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About CTSandy

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    Genealogy, casinos, cruising
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  1. I’m not sure what the deal is with the Retreat sundeck - when I was on Summit in May, Rihanna (host in Retreat Lounge) said I should check out the sundeck, however, I had read somewhere that only suite guests could use it so I never went up there. I’m not crazy about being in an area with limited shade, so I didn’t feel bad about missing it. Yes, I’m doin the July 19 Bermuda cruise😊
  2. Also had to add that I much prefer the quality of Celebrity cruises to NCL but I realize that’s subjective.
  3. The other very nice benefit of sapphire on Celebrity is access to The Retreat. You almost don’t need a beverage plan - can just stop by and have a drink. Btw, took advantage of one of the cruises on the Blue Chip offer - heading to Bermuda/Newport in July.
  4. Great pictures, thanks for sharing - I've sailed frequently on Summit but June 2020 will be the first time for Millenium. I enjoy the Solstice class ships, but feel at home on M class. Staff seems friendlier on the smaller ships.
  5. If that's so, it must be a very recent change. I was on Ovation for an Alaska cruise on Aug. 2 - Aug. 9, 2019 and spent a lot of time in the casino and smoking was pretty heavy. They do have a non-smoking section but the smoke definitely leaks over to the non-smoking section. I actually try to sail Celebrity more often because they have a non-smoking casino.
  6. Although I love creme brulee, I really don't like the Royal Caribbean version of it - almost has a banana pudding undertaste to it or something. The Grand Marnier souffle was being served on Ovation last month when we did our Alaska cruise.
  7. Ovation of the Seas had two Super Star machines in the non smoking section a few weeks ago - I think there were two or three in the smoking section. Celebrity Summit had a few Super Star or All Star (not sure of what theirs were named) in May of this year. I look for them, too - like being able to switch off to other games and I love that Celebrity is totally smoke free. I sailed on Silhouette last year and they had a couple that were in a corner - didn't find them until the second day - had the most uncomfortable stools ever, but those may have been changed.
  8. Thanks for the info - exactly what I was looking for. I was Prime on the first cruise on Royal in Sept. 2018, did one with my free certificate in Jan. 2019, and Alaska earlier this month; have a cruise booked with RC for November 2019; had wondered what next level was. Appreciate your response!
  9. What are the tiers in ClubRoyale? Tried looking at their website and also tried searching in the forum and couldn't find anything. Thanks for any information!
  10. We do a combo of casino, bringing two bottles of wine, and paying as we go. Just completed a cruise to Alaska on Ovation of the Seas and only purchased drinks a few times - definitely worked out cheaper for us than buying a drinks package. In fairness, neither my friend nor I normally drink that much, we usually have a glass of wine with dinner and a frozen thing on a day that we spend in the solarium.
  11. As others have mentioned, I've been Prime since my first cruise on RC and I get no emailed offers. When I go to the Club Royale site for my offers, nothing shows up except my award for my last cruise or annual benefit. I'm assuming it's because my cruises have all been booked through a travel agent who runs gambling trips. I'm not complaining - he does a great job and usually gets me a cabin that's better than what I would have gotten on my own, just wondering if this is why I don't receive offers.
  12. I've done the Anthem winter Bahamas sailing twice and booked for Nov. 2019 and Feb. 2020 - not that crazy about the Bahamas but it's a nice getaway in the winter and I love being able to drive to port (2 hrs. 15 min.). Parking is relatively inexpensive at $22 a day; most of the time I've been able to park in the garage there - once on a Summit sailing I had to park in the lot directly across the street from the cruise terminal. System is the same for both areas - pay for your parking when you return and show your receipt when you leave. Other than the crazy crush when boarding and disembarking, especially at the elevators on the ship, you don't get the feeling of being really crowded. I used to sail NCL but I can't take the smoke in their atrium area that drifts up from the casino. I understand Bliss has a glassed off smoking section so I might think about giving NCL another try. BTW, have not run into snow on any of the trips but it's bound to happen one of these days.
  13. I first purchased the Key for a sailing on Anthem in January (about 3 weeks after program was started), I was sailing solo and had purchased internet prior to Key introduction so I cancelled the internet and purchased the Key for $19.99 a day. I was very pleased with it - arrived at Cape Liberty at a few minutes after 10 and was on the Anthem at 10:40. Had lunch in Chops at 11:45 and it was pleasant and unhurried. At that time the Key was limited to 100 people. Used the reserved seats for We Will Rock You, did not use any of the Flowrider, etc. Loved the breakfast with the specialty items, was escorted off the ship and picked up my luggage in The Key designated area and was home in plenty of time to watch the Super Bowl. On August 2, my friend and I sailed on Ovation to Alaska. I talked her into The Key because I had such a great experience - did not find it nearly as good this cruise. Boarding was a little bit of an issue - apparently they had an additional entrance for boarding but they were directing people in the Key waiting area to an entrance that was having a problem adjusting the boarding ramp so not a great improvement with the Key. Ambiance of dining in the MDR as opposed to Chops is not as pleasant (although I understand why they did this - 200 vs 100 people), steak was good and it's preferable to Windjammer but doesn't have that "special" feel to it. We didn't use any the attractions like Flowrider or Ifly. We did have a booking for Northstar, but the day and time we had selected was very foggy and rainy so we skipped it (not the fault of the program). Poor information on where to head for early departures at ports - didn't make much of a difference in Juneau and Skagway because we had later meeting times for excursions, but in Victoria I showed a crew member our card with the Key and they sent us to the same line everyone else was waiting in - when we finally got closer to the front, I questioned one of the officers and he said they should have sent us to the other exit. Very disappointed with the ala carte breakfast on day of departure - didn't have the steak and eggs or crab benedict - don't know if this is just on this ship or if it's fleet wide. We paid $24.99 a day "on sale" for the Key on this trip - will not be buying it again, just not worth it.
  14. I've been alternating between Celebrity and RC; RC is more generous (and easier to understand what you qualify for) than Celebrity, but I really like Celebrity so much that I bite the bullet at least once a year and cruise with a discount (because of casino play) with them. I was fortunate enough to get a comped cruise the first I sailed on RC and since then I've always earned enough points in the casino to get a letter just before the end of the cruise telling me what I qualify for. I do get a "free" cruise on NCL once a year because of my status at a land casino, but I haven't used it in a couple of years because I prefer RC (no admin charges - just port fees and taxes). I've stuck with the guy that connected me with that first RC cruise - as teeredi2cruiseabove noted, travel agent and junket operator and works hard to set me up with what I want.
  15. Thanks for the report - we'll be doing this cruise on Aug. 2 and looking forward to it - will be first trip to Alaska for us.
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