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About Atwell

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Mason, OH
  • Interests
    Investing, history, roses, architecture
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Crystal, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Med or SE Asia

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  1. You can make a 10:22 a.m. flight, unless they delay disembarkation for some reason. Suggest you use a porter when you get off the ship, but if you can carry off in the first wave, then not necessary Porter can get you through customs and passport control faster. Check the lines when you get down to the main hall and decide. Take a taxi, not the Celebrity transfer. If you take the transfer, the baggage goes separately in a box truck with several other buses worth of luggage, and then they dump it all in a pile at the curb at the airport. You can wait quite a while for the baggage truck to show up. That is unless they have changed the procedure. Don't forget to take your bags through the Agriculture Inspection station at the airport just inside the entrance.
  2. We are Elite Plus. My wife is going on a cruise with our daughter and granddaughter on Royal Caribbean. Which Royal Caribbean loyalty status will she be given? And how does she go about getting it? (We guess that Diamond or Diamond Plus on Royal Caribbean would apply).
  3. We have sailed from San Juan many times and have never experienced the behavior you mention. We highly recommend sailing from San Juan. One of the big benefits is that you have beautiful weather from the very beginning of your cruise (if during December-March) versus sailing from Florida where you lose at least 1 day each direction due to cooler weather until you get further south.
  4. Thank you for your review. We board the Summit this weekend for a 12x2 B2B. We also have an aft cabin which we have had several times before and love so much. We can't wait and are glad to hear the ship is apparently still as enjoyable as the last time we sailed. We are glass half-full people.
  5. You might want to check that. The Summit is scheduled to sail from San Juan, PR on Jan 5, not Ft. Lauderdale. If you have different info, please advise your source. Boarding will begin around 11 am.
  6. Thank you for your review. We will be on the Summit for the Jan 5 and Jan 17 sailings. I am glad to hear that the staff is trying hard, as always, to please their guests. That will be enough to make us happy. We will ignore the other distractions such as the hard sell of the Speciality dining. We have sailed the Summit numerous times during the past 5+ years she has been sailing from San Juan and have always enjoyed the staff and the ship. Only a little over a week to wait!
  7. I have to chime in again. Don't bother with the ship's tour. The private tours are so much better - and less expensive! We recommend SPB but ALLA and the other major tour companies are all great!
  8. If you use one of the private tour companies, you will not need a visa - they will cover you on their group visa. However, if you tour on your own you will need one. Personally, I would never go on my own in St. Petersburg -unless you already know the city you will waste too much time and see too little. If you really want to control what you do, book a totally private tour as we did with SPB Tours. We completely controlled the agenda and I bet it was not that much more expensive than the cost of two visas and included all transportation, guide, and driver. And they will get you back to the ship on time - anything can happen when you are on your own.
  9. Love your photos! We are on the Summit on Jan 5 and Jan 17. Thanks for the review!
  10. Personally, I would not book a flight earlier than 11:00 am from SJU. However, others have said in the past they have booked earlier flights. Let Celebrity know you have an earlier flight and they will put you in an earlier group for disembarkation. A form will be left in your room requesting your flight info a few days before the final arrival in San Juan. Here are some tips on getting to the airport faster. 1) If you can walk off with your luggage it will be faster than sending your luggage out the night before and having to find it in the main hall and then standing in line to clear Customs and Passport Control. 2) If you cannot walk off with your luggage, then use a porter in the main hall. They have ways of getting you through and bypassing the lines - tip them generously. 3) The taxi line moves pretty fast. I would not use a Celebrity transfer. The problem is they put you on a bus, however, your luggage is put onto a truck with the luggage from other busses so you may have to wait at the airport to arrive, then it is a free-for-all. Use a porter at the airport. They also have ways to bypass the lines. And if you don't use a porter at the airport, don't forget to go through the Agricultural Inspection x-ray station and get an "inspected" sticker for all checked bags. The x-ray is just inside the door when you enter from the sidewalk. If you don't get an "inspected" sticker, the airline will send you back when you try to check in. As far as transfers from the airport to your hotel, the best (and maybe only) option is taxi. There are taxi sedans but also lot of taxi vans which charge the same rates as taxi sedans but can carry more passengers and luggage. The agent at the taxi stand outside baggage claim will match you with a taxi to fit your need. Use of a porter will get you quicker service if the line is long - tip generously. There is fixed zone rate system around the tourist areas in San Juan so the pricing is transparent. You can Google for San Juan taxi rates to understand the fare structure. The fare from SJU to Old San Juan is $19 or to the Condado area is $15 then there are some extra charges for baggage ($1 per bag), $2 for each passenger over 5 persons, etc. From the Pan American Pier (where the Summit docks) the fare is $19 to SJU airport plus the extras as noted above. Here is one link explaining taxi fares: https://sanjuanpuertorico.com/taxis/ Uber is available in the San Juan area but not Lyft as far as I know. However, the taxi "union" is very strong in San Juan so you might want to avoid any hassle that the taxis will give to Uber drivers especially around hotels. Others may have more recent information on using Uber and Lyft in San Juan. So far as I know you cannot purchase unlimited laundry service on Celebrity ships. They charge per piece. Other experienced cruisers out of San Juan on Celebrity may have other advice.
  11. As far as Celebrity giving differing amounts of drink package discounts for the same length of cruise, or no discount at all - as it has been many times - you can definitely count on Celebrity to be "consistently inconsistent". It would be much better if they would have a simple, straightforward discount of a single percentage (say 25%), applying equally to all cruises, for a specific window of sailing dates, beginning and ending on specific dates/times. Then there would be no confusion and less customer frustration. But I suppose that would reduce their flexibility to fine tune revenue for specific sailings.
  12. From formal to dressy casual and everything in-between. Whatever makes you happy and no one really cares except for the sleeveless t-shirts and torn jeans/shorts which are turned away at the door. (And there always seem to be some who try to get in the dining room dressed like that). More and more are opting for dressy casual, without a jacket (or tie).
  13. Definitely, take it. Call Celebrity, or even better, call the Celebrity Captain's Club number. They will help you get it done quickly. Don't waste time trying to do it on-line. Most/some of the time they have to add your current package onto your cruise planner before the upgrade can be applied. There is rarely any consistency on how to get things done on-line so better to get help. The Captain's Club reps are so very helpful. The number is listed (somewhere) on the Celebrity web site.
  14. I think you will like the Summit, especially after the significant refurbishment in Spring 2019. We have sailed on Summit many times with our next Summit cruises in Jan 2019. Can't wait!
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