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Everything posted by abbydancer

  1. I did some research on this last year. They have a land tour website and you can book a land tour only. I was told though, that it may not be identical to the cruise tour - so the person may be on a different train, etc.
  2. On our Reflection cruise last year there were a couple of big groups. They had tables set up in the back half of the restaurant. The hostess always made sure we sat in the front half. There was one night where we came in around 7:50 and the front half was pretty full. There were a couple of tables but we didn't like the location, so we opted to head to Michael's for a drink. They called us when a table we wanted became available. Part of the reason it was crowded around 8 was that the port day ended at 7, so lots coming in after 6:30. And just to be clear, she could have seated us when we arrived (in the front half) but against the back wall. It was our choice to wait for a table closer to the window.
  3. I agree that it is very nice. And, coincidentally (or not) similar to a cruise I recently took too.
  4. The Pisces is my favorite - and it's not even my birth sign. On the Equinox in two months. Can't wait.
  5. The cruise we're on in July went down in price. I called, and could have upgraded to Aqau for no charge. Instead, I paid a bit more for the room and a bit more more to keep our perks, and went to an S2 Sky Suite. I'm with my sister, and I don't think she'd like the food in Blu, but in Luminae, she can order off the main menu if she wants. (S class)
  6. Our September cruise from Seattle has 2 pages total. Not very active.
  7. The S2 under Exciting Deals was a little (under 200.00 total) more than we paid for the C3 with Go Best. Because the promotion did not include any perks, we added Go Best back in, bringing it up a little bit. The total, though, was significantly less (somewhere between 1K and 2K) then the S2 cost when we first booked.
  8. On our cruise in July, the price dropped after final payment as the cruise was on the Celebrity "Exciting Deals" list. We had a concierge verandah. I called, and could have gone to Aqua for no cost. For a little more, I could go to an S2 Sky Suite. We took that, and paid a bit more than that to keep our perks. Still a lot less than booking a Sky Suite in the first place.
  9. We've been in a few suites on Princess, and recently in a Sky Suite on Celebrity. We're just off of a cruise on Princess in Club Class. Hands down for a suite Celebrity. As others have mentioned Luminae and Michael's are a big draw. (We don't book high enough to get free specialty dining, and since we are happy with the size of the Sky suites it would be cheaper to get a dining package for every night than upgrading the suite for that perk.) Princess offers dining, but it's the main dining room with excellent service and one or two special menu items each night. Whereas in Luminae you have a full menu (small, but 3 or 4 things in each course) plus the ability to order from the main menu. They are also like a Michelin restaurant in that there is an amuse bouche and a palette cleanser. Just a whole level above. We also liked Michaels and the concierges who, on our cruise, got things done. For example, we wanted to switch the time of a tour. The Shore Ex desk told us it couldn't be done and we couldn't wait list. The concierges were able to make it happen. On one of our last Princess cruises in Club Class, we wanted to go to the Crown Grill. They told us they were completely sold out. One of the perks is supposed to be priority reservations at specialty restaurants. Didn't make any difference, and there was no one to help us. We didn't use the butler much, but he was very nice. I'm sure he could have done more if we'd asked. After our last cruise DH said Princess only for short cruises and Alaska, Celebrity for the rest.
  10. They are back in stock - I just ordered some - both lemon and orange.
  11. The ship was a commercial ship from Germany. It happened to be in the harbor when Germany invaded Holland in 1940. Remember, Aruba is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands etc. So, rather than the locals seizing the ship, the captain elected to scuttle it. The crew was taken prisoners and taken to Bonaire. The rumor was that they liked the prison so much they bought it and turned it into a hotel. While the camp was turned into a hotel in the 50s (I think), the crew was actually moved to Jamaica and spent the war there.
  12. We did Patrick in 2010 to Volunteer point, and are doing this tour when we're there again in 2019. A question about your driver - was he the former police chief of Stanley and current (or maybe former) ambulance driver? Also taken prisoner in the war but came back because his girlfriend was there? If so, he was our driver to Volunteer. I hope we can have him for our tour. He was great.
  13. Probably not, as in May 2016 we sailed out of Canada Place. We arrived by noon, and it took almost 2 hours, the ship sailed 4 hours late because by all aboard there were several hundred people who hadn't finished with Customs. There were 2 ships in port that day. I think it was, as you mentioned, new staff. Also contributing was that our cruises had several large groups from Asia and they all had to be fingerprinted, etc at the customs station. So while it took us about 30 seconds (scan passport - have a nice trip), it took several minutes for each person in those groups. So, appears they learned (or applied) nothing from the 2016 experience.
  14. Hmmm, wonder why? Britain was still in EU, so hence why we had to do it at our point of exit. I wonder if it was because we were overnighting? And for what it's worth, they told us the cable we bought in the Apple store on board wasn't eligible for VAT refund.
  15. I was told on our cruise that if you bought services on the ship they'd get the tax and you couldn't get that back. (For example a dining package). Not sure though. Also, you get the refund at your point of exit from the EU. We flew from Rome to London, overnighted and flew home the next morning. We had to get our vat refund at Heathrow. By the time it went from Euros to pounds to dollars, we lost a lot of value on it.
  16. Of course it doesn't. We booked our first suite in 2010, and we were platinum at the time. We'd already booked either a balcony or a mini (forgot which) and one night DH asks me "how many cruises would it take for us to get to elite to get the free laundry on the cruise?" (16 days) Me: "Let's see, about 8 - every coastal between now and then, plus one Caribbean or Mexico". Then I said "It would probably be cheaper to book a suite" And then - "Cheapest? Pay for using the laundry". We did book the suite, but not for the free laundry perk.
  17. It really was the number of Elites/Platinum. I asked. I was on a cruise a couple of years ago where I wished they had moved it out of Skywalkers. If you wanted to go around 5, you had to get there by about 4:45 to get a seat. It was a zoo. So I was OK with the change, even though, as it turned out, it probably wasn't necessary. Then again, maybe because they did the change it wasn't necessary.
  18. Not the same, but ... we were just on the Emerald, and due to a unique routing, we went through US customs to Alaska on a port stop (Round trip LA with a stop in Vancouver on the way to Alaska). There was a letter in the cabin, and a mention in the Patter that you had to take your passport (birth certificate, etc) with you. As we walked off the ship at least 5 port workers asked if we had it. And so coming back on we were behind a couple of apparently didn't hear the announcements, read the documentation or paid attention to the port workers. Nothing but a drivers license. They were told it would take a couple of hours to get the passports from the room, but he then said he showed a photocopy of the passports and they let them on the ship. The OP hasn't come back to update us, right? Or did I miss it.
  19. Why is it that every time Elite Perks are discussed, somebody starts complaining about how people got there? The cruise line sets the rules. It's not a matter of fairness -as both methods (nights or cruises) are open to anyone. And for that matter, sailing solo, in a suite, or both is open to anyone who wants to spend way more money. Have a nice night everyone.
  20. Actually, the onion rings on this are supposed to be uncooked. They were there to go with the salmon. Often smoked salmon is served with capers and onions. Often, they are simply sliced, so less confusing.
  21. We keep our passport cards in our wallets. Those should work for closed loop cruises in the US. That said, we bring our passports but it's nice to know that if we forget, we're covered.
  22. We were there most nights, sometimes busy sometimes not. But after the first couple of days the waitstaff got much more attentive. We had a beverage package and one night they told us it wasn't good at the P/E/S nosh. We told him it had been honored every other night. Or maybe it was just the foo-foo drink he said wasn't valid. In any case, nothing every showed up on the bill, so it was honored.
  23. I've been in both a full suite on Princess and a Sky Suite on Celebrity. Sizewise, the sky suite is more like a mini on Princess. I'm not sure about the suites on the Royal class ships, but the suites on the other ships are bigger, have a walk in closet and a bathroom with both a whirlpool tub and a shower. The toilet and sinks are separated by a door to the shower/tub. To my mind, there's not really a comparison between Luminae and Club Class. The extra you get in Club class may depend on the ship - we had it for our last two cruises, and on the Ruby we got an extra pasta at every meal, and on the emerald we usually had something prepared in the section (pasta, salad or flame dessert) plus an extra entree from the kitchen. One of the things we really liked about Luminae was that not only could we order from their menu, we could order from the MDR menu if we liked that better. And as mentioned, no butler or concierge.
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