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About DrKoob

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    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Redmond, Washington, USA
  • Interests
    Travel, Photography, Cooking, fitness, theater, film
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Azamara, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anyplace a ship can go...except the Caribbean
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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  1. That is not correct. It is not a gratuity. And it is never added to your bill at the end of the.cruise. We (all travel agents) have been thoroughly briefed on this. It is an add on charge when you book to cover increases X has had in the the cost of beverages since they started this program. So it is just a straight price increase. Where we (TAs) used to have three different pricing tiers to look at, (the old Good, Better, Best) we now have five (Good, Better, Better with beverages, Best, Best with beverages.) And none of this applies to anyone in a suite. The pricing with the additional $14 per day is still a MUCH better bargain than outright purchasing a beverage package. And anyone who purchases a cruise or has purchased a cruise prior to October 10, it will not apply to them.
  2. This was an interesting statement to me since the Silhouette and Reflection are basically identical ships? Reflection has a few more staterooms but that's about it. Did you mean that you had sailed on Silhouette somewhere else?
  3. Thank you so much Blazer. We needed a laugh this morning and this was it. And to be honest, except for trivia (which I can REALLY live without) I would LOVE your cruise (my tux misses me). Not sure about wearing it in the gym, my daily dry cleaning bills might kill me. So glad we have reconnected. Have a super day. You really improved ours. Jim
  4. For those who mentioned that you never watch TV on a cruise, just wait until you get sick. We had gotten to the point where we never turned on the television on a cruise until we were doing New England on the Summit last year and caught one of the worst cold/flu case we have ever had about a week into a 14 day cruise. Spent almost 3 full days in bed with nothing to do but watch TV. The movies were out for some reason and so we watched some of the worst television possible. It wasn't the content as much as the format of X trying to avoid showing the commercials that came with the shows originally (think HGTV or TNT) and replaying one part of a show over and over again. We had been on HAL about a year before and their television was wonderful. BBC nature docs while sailing through Alaska were perfect. Jim
  5. But don't worry. We sailed on her in June and will again in February and she is in great shape. Jim
  6. We were in Dublin last month (disembarked on June 14) and we had an overnight at the end of the cruise. We just got off on the last day whenever we felt like it...as long as you are willing to haul your own bags. We know of people who left the ship very early in the morning to catch flights. Gangway was open all night so you could come and go. Depending on the port, you should have pre-arranged transport ready because there is every chance there won't be taxis readily available or that there will be others try ing to get them as well. Hope this helps, Jim
  7. Unofficial guess here. It took more than six years for Alaska to get a Solstice class ship. I am pretty sure they had built all but Reflection before they sent Solstice to Alaska. It might have even been later than that. I wouldn't hold your breath.
  8. Other posters have mentioned the Family Verandah staterooms, group pricing and more. I just want to suggest the easiest and best thing you could do. Go find a brick and mortar travel agent in your town that you can sit down with and discuss this all. That’s what they do. And they don’t charge you a single penny for doing it. I can’t endorse anyone on these boards but you should be able to find someone nearby who can figure out if you can get group rates, if the Family Verandahs are open (there are only four on each ship but they are pretty awesome for a family of five) and just basically take care of you. I wouldn’t approach this kind of project any other way. I promise, that’s best advice you will get. Best of luck. We are taking our extended family (not as big as yours) to Alaska this coming Friday so we have done this. Jim
  9. Well if this an entire thread just to say hi to Blazerboy, I just have to jump in and say HI Andrew! Give Ed our best. Jim
  10. This one is easy. Get yourself a great Travel Agent! Someone you trust. Tell them what you want and they should get it for you within reason. Especially the air situation. Jim
  11. If I were CEO of Celebrity, I would cancel the remaining three ships and go back to the drawing board or dust off the old plans for an S class ship. If you have been around long enough to remember when Solstice was launched, the excitement was huge and after the ships sailed, the reaction was outstanding. Mainly because the Solstice ships were built based on keeping the current X customer base happy rather than to be attracting new customers. Every S Class ship was better and more anticipated. Obviously (based on the way Edge is selling) they really blew it this time. For us, Elite Plus cruisers with more than 20 X cruises, we are done. One more booked and that will be it other than a quick Pacific Coastal from time to time. Off to someplace else that gets what we like and values their current customer base. It's just sad.
  12. We were on Reflection to Iceland June 3-14. Had dinner one night in LCG at sea between Akureyri and Cork. No problem at all. It was cool but we with blankets on our laps, wearing a jacket and the heaters on, we had an awesome time. We also ate lunch at the Porch (one of the best seafood meals I have ever had) while docked in Akureyri. No problem then either. Had eaten at LCG on Silhouette between Belfast and Lerwick a few years ago. Same experience. No problems. One thing to remember about our experience. We are from Seattle so we are used to cold weather. Fellow cruisers from Florida were freezing.
  13. New policy. See this photo. Their latest brochure. Starts soon.
  14. Hi Andrew! So good to hear from you. We did take that pic a few years back when we did LCG on Silhouette. We made all the non-cooks, cook and took their pic! Have a great time on Eclipse. Hope we run into you and Ed again someday. Jim
  15. Sadly, the Qsine you know and that we love is gone. X has decided that this stupid 3-D movie cartoon chef is more important than interesting food. What used to be my favorite restaurant is not anymore. In fact that's just one more reason that after our next two cruises (our 26th and 27th—already booked) with X we are done with them. They obviously are only interested in attracting new customers and not keeping those of us who have supported them for years. The Edge is a disaster. Full of a lot of things built to hyper And they are going to build four more like her. Ridiculous. Jim
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