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Everything posted by chemmo

  1. Agree, exactly what we do. We will choose a couple of things to share and a ramen bowl…Ideal for a lunch sea day.
  2. The pay for what you want can work well, however, for a light lunch on sea days when the buffet is busy…
  3. The helipad is a staff area not a guest area so it will have different rules for health and safety. Having visited a few times I have always been glad to be in sensible shoes. Stepping over the bulkhead, walking up open metal stairs….Plenty of ways to stub your toe!
  4. I know this isn’t answering your specific question about specific routes and itineraries but I think lots of people (like us) throughout the world are asking exactly the same questions… After always following the strategy of ‘fly in two days early’ and you will be perfectly safe, a few years ago we were hit by ‘unseasonably East Coast weather’ and arrived just in time for our cruise thanks to some fabulous advice from CC posters and a couple of really wonderful AA staff. Since then we have tried to extend our margins by enjoying our ‘add on’ holiday pre rather than post cruise… In these increasingly difficult times we are reluctant to put ourselves in a stressful situation. At present we haven’t booked a cruise that requires a flight…we have compromised on itinerary for peace of mind… As things stabilise we will be more willing to book more adventurously but if you are ‘fretting’ pre, during and end of cruise about flights, testing…there becomes a decision about what you are comfortable with…
  5. It is some years now since we did this cruise so even if I could find my planners I don’t think they would be much use! However, we still fondly remember it as our best cruise ever… Activities varied. The usual quiz events, staff vs guests pool games, don’t miss the Polliwog ceremony! Also several groups had planned activities through roll calls. There was a bridge group, a craft group and a mahjong group that we saw frequently so if you have any particular interests I suggest you join the roll call. To be honest most guests didn’t seem to need that much entertaining…Most guests had boarded in Hawaii after some extensive sightseeing or sea days and were ready for a rest! Then at each port guests made the most of places they had never been to before and were unlikely ever to visit again so then again were ready for some rest and relaxation. To put things in perspective we boarded with iPads loaded, books, card games etc and hardly used them. I think another factor with longer cruises is you have time to bond with fellow guests, you arrange to meet up, you make your own entertainment…. Other points that may be of interest to you is that the speciality restaurants were busy on sea days. We had pre booked a dining package and had arranged our days on boarding so we were OK. However, we were aware that some guests towards the end of the cruise were struggling to get bookings let alone discounts. I hope someone finds some planners for you (remember there will be a missing day!). Regardless you are in for a fantastic time!
  6. Recently off Silhouette and we thought most guests were nicely dressed in the evenings as we moved from bar to bar and generally keeping to the smart casual theme. On the chic nights perhaps the ladies were a bit more dressed and we saw some gents with jackets but no real difference to other nights. We used to enjoy dressing up once or twice per cruise but as we have got older not toting too much luggage and being comfortable have had higher priorities… We were undecided when smart/casual was introduced if we would like it but we have found it does suit us well. Next cruise we have decided as a family group to be dressy the first chic night, it is nice to choose to do something rather than have to do something…
  7. The Summit is not an E class ship it is M class, much older. Treatments do not give you access to Persian Gardens nor does being in a suite. Aqua class rooms do have free access and Elite Captains Club can visit for free one port day. Persian Gardens is very attractive on S class with sea views and tiled loungers. In our opinion it is much less attractive on M class. I suggest on boarding you go to there and ask if you can see it then decide if it worth paying for. The three classes of ships are very different, when you do a search you need to be clear about what you are seeing/searching. For example, if you search Retreat deck you will see an area with a small pool (E class) but on Summit there is no pool but there is a hot tub…Similarly rooms are very different on the different classes, not necessarily better on one than the other but definitely different. Hope you have a fantastic cruise!
  8. We see Royal as a great venue for action, adventure and entertainment and Celebrity as a wonderful venue for rest, relaxation and great food…
  9. We used to book a bottle for our room before drink package days, we have always enjoyed a late at night balcony drink. If I remember correctly it was a 1litre bottle, that came with six sodas and a box of mixed nuts…Trying to remember when we last did it, perhaps 6/7 years ago.
  10. If you are in a suite the Retreat serves afternoon tea daily. If you visit cafe al bacio they have a wide range of teas covered by the drinks package and a wide range of cakes and cookies. If you are Elite, some cruises offer an afternoon tea one day of the cruise. Every afternoon the buffet offers a lovely selection of mini sandwiches and cakes, tea available (no cost). Very easy to take your selection and cuppa outside or back to your balcony to enjoy.
  11. Cruised both post Revolution. In terms of general venues, the revolution didn’t make that much difference. However if you book a suite Silhouette has a nicer Retreat lounge (more spacious feel, better furnishings) and the suite deck is far superior. As others have said the addition of the Lawn Grill and The Porch make a nice change. Would not hesitate to cruise either again. OP, if you are booking a non suite room and are not over bothered about extra dining venues then save the 15%. Just one final point. Remember Silhouette lost its basketball court for the Retreat deck so if you are travelling with children/young adults then Equinox may be better…
  12. We are recently off Silhouette (UK cruise). Fantastic! It isn’t just the cruise that is the pleasure, it is the looking forward to and the planning so go ahead…the sooner you book the sooner you get to enjoy the looking forward to!
  13. The Holiday Inn is very close to the ship. You could phone and see if you can book in there for breakfast then either drag your luggage over to the ship or it would be a cheap Uber. I am sure if you were breakfasting there they would look after your luggage for a short while. Just another option…
  14. Perhaps based on personal experience? To me it simply reminded me of the many restaurants we have called in for lunch when visiting Spain, the Balearic Islands, the Greek Islands….Not ‘high end’ venues but a pleasant spot with the smell and breeze of the sea. Obviously, it reminded you of East Coast seafood seafood places. Also we usually dine in The Porch at lunch frequently after a swim, the sun is shining…We are relaxed, happy and comfortable….Re the menu, the seafood tower reminded me of the shared platters you can enjoy again by the Mediterranean, particularly Spain and Portugal. Obviously not real fresh fish but enjoyable nonetheless…. I think the point I have tried to make is that (in my opinion) the Porch offers something different to the ambiance of the other speciality restaurants….A good place to enjoy a light lunch perhaps with a sangria or quality beer rather than a fine wine… Service does make a significant difference in how you remember a venue…when we visited it on Silhouette and some years ago on Reflection service was perfect…We are back on Silhouette next year and will definitely enjoy a lunch or three there!
  15. Fairly sure there is no dartboard and I don’t recollect a shuffleboard. There are boules some mornings on the lawn and a ping pong table near the lift top deck. Also Celebrity kids program has a good reputation.
  16. On both Reflection and Silhouette it is the range of ambiance of the restaurants we have enjoyed as well as the range of food…The ‘formality’ of Murano, the family BBQ feel of Lawn Grill, the Mediterranean cafe feel of The Porch… Like you, much as we enjoy any S class ship we do miss the additional dining options of these two.
  17. Never had that luxury! Perhaps because for most of our cruises we have crossed the pond and enjoyed an independent pre cruise stay… I do think that the ‘early days’ of ‘package’ vacations did have a luxury element whereas now a ‘package’ deal tends to focus on reducing costs rather than enhancing experience….
  18. Sincere best wishes for a fantastic b2b cruise…I must confess much as we loved (and were grateful for) our staycation cruise in the UK it leaves us longing for our next on board experience…. Enjoy!
  19. In these difficult times I think the two problems cruise lines will not have is staff recruitment and staff retention…. Firstly, many staff have families relying on their income, what they could earn back home is significantly less. Secondly, alternative jobs they could look to like hotels are still struggling as many people world wide are not travelling yet either because of restrictions or choice. Thirdly, cruise lines often offer an opportunity to build a genuine career path which many alternative jobs they could get at home don’t. Chatting with various crew members at all levels over the years many have expressed that not only does the cruise industry offer a career path it offers opportunities to further their language skills, understanding of alternative cultures, opportunities to mix with others…All so useful for furthering your career in any direction. When we chatted to staff on our recent cruise they were ‘resigned’ to their present terms and conditions. We heard lots of comments about ‘how great it was to be back at work’ but no grumbles. From our eyes the present restrictions may seem hard for the staff to accept but from a staff perspective not being on board the ship working would be harder still… Nothing but praise for the genuine warmth we always feel from all the staff at Celebrity, much as we love the ships it is the staff that makes us return!
  20. As D+ and E+ we would say go with what your family wants from your cruise… Action and activity, Royal Caribbean Rest and Relaxation, Celebrity…. One is not better or worse than the other, they just have different strengths…
  21. Just as an additional bit of information our now adult son continues to cruise with us…He is E+ And D+….We are recently off Silhouette where we cruised for the first time with his GF joining us…Fabulous family experience and we are all booked again for next October…
  22. Arranging activities in ports that our son would enjoy is exactly what we used to do for our son at your son’s age! Contrary to comments from others about RC suiting your son better our son began to ‘outgrow’ the activities on RC by the time he was about 17 (been, seen, done it…). Active days in port followed by leisurely pool days on Celebrity suited him just fine! We always involved him in planning excursions etc and were often surprised he sometimes preferred a cultural rather than an action based activity. Travel really does widen ones outlook. We always ensured he had electronic devices for quieter times and we also enjoyed family card games and playing chess. Looking back it was really valuable family time. I am sure there will be enough other young adults on board for him to socialise with poolside or in the gym (look out for any arranged pool volleyball activities etc). Have a fantastic cruise!
  23. I think all of us have had to make decisions about what we are comfortable with…You do have to way up the pros and cons and the pleasure vs the worry of travel at present. It was stressful enough arranging and having a covid test for a staycation, the thought of flying definitely too much this year! Hope you enjoy your hiking in Utah, we were fortunate to visit briefly some years ago as part of a long tour. One of those places we always planned on visiting again although I think we are past hiking now!
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