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About Stateroom_Sailor

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    X, HAL, Avalon
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  1. I want to thank the OP and everyone who sailed the coastal, for providing their input. After going back and reading through this thread, I see that it has not just been us. I'm conscientious of a sour grapes mentality distorting reality, and want to give this sailing a fair shot. The majority of this cruise is still good, but like the expression "nibbled to death by ducks", you can tell not all is right. The blatant downgrade in the buffet, and being snubbed by the future cruise desk, are big ones. If I hear nothing tomorrow, I will start contacting Azamara directly for help.
  2. Currently on Eclipse, and can relate to some of the issues mentioned here. We're leaning away from X moving forward, but I'll try my best to be objective as possible. So far so good in Blu, and our cabin is in decent condition. However: 1. The wine has not been great, very cheap tasting Cab and Shiraz. The Malbec was much better tasting. 2. The crew seems less happy than previous X cruises, or any of our cruises for that matter. Customer service is still great in general, and by the book polite, but not as much personality. A few have been short, and I've heard multiple crew frustrated, reprimanding each other on the floor. 3. Most of the food in the buffet is lukewarm and uninspired. Fewer fresh cook stations, fewer options when doing so. This is a major letdown from just 6 months ago on the Infinity. 4. Internet connection comes and goes, but we haven't had the problems of the OP. That may be normal, this is our first internet package, so I have nothing to compare. 5. Future cruise desk forgot about my request to purchase an Open Passage Certificate with Azamara, from 2 days ago. I tried again today, and it appears to have fallen through the cracks again. They claim that no one ever asks for them, they're unfamiliar with the process, and will need to get in touch with their Azamara contact first. I was told by an Azamara rep right here on CC, that booking a certificate onboard X, would be no problem.
  3. I'm currently on Celebrity Eclipse. The future cruise desk apparently rarely gets requests for Future Passage Deposits on Azamara, to the extent that they're not sure if or how to do it. My request on embarkation was forgotten, hopefully today's fares better. I will contact Azamara directly if we can't get the ball rolling, see if I can book it direct. I actually think Azamara would get more business if this were an advertised option on their fliers.
  4. We've never sailed in a suite before. The Signature Suites on our upcoming HAL cruises costed us $739 pp for our 5 night coastal, $2,199 for our 16 night transpacific. Those rates are no doubt artificially low because of the reposition nature of the sailings, but ones that I could not turn down!
  5. We're on Eclipse right now, and I believe there is a severe drop in buffet quality since our Infinity cruise last October. Everything was lukewarm, and subjectively uninspired. The fresh cooked pasta station was decent, but no where near the same options. We booked 2 lunches in specialty restaurants to break up the sea days. Blu however, was just as delicious as always. Customer service is A+.
  6. A bit off topic, but for anyone avoiding white flower, you can ask for whole wheat bread. We did it tonight, and have it attached to our dining preferences moving forward. As far as the buffet, eating while standing in line is alive and well!
  7. We voted Premium Mass Market, because we're swinging towards HAL for various reasons, including better rates and perks for reposition cruises, including shareholder credit. We would also consider Princess and Cunard for the right itinerary. We may do RCCL occasionally to mix things up, but only with a dining package. We're securing a Future Passage on Azamara, and have a couple interesting itineraries in view on Windstar. Viking Ocean looks great, but only at the right price. If I could afford Crystal, I would do it in a heartbeat. Avalon for Riving Cruising, fingers cross for Ritz-Carlton crossover loyalty, and Nat Geo has some inexpensive land tours. We focus on itinerary 1st, and value 2nd, which leaves no room for loyalty to anyone.
  8. If you hunt for last minute deals, it could be hard to tell at this point. If you are booking 2020 and 2021 now, I would compare it to prior years. No change = X is still a great choice.
  9. X is still very competitive in Alaska. I could actually sail Sept 2020, for the same price as our 2014 cruise, before looking at perks!
  10. There are various terms used, I'm not sure what is official. I do believe that Luxury should be divided into two, otherwise we're forced to upgrade or downgrade them, to fit the chart. Azarara and Oceania, should be in the same category.
  11. Having sailed Carnival, X, and HAL, I would say that it is a different demographic. Overlap for sure, especially if you compare a 14 night Carnival cruise to a 7 night X cruise, age and income may be similar. Since the behavior on our last Carnival Journey cruise began to deteriorate halfway through, and ended with a lido deck full of F bombs, blatant pushing and shoving in the buffet, and intentional cold sharing, I'm hoping our 12 night on X doesn't follow the same path tomorrow. Different terminology, but here's a great video, comparing the different classes of lines.
  12. No, I rate them both at Premium Mass Market. I've never sailed Princess, so can not compare. Only the first 4 choices are in order of class.
  13. With the recent spike in prices from Celebrity sailings starting next year, what cruise lines are you considering trying, or sailing more frequently with? For those what Choose "X is still a Great Choice", that could mean any number of different things, such as: A. The new prices are worth it, especially considering the new ships and revamps. B. Perks and loyalty benefits offset the cost, there's more than base fare to consider. C. We're booking like normal, but hoping for price drops. D. Just as loyal, but sailing a bit less often. E. Sailing just as often, but in a lower cabin category.
  14. I calculate perks based on their value to me, or what I would pay cash for that perk. A drink package is worth no more than $12 per day (in which I'll get a glass of wine, a coffee, and a tee). Without a package, I would just order 1 or 2 cafe drinks, and bring my own wine. Ridiculous. Probably only a lottery winner would blow money like that so carelessly and egotistically. You can sail in a suite on Crystal for a fraction of that, with much better food, entertainment, and general luxury.
  15. We're just going to buy a bunch of art onboard, and return it a few months later, after our free Edge cruise comes rolling in. 😂
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