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About misterkevin

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Pembroke Welsh Corgis, fitness & teaching spin classes, traveling, live music
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  1. Here's an interesting video of progress on the main pools from the drydock
  2. My favorites at Murano are the lobster bisque, spinach salad, Peekytoe crab parfait, chateaubriand prepared tableside (which you can order for one, but it's too much), the venison loin, strawberry balloon crepe, and the Grand Marnier souffle. I agree with GastroGnome about the lobster. It's rich and heavily sauced. Here are some Murano desserts:
  3. Is there any way to confirm what might be completed after the dry dock in Cadiz? I'm wondering because the updated deck plan shows completion of the final revolutionizing of the ship in May 2020. Specifically, however, it doesn't show the Retreat on Deck 16 updated until the second dry dock.
  4. I know if your MoveUp bid is accepted, you'll only get the Captain's Club points for the cabin class booking for which you originally paid. However, what if you book a guarantee cabin and you're upgraded to a class of cabin with more points per night? Are points awarded only for the class you originally booked? Are perks awarded for the new cabin class? Clarifications: 1. I'm specifically asking with regard to suites. 2. I've searched here and can't find an answer. 3. I realize this is a pie-in-the-sky hypothetical, but I'm curious.
  5. Where did you see that?
  6. My issue with this newer layout is the planned lack of options for two to eat breakfast in the cabin. We've cruised Celebrity in Aqua before, and didn't have an issue with eating for two inside. As a point of reference, last time I checked, it was also the case with Princess or even Carnival. The smaller sofa for one and lack of an adequate table is calculated to discourage this, which means they can cut room service staff, but keep overall prices the same or higher.
  7. The prices are a determining factor in choosing a specialty restaurant for me as well. Murano is high at $50pp, but it is a bargain for the quality and service. Plus, I'll typically book it the first night to take advantage of a discount for $35pp. I think we paid $30pp for Silk Harvest, which is rather high for a standard Asian restaurant, but I felt the service and quality mediated that price. LPC is $55 which makes it the highest price I have ever seen for a specialty cruise restaurant. Part of my issue is just the continuous price creep lately on Celebrity. For example, if the premium beverage package has a $15 limit for drinks, why are there specialty cocktails which aren't included? The beverage packages are advertised as "One Price. Zero Worry."— but that's misleading. It's kind of a nuisance nickel-and-diming mentality I don't particularly feel fits for a "luxury" concept. Celebrity is a great product, but is it that great?
  8. This is a real disappointment for me. Silk Harvest felt like a best-kept secret on the ship, and that's probably due to inadequate marketing for the restaurant. We visited on a lark on my last cruise because Murano was booked, so I tried it. I was blown away with the urban sleek atmosphere, the amazing service, the incredible value, and the completely fresh take on Asian fusion in the menu preparations. The menu descriptions belied how interestingly the dishes were prepared. I don't think people understood the concept, and Celebrity didn't do a very good job of selling it. To replace it with a Disney-style gimmick with a prix fixe menu of predictable surf and turf makes me sad since I thought Celebrity cruisers were more sophisitcated than that.
  9. Modern luxury is watching your cabin mate dine alone at the only place with a surface to eat from in the cabin? If this is an actual Celebrity ad, it's kind of an insulting joke. And regarding those slippers, with my size 13 feet I've always felt like Cinderella's evil step-sisters. Can you order a larger size?
  10. I've discovered transferring to a TA can often give additional perks like OBC. Although my TA has never comped tips, I've heard of that. Lately, I'm concerned my travel agency isn't advocating for me to get the best price, despite having booked 7 cruises with them. I recently called about a price reduction visible on the website after final payment was due, and they basically brushed me off. They also have a $25 booking fee and a $100 cancellation fee. Is this typical? Any suggestions?
  11. I started cruising in Aqua on Celebrity after they stopped offering custom muesli for breakfast, and I still consider Blu a perk worth paying extra for. Of course, I don't know what I'm missing, but it's not a deal breaker for be for these reasons: The staff is wonderful and know us almost immediately. The room is smaller so it's more intimate, and there's typically no wait or very minimal wait to be seated. The breakfasts are delicious and include fresh squeezed juice. The dinners entrees are typically more interesting than the MDR, but we've had the opportunity to order from MDR menus on the Summit. We get our drink or wine orders taken and filled quickly. It feels more exclusive, because it is. The little perks from Aqua for me give the vacation a special feel without having to pay double or triple to upgrade to suite class.
  12. This is a quibble, but the pressure is not to maximize bonuses and cut corners. Rather, the pressure on all executives is to maximize shareholder stock value by cutting expenses while keeping customers just satisfied enough to not stop buying the product. If they were planning on cutting corners, they wouldn't put $500M back into the ships to "revolutionize" them. Also, they don't want to homogenize the industry per se, but the cutting does ultimately detract from the special experiences on Celebrity which set them apart from the other mass lines like RCL, NCL, and Carnival, and even the other mid-luxury lines like Cunard and Princess. When they keep the stock prices high based on expenses and revenue, they get their big bonuses.
  13. I'll add another vote of disappointment for the retirement of Silk Harvest for Le Petit Chef. Silk Harvest was an amazing fusion of Asian flavors, a good value, and gave guests a variety of options. To me, LPC is an overpriced Disney-style gimmick with a prix fixe menu tailored towards least common denominator tastes in fine dining: surf and turf. I'm glad I didn't make reservations for Silk Harvest which still shows on the cruise planner. I don't want to be a total Debbie Downer. I hope there will be much more to like. I'm looking forward to the movie screen and alcoves.
  14. It seems like many of the changes to the furniture and room layouts are to give the impression of more space in the cabin and balcony. These are standard tricks of the interior decorator trade to make a space feel more open: Remove foot stools on the balcony. Remove table on the balcony. Remove table in the room. (now being replaced due to complaints) Make the sofa in the room smaller. Replace cabinet doors with glass. (gives the impression of more space in the room, although I like to have everything put away and out of sight to make the space feel clean) However, if the changes are at the expense of functionality, especially compared to the expected experience of loyal cruisers, it's nothing more than a trick. I suspect Celebrity has to balance between delighting new cruisers and satisfying their loyal base. I'll remain open until I experience the new revolutionized Equinox in July. I'm relatively new to the Celebrity fold, and my experiences on the Equinox and the Summit were so much better than Carnival and Princess, I switched my focus. However, with the exceptionally high prices on new Celebrity cruises and these big, revolutionary changes, nothing's set in stone.
  15. I had nearly the same experience on Equinox and Summit last year. Pool bars and sometimes even the Sunset Bar gave me grief if I asked for a mixed cocktail with call brand liquors. Technically, you can ask for a rum punch or a pina colada with top shelf brands on the premium package. If they were busy and I asked for a custom cocktail, the bartenders were visibly displeased with my orders at pool and Sunset Bar. Perhaps if I had indulgently overtipped at these venues, they'd have been more accommodating. Indoor at any bar, that wasn't the case. However, because of the juices, smoothies, premium waters, better quality wines, coffee drinks, and liqueurs, it's very much worth it to us.
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