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About Ranasa

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. My husband and I sailed on our 10th Anniversary on a western med cruise and I did let Celebrity know about our anniversary in advance (every time I call customer service they ask if it's a special occasion and I finally had one to disclose). I hoped that they would acknowledge it - we were in a sky suite on the Reflection, we're elite members and we were dining in Tuscan Grille. Not only did they not acknowledge it, it was probably the worst meal and service we've ever had on Celebrity. My husband had bought me an anniversary gift which wiped out much of the disappointment. After this experience, I will never tell Celebrity again.
  2. We sailed on the Reflection this past Aug/Sept to the Baltics and had complimentary wifi since we were in a suite. Overall, the wifi was really good. We streamed Netflix a couple of nights from our room (we bring an HDMI cable to attach to the TV), I made a couple of wifi calls for work and my husband had success streaming Netflix to his ipad in the Solarium. Facebook, Google searches, etc. were all good UNTIL the last sea day. We could barely connect at all even just for a simple web search. We showed a good connection but everything buffered. I was very glad that hadn't happened earlier in the cruise. It wasn't a big deal that day but I was very glad I didn't have a work commitment.
  3. All fair comments. Risk is everywhere. I just try to mitigate it where I can. It sounds like the tour operators don't address this head-on, though. I use my CCs for auto payments for things like electric, cable, etc. so "losing" my card and having one reissued is totally a hassle. I prefer to use rubles to lock-in my exchange rate upfront vs. be at the mercy of the vendor on the back-end. Rubles are easy to get from the bank and I ordered some when I got my Euros. Thanks for your response.
  4. This is such an interesting topic to me. In 2013, we did a 14 Baltics on Celebrity and did use the Celebrity 2 day excursion and found it to be quite good. We are off again in a few days for the 12 day Baltics on Reflection and are using the shorter Celebrity excursions to fill in some of the gaps and see some of the things we didn't make it to the first time. But I have often wondered about taking a private tour for a more personalized experience. What has surprised me the most of hearing from all of you is your level of comfort in providing passport information and credit card information to a tour operator in Russia. Maybe I'm crazy conservative but Russia is the one place I won't use a credit card (I always bring Rubles) and I use an RFID wallet. Have you guys thought about the privacy/security risk at all? Do the tour operators provide you any comfort on this issue? Thanks!
  5. I have not done this on Celebrity but my husband disembarked early from an NCL cruise we took last summer (a Bermuda only cruise roundtrip from Boston). I completely stressed out about the impact it might have to the rest of the family who stayed on-board and whether there might be charges, etc. I called NCL customer service to pose the hypothetical and NCL didn't give me very clear information or instructions before we embarked so we decided to roll the dice. The night before he disembarked (5 days into a 7 night cruise), we went to Guest Relations and explained he needed to return home for an emergency (it was a work emergency that we did know about a week or so in advance but he would only miss the last two days of the cruise and still wanted to come since it was a big family trip). No questions asked. We provided his passport information, his flight information and no charges were incurred. The GR staff member asked if we needed any assistance in helping him disemabark and even recommended we take the cruise provided ferry to get closer to the airport instead of taking a cab across the island. I know this isn't a Celebrity example but just wanted to provide some comfort to the original poster that this probably happens more often than you think. GR didn't even blink and had a form to handle the situation. I had searched on the CC NCL page at the time and got pretty nervous by some of the responses people posted. Every situation is different but usually things have a way of working out. Good luck. My husband was very glad he could enjoy most of the trip.
  6. I’m the person reporting “live”. What wasn’t working on the ship (primarily lighting) since the surge, still isn’t but it really hasn’t impacted our experience. I’m a first time HAL customer and, despite everything, I would definitely sail HAL again. The crew has handled this very well and the OBC was welcome since we were inconvenienced. The food has been good to great (the desserts are superior to Celebity). The ship is dated but comfortable. I do think the atmosphere is pretty sedated. That said, we are having fun. The power surge did worry me- I’m surprised at so many dismissing that. I’ve never experienced it before, or having the ships emergency crew deployed. And I’ve never had one at home. Again, we’re enjoying ourselves. I’d sail HAL again but I’d probably select a newer vessel: (a) because the amenities are ok but not what I’ve grown accustomed to and (2) because power surges just aren’t normal no matter how many people say they are and things just wear out over time, including ships. If I was booked already, I wouldn’t cancel but just be prepared for anything.
  7. Today we are at sea. The first gala night was postponed; we’ll have that tonight instead of last night. So far, the only new issue of which I’ve become aware is that Club HAL has not been open due to safety concerns (I’m guessing lighting). My niece hasn’t attended but I got the letter this morning that they are setting up satellite locations throughout the ship. The dining room last night still seemed dimly lit and the Neptune Lounge is still also a bit dark. We’re having a good time. We watched a DVD in the room last night. They have a great selection of movies.
  8. Oh-and all of the passengers have received a $100 OBC for the inconvenience. That came unsolicited and was announced in the same letter that I can’t seem to upload.
  9. I actually don’t know what caused the surge. In addition to the electrical issues (which I mentioned are mostly resolved), there was enough smoke coming from one of the AC units that the fire doors closed to the impacted area and the fire teams were called to their stations. Again, this was while we were in port. I didn’t give every detail from that first day because the captain concluded it was safe to sail. I’m just focused on what the continuing experience is for us. So, while things seem generally fine, my comment regarding seaworthiness was really about whether this event might have some lingering impact. We ate at the buffet for lunch today and all appeared fine. We’re going to the main dining room tonight. The coffee machine in the Neptune lounge has been fixed. Quebec City is beautiful and very easy to access. My mom (83) was able to walk without issue (lots of short steps - would be difficult with someone truly mobility impaired) and we took the funicular up to the town. The lower town was also very picturesque and lots of cute shops.
  10. At a minimum, there’s a very current example and that to me seems most relevant as I’m living it. I would think this would be most important to people on the next sailing. Download speeds are extremely slow so I can’t attach the letter right now.
  11. Updating as I go. Today we are in QC. We ordered room service breakfast and it came as expected. I’d say things are at least 90% functioning. Here’s what I've personally observed in the last 24 hours: the lights are still at emergency level in the Neptune Lounge and the coffee maker there was impacted by the surge, as of last night still no coffee; the showroom last night was finally able to host a show because the engineers spent extra time working it; the lights in the water closet by the pool are out but the toilet works. This morning I went to the fitness center and that is totally functional. I haven’t done much more since it’s still before 9AM. And the Internet is working. I’ll only report on what I actually observe to keep it factual. We’re going to go into the port today so I’ll report later. If I can figure out how to post a picture I'll post the letter we go from the captain regarding the surge.
  12. I’m presently sailing on the Veendam and was looking at CC to see whether anyone had shared our experience on the ship so far. Nothing jumped out but this string (I’m on my phone on WiFi-which is pretty good). All I can say is that It’s been interesting. I’m new to Holland America and we chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I’m Elite on Celebrity, Diamond on RCL and have also sailed NCL and Disney. Boarding in Montreal was smooth, our suite (Neptune) is comfortable, though a bit dated. The food at the Lido on embarkation day was great. We were settling into our suite, waiting to muster, and suddenly there was a strange, loud humming noise. Our TV went all staticky. Ship’s whistle blew 7 times, lights dimmed (this was all before we left port). It took some time to hear from the captain that there had been a power surge. I could go into more detail but, to sum up, our 4 PM sailing became a 6 PM sailing then it was announced that we would not sail. We spent the night in Montreal. We were told we would get an update in the morning but when I woke up this morning, we were moving. We arrived in Quebec City at 4 PM today and are spending the night and all day tomorrow in QC. Charlottetown has been cancelled. Most services are up and running but many light fixtures are still only operating at emergency level. The crew is handling it all well but I can’t say I’m thrilled (in the sense of feeling like the ship is truly seaworthy). Not a great introduction to HAL. Happy to answer questions.
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