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About Marylander

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  1. Marylander

    Need some tips regarding Hawaii Beaches

    We were cruising in Hawaii on Infiniti this October. We rented a car on Maui, wanted to go swimming/snorkeling for a few hours and then to drive around to see the island. Drove to Sheraton, which is about 15-20 min from the Dollar rental, and used vallet parking (small free parking lot for visitors was packed!) - vallet costs 5 bucks for 2-3 hours. The staff in hotel was extremely courteous and had absolutely no problem with us going to the beach through the main lobby. We went down to Black Rock, snorkeled at and around the Rock (if you go around, there is much nicer area with cleaner water and more fish, plus with lesser crowd, but there was a strong current coming towards Sheraton around the Rock). Somebody said above - I think, Becky? - that the snorkeling is amazing at the Rock. I would say it depends on the experience one has with seeing different places. Yes, Black Rock stands out compared to Key Largo, but it is way off of what we saw in the Andaman Sea and equatorial South Pasific. Lastly, the chairs and umbrellas can be rented from hotel kiosk right on the beach, but pricing is ridiculous (I think it was like around $60 for a pair of lounge chairs and an umbrella). We used hotel (public) restrooms - again, no problem. Enjoy your cruise!
  2. I also posted a complete review in Member Reviews section of CruiseCritic: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=23149 Enjoy!
  3. Hi there, Andrew: Thanks for tagging along; the more opinions people would read, the better picture they would get about the ship/cruise overall! Great job; glad that you have enjoyed the cruise! Happy Holidays!
  4. Hi, spearmint: Thanks for reading. As for your Q., I think it depends on one's preference. I was a little uncomfortable originally with that much time at sea - at the Ocean, that is - but found that time can be used (or killed, if you wish) very productively within these two stretches of 4-5 days. One thing to bear in mind: at fall, the first 2 days at sea (on your wat there) and the last two days on return are quite cold, so be prepared - there is a slim chance to sit at the pool in your trunks/bating suit. I personally enjoyed writing during those days. Playing sports is always a good choice of killing xalories (not a typo = X calories!). Good thing about a big ship is that it offers a lot of nice and quiet escapes - or a good company of cheerful fellow cruisers, if so desired. It is mesmerizing, how big is the Ocean. Gives me chills to think that for days and days we haven't met a single ship, or saw a bird, or a whale, or a dolphin. If you've noticed, I did not say much about the islands. They are gorgeous, but I personally did not like the way the itinerary was set. Forget the X's change of originally scheduled day at Kauai for a half day extra at O'ahu. I've got an explanation - "the pier was repared at Kauai, thus it X was forced to make this change" - which I've heard. Bull!.. there were NCL and Princess ships docking at Kauai in October AND in November... In each port there was at least one extra ship = 1000ds of more tourists. And I don't think it would get better. It definitely tends to get busier and "crowdier" with every year, so get your chance to see (partially) unspoiled Hawaii!
  5. We were on Infinity 10.22 - 11.05. Disembarkation was a disaster (read my review, 3 parts, on this board or in the reviews section of cruisecritic.com). Our scheduled time of customs check was 10 am, but when we came to the theater, there was a line of about 400-500 people in front of us - earliest ones were in the line for 1.5 h... Little extra info. Whoever was saying that tendering in Lahaina usually is a burn, was right. Last tender from the shore supposed to be at 5.30 pm - it took them another good hour to get everybody back on. X blames local TSA authorities, but I think it was just organization flaw, 'cause I've seen buses from the last excursions arriving one by one right at the time of the "last" tender. So if you are out in Lahaina, save your nerves, sit down at the grass next to the pier, relax and wait... They will not leave without you. There is also a bar right next to the pier, from which you can clearly see angry and sweaty fellow cruisers storming into tenders.
  6. ENTERTAINMENT Can’t say much about that. We did not go to the shows every day, checked just a pair of production shows. The Infinity show cast has four singers, two of which are really good. Dancing group is average, and there also was a pair of very unique air gymnasts, everybody enjoyed their part quite a bit in each show. The costumes of the troupe were fantastic, this compensated for the lack of brilliancy in the performance. As always, there was a band, on Infinity it is a group of seven or eight musicians form Philippines, with three singers. Their repertoire was somewhat limited, as were their voices. String quartet was playing in Cova Café before dinner and then in Trellis restaurant; their performance was solid but not extraordinary. A solo guitarist with great skills always played in the Ocean View Café after 6 pm. There were other musicians on the ship, a duet of piano/guitar players for dancing enjoyment of older fellow cruisers in the Champagne Bar, and a pianist in the Michaels Club – can’t say they were great either. I guess, quality of musical (or entertainment overall) performance onboard of any cruise ship is not something people are going after anyway. Infinity is not an exception here as well. SPORTS Infinity has a gym with a number of various workout equipment and dedicated staff who provides classes of aerobics, yoga, etc. There is a jogging track on deck 11, which was used substantially during two stretches of days at sea. Table tennis is set on deck 10 (ironically, right next to the smoking area...), and a great plus of Infinity (as of other M-class ships, I figured) is a basketball court on deck 12. We had a great basketball game between the crew team (leaded by the captain) and the guest team. One can also play "compromised" tennis (with modified racquets), volleyball and even soccer (short court version). All these games were played during days at sea. It wasn’t easy to play ballgames with winds over 15 mph and the ship rocking like crazy; this feels quite a bit on the top deck. However, the games were competitive and helped participants to burn calories, as planned. DISEMBARKATION It was ugly. Everybody can confirm that. Forget color codes. Forget "approximate" time slots to appear before the eyes of five (yes, there were only five of them – for 2,000 passengers!) Customs officers in the Theater. We spent over two hours in the wavy labyrinth-like line of tired, sweaty, angry people, marching through the same lounges several times as the line progressed. I do not understand why it was organized like that. One possible explanation is that on that Sunday there were two (!!!) more ships disembarking at the same time, and the port authorities decided to at least somehow put this havoc under control. Well, they failed. Hundreds of cars simultaneously tried to find a spot to upload their parties on just about 20 or so parking spots along our terminal. Porters were dropping luggage in three or four rows along the road. Somehow we managed to get into the car with all our suitcases unharmed. I looked over the shoulder back – the great Infinity was getting ready for the next leg... OVERALL IMPRESSION For our 2-week trip, 75,000 lbs of fresh fruits were loaded up on Infinity. About 50,000 lbs of vegetables. 2,000 lbs of ground coffee. Thousands and thousands of pounds of meat, poultry, veal, seafood, flour, sugar, etc.... It just kills you to think how much of all that food was dumped unused. The food was always a trademark of Celebrity, I was told. To a certain degree, this promise was fulfilled. But even dining room staff was overly critical about how things have changed since RCL took over Celebrity. X cruise line was created in the attempt to fill the gap between "first class" cruise lines and "economy" class of Costa, RCL and the likes. Something of "economy plus" class, I gather. Maybe, somewhere in the Concierge Class staterooms of Infinity this "plus" is still possible to feel, but for us, coach-class folks, it was a Princess-class food and entertainment, conjoined with beaten-up Windstar-class cabins and RCL-class shrewdness in the attempts to squeeze some extra money from you. Will I go again with Celebrity? Why not? After all, it is a decline in the whole cruising business, not only in Celebrity Cruises. Oh wait! Did I say – decline? No, they call it "streamlining"...
  7. ...Last part is posted today. You can find the whole review in the "Reviews" section of the cruisecritic.com
  8. FOOD AND DINING EXPERIENCE This is something what supposedly makes Celebrity a shining beacon among other cruise companies. Well, I should say yes, but to a certain degree. Our TA said that X spends on the food about 20% more than of other lines. That doesn’t necessarily mean great quality, and even dining room staff admitted that after X was bought by RCL, the corners started to get cut, and what was once a trademark of Celebrity, is not that anymore. Compared to RCL itself, of course, it is far better. But compared to Radisson, for example – not at all. The food in the main dining room was consistently good, but not fantastic. Breakfast in the Ocean View Café was ordinary even for RCL or Princess, with a couple of nice touches such as fresh made waffles. Juice selections were standard, omelet stations were average, the choice of cold cuts was very limited, etc. Service during breakfast was very uneven; once we found a good waiter(s), we preferred to stick with him for the rest of the cruise. Lunch was way better, especially the sandwich station and the pasta station. Pizza was probably the worst part of lunch selection, and it wasn’t a fault of the serving staff – it’s just they had it frozen and then reheated, I guess. The AquaSpa Café had limited but good choice of “healthy” alternative food during brealfast and lunch. Teatime was even better than lunch, particularly because of great canapés served both in Cova and in the Ocean View Café. Then you have your sushi at 5 pm, which were good (not incredible, but very consistent – and you can have as much of them as you wish...). Finally, comes dinnertime – two seatings, at 6.30 and at 8.30. We had later seating and were very happy with it – no rush from the shore to get dressed for dinner, smaller crowd, and therefore, faster service. I enjoyed appetizers and soups to a great degree. Seafood entrees were good without fail, as were beef/pork entrees (with rare exceptions). Veal and lamb entrees were uneven to my taste. There were a few really delicious entrees during those two weeks, but it tells you that in the whole the quality of dinner on Infinity is just somewhat better than industry average. A good word has to be said about desserts. Pastry chef and his assistant on Infinity are true masters; we enjoyed each and every dessert we asked for during dinners, plus their numerous intricate creations in Cova Café. Specialty restaurant (SS United States) was very good: final meal preparation is done at your table, serving is close to perfection, and food appearance and taste are great... too bad you have to pitch in $60 for a couple to get what is a standard thing on high-end cruise lines (I mentioned above the outrageous wine pricing on Celebrity ships. This dinner with 2 glasses of mediocre wine raked around $100 for the two of us – not big deal, you’d say. I tend to agree, but don’t forget that this was extra to our already paid for food in the main restaurant... and onboard of Seven Seas Mariner this kind of dinner would cost us nothing!) One thing was quite irritating: we had our table on the balcony, starboard, and in order to get there we had to pass every time by the galley’s doors. The smell of cheap restaurant (a combo of strong disinfectant plus fatty stale plates plus something else... you know what I’m talking about!) was getting progressively stronger with cruise advancement. It is very hard to enjoy your meal while you smell that kind of stuff, trust me. We ordered room service a couple of times, mostly sandwiches – they were of average quality. Delivery was timely, thanks to our attendant. X is well-known (and is very proud) of it’s buffets. I agree - with one remark. Most of the buffets were complete waste of chefs efforts and the produce – late night buffets most certainly did not get even a half of the prepared meals, cakes, etc., eaten. I saw a couple of very tired and frustrated looks on the faces of kitchen staff when they had to drag almost untouched dishes back to the galley. But this is the way the cookie crumbles in this type of industry, I guess. INTERNET Price of 75 c per min may not seem to be a showstopper, but consider this (and I timed it): average (!) time for opening of Yahoo mail page takes about 5-6 min from the moment you logged in your ship account, because of the very slow (via satellite) connectivity. Wi-Fi, as staff told me, works fast only within Infinity intranet – then it goes through the same satellite, so there you have it. In addition, for Wi-Fi you have to pay extra - $5 if you use “hot spots”, or $10 if you use from your cabin. My average daily e-mail charge was $11-15 for one or two short messages. Mind you, because of the computer setting, you can’t compile the text before you log in, so you still waste money while working with the Word.
  9. Thank you both for reading. I have yet another 2-3 parts to come!
  10. We were cruising on Infinity RT LA-Hawaii for 14 days, from 10.22.06 to 11.05.06. Here’s my review about the cruise and the ship. It is quite long, but I tried to make it more or less comprehensive, so deal with it. Our short background. This will help you to adjust/level up our observations. My wife and myself are in our late 40s-early 50s. We cruised 5 times before Celebrity, with 4 different cruise lines, ranging from Radisson Seven Seas to Royal Caribbean, so one may consider us as somewhat experienced in cruising. We came to the US from Europe (naturalized with over 13 years of living in this blessed country), so in addition to the age/experience factor, we have fairly unbiased opinion with regards to what’s expected by both Americans and Europeans from a cruise trip in general. This is important because on every cruise ship you see people of various nationalities and ethnicities –cruise reported here was not an exception, we had a large group of German tourists, and all PA announcements were made both in English and in German. We also belong to a more physically active kind of cruisers, enjoying swimming/snorkeling (to a great degree), sports, dancing, etc. We like to explore ports to the fullest, using every chance to look for far-from-ordinary attractions and places. About this review. I express here our (and our only) opinion, based on thorough study of the Internet data, scrupulous observations during the cruise and conversations with other cruise guests and crewmembers. If you’d find this review atrociously wrong and shamelessly partial – sorry, can’t help you. I will not mention the names of our waiters/stewards/deck boys etc., because it is useless. Nobody would remember those, and nobody from both sides – the guests and the crew, because unless you tipped happy Hassan a grand, he will forget your name and face the second you disembark. I can’t stop wondering how naïve are those reviewers who often write “...if you’d see Hassan, say hi from me...”. God bless their pure hearts. Finally, you won’t find here the word “whisked (away)”, because it’s one the most often used clichés in the cruise reviews. I just hate it, sorry. SUMMARY OF "CELEBRITY SECRETS THEY WON’T TELL YOU..." Despite of all the rave and excitement about such renowned topic on this board, I can honestly tell you that 5 out of 6 these "secrets" are not secrets at all – I’ll give a few for-examples. You don’t need to pre-order escargots and shrimp cocktails in advance – they are listed on the left page of daily menu in the main restaurant, and are available for anybody every evening. Just order them. Waffle and sandwich station of Ocean View Café at the stern is depicted on the plan placed at the entrance to the Café. Two electric outlets above the desk are quite enough for all of your charging purposes – no need to drag a power strip with you. I had a camcorder, a digi, a computer, and a cell phone (charger) – never had a conflict of their interests. Yes, bathroom-installed hair dryer sucks, but you can’t use your own (neither you can use your iron in the cabin) – warning sign quite aggressively tells you about responsibility for any fire damage, etc., which this unauthorized use may cause. Desserts in Cova Café are free and are about 90% the same as in the Ocean View Café on 10th deck at the teatime – they tell you this straight and all the time. By the way, I’ve red somewhere that Celebrity’s canapés are not good – not true! We enjoyed them immensely, every day of our 2 weeks onboard they had a variety of up to 10 canapé types, and they all were exquisite. Ordering extra dessert – and in any quantity – is not a secret, it is always suggested by your waiter, as is a substitute for an appetizer/entree/dessert which is not prepared to your liking. The absence of a clock in your cabin is something mysteriously typical for any cruise ship, thus, you should bring it with you not only to Celebrity ship, but anytime you are going cruising... We brought several large bottles of Evian with us, which wasn’t really necessary, since water, juices, fruit punch and lemonade were available by the glass pretty much the whole day in the food courts (you can pour it yourself or ask a waiter to bring you one). I saw some smart people pouring water or fruit punch into gallon size jugs - for the whole family, apparently. Plus, each stateroom has small stainless pitcher with cold drinkable water, and an ice bucket; these were replenished by room attendants frequently. There is also quite passionate discussion on this message board about the sturdiness of mattresses on the X ships. Many say they hate’em. I can’t complain – it was really sturdy, but it did not bother me at all, despite of my bad lower back. In fact, I slept better on that mattress than on my own at home. What bothered us during the night (besides the gurgling sound of elderly fridge) was a strange hissing sound coming from outside the room – a pipe? An underwater stabilizer? We were unable to find out, hence just learned to ignore it. PRE-CRUISE A lot of confusion was caused by Celebrity’s double standard regarding BYOA (bring your own alcohol) policy, which is/was extensively discussed on this forum. Recent increase of the corkage fee and explanation of the policy by various Celebrity execs are even more confusing. I studied Celebrity’s wine list thoroughly and found that many wines from that list (or their close analogs, for that matter) I can buy at Californian liquor stores for a half of what is asked by Celebrity. For example, a pair of our often enjoyed over dinner German Piesporter Spatlese wines (reg. $ 13-15) costs $27-32 onboard, plus 15% gratuity... I was surprised to find (not in the brochure/Web site, but by inquiring with Celebrity reps on the phone) that Martell Cordon Bleu is in the Celebrity Bon Voyage liquor package (#C712) for only $80, but quickly learned that this package is "not available anymore". Apparently, because in the stores this cognac already costs $90-95... Thus, we took a good hard look on possible scenario of being caught while bootlegging alcohol onboard (sans much hated Celebrity’s greed and infamous RCL new "BYOA" policy), and packed 2 bottles of hard liquors and 4 bottles of selected wines in our suitcases. Not a single sound. Nothing was said or touched. Viva la TSA. All bottles made it to our cabin unharmed, fulfilling their purpose within next 14 days. The money we saved on booze went into a massage combo for my wife, and into a couple of car rentals on the islands. No kidding. We easily saved around 300 bucks on drinks. Just to tickle your interest: on the last night, when we went to the specialty restaurant “SS United States”, we purchased a glass of mediocre quality chateau-neuve (really over-dried), which supposed to make my steak Diane even more pleasurable, and a glass of the above-mentioned $13-15 piesporter for my wife’s magnificent halibut – and paid for the two glasses $38 with tip. Do your math. Yes, we saw not even one couple that was drinking a bottle of wine every night in the dining room (bought from sommelier). We also met people who claimed to drink 6-8-10 cocktails per day. To me, if you want to get wasted, there is more productive way than to pay several hundreds extra just to have a chance to loose your face on a rocky ship. But this is a long-standing marine tradition, right? That’s the way Celebrity handles this issue. That’s your double standard, pure and simple. Overpricing is a characteristic feature of Celebrity, no pun intended. I checked excursion list and quickly found that even "cheap" walking tours in Lahaina or Honolulu would cost for a couple more than this couple would spend renting a car for a day. We ended up renting a car in each port, and never regretted that decision – it gives you a lot of freedom, and if you study the islands/ports well in advance, you may essentially see more and go further than your fellow cruisers who booked the excursion from Celebrity. It was very obvious in such popular spots as National Volcano Park (Big Island) – we easily avoided the crowded buses and enjoyed a solitude and wilderness of the park at our own pace. I’ve also talked to people who booked in advance either snorkeling tours or helicopter rides with local providers, and everybody was very happy with the quality of service and pricing. Do not even dare to use mini-bar onboard. Seriously. First thing we did was that we asked our steward to remove all the tiny devil bottles from the fridge and used it efficiently to store our own booze, sandwiches for the next day trips, and chocolates. (Strangely, the fridge was making so much noise during nights onboard that we had a hard time to go to sleep when came back home – we missed the clunking sound of rattled compressor). What’s amazing, dry cleaning/laundry was probably the only service onboard which did not force your eyebrows travel to the upper end of the forehead. It was not cheap, but tolerable, and considering duration of the trip, the absence of laundromats onboard, and very confined and humid bathroom (hence drying dump or wet clothes, especially bathing suits or sports gear was a permanent pain) – it is worth the price. I tried to inquire before the cruise regarding prices for various treatments and packages (listed proudly on Celebrity Web site for Infinity’s Elemis Spa); however, Celebrity’s reps were totally speech-impaired about it. When we took a spa tour onboard, I understood why - the use of Elemis Spa would torpedo anybody’s shipboard account big time. Of course, if you are a spa junkie, and determined to have your teeth whitened only on Infinity ($200-250), or you are dying without mud therapy for only $400, or can’t wait to see your renewed face after facial worth $350 – that shouldn’t bother you... EMBARKATION We showed at the Terminal around noon. Dropped our suitcases at curbside and spent about 10 min in the line waiting for initial security check. Since we have registered on-line, bar-coded passes were at hands, and our registration with purser’s desk was very short, which essentially meant checking on our passports and scanning our credit card to establish a shipboard account. Then we walked through the wall-of-shame (traditional picture-taking) and stepped onboard of Infinity. Traditional cheap champagne and "mimosa" drinks were abundant in the main lobby. The whole embarkation procedure took about 20-25 min, which was very efficient. I grant this to our decision to come 2 hours earlier of scheduled embarkation beginning – later on I looked down from the deck and saw people standing in line on the gangway and far further into Terminal. GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND CONDITION OF THE SHIP For a 5-year old ship, which was never officially refurbished, she actually looks extremely good. We were impressed with condition of public areas, both furniture and décor, including carpets. Yes, you see occasional signs of wear and tear, but they were much less visible than we expected. Exterior (salt-related rust of metal surfaces, peeling paint on window sills and varnish on hand rails, etc.) was also noticeable, but to much lesser degree, because crew was constantly working on repairing/repainting/replacing and so on – the type of repair one can see on any other cruise ship. Design of the ship is not entirely ergonomically correct, considering that many passengers are in their 70-s or 80-s. We also had a number of fellow cruisers in the wheel chairs. Three sets of elevators are probably OK for a ship of this size, but the most often used – mid-ship – set of 4 elevators is placed closer to the aft, thus, folks from the bow-placed cabins have to walk long corridors in order to get to the Trellis restaurant or to the Ocean View Café. There are twelve decks on Infinity, two upper being considered sports decks (plus Constellation Lounge for dancing and entertaining on 11th deck). Deck 10 has two pools; one of them is under the glass roof in the AquaSpa. Gym, Elemis Spa, and Ocean View Café are also placed on the same deck. (I have to mention here a very cool thing on Infinity – a sauna, which is in the AquaSpa. Incredible views of the ocean through huge porthole in combination with dry heat, followed by a cold shower – great!). Decks 9, 8, 7, and 6 contain cabins and suites. Deck 5 has upper entrances to the Celebrity theater (bow) and Trellis restaurant (stern), Emporium shopping plaza, large bar area separated into Champagne and Martini bars, and Cova café Milano – one of the most revered places for gourmands onboard. Deck 4, accordingly, has main entrances to the Trellis and Celebrity, Michael’s Club (piano bar), Fortunes casino, photo gallery, and Rendez-vous Lounge. Besides some cabin space, deck 3 features Guest Relations and Excursions Desk, SS United States (a specialty restaurant), and a Cinema/Conference Center. Finally, deck 2 has oceanview cabins. Overall, the speed of the ship was very impressive (23-25 knots at sea), and ship motion (rocking) was quite noticeable only during a couple of days at sea on our way back. Stabilizers help, I gather. I am not going to discuss here Infinity’s propulsion pod problem – this topic is covered extensively elsewhere. I want to say just this: when going on the cruise for 4 days in the middle of the ocean, it is not really comforting to think that ship has inherited a serious mechanical design flaw. We had 2000 fellow cruisers onboard. On the ship this big you always could find a quiet corner – I immensely enjoyed a nice leather chair in the empty library room (second floor – yes, yes, it has two floors... and the entrance is on the first), when I was writing. Quality of ship’s décor is uneven – in a lot of places it looks very nice, in many it is somewhat dull, especially the choice of carpet colors in combination with eye-popping blue rays (ceiling lights in numerous areas). Bright-blue color dominates in public places, but after a couple of days you get accustomed to it. I personally found it quite intriguing – the color of sushi (tuna) and of some cold cuts wasn’t really red in those blue rays! Glass sculptures and porcelain figurines scattered throughout the ship are really tasteless... but hey, no one is perfect (and I am talking about my taste, I guess). So we were quite pleased with condition of public areas. The cabins – different talk. We opted out for the ocean view cabin, because we are more active and social than those balcony-sitting folks, and we spend far more time outside of our stateroom during days at sea. We use every minute of days at ports, so having a balcony is nice but not imperative. When we first crossed the doorstep of our cabin, a heavy cigar stench kicked up so strong that we immediately closed the door. The steward was very apologetic but said that he just replaced the steward working here on the previous cruise, and he has no idea about the smell. Two deodorizing treatments within next three hours did nothing; in fact, the smell became even more unbearable because the chemical vapors mixed up with cigar stench. Visit to guest relation desk did help, but in a dissatisfactory way – we were offered a “stepdown”, a cabin of lower category. Not an upgrade or even a similar category – we were told that the ship is fully booked. I inquired about compensation, but was immediately told that this has to be handled by Celebrity Cruises headquarters, after the cruise (and yes, they did... they offered us $80 to cover up our downgrade...). So I could compare at least two different cabins regarding their condition. Here you have it – closet doors with ripped out and replaced hinges, stains on the carpets, outdated Philips TV sets, bed spreads in such condition that we rolled one in our room out immediately and told steward never put it back again, upholstery on the chair and the sofa in such a shape that we never sat on them without covering by a towel... Do not take me wrong; I am not saying that Celebrity is worse than any other cruise line with regards to cabin condition. It’s just obvious – the ship needs to be refurbished. Yes, stewards were going beyond belief in their efforts to make it look nice’n’cozy, but if remote control has a battery lid held by scotch tape, a toilet sit has a permanent (and really weird) yellow stain underneath, and a shower curtain smells funny... It’s time. One more odd thing. In our originally scheduled cabin the bed was positioned in the middle of the room (headboard to the wall). In the other cabin it was placed headboard to the window, which created an unusual problem – a/c outlet was blowing a strong and permanent current of “fresh” air that was traveling along the ceiling and then curved down when hitting the window wall. We asked our steward to think of something... and he did (apparently, this was familiar issue for him) – he created an elaborate cardboard/duct tape construction, siphoning the air down from the outlet. Yet another weird stuff. I red about high levels of chlorine/bleach concentration in the AquaSpa pool before the cruise and chuckled in disbelief. I was wrong. First several days it was hard even to pass by that place – the chlorine odor was eye-itchingly strong. When the threat of potential disease outbreaks went away at the end of the cruise, it was actually almost pleasurable to sit under the roof of Aquaspa, when the weather kicked back to cold on the last two days of the cruise.