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TravelBluebird

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  1. That was great! Loved the sail away photos; such a great memory of being at the Sunset Bar, and meeting you and Toni and Doug and Sue, and the frozen mojitos, and the getting trapped by the rain showers!
  2. Hey Jim and Toni! We had a great time meeting you both as well! No worries on the diving; it was so nice of you to try to include Russ, and he had a good diving experience in Aruba, plus snorkeling off the sailboat in Bonaire. And my Willemstadt photos turned out very nice; I have posted a few, I may add a few more to this thread. Please hijack my thread and post the videos here; I can’t wait to see them! No hijacking at all; video is the one thing I always forget to do while writing and taking photos! Glad your sinus infection has mostly cleared up! Sorry you had to be the Cruise Critic guinea pig for how a trip to Medical at 3AM went. Already looking forward to our next Celebrity trip...we keep checking those Celebrity e-mail promotions and offers in case an offer too good to pass up comes our way!
  3. That sounds like a much better outlet/usb situation! And about the much debated Infinite Verandas — I asked 2 couples that we spent considerable time with on the Equinox, and 1 of them loved the IV, and the other one hated it. I’ll definitely have to sail on her to form my own opinion. 😀
  4. How very exciting! I hear the siren song of the Edge calling to me...I want to cruise her before Celebrity sends her to Australia/New Zealand at the end of 2023!
  5. Thank you, Silkroad! I hope our paths will cross! And December on Equinox will be wonderful; which itinerary are you doing? Weather will be better (we were in ABC islands for the hottest month of the year; I expected it so didn’t mind, but I do love the winter weather in the Carribbean).
  6. That is how we felt; I used common sense, and tried to not get on a crowded elevator (the elevators were not generally crowded so it was easy), and everyone seemed to naturally space out//socially distance in the theater. On the other hand, on the way to the ship while traveling and then in Fort Lauderdale, I had my mask on the whole time.
  7. There was no disembarkation testing for our cruise whatsoever. If you are doing a back to back @Jim_Iain live blog covered what the back-to-back testing was like.
  8. You’re going to have an amazing time! Like you, we were SO careful before our cruise—wore masks everywhere, and I really didn’t go anywhere the last week except I had to (we did Grandparents Day at the local elementary school in full N95 masks).
  9. Getting back in the swing of things (work, elderly mother care, sick cat, errands, doctor appointments) last 2 days reminded me why I needed the vacation! I hadn’t forgotten the photos//thoughts I promised of the Aqua Class room, and they are below. I liked the size of the couch. The bedding, for me, was very comfortable, and I had soft down pillows which is my preference. Loved the chairs on the deck which you could put the back down on and the foot rests (under the chairs when not in use) so I could sun myself on my private balcony when I wanted to. The shower was amazing; 5 jets and a good adjustable shower head (important when you are 10 inches shorter than your husband!). The bathroom was the one area I thought there was sufficient storage; I really would have liked to have seen a bigger closet. Desk area had good lighting for makeup. Only 2 electrical plugs in the room by the mirror over the desk/makeup area; no usb ports at all and nothing by the beds. We got through by bringing a “cube” with several usb and electrical outlets for one plug, and a charging “port” made for my iPad which also had some usb ports. We had a camera, 2 Kindles, 2 iPhones, iPad, Amazon Fire, Apple Watch and Laptop to plug in, as I’m sure many people do these days! The room decor was nice but a little bland (weird art over the couch with a woman on a beach with her face “blurred” out that we didn’t like. Overall, we were comfortable and enjoyed the room!
  10. Crew wore masks always indoors, and sometimes outdoors. Some passengers wore them if others were on an elevator, or in a crowded show like the improv in the mini theater.
  11. I just cruised with Celebrity; I was 12 days from my booster shot. When they looked at my vaccination card while boarding, it wasn’t even mentioned. And I got a negative test 10 days after (my doctor says would definitely not cause false positive). I know that is Celebrity not Carnival, but I hope that helps.
  12. Same here! The final day, this was a big topic of conversation with other passengers. Going to be so hard to go back to full ships after experiencing one so empty, which allowed us all to be so spoiled! My next cruise, I’m going to try to remember how unique this situation was and keep reminding myself it cannot be replicated. Also going to frequently remind myself that I did enjoy all my prior cruises when they were at full capacity.
  13. We have returned home. It was a trouble-free travel day today; quite unlike our trip TO Fort Lauderdale! Plane on time, no accidents or traffic on the highway. We are home and unpacking, then off to bed! I’ll post some additional information I didn’t get to during the week and some final thoughts, and I’m happy to continue to answer any questions.
  14. I did get images of the room with my wide angle lens! I will post them for you tomorrow. I don’t know what the refresh was since this was my first cruise with Celebrity, but I did overall like the Stateroom size and furnishings. The update I’d most like to see would be more plugs for electronics; especially would like to see one plug or usb by the bedside tables.
  15. Thank you for the info; I didn’t know about the one category upgrade! And I most definitely had a great cruise, and will cruise with Celebrity again; I can’t wait till next time!
  16. I just realized I didn’t blog our final night on the ship! So here goes. We met up with our new cruise friends Pam and Doug at the Martini Bar for our last pre-show/dinner drinks. I could not resist another Lycheetini (Lychee reminds me of Japan and my daughter who lives there). We took photos, conversed, and then headed to the Equinox Theater for our final production entertainment show “Life.” All the performers shined in this, but a special shout-out to the dancers; as they gave their best performance in this one (kudos to the choreographer as well!). We had fun picking out our great dance instructors from the week, Kayla, Devon, Jed and Barrett in the cast. After the show, our final dinner in Blu, Started with the Grilled Tamarind Glaze Quail (quite nice!) and then my wonderful waiter Calet told me the Grilled RibEye was the way to go for the evening, and he didn’t steer me wrong (never did once!) so it was delicious. Finished the evening off with a biscuit and chocolat mousse creation (not on the menu; they must have run out of the Tiramisu!). We were seated next to another couple we befriended on the cruise, Emily and Ryan, and the dinner conversation was wonderful; they are working with Celebrity on an interesting app that I’ll tell you all about once I’m home! Shout outs to the amazing service we received all week in Blu from our waiter Calet (from Honduras), our assistant waiter Milan (from Serbia) host and hostess (not sure of official titles, Maitre D?) Franco and Amelia (from Romania) (so much energy!) and our Sommelier Dennis. If you see any of them on a future cruise, please say hello from us! We talked for so long that we had about 10 minutes to change into today’s clothing, stuff last night’s dinner clothing into our luggage, and get the luggage out into the hall. Svetlana (the absolutely best cabin steward we’ve ever had!) was literally waiting, very concerned, outside our door for the luggage!) We got it into the hall with minutes to spare on the 10pm deadline. And then...Silent Disco! It was battle of the DJs; 3 channels, 60s/70s; 80s/90s and Millennials. It was fun to switch back and forth on the different channels! You’d see your friends all grooving on a different channel, and switch and join them! Shout out to the amazing, fun group from Tampa who we danced with last night and who lit up the ship, excursions, everything with their zest for life and travel! Husband turned in, and I closed the casino down. It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip (and I knew I wasn’t going to sleep anyway; never do the night before a travel day!) IMG_4790.MOV IMG_4791.MOV
  17. And since Russ is intrigued with the operations of a ship, he snapped a couple photos of the giant fuel trucks coming to refuel the Equinox as we got off:
  18. We breezed through disembarkation. We were group 28 out of 30, and we were not supposed to be called till 9:10 but were called at 8:45. Made our way to the gangplank on Deck 5 midship with no lines; said goodbye to Cruise Director Eddy and Peter who were saying goodbye to guests, and then an easy grab of our luggage. And then that amazing facial recognition technology—out of the terminal without even having to take our passports out of our bag! We are back at the Press & Grind Cafe to use Internet, get caffeinated further, and use up some time so we are not at the airport waiting for our 2:55 flight all day. It was a $9 Uber fare from the terminal, quick and easy.
  19. We did ours on our Celebrity iPhone app the day before at the hotel in FLL. It was very basic and quick to do.
  20. Safe travels home Jim and Iain! I have so enjoyed your blog (and will enjoy continuing to read even more now that I am off the ship and in a place with great internet connectivity. Incredible that we did not get to meet in person on the ship; once I thought I saw you and Iain passing Cafe Baccio and I gave chase but lost you in the shop/art area. Do you have a future cruise on your schedule? If so, I can’t wait to follow your Live Blog again!
  21. Yes; it’s so much fun, and easy to do! Just look for the Flash Mob rehearsal on your first sea day; its listed in the activities!
  22. Good morning all! The sad time for us to depart the ship has arrived. We hate Goodbyes; so we instead we have been saying “Until next time!” to all the wonderful ship staff and passengers we have met on this trip. And there will certainly be a next time on Celebrity! We are sitting in the Equinox Theater waiting for our group to be called; no reason to rush as we are Group 28 of 29; quite on purpose since our flight isn’t till 3pm. We are decamping to a favorite coffee shop for awhile so we don’t arrive at the airport 5 hours before the flight. I will finish blogging yesterday once at the coffee shop as our group is about to be called; here is our current view of the empty Equinox theater, and the spectacular sunset from last night; the perfect celestial goodbye!
  23. You sign up in the casino either in advance or right prior to the tournament starting. There is a buy-in; it varies, on Celebrity this cruise there was a $25 buy-in. There is an area of identical slot machines that is the tournament area. Your name is on the machine you are supposed to go to (it is randomly selected on Celebrity). There is a countdown and on 3, 2, 1 GO, you furiously hit your slot machine button, trying to be the person who scores the most points in the 3 minutes. For this particular tournament, there was a side game where if a balloon appeared you had 3 seconds to screen-touch pop-it for 1,000 to 5,000 bonus points. You press your “bet” button furiously till your hand hurts! It sounds silly, but its lots of fun. You’ll get messages on your machine showing what place you are in (when I won, I was back and forth from 1st to 2nd for the final minute; so I didn’t know if I had won until results were “final”) There are several rounds depending on how many people enter. Top 10 people from all rounds go to the final round to compete for the prize or prizes. Celebrity just did a top prize of $500 in casino credit. On Carnival, they also give out “swag” prizes to the runners up (t-shirts, hats, water bottles, etc). There were at least 3 slot tournaments on this cruise; The first one I played with my husband; we both got to the final on that one but ended in 9th and 7th I think. The one yesterday which I won, and one today which I decided to not play in; I had my luck already and it was good!
  24. Yes; we wore workout clothes on day as we were on our way to Yoga.
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