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About Mike45LC

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Mexican Riviera

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  1. Eddie is still the cruise director on the Edge (as of 13 days ago). I have no idea who the Captain is/was, except that his English is unintelligible, especially when distorted by the lousy PA system. He did get us into every port on time, which is all I ask of the captain (and which is I never give a darn who the captain is).
  2. From NC, I would probably not do this itinerary, but it happens to be my absolute favorite! That is because I lived in Los Angeles for decades, and now that I live in Las Vegas, the Mex Riv cruises out of L.A. are still the most convenient. I can drive right up to the cruise ship terminal and unload my bags, drive into the parking lot and I am ready to go! No airplanes, no hassles!! The beaches are not Caribbean quality, but they are still nice. In April, it will be hot enough to enjoy. If you take the trip, let us know and I will post my recommendations for each port.
  3. I have not done a guarantee on Celebrity, but once on Princess, I did not get my cabin assignment until 8 p.m. the night before the cruise. We were actually at the hotel the day before the cruise when I received the email notifying us of the assignment, and I had to print out new luggage tags at the hotel's business center. I have heard of people who did not learn of their cabin assignment until they checked in for the cruise!
  4. It might help if you posted your itinerary. I am not going to look it up for you.
  5. Slot players get much higher comps than table players do. As a table player, this is one of my frequent complaints. Video Poker gets a lower rate of comps than slot players (roughly 50% of the slot play comps), because the expected rate of return for the casino is lower. Play BlackJack for $5 per hand for 10 hours straight, and you will get zero -- literally! Most casinos don't bother to rate anyone playing less than $25 (or higher) per hand. And even the large bettors don't get as much in perks as the same size bettors on slots.
  6. Mike, for the poker tables I have seen on the ships, you are correct. They are multi-player, and the computer is merely the dealer. However, there are some video poker games in Vegas where you do play against the computer. I have seen Texas Hold-Em with the computer as a player. Kind of like the BJ video games, but for BJ, the dealer has no discretion on how to play. I do not know how much information the computer retains and works with as to your playing style.
  7. Princess sends your checked bags (the ones you set outside your cabin the night before) directly to the airport. You need to claim your baggage once you get to the airport, and check your bags in with the airline. You and your carry-off bags go to the Convention Center downtown. You can check your carry-off bags there while you explore Anchorage. There will be buses running from the Convention Center to the airport throughout the day -- complimentary. This is very well done by Princess!
  8. I don't find the elite benefits to be worth much! I trade in my mini-bar set up for Diet Cokes, so what is that, about $15? I use my free Internet minutes, but I don't know the price of that. I don't do laundry on board, nor priority tendering. I do NOT go to the Cocktail Party or Elite Lounges -- who wants a very limited canape buffet when I can go to the Horizon Court buffet instead? I get a card good for drinks at the Casino, but that is a Casino perk, not an Elite perk, and I don't drink anyway -- my "soda and more package" covers all my beverage needs. I never feel pandered to by Princess based on "elite" status. I feel pandered to because I am a Princess cruise passenger!! I have noticed many times lounges closed for private events. This has nothing to do with cruise status. It can be a homosexual event, a singles event, a wedding, whatever. There are lots of these, but I simply find a different lounge to read or drink or … in. Frankly, I am not bothered by private events any more than I am bothered by non-private events. Whether a lounge is occupied by a private group or by a public arts and crafts class or lecture on acupuncture or cosmetics, or a crowd of passengers going crazy over NFL playoff games, that space is not available/enjoyable to me. But I almost always find a place to sit down in!
  9. Edge does not have Persian Garden. So you probably confused the service representative. There is a thermal spa (or is it called "thermal suite"?), but we were Aqua Class, so I do not know about buying a pass -- it is already included in the Aqua Class package.
  10. Call Celebrity. We flew into Rome on Tuesday before a Saturday cruise, and we stayed in Barcelona a few extra days after we disembarked there. Working with a person by phone was a lot easier than dealing with the computers! And we were just doing early arrival and late departure, rather than flying into different cities as you are!
  11. We used the hotel's limo service to get from the airport to the hotel. It was a bit expensive but it worked seamlessly, and after a long trans-continental and transatlantic flight, I appreciated it. The driver was a hotel employee or sub-contractor, and did not need any directions or instructions. From the hotel to the ship, we used RomeCabs. The driver was at the hotel about 10 minutes before the specified time -- had the car been late, I would have started to fret!! We had specified that we had three large suitcases, and the car was a decent sized SUV, large enough for our needs. [When you see the cars in Rome, you will understand this concern. A Mini-Cooper is considered a large car there!!!!] The charge was 130 Euros, cash. The entire transfer was simple and smooth. Kudos to the driver and RomeCabs. I have no hotel recommendation -- we deliberately stayed away from the tourist areas, even though we knew this would force us to use a lot of cabs.
  12. Navy Vet's response pretty much covers it. Let me emphasize a couple of points: Whether you are on the Premium Beverage Package (PBP), another package or simply a charge as you go non-plan, the tipping is included -- both bartender and cocktail waitress/busboy. You can tip more, especially if you have a favorite bartender or waitress, but it is not expected or required. You can pick up multiple bottles of water (one at a time) and squirrel them away for port excursions. I've never done it, but there is no reason why you can't. I actually prefer my Coke from the gun. This does keep me from squirrelling away a few cans in the room's fridge, but I always get a few cans for in-room consumption -- f I wake up at 3:00 a.m., I am NOT going to go out looking for an open bar for a fountain soda!! You can buy cans ashore and bring them back on the ship, if you want to minimize the cost.
  13. If not for the cruise lines' voluntary commitment to abide by the Nevada Gaming Control Board's 80% minimum, the cruise line could simply tell the manufacturer "we want a 72% payback". The manufacturer would comply. There is no conspiracy, nothing illicit about it. Every casino tells the manufacturer what payback to program. Palace Station, Mirage, Diamond Princess, they all specify the percentage. And the manufacturer complies. In Vegas (and elsewhere in NV), there is transparency. We can look up the numbers on-line, they are reported every quarter (or is it monthly?). At sea, I don't know if the numbers are made public. I personally find the slots much tighter at sea than in Vegas. But I also admit that my personal experience is NOT anywhere large enough to be statistically significant. I am not anywhere near that amount of play!! Thank G_d!!
  14. I just got back from almost 3 weeks in Italy, France and Spain. Despite the heat wave, I wore black (or navy) slacks and a polo shirt every day, with casual black shoes. Except for going to the beach or out on a boat. I rarely wear shorts and t-shirts. My garb was what I normally wear around my home town when I am not dressed in a suit -- the casual clothing I am most comfortable in. My clothes were acceptable in the huge number of churches we entered, including for Mass. No shirt and tie and jacket were needed for Mass.
  15. I am pretty certain that it is clear from this thread, but I want to mention specifically that the Cruise Card works like a cash card. I always bet cash only, I never charge to my cabin, although that is allowed. If I put $100 into a slot machine, whatever is left when I end my session gets credited onto my Cruise Card. Then, the next time I go to a slot machine, whether two minutes later or two days later, I play with the funds on the Card. If I add more cash, the remainder again goes onto the Card. You can cash out whenever you want at the Casino Cage and get your cash, but I don't bother to do so until the last night.
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