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Everything posted by DiamondDiva

  1. Some more comfortable chairs than the ones in the Suite Lounge on Millenium in late August. Hopefully, they will replace those on Millenium as well,and more people will then make use of it. We did enjoy many of the little bites and snacks there, such as the empanadas and the tuna also.
  2. Always carry it...both bee allergic and any biting critter worth its salt finds me. Never needed it, but we were traveling in June. Cool enough to wear long pants, etc. But does not hurt to carry a small one.
  3. Sorry, it is their hair dryer, not mine.
  4. Recently on Millenium in a Sky Suite. There was a large round mirror over the desk, lit around the outside. However, the desk chair has large arms that prevent you from coming close to the desk and it is making gouges already on the wooden drawer. In addition, at 5'2", I could not see most of the bottom of my face unless I stood up. Additionally, even if the chair had no arms, the seat is very close to the bottom of the drawer and it is impossible to fit legs under the desk. Also our hair dryer did not fit into the plug at the desk area. So for me, the whole thing was useless. Frustrating, as I usually do hair and makeup there.
  5. Just back from Millenium Sky Suite.....old shower/ tub grab bars now gone and not be reinstalled, nor could temporary ones be found. Half the tub side has a permanent glass panel, so cannot easily sit on tub side and swing legs in to take a shower. Very dangerous....but no one at Celebrity seems to care. This makes no sense to me at all.
  6. Wishing you both a great trip! Yes, in some ways different from an ocean voyage and from a European-style river cruise, but still a wonderful trip. Enjoy new people, places, and tastes, with gorgeous views. No language issues, same currency, and your phone works without extra expense. 😄 Have some of that yummy ice cream upstairs for us...often saw the Captain getting his share in the afternoon. And a glass of wine/libation of choice on your balcony.
  7. Just off Millenium before you, in a Sky Suite. We loved our Luminae experience and received some of the best service and food we have had in several SS experiences. So happy you enjoyed it as well. Love all your live blogs. Thanks for doing them...we all learn something from your experiences and photos. Say hello to my hometown for me when you return. My spouse grew up in the area where you now live (if I remember a post from a prior trip report correctly), while I am a NW side girl!
  8. We too have just booked our first YC/MSC for later in the winter. Usually do Sky Suites on X so will be happy to follow your blog in both areas. Thanks for letting us know.
  9. It was the new Suite Retreat on the very top deck that I could not get to. With the refurbishment, it was added at the front of the ship. Because the existing outdoor stairway up to that area is very curvy and long, they had to add an elevator to provide access for suite guests. It is a small outdoor glass elevator, but when I asked why it was closed, I was told that it had not worked in quite a while and was not fixable. No plans to find a solution, I was told with a shrug. I have knee issues, so never got up there, as coming down is harder than going up. I have no idea what the status of this elevator is on the other refurbed ships. My husband went up there to take photos at Hubbard Glacier and said he was the only one up there. But it is surrounded by glass, so not necessarily an easy spot for photos....he managed.
  10. We are just off a trip on the refurbed Millenium in a Sky Suite. Loved our Luminae experience, our room steward Kadek, and our Suite Concierge. Could not get up to the new Suite Retreat, as the elevator is not working to that deck, which I need. Seems it has not been working for a while and is “ not fixable”. Redone “Michael’s Club” was very uncomfortable, and other than the “Evening with the Officers”, rarely had anyone in it for drinks/ snacks, or relaxation/ conversation. We got used to the new room layout and did find plenty of storage, tho some in weird places, and little in the bathroom. Stray items took up needed space or moved with ship, like a mostly dead cactus, a huge coral, a large empty vase, and way too many hard decor pillows! Tho I did need one of those big pillows to sit on the quite hard couch, as it is too deep for shorter people. Desk chair won’t fit under the desk because of the high arms, which are already scratching up the front of the desk, as it juts out into the narrow walking area. But even without the arms, you would have trouble sitting on it, as the seat height makes it hard to get legs under the drawer area! S class Sky does have more physical area, but similar issues. Will we return again? Yes, tho probably not as often as we have been. In general, the ship is less comfortable than it used to be in both private and public spaces. But the service, while changing a bit, is still a plus for Celebrity, so we booked again. But we are also trying new options as well, and only booked one rather than the 2 or 3 we did in the past while onboard.
  11. Just off Millenium in Alaska and completely enjoyed our Luminae experience. Yes, we got a few favorites off the MDR, like escargot twice for my hubby and a Wellington to share on Chic Night, but in general, all was great! However, there were no MDR or Blue menus available in the Retreat to check as we wished. Our Concierge had to access her computer if we wished to see a day at a time before dinner. Seemed like a lot of trouble for her and she is not always there..no idea why they removed the real menus...so easy before.
  12. Yes, they were. The 3 items from Boulud are available everyday at the bottom of the menu ( same daily). We had the Moroccan chicken the first night and both of us really enjoyed it. The other 2 are an appetizer and a dessert..sorry I don’t remember the items.
  13. Just off Millenium in a Sky Suite. There was a family of 3 boys about ages 5-12 , parents, and grands in Laminae near us for most meals. The boys seemed happy with their meal choices, and even experimented with a few new items. The staff eagerly helped them with ideas of things to try. There were also 4 or 5 new menu items being tested on the Luminae menu.
  14. A full transit cruise of the Canal does take one full day, from Pacific to Atlantic, or vice versa. We did one earlier this year. Takes most of one day. As said above a “ touch Canal” is a partial transit, most often entering from the Atlantic, turning around in Gatun Lake and returning back to the Atlantic. When we did this one 10+ years ago, passengers could disembark at a small dock area within Gatun to take purchased ship’s tours for part of the day. Ours included finishing a full transit from there to the Pacific Ocean ( at Puerto Amador) on a 350 person ferry boat. It was quite comfortable, and included lunch and a 90 minute bus ride across the whole of Panama back to Colon, where our cruise ship was waiting for us. On this “partial” transit, there were several other options available, including visits to the lock headquarters, train rides thru the jungle, and others. All included transport by land back to the ship waiting in Colon. Some passengers never left the ship at all that day and stayed with it for a short “ Gatun Lake” ride and then back out the Canal to Colon, where there is a mammoth shopping area at the Pier. Different cruise lines have different choices. Hrhdhd described what Celebrity is offering.
  15. Enjoy your trips. We are currently on Celebrity Millenium , just leaving the Hubbard Glacier. Please let us know your thoughts on Empress when you return. Happy sailing!
  16. No problem, Jim. I am glad to help. Tell your lady there are lots of nice wine choices around on this trip. We did the Red Mountain wines premium tour...2 nice wineries and a distillery. Several of the towns have wine places, as well as Spokane. Enjoy, stay safe and have fun!
  17. I could not find any info about cancellation online before our cruise, so I called the excursion line listed in the website and asked. If my memory is correct, he said we could book, but cancel or switch later. However, do not rely on my memory, since it involves money, call and ask. The jet boat was popular on our cruise and they talked a lot about the great time they had!
  18. This is all very helpful and the kids will be happy. Thought it was possible, but wanted to be certain my info was correct before passing it on to them. Yes, I should not be surprised if someone does go for a more "exotic" (to them) food item. That IS one of the benefits of cruising...a chance to try something new, be it an activity, a culture, a food, etc and still have something familiar around if you need it.
  19. Thanks for the info and the laugh! The 2 older boys will be thrilled to know they can have a bit more to eat. And maybe we can get them to add a few new items to their diet and yet eat healthy (all the kids are very athletic). They may not go for my spouse's choice of escargot, perhaps, but may sample something new-to-them. Yes, I realized about the title just as I sent it in, but having taught school for 45 years, 36 in Elementary, I know that combination so very well from my lunchroom days....which the Windjammer can remind me of on some visits!!
  20. We have been on 30+ cruises on several lines, but have never taken children on a cruise before. Next summer, for our 50th anniversary, we are sailing on the Harmony of the Seas with 8 adults and 4 children in total. The children will be 7,9,12 and 15. No one but my spouse and I have cruised before, and the excitement is building! I searched out the children's clubs on NOS this past March and have researched lots of activities, excursions, and ship fun for them. We have begun a monthly newsletter full of links to CC comments, videos and reviews of HOS, the ports, and ideas for sharing a room, etc. However, I am unsure of the dinner menu/food choices for the kids. Although we have Jr Suites, we decided that we would all eat at 2 adjoining tables of 6 in the MDR and rotate our seating each night a bit with 4 adults and 2 kids at each. The 15 year old had immediately stated on a recent visit that he did not want to be at a KIDS table every night, and that is just fine. Our TA has told me to go to the MDR and arrange the table set up request on boarding. But how does children's food work? Can the 15 year old choose off the adult menu most nights if he wishes? I have seen a photo of a small children's menu with typical items, but it is limited. Probably fine for the 2 younger ones especially. Can the older boys mix it up a bit, with some items from each? We also would like to do Solarium Bistro for all of us one evening, for a different experience for all. My husband and I have enjoyed it very much on Oasis and have seen other large family groups there. Has anyone tried it with younger children? The menu does seem a bit adult for the younger two. Any help or ideas you can offer is appreciated.
  21. We went to Tierra Blanca Wines down to the left of the Hotel at #926 Sprague, about 1 1/2 blocks down. It is a wine tasting shop...we did s small tasting session and bought 2 to carry on to the ship. No problem on AQS...no one even looked at our carryon and not a problem anyway, as I checked with them. There are several wine tasing shops and craft beer places in downtown Spokane...just Google. We used Trip Advisor to find some nice little pubs and craft beer places in ports this trip too. A great one right across from Davenport for beer and one dinner for us the first night...Post Street Ale House. There was a wine shop in the hotel but was never open in our 2 days there that we noticed.
  22. My husband took an easy walk to a drugstore a few blocks away from the Davenport and there is a mall about 3-4 blocks toward the falls park there as well. We also purchased 2 bottles of wine a block from the hotel to carry on and enjoy on our balcony predinner while we watched the amazing scenery. Spokane was a great precruise town!
  23. The Premium tours do not usually visit the same sites as the HOHO buses. There is a list on the website of the stops for the HOHO buses each day as well as the Premium (cost) tours for each stop, with the number of hours and price. Looking at my list from our June 2 trip, there are no duplications...the HOHO bus stops are different and hit most of the smaller sites and sometimes the downtown/shopping area. In some cases, you can do both in one day, depending on your choices and how many HOHO stops you choose off the bus and its time frame and the length of a Premium tour. For example, here is a link to an early September trip on Empress. In the second section under Cruise Summary, it says "Included Tours, see Ports of Call below". Go to the bottom of the page, click and it opens a page with the included (HOHO) stops and the Premium tours for each day. Then you can easily compare each option. https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/river-cruises/columbia-and-snake-river-cruises/clarkston-portlandvancouver-wa/?date=2019-09-08&vessel=american-empress Also the HOHO buses are used for the Premium tours as well. All are equipped to handle mobility issues, even wheel chair users. Hope this helps.
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