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At Sea At Peace

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Everything posted by At Sea At Peace

  1. Just saw several City ambulances* come around the corner by the bow to the ship. Pretty much medical it appears. Hope all is well. We'll get to see her go out again; a 2-for today. * with the ship turning and coming back we wonder why the ambulances wouldn't already be there.
  2. The attention the 'burger Ooops' got was a bit surprising, from very important, to what do you expect to specialty dining. Just going 'with the flow' in responding. 🍔 That's us for fries also. Even dark. Mast Grill is pool side, we're in bathing attire, sometimes wet, so the quick burger is simply convenient. For us to go change, go to lunch at a sit down and reverse, we'd be leaving our loungers for quite a while. Risky. So, again, just a plain, fresh cooked burger and/or dog for us with some fries was the plan. Yep, became a heavy issue, starting on the Silhouette in December and again on Ascent recently. We just don't believe the extent (volume) and length (time ahead) of the precooking is good and the response from the hospitality officer that 'it's still within the acceptable time period for safety' simply not the right answer. As stated earlier, we were 99% over the top happy with the Ascent cruise and have booked a B2B for 12/1 and 12/8.
  3. You know, during our whole week we didn't even go there just to sit. You're so right about the wind, unless there is some day service at a port, not a dining venue when underway. I don't even know if they can serve during lunch for a port day? Must depend on if they are using the MC for something? The Mast Grill (open air location on top) on the Solstice Class used to also serve either Taco style chips with salsa dip. Big plate. It was fun to watch the people go down the stairs, or around the corner, and watch the wind take those chips and send them on their way. 😆
  4. Whoa. We've not seen or done a brisket since the three sons left the nest. Big meat for sure? I like your comment on the 'just the two of us' and 'our size.' After decades with the 3 boys (all multi-sport athletes) for Saturday night steak (T-bones, Ribeye's, whatever) wow all of us could eat some big ones from the grill with potatoes, breads, etc. Now, just us years and years later, a whole lifestyle change with the following 'healthy' tenderloin steak and appropriate portion 🙄 (we 'split it' and still have 1/3 left over for Sunday) on a pan for sear then into the oven (in FLL versus the grill in the snow in NH) with green beans. 😳 😌
  5. Nice, glad you're having a good time. Absolutely beautiful ship in all regards. I guess having only four alcoholic drinks you only good four slips after showing your card? Glad you didn't notice any difference in service or get any nastiness from a server when signing the slip with only the auto gratuity. We had another thread on our review of our 10N SC Silhouette sailing in December, our first post-pandemic cruise and first Celebrity since 2013. It was great. We booked last minute and could only muster a mid-deck veranda and MDR (Select). That's where we first notice the "change" in the Mast Grill from our numerous cruises of the Solstice Class ships where we frequented it for just a burger or a dog and a drink most days 2013 and prior where our burgers and dogs were cooked to order and served hot off the grill. That changed. The burger was disgusting on Silhouette, one ate a bit the other tried to kill it with ketchup. Both nauseous after for a while. So, yes it used to be really great on the pool deck and a BIG difference from other lines we sailed. I subsequently happened upon the Mast Grill out for my daily 1-1.5 hour mid-morning walk as I was drawn to the smoke and aroma of gilling burgers. It was 10-10:30AM daily. We then recalled when we got our first burger (and last) that nothing was on the grill and they got them from a warmer underneath the counter. Put 2 and 2 together and got 4. We observed the same on Ascent on our recent February cruise and never used the Mast Grill all week. CC member comments have been helpful. Now, we'll only get a fresh cooked to order burger at the Mast Grill upon request or not at all. We only enjoyed one specialty restaurant (Le Grand Bistro), for lunch (we were in Aqua and had BLU) and it was "fantastic!" We've got a December B2B on Ascent to give the others a try.
  6. The buffet (all) is (are) a topic for its own. Our take previously posted re: entertainment value, with an edit ~ Actually, IMO there is no better entertainment at sea than a view vantage observation seat and table near the center of the breakfast or lunch 'buffet' (various names on ships) during the cattle drive. Love it. Such balance, grip and gravity mastery of volumes of plates, entrees, sides and extra's despite hip checks, elbows and the famous and frequent "immediate stoppers and directional shifters" and of course the irony of the "last minute dash to get the Diet Coke." 😉
  7. On Silhouette in December 10N SC, we did the buffet for breakfast and lunch quite a bit. Celebrity buffets are well known for one of the best at sea along with the MDR, which we did all but one night. Did a thread on that cruise, excellent. We usually do the live carvings in the buffet and snag some hot fries for lunch. Sometimes fresh pizza or pasta. Not big eaters. We go before the stampede as we are up real early and our day timeline is pre-most. We do enjoy watching the stampede as we're seated. 😀 Next X cruise is 12/1 and 12/8 B2B Ascent. Will look for a live cooked burger at the Mast grill and have the beverage package (premium upgrade via CC); so those "Ooops" can't repeat. Looking quite forward to seeing and experiencing the other 2/3rds of 'everything' on the Ascent.
  8. We've done and will do Celebrity (demographics and age group, best MDR at sea, Solarium and ship non-amenities - slides, roller coasters, go-carts), MSC (Yacht Club, upcoming B2B Seascape, a different experience and a treat), NCL (Haven or Spa Balcony, Mandara Spa, the best at sea for us, for a couple hours a day, cool atrium game shows, Food Republic) and Royal (Oasis and Quantum Classes, for promenade activities, up top water venues Flo Rida, iFly etc. and specialty dining). As you can see, each have something we particularly like for different experiences. Celebrity a good fit and and a highly upgraded experience with the E Class ships. We were 99% over the top happy with the cruise and have another 2/3rds of the ship to experience. Will be on 12/1 and 12/8 B2B. The two issues weren't cruise enders, just offered as "Ooops" FYI. We simply didn't eat the hamburgers at the Mast Grill if served out of the warmer knowing that they cooked them 1-2 hours earlier. We will ask for a fresh cooked burger next time and see what happens, or go later when they run out of the precooked and see the grill being used. A YouTuber cruise reviewer compared the NCL burger to the Carnival burger; hands down to Carnival because NCL precooked the burgers and put in an oven warmer. The beverage package was an experiment, we learned. It wouldn't be any different on any other line if we tried there likely. Not really a big deal as spouse doesn't drink (a half a sparkling once or twice). Not a fan of the 'both in stateroom must have package' policy given such, but we'll go back to it. I'll likely be buying some 'friends some drinks' more casually, especially noting those cash paying. 😏
  9. Nice. We have our oldest son in Texas near Austin and 2 GKs. What an eyeopener going to the grocery store (the size of a small mall back north in the summer) the first time and see the # of butchers and the % of custom cuts (and the size) and the size of the 'meat department.' Seriously, we could use a golf cart for the entire store. Down here in FLL for the non-summer, we can't comparatively find meat to a 10th of the scale (quality, cut) and everything is prepackaged (generally, no meat counter or live butchers) even in the large grocery chain stores. In the summer, we have these though.
  10. Yep, we spent $110 for the week, plus the two bottles we took on board $60; so $170. Our bookings for the 12/1 and 12/8/24 Ascent sales under the promos etc. for the Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda (decent location as preferred) with the All Included are at $1,599 PP Per Week compared to the $1,233 for the Cruise Only option at the time (a difference of $366) PP Per Week. The WIFI is about $140 (PP), so it appears the net cost of the Classic Package would be $226 * 2 or *$452? Through the Captains Club will upgrade with 15% discount one to Premium (if that is allowed). Yes, we are doing it solely based on the service we received. It was the first time in 80+ weeks at sea we didn't have the or a Premium package (paid for or included with stateroom). For us, just not worth dealing with it with the paper slips (beyond the room card) that no one else gets and the reaction to the "first" no extra tip. We didn't like carrying a sparkling and a Pinot into the restaurants and not being able to get another glass during or after the meal. We would say the quality of the beverages for the Elite HH was less than expected also. So, you're reading us right, the numbers seem a little better, but just doing the math in my head.
  11. Pretty sure you didn't cook them at 5PM, then put them in the oven to stay warm and then eat them out of the oven at 7:30? Just kidding. Enjoy. 😉
  12. Thank you. I guess we've learned TO ASK. If they don't, move on. If more LEARN, they'll have to rethink what they are doing.
  13. I guess the point is that many 'simply don't know,' order it, get it and (based upon our repeated experiences) have notably increased the amount of hamburger left-overs left on the table and tossed in the trash. We also did as you suggest, never went again after Day 1 on Silhouette in December 10N or at all on Ascent recent 7N. Looked, same thing, moved on. Found the EDEN CAFE. 👍
  14. We do, so we simply disagree. The goal we suggest is to serve good food, in all regards. If they informed passengers with a sign that said "FAST - Cooked at 10AM" or "5 MINUTES - Fresh" it would be abundantly clear what the result would be. The staff only does what they are trained to do, very formal and rigid. From the hospitality officers, they are allowed to do this and "the food is still safe within the parameters." They LOSE US there; just do it right, make it fresh, make it good. They can reasonably ADD STAFF to man the the two grills, dogs and fries, separate from the counter servers for the first hour or so of opening. I did know that we could go to the MDR, but in a bathing suit, wet not something looking forward to. I guess the Ocean View Cafe on the same deck would be a run in get option. Neither are required if "it was just staffed right and done right.
  15. Well, we've now learned from others (that always get them fresh cooked) that it "isn't always the way it is." We learned to ASK for a fresh cooked burger. That sounds like a real solution. 👍
  16. We simply think it is bad practice to not cook fresh hamburgers "to order" at the Mast Grill as the Standard Operating Procedure (there should be no need to "specifically ask" for such).
  17. Agreed, now that we know we will also. We didn't notice to know at first. Now we do. We look at this as informational to CC members (as we have gleaned so much from) and not 'complaining' as it is labeled Ooops. Well they do *** cook up trays and trays of burgers at once *** 1-2 hours before opening *** and we do not know if they 'shut down the grill' and we have personally watched hot fries, dogs on a plate with a bun and a burger from the warmer down below over and over and over. Again, per previous, we've actually observed this several times. They do not appear to setting up with adding fresh french fries to the pass. Fries last even less time. There doesn't even appear to be any hamburgers around that are even ready to be put on the grill. Again, we've watched this actually happen, confirmed it with Hospitality Officers and there is nothing more that we can do to convince anyone.
  18. It appears this subject (hamburger quality) at the Mast Grill was a hot topic in May 2023 but there was no mention of the "pre-cooking" that we believe is the cause for the inconsistencies and letdowns. Hopefully this YouTube link works, look at the first 30+ seconds of the Mast Grill. The only item being cooked are the fries on the left and hot dogs on a roller on the right. Nothing on the grills; must be down in the warmer. Celebrity Beyond - Mast Grill | Oakland Travel https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=y3_jpy6AqVI Best strategy - Ask for a freshly cooked hamburger on the grill. 2nd Best strategy - Wait out the pre-cooked inventory down in the warmer.
  19. Yes and Yes. Nope not right, but effective. We're already booked for December B2B on Ascent and have the beverage packages of the All Included and upgraded via the Captains Club to the premium with the CC discount. It is what it is, just surprised.
  20. We really don't have a known solution. We did see 'passenger enforcement' 🤨 Three adult women 50-60 had been lounging in the Solarium next to us and left, we believe, for lunch. They were gone quite a while, probably an hour and a half, and left a personal items (hat) on one of the chairs. Three "other" adult women 50-60 came in about 40 in to their absence and simply put all of the towels in the aisle and the hat on top of it, put their own towels down and sat. 🤐 We left soon thereafter so no knowing what ensued.🥊 The Solarium was so crowed and so noisy (hot tubs conversations elevated by spirits) at that point we left shortly. I guess starting with removing "ship towels" not accompanied by any personal items to be a start. Next up, "ship towels with 2-clips only" not accompanied by any personal items.
  21. Yes, I'm sure that would do the trick. 💸 It's just, when the 18%-20% is already added and on the slip, is it really expected and necessary? I didn't think so on the first tab, then after the nasty 'thank you' (which was way over the top) added $1 (on a beer) at one of the bars and it made a difference. Back to a component of this; why are cash / room charge passengers only given a slip and asked to sign and, as we now know, add a tip?
  22. No, and it really is all lines and all ships. We don't have a solution, we just move on to alternative plans about the ship on such days.
  23. Couldn't agree more. What's sad is that the expectation we had was based upon 2013 as last Celebrity cruise pre-pandemic and the Mast Grill was fresh cooked and awesome, like being at a backyard cookout with the smoke and aroma getting you excited. First post-pandemic cruise in December 2023 on Silhouette and, after having a couple of burgers on Day 1 (didn't finish and both felt nauseous after) didn't go back. However, while walking daily 1-1.5 miles notices this great smoke and aroma coming from the Mast Grill - - - at 10-10:30 am - - - when they were precooking the hamburgers! A hospitality team coincidently was reviewing the Mast Grill (very thorough and serious) so I decided to ask 'why do they do this and why do you allow it?' He responded that, based on the guidelines, the burgers are still in safe window to serve for 1.5 hours. My reply was 'but it isn't fresh and doesn't taste good.' They appeared to do it "a lot less" the rest of the cruise and closer to the serving time. He also told me that I can simply ask for a freshly cooked hamburger.
  24. OOOPS #4 – Mast Grill - Precooked Burgers Into Warmer (Long Time) 🍔 Last Ooops, but a repeat from Silhouette 10N in December. Precooking hamburgers from 10 to 11:30 for serving from then until 1+ is absurd. A hamburger, or trays and trays of hamburgers, simply do not belong being cooked that far ahead and stored in a warmer and never even put back on the grill. It doesn't happen in the OV Cafe (they precook live and turn around and plate with bun or refill a tray) or anywhere else, and never used to have at the Mast Grill. The best experience additive part of live cooking was the smell. To get that, you might have to go the Mast Grill early when they are actually cooking quite a large volume of hamburgers hours prior. If the hamburgers are undercooked and warmed and then finished live on the grill that is possible, but short pre-cook times are required as undercooked hamburger has a much higher risk of troublesome bacteria growth in a short period of time. So, again, I asked. I was told that they are fully cooked and are pre-prepared to handle the demand at lunch, into the warmer and from the warmer to the bun. UGH. There were some times where 'actual hamburgers were on the grill!" That should be the norm. Well, staff the grill better! While at it, staff the table busing, cleanup and reset. How has it worked? Well, some get a burger that is great from the warmer (luck of the draw), some get a fresh live cooked burger, most (EARLY) get the 1-2 hour precooked. After my daily walk I happened by the Mast Grill and something unusual surprised me consistently - - - 1/4 to 1/2 eaten hamburgers left on the tables (even of 4) with only the fries gone. It takes quite a bit to 'pass on the full burger' on land, and less likely on a cruise ship! There are no shortcuts with food and food preparation for quality items, preparation, cooked to temperature, sear and taste; nor safety. Hospitality officers should pay attention to the 'food uneaten' and they'll get a clue.
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