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About AllAboardatSea

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  1. Thanks. I’m the only elite in the cabin, so I guess I’ll call tomorrow and what the options are. From what you said above, it sounds like they offer a package halfway through the cruise that is discounted for the remaining days, is that right? But I couldn’t apply the 30% to that, it has to be done in advance?
  2. Sorry if this has been asked before. I tried searching but CC’s search feature isn’t real robust at filtering down. I’m going on Edge in 2 weeks and coming from Royal Caribbean as a diamond I have some questions. I was on Celebrity once before in 2016 but I had pre-purchased the week’s WiFi then, and my situation will be a little different coming up. On Royal just as Celebrity, we get the discounts for WiFi, and it’s based on the daily or voyage price that day for the rest of the voyage (so it subtracts days as you go along). Does it work the same on Celebrity? I’m trying to figure out whether to prepay the ‘discounted’ voyage price now, or wait until I’m onboard and pay on day 3 for the rest of the cruise, since that’s all I technically need it for (and get the elite level discount). If celebrity is all or nothing (I’d have to pay the whole 7 day rate), with the elite discount I’d still be ahead I think, right? just looking for some recent insights on how their system works. Thanks
  3. Um, wow... I am a millennial (often time, regrettably so), but I take my 5-10 cruises every year with my EARNED money thank you, and while I may not agree with the generational mindset of many of my peers, your statement hardly rings true. Everything is relative and everyone's situation is different, so broad generalizations like that do nothing to speak to the mindset of an entire generation.
  4. While I've never removed tips myself because I feel it's tacky, the problem is the overall format of the gratuities in the way it's presented. To have a flat fee and barely explain what it goes to (unless you seek out to find exactly how it's distributed and broken down) and then lump it into a large amount on the final day of the cruise, that's not a smart way of delivery for a company with a big budget and record of good marketing skills. Other cruise lines make the charge daily, which helps somewhat, but the lump charge not broken down is still a big problem. Where other industries, and indeed even the cruise industry to an extent is going more and more a la carte, breaking out the gratuities by person/department should be the next evolution, and may help with this issue. At least getting the money to where it is deserved AND earned. For example, I don't dine in the MDR some nights, so might be nice to remove or reduce the service charge for that portion.
  5. There is a reason Park West (& Effy) specialize in doing much of their business on cruise ships... Captive audience, which historically did not have easy/cheap access to the Internet while onboard. That has changed by and large over the past decade, and you can actually read up the reviews on these companies. I encourage you to do so, and have a shock/laugh. Just say no, and stay away IMHO.
  6. I have a question about the offers I've been getting. Generally, I've used my MGM Gold in the past on our Royal cruises for the associated benefits. With the new CR program I was about 400 points short of Prime last year as well, so I'm not even on their radar I don't think. But last fall I received a flood of offers for comp cruises and we still are trying to figure out why? The last ship we did was Allure over Labor Day and it was a casino offer that we paid for (BJ Tournament), and I didn't really accumulate much in the way of points nor lose much gambling. So we've taken advantage of all these offers as they've come in (4 comped booked in total for 2019), but I'm wondering what the end game is here as far as expectations from CR are? I assume they'll want us in the casino as much as possible, which isn't going to happen since we're in the process of buying a home. But does that basically mean I'll be cut-off from offers in the future if we don't meet some kind of pre-determined spending threshold?
  7. We just did our second Ultra last week and we both left feeling it was a bust, again. Compared to last year's Ultra they've 'invited' twice as many people (420 was the tally we were given for last week's) so the likelihood of being called is much worse. For reference, I was called once last year (other than the guaranteed prize) and neither of us were called A SINGLE TIME this year for anything, and we showed up for every drawing, every one. The same names kept being drawn over and over again, which was frustrating to watch especially when they weren't present. Last year I won an Apple Watch (already had one), he won an iPad mini. This year, we both won iPad minis (I have a regular iPad and he has the one from last year) so we were disappointed again. The casino itself was pretty crowded at all times but never prevented us from getting seats at tables. The cigarette smoke was beyond unbearable the whole week and my throat is still recovering from the second-hand smoke it was that bad. We got the offer for another Ultra in the Spring but we're going to pass from now on. It's not worth it anymore. We're 0/2 on a good prize and don't need the massive amount of second-hand smoke the Ultras correspond with. Let's not even mention the casino offers and how far they've fallen. Mine latest one says 'up to a free inside stateroom' yet there's not a single one listed when we search under that offer code. Really disappointed in what Carnival has done to the Ultras, it was fun last year...
  8. Carnival is a capitalistic corporation that knows first hand (remember Paradise...?) smokers spend and drink more than those who don't smoke. As much as it makes me cringe and roll my eyes, nothing will change. I keep putting the disgusting smoking situation on their ships down on my surveys as the reason I rate them middle of the road, but it won't end until there is a financial incentive for them to make things better for the majority of passengers that don't smoke. My suggestion on the surveys is to designate the smoker's prison cell at the back of the ships only so the rest of us don't have to avoid one side or the other in the middle of the ship just to avoid the smell.
  9. The biggest reason we won't eat dinner at Chops anymore is the menu revamp where they removed the cheese and onion soup, we LOVED it! That was a major misstep on their part, and now the dinner menu bears a minuscule difference to what they offer on the lunch menu. So now we only do Chops for lunch if it's at a steep discount ($17ish is fine for what they serve).
  10. We did this sort of thing last year, dropped off the rental car and took the passport shuttle down to the ship. It's very simple, but we only had one carry on and a backpack each. If you have a bunch of luggage I would not recommend to have everyone do this. There was construction at the pier last year when we did it so the regular stop was not in use and we had to walk quite a ways with our bag at the final stop. That has probably changed, but I have no idea where the regular stop is located at the pier. Easiest is probably to drop off everyone and the bags at the ship, then have your husband go drop off the car alone and take passport himself. I wouldn't recommend walking either, it's a hike and not really optimized for walking.
  11. Don't forget they may offer the 10 drinks for $X.XX, it's been offered on my last two sailings, for $89 and $79 respectively.
  12. This whole mess is so frustrating! Is it mid-2016 to end of 2017 or not? No one at RCCL gives a consistent answer, so I have no idea what is going on. The CR phone agents say one thing (16-17 qualification period, phased rollout, don't worry), then the onboard casino hosts say another (April 1 2018 onwards is what counts, I don't have you on my list, etc). So what is it??? So frustrating, and I'm not able to get a simple answer as to which tier I'm in out of a single person!
  13. A couple of data points. First, I have no idea how I qualified for this Ultra. The last Premier we did was April of this year, but I only had 1000ish points. My offer code for the Ultra is P9L and includes $500 casino cash. The last two Carnival cruises we've done this year we haven't gambled much due to the cigarette smoke; we're over the casino because of it. Ultimately this new offer is too good to pass up though, so we booked for November. Regarding your questions, on our previous Ultra, everyone got a prize. The way it works is they give you a particular night to show up. Your name is called, grab a ball with a number, that then corresponds to a space on a wall of pull tabs. That then shows which prize you've won. This is all if I remember right, caveat emptor. The minimum was casino cash (maybe real cash, not sure), we won an Apple Watch and iPad mini. They make you fill out a tax form right there if you won anything over a certain dollar amount (we didn't have to). My name was also called for $750 in casino cash, which was a nice added bonus. Other than that, I would say there are noticeably more drawings during an Ultra versus a Premier.
  14. Having been on both ships, I'll give you my opinion. Unfortunately, Splendor misses the mark on just about everything that Carnival does well in the food area. No Guy's burger, no Blue Iguana, no Guy's BBQ. If you don't care about that, enjoy the 'pink ship'. Pizza and entertainment on Carnival is better, more 'fun' in my opinion. That being said, Ruby is much more upscale, and happened to be our first Princess cruise. We left impressed, especially with the staff and food selection. The shows on Ruby weren't just bad, they were downright bizarre. We went the first night to one where it was like Alice in Wonderland on mushrooms, and we even overheard a lady the next day at breakfast comment how she had a nightmare about a tea party gone wrong... So we skipped the rest of the cast shows. Other than that we enjoyed Princess quite a bit. Since you're going without kids, I'd select Princess for sure.
  15. We used http://www.sharedshuttle.it/ a few weeks ago, it was a shared van and cost 95 Euros for 4 people. I would highly recommend them.
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