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Posts posted by EmsMom

  1. 3 hours ago, d9704011 said:

    @canadianbear, thank you for all the informative posts you made over the course of your cruise.  You too @BermudaBound2014; looking forward to meeting you next February.


    Just to be clear on the self-assist disembarkation with HAL in San Diego:

    1. about five days prior to disembarkation I will need to get a colour-coded tag for early self-assist disembarkation;

    2. on disembarkation day, and paying attention to my colour-coded tag, leave all luggage in room and head to wherever CBP sets up shop;

    3. clear CBP (probably a separate line for non-US citizens... CBP inspection sticker in hand;

    4. return to room and pick up luggage;

    5. make way to gangway, scan out and show CBP sticker, and off we go.



    We were self assist on this cruise.   There were no color coded tags for self assist.   We were to go to immigration at 7:15/7:45 for self assist passengers only.    When we arrived at 7:05 there were already several hundred people in the line that was supposed to be for self assist.   True to form there were obviously passengers that didn’t think the rules applied to them.   At any rate we were able to get through immigration by 8:30 and had no trouble getting a taxi at the port.  We were at the airport car rental by 9:15.   So that was our experience. 

    • Like 3
  2. 1 hour ago, clo said:

    I booked them as quickly as I could. No problem. We've never done ship-sponsored excursions so we'll see. We're not hard to please.


    1 hour ago, EJL2023 said:

    You can only use the Shore Excursion credits under SM for excursions. 

    What is SM?   I looked under the excursions for our cruise and didn’t see where you could book them yet. I don’t see anything saying SM.   

  3. We are booking a cruise that includes $1400 in excursion credit.  Although we have cruised with O previously, we have  never had an excursion credit nor have we ever taken any O excursions.  I've read where people have had trouble spending their cruise credits because of the lack of the excursions available.  I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this and what they do with the credit if you don't use it.

  4. 34 minutes ago, Tranquility Base said:

    I was onboard Riviera, for the first time, for 2 months late last year.

    All other Oceania cruises had previously been on 'R' ships.

    What specifically about the reviews concerns you ?


    PS: I booked another 7 weeks on Riviera.

    I was concerned more about the customer service issues than anything.   We aren’t big foodies and we are happy with low key entertainment and on our last Africa cruise we missed Madagascar because of a typhoon and Kenya due to terrorism.   A lot of the reviews were 3 stars and lower mainly because they felt that O customer service was lacking in resolving problems.  We really like O but just had some reservations about the Riviera.   I really appreciate everyone’s input and I’m pretty sure we will proceed with the booking.   Thank you!!

    • Like 1
  5. We took a cruise from Cape Town to Singapore before covid on Oceania.  It was amazing!   Now we would like to do it again this year and the ship is the Riviera.  The reviews of the Riviera are mixed by leaning toward the negatives be.  I would love some feedback from those who have either done this cruise in 2023 or have recently cruised on the Riviera.  It’s a long cruise so I’m a little worried about the negative reviews.  Thank you!!

  6. 21 hours ago, quack2 said:

    In the not to distant olden days, lobster was always served (no upcharge) on formal night and formal night was a bigger deal.  I refused to pack clothes just for formal night.   So . . . I would order the lobster to be delivered to my room and I would eat (weather permitting) on the my balcony.

    We always travel with carry on luggage and aren’t really into the formal nights so in room would possibly work those nights since formal clothes take up too much room.   I really don’t like eating at the buffet.   We too like meeting new people but not on formal nights.  Lol.  Sounds like in room will be a good option for us on those nights or nights we don’t feel like going anywhere to eat.   

    • Like 2
  7. 5 minutes ago, lazey1 said:

    If you have not allready done so please call HAL and request to get on the wait list for early dining. If necessary, as soon as you get on board go to the main dining roon and ask the manager for early dining. It may not be possible the first night but you will be on the wait list again. I have done this 3 times on different ships and always got the early dining by the 2nd day.


    Thank you.  I’ll give that a try.    😊

    • Like 1
  8. I have been reading on some reviews that dinner is often difficult on the Koningsdam for various reasons.   Has anyone just opted to eat in his cabin instead and if so how did that work out for you?   We can’t get a dining time which is annoying and we like to eat earlier rather than later so I thought maybe we could just order room service.   It was my understanding that you can order from the main dining room menu.   We couldn’t get club orange and really don’t like buffets.  

  9. Seabourn, as mentioned before, is a luxury line.   I really like cruising on Seabourn but for us it comes down to price.   We have been able to get a 25 night cruise from Sydney to Vancouver in a Signature Suite for less than a seven night cruise on Seabourn in an ocean view suite.   We are happy enough with Holland and with the itinerary so we will go with HAL.   For us, we do few add ons and we don’t drink so the extra Seabourn perks aren’t important to us.   If you are buying the add ins in Hal then it might make the two lines more comparable.   

  10. Another vote for Dora.  When we were in port at Cartagena there were several other cruise ships in port as well.....the traffic was horrible and everything was very crowded.  Dora tried to hit the sights at times that wouldn't be so crowded with cruise tours and I think she did a great job.  She took us to places that we wanted to go in addition to her regular tour and we found her to be extremely knowledgeable and personable.  She was worth every penny!!

    • Like 1
  11. 1 hour ago, ECCruise said:

    We either book it straight or don't book it at all.


    Our experience is that if you pick the right time, and get the right TA, you can upgrade for less than what the Move Up offer finally ends up going for because of silly bidding.  We've done this 3 times (including yesterday).

    Also, as mentioned before, you have no choice of cabin.  With some of the awful suite locations on =X= ships, no way we would take that chance.

    Thanks for the suggestion to check with our TA.  I'm checking with her to see what she can do.   We are happy enough with the Concierge cabin but if we could upgrade for a good deal in a good location we would probably do it.


  12. That'a a really good point about not being able to choose the locatioin of the cabin on a move up offer.  I noticed that some of the Celebrity Suites look like they are also under the pool or grill area.  We had a Celebrity Suite on our last Celebrity Cruise and it was a disaster because it was under a grill with furniture (or carts)  being moved throughout the day and night.  Celebrity gave us a credit to use on a future cruise because of the unresolved noise issue which is why we are on this cruise so we can use our credit.  The move up to the Celebrity Suite is $1300 which is the best value but we might be under the pool area.

  13. We just had a move up offer from our Concierge level cabin on our 12 night Infinity cruise.  I checked the prices that are currently offered and it's interesting that the Veranda cabin is now more expensive than a Concierge cabin on their website.  Our original price was lower than what is shown on the website and came with $375 Onboard Credit, Prepaid Gratuities and Beverage Package for Two.  Now the minimum upgrade offer is $150pp for Aqua Class and $1000pp for a Sky Suite.  When I look on the Celebrity Website the Aqua Class is $500 more than a Concierge and the Sky Suite is $1000 more than a Concierge.   I'm trying to decide if either of these is a good deal.....Do they ever come down in price on the move up offers?

  14. We were with our Blexie guide for two days and we gave the driver about $20 for the two days and our guide about $50 for the two days.  We felt like both our guide and driver did a great job and this worked out to a little over 20% of the cost of our tour which is what we usually tip our tour guides if they have done a great job.  

  15. My husband and I are taking a short cruise on NCL Sky next month. As I just started reading these reviews on Cuba, everyone is talking about Blexie. If I am right Blexie is the name of a private tour company. Is there a website for Blexie and if not how can we get more info. On this tour group?

    Also, I see the charge is around 130 is this us money and is it per couple or per person?

    Thanks for any info. You can give me.


    We have just used Blexie for two days while on Empress of the Seas. I found him on Google and arranged the two days of tours via email. He is also on Facebook where you can see a description of his tours. The charge is 130 CUC for your party. The most you can fit in a classic car is four in addition to the driver and guide. This is much cheaper than the ship's excursions and I think it's much nicer. Blexie has various guides....ours was Lester and we were very pleased with him and had a very enjoyable time in Havana.

  16. We just got back and used Blexie for two days of touring. So glad we had a hard top as it was so hot and it felt so good to get cooled off a bit. The first day we went to several different sights including Fusterlandia which was amazing. We did not go into any museums which was fine with us as we wanted to see the area for our first time in Cuba. There is a lot to see for sure. Our guide was Lester and he spoke really good English and really did a great job of telling us about the sights without overwhelming us. There were four of us and the driver and Lester (6 in all). The convertibles looked really cool but would have been way hot. They met us in front of the cruise terminal at 10 AM each day and we were finished between 3 and 4 both days. I think a tour later in the day might be preferable when it's not so hot actually. The second day we went to Ernest Hemingways home in the country which was so interesting and then finished our day with a walking tour of the UNESCO Heritage area. Nothing was that far and there were taxis everywhere so I don't think you would have to worry about being late getting back to the ship on time if anything happened. Getting back on the ship was quick and easy but could possibly take longer if there were several ship excursions returning at the same time. Although we bought CUCs at the cruise terminal we found that most places would take dollars as well. I didn't want to have to sell back the CUCs so when we ran out of them we just used dollars.

  17. My primary question is did all of you who received this email book directly with Royal Caribbean or did any of you use a TA? Our January Harmony cruise is booked through a TA.

    We booked directly with RCL and didnt ever indicate we would have interest in an upgrade. The paid upgrade offer came out of the blue in an email and asked if we wanted to be on the upgrade list.

  18. I can't imagine walking to the airport as the route is along a busy highway and the distance is almost 4 miles. You will need to get a taxi unless they have an airport shuttle. The port is about a mile from the hotel which I guess is doable if you are able and traveling light enough. We stayed at the Hyatt Place near the Hilton and they had a shuttle which was about $7 per person or you could take a taxi.

  19. We are currently on the Millenium from Tokyo to Shanghai in a Celebrity Suite. I think the suite is very nice and well laid out and everything is up to par except the bathtub has lots of dings. We eat in Luminae every night which is very good. We've also eaten in the sushi restaurant which was great and Qsine which I thought was overpriced. The buffet is not to my taste and I found the Aqua Spa meals very disappointing. The issue I'm having is that our suite is under the pool grill and we hear scraping, carts and heavy walking all night which disturbs our sleep. I've complained at least 5 times now and we are more than halfway through the cruise and still having a problem. The lack of response is as troubling as the noise at this point. We are frequent cruisers but usually not on Celebrity. From now on I think we will choose another cruise line.

  20. We disembarked at this terminal earlier in December and the lines were quite long. If you had a Global Entry card they moved you to the front of the line. We always use the kiosks in the airports and have never had to use our card so we didn't have it with us. Our son had his card and went through the line and when he got outside he called us to say they never even looked at the cards. So we walked up to the front where they let the GE people through and we went right through without the cards. Bottom line-- they let you go to the front of the line with GE but they didn't ask for the card. I would take it to be on the safe side however.



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  21. We were on the same cruise and also enjoyed it very much. Here are a couple of answers to previous questions: yea there were kids in the indoor pool and they are allowed to be there. The yoga classes were around 8 or 9 in the morning and they had Pilates on the alternate days. They were offered on sea days. They also had Zumba twice a day on sea days as well as line dancing a couple of times. All were great exercise. We noticed a fe complainers as well....but I didn't let them ruin our fabulous trip.



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  22. We have booked a full suite for ourselves on the Coral Princess and 3 mini suites for our kids and grandkids. If we want to always eat dinner together what happens to our special suite dining benefits? Can we bring them as guests or will they have to pay?

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