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Everything posted by BeachTunes

  1. My husband and I sailed out of San Juan back in 2015 on the Summit and on the Millennium in March, 2023. We were amazed by how quick the embarkation process was! Last year we stayed in Old San Juan for two nights pre-cruise and taxied to the pier. We dropped our luggage off with the porters, went through security, had our boarding passes scanned and were on the ship around 15 minutes after arriving! If I recall correctly, our boarding time was 11am and we arrived at 10:45am. We were in Aqua Class but I do remember seeing a separate area for suites. We really like San Juan. In addition to Old San Juan we have also pre-cruised in the Condado Beach area. Both are nice with loads of amazing restaurants, nightlife and shopping. Old San Juan obviously has a more historic feeling while Condado has more of a Fort Lauderdale/Miami vibe on the water. For Old San Juan we also recommend El Convento. In Condado, we stayed at the Condado Vanderbilt when it first opened in 2015. Service at the Vanderbilt was incredible and they have a gorgeous infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. Both neighbourhoods are relatively close to each other via a 10 minute or less cab ride. Happy planning!
  2. Thank you all very much for your input! It is appreciated! 🙂
  3. A couple of photos from #6145 on the Summit in 2015. While definitely not newer photos and those of a sister ship, they should give you an idea of how spacious the stateroom is. 🙂
  4. We stayed in #6145 on the Summit in 2015 before the ship was Revolutionized and ADORED that stateroom! I understand the layout is the same on the Infinity. The bathroom was amazing and had loads of room to store everything. It felt more like a good-sized hotel room than a cruise ship cabin. It was a Caribbean sailing out of San Juan so we spent a lot of time on the balcony. Enjoy!
  5. We will port in Icy Strait Point in September. I'm wondering if there is a restaurant at the top of the Sky Peak Gondola or at least a stand to get a casual snack and drinks. I know there are walking/hiking trails but have read mixed reports about facilities, if any, are on top. Thank you!
  6. Thank you @SerraG for taking the time to post about your journey! We will be taking our first cruise to Alaska in September, albeit on the Solstice, and found your port info very helpful! May you feel better soon!
  7. All good! No worries at all! Yes, these boards can be "amusing" at times. By the way we ADORE Italy. What a beautiful country you live in! 🙂
  8. Hello Friends! Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Behind The Scenes Tour. That might be a better use of our time and funds! And yes, that Crystal cruise was dreamy! Virtual hugs to you both! 🙂
  9. Thank you for taking the time to voice your opinion. With all due respect, I asked the question about this tour because my understanding is that is a fairly new offering to Celebrity so I was hoping to hear from people who have recently experienced it. Mission accomplished! 🙂 Happy Seas to You!
  10. @Epperbiker Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your experience. I was optimistic about this but are now on the fence. We won't be in suite class so the opportunity to try the Luminae Burger is intriguing but I can get an amazing burger on land for much less. I'm thinking we can spend our weak Canadian dollars better in another venue. 🙂
  11. FYI, there is a recent video review of Solstice on YouTube and the vloggers mentioned this tour. Not sure if I'm allowed to post the link. They personally didn't recommend it as they couldn't hear the chef as he wasn't microphoned. They did reveal that the lunch was held in Blu and Beef Cheek was on the menu. As per @Eggs2Go comment, I'm seeing it as something interesting to do to add spice on a sea day! Staying tuned on this! As long as future reviews share that the experience isn't too crowded I'm in. We're in Concierge Class but have usually been in Aqua in the past so a lunch at Blu would be a lovely change in scenery, in our opinion.
  12. @BeasleysMom66 Thank you for your feedback and amazing photos! I'm so happy to have booked this tour while it had availability!
  13. @whitbob Wow! What amazing photos! Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm even more excited now! 🙂
  14. Thank you so much! I will definitely be on the lookout for your review. Have a wonderful trip!
  15. Thank you all very much for your excellent feedback. I just booked it! I have a feeling we will love Alaska so much that we will want to return but not likely for several years as there are just so many places on our travel bucket list. So I took the plunge on this once in a lifetime experience! I'm going to try not to tell my husband about it until we're on board. 🙂
  16. Hello! We just made final payment for our September Solstice cruise to Alaska! Yay! This trip will mark hitting my final US state. I've been to the other 49 and just need to cross Alaska off my list! We'll be in an aft Concierge Sunset Veranda Stateroom and are looking forward to the wake views as we have only sailed in midship staterooms in the past. I imagine the Hubbard Glacier views will be wonderful! We'll likely also jump up to the bow for alternative viewpoints. That said, there is a very expensive excursion that a lot of various forums say is a MUST when at Hubbard Glacier... The Hubbard Glacier Wilderness Exploration. It's currently offered at 25% off but it still costs a whopping $537 per person Canadian! (That's around $390 USD per person.) A g-note for a two hour tour just to get closer to the glacier seems excessive to me. But I'm curious if it really is as great as many people say. We've already splurged on the Taku Lodge Feast and Glacier Flight in Juneau. Trying to decide if this experience at Hubbard will delight or disappoint! If it's on a loud, crowded vessel, I think I'll pass but I can't decide, even having watched a few YouTube videos. I imagine it would be an absolute drag in the rain, a situation no one can predict. Any feedback would be appreciated! (I will post this on the Alaska board as well as I believe the ships all use the same tour operator. Although, it seems Celebrity's pricing is the highest! Go figure!) Thank you! 🙂
  17. It's interesting to note that 3 out of the 7 outbreaks occurred on recent Alaskan itineraries. That said, given the volume of ships sailing around the world, the list of those with viral outbreaks is is relatively small.
  18. Replying to my own question here... LOL! I did a search and see that this tour has been asked about twice recently between March and April without any input. So I'm assuming it's a newer on board offering along with the Argentinian steak classes and the like. I'll be patient and wait for feedback when more people take part. And of course if we do book it, I'll share my thoughts about it post cruise! 🙂
  19. Thank you Liao! That's a good point! If we book it, we will select our last sea day to give us time to cancel if desired. 🙂
  20. Hello! My husband and I have booked an Alaskan cruise on the Solstice and noticed a sea day culinary tour called "Galley to Table: Kitchen Tour & Lunch". I haven't read any reviews about this "excursion" and wondered if anyone has experienced it. The description implies that in addition to touring the MDR galley, guests will tour the specialty restaurant kitchens with tastings of unique dishes from each. Sounds like a progressive lunch perhaps? It very well could be a new thing. Either way if anyone has any insight, it would be appreciated! The price is reasonable at $69 per person (Canadian) or around $50 USD. I guess I'm mostly curious about the menu as I can't partake of much seafood or shellfish, unfortunately. I suppose we could book the tour, ask about the menu once on board and then decide whether to cancel or not... Thanks as always for your input Cruise Critics! 🙂
  21. Thank you @lobsternight! I appreciate your feedback and input. We have booked the 9am departure but our booking is changeable. We'll look into rescheduling to the 11am tour. The reason we booked the earlier "brunch" option is because I really wanted to try their reindeer sausage that's only served in the morning! LOL! Upon further research, I'm learning reindeer is sold in some form or another at all of our ports of call so I'll get my fix at some point! 🙂
  22. We stayed in 6145 in 2015 before the Summit was revolutionized. And we were literally the last cruise before Luminae opened. So fewer suite perks back then aside from having access to a butler. It was an incredible stateroom! Loved the bathroom and large balcony. From photos I've seen online, it is even more beautiful now having been updated. I would stay in that room again in a heartbeat! Not to worry at all! Read the next paragraph with a grain of salt because what we experienced is a thing of the past. Just wanted to share this story that we now laugh about from our stay in that suite... At the time of our sailing, the Penthouse had a grand piano with "player piano" type tech built in adjacent to where our bed was. Normally it wouldn't have bothered us as I would have enjoyed overhearing professional, preprogrammed music. However, the guests of the Penthouse had a large multigenerational group on board - including a hoard of kids - who banged away on the poor piano before the crack of down over the first couple of days. It was especially annoying because I'm a pianist myself and could tell the kids were actually INSIDE the piano underneath the cover harmfully tugging at its strings and hammers. Once we mentioned it to our butler, who had also heard the racket, it stopped. (That had to be a tough conversation with the Penthouse guests!) The good news is, I'm 99.99% sure the Penthouse no longer has a grand piano for aforementioned reasons! I also think better soundproofing was likely put in place during the refit. The piano was the only thing we heard. Other than that, we didn't hear a peep from next door. As DaKahuna noted above, I doubt musicians would practice in their staterooms. I was an entertainment crew member a few moons ago on a non-Celebrity ship and we would always practice in the theatre, backstage or in venues away from any crew or guest cabins. I've actually looked out for that stateroom on many occasions when making mock bookings. That's how much we loved it, piano bangers and all! LOL! Enjoy!
  23. What a fun story! I grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick and non-east coast friends often confuse me for having grown up in St. John Newfoundland. Same coast but two very different places. I adore every Newfoundlander I've met. Lovely people! Perhaps Celebrity should consider hosting a "Come From Away" themed cruise based on the hit Broadway musical set in Gander, NFLD!
  24. I've also been having problems with the website from the Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. It doesn't matter if I'm using my laptop or my phone... For three days I have had issues looking up fares, cruise deck plans, info, etc. I get error messages if I'm lucky and "jumbled" pages otherwise. 🤷‍♀️
  25. @martincath Thanks for the verification! It is appreciated! 🙂 Edited to add: We love YYZ Express in Toronto. Good to know we can prebook the same process in Vancouver! 🙌
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