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cynbar

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  1. The perks are great, if you can easily afford the upcharge, I would go for it and then make your own decision on worth. We never book anything below a Sky Suite with Celebrity now, so you know the price difference is worth it to us! Michael's (AKA Retreat Lounge) does have free drinks whenever open, quite handy if you don't have a beverage package. But even if you do, it's nice to have a quieter spot where you always get great service, even at peak times when other bars are jammed. The bartenders will try hard to make you happy and will get your preferred brand for you to have there if available anywhere on the ship. We are also low maintenance people but have enjoyed having a butler, who will be as available or unobtrusive if you want. Your butler will bring you room service if you order it, with more of a flair than a regular room service delivery. He will arrange for snacks in your room, offer to take care of thinks like shore excursion reservations or a key card that doesn't work, whatever needs to be done. You set the tone, nothing will be forced on you but you will feel pampered.
  2. Don't forget that the yearly open enrollment period is coming up where you can change your Medicare plans if you want.Here in Massachusetts, most towns have SHINE volunteers at their senior centers who can go over the pros, cons and prices of the different choices (make sure to bring a list of your meds if you're looking at Medicare D plans.) The problem listed above would be a good one to discuss with the SHINE worker to see if some plans don't have this regulation. SHINE appointments are free and well worth doing to make sure you have the best coverage for you since everyone's circumstances are different. Other states may well have the same program or similar, a call to your senior center would tell you what's available where you live. PS -- SHINE is an acronym for Serving the Health Insurance Needs of the Elderly
  3. You could probably manage it if you just order an entree and ask the staff to bring it right away. Sort of defeats the idea of an elegant, ,leisurely dinner however. I would try to switch to Select on the day you board, although that would be a little tight too. As others have said, there is always the option of the buffet.
  4. Another vote for Rome Cabs. We have used them several times, always on time and efficient and friendly.
  5. Dress code is one of the biggest differences. ON NCL, we have found that pretty much anything goes except in a couple of the nicer restaurants. On Celebrity, there is a dress code and just about everyone follows it pretty closely. No more formal nights but there are a couple nights called Chic where people dress up a little more, although no jacket required for men. Other nights are resort casual, nice pants or jeans with a shirt for men and a dress or slacks outfit for women. Overall, the atmosphere is quieter on Celebrity, more sedate and dignified. That might be a plus or minus, depending on your viewpoint, but it's more relaxed and low key.
  6. Most people feel Luminae is superior to the MDR, in atmosphere and service and food. You can also order from the MDR menu, plus the one in Luminae, if you want. This is one of the perks you are paying for in a suite, so take advantage of it. We have loved Luminae and hopefully you will too. The main reason a suite guest might want to eat in the MDR is if they are traveling with non suite passengers. If that's the case, you can bring them into Luminae for a charge on a space available basis, or go to the MDR with them (ask the concierge in Michael's to arrange it for you.)
  7. Luminae is your assigned DR, not the MDR. As said above, you can order off either the Luminae menu of the day or the MDR menu while dining in Luminae, where most people feel the service and atmosphere are superior to the MDR. Main reason most suite guests would want to go to the MDR would be to dine with friends who are not in a suite. If that happens (or you want to dine there for some other reason), ask the Maitre d' in Luminae or the Michaels' Club concierge to arrange it for you. I believe suite guests can still also dine in Blu (the designated DR for Aqua Class guests) on a space available basis, if you are looking for a change of scenery. Another option available to you is to dine in your suite. Your butler would be glad to bring you dinner from the MDR menu, just tell him that you want to do that and he will arrange times, etc with you. He will also be the one to deliver a full breakfast to you if you want (there will be a card in the room to fill out and put outside the door for your breakfast order.)
  8. We prefer Celebrity and Princess overall, but sailed NCL twice in Europe. It worked really well for those itineraries, they were port intensive and we appreciated the more casual vibe and absence of a dress code in most venues. Food in the MDRs seemed a cut below, but we loved the variety of specialty restaurants and just considered that a necessary expense. Staff was very friendly and efficient, ships were clean and well kept and brightly decorated . We wouldn't hesitate to sail NCL again if they have the itinerary we want.
  9. Labor Day weekend here is the biggest crush of college students arriving, and in 2020 Labor Day falls on September 7. The September 11 cruise would put you on a collision course with that, I would avoid it due to high hotel prices and increased crowds and traffic all over the city. Plus, I think the October cruise gives you the best chance of seeing foliage. It's hard to forecast, but the foliage changes earlier the farther north you go, which means by October you should see it in at least some of your stops.
  10. Danny, I also want to give you a shout out for thinking about what matters to you and asking these questions BEFORE booking your cruise. How often do we see threads on these boards from cruisers who complain loudly about something or other (such as fewer activities that Royal) that a little research in advance would have told them? But they seem to have no trouble finding Cruise Critic once the cruise is over. Always makes me shake my head............
  11. We have sailed Celebrity, Princess, NCL and Royal, depending on itinerary and price. I have to say, we find the lines to be different but try to appreciate the strengths of each. I don't think the strength of Celebrity is their activity programs ---- although activities are offered , there are fewer of them and they are less well attended than the other lines (my experience, anyway.) Celebrity is quieter and more sedate (not dead, mind you). The focus is more on relaxing, enjoying good conversation with your travel mates or other cruises, appreciating the good food and service and elegant ambiance. If a busy and varied activity schedule is important to you, you may well be disappointed with Celebrity. I have to add, this is exactly why we love it!
  12. https://www.resortforaday.com We booked through this website in Jamaica -- we enjoyed it but it was pricey. I actually agree with the recommendations to just stay on the ship while in port, and have it almost all to yourselves.
  13. Yikes, don't know how I missed this, will definitely look for it on my next cruise. We live on the coast so are used to very fresh fish at home, always find the fish on cruise ships to be somehow lacking (frozen fish just isn't the same no matter how "flash frozen" it was.) I don't tend to do the buffet a lot but would definitely make an exception for this.
  14. Thanks for your review, sounds like you had a great time. What a treat to be in Boston for the 4th, we take the celebration very seriously here and the weather was great this year. Wise decision to stop for a bite to eat in the North End!
  15. Thanks for your review, so refreshing to see the enthusiasm in the post of a 1st time Celebrity cruiser! We have also sailed the other lines and will probably do so again if the itinerary is one we want, but we always come back to Celebrity. The smoke-free atmosphere is a big part of it, but there is so much more to like. Glad you took the time to post.......
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