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h & m

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  1. On 4/12/2019 at 9:27 AM, OzKiwiJJ said:

    We disembarked Solstice this morning. 😥


    Bon voyage to all of you who are embarking today. Have a great cruise. Tip: if you like trivia brush up on phobias, flags, and juices!

    Thanks for that advice, should have read it before this morning's trivia - we got flags and phobias already.  Trivia was in the Sky Lounge, the presenter will take a little getting used to.


    We had a great stay in Sydney at the Sheraton on the Park.   I had requested early check in, which we got, and a room close to the elevators.   Mick has had a knee replacement, so trying to make life easy.   Our allocated room was a long hike from the elevator, and seeing the floor plan I understood the room type we had requested were all quite far.   Mick said don't worry about it for 1 night, but I am a firm believer in giving people a chance to fix a problem, which the manager did.   Moved to a much more convenient room, bags moved for us with no effort on our part.


    The Club lounge was one of the best we have experienced in Sydney, with great service.  The coffee there was so good  I was not even in  a rush to go to Cafe Al Bacio,  usually my first stop. 


    Embarkation was painless, the longest wait was trying to get a luggage tag for our carry on which we had decided to check in at the last minute.  Porters did not have spare tags,  so we had to queue to get someone to write one out for us and attach it to the bag.   After that, straight on and exploring the ship at 11.25 am.  


    Everything good except the main dining room is very dark, and the  table we were assigned to was missing a light above it.  Literally could not read the menu or wine list.   We did like the people we were seated with, so going to stick it out and see if they can improve the lighting.   Last time on Solstice was 2 years ago, they had electronic candles on the tables then, but not now.


    The Captain is so funny, I can understand why he is so popular. 


    The ship is in good condition, we did notice some rust on our balcony, but maintenance were already onto it, and have been fixing it today. 


    Sea days today and tomorrow, the the first stop is Bay of Islands, NZ.


    Any questions, happy to  answer.

  2. Good to hear the ship is still in great shape.  We have never cruised with Captain Tasos, but hear great things about him.

    Just dropped off the cat at the cattery, and we are leaving for Adelaide Airport soon.   Have a 9.30 flight to Sydney tomorrow morning, rather than facing the early morning traffic we are spending the night at the new Adelaide Airport Hotel.




  3. 24 minutes ago, SevenSeas1492 said:

    We have “Pearl” on our boarding pass also and have never gambled in the casinos onboard other than the slots a few times.  When we do, we always use cash, so I don’t think they would even know who we are, let alone give us Pearl status.  Go figure!

    We got that too - I thought they were renaming Elite.

     I only play the slots, with cash, but I do use my seapass card each time - so they do have a record.  

  4. If booking in Australia we have always had non refundable deposits just like the UK. It’s only if you book through a US agent or actually live in the US, then your deposit is refundable. I have heard that may be changing however.


    Sorry to disagree, but we have booked several cruises directly through Celebrity Australia (Royal Caribbean too), and never had to pay a non-refundable deposit.


    Celebrity Australia do have an earlier date in their cancellation schedule, about 150 days before the cruise, if cancelling after that then the deposit is not refunded.


    This is directly from the Australian terms and conditions:





    3. Paying for your cruise


    We will require a deposit to secure your booking within 7 days of making your booking (or full payment if booking within 70 days of departure). On some cruises the deposit may be required on the day of booking or within 1–7 days of making the booking. After this time if your deposit has not been paid then your booking will be automatically cancelled.

    Deposit amounts vary by cruise duration as follows:

    Deposit per person

    • 1–6 nights AU$200
    • 7–14 nights AU$400
    • 15+ nights & Cruisetours AU$800

    From time to time Celebrity Cruises may run a promotional offer that will incur a non-refundable deposit. Please refer to the terms and conditions of the relevant promotion for further details.

    A non-refundable service fee of AU$50 per person must be paid on top of your cruise deposit to secure your flights and airfare for international departures. Some airfares may require full payment at time of booking, which may be non-refundable. If airfare payment is due prior to the cruise payment schedule, you will be advised at the time of booking. Airline taxes are subject to change until airfares are paid in full.

    When using your credit or debit card to pay us directly for your cruise, please be aware that we may process that transaction via a bank outside of Australia and your card issuer may choose to charge you a foreign processing fee. We advise you to check the terms and conditions of such foreign transactions with your card issuer in advance of making a payment to us.

    Any promotional Air Offers will incur an additional deposit which may vary per itinerary. For example: ‘Fly Free Promotions’ deposits will be non-refundable and due at time of cruise deposit. This additional deposit could be up to AU$2,000 per person. Please contact our office or your travel agent to obtain details of the deposit due at the time of booking. An air processing fee may be applicable to reservations cancelled outside of cruise penalties. This will be advised to you at the time of booking

  5. We are trying to book 3 cabins for a family cruise for June 2019. My travel agent just told us that the rooms have all non refundable deposits. I am very upset with this news and wonder how some of you are reacting. I understand that all the cruise lines are doing this.




    Hi Cathy


    I see you already have some helpful answers, but often the terms and conditions in Australia are different from those in North America. I don't know if this new non-refundable deposit scheme has been introduced in Australia yet.


    The other difference is generally TA's here in Australia will charge a non-refundable deposit when booking through them, which is different from anything the cruise line may charge.


    Can I suggest you contact Celebrity Cruises in Australia to get an answer, better still get something in writing from them. Contact numbers are 1800 754 500, or 02 4331 5400.


    I've had a quick look at the Celebrity website, but it flick over to the US site when looking for terms and conditions.


    Good luck



  6. Does anyone have experience of booking B2B and using a different TA for the second leg. To complicate matters further. First leg with US TA and second leg with UK TA. I understand of course that there would be no $100 discount but would there be any other drawbacks? Thanks



    Sent from my iPhone using Forums


    Hi there


    We have done exactly what you are doing, one leg through our US TA, another through Celebrity Australia. It was not possible to link the 2 cruises, as Australia uses completely different booking numbers.


    Absolutely no problems on board though, and we were treated exactly the same as all other BTB passengers. Not sure if Guest Services on board are even aware of how and where our bookings were made.



  7. Heading over from New Zealand to sail on our bucket lost Panama Canal cruise leaving San Diego April 17th, first time sailing Celebrity, does Celebrity have theme nights? If so does anyone know what they are for this cruise as we like to join in the fun! Also we have four nights in San Diego before the cruise and four nights in Fort Lauderdale after, any suggestions on must see/do experiences would be appreciated. We were hoping to experience a baseball game but alas the team is out of town for the time we are there.


    hi there


    We are on the same cruise as you, also have 4 nights in San Diego, and 3 after in Ft Lauderdale.

    Just travelling from a little further than you !



    I agree with BillB48's suggestion, Check you roll call, possibly meet up with some fellow cruisers...




    We have a very friendly roll call, lots of information there to share


    Hilary :)

  8. Has anyone stayed in the room next to the bar? Its room number 08-3174 Ocean View Stateroom. Is it loud? How is the view?? Any information would be much appreciated! :)


    We have stayed in this cabin and loved it, would definitely take it again. Very convenient and close to centre of ship, bed near the bathroom, which is our preferred set-up.


    Next to the cabin is a storage area for the Passport Bar, but the only time we heard some noise was between 10pm - 10.30 pm when they were packing up the bar. If we were in the cabin we could hear some noise for maybe 10 minutes, did not last long.


    Also, if there was loud music playing in the Atrium early evening this could be heard faintly in the cabin, not annoying at all, just background.


    Hope is helpful


    Hilary :)

  9. We've stayed twice at the Hampton Inn at Brickell. Good hotel, excellent free breakfast and good area for eating out at night. There are restaurants close by and even one next door to the hotel. The area is very safe to walk about in. It is rated very highly on Trip Advisor. The last time I looked it was number one in Miami.



    We were looking for the same - 1 night post-cruise with an 8pm departure on the following day. We booked the Hampton Inn at Bricknell, they have an AARP rate with a 2pm checkout, which suits us fine.

  10. I feel for the room attendants, busy at the best of times and turnaround day is extra hard work for them.


    I have no problems with items being removed from the cabin - binoculars, folders etc, and I have been told this is for cleaning purposes.


    Have also had the fridge locked up - again I understand they need to do a stocktake of the mini-bar items.


    What really disturbs me though, is new linen and robes being left in the room.

    I have only encountered this on Celebrity, coming back after diner to find a stack of linen on the back of the sofa. We usually sit there before going to bed, and have been careful not to touch the linen, but I do not like the thought of our clean linen on entering the cabin possibly being handled by previous passengers. The same for robes, could have been used even accidentally by previous passengers on the last night.


    We are disembarking one day early on our next trip - suits us for our continuing journey in Italy, but after reading this thread I realise the plus side is also missing disembarkation day.


    Hilary :)

  11. Hi Cathy' date='

    We are departing from Australia, so the international thing isnt an issue.

    As you have done this before, is it possible to get the last tender across to Maui, that way we can enjoy our last day on the ship staying aboard until the last tender. One post suggests that it could be rough, we are prepared to chance that, rather then going onto Honolulu, then having to fly back.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk[/quote']


    Hi there


    We have disembarked a day early from Celebrity cruises, both times in Europe. Get permission IN WRITING, either directly from Celebrity or through your travel agent if you used one.


    I'm assuming Maui is your first port of call in the USA, so Immigration comes out to the ship. 2 years ago we were on the Solstice and despite the ships planned time slots to go through Immigration, they did not turn up until lunch time and there was a huge queue around the ship, taking 2 hours to get through. So don't plan on a particular time for being able to get off the ship.


    I know other people did disembark in Maui that day, and were able to take their bags on to the tender, the crew were great at handling that.


    Hope it goes well for you


    Hilary :)

  12. You do not have to take your luggage off the ship! Your room attendant or butler will help you move to your new stateroom, they will likely bring a rolling rack to move your clothes on hangers. You will have to leave the ship briefly and then will be allowed back on with a new sea pass card.



    In terms of moving rooms, this is what has happened to us on the Solstice,, it was quite painless. We just packed everything not on hangers, everything hanging was moved to the new stateroom. As they had not finished cleaning the new room, we went back later to unpack, but were able to use the safe to stow our valuables.


    As far as going off the ship, it really does depend on the local port, and there are many variables, such as whether you have already cleared immigration for that country.


    One exception on the Solstice, we did a BTB Sydney - Honolulu- Ensenada - Seattle, 39 days which we loved.


    There was a Noro outbreak on the first leg. All passengers were required to be off the ship for several hours for a deep cleaning in Honolulu. For the BTB passengers we were given a free tour in Hawaii. Luckily we were not changing cabins that time, those passengers were required to pack everything, and their cases were removed from their rooms for the cleaning process. Not sure whether the cases were stored on board or in the terminal, but they were not to be accessed until the cabins were available (about 6pm) due to the cleaning.


    This is not the norm, but it may be why you are getting conflicting information.


    Hilary :)

  13. KILL - lots of discussion about Elite events, Elite numbers on the cruise etc.


    Our first Celebrity Cruise on the Equinox I felt like an outsider, and wondered if everyone on board except us would be Elite. Happily the cruise was wonderful and we made lots of friends, Elite or not.



    BEST EVER ROLL CALL - Solstice in 2013, thread started by Bob who kept a great spread sheet and lists, but certainly never dominated the conversation.


    We are always happy to give our cabin number, but would not criticise anyone wanting to be more private.


    Hilary :)

  14. Hi There

    Have always had my gratuities added onto my Seapass daily, and paid at the end of my cruise, when booking through an Agency,

    Have been checking out a Celebrity's own Aussie website, and they are adding the tips so that you pay up front ?

    Is this correct ? Has anyone else had the same experience ? :confused:

    Just want to ensure I am comparing quotes correctly, and don't want to get stung a second time on board.

    Cheers Matt




    Booking directly on Celebrity AU, they do include the tips in the fare, but you can easily delete them at the payment stage - if you have traditional dining. For select dining the tips have to be prepaid, this goes for the US site too.


    Booking through a TA, you can not see as much detail on your booking on the Celebrity site, including payments, so you really need to check your TA invoice to see if tips have been included.


    On our next cruise I booked directly with Celebrity AU, initially took off the tips,but then realised they were less in Australian dollars than US, so paid them upfront.


    Hope this helps


    Hilary :)

  15. Damn! It must have got a price hike above the $7 limit for classic package out of Australia :p


    Haha! I'm sure I could manage to drink that surplus charge if I tried but across the whole cruise I doubt it's worth it just for Corona, I will survive without:D. Last Celebrity cruise I purchased the premium package but this time I don't think it's worth it as I found I'm not much of a martini/fancy drink kind of person and the fancy drink bars like martini and molecular always seemed to have the longest wait times! lol :rolleyes:



    @ Hilary-


    If you follow this link to the Celebrity site then click on the hyperlinks under classic and premium("pay one price" and "premium package") you will find a list of what is included, hope this helps :)




    Thanks for the link - We'll wait until on board and see what beers are available on the Classic. Maybe if I get Mick a yukky American beer and stick a slice of lime in he won't the difference :eek:


    Seriously, we got the 123 package because our US agent managed to cancel and rebook our cruise, but I doubt either of us would drink enough to justify the cost of the package. Will try our best though :)


  16. I brought back a copy of the bar prices, have been searching for it for the last couple of days, but can't find it yet.


    From recollection, we were quite disappointed with the wine list. We grow grapes, and would have loved to bring a couple of bottles on board to share with people on our roll call. We found an OK Shiraz, can't remember the name, but it was $32. 00. Lots of the wines on the list were unfamiliar to us, even the Aussie wines.


    Paying in Aussie dollars helps, and they do not add on the 15% charge as on the US ships.


    Mick drank mostly beer, around $7.00, and soft drinks were $2.25.


    My favourite drink on board was a shot of espresso from the free machine, in a tall glass topped up with free soft service ice cream. Just like a coffee thick shake :p


    Here's a link to the review I posted in September, and I will continue to search for the bar prices.





  17. Same for everyone.


    Changes have been made, and the website now seems OK.


    We received an email overnight - our 13 cruise credits converted to 390 cruise points, so we remain elite.


    I'm very happy that Elites retain the same benefits, we got to enjoy them this April for the first time. The evening drinks were enjoyable, but for me (not a big drinker) I loved breakfast in the Tuscan Grill, and I am happy the breakfast remains on the list of benefits.


    It definitely will take longer now to accrue points to the next level, points per day range from 2 for inside/ocean view, 5 points for CC/AQ, to many more points per day for high end cabins.


    Hilary :)

  18. Thanks for the great review. We will be going on our first cruise at the end of October and will have our 13 year old with us. Therefore, your review was very interesting.


    I am interested to know about prices for wine, beer and soft drinks?

    Is it true you can take bottled water on board?

    Did you get , or have got previously, any vaccinations?


    Did you book/do any shore excursions? We quite like just wandering around but do not want to miss out on anything that would be highly recommended to do. Any pointers?


    Thanks again.




    Hi everyone, thanks for your interest in our review.


    Here's a few answers


    We did not get any vaccinations, and did not purchase any ships excursions, we prefer to do things on our own. The kind of adventure excursions that Michael would have enjoyed were probably too strenuous for these grandparents !


    Mystery Island and Isle of Pines, we just had a walk around then did some snorkelling.


    Noumea, there is a free shuttle bus from the ship to the visitor centre in town, from there a variety of tours can be purchased, or a hop on hop off bus.


    Suva, We have been here before, the city is like many ports, you need to get out of the city to appreciate Fiji. Our tablemates did a tour that incuded the Kava ceremony, and really enjoyed it.


    Pt Denerau, Visited the modern shopping centre where the tenders dock, and bought a few gifts.


    Bottled water - check the Carnival website, I believe you are allowed to take some, but would check.


    Drinks prices:

    Soft drinks 2.25 each

    Beer Draft, Domestic & Imported $7.50 or $8.25

    Wine by the glass White $8.00 - $12.00, Red 7.50 - $16.00

    Classic cocktails $10.50

    Martinis $11.00


    Above is from the bar menu.



    Wine in the dining room was not cheap, we found an OK Shiraz for $32 and had that a few times, certainly better than buying by the glass, and they will keep an unfinished bottle for the next night (not that we any left over)


    Something I did not mention before, interactive TV in the room was good for checking our account. I did this daily. With children you have the choice of putting no money on their account, or a limit, or no restrictions. We did not restrict Michael, but I did check daily. There are arcade games which we let him spend max $5 per day on.



    ravie80 - Captains drinks were in the Shanghai Piano Bar on Deck 3. There were nice nibbles too, and it was good to chat with the Captain, Officers and fellow cruisers.


    Lizzy77 - we met a few people who had sailed on the Spirt in the US, and were disappointed with this cruise. Changes and cutbacks to the menus and the number of children on board were the main complaints.

  19. I think h&m had a Carnival USA past guest number that was not recognised by Carnival AU on land but once aboard spirit their US VIFP was indeed recognised?


    You should receive your VIFP after one Carnival sailing and it usually comes along automatically with any promotions they send you.


    If I was you I would try registering with Carnival USA as they may recognise Australian Spirit sailings as past guest just as past guests are recognised on Spirit.


    I did notice on Carnival AU site that there is no past guest discounts like on Carnival USA site? But there must be a VIFP for Spirit or the Captains drinks would be a lonley place lol


    There were about 50 of us at the Captains drinks, so not too lonely. They were very generous with any drinks we wanted from the bar.


    You are right, our past guest nos were from USA cruises, and our recent cruise details have been added to our VIFP record.


    Hilary :)

  20. Thankyou so much for taking the time to post your review. My family and i are are sailing on the spirit in october and we are super excited as it is our first cruise.

    Did you notice anyone in wheelchairs being able to access the tenders? My 10yo is in a wheelchair, he can walk short distances, so if push comes to shove we can make do without it to get to the beach ( we were thinking mystery island).

    Thanks maree



    Hi Maree


    You have got some good advice re the Islands. At Mystery Island it is straight off the dock onto sand, unlike Isle of Pines the sand is quite coarse, would suggest some kind of beach shoes here. It is a beautiful place, with limited seating and facilities.


    We did see poeple with folding wheelchairs on the tenders, the Carnival staff were very good at assisting.


    I forgot to mention although the islands were pleasantly warm, the water was colder than we had expected. Hopefully it will be warmer by your holiday.


    Have a great trip


    Hilary :)

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