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Everything posted by JennAngel9

  1. Thank you, everyone, for the updates on shoreside concierge. We are in a Royal Suite and want to make sure we can dine with our family members who are not traveling in suites for Thanksgiving. My preference is to pay for their upcharge into Luminae if possible, but honestly, I just want to ensure we can eat together. Other than that, I don't anticipate too much heavy lifting so I guess we can wait until a few weeks out. 🙂
  2. I haven't been able to sail with Celebrity since 2019, but the last time I sailed, there was a Shoreside Concierge available to assist with reservations for dining, shore excursions, miscellaneous immigration issues (less helpful on that last issue, but the service was excellent as they tried to get me in touch with the right people at X). Is this feature still available? We're two months out from our next cruise and I haven't heard anything yet.
  3. I'm curious about this also. We are still showing that we will make port in Grand Cayman on our November cruise on the way to the ABC islands.
  4. We have used a combination of Viator, TripAdvisor, and Ports of Call here on Cruise Critic-- If you are going to a common port, there are usually a lot of cruisers in the ports of call threads recommending certain operators, and that's always my first choice because when traveling by ship and taking independent excursions, it's important to find an operator who always gets you back to the dock on time. 🙂 For less common cruise ports, we often end up looking at tripadvisor or viator, and we also make sure to return to the ship earlier if it's somewhere we wouldn't want to miss the boat!
  5. One other option is to try to find a tour operator you can book with directly, explain your situation, and see if they will take you whether you are 219, 221, or 235.
  6. Thanks. Those dates aren't very prominent in the CwC promotional materials. I certainly hope to be sailing by next September-- but I thought it would be a safe bet we'd be ready to sail by this November! 🙃
  7. We have 2 weeks until final payment for a sailing in late November, and our kids are under 12. We booked nearly a year ago and have never been asked by Celebrity about our vaccination status (and have always assumed we would cancel the cruise if we can't get them vaccinated). We really, really want to take this cruise but are leaning against going if the kids can't get vaccinated (mostly to protect their grandparents and other seniors on the ship)-- and it sounds like new guidance will be coming out in the next few weeks. Our deposit is non-refundable either way--but I presume if we make final payment that we will only be able to get FCC back if we decide not to sail? Has anybody been through this lately? As I understand the current "cruise with confidence" policy, we can cancel up to 48 hours before, but 100% of our payment amount gets converted to FCCs? Is there a chance we will be involuntarily denied boarding because there are too many other unvaccinated kids on board? One more wrinkle, we have $3000 in FCC from 2019 that expired in 2020 that was then extended out to 2021, has anybody else had to deal with this? Thanks!
  8. So on the one hand, I was thinking this is crazy because it almost guarantees superspreader events will happen amongst the unvaxxed if they're all crammed together-- but then I realized it's probably so that if there *is* an outbreak they can just easily contract trace/quarantine only the ones who weren't willing to be vaccinated in the first place and it's less likely us vaxxed passengers will have to spend 12-36 hours in our cabin and miss ports b/c we happened to be sitting next to a positive case.
  9. I was hoping they would do random spot checks against official state records to discourage the most passionate antivaxxers from trying to cheat, but I think they felt it wasn't necessary. At minimum, I would hope that they will do thorough checks of anybody who tests positive while on the cruise, and they should announce stiff penalties for anybody who fabricates a vaccination record to discourage people from trying. There will be legitimate breakthrough cases (and those individuals should not be punished) but if selfish people lie about being vaccinated, they could cause 100s (1000s?) of cruisers to get stuck in their rooms for days (assuming that on a full ship it will take time to test the entire crew and guests). If enough people are lying, it could cause the entire ship to miss ports or get stuck at sea when a cluster breaks out, or even cause the cruising industry to have to pause again.
  10. We booked a November cruise several months ago-- I'm hoping our kids will be vaccinated by then, but that's up Pfizer, Moderna and the FDA. I'm wondering if there's a way to reach out to Celebrity to affirmatively ensure that we are in the 5% allocation-- though frankly, I'm not certain we want to sail if they haven't been vaccinated by then.
  11. With mRNA vaccines, the odds of getting a symptomatic case, let alone a severe case are near zero. I wouldn't say that for any of the other ones currently available-- but despite getting Pfizer myself, I am not confident that new vaccine-resistant strains won't emerge over the next 3-6 months in the parts of the world where the pandemic continues to rage (or the pockets of America full of people who won't vaccinate)-- however, if a major escape variant emerges that is as/more dangerous than COVID-19 classic, I doubt any of us will need to worry about intercontinental travel or cruising logistics.
  12. A lot of things could go wrong if you're cutting it within 24 hours. We once had baggage misrouted when we arrived in India but they were able to get it to our next hotel...that is not going to work on a transatlantic journey! But as other people noted above, Spain could potentially institute an arrival quarantine or what if one of you has a cough in the customs line or a false positive and it takes a day or two to sort out? What I'm most perplexed about is that you mentioned you were vaccinated-- so your risk of getting COVID seems near zero (assuming its an MRNA vax) and your risk of trip interruption is materially higher. Also, even if you spend no time in Spain, the majority of the people boarding the ship have (to say nothing of being packed together with people from around the world in airport terminals, planes, and immigration queues), so I don't see how spending an extra 48-72 hours in Spain materially moves the risk needle.
  13. It would be good for the economy and American's safety if they could temporarily lift the PSVA restrictions for fully vaccinated ships... might even encourage some reluctant people to get vaccinated. Maybe they could even slap a per passenger PSVA-waiver tax to appease the protectionists in Congress. Lot of pleasant ports on coasts, and people could sail from LA/SF/SEA to Hawaii or Alaska.
  14. Has anybody tried to lift and shift when they had a FCC that expired between the date of the present booking and the "lift and shift" booking? We have a 3k FCC from a 2018 cruise that expires in about a year (already extended once, originally we were going to use it July 2020 but that didn't happen...), but I think we will probably be unable to sail before 2022 due to my daughter's health issues and high risk for COVID-19 complications. I would really hate to lose the $3000, but not quite enough to risk my kid's life. 😛
  15. Following up on my own question, earlier this week I was able to do this entirely through Celebrity's website and it was SHOCKINGLY EASY. It would have taken less than 2 minutes except I somehow had the wrong FCC number, but I was able to use the chat help person/bot to get my correct FCC # and I just typed it in, next cruise booked with no additional deposit. Woohoo!
  16. Wow, that's really cool. Thanks davekathy! If we can get the pandemic under control, I assume they will be Elite Plus by the time they turn 18-- and since I'll probably still be paying their onboard expenses for at least another decade, it'll be nice to save on incidentals. 😉
  17. Are you telling me that if I'm elite and I have a 4 and 6 year old (and, should it need to be said, they both live with me) that calling Captain's Club will make both of them elite? I'm now trying to think what benefits this would even get us-- an extra 2 bags of laundry? More free internet minutes? Can they get soda for free during captain's club happy hour? 😉
  18. Has anybody successfully used FCC to pay for the deposit? We would like to book a cruise for the 2nd half of 2021 (I assume they will be crowded and pricey with everybody holding a lot of credits and lift and shift, etc.) but as Celebrity already owes me $3k in FCC, I really do NOT want to pay another $500 (as an interest free loan) a year in advance to hold a room.
  19. I think the most critical elements of the health protocol are (1) enforcement and (2) only letting people from extremely low prevalence (low risk) areas on board the ship in the first place. In the US, we have no plan in sight to get Florida anywhere close to the levels seen in the average European country. I'm very happy for European cruisers that (so far) these protocols are being enforced and may be enough to get cruising restarted safely so long as local levels of COVID-19 remain low... but I worry American based sailings will think things like face shields are sufficient, even where 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000 people might be coming on board with COVID-19. Meanwhile, American cruisers who would happily follow these restrictions are unlikely to be allowed to get on European cruises anytime soon.
  20. My initial thought was that there are a lot of dumb investors who might want to dump "cruise stocks" and RC "Group" might not be as immediately obvious it's a cruise line holding. 😛 Just to be clear, I sold my RCL stock a long time ago and I'm not saying it's dumb to want to avoid travel stocks for now, just that you'd have to be really dumb if the name of RCL changes whether or not you sell it. 😉
  21. I really liked Azamara the one time (admittedly a decade ago) we sailed with them... but having subsequently sailed with Regent and Seabourn, I feel that the Azamara product is (or at least was) much closer to a small Celebrity ship experience, especially with newer luxury ships having bigger more comfortable rooms. I am not sure the Azamara niche (including higher prices but small cabins) is likely to survive a downturn... but I don't know what the additional costs of maintaining an extra brand are vs. simply calling it a Celebrity Port Intensive itinerary.
  22. A few people alluded to it above, but even if *cruising* is happening in August in varying parts of the world, I seriously doubt that those places are going to be eager to take Americans (or anybody who has recently traveled through major American, Brazilian, etc. airports) without making them quarantine on arrival. We were only barely trending in a downward case count direction when we suddenly decided to start opening up much of the country. If we have 100,000+ active cases around our country for the foreseeable future, we could be banned from sailings (much they way cruise lines originally tried to ban cruisers from China, N. Italy, etc.).
  23. We like Qsine but I'm not sure I'd trade Ocean Liners or Murano for it and then once it became Le Petit Chef we lost interest in doing it more than once per cruise.
  24. We are suite guests and we were generally happy with Luminae, but I would take Ocean Liners over Luminae every single night (even if I had to pay an upcharge), so long as they let me in! I seem to recall getting a table more than 2x a cruise being difficult.
  25. 4 Unrelated Thoughts (all on topic): 1) Did anyone else notice that in the CC article summary (here: https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5359/) RCL executives said "The newer ships have more public space per passenger and have great consideration for return to service, as well as other ships we've modernized."-- Can this possibly be true? I haven't run the calculations on the Edge class ships, but the revolutions all seem to add cabins without adding much public space (and allocating some of the existing public space exclusively for suite guests). 2) I wish someone had asked them (and maybe they did) about the average age of passengers on their remaining 2020/2021 sailings-- it sounds like they are saying millennials want cash back while "boomers and families" are just shifting their cruises out-- but that could be a big problem for the cruise lines if the CDC ends up with guidance similar to the March 2020 plan where anybody over a certain age isn't supposed to be traveling. 3) It sounds like they think countries with stricter public safety stay at home orders and more aggressive contract tracing are likely going to be up and cruising again first -- but I wonder how many of them are going to be willing to load their populations on megaships-- that goes double if they are mixing with US/Brazilian/Russian passengers flying in to sail. 4) I will be so sad if the M class ships all go away. I understand why it might be necessary to eliminate some, but I think it's a smart decision to have a variety of sizes to appeal to different customers and ports/routes where bigger ships can't go.
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