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About canderson

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  1. canderson

    Customer Service?

    [quote name='fleckle'] As soon as I transfer the booking to a travel agent, all my payment information disappears from my account. Then I am left to take the word of the travel agent as to whether or not the travel agent actually paid the cruise line. [/quote]If I recall correctly, prior to final payment, the "Status:" field of your reservation online at Celebrity reads "Booked". Once final payment has been received by Celebrity, only then will it say "Confirmed". From that, you'll know they've been paid.
  2. [quote name='rogfam']Are there any discounts? Different deposits requirements?[/quote]You'll find a lesser deposit amount and an OBC that will vary with length of cruise. As an example - on our last cruise, we booked another 14 nt on Constellation. $200 deposit, $300 OBC. Of course, waiting until you get home always incurs the risk of adding a few days to cabin availability, so booking even a few days earlier can sometimes net you the cabin you wanted instead of 2nd best. As it happens, we booked the cruise above the day it was released, so we pretty well had our pick of the ship.
  3. [quote name='Sky Sweet']Even though I find it difficult to understand that there are people who think that nothing in the entire wine collection aboard a Celebrity Ship is good enough for them, they certainly have the right to feel that they are too sophisticated to enjoy what is good enough for most Celebrity passengers. At the same time, it is also my prerogative to think of such people as wine snobs.[/quote]You can call us whatever you think appropriate, but perhaps as you do so, a bit of useful information -- a few examples, at least -- into what drives the business (and hence, many of us) would be helpful. I don't expect to change your mind, as it's never happened before, but at least hear us out, OK? I'd hate think that just being informed was a sign of snobbery. A few reasons for lugging that bottle along... [B]#1 - The Economics of Aging[/B] Understand that few restaurants, much less the mid-range cruise industry, think much of tying up large amounts of cash in wine that can't legitimately be sold. By "legitimately", I mean wine that [U]shouldn't[/U] be sold as it's not representative of what the guy in the cellar had in mind as his best effort. Wines are often released before they're really ready to drink. Some wines [U]require[/U] aging to develop to their best potential. If you can't taste the difference, this won't matter to you, and your options will be very broad for a wine selection. But calling others snobs because they can, and enjoy the differences -- that's just rude -- or perhaps just something I've seen called "reverse snobbery". When a wine is released for sale, restaurants and other similar venues have the option of "buy and sell" or "buy and hold". The best of the restaurants are in the latter category when it's appropriate, and are willing to tie up a fair bit of $$$ in inventory and storage space waiting for a wine to age properly before selling it to the public. You'll pay for that, of course, since they may well have had their money tied up in that inventory for quite a number of years. Understanding that MOST restaurants aren't willing to do this, some people buy their own wine, tie up their own $$$ and storage space, and wait patiently in order to enjoy wines that may well have improved dramatically since release -- by DESIGN. When someone brings a bottle like this to a restaurant or cruise ship to celebrate, it's understood by the "sommelier" that even something as unpretentious as a '97 Silver Oak is going to be enjoyed a great deal more than the '03 you might find on the restaurant's list. If I've gone to the expense of buying and holding wine just go avoid this problem, why not bring it along to enjoy? [B]#2 - The Economics of Scarcity (The Unobtainium Factor)[/B] Not all vintages, no matter that they're from the same grape plants in the same plot of dirt and handled by the same guy in the cellar, are created equal. Mother Nature is a bitch, and she can play havoc or bestow wonders on a yearly basis. Been there, seen it up close and personal as we hit the juice with a refractometer. As a consequence, some years will stand out above (or [U]below[/U]!) others, sometimes to a very dramatic extent. Ships and restaurants get as much of a vintage as they get in a given year, and when it's gone -- poof -- it's gone. Can't make more of that. They will likely even sell it "prematurely" and run out before it's even reached it's potential (see #1). Yes, you can find [U][B]a[/B][/U] bottle of '59 Bordeaux if you're willing to pay for it. Few restaurants and especially ships carry really extraordinary vintages in inventory. They'd never be able to find enough, even at auction, to make it worth putting on a list if they were trying to buy them now, and they certainly don't buy tons and hold (see #1, above) to make it available for years afterward. So if a person thinks that 2004 was a real stinker for (_fill in region of vineyard location_) but that's what's on the open market at present, that's what the restaurant or ship will have to offer. The idea of bringing along a bottle of 1994 to enjoy instead makes loads of sense. Last, there are some great wines out there that will [U]never[/U] have sufficient production to be able to supply a cruise line the size of RCCL/Celebrity with enough product to make it through a season, or if they could, to do so and keep the rest of their channel happy. That seems to be a prerequisite for more popular varietals. There are a great many wines you'll never see on a cruise line list for this reason alone. [B]#3 - The Thin List Problem[/B] I'll grant you that there's a lot of variation in the breadth and depth of wine lists you'll encounter out there. You'll find that, as much as anything, the list often reflects the tastes and interests of the owner/buyer as much as it does the real number of possibilities out there in the wine world. While Celebrity isn't nearly as guilty of this as some places I've had dinner, there's still a bit of a bias that runs through the list, just as there's a bias in my own preferences in wine. How well do they match? Those establishments with the least breadth in their lists are less likely to hit on something that really takes my interest. If, through some personal preference or perversion, I happen to like a good sweet/tart auslese with pork roast, I could lay some long odds against finding it on a typical list. If I've got some great examples cellared, am I a snob just for bringing some along? [B]#4 - Sentimental Journey[/B] Even wine [U]novices[/U] will often have a vintage or vintner that brings back a memory of some past event. For example, while 1986 isn't the absolute end in d'Yquem vintages (but it's still wonderful), I'd have liked to have taken one for dessert for our 20th anniversary. That a restaurant or cruise line will have a wine that happens to match in such a way isn't common. Is this sort of thing [U]snobbery[/U] ??? Perhaps it's time you gave the facts some thought, and got over the name calling?
  4. canderson

    Cruise Insurance Poll

    [quote name='Sky Sweet']Thank you, CAnderson, for informing me about Supplemental Medicare polices that are available directly through Medicare. I was referring to Private Medicare Supplemental Insurance/Medigap that is provided by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. [/quote] The supplemental plans I mentioned ARE private/medigap plans. The standardization of the lettering (C through J) is dictated by the government in order to standardize understanding of the benefits, but these are [U]private[/U] plans. [quote name='Sky Sweet']That was based on information provided to me by Blue Cross/Blue Shield when I checked with them to see if I was covered outside the United States. At that time, they told me that I was covered but people on Medicare who have their Medicare Supplemental Insurance/Medigap policies are not. [/quote] There's something very, very wrong here. All companies offering C~J supplemental plans are expected to handle [U]emergency[/U] services in foreign countries as part of those supplements. I'm not sure which state you're in, but I'm very surprised that your local Blue Cross gave you a bum steer.
  5. canderson

    Cruise Insurance Poll

    [quote name='cruising with marti']Well, what the goverment says and the reality of thier policies, are two different things.[/quote]As described, both of the incidents should have been covered. Receipts from the infirmary along with your statement and itinerary for the cruise should have been sufficient. Reading them their own text can be helpful. In extreme cases, there are actually lawyers who devote their careers to dealing with these nincompoops who handle claims. If you don't like the answer you get the first time, call back! It's a bit like Celebrity's shore based customer support.:p A few years back, we had a [U]substantial[/U] situation on an NCL cruise that required a jet ambulance return to Miami. Paid for the entire mess on American Express and submitted the bills to Medicare and got them paid. Took three rounds with them, but they finally coughed up per their own rules. Anyway, the point of the initial post was to point out that many people may have coverage that they've either forgotten or never realized they had. This can cause problems when attempting to submit claims elsewhere, even after the fact. Further, as there are so many "3rd party" trip insurance plans out there with some very different coverage, it's worth looking at the combination of existing supplemental coverage along with those plans to see which 3rd party policy will complement the Medicare best/sufficiently without unnecessary coverage/expense.
  6. canderson

    Cruise Insurance Poll

    The following definition for being "in" the United States comes directly from www.medicare.gov: (The “United States” means the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and for services that you received while on board a ship, the territorial waters adjoining the land areas of the United States.)
  7. canderson

    Cruise Insurance Poll

    Had promised myself I would not post here again, but could not let this bit of misinformation pass -- it may be very important to someone reading it. ONLY those participating in the basic A and B programs will have no coverage under Medicare. Those who are participating in other plans will indeed be covered. SS: Please review supplement plans under supplements C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J. ALL of these include coverage for "Foreign Travel Emergency" care.
  8. canderson

    Does the advice of Newbies hold water?

    [quote name='Cruise Arizona'] If a newbie post a single rant about how awful their cruise was and the reasons seem unbelievable or rediculous then I don't take it very seriously. OTH, if a newbie comes on because they just found the sight and posts a thoughtful review, then I find their input just as valid as someone who has 15K plus posts.[/quote]I'd agree 100%, but then again, I'm not here (am I?)
  9. canderson

    No Breadsticks

    Toaster oven? That's just so 50's. You'd think they'd at least be giving out Braun coffee grinders or something. Or is that too 80's?
  10. canderson

    Galaxy Refurb?

    [quote name='poetic license'] I was on GALAXY 1/9 - 1/21 and the Cruise Director told our CC group that the drydock is expected "at the end of 2006". [/quote]I keep hearing this. Did they happen to mention which cruise they planned to cancel to make this happen?:rolleyes:
  11. canderson

    Galaxy Refurb?

    [quote name='CruiseTobey']Hello all. First time poster. My wife and I have booked a cruise on the Galaxy for April 2007. This is our first foray into Celebrity since we are Royal Caribbean fans. Does anyone out there have any firm information about a refit of the Galaxy between now and April 2007? I've heard whispers of a drydck in October 2006 but haven't been able to confirm this. Any other first-hand info about the Galaxy would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance,[/quote] Unless Celebrity cancels a cruise, Galaxy is booked solid right on through April 26, 2007, and no dry dock could occur until after that. That's not to say they might not cancel a cruise and do it, but that'd be unusual, not to mention annoying!
  12. canderson

    clothes hangers

    [quote name='ewh']Can someone tell us if there are clothes hangers in the closets in Galaxy SS rooms? Would be much appreciated. We leave out tomorrow. Thanks.[/quote]Yes, there were probably a dozen and a half in the main closet area. However, these hangers are quite thick, and only a few lend themselves to the hanging of pants and skirts. We've found that it's easier empty out the Celebrity hangers and to bring the type that have the whitish crossbar covered in "Post-It" that holds pants well, and then hang both a pair of pants and a shirt on each one, saving a lot of horizontal space in the closet that would otherwise be taken up by the bulkier (and less useful) hangers that Celebrity supplies, one item per. Which SS did you book?
  13. canderson

    No Breadsticks

    Thankfully, not true. Celebrity is fully aware that deleting the breadsticks from the dinner table would cause an instant mutiny! Would be curious where you read this. I do know one or two that complained about not being served a continuing supply through the meal, but hadn't heard from anyone that they were left out altogether.
  14. canderson

    MV or what

    [quote name='RickandAnne']Will they use azipod technology? Has Meyer Werft ever built ships with pods? Do they use gyroscopic stabilization to prevent something this big from just falling over in the water???:D Canderson, you're generally very good at digging up interesting facts like this.....have you seen anything on this topic? Inquiring minds want to know... Rick[/quote]As a side note, the Azipod units that are to be used at Meyer Werft for the new RCI monster builds are to be supplied by ABB, and yes, Meyer Werft has used ABB brand pods before on other ships. Love the gyro idea!:p
  15. [quote name='Palms2Pines2Sea']But for Celebrity to risk that move, the bean counters would ask, "But how many will we lose?". And that is not a risk that Celebrity would willingly take.[/quote]Judging by the [U]existing[/U] level of compliance, it's quite easy to project that the losses would be [U]minimal[/U].