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About cleobella

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    Toronto Ontario Canada

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  1. We are going to the Canary Islands-Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Funchal. We usually like to plan ports according to themes, and hope to do one of these as a nature/scenic stop, one as a historical sightseeing stop, and one as a cultural stop (just walking the town, stopping to try local food and wines, shopping... I tell my husband that shopping is cultural!) Which of these ports would be good for each focus. We are also going to Lisbon (? historical sightseeing and city wandering) and Vigo (which I know nothing about, is it quaint or more of a city, any sights nearby? Thanks for the assistance
  2. JB and Simplerubies thank you both! All the suggestions are great, and give me a few good options. You guys are awesome!
  3. Thanks for the info. So, we have decided to do a Celebrity Spain and Canary Islands trip now at the end of Sept 2020. I has hoping to find a short cruise out Southampton or Portsmouth to Le Havre area, but there are none from what I can see. There seems to be a ferry. Any advise for tagging on an after cruise trip to this French port?
  4. Does anyone know if it would be risky planning a cruise to LeHavre in April. This is an important stop for us as my husbands family comes from the area. We are looking at an Apr cruise but I wonder about risk of missing the stop due to weather conditions?
  5. Have a great time! I think you will enjoy the day and will have lots of energy for the amazing, and full, Rome day!
  6. Thanks so much for the info..sounds great!
  7. Hi mkaalong...I'm a bit late with this! We actually just did a ship shore excursion for Pisa and Winery. We did local companies for our busy long days but the ship tour was simple, relatively short (less then 6 hours maybe 4, cant remember exactly) and reasonable. We had a group of about 20 with us. Which was ok because we all spread out at Pisa and broke into small groups at the winery. A nice relaxed break in a busy schedule..and we got great pics !
  8. Can someone tell me what Xuan charges for his tours? And are they all private, or can you join on a shore excursion tour with Xuan that is shared with others from the ship? Thanks
  9. So, I feel sorry for the UK cruisers on this issue, had no idea that all your deposits are nonrefundable and wonder what is the rational for this with the UK customers. After I posted I saw that the deposit can be moved to another cruise if we have to back out, which does help. To Hank (who always gives wise travel advise on this forum), yes I know that the airline industry practices this way too, and we do usually wait to book our airfare, booking long after our cruise. I guess it's just that for us, historically, booking with a refundable deposit has made cruising easy to book, accessible, gives us a sense of security until we do final payment (at which time we buy insurance) and we have generally get great value for our money cruising. We have not yet had to back out of a cruise, but if this is a problem for cruse lines then I see the dilemma. The accessibility of booking and planning trips on our own is part of the attraction in cruising for us, but if cruise lines, Celebrity in this case, can't offer that ease of booking anymore, then I would start looking at other vacation alternatives. I wonder what would happen in case of a travel advisory? As we are looking at Asia this concerns me a bit.
  10. When we did the Western Med we had Rome, Livorno, and Naples right in a row. Since we were doing full, busy days with private local companies in Naples (Pompei and the Amalfi) and Rome(including Vatican Museum and Coliseum), we opted to do a relaxed, shorter day in Pisa. We really enjoyed the Tower and the accompanying sites. Yes, they are not as grand as in other places but it is easier to take them in and you can really take some time to enjoy them. We paired this with a winery tour and lunch and it was great for us. I would say choose what you do here based on what else you have organized in the other ports. If you try to do too much overall, you won't remember anything and will be tired all trip! You may sacrifice some important sights but prioritizing is key!
  11. Last year we used Island Coach ways, which does a 90 minute drive around the island for about 10 L per person, it may have been less. It stops at the Little Chapel and along the Coast. The pick up is close to debarkation pier just at the shopping mall near by. We got off the ship, had a lovely coffee at the little mall and then got on the bus. Afterward we walked to La Vallette Military Museum which is really interesting, built into a fuel tunnel. You could also walk to the Castle Cornet . This was a really lovely day and the bus was a great way to see the island.
  12. So, I'm looking to book an Asian cruise (probably Japan) with Celebrity for 2020 or possibly 2021. When we do overseas, more expensive cruises we usually book way ahead, when the price is less and we can choose from many available rooms. However, I see now they have a very reasonable price or a more expensive price. The more reasonable price is secured only with a non refundable deposit. When I'm planning so far ahead I like the security of knowing I can back out of the cruise if I have to, though I have never done that in 13 cruises. The more expensive price offers a refundable deposit, a couple of perks, but it's pretty expensive for an inside cabin. So, I feel like they are really just pushing a firm booking process and thus I'm looking now at other cruise line options. It's too bad because we like Celebrity, but I don't like this new way of pricing. I am willing to sacrifice perks to get a reasonable inside cabin in a great location, but I'm am annoyed at the no refund thing. Anybody have thoughts on this, maybe it's just the way it will be from now on and maybe they don't want early bookers so much?
  13. We just got off the Edge. It looks beautiful and we liked the infinite veranda idea. The cabins are well appointed and spacious, with thoughtful design. Embarkation and getting off into ports goes very smoothly. However, sadly, I think the value is not there. Everything is more expensive on this ship. If you have a spa treatment you will pay $200++, and can not access the thermal room because the spa and the thermal suite are run separately. Drinks are at least 12 dollars US each, but having a plan helps there. The food is not spectacular or particularly creative, not for the cost of the voyage. In fact, I have been impressed with NCL's cuisine improvements lately and feel the gap btw celebrity and NCL is closing in that regard. Celebrity use to be awesome with the meals! There are some good innovations-like the Petit Chef dinner show-and they have put effort into green practices for sure, but overall this ship is pretty on par with most others...not over the edge as far as I am concerned.
  14. We are traveling in a Concierge Cabin on the Edge in just a few days! Having never been in a Concierge Cabin before I am not sure what to expect. I gather there is a butler or concierge person available to assist with requests. I can't imaging what we would need? What sort of things would we ask this person for. Is it appropriate to ask him/her to have coffee or tea delivered to the cabin in the mornings, or cream if there is a coffee maker in the cabin? What extra amenities are included in this kind of cabin? Also, should this person be tipped extra, if so, how much is reasonable? Thanks for any info! We just took this class cabin because we got a great deal and wanted to try out a room a bit nicer then the standard veranda level. It will be interesting to see if it's worth it.
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