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Everything posted by NantahalaCruiser

  1. NCL Our first cruise in 2003 was on NCL - MDR had only average food and terrible service - only choice was to pay for the excellent specialty restaurants - never went back and never will.
  2. Your link is way out of date and very erroneous - shows beers up to $6 while it is now all drinks up to $9; and for example shows Baileys included although it was moved to the Premium Package.
  3. The Classic limit is currently $9. If your specialty cocktail definition is most drinks at the Martini Bar or on the Blu menu, then yes - they are more - like $12 or more.
  4. As others have said, these daily gratuities cover the housekeeping and food staff (with the exception of room service) - and is all that is required. However, many cruisers do give an additional tip to room stewards and wait staff at the end of the cruise if they have enjoyed their service - it is entirely up to you whether or not you choose to do so.
  5. I use the TA of a "big box" warehouse store. I first do my own research on what deals are available through the cruise line. Then I call up the TA, get the exactly same deal that is available through the cruise line - price and perks - and then upon completion of my cruise, the TA sends me a gift card for their store in the amount of about 7-8% of the cost of the cruise. Since I would be shopping at the warehouse store anyway, it's the same as cash to me. In addition, this TA has no additional fees for changes or cancellations which is something you need to check out with any TA that you are considering. Bottom line - why miss out on hundreds of dollars of savings? PS - One of the above posts mentioned a 30 day period in which you can transfer your reservation to a TA; perhaps it varies by cruise line - for Celebrity it is 60 days.
  6. No problem. You could also eat at a specialty restaurant and the MDR on the same evening. Let me suggest that you use anytime dining rather than the late traditional dining so that you can have more flexibility. Have not done it, but my guess is that you could even do two anytime dinners in the MDR in the same evening.
  7. Although we generally do private tours for all of the already mentioned reasons, for destinations quite distant from their ports - such as Saigon or Bangkok - we often combine a ship DIY excursion, where they are only responsible for transporting us back and forth between the ship and a central location, with a local private tour. The best of both!
  8. Have not stayed in it, but based on the deckplans, the bed is next to the balcony and it should be relatively quiet with cabins above and below, no where near elevators and no crew area nearby. Enjoy
  9. Yes it is very personal and varies by passenger. I occasionally will give an additional tip, but to put it in perspective - how much do you tip at home in a bar or restaurant? If you tip 18% at home, would you instead tip 18% plus 10% for a total of 28% on board? As others have said, there is no standard or expectation; do what you personally are comfortable doing.
  10. Hard to tell from your discussion whether or not you actually had your TA book the upgrade. If you did, and now you are unsure what you were charged or if it was in fact upgraded, ask your TA to email you a copy of Celebrity's official revised statement showing which cabin class (hopefully Concierge Guarantee) you have and what you were charged. If they have not yet booked the upgrade, then tell your TA that you authorize them to charge you an additional $19 per person for the upgrade and ask them to email you a copy of the official revised Celebrity statement.
  11. The elevated serving area on M-class is where the card room used to be - hence many card players still gravitate to there.
  12. Depends on your reason for cancelling. If health-based then you are probably covered. But if your granddaughter announces that she is getting married during your cruise dates you will not be covered for cancelling unless you purchased the more expensive cancel-for-any-reason insurance that still does not cover 100% of the cancellation.
  13. Prior to the creation of non-refundable deposit bookings, the on-board booking deposit was always equal to the on-board OBC bonus which is not a fixed amount - it varies by cabin type and cruise duration. Having received the deposit, you then had the option of either applying the bonus OBC to your future cruise and keeping the deposit refundable or applying it to your current cruise - in which case, the deposit became non-refundable for the obvious reason that it had already been spent. That is why the amount of the deposit had to equal the amount of the bonus OBC! There was no way they were going to give you $250 of bonus OBC on your current cruise while only getting $100 of non-refundable deposit and losing $150 when you merely canceled the cruise and forfeit the $100. I believe this is still the case with refundable deposits; and that the non-refundable deposit is the same amount.
  14. The deposit is the same as the on-board booking bonus OBC which varies by cabin class and cruise duration. The following link shows the current bonus OBC: http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/General_Info/CEL_Onboard_Offer_Mar_2018_Offerv2.pdf The off-ship booking deposit is still $900.
  15. We normally do independent tours rather than booking through Celebrity. But I highly recommend an exception during your stop in Uruguay - I believe Celebrity is currently calling it "The Best of Uruguay" and it is priced at $249 per adult and $199 per child. It is expensive but worth every penny. Starts off with a tour of the downtown sites in Montevideo and then goes out into the countryside to a family-owned working ranch. Apparently they only book through a few cruise lines including Princess and Celebrity and not through other third party vendors - on the day that we were in port with the Infinity, the only people at the ranch were from Celebrity's shore excursion. But here is a link to the family ranch that gives you a good idea of what to expect while you are there for much of the day: http://www.larabida.com.uy/pages/eng/50day.php All of the activities, food, wine and other drinks were wonderful - hope you decide to take advantage of the tour also.
  16. Just curious. Is this not just a problem with UK reservation rules rather than an on-board booking problem. Wouldn't you have had the same problem booking a year in advance regardless of whether the booking was off-ship or on-board?
  17. Your math is a little off and there is no tax - rather the 18% gratuity (although the on-board purchase might possibly cost you the additional EU vat depending on the circumstances.) Premium package is $65 pp per day +18%; so 14N for both would be 2x14x65x1.18=$2147.60. A 25% discount (if it becomes available) would bring it down to $1610.70. 7 day on-board purchase would be 2x7x65x1.18=$1073.80. And yes, you can purchase the package for the last 7 days at the standard rate - not at a higher rate - think the minimum is 4 days, but not sure. I believe on-board discounts are seldom or almost never.
  18. Not required. You can choose any restaurant you wish. By the way, the 4-night package is cheaper per night than either the 3 or 5 night package.
  19. Even if you could some how get the Go Better for only one person in the cabin, why would you want to spend $360 to receive only $285 value? Note that you will get the $150 OBC from the on-board booking regardless, so it is not part of the decision making.
  20. You do not need to be Elite - you qualify for the category upgrade after 1 cruise with Celebrity.
  21. The on-board booking bonus OBC depends on the duration and cabin class - also some itineraries are excluded. Here is a link to the current on-board offers: http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/General_Info/CEL_Onboard_Offer_Mar_2018_Offerv2.pdf
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