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phoenix_dream

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Everything posted by phoenix_dream

  1. Perhaps this was addressed in the myriad number of postings on this topic, so I apologize in advance if I missed it. Now that we can do the video monitored self-administrated test, I am wondering if we can carry the test packages through TSA as a carry-on? I really don't want to put them in my luggage as they are valuable, but I want to make sure TSA is ok with bringing them on. As you may know, they are not to be opened until the time of testing so we also can't risk TSA opening them to check them out. For those of us heading into port a couple days (or more) ahead of time and won't have a car, these tests are critical to our ability to accomplish our testing in time. Has anyone who has done this report back? Thanks
  2. Ports in the Yucatan peninsula are generally as safe as any other normally visited in the Caribbean. Other parts of Mexico, not so much. Much of Mexico has serious travel warnings from the State Department due to crime and kidnappings.
  3. We erred on the side of caution and booked a 2:30 flight. We could have made the 10:30 flight fairly easily, using the Celebrity bus transfer (we usually Uber or taxi it, but as there are shortages this year we didn't want to deal with that potential issue). We did find that the TSA process was unusually slow, even though we had pre-check.
  4. One of my all time very favorite cruises as well, out of the 60+ we have sailed! I definitely hope they put that itinerary back in the plans. I would go again in a minute!
  5. Very glad to hear that! Hoping they will be just as generous with us in December (assuming testing is still required) when we disembark Apex and go to board Reflection the same day.
  6. I understand that. I am hoping that if it gets anywhere, discussion will expand to include Canadian exemptions as well. Frankly, I don't have high hopes for either, but I can wish.
  7. That sounds right. And also if I remember correctly, when they changed it to a freebie, we got the amount we paid back, I think in OBC.
  8. Neither our test results documentation nor our vaccine card contain our full middle names, although our passport does. No issues with boarding.
  9. I think maybe the movie noise thing tends to vary by cruise? I'll admit I haven't sailed those far aft cabins, but have sailed in Deck 11 AQ cabins several times. We sometimes could hear the noise from the movie on our balcony, but it was never loud. I can't imagine being a few cabins further aft would make that much difference? Or would it? I think the sound level tends to vary by ship/sailing.
  10. We'll see - maybe I will like Apex more than I think I might. But I really love the S and M class ships and hate to see them pushed to the back of the line so to speak. Not ready to jump from Celebrity yet, although that doesn't mean I can't be frustrated with how things are going in some respects. It's still a great time onboard and I love the staff.
  11. To the OP, glad you had such a good time. We are sailing her in late November and very much looking forward to trying a new ship. At the same time, reading all the info really brought to my mind how this new class of ship really fits into the marketing strategy since LLP took over - really putting all their $$ into attracting the well-to-do younger crowd while marginalizing the loyal customers. The shows on the other ships have been around for quite some time and leave a lot to be desired IMHO. Guest entertainment consists of magic and juggling. The live entertainment tends to be much more sparse (albeit usually of good quality). Money continues to be spent on bringing a new Edge class ship to sail, while older ships like Connie continue to have their refurbishments on hold with not even an estimated date in sight. And some people wonder why those of us long loyal to Celebrity feel a bit pushed to the background.
  12. curious why they replaced Costa Maya? I am also guessing they will just add a sea day, which makes for very few ports on a 7 day cruise. I will be happy just to be sailing, but some people really enjoy the port days
  13. I hope it does as well, and not just for Alaska. My bucket list fall colors cruise out of Boston has been lifted and shifted two years in a row due to Canada restrictions. I'm not getting any younger!
  14. Ahh, forgot about this one. In the Caribbean this is not needed very often, but it definitely came in handy on our Pacific Coast cruises!
  15. I am guessing that perhaps Edge class has better internet abilities. Just completed a cruise on Millennium with surf package. Could browse the internet, but often could not open the web pages I was interested in. Could see news headlines, but often could not open them and read the details. Could not use wi-fi calling. Could never send any videos, but I was able to send a couple pics using Messenger. Could see my list of emails, but on occasion (not always) I could not open them. Could not text (which I used to be able to do before they changed into two levels), although I could communicate via Messenger. All in all, very frustrating. We were in Alaska, so perhaps there was not as good reception there. Will see how it goes on our upcoming Caribbean cruise in December.
  16. Someone posted on a roll call thread that they changed some of their Equinox stops in October from Key West to Nassau! Not sure who is right, or what is going on. We are due to stop in Key West in early December and I would hate to have Nassau substituted!
  17. I personally hate the art auctions and couldn't imagine why they still held them. Then a couple weeks ago I happened to be sitting off to the side in the Rendezvous Lounge while the auction was being held. One person bought a piece of art for over $50,000. Several people bought pieces in the $10,000 range, and several more bid prices in the $1000-$2000 range. Given that, I would not expect art auctions to go away anytime soon! I was honestly shocked beyond belief.
  18. I think there is a point here being missed. The drop in values was beginning before the Covid situation even started. It began with a certain change in management that decided well-to-do Millennials and younger were the target audience from that point forward. Due to that change, I began to feel slighted, disrespected, and no longer appreciated long before the world shut down last year. I can certainly understand a pause in some values due to the losses suffered. But that is not what this is at all. And being frustrated and annoyed at the loss in values can definitely be felt at the same time as a thank you to the powers that be that I am still here and still able to enjoy cruising. I can, and do, feel both of those feelings. You may ask why I would continue to sail Celebrity at all? I still absolutely enjoy my time onboard and sincerely appreciate all the wonderful hard work that the staff provides. I always treat them with the utmost respect and thankfulness, and often tip well beyond the standard. But I remain unhappy with their current upper management, and marketing approaches. If that makes me selfish, then I guess I am selfish.
  19. First, in response to the streaming versus surf internet - we just sailed on Millennium with all included, and were not happy that we could not even do wi-fi calling on the surf package. Long story short, we had a long conversation with the onboard IT guy about this, and he said we had the ability to switch packages from our included surf package to our Elite Plus minutes, and the Elite Plus minutes would be streaming wi-fi. Once they were all used up, we could either stick with surf or upgrade to stream if we wanted to. Truthfully, it sounded like such a PIA (and we were in Alaska where we could call home from the ports) we did not try it out to see if he was giving us correct information. As to your comments about Captains Club - I agree 100%. The levels are of little value. As Elite Plus, the only values for us are the 2 bags each of laundry (we sail a lot so use that perk quite a bit), the discount on the upgrade to stream internet (which still angers me that we even need to do that!), and on rare occasion the discount to specialty restaurants, although in normal times we could almost always negotiate a better deal anyway. I feel very strongly that Celebrity absolutely does not want to reward the loyal cruisers who helped them build their brand. We have sailed so often we don't spend as much extra money as the newer cruisers on things such as photos, spa services, jewelry, shore excursions, etc.. Been there; done that. It's shameful IMHO, as our loyalty helped make them so successful, and many of us, while older, still have maybe 10-20 years or more of cruising in our future. I understand building a new base - they have to in order to survive. But it feels like they are basically telling us our loyalty is of little value to them anymore and they really don't care if we take our $$ elsewhere.
  20. And two years ago there was no Covid, there was no shortage of taxis and Ubers due to Covid, there was no shortage of TSA's due to Covid. I'm not meaning this as an attack, just that times now are so different what we were able to do two years ago honestly has little bearing on today or the near future.
  21. I certainly agree that what you say is at least half of the problem. Sadly, right now people have no choice but to put up with it if they want to travel. But we all have long memories. I, for one, will never book with my old TA again after the abysmal service they have provided me after being a loyal customer for many years, with dozens of cruises booked with them. I expected lesser service. I cannot accept the complete lack of service I have been receiving lately.
  22. Sad to say, I use one of the big online cruise selling websites and they are much, much worse than Celebrity. We have booked dozens of cruises with them but the service has been so horrendous that for now we are only booking direct until we can find a good TA. Got a lot of perks over the years (extra OBC, specialty dinners, etc..) but just can't justify staying with them anymore. And as it is, their current perks are next to nothing anyway.....so if you have a good TA they can definitely be an advantage. The kind we had/have - definitely a disadvantage.
  23. I believe all non-suite cabins have the same drawer space
  24. In normal times, no problems. Frankly I would not chance it in the Covid days unless you have a strong back-up plan. As more and more ships sail, taxi and Uber rides will likely continue to be more scarce than normal, and it could be difficult to get a ride to the airport. And TSA is also having a staffing issue these days. You would probably make it, but not something I would do.
  25. Frankly, many of us envy those who can drive. The majority of us have to fly in, and that presents much more logistical stress and a much bigger "kink". To be as safe as can be and follow protocol, we need to test before our flight because we don't want to test positive and then be stuck in our port of embarkation without being able to fly home, and then do another test when we arrive (most of us fly in a day or two early). At least if, heaven forbid, you don't get your results in time but rather on the road you can turn your car around and just drive back. Best of luck to you on your testing and hope you have a great cruise!
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