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Everything posted by Redtravel

  1. If you sail in all EU with no non EU stops, the VAT applies. Hefty. It does not apply to gratuities.
  2. Enjoy…..all are good. Also, like the grand dining room and the buffet. On most cruise lines, I avoid buffets. On Oceania, the buffet at night is amazing. It is especially nice if you like dining out on deck.
  3. If you want a luxury suite, the Star ships are for you. We really like them. All cabins are suites. They are well appointed, have lots of room, and have big bathrooms. Many have double sinks. On the sailing ships, cabins are smaller. The bathrooms are small, but are ok. The suites on Windsurf took 2 cabins and just put them together. The 2 bathrooms are still small. Some people love having 2 separate bathrooms. Noise on a Windstar ship usually isn’t a problem. Aside from the deck bbq and crew show, there isn’t a crowd of people partying after dinner. Often, the duo or band play to a few people. Night entertainment could use a revamp. It is dull. At the very least, we would love to see the yacht club bar open after dinner. Late night coffee and a pastry would make me happy. We often play board games in the yacht club after dinner. We have called room service. Not worth the wait. Most people just go back to their cabins after dinner.
  4. Look for cabin 100 or 101. Before the stretch, those cabins had different numbers. The configuration is unusual, not bad. I would gladly book any cabin. They all have lots of space.
  5. Be flexible. When you book a cruise, the cruise is the major destination. Ports may be important. However, due to many things, ports can and do change. I have had it happen many times. The worst is when they just skip ports. Relax. Especially now, going on a cruise will likely have changes. Be happy just being on the cruise. If a port is the main reason that you booked your trip, fly in and stay. That way, you are more likely to get to that place. With all the changing rules for entry into ports during the pandemic, expect changes. Stuff happens. Bari is nice.
  6. Those forward ov cabins on deck 6 and 7 are larger than other ov cabins. They sell out fast because they are very desirable. Choose deck 7 over deck 6. It is quieter. Avoid midship ov cabins on deck 6. They are tiny and have no view. Deck 4 or 3/ov are ok. Deck 4 have large window. Deck 3 cabins are same size with port holes.
  7. Like both Windstar and Oceania. Food is excellent on both. Oceania has more choices of dining venues. Oceania ships are larger. My favorite specialty restaurant is Jacques on Oceania Sirena, Marina, and Riviera. Windstar deck bbq is outstanding.
  8. Having been on a Windstar cruise that changed several ports, it is so disappointing. In spring 2018, we had a drastic change of ports. We had to stay docked in Oporto for 3 days due to a storm. That completely changed the cruise. Skipped ports, changed days and times, and arrived in Amsterdam very late. Many people missed planes. It was a mess. Windstar did help sort things out. We got OBC, FCC, and more entertainment. Windstar was really helpful. FCC was good for future bookings made a year from that trip. Ask for an extension on the fcc.
  9. We often book 14 day or longer cruises. We like the dedicated 14 day, not b2b. Not a fan of turn around days. Some cruise lines do b2b seamlessly. Celebrity does not. On a b2b on Celebrity, there is some interruption. Often took 14 day Caribbean cruises on Celebrity. Sadly, Celebrity discontinued those cruises. It attracted many older retired people.many of those didn’t buy extras. It wasn’t as profitable as shorter cruises. Celebrity is trying to attract younger people. They spend more. Marketing studies indicate that one week cruises are most profitable and are easier to sell. For the longer cruises, there are still other cruise lines doing 14 day trips.
  10. Have a great time. Oceania is an amazing difference compared with Celebrity. It costs more and is worth it. After many cruises, we opted to try something different. Celebrity changed. We needed a change from Celebrity. We moved on. Tried Oceania, Windstar, and Viking. All are better fit for us.
  11. Windstar ships are quiet. They don’t have much entertainment late at night. The band in the lounge is great. However, they finish playing by 10. Often we were alone in the lounge listening to the band. There is more attention on crew show nights. The most noise is on deck bbq night. Everyone goes. It is terrific. Don’t worry about noise. Enjoy.
  12. Tea forte is amazing. Discovered it on Celebrity. Now I buy it. It is expensive, but worth it. The flavors are delightful either hot or cold. My favorite is Ceylon gold.
  13. We noticed the price increases. Since I don’t drink, the all in concept isn’t for us. As elite plus the WiFi minutes were adequate. We seldom even reach our limit. We really hated the cutbacks and crowding. Celebrity added more cabins on many ships. Our last Celebrity cruise on Reflection was so crowded that we often couldn’t find seats in venues. That alone was enough to say that Celebrity isn’t for us. In the past 3 years we have sailed Oceania and Windstar more often than Celebrity. They are a better fit for us. We enjoy smaller ships with better food. Celebrity food is ok, not as good as it used to be. We liked Celebrity until it got boring. The experience was often too repetitive. When we sailed 4-5 times a year, you need new experiences. Now we only consider Celebrity when we are with a group. It isn’t our first choice. However, when traveling with kids, it is a good fit. As a couple, we wouldn’t chose Celebrity. Oceania has been a good value for the experience.
  14. Disappointed that Jacques is not on Vista. Jacques is the best of all specialty restaurants. Ember cuisine is readily available in the USA. It may be good. However, it doesn’t get me excited. I would rather drop Toscana than Jacques.
  15. Elite plus on Celebrity. We enjoyed many Celebrity cruises. We have seen too many cutbacks and increased fares. We looked for a better experience. We may book Celebrity with family or friends. We will not book as a couple. We prefer Oceania….better food, fewer kids, smaller ships, and good itineraries. Also, Oceania service is outstanding. Never crowded.
  16. No obstructions and not much noise. B4 cabins are close to elevators. There may be some traffic. They are in convenient locations for people with mobility issues. The first time that I was in a deck 7 cabin, I wondered about noise from deck 6. Never heard anything. Booked deck 7 again when available. B3 forward or aft cabins have big verandas.
  17. Forget politics. The virus is still spreading. Cannot blame EU for not allowing foreign travel entry. They are just trying to be safe. For now, be patient. Get vaccinated.
  18. 2021. No more formal nights. Wear what you like. Just keep it clean and appropriate for the activity. Thanks old days of cruising were different. Dress up was part of that experience. Let it rest as a nice memory.
  19. They don’t change often. Have seen some things on the menus for years . Got excited when they introduced Top Chef items. They sounded better than they tasted. They were eventually dropped. Some people really like the same old menus. Some find them boring. It would be nice if they included local dishes when visiting ports that are famous for their cuisine. On other lines, we have experienced local cuisine. Made trip more enjoyable.
  20. Not sure if any of the things that I do are silly. You may think they are. I just have my precruise routine. Make a list and stick to it. Don’t take any toys or junk. Slim down my suitcase. Remove those things that you might need just in case. Most things can be had on the trip should you really need them. I do bring an extra pair of glasses and extra prescription meds. Copy important docs ( passports, credit cards, insurance policy, etc.)and send myself email. Stop mail. Notify credit cards companies of your plans. Let neighbor know we are leaving. Download google maps, directions, and contact info. May include restaurants or museums. Comes in handy when you don’t have WiFi. Check weather, planes flights, seats, meals, etc. they can change without notice. Read tour books before leaving home. Comes in handy if they get lost. Relax and enjoy.
  21. Not looking good to go now. Newest CDC recommendations are making me rethink my future bookings. While I really would love a relaxing vacation, sailing with testing doesn’t thrill me. Not canceling yet.
  22. Felt the same about aqua class and concierge class. A regular veranda is ok. Even Oceanview can be good. While they include some good benefits, you pay for them. Book the cabin that works best for you. Never book a cabin below the level that suits you. Have been in suites. For me, the extra space is nice. It is not worth spending extra money.
  23. Just stayed at a very expensive resort. We were not happy that nobody entered our room to do anything. We made our own beds, left dirty towels and trash in the hallway. Clean towels were delivered once a day in a plastic bag. Our room had maintenance issues which we requested be fixed. Again, due to Covid precautions nobody would enter our room. We do understand covid safety. We were upset that we never saw any staff member wearing masks. Breakfast buffet had guests serving themselves.. multiple guests used the same serving utensils. Risky? Cutbacks or safety? We left and will not return. If I have to do housekeeping, I would rather stay home.
  24. That may not be a good option. French Polynesia has closed down again. Windstar ship was ordered to return to Tahiti. Nobody can leave the ship until they arrange air out of there. We are still on the fence about future cruising. We have future bookings. For now we wait and hope for safer times.
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