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  1. Hands down Celebrity cruises. Per their press lease below: MIAMI, FL – October 11, 2017 – Today, Celebrity Cruises is proud to announce that same-sex marriages performed on board are now legally recognized, marking a historic first for the modern luxury brand. The motion follows a transformative vote in Malta, where a majority of the Celebrity fleet is registered, which passed the country’s parliament 66-1. The long-awaited referendum opens the door for Celebrity to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed on board, and have the fleet’s captains officiate the ceremonies. "Celebrity Cruises has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and I cannot think of a more important time in our history than right now to do all we can to support inclusion. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that starting today, we welcome same-sex couples to marry on our ships while in international waters," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "This is one for the history books!" “Celebrity Weddings has already hosted many same-sex weddings in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, where legal,” said Barbara Whitehall, Managing Director, The Wedding Experience. “We are ecstatic that this new Malta ruling opens up marriage equality for anyone and everyone sailing with Celebrity Cruises while in international waters.” The Celebrity Weddings program offers onboard ceremonies and destination weddings for lovebirds. The Nautical Nuptials at Sea package includes a Captain-led ceremony, an event coordinator's services, live music, one hour of photography, cake for two, bottle of Champagne, a bouquet and boutonniere, plus additional romantic turn down amenities post-ceremony. About Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises' iconic "X" is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity Cruises' 12 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents incredible cruise tour experiences in Alaska and Canada. Celebrity is one of five cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL).
  2. It looks like RCI (parent company of Celebrity) is doing pretty good. See below: KEY HIGHLIGHTS Second Quarter 2019 Results: US GAAP Net Income was $472.8 million or $2.25 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $532.7 million or $2.54 per share. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $466.3 million or $2.19 per share, and Adjusted Net Income was $482.2 million or $2.27 per share. Gross Yields were up 9.4% in Constant-Currency (up 8.2% As-Reported). Net Yields were up 9.5% in Constant-Currency (up 8.1% As-Reported). These results include a 30 basis point negative impact related to the discontinuation of the high yielding Cuba sailings. Gross Cruise Costs per Available Passenger Cruise Days ("APCD") increased 8.2% in Constant-Currency (up 7.4% As-Reported). Net Cruise Costs ("NCC") excluding Fuel per APCD were up 8.9% in Constant-Currency (up 8.2% As-Reported). Full Year 2019 Outlook: Adjusted earnings for the full year are expected to be in the range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share. Net revenue yields are expected to increase 7.75% to 8.25% in Constant-Currency (up 6.5% to 7.0% As-Reported). This range includes approximately 70 basis points related to the discontinuation of the high yielding Cuba sailings. NCC excluding Fuel per APCD are expected to be up 10.0% to 10.5% in Constant-Currency (up 9.5% to 10.0% As-Reported). "We are elated to see our brands executing so effectively, keeping our business in an exceptionally strong position," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. "Our strategic focus on destinations, technology and people is clearly paying off. And, our core products are doing exceptionally well, driven by a gratifyingly robust demand for the Caribbean


    I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure you will have a wonderful cruise. If you go into it with a positive attitude you will have marvelous time. You and only you can decide what works and doesn't work for you. Hopefully you can come back to Cruisecritic after your cruise and write your own review about your Alaskan cruise. Don't worry about being a newbie cruiser. Each day in your cabin you will get a ship's newsletter, The Princess Patter, that tells you everything that going on and where to go. Make sure you read it and if you have any questions the cruise staff is right there to answer any questions and assistance you. Remember this a vacation - a time to put your cares aside and relax. I did an Alaskan cruise several years ago and it was amazing. The scenery is breathtaking.
  4. I'm sorry but I've been onboard the Queen Mary three times now and their is no admission to enter the ship via the hotel enterance. There is no land side ticket office prior to boarding. No one is taking tickets or checking hotel or restaurant reservations as you board the ship. Per their website: For guided tours - please proceed to level 4 (Promenade Deck) and proceed to the Tour Center and purchase you tickets. Yes...of course they want you to pre-purchase tickets via their website for the guided tours and the exhibits; but it not necessary to enter the ship and use their restaurants, bars or just walk around. They might give Carnival passengers a discount on the tours if you ask.
  5. The Queen Mary in Long Beach is open to the public. There is no cost to board the ship and you can dine in any of the restaurants and bars. The only cost is if you want to take a guided tour or if there is a special event or showing; otherwise, you are free to roam the ship, eat in one of its restaurants or have a drink in the Observation bar. To board the ship follow the signs to the hotel enterance. If you want to take a guided tour there is a tour desk onboard. You can inquired if Carnival's guest get any special discount for the ship tour. But you can do a self guided tour for free.
  6. Yes, I do. I sailed on her Jan 1986. I was on winter break from college and I sailed solo...I was 23 years old and had the cruise bug from watching all those episodes of The Love Boat in the 70/80's. I saved all my money working part time job on top of attending CSULB. The Carnival Tropicale was a new build for Carnival and since it sailed out of Los Angeles (San Pedro) my parent could drive me down to the ship. Now....this was a time when you could have guest on board and I invited a bunch of my gal pals from college to see me off. Boy...did we all have a fun time and my cabin neighbors thought I was such a stud with all those girls in my cabin...ha ha. Those days are long gone when you could have guest onboard; but still great memories. I still have all my pictures. The cruise itself was great. I tad cool the few days in/out of LA but Mexico was warm. I sat at the large dining table and had some fun table mates. I remember going to Senior Frogs (me in red polo shirt below) with them in Mazatlan and have a lot of Margaritas and coming back to the ship totally ripped. I still like to cruise and have been on many cruises since...although I not a big fan of Carnival. I like Princess and Celebrity and RCI.
  7. Oh, I think that kind of stereotyping all young and attracting people as the only ones that can have a good time. I consider myself as "average" looking and having gone on either an all-gay cruise or mainstream cruise; I've always had a good time and met others. I think it comes down to your attitude and your ability to get out of your comfort zone and mix and mingle instead of hiding behind a book. Most all people have some sort of social anxiety. It's all part of the fear of rejection. If someone isn't interest in me I just move to the next person. I guess if you want to hide behind a book that's your decision; but I think it's kind of pointless going on a cruise. You might as well stay home. Just my two cents.
  8. My first Princess cruise was November 1990 - Acapulco to San Juan on the original (1984) Royal Princess. It was Princess' flag ship and boy was it 5 stars all the way. Best memory was transitting the Panama canal and they had a lavish brunch buffet up in the 360 degree Horizon lounge with ice scultures and played music as we cruised Lake Gatum - very impressive.
  9. First off, I don't know of any place/website (other than what individuals have posted on CC) on specific reviews of any all-gay cruises. However, you can do a Youtube.com search and there are many videos of highlights of past Atlantis/RSVP cruises. That might at least give you a feel of what to expect at the parties. Second...I've done the room share program many times and each cabin mate is different. One guy would have absolutely nothing to do with me and with others we might go have dinner together or go into port. Although there is never any expectations you will hang out together. Atlantis gives each person a letter on how best to work out the cabin share and respecting each other privacy. I think most people understand this and are respectful...however, I have heard of a few cabin share horror stories. Atlantis staff is there intervene should your room share not work out; but changing cabin is probably not an option since most cabins are usually sold out. As long as you just use your cabin to sleep, change, nap and shower than you should be just fine. However, if you are worried about privacy and/or plan to spend a lot of time in your cabin (I just can't see this on an all-gay cruises) than a room share is not an option. I do think they try to group cabin shares in age ranges; but they can't guarantee it other than smoking/non-smoking. I always introduce myself on the first day and discuss up front how best we can share the cabin together. I've never had any problems. As far as the solo cruise experience - never had any issues. Atlantis offers nightly singles cocktail parties and two singles dinner during the cruise. On other nights as you enter the dinner room the staff is there to seat you with other guests in the dining room usually at tables of 8. The mix of guys (and a few women) ranges from 21 to 80 with the average ages in early 40's. European cruise will tend to get more Europeans; but you will have guys from all other the world and every shape and size. Since you get people from all other I find most people friendly and easy to meet. Sure, there will groups of friends traveling together and couples. I believe it's about 50/50 couples to singles. I've never been on an Atlantis cruise where I didn't meet some nice people. These cruises are perfect for singles; but you do have to get out of your comfort zone and mix and mingle a bit. If you are shy well this might be a tad difficult. But the staff is there is help out. You will have some a lone time and that's perfectly OK. This cruise will have a lot of ports so you'll be off ship and touring. The ship excursions are a great way to meeting other on your cruise. Sorry, no drink packages on any charters. It would be a money losing issue for the cruise line. People on charters tend to drink 2x to 3x vs. a regular mainstream cruise as I was told by Atlantis . Soda and water package are offered. If you want to find out current individual drink prices...just google "RCL bar prices/menu." Are far are other prices and information on shore excursions, spa, internet, etc. you should go the the "Royal Caribbean International" web site. You won't be available to book anything until Atlantis advises you via email about 1-2 mos prior since you'll need your RCL booking # to complete any purchase. If you have any issues/questions just call Atlantis reservations. Yes, Atlantis promotional material is nothing like the real cruises. Sadly sex sells. Sure, there are some eye candy, but there are a lot of normal guys too! Not to worry. Lastly, there are late night "theme" parties on board and well as afternoon "T-dances" up around the pool with top DJ's and sound systems and lighting. Atlantis usually send out the theme events about 1 month prior....no earlier. White party, 80's, 90's theme, Mardi gras, leather, military, tropical, etc. It's totally up to you if you want to bring outfits, but on a gay cruise it's very popular. There is usually a "Facebook group" on your specific cruise. It's a great way to discuss your cruise with others going as well connect prior with those going on your cruise. Just go to FB and search for "Atlantis Oasis Med Cruise." and ask to join the group.
  10. The ship is open to the public and you can freely enter the ship without paying thru the hotel entrance. The only cost is if you decide to take a ship tour. All bars and restaurants are open to hotel guests and day visitors. Enjoy.
  11. I've done many singles cruises where the travel agency has matched me up with strangers to share a cabin. In most case it's worked out well to a varying degree. As long as both of you respect each other "privacy" and are "respectful" to each others needs it'll work out fine. When you are doing a share it's best if you only use your cabin to sleep, change and nap. However, if you the kind of person that likes to hang out in your cabin then a share isn't going to work or if privacy is a major concern. Talk politely and yet firmly about how you plan to share the cabin. Discuss about "entertaining" guest in the cabin. No fun to find a "do not disturb" sign and locked out of your cabin. Yes....this can and does happen. I've heard a few horror story about cabin shares that have gone bad (although far and few between). You just need to have realistic expectations and be flexible when doing a cabin share with a stranger. Also, if things do end up not working out - you need to be able to speak with your cabin mate and fix it; otherwise, you can end up being miserable for the entire cruise. On the other hand I've had some wonderful roomies where we ended up having some nice conversations and maybe going into port together or a meal or two. Several roomies wouldn't have anything to do with me and that was just fine. Just don't take it personally. Also, if you end up with a "clingy" room mate - politely and firmly tell them you need some alone time or "me' time unless you both want to do the same thing. Don't always feel obligated to hang out or entertain them. This is about your vacation and what you want to do. You're adults and need to able to go off and their own thing. Lastly, bring ear plugs.
  12. RCI had to move you to a higher cabin grade that accommodates 3 people with two lower beds plus a 3rd pullman upper. Your original cabin grade probably only had cabins with 2 lowers or those that did have 3/4 uppers berths were sold out. The only logical choice was to move you into a higher grade cabin to accommodate your son and charge you the difference. Ships like the Oasis have many categories or grade of cabins and each have their own price. Balcony, outside, inside cabins all have numerous sub categories within each type and pricing is dependent upon location - forward, midship, aft. What RCI did was't unethical or greedy; it's just their business model with most other cruise lines doing the same. What you can do is keep checking prices prior to final payment and if you see a reduction - call RCI and have them do a price adjustment. The good thing is if prices go up you won't get a price increase if that's any consolation.
  13. Just because a category or room is sold out - does not mean there aren't cabins available. The cruise line routinely "holds" back cabins to assign them at later dates to GTY. If your category is truly sold out or even oversold then you will be "upgraded" to a better grade at no cost. When a category is sold out - all it mean it the cruise line is no longer selling it. We the public and have no knowledge what inventory or cabins are truly available. Most booking websites are just marketing and booking tools and don't show true inventory. When you book a GTY it means you will be assigned a cabin anywhere from the time you make your reservation up until pier check in. Rest assured you will be going and will be assigned a cabin at some point. In the future if you don't like this uncertainly then don't book a GTY.
  14. My suggestion is to fill it out before hand to save you time and hassle at embarkation. You'll need to fill out two sets - one to give to the cruise line and one copy you must keep for 7 years. (This is an official affidavit for your travel to Cuba). As I recall embarkation was crazy - very limited space to fill out the form - people were even sitting on the floor to complete them.
  15. Technically speaking traveling to Cuba as an American to go to the beach isn't consider an authorized "people to people" tour so to answer your question is NO. There are no ship organized beach excursions. However, once you get off the ship there isn't anyone from stopping you from going to the beach. The Cuban officials could care less nor the cruise line. There are no beaches near the cruise port so you'd have to get a taxi to and from the beach which is outside of Havana about 20-30 minutes. Probably no problem getting a taxi outside of the cruise terminal; however, getting one back from the beach you'd need to coordinate with your taxi driver to pick you up. Enjoy.
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