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Everything posted by SHIP TRAVELER

  1. We cruise quite a bit out of Galveston Texas and can attest to the size of the drive in cruise crowd using that port. We see people from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Louisiana in addition to Texans from the big metro areas. We live just north of Fort Worth, about a six hour drive one way. I am always amazed that anyone flies into Houston to sail from Galveston because that is a BIG hassle. There is always a long line (big crowd) to walk off with luggage on the last day because people want to get on the road home. I notice that Galveston is also high on Carnivals list of favored ports when they return to sailing.
  2. This is a great deal. We saw several of these rates but it is a temporary great deal. Usually a suite guarantee will get a price without perks and you will get a sky suite with out perks. The suite guarantee is usually not offered until after final payment. We have sailed in a Sky suite without perks before and it was fine for us. You can carry a wine from Micheals/retreat into Luminae for dinner. No drinks are free in Luminae if you don't have the package. It really depends how much you like to drink with during your meals. We are also Elite so we can have free drinks at other bars during happy hour for variety. To us tips and OBC are just dollar amounts in the bottom line price comparison. We don't even use the free internet we get with Elite on most cruises so that perk is not a biggie to us when on vacation.
  3. Received FCC today by e mail for a cruise cancelled by X in the last wave. The cruise was a TA on Infinity was to have sailed April 25th. Was happy to see it. Still waiting on Taxes and Fees to CC of course.
  4. We cancelled a Millie Alaska September 4th on March 18th and received the refund on $500 deposit (RFD) on April 24th the day after we contacted our CC to controvert. I am sure this was unrelated to the refund and we cancelled the complaint with CC immediately. Under usual circumstances a cancellation like this would have been refunded almost immediately but these are not usual times. Now we are still waiting on something from April 25th Infinity cruise that Celebrity cancelled. Hope everyone gets some relief soon.
  5. Princess and HAL do not have this requirement....only Celebrity, NCL and RCL as far as I know.
  6. Just a little more controversial thinking on this topic. 1.Cruises lines under the Carnival umbrella are not requiring this medical release. Many of them like HAL and Cunard have an "older cruiser" profile. They are members of the CLIA also but decided not to adopt this early suggestion when cruise lines were trying to keep sailing in the beginning. Why would Celebrity and RCL still have this requirement in the face of such competition. 2. My DH (a retired accountant) thinks Celebrity has finally found a way to insure a younger client base and fix the problem they have with the mushrooming group benefiting from perks under their loyalty program. There are more cruisers joining the Elite, Elite Plus and Zenith groups every day. Many of these top levels of loyalty are are over 70. Many of us over 70 have at least some medical concerns. Many Elites and above do not buy the drink packages because we get enough free drinks during happy hour. Many of us do not buy Celebrity shore excursions for whatever reason. Celebrity makes more money from the younger demographic. I hope he is wrong and that our loyalty means something but there it is.
  7. I would love to see seating in buffets by an attendant like in casinos where someone gets your table wear and drinks and your seat is not up for grabs. This way tables and chairs can be wiped and people are not touching dirty dishes to move them aside. There should be more tables for two and four and they should be further apart in both the buffet and dining room. I have seen buffet seating by an attendant on one ship (early Quantum or early Oasis?) and it worked great. The whole buffet process was much more civilized with out that food fight feeling. I also think that servers dishing up food will be a for sure change. People who cough should be required to wear a mask in public areas even if "it is just an allergy". Who among us has not had to change seats in the showroom because someone behind them was coughing on their neck. Hand sanitizer stations should be checked make sure they are in working order and have juice at all times. Menus should be disposable or at least plastic so that they can be wiped clean. It does no good to wash your hands before entering the MDR when you touch a menu and then touch a bread roll with your hand. Just some of my ideas that we will probably never see.
  8. I just read the post about 25% of RCL workers in the U.S. are being laid off. I guess the reality of this new world is that these workers are very motivated to sell and there by keep their job by justifying their existence on the payroll. I do not judge them too harshly, and I agree with another poster that it is not all bad to had the direct number of someone at Celebrity that you can call without being on hold for a long period of time. We have called our assigned agent on several occasions and have had no complaints about the service provided.
  9. Just my thoughts, At first I was shocked at the ageism of the "Doctors Note" requirement. I am 73 in good health and not on any kind prescription meds. I have not been to a MD in maybe five years. I get my annual blood work done when I get an OBGYN physical. I don't know who would fill out the form for me. As the weeks have gone by, I have about decided that maybe I am not seeing the big picture. I would hate to be dead wrong over a holiday because I will not admit I am aging. Maybe our cruising days are done. My DH has the opinion that Celebrity will save a lot of money on Elites and above programs in the future if this requirement became permanent. He is more of a cynic and also an accountant.
  10. RCL is not a US company. They do not pay US taxes. I can't see the US government bailing them out.
  11. The wording is confusing, does diabetes that is controlled by oral meds and high blood pressure that is controlled by meds exclude you. Does using a CPAPmachine mean you have pulmonary disease. Does having stage one ovarian cancer ten years ago before a successful hysterectomy with no chemo or radiation exclude you. These are quiet common ailments in the over 70 crowd that that do not effect their usual everyday life and that would not be considered disabilities by most definitions. There is also the fact that no one that is not sick right now would want to go to a Doctors office to waste his time on a med evaluation during a contagious pandemic.
  12. Any one know how RCL can be tanking (maybe halted at this time?) but Carnival (same industry) is up. After all, Carnival owns Princess and may have to deal with law suits from trapped passengers in the long run. Is there bad news on RCL?
  13. On the Reflection we had a good location for our sky suite (in the area of the old Aqua Spa Suites with enhanced tub). In my opinion some of the sky suite under the Ocean view would not be as desirable. Sometimes, you can be assigned an accessible sky suite that has a roll in shower and lower sink arrangement. The great thing about ANY suite is the Retreat and Luminae benefit. Keep checking after signing in to Celebrity for a cabin assignment, it will show there first and if there are still other cabins in the same category sometimes they will change you a different cabin. This has happened for us once. It all depends on how close to the cruise you are assigned and how many suites are available. You could always WIN and be upgraded above your expectations. Good Luck
  14. Another thing I like in the Ocean View is the made to order Eggs Benedict station with choices like salmon and guacamole.
  15. Just off Majesty in February. M and M was conducted by CD Tom with the activities director present. Coffee, OJ and pastries were served. Two nice bottles of wine and two back packs filled with stuff were given. One back pack had the bingo kit with dabber and Tee shirt, I am not sure about the other but it had a hat at minimum. There was an interesting discussion and question and answer period about the previous days disastrous embarkation (3 plus hours late) and the recent demise of the Diamond nightly event on this ship (ended 2 weeks prior). I thought Tom did a good job sharing information and handling the complaints. It was well worth attending just for the feedback. The only activity was a well attended slot pull so not much roll call talk but everyone was given a chance to introduce themselves and a chance to share their screen names and home city.
  16. OK, I already feel bad about posting the part about smokers being less educated etc. I was a two plus pack a day smoker for years and was lucky to be able to give the habit up. I know not everyone can quit. I guit for my health and the health of those around me. I wish RCCL would help out with non-smoking casinos. That is my point.
  17. This is an exert of a review I wrote about our recent Majesty of the Seas cruise: "The casino was way too smoky for us. We like to play video poker and would have played at the bar machines. These machines were in the no smoking area but smoke was awful, everywhere, spilling out into the nearby Schooner Bar and Centrum area. If only 15% of the population still smoke and educated people that have good jobs and therefore can afford cruises smoke even less than the general population, why is smoking allowed in RCCL casinos. Does not management see that many of the smokers do not even pretend to gamble, they are just there to smoke indoors. There is no smoking in the casino on the Empress of the Seas and there should not be a smoking casino on Majesty of the Seas. " All this said, my DH and I are gamblers and as Texans seldom pass up on an opportunity to gamble anywhere. We played at the non-smoking casinos in Baton Rouge and New Orleans on the way to this cruise. We gamble almost everyday on Celebrity Cruises in spite of the bad odds because the casinos are non smoking. On this Majesty cruise, we barely made it through the CC slot pull at 10:30 am. We played maybe 15 minutes on another day to cash in some Diamond plus free play. It does make me mad that a guy sitting in the corner reading a book on his tablet while filling the casino with smoke is taking my opportunity to enjoy the casino away.
  18. I was on the Majesty Feb 8th, 2020 7 day cruise and enjoyed the Diamond Breakfast in a side area of the MDR on three days of the cruise. There were lots of tables for two and four. We were able to get cappuccino and fresh squeezed OJ complementary. The eggs were not perfect one day but on the other days I had an excellent made to order omelet and eggs Benedict with the sauce on the side. Those two days were as good as any breakfast I have had when in suites. The breakfast times are the same as the MDR open breakfast and I let the time get away on the port days so I missed out. Just a positive note about our Majesty Diamond experience.
  19. We usually self embark as early as possible. I think that when the numbers are being called it gets very crowded on the elevators and hard to get your luggage between floors. You will still be expected to clear your cabin by around eight and then you will have no place to park your luggage. Sometimes at the "drive in" ports a lot of people self embark to get an early start driving home and there can be a very long line to walk off. It is very aggravating when people that can't handle their own luggage (too many bags etc.) try to walk off because they clog up the passage ways stopping, dropping and readjusting. You want to be able to move with the traffic. ...Just some things to consider..
  20. We are on the MillieTrans Pacific from Vancouver to Yokohama in September 2020. Our final payment date is June so hopefully the picture will be better well before July.
  21. I would just like to add that from my perspective an inside cabin on Celebrity is way better than an inside cabin on Princess. You will not have a giant closet (Princess does this well) but you will have a place to sit besides on the bed. I would rather have the square feet in the room instead of in the closet. The Millie has been re-done with all new cabin furniture.. The smaller closet works well on a shorter cruise with the added cabinets. I did not like on my last Princess inside that once my DH sat at "his" desk there was no other seating in the room for me. We are platinum level on Princess but I have stopped sailing with them because of the seating. The lowest cabins on Celebrity get the seating that is only available in the Deluxe balcony on the newer Princess ships. Look at the some videos of the "new" Millie, I think you will be impressed.
  22. A deal also worth noting is the Infinity trans Atlantic balcony less than $ 800 pp. for 14 nights.
  23. One caution for higher level Crown and Anchor members who are expecting a Diamond and above nightly Happy Hour event. Starting January 18, 2020 these events are no longer available on the Majesty of the Seas. There are three drinks a day at bars loaded on cards available during happy hour times. This change has caused some disappointment because it occurred suddenly from one sailing to the next. Many Crown and Anchor members in the area that welcomed the return of RCL to NOLA should be prepared for this change.
  24. I agree with rebranding. When you book RCCL you expect a certain perk as D+. I had suggested Royal Lite when I called in but Royal Classic would work. When I book American Eagle, I know that the plane will be smaller than the usual American Airlines experience. I am booked on the Majesty for the Feb. 8th sailing so I am impacted by this sudden change. I had checked out the reviews and was expecting what I will call a "nightly event" in part of the CVL. I am sure we will all survive this but I will not be sailing on ROYAL LITE ships in the future. I will stick to the RCCL regular fleet.
  25. We have always felt that we would not use most of the perks and drew the line at paying extra for them. In November of 2019, the C3 was cheaper than most balcony cabins on the Eclipse Pacific Coast cruise so we booked it as an upgrade from an inside. One thing that was special on that sailing was that concierge patrons got an invite to a champagne toast on the heliport sail in under the Golden Gate bridge. It was a lot of fun and it was just for C people. We had a similar experience when we sailed in a suite but this did not include suites. The blueberry pancakes and smoothies on the extended room service breakfast menu were a step up that we enjoyed. Much better pancakes than the buffet or the main dining room. We got a fruit and cheese plate delivered everyday instead of the usual weird snacks. This was not over the top but it was nice to have a snack with our balcony wine after a long excursion day. The robes were much better than the usual thin worn out waffle robes. We used both the binoculars and the umbrella on this cruise. We liked the MDR private lunch the first day. Just wanted to point out that some of the perks are real and have value.
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