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Everything posted by 4774Papa

  1. Frankly, we don't care for the extra hand holding you get with a suite. The space is nice, but we don't stay in the cabin a lot. We did a suite once, but will never pay more than a veranda or aqua.
  2. Not sure, but I think the refundable on Delta expires at the end of the year?
  3. I see cruises that I would like (in 2022), but it is hard to get excited and plan for a trip, with the uncertainty of the COVID19 restrictions that will be in effect. We like to combine a cruise with a land trip and that adds to the uncertainty, since if we buy airfare and either the land trip is not possible or the cruise, we are in a pickle.
  4. My wife and I both had the double doses of Pfizer, but we are going to wait a bit on the boosters. We had no serious reaction to the doses, but we know some people that have had serious issues with vaccines. We will likely decide before next March, when we have a tour of Israel and Jordan.
  5. We have visited Australia twice and did cruises at the beginning or end of our visit. The first time, we stayed five days in Sydney and took in the nearby Blue Mountains one day and the wine country north of Sydney as well. We didn't see all that we wanted on that trip. The second time, we flew into Sydney, then immediately flew to Melbourne and spend over a week in Melbourne, but that included a three day tour that included the Great Ocean Highway and the Penguins at Philip Island. Also, we did another visit to a nearby wine area. 1) Don't even think of driving a car from Sydney to Melbourne, the distance by car is about 550 miles. You would spent a full day just driving to get to Melbourne. 2) With only a week, you might be better off staying in one city. If you divide your time, you would have about three days in each city. Not enough time to do any day trips to must see places. There is a bit more to do in Sydney with the Opera House, we did an opera there. Also, a harbor cruise and city tour that included going to Bondi Beach. In the city there are several great museums, as well as checking out the famous Harbor bridge. You can climb the bridge, it is expensive, or for a minimal fee go up to one of the bridge posts that is about 2/3 of the height of the top of the bridge. In Melbourne, you need about two days to see the key sites on a city tour. Also, did lunch on the tram.
  6. No problem with opposing opinions. However, that post was over the top.
  7. When cruising one of the things that I enjoy is not worrying about the internet, because I rarely use my free minutes.
  8. Spif, Never have I found a post on these threads that I disliked as much. You didn't need to insult cruisers like me that point out X's lack of respect for its loyalty program. Loyalty programs include perks for cruisers that come back to a cruise line. The perks are modest incentives to encourage more loyalty. I haven't found a Celebrity cruise that has a competitive price, since AI has largely wiped out our loyalty benefits. I still check Celebrity against other lines, but book based on itinerary, value and price. The loyalty benefits did tip the balance before when I would find cruises where Princess or HAL (never cruised on either) were about the same cost as X. The loyalty benefits were the item that tipped the balance. Also, I love cruising on X. No Celebrity doesn't owe me anything, but their pricing decisions don't demonstrate that they care whether I cruise with them or not.
  9. We haven't done Princess, but I have heard good things about their cruises. We prefer Celebrity, Royal C. and NCL in that order. Service and dining are better on Celebrity and Royal. NCL is inconsistent. We have had great cruises on NCL, but we have had others where the staff seems to be untrained. Royal and NCL excel in entertainment, Celebrity is just good. Ship design Celebrity wins, with Royal second. COST, now Royal wins hands down, both Celebrity and Royal have gone to price bundling that forces perks on you that you don't need. Also, Royal's Diamond loyalty benefit program is the best. Unless Celebrity and NCL change their pricing, we may never do cruises again with them.
  10. I have never booked or cruised on Princess, but now finding their cruise prices more reasonable than Celebrity. Royal C. is still cheaper, but Princess is more competitive than Celebrity.
  11. I am so uncertain about 2022, we like to fly to Europe, spend 2-3 weeks touring then take the TA home. It is hard to predict the restrictions, testing requirements, etc. I am not keen on cruising where we have to wear a mask outside our cabin or forced to take expensive excursions from the ship.
  12. We agree and love the ship design of all the Celebrity ships. Unfortunately, Celebrity has, like NCL gone with price bundling and their prices are even higher than NCL's.
  13. The service charge on drinks with the FREE AT SEA is ridiculous. We liked NCL better BEFORE FREE AT SEA.
  14. I like paying for what I get, not overpaying (for things that I don't get).
  15. We did Eclipse in 2019 from Chile to San Diego and had members of our group that first met on the TA from Southampton to Miami in 2017. I miss Celebrity, but won't pay what they are asking now.
  16. Celebrity hasn't always been this expensive. Until it went with Always Included, it was competitive with NCL, Royal C. and Princess. Not anymore.
  17. Iike you, I am a moderate drinker and punished by AI.
  18. This subject does focus on pricing. Also, regarding people posting their opinions here on this tread, I expect people will post their opinions, as well as facts known. I don't resent opposing opinions. I appreciate everyone's facts and opinions.
  19. Also, NCL seems to focus a lot on Transatlantics to and from NYC.
  20. From time to time, our cruise friends have mentioned travel agents to us that offered great deals. Some of these would be companies that had a warehouse where you could shop for food or other household items in bulk. However, we have no such store near where we live. Also, I routinely check the on-line travel agencies. I found that we could save a modest amount booking with one, but the savings was never that fantastic. So, we still routinely book direct and have control of our bookings, so when prices drop, we get the drop. Some of our friends had quite a time when their TA went belly up and they lost their bookings and down payment. Others have had trouble getting in touch with the TA to get the benefit of price drops. I am not criticizing your use of a TA. I am sure you get savings, glad that works for you. Regarding the AI rate and NO AI rate, both seem too high, at least the few that I have seen. Most of what I see and cruises that I look at (I book early), I don't usually see the NO AI rate.
  21. jagoffee, Thanks, I suspect that the shutdown due to COVID19 has been a huge setback to all the cruise lines, so raising prices may be something of a product due to that. However, I think X used bundling prices to raise prices significantly over what OTHER cruise lines have done. NCL started price bundling a couple of years prior to the COVID19 crisis and it did result, prior to COVID19 in higher bundled prices. However, NCL's prices have not mushroomed as much as Celebrity's. I am not an accountant and don't lean to being picky about pricing, but my parents both were raised during the depression and they taught me the propriety of value. They taught me to shop around. Don't waste anything. When we started cruising 11 years ago, I always kept track of what we spent on our cruises. I would take about half an hour at the end of the cruise to add up our total spending on things like alcohol, excursions, as well as other spending. Prior to becoming Elite on Celebrity and enjoying happy hour, we would spend about $550 on average during a two week cruise. After become Elite, that number dropped to about $350 for a two week cruise. So when drink packages starting become big, their prices looked ridiculous to us, some costing $60-85 per day. Finally, when NCL and Celebrity did the price bundling forcing the perks on us, it destroyed the value that we knew in the past. Hopefully, at some point X will remember its moderate drinking loyal value customers some day.
  22. I go with value, price AND product. I like NCL, but have cruised Celebrity and Royal. Celebrity now has the same problem as NCL, price bundling, they call it Always Included and their prices are even higher than NCL's now. So, thanks for Royal.
  23. That Apex cruise is for this year, next month. Wow, and Celebrity cancelled (months ago) my Reflection TA from Rome in the SAME month without a good explanation. At that time there were NO other TA cruises from Rome. By the way the Apex cruise from Rome for next year, for a real balcony, not a porthole one is $5,405.82 for a cabin, WITH NO Simply Sail option. There is clearly a correlation between X's sky high prices and AI, however, I realize that correlation is not causation. I wasn't privy to X's decisions, but I can compare to other cruise lines like Royal that don't require AI. My comment is far from absurd. I think it is likely that going AI gave X a way to raise prices significantly by slamming its loyal customers that don't want the perks. OK, they want big spenders, well , I am a value consumer and compare.
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