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About Straughn

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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

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  1. No they don’t put people together at tables in Blu. But, the tables in Blu (both M and S class) are close together, so it is easy to converse with others. Some complain that the tables are too close together and you can’t have a private conversation. I have, occasionally, been seated next to folks who didn’t want to converse. I travel solo and enjoy my own company, so not a problem for me. Different strokes for different folks.
  2. Had this exact issue on Infinity in March. I left the ship to take some heavy items I had purchased, to my car in the port parking garage. When I returned, I had my transit pass in hand. The first security person I encountered had never seen it and didn’t know what to do. She wanted to see my boarding pass and passport. On the advice of a passenger I met on the first cruise, I did have the passport with me. The young lady, who was extremely polite, called a supervisor over, who had never seen the transit pass, but knew the policy. My lucky charm was one of the security folks who had seen me leave the ship and asked, as I exited, if I had my transit pass for return. She was going on a break, saw me discussing the issue, came over and “saved” me. Lesson I learned from this, bring your transit pass, but also bring your set sail paperwork for the second cruise and passport. Everybody was polite, wanted to help, but simply had no idea how to handle this.
  3. Another thing to note about Luminae— they will customize their entrees. For example, you see a fish or meat on that night’s menu that you like, but don’t like the way it is prepared. You can ask to have the fish or meat prepared simply- broiled or baked with basic seasonings. I have done this on several occasions because of allergies. Having said all this, as a previous poster stated, focus on the main ingredient (protein). Don’t get lost in the weeds of the description as sometimes it sounds more exotic than it is. You can ask your server for his explanation of the dish and often that will make you understand what the dish really is.
  4. Ok, I read the the first 4 pages of this thread and saw many valid points made. Here is how I would have responded to the footstool question: ”I have become aware that the removal of the balcony footstools is more of an issue than we initially realized. Based on passenger feedback, I have asked the appropriate departments to to re-evaluate this decision. At this point, I cannot definitely state that foot stools will be reinstated in the cabin classes which previously had them. We are looking into why they were eliminated and the possibility of putting them back.” (We all know that $$ were involved in the decision to remove them.) The Galapagos issue- We scheduled these cruises based on prior availability to visit these locations. Unfortunately, permission to access certain ports require specific approval from the governments involved. Some of this is beyond Celebrity’s control. It is unfortunate and we are moving as fast as we can to get permission to visit these islands. To me, these are the type of answers which indicate that LLP and Celebrity are aware of the seriousness of these issues. It says we are trying, but cannot guarantee a solution most will like. AND, I would never, ever, end the response with some variation of “have a nice day.” This is now used so much that it has become dismissive and condescending.
  5. I have been in both a regular CS and ones on the slant. If there is a difference in square footage in the cabin, I never noticed it. The balcony is much larger. If the cabin is on the back side of the hump, wind will not be an issue. My advice: Take.The.Larger. Balcony.
  6. Interesting read with a lot of excellent points about those of us who cruise solo. Most hotels charge the same rate for a hotel room whether it is one person or two. Other than those properties that offer breakfast, meals and gratuities are not included. As previous posters have pointed out, solo cruisers rarely eat for two, (unless possibly an expectant mother 😁), the cabin steward only receives gratuities for one. To be fair, if the OBC is selected as a perk, we get double $. I would like to see them allow solo travelers to add an additional perk. If the solo price includes two perks, the solo traveler gets three, or even better, all four. Perhaps upgrade the beverage package, if selected as a perk, to the premium package. There are a number of things Celebrity could do to make paying double more palatable. I also understand the argument that two passengers spent more $ than one. Actually, for me it is the exact opposite. When traveling with my late husband, we were more likely to book shore excursions with private vendors, more likely to not have a spa treatment, etc. By myself, I generally book tours thru ~X~, to enjoy a facial or massage, and to spend $ in the shops. Now, DH did spend more $$$$ in the casino than I do, but, he also lost more! That was to the ship’s advantage.
  7. Wow, this is exactly what I would have written. I have not eaten in the MDR as my primary dining room, in ages. To be absolutely clear, I had lunch in the MDR on turn around day for a B2B Cruise, on Infinity, in March. I don’t consider that a test of the MDR. When my SO cruises with me, we dine in Luminae. The SO enjoys the beef (steak, prime rib) from the MDR menu and often chooses it over food he does not recognize on the Luminae menu. I am especially happy to read your opinion of Le Petite Chef. Food is excellent, the “show” is amusing. No, I don’t want to do this every cruise, but it is a very good way to spend OPC.
  8. I have very short hair. After several cruises where the Celebrity hair dryer was, shall we say, Inadequate, (yes, I am a slow learner) I brought my own. Having a lot of time to get ready for the evening, I compared drying time between my own and the Celebrity one. On the night I used mine, it took my less than 10 minutes. The next night, the Celebrity dryer took me almost 20 minutes. Share this info with your wife, and let her make her own decision. 😉
  9. I am Elite + and am in the process of planning a cruise with a friend who has never cruised on Celebrity. Before I ask my question, I want to be very clear that I am not looking to cheat the system. What are the Captain’s Club events that she can attend with me? We will be sharing a cabin. I am specifically interested in the evening happy hour and the breakfast, but if there are other events, please tell me. TIA
  10. Exactly my last two experiences in Luminae. The first night, I attempted to hand my card to the sommelier. . On both cruises, they declined to take it, saying we have the necessary information on file.
  11. This sounds like the latest version of the “ugly American” term from the late 1900’s. The image that many foreigners had, of Americans visiting their country, was of a man wearing a loudly patterned Hawaiian style shirt, baggy faded jeans, athletic shoes, and a camera around his neck. The version of women was that of pastel track suits, too much make up, and, again, athletic shoes. Also Americans were generally considered rude and too loud. Did this description apply to all American tourists, probably not. But that was, in Europe, the widely held image. Unfortunately, perception is everything.
  12. I agree that there is far too much complaining about the rise and fall of prices. Cruises and airlines are all about how much interest they see on line for a specific flight or cruise. Even if the flight or cruise isn’t getting booked immediately, it tells them that there are passengers who are considering it. I don’t book a cruise unless I am comfortable with the price. If it goes down, and I can take advantage of it, yay! I don’t complain if the price drops after final payment is due, I remind myself that I have a cabin in a good location that probably wouldn’t be available to me at the lower price. I also agree that the odd pricing costs for adding an additional perk or perks are wacko. It is pretty easy, with a little research on the website ,or asking questions here, to determine the cost of drink packages, gratuities and Wi-Fi. Do the math people!
  13. My question- if you book with a private tour operator, are all the participants from the same ship or do they combine passengers from different ships? I realize that most of these tours are small in number and often filled by a Cruise Critic group who preplan together. What happens if the tour isn’t full with passengers from the same ship?
  14. I spent 9 nights (B2B) on Infinity in March-Aqua class. I absolutely loved the ship. Only my second time on an M class ship, but have sailed numerous times on S class ships. I found the ship easy to get around, staff was, as has been reported frequently , very pleasant, helpful and eager to please. Infinity isn’t scheduled to have her Revolution upgrades until 2020. My cabin was in the best shape of any cabin I have been in, on Celebrity, in the last five years. That includes Sky and Celebrity Suites. No spots on the rug or the sofa, furniture had a few dings, but nothing awful. The bathroom was very clean and well maintained. However the tile floor could have used a little grout work. Everything plumbing related worked and worked well. A/C was very efficient. The rest of the ship, in terms of carpeting, chairs, tables, etc was well maintained and, again, I saw very few spots or damage. There were areas in the ships structure, such as balconies and exposed deck areas, that were showing rust. But again everything was immaculately clean. Frankly, it was as clean a ship as I have experienced in along time.
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