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Everything posted by TFLG

  1. Unless you are working or can't stay off social media for more than 10 seconds you probably wont need to upgrade. Do what Orcagirl suggested. Logon, check what you need to check, do your intagram/facebook posts to make all your friends jealous😁, then logoff. With 2 people on a 7 day cruise you get about 20 minutes a day each. I check my email and stuff in the morning and again in the evening. Just remember to LOGOFF each time.
  2. Not sure we can get Quest. I thought it was only avail in duty free shops. I picked up a bottle at LAX last time I went to Oz. I thought it was good, probably not worth the $100 I paid at the duty free. Personally I prefer the 12yr sherry oak. I don't think you can carry on hard liquor, it's just wine.
  3. For me after a few puffs I might as well be drinking JW red 🥴. Ok that's going too far🤣, no one should have to drink that. I did enjoy a nice 14yr Glenfiddich with a Montercristo last night out by the pool🥃 And yea, there's definitely a tendency to over do it with these packages. Probably not a good thing in the casino.
  4. You'll need to drink a lot of Macallan and Glenfidich to offset the $35 a day upgrade cost. I like my single malts but I don't see that working out as a deal for me (and I drink a lot! 😁). I can simply pay the difference over $15 if I want a better dram. And I can get Glenmorangie on the regular package which I prefer to Glenfiddich or the Glenlivet founders. The Quest is pretty good and JW platinum is a nice blend but then again so is Monkey Shoulder. Yea, for me the extra $30 is a no go. I always upgrade on Celebrity but it's only $10 a day, 2 drinks and it's paid for itself. And seriously, why isn't basic bottled water included on the regular package 🙄
  5. True, but the price on a Celebrity cruise is typically way more than a comparable cruise on NCL, so you have a lot of nickels and dimes to upgrade your steak or eat at the specialties. The service on Celebrity is typically better, the ships seem less crowded but on the flip side if you like to party NCL has a lot more going on in the evenings. We did a 7 day Celebrity out of LA a few years back and it was just over $4k, our upcoming Nov NCL 7 day out of LA is $2800. So I have $1200 worth of nickels and dimes to upgrade my meals and ride the go carts 🤣
  6. Pretty sure until the zombie apocalypse is well behind us there will be vaccine mandates. Especially with the new variants popping up every other month and the new Lambda variant seems more able to infect vaccinated people. So lets hope that doesn't start spreading like the Delta. NCL seems to be dead set on 100% and that almost makes it an adult only cruise line right now since (in Cali) the vaccine isn't being given to kids under 12. The cruise lines can't afford to screw this restart up and possibly get shut down again. So I don't see them allowing unvaccinated guests on until Covid burns out. Some lines do allow a few like RCCL but then you have mask mandates, additional costs for testing etc. It will be interesting to see if those lines continue to allow unvaccinated passengers for much longer.
  7. The prohibitions are usually the tour operators restrictions and not Celebrity. Don't assume "Nobody checks". I have done at least 3 excursions where people were denied on the van/bus because they didn't meet some requirement. 2 of those were for weight (on zip-lining tours). They had a scale as you stepped on the bus they weighed you. The other one was a bike tour and I have no idea why that person was not allowed to go.
  8. I read today 2 tourists were arrested in Hawaii for fake vaccination cards.
  9. Yea pretty easy to print one if you wanted. But the risks are significant if found out. The cruise line would almost certainly kick you off the ship and it is actually a crime. The Federal crime isn't faking the card its using the logo/seal. Some states are also passing laws making it a crime and some of the potential fines are HUGE. I think in NJ is up to 10 years in jail and up to $150k in fines. I'm sure Florida will start selling cards in gumball machines for 25c if they lose the next court case. The unauthorized use of an official government agency's seal (such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) is a crime, and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws.
  10. I find the service to be just as good if not better in Australia. I cant think of a time where I got terrible service over there and I've spent a fair amount of time there. I can however think of many times when I've had crap service here at home. Been to Europe many times too. If I had to rate the the US would come last (unless you count France as a separately from Europe, that country sucks for service, and parts of Italy are not far behind). I just don't think the service people here care anymore. They know a tip is coming it's almost a sure thing people will tip so they don't need to try.
  11. You are just a few days behind me. I saw the Approved notice this Monday with an expected arrival date of tomorrow, before that it said the same thing as you're seeing.
  12. My new passport is "in the mail" according to the website. I sent my renewal application mid July, They received it July 20th and I am supposed to get my new passport August 13th (tomorrow). I paid for expedited processing and also 2nd day air shipping. So for me it was only about 4 weeks. I had also heard the horror stories of 18 weeks and was worried because I have a final payment due early Sept. (assuming the website isn't lying)
  13. I prefer the Australian system. No tipping. It's so nice not to have to worry about tipping or additional tax. The price on the menu is the price you pay. On cruises, I do find a buck or two to the bartender/server occasionally, can in many cases reduce your wait the next time you want a drink. So I take a stack of $1's and $5's with me.
  14. Using a fake card to board a cruise ship seems like a ridiculous thing to do. Unfortunately there are a more than a few ridiculous people around that will probably do it. I'm pretty certain if the cruise line found out they would drop your butt at the next port and ban you for life. And if you contracted Covid, I seriously doubt they would pick up the tab to get you home.
  15. I forgot to mention that you can (at least until the zombie apocalypse) order dinner (and lunch I think) from the MDR menu from room service. And there's the other "little things" like not having to check out towels, more comfortable beds, sheets and pillows, better lounge chairs (although after the last refits the lounge chairs seem to be less "premium"). bigger bathrooms/showers than many other cruise lines. No constant announcements over the PA. You normally get one a 10 am and when in port you will get some relating to the port/tendering etc, but other than that you need to check the daily program or app to find out whats going on. It's also easier to find somewhere to sit in the buffet most of the time. Some of this stuff is ship dependent too, the older ships are showing some age now. I prefer the S-Class ships. I have not tried the new edge class but friends that did try it didn't like it as much as the older ships. I wish they had the boardwalk like on the newer NCL ships. Instead they put a stupid elevator on the outside of the ship lol.
  16. I sent mine in mid July (received on the 20th) and I just received an email today stating it's approved and should be delivered by Aug 13. I paid for the expedited processing and shipping. If it arrives on the 13th like they say, that would be about 4 weeks. So if you need it, pay the extra 60 bucks for expedited.
  17. I sail Celebrity quite a lot and typically prefer it over most of the other lines. So here's my 2 cents on the differences. The night life on Celebrity can be dull sometimes but it really depends on the sailing. The Sky Lounge is the typical late night "party" spot. There's usually a band or DJ (or a Band then DJ) starting around 10 and they will play till the guest count drops off. There's Quasor on the S-Class ships that has DJ and plays modern music but that is rarely busy. The Silent discos are usually PACKED and I much prefer the celebrity version to the NCL version. I've seen conga lines that stretch all the way around the main foyer. Early Evening the band is typically in the Main Foyer playing anything from 50's to mellow modern. And one night there's typically a white party on the pool deck that usually attracts a good crowd. I find the food on Celebrity better overall than NCL. Quite a bit better in the MDR, and a bit better in the specialties. BTW most people don't realize you can "haggle" the price of the specialties. They normally have a guy standing outside the buffet trying to sell specialty dining. Offer him half the asking price and go from there. I typically get around 30-40% off (It's a flat rate fee in most of them). The buffet is close but again I think I'll give the nod to Celebrity for it's better quality. As far as drinks, I do the upgrade on the drinks package because I like Single Malt scotch and I spend a fair bit of time at the Martini Bar and the World Class Bar. But the standard bevvy package includes ALL drinks up to $14 (I think), so water, soda, coffees smoothies etc. My wife is perfectly happy with the standard package. Service can be slow especially at the Marinin Bar when it's packed and out by the pool it's sometimes hard to find a waiter when you want one. 1st world problems lol. Someone mentioned more stratification. It' really just the same as NCL, Suites and everyone else. The Aqua Class cabins do have a separate dining room and the food is better than the MDR but that's about the only useful perk of that class. It gets you nothing else of value. And I was told they created this class to help sell the less desirable cabins. The Aqua Class cabins tend to be high and are often under overhangs from the pool deck or some such thing. So you get better food but a crappier cabin. I only sail Aqua class when I can find it close the cost of a regular veranda (on rare occasions it's less). One other thing I like, they don't charge gratuity on the beverage package or specialty dining. And the daily gratuities are usually included too. So the price you see is the price you pay (plus port fees and tax) . I hate the way NCL adds on gratuities to the packages you pick. I like both lines. Celebrity is bit fancier, but NCL is a great line too (well except those older ships...)
  18. I typically cruise Celebrity but I've sailed the Bliss to Mexico twice and have another one booked for Nov. The Bliss is a beautiful ship and the food and service are very good. There are plenty of places to eat and drink although on a full capacity cruise you should make reservations for the specialty dining prior to sailing. I've never had a problem getting into any of the main dining rooms on the Bliss (there are 3 of them). Of course my experiences were Pre Zombie Apocalypse and who knows what things will be now. I'll find out in Nov if the US gov ever sends me my passport.....
  19. Yea, right... Once past about 6, most kids are mouthy and quite a few (older) kids will get drunk given a chance.
  20. I think you need to ask yourself a few questions. Are you Ok if none of the ports are open? Could be a cruise to nowhere. Some people love that some are all about the ports. And most cruise lines sailing in Europe require ship booked excursions or you ain't getting off. I suspect the sailing from the US will be the same. Are you OK wearing a mask on the ship when out and about? Pretty sure mask will be required. And I wonder how long it will take for some antimask nutjob to get left at the first port. Are you Ok on a ship with limited entertainment and social distancing. They will be running at 50%-60% occupancy which some will LOVE and others will hate. If you are all about just being on the water and finding a quiet place to read then there's never been a better time to book a cruise. If you like to party you pants off it's probably going to be a big let down.
  21. We did a back to back on the Equinox just before the zombie apocalypse ended the world (March). I honestly didn't notice any difference after the remodel. Yea I know the Equinox only got a partial but it still seemed the same to me. The pool was still busy, so was the sunset bar and the martini bar. The world class was still dead, so was sushi on 5. Like most people I don't usually use the solstice deck, because it's too far from a bar! Plus I've seen some stuff up there that I am still trying to unsee. I guess I'm still a fan of Celebrity but there prices even for us plebs are getting a bit hard to deal with. I started cruising because it was a better value than land vacations. Not sure that's the case any more
  22. I'm not cruising if masks are mandatory. That's just not my idea of a vacation. I'm fine with a rapid test for pre boarding. But I'm on the ship to get my party on. Hang with friends, drink, dance and get silly. I think if mask are mandatory cruise ships will be more like floating old folks homes. And judging from the youtube videos of the first few cruises that's not far from the truth. I'm not cancelling my 2 bookings for next year yet but if mandatory masks are a thing I will do land vacations instead.
  23. My personal goal regarding Scotch (and other whiskey's too) is to TRY THEM ALL! And I'm making great progress. I do wish there was more variety on the ships to help me reach my goal. Unfortunately I find that I typically have to buy the bottle when trying the more unusual stuff. I find most Scotch to my liking. Not a big fan of the Islay stuff though. On rare occasions I get the urge to pour a dram of Laphroig or Lagavulin but I just usually avoid the peaty, smokey stuff. I probably have 20-30 bottles in the bar right now which only leaves me about 10000000 to go😂. On the ships I generally stick to Macallan, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet or more recently Monkey Shoulder. For a blend Monkey Shoulder is quite good.
  24. For sure you are not getting into Australia in Sept. I've been trying to find a way to get into Australia this Sept and have been shut down at every turn. They are CLOSED! Even with a doctors note, Covid screening etc, they don't care. I would just cancel. I just canceled a Panama cruise I had booked for Nov this year because I was concerned that some of the ports would be closed. And spending $8k to sit on a boat for 2 and a half weeks isn't my idea of a great vacation.
  25. We did it a couple of years ago on the Infinity and thought it was great. Ours was an 8 day with an overnight in SF. Enjoyed that as it gave us more time in the best port. We live in SoCal so we have been to all the ports dozens of times but still enjoyed arriving on a ship rather than in our car. Not a big fan of Catalina or Ensenada though. I know they can't skip Ensenada but I wish they would dump Catalina on the coastals and go into San Diego or some other decent port. Monterey and Santa Barbara are both great stops. And if you like Wine you can do winery tours in just about every port.
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