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About ClaudiaB

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Houston area
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Azamara

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  1. I would find one of the large travel agencies online that deal in cruises. There are several, we use one. We either book with them or we book with the cruise line. Either way, you're going to get the perks and onboard credit that you're due from the cruise line. In addition, you will get some back to back booking onboard credit. In addition, you may get up to $1100 or more additional on board credit per cruise! Sometimes it's even a good percentage of the total cruise cost. We just booked two B2B cruises for a total of 25 days on AZ, in 2021 in a club continent suite. We have combined on board credits for each cruise of about $1800 and $1900. It definitely pays to let the big TAs get your some great perks. You need to transfer to them within 60 days of booking. We still will check the prices over the next years/months until we pay our final fees, because if it goes down enough we will get that price. It may reduce our on board credit some, but we let the TA we've worked with for years now help us "do" the numbers. We went with a little suite this time so we could have access to the restaurants whenever we wanted.
  2. Well if it was the first time, if you're a museum person, do the Victoria and Albert museum. Or do the shops in Kensington area. A night at the theatre on the West End could conclude your day. Have high tea somewhere. You could take the Hop on Hop off bus around the city and stop off as you please. It's impossible to see everything in that time frame. It might help to look at the top things in London and choose a couple. St. Paul's Cathedral is absolutely stunning. Climb to the very top after a self-guided headphone tour.
  3. We did book AZ while on an X cruise a few years ago. We happened to be sailing on Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals were also given on board. We already knew the cruise we wanted so we got the perks that were being given to all. Then we got some additional ones because it was black Friday. That afternoon in our cabin I emailed our on-line big TA and they also had perks for booking a cruise and contacting them on Black Friday. They had specials and they were combinable with Celebrity's. All in all, for our 15 day Journey cruise to Norway, we got about $3000 in onboard credit and reduced deposit and she threw in some specialty meals and wine. And we just booked a regular veranda cabin. It was just all a bunch of add-ons from both lines because of Black Friday and booking on board. We ended up having about $2000 added back to our credit card from refundable OBC which basically paid for our flights.
  4. ClaudiaB

    White Night

    I wore a pair of white linen slacks - from Old Navy! And a white linen top - from Chico's. I saw dressy slacks and dresses, and capris with tees. Some had just top or bottom white, not both. My husband wore stone colored dockers and a white golf shirt.
  5. Ditto. Great cabin. So much shade and great view.
  6. We give $20 to the cabin attendant and butler after a few days, and about the same or a little more at the end. More for exceptional service or when we've required something out of the ordinary. We tip a few dollars to bartenders most evenings when we've had great service. The sommelier in Luminae was outstanding on a cruise and we gave her $40 at the end. By far I agree that doing comment cards during the cruise and at the end is the best thing. Make sure to give the complete name and spend a little time being detailed about the service and why you're recognizing them. I have even written comments for other room stewards when I pass them day after day in the hall and they are always smiling and friendly. I get their name and put location they work and write it all down. On our last cruise I filled out a card on day 8 of a 15 day cruise. The very next day the Luminae sommelier came to us and said she had gotten an extra shift off during the day because of my comments. My butler was given some phone calls home and our room steward the same. Those also go into their files for future promotion considerations. It really means a lot to take the time to do this.
  7. Interested in the answers as well. As you can see I'm just about an hour from New Orleans and I may or may not have consumed a few of these at Pat O'Brien's in my day. Yummy and you have no idea how strong until you stand up ha ha ha. I've had other drinks other places that claim to be hurricanes. I've yet to agree that they are.
  8. We took our first AZ cruise this summer. All I can say is, you're going to love it. The country-intensive itinerary is what drew us in and what got us looking to them first. We even booked our first B2B ever while on board. I love the size. We thought we'd be S-class Celebrity cruisers forever but AZ had us at "welcome home."
  9. I don't like the supplied slippers so if I feel the need I just wear some socks or flip flops. I have found that the cruise lines' slippers are rough and uncomfortable. We have had them in every cabin - well all the ones we've stayed in - regular balcony, CC, AQ, SS, and CS. We didn't like the ones on Azamara much either. Sometimes they're kind of hidden in a drawer or at the top back of the closet or in the desk, or somewhere in the bathroom. Its been interesting to see where they put them.
  10. Oh my gosh, I started reading this thread a few minutes ago and was holding my breath for you the entire time until I got to the part where you have the connecting rooms! ((exhale!!!)) I am so very sorry that you had to have all the stress and worry right before your cruise tomorrow. It's hard enough to get packed and take care of everyday things (I have a 4-1/2 year old grandson so I can only imagine) much less do it with the added stress. I think you deserve some compensation of some kind - and I hope the people who originally had your cabins are compensated as well. Huge X mistake. So....off you go! Take the deep breath you so deserve and enjoy the first adult beverage you can find once you get on board. I hope the rest of the vacation is happy, memory-filled, and you can leave this room nonsense behind you. Come back afterwards and tell us how it all went. There are lots of us waiting to hear!
  11. We've been in Blu many times and there are just a couple large tables but I think they're just for 6, maybe 8? However, the tables otherwise are very close together. You could talk to them about sitting in the same area and it's really literally like being at the same table. If you have 5 tables together every night, even if they're not pushed together, you would still be 'together.' And you could switch around every night. The very back of the room has some bench/booth type seating which would work very well. If you're staying in an AQ cabin, the very best benefit arguably is Blu, so it would be a shame to waste that.
  12. World Class Bar. Used to be the Martini Bar but it's too loud and the drinks became inconsistent. World Class Bar - you can actually have a conversation with others and the BT. Lovely drinks!
  13. You do know that the martini bar isn't just the old fashioned gin and vermouth and an olive? That's what I thought at first too, but it's really just cocktails in a martini glass. I like the sweet fruity ones. Or the chocolate ones! Our fav bar though has turned out to be the World Class Bar. Best cocktails and they are consistent. Martini Bar was fun for a few cruises but it's just so LOUD. You have to scream to talk to the person next to you. World Class bar we could visit with people and the bartender and have a great conversation. Reflection World Class Bar is our favorite.
  14. What about smoking? I love Celebrity's no inside smoking anywhere. It's actually almost a deal breaker for me.
  15. First, take a deep breath. Get on your Roll Call for your particular cruise, and join in ongoing conversations with the people who are going on your exact same cruise. I'm almost certain there would be a city excursion or something. What we do in cases like yours is enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then get off the ship at the absolute last moment possible. Contact your hotel beforehand and note you are coming in early. Hotels in port cities are used to people coming in before check-in time. They will be able to hold your luggage safely while you go out and enjoy the city until you want to check in. It's easy, people all over the world do it every single day. Sometimes......even after you have checked out.....they'll hold your luggage for a time. We had that occur this summer on the cruise I mention below. We were in Edinburgh pre-cruise and the second to last day there we took a train to visit a relative on the other far side of Scotland. We didn't want to drag our big cases around on the train so we just checked out of the hotel and they held our big bags. Went to Gairloch Scotland overnight with the cousin, took the train back to Edinburgh, and asked a taxi driver at the train station to take us to the port via our hotel to pick up our bags. Easy easy. We are longtime Celebrity cruisers who took our first AZ cruise this past summer. We embarked from Edinburgh Scotland but didn't leave that day, as yours appears to. You get on the ship like you normally do, and then you are free to do whatever you want. You can stay out late into the evening and enjoy the city as you want. No, you don't need to get a hotel. Your ship is the hotel. Azamara often does itineraries where there is a two day stay at the beginning. We loved Edinburgh and were there 4 days ahead of the cruise in a hotel and continued to enjoy the area both days the ship was in port. The day we embarked we didn't get to the ship until about 6 p.m. It's no problem, they're there overnight. What we did miss was muster drill. However, it's normal for people to miss the drill when the ship has two days in port at the beginning. There was a make-up drill at 9 pm or something like that. It was about 5 minutes - best muster drill ever: "Here's your life vest. This is your muster station." You hear the whistle/bells, come here with your jacket on and we'll tell you what to do. The end." :D I think you're going to love AZ. Only one AZ cruise in and we're already cheerleaders ha ha. We booked a back to back in a suite :hearteyes: for 2020 we liked it so much. Two years to save up for that!
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