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About Yorkshire-Pudding

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Travelling the world
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    It's about the destination
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Japan, Thailand

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  1. In true RC fashion, there is no indication of when lunch or dinner are timed. We ate in Playmakers at approximately 5.30 pm and that was treated as an evening meal so the UDP was accepted. We generally eat when ever the speciality opened in the evenings which is 6 pm without difficulty.
  2. Can I support Oville comments. We have completed 2 Celebrity sailings and have a third booked for 2020, all in Royal Suites. I would comment that whilst it is great having a butler, that the Celebrity butlers do not compare as favourably as those we have experienced on NCL and Cunard. I would go as far as suggesting that the butler experience on NCL and Cunard lifted otherwise lacklustre sailings on these brands. It is our experience is that Celebrity butler's lack pro-activity unless given a specific task. After the poor performance of our first sailing, we made a point of arranging everything which we required with the pre-cruise concierge as we found the response of the land-based team in setting up our suite to be superior to that once on ship. It is my view that perhaps the addition of female butlers could transform the butler service and thereby the suite experience for passengers. It is surprising that given the number of female concierges on board Celebrity ships that there has not been a reflected by the presence of female butlers.
  3. Dear Dan, I recently sailed Independence of the Seas sailing ex Southampton on 29 June 2019 and purchased the UDP for my party. The terms of UDP when I sailed was that it was valid for lunches on sea days only, but dinner on all days. The $35 per person allowance was per venue at restaurants which were a la carte, which included Fish and Ships, Sushi at Izumi and Playmakers. If you manage to spend the $35 allowance at Fish and Ships, that is a lot of food. Similarly, the nachos from Playmakers was large and the 4 of us did not manage to eat an entire serving for one person. Again if you wished to use the UDP for lunch at Playmakers, it must be a sea-day, otherwise you will be charged. We went to JR for a couple of evening casual meals. Also because we were never able to get to dessert, we did do a take-out of apple and ice-cream from JR on a sea-day for lunch. Negatives The recurring problem we experienced at Fish and Ships was that we were charged every time and had to go to Guest Services to have the charge removed. The problem is caused because there is nothing on the card to indicate that the holder has UDP and even though when the charge is put through the till, the servers at Fish and Ships for some reason, chose to ignore it. IMHO, if your cruise has a lot of sea-days, I am not sure that it is worth the purchase. Our 14 day cruise had 9 ports of call and the UDP could not be used on those days for lunches, nor on embarkation day. It was a great convenience but in this instance, I think it offered poor value. Hope that helps.
  4. Dear Chemmo, Thanks for your kind response. I don't personally have any mobility issues (aside from being lazy) but on my last 2018 Celebrity sailing, my MiL was travelling with us and she had become quite infirm between booking and sailing due to cancer, hence the interest in your mobility issues. We hired her a mobility scooter for use on the ship but she refused to use it, but occasionally used a wheelchair for tours. That was her last cruise as she is too ill so won't travel with us again, so just DH, DS and myself. The luggage thing relates to 2 issues. I pack a lot because as my DH and DS comment, I can't stay clean to reuse anything because I am messy. The other is convenience. Touring with only hand luggage in Japan a few years ago was sheer bliss. Next cruise, its 8 nights on ship, 6 on beach (3 days either side) so just pondering the logistics. My last fly/cruise was to Alaska and we left clothes for goodwill because of the internal flights baggage limits. The 2020 sailing, no internal flights and airline luggage allowance to/from Florida is more than sufficient, but handling lots does't make it a good idea. Also depending on the exchange rate, a little stateside shopping is a nice to do whilst we are in Florida. And yes, booked an RS again. The 2 bed on Independence was more roomy, but DH agreed that he missed the Celebrity RS touches even though we had unlimited dining and drink package on Indy. I like to spend time in the cabin and Indy was just not the same vibe. Hope the photo of the master bedroom bathroom in the suite illuminates what I mean.
  5. Just a note on clarity. The Barclaycard I used to set up my on board account did work on the last day of sailing and my final payment went through without problem. I did not contact Barclaycard until after I returned home. It was the daily pre-authorisation that RC does that seemed to cause problems. My Amex was not used for any payment.
  6. Lovetravel1114, I would be more than happy to assist. Of the 7 cruises we have completed, 4 have been multi-generational with my DH, DS, MiL and niece, ranging in age on the last one from 18 to 88. We find cruising was always the best way to meet everyone's needs because it offers so much variety. We would just promise dinner together every evening and breakfast when tours permitted. Unfortunately, my MiL is now too ill to travel and our last cruise 2018 on Celebrity is likely her last holiday ever.
  7. Lol. Even I after 29 years of marriage, I would struggle to justify the Reflection suite for 3 people. I have not been keeping up with Celebrity news but hope the Revolution is a bit more than the renovation they completed on the revitalised Independence in 2018 as the only difference we could see inside our cabin and peeking into others as we walked along the guest corridors was a change in carpet. The suite is showing signs of its age. It would seem that although the brands are sister companies, it would seem that a renovation means very different things on each line. I believe there were issues with Equinox revolution and the Reflection suite and signature suites were not added. We had wanted to try a signature suite but alas, it is not to be. Maybe I could use this as an excuse to try Celebrity again after 2020.
  8. Gosh, surprised to see this thread appear again. We just returned from a 29 June 2019 Independence of the Seas sailing ex. Southampton. Royal does not offer luggage drop off for suites but we had parking with ABP. We entered the port via gate 8 which is easier on two fronts. If Celebrity is offering luggage drop off then you drive past the front of the City terminal. If not, I would still suggest entering the luggage drop of zone were there are trolleys from gate 8. The ABP parking is about 75 metres away and we were directed to the car park on the first left after the drop off zone. If you have a lot of luggage (I did manage just 4 cases this time with RC than 7 with Celebrity as did not pack formals), it is easier to drop off and someone wait with your luggage if necessary whilst the other parks the car. I find the ABP staff to be a bit officious and they tell you were to park your car so you could end up a long way from the luggage drop off. Just as an aside. After our 2018 sailing we were undecided about whether we would ever sail Celebrity again and even though we did receive an incentive to book due to issues on that cruise we thought not. Let's just say that after 2 days on board Independence after a 10 year hiatus, I went to Future Cruise and for the first time ever, booked a June 2020 sailing on Equinox from Fort Lauderdale whilst on board. The combination of an underwhelming suite experience (They do have the plus of 2 bedroom suites which are absent from Celebrity as my son invited a friend along) and the dominance of some of pinnacles in the Suite Lounge was enough to send us scurrying back to Celebrity. Chemmo, if you read this. I believe you sailed out the US when you had problems with your leg? Could you sign post any reviews/musings you have written about your experience there would be gratefully received. I am debating using a luggage forward service to ship some luggage direct to and from Fort Lauderdale even though our airline hold allowance is 3 bags each, between my 6 foot 5" son and my poor Ford Focus, cannot accommodate so much luggage.
  9. Teeara I don't know but my experience is as follows. I understand these cabins are for up to 8 people. I originally booked an Owner's suite and a inside for the 4 of us but when a 2 bed unexpectedly became available 9 days later I jumped at the chance although it resulted in loss of the perks of the first booking. This was 5 months before sailing. There was minimal difference in monetary cost but the inside cabin came with the deluxe drinks package and Voom this was lost and replaced with a Replenishment package and no internet for the 2 boys but it was so much easier if we all travelled in the same grade cabin.
  10. Dear Lovetravel114, I sailed 14-night, 29 June 2019 Independence sailing in 9708, a 2 bed GS on deck 9. The following photos are from that sailing. It is very different from 6416 and 6716 in the video. I think may be a result of those cabins origins as the 4 bedroom Presidential suite which was then convert into 2, 2-bedroom suites. The decor and presentation of the suite in the video is definitely a step up from the current 9708 even though the cabins are the same grade. Even the entry door into the cabin in the video which seems to be same as the one used for the Royal Suite is different. I know some may not agree, but having sailed in other suites on other lines (Celebrity, Cunard, NCL) since our first sailing on Independence in 2009 in a standard GS, this one left us underwhelmed although the amount of space we had, was very nice for the 4 of us and we did enjoy our holiday. You will find that the crew do respond quickly if you have any issues so don't hesitate to tell them or the concierge. The food and champagne shown in the video was not offered on our sailing although we did get the bottle of Evian. The cans of coke in the inside bedroom was because we are reciprocal Diamonds due to Elite status with Celebrity and you get a boarding gift. We did get some postage stamp sized nibbles on about 3 occasions which I think coincide with formal night With both cabins, you will have plenty of room for your family and I would suggest that you ask them to open the partition between the balconies so you can all use it as it was originally intended with the bar and the Jacuzzi. Word of caution. Although 9708 comes with 2 "fridges" they are not fridges but cool boxes and do not maintain temperature so a glass of orange I placed in one, went "off" in a couple of days, so check if any fridges in your cabins are real fridges or not. Tips for your family. Pool Towels Sorry if you know this already. Don't check out the blue pool towels on the pool deck which are logged against your seapass and if you don't return them they will charge you $25 each at the end of the cruise. Instead, in the Suite Lounge there are pool towels next to the concierge desk. Get all the towels you want and you don't need to check them out. I dropped them off at the towel desk, but also left them behind and got new ones the next day. I also kept some in the cabin for use on the balcony. Suite Lounge There are food servings throughout the day but especially the lunch time spread is handy. It is the only place I found were we could help yourself to strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Also bananas are there which only seemed to be available in the morning in Windjammer. Even though we had the deluxe beverage package, I would go the the coffee machine in the lounge because I found the coffee preferable to that available at the Promenade Cafe. Again in the evening. Most but not all evenings, we would go for cocktails. "Captain" Kirk will hopefully be on duty and is a star. He makes some serious nightly 'medicine', I can attest to the power of them to get you off to sleep. If you are brave ask him to make you the Devil's Eye or AMF, you won't forget the experience if you finish them. We mainly gave him free rein to surprise us each evening and he never disapponted us. Sorry we forgot to take photos of the seating area in the cabin. Master Bedroom Master bathroom 2nd Bedroom - inside, no windows, for 4 occupants with 2 Pullman beds Shower Room Balcony It was wet every morning I think from the window washing of the Windjammer. The rattan furniture is comfortable. Balcony - decking needs pressure washing
  11. Ship - Independence of the Seas, sailing ex Southampton, 29 June 2019 Deck - 9 Stateroom # - 9708 Stateroom Category – 2 Bedroom GT suite Starboard or Port Side - Aft Quiet Stateroom? (With comments on problems) – Quiet because aft. Also long walk to lifts and stairs Was stateroom a connecting stateroom? - There is a connecting door to 9706 Balcony View - Give comments on view, noting if location of any obstructions was an issue. – Some obstruction from ship super structure. Does not get full sun but some shading. Balcony Size? Normal or oversized for class? - Oversized balcony Was wind a problem? - No. If an aft cabin, was soot a problem? - A little Any specific problems with this cabin? - It is a bit tired and needs a refit. Fitted cabins rattle if there is a lot of vibration such as the ship docking. Put slips of card into hinge side of each door to reduce the rattle. Master bedroom Master Bathroom Second Bedroom (No windows) This also sleeps 4 with pullmans. Shower Room Balcony - only access from seated area balcony doors The port hole is the window for the master bedroom Balcony Decking - a bit grubby, needs a power wash Any other comments? -
  12. Like yourself, most of my bank accounts are with Barclays, I have 3 different Barclaycards, but also MBNA and Amex but I usually use a different purse for holiday so only take 3 cards, Barclays debit, Barclaycard and Amex, leaving all the others at home. I don't know if the problem is all Barclaycards but the one I had is marketed for travellers because it doesn't charge foreign transactions fees. It could be that your card is ok. I just would hate other Barclaycard users to be caught out and suffer the embarrassment of having your seapass declined. There does increasingly seem to be the wider issue that Barclays does seem to be cracking down on anything it deems to possibly be fraudulent even when there is no evidence of it. I recently made an electronic transfer from a non-Barclays account to my Barclays current account using the Sort Code and Account Number, it was rejected even though both accounts are solely in my name. The bank I sent the money from said it was transferred and I had electronic documents which clearly showed the transaction, but when I checked my Barclays said it was not there. As Barclays did not receive the money and couldn't help recover the money. I spent days trying to track the money down to finally discover that in fact Barclays had rejected transfer and funds would now sit in 'banking abeyance' for a further 10 days until it returned back to the originating bank as a failed transaction and whilst it sits there, it is not accessible by anyone. This was more than £20k. Let's just say I was not happy. The originating bank said that this was a known problem and had happened to other Barclays customers and to guarantee this does not happen again, I must to use the IBAN code (international bank account number) even though the transaction was between my UK sterling bank accounts. When I recovered the money I did the same transaction again for the same amount using the IBAN for the Barclays account and it went through without issue. You couldn't make it up.
  13. This was a Barclaycard travel credit card. My husband also has one and uses globally as he travels for work, without this problem ever occurred. He struggles to tell me where he is flying to next, so there is no chance of him telling Barclaycard his movements. I have never had a problem using it anywhere I have travelled in the world before, nor did I have a problem with American Express I replaced it with and I did not notify Amex that I was travelling. The problem is the repeated pre-authorisation.
  14. Just a quick note to those travelling using a UK issued Barclaycard credit card. I just completed a cruise on board Independence of the Seas ex Southampton. I created my on-board account with a Barclaycard for everyone in my cabin against my card. However about 3 or 4 days into the cruise, my seapass was declined when 'purchasing' a drink despite having the Deluxe beverage package. I went to Guest Services to understand what the issue was as it seems that the problem relates solely to Barclaycard users. It is my understanding that RCI pre-authorise a payment against the registered card everyday (I guess they want to make sure they get paid) but there is a problem with Barclaycard which rejects them. Puzzled I checked my Barclaycard balance and had a zero balance, however Guest Services would not allow us to use our seapass even for items already pre-purchased unless we either placed cash on account, used another credit card or manually signed everyday for our charges. To resolve the issue, I used an American Express for the remainder of the cruise and swopped back to the Barclaycard for the final bill. The explanation I was given by Guest Services is that it is known to be a problem with Barclaycards. However, if this is the case, why are they accepted when setting up the on-board account and RCI report the issue back to Barclaycard? I quick conversation with Barclaycard on my return and it seems there is no issue with my account but may have be caused by the repeated daily pre-authorisations by the same vendor (RCI) which appears to triggers fraud flags at Barclaycard which then decline the transactions. I do not know if this happens with all Barclaycards and/or Barclays debit card but it is embarrassing to find yourself locked out. If possible, I would advise travelling with an additional credit card other than Barclaycard if possible or cash. Regards
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