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About Straughn

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ponte Vedra, FL
  • Interests
    Theatre, knitting, travel, volunteering

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617 profile views
  1. My concern is that RCG now has no premium lines, but has three luxury lines, Silversea, Azamara, and Celebrity, (or so Lisa wants to portray Celebrity???) With the price increases on Celebrity, I just booked an 11-night cruise on Silversea for a significant number of $ less per night. I looked at Azamara, but with no itinerary, in the time frame, I wanted. I will continue to look at Azamara. Currently, since the “upgrade of Celebrity prices, “ their cruises are within my budget
  2. I am a long time Celebrity cruiser and generally sail solo. With Celebrity’s move to all inclusive and the accompanying price increases, it looks like I could sail on Silversea for about the same $. Other than a list of cruises on their website, which have the 110% solo rate, I can’t find any info about Silversea regular solo pricing? Maybe I just don’t know where to look. Is it normally double or does it vary depending on ship and itinerary.
  3. I am beginning to realize that Celebrity doesn’t give darn about solos and passengers with Elite and above status. Many of younger Gen X crowd haven’t reached that level, want an all inclusive, and don’t care about CC amenities. The older, long time Celebrity loyalists are easily dismissed in favor of the younger, affluent new cruiser. Those who care about the CC amenities of fresh juice, fancy coffee, and Elite Happy Hour are no longer the target audience. Those who will pay big $$ for those amenities are the new Celebrity market.
  4. I often cruise solo in a suite. That means I am in Michael’s Club/The Retreat and have a great opportunity to watch fellow suite passengers. With most suite passengers having the premium package, there are many who do not utilize MC, preferring to socialize with others/family/friends in the various bars. The folks in MC are, generally, the older more sedate crowd, and generally experienced cruisers, not all, but most. I have never, ever, seen an obviously drunken passenger in MC. I have seen some people who were clearly enjoying their cocktails, but no bad behavior. What I have observed, and
  5. We/I have had great butlers and average butlers- none where ever awful. Years ago, we had a “new to the position” butler. He was very attentive, to the point, on some occasions, it was a bit much. He keep asking what he could do, so my SO asked him to shine his dress shoes. We come back later that day and the shoes were back and beautifully done- any military guy would have loved the shine. Missing are a pair of old boat shoes that my SO used on excursions where he didn't want to worry about his shoes getting wet. Shortly after we returned, the butler rings the doorbell and hands me the boat s
  6. This has been an interesting read. I travel solo, often in suites, so I pay double with the perks included. I read that someone said that he/she has gotten suites with no perks included. I so wish that was a regular option. I would happily pay for one premium beverage package, one internet package, one set of gratuities, and accept no OBC. Yes, solos get double OBC, but that does not compensate for paying for the other three perks times 2. On my cruises which are not in a suite, I book Aqua. I get a the sufficient number of Internet minutes for a 7 night cruise. No need to pay for
  7. I also cancelled the November Canal Cruise just before final payment. Had my deposit and beverage package Upgrade back within a week. Even if it goes, last time I looked, a couple of the countries on itinerary were not allowing foreigners to visit. Somehow I didn’t want to pay big $$$ to only sail thru the canal.
  8. Agree. I wish there were more like this. It was informative and now has me looking at cruises that go to those ports. I will not do any of the power up points exercises that involve posting to various social media. I am willing to recommend Celebrity to my friends, but I am not working for them in advertising.
  9. What about dinner on the Magic Carpet?
  10. Another thought— Perhaps a significantly delayed boarding. Many of us are used to showing up at the port and boarding around 10:30. Yes, the cruise lines have boarding times on your sail pass. Only those who have never cruised before, possibly, pay attention to that to time frame. The rest of us show up and board as soon as we can. What if the cruise lines delayed sailing, and therefore could delay boarding? Add to that, they install the systems which spray all areas of the ship with some sort of disinfectant. That is a one time cost for the installation. Yes, the disinfectant is a recurring
  11. The daughter of a good friend is a Physician’s Assistant. Her boss is very into testing, not just for COVID-19, but a lot of communicable diseases. He had her take a COVID/nasal swab test in his office. He then sent her to a local testing center which also administered the nasal swab test. The two tests were administered within 2 - 2 1/2 hours of each other. Test one-positive; test 2- negative. Goes to show how unreliable the nasal swab tests can be. Follow up tests done by her boss were negative all but once. She was tested for 14 days straight. So, my test, within 72 hours of bo
  12. I can’t reinforce enough all the comments about using the services of your butler. He/she is a very valuable resource. Here is on example- We were in a Celebrity Suite a couple of years ago. The second night (10 night cruise) we experienced a very annoying vibration in the bedroom ceiling. We reported it to our butler the next morning. He walked into the bedroom and immediately heard it. He got on his phone and had someone from engineering up there very quickly. To make a long story short, no one could determine the source of the noise. This went on for two days-engineers, electricians, plumbe
  13. I miss having my bed made, my bathroom cleaned, my food cooked and cleaned up, sitting On my balcony with a glass of wine, Michael’s Club/The Retreat, and Luminae. I just miss watching the ocean flow by.
  14. I like this idea. Perhaps combine it with some sort of sticker on your seapass card that shows you completed the video. The video would need to make it very clear that all passengers must present themselves at their muster station before the ship can depart. You are then marked off in the system as having completed both steps (video and check in). The first few sailings under this procedure would be rough as passengers get used to the concept. Perhaps also make your stateroom TV unavailable until your are checked off in the system. In order for any of the proposed ideas to be successful, t
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