staterooms just so I could get a feel for this.

Epic will be the first NCL ship (and practically the first mainstream ship in decades) to have specifically solo cabins.

The good thing is that you have a shared "living room" where you can order meals from room service.

I plan on just hanging around in there about dinner and just seeing if anyone wants to go dining with me.

In any case - Epic will be different from ALL previous ships for singles because it will be the first ship where you know where the singles are going to hang out and you will be able to connect with them at almost any time.
I will be very interested in what you think. I plan on going with an open mind and try not to let anything like that bother me too much. I do want to try some of the specialty restaurants and attend the Cirque Dreams dinner theatre. If the service is too bad as far as dining is concerned there is always the buffet and as you mentioned room service. Not sure about the ice bar yet, since I'm taking this trip to enjoy the warm weather and not to freeze, I can do that at home for free.

By the way it will be my first NCL cruise. Previously I've cruised on HAL, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 09:10 PM
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Cruznut....

I agree with everything you say about politeness for tablemates. Getting to know your tablemates is standard cruise ship protocol and is a part of traditional cruising.

Unfortunately, cruising is not nearly as traditional as it used to be and I think even the Maitre D's have decided that things have changed.

I have been in your shoes so I know exactly what you are saying, I also dislike dining alone.

Unfortunately I truly believe society has changed in the last ten years or so. I think the vast majority of people feel they are not responsible for other people - especially strangers (before the cruise) and they don't feel that just because you are tablemates it means they have any obligation to notify you of anything.

In a way, even I see the logic in that. I am not going to get dressed for dinner if I have just awakend from the kind of nap that leaves you groggy and feeling non-social. Often that is just 20 minutes before dinner.

So, unfortunately the single is more on her own now.

Honestly, I would recommend switching to line that has single cabins (Norwegian Epic) or Holland America which at least does still have a singles matching program and social hosts onboard.

Another line with single cabins is the new Voyages to Antiquity. No singles supplement.

Or, as I said, I would really think about switching to anytime dining, because that way you can walk in and ask to be seated at a table with other diners, and there is no relying on your assigned tablemates night after night.

I have been in your shoes, believe me. I was on an MSC ship where I was a solo American on a ship with only one other American (also a travel writer). He ended up being kind of a jerk, because we had agreed to meet for dinner every night until one night when I li terally got stuck in Mallorca and could not make it back to the ship. I called his cabin when I got back and left a message explaining what happened and apologized, but i think he decided to ignore me for the rest of the cruise after that because he claimed he never got any of my calls asking him to meet me for sunsequent dinners - so I was alone the rest of the cruise.

Until it happens to you - you don't realize how un-fun it is. That is why I seldom recommend to singles that they cruise alone. I have personally "been there" and didn't enjoy it.

I also meet single cruisers who want to cruise so badly they will make that leap of faith every time and believe they will make friends onboard. When it happens - great. But when it doesn't either you have to get used to plenty of quiet time or else it is a bummer.
Paul - unless you're a woman, you haven't been in my shoes. It's so much easier for men to be included than women.

As to NCL - I've been on the Norway 4 times and 2 other NCL ships and their new thing of "little" single rooms is not for me. I'm NOT LOOKING for other singles. I do NOT want to be matched with another single. I do NOT want to share my cabin with some one else. I like having my cabin alone. I CHOOSE to travel alone.

I CHOOSE Princess because they have Traditional Dining and it's a way of meeting other people (couples, not just singles).

I would find it awkward for me (being me) to go to Anytime Dining because basically I'm shy until I get to know people.

It's a sad state of affairs when people can't have the common courtesy of letting the wait staff (if not there fellow passengers) know that they will be on again/off again. If that's there attitude, then they are the people who should sign up for Anytime Dining giving them the option of skipping dinner because they're just tired or whatever.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 11:05 AM
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MY courtesy: Ship has docked or ready for tendering: Dufus and company come plowing through those standing in line....The other 500 people waiting must part and clear a path for them! NOPE...I am one of those folks that steps in front of them and (with a smile) point to the end of the line.

Sadly, the rude and ill mannered seem to get there way today....Except for those of us that think manners still count.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:14 PM
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I agree that going solo is a very different prospect for a woman. Lots of assumptions on the part of other people go with that. Including the one about being forced to travel alone as opposed to prefering it.

There is a distinction between the single traveler and the solo travler.

Also agree that traditional dining may be the best opportunity for the solo traveler to meet people.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:33 PM
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On our recent Eclipse cruise we were going to speciality restaurants three out of the four nights, having pre-booked. We, out of courtesy, went down to the MDR 1st day to tell them, waited in line behind people moaning about their tables etc, when it was our turn they just said ''yes sir, we know it's all on the system''. We were on a table for 8 but they only added ''our two'' to the end on the night we used the MDR, the other six didn't show up, the staff didn't know. Funny thing was we went TO the MDR BECAUSE it was a formal night I think the others did not for the same reason....narrow escape maybe.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old May 15th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
It's so much easier for men to be included than women.
I just couldn't disagree with this statement more. Women are considered non-threatening and social, while single men are considered to be predatory and interested in sex. On a ship full of married people the women won't talk to a single man because it is unseemly and the men have absolutely no interest in befriending you because they are there with their wifes.

My personal opinion is that if yoiu are going to travel as a single either you must be prepared to be ignored and excluded, or you have the kind of mentality where you just join up with people and not worry about whether you are intruding. Personally, I can tell when people don't seem to be interested in my presence and I don't insert myself into their activities. Some guys can do that and will be accepted as "fun-loving guys." I'm not like that.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Texasmunk View Post
MY courtesy: Dufus and company come plowing through those standing in line....The other 500 people waiting must part and clear a path for them!
I hate that. Same with those who see someone they know at the front of the line and feel they can join them. A group who wants to go ashore together needs to arrive at the tender line together. If they can't manage that then their pals or family farther up the line need to join the late comers at the back, not the other way around.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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I agree people should not cut in line inreasonably. But I try not to judge - maybe they have a tour to catch, or maybe they are platinum status and have been given that right.

I "hate" people in business class - but they have a right to be there.

But that brings up another question - is it right for the cruise lines to give "priority boarding" to platinum status? Is it right to give them front row seats at shows?

It's a bit different from doing their laundry and giving them a discount on Internet time - their goodies come at your expense.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 06:57 PM
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Hmmm... priority boarding OK, free stuff OK, but special seats not really.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 07:05 PM
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When it comes to VIP perks I think some are fine, others not. It depends on how they are implemented. Priority embarkation/debarkation can be handled efficiently without ruffling the feathers of those who don't get the perk.

On Royal Caribbean we've had a separate seating area and we were called aboard en masse. But I've also had priority embarkation where it was embarrassing to me since we were individually shepherded around by a Carnival employee, who proceeded to cut off the next person in line so we could go next - for the stupid welcome photo, the security photo, etc. I could feel the icy glares. This happens at Mobile. Similarly, having a private departure lounge for priority debarkation isn't as "in your face" as having someone escorted to the front of a line. Overall though, I like priority embarkation/debarkation when I am eligible for it.

I do have a problem with the reserved show seating, pool seating, and other things that have become popular for suite guests recently because they more directly impact the other cruisers. Concierge Lounge? Fine. It is only for the VIPs and in a place that doesn't impact other passengers. Cordoning off rows of theater seats and pool chairs? I don't like it because it evokes the class system. I'll have those seating perks on our next Royal Caribbean cruise but we will not use them. Similarly, if it is a tender port I am not going to bump the line just to go ashore first. Actually, if we do a tour in a tender port we normally buy the excursion from the cruise line so tender priority is not an issue.

I've heard reports of angry moments on some ships where there was a long line at the purser's desk, and they had a separate line for platinum guests which was empty yet staffed. One person (platinum) told me she walked up to the VIP station and a near riot broke out as the "regular" people shouted at her to get in the back of their line. In this case it is stupid of the cruise line to have this set up next to each other, at the one place where many in line are already unhappy about something.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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Don't know what other cruise lines use the term Platinum which on Princess is for those who have cruised 6 through 15 times. It's only Elite (those who have cruised 16+) that you can board a tender before everyone else (i.e. - you don't have to go to a meeting place and wait to be called) ... and there's NO priority for seating at shows, pool, etc.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old June 2nd, 2010, 08:31 PM
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Don't leave your dirty room service dishes in the way of walking in the Hall.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:17 PM
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On my past cruise I found something I hadn't noticed before the drove me crazy.:evil: People in the front row of the show room getting up and leaving in the middle of the show. If you think you will be leaving mid show please don't sit in the front row. It's rude to the performer on stage for you to walk out. Plus I would think it would be distracting for the performer.

I saw this happen when the electric violinist, Joe Deninzon, performed. Mid way through the show about 3 people sitting front row; center got up and walked out. I thought he was very good so I don't get it. Here is him doing his thing.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
When it comes to VIP perks I think some are fine, others not. It depends on how they are implemented. Priority embarkation/debarkation can be handled efficiently without ruffling the feathers of those who don't get the perk.

On Royal Caribbean we've had a separate seating area and we were called aboard en masse. But I've also had priority embarkation where it was embarrassing to me since we were individually shepherded around by a Carnival employee, who proceeded to cut off the next person in line so we could go next - for the stupid welcome photo, the security photo, etc. I could feel the icy glares. This happens at Mobile. Similarly, having a private departure lounge for priority debarkation isn't as "in your face" as having someone escorted to the front of a line. Overall though, I like priority embarkation/debarkation when I am eligible for it.

I do have a problem with the reserved show seating, pool seating, and other things that have become popular for suite guests recently because they more directly impact the other cruisers. Concierge Lounge? Fine. It is only for the VIPs and in a place that doesn't impact other passengers. Cordoning off rows of theater seats and pool chairs? I don't like it because it evokes the class system. I'll have those seating perks on our next Royal Caribbean cruise but we will not use them. Similarly, if it is a tender port I am not going to bump the line just to go ashore first. Actually, if we do a tour in a tender port we normally buy the excursion from the cruise line so tender priority is not an issue.

I've heard reports of angry moments on some ships where there was a long line at the purser's desk, and they had a separate line for platinum guests which was empty yet staffed. One person (platinum) told me she walked up to the VIP station and a near riot broke out as the "regular" people shouted at her to get in the back of their line. In this case it is stupid of the cruise line to have this set up next to each other, at the one place where many in line are already unhappy about something.
This reply really resonated with me. I am one of those people who will spend a ton of money to sail in a suite, fly first class, etc. It's not that I'm rich (I'm not) but I scrimp elsewhere to afford these luxuries (plus I'm a total air mileage fanatic and frequently use miles to upgrade).
Nevertheless, I am also frequently embarrased by the special treatment. I do love priority boarding and priority security lines at airports. But often when I'm sitting in first class on a plane and coach boards, I bury my head in a newspaper because I feel embarrased. I hate the crazy looks that people give - and some people even make comments!
I agree that suite guests shouldn't get the best seats at theaters and pools for the very reasons that Dave has pointed out.
I also hate to hear fellow suite guests loudly boasting of their cabins. I think some people really do feel they are superior based on their cabin category!
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old June 3rd, 2010, 11:42 AM
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In regard to not going to traditional dinner I agree that you should inform your tablemates when possible.

There have been times that my wife and I have not felt like going to dinner and have called the dining room to inform them that we would not be coming. We've done this about four times in our cruise life and I think three of the four times the message was never forwarded to our waitstaff.

This is a reason we greatly enjoy open seating dining and it is a major criteria we use when selecting a cruise. The regimentation was really starting to get old and we began looking at alternative vacations until the Freestyle/Open seating concept became more widely used.

When it comes to flying first class or booking a suite. I have no guilt for flying in first class nor do I have any guilt in booking a suite. I do not agree that suite passengers should have private seating in public areas, such as shows, but I have no problem with priority boarding or disembarkation. If you pay extra you should get extra.

I rarely see Diamond, Elite or Platinum passengers complaining about their perks but I do see them complaining about suite perks.

Take care,
Mike
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Old June 13th, 2010, 09:24 PM
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On the other side of the equation of not sitting in the smoking area if you don't like smoke is don't smoke on the non-smoking side of the ship. If there are not ashtrays there don't bring one over and start smoking. If you want to smoke go to your side of the ship. I don't have a problem with one side of the ship being smoking, I just avoid going on that side, however there has been times where I was in the non-smoking side and people have brought over ash trays and started to smoke right beside me. When I mentioned it I was told it was their right to smoke. No mention was made of my right to be able to breath.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 07:27 AM
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I have one for smoking in the casino. If the casino allows smoking ask the person you just plopped down beside of if they mind you firing up. I smoke and do this because the slots are so close to each other. If they do move to another machine or don't smoke.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 07:49 PM
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Show up ON TIME for dinner if you have pre-seating.. nothing is more annoying than waiting for 20 minutes only to find out that the couple you were waiting for decided to dine elsewhere and you ended up having a late dinner and missing your evening show.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Don't leave your dirty room service dishes in the way of walking in the Hall.
I have wondered about this. It isn't the prettiest site, but it sure makes life more effcient. I call room service when i dint feel like talking to anyone or waiting.

Its bad enough having to call and wait to get the food - but to have to call & wait for them to pickl up the dishes?

I am just curious what you advise - seriously. Do you call, or do you leave them in the room? Sometimes I leave them in the room, but sometimes it is a hassle to do that.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 04:52 PM
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I worked in the hotel / restaurant business for a few years and it was ALWAYS requested that you call room service to pick up your tray and then leave it outside your door.

It helps in recovering the dishes, trays and hardware. (There isn't an infinite supply of them) If the housekeeping staff must recover them then there can be upto a 24 hour turnaround before it ever sees the kitchen.

When ordering room service I always call, for tray/table pickup, and then leave it outside the room.

The key is CALLING. Just don't shove it out there. Call first. If they don't pick it up then it's their problem. No one should be required to leave the table/tray in the room and take up space. Plus the smell of old or leftover food isn't too appealing.

Take care,
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Old July 19th, 2010, 08:44 PM
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Most Buffets are set up where it's ok to have a line for one item but any empty spot should be fair game and many more people can be serviced in a short period of time. It is rediculous for a long line of people being held up by one person mulling over their choices! Also it is rediculous to hold up a person coming back for just a little more of one item! Free For All! LOl Mimi
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Old July 19th, 2010, 09:09 PM
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I agree Mimi... I don't think it is polite to rush people at a buffet, but at the same time, if one person is holding up 20 - just because most people are afraid to walk around her, then it isn't even logical. More people should be served.

Here is another one. I dislike cold food, so if my food is served I would prefer to go ahead.

So, if I am sitting at a table with strangers (basically) and their food comes before mine - how many times do I have to say "go ahead" before they eat their food"

"Go ahead, it shouldn't get cold."

"no, thaaaaat's okaaaaay."

"No, please go ahead, we don;t know how long it will be."

"No. thaaaaat's okaaaay."

"PLEASE go ahead, I want you to enjoy it."

"Thaaaaaat's alllll riiiiight"

"I insist, eat, its already gotten colder......"

"we'llllllllllll waaaaaaait"

"Eat Your Food, NOW! I insist"

"welllllllllll......"

"EAT!"
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Old July 19th, 2010, 09:13 PM
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I see the logic in calling to pick up trays, but I also like the idea of putting outside after I call.

Do you tell them you are leaving it outside, because I said that once...

"please come pick up the trays, I;m leaving it outside my door"

and I got attitude back from them.

"You leave outside? outside room? You do outside room?"

'That's what I said'

"Bye!"
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Old July 20th, 2010, 12:15 AM
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I don't even bother to say that I'm leaving it outside the door. I make the assumption that whoever picks it up has an IQ greater than 90. They can figure out that there was a call for tray pickup in room 999 and there's a tray outside of room 999 and that must be the one.

Take care,
Mike
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Old July 20th, 2010, 01:42 PM
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Yes, but this thread is about "courtesy" and leaving trays in the hall is not exactly courteous (acoording to at least one person here) and I thought it would be courteous to tell room service the tray is in the hall so they know they should come sooner rather than later (assuming their chief housekeeper also does not like to see trays in the hall). But they sounded a bit incredulous.

However, Mike, I can't dispute your method since I DO usually put trays in the hall. I will call them and tell them its in the hall and just hang up.

"There's a food tray outside room #xxxxx - I suggest you pick it up NOW!" CLICK
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Old July 20th, 2010, 01:44 PM
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I just read that Carnival has now banned cigars in the cigar bar.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
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I just read that Carnival has now banned cigars in the cigar bar.
I think they need to rename it then.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 04:11 PM
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Please give those who are on walkers, or in wheelchairs a chance to board the elevators before pushing ahead of them. Many times, I have seen a physically challenged person waiting for an elevator and then when it arrives, people will run ahead and leave them sitting out in the hallway. Offer them assistance in boarding an elevator and take the stairs if you are able, so they will have access to the elevators.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Talk to your children, tweens and teens about acceptable behavior and cruise courtesy. Running, pushing into passengers, one person getting in line at ice cream and seven others joining (breaking in line), pushing all the elevator buttons, large groups sitting on the stairs blocking others passage up or down are not acceptable.

Eating all your meals at the buffet does not mean you don't have to tip.

Tipping includes the children on the cruise. Don't complain that you shouldn't have to tip for childen. The crew go out of their way to ensure the children have a wonderful cruise too. This includes the staff who clean your room and the wait staff. It's "per passenger" on the tips.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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"CruiseMates readers comprise some of the most experienced and cultured cruisers in the world."

Perhaps, but I know one regular who is on the record as stating that "respect is earned" and therefore he won't follow the societal norms of politeness.

I suspect this attitude is pretty widespread.
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