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Everything posted by AnnaNicole

  1. I love the M class ships. I am glad you enjoyed your cruise.
  2. I believe it is $10 for classic and $17 for premium.
  3. On my last two cruises, the staff pushed Celebrity branded Elegance wine that was $11/glass. Many times, they were out of all of the premium wines I requested. I ended up having to go to the Wine Cellar to get a good glass of wine (thanks, Nelson!). I only drink two or three glasses of wine. The package was a convenience factor for me. Now that I have to buy the same package for my husband (who does not drink), it is not worth it. In September, I paid $728 total including gratuity for a Premium alcohol package for myself and a classic non-alcohol package for my husband for a 7 day cruise. In December, I paid $437 total for 5 day cruise for Premium Alcohol package ($60 per day) for me and classic non-alcohol ($13 per day) for my husband. In January, I would have to pay $1680 for the two of us, as he will have to have the same Premium alcohol package. If I could do the same packages as our last two cruises, it would be less than half that amount.
  4. I loved all of my past Celebrity cruises, but I am seriously considering cancelling my February cruise and I am looking elsewhere for my future cruises. It's not just the change in quality and quantity (choice) of food, it is also the changes in other areas (beverage packages cost and conditions, nickle diming dining, etc). The lack of communication of these changes is problematic too. If Celebrity replaced cabin beds with cots, would you be ok with that?
  5. And now all stateroom passengers HAVE to book the same package. A change in policy since I booked my cruise several months ago. I am not happy about the huge increase in the package price since my Sept and December cruises AND not being able to purchase the alcohol package for just me. My husband does not drink. So, I will forgo the package and bring wine onboard.
  6. Hmmmm.....I was able to order it a couple of times on my Solstice September 24 cruise.
  7. Thanks for the info. I will look into Viking expedition ships too.
  8. Great thread. I was just looking at Antarctic cruises for Dec 2023 or January 2024. Has any one done one on Azamara?
  9. Read the link. It is a scathing condemnation of cruise ship's profit and failure to pay any real tax to the US yet uses their services at an astronomical cost to taxpayers. I am surprised Stringbean10 posted is as a defense to cruiseline's profit.
  10. Did you even read the article you posted? Interesting that you missed the most important parts of the article. That means that at full capacity, a single ship like Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas might make $9.8m in revenue ($1.7m of which is profit) during one 7-day excursion. That’s $239k in profit per day at sea. As 50% of this money comes from American travelers, one might expect the cruise industry to be a substantial contributor to the US tax system. But there’s a catch: These companies aren’t technically American. And they harbor what one legal expert calls a “dirty little secret.” Headquartered in Miami, yet.... According to annual report filings, the major cruise lines pay an average tax rate of 0.8% — for below the 21% US corporate tax rate. Under an obscure, 99-year-old section of the US tax code, cruise companies are able to register their ships with countries that have more lenient laws than the US — an act called flying a “flag of convenience” — and avoid paying into the US tax system. It’s a tax loophole big enough to drive a cruise ship through. While cruise ships avoid paying US taxes, they simultaneously benefit from the services of taxpayer-funded federal agencies. Professor Klein, who has testified before Congress on matters of cruise ship safety, says that in the past 25 years: 361 passengers have fallen overboard on cruise ships (14 per year) 353 gastrointestinal/norovirus outbreaks have broken out on cruise ships 500+ environmental violations have been charged to cruise ships In many of these cases, US agencies have to intervene — and taxpayers, not cruise companies, usually eat the cost. They show that a single cruise ship passenger rescue effort can cost the US Coast Guard and the US Navy from $500k to $1m+. One 2009 search for a woman who fell overboard off the coast of Florida set the Coast Guard back $813,807. MORE: They might also promise a boost to the economies they frequent. But Klein says they work out deals with local vendors where they take up to 70% of the onshore revenue — and studies have shown that local populations in foreign ports don’t get much out of such partnerships. The standard contract for a crew member like a cleaner or dishwasher requires a mandatory 308 hours per month — 11 hours a day, 7 days a week, for as long as 8-10 months, with no days off — for the equivalent of $400-700 per month, or $1.62 to $2.27 per hour.
  11. There is also a Blue Chip Club discount for those booked through BCC.
  12. To be fair...Celebrity cruise fares are up substantially. The increase in cruise fare should account for the increase in food costs.
  13. Some passengers are probably sailing with grandfathered classic packages that include the classic non-alcohol package. Specialty coffee is included as is classic canned water, juices (not fresh), and soda. It does not include Fresh juice, premium water, fresh juice, red bull, vitamin water, etc. The new Zero Proof package is the old Premium non-alcohol package.
  14. Have you seen current interest rates? Double ouch!
  15. Yes. As long as you order drinks that are included in your package. If not, you will get an upcharge plus tip on the differential.
  16. Have you seen the price of eggs? That very well may be the next target. 😉
  17. Exactly. During severe and tough times, a company must be nimble and balance short term and long term goals. If they are not careful, they kill the golden goose that lays the eggs. There were many tech and telecom companies who failed to respond properly during the dot-com bust out. Layoffs were so deep that some companies were unable to recover when the economy recovered. They lacked the product pipeline and the skill set to be competitive, to their own demise.
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