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skatie

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Posts posted by skatie

  1. We just got back from first time with Celebrity on its newest Ship the Beyond.  It does cater to the 55+ crowd for sure and we are both late 50s.  There were pros and cons for me.  Prior to this we have been more NCL and RCI cruises.  On Celebrity I really enjoyed the more relaxed buffet - maybe due to its layout or maybe due to basically no kids running around - think I saw 5 kids under 18 on the ship.  The dining room food was good and we always met another couple or solo at the next table to chat with.  Entertainment was good - we always went just before the show started and found seats either up high or right next to stage.  Shopping was too high end for my likes.  The pools were excellent - I found them to be larger than other cruise lines.  Didn't like the layout of hot tubs tho - not near pools.    I love to dance and did miss the more dance club options like NCL's Syd Pour House.  Silent disco on Beyond tho was an absolute blast - we did it twice.   For now, I feel like we still "fit"  between NCL, RCL and Celebrity - so will choose depending on itinerary.   

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  2. Has anyone done the free or half airfare with cruise lines? If so what was your experience with flights ideally out of Toronto?  Both the flights I’m considering have many direct flights each day but am I more likely to get a one stop if it’s the cheapest option for NCL?  Or do they put you on really early (6am) flights or returning at say 8pm when cruise arrived at 7am?  We are thinking of using NCL for Toronto to New York in April and then also for another cruise in September from Toronto to Reykjavík and return home from London because the prices were super cheap ($1100 for both of us flying to Iceland and home from London).  I do prefer to book my own flights but the savings especially for the overseas cruise was just too good to pass up so wondering if people have any experiences on cruise line booking you’re out of Toronto?  Thanks

  3. On 12/4/2022 at 6:55 AM, momofmab said:

    I appreciate your comments. We will be on Beyond in January and are first-time Celebrity cruisers also, after having cruised on many of the same lines as you.

     

    Was your cruise sailing at full capacity?  If you lounged by the pool, was it hard to get loungers? I have chair hog PTSD after having to sail on numerous spring break cruises with my kids 😄 

    I believe I heard we were ~2500 and think capacity is ~3300.   We never had a problem finding pool chairs in the solarium and around the main pool there were times it was crowded but you could usually find something closer to the rails.  Enjoy

     

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  4. 11 hours ago, Lillibet16 said:

    Thank you so much for your review. I’m going on the Beyond in January and can’t wait!
     

    Regarding the onboard credit, you can always transfer it to the casino when on a slot machine and then just cash it out. 

    I had read that tip on these boards so with our last $250 OBC  I went to casino on second last night and set up my account.  Did a transfer to room charge and lost about $50 and cashed out the rest!

    • Like 1
  5. 23 hours ago, LHT28 said:

    Wow  inflation has hit FLL

     2019  it was $15

    I think I saw on sign posted that it was $11 per person and then I think they add upcharge for # of bags.  So yes, like everything else, cab fares went up post pandemic.  We were charged $20 on the trip from airport to the port, so seems like this is now standard fare.  When we checked Uber for ride to the port, it was a similar charge, so we just went with taxi which was closer to where we came out from airport.

  6. Just an update as I sit at the airport waiting for 11:05 flight back to Toronto.   We walked off the ship with our luggage at 7:25, Walked up to the face recognition which took two seconds and then right out to a taxi (cost $25 to FLL airport for the two of us with two bags).  Was at air Canada counter by 7:45 and through security and in Starbucks lineup by 8am. Probably the longest part of this was trying to get an elevator down to disembarking level.  So we took an up elevator and just rode it up and stayed on to get down to fifth floor!   Not sure how it would go if we didn’t walk off with our luggage. 

  7. 3 minutes ago, TravelingCircusof5 said:

    Thanks! How have the seas been? How much motion do you feel?still a bit worried about motion sickness…

    I am very prone to motion sickness (ie always have to sit in front seat of cars) but even though we’ve felt some side to side rolling it’s just been gentle and nothing that made me nauseous. I always bring herbal and regular gravol with me just in case.  There has only been one cruise where the seas were really bad where I was really sick for one day but overall cruising hasn’t been an issue for me

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  8. 17 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

     

    She has been on Edge class ships quite a bit since the restart.   Is her daughter still singing backup for her?   We were on the second sailing after the restart on Edge.  She did an "Unplugged" performance in Eden along with her stage show.   I think she was going to be onboard from July to Nov.

    She mentioned she was in a group with her daughter but it was just her up on stage.  

    • Thanks 1
  9. My husband and I are on our first cruise with Celebrity.  We are late 50s and have an Infinity Cabin 8252 (mid ship near elevators).  We have sailed NCL, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Disney in the past.  Most other cruises have been done with our kids and this is our second time with just the two of us.  So my personal thoughts as I lounge on a couch on deck 14 1/2 (small deck with couches and shaded half way between deck 14 and 15 -stairs beside pool bar) listening to music and the waves we sail back to FLL!

    *The staff have all been so kind, polite and very helpful.  Shout out to our Room Attendant Krystina is very sweet and who has helped us with some special requests (like getting a softer pillow and more towels) and the staff at Al Bacio where I go to get my tea a few times a day.  They always call me by name and spend a moment asking us how things are going

    *I was able to snag a reservation for Eden once I was in Board.  The food was outstanding and our waiter was very attentive and explained every course in great detail.  I also had the Forbidden drink which was the best I’ve ever tasted 

    *we had a lot of OBC but have had a hard time spending it as we are not ones to buy very expensive jewellery.  It might be better to have another store with mid range purchasing options.  
    *We have met a lot of nice fellow cruisers by being seated with them at a larger dinner table or being seated next to another table for two.  The first night we were asked if we wanted to sit at a table with other cruisers and had marvellous dinner conversations but other nights were not given that option but usually had another solo or couple beside us to chat with.  
    *we enjoyed the gentle stretch classes led by the Activities crew. They were held in Eden at 9:30am on sea days.  Good way to wake up the body!

    *the evening production shows were very good. The special guest who sang Whitney Houston was outstanding. Roy Tan was also excellent. The cast shows were well done and we enjoyed it all. 
    *Silent disco was a lot of fun

    *The Liars Club was “pee your pants” hilarious!  The illusionist that will perform tonight was part of that panel and he seems very funny

    *we enjoyed the aqua fit dance classes in the pool and appreciated the size of the pool (and that there’s are relatively few children in board so no splashing!)

    *the art / statues around the ship are very interesting -loved them. 
    *Main dining room food and buffet are what I would expect of a higher class ship.  We had lots of choices all day long and hey, I’m not cooking or cleaning up so I have no complaints!  You could tell that some staff is new and there was some confusion in Dining rooms mostly over who we order wine or bar drinks from but in the end it all worked out!

    *I was surprised that there was no sports activity on the upper decks like a pickleball court but guess it’s not something that fits their image.  
    Overall we are very happy with the cruise and going home relaxed.  If you have any questions while I’m still on board ask away!

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  10. Thank you for the review.  Can you explain a little more about disembarking and customs?  I keep hearing that you just have to go to a camera for facial recognition and once it turns green you walk out.  Is this not used for Beyond cruises?  We have an 11 am flight so just want to be prepared for what we have to do and how long that might take!  Thanks

  11. 9 hours ago, gold1953 said:

    So this is pier 29 and it seems that we get shuttled from the ship to where we get our rides. The Dec, 4th cruise has delayed sail away by one hour due to the extra time needed for shuttling pax. This may affect your exiting time!

    I’m not sure I understand. Do you mean Beyond will not be docking at its normal pier and every disembarked passenger will have to wait for a bus to shuttle them to a central location to catch taxis?  Thanks. 

  12. 1 hour ago, lx200gps said:

    I believe you'll find that most cruise terminal have moved to a much simpler facial recognition system. The last three cruises we have taken, over the last year, ending at PE, Manhattan and Brooklyn, all used the same system. You walk up to a camera attached to a tablet, it takes your picture, then when the light turns green, you walk out of the terminal and into your ride to the airport. We have never even  had to speak to an agent when clearing, the camera does everything. There were no Global Entry lines visible, I can't say whether us Canadians/non-Americans have a special line. Since we always do the earliest possible self walk-off, we are always among the very first in the line for the cameras so we always breeze right through. As to Nexus, there was a time when you could flash your card and it would get you into the dedicated (and much shorter) Global Entry line, but I don't know if that still exists.

    Interesting about face recognition!  The last time we got off at PE that was not available so that’s good news.  Do we have to answer customs type questions the night before and submit them so they line up with our faces or is this just now a security check linked to our passports and off we go?

    I believe we dock at 6am - on other cruise lines I have been able to get 7:15am luggage tags so we didn’t have to do walk off.  But if that’s not available we will do the walk off.  I know it’s very quick to get to airport but I don’t want to be too rushed!

     

  13. Hi we are on the celebrity Beyond and have an AC flight back to YYZ from FLL at 11:05 am on Sunday Dec 4.  Can anyone walk me through what happens now with disembarking procedures for a non-US citizen so I can visualize what we need to do!   Ideally we can get first group tags to be first off as I’d rather not have to lug our bags off the ship but want to ensure if we leave by 7:30or 8 that it’s enough time to go through the luggage pick up and Customs which I suspect a different and longer process than Americans. I have a Nexus card but my husband doesn’t so I don’t know if that would be any help.   We plan to hop a taxi to airport once we get through customs.  Thanks!

  14. Hi - being a Canadian, it didn't click into me until recently that we will be in Florida prior to our cruise during US Thanksgiving week.  We arrive Tuesday night and I assume Wednesday will have regular hours for shopping and restaurants (?), but is everything shut down on Thursday - we just want to know if we should make sure we have food if restaurants are closed and just plan a beach day (Thurs to Sunday we will be in Pompano Beach)?  Friday I know is a big shopping day - we may join in on the fun!  thanks

  15. 1 hour ago, capriccio said:

    That has the best reputation of the Wyndhams in Pompano Beach.  You are within walking distance (1 mile) to the Pompano Fishing Pier and Village with restaurants - including 3 on the waterfront - and shops.  There is also a very reasonably priced parking garage (one of the prettiest you've ever seen).  For more info on that area check out  https://parks.pompanobeachfl.gov/facilities/fisher-family-pier and https://www.pompanobeachfl.gov/visitors/the-fishing-village

     

    You are also about the same distance away from a Publix grocery if you need to pick up groceries.

     

    There are lots of excellent restaurants within a walk or a short (5 minute) drive including

     

    • the 3 waterfront restaurants at the pier:  Beach Place, Oceanic, and Lucky Fish
    • south of the Wyndham is the Sea Watch
    • Along the intracoastal (about 1 mile) is Houstons, the Rusty Hook, and the nearby Foundry
    • Other restaurants that are personal favorites in close in Pompano Beach and Lighthouse Point are LaPerla, Sicilian Oven, Fish Shack, and Nauti Dawg
    • There are lots of good restaurants in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea about 2 miles south of the Wyndham including Aruba's, 101 Ocean, and Blue Moon Fish Company

     

    Things to do (having no idea of your interests):

     

    • Butterfly World - 20 minute drive west
    • Bonnet House and Fort Lauderdale Beach - due south from your hotel on A1A - 15 minute drive or less
    • Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (and turtle rehab) - due north from your hotel in Boca Raton - 25 minute drive

     

    Hope this helps.  Have a wonderful cruise and extended vacation!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Wow thank you so much for all the information!  We will keep the reservation and have a great relaxing time prior to the trip!

  16. We are cruising from FLL in November 27 but will spend a little time in Florida prior to cruise.  We fly into Miami and pick up rental car and have two nights booked in Sawgrass area as we are seeing a NHL game on Wednesday night.  Right now I have the next three nights booked at a Wyndham on Pompano Beach. It looks like it’s a quiet area but we will have a car to get around.  Is there another area that might be a bit more lively with lots to do in walking distance?  I picked this area as it was reasonably priced with parking included and Beach right across the street.  A nice pool and restaurants and some shopping are my top priorities!   Thanks 

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