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Posts posted by ChucktownSteve

  1. It depends upon whether you're buying the coverage from the cruise line or an insurance company and what coverage you want.


    If you want to be covered for pre-existing conditions, as 2 cruises a year indicated, you have that short window to purchase from the initial deposit.  That doesn't mean you can't buy the policy after that, you just won't be covered for pre-existing medical conditions.

  2. 1 hour ago, Schmoe38 said:



    Unless you have not done any of the previous Power Up Points activities, you may not get over the threshold on this one. As mentioned previously, this is an opportunity for those cruisers who have not yet earned any Power Up Points.


    If you have previously earned PUPs, I’m not sure there is anything preventing you from completing the quiz, just resist the temptation to call Captain’s Club if the points don’t get credited.

    If you haven’t yet earned points right from the comfort of your own home, here’s your chance. Simply read the above section about our Europe 2022 season and then click “Take Quiz” to take a short quiz. You’ll earn 20 Power Up Points (2 Club Points) for answering the questions correctly. Be sure to submit your answers by March 3.



    Randy,  I believe it is trying to get new participants into the PUP game not be restricted to them by that sentence.  After I participated it told me I had answered them correctly and will be awarded the points.  I have participated before.

  3. On 2/17/2021 at 12:13 PM, Seahorse99 said:

    I was also on Celebrity Mercury in 2004, but do not have photos to share. The Mercury was a really nice, spacious ship perfect for viewing the Inside Passage. I had a float plane trip in Ketchikan which was really fun. All in all, I prefer HAL to Celebrity, though Celebrity did have some good points. The friendliness of HAL’s crew is really special. 


    Here's one from the Mercury you might remember.


    Deck 14 Celebrity Mercury.jpg

  4. 18 hours ago, jelayne said:

    Just saw on  that Azamara has extended the Suspension of Sailing through June 30?

    Wonder when. Celebrity will make a announcement.?


    It will definitely be after all final payments for the period.  I had a June Azamara Greece cruise I knew last month wouldn't go so I took the cancellation penalty rather than do the first week in February final payment date.  I've already had a fully paid 2022 XX cruise after final payment.  Didn't want to give RCG more money before re-booking at an Azamara prevailing rate.

  5. 7 minutes ago, paulh84 said:

    Celebrity - 'Always Included '- Drinks, Tips, WiFi


    Princess - 'Best Sale Ever'...Gets Better! Drinks, WiFi, Gratuities, Specialty Dining, Stateroom Upgrade


    Holland America - 'View & Veranda' Upgrade Event! Big Stateroom Upgrade, Beverage Package, 10% excursions, Free Specialty Dining and More.


    NCL - 'The Big Deal!" Take 5. Open Bar, Specialty Dining, Excursion, WiFi and Kids 


    MSC - Upgrade for OBC, Drinks Package, complimentary massage, and specialty dining 


    Clearly the industry thinks people want a simplified approach. I would say Royal goes in the opposite direction with their endless bundles with constant price changes but apparently it works for them. I've never understood why people get so riled up about this. 1980's style cruising is done and over with.


    Yes but the smart consumer understands that most of the promotions are gimmicks whereby the cruise line raises the price to include them.  So the value proposition is what is the bottom line cost for the cabin with the "perks" included?  Then whether the cruiser wants the perks that are included for the higher price.



  6. 44 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

    focus on people who love to cruise, enjoy fine dining ( formal or casual).  While not trying to introduce a new market segment into cruising??  What they are doing makes very smart business sense, people who love cruising are not going anywhere, despite what they say.  Without COVID, APEX and EDGE would have been sailing at full or near full capacity, as will the revolutionized ships, IMO.


    Just because you're an XX loyalist doesn't mean people who love cruising will put up with XX.  Since XX started their tactics I, and probably a lot more people than you suspect, have been booking with other cruise lines besides XX. 


    AI has had a huge impact on people who don't want to be forced to pay for liquor when they don't drink or internet they won't use.


    While we may include XX in future consideration, I know it will be not before 2023 for me because I already have three Regent sailings that I booked within the last month that sail through early '23.


  7. 15 minutes ago, phoenix_dream said:

    Unlike some other posters (who are certainly welcome to their opinions), I feel the same as you.   It is the older age group who is going to ultimately keep them from going under, as we will be the ones who are first vaccinated and therefore able to cruise much sooner, as I'm sure vaccination will be required at least for some period of time.  


    I think until people reach the "golden years" they really don't understand the concept of ageism, which can manifest itself in so many ways,  many of which are very subtle.  When you are in the group of people who in essence built the cruise line to the success it is today through years of loyalty, and then feel pushed aside as the line dedicates itself to trying to please an entirely different group of people you feel it.  We of course all understand that eventually we will no longer be able to cruise so new customers need to be enticed (keeping in mind at the same time that for many of us, that is a good 15-20 years away, god willing).  Marketing 101.  Understandable and no issue with that.  But Celebrity has taken that to a whole new level and markets, designs, plans, etc.. their ships and experiences with an eye only to that group, pushing to the side the preferences of their years loyal passengers.  It's pretty insulting IMHO.  I honestly don't think that younger people can really understand this in the visceral way that we can.  And this is not an insult to their intelligence - I know I could not until I got here.


    Personally I don't care if they market to the youngsters.  When they change the ships and activities that no longer appeal to me, I go where my interests and senses are satisfied.  But I had already started heading that way before Edge started sailing with the food quality lessening and the loud blaring DJ in the atrium curtailing  or sans live music entertainment.


    Is it that the younger people can't understand this or they just don't care about other age groups as long as they're satisfied?

  8. More people are booking Royal Caribbean cruises this year, even as they remain banned [The Miami Herald]

    BY Tribune Content Agency
    — 4:03 PM ET 02/22/2021

    Feb. 22—Royal Caribbean Group is seeing an increase in bookings as the company nears the one-year mark without any cruises in the U.S., its biggest market.


    Despite U.S. cruises being banned indefinitely, on Monday Royal Caribbean Group executives said the company has seen a 30% increase in future bookings since the start of the year compared to November and December. Royal Caribbean Group  has canceled all U.S. cruises until at least May.


    The booking increase is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak business update. The second largest cruise company in the world reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2020 of $1.4 billion, or $6.09 per share, compared to a net income of $273.1 million, or $1.30 per share, during the fourth quarter of 2019. It was Royal Caribbean Group's fourth straight 10-figure quarterly loss.


    To cut costs, the company has divested of five ships — three of them through the recent sale of the Azamara cruise line. Still, Royal Caribbean  is operating at about a $250-290 million monthly cash burn rate for its existing lines: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea. One of its ships, Quantum of the Seas, is operating with passengers in Singapore.


    So when will U.S. cruises be up and running again? It's too soon to say, according to executives.

    "We are really in an interim period where the vaccines are still relatively new," said Chairman Richard Fain. "They're coming out amazingly quickly, but it will take months to get huge numbers of people vaccinated. We and the CDC and governments around the world are looking at how that will change [cruising]. We don't have answers yet." Last year, Royal Caribbean Group  hired a panel of health experts, including several former staff of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to come up with protocols to safely cruise during a pandemic. Subsequent guidance from the CDC, part of requirements cruise companies must meet before they can start operating again, outlined stricter testing.


    Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is in play, those protocols will have to be altered, said CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley.

    "As we continue to see infections decline and vaccinations increase, we're going to move to some sort of protocol that is a hybrid of vaccine and testing," he said.

    The company is still waiting on the next phase of technical instructions from the CDC governing agreements between companies and ports to avoid the chaos that played out last spring when ports turned away cruise ships carrying infected and dead passengers and crew.


    "Our dialogue is productive," said Bayley of conversations with the CDC. "They've assured us that when these indicators start to move in a positive way, they'll start working with us to get us back into operation."


    Last week Royal Caribbean Group announced it will be requiring all crew members to be vaccinated before cruises restart. Bayley said that the company surveyed 70,000 crew members about this last week, and received 32,000 responses in the first few hours; 98% of respondents so far have said they are in favor of the vaccine mandate for crew and 4,000 have already been vaccinated in their home countries.

  9. 13 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

    The lack of a casino on the “luxury” lines would leave wanting...I’m thinking nightlife would be lacking too.  

    As of now, I see Celebrity as my sweet spot...not too many folks just looking for a bargain cruise, looking for a little something extra, that’s my arena. 

    Different strokes and all.


    Regent ships have small casinos but then again, they have fewer passengers so it doesn't have to be large. '-)   As far as night life, I find the premium and luxury lines have more port of calls so after spending a good bit of the days touring, a quieter night is fine for me.  It's not dead though.


    But as you say, "Different strokes and all."  Whichever you sail, enjoy!

  10. 2 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

    A very good observation, to be sure.


    Nor would I ever argue that X is 'close' to luxury, yet compared to the aforementioned lines, it is luxury in comparison... do you not think?


    bon voyage


    While there are many loyal Carnival cruisers, IMO XX IS "luxury" in comparison.  However I've sailed a couple of HAL cruises and I put it on par with XX.  I liked the included food better on HAL. Haven't sailed Princess so can't compare.  I haven't sailed NCL since the mid 90's so can't compare them either.  I've never sailed RCL, nor do I want to.


    However I place XX below Oceania and Azamara, (which I've sailed),  for some aspects of "luxury."  I will admit though that the XX shows were somewhat better in specter. BTW I've sailed on more Celebrity ships over the years than any other line.  My favorite in the day was the Century class.  But I have enjoyed the M & S classes too.


    Do you not think?

  11. 12 hours ago, jelayne said:

    Phil, I agree with you they are a premium line.  However they advise that they are a “small luxury cruise line” which sets  at least in my mind, higher expectations.


    Celebrity does the same thing now under Royal Caribbean calling themselves luxury when they're not.  I agree a better liquor quality be included since the cost difference to the cruise line is minimal.  It goes back to offering a higher perceived value to the cruiser at a low out of pocket cost to the cruise line.


    I believe it goes back to Royal Caribbean's double/double program dictate of a few years ago where the three lines under RCG had to increase profits by doubling revenue and reducing costs. That's when you saw the beginning of a lot of little cut backs that added to the bottom line.


    Now that Azamara is out from under their umbrella, perhaps it's time to revisit how to make Azamara a more premium line again by building value. The foundation is already there.

  12. 9 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

    We're getting ready to book a Feb 2023 cruise this coming week on the Splendor and was wondering if there is someone that would like to sponsor us?


    Ken, Email me and I"ll give you my Regent rep's contact info.  He helped me with a lot of info before I booked.  I used him for three bookings because of the way he worked with me. Plus I'd be happy to share my Society number for the referral, if you like, since it was my information on the XX board that helped you determine you wanted to try Regent. 🙂

  13. 59 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

    Well, your thoughts have not gone unheard. We will be taking advantage of their current 2 category promotion and booking a 7 day Feb 2023 cruise in a concierge cabin on the Splendor to check Regent out. Funny thing is we will be getting off the Equinox the day before, spending the night in the 5 star hotel, and then boarding the Splendor the next day. We figured it was a pretty good way to compare the two cruise lines by making them a B2B cruise. Thanks again for all of your insights!


    You're welcome.  I'm glad that I could help share what I researched.  I'm an analytical when it comes to determining value. It's not always the cheapest though IMO.


    I have a very good Regent Rep who gives me great info. Then I transfer it to my TA who gives me the largest OBC/rebate than any other TA I've ever used.  He appreciated that I came back to book with him two additional times but he was worth rewarding especially in this covid cruising scenario.  He doesn't mind me transferring because I let him book so he gets credit for the deposit.  I'd love to hear your comparison after your cruises. Email me sometime at steveL50 hot mail if you like. We enjoyed Equinox when we sailed her.  It's just that XX pricing has gotten so crazy lately.  I probably wouldn't have looked at alternatives so hard had they not gone to AI and promoted themselves as luxury without the real luxury.  I never thought that the two would be in the same price range value.

  14. Trying to pick a sailing date to hit the colors is a craps shoot.  It's all Mother Nature dependent.  A few years ago we sailed a 14 day to Quebec and back the end of Sept to mid October.  Weather was warmer than usual that year so the change was delayed a couple of weeks. Perhaps check the Old Farmer's Almanac.

  15. 15 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

    ChucktownSteve is absolutely correct  in his various posts concerning the Regent experience.  My last cruise before the shutdown was a 14 day cruise on the Regent Explorer.  The quality and variety of food was just outstanding.  I cannot imagine that it could be any better. The excellent include Specialty dining options are also outstanding.  My wife and I also enjoyed the poolside outdoor buffet/individual order area.


    If the price is close to the Sky Suite or Celebrity Suite price, it would be a much better experience.  It is truly All inclusive.  We used our OBC for a couple purchases in the gift shop.  Our TA OBC was a rebated as there is no place to spend the money.


    We did feel having excursions included is not much of a value for us. The free hotel (concierge suites and above) was nice and we took the air credit (included as part of the All Inclusive).

    Given a choice (assuming the price is close), we would still prefer the Royal Suite or higher on Celebrity, due to Luminae, Specialty restaurants, and retreat areas. Also in our opinion the Premium drink package on Celebrity is better than what is included on the Regent.  And you have to pay the full price is you want something over the Regent price limit. I just refused to do it.  


    The bottom line is that the Regent experience is All Inclusive.  It is a great example as to why the Celebrity’s  AI (Always Included) is not All Inclusive.  If you can find a Regent cruise at most cabin level that is even close to the Celebrity price (all factors considered)  it is certainly a superior experience.  If you try it, you will not be disappointed. 


    Jagoffee, Some good points. I could also go back and forth between the two depending upon the value proposition/price of either with the itinerary I want. I also like to include Azamara in the comparisons too.


    All of my Suite opinions so far have been formed from research.  I have an S1 Sky Suite on Apex and Regency Concierge/Penthouse suites booked over the next 1.5 years.  I had to keep moving them for obvious reasons.  My views may change once I can actually compare experiences. 


    The liquor list on Regent had the everyday brands I like especially since I have reduced my consumption over the last few years.  So it's not a major factor for me.  However the food is.


    I looked at the two cruise line package brands and didn't see too much difference.  XX certainly has the advantage if you want really top shelf since you only pay the difference.


    The bottom line is everyone mileage will vary based upon their personal preferences.

    Celebrity beverage-package-flyer.pdf Regent Bar Menu 08.15.19.pdf

  16. 19 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

    Cool! On most cruise lines, including X, the free category jump is only within the applicable meta category.


    The free category on XX does not include Suites. Only up to Aqua.


    The Splendor has seven restaurants included in the fare.  No surcharge restaurants. The Apex has four restaurants included and Blu/Luminae if Aqua or Suite plus . The other five restaurants have surcharges to eat there.


    The Splendor has 540 crew to 750 passengers while the Apex has 1320 crew to 2,910 passengers.The Apex ration is 2.2:1 vs. 1.4:1  Guess which one should give you better overall quality service?


    So it's Always Included vs. All Inclusive.

  17. 11 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

    Cool! Is the 2 category upgrade within the concierge meta category only or does it apply across them if, for example, the 2 category upgrade takes you into the penthouse category?

     Two category upgrade across all categories.  Depending upon ship; on Splendor, Voyager, Explorer and Mariner it's a Penthouse C for the Concierge E rate.  On Navigator its a Penthouse C for the Deluxe Veranda Suite - E rate.


    The price I quoted earlier was on our Navigator cruise.

  18. On 2/19/2021 at 9:21 AM, rallydave said:

    Most travel insurance only increases age premium every 5 years so depending where your age is within the range premium increases or doesn’t. 

     we were at the cusp on one for me and my wife on another.

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