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phoenix_dream

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  1. My opinion is to book the Tampa cruise. I generally go for more days rather than less, but the opportunity to cruise out of Tampa with great itineraries (especially the ABC option) is too good to pass by, especially in a suite. We just booked a B2B on that ship as soon as we heard about the new deployment. Also got a Sky Suite, which we are so looking forward to as suite prices have been outrageous as of late. We got the Sky Suite, with all four perks, for roughly the same price as our original quote of AQ with four perks. In fact, had we chosen and S2 if would have been $100pp cheaper!! I love Tampa, and am glad to have an option other than FLL or MIA. It is true that it will not be as warm as San Juan - if that is your primary factor pick SJU. But it will definitely be warmer than Sweden! It may or may not be warm enough to swim, but is rarely really cold. There are a number of nice places to visit while you are there, so I suggest you come in a few days early. In addition to what is already mentioned, they have a nice large amusement park there, an aquarium, a great casino (Hard Rock), and nice shopping. I recommend a day trip up to Tarpon Springs, which is a Greek heritage town famous for it's gathering of sea sponges. Very interesting and wonderful Greek restaurants.
  2. In response to people who shame us for doing this because we should just enjoy the adventure - first of all, what I do or do not bring is my choice. At this stage in my life I am primarily looking for peace and relaxation when I cruise, rather than 'adventure'. Second, perhaps if you cruised as much as I do (2-3 months total per year now that I am retired) you would want a couple of "comforts of home" along with you as well. Three weeks or more onboard in a row is a long time to be away from some of those comforts. And lastly, as someone who is getting up there in years, there are some things that I bring along because travel is more difficult and less comfortable as one ages. I don't sleep as well as I did when I was 30 or 40. I bring along a couple things to help with that for example. So to the OP, no, you are not alone. And if it makes you happy and does no one else harm, don't give it a second thought😄
  3. So if this is true that a gratuity is no longer going to be included with the perk, then as a gratuity I should be able to take it off and then just tip independently as I drink if I choose to do so. If not, why not! If you can't take it off it is an increase in price, not a gratuity. By definition gratuities are optional. To quote Webster: "Definition of gratuity : something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service" People do it with the room steward gratuities (a process I do not agree with as that tip is split among several people). I would rather just tip my bar tender or waiter every time like I do in a land based bar if this is the case. I know they include the tip when you purchase the package and I didn't fight that so perhaps this seems a bit hypocritical. But at the same time, I feel the same way regarding whether it is optional; I just didn't get angry about fighting it before as it seemed reasonable. This change, if real, does not seem reasonable to me. It's a money grab/price hike plain and simple.
  4. Seems every time I read about another change with Celebrity, they are taking away something I like or charging me more for something. Very frustrating. They are mostly little things, but they add up. Yes, I know companies need to make money or they wouldn't stay in business. But the economy is good and lots of people are sailing but this process continues. Nothing but greed.
  5. No, it would be very rare indeed that you couldn't make that flight
  6. Oh really? Are you sure? We've had two cruises, one out of Lauderdale, where due to Customs issues didembarkation started at 9:30. Will they probably make it? Yes. But no guarantees.
  7. I am sorry for the folks whose cruises got cancelled. I've been there. I think your perk offerings are a bit meager because the cruises you booked are so far away. We recently had a cruise cancelled with just a few months out and got a much better deal. Not saying it still doesn't hurt, but they tend to be less generous this far out. In our case, while the compensation was better, we were also dealing with a much, much shorter timeframe and cruises that were already pretty booked up and therefore quite expensive, with little choice of cabins. That said, I am happy for us. We mainly cruise Caribbean (along with Alaska and west coast) and are very happy to have options other than FLL and MIA. Love the Tampa area. We just booked a Sky Suite for a B2B 1/4/2021 and the following cruise. Prices for that were less than we found for our original choice - AQ - with all four perks. So excited - haven't been able to afford suite prices in recent years! As to fog, it is definitely a consideration. But then so are high seas in Grand Cayman and Punta Cana and other tender ports, as well as fog and rough seas in places like Monterey on west coast cruises. Unless it happens with a lot of regularity, it is worth the chance IMHO. It's an issue in Galveston but RCI has been cruising out of there successfully for years.
  8. With due respect, I think this was a good idea developed with good intentions, but poorly executed. You know Cruise Critic - people are very involved and love to participate. To think that there would not be discussions going, despite your instructions, I think was wishful thinking at its best. But that ship has sailed so to speak😃. It would take hours to read through the posts and try to figure out which questions may have been answered. Is there any way to identify those threads where Lisa has actually answered a question? If so, that would be extremely helpful. Otherwise this really was an exercise in futility unfortunately.
  9. So happy to hear that! Sailing her next year - hope it stays that way.
  10. Just to add another opinion - we have eaten in Tuscan many times on multiple Celebrity ships. With a couple exceptions, we found the food and service to be very good and was actually our preference over Murano. Just ate at Olive Garden the other day after a couple years away from it, and trust me, Tuscan is no Olive Garden. What I hate is what they've done to Qsine. Used to love it - have no interest anymore since they raised the prices and added that animation nonsense (I know, I know, many people do enjoy it - this is just my opinion)
  11. Unless you are talking Thanksgiving week, there will be very few kids of any age on the ship most likely. When we sailed with my son at that age, he just never wanted to do the club thing. He brought his laptop loaded with videogames (these days maybe a tablet would suffice), books and magazines to read, and a couple games we could play as a family (like Yahtzee). He was content to just chill with us most of the time. I know all kids are different, but if yours is expecting a lot to do with a lot of playmates, at that time of year she may be disappointed.
  12. I don't know about Glacier Bay but I have been to Hubbard several times on Celebrity and each time was amazing - a couple times there was so much calving it was incredible. Spend a lot of $$ getting to Glacier if you want, but I promise Hubbard Glacier will not disappoint. Tracy Arm Fjord was nice and very beautiful, but not the awesome factor that glaciers have.
  13. So you seriously expect prices to ever stabilize? Suites are regularly selling out - at least on all of our sailings. As long as that continues there will be no 'stabilizing'. 😔
  14. Ships don't always hold to the 'space available' as regards suite guests in Blu. On some ships, they are stringent about it. On others, they just won't say no to a suite guest even if there are lines out the door in Blu. A pet peeve of mine as we book AQ specifically for Blu and have experienced some ridiculously overcrowding (especially on Reflection). I am fine with the 'space available' if that is honestly followed. But when Blu is jammed they should not be letting suite guests in as they have their own restaurant, whereas AQ guests don't have the option of eating in Luminae.
  15. If you have very bad reception onboard, make sure to bring it to their attention. We had awful service on a recent cruise and ultimately the tech guys had to install a booster in our cabin. Unfortunately it took three days and as many phone calls but ultimately it helped. How good your reception is varies tremendously by your location, and there is no predicting. If there is no signal booster nearby (and I know there is a more technical word for it but I don't remember it)), then your signal will be weaker. We have only cruised the Caribbean, Alaska, and the west coast of the US - of these the worst reception on land was on our Alaska trip last May. Often could not get local reception from our balcony. Had to walk into town to get decent connection in most of the ports. Was very rainy that trip - maybe that affected the satellite or whatever it is (can you tell I'm not a techy😊), as we have never had that many issues in Alaska.
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