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critterchick

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  1. DH and I are travelling with a few other people in September 2020. I called the Xpedition desk today because one couple is currently booked on Deck 3. When I asked what was going to happen to them, the agent bobbed and weaved like Muhammed Ali. All she could say was, "We are not up to the cruise yet and I can't speculate on what might happen." Not exactly giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
  2. Celebrity also give cruise points for Captain's Club based on the level of accommodation. On RCI, a JS or higher with 2 people in it get 2 points/night. On Celebrity, a Sky Suite gets 8 points/night. The top suites get 12. And the top suites get a complimentary premium beverage package, minibar setup (replenished daily), two bottles of liquor and laundry. Yes. Zenith are allowed to use Michael's Club (now called the Suite Retreat on Edge and the updated ships). They are not entitled to dine in Luminae. There aren't nearly as many Zenith on X as there are Pinnacles on RCI, so I don't imagine that there's a lot of overcrowding in the lounge (there hasn't been when we've sailed in a suite). But Luminae can just barely handle the suite passengers, so adding frequent floaters would create a serious problem with service. Which we have seen in CK on more than one occasion.
  3. A three-meal package is $99 on Ovation in September. The UDP dropped from $199pp to $175 (7 nights). We probably WILL dine in the specialties most nights unless the menu at Coastal Kitchen looks good. And I'm not above ordering a sushi roll to go and enjoying it as my cocktail hour hors d'ouevre instead of the the usual CL offerings. 🙂 The least we've paid was $129pp on a 7-night cruise on Vision earlier this year. We used it every night except for one night at the Chef's Table, and at lunch on the three sea days.
  4. I, too, have been on a Princess ship when the call for blood donors went out. One thing they asked for was a donor card. Other than blood type and Rh, I don’t know what other information is on there. But I agree that it’s risky, but if I were the patient and it was questionable blood or die on the spot, I think I know which I would choose.
  5. CellarMasters had the same furniture as last year. There were a few public areas - Cafe al Bacio, Sushi on 5 and perhaps the Martini Bar (I don’t have any pictures from last year) that were shorted in the Revolution. Perhaps to distinguish the dinners, the one without Chef Boulud was called the Cellar Master’s dinner on the June 5 cruise (we were onboard). It was $279 per couple and included wine and gratuities. It was well worth the price of admission and they are still generous with the pourings. It’s in Tuscan Grill at a large table along the wall where the wine cellar used to be. I don’t think it’s a great location - I’m sure we were annoying other diners by the third course. Maybe even sooner, lol. I’ve just finished reading the entire thread - thanks for taking me back to a wonderful cruise! One thing I didn’t see much mention of was the entertainment. I have to say that it was outstanding in almost every way. I had stopped going to the evening shows on any line a few years back but made it to all but the second night on this cruise (that was our Cellar Master’s dinner). Every guest act but one was very good to amazing, and the two productions shows were also very good. The one that I walked out on was on the overnight in Bermuda. I suspect that CD Dan knew what he was doing when he scheduled her for that night. Around the ship, there was a guitar/singer duo that played almost every night in the Sunset Bar. We had AQ 1141 so only had to go out on our balcony to listen to them. And the house bands were also great. Ron, the singer in Cellar Masters, had an amazing book - I don’t believe I ever heard the same song twice in 11 nights. The orchestra is fabulous, more so considering that Celebrity have hacked their numbers to have only a trumpet and a sax on the wind side. The synthesizer made up for it, but to me there’s nothing like a live musician. I loved Summit and most of her revolution in the public areas. I thought that they made a mess of the AQ cabins - I liked the colors and the modern feel, but losing the multi-jet shower and the de-fogging mirror, having a single chair (we pulled in a balcony chair so we’d have two comfortable seats), installing a closet that can’t hold a long dress (even my long skirt hit the floor), having bedside lights that illuminate the entire room and having drapes that don’t close fully (about an inch short on either side) were all blunders as far as I’m concerned. Our oversized balcony was the saving grace - with two chairs and two loungers, it was a nice outdoor space with some shelter from the elements. Now if they could just reposition the movie speakers (or replace them with headsets)... I think that, along with tweaking the menus, they are changing the wine list. Cellar Masters was out of several on the current list, and in other bars they were showing wines that were never on the ship. But we managed to find plenty to keep us happy.
  6. I would avoid buying flowers online. We ordered some prior to our Summit cruise and what we received was about 1/2 of the blooms shown in the online catalog. When I called to report it, Guest Services sent somebody to look at them and refunded our money. I’ve had that happen on Celebrity and RCI, so will no longer order from them. Princess, on the other hand, still have a florist onboard their ships, and we have had some incredible arrangements, whether we order in advance or when we board.
  7. 3127 has replaced the private dining room with the wine cases. There’s a large table in Tuscan Grill where they had the Cellar Master’s dinner - not a particularly elegant location and I’m sure that by the third course we were annoying the people around us.
  8. Our aft AQ cabin on Summit had two lie-flat loungers and two upright chairs that reclined a little bit, along with a small table. But it is an oversized balcony - there wouldn’t be room for the loungers on any of the port or starboard side cabins. Notice that the Hansgrohe showers are no longer offered in AQ. There really is no “aqua” in Aquaclass, unless you count the two small bottles of water at boarding.
  9. It’s up to 20% on drinks now. The menu has wines recommended by the cellar master, but there are others available as well. On Summit last week there were two sommeliers in Blu, one very good and the other just ok. The first night we dined there I asked to see the wine list (it may have been the MDR list), as the verbal offerings were only the grape type, not the winner or region. After that, the first sommelier (I’ve already forgotten her name, shame on me) would offer that information. Most of the wines were good, not great, and several were not to my taste. But we always had a taste before an entire glass was poured, so not too much waste.
  10. Sorry, should have done a multi-quote. As I said above, Summit doesn’t have Murano. Also, there’s an “experience” factor included in the Cellar Master’s dinner that you don’t get in Murano - the pre-dinner chat with the cellarmaster, a galley tour, several staff hovering, wines picked for each course (most, if not all, of which aren’t available by the glass) and a great group of people (luck of the draw - we’ve had some “interesting” tables, too). I get that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but it is mine. 🙂
  11. Because we couldn’t even get onto the waiting list for the Chef’s Table, we attended the lone Cellar Master’s dinner that was held on the second night of the June 5 Summit sailing. Alas, the wine cellar in Tuscan Grill was removed in favor of extra cabins, so our dinner was in a corner of the restaurant. But the food and wines were terrific, for $279/couple, which included the gratuity (I hope the upload worked). I’d do that one again in the blink of an eye.
  12. We are just off Summit on Sunday, having sailed in 1141. I would book the cabin again in spite of quite a few shortcomings - the fabulous showers are gone, replaced by a weird donut-hole shower head, the heated mirror that didn’t fog over is gone, there is no loveseat, just a chair for 1-1/4 people and the drapes are too small for the sliding door (which we could barely open; the executive housekeeper who came to look at it couldn’t open it at all). We were next door in 1140 last year and I only recall hearing the movie from above once, when we were in port in Bermuda (it was The Wolf of Wall Street, and profanity rained down from above). And I could only hear it when I was on the balcony. In 1141, I could hear the movie every time, dialog and music while on the balcony and the thumping of the bass while in the cabin. Fortunately there weren’t many movies shown, but I did mention it on the mid-cruise survey and nothing happened. Our stateroom attendant told us that the cabins were completely gutted in the “revolution,” and I wonder if soundproofing was deemed too expensive. Also, now that the canvas cover is gone from the Sunset Bar, there were nights when the singer/guitarist had to compete with the movie to be heard - perhaps it wasn’t bad on Deck 10 but on Deck 11 it was pretty annoying. But there were many days when I just sat out on the balcony, covered when it was raining and sheltered from the sun on brighter days, loving the wake view. So for that I would put up with the intrusion, although I will continue to mention it onboard and in my surveys, no doubt in vain.
  13. I agree with you about my fellow countrymen and women. I got over that mentality some time ago. We were in a cab in Sydney, Australia, and got out without tipping. The cabbie said, "wait, you're Americans! You're supposed to tip me!" Since we already had our luggage out of the trunk (boot if you prefer), we kept walking. We don't get better service. Sometimes a morose server will smile at us and not others. I used to use OBC for my nails on 14+ night voyages. The last time I did, we were on for 18 nights and I availed myself of the 14-day guarantee three times during the cruise. It wasn't the product; the tech was putting it on too thickly and it peeled back from the tips after a day or two. I was unimpressed with her work, but I was impressed that the guarantee carried over from the first leg to the second leg of the trip.
  14. We cancelled a couple of cruises in Europe this summer (we're in the US, so only lost $200 on each) and they went on fire sale pricing for about $1000pp less than what we would have paid. We have two more cruises that we really only booked as placemarkers that we could transfer over, but our summer plans are set by now. Our strategy in the future will be to plan on staying on land. If an interesting cruise happens to show up in the bargain bin, then we'll book it. But the Azamara experience has declined since 2017, and it's reminiscent of what the line was like when it first launched. Philip Herbert told us that that they were aspiring to be a 6 star line. Too bad they've given up on that idea.
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