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MarkWiltonM

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    42
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About MarkWiltonM

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Wilton Manors, Florida
  • Interests
    Tennis, dogs, cooking, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL and Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. I usually find that the location I want puts me into Concierge Class over the regular veranda. The highest-priced regular verandas are usually not much less ($100 to $150 for a 10-to-12 day cruise) than the lowest-price Concierge Class, and the higher price is based on a better location (I like to be exactly two floors below the buffet, in the aft.) And if you are a Captain's Club member and you book the lowest-price Concierge Class (C3) you get a free upgrade to C2. If you book C2, you get a free upgrade to C1. The additional room amenities are minimal. I'd never heard of the exclusive pre-departure lounge until now. The extra points are welcome. The Concierge Class priority boarding is hit and miss. We got in the CC priority boarding line once only to see the people in the regular line beside us get checked in faster than us.
  2. I have a Classic beverage package on my next three Celebrity cruises. I am wondering about the non-premium bottled water. First question: Have they eliminated plastic bottles? Second question: Do I have to order non-premium bottled water at a bar or in the Oceanview Cafe and then bring the water to my stateroom, or can I use non-premium bottled water that may be in the room (if they even stock that in the room/mini-bar)?
  3. Is it common to tip servers in specialty restaurants? I thought the daily gratuities that are added to our bill were distributed to all of the employees, including restaurant servers. For most cruises I give an additional cash tip to exceptional stateroom stewards but haven't tipped elsewhere. (We don't visit the main dining room often enough to have regular wait staff to tip at the end of the cruise.)
  4. I haven't found a special number for calling Captain's Club. Is there one that is different from the regular Celebrity customer service number?
  5. We usually book Concierge Class because of the better stateroom locations, the extra points, and the minimal upcharge ($100 to $200 pp depending on length of cruise) compared to the best non-CC veranda staterooms. The canapes are horrible and we tell them not to bring them. The service is the same as in a regular veranda stateroom. Never even knew about the embarkation lunch but we enjoy the energy of the buffet on embarkation day. It's crowded but fun (IMO). I wouldn't pay much of a premium though, and as I'll probably never make it to Elite status I'm not sure the points are actually worth it to me. Location is key.
  6. https://www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-deals/special-offer
  7. I saw a new promotion on Celebrity and re-booked a January 2022 cruise on Apex. I got three perks instead of two and the total price was $400 less.
  8. I would say that's pretty good if you don't mind the nonrefundable deposit. We got a C2 veranda (not Sunset) for 7 nights on Apex departing Jan. 25, 2022, for $3,964 with two perks with a refundable deposit. That was with a Captain's Club free upgrade from C3 .
  9. We were on the Nieuw Statendam earlier this year and the Koningsdam the year before. We love the ships and especially the Lido deck buffet. The Crow's Nest on the Nieuw Statendam is also great.
  10. Thanks for the tip. I canceled and re-booked three excursions for our Feb. 23 cruise on the Silhouette and saved almost $100. Interestingly, one of our excursions, in St. Vincent, had actually gone up in price.
  11. We snorkeled with Woodwind in January 2019. They had lost our names for their list but let us on anyway. The boat was very crowded, but the crew/staff were very knowledgeable and helpful. We also had the misfortune of being there on a very windy day with choppy seas that were difficult for newbies, and there also wasn't a lot to see underwater where we were able to stop. The guides definitely watched out for everyone in the water and offered assistance when necessary. And they served us a hot lunch afterward, which was nice because it was pretty chilly due to the wind. For people who aren't snorkeling, it's not a boat with a lot of space for relaxing and there are no loungers, etc.
  12. This is interesting. We choose the beverage perk exclusively for premium coffee drinks (espresso and cappuccino) and occasionally a bottle of non-premium water. We do not drink alcohol. My spouse and I each have two to three coffee drinks a day, so I'll have to figure out if we are better off choosing a different perk now that it will cost us $28 per day total just for coffees. It will probably not be worth it. I'll have more of the free coffee/tea and splurge on a cappuccino once a day maybe. But I can see how Celebrity must be losing money on this perk for people who are drinking wine, beer, and spirits every day. We booked 2020 and 2021 cruises with the beverage perk before this change went into effect so we're in good shape. But I'll be sure to bring a copy of that PDF detailing the effective date and copies of our booking dates just in case their computer system tries to apply the new charges retroactively, contrary to their statement.
  13. I will be sailing on Celebrity's Silhouette in February 2020 after a four year break from the cruiseline. The last two years we sailed on HA Koningsdam and Nieue Statendam and we were impressed with the abundance of free movies and, in particular, the number of new movies that had recently been in theaters. They are great for rainy days or evenings where you've worn yourself out during the day on shore excursions. It seems like Celebrity is raising its prices to be somewhere between the "premium" and "luxury" categories. So what do you get for the extra money? The food on HA is at least as good if not slightly better and the staff on HA is much friendlier. On the other hand, I have missed Celebrity's Cafe al Bacio. I hope that is as good as I remember.
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