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akcruz

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Posts posted by akcruz

  1. A few comments, don't feel like trying to find all posts to quote.

     

    Overall I agree with the OP on food.  We have always said the apps are the best part of the meals and the quality goes downhill from there.  In a way it's good I guess as then I don't eat the desert!

     

    It definitely sounds like the room steward was not the best.  My DH is not good at putting clothes away when we travel.  I used to do it but gave up thinking the clothes would be left where they were.  Nope, every time we come back his clothes are folded, kind of, and stacked on the sofa.  Have told many don't do it but they still do.

     

    Towels, those in the bath did you rehang them after use?  I believe there is a sign, saying if hung up they will not be replaced, if you want new ones put on the floor.  We don't change towels every day at home so why should I on vacation?

     

    Pool towels, while I am not crazy about checking out and exchanging towels it does help with chair hogs. If someone is responsible dollar wise for them they are less likely to leave on an empty lounger.  We check them out the first day and exchange for dry ones until the last day.  Have been on ships without the checkout process and often see rows and rows of used towels on empty chairs as people are too lazy to return them.

     

    Johnny Rockets, maybe times have changed and it wouldn't happen now but the service charge was implemented to keep crowds down.  Originally it was free and kids would use it as a hangout.  With the service charge that went away.  Of course they just keep raising the price so I guess people are paying it.  We have one a little over a mile from our house and don't go on land so have no desire to go at sea.

     

    Other free food options.  As others have said the larger ships have more options, the smaller even less.

     

    Robes, if they were important did you ask the cabin steward if you could get them?  The answer may have been no but even those who have the status to get them have to ask most times.

     

    Chocolates on the pillows have been gone for long time which is fine with us, never cared for them.  Sometimes bring some better chocolates for us if we remember.

     

    As someone else mentioned a little research could have prepared you the differences you would find.  You could have, at that point, adjusted what you brought or at least knew going in so the disappointment would be lessened.  Of course you wouldnt have kniwn of the poor steward, but maybe would have known who to talk to in order to address it.

  2. 3 hours ago, nunuc2000 said:

    The list from Celebrity showing what is included for the classic and premium package says that 20% gratuity will be added to each check, which I read as each time I order a drink, I’m paying 20%... is this new?

     

    I believe the check they are referring to is the purchase of the package if buying not getting as a perk, so if you were paying $50 a day for package they would add $10 a day for the tip.

    1 hour ago, joseph123 said:

    That was what I was presuming, but based on the comments shared it does not seem as if that would be the case. If so it would actually be like double tipping since you pay for tips in the daily rate up front.

     

    Are you talking about the daily gratuities each person ays per cabuin?  If so it has nothing to do with beverage packages, it is for things such as complimentary dining, cabin attendants and support crew.  There is a breakdown of who gets what but don't have it handy.  As mentioned above if you have a beverage package as a perk the gratuity is included, if you purchase a beverage package the gratuity is added to the purchase price (in some countries it is included in the price such as Australia).  In either case tips will not be added as drinks are purchased, of course you are free to add if you want.

  3. 15 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

     

    I may not have been completely clear. Closed loop or open loop would  not make a difference whether there was six months left or not.  If they could not take a flight because they had less than six months left then they could not take the flight whether the cruise was open loop or closed loop, 

     

    I had responded before you updated the comment I quoted so had not seen your update.  Since there are very few cruises that leave from a US port and return to another US port, and they have other unique restrictions which I am not sure of I stick to close loop cruises in my example whenever the original question comes up.  

  4. 4 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

     

    They can fly home from Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico to the US if they have a valid passport. Closed loop, open loop no loop etc. 

     

    Direct flight yes, however remember a situation a while back where direct flights were not available and because the stopover was not in the US there were issues.  Don't remember the details but the situation stuck with me.  Maybe with more flights now this isn't a concern, or where they are traveling to but I can't say that for sure.

     

    I would rather give the outlying info and say chances are it won't happen than tell someone it will be 100% fine and them hit that .01% chance and have an issue.  For me I was willing to take that tiny chance but others may not.

  5. 1 minute ago, lovesthebeach2 said:

    We’re going on a cruise on Oct 21 from Rome and our old passports were due to expire April 20. That was too close for comfort for us so I renewed them. Now I don’t need to worry about that

     

    Good call.  As I understand the rules you need to have 6 months validity at the end of your travel which I believe you would not have in your case.  Since you are flying, I assume, they may have stopped you before even getting on the plane.

  6. Are you a US citizen, where is your cruise going to, is it closed loop?

     

    If you are a US citizen sailing to the Bahamas, Carribean, Mexico from a US port on a  closed loop cruise you will be fine without the 6 month left.  The only caveat is if for some reason you need to leave your cruise early and fly home, if you cannot get a direct flight back to the US you could have issues.  Small concern, absolutely but does exist.  As long as your passport is valid on the day you return to the US direct flights are good.

     

    We sailed on a last minute cruise earlier this year to the Bahamas with passports that expired in less than 2 months without issue.

  7. 54 minutes ago, nybumpkin said:

    I mailed my renewal application on 8/31 and the new book arrived on 9/18. Our TA is happy - now she can work on our flights for our river cruise next summer.

     

    Wow, we sent ours in mid August and just got them back.  Wonder if it is different processing centers or the fact we did passport books and cards this time.  Either way about a month is pretty good timing.

  8. 18 minutes ago, K.T.B. said:

     

    While I know you're joking, that would be impossible to do though...  You can only have either a passport card or a passport book, not both.

     

    Be that as it may, it truly is best to just get a passport book and alleviate any issues.

     

     

     

    No you can definitely have both.  We just renewed our book and paid to get both a new book and a card.  It costs more but is doable.  Not sure where you saw you can't have both??

  9. If you are trying to get an elevator right after a show, go to the buffet at high noon, want to be one of the first off at a port you will find yourself in the midst of the crowds.  However if you can zig when everyone else is zagging you will wonder where everyone else is.  Yes there are a lot of people onboard and certain events will draw crowds so you can't always avoid them, but for the most part you can for the majority of the time.  One of the things we liked were the boards showing you how full certain eating venues were, useful unless you had your heart set on one spot and that one was full.  With so many things to do there are a lot of places to get away from the masses.

     

    As someone else said the only way you can know is to experience it yourself and make your own decision which is what I would recommend.

  10. 4 hours ago, jesrestin said:

    Don't know if this will help.

    on the Travel.state.gov web site it says:

    Customs and Border Protection does not.
    You can use the passport card to reenter the United States at sea ports of entry from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. However, if you are not able to return on the cruise ship for any reason (e.g., for an emergency evacuation, you will need a passport book to fly back to the United States.Additional Resources:
     
    Caribbean is the key.
    The Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 defines Caribbean. Note the Exception in bullet # 2
     

    The Passenger Vessel Services Act, however,

    • does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from and returning to the same U.S. port, provided the ship visits any foreign port;
    • does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from a U.S. port, visiting a distant foreign port, and then continuing to a second U.S. port. However, in order to embark in a U.S. port and disembark in a second U.S. port, the vessel must visit a distant foreign port outside of North America (Central America, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and all of the Caribbean except Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, count as part of North America);
     

     

    We are on the cruise before your and when I first saw the info on changed embarkation/debarkation ports checked them out to see if we were impacted.  Somewhere along the way I remember seeing this exclusion about a distant port, which your itinerary has, may be worth checking out more.  May negate the need for a passport book,

    1 hour ago, B+S said:

    That's "new news".

     

    You get off the ship, in a foreign country without your passport? Do you take any ID at all (besides your ship card) with you?

     

    Thanks - there's a lot we still need to learn.

    B+S

     

    You need your sea pass and a photo ID in many ports. The photo is can be a passport, passport card or drivers license, as well as a few others.  We just got the passport card along with the renewal of our passport books.  We plan to leave the books in the cabin and bring the cards into port, used to use our license.

     

    29 minutes ago, B+S said:

     

    No, and no.

     

    We have expired passport books. You MUST submit your most current passport (either book or card) with the application.

     

    We'll be sending in our current cards to get expedited books - IF Celebrity can't figure out what their own FAQ's and the Law says about the validity of Passport cards pretty soon.

     

    Bob+Sue

     

    How long ago did your passport books expire?  You can use an expired passport up to 5 years for a renewal.   The only caveat here that I am not sure about is if since you have the card does that still apply?

     

    Bottom line, wishing you well, not a fun way to prep for a cruise.  I am sure with a but if planning it will all work out.

  11. Another that will add you will be fine in your situation as long as you are a US citizen traveling on a closed loop cruise.  Exception used to be for Cuba but since those cruises are no longer doesn't apply.

     

    We booked a fairly last minute cruise to the Bahamas in January of this year.  Went to do on line check in and realized our passports were due to expire in March.  We did get a warning on check in but accepted and continued.  I did research and felt fairly comfortable we would be fine.  Just in case I brought the birth certificates.  At the port nobody batted an eye when we handed over the passports with less than 2 months left on them.  We are cruising in November and now have new passports.

     

    One comment if by chance you need to fly home early and cannot get a direct flight back to the US you could have issues.  As long as you can get a direct flight or hopefully complete the cruise as planned you will be good.

  12. 1 hour ago, Rala said:

    You have been lucky with the phone calls.  Even if you  do not  meet your cabin steward on the first day, a call onboard to Housekeeping and/or Guest Services will get you what you need.  🙂

     

    Or a note left in the cabin can accomplish the same thing.  We have a few standard requests, ice, robe, bed setup that even if we do meet the steward we leave on a note just in case.  Never had any issues.

  13. If you are set on the cruise you see next May and it truly is a one time itinerary I would book asap.  Those type of cruises tend to sell out earlier and the prices usually just go up.  In the US you can usually get price reductions and or new sales as they come up on existing bookings if you watch the prices.  There are some exclusions but not many.  The other thing to remember is refundable and non refundable deposits have different terms.

     

    As for booking direct or through a TA, can't help a lot there that's more a personal choice.  The only thing I will say is if you book direct you have I believe 60 days to transfer the reservation to a TA so that would give you a little time to shop around for a TA that has perks you may like.

  14. 6 hours ago, johnjen said:

    I might as well ask. Our daughter went on a Bermuda cruise with us two years ago. We were either platinum or emerald, i forget which. I purchased both cabins; at the time, she was gold. Does this mean she's now our current status, just missing the points? And if she sails next year on a cruise, does she retain the new status? Just curious.

     

    Depends on how old she was at the time, 18 is magic age where things change.

  15. 33 minutes ago, cruisegirl1 said:

    I am going out on a limb but  I think we should all give the OP a break. Honestly, we know there is horrendous world tragedy every single day yet this message board goes on and on with trivial comments  about the least important issue in most anybody’s life. 

     

      Unfortunately the  recent hurricane victims may never rebuild their lives, and families can never replace a loved one.    But, this is a message board about cruising, that dives into comments and questions that some might perceive to be the silliest non important issues. 

     

     We know there are people suffering in the path of the recent hurricane, yet  that doesn’t stop us from asking about the bed placement on the cruise, how we get our new room keys,  drinks for diamond crown and anchor passengers,  etc. etc. etc.  

     

    my 2 cents 

     

     And, there was a suggestion on one of my other social media sites that we all provide  relief effort  with  some amount of money per cruise for every cruise we’ve  been on!  

     

    M

     

    If the OP came here and said "heads up the beaches at Coco Cay have some extra seaweed causing some unpleasant odors from the storms, you may want to plan for not being on the beach long if you are going soon" and left it at that there would be a completely different response.  By berating Royal and almost threatening them if it isn't cleaned up because they will be back soon they started in a hole and have gone nowhere but further down that hole since.  There is a way to bring up such issues and a way to alienate everyone.  The OP choose the second unfortunately.  I am still not sure if it was stated as it was on purpose to get a reaction or just poorly worded, I fear it was for the reaction.

  16. 2 hours ago, Gary1960 said:

    Pay for outside contractors to come and remove the seaweed job done simple stop making this a criticism of the staff and people.

     

    Truly unbelievable, I would bet those outside contractors that are anywhere near enough to do such a job are already busy dealing with life and death situations in other parts if the area.

     

    Think it's time to shut down this whole thread as either the OP is just overly selfish and nobody is going to get them to understand or a troll looking to rile everyone up during a very unfortunate time.  Not sure which would be worse ☹.

  17. 2 hours ago, memafred said:

    we were on Celebrity last May 2018

    you could still smoke in the casinos then

     

    Are you sure it was Celebrity?  We sailed in Feb 18 on Reflection and the casino was no smoking, thought it had been that was for years.

     

    BTW this is one of the reasons we've been sailing on Celebrity over Royal lately.  Would love to see all ships eliminate indoor smoking.

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