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CEOofVacation

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  1. We have experience with both ends of the spectrum. First butler we had on Reflection was worse than useless. I called him about ordering room service and if we could order from MDR menu and he asked me to dial room service line and room service line said just whatever was on TV. Food was brought to us by whoever handled room service - kitchen staff presumably. Our friend who had the same butler did not get his daily coffee which was repeated to the butler several times. We had an great stateroom attendant who got both his and the butler's share of extra tips from us. Fast forward we had the best butler this past Dec on Millennium. We were in S1 next to the penthouse and he also took care of the penthouse suites. I asked how many suites he took care of and he said 10. We had a shower issue which we reported to the stateroom attendant who promptly informed the butler who then also got the butler manager involved. They were all over it. He then asked if he could book us a complimentary dinner at a specialty restaurant. We accepted the offer and the reservation was made. We had 2 bags of laundry, all tops and pants came back ironed and hung - no extra charge! He received a large extra tip from us. Oh, we also picked up a bag of his favorite cashew nuts at Halong Bay. We love this guy. On disembarkation, he helped us with our luggages off the ship as we always take ours with us instead of leaving them out the night before. In Luminae, we have not observed differential treatment of the guests due to the type of suites that they are in. Service is always fabulous.
  2. We had a wonderful butler on our last cruise. Lots of clothes stuffed into the cloth bag. Socks and loose items came back in a nice basket. All shirts, blouses, shorts and pants came back ironed and on hangers! Did it twice. No extra charges. He got a tidy sum in additional tips.
  3. First of all, tipping is personal but removing auto gratuities is taking away from all the staff who would have been paid the tips. Instead of removing auto grats, leave those alone and if you want to, tip more for those whom you feel have provided excellent service. We always leave auto gratuities in place and then plan on tipping more. We used to budget another 5% of our cruise cost but on our last cruise, we ended up giving another 10% or so in tips because we received incredible service by various staff. We did not need to but we wanted to.
  4. On our last cruise, we paid $6400 including taxes, we got back $525 from our TA. We booked 2 more upcoming cruises, one at $6600 and the other $6800, both including port fees and taxes, we are getting back $550 each from our TA.
  5. We have done both and like both. We first book Aqua, and then if the price is right for a sky suite after final payment, we pay to upgrade. We find Blu and Luminae to be comparable, and the focus is on service. To us food is good whether you are in MDR, Blu or Luminae. Service is the differentiator between MDR and Blu/Luminae. Our first cruise on Celebrity was in a balcony. After that first cruise we only book Aqua or a (sky) suite.
  6. Do you know if the $100 OBC is stackable with FCC OBC?
  7. We decided that maybe the puzzle of all this has to do with when we were actually leaving the country. Day 1 check in was a procedure that treated like we were going to stay on the ship as our hotel. On Day 1, the person at the counter collected our pre-printed seapass and credit card paper info. We asked this person whether they were going to collect our immigration departure card and she said "Celebrity does not collect it." Day 2 was when we were treated as leaving Singapore where our immigration departure card was collected and we were finger printed. It was a very cumbersome process and I believe both Celebrity and Singapore immigration were responsible for it. We understand the rationale behind it and we are not sure how it could be streamlined.
  8. I had a different situation but similar goofed by Celebrity. We had $700 non-refundable OBC which we used ~$200 to book a shore excursion during a sale which was something like 20% off their regular price. 2 days before sailing I received an email indicating the shore excursion was cancelled due to non-payment and that $50 OBC was being refunded to the account. When I logged into the account, it showed $50 OBC and no shore excursion booked. I called Captains Club whose first response from a very inexperienced staff was that I did not pay for the shore excursion even though I had explained the situation to her. I repeated the problem and she put me on hold. She came back and said "The system automatically cancelled $650 of the OBC and no employee ID was associated with the cancellation". She said she could not put back the OBC since it was during the 3-day freeze period and that she had sent a note to the ship to re-add the $700 OBC and also requested to rebook our shore excursion at the old rate. She said it was up to the ship whether to price protect the rebooking. It was not a good answer, talk about poor customer service. I escalated to my travel agent who got hold of a supervisor. The $700 was re-added plus a $25 goodwill for the hassle. He also assured my TA that the shore excursion would be rebooked by the ship personnel at the old rate. We got on the ship and sure enough, the shore excursion was rebooked and tickets were left in the cabin, and the acccount showed the correct amount of OBC. The real kicker is that there were several pieces of letters left in our cabin, 2 of the correspondence had names of 2 sets of people who were also supposed to be in our cabin! When we spoke with Michael's Club concierge, his system was showing one of the 2 couples. He corrected it while we were there. My guess is that their IT system retained names of everyone who had booked a cabin for that cruise and instead of making the cancelled names inactive, they were still showing as occupants.
  9. On a side note, I started feeling nauseated towards the end of dinner one evening on our Apr/May 2018 Greek isles cruise on Celebrity Reflection. That day, we ate lunch at a nice Greek restaurant in Athens, followed by a slice of watery gluten-free cake from Cafe Al Bacio and a scoop of gelato on our return to the ship. That was my one indulgence on that cruise. I threw up twice within an hour after dinner. I called guest services and no one answered. I called the emergency line and was scolded. We headed down to medical center and they were closed and many of the crew members on that deck had no idea on how to get hold of them. Someone finally got hold of a nurse and we saw her, followed by the doctor. The doctor said I had food poisoning and they had ZERO reported case of norovirus onboard. We were relieved to hear it. He gave me a shot and said I should be able to sleep. If I vomited again, to come back at 8am. I slept well and was fine thereafter.
  10. Are you sure that a third had it? Anything more than 2% has to be reported to CDC. There is nothing regarding the Rhapsody sailing on the CDC site. Also, how did you know that people were coming out of bathrooms without washing their hands? Norovirus is highly contagious and someone with good hygiene practice can still contract it.
  11. We booked 2 new cruises onboard and both are eligible for the non-refundable 3rd perk. We thought through on one which has a 50-50 chance of moving it a year out from 2020, and decided to stay put as moving it to non-refundable would end up with our losing $200 in booking/cancellation fees, $200 FCC OBC and $200 OBC compensation from a chartered cruise.
  12. Thanks. This is what we have been doing on our other cruises, so we will need to do the same for the Canada cruise.
  13. Thanks for all replies. In other words, I should get an internet package even on a Canada cruise. I was thinking about access to internet rather than making a call.
  14. We are booked on a 12-night Celebrity Summit cruise to Canada, roundtrip from Boston in 2020 and we are wondering if we need to buy an internet package. Verizon's service is free in Canada and Mexico but we are wondering if there is any cell reception when not in port. It has 4 sea days. Thank you!
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