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About mmsJack

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    Buckeye Nation
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    Wine - Reading - Gardening - Buckeyes FB - My Dogs - My Kids
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  1. Just an FYI - Noticed this morning that the specialty dining package prices for our cruise have come back down to the *old* (lower) prices. $109 - 3 night $125 - 4 night $159 - 5 night etc... We leave this month (in 2 days to be exact) on a 12 day Silhouette so not sure if this is just for our booking in order to encourage a few more specialty dining package purchases (which seems bananas to me since we sail on Sunday) or if this change has been made on other sailings/ships too? Thought it was worth a mention in case anyone's interested. 😁
  2. Figured the sale was only for sailings on/after 1/1/19 - those that have the new bev package pricing, but not so. We're sailing next month. We already upgraded our bev pkg during a sale in July (paid $13.25/ pp per day verses $16.50 full price). Checked our planner yesterday hoping for a further discount per this thread. We did have a sale banner showing for bev/wifi packages. Wifi prices were discounted but the prices for all bev packages and upgrades were unchanged, no discount appeared. Today though all bev packages and upgrades were discounted. We called and were able to (as many report above) take advantage of the discount. The X rep credited us original bev package upgrade price and rebooked at the lower rate. Only saved about $20/pp ttl (new price was $11.50 pp per day price) but we'll take it! Happy Sailing Everyone!
  3. Pax! Wondering if anyone's run into a sale on the non-alcohol prem bev package while on board? Boarding next mo. & everyone in our group has the prem w/ alcohol bev package except my oldest doesn't drink. Was thinking about getting her the prem no-fun, er I mean non-alcohol bev package and was just curious if there's any *negotiation* on the price once on board? I was pretty psyched to see a sale in our cruise planner today but unfortunately this isn't included... Last question, if there are no deals to be had and we buy it anyway, is it like the alcohol package - the bartender who sells you the package gets the tip? Thanks everyone!
  4. We do specialty dining because we usually have obc to burn & we do enjoy all the specialty venues tbh. That said there's nothing (repeat NOTHING) like the joyous fun of getting to know your MDR service team and seeing them every evening. It's so great and often is a highlight of our vacation. Because of this we'd be perfectly happy in the MDR if that was our option and you will be too. If the food isn't what you wish for, order something else, your server wants you to be happy and it shows. Dining's an event on a cruise ship and the MDR is the main attraction. Really - best news is that no matter where you eat, it's all as wonderful as you make it. (We'll be on the sailing before yours so we'll be those sad, pitiful looking folks you giddy people pass as you climb on board! Hope you have the time of your life!)
  5. Wagner Family wines who produces Mer Soleil both oaked (classic Mer Soeil) and the unoaked Mer Soleil ('Silver' in that insanely expensive bottle) produce thousands and thousands of cases of wine a year - to my little wineries that's a lot. 'KJ a lot' maybe not, but Wagner is still a driver in the wine world. While imho there's nothing wrong with MS, there are just so many other (less expensive tho less well known) wines out there - they just don't spend big bucks advertising or can't afford to pay for restaurant wine list placements. I seek out the little guys - that's just me. Not that total production matters - what someone likes, they like and that's the beauty of wine. We all get to pick our 100 point wine, our happy wine and thank goodness we don't all like the same thing, right? My point isn't that any one wine is better/worse than another just that if someone gets on a cruise ship with hopes of a specific wine there is likely to be disappointment. Plenty of posts about people wanting X wine they drink at home or Z wine that they had on a past sailing and being bummed (to even really, really PO'd) that they can't get it on their current sailing. It may be valuable to understand that wine can't be purchased by cruise lines like someone's favorite Vodka. Cruise ships submit what's called tenders to wine companies and wine importers. We in turn submit samples and pricing for consideration. If the tender is accepted the cruise line then submits an order - this could be for small to huge quantities of any individual wine. Whispering Angle Rose was big on X sailings last year - they had a lot of wine to move and prob (speculation here) offered Celebrity a deal that they simply couldn't refuse πŸ˜‰. (WA - another commercially successful brand and while fine, talk about a category [rosΓ© - a.k.a. dry pink wine] that's absolutely filled with value priced gems...!) (And a huge thank you to all the American wine drinkers who have finely embraced pink wine!) Because wine is an agricultural product and every vintage is different (even for the big boys) it's simply not possible for a cruise line to carry the same inventory on every sailing. California had a short vintage in 2015 (I think it was '15, not really my area), Burgundy had a delicious but very small vintage in 2016. Germany had a brilliant abet very short vintage in 2017 😒. Sometimes wines stocked on one sailing are just no longer available next time X tries to order. Sometimes the price of a particular wine goes up (short vintage, winery not as motivated due w/a new vintage, a wine gets amazing press [<- this is a HUGE influencer], Euro/USD exchange rate moves) so the cruise line opts to buy something else to maintain the bev package price points. Just sharing some of the complexities of this interesting spirit if it helps some to understand why the wine offerings are constantly fluctuating while at the same time cruisers can always bet on getting Bombay Gin 🍸. SO... If pax go on a cruise recognizing that this isn't their local restaurant but rather a huge ship with constantly fluctuating inventory and have an open mind there many new and wonderful wines on every sailing to discover. The Somms on a cruise ship are our friends - they are legitimately a wealth of knowledge. If you engage them they WILL make you happy. As someone already stated, even the bartenders at the more spirits driven bars will take the time to have a special wine for pax that ask with kindness and are patient enough to understand that it may take a mini... Like the Martini bar or the WCB on an X ships, if you go to a craft cocktail bar back home - don't expect an expansive wine list, thats not what they do. Good News - there's always a delicious wine to be found 🍷! Also good news, if you don't like the glass of wine you're offered, don't drink it - the server will bring you something else 🍷! Last bit of good news, you're on vacation BABY, hunt down that perfect glass of wine like it's your job 🍷! (re. Cellar Master's: 1) On reflection we could NOT get a mixed cocktail in CM and they had very few beer offerings - if somoeone in our party wanted a cocktail we had to go outside to another bar - just our experience 2) We encountered a real Somm with great experience and knowledge 3) We got a card for our last sailing to try the offerings on their 'wine keeper' system. Many, maybe 1 in 4 was flawed. Most were just oxidized or tired, prob because the bottles don't move fast enough. Great idea in theory but not so much in practice it seems. If trying something unfamiliar & it's crap (< official wine terminology) - ask the somm for a second opinion or just let them know you didn't like it. She/he will make it right - we had wonderful service in there!)
  6. Listen, judge free zone here but in my world the first mistake was ordering Mer Soleil - seriously a mediocre mass produced wine. We found that an open minded, flexible perspective meant an amazing wine experience. No somm: Cellar Masters, MDR or specialty restaurant stuck to price tiers on our last cruise. Once they knew what we liked - it was open season on beautiful interesting wines. We're mostly old world wine drinkers but to each his/her own. The X crew we met seemed to love the opportunity to share wines with us. On our last sailing - w/ the prem beverage package we never paid a dime for anything over our limit and we were definitely served wines, some on the BTB (by the bottle) list some our package limit. Maybe the bottom line classic v prem is legit - but not our experience. For us, the prem seemed to be open season on fabulous wine. Did we see those every day US consumer labels at every meal - not so much, but nor did we look for them. Working for a European wine importer for 10 + years - I found it a treat I didn't expect... Drink out of the box - SO MUCH FUN!
  7. Also booked our cruise via a TA & received the classic bev package as a perk. Ours didn't show up on our planner which was really nbd but we decided we wanted to upgrade from classic to prem during an X weekend sale. Called Celebrity to ask about getting our drink package added so we could upgrade for 20% off. The agent could see that we had the classic bev perk and was very helpful in getting it to *show up* on our planner so we could then purchase the upgrade. Seems to be some weird X glitch? Other posts suggest this same problem. If it's not showing n your planner in a week or so you can call Celebrity & they can fix it for you. Separate topic but if you got extra OBC from your TA that won't show up in advance of your sailing at all - at least it never has for us and others report the same. TA on-board credit generally seems to show up on your account sometime ~ the 2nd day of sailing.
  8. We still love sailing in the Caribbean - it hasn't gotten old to us yet. Our fav islands are some that sit further south which *forces* us (😁) to take the longer sailings since the shorter cruise itineraries can't get that far south. St. Lucia is one of our favs - just beautiful. Barbados is pretty cool - lots of history. Aruba is on of my favs islands if I'm going for a stay (restaurant scene is bananas...) We tend to stay on the boat it St. Thomas & St. Martin - been there, done that. While I love the days at sea, my adult children love visiting the ports (preferring southern islands as noted) so a longer cruise make everyone happy. For this reason we look for 10 - 14 day cruise itineraries. Thinking about b2b Summit 7 days next winter - the itineraries are jam packed but because the M Class ships have such limited specialty dining options we're on the fence. We usually get a dining package for most of the sailing. It will be interesting to see what changes when this ship is 'Revolutionized' next spring. Bottom line though, we're really not that picky... Sun & an occasional palm tree, really any place warm w/ a beach...🏝️
  9. We sail in December. Attached is the offer that was included in our travel docs if it helps? How long this is good, I have no idea. From previous posts on this topic though, this offer seems fairly standard. HOWEVER I would *ass*u*me that those on sailings today through this weekend are probably being offered the $25 reduced deposit promo? Since I'm (unfortunately) not on a Celebrity ship at the moment I'm only speculating on that... Future Cruise Booking Credit.pdf
  10. Yup - You well may be correct... I've read some conflicting info on the timing of the new pricing & thus included the *I believe* disclaimer. Not sure when the OP is traveling but I can report that a discount on the bev package upgrade was available a couple times for our sailing in December and we can't wait for 🍹on our πŸ›³οΈ!
  11. As Bo says, yes. We upgraded from classic to prem during a weekend sale when the cost to upgrade was 20% off. Please note - we are on a cruise in December 2018 and booked before X increased the price of both standard and classic bev packages. For new bookings (I believe) difference between Classic and Prem is $10 + 18% gratuity. This is LESS than when we booked (for our sailing, the difference between classic and prem was $14 + 18%) SO now that the difference in price between packages is lower than it was, it's hard to say if the sale offer will be the same. For some history, there was a sale at the end of July, 2018 and again in late October for our sailing. The sale included upgrading the bev package as well as a sale on wifi packages and some shore excursions. Don't know if the sale is fleet/sailing wide or offered on selected sailings only though I've read that these offers are generally NOT offered on TA sailings.
  12. Two dumb questions: 1) Where the heck is WCB? I'll admit, we are equal opportunity bar hopers on a cruise and like them all. Like many posts, for us it's circumstance dependent (sail away - sunset bar, pre-dinner cocktails somewhere near the restaurants, listening to Jazz, etc) but I'm a tiny bit ashamed to admit I'm not always familiar with the actual names of each. Martini Bar - obvious, Sunset Bar, same but the rest I just don't remember. I checked Cruisedeckplans.com and don't see World Class Bar (Tried to figure it out on my own...) so...? 2) What the heck goes on in Quasar ? We haven't cruised that many times on Celebrity and have never happened in (thought it was some kind of meeting space) and not much is mentioned about that space. Anywho - shame on me, clearly I have some work to do on our December sailing - I've been FAR too complacent on our previous vacations! πŸΈπŸ˜‰
  13. We almost always have the prem bev package but almost always bring a couple bottles of wine. It's nice to have in the room for impromptu sipping on the veranda or while getting ready for dinner & having it right there saves a trip to a bar since minibar items aren't included (though admittedly those extra steps are honestly a good idea 😏!) Another plus - having our own avoids the (fairly regular) mystery of never knowing what you're gonna get given the inconsistent wine offerings from bar to bar from day to day...
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