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hampshirelad

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  1. Not Great news for us. We had our certificate issued during a staycation cruise in August, after the water failed in or Sky Suite twice. The expiry dated on issue is August 2023. As the letter shows we have just over 6 months (April) to book a cruise to use it by August 2022
  2. Just come back from a 7 day staycation cruise where we stayed in a Sky Suite. We have had a Suite in the past and one reason this time was a birthday .We were early bookers and we were tempted with a very full package plus a large amount of OBC. Make no mistake we did enjoy it despite the limitations that Covid brought with it. Looking at the sailing on the 11 th Sept an Aqua cabin at £1100 has to be good value with a Suite price nearly twice that. We have stayed in Aqua many times, but you need to study your cabin position on the deck plan Be aware of the overhang on deck 12 to 11 where most of the Aqua cabins are. The deck plan will explain it better. Also think about how the sun will fall on your balcony and which side of the ship might work best for sun and views The service both Luminae and the Retreat are first class, but we were disappointed with the menu in Luminae and many guests were ordering from the MDR. As already said events in the Retreat have been curtailed but there was always plenty of capacity. The Retreat sundeck is weather dependent and is windy when the ship is at full speed, an experience for warmer destinations. The specialist restaurants have become a bit of Theatre . The flambé lobster has been heavily prepped and I cannot remember the last time I saw a soufflé. The WIFI is not great even with the enhanced package Whatever your choice you won't regret it
  3. Are people taking Dinner jackets and long dresses
  4. Just popped to local ASDA for petrol and a EUROFINS Portacabin was being set up in the car park. When I enquired about testing was advised it was invitation only Cruise passengers. Hopefully this is one of many being set up across the UK and passengers will not have to travel too far. Would be really good to know where in the Uk this Asda was ? Many thanks
  5. What type of test do I request of the medical services provider? An rt-PCR test for COVID-19. I think it is worth noting that in their letter Celebrity are asking for a RT-PCR test not a straight PCR test. This appears to be available at private clinics at £150 plus. I think that for example the Boots test needs checking to see if it meets this standard.
  6. Never had a problem with cabins near elevators. However on M class ships you need to watch the deck below the pool - normally Aqua cabins. If you are across from the pool filtration plant its like spending your nights in a washing machine.
  7. The last Cruise we took was in Dec 2019 Dubai to Singapore on the Constellation . We had a suite S1 or S2 cabin at the stern on deck 6 . We always used to leave it to the last minute and check out what's available. . This cabin had a connecting door to one of the top suites so they could bring their entourage if need be. This was pre Kelly Hoppen and it had with nice woods and a feel of real quality about it. We then found the best butler we have ever had called "Bart ". This was a butler with real presence ! , and I have attached his photo as some of you may have met him in your travels. Anyway the guests in the top suites valued their privacy so we had him almost to ourselves. On the day of disembarkation he arrived at our suite took our overnight trolley bags and wheeled them through the ship at top speed scattering all before him with us trying to keep up. As an aside we spent our last afternoon in Changhai airport a week before Christmas doing a grand tour , looking at the waterfall and suchlike. We were blissfully unaware of Covid, which must have been circulating by then and coupled with a messy change at Dubai on Emirates we are fortunate not to have come back to the UK ,as patient Zero ! We shan't see those days again as its now all about rebuilding balance sheets !! Cannot believe the price they now want for suites be interesting to see if they can fill them in say a year.
  8. Being a long time Celebrity Cruiser I do not think there is any one route to getting a fair deal on a cruise booking .Living just up the road from hawkesbaynz near Southampton we tend to book at the last minute as we have the flexibility, but we exhausted the number of trips that you can take from that port. We have booked with North American T/a's when sterling was strong, direct with Celebrity and used UK T/A's. The travel industry has been in total chaos here for the past year, and the position on any sort of refund opaque, especially when countries are opening and closing their borders without warning. Insurance terms and conditions, don't go there you will be brain dead in 5 minutes. Certainly looking at the prices Celebrity have built in a lot of "Hope " £5000 for a suite for a 12 night cruise in the Med seems a bit of an aspiration . Cunard are offering "Queens Grill " for that sort of price . I know which I would choose. Think we will stand back for the next 6 months and see where all this is heading
  9. Just keep away from 9045 Aqua 2 and surrounds . Right next to the pool filtration system. Sounds like being inside a washing machine with a continuous cycle. Often sold as a Gtee cabin
  10. Cruised from Yokohama October 2018 and used the Osanbashi International Passenger Pier. Looked almost new so find it difficult to imagine they would build another. Celebrity seems to arrange cruise from this port in the Typhoon season so suggest you prior overnight in Yokohama and give yourself some wriggle room.
  11. just got back from Dubai to Singapore. No visa you just get a card / pass handed out on the day to be handed back. Very fussy about that so take care. UK nationals do not require one in any case
  12. Just come back from Constellation where it has just been introduced. They were prepared to do it at half price halfway through the Cruise so I guess that says a lot. Its a "one off" the sort of thing we would take the Grandchildren to if it was on land. I despair Celebrity - you have "Sushi on 5" empty every night and now this , What happened to the restaurants of old "Ocean Liners" The menu was soup, lobster and steak
  13. This cruise is running between Dubai and Singapore and the reverse during January and February and into March. I believe the ship will then shortly go into dock for a complete makeover before returning to service. I think this is the first time they have done this route. We had saved up our pennies and booked a suite and I cannot speak too highly of the food and service we received during the cruise. Our cabin was kept spotlessly clean by Victoria and our butler Bart could not do enough for us. The food and service in Luminae was outstanding and while you tend to remember the names of the extrovert ones such as Rosebud and Mercy while there is a whole team keeping it going day after day. We have been with Celebrity many times over the last 15 years. Also, the ship was in excellent condition considering her age and was kept spotlessly clean throughout the cruise. We took this cruise because we wanted a taste India with a place of tranquillity to retreat to every night and Constellation provided that. However, you need to study the route and port timings very carefully and be aware that these change for the Singapore to Dubai route which at first glance are the preferable. My comments relate to the Dubai / Singapore route only. Most rolls call’s for Indian cruises spend the bulk discussing the India visa procedures. We had no problem in obtaining ours although producing the photograph took time. All the ports listed are covered by the Evisa scheme which has not always been the case. Celebrity have taken the route and squashed it into 15 days resulting in a number of half days at ports. Often arriving in the middle of the day in temperatures of 30 C plus and where it gets dark at around 6 pm. Many of the stops are not tourist destinations and you may find yourself over 5/ 6 hours driving 4 hrs with just over and hour at the destination. On the Indian coastline you have the Portuguese, The Dutch and finally the British all leaving their mark so you will be shown examples of houses and churches in all those destinations. These are some of the issues we found, which you may find helpful Dubai . Leaving at 4pm on Day 2 gives little time to do much. The HOHO buses do not route through the port, although it might appear they do There is a feeder bus from the port to the Burj area before you can join the routes and unless you have a clear two days the ticket price is not worth it. We took a taxi to the “Creek area” nearby for a couple of hours which still retains some history. If you want to do the Burj then take a ships tour, but there is mainly an awful lot of sand to see once you are up there. Muscat – Arrived midday. There is absolutely nothing to do in Muscat in the afternoon. The big draw is the Mosque which is open in the mornings only so do not get taken in by the ships tour which is a stop and view. Mumbai – We were part of a group of 5 couples who hired a private guide with a small coach and had a fantastic time over the two days and that was the highlight of the cruise for us. However Mumbai is very “busy” place and I do not think you would see much trying to do it yourself. The down side is that Mumbai is very polluted and one day it obscured the sun, so if you have chest or breathing issues take care. Om Namaha Shivaya Pranav looked after us and I give him a very strong recommendation. info@grandmumbai.com https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g304554-d3182713-Reviews-Grand_Mumbai_Tours-Mumbai_Maharashtra.html Goa / Mormagao - There are lengthy taxi rides to beaches, we had a group tour to the local town and a spice plantation. Cochin – Hot ! took the Grand tour with a local guide , interesting has one of the oldest synagogues in the world which will have importance for some. I am told the "Houseboat trips " were a two hour drive to the starting point. Colombo - Half a day and hot. Spent a lot of time driving to a lowland tea factory. Short time at destination, very interesting and we had tea and cake on the lawn. Arrived back at the ship in the dark. Phuket – Half a day. Was here twenty years ago and much has changed. You tender here and the jetty is on the south side of the beach / town. If you take a ship’s tours you have to walk some distance from the jetty to a coach park and at the end walk back to the jetty. The traffic is gridlocked. We did not finish the tour as we lost someone, and it then got dark. Suggest you do your own thing. Singapore – Wished we had stayed on. There is the highest indoor waterfall in the world and complex now open at the airport where you can pass the time at before the flight. We got the impression that Celebrity might not do this route in another year, because of the Admin at the Ports. You have to get a copy of your visa stamped by a customs officer each time you disembark and don't even think about loosing it. You will need an entry permit to visit Sri Lanka which you can get online Hope some of this helps
  14. Having had Aqua 2 a few times on Constellation the area you want to avoid is around 8145 as you are close to the Pool filtration system. The Pool is on the deck above. It is like being in a washing machine and they do not seemed to have improved it over the years. If you book an offer on Aqua 2 that the area you could end up
  15. Thanks Hambagahle I often book through a USA - I believe the term is "Consolidator " as in some cases you get better prices. I will be contacting them when the time zones align, but often the views of others are useful
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