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Everything posted by rjhelmes

  1. Thanks for the responses, they're all very helpful. I can definitely understand why the agent would waive people through if they have paperwork to fill out for just a few dollars, especially since it always seem like they're understaffed. We've been on a few cruises but have never needed to declare anything in excess and I've never seen anyone pay excess duties so I didn't want to be unprepared if we find some liquors we can't get at home.
  2. As a US citizen say I buy 3 bottles of liquor in St. Maarten (I think I'm allowed 1 liter duty free) and return to Fort Lauderdale. Do I show the US Customs Officer my receipts and pay there? Cash, Check, Credit card? How does this usually work? Also, years ago (2012) we bought liquor in a port and while returning to the ship they waived us through passed the liquor hold station. I assumed it was because we had the drink package (but they never checked our cards so how would they know) and why would they care if we drink what we bought versus drink the included bev PKG booze. Is this normal of you have the drink package or did we just get lucky to not have to check our liquor to the ships hold.
  3. Has Celebrity thought about the unintended consequences of this move? For us, we enjoy Celebrity because it seems less crowded because people are in their staterooms. If this move pushes people to the pool (the ships will need more pool loungers) or to other places our enjoyment level will probably go down. While I can't say we won't sail with Celebrity next time but it'll certainly be taken into consideration. And who knows we may try another brand and like it and not return to Celebrity, that's a risk they're taking by making this move. It might be cheaper to keep the movies than trying to attract new (not yet loyal) customers.
  4. I just booked a two bedroom suite the other day at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Cruise at 1150 west state Rd 84, for a really reasonable price with breakfast. The pictures show that you walk in to a common area then it splits in to a queen bedroom, a separate sitting room with a pull out couch, and another queen bedroom so it sleeps 6. I couldn't tell if the bedrooms have doors, I don't think they do but at least you're not right next to each other and I believe you share 1 bathroom as well.
  5. We've been on Celebrity 3 times (2013, 2014 and 2019). Our perception was that the food was good but from 2014 to 2019 the quality did go down but it could have been a variance in how good the land based supply chain was or the chefs on the ship. We still rate it excellent and much better than I can make at home. What I can tell you is last cruise we had the drink package so maybe the wine helped the food taste better? It also helps that we had an excellent MDR waiter who steered us away from the food that got poor reviews and toward the better dishes. Our waited did tell us that over the past few years more salads have replaced the meat based starters so he recommended we order a non-salad so management would know there was still demand for it, which is good because our group wasn't a salad group anyways.
  6. If you're like us I don't think you'll be missing anything if you skip the specialty restaurants. When we cruise the main dining room rarely disappoints and we're not very picky or have refined palates. Also you've already paid for the mdr meal (let's assume the mdr meal is worth $15) so by going to a specialty restaurant that's $50 your real cost is $65, for that money I'll enjoy a restaurant near me that I've been wanting to try. Also, a few years ago we met a couple that had access to Blu but preferred eating their nice dinners in the MDR. We were new to Celebrity at the time, and he offered us some dinner advice, he said, "forget the main dining room for a night and try the stir-fry station at the buffet, it's the best". We tried it and he was right, delicious and something we don't have access to at home, we've skipped MDR a few times now to check out what the buffet has to offer.
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