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Everything posted by SRQbeachgirl

  1. Yes, the service charge, tax, and gratuity almost doubled the cost of the drink. Probably explains why I spent so much time in the casino, since I get free drinks when playing.
  2. Correct, there is no cover so there is no shade. As for breeze, it didn't matter if we were sailing or sitting in port. The way the back end is curved blocks any breeze at all from reaching those balconies. It was stifling. We have found our favorite balconies on this class are the slanted balconies on the forward-facing part of the "hump." Big, shaded, with just the right amount of breeze. I could (and have) sit out there all day!
  3. We were on the November 25 Reflection sailing and had the new menus. The food and offerings were excellent. Even the buffet was very good. My parents cruised with us and thought the food was much better than their last Princess cruise. My mother must eat gluten-free and was very happy with all the options she had.
  4. I can confirm that bingo cards went on sale the day of the game and could be purchased either at the casino cashier or at a table outside the theater right up until the game started. Also, on our first sea day last week we played bingo and I won $658!!! It was a great start to what became a great cruise!
  5. Following along! We'll be on the Reflection in 10 days, so I'm using your review to get me through until then.
  6. I just saved several hundred dollars by cancelling and rebooking wifi and shore excursions for our Nov. 25th cruise on the Reflection using the 50% discounts. That's a nice little last-minute bonus.
  7. In the X app for our Nov 25 Reflection cruise (I know, I know, don't trust the app until you get onboard...) it shows bingo only, no Deal or No Deal. However, they are still selling advance DoND cards on the website - but no advance bingo card sales. Right hand apparently doesn't know what the left hand is doing. I would assume they will do an exchange to bingo cards or a refund for anyone who buys the advance DoND cards if they aren't going to have the game at all.
  8. We will be on the Reflection after Thanksgiving with my parents who will be celebrating their 60th anniversary, and our son and DIL who will be celebrating their 1st (and their first cruise together). We will be surprising them with customized door magnets for both occasions. Sorry (not really) if anyone else thinks they're tacky.
  9. Don't worry about the winter colors - once you get south of Orlando (and down through the islands) we don't "do" winter fashion. It's sleeveless, flip flops, and tropical colors all year round. When it gets chilly (which for us in Florida is anything under 75F) or if the A/C bothers you, a light sweater will come in handy.
  10. You can schedule ahead for Uber XL to make sure there is a large enough vehicle available to handle the passengers and luggage.
  11. At breakfast I often get up much earlier than Mr. SRQ and go to the buffet and bring something back to the cabin to eat on the balcony. The trick I use is that once I have my plate of food I then get a second plate and turn it upside down over my food. This keeps my food warm while I walk back to the cabin and also gives me a flat surface to set my coffee, juice, and silverware on.
  12. Back in the mid-90s we shared a table at the Midnight Buffet with Jon Bauman (aka "Bowser" from Sha Na Na) who was performing on the ship. He was incredibly nice and we had a great conversation with him (and put away a lot of lobsters).
  13. We had never cruised Celebrity before January this year and have another booked for next month, so I guess our count is two (we took a third cruise on another line). Some of us Gen X-ers are still working full-time and even though I get six weeks of vacation per year we only travel for about three. Since we live in a tourist destination we like to take advantage of all the things to do near home and still get to sleep in our own bed.
  14. Are you on the Autotrain and bringing your vehicle? If yes, you can go FL-46 to I-95, or if you want to avoid I-95 (we always try to) you can go FL-417 to FL-528. Both have tolls. If you aren't bringing a vehicle, then I agree with the previous poster that Uber XL or Lyft XL may be your best bet. You could also look into some of the private shuttle services, but read reviews online before booking. BTW - I have done the Autotrain once from Sanford (Orlando) to Lorton. We had a 13-hour delay stuck on the tracks just south of Jacksonville because a CSX train derailed in front of us. Hope you have a decent amount of time padded between your arrival and the cruise, just in case.
  15. Even more disgruntled are the dolphin who usually follow the Celebrity ships, as food quality is reported to now be worse than Carnival. Those Celebrity dolphin have been jumping ship over to Carnival and taking all the benefits from the Carnival Diamond dolphin.
  16. My passport expires 179 days from the day we disembark from our upcoming Reflection cruise. 🤦‍♀️ When I checked in I got a message saying Celebrity recommends having a passport with a minimum of 6 months from the day of debarkation, but it did allow me to complete check-in. We visit St. Maarten which requires 6 months from the date of the visit to the island, and my passport complies with that. Being OCD when it comes to vacations, I will be taking my BC just to keep the anxiety from creeping in.
  17. We are on the same November 25th sailing! I left two Carl Hiaasen hardcovers in the Reflection library in January. Hope someone has been able to enjoy them. Was also thinking about tossing a couple of puzzles in my suitcase to donate to the puzzle table. I'm taking my Kindle this next cruise instead of hardcovers, so I should have a little extra wiggle room for puzzles.
  18. Celebrity has quite a few cruises that go to some of the lesser visited islands - St. Kitts, Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, Tortola... Our upcoming 8-day on Celebrity will be visiting Tortola and we're going over to the Baths on Virgin Gorda, which has been on my bucket list for years---can't wait!
  19. Signing out for pool towels. Does Carnival truly have that many potential petty thieves onboard that they have to police the pool towels?
  20. The Lawn Club Grill is worth it just for the warm chocolate chip cookie! Mmmmmm. We've already got reservations for two nights on our November cruise.
  21. It's twice a night and lasts about 5 minutes. If you time things right you never see it.
  22. I've seen Elysium exactly once and don't need to see it again. We'll be skipping it on our upcoming Reflection cruise.
  23. Carnival stepped up big time with their new ships. I won't sail their older ships anymore, but the new ones are pretty amazing. They aren't for everyone and that's fine, but comparing the experience on the new ships to the experience on the older ships is night and day.
  24. We sailed one of Carnival's newest ships, the Mardi Gras, 3 months ago and last year. We did not eat in the MDR either time but instead ate at the many specialty dining venues, some additional cost and some included in the base cruise fare. The food was as good or better than what we had on the Reflection in January for every venue except the buffet, which Celebrity definitely wins. We ate at Emeril's Bistro and if it is representative of what will be offered as his signature dishes on these new menus, they should be very good. We prefer the quieter atmosphere we experienced on the Reflection, but we had a great time on Carnival as well. The new ships have beautiful adults-only pool areas that are calm and quiet. And the variety of bars and food venues are hard to beat. We will sail both Celebrity and Carnival for the foreseeable future depending on what we're in the mood for. People can put Carnival down all they want, but they're doing a lot of things right and in some areas doing it much better than their competitors.
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