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Everything posted by seacruise9

  1. Hi, Thanks for the photos. This looks somewhat similar to the hull balconies on the Queen Mary 2. Chuck
  2. Hi, I have been booked on the Crystal Serenity's September 18 cruise since April. In June, I decided to book a seven-day cruise on the Celebrity Summit from St. Maarten. I cruised aboard the Summit from July 10 to July 17 and had a wonderful time. Similar to the Crystal Serenity cruises, there was a requirement that we be vaccinated and have tests prior to the cruise and at the end of the cruise. We needed to wear tracing bracelets (which were not waterproof) outside our staterooms. This was an outstanding cruise and I felt perfectly safe on the ship and ashore (where protocols were followed during the shore excursions). The atmosphere aboard the ship was wonderful. I love cruises (this was my 95th cruise) and was thrilled to be on a cruise. At the end of the cruise, all of the passengers tested negative for COVID. I am hoping for a similar (and excellent) cruise on the Crystal Serenity for September. I will follow all of the protocols and take precautions, but intend to have a great time. I live in downtown Chicago and am undoubtedly less safe walking around Chicago than taking a cruise. As some of the posts note above, there is some risk in everything we do. I think the key is being smart and acting responsibly to mitigate the risks. Chuck
  3. Hi, When I cruised aboard the Summit last week, the crew members indicated that their mask requirement hopefully would soon end. I'm glad that they new longer must wear masks. I had a wonderful time on the Summit last week. Continue to enjoy your cruise! Chuck
  4. Hi, Based on my recent Celebrity cruise, I really enjoyed having a reduced number of passengers. Of course, cruise lines will need to increase passenger numbers in the future to become economically viable, but the reduced passenger capacity is nice while it lasts. Chuck
  5. Hi, Thanks for your very informative review. I am booked on the Crystal Serenity's cruise that is scheduled to depart from Nassau on September 18. I booked two nights at the SLS Baha Mar prior to the cruise through Crystal. For my particular dates, the Crystal price wasn't bad. I have never been to this resort before and plan to make my dining reservations in advance. Do you know how many passengers were on your cruise? I took a seven-day cruise on the Celebrity Summit that departed from St. Maarten on July 10 and there were only approximately 410 passengers on the ship (which has a double-occupancy capacity slightly over 2,000). This cruise was excellent. It sounds like I also will be very pleased with my Crystal Serenity cruise. It is great to be cruising again! Chuck
  6. Hi, You are very welcome. I cruised aboard the Summit in 2010 and think the ship is much better now. I'm sure you will have a great time. Chuck
  7. Hi, I had the same experience when I tried to purchase transfers on the Celebrity website. I called Celebrity and purchased my transfers through a representative. I provided the representative with my flight times and was able to take the transfer exactly when I wanted. I think the times that you mention above are actually the latest possible times that transfers are available. My flight arrived in St. Maarten at 11:30 am and I immediately boarded the bus after I was finished at the airport. I was aboard the ship (following the Celebrity transfer) at approximately 1:00 pm. After the cruise, my flight departed St. Maarten at 12:45 pm. Near the end of the cruise, we could select our own departure times. I selected the earliest departure time (7:30 am) and was at the airport before 8:30 am. There is a lot more flexibility regarding the transfers than indicated on the Celebrity website. Chuck
  8. Hi, It varies by port and probably changes over time. For my cruise, Barbados was the strictest port. You had to either purchase a Celebrity shore excursion or take a government-approved taxi to certain approved sites. We could only go shopping at the shops in the cruise terminal. Also, they were strict about wearing masks. St. Lucia was more open to cruise passengers. We could shop on our own but had to wear a white plastic bracelet to indicate that we were cruise passengers. Curacao currently is one of most open Caribbean ports. It generally has returned to normal but some shops had signs on their doors requiring that masks be worn. Of course, the protocol for each port is subject to change and might be different for your cruise in August. Chuck
  9. Hi, I'm sorry, but I honestly do not know. However, the Summit's Oceanview Cafe now has many different food islands and a wide variety of food certainly was offered. Chuck
  10. Hi, I would not worry about the ship's age. Celebrity did an excellent job with the ship's refurbishment and the Summit looks great. I spoke to many passengers throughout the cruise. Everyone seemed to be very pleased with this ship. During every cruise, I always take many photos of a ship's public areas. Last night, I looked at the photos from my cruise aboard the Summit in 2010. The ship honestly looks much better now than it did 11 years ago. I have sailed on many new ships (my last cruise before the pandemic was aboard the Sky Princess in December 2019 when the ship was only a few months old) and was pleased with Summit. Chuck
  11. Hi, It was great to be on a cruise again! My cruises are over many years. I began cruising with my parents as a small child in 1967. From 1982 through 2019, I took at least one cruise every year. 2020 broke my streak. I really liked my stateroom. The staterooms on Deck 10 were added in 2019 but all of the staterooms were refurbished. Because I did not see any other staterooms on this cruise, I can't my compare my stateroom to one of the refurbished existing staterooms. However, my stateroom was very attractive and had plenty of space. The balcony was fine, but not particularly large. There are two chairs and one table on the balcony. Most of the balcony has a ceiling over it, but it is not completely covered. Thus it has a fairly open feeling. Because these staterooms extend out over the side of the ship, there is a view directly down to the ocean (rather than other balconies or decks). I would definitely book one of the staterooms again. Chuck
  12. Hi, The Oceanview Cafe is vastly improved. I have cruised on this class of ship in the past: Millennium in 2001, Summit in 2010 and Constellation in 2013. This space was completely resigned and looks great. There are many different food "islands" rather than one large counter. Note that there are different offerings on each side of the buffet. Be sure to check both sides. There was a large diagram on the wall when you enter the room that provides an overview of the layout. Also, the seating area was expanded. Some of the bays extending over the side of the ship were joined during the refurbishment to enlarge the seating area. The windows in the floor of the bay areas have been removed. The food was excellent and I never experienced a crowd. The staff members are very friendly. When I passed a food island, the servers frequently said "hi" and invited me to try some food from their station. Last night, I looked through the photos from my 2010 cruise on the Summit. I always take photos of all of the public areas. The ship looks MUCH better today. Chuck
  13. Hi, The boarding process was very smooth. I arrived at the cruise terminal at approximately 1:00 and was aboard the ship in a few minutes. They give you the tracelet when you check in. The stateroom key card is in an envelop outside your stateroom. Have a great time! Chuck
  14. Hi, The schedule was changed. Original itinerary: sea day, Barbados, sea day, St. Kitts, Tortola, sea day. Revised itinerary: sea day, Barbados, St. Lucia, sea day, Curacao, sea day. Chuck
  15. Hi, I arrived in St. Maarten at approximately 11:30 the morning of the cruise. There was a long line to go through the formalities of entering St. Maarten, but the line moved fairly quickly. I was able to immediately board the Celebrity transfer after I finished at the airport. We did not wait too long to leave. The drive to the port is approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The driver provided some commentary during the drive. I had selected a ship check-in time of 2:00, but I arrived at the ship about an hour early. This was not a problem. The process was smooth. I believe there were some taxis at the airport. Have a great cruise! Chuck
  16. Hi, I'm glad to hear that the former Century is doing well. I cruised on this ship twice (1997 and 2010) and greatly enjoyed this ship. In particular, I always thought the dining room was stunning. Chuck
  17. Hi, I was on the Celebrity Summit's July 10 cruise. We were required to wear plastic tracelets. This wasn't a big deal, but I went through several tracelets (mine kept falling apart even though I was very careful). As soon as one broke, I returned to the guest relations desk and received a new tracelet. I spoke to some other people who had a similar experience. Chuck
  18. Hi, I flew out of St. Maarten yesterday (July 17) after my cruise on the Celebrity Summit. Because I was booked on a fairly early flight (American 1224 that departs for Miami at 12:45), I was on the first transfer from the ship to the airport. We arrived at the airport at 8:20 and the American counter opened at 9:00. I was the third person in line and did not have a problem. The airport was fairly deserted at this point. However, it became very crowded and chaotic before I left. Chuck
  19. Hi, I returned home last night from the July 10, 2021 cruise on the Celebrity Summit. This was my 95th cruise and one of the very best cruises that I have ever done. This truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The enthusiastic atmosphere among the crew and passengers was amazing. There were approximately 410 passengers and 760 crew members on this sailing. The ship looks great after its 2019 major refurbishment and the service, food and entertainment were exceptional. The itinerary was changed due to COVID restrictions (we sailed to Barbados but St. Kitts was replaced with St. Lucia and Tortola was replaced with Curacao). The ship handled the itinerary change very well. I received refunds for the canceled shore excursions that I booked prior to the cruise and was able to easily purchase new excursions during the cruise from the Celebrity app. The health protocols seemed to work very well and all passengers tested negative for the virus during the final sea day. Surprise gifts were delivered to my stateroom throughout the cruise and their were many surprise snacks when I returned to my stateroom. I dined in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant on five evenings and tried both the Tuscan Grille and Le Petit Chef for dinner. During the day, I usually dined in the Oceanview Cafe. My dining experiences were excellent. One main show was held each evening at 9:00, but other smaller shows were scheduled around the main show on some evenings (such as a Motown show and deck party). I was booked in one of the new veranda staterooms (1016) that was added to Deck 10 in 2019. This stateroom had a convenient location, but I could hear the dance beat from the Sky Lounge (which is located directly above these staterooms) late at night. However, these staterooms generally are quiet and there is very little traffic down this hall. I flew to St. Maarten the morning of the cruise and used Celebrity transfers between the pier and airport before and after the cruise. These operated very smoothly. Every crew member who I encountered throughout the cruise was very friendly and had an excellent attitude. In particular, I was impressed with the captain (Captain Matt) and the cruise director (Sue). I regularly saw both of them during the cruise. A few weeks ago, I posted a question whether these St. Maarten cruises were worth the hassle (testing requirements, St. Maarten EHAS form, St. Maarten airport, etc.). I now answer my own question with a resounding YES. This was an exceptional cruise experience that I will always remember. In short, this was a very special cruise and the perfect way to return to cruising. Chuck
  20. Hi, Okay, so you are not listing your return to St. Maarten at the end of the cruise, right? Thus, for my cruise, I would indicate that I am arriving in St. Maarten on July 10 and departing on the same day. I would not indicate anything about my return to St. Maarten on July 17 after the cruise. However, if you select "air travel," the EHAS form requires "departure airline and flight number." My departure from St. Maarten on July 10 is by ship rather than air. Would you list the name of the ship in this space? Thanks, Chuck
  21. Hi, I am booked on the cruise that departs from St. Maarten on July 10. I am flying from Chicago to Miami the afternoon of July 9 and from Miami to SXM the morning of July 10. I have scheduled the RT-PCR test for 3:00 Wednesday afternoon, July 7. I am hoping that this will satisfy the requirements for both St. Maarten and Celebrity. Chuck
  22. Hi, I have wondered the same thing. I am arriving in St. Maarten the morning of July 10 and leaving the afternoon of July 17. Thus, I won't be spending any nights in a hotel in St. Maarten. If I select "by air," there is no way to indicate that I am taking a cruise. Because I am not staying at a hotel, there is no indication where I will be staying from July 10 through 17. Is this a problem? Thanks, Chuck
  23. Hi, Thanks for your post. It is good to hear that the St. Maarten EHAS form approval was so fast. I am getting my rt-PCR test on Wednesday afternoon and will leave for St. Maarten this Friday. Chuck
  24. Hi, Thanks for your post! I will be boarding the Celebrity Summit in St. Maarten on July 10. It sounds like I will have a great cruise. Continue to have a wonderful time, Chuck
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