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Everything posted by 4774Papa

  1. We did Around the Horn on Celebrity in January 2014 and the Norway to North Cape on Royal C. in June 2019. Both were great cruises, but the Norway cruise had better scenic views. The fjords are amazing. Do a cruise that goes to the North Cape, Celebrity didn't have one, so we took one from Royal C. Also, NCL has one, but Royal was cheaper. The only other cruise that matches the scenery was our Alaska cruise that went to Glacier Bay and the Hubbard Glacier. Here are my reviews of both cruises. http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=248878 Stockholm and Norway Aritic Circle https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=659526&et_cid=3214772&et_rid=17221689&et_referrer=Boards
  2. We have already been to much of where this cruise goes, still it is intriging. Still, not sure that I would want to be on a ship that long.
  3. For some people perhaps, but for us not the case. We have been on two Royal C. cruises and didn't purchase a single alcoholic beverage. We enjoyed the Diamond free drinks that go until 8:30pm. We average about four drinks per day and don't drink prior to happy hour. We like Royal's entertainment and prefer its smaller ships (no mega ships for us). We especially like transatlantics and Celebrity cancelled our Rome to Florida TA set for this month without a proper explanation.
  4. I do the most wonderful thing on a cruise. I turn off my cell phone and it is great.
  5. We have done 11 Celebrity, 7 NCL and 2 Royal C. cruises. All were good cruises. I give NCL and Royal the edge for entertainment. For dining, food quality and variety, as well as service, I rate the three lines on a 1-10 scale. Celebrity 9.0 Royal C. 8.0 NCL 7.5 Both of our Royal ships were the more modest size, not the mega ships. We found more consistency with Celebrity and Royal. With NCL, we have been on cruises were it seemed most of the service staff were not well trained and the dining was up and down. On some NCL cruises, we found the dining and service on par with Royal. Royal C. had excellent MDR dining, but sometimes their buffet included some items not worthy, such as lasagna, but generally was good. Also, on Celebrity and Royal, we found the servers properly addressed the ladies at the table first, as well as serving them first. On one NCL cruise, it seemed that wait staff couldn't remember what I had ordered.
  6. Traveling in Europe is not so hard. Never had an issue with the language, English is widely understood. Travel gets easier, the MORE you research and plan your trip. If you are doing it yourself (not on a tour), plan in detail. IF on a tour, still research what you will see and where you are going as well as issues in the countries you visit.
  7. We have done 7 NCL cruises, but none since 2018. NCL's pricing changed to include hefty prices for drink packages and other perks that we don't want. It's prices, like Celebrity (also went to a similar pricing strategy) are now not generally competitive with Royal C. or Princess. I still check NCL to compare, but haven't booked with them in three years. The Epic was our least favorite ship, its design is awful, with a very small pool area and few places inside to view the ocean. Also, the cabin toilet design is not nice with the toilet separated and frankly not as private if you have visitors. We liked ships like the Gem and Jade the most. We always liked NCL's entertainment, which is excellent, like Royal C. Dining is generally good, but not as consistent as Celebrity or Royal C. We like transatlantic cruises and usually fly to Europe and do a land tour prior to taking the cruise back to the USA.
  8. We are moderate drinkers and Elite. AI gutted our loyalty benefits and dramatically increased cruise prices. Compared to Princess and Royal, X is not competitive. I have been telling X this for two years and they aren't doing much. I never see simply sail for any cruise that I am interested in booking. Also, don't want a guarantee cabin and simply sail rates are still too high compared to Royal and Princess.
  9. Yes, moderation can be a virtue. We are modest drinkers and don't use the internet much on a cruise. AI stinks for us. It has pushed X out of the competition when I check Royal or Princess.
  10. On both of our Royal C. cruises, we very much enjoyed the Diamond benefits, especially the happy hour, which goes from 5pm until 8:30pm. We are moderate drinkers and did not pay for a drink during either cruise. Now Royal has increased the 3 drink per day to four and they are included in your cabin card. Also, Royal C, allows you to book without perks and their rates are Very LOW compared to X.
  11. We like TA cruises and the ones we were looking at show that or close. We don't do the Royal's mega ships anyway.
  12. We had a TA from Rome to Florida booked for this month, but it was cancelled. Right now we have no X cruises booked. OK, you get it, but does X?
  13. Yes, we have options to cruise on Royal C. for half the price of X.
  14. We have done three transatlantics and one transpacific. We prefer to fly to Europe and take the TA home, that way, we have a nice land trip for 2-3 weeks then a relaxing trip home. Celebrity's pricing for TA cruises (prior to the advent of AI) used to be really great. We used to pay from $70-100 per day per person. Now, we find Royal and Princes are much cheaper for TAs. As for enjoying a TA, we usually make friends at the meet and greet (even before on the cc boards) and socialized a lot. We did trivia and went to most seminars. I usually did the fitness center or walked the decks to burn some calories. I always take books with me to read and love reading on the balcony with the ocean breeze. It does get chilly you take the northern route, but the southern routes have great weather.
  15. 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.
  16. Not sure, but I think the refundable on Delta expires at the end of the year?
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. No problem with opposing opinions. However, that post was over the top.
  21. When cruising one of the things that I enjoy is not worrying about the internet, because I rarely use my free minutes.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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