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About dbuckho

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  1. On Luminosa the gelato shop had two sides -- the actual gelato shop and then the "chocolate" shop. Per the menu and as others have described -- they have some drinks you can order like hot chocolate or milkshake-like creations -- but I think the name is primarily because they sell chocolates (i.e. like a little Godiva shop). It was where I went most mornings for my coffee as they have the Illy Espesso machine (I had the same beverage package).
  2. We (2 adults, 2 boys 8 and 2) were on Luminosa this past January out of Venice (off season Adriatic Sea cruise). Will comment on a few specifics below but bottom line we did not like it as much as our only other cruising experience -- RCI Jewel of the Seas on a Caribbean cruise out of San Juan -- but we loved the itinerary and the ship experience and service was enjoyable enough that we are going with Costa again next month on a Norway cruise from Copenhagen. Paying for pizza and gelato is a little annoying, but was not that big a deal - and at least what you pay for is of quality and perhaps limited access to ice cream is a good thing! Dinner for us was in the Luminosa Club restaurant on deck 10. There was pizza on the dining room kids menu and we ordered one almost every night for our kids to split with whatever else they ordered. It was not as good as the pizza you pay for -- at night they setup the pizza and burgers at the end of where the buffet is and have real pizza ovens vs. whatever they used in the kitchen to make the dinner ones -- but it did the job. Assume the main dining room also has that kids menu. I think we had a set time (early seating) but in practice could go to either seating for dinner. On RCI we ended up going to the buffet more often than sit down dining -- the buffet on our RCI cruise was great -- but Costa's had more limited options and less for our kids. That plus being able to order the pizza in the dining room had us sitting down for dinner every night except one. Lunch was much easier as they have burgers/chicken/fries near the pool and other options on the buffet (and sometimes this was still open when we got back on the ship after an excursion). My 8 year old did not enjoy the kids club activities as much as his RCI experience -- but you have to take that on a curve as we had to forcibly remove him from the Jewel kids club every night at 12 or 1 AM. That said, he had a great time on this cruise and as mentioned the clientele (especially on our European cruise) was more international and he made a couple friends from Slovenia and Italy -- they ended up hanging out all over the ship most of the time and have become email pen pals. The Peppa Pig playroom was great for our younger son and even the older boys set themselves up in there. I actually liked the Luminosa ship layout slightly better than Jewel of the Seas. And I found the ship very clean and the staff helpful (one thing I was worried about before). Costa is not quite as digital as RCI -- and then add in the international clientele who may like to book things like excursions more in person -- and the front desk can get a little overwhelmed if there are irregular operations. For example our first stop in Bari was shortened drastically due to leaving Venice late, and another day was switched from Kotor to Corfu. If you needed assistance at the reception or excursion desks during the first 2-3 hours after they announced those changes forget about it. One thing that was very helpful is my son and I booked the behind the scenes ship tour and one of the senior customer service folks our tour guide -- she was from the UK and the one who did the English announcements, so for the rest of the cruise if we needed anything she was usually around the front desk area and we could get her assistance if needed. Not sure how the Caribbean prices stack up, but our two Costa cruises come out to about 70% total price of the RCI cruise and the Celebrity one we have booked next summer (all 4 are 7 days, Grand Suite, 2 adults and 2 kids -- so comparing the base price for room/food, included drink package vs. buying soda/coffee package on RCI, considering what we spent on pizza/gelato, taxes, gratuities). In the future if we find Costa head to head on an itinerary with RCI/Princess we might pay a little more and go with them -- but at this price difference they are fine, especially for the cost to value ratio.
  3. Thanks - was concerned seeing what must be older pictures before the balcony was restored. I think I answered my own question about renderings - https://www.celebritycruises.com/revolution/accommodations/ We are 2 kids 2 adults so definitely can use the extra space, but my wife was not sure about the interior cabin-like bed part of the current CS. Looks like they are really opening up the rooms. The Sky Suite and Oceanview others in our family will be in look nice too.
  4. Has anyone seen any renderings of what the Celebrity and Sky Suites will look like after refurbishment. Found some to-be pictures from other ships but the configurations - especially the CS on Millennium - are a bit different. Also, do the CS suites have balconies? The website said "Veranda with lounge seating" for the 2020 Alaska cruise we are reserving, but then my actual reservation on celebrity.com (currently room 6106) says "Stateroom: 467 sq. ft., Veranda N/A., Total 467"
  5. My wife, 2 boys ages 8 and 2, and I are traveling on the Luminosa leaving Venice on December 29th. Last winter we took our first cruise on Royal Caribbean and I feel like there where a dozen+ things to do ahead of time - i.e. looking for the right pre-sale on the drink packages and internet, planning out cruise excursions, and getting familiar with RCC's operations and policies in general. For this cruise we are in a Grand Suite which includes the drink package (Intenditore) and most of the ports we just plan to walk out and explore (tours booked for two of the stops). And it doesn't seem like they offer any advance discounts on the extras anyways - so even if I knew what internet plan I need to purchase (no idea of our potential data usage), not sure if that really needs to be booked in advance. It may just be that there are so many more posts over on the RCC forum vs. here, causing the feeling/pressure of needing to be prepared. But wanted to ask if there are any other advance things I should be taking care of or on-ship information to research 48 days out? Thanks for any guidance.
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