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Everything posted by SleepingUgly

  1. What a fun review to read! Thanks for sharing. We were on a similar, 12-night itinerary in late December, also on the Silhouette, and we, too, love that length of a cruise. Just enough days that you feel like you really were on a great vacation, but not too short that you are not ready to go home. The seven days of ports, one right after the other, did get tiring, but made those last two sea days that much more enjoyable and relaxing! Appreciate your time to share your vacation and thoughts with us! Linda
  2. I have to admit - this is NOT my employer's fault. I actually, technically have an "unlimited" number of PTO days each year, but when you work for a small, boutique firm, it's tough to take so much time off. My "restrictions" are those damn kids I for some reason thought would be a good idea to have - school and college tuition, their upkeep, their oversight ... Calgon (or Celebrity), take me away! πŸ™‚ Hoping for a smooth travel day for you tomorrow, Jim! Linda
  3. Totally following along. I have done ZERO westbound and ZERO eastbound TAs, haha, and also no B2Bs. Still quite a few years to go before I hit retirement age, when I can take as long of vacations as I want without people at work flipping out that I'll be out of reach for more than one day, so I will live vicariously through you (and others) until then. Safe travels!! Linda
  4. This was precisely my line of logic as well in choosing a CS over a RS for our January 2020 sailing on the Summit. Price difference was around $600 per person, so $1200 for the two of us. We already have the premium beverage package and free WiFi as part of the Go Best (or whatever they are calling it these days) promotion for the CS. For a seven-night cruise, I think we'll be fine eating in Luminae most nights so don't need to add in specialty restaurants into the rotation. Besides, there is no Murano on the Summit so we may just go to Tuscan Grille one evening (and use our $300 OBC for that meal), if we wanted to change things up. I really could not care less re: a stocked minibar or bottles of wine or whatever, when we have the premium beverage package already anyway. Lastly, for us, the higher tub will just be a nuisance (if that), rather than an obstacle. I think if we had booked on an S-class ship, where Murano would be present, we may have thought differently. Definitely, if you will be on a longer cruise than seven nights, you may want more variety as well in your dining experience. if we had not gotten the Go Best package with the extra perks for the CS, we would have upgraded to the RS but then the price different then may also have been much more than $600 per person! Linda
  5. FYI ... this is the same children's menu that was on the Silhouette in late December in the MDR, so I'm guessing there is just one, basic children's menu throughout the ship. Our eight-year-old ordered off the regular menu quite often as well (she loved the French onion soup and enjoyed trying the different pastas offered each day) so they are definitely not limited to just what's on the kids' menu. Hope you enjoy your cruise! Linda
  6. I am very much looking forward to this trip report, Dana! We will be hitting up two of these ports on an upcoming cruise (not for a while, boo) so really excited to read about your experiences. I know just how time-consuming these reports can take, so thanks so much in advance for dedicating the time to share your thoughts and photos with us! Linda
  7. We definitely had smoked salmon available for breakfast every morning in the Oceanview Cafe when we sailed on the Silhouette in late December 2018. I remember b/c dh would get that pretty much every single day. As for the lunch buffet - I will admit that the offerings didn't change much from day to day. BUT, the variety of choices was quite expansive each day. You have your pizza station, your freshly-made pasta station (sauces would change daily, I believe), a panini station, the Mexican station, the Asian station, the Indian station, the salad bar, soups, American offerings (including meats and fish), desserts. There would be at least 2-3 main dishes to choose from at each station, and some may change at least one of their offerings from day to day, but there would always be staples that were there consistently. I'm sorry but that is definitely a lot more variety than I would get at home and pretty much any vacation where you stayed in the hotel / resort each day. If you didn't want to eat at the buffet for lunch, you had the MDR. You could get burgers and hot dogs and fries at the Mast Grill. You could order room service. Really, those are quite the options and, personally, I thought the buffet offered a lot of different types of foods everyday. Yes, the station themes pretty much stayed the same everyday, but considering that the theme at home is "you'll eat what I serve you", I'll take the Oceanview Cafe and its choices anyday! Linda
  8. Lovely photos of a lovely (non high-maintenance) couple! Still really enjoying your TR ... thanks for posting and very much appreciate your thoughts and comments on the tours. I am taking notes and now have a better idea of what NOT to do in certain ports on our Reflection cruise later in 2020 ... Linda
  9. We knew two days beforehand. Punta Cana was supposed to be our first stop, after two sea days to start our cruise, and the captain let us know during his 10 am announcement that very first sea day. Because he made the decision so early, we were able to re-route to St. Thomas instead. Hopefully, the same will happen for you. If we had been stuck on the ship for three days in a row, I would have been fine but the kids may have gone a bit nutso. Linda
  10. Oh, your itinerary is super-close to the 12-night cruise we'll be taking on the Reflection as well, but not until December 2020! Even more reason for me to follow closely along!
  11. What a lovely balcony! Enjoy it, and your cruise!! Thanks for taking us along with you.
  12. Don - We actually had these four people serve us in the MDR during our recent Silhouette cruise and they were all fantastic! One thing I did notice - the maitre d' (or whatever the manager of his allotted tables would be called) came around to our table maybe only once during our 12-night cruise. On our last Celebrity cruise, which was back in 2008, the maitre d' stopped by all his tables pretty much every night. Plus, I remember he was always in a white tux jacket, and this time, our guy wore a boring brown or grey suit all the time. I'm not complaining about that, believe me! However, I did notice that the reason he couldn't make his rounds to all the tables was because it seemed a lot more people had things to complain about! I think staff members are also run a lot more ragged these days because more people feel entitled to a certain level of service, and they won't hesitate to voice their opinions. For instance, there was a large table fairly close to us in the MDR with three loud, boisterous families most nights (who also wore t-shirts and hoodies and jeans on NYE / evening chic night, natch). They weren't so close that we could hear them, but they were close enough that we noticed how they were constantly sending food back and ordering other things, and the maitre d' was at their table every single night. Of course staff members won't have time for other guests if they have to pay so much attention to this one table. I just don't remember people complaining and expecting so much in the past. It seems that some people think that, just because they are on vacation, they are royalty all of a sudden and their demands take priority over everyone else's needs. I would hate to work in the service industry these days, so my hat is off to anyone who does work in that industry and can still manage to have a smile on their face!
  13. I really enjoyed this review. Very detailed and extremely insightful. My family and I were on the 12-night Silhouette sailing a couple of months ago and, while we greatly enjoyed our cruise, the OP raised a few good points that also applied to us. I had forgotten about having TWO cabin stewards on our last Celebrity cruise 11 years ago! And, yes, the food in the MDR this time around definitely was more "eh" than "wow". We did not do any specialty dining and the menus did get a bit tired after a week or so; I can see how this may be an attempt by management to "force" folks to pay for specialty dining. Our servers were also quite slow some nights (traditional dining) but I don't want to fault them entirely as it could have been the kitchen's fault as well. But, as the OP pointed out, could be a staffing concern all around. And when we stopped at the Martini Bar one night before dinner, there were no bartenders there, but there was a huge puddle of water on the floor behind the bar! No one was being served and no one offered any explanation as to what happened. We actually found it funny instead of annoying, but I can see how something like that may be unacceptable to others. It seems to be an overall reflection (no pun intended) on society as a whole. They used to serve "real" food on airplanes, and you were served meals even if it was a two-hour flight. Now, I'm lucky if they throw a stale peanut at me (and they'll expect me to pay for that, too). Ladies used to wear hats and gloves when going out. Everyone dressed up when leaving the house - dresses on women and suits on men. I never lived during those times (I was born in the 1970s) but, man, I was obviously born too late because I can always use me some good Benny Goodman music and going out in public where people paid attention to how they dressed, and would never shuffle out of the house wearing slippers and pajamas pants. And don't even get me started on how I've had to lower my standards and expectations for all the Millennials on my team at work ... really, kids, the world does NOT revolve around you. But, I digress ... For my family, Celebrity is probably still the best option. We don't like the huge, mega-ships (not even our kids), but if we go to a smaller, more premium line, we may get weird looks for having children onboard. And, while my kids think I'm old, I also don't go to bed at 8 pm so not sure those smaller lines would work for us. I'd love to find a ship where the service is friendly (you don't have to kiss my you-know-what, but just be nice to me), where other passengers are respectful and considerate of others (and have taught their children the same thing), and where the food doesn't have to be fancy but should be delicious. I don't think I'm being picky - honestly, when someone else makes my bed and cleans my room and cooks my food and washes the dishes, I am as happy as a clam - but it is sad to see how much we've declined in terms of expectations and propriety - in all of society, not just on cruise ships. But, oh well ... I can't compare everything to the past, so I might as well enjoy the present!
  14. Thank you, Ken! We are onboard for only seven nights so probably won't venture from Luminae. If anything, we may actually be lazy and choose to do a casual dinner at the buffet one night, haha. Thanks again!
  15. Sorry to hijack this thread, but what would be the differences in the menus between Luminae and Blu? We are booked in a suite for an upcoming Summit cruise and I'd love to try Blu at least once, if possible / space is available. Thanks!
  16. Honestly, I really think some people have overthought this a bit. I did not get the impression that you were so set in your ways that you were expecting everything - and nothing but - that you had laid out, and that you would be sorely disappointed if what you are predicting did not come true. I agree - I always have certain expectations when I make plans (hence, why I do research), whether it's for travel or work or something as simple as making dinner (my expectation is that I will fail spectacularly at making even toast, and that is generally proven true). That doesn't mean I'm setting myself up for disappointment; it just means I have something in mind. Having expectations does not mean we are so close-minded that we'll be disappointed if expectations are not met. Who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised at being proven wrong at some things, haha. You sound like you will be going into this experience with an open mind, and I look forward to reading about "reality vs. expectation" when you return. Safe travels and have a fantastic vacation!
  17. Wow! That really sucks! Now I have no clue why we got invites. It was not our first cruise (except for our youngest daughter) and we were simple Classic members. Maybe because we had booked two concierge verandas? We don't have a close relationship with our TA so I'm sure she didn't make a special request for us, and I didn't sign up for the CC party either. And I never saw the concierge onboard! Perhaps it's just luck of the draw. You should really go speak with the concierge about it on your next sailing, especially if you are in a concierge cabin again. I hope you get one on your next sailing!
  18. Bayside Marketplace is super touristy, and the stores weren't even that interesting. We were not impressed at all. We ended up going to the Science Museum; very easy to get to via the MetroMover. It is quite expensive (we are a family of five), but my girls love science museums so we really couldn't pass it up.
  19. We had two concierge cabins for our last cruise (on the Silhouette) and the wine was in one of the cabins on embarkation day but not in the other cabin. I thought the only reason our cabin attendant did that was because one room was for our daughters, all underage. He told me to just tell him when we wanted the other bottle and he would bring it to us. He kept the first bottle of wine "cool" in the fridge until we were ready to drink it (we opened it up on NYE; it was not very good) and I never did ask for that second bottle. Not a big loss. πŸ™‚
  20. Really ... if anyone treats you "less than" for any reason - whether it's b/c you're in an inside cabin (which would be the dumbest reason EVER) or b/c you have small children or because they don't like the way you dress or because you dared to breathe the same air as them ... that's THEIR friggin' problem and you can bet your bottom dollar you are not the only one they with which they are finding fault. Just turn the other cheek and continue enjoying your vacation. On our recent cruise, there were some rude people, loud people, judgey people, angry people, whiny people. But, more importantly, there were so many more kind people, smiling people, happy people, chatty people, lovely people, open-minded people, FUN people everywhere. Pay attention to these types of folks and don't let the party poopers ruin your hard-earned vacation with your children. Celebrity is a great cruise line; I hope you have a wonderful trip!
  21. Yes, they do. We were on the 12-night holiday cruise on the Silhouette a couple of months ago and got invites in our cabins for the sail away from St. Croix. Think it was because we were in concierge cabins? It definitely wasn't because of our status because we have none! Linda
  22. Just wanted to check - there have not been any pics posted / found of the new Celebrity Suite on the Millennium, correct? I skimmed this entire thread today (so glad it's back up) and didn't find anything, but wanted to make sure. Thanks!
  23. Thanks again! You've been very helpful so I greatly appreciate. I do think the pictures may not do the YC public areas much justice so maybe I'l just have to check it out in person. πŸ˜‰ Linda
  24. Thanks, Captain John! Glad you enjoyed the trip report. That was a fun vacation and it was just as fun to relive it, haha. I'd love to hear what you think of the Meraviglia later this year. I will probably go ahead and put down the deposit for it since it's only $99 per person right now (not sure if that's the norm for MSC) and I actually prefer that itinerary to the one being offered by the Seaside. I am also intrigued by the Ocean Cay stop included on the last day - we've never cruised with a line that has a private island so I am interested in seeing how that will work. Happy sailing and safe travels to you, and thanks again for your input! Linda
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