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Everything posted by ChucktownSteve

  1. They raise their prices every month as XX does however the current two suite upgrade promo ends the end of February. I snapped my deals up under that promotion. Plus my TA is giving me a $1200 + $400 OBC on that one, a $1500 cash rebate on another cruises and a $1500 rebate with $600 OBC.on a third one.
  2. I've only had one XX S class ship where there was some soot but a quick wipe of the chairs helped. No problem on other ships. regarding people looking over the top, I had clothes on. I used to look down from my railing at others below. lol It's no biggie. I found the extra cost worth the difference. The only down side being AFT is some people complain about the long walk to the elevator. I never found it that long.
  3. We've sailed with an aft cabin on several ships. It's our preferred view so we booked the S1 aft facing suite on our Apex cruise. There's just something about watching the wake when you're sailing that we really enjoy. Also if you dock facing the correct way, the views are really fantastic. We had that in Bermuda. But it really boils down to your personal preference and whether you want to pay extra for the different view. The S1 corner aft suits also don't have the infinity "balcony" but a real one.
  4. You don't have to go up to Penthouse on Regent for a true comparison. When comparing it depends upon the SF of the cabin, which ships are being compared and whether having a butler is the most important thing? I found the Concierge suites on Regent more than comparable with the Sky Suite especially since Regent has a two category free upgrade right now. The reason I selected Concierge is it includes a five star hotel night pre-cruise, all transfers, excursions in all ports, air fare and all of the specialty restaurants. I'm not only getting the premium liquor but they also include
  5. Doesn't the sky suite include the AI four perks? What itinerary and sky suite category are you looking at?
  6. I was able to get the liquor price matched after the shop worker had to go speak with two different level managers to validate the price match. It took over 45 minutes. They didn't want to do it. I finally proved it with a picture of a sidewalk board sign showing the price of a Johnny Walker Blue bottle at $99 plus I had my my receipt from the store in St. Maartin. The receipt didn't show the size bottle. Luckily for some reason they didn't confiscate the bottles I bought ashore as I boarded. The Manager made me go to the cabin and prove the size of the bottle. Talk about jumping through ho
  7. Use the OBC for WiFi? Nope, they forced you to pay cash. Use OBC for the classic liquor package? Nope, they forced you to pay cash. Use the OBC for gratuities? Nope, they forced you to pay cash. Buy overpriced stuff in the shops that you don't need or want just to burn off the OBC? Ding, ding, ding, ding. The WiFi I used to get as an Elite perk was enough. I didn't need to buy more. It used to be easy to get a classic drinks or gratuity perk at no extra charge as an incentive to book. That's gone. So now it's a price comparison against the premium and real luxury lines.
  8. Upscale to them yes. Premium no. Certainly not anywhere close to luxury.
  9. I really liked the positive direction they're taking. Thankx for posting the interview. I can't explain why, but I believe them. One very good aspect, IMO, is they no longer have to please the giant conglomerate but can make AZ their own. Initially I was sceptible about AZ's future at the sale announcement. However the information the new owners and this interview shared plus the immediate fourth ship acquisition make me look forward to when they begin sailing again so I could definitely include them in my considerations.
  10. I agree with Host Jazzbeau and chemmo about including consideration of other lines. That's why a few years ago we selected Azamara for our 12 night Baltics cruise in 2017. It was the best cruise we ever booked for several reasons. I suspect one of the reasons XX went to shorter 7 days cruise lengths is they can generate more revenue on the turnaround two cruises than a longer one.
  11. When I've moved my trip insurance policies to a later cruise, the advantage I got was that the new trip date was at the original booking age and not increased premium due to higher age. The new premium was only on trip cost.
  12. drakes2, I don't know why XX would say that, but this marketing spin is directly from their web site introducing Always Included: "Vacations should be effortless from the start. So, when it comes to your precious vacations, we’ve made your experience more convenient and relaxing by always including our most popular amenities. Now, every Celebrity cruise always includes drinks, Wi-Fi, and tips* on every sailing, in every room, every time. It’s that simple." highway180, That says to me that they did and it is in my best interest. Plus people on this thread have not said they don
  13. I have never removed a single gratuity on any line even if something didn't please me. However I do object to them forcing the gratuity payment to hit my credit card 120 days before the cruise at final payment. I prefer it to either be eaten up by OBC or PAID at the END of my cruise with the other charges I've made. It's an early money grab by XX to bring in fast revenue. I'm not fooled that it's supposedly in my best interest. It's for their bottom line four months out.
  14. Plus now they don't have to do special perk promotions to get people to book. Just like the Black Friday sale that was the Always Included promotion with raised pricing.
  15. Yep. Not to mention the OBC your TA gives you that XX doesn't
  16. I wish the people who use the term "all inclusive" not refer to the new XX program that way since it's NOT that and very confusing when they do. The XX program is ALWAYS INCLUDED. Which means you will be forced to pay for the now included gratuities, liquor and WiFi hidden within the fare and no longer charged optionally at the cruiser's discretion. This Always Included program is XX's way of confusticating, (i.e. to confuse, confound, perplex; to complicate) their marketing to make people believe they're more an upscale/premium line then they actually are. This is demonstrated by
  17. I did go back and read your post 339. You used the term All Inclusive. So I suppose that means the same as Always Inclusive in the post?
  18. highway180 and Fouremco, Are y'all referring to XX's "Always Included" but calling it "All Inclusive"? The "Always Included" on XX is basically the "Classic" drinks package limited to bar brands. The cruise lines with "All Inclusive" pour Premium liquors which you would have to pay additional to upgrade to on XX.
  19. For XX to be semi-luxury or a premium cruise line, they need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I haven't seen the walk matching for the past several years. Keys Kathy, you forgot to mention taking away the daily aqua from Aqua Class. lol That created quite an uproar back then from the AQ aficionados.
  20. Like many of the replies, we enjoyed AQ on both the M & S class ships. It's worth it there for only a few $$ more than Concierge because we appreciated the view and quietness vs the large two deck MDR. We have not sailed Edge yet but chose a Sky suite for Luminae after reading many reviews for Edge's Blu. But you will get a bottle of water in AQ the first night if they haven't changed that even though the AI now includes all the bottled water you desire if you go get it. LOL Pre-Covid I would have suggested upgrading to a Sky Suite for the Retreat and Luminae but I suspect
  21. Nope not all by that but a good portion. The other is the demand to use the inflated FCCs before they expire. XX gave them 125% and then charge 200% of what they used to before the pandemic. However the bottom line is what do you really get for what you pay. If you have a lot of FCC then it's irrelevant. So too if you L&S'd. If you're paying out of pocket for a new booking, then OMG.
  22. No. Only people who don't remember the Chandris X willing to pay these prices for less are. That's smart business on XX's part to maximize profits. The lemmings will follow.
  23. WOW!!! That's $638pd US$ per day for a standard non real balcony infinity? I wonder if they named it infinity balcony because the prices have gone to infinity and beyond? 😄
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