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Posts posted by Tricia724

  1. We recently booked our first trip on the Queen for September and were told we have a dining time of 8:00 PM. Will we be assigned a specific table in the dining room, sitting with the same people each night, or will we be seated randomly as we enter the dining room. Either way will be fine with us, it's just that it's a long time since we had a dining assignment and wondering how they handle it.

  2. As luck would have it, Saturday is final payment day for our November cruise. We talked it over and decided to cancel. The testing is less of an issue for us than the masking, but we recognize these are trying times and this virus we're fighting is not going down easily. 


    That said, we still have hopes of going on this cruise. We already have airfare and a hotel booked, so we will keep them and continue to monitor the Covid activity, cruise line requirements, and space availability on the ship. We're hoping there will be a cabin we like available at a price we can handle come October, and we will be able to rebook. 

  3. 11 hours ago, Mary229 said:

    I didn't ask you to offer me insurance.  I get insurance just fine from reputable sources and from my own resources.  I am happy to pay my way in life.


    I think perhaps you have misinterpreted the poster's tongue-in-cheek comment about "not trying to sell you an insurance policy." As an insurance professional, I think his/her point was that the insurance industry regards an individual who is unwilling to fly as someone who  may not be in compliance with their travel policy. Seriously, how are you going to get home from half way around the world without flying. I think that's what the poster was trying to convey.

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  4. We recently had to cancel a cruise because of illness with this agency and paid the $100 cancel fee. I knew about this fee going in. I also knew that they offered me a cruise rate which was over $200 better than any other that I could find at the time of booking. So I took the chance....and lost. Maybe the fee is reimbursable under my insurance plan and maybe it's not. We'll find out. If it isn't....so be it. We've also lost other money on this trip, but health concerns come first.


    I also prefer to book with agencies that have no fees, and if all things are equal, I will. Otherwise I look for the lowest evaluated fare. It's a calculated risk, but at our ages, there are lots of risks.

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  5. There are (I read) three confirmed cases of the coronavirus in St. Barts. 


    Possibly the ship was denied docking to protect the passengers and crew from being exposed. Even if that wasn't the reason, it may be a good thing that no one disembarked there. 

  6. 2 hours ago, kazu said:


    Lots of people book certain cabins saying “we don’t spend any time in our room so the room works for us”.  It’s a whole different kettle of fish when you spend all your time in the room.



    My SO contacted norovirus years ago on the Tahitian Princess, and he was quarantined to the cabin. Princess did not quarantine me, but I quarantined myself to make certain the virus wasn't spread, and I never did get it. Fortunately for us, we had booked a mini-suite, and I spent time on the balcony reading, napping, and watching the tenders go back and forth to the islands. The quarantine was lifted on the third day when he was no longer symptomatic.


    We agreed that we were so glad we had the larger cabin with a balcony and fresh air. He was sleeping a lot, but I felt fine and even though it was only two days, I'm just a bit claustrophobic and was getting restless. I was also getting sick of Princess club sandwiches!


    I am highly sympathetic to everyone on that quarantined ship. 

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  7. The cruise we are considering booking currently has a $500 air credit offer. Right now there is very reasonable airfare available, and we would prefer to book our own flights. The last time a cruise line booked our flights there were problems we'd rather not repeat.


    If we choose not to use the air credit, is it a "use it or lose it" situation, or would we be able to get any kind of credit from Seabourn on our cruise fare? 

  8. Sorry about my previous meaningless blurb. I hit the wrong button. Here's what I was trying to say:


    I recently completed my first Seabourn cruise. Like many posters on Cruise Critic, I have been cruising for many years (since 1970) and have sailed most of the mass market lines. Obviously, cruising has changed greatly, and the two of us were disenchanted with our last few cruises. So it was time to try something new. We have always enjoyed small ships, and, for me, it's not seeking a "luxury" experience as much as a more "civilized" experience, which means no lines, no noise, no loud music, no racket in the halls, respectful fellow passengers, etc. With that in mind, we booked a Silversea cruise to Alaska in June and a Seabourn cruise to the Caribbean in November.


    The cruises were both enjoyable and different, but that close together, there was no way I couldn't compare them, even though I know that I am comparing one specific cruise against another and one cruise may not be representative of the line. For me, the food was comparable on both lines. Our service on Silversea was far superior to Seabourn both in the dining room and our suite. Please bear with me when I say that our Seabourn suite attendant was the worst we have had in many years on all the lines we've sailed. She was a sweet woman, and I feel she did her best, but try as we may, we couldn't seem to get our suite serviced before 2:00 pm. or to obtain clean glasses and our soda of choice replaced. Not what we expected. 


    That said, I absolutely loved my Seabourn cruise. The entertainment blew me away. For a small ship, the talent of the onboard entertainers was quite impressive and unexpected, whereas the cast show on Silversea reminded me of a high school musical. At times the ship felt dead. On Seabourn there was always something going on, and the staff and crew went to great lengths to make the social activities special. We were on a 12-day cruise, and we had six or seven invitations to a hosted table with both entertainers and officers. We accepted three and enjoyed them tremendously. It gave us a chance to meet some of our fellow passengers, and we enjoyed the easy socialization. There was life on this ship, and I had fun. It's been a long time since I've said that about a cruise.


    So here's the thing about surveys. People fill out a check list. On paper, rating item by item, our Silversea cruise might have come out ahead. But in the intangibles, and the things that mattered most to me, Seabourn was ahead. I'd gladly sail Silversea again if the right opportunity arose BUT I'll definitely make it a point to find another Seabourn cruise. 





  9. We just booked our first Seabourn cruise this past week to the Caribbean, and I have just received our confirmation and booking number. Since the cruise is in November, we had to pay in full. We have no cabin credit for this cruise, so If anyone has a coupon you wish to share....and it can be used after final payment....please let me know. My email address is october609 at yahoo dot com. Please put "Seabourn" in the subject line so I don't miss it. 

  10. We just came back from a 10-day Alaskan cruise last week which was round trip from Vancouver. We are frequent travelers in our 70s and have been to Alaska many times on both land trips and cruises, and we have sailed several times in and out of Vancouver. Never have we experienced so much trouble getting through the Vancouver airport.


    Even though we had transportation furnished by the cruise line and we disembarked on a weekday (Thursday) with little activity at the port, it was still a 45-minute drive to the airport and after arrival, it took us well over two hours to get to our gate. Check-in lines were very long to check ourselves in and pay baggage fees, print boarding passes, print luggage tags, apply luggage tags, and after the agent weighed the bags, she gave them back to us to haul them to the conveyor belt and place them on the belt. The lines going through Canadian security/customs for international flights were also long and slow. Canada does not have the TSA precheck; everyone takes off their shoes, etc. After you get through with the Canadians, you get to go through American customs. After all that standing and a lot of walking, we were wiped out by the time we got to our departure gate.


    You didn't mention whether your mother and her companion flew often and knew their way around airports. If not, you might want to seriously consider a roundtrip out of Seattle which means that they would go through Canadian immigration at their port stop, and most cruise lines do that on the ship. That only leaves American customs to deal with on return. SEA-TAC is a big airport, too but I still think it might be easier to deal with for people their age. Both Holland America and Princess have trips out of Seattle that go to Glacier Bay.


    It's a wonderful thing you are doing for your mother. I hope you find a trip that works well for her and for you. Good luck. 

  11. We also did our trip last week with Gastineau, although it was the photo safari, a somewhat pricier option but ideal for the camera enthusiast. There were 10 of us on the photo safari, and several of us (myself included) didn't even have a camera. My other half is the amateur photographer, and he got hundreds of pictures, mostly of a pod of orcas but with a few humpbacks  thrown in. We've done a number of whale watching trips, but the boats that Gastineau uses with the sides that flip up and wide, open windows are great boats for whale watching. I'd use them again. They do have to be booked through the cruise line, though.

  12. Gardyloo…..You are so right. On our last land trip to Alaska, we did exactly what you recommended and enjoyed it tremendously. Spent 4 days in Nome, driving every available mile of road, even went to Teller, which was an eye-opening experience. I think I recognize a couple of those musk ox! Got some up close and personal pictures very similar on the road by the schoolhouse just outside of Nome. We also got a spectacular view of The Mountain on our flight back to Anchorage.


    We're doing just a cruise next month and have flightseeing in Ketchikan (with Michelle at Island Wings) and another flight out of Haines (with Mountain Flying Service) over Glacier Bay. We had booked with Michelle on our last trip, but she cancelled because of weather conditions. That may happen again this time, but we'll leave it up to her and respect her decision.


    Had we not taken air excursions, we would have missed some of our most memorable experiences in Alaska, including our two fly-in bear trips to Katmai. We recognize there is always a risk involved, and I have to admit I was a bit nervous on a couple of flights on those small planes, but it's not enough out of my comfort zone to consider canceling. 

  13. I'm guessing this is just word play from Princess trying to make their Natural History Tour sound impressive. If they were offering a more inclusive tour, I'm sure they'd play it up big time. I can't imagine it would be even less than the Natural History Tour, but my experience with Princess tells me it's possible.


    The last time we were there in September several years ago, we'd take the Park shuttle early in the day, and upon our return, we would drive the road back and forth several times looking for moose. I was shocked at how many Princess Natural History Tour buses I saw leaving the Park, one after another after another. I'd hate to think that someone who doesn't know better and really wants to see Denali gets stuck with only that tour.


    I think I'd avoid anything that vague without checking it out. People should know exactly what they are getting when they sign up for a trip to Denali. 



  14. We've done both....the train and driving ourselves. Both are scenic routes. The train gets the edge for comfort and stress free travel, and the car gets the edge for flexibility.


    Seward is a neat, quirky little town, though, and I have always enjoyed spending time there. One of my all-time favorite Alaska excursions is the Kenai Fjords boat trip out of Seward. If wildlife is of any interest to you, you'd have time to do a 6-hr. National Park cruise, whether you choose the train or car. A good chance to see whales, stellar sea lions, puffins, otters, in addition to glacier viewing.  Something to consider if you still have a few bucks left after a week in Alaska!



  15. You might also want to check out the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge for availability. On our last road trip we stopped there on our way north to Denali and Fairbanks and then again on our way back to Anchorage. It's in a beautiful location and very conveniently located right off the highway about 40 miles from Talkeetna.

  16. 6 hours ago, bassmaster150 said:

    Thank you to everyone for the replies.  We are looking forward to our first time on Celebrity.  On a side note, we were not able to get aqua class because it was sold out.  Can anyone comment on here as to whether the extra cost for Aqua is worth it?  Thanks


    We sailed on Reflection late January and early February in an Aqua cabin, and we were sorely disappointed. Although there were cabins above us and cabins below us, and our cabin should have been quiet, we could hear thumping and banging all the time. It was the same sound you hear many times when you are under the pool deck, although that was not the case for us.


    We were also not happy with Blu. We had previously sailed Eclipse in Aqua and loved it, but Reflection has many more Aqua cabins and Blu was crazy busy much of the time. And noisy. Some of the staff were actually running around. The poor wine stewards hardly had time to take a breath. We are flexible about eating times but usually go to the dining room anywhere between 6:30-7:30 pm. and it works well for us on most cruise ships, but on this cruise we were going in at 8:00pm or later just to avoid the chaos. We also found the food to be lacking both in choice and preparation and frequently just barely warm. One night we just went into the Main Dining Room for a change and had a great meal and good service. Our main reason for choosing Aqua was to escape a crowded dining room but on this cruise, it didn't work out that way.


    We don't use the spa, so that wasn't a consideration for us, and we did get a good group rate on our cabin, but I would have been upset had we paid a premium for Aqua. So in my opinion.....and remember, this is just MY opinion.....I think you dodged a bullet by not getting the Aqua cabin on this ship.

  17. I agree that lanyards are for losers....like me. If I don't wear a lanyard, I lose my card. Sometimes I even lose it WITH the lanyard, but not nearly as often. At home it seems like I spend half of my life looking for my glasses, my car keys, or my remote control, and I don't want to spend my vacation time looking for anything. This is my reason (or excuse) for wearing a lanyard. To anyone I have offended, I sincerely apologize. 


    I'm thrilled that some people think that by wearing a lanyard, I'm flaunting my status because, frankly, I didn't even know I had any. So on our next cruise when I don my lanyard, I will not think of myself as a loser. I will now think of myself as a status flaunter. I like the sound of it much better and it makes me feel like a social crusader. Who knew a lanyard could have such an impact?

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  18. 1 hour ago, wallysdtr said:

    …..and yes you are right with the on-line TA.  The CSR I talked to had only worked for the company for a year. with so much detail, he might not be at the top of his game yet.  


    Last year we found an 11-night cruise on Reflection that interested us. That same TA had a rate on an A2 that was about $150/pp lower than Celebrity, plus they offered drinks, tips, and $300 OBC compared to Celebrity's 2-perk offer. We're older and not as fit as we should be and the location of the available A2s wasn't convenient; however, there were a couple of midship A1s available, so I called and asked whether I could use my Captain's Club status to upgrade the A2 to an A1. The CSR said 'no'....that when they had a group rate, they couldn't offer the upgrade. I said I understood, thanked her, and told her I wasn't interested.


    The next morning my phone rang and the same CSR told me she had talked to her supervisor, and they were agreeable to giving me the A1 at the A2 rate if I still wanted to book. I did, and I still have no idea how they worked it out, but I don't care, and right now we're 10 days away from boarding Reflection.


    I know the rules for group rates are different from posted rates, and I know that Celebrity keeps a tighter rein on their TAs than some other cruise lines, so you may be caught up in one of those sticky wickets. But you have nothing to lose by making another call.    

  19. We had a great upsell opportunity last year on Westerdam on a 16-day Panama Canal sailing. We had originally booked an SS in a good location, and when an attractively priced upsell offer to a NS came a few weeks before sailing, I thought about it and decided to pass on the offer. A couple of days later I regretted not taking the upsell but figured I had missed my chance and would just enjoy the SS. Imagine my surprise a week later when another offer came through at a few hundred less. I grabbed that one in a heartbeat. A great relaxing cruise on one of our favorite HAL ships. This was the first time we ever took an upsell from HAL. We had a couple of offers previously but they were pretty much market price. Life is just full of surprises.  

  20. Even if you kept your VD guarantee, you could still be assigned a HC. Any guarantee is a risk of sorts. Even the cruise line doesn't know which cabins will be available at sailing. There are late bookings, cancellations, and probably a lot of onboard shuffling that we likely never know about right up to sailing. You got a nice adjustment, and you likely will wind up with a nice cabin.

  21. 19 hours ago, Hlitner said:

    ….The psychology of marketing is fascinating and taught in every business school.




    You are so right! And after sailing Celebrity for many years and being on Cruise Critic for even more, I have often thought that Celebrity knows it's customer base better than any other line I sail. They know exactly what they need to say and do to get people to spend money....whether for suites or drink packages or specialty dining....and as we know, it's always about the money. In their pocket. Anyone who has spent hours wading through online travel sites trying to figure out the best price with or without this perk or that perk will understand what I mean. Celebrity has made a science out of appealing to our senses and sensibilities to sell their product, and not only to sell it, but to make us feel like we've somehow gotten a "deal."  


    My personal favorite:  I have read thread after thread about the pros and cons of upgrading to the premium drink package. I've often read comments from people who say that one of the reasons they upgrade isn't just for the better wines and bar choices but also for the premium waters....such as San Pellegrino....and they drink a lot of water. OK. I just got back from my local grocery store where I can buy a bottle of San Pellegrino for $1.88. That's retail at a no-bargain store. Considering how many thousands of cases Celebrity probably buys in a year, how much do they pay? Even though my classic beverage package includes drinks up to $9/day, I can only get "regular" water....not the "premium" water. You have to give a business props when they have the intestinal fortitude to sell bubbly water as a "premium" drink.


    I say this with tongue in cheek as I enjoy my Celebrity cruises, their ships, and passenger demographic, and I've bought into some of their marketing ploys, too. For a business, the way to make money is to keep pushing the envelope until you find out your customers' breaking point, and then you back off just a tad to their highest tolerance level where you maximize profits. I'm guessing this is how Celebrity arrived at the $50/pp cost of a specialty restaurant meal.  

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