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Everything posted by ClaudiaB

  1. Pre-covid we usually were at the airport before 8 a.m. when we lined up EARLY and got off ourselves. We didn't bother with breakfast. We never pre-arranged our transportation - just grabbed a taxi. When you line up well before the time they tell you it's possible to be among the first dozen or so people off the ship. But.... you have to get up and get down there and not wait for the stated time. It was always a little bit of a risk but we never missed our 9:30 or 10 a.m. flight. TSA-Pre always helps too. And....we weren't stressed. if we happened to miss our flight there were a
  2. The sommelier we had in Luminae a few years ago was the best we have ever had anywhere. Not sure she is still around or on what ship but she really made the cruise. (Maggie). Murano has the cheese trolley. We actually love Tuscan Grill.
  3. We loved the 15 night Norway cruise on Azamara. Went all the way to the top into the Arctic Circle. We did 4 days pre-cruise in Scotland and hope to return for a land journey there. We also loved the X cruise on Infinity to Hawaii - actually spent 7 nights around the islands. That cruise is no longer done. We did all independent tours own both of those cruises and they were wonderful. Fell in love with Kauai and two years later rented a condo there and stayed a week. Both transatlantics we did were great. One took us to northern France and one from Barcelona to several
  4. Let me add our experience in Hawaii in 2004 when X was doing 7 days from Ensenada. We took a helicopter tour in Kauai and then hired a taxi to take us around the island. We fell in love with Kauai so much that the next year we flew there and stayed on the north shore in a beautiful townhouse. On the big island we took a tour (we always do independent tours) with 6 people in a little van and did the volcano national park and that was a wonderful day. We went all over it. The next day we were in Kona and the same van and same people and tour company drove us to a hike on the
  5. We've taken two transatlantic cruises and loved them both. We tend to sleep in a bit and have late breakfast or just some yogurt and then wait until lunch. We often skip a meal on a cruise or just have a little bowl of greens with some grilled chicken or salmon on it for lunch. I understand the need for no self-service now but I will kind of miss taking my salad greens around to different stations to put on exactly what I want. I'm a singer and on both of those cruises there was a passenger choir which was a whole lot of fun, and we rehearsed a couple current upbeat songs wit
  6. Always would sail Celebrity and Azamara and if the price is good for the itinerary AZ would be our preference. However we've sailed on about 16 X cruises and never were disappointed. Only one long AZ cruise and I fell in love with virtually everything about it. Their itineraries are wonderful. The intensive nature of the itineraries are what sold us and the experience on the 700 passenger ship was perfect. Have NO desire to sail on any ship with an amusement park on deck, or any smoking inside anywhere, or glitz and neon and young party atmosphere. Have never been on an
  7. We spent 2-1/2 days pre-cruise a few years ago in Barcelona. Upon checking in our hotel the morning we arrived, we found a quick little bite to eat next door and then took a taxi to La Sagrada de Familia which is not to be missed. We knew we'd need to stay up and not nap after the overseas flight, so it seemed a good thing to do, stay moving and busy. I had previously bought tickets to a small group tour which was wonderful. There were 6 of us and we had quite the comprehensive tour. It took up the entire afternoon, and after an early supper of paella close to our hotel we gratefully t
  8. We both wore a white short sleeve tee or button-down shirt, and I wore white linen crops and my husband wore stone colored slacks. We brought our plate up to the upper deck and could gaze down on the more crowded lower level close to the food. We were in Troll Fjord and we could practically touch it. It was interesting going slow because our daytime excursion had traveled the same territory in a fast fast rib boat. I loved it; Husband was kind of "meh" on the lines and the crowd. However, we had gotten there kind of early to just have a drink and take in the sights. So we got a prime u
  9. Yes, as long as we don't have to wear a mask all over the ship. And the price and itinerary is right. We ARE actually almost five weeks past our second vaccine. I hate to live in a world where we have to "papers please" but I guess for awhile that's what it'll have to be. Our next cruise isn't scheduled until June 2022 but if something great came up in the fall we might be tempted. I just don't want to end up quarantined on a ship for a month in my cabin....
  10. Absolutely. We pick the cruise we want and then we transfer it to our online big travel agency. Why? They get us the same pricing and perks as Celebrity (or any cruise) is giving, plus they give us lots of on board credit. For example, on a sky suite 14 night cruise a few years ago we received $1100 on board credit from the TA. Other times we've gotten more and some we've gotten less, all depending on cruise length and cabin chosen. It's all about the on board credit. In 2022 we have back to back sky suite European cruises booked, 12 nights each. We have close to $2200 on boar
  11. The window washing equipment is not a problem either. It blocks a bit of the view in the corner area looking straight down, but as far as your far view and looking out, it's not an issue. Much of the daytime it's not even there - it's washing windows. You can hear the motor a bit if you're sitting on your balcony. You'll love the suite benefits on X.
  12. Get deck 11, 1663. Cabins above you, not a bar. Poles are a non-issue, we've been in that exact cabin and the opposite on 1666 several times. Seriously don't even give those poles a second thought. No issue with smoke or soot, it's a great cabin and we'd choose it again. \
  13. It's quite possible to do it on Azamara. If $$ wasn't an object it would great to sail from the pacific coast of the US to Hawaii to the south seas, to New Zealand, to Australia, and up to Asia. It'd be a bunch of B2B2B2B but we talked to some people on our last AZ cruise who had put together something akin to what you suggested - with a few B2B and some land time in the middle. They had booked it and were looking forward to it last year. Hope it went well for them. As I recall it was going to be nearly 4 months away.
  14. We were on Infinity in 2004 on a 10 day from Ensenada to Hawaii for 7 days. We spent an entire day on Kawaii and fell in love immediately. Two years later we rented a house on the north shore and spent every minute enjoying that island. We want to return to England and Scotland again, not on a cruise.
  15. Yes! The World Class bar is our favorite. Used to be the martini bar but I agree Oleksii is wonderful. Tell him that Claudia who likes the Tropically Yours said HI! I like the drinks there better and you can actually hold a conversation.
  16. World Class bar by far. We used to be Martini Bar aficionados but the noise and crowd turned us off, plus the inconsistency we found in drinks depending on who made them. We love that we can actually hold a conversation at the World Class bar and that the bar staff knows our favorites by day 2.
  17. Michael Kors, Kate Spade etc. bags, Chico's, high end watches and jewelry, some assorted clothing stores with prices mid range, some lower end purses and shawls, jewelry (they always have a $10 area), some cosmetics, liquor and cigarettes. Nothing like a dollar store or "cheap" things. I pass the stores right on by, don't even go in them, not even once. There aren't a ton of stores. Some on each of two decks. Rarely do I see more than one or two people in them.
  18. So enjoying your review. We've sailed Reflection before and we'll be on her Monday as you get off. Completely different itinerary. I agree, Thenford Grey does a great tour. Last time we were in St. Lucia we did a "Cook like a Lucien" tour and 12 or so of our cruise mates went to a little place in the mountains and cooked a big dinner, all local and authentic. Lots of fun. We've also taken what I assume is the same food tour in St. Maarten - from the Amsterdam cheese shop? So good. I'll be curious to see how much the French side has recovered. Last time we were there was about 5 m
  19. I wish I was on that cruise. I'd love to hear him, and if I saw him somewhere playing softly I'd stop and listen and just enjoy. I think some of the passengers whom I've heard on piano and yes on guitar are phenomenal. Not showing off, just doing what they always do - playing their instrument. I would say probably the majority of people would love to hear him play, and if he was in a public space, some would walk by and some would stop and listen. I'd be a listener for sure! Have a wonderful happy musical cruise.
  20. I highly recommend Azamara for their 15+ nights in Norway. We took the cruise in 2018 and loved every second. Went up to the North Cape and some of the cruises now go even further north. If it's in the budget I recommend this cruise line because it's small (under 700 pax) and can get way into the fjords and right into town.
  21. Start with upgrading from classic to premium drink package if that's your interest. Go to the specialties! We always consider it part of the whole cruise experience. A wine paired special dinner is wonderful. I got a Michael Kors bag two cruises ago when we realized the last night that we had $350 in non refundable credit left. I wouldn't have normally gotten it but honestly it's my go-to bag when I want a black bag.
  22. Weenah We like the specialties and always eat in all of them on a cruise; to us it's just part of the entire cruise experience. On our upcoming cruise we bought the package for all the nights. We booked the time and restaurant for the first night, and as soon as we board we'll set the restaurant and times for the others. Often we take a suite, but this time we're in a regular cabin and are eating every night in specialties. Still came out way ahead $$$ wise. We got all 4 perks so it looks like it'll be a pretty sweet cruise. We might do this from now on.
  23. We finally did that too, and I like those holders better. It's been hit or miss as to whether or not we get the luggage tags when we order them a month or so out. 9 days.........Reflection here we come.
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