Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

Posts posted by DrKoob

  1. All the people who have told you about going airplane mode and turning on just the WiFi are right on. 


    But I am surprised at how many people say they turn their phones off and put them in the safe for the duration of the cruise? I use mine in every port for getting around. Maps and such. Tourist activities. In Europe I use it for Rick Steves tours. One of the biggest reasons for having T-Mobile is that your phone will work (for free) in all but six countries in the world. Just an observation.

    • Like 2
  2. Be smart. Start looking now for a LOCAL travel agent. Someone you can talk to face-to-face. I have booked with the same travel agent for more than 20 years. She has become a good friend. If I need her, she is there. Actually has fixed problems that I caused just because she cares. I have her office and cell phone number and actually once had to call her when I was in Europe in the middle of the night. She took care of us. Find someone like that, don't expect them to give you anything back (unless they want to) and let them take care of you. I pay the same price I would pay if I booked direct. She makes her commission from the cruise line which they pay her so they don't have to deal with me.

    • Like 2
  3. On 9/26/2021 at 5:08 PM, MarkTapley said:

    Smoking area is Deck 8, starboard, as you have read;  just forward of the rear elevators.  Outdoors, but under the Deck 9 overhang.  If you’re near the forward elevators you shouldn’t have any issues with smoke smell.  When we have walked by the smoking area, we have never been bothered by the smell.

    This is interesting to me because Viking is currently advertising themselves as a NON-SMOKING cruise line. 


    • Like 1
  4. 16 hours ago, MaverickPrincess said:

    My husband and I did our first Alaska cruise, on Celebrity,  in July, and it was the cruise of a lifetime! We cruise a lot, to us (3 times a year), and always on Celebrity and in the Caribbean before Alaska. The cruise was wonderful. Our excursions were wonderful. It was the perfect trip! From Seattle, 7 days. 

    If you loved Alaska from Seattle, you will love it even more from Vancouver. 

    16 hours ago, LGW59 said:

    Don't rule out Oceania, happy planning.  FWIW, Seattle is still a great and wonderful city!

    Seattle may be a great and wonderful city to you but it is getting worse by the day. Before you come here, see the Instagram account @Seattle.looks.like.s_hit (insert the H in that). Here's something from The Seattle Times yesterday.This kind of stuff is happening every day. BE AWARE AND VERY CAREFUL in Seattle.  

    The Seattle Times copy.jpg

  5. As someone who lives in Seattle we have been to Alaska eight times. The best cruises of all (unless you are traveling with kids) have been on HAL from Vancouver. While HAL and Princess have both been doing Alaska about the same number of years, HAL has all the best glacier reservations. But if I can give you one BIG piece of advice, sail out of Vancouver, not Seattle for so many reasons. I have a flyer that shows you why Vancouver is better. The only thing I would add is that Seattle is a mess right now. Hopefully it will improve by next summer but living in a suburb, we won't even go into the city anymore. Just Google Seattle problems and you will see what I mean. 328874332_ScreenShot2021-10-04at12_57_25PM.thumb.png.8980b0e2b92820f4100d68e244f1527b.png

    Hope this helps. We have done four of our cruises out of Vancouver and four out of Seattle. The four out of Seattle were to get on big ships with our grandkids so they could do all the fun stuff. The best have been on HAL or Celebrity (but they don't have the cool glaciers) out of Vancouver.



    • Like 3
  6. 4 hours ago, miltonplane88 said:

    DrKoob- ??I read that Teva type closed toed sandals with velcro straps don't work well in the Galapagos, can you comment on that?? Mine have a Velcro heel strap...I was going to take them with my waterproof ankle high lightweight hiking boots.


    Thank you!!

    You are going to take exactly what I took; ankle high light-weight hiking boots (mine are New Balance) and Tevas. Although mine were open toed but did have a strap around the heel. I used those for all the wet landings and the boots for the dry landings. 


    Hope this helps. 



  7. Two things come to mind when reading this thread:


    One, find a good Celebrity-specialist TA and let them deal with it for you. 


    And two, the cruise lines aren't the only ones doing this. I get a ton of ads from airlines advertising LOW fares. But those low fares include nothing. No luggage, no carry ons, etc. You have to pay for them. And some of the time it doesn't tell you that until you are deep into your purchase. 



    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  8. 1 hour ago, Tinkbelle87 said:

    I believe "Always Included" is a carry-over from the cruising restart, a sales strategy to try and get people back onboard. Now that more people are sailing they added "Simply Sail" for people who want a cruise only fare. 


    I have a cruise booked in 2018 that lifted and shifted to the end of October. I don't get the extra new perks but could have repriced to get those perks. The cost was significantly higher. I decided to stick with my original reservation which included the perks I really wanted anyways, grats and beverage package.


    I expect soon enough we'll go back to the pre-COVID sales strategies.

    Actually we won't go back. Celebrity really wants to be an all inclusive cruise line. They made that very clear when they did the announcement. If they wanted to encourage people to come back post COVID then they would have just dropped fares. They bumped fares significantly when they did this. Also, when they first did this, there was no Simply Sail prices. TAs were told...this is it. This is the way it will be from now on. Then there were so many complaints, they added the Simply Sail program. But as has been mentioned, it is not always available on some cruises.



    • Haha 2
  9. 5 hours ago, Fred321 said:

    Not crazy about Viking's overly grabby payment policy but I guess they wouldn't do it if they couldn't.


    Everyone else has covered so much that you are all set but I did want to tell you two things about the deposit situation. It is REALLY early on your first Viking cruise. But on your second it will shorten up to about six months or the last day of the year previous to your cruise. They can do this because they have the MOST loyal cruisers in the industry. Their cruises book up early and space hardly ever opens up. 

  10. We have sailed in Aqua on Reflection twice. Both times we had people in our party who were not in Aqua. They couldn't join us in Blu but we had dinner with them on a few nights in the MDR. They had anytime dining. All we did was walk up and had no problem getting in. There are always a lot of people who eat in the buffet so it was not a problem. We usually would let the folks in Blu know at breakfast so they didn't wonder where we were. And believe me, they get to know you really well in Blu and if you don't tell them if you are going elsewhere for dinner (MDR, buffet, specialty restaurant) they will either ask about it later or once they even called our room to make sure we were OK 😀


    And phoenix_dream is right. Best breakfast on the ship. Relaxed, superb service and incredible food. Have the blueberry parfait.

  11. 6 hours ago, MSEm said:


    So now I am wondering how you can eliminate the app from your phone before you travel if you need to QR code to get on the boat?


    Why would you want to eliminate the app from your phone? It takes up next to nothing as far as space. About the same as a single photograph.

    • Like 1
  12. 21 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

    It still seems a waste of space and time as the latest instructions from Viking for our Hawaii voyage tells us to bring our CDC card for inspection at checkin.  Way too much "junk" on my phone to worry with adding this one.

    If there is "way to much junk on my phone," why not delete some of it so there is room for an excellent app like Verifly that makes your travel life easier. 


    • Like 2
  13. 4 hours ago, LGW59 said:

    to your comment:  why do you insert "steerage" and "rich people suites".  I am neither steerage or rich, just a guy who saves for a vacation and decides what works best for me. 

    Because I believe that the entire ship should be open to all. The idea that there is not a front facing view for all but the suite guests on Edge class ships is just wrong. And to think that they were going to take Edge through the Canal...one of the most fantastic experiences you can have cruising—with 80% of the ship not able to watch it happen...is just wrong.

  14. One comment, one question.


    Question: If you are going to spend the $$$ to get into The Retreat or The Haven, why wouldn't you just take the same $$$ and go to one of the luxury lines. We (after 20+ Celebrity cruises) are leaving to go to Viking Ocean. Price for a stateroom slightly larger than a Sky Suite is less than that same Sky Suite on most voyages. And on Viking Ocean I never have to worry about a lot of what I see people worrying about on this thread; there are no kids, no upselling in the spa, no smoking, full access to all restaurants, free shore excursions in every port, no gambling, no art auctions, no pushy (and really horrible) ship's photographers. 


    Comment: This whole ship within a ship thing makes me think you are back on the Titanic with all the folks who aren't in The Retreat or The Haven or the Yacht Club in steerage and god forbid you should ever have to deal with those kind of people. Seriously I hate the way the new caste systems works. I don't mind it if it doesn't affect the "steerage cruisers" cruise but on the Edge ships it does. Unless you are in The Retreat you have nowhere to go for a forward facing view other than the gym. And the idea that the captain stops by to see the "rich people in the suites" and that this is expected kind of bothers me.

    • Like 2
  15. On 9/14/2021 at 7:56 PM, kent4489 said:

    Tuesday night…. My last update. We are home!


    Easy and uneventful travel day. Celebrity was there to pick us up for our transfer to Quito airport. 10:30 am pick up for 2:00 pm flight. We were the only ones going for this particular flight. They brought a small van. The Celebrity rep walked us in right to the ticket counter. Absolutely no line! We had our luggage checked and were through security in a matter of minutes. 
    We had plenty of time in the Sala VIP lounge. (We have Priority Pass.) It was a nice lounge. Just a few minutes to our gate and we even departed a few minutes early.


    Again, it was an amazing trip and the Celebrity service in Quito and the ship couldn’t be beat.

    You did GREAT on your report. We can't wait to go back and do this loop. Thanks so much and you have well paid me back for any assistance I gave you. 



    • Like 1
  16. On 9/13/2021 at 8:02 PM, Harley57 said:

    Thanks so much for the informative and enjoyable report.  We are looking at this cruise for a year from now.  Can you estimate the length of the ‘long’ hike?  Are we talking 5+ miles or in the 2-3 mile range?  Is the difficult part the uneven and/or rocky terrain?  Or is extremely steep?

    Keep in mind that the length is based on which cruise you take, the Inner (as Kent4489 did) or the outer like we did in July. I have an app called Map My Walk that tracks me via GPS. I made sure I had it turned on during all the walks. The longest was around 2.5 miles (I did all the long ones) but it took two-three hours. I can usually walk that in 45-50 minutes but with the rocky ground and stopping for naturalist discussions, that adds to the times. And it really (on some islands) not as much a walk as a HIKE! Really rocky or lava terrain. 

  17. On 9/13/2021 at 12:53 PM, frankh1969 said:

    Thank you for the wonderful updates of your travels. I am going in Nov. and leaving late at night on the day we returned. What is EB hotel?  Also which test did they give you? I need a PCR test to get back into Canada.




    The EB Hotel is where Celebrity was housing all guests on the first four cruises after they reopened in July. We stayed there and were VERY impressed. We had a huge suite. The restaurant is one of the best I have eaten in anywhere. Order any of the Ecuadorian dishes. They rock. We got a PCR test. 

  18. On 9/13/2021 at 1:34 PM, californiagirl said:

    Thank you for all the wonderful information.  I have a question about snorkel gear.  I have a very nice dive mask and dry snorkel.  I realize these items are provided but could I use my own?  I would use the ship’s fins.

    We had a lot of people on our July 4 cruise who brought their own. You will have no problems. 

  19. On 9/12/2021 at 8:21 PM, kent4489 said:

    I didn’t have a need for a dry bag.

    Good point. I would not have needed one if I hadn't of had my Nikon with me. If you do have a big, expensive camera you should have one. My camera would have been ruined if I hadn't had it in a dry bag on a Zodiac one day when we caught a good size wave that flooded the bottom of the Zodiac and got a lot of people and their gear pretty wet.

  20. 20 hours ago, kent4489 said:

    Good points. We are also looking at Viking Ocean. We already found 3 or 4 itineraries that look very interesting to us.


    Where are you thinking about going? Come join us on a Mediterranean cruise. 21 nights from Athens to Barcelona with not a single sea day. Three days in Venice, two in Florence, two in Barcelona, two in Athens and lots of other amazing small ports in the Adriatic. 

    • Like 2
  21. 18 hours ago, LGW59 said:

    Good points all and this from a person who as only been on 6 cruises.  Started looking into Oceania and while not totally all inclusive, still pretty darn close.  For late 2022 we got their second highest suite and we did it for a true forward facing suite 1200 SF with an amazing wrap around balcony.  Thousands less for the Celebrity Suite we canceled on Beyond.  We shall see but feel good about the decision.


    Well if you look at my signature you can see we just finished our 30th cruise (not 6) and 20 of those with Celebrity. But I too believe you made the right decision moving to Oceania. You will be much happier than on an E-class ship. 

    • Thanks 1
  22. 16 hours ago, abbydancer said:

    Thanks for the thread, and I'm glad you had a great trip.


    Just out of curiosity (feel free to not answer) - before the trip, you said that you would never give Celebrity any more of your money.  Do you still feel that way, or would you sail them if there was a good reason to?


    We are in the same boat. We are Elite Plus with X and other than Flora or to use up FCC we are done with Celebrity after 20+ cruises. They have turned into a total caste system. If you aren't in a suite, you may as well be in steerage. On the E-class ships there is no place to have a forward view off the ship unless you are in a suite. They have closed off everything at the front of the ship for those in a suite. And if I am going to pay the money they want for a suite, I will go to a cruise line that has other things we like better. 

    We are moving to Viking Ocean. They have no one on board under 18, no casino, no smoking on the entire ship, no art auctions, no ship photographers, no upselling, all specialty are free to all, one free shore excursion in every port and a lot more. And I can get a verandah stateroom for the same as I can get a suite on X. 

    Plus, when Celebrity went to everything included for all, they basically took all the benefits I used to have for being Elite Plus except the free laundry. Why bother having any loyalty to them. We do plan on sailing Celebrity again, but only Flora when we do the inner loop in 2024. 



    • Like 1
  • Create New...