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AF1 March 9th, 2014 09:20 PM

Should I book an Aft Cabin
 
Hi my wife and I are loyal to Royal. We have only sailed Royal; however for May 2015 as a retirement gift for my wife we are looking at 14 day trip out of Venice on Jade. Please let me have feedback on this ship and if aft cabin is good. I've read posts where people book aft cabins years out. Thanks for any and all input.

Mike M March 10th, 2014 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AF1 (Post 1496303)
Hi my wife and I are loyal to Royal. We have only sailed Royal; however for May 2015 as a retirement gift for my wife we are looking at 14 day trip out of Venice on Jade. Please let me have feedback on this ship and if aft cabin is good. I've read posts where people book aft cabins years out. Thanks for any and all input.

AF1,

Is this a BA balcony cabin, Aft mini-suite, or a Suite? If it is a suite then I would jump on it. The amenities are well worth it and breakfast in Cagney's is a great perk. The aft balconies aren't huge but large enough to enjoy. You also have butler service and can order from any of the specialty restaurants for a romantic dinner. They use to have the espresso/latte/coffee machines in each suite and I really loved that. I'm not sure if they still have them. It's been three years since we stayed in a suite on NCL.

If it's a standard BA or aft mini-suite I would still book it. The cabins are a nice size and nothing beats the view.

Take care,
Mike

AF1 March 10th, 2014 04:49 PM

Mike, we have booked an aft suite. It says is comes with fully stocked refrigerator. Beer, soda, water. So thats a nice perk. We also got $300 OBC. Its still a long way to go; this cruise is for my wife's retirement May 2015. I was surprised that there weren't many rooms left. We are on 14 day cruise out of Venice. It's actually B2B

Mike M March 10th, 2014 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AF1 (Post 1496338)
Mike, we have booked an aft suite. It says is comes with fully stocked refrigerator. Beer, soda, water. So thats a nice perk. We also got $300 OBC. Its still a long way to go; this cruise is for my wife's retirement May 2015. I was surprised that there weren't many rooms left. We are on 14 day cruise out of Venice. It's actually B2B

You will love it. We sailed the Jade a few years ago from Barcelona to Rome, Egypt, Malta and ended in Venice. We loved the ship and the itinerary. We had a forward facing suite. We loved the cabin and the amenities but the HUGE balcony was not usable while underway. Too much wind and the water tight door was too heavy for my wife to open and close. The balcony was great when we sailed into and out of port. Malta was especially memorable.

Enjoy!!!! And Happy Retirement!

Take care,
Mike

TimmyK March 10th, 2014 09:44 PM

Mike. Malta s where the movie Popeye was filmed with Robin Williiams as Popeye. Btw. This is AF1. I had to change my login user name and password. The old one must be corrupt because I tenant let me log in Noah well I wil have to start from scratch. No big deal.

Travelbuggs March 12th, 2014 10:05 AM

Timmy, we had an aft facing penthouse on the Sun and it was fantastic. Our balcony was enormous and that aft view was amazing.

NCL has great suite perks, the best of which are the priority boarding and escort onboard, butler and concierge services, daily breakfast and lunch in Cagneys and in suite dining, to name a few. You will have both a room steward and a butler who will take care of anything you need in the suite. You will see the Concierge daily at breakfast and he/she will take care of any reservations you need, arrange priority walk offs in ports and at debarkation, priority seating at shows.

On days we left the ship early, we ordered breakfast from Cagneys to be served en suite by the butler. A couple times we ordered from the specialty restaurant menus for en suite service after a long day of touring ( you pay the cover fee ).

I think you will love your suite!

TimmyK March 12th, 2014 05:58 PM

Travelbuggs, thanks for the feedback. We r looking forward to our aft suite. I do have a few questions. Is it true that the mini frig comes stocked with soda and water and this is part of the benefits. Does the cabin have a tub with shower or just shower? Thanks. On Royal Caribbean suite guests had a separate section at pool for suite guests. Does NCL have this? I believe we will be on deck 10 and our travel agent got same cabin for our B2B

Travelbuggs March 13th, 2014 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimmyK (Post 1496484)
Travelbuggs, thanks for the feedback. We r looking forward to our aft suite. I do have a few questions. Is it true that the mini frig comes stocked with soda and water and this is part of the benefits. Does the cabin have a tub with shower or just shower? Thanks. On Royal Caribbean suite guests had a separate section at pool for suite guests. Does NCL have this? I believe we will be on deck 10 and our travel agent got same cabin for our B2B

Timmy, I am assuming you have a category SF booked. To the best of my knowledge, only the top suite, the Owners Suite, comes with any free beverages. Your fridge will be stocked with sodas, beer and small liquor bottles, but there is a fee for their use. Many people just ask the steward to clear the fridge to make room for their own use ( those buckets of beer, buy 5 get the 6th free, or that bottle of wine for the balcony ). You may carry on all the soda, water, mixers you desire with no fee. In most US ports, you can tag them and drop off with your luggage. Not sure how feasible this is in a European port. You would have to research further. You may get a large bottle of water with the suite, just ask the butler or steward what is included. You can also bring on all the wine you want for use anywhere on the ship for a $15 corkage fee per regular sized bottle, paid at the corkage desk when you board. They will store it for you in a restaurant and they can retrieve and redeliver to another restaurant any time.

Don't forget your Butler and Concierge are not included in the Daily Service Charge which will be auto billed to your account, $12 per person per day. We usually tip the Butler some cash in a thank you card at the end of the cruise, and also the concierge. Of course, based on your usage and discretion. You will have afternoon canapés delivered by the butler daily. You can let them know if you have a preference for type of snack.

You aft suite appears to be one large room, rather than with a separate bedroom area. We had a similar setup on the Star, and it was very spacious for the 2 of us. From the floor plan, the bath appears to have a tub with shower.

I have never heard of a separate section at the pool for suite guests with NCL. On the newer ships, there is a private Haven area, a ship within a ship area, exclusive to suite guests only which contains suites, Courtyard with pool and hot tubs, Haven lounge and restaurant and dedicated Courtyard butler. On some ships the forward and aft facing suites have access to this area, but alas, on your ship I don't see any indication of this. If I were you, I might check the prices on these Haven suites now, and then watch for price drops as you near final payment and even after. You might be able to upgrade yourself for only a little more. But that would mean giving up your aft view, LOL.

One thing I do love about your ship is that it appears to have it's wonderful Spinnaker Lounge still intact on deck 13. On some ships, this lounge has been relocated to an interior space and the previous lounge area is now suites. It is a wonderful area with wrap windows, floor to ceiling. Be sure to check it out.

Any other questions, feel free to ask.

TimmyK March 13th, 2014 08:26 PM

Wow. Thanks for all the info. I have heard so many good things about aft cabins. So that is nice. We may look at buying one of the beverage packages that has soda, water, coffee, tea, included.

Travelbuggs March 16th, 2014 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimmyK (Post 1496557)
Wow. Thanks for all the info. I have heard so many good things about aft cabins. So that is nice. We may look at buying one of the beverage packages that has soda, water, coffee, tea, included.

I just remembered that we got a bottle of sparkling wine with our penthouse suite. We used it to make our own Mimosas with some OJ from the buffet. Not sure if you are aware you can buy bottles of liquor for your room. You can order pre cruise or reportedly, you can get them from the bartender as well, although 15% is added if bought on board. You get 3 mixers with each bottle, or you can bring your own on board. The bottles are pricey, but those who have figured it out on a per drink basis say it is still a good savings over buying drinks at the bar.

TimmyK March 16th, 2014 05:44 PM

Travelbuggs. Here are a few questions.
1. How much or little did you use your butler and concierge? A little or lot.
2. What type of situations did you use them for?
3. Do suite guests have reserved seats at theater or pool
4. Other than using Cagneys for breakfast or lunch where else can you eat breakfast? Our two adult children will be on cruise in a regular cabin.
5. Is there a shower in suite verses tub.

Thanks

TimmyK March 24th, 2014 09:39 PM

Anyone who has used the concierge on NCL is there a concierge lounge on the ship? I have only been on RCI. There is a concierge lounge with happy hour, breakfast, and cappachino machine. Is there anything like that on NCL? Thanks.

Mike M March 25th, 2014 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimmyK (Post 1496768)
Travelbuggs. Here are a few questions.
1. How much or little did you use your butler and concierge? A little or lot.
2. What type of situations did you use them for?
3. Do suite guests have reserved seats at theater or pool
4. Other than using Cagneys for breakfast or lunch where else can you eat breakfast? Our two adult children will be on cruise in a regular cabin.
5. Is there a shower in suite verses tub.

Thanks

I have stayed in three suites on NCL and I found that I used the concierge very little. I booked my own excursions and, other than being greeted each morning in Cagney's, we had no other interaction. I left her a $20 gratuity.

Two of the times we used the butler for in cabin meal service and for handling some laundry. Otherwise he delivered the afternoon canapes and filled the coffee machine and that was about it. On a twelve day cruise we tipped $100 and on the seven day cruise we tipped $75.

We had one butler who was worthless. When we asked about having in suite dining he basically gave us a sob story about how he had cabins at each end of the ship and that he would rather serve food from the main dining room than the specialty restaurant because he could just go in and grab it. We didn't dine in the suite and he received $20 for a ten day cruise.

There was no reserved seating by the pools. You can check to see if you have access to the "Haven" area but I believe that the only suites, not located in the Haven area, that have access are the Owners Suites.

You can eat your meals in any venue. You do not have to eat in Cagney's for breakfast and/or lunch.

You have both a shower and tub in the suite.

Take care and enjoy.
Mike

TimmyK March 26th, 2014 06:25 AM

Mike, thanks for the great info.

Travelbuggs March 26th, 2014 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimmyK (Post 1496768)
Travelbuggs. Here are a few questions.
1. How much or little did you use your butler and concierge? A little or lot.
2. What type of situations did you use them for?
3. Do suite guests have reserved seats at theater or pool
4. Other than using Cagneys for breakfast or lunch where else can you eat breakfast? Our two adult children will be on cruise in a regular cabin.
5. Is there a shower in suite verses tub.

Thanks

1 and 2. The butler will bring afternoon canapés and leave them for you. You will probably get a delivery from the Hotel Director like choocolate covered strawberries, and i think we got a cheese tray from someone else in addition to the regular delivery. If you have preferences you can ask. We did have the butler deliver breakfast from Cagney's one morning. We set it up with her the day before and it was right on time. Also had dinner from a specialty one night, also arranged early in the day. ( you pay the cover ). You can probably ask for things last minute, but I hate to make life difficult for anyone. Ask the butler for all the menus. You can probably get desserts delivered from the specialties anytime for no extra charge. The butler takes care of requests for services inside the room over and above what the steward would do.

The concierge will book tours for you, make dinner reservations. You will probably see her/him each morning as you enter Cagneys, or you can call them anytime. On some ships there is a designated area where they have a desk, like the Star Bar. I think we might have made dinner reservations a couple times, but we are mostly spur of the moment, walk up kinds of people. We mostly used ours for priority disembarkation final day and in ports.

3. No reserved seating on pool deck for suite guests. If you are in Haven, you'll have your own pool. Many people complain about lack of seating by the pool and chair hogging. This is a non issue for me. No desire to be there. There is plenty of seating a little further away.

I think there is a suite section in the main theatre on most of the ships. Ask the concierge what the arrangement is. We never used it on our ships, preferring to just go early and choose our favorite locations.

4. For breakfast/lunch, you can also go to the buffet of course, or there will be a 24 hour place with cooked to order breakfasts and lunch items. Some ships have a buffet open area on the aft of the ship called the Great Outdoors which is wonderfull for breakfast and lunch. Not sure if yours does. Also the MDR is open for breakfast and lunch. If you ask your butler, you can arrange for an ensuite breakfast for your party in your room to include your adult kids.

5. Not sure about the cabin set up as far as tub/shower. All ships seem to be different. One suite had just a shower in it and another had a tub with shower and an additional separate shower.

Never had a bad butler, as someone else mentioned. Our last one also helped out with the Haven suites all the way on the other end of the ship and we sometimes saw her at one of the bars, picking up drinks for someone. I swear she must have been cloned! Every request was met with a smile, but we also tried to be considerate of her time. I saw someone post somewhere that they saw their butler 7, 8 or more times a day! That is just over the top to me! But, if you feel you have a problem with one, I would discuss it with the concierge.

TimmyK March 26th, 2014 09:13 PM

Thanks for the wealth of info. We will be on Jade and it does have the great outdoors in the back of deck 11. Why doesn't NCL just leave copies of dining menus in all the suites, instead of having people request them? I assume most suite pax request them anyway. Won't be using butler or concierge too much. We will pre order shore excursions and specialty dining online before we leave home. Again thank you.


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