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Everything posted by Wildcatllamas

  1. I have worked closely with my doctor and I am "Non-celiac gluten intolerant". I have several genetic markers for celiac and my nephew has full blown celiac. So I am very careful about what I eat and I never say that I am celiac because that is lying. But now there is a real name, I stand firm with I am gluten intolerant. I cruised last December and was pleasantly surprised how far they have come along with gluten free options since my last cruise with them in 2021. They have gluten free bread and bagels in the Galley and after my first dinner all staff were pointing out on the menu gluten free options that were available for me. I haven't had the opportunity to tour their kitchens but I have on Celebrity, NCL and Princess. So I will rate those 3 on the gluten free inner workings. NCL has a totally separate prep area in their kitchen that is dedicated to gluten free. They also have a kosher area. This area is only used for gluten free and there in no crossing over with staff from the other kitchen areas during prep. Celebrity has a huge selection of gluten free options and I sampled muffins, cake, pizza (meh) and all were good. Their kitchens also have a dedicated gluten free area and they also work hard to maintain the integrity of this kitchen. Princess is so so. They will recommend items that are gluten free and which items may have gluten somewhere in the prep. But when I toured their kitchens back in 2019 there was no dedicated gluten free area. So the potential is high for cross contamination. Things may have changed since that time.
  2. I love the Red Flower bar soap that they have. But you can't buy it on the Red Flower site except as a liquid soap. The fragrance is Ocean.
  3. I am definitely going to look into having them take our bags to the airport. I'm traveling with 3 friends and two are staying in Barcelona for a few days and the other friend and I have to get back to the states sooner. So, she and I booked an evening flight back to Heathrow so we could have a little more time for all of us to hang out together and see some of Barcelona and of course try the food. But the luggage was going to be an issue and this looks like it will solve that issue.
  4. First, I haven't done an interior although I have friends who won't do anything but interiors. They are night owls and love the darkness of an interior so they can sleep during the day. I love a balcony - especially with the hammock. My late husband and I always sailed in suites but that is a little out of my budget these days so I do the balconies. It was nice on my cruise in December to curl up in the hammock, read a book and listen to the ocean. I actually nodded off a couple of times.
  5. Thanks everyone. I was thinking the page hadn't been updated in awhile but thought I would ask because if it was still going on it would be a great option. @jon81uk I will check into bagsandgo. that sounds like it might work.
  6. I'm pushing the limit of number of days I can be away from work. Otherwise I would spend some time there.
  7. I was just reading on the Barcelona Airport page that says that various cruise lines and airlines have made arrangements that folks getting off a cruise can check their luggage at the port and check in for their flights. Now this page doesn't show Virgin listed but looking at the dates in the article it may be pre-Covid. Does anyone know anything about something like that? It would be great if we could do that and then go see the town.
  8. I would compare Celebrity to Virgin. Definitely not Princess or NCL. I definitely prefer the food on Virgin versus Celebrity, although Celebrity did have a much better selection of gluten free items. I even took pictures so I could show a friend who was also gluten intolerant. And the items were actually not bad. Beds and cabins on Celebrity, in your balcony cabins, were way better then Virgin or Princess. But then others think they are fine so this is one of those subjective issues. My one issue with Celebrity, at this time, is their change on the single supplement. That is literally priced them right out of my budget when I sail alone.
  9. I'm not quite in the middle of the country but flights from Colorado Springs or Denver to the West coast are cheaper and in some instances non-stop. Flights going East will usually come with an obnoxiously long or super short lay over. And cost double what it is to go to LAX or SAN.
  10. I was told on my last cruise by the gentleman at the Future Cruise Credit spot that Sea Blazers would always retain the perks as recognition for their support of VV. Now whether this is true or not, who knows.
  11. I just checked the Alaska itineraries on https://claalaska.com/?page_id=1250 and didn't see anything listed for the major departure ports. I also checked San Diego. I know they were doing a major renovation that was to be completed in 2025 to the port and terminal but so far nothing is showing for Virgin there either.
  12. I saw a lot of cleaning going on when I was on Scarlet back in December. But then I'm up and about when most are just going to bed. I know some of the cleaners we use at the casino have a residual life of 4 hours. I don't know what the cruise lines use but it is probably similar.
  13. Virgin isn't like the rest of the cruise lines. You don't have to be off the ship until 10:30. So time for a nice leisurely breakfast in the Wake and then off you go. So with that they don't start embarkation until about 1:30 and then the ship doesn't sale until about 7pm. At this time about the only way to get a boarding time around the 1:30 mark is to sign up for the Splash of Romance package. This is actually a very nice package. This will get you the 1:30 embarkation. Here is a link to the info on it but it may be to late to sign up.https://www.virginvoyages.com/cruise-deals/splash-of-romance I know that a lot of folks will get to the port and check their luggage and then catch the shuttle over to do a bit of shopping at Bayside. Hope this helps and enjoy your cruise on Scarlet. I really love her.
  14. It was even beautiful coming into port when we got back. I'm doing well and hope you are too.
  15. I was on a Princess cruise out of Galveston back in April of 2023 and everything you mention here occurred there as well. Most people have moved on. I stay current on all vaccinations and do what I can to minimize my risk. It is now all on the individual to protect themselves.
  16. I don't think you will feel out of place. I'm 70 and the friend who did a B2B with me is 75 and we both loved it. There were a couple of women who by appearance may have been older, or maybe not, who did nothing but complain about how horrible it was one night. My friend was trying to find out what they didn't like about it and they got in a huff and left. As to drinks - like @CineGraphichas said there is no gratuity added. Prices are pretty reasonable and very close to land based restaurants. I paid $6 for a specialty beer that I like that at the Mexican restaurant that I go to locally is $7. So actually a little cheaper then my favorite restaurant. Right now they are running a promo that would come with a bar tab amount added to the cruise and if you book with a VV Gold travel agent they can usually kick in some onboard credit.
  17. Looks like this has been moved back to Princess.
  18. In October of 2022 I sailed in a Club mini-suite on Discovery Princess and it was suppose to have their new fancy beds. It was worse then the Virgin beds. The friend who traveled with me, who is a die-hard Princess fan, said it wasn't as comfortable as she expected.
  19. I have to fully agree about the mattresses in the regular cabins. They are worse then awful if you have any joint issues.
  20. I have points on United but they are outrageous to do a flight from Colorado to Heathrow. I ended up doing British Air in Business class going over and originally in Economy coming back for less then what United was offering. I wasn't going to waste that many points. Then British Air made a snafu and when I called they were very apologetic and offered to move me to Premium Economy on my flight home for all the trouble. I wasn't going to turn that offer down. If VV decides to move Resilient to the Caribbean leaving out of Portsmouth and hitting the ports I'm on currently I would definitely consider that. My boss - mmm not so much. Guidelines have been 16 days max. Guess I could always say it was a sudden change mid-ocean and I had no other option.
  21. I'm booked on the Portsmouth to Barcelona next September. Air is already booked so I'm hoping it isn't changed around to bad. They could actually depart Barcelona and go to Cape Town. So I am hoping if they have to avoid the Red Sea this will be the option.
  22. I've actually been in there as early as 6:45 am when I was planning on doing the yoga and morning meditation. I liked doing breakfast there and then doing the Wake or RD for brunch later on. I have never had an issue with them being busy and with all the tables on the deck outside with staff to cover them it's been easy.
  23. And they have gluten free bagels for those of us who have to go that route.
  24. I will be watching closely since I am booked on this cruise as well. I also have a friend and his son who have now booked. He added his son this morning and there were no problems.
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