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Everything posted by talljules1

  1. I think that is really wise! Good decision. As others have said, trying to get there on the day of sailing can be very stressful, and you are completely stuffed if something goes wrong.
  2. Well, we are back after an amazing cruise. All worked out well. Boarding was very smooth and we were on board within 10 mins of walking into the terminal. Most of what we had communicated to the shoreside concierge was set up already when we walked into the suite. Handed a copy of the email to our excellent personal retreat host (butler), Joey, and he rapidly had the rest sorted. The RS was AMAZING!!!! Joey was brilliant. We had unlimited laundry - and used it, so almost none to do on return home. The retreat hosts sorted out lunch reservations for us (but I suspect we didn't need them - The Porch, Sushi on 5, Lawnclub Grill were not busy at lunchtime). We were invited to (and attended) a VIP lunch with the officers in Blu on the last day - food was amazing. We definitely made the most of unlimited specialty dining, and the food was great (except in Le Petit Chef where it was OK but not special). The in-suite dining was good as well - we used it for breakfast (and had some amazing breakfasts!)
  3. The duty free alcohol/tobacco shop was closed for the duration of our cruise (sail date 17/07/2021). The other shops had their usual stuff. The iLounge seemed small (not that we ever use it, so I suppose that doesn't matter to us!! lol). Don't know if their prices are competitive or if they have the most up to date kit as did not ask.
  4. Did walk through, but didn't spend time there. Didn't seem too busy.
  5. SHIP NAME Silhouette CABIN # 1241 DECK # (3-14) 10 CATEGORY: 7-12, 1A-1C, 2A-2D, A1-A2, C1-C3, CS, FV, PS, RF, RS, S1-S2, SG, SV RS LOCATION ON SHIP: Port (left), Starboard (right), Bow (front), Stern (back) or Inside and Forward, Midship (between the forward and aft elevators), or Aft (For example: Port-Midship, Bow-Forward or Inside-Aft) Port Midship BED NEAR (Bath, Balcony, Window, N/A) In it's own separate room within the suite. QUIET? (Yes/No/Usually) Yes - very. Although very close to the aft elevators, no elevator noise. BALCONY VIEW (Good, Great, Obstructed?) Excellent - on the hump, unobstructed. BALCONY SIZE (Standard, Oversized, Other) Oversized - RS. WIND A PROBLEM? (Yes/No/Sometimes) No SOOT A PROBLEM? (Yes/No/Sometimes) No PROBLEMS/COMMENTS (Explain all Noise (including crew door issues), Wind and Soot Problems here, plus all comments and information regarding things like connecting or accessible cabins) Fantastic stateroom. Excellent location. Very comfortable. Comes with unlimited specialty dining. This includes the gelateria. The in suite dining is also superb. We were allowed unlimited included laundry. Stateroom set up comes with two bottles of spirits and minibar set up. PICTURES (Attach pictures in your review) DATE OF CRUISE AND "REVOLUTION" COMMENTS Sailed 17th July 2021 (ship had been revolutionised) 002.
  6. Yup - they've renamed them. That was his title on his badge (and how he introduced himself to us)
  7. So - we are just back from our 6-night cruise from Southampton, which sailed on 17th July 2021. I was having serious doubts as to whether it was sensible to go the night before. I am glad we went. First off - PCR testing. We're in Sheffield and we used Eurofins. We had our tests in a travel agency across the city on the Wednesday before the Saturday testing. It was very straight forward, and we both had our (negative) results back in less than 24 hours. Phew! Our boarding time was 12.00-12.30pm. We arrived at the port at 11.50am and parked up. Asked the stewards in the carpark whether we should bag drop in the carpark or in the terminal (as in the retreat) and were advised there was no bag drop for us in the terminal. Dropped our cases at our car, and headed in. We were stopped twice on the way in to the building - first to ask us if we had been vaccinated, next person asked us if we had our PCR results. Once inside we let someone know we were in a RS, and we were lead through security and to someone with an iPad. She scanned our passports, XPress passes, COVID passes (I had printed them off from the NHS app) and PCR results (which I had also printed out). We were then immediately escorted onboard to our suite - and were aboard by noon. The ship was at ⅓ capacity - about 1000 passengers. Was lovely - also meant the lifts came really quickly, even on disembarkation day! The RS was just amazing. We've never sailed in anything higher than a Sky Suite before. Our personal retreat host (aka butler), Joey came to introduce himself and talked us through the suite. Told us we could have unlimited free laundry (and we made use of that - almost everything we brought back is clean!). Almost everything we had asked for from the shoreside concierge was already set up. I gave Joey a copy of our email exchange and the rest was sorted within minutes. Next, we did our muster drill. You watch a short (approx 2 min) video on your stateroom TV, and then click to confirm who has watched it. You listen to a recording of the ship's emergency signal, and then we headed to our muster station where they confirmed we had watched it, and put stickers on our seapass cards. Whole thing took no more than 5 mins, including getting from suite to muster station. Much better than the old way! I need not have worried re COVID. All the crew wear masks all the time. Seating was distanced. Everyone wore masks indoors (unless eating/drinking) - didn't see anyone not doing it. Hand sanitiser stations everywhere. It felt very safe. Indeed, it felt safer than at home! All of the staff were so friendly and helpful. They seemed genuinely pleased to have us aboard and to be sailing again. They really made our cruise. Our personal retreat host and the retreat concierges (Mike and Andrea) were lovely and great at dealing with any minor niggles as they arose. Despite social distancing we were still able to meet fellow passengers and make new friends. The ship is beautiful, and the upgrades due to revolutionisation are really great. The retreat lounge and sundeck are nice but we didn't spend much time there - not a lot of shade on the retreat deck (and, well, it IS a sundeck!). Did pop in to get the drinks we like (with spirits not stocked at most other bars). The new seating areas by the Sunset bar on Deck 15 are just wonderful - we loved it. Food on board was superb. We had breakfast in our suite or in luminae - both very good. We ate lunch in the Porch, Lawn Club Grill, Sushi on 5 and Luminae - and on our last day were invited to lunch in Blu with the senior officers. All were very good. Dinner was generally in Murano, with forays to Tuscan, Luminae and Le Petit Chef. Murano remains our firm favorite. Tuscan was good too - I tried the Porterhouse (i.e. T-bone) steak and it was tasty (and yes, there is an upcharge even if you have all-inclusive specialty dining. We knew and expected that). We had made our dinner reservations prior to boarding. We found we didn't need to make reservations for any of the other restaurants. We didn't eat in the MDR or Oceanview, so can't comment on that (other than to say that when we looked in, the food in Oceanview looked great!). I have a medical condition that results in a special dietary requirement and it was effortlessly catered for. I ate very well indeed! There seemed to be plenty of things to do on board, but on board entertainment generally doesn't interest us so we don't bother with it. (We like to spend our time either sitting and chatting with people or sleeping/reading.) However, no need to book - if you want to go along, just pitch up. The cruise director, Lewis, seemed very engaging. As others have noted, if you buy something onboard, VAT is added - worth bearing in mind if you're going to buy expensive jewellery or watches etc (as I did). There are still good deals to be had and I found the staff open to negotiation. I left feeling I got a great deal and am happy. We didn't do any shore excursions and stayed on the ship - we went for the cruise, not the ports this time. It was very relaxing. We had one evening chic night (6-night sailing). This was on the first sea day. There was a good range from smart casual (that was us) up to dinner jackets. So, wear what makes you comfortable! We wondered whether restrictions re masks/distancing/shore excursions would be lifted on 19th July. They were not. (Didn't hear anyone complain about that - and we too were glad they remained). We asked the officers at lunch on the last day, and were told that they would remain in force for the cruise leaving today. (So, rules might change in future, but they had no idea when). I've seen comments in the thread re travel insurance, I think. Yes - we had some. No, no one asked us about it and no one asked to see it. (We always travel with it). No one took our temperature, we did not have to undergo any testing on board (no maths A Level - awww!), and there were no tracelets (and, I think, no plans to use them). All in all an absolutely wonderful cruise. We thoroughly loved it, felt very spoiled by (and lucky to have) our RS, and were sorry to have to disembark.
  8. Just got home - amazing cruise. Will write proper review etc when have recovered from the early start and long drive. You are correct - VAT is added. I got the Chronomat 44 - and, VAT included, saved £1500 on what I could have bought for from the dealer here (plus saved another $400 from un-used OBC). Deals are there to be had - negotiate!! I used the Wi-Fi to check prices at Goldsmiths before I walked into the store, so I knew what the prices were, and negotiated in £ (they converted back to dollars at the end - I made sure I knew what exchange rate they were using for that) and as a final price (VAT inc.)
  9. Well, very nearly completely packed now. Soon to head off to Southampton! Will try to remember to feed back on how it all went when we get home!
  10. We've done a cruise in the Yacht Club - on MSC Preziosa. It was comfortable, and within the YC it was very nice. Food in the YC restaurant was OK - but not as good as Celebrity. Met some nice people. For the rest of the ship - OK, not so nice. Felt crowded and the service was more grumpy. We spent very little time outside the YC. We went to the buffet once to try it out and it was awful. Really nothing appealing there at all. Fortunately you will eat well in YC. We'd sail MSC again, but only in the YC. Wouldn't consider any of the other rooms (or shipping containers, as we think of them for MSC).
  11. We'd totally go for the suite. In fairness, we have cruised standard veranda and concierge class (and sky suite and, imminently, Royal Suite) but never aqua class. My OH used to take the common view that "it doesn't matter - you only use the stateroom to sleep, wash and change". My view is different. I want to be somewhere at least as nice as being at home (else, why not just stay at home). Like the service level, the extra room, a bath, better restaurant, priority boarding/disembarkation/(re-embarkation for excursions). Suite life is lovely.
  12. She seems to struggle wearing a mask so that it covers her nostrils. Sheesh. It has been 15 months. You can potty train an infant faster.
  13. Well, our COVID PCR tests came back negative - so it looks like it is happening!! WHOOP!
  14. Might be worth giving them a call then. The Concierge for the Silhouette is called Jennifer.
  15. Hi Dalesmouse (I'm itching to know - Yorkshire Dales or Derbyshire Dales?) I think they mostly contact those in PH and RS. I got bored of waiting for them to contact me, so I called them. 0344 493 3055 takes you to the retreat concierge desk.
  16. Schweppes I think. Yes, they have slimline tonic.
  17. We've had our results back too! Eurofins tested at 1pm yesterday, results back about 30 mins ago. WHOOP - NEGATIVE. WE CAN GO ON HOLIDAY!!!!!!!!
  18. Also, at present, you can only leave the ship for ship shore excursions. I wonder how they will deal with that for passengers who are back-to-back cruising? Might be worth calling Celebrity to find out whether they will be OK with you wandering off on your own in between cruises. I don't think they have a shore excursion to the Isle of Wight. Of course, with restrictions due to be lifted in the UK on 19th July, it could be that they will relax their rules.
  19. I think that will be too tight a turn around. For our sailing on Saturday the final boarding time is 4pm, sail time 5.30pm.
  20. Well, I agree with you. But "enjoy your favourite drink anywhere ... even in your suite" could be covered by the bar setup in RS/PH.
  21. When we spoke to ConciergeAnthea she told us that cocktails in the room are not included. I'm not sure whether drinks that would be included in your drinks package at a bar can be ordered via room service to your room without having to pay a fee, even in Royal/Penthouse. I'm pretty sure they are not covered in the lower suites.
  22. We're planning on going to Sushi on 5 for lunch on first day - one of our favs.
  23. Our boarding window is 12.00-12.30. I think that is the earliest boarding slot. (I think these were open to everyone on a 1st come first served basis - we did our check in as soon as it was available)
  24. Well, we have been for our PCR tests. Now we wait...
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