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Everything posted by sptrout

  1. You can book directly with Celebrity if you want to (grab the cabin you want for example). Then check with your favorite TA('s) to see what they will offer. Just give them your booking number and they may ask for some other minor details. Very likely that you will get the cabin you want (booked through Celebrity) plus any goodies that a TA may offer. I know of one TA that prefers this method; do not want to waste their time fishing around to try to match what you may want. We have used this method several times and it has worked great for Celebrity Cruises, much less so for others; MSC YC for example. Got great a deal on our last few Retreat Cabin bookings. One downside is that once you switch your booking to a TA they own it not you. No going back to Celebrity for many changes other than addons.
  2. I agree, all captains on Celebrity Ships speak Greek as their first language, it is just very difficult to understand them when they make announcements especially when we were in our cabins. Captain Kate was a refreshing change in many ways, but especially being able to understand her announcements. This language barrier problem is not unique to Celebrity; nearly all cruise ship captains have English as a second language. For example, RCL have captains from Norway or at least they use to years ago (we have not been in RCL for a few years). On our last RCL cruise (Voyager of the Seas) the Captain was from Norway. Our cruise was going to be his last since he missed being away from his young family for many months. He was the lead singer in a band made-up of several crew members. They played 100% Country & Western music and were very good. No accents just good C&W music.
  3. Agree with the others: few of us slightly more senior cruisers will never see Lahaina again, at least downtown. The famous "Old Lahaina Luau" is set to open soon, may already be open. A couple great videos recorded recently by a resident of Lahaina can be seen at the links below. Be prepared to be depressed.
  4. In our experience with both the YC's and Celebrity's Retreat "special section" is that there is nothing special about it. Good for late arrivals, but otherwise you are better off just getting to the theater a little early and get the seats you want.
  5. If you compare Celebrity's Retreat Class vs. MSC's Yacht Club (YC) then the differences are very minor. Some will say that the YC is as good or better than the Retreat. In most cruises the YC pricing is considerably less than a Retreat Cabin. Outside the YC or Retreat, then there are considerable differences. Most will then compare MSC to Royal Caribbean, NCL, or Carnival. Which class of cabins do you normally book on Celebrity? Your answer will drive comments from other people that respond.
  6. Thank you "dides" for posting your pictures. Looks very nice!
  7. If so, that makes two of us. Any information about S-Class cabins are hard to find. I hope someone in an S9 cabin will jump into, or any, Sun Princess thread.
  8. I agree with Tierun, but we are planning on finding out this coming January. The Sun Princess' new Signature Class seems to be vary similar to Celebrity's Retreat Class. Looks to me that the Sun will be Princess first attempt at a ship-in-a-ship concept. In any case much different than any other Princess ship. Give it two or three more weeks for the reviews to start rolling in.
  9. My DW and I have dined in Le Voyage three times including twice during our 11-night cruise last month. Each time we just pre-cruise reserved/paid for the standard menu. The "Tasting Menu" will be offered by your waiter before actually ordering any food items. I our case, we did not see a reason to upgrade to the Tasting Menu. Each person does order one main entrée, but that does not mean you cannot order more since we never asked, maybe you can. The service is outstanding so who knows what will be available if asked. As I remember, the main menu includes each of the entrees from the Tasting Menu. In all three of our visits my DW and I ordered different items so we had plenty of variety. The portion sizes are not large, more typical/standard size. However, there are a couple items that will be served to all that are not on the menu to fill in any gaps. One exception to the possible size issue is a chocolate-based dessert that is large and is great but extremely filling and rich. One thing that was odd this time is that I ordered lamp chops one visit and there were two lamp chops on the plate and a couple other small items (cannot remember what they were). The next night in Luminae I had their "Rack of Lamb". The only major difference that I could see was that the "rack' had three chops vs. two the night before as just mentioned. Anyway, do not brother with the lamb IMO. We have enjoyed each of our three dinners in Le Voyage and can recommend it. The service is outstanding (I always forget who our actual waiter was because we had so many folks stop by). If you pre-cruise reserve/buy the price charged is the final price and no other charges unless you order special drinks. We always just ordered wine from our "drink package" so no extra costs there either. Really feels odd to have a great meal and outstanding service and not have to pay any extra as we were very kindly told that the dinner "was taken care of". You not even receive a receipt were you could add extra tip money if desired. Enjoy your visit to Le Voyage and cruise.
  10. When reservations become available they will be shown in your Cruise Planner. You will be able to reserve individual restaurants if desired, also available days and seating times can we selected. We did the same process for our 11-night Beyond cruise last month. We picked three nights (Le Voyage (2) and Fine Cut (1)) several months ahead of time. However, I do not remember when I made the reservations, but it was a few months before the sailing date.
  11. We were on an 11 night cruise on Celebrity Beyond last month and there were two chic nights.
  12. Not really on point with the OP's question but: When we returned home from our 11-day Celebrity Beyond cruise (ending 1/19) both of us tested positive for COVID. Got feeling a little bad at the very end of the cruise, but did not get a chance to test until we got back to the house that evening. My wife had almost no symptoms at all and I had cold-like symptoms sore throat & congestion. I thought it was just a plain cold, my DW did not think that she had anything; we were both wrong. The worse part of this experience was the plane ride home when we descended back into Houston and the change of air pressure was extremely painful. Since we were both "plugged-up" no way to relieve the pressure differences in our ears. We could not hear much of anything for a few days. We were on Celebrity Beyond last January for a 7-day cruise and once again we both had COVID within a few hours of returning home. Due to timing of symptoms, we had to have caught it on the ship. This time no symptoms for me, but my DW had a bad cough that lasted for days. Has had been previously mentioned, both of us have now had COVID twice and the symptoms were no worse than a cold. Would have not been bad at all if not for the pressure change in the airplane on the 19th,
  13. We had the Premium Package and mineral water was never offered, but not asked for either. The water person in Luminae carried two bottles of water; one plain, and one sparking water. Mineral water was never mentioned.
  14. We were on Celebrity Beyond for an 11-day cruise starting 1/08/24 in a S1 cabin. I had totally forgotten about the plastic vs. metal can issue until seeing this thread again. During our 11 days I never saw a metal water can, always just the cheapest water, enhanced with small plastic particles, that is possible. Costco/Sam's level bottled water. When we first met our Retreat Host (aka overworked Cabin Attendant) I asked him about the four large Evian glass bottles of water sitting on the desk. He said that two were included, but that the other two were for purchase only. (Nothing mentioned in writing.) I told him that I normally while on a cruise drink a minimum of 1 liter of water a day hoping that he would get the hint. Wasted my breath. On most days he placed two standard plastic bottles on the desk, but not all; about 50/50 water or no bottled water. The last day he left us four bottles, I guess he was preparing the room for our departure and incoming passengers. (For probably the same reason, two additional robes appeared in our closest the same day.) We gather bottles of water whenever we we remembered, always in plastic. Again, never saw a metal can of water. The Retreat Host was good at cleaning the room, but seldom seen otherwise. Our "Head Butler" made a 2 minute stop once; never saw him again.
  15. Yes, very much like in past years. Anyone wanting the service must fill out a special form that is delivered to your cabin a few days before departure. There is a $29p/p fee (not related to the # of bags checked) and the same charge for all cabin categories. Your airline must participate and when I checked the form it look like most if not all domestic airlines are all in. Any luggage fees that your airline may charge (excess number, weight, etc.) must be paid upfront. Hint: take a separate copy of your airline itinerary. It is required, or at minimum very helpful. Since all my flight details were on my United App I did not have a paper copy. So, I had to go to Retreat Services so they could properly fill out the form. Seemed more complicated than what I can remember from years ago. There is a flight "window" that your flight must fit into. No sooner than noon departure, I do not remember the evening cutoff, but it was late. If approved by the airline, you will receive boarding passes and luggage tags the day before departure. The boarding passed are not needed if using your airline's App like we did. The luggage taps are temporary and replaced with standard tags somewhere in the process. You will NOT have a paper receipt of your luggage tags, but will instead received a text message with all the tag numbers. As with boarding passes, these numbers also are stored in your airline's app. Very nice; no paper. Yes, you must leave your luggage outside your cabin door by 10 PM, maybe a little later if okay with your cabin attendant. One thing that I found odd not directly related to Luggage Valet. We also used more of our OBC to but Celebrity's bus transfer to FLL. Totally messed-up; the taxis sitting a few feet away sure looked temping. Anyway, this cruise was for 11 days and as one would expect that average age was high (we did not help lower that average), but as we were waiting inline there were many folks that were pushing luggage that had no business doing so. Could not understand way so many did not use LV. So, my DW asked the couple in front of us and they said that they don't travel much and did not understand how to do so anymore. I sure would have figured it out!
  16. Sure does! We used it at the end of our 11 day cruise a few days ago.
  17. Agreed, the prices are ridiculous. Celebrity seems to be determined to price themselves out of business. We are now Elite+ and our next cruise will be on the new "Sun Princess". A new ship not yet transferred over to Princess, but will be soon. With this new ship Princess seems to be moving to the ship within a ship concept.
  18. You can use your OBC to purchase now instead of waiting. Your Cruise Planner should show the amount of OBC available in your account. Best to reserve/buy early to make sure that you get the day & time desired. Nothing to lose, you can always cancel later and get your OBC returned to your account. We were on Beyond for 11 days ending last week and I pre-purchased two evenings in Le Voyage and one in Fine Cut. Glad I did since we got both at the old pricing. The prices shown include gratuities and after dinner in each there was no check given and no tips expected. Just standup and leave; weird feeling. (FYI - - Both provided wine from our package, so no extra charge for that.) A year ago we were on Beyond for 7 days and dined at Le Voyage & Eden. Not impressed with Eden, but may have been just us. Le Voyage on the other hand has great food and over-the-top service. We had trouble keeping track of which server did what. The reason we bought two nights this last trip. Trivia - - For fans of the TV show "Suits" Chef Daniel Boulud appeared briefly in at least two shows. The "Fine Cut" was good IMO. I had the 12oz "Prime" aged sirloin (Premium Cut); the best sirloin that I have ever had (no extra charge BTW as some have misstated in other threads). DW got the "Filet Mignon", which she said was good. Since we were in a Suite and dined at Luminae all other nights, filet mignon was repetitive IMO. (She got the filet at Le Voyage also.) With the new very steep pricing, I do not think we would booked any of these again unless we had the $1,000 OBC to burn like we did this past week. Nice to have money to burn; DW got two nice purses and makeup. I could not think of anything that I wanted. And we still have another $750 rebate check coming from the TA.
  19. Last January we were in the corner aft cabin on deck 12 (Sky Shite). Dead quite the whole trip. A few days ago we finished a 11-day cruise on deck 10 just aft of the aft elevators. More noise, but it never bothered us. Although that cabin did have the now famous creaking and squeaking noises mentioned in another long thread. But, even that minor noise was only present during breezy wind and mild seas.
  20. Fish in general does not seem to be Celebrity's strong point. I have completely stopped ordering fish dishes and just stick with beef or lamb. My wife still tries fish dishes, but most of the time I think the fish were caught way too young. Last night was lobster night and she went for it. It looked to be no bigger than what we call in Texas; crawfish and even small for that.
  21. Actually the borscht soup is very good. I had bowl yesterday and earlier in the cruise. I had no idea what borscht soup was, but like many times in a restaurant that if you do not like it they will bring something else. Not a problem. Another thing that I have noticed over the years is that the menu writers get very creative in their descriptions. Many times you just gave to ask what your server recommends and usually you will get winner.
  22. For us it is not the vanishing Butler, but the sky rocketing prices that is driving us to look elsewhere.
  23. We had one 24 months ago while on the Reflection. I think we had one 12 months ago on Beyond, but do not remember for sure. A three person cabin crew provided much better service than one, over-worked Retreat Host (aka Cabin Attendant). No missing items, delivering all requested items, great anniversary surprises, etc.
  24. I know that this Is Butler thread, but one other person missing is the Assistant Room Attendant. The Assistant Attendant took considerable pressure off the Main Room Attendant. Now the Cabin Attendant has three jobs in suite cabins and I am sure that they are paid 3x more. Maybe not... How about non-suite cabins: Do they have just one Attendant? I have not seen anything about them. I assume that they are MIA also.
  25. Let me quickly add that the place that you purchase the TS is at the bottom of the Section for Spa Services; very easy to miss.
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