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Peggy Sue

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About Peggy Sue

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    MA
  • Interests
    travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Disney
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. Hi, We will be booking a 12 night Norway cruise for September 2020 on the MS Finnmarken. We have taken several ocean voyages to Alaska, Europe and Caribbean ..but we have never experienced the type of cruise Hurtigruten offers. Given our experience has been with the mainstream cruise lines, we have a few questions we hope you all will be able to answer. (Thank you! I've already learned a great deal reading the posts here!) Dining -- Understand breakfast and lunch are buffet and dinner is plated ... Will we be assigned to a specific table for dinner? Are they dining seatings (early/late)? Drinks - Recently the mainstream cruise lines have been incuding drink packages, etc., so we never really have to think about bottled water, soda, beer, wine etc. Are there drink packages offered, and if so, are they worth the money? Given the cruise line is "green" do they even sell bottles of water? Sailing in September, I'm assuming the weather will be cool .. but who knows, we might have a few warm days too .. how is AC on board? Entertainment .. Assume lectures? Any musicians on board in lounges etc. during the evening? We are very happy dress is casual all the time .. traveling from the US, luggage restrictions and the need to bring warm clothes is a concern. Any hits from you experienced travelers about what is a must to pack? Anything you can think of that we don't need to bring along? Cabin .. We are reserving a Artic Superior - Double bed with unobstructed view .. Assume our cabin will be serviced at least once a day for new towels, etc? What do you consider a "don't miss" excursion? What excursion do you suggest we avoid? read somewhere that excursions are often discounted onboard, however no refunds are given if the excursion was booked at the full price prior to the cruise .. what's your opinion? Book those that we really want to do and wait on any others to judge weather and possible discount? Thank you for sharing your experiences! I love planning our vacations and we are really looking forward to a different cruise experience and seeing the beauty of Norway! Peggy Sue
  2. We pack our pillows (if we are driving to the port) & yeti thermal cups, maganet hooks, our own toiletries.
  3. This topic really boils down to an individuals personal choice about how / when / how much they tip. There really isn't a right or wrong answer. We always leave on the prepaid gratuities and give cash tips at the end of the cruise. When dining in Murano, Tuscan, etc., we always leave a cash Tip after every meal. Last March we were onboard the Silhouette for 21 days and dined in Murano multiple times. The dining assistant who kept our water glasses filled, bread, etc., was excellent ..and we made a point to find her the last night we were in Murano and gave her a cash tip as well. We also filled out a comment card with her name and comments about the excellent service we received. We are amazed at how hard the RS work every day, and yet they always have a friendly smile and a few minutes to extend a greeting. Have you ever witnessed how hard they work on the last night of a cruise and the first morning of a new cruise? I'm amazed they can keep providing such excellent service with very little time off. We always write a personal thank you note and include a cash tip and personally give it to the RS the last morning of our cruise.
  4. I'm sure many of you are living in cities and towns who have recently eliminated pastic bags, enhanced their recycle efforts etc. I've been wondering what Celebrity is actively doing to eliminate plastic. I know they have their "save the waves" campaign...but on our cruise last March they were still selling plastic water bottles and leaving way to much printed paper in our cabin each night that we turned around and put in the trash. Awhile back I read a post about Celebrity thinking about filtered water stations to move towards eliminating plastic bottles. Anyone know current status of what Celebrity might be doing to reduce the use of plastic water bottles? we have not sailed on the Edge .. I wonder if they have made an effort to reduce the amount of paper that is delivered to your cabin every night?? I asked what happened to the recycle trash can that used to be in the cabins a few years ago .. We were told they still sort out paper, but they found it easier to have their crew sort the trash. I know they are making efforts to reduce the individual plastic bottles shampoo, etc., but I've heard that the shower dispensers are only in certain classes of cabins and the other cabins will continue to receive the individual bottles. We have not sailed on a ship yet that has completed their "revolution changes". When you think about all the ships on the ocean every day ...that's a lot of plastic and paper!!
  5. See celebrity website - https://www.celebritycruises.com/things-to-do-onboard/staterooms/aqua-class-stateroom https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=1910 - This is a cruise critic article comparing Aqua to Concierge Class We've never sailed Aqua, however when in a Sky Suite we were given access to Blu. From our point of view, we were not impressed with the dining experience. The only exception ... breakfast was excellent. We have noticed pricing of Aqua compared to Concierge and Balcony to be a substantial increase. We enjoy dining in specialty and believe we can purchase the dinner packages, providing variety in dining for far less than the cost difference between cabin types. We also like aft ship location and the Aqua locations are forward closer to the SPA. We have met many people who love Aqua class for Blu, and happily book this class every cruise. Enjoy your cruise!
  6. When asking for champagne and advising we have the premium package we are always offered Chandon .. have never seen an actual wine list .. but after reading the comment above about VC I will be asking if it is available. I did try a differnt Champagne in Cellar Masters, but can't remember name and I only paid a difference of $2. We've been in all the dining rooms (except suite dining and Blu) and when asking we are always given Chandon.
  7. We've had a power strip confiscated.. and we picked it up at the end of the cruise. We also had our luggage held because we had packed scissors ..After we promised we wouldn't take them out of our room, our luggage was released. When we picked up our power strip there was indeed a huge pile of things waiting to be picked up. We too use wrinkle release and steam. I pack our clothes in tissue paper and use packing cubes. When hanging up our clothes minimal wrinkles fall ight out. Tissue paper really does work!
  8. We book CC when the cost between balcony and CC isn't too great ... We too love spending time on our balcony on sea days ..and the foot stools would be missed if they were no longer available. Every year it seems one other "little thing" disappears ..I do understand they remove "small" things to keep pricing attractive, but we are now at a point where we see Celebrity pricing climbing and nothing coming back to guests in return. What I do see happenning is more and more dedication to suite class passengers. Have no issue with those that wish to enjoy their suite experience, after all they paid a premium for the experience, but if it starts to impact my experience via loss of more and more of the small details we've enjoyed in the cabin catagory of our choice we will take our business elsewhere.
  9. Back to the OP question ... Husband has opted for shorts with a polo the first night a couple of times when our luggage has arrived later than expected and we haven't had time to unpack. We always ask before entering the dining room, as we would be OK heading up to the buffet if a problem .. but, we have always been welcomed. Our last cruise we were searching for our large suitcase, only to finally get a note advising it was being held..Husband went down to see what the problem was and they didn't like that we had a pair of sissors in our luggage .. Husband assured them we would not take them out of the room and our luggage was released... but certainly not in time to unpack before dinner! We began sailing celebrity in 2005 .. there were many small touches that aren't there today, such as lemon ice being served at the pool around 3 pm each day, along with an offer of a cold towel...and many other nice little touches like that have disappeared .. I don't think it has anything to do with the dress of their passengers...but their efforts to try and keep pricing under control. We noticed the same issues on princess as well. We are thrilled we are no longer required to dress formally, we stopped doing it years ago, and just went to the buffet on formal nights .. but with the new rules everyone can be happy and enjoy their evening throughout the ship. Yes, most people have the drink packages, but I really can't recall seeing any passengers who were out of control .. ture, we are generally back in our cabin by 11 PM .. maybe there are more rowdy crowds later . but not that we have witnessed. I do agree with a previous poster than it is difficult to get a better wine in the dining room .. I do think the drink packages have put too much stress on the wine and drink servers ...simple solution would be to add more staff....but I don't see that happenning any time soon! On Holland America years ago our day on shore was long and we were tired .. we opted out of formal night for the buffet..on the way to the buffet we had a couple tell us how rude we were to dare to be out of our cabin dressed like we were (we were clean, in shorts, polo etc) When I said we were headed to the buffet, she told us even in the buffet we should be dressed formally .. some people think the ship belongs to them, how they wish it to be .. the new rules allow all of us to relax and enjoy OUR WAY. Enjoy your cruise ... I'm sure your luggage will arrive on time ..but if not, don't sweat wearing shorts if that's all you have available for the evening
  10. We've booked our first sunset veranda on the Silhouette. We spend a lot of time on our veranda on sea days when the veranda is in the shade. For those who have sailed in a sunset veranda does the balcony get any shady times during the day? We will be on dec 7. Thank you
  11. Our room steward this past March on the Silhouette was EXCELLENT. We met Ronald within minutes of entering our room day of embarkation. We are very low key, never leave our cabin a mess .. we only ask for ice morning and night, and if possible service early morning. We were on board for 21 days and the stewards work very long hours, and the evening before the end of the cruise they are working non-stop. We were on board back to back and advised our steward on the turn around day to skip our cabin .. just leave some fresh towels, we made our own bed .. not as good as Ronald did .. but it was passable! We tip extra at the end of the cruise. During the cruise we will occassionaly leave a little candy out with a thank you note on the bed. the last night of our first cruise we saw how hard they were working .. we had returned to our room around 10 PM and they were still collecting luggage ... we took bottles of water and candy to all in the immediate area We had an extra roll of TP the entire 21 days .. I do agree that they seem to be rationing the bars of soap .. not a biggie for us, we only use at the sink as we always bring our own bath soap, shampoo, etc. We collect anything left we haven't used and take home .. we collect these items from hotels too .. when we return home we take them to our local shelters .. they are always happy to receive them.
  12. Recently on board for 21 days .. the laundry perk was great! Read the information carefully ... the free laundry perk cannot be used 3 days prior to end of cruise .. so plan accordingly! Having a beverage package, we didn't use the 5-7 cocktails perk, nor did we do any of the special tours, or elegant tea
  13. We sailed b2b on the Silhouette last month. First leg was 12 nights and there were more Europeans on board than Americans. We saw more formal wear on this cruise. About 10% were in tux and gown. About 40% in cocktail attire...dresses/sports coat and the remainder were a variety of different pant/shirt/dress combinations. Our second leg was 9 nights and there was a large group on board attending an investment seminar. The overall vibe of the ship changed, and dress was very casual every night. What I love about the new evening dress code is it allows you to be who you wish to be. People were happy, relaxed and having fun. All types of dress accepted in lounges and dining rooms. No grumpy men pulling on their Tux collars, not one complaint they were too hot....just happy people wearing what they were comfortable with. Everyone was neat and clean. Yes, we did see a few in the lounges and theatre with shorts, but no one cared. I never understood the need to push formal nights. Several years ago we were on a HAL cruise in AK. We’d been out all day touring and decided to skip the dining room and head to the buffet...we were in jeans...nothing sloppy. We encounter people sneering at us in the elevator and one actually telling us we should stay in our cabin if we didn’t want to follow the dress code! That was our last HAL cruise! So, bring what you enjoy wearing and have fun!
  14. Last March our room steward checked in with us while we were unpacking and noticed we had a bag of mini snickers .. He told us he liked to have a chocolate at the end of the day ... he had a ritual of going to bed, placing a chocolate in his mouth and watching a bit of TV letting the Chocolate melt .. his little bit of heaven after a busy day. Before he left our cabin, we gave him a baggie full fo snickers and upon leaving our cruise when we thanked him for his excellent service with an extra cash tip we gave him all our remaining chocolates. He told us several times during our cruise how much he was enjoying the candy. It's always nice to know a little gesture can bring someone happiness .. it's a win/win. We always leave extra cash tips, and if we see an opportunity to share, we do so. We realize the staff work very hard to provide us with an enjoyable cruise experience .. we make an effort to pick up our cabin before we leave, we always say please and thank you and enjoy conversations with all staff .. they have very interesting stories to share. We also realize a little extra cash is always appreciated.
  15. ahhh .. thanks for the explanation ... I have Pearl on my express pass, husband does not. We too use cash for slots on occasion..I do recall putting our key card in the machine while we were using it. Interesting ....wonder what this status does for us once we are on board? We certainly don't spend more than 20 or so dollars per cruise!!
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