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ScubesDad

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  1. A 4th option and arguably the best in this situation would be to obtain a US$ credit card for the onboard charges. You would avoid any conversion and exchange fees.. To make the most of the card you would need to purchase US$ to pay the account off....however, by regularly purchasing the funds you can do so when the rate is favourable to you and keep it on hand until you need it. we have had a US$ credit card for over 20 years and it makes it extremely convenient. about 12 years ago we actually opened the account with a US bank that also included a cash account which makes everyday banking much easier. If you spend a great deal of time in the US it makes life so much easier. NEVER let a merchant or cruise line do the conversion, the rate used will be to their advantage...just another source of revenue for them.
  2. I don't disagree that their ships are sailing at or near capacity: however, i feel they are having a more difficult time doing it....by this I mean they are having to discount the price as they get closer to sail date.
  3. My personal opinion, and I will stick with the nautical theme, is that Celebrity is encountering headwinds rather than sailing in troubled waters. I agree totally with Orator's comments regarding financial performance, and I feel that results will fail to meet expectations. My thoughts are based on what I see personally. Back in August I dumped my deleted emails and when i did I noticed a huge number of Celebrity emails, when I counted them and figured out how many days were involved it worked out to 1.15 emails per day or 8 emails every week. I just checked and I have received 4 emails this week 2 on Sunday and 2 on Monday all 4 were marketing focused trying to get me to book another cruise. Having worked in the corporate world emails at that level seems to be a wee bit excessive - I would even suggest this is an indication that bookings are below historical trends. We have completed 3 cruises in the last 12 months, on two of those cruises there were significant price drops, and on one of them as we approached final payment the price dropped 30%. This supports the comments that prices are high relative to other available options, and price reductions are needed to fill the ships. I believe the troubles are within head office and management is feeling some pressure to increase bookings as they have a significant amount of additional capacity coming on line and they need to get it filled. I do believe the on board experience is outstanding, certainly not what it was on my first cruise in 2001, but little today has retained the standards of 18 years ago. Change has to happen to ensure survivability. The often referenced quote "If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got", is very true; however, some changes made are not going to be successful. The evidence of good leadership is how quickly a poor decision is reversed or rectified. I agree with many of the issues Luvcrusn raised, some of these may be deal breakers for some. Our pet peeve was the "Turkish Bazaar" - as noted by Luvcrusn above, the flea market of $10 junk that would block the walkways outside the shops. I always complained and highlighted this on the end of cruise survey. I am glad to report that on our Reflection sailing in June the "sales" were still held, but confined to the interior space of the shops. We have been loyal Celebrity cruisers since 2001, we currently have 2 cruises booked, when we should have about 4. We are re-evaluating our vacation options because we know we can achieve the same level of experience by doing it ourselves and making it a more personal, customized experience. The benchmark we use is cost per night, and the recent cost per night levels on Celebrity has reached the point where we need to re-evaluate. Yes you can still find hotels where there is evening turn down service with chocolates on the pillow, and where upon your return to the hotel the desk staff call you by name. Will we stop sailing Celebrity ---- probably not in the near term, we just won't sail as often, and we will sail based on the destination.
  4. I use a Pacsafe cross body "sling pack". It is an anti-theft small knapsack that has several features which are designed to deter or thwart thieves. I have used it predominately for walking in urban environments ie Rome, where there is a high incidence of pickpockets etc. However it does have a few features which make it useful as a temporary safe locker and have used it when we are on tours to leave valuables on the bus.
  5. Although the song was released in '67, it is often inferred that it was written when Slick was coming off an acid trip. It is sad that the children's story has been so strongly tied to the hallucinogenic drug culture of the 60's and 70's.
  6. I reacted similar to the OP, in that I thought this was a very controversial song to have attached to a Celebrity ad. I saw this ad for the first time tonight...in fact I have seen it three times in the last 90 minutes..it is running in every 30 minute cycle...my initial reaction was very similar in that I associate the song White Rabbit to the movie Go Ask Alice, and as previously noted that movie, and the book it was based on, was about a drug addict and her tribulations.....who eventually dies. White Rabbit is a classic, that is synonymous with the boomers and the flower power generation.....ironic that we are no longer the target market. I did take one thing away from the ad....as Alice is sitting at the bar and picks the "herb", it gives me hope that soon we can pick some "herb" and roll a ....... oh never mind
  7. My thoughts, for what they are worth....... If this is the cruise you want to take and there is only the one offerring then book it now. Book it with refundable deposit and if a sale or promotion does pop up in the future and it is to your advantage then you can make changes.
  8. We prefer aft cabins and have sailed there on about 80% of our cruises. we sail on the deck immediately below the ocean view cafe primarily because there is an overhang which provides shade from the sun and shelter from any rain which makes the balcony more useful. there is some noise from the deck above but nothing we have found too disturbing. we have never been disturbed in the early morning by furniture being moved around above, although this is a concern expressed by many people. On 2 occassions out of about 16 cruises we have experienced a soot problem. never a major issue however it is a bit of an inconvenience. Stateroom attendant will deal with it immediately. As others have said it is a wee hike to the elevator/stairs but not seen as a deterent. There is more motion at the aft, as well as the bow, compared to midship, it can be noticable on sea days when the ship is moving at speed and there is any type of weather/wind. All of these "issues" are minor compared to the wonderful views of the wake.
  9. Just a heads up to the OP, several years ago 2015+- we discussed starting in Alaska southbound to Vancouver and then B2B Vancouver north into Alaska returning south to Seattle. We knew it would violate PSVA so called Celebrity to discuss...they recommended the same workaround as in this case, only it was to disembark in Victoria, travel to Vancouver for the second trip. Almost did it, until they advised we had to remove all our belongings in Victoria and take them with us. OP indicateces he wants to just take a knapsack and leave everything behind in the cabin. Recommend he obtains approval from Celebrity before he commits. Like everyone else, from what i know about PSVA, the three segments look fine. Good luck.
  10. OK, up front I will admit I spent way too much time thinking about this; however, it seemed like a good puzzle to solve. Like the OP my immediate thought was that it is a reasonable conclusion to expect more suites as they have the highest cost, and therefore the highest payback after expenses. It is also true that the cost of delivery of service/product is higher to the suite class...but how much higher is it? I then realized Celebrity had already done the analysis when they built the Reflection. So I picked the Equinox as my comparable ship, I excluded the FV's and all suites above SS, as they are in a unique group of their own. They added 61 additional cabins to the Reflection of which 40 were new SS's, a 90% increase in cabin class. The next largest was Aqua with 20 new cabins or a 15% increase, followed by inside at 14 additional or 10%. This was then reinforced when I looked at the Edge and the mix of cabins and their percentage of the total cabin space. As compared to the Equinox they added 102 more SS's or a tripling of cabin class; from 3% of total cabins to 10% of total cabins. OV cabins were doubled from 70 to 148 or 5% to 10% of total cabins. Interior, Concierge, and Aqua were reduced by small numbers anywhere from 6% to 15% compared to Equinox. I then went on to analyse the gross revenue per square foot per night, based on a sample sailing of Equinox in March 2021. It was difficult to draw any firm conclusion not knowing costs, etc. Assuming that Celebrity prices their cabins originally at a point where they are all profitable, or at least not losing money..then the gross margin on Sky Suites is significantly higher relative to all other cabin categories. Does that mean more suites as a percentage of cabins...I can't say because there are too many variables caused by things I don't know, but I think there is a higher probability than not it will happen.
  11. I noticed this "phenomenon" about 12-15 months ago. we were considering cancelling a booked cruise and moving it to a new date. I did the same comparison you did with the same results...significant difference in exchange rates used for different categories. however, I did have some rates which were considerably skewed in my favour as it was about 10 percent lower than the current rate. I then did a comparison between total cabins available in each category and it seemed that categories with a higher percentage of available cabins had a better rate attached to it, and lower availability had a higher rate attached.....I concluded the bean counters had found a way to increase their spread.....just my theory.
  12. Staterooms and suites are generally available at 1 pm or shortly thereafter. An announcement will be made when available. since you are in a suite, Luminae will be open for lunch, or you can hang out in Michael's until they are ready. Luminae is open seating, so you can arrive at anytime during the service hours. Be aware that occasionally depending on the passenger mix there may be peak times. Historically we have never had to wait more than a few minutes to be seated.
  13. I also was awarded the employee convention cruise in 2001, on the Century. As you said back then it wasn't a full charter and we met several passengers who sailed specifically on that cruise each year due to the continuous party for 7 days. Dancing until 3 am was the norm...and the original beverage package...all you had to do was find an executive to buy you a drink. Been hooked ever since.
  14. My opinion would be that an up front "tip" would probably do very little to help you secure your table selection. As a Certified Sommelier I am assuming you have extensive experience in the hospitality/food and beverage industry and are aware how an up front tip is often construed as a bribe for an employee to do "what is right"; an affront to their professionalism. There is also the issue that the table you deem to be suitable for you, may already be assigned to another couple...now the Maitre D' has a dilemna as to which guest should receive the table. A much more professional approach would be to ask the Maitre D' to recommend a suitable table once you have explained the circumstances. Then it would be appropriate to express your appreciation in a suitable manner. Just my thoughts, FWIW.
  15. Although we have four future cruises booked, the only sure thing is the one in a few weeks. The other three may be cancelled. DW and I discussed over dinner a few nights ago that we could plan a land based vacation and go where we want, on our own schedule at a lower cost per day without compromising on the quality of our accomodation or restaurants. We believe the decision makers at Celebrity are starting to believe their own marketing hype and think them are offerring a luxury product when in reality it is just a top end mass market line. Just my humble opinion.
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