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About JRarey

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Dayton, OH USA
  1. JRarey

    What has happened to Celebrity?

    I think the crew takes its lead from the cruisers. If the crowd is subdued and lackluster that is the energy you will feel throughout the cruise ship. I believe the energy you put out is the energy you will receive.
  2. January 31st ****star, Sheraton convention center 2 rooms $119 a night for each total $277
  3. JRarey

    Aft facing or non aft cabin...Bermuda???

    Aft facing has always been my favorite cabins. You can look out and see the wake. They are also just below the aft bar and the buffet if they want a drink or food to take down to their balcony. Other than when you go to the shows almost everything they would want is in the aft section of the ship. Dinning room entrances are aft. I see aft as the perfect location.
  4. JRarey

    Stay in Rome or Amalfi Coast before cruise?

    I agree with many that trying to do Amalfi over a short time might be too much. Also, keep in mind the time of year. Late July through mid - late August is prime 'in vacanza' time in Italy and much or Europe. You will have the added challenge of large crowds of local vacationers. Whether you choose car, a train / bus combo, or train / boat it will be busy. If you want to go, go, go start it would be a decent vacation. Just be careful that you don't overdo it and you leave enough time to enjoy your trip without stressing too much. Enjoy!
  5. JRarey

    Level of Service with Premium Drink Package

    [quote name='AlbertaCruisers']...can you get a martini and a bottle of water at the same time or do they have to bring you one and then the other?[/quote] Anything you would normally have to pay for must be ordered one at a time, so in this case you would need to order one, then the other. Hope that helps. Enjoy!
  6. JRarey

    1/26 Summit

    I have to agree in general with OPs post. We enjoyed the same cruise and were in fact just down the hall in 1141. IMO the biggest issue on the ship is this, something about the addition of the AQ cabins above has taxed the AC in the buffet area beyond capacity. We spent very little time in this area. Just long enough to get the occasional ice cream or just passing through. I can only hope that Celebrity has plans to upgrade this system soon as at times the temp in parts of the area had to be pushing 80 degrees. Not conducive to a nice cruise experience. We did not try Qsine as we thought it would just be 'too much' for a couple. Everyone we spoke with who had gone thought is was outstanding. It was our loss and we will make it a point next go round. Staffing in Blu is unfortunately lean. One more team would take it to the minimal level to round out the otherwise excellent cuisine. Very short sighted by Celebrity. Having said that..... Many crew that I spoke with were brand new, first week to first month. It is worth remembering that established Celebrity staff and crew have been severely raided over the past couple years to fill out the ranks for the new S class ships. While I think the staffing level is still short, I also think as this crew is brought up to speed the service will improve. I was pleased to see many managers actively involved in the training process. I overheard a ships officer directing a cabin steward to show her the room next to one that had previously complained, to see how the work was really being done. One of many examples that, whether internally or externally driven, the managers on board are aware that service levels need to improve. These challenges of a somewhat 'green' crew, and the commitment for continual improvement, were echoed to me directly from the captain who was very visible and engaged with passengers as Master of the Ship. Other than those issues, all correctable, we had an outstanding vacation on the Summit. The bottom line is while on board we booked for next year. I am very interested to see how things improve during that time.
  7. I'll go with #8. Our first Celebrity cruise was 9 years ago on the Galaxy. We thought the MDR was very good but even then the veterans were really complaining that it had begun to slip. From then until 2011 both DW and I think there was a real decline in food quality in the MDR. It became very average. We saw improvement after that but not really back to the level or our first. I would rate our most recent MDR experience, on the Equinox in August of 2011, good to very good. We just completed our 6th Celebrity cruise and our first dining in Blu. I think the overall quality of the food in Blu is closer to the quality of 9 years ago than we have otherwise seen. However, I also think Blu is clearly understaffed on the Summit by at least one team. There is simply no way for the staff to maintain the level of service that this type of cuisine deserves. This detracts from the overall experience and is unfortunately short sighted by Celebrity, but does not really affect the food quality.
  8. JRarey

    Blu questions on Summit

    Hello Ian, Welcome to Cruise Critic and Celebrity! By booking in Aqua Class, Blu is automatically avalible to you as your primary place to dine at no additional charge. You can eat there each evening (and morning too, for breakfast). Blu is always open seating, which means you may arrive at any time you wish between 6 and 9:30 pm. You will have no problem seating four together. Both the MDR and Blu offer healthy choices on the menu. I don't think you will have any problem finding meals for those who are working on 'heart healthy'. You still have lots of time to anticipate but when the time finally come enjoy your cruise!
  9. JRarey

    Karaoke Question?

    When do they usually do Karoke? Sailing on the Summit in a few weeks and would like to go. I have sailed on Celebrity many times before and have never seen Karoke before?
  10. JRarey

    Some thoughts on Summit 12/8-12

    [quote name='mbw1024']Ps we are in 1130 for the 1/26 sailing. Glad you liked it.[/QUOTE] We are in 1141 on the same sailing. We will be neighbors. Just a few more weeks before we board, cant wait. Jan of Jan and Joe
  11. Both great ideas! Would you rather explore a fascinating, real rainforest or an beautiful, small, old european style city? You can't go wrong either way.
  12. JRarey

    Hand Holding Ruins a Cruise?

    I'm guessing chalkdawg4 is not a big fan of The Amazing Race!
  13. JRarey

    10:55AM Flight, Will I make it?

    The port and the airport at Ft Lauderdale are very close. While there is an outside chance that something could hold things up to the point where it would cause you problems, it is very unlikely. There are all manner of things that can happen anytime to mess up your day. I really think you're fine at 10:55. I wouldn't dilly dally getting off the ship, but I wouldn't sweat it either.
  14. JRarey

    New Safety Regs after Concordia

    Hi Don, Hope you and Jeannie are well. The answer to this is here; [URL]http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/01/costa_concordia_sinking_what_s_the_etiquette_for_abandoning_ship_.html[/URL] Or for those who just want the facts, there appears to be no real strong law requiring a captain to remain with his ship. Responsibility for the lives of the 32 who parrished is another story. While the trial is just getting started, it is very likely Captain Schettino will spend the rest of his life in prison as a consequence of his actions.
  15. JRarey

    Embarkation lunch?

    It is self serve, but they will grill to order tuna, chicken, or salmon. It is a great place for embarkation lunch. Great choice for lighter, nice quality food and much more relaxing than the buffet. Bistro on 5 is great too, but as noted, it looks like the secret is getting out.