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About tryber

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    tennis, skiing, wine

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  1. That's not an enhancement. If they wanted to preserve the value of the initial reward, they could have easily said a free ocean cruise of x length or $x,000.00 off any other type of cruise. This was a devaluation plain and simple, and they used the "enhancement" as an excuse. And they certainly should not have sent me a glossy letter describing how "happy" they were to announce the "enhancement," but then forced me to go to the website to see that it took away any possibility of a free cruise.
  2. This was the most obnoxious piece of mail I've ever received from Crystal. It markets the change as an "enhancement" allowing us to redeem the Milestone credits for all of their cruises, when in fact, it is a straight-forward devaluation of the rewards (that does allow you to use the devalued amount on any cruise). It eliminates all free cruises and replaces them with dollar amounts that are far lower than the value of the free cruises. They obviously have the right to devalue their rewards program whenever they want. But it's offensive when they try to deceive their most valued customers.
  3. I will have to try the Pavlova next time. We usually order the Baked Alaska, which is great. But my wife loves Pavlova, and I never knew it was an option. We tried to order kosher chicken once, and they were out, but offered kosher lamb instead. It was amazing. I've never tried to order it again, though. If you have a group and are going to Prego, go in advance and ask them to make eggplant parmigiana. They need to make a whole big one, so it's a lot of food if it's just two of you. It is better than any I've had at any restaurant anywhere.
  4. I was with my parents, and siblings, and there were a few kids in our group, so if we had stayed in a suite, we wouldn't have been able to interact with the rest of the family. One thing I like best about Crystal is that no matter what cabin you are staying in, you will be get the same food and service. I've never stayed in a suite on Crystal. Sure, you get a few perks if you are in the suites, but they are on the margins, and I've never felt that I was treated as a second-class citizen, even if staying in the cheapest of rooms on the ship (except maybe the laundry rooms; the laundry rooms on the lower decks get much more crowded and are not as nice as the penthouse decks.)
  5. I've played in about 5 and cashed in 3 of them. Finished second once and third twice. They used to give some prizes (like shirts or gift shop credits), but now just cash. I'm not a great player, and I never play tournaments at casinos, but I've played some low-stakes limit holdem at casinos. I've found that maybe about 30% of the players are competent poker players, and the rest not so much. I don't remember the buy-ins for all of them. I think they were either $60 or $100.
  6. I went on Celebrity for the first time last year. I've been on about 5 Crystal cruises, and had previously been on 3 Carnival cruises (but those were around 30 years ago). If you care about food, service and class, and you can afford Crystal, then there really is no sense in comparing. Go on Crystal. If money is an issue or you are more comfortable around those who would eat at Applebees than Michelin star diners, then you might prefer Celebrity (I don't mean to say that Crystal quite achieves that class of dining, but that's what they are aiming for). I don't really mean either classification to be objectively pejorative or preferred, though I do have my own preference. But I do think some people would think of Crystal as too snooty for their tastes; I'm just not one of them. The average person you will run into, and the way you will be treated by staff, on each ship is very different. The staff on Crystal is pretty uniformly nice and helpful to all passengers.The staff on Celebrity mostly seem like they are at most tolerating their job (or worse, overly obsequious because they are fearful that they will be fired if you make a complaint, even if the complaint is about the food and not them). I ran into a lot of drunk people on Celebrity. One drunk woman actually pushed every button on the elevator, just like a five-year old would do. Even the children on Crystal are always well-behaved, but some people might find that boring. I did find the cabins and entertainment on the two ships to be basically comparable (Crystal is a little better laid out, especially the bathroom, but not really that significant a difference). So, if the service issues wouldn't bother you and you are fine with lower-quality food (and you would enjoy a bigger ship), then I think you might be happier on Celebrity.
  7. My last couple of cruises were on the Symphony, and they had at least a couple of tournaments on sea days. They also usually have some slot and blackjack tournaments, but I've only played the holdem ones.
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