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kelmac

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About kelmac

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    Albuquerque, NM
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    golf, travel

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  1. Thanks everyone for you input. Does the ship need to be "zeroed out" before they let the next group board? Does not seem like it was a problem for CruisingFox27. Anyone else able to stay onboard past 10:00am? Thanks again, Kel
  2. Hi Everyone, My wife and I will be exiting the Meraviglia YC on Sunday Nov 17th; our next cruise is right across the pier on the Crystal Symphony(maybe a 1/4 mile) -- Yes, they are both at the Miami cruise terminal. The Crystal people tell me we won't be able to embark until after 11:30am. How long can I stay onboard the Meraviglia before they kick us out? This is our second MSC cruise in the YC, and our first with Crystal. Thanks, Kel
  3. We loved our MSC Seaside cruise in their Yacht Club. Because we were Elite Plus on Celebrity, we were given Black Card status on MSC (this is their highest level). Celebrity really does not have anything close to this YC experience. We have another YC cruise coming up on the Meraviglia in November. Enjoy! Kel
  4. On Nov 10th we are making our second visit to MSC, sailing the Meraviglia in an inside Yacht Club cabin. On Nov 24th we are sailing the Celebrity Edge in a CAT 10 inside cabin. Here is the difference: Cost -- Edge = $2,353 for both of us total, including all taxes/fees. 7 night cruise Meraviglia = $2,902 for both of us total, including all taxes/fees. 7 night cruise Here is what we get -- Edge = no perks, no drink package. We are Elite Plus, so that helps a bit. Meraviglia = YC lounge with unlimited drinks/snacks 24 hours a day, YC dining room, YC buffet open all day long, YC pool area w/pool attendants, YC outside decks, YC outside bar area w/free unlimited drinks, YC inside cabin with free access to the mini-bar, YC butler services including escorted priority on/off the ship, printed newspapers (select as many as you want from dozens of options daily), express elevators, Black Card status w/free visit to alternative restaurant, free drinks all areas of the ship, free items in the chocolate store/ice cream area, free access to certain areas of the Spa, and a YC guest concierge services. Neither ship includes gratuities. One ports in Miami and the other in Port Everglades. Ship wide, we prefer the uncrowded modern feel of Celebrity. MSC ships can be crowded and have an international NCL like feel to them. I'm not sure I would do a non-yacht club cruise on MSC, but their ships are beautiful? Enjoy! Kel๐Ÿ˜€ PS -- sorry about the final product once it posted.
  5. Gail, I agree that they aren't specifically going after the Millennials, but are looking for "New Cruisers" that want a fresh take on the whole cruise experience. We know that these new cruisers don't have the sticker shock that all of us have, and once onboard, they spend like crazy! They are the ones buying in the stores, purchasing the over-priced art, spending time in the casino, buying the ship's excursions, and collecting every photo they can. Celebrity is looking for the "trip of a lifetime" couples, that only take a vacation every few years, and go all out on the experience. They return home and tell all of their friends about their super time they had onboard the Edge. Give them four or five additional cruises and they are in the pool with the rest of us. Not jaded, but putting some wisdom in play before booking the next cruise. In 2019 my wife and I will cruise a total of 137 days (my wife just retired and we are doing a "big year") and we are budgeting like crazy in order to make this happen. We have a seven night cruise on the Edge thrown in, but it's price needs to drop some before getting the final approval. I can't get over that HAL's Nieuw Statendam is a brand new ship and is priced at 1/2 the cost of the Edge. I prefer Celebrity, but......, Enjoy! Kel
  6. Hi Helen, I would pretty much agree with you 100%. We are Elite Plus with 30 cruises on Celebrity, and we still consider it our "go-to" cruise line. We usually cruise in inside cabins, as we cruise four to eight times a year (more as of late, as my wife just retired). We spent seven days on the Seaside last spring in the Yacht Club, and it was amazing. (Yes, they have inside YC cabins.) The rest of the MSC Seaside was beautiful, but crowded. I think the standard MSC cruise experience is more like an international version of NCL. Tons of people and kids, with all sorts of things going on. And like NCL, the standard food is basic at best. By the way, when we do cruise NCL we eat every evening meal in one of their great alternative restaurants, using their ultimate dining package. NCL with all their upcharges is more expensive than MSC. Next fall we are bundling four cruises together in a kind of "New ship/Upscale" theme. Our first ship is the MSC Meraviglia in the YC; inside cabin @$2,902 for both of us, all inclusive. Next is the Crystal Symphony; OV cabin @ $3,564 total costs, all inclusive for two people. Third spot is the Celebrity Edge; inside cabin @ $2,353 for both of us, no perks. And last, is the Nieuw Statendam; inside cabin @$1,238 total cost no perks, once again for both of us. All of these cruises are 7 nights long and none of them include "pre-paid" gratuities. I would put the Edge in last place in the "which cruise is a good deal" category. You can look at our upcoming cruise list in our signature and we only have that one Celebrity cruise. Very strange for us, but we've learned to put our loyalty on hold when our favorite line is out of whack with the rest of the industry. Celebrity and their pricing will come back to us soon, I'm sure. Kel
  7. Two new ships and their prices: Dec 1st, 7 night cruise on Celebrity Edge, inside CAT 10 cabin w/$175 OBC = total price with all taxes $1,435.74 per person. Dec 1st, 7 night cruise on HAL's Nieuw Statendam, inside CAT K w/no perks = total price with all taxes $640.00 per person. I like Celebrity a bit more than I like Holland America, but they are both head-to-head competitors. Is the Edge worth twice as much as the Nieuw Statendam? Enjoy! Kel
  8. It does seem like Celebrity is starting to throw "perks" at their higher price scheme, but when you crunch the actual numbers, it's the same cost as before. I was looking at switching my Nov 24th Edge cruise with the Dec 1st cruise, which has more OBC + two of the four perks in an OV cabin, but the price is about the same and you are forced into a cabin on deck three, which is sandwiched between a crew deck and the main public deck above. My $168.10 per person per day in a CAT 10 inside cabin is about as good as you can do right now. The following week I'm paying $88.43 per person per day in a CAT L inside cabin on a new ship, the Nieuw Statendam. Is Celebrity now worth twice as much as Holland America? I do love Celebrity, but...., Kel
  9. November 24, 7 night cruise in the cheapest 1B balcony cabin is $2,582 per person w/two of the four perks. I guess the OBC + the drink package would bring it down some. You only get all four perks with a suite. I think Celebrity will come to their senses and start offering better deals as the demand wanes. Kel
  10. I agree with you Rick! We have eight cruises booked, but only one on Celebrity and that's still tentative (Edge Nov. 24th). I still tell people that Celebrity is our "go-to" cruise line, as we have cruised with them 30 times. Can't believe we scored a Crystal cruise cheaper than Celebrity and a new ship on HAL is half as expensive as a new ship on Celebrity. Enjoy! Kel๐Ÿ˜€
  11. Hi S, HAL's new smoking policy: --No smoking in cabins. --No smoking on balconies. --Some ships have non-smoking casinos; others have non-smoking evenings; some have a smoking section of the casino. --Limited outdoor smoking areas. We were on the Eurodam last month and there was no smoking on the promenade deck. We experienced more smoking areas on Royal Caribbean and NCL compared to Holland America. Considerable improvement in just a couple of years! Enjoy! Kel
  12. O, I agree with you 100%. HAL is a real bargain now and things are improving, including their smoking policy. We are doing MSC's new Meraviglia ship in the Yacht Club (all-inclusive, including a lounge, restaurant, pool area, buffet and butler services) for $1564 per person in an inside cabin. We did the YC experience last spring on the Seaside and it was outstanding. Hope Celebrity does not lose their Edge (sic). Kel
  13. Next November my wife and I are chaining together several cruises. One of these cruises is on the Edge, and if we we're to book an OV cabin with two addition perks the cost is $1841 per person. Well, the week before we are on the Crystal Symphony, which is all-inclusive and a luxury line, is running $1782 per person in an OV cabin. Both of these cruises are 7 nights out of south Florida. The Edge is new and the Symphony has been around a while, but after our Edge cruise we are on the Nieuw Statendam, and it runs $806 per person OV (no perks) and it's a new ship. I can mix the dates up and sequence up, but the pricing is the same. We have 30 cruises with Celebrity and love the brand, but........, Kel
  14. Next November my wife and I are chaining together several cruises. One of these cruises is on the Edge, and if we we're to book an OV cabin with two addition perks the cost is $1841 per person. Well, the week before we are on the Crystal Symphony, which is all-inclusive and a luxury line, is running $1782 per person in an OV cabin. Both of these cruises are 7 nights out of south Florida. The Edge is new and the Symphony has been around a while, but after our Edge cruise we are on the Nieuw Statendam, and it runs $806 per person OV (no perks) and it's a new ship. I can mix the dates up and sequences up, but the pricing is the same. We have 30 cruises with Celebrity and love the brand, but........, Kel
  15. The S-class ships of Celebrity all have a British station in the Ocean View restaurant. I always get my "fix" of proper British back bacon and other delights! Yum, Kel
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