Tag Archives: studios

***Norwegian Escape – The Solo Traveler Experience!

Cruising as a solo traveler is a smooth, safe, and enjoyable process on the Norwegian Escape. Studio rooms created just for the solo traveler are an affordable choice. Unlike other cruise lines that charge double, a studio cabin on the Escape can be very affordable. Norwegian’s Breakaway, Epic, Getaway, and Pride of America offer studios also.

I found all different ages and types of people staying in the studios during my voyage. There were folks in their young twenties to seventies. Some people were traveling with others staying in other sections of the ship and some were traveling alone. It was a great opportunity to meet many different people.

Studio Rooms:

There are many studio cabins on the Escape. The studio cabins are located on Deck 11 and 12. Card key access is required to get into the corridor in the studios. Each cabin is 100 square feet. In the cabin there is a full size bed and plenty of space for storage. The cabin is well designed.

Studio Lounge:

In the middle of the studios hallway, easily accessible from all studio cabins, is a lounge area called the Studio Lounge. In the lounge there is a bar, specialty espresso and cappuccino coffee machine, fresh orange juice, snacks, a white board to help people connect, and comfy, attractive couches and chairs.  There is a solo traveler host available during the cruise (one of the cruise staff) that can help solo travelers with any questions and in help making group reservations.  On embarkation day there is an opportunity to meet other solo travelers during a meeting that takes place usually around 5:30-6:00. Everyone that attends introduces himself/herself and tells a little about himself/herself. It is then nice when seeing these individuals during the cruise. There is an optional meeting at 5:30/6:00 each day in the lounge to help people connect for dinner, excursions, shows, or other activities.

Dining:

If desired dining alone on the Escape is very comfortable. There are many tables for two that easily will accommodate just one. Many of these small tables are located near windows in either Taste, Savor, or The Manhattan Room. Some tables for two are located near the band in the Manhattan Room. If eating in the Garden Cafe buffet, there are plenty of seats available. I especially liked the tall table and chairs on the end. The other complimentary option is O’Sheehan’s and there are usually plenty of seats there also. I never had to wait for a seat to become available at any of the dining locations.

Entertainment:

There are many entertainment options on board that a solo traveler can take advantage of. Free entertainment includes After Midnight, Levity Comedy, Vocal Overdrive, Howl at the Moon (Dueling Pianos), Jazz, and many other music choices.  For a fee, there is a dinner show ‘For the Record – The Brat Pack’ that is excellent also.  Shows can be signed up for before sailing, from on the TV in your stateroom, or at the Box Office right on the Escape. If you enjoy a certain type of show, you can attend another performance by either booking again if the show is not full, or arriving 10 minutes before the show and going in the stand-by line. Getting a seat is not usually an issue at all.

For more information on cruising solo on the Escape, to answer a specific question, or to book a cruise please email dreameztravel@gmail.com. Also, please visit my website:

Click here for www.dreameztravel.com.

 

 

***Hints and Tips for the Norwegian Escape

I recently had the opportunity to cruise on the beautiful Norwegian Escape out of Miami. The Escape’s first sailing was in November 2015 so she is not even a year old. The Escape has a unique Miami type theme.  She is very similar to the Breakaway and Getaway.  She has the first Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville At Sea.  The hull was painted by Guy Harvey and has a marine life theme.

Guest capacity is around 4200 double occupancy. The design of the ship is very nice so rarely did it feel crowded and there were 4900 guests onboard the cruise I was on. The following are some hints and tips for the Norwegian Escape.

-The fish on the carpet in the hallways are always facing the front of the ship- helps with confusion on which direction you want to go.

-Drop off your carry on luggage at Headliners when you get on the ship instead of carrying around. Have lunch and check out the ship until cabins are ready. Then pick up your carry on luggage.

-When you get on the ship on Embarkation day, instead of going to the buffet, head to either O’Sheehan’s or The Taste/Savor (whichever is open that afternoon). You will be able to have a more leisurely lunch (less crowded than buffet).

-Try to go for check in 11:00am and be 1 of the first people on board!

-Put bathing suit in carry on so can go in whirlpool, pool, or to Spa on Embarkation day. Otherwise could be delay in getting your luggage.

-Take a tour of the spa on Embarkation day and you can enter in drawing. Multiple prizes given away. Many time around $500 in spa services given away. Drawing for my cruise was at 5:00pm. Need to be present to win.  Pick up a fitness schedule while you are there.  Not all class offerings are listed in the Freestyle Daily.

-If you sign up for thermal suite and pool online before the cruise for complete usage of saunas, showers, steamroom, salt room, snow room, and therapeutic pool and whirlpool you get the lowest price.  If you buy the first day on board, you will get a slightly higher price.  They sell a limited number of these packages so that the area never gets crowded, so you will want to sign up on or before the first day/night. The spa is open 8:00am – 10:00pm except for the last day when the thermal suites and pool are only open until 8:00pm. Advance pricing is based on number of days of cruise: 2 day-$79, 7 day-$199, 12 day-$279.

-Lockers are available at the Spa for those with access to the thermal suites and pool/whirlpool.

-The thermal suite area is handicap accessible, including pools.

-Bring earplugs for at night in case you go to bed early and there is loud talking in the hallways. Earplugs will also block out any announcements in the hallway from the cruise director.

-There are a limited number of passes to the outdoor Vibe beach area. It is a private sun deck available to Haven and suite guests. Only a certain number of passes are sold each sailing so that the Vibe area never gets crowded. If you are interested in this type of pass, try to check in early on Embarkation day and go right to the Guest Services desk as soon as you get on the ship to see if they have any passes left.

-Sign up for as many shows as possible online before Embarkation day. When you get on the ship, sign up for all remaining shows either at the Box Office or on the large touch screen in the hallway outside the theater, or using your cabin TV. Shows will fill up quickly. Since the theater only holds approximately 850 people, those with reservations will almost fill each show. All reservations are released 10 minutes before the show. At this time, anyone waiting in the standby line can be let in the theater. Standby can be nice if you want to see a show more than once.

-Every day at 7:00am there is a stretch class in the group room in the gym area. This class is free and lasts for 30 minutes. Try to arrive early to make sure you get a spot. There is only room for about 20 people once the mats are down.

-Abs class is free and offered at 7:30am everyday also.   Need to check Freestyle Daily to confirm time.

-Zumba is offered on sea days at the Sports Court usually at 9am. Classes are for about 30 minutes.  Even though this class is outdoors, it takes place before the sun is really hot.

-Walnuts and pecans can be found at the sides of the buffet in the morning near the oatmeal or fruit.  Great with oatmeal, brown sugar or cinnamon, raisins, and banana chips in the morning.

-The ‘For the Record – Brat Pack’ show in the Supper Club is awesome. All seats are good but arrive early so you have a better selection. Performances are right in front of you. Surf and Turf dinner is served along with an appetizer and triple selection dessert. Show is 1 1/2 hours. Try to make reservations early since shows will fill up.

-Sometimes we found that some of the restaurants were on the dark side. Might want to bring little flashlight to help read the menu. Small flashlights can be purchased in the gift store also.

-80’s party and White Out party are lots of fun.

-Miniature golf, Bocce, Ropes course with zip line and plank and in the Sports area, Deck 18.

-Lots of sitting areas on Deck 8 in the Waterfront section. You can also dine outside. There is a wraparound deck that you can walk around (goes around 90% of the ship).  Coffee and paper cups are available outside on each side of Deck 8 each morning.  You can also get coffee refills at O’Sheehan’s.

-O’Sheehan’s, a 24 hour venue, is great especially off hours. Nice choices and everything is cooked up quickly and fresh.

-At ports, Norwegian always has tents set up with seats, drinks, and wet washcloths. Nice meeting area or place to rest when returning to the ship.

-Use Norwegian IConcierge on your Smart Phone.

-Choices galore: 29 restaurants, and many Bars and Lounges!!  Restaurants have beepers so you do not need to wait at the entrance, you can relax down the hall or at a close bar.

-Play WII on the big screen in the atrium!

-Go to the Q & A presented by the Cruise Director –running a Hotel on Sea. Hotel director, bar director, and head executive chef answer guests’ questions.

-Go to the Technical Q & A presented by the Cruise Director- the Captain and Chief Engineer answer questions. Nice informational presentation by Cruise Director.

-Manhattan Room has similar menu as from Taste and Savor.  Manhattan is more dressy (no shorts).  The menu is posted right outside each restaurant.

-Classes offered at the gym include Pilates and Yoga.

-Beautiful to watch front or back of ship from decks. Many times see dolphins playing.

-There are switches in the room that turn on lights on outside of room to let cabin steward know if you do not want to be disturbed or you want your cabin made up.

-Go to the Q & A by the performers. Very interesting. The panel that I saw consisted of 2 performers from ‘After Midnight’, 1 performer from ‘The Brat Pack’, and 1 performer from ‘Vocal Overdrive’.

-Go first thing in the morning on the Aqua slides and you will not need to wait in line.

-Bug spray is available at guest services.

-Sometimes the last ‘Howl at the Moon show’ (the last night of the cruise), different ship performers will go there.

-Conditioning shampoo and body wash are in the room

-Studio cabins are available for solo travelers.  Studio lounge is available to all guests staying in Studio cabins.

-Watch a sunrise and sunset!!

Please email or call for me to book your next cruise – dreameztravel@gmail.com or 413-949-9784.  I specialize in service.  Let me do the work for you.  If anyone in your group has food allergies, I will make sure that the cruise line knows in advance and you are all set.  Let me know what questions you have.

 

 

***Norwegian Breakaway – Traveling Solo

Cruising as a solo traveler is a smooth, safe, and enjoyable process on the Norwegian Breakaway. Studio rooms created for the solo traveler are an affordable choice. Unlike other cruise lines that charge double, a studio cabin on the Breakaway can be very affordable. Norwegian’s Epic, Getaway, and Pride of America offer studios also.

I found all different ages and types of people staying in the studios during my voyage. There were folks in their young twenties to seventies. Some people were traveling with others staying in other sections of the ship and some were traveling alone. It was a great opportunity to meet many different people.

Studio Rooms:

There are 59 studio cabins on the Breakaway. The studio cabins are located on Deck 10 and 11. Card key access is required to get into the corridor in the studios. Each cabin is 100 square feet. In the cabin there is a full size bed and plenty of space for storage. The cabin is well designed.

Studio Lounge:

In the middle of the studios hallway is a lounge area called the Studio Lounge. In the lounge there is a bar, specialty espresso coffee machine, snacks, a white board to help people connect, and comfy, attractive couches and chairs. On embarkation day there is an opportunity to meet other solo travelers during a meeting that takes place usually around 5:30. Everyone that attends introduces himself/herself and tells a little about himself/herself. It is then nice when seeing these individuals during the cruise. There is an optional meeting at 5:30 each day in the lounge to help people connect for dinner, excursions, shows, or other activities.

Dining:

If desired dining alone on the Breakaway is very comfortable. There are many tables for two that easily will accommodate just one. Many of these small tables are located near windows in either Taste, Savor, or The Manhattan Room. Some tables for two are located near the band in the Manhattan Room. If eating in the Garden Cafe buffet, there are plenty of seats available. I especially liked the tall table and chairs on the end. The other complimentary option is O’Sheehan’s and there are usually plenty of seats there also. I never had to wait for a seat to become available at any of the dining locations.

Entertainment:

There are many entertainment options on board that a solo traveler can take advantage of . Free entertainment includes Rock of Ages, Second City, Burn the Floor, Howl at the Moon (Dueling Pianos), Jazz, and many other music choices. Shows can be signed up for before sailing, from on the TV in your stateroom, or at the Box Office right on the Breakaway. If you enjoy a certain type of show, you can attend another performance by either booking again if the show is not full, or arriving 10 minutes before the show and going in the stand-by line. Getting a seat is not usually an issue at all.

For more information on cruising solo on the Breakaway, to answer a specific question, or to book a cruise please email dreameztravel@gmail.com. Also, please visit my website at http://www.DreamEZTravel.com.

***Norwegian Cruise Line Buys Island in Belize & Other Updates!

Yesterday, 2/12/14, I had the opportunity to attend a Travel Agent training workshop offered by Norwegian Cruise Lines! Since the training location was Elizabeth, NJ, I was able to drive there from Western Massachusetts. First there was a presentation on Norwegian information by Clark Reber, Director of Trade Programs and then a sales information presentation given by Bob Becker. Excellent information provided and worth the trip!

Did you know that Norwegian Cruise Lines was the first:
-To offer a private island experience
-To offer youth activities
-To have a TV commercial
-To cruise the Western Caribbean
-To offer Freestyle cruising…

Norwegian ships are built for freestyle cruising. There are many restaurants to choose from and each has its own kitchen! Many of Norwegian’s ships offer Studio cabins and the Studio Lounge for Solo travelers – why pay double to cruise! The Haven is a ship within a ship. The Haven offers personalized butler service, its own restaurant, and all types of priority exclusive benefits. Convenient luxury cruising options are wonderful for couples or families. Should you have family members traveling with you that would prefer to be closer to the entertainment and restaurants, they can have their cabin on the main decks outside The Haven.

The newer ships, Epic, Breakaway, Getaway offer ‘The Waterfront’ so that you can dine at any specialty restaurant while eating outside and enjoying the ocean. Why miss that beautiful sunset! All entertainment is offered at ‘678 Ocean Place’ – to allow you to easily enjoy all entertainment options conveniently on 3 decks.

Did you know that Norwegian just bought an island off of Belize!! It will take a couple of years to ready this island for guests but how exciting.

Did you know that the Norwegian Jade is acting as a hotel in Sochi at the Winter Olympics? Did you know the Norwegian Getaway acted as the Bud Lite Hotel in New York City for the Super Bowl?

The Norwegian Escape will be delivered in 2015 and the Norwegian Bliss in 2017!

Norwegian has some exciting things going on!!

***Norwegian Announces Great Getaway Bar Options!

Norwegian announces bar options on the Getaway, Miami’s ultimate ship.  Miami-inspired venues include:

The Tropicana Room
Reflecting the glitz and glamour of Miami Beach’s nightlife in the 1940s and 1950s, this retro supper club is the place to enjoy fine dining and Burn the Floor performances, both with a Latin twist.

Flamingo Bar and Grill
Guests will never lose sight of the action or the ocean at the open-air eatery where you can come-as-they-are and stay for the bar.

Sugarcane Mojito Bar
With both indoor and outdoor seating on The Waterfront, this is the island-themed location to enjoy a freshly muddled libation.

Sunset Bar
Eclectic and adventurous design elements stir the imagination with both indoor and outdoor seating along The Waterfront reminiscent of Key West.

Norwegian Getaway will be sailing year-round from Miami on 7-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean, beginning February 2014.  Studio cabins available for solo travelers.  Beautiful suites available in the Haven also!!  Email dreameztravel@gmail.com to book your Getaway cruise!

 

***Earned credential: Freestyle Certification from Norwegian

Letter of recognition received from Norwegian Cruise Lines:

DEBORAH LACASSE EARNS TOP HONORS AT NCL UNIVERSITY
Award-winning cruise line presents its new class of Freestyle Certified agents

Norwegian Cruise Line is proud to announce that Deborah Lacasse of Dream EZ Travel has earned the necessary credits to graduate from its online travel agent university, NCL University. This progressive, state-of-the art online school is geared to deliver an enhanced level of knowledge and insight into Norwegian Cruise Line’s unique Freestyle Cruising philosophy, their cruising destinations, ship programs and operations, and many other “behind-the-scenes” elements not available anywhere else. Each graduate is required, within one year, to earn a minimum number of credits through a choice of accredited courses and electives. The rigorous curriculum includes testing at every level in order to move forward.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s online university opened its virtual doors in 2008 and is one of the most innovative and award-winning programs available to travel agents today. With thousands of registered students and growing, NCL U has expanded its training from the interactive experience of its online program to a continuing, first-hand educational experience that includes a PhD@ Sea program aboard its ships.

“At Norwegian Cruise Line, we highly recommend the use of a travel professional when booking one of our cruises,” says Andy Stuart, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Passenger Services. “We have invested in NCL U’s offerings to insure our travel partners have a thorough knowledge of our Freestyle Cruising product as well as an expertise in marketing and sales skills. In this way, we can be sure our guests will know they are relying on an expert who knows our product inside and out.”

***New Mobile App Available for Norwegian Cruise Lines!

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new “Norwegian Flash Deals” smart phone app is here to make booking a vacation with DREAM EZ TRAVEL, an affiliate of THE TRAVEL COMPANION LLC, even easier. The first of its kind, only Norwegian Flash Deals gives you access to the best Norwegian cruise offers.

Here’s what’s exciting about the app. It offers:

* A new, convenient way to book a Norwegian cruise with us
* Limited time, limited quantity cruise deals
* Offers best deals for that sailing
* Select our agency in the app so we can help you with your booking
* Best of all, the app is free!

Download the app, select THE TRAVEL COMPANION LLC and start booking today!
AVAILABLE IN ITUNES & GOOGLE PLAY STORE App Store Google Play

Experience counts! Call or email for booking assistance. We have been in the travel business since 2002. No booking fees. Our specialty is assisting clients making their dream vacation come true!

DREAM EZ TRAVEL
Affiliate of The Travel Companion
Deborah A Lacasse
Cruise and Vacation Specialist
Holyoke, MA 01040
413-949-9784
dreameztravel@gmail.com
http://www.DreamEZTravel.4MyDeals.com

Promo code: MOBILE Offer is valid only for new individual reservations made through smartphones using the Norwegian Flash Deals app. Offer is capacity controlled and limited in time. Offer is not transferrable and not combinable with any other promotion. Government taxes and fees are additional. Bookings made through the app are based on double occupancy. Additional deposit requirements and cancellation fees may apply. Additional and discretionary onboard service charges will be automatically charged to the onboard account. Other restrictions may apply.