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GiannaD

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Posts posted by GiannaD


  1. Having cruised on both, I would personally prefer the Eurodam. It is a lovely ship, obviously newer than Vision, and IMO the service is a step above. Ultimately, though, I would go with the ship that provides the itinerary I preferred, since you really can't go too far wrong with either choice.

     

    I have sailed on both ships. Your choice depends on your priorities and the ports of call. The service on both ships was good and the food was comparable. We liked the pool layout better on Vision but this is not likely very important on a northern itinerary. The Vision is definitely livelier than the Eurodam which for me was a bit boring. The updated Vision now has specialty restaurants which gives you more choices for dining than in the past. Depending on the itinerary the Eurodam seemed to attract an older demographic than the Vision. If balcony cabins are important you can see from the deck plans that the Eurodam has many more balconies than the Vision which makes the balcony cabins more expensive on the Vision.

     

    I agree with the above poster that you really can't go wrong with either ship.


  2. The Grandeur of the Seas online booking for August lists "Superior Ocean View Suite also known as a JS Junior Suite" under the suite choices so RCI must have decided to rename the category. This still doesn't clarify the different perks available for the other suites and a JS. The site gives the room size and the fact that there is a bathtub but not the other perks available. For that information one has to search the Royal Caribbean site.

     

    It is easy to understand why a first time RCI cruiser would be left wondering what was and what was not included.

     

    We've been in a JS on two cruises and enjoyed the larger size cabin, good location and double points.


  3. The following article appeared in The Baltimore Sun Tuesday, June 4, 2013 page 15 NEWS Commentary.

     

    It is a wonderful article and a tribute to the officers and crew of the Grandeur of the Seas.

     

    Grace under pressure

     

    A fire aboard a cruise ship was handled surprisingly well, one passenger says

     

    By Adam Tiffen

     

    On May 24, my wife and I embarked on our first cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean ship *Grandeur of the Seas to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. Having deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Maryland Army National Guard, I had been overseas for our fifth anniversary, and this year I booked a cruise out of Baltimore to help make up for it.

    I was a little hesitant to do so. Last year, while deployed to Afghanistan, I booked a cruise for my two weeks’ leave. I planned to meet my wife in Barcelona, Spain, and we would embark on our first cruise aboard the Costa Concordia for a one-week tour of the Mediterranean.

    Needless to say, our cruise never happened. The Costa Concordia ran aground outside Italy a few weeks prior to our scheduled trip, with horrific loss of life. In the aftermath, I found Costa cruise lines to be uncommunicative and extremely difficult to deal with. The experience came very close to turning me off of cruising entirely.

    After setting sail, my wife and I enjoyed two days by the ship’s pool, and then turned in late on Sunday. Around 2:30 on Monday morning, we awoke suddenly to the sound of the ship’s intercom system announcing that all passengers should report to their muster stations immediately. A few seconds later, a crew member began pounding on our door. Opening the door, I was immediately hit with smoke and the thick, acrid chemical smell of burning plastic. The voice on the intercom announced: “This is not a drill.”

    My mind immediately flashed to my experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. When a rocket or mortar attack on our base was imminent, an automated siren and alarm would sound with the words “Incoming, incoming.” We had been trained on how to respond: We would hit the ground and cover our heads. After we heard explosions, we would grab our body armor and head to the nearest bunker and wait for the “all-clear” signal. This was essentially what the army calls a “battle drill.” At that moment, what was going on aboard our burning ship was essentially a battle drill, and it was executed heroically by the officers, staff, and crew.

    Securing our life vests, my wife and I moved immediately into the crowded hallway to our muster stations. Along the hallway every few feet was a Royal Caribbean crew member pointing the way for passengers in various states of undress and consciousness. We were shepherded to our muster stations calmly and efficiently, and the crew sprang into action. Cooks, dancers and art gallery specialists immediately began to get a by-name accountability of every passenger. Waiters, housekeeping staff and blackjack dealers began to lower and prepare the life boats in case they were needed. Carpenters, electricians and plumbers valiantly donned firefighting equipment and risked their lives to fight a raging fire for almost three hours.

    All along, the captain gave regular updates, keeping passengers fully informed about the progress of the firefighting, the status of the Coast Guard, where we were headed, and how far we were from port. When a passenger became faint, almost immediately a mobile medical team arrived to assist. Later, when the captain announced that the fire had finally been put out the crew and passengers spontaneously erupted into applause.

    The crew who had been up all night fighting fires and caring for passengers then kicked into hospitality mode and went above and beyond the call of duty. Within an hour, cooks managed to prepare a hot meal. Unlimited Internet and phone service were provided, and customer service representatives began addressing individual passenger issues.

    When it was officially announced that the cruise had to end, the captain informed us that we would be getting a full refund, plus a credit for a free cruise. We were also told that we would be flown the next day on chartered aircraft back to Baltimore. Until we left Tuesday evening, the crew continued to provide outstanding service with grace and undeniable pride in their ship. From opening up the restaurants to providing live music and putting on comedy shows, our time was made to pass as pleasantly as possible. On Wednesday around 1 a.m., my wife and I disembarked at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where we were met by representatives from Royal Caribbean and, much to my astonishment, a jazz trio playing live music in the baggage claim area.

    Although this obviously wasn’t what we had in mind for our first cruise, the attention to detail, professionalism and genuine care and concern of the officers, staff and crew saved lives and ensured that we all returned home safely. It is because of them that my first cruise will not be my last.

     

    Adam Tiffen lives in Fairfax, Va., and has served in the Maryland Army National Guard for 12 years. His email is adamtiffen@hotmail.com  .


  4. Re: Booking of Accessible Handicap Cabins : For any cruise departing from a USA Port RCCL has to abide by the Federal Regulation/Law under the Department of Transportation that went into on January 1, 2012 . Cruise lines must now verify that a person occupying the accessible cabin has a medical and or physical disability that requires the need for the features in that room.

     

    The law was implemented to prevent fraud in the assignment of accessible cabins (e.g., attempts by individuals who do not have disabilities to reserve accessible cabins because they have greater space)

     

    As a result the cruise lines :

    (1) Must inquire of persons seeking to reserve such cabins whether the individual (or an individual for whom the cabin is being reserved) has a mobility disability or a disability that requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in the cabin.

     

    (2) May require a written attestation from the individual that accessible cabin is for a person who has a mobility disability or a disability that requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in the cabin.

    Under this new law the only time it's acceptable for an able body person to book an HC cabin is after the final payment period has past at which time the cruise line can release all unsold HC cabins for sale to the general public .

     

    It's also important to note that when booking an HC cabin prior to the final payment date, RCCL requires certification that one of the occupants has a medical and or physical disability and needs the features of the accessible cabin. If found to have falsely certify the need for such a cabin , RCCL has the right to move the person to another cabin... and no RCCL does not have to upgrade to another category.

     

     

    A person in our group needs an accessible cabin and they were asked by RCI to fill out and submit a disability verification form. There were clear penalties for fraud and the certification process described above was followed.


  5. Taking my teen grand daughters on Enchantment. Booked Panoramic cabin on Deck 7. Would prefer the sofa bed by window rather than by door. Has anyone stayed in these cabins - particularly 7600. I can still change if sofa bed

    Not by window. Help Enchantment cruisers.

     

    We've been on the Enchantment in a balcony cabin and I think all the beds are by the bath with the couch by the balcony. The beds do not alternate as they do on some RCI and Celebrity Solstice class ships.


  6. Welcome to CC and Cruising!

     

    Your first cruise on Royal will always be a memorable on and I am so glad that you are planning to do another cruise that you can complete as planned because you were able to appreciate the efforts of the crew on the GOS.

     

    ***

    A really good read on cruise history is a book called Devils on the Deep Blue Sea. In the beginning of the book there is the story of the Yarmouth Castle that caught fire and sank in the Florida Straits. The General Manager of that cruise line was Ed Stephan who later founded RCCL. When RCCL started, Stephan designed the ships himself. Remembering the horror of the Yarmouth Castle, his ship design placed safety as a top priority. (He even took inspiration from the Seattle Space Needle and built a decorative superstructure)

     

    On every cruise on a port day we will hear them announce that they will be conducting a drill for staff training. ship designs that focus on safety are important but having well trained crews is what really makes the difference. We are all so fortunate that RCI and the other cruiselines continually train their crew for emergency conditions.

     

    Very interesting post which gives great information on RCI ship design and crew training. We plan to be on the Grandeur in August and hope her repairs are completed in July. We are confident that RCI will continue to do a great job.


  7. When RCI runs promotions that are applicable for new bookings only, they will flag any cancellations that occur after the promotion starts and will not allow you to cancel and rebook the same cruise during the promotion.

     

     

    I didn't know that RCI flags cancellations and will not allow rebooking during a promotion. I think some other lines allow this. It's good to know RCI's policy. You can watch for price drops before final payment and take advantage of the change without rebooking or changing cabin.


  8. I called the agency I booked through and they said I couldn't get the beverage package since it was for new bookings only and that even if I cancelled and rebooked I would still not be able to get the beverage package because it would show I had cancelled and rebooked. We just booked our cruise a week ago, for November. Anyone had this issue? Would Celebrity help me or am I out of luck since I booked through another agency?

     

     

    The canceling and rebooking part doesn't seem correct. I did that in 2012 to receive a promotion. I would call your TA back and ask for an explanation and also make a polite call to Celebrity if necessary and ask them to contact your TA. I would also ask to talk to a supervisor. The answer may still be no but it is worth trying. (I booked with Celebrity about a month ago and they added the gratuities today without cancelling and rebooking. The room rate had not changed. I did not use a TA which might make a difference.)


  9. From my reading of the "fine print" in the Pick your Perk promo:

     

    * Prices and offers apply to residents of the U.S. and Canada only

     

    * Applies to all sailings in Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Asia, or Caribbean

    departing Sept. 2013 through April 2014. (No mention of Bermuda or TA)

     

    * Cruise must be booked June 1 - 19, 2013

     

    I did find it interesting that Celebrity is picking up the tab for the gratuities on the Classic Beverage package. I don't recall their doing that on previous promotions. Of course, if you upgrade to Premium, the additional gratuities are not included.

     

    Now off to see if pricing has increased..............:rolleyes:

     

     

    Celebrity has a 2 day promotion for July 2013 sailings to Bermuda. It is available June 1 & 2 only. The promo code is SOD7


  10. Hi Gianna,

     

    As you already have the Five Star rate, that's a plus. As long as tomorrow's rate makes sense, giving up the $50 OBC is an easy decision. I do believe that if you want to make the change, they should accomodate your request. Please let us know. All the best to you !

     

    I called Celebrity Captain's club this morning and asked if they would make a modification to my existing reservation. The agent was very polite and checked with her supervisor. They added the prepaid gratuities which for our departure are $322 and removed a $50 repeat cruiser coupon. The Five Star room rate was the same so we have a $272 benefit from the promo.

     

    Thanks Andy & Thanks Celebrity Captain's Club


  11. Hi Gianna,

     

    Im uncertain how Celebrity is handling this new promotion. However, in past promotions, they allowed your existing booking to be modified if you are willing to pay the prevailing Five Star or Group X rate, book an Oceanview or higher cabin, and willing to give up any exisiting Celebrity promotions associated with your booking.

     

    If you feel you meet that criteria ? At the very least, it's worth a phone call to see if they will accomodate you. Please let us know what happens. Good Luck !

     

     

    Thank you for your advice. I'll give Celebrity a call and see what they say. We have a $50 Captain's Club credit that we would give up. We have a Five Star rate and booked a 1B. I'll have to see what the rates are tomorrow for our category to see if the promotion makes sense. Today the rate is the same as when we booked a month ago.


  12. Balcony staterooms at the D2 level for the Grandeur Aug 16 sailing dropped $150 per person today. It is a residency discount and includes at least Maryland and Virginia. I didn't check other states. Since it is before final payment they will adjust the fare. I think the drop is likely because the TA Memorial Day deals are over but it could be due to the fire. We'll have to wait and see.

     

    I called RCL and talked to a live person immediately. So far I have been impressed with the way RCL has handled the Grandeur incident.


  13. Hi Everyone,

     

    FYI, Celebrity updated the Pick your Perk document. As expected, it confirms the promotion is for September 2013 - April 2014 Europe, Australia, Asia & Caribbean sailings.

     

    http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/Multi_Dest/Special_Offers/13034406_CEL_Pick_Your_Perk_Multi_Dest_Promo.pdf

     

    I hope this is helpful !

     

     

    Thanks for the link. I wonder if the fares will go up June 1.


  14. Grandeur of the seas fire and now a train derailment with explosion that shook houses several miles away. Baltimore is getting national attention this week.

     

    Oh my! I just turned on the TV and saw the coverage of the derailment. First the Grandeur and now the train.


  15. Hi Kevnzworld,

     

    It certainly seems we can get used to the idea of one promotion after another. As a result, it's difficult to keep track of everything. My guess is, bookings are slower than anticipated, and for obvious reasons, they dont want to lower prices. It seems clear they'd rather give away a drink package or some other perk to keep bookings at acceptable levels.

     

    It's my pleasure to provide the latest promotional details for our community. As Celebrity does not provide the information, nor any details unless I ask... reporting promotional offers has become a passion of mine, as I truly enjoy helping our community obtain the best possible deals, and/or saving money along the way. Rest assured, the moment I hear of new offers, it's posted on this forum, and on Twitter (@HostAndy).

     

    I hope this helps !

     

     

    We'll watch for an update on a new 1, 2, 3.


  16. We normally use RC's xfers but since the port in Baltimore is so close to the airport I was wondering if anyone had used taxis now that Grandeur is back in Baltimore.

     

    What is the average cab price for 2 people with a BUNCH of luggage?

     

    TheAirportShuttle dot com charges $43 one way for 2 passengers and $34 one way for 1 passenger from BWI to the Port of Baltimore luggage included. You can find more information on transportation to Baltimore from BWI on the Ports of Call Forum. The Baltimore Port is very convenient and a short distance from BWI airport.


  17. No, I know it's not allowed. But I have a perfect picnic spot picked out, but there are no restaurants anywhere near it so I want to bring it with me. I'll try to hide it in my backpack, and if they take it, they take it. I'll figure something else out.

     

     

    Taking food off a ship is not permitted because of the agricultural laws of the countries visited.

     

    If you want to take snacks for a picnic you can bring prepackaged foods like chips, cookies and cheese/peanut butter crackers from home which you can take off the ship. Depending on the port most foods that are "factory" sealed are permitted. Fresh and unpackaged foods from the buffet pose a danger of importation of insect, diseases etc. into a given port.


  18. I don't have the compasses - tossed after the day was finished.

     

    Shows were usually 7 and 9. First night the welcome aboard show was 7:45. Ariel shows were 8:15 and 10:15 the last night and 9:15 the 4th night (wasn't listed in the compass for this show).

     

    Disco was night 3, love and marriage night 5, and quest night 6.

     

    Mdr was open 8-10 at sea and 7:30-9:30 port days. Lunch alternated between 11:30-1 and 12-1:30. Windjammer 7-11, 12-3, 6:30-9. Park Café 7:30-10:30 11:30-6:30, 9:30 - 1. It didn't open until 1:30 (at least according to the compass) the first day.

     

    Edited to add - With the change in cruise directors on the 17th, I don't know if the entertainment times will change.

     

     

    Thanks for all your info.


  19. Hi: We are just off the Grandeur and the Mix and Mingle was well attended in the Crown Viking lounge. We had about 50 guests attend. We had a gift exchange, slot pull, and a cabin crawl. Met several people off of our mail exchange and we plan on staying in touch. My husband even won a bottle of wine (Merlot) from Royal Caribbean. We loved it.:)

     

    We've been on two previous cruises with RCI and enjoyed the Meet & Mingle parties.

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