Published at Monday, June 04th 2018. by daniel amoien in Cruise Ship Cabins.
A cruise passenger`s perception of onboard service is so often dependent upon who their stateroom attendant was and which waiters / waitresses served their meals. Since my wife and I started Direct Line Cruises there have been several instances in which different clients on the same exact cruise would report radically different service levels. So at best any evaluation of service should be taken only as a generalization based on limited individual experiences while onboard.
Cruise ship vacations are a great way to travel relax and visit exotic lands. Every cruise I take I learn something new that makes my next trip more enjoyable. Here are 10 secrets that will make all your cruise ship vacations memorable. 1. Most cruise lines offer special discounts for past guests police officers and firefighters military personnel (active duty retired and sometimes even veterans with as little as 2 years service) senior citizens airline employees and more. I had already been on several cruises before I found out I was eligible for a military discount. Don`t rely on your travel agent to point it out. In fact it was a fellow passenger who gave me this hot tip. You can find this information on the cruiseline`s website but it might take a little digging. (Hint: start at FAQ or search for `special cruise pricing.`) It`s worth the effort -- the military discount I received applied to both me and my wife and was very generous. 2. When you`re booking your cruise you may be able to choose where you want your cabin -- toward the front of the ship the rear or the middle; upper decks or lower. Generally the higher the deck the more expensive the cabin. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your location: ~ being close to the elevators might be convenient but it can also be noisy. This is especially true of service elevators. ~ avoid being under the disco or gym because you`ll hear people partying late into the night or working out early in the morning. ~ the front and rear of the ship can be noisy from anchors and propellers. 3. The elevators get crowded especially at mealtimes and when getting off the ship in port. I always push both call buttons and get on whichever elevator gets there first. Even if I have to go the opposite direction I found it`s still faster than waiting in the lobby for the right elevator. 4. To save closet space in your cabin slide your suitcases under the bed after unpacking. You won`t need them until it`s time to disembark. 5. If you attend any of the shopping and excursion orientations sit up front. They frequently throw free stuff out into the audience to build excitement. 6. Some cruise ships have a cruise director`s TV show to keep guests informed about the ship`s activities. Call or write in with comments or questions and you`ll likely win a free bottle of champagne or other gift. Cruise directors love guests who participate. 7. Bring a small flashlight or plug in night light. The cabins get very dark especially inside cabins. 8. There`s always plenty of food on a cruise ship but try not to overdo it. Set food goals. If you have a big breakfast have a light lunch. Maybe the next day do the opposite. Try to balance what you eat in terms of carbs proteins sweets etc. 9. Instead of waiting in the buffet line for breakfast and hoping you`ll find a table eat breakfast in the dining room. It`s hardly ever crowded and you`ll get some great choices for breakfast that you probably won`t see on the buffet line. 10. Pack a travellers first aid kit with sun block aspirin bandaids ointment and be sure to include insect repellent. On a recent cruise we toured a zoo in the jungles of Belize and the insects were overwhelming! My wife came back covered in bug bites. While cruise ships have a medical doctor on board there`s a charge to see the doc... it can be pretty expensive for treatment of minor mishaps.
While onboard one of NCL`s executives asked me what I thought of the ship and what type of client it would be best suited for. Without hesitation I responded that the Epic would be most appreciated by the client who has been on many cruise ships and now wants to experience something truly unique. Consistent with that it`s no coincidence that my wife booked the 15-year anniversary cruise for Direct Line Cruises` staff on the NCL Epic and now that we`ve gotten a small taste of it we can hardly wait until September when we set sail on the Epic for 7 nights.
Another Epic first is Cirque Dreams and Dinner which is performed by an exceptionally talented group of acrobats in a special theater-in-the-round called the Spiegel Tent. Several of our staff members saw this show and said that it was very good but perhaps a bit too long. My wife and I saw a very different show in the Spiegel Tent. Our 3-year-old granddaughter who we were able to bring with us is a big fan of Dora the Explorer and Diego and she just loved the Nickelodeon character breakfast which in addition to Dora and Diego also featured Sponge Bob Square Pants Jimmy Neutron and others. In an exclusive deal with NCL the Nickelodeon characters are presently appearing on the Epic and the NCL Jewel (which now sails year-round out of New York City) and will eventually appear on several other NCL ships.
On paper it seems to make good sense to man the ship with a Philippine crew. I love the Philippines. I have been there several times. English is still widely spoken and usually spoken quite well. The people are usually friendly and happy to see foreign tourists. A large percentage of ships worldwide are manned by crews from the Philippines. The Philippine government has a pretty good structure and system to facilitate the export of Philippine labor. In spite of how attractive it seems on paper I would recommend NOT hiring a crew from the Philippines. Philippine workers tend to be envious of others and especially of everybody else`s wages. They tend to think they are getting the raw end of the deal. It is rare to find a Filipino who is happy with his employment. While I am sure there are many good employees from the Philippines there are more who are dissatisfied than satisfied with their employment. There seems to be a cultural anomaly in the Philippines where people feel that employers are bad guys. I would hesitate to recommend a crew from the Philippines in spite of the apparent advantages on paper.
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