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Everything posted by kelmac

  1. Hey guys, the best deal in cruising is scoring an inside cabin in the Yacht Club. We have our third coming up the first week of December. After 34 cruises on Celebrity, it is still our "go-to" cruise line, but we will try something new at the drop of a hat. Speaking of new, after 773 days on cruise ships, my wife and I tried Carnival last month. A btob out of Long Beach on the Panorama; beautiful ship, happy crew/passengers, and a few positive surprises. Over-all, not for us! One and done, but now we can speak to the experience when people ask us about the various cruise lines. Enjoy! Kel
  2. I think the price is a bit high. With all the perks, and considering the going cost of a World Cruise, I would think $41,600 would be about right for a guarantee inside cabin on Royal. I would like to see Celebrity jump in the game, perhaps using the Millennium. It is out of the same mold as the Serenade of the Seas, but having sailed both of these ships, the recently renovated Millennium would be a much better choice. Kel
  3. Maybe you could try a warm up cruise. My wife and I did 80 days on the Queen Victoria (Cunard), San Francisco to London, with a 7 day crossing on the QM2 to New York City. Loved every minute of it, and we would do 9 months if we could afford it. By the way, we were in an inside cabin and paid $12,500 each, which included gratuities and $750 OBC. You meet some very interesting people on a World Cruise! This was in 2019. In 2023, you could do 92 days, New York to London for a little more than $16,860 per person on the QV, in an inside cabin. Cunard is very formal, but a big step up from Royal. Enjoy! Kel😃
  4. Is this cruise out of Ft Lauderdale? We do this all the time using a rental car. My wife and I will drop off all our luggage with cruise tags at the port, and then we will drive back to the airport (10 -- 15 minutes away). Return the car and take a taxi back to the port. Works well. If this cruise is out of Miami, there are rental car companies that will give you a free ride back to the port. Seems like we used Dollar the last time, but check to see which companies provide the service. Good luck, Kel
  5. Hi Barb, We do this transfer all the time. For the most part, we rent a car in one location, and do a "oneway" rental to the other port (airport usually). Gives you the freedom to take it slow, do laundry, eat lunch at a fun restaurant, see the area, secure your luggage, and arrive at a time that will match your boarding window. About the same cost as a oneway limo service. If you get off the ship at 9:00 or 9:30 and shuttle to the next port, you will have to sit around for several hours waiting to board. Some rental car companies have a shuttle from the ship to the airport rental car facility (and vise versa), or you can take a taxi at an added cost. Check Dollar -- I think they have a shuttle in Miami? Enjoy! Kel
  6. Hello cruisers, My wife and I just disembarked the Millennium in Seattle. We had a wonderful time with our 780 fellow cruisers. We had another cruise scheduled the day after we left the Millennium and we’re concerned that obtaining a Covid test would be very difficult. Celebrity to the rescue! We received a free antigen test onboard before leaving the ship, even though our next cruise was with a different cruise company. 👌😁
  7. We've experienced MSC Yacht Club, Azamara, Oceania and Crystal. Crystal wins in the food and entertainment categories and that would be my first choice. Dollar for dollar, I would still cruise Celebrity* compared to all other lines. *Boarding the Millennium in two days Enjoy! Kel
  8. I love British Back Bacon! Only Cunard, Celebrity and every once in a while NCL offer it in the buffet. We did a World cruise on Cunard's Queen Victoria and I made back bacon BLTs almost every morning. 😋
  9. Just three -- try eight.🤪 My wife and I set up (about ten months ago) a plan to spend most of the winter in warmer climates. Starting Nov. 20the, NCL -- Celebrity -- MSC -- HAL -- HAL -- Celebrity -- NCL -- and HAL. Some have one day in between, one has two days, but many are going from one ship to the other on the same day. If testing is still a thing, I'm not sure how we will pull it off. In addition, I'm not sure testing cruise passengers is the best use of this technology, unless there are loads of surplus kits in south Florida? After 18 months of booking/cancelling and moving things around, this is just another frequent cruiser problem, which will be solved one way, or another. Enjoy! Kel
  10. How can people who live in South Florida consider San Francisco too dangerous? https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/?city1=51245000&city2=50667000
  11. We consider ourselves members of the Celebrity "Grand-Slam" club, as we have cruised every cruise ship built under the Celebrity brand. Horizon, Zenith, Galaxy, Century, Mercury, Millennium, Summit, Constellation, Infinity, Solstice, Equinox, Silhouette, Eclipse, Reflection, Edge and the Apex coming up this fall. We started cruising Celebrity in 1993, before RCCL purchased the line. Coming up we are doing Carnival (our first, out of curiosity) 7 days; NCL 36 days; MSC Yacht Club 7 days; Celebrity 70 days; Holland America 56 days; RCL 12 days; and Cunard 7 days. What you won't see is any Princess cruises, as we can't seem to make them "click" for us after our three tries (long story here). I'm sure some day we will try them again, in one of their newer ships, to see if we can bound in any way? We are willing to give every cruise company a try, and I believe most people, deep down, want to do the same. Never, say never (see above -- 7 days on Carnival). With loads of time and a little money, it can happen! Enjoy! Kel😄
  12. When you cruise as much as we do (18 upcoming cruises through 2022), we can't afford upscale cabins. I can see a person who gets very little time off, selecting a splurge, or the trip of a lifetime crowd, but frequent cruisers know the cabin is not that big a draw. We do balconies when there is bargain to be had, but we feel very comfortable in an inside cabin. Our Seashore cruise = $6,323.00 in a YC1 balcony cabin; our YC inside is $2,540.42 for two people. Yes, YC insides are smaller than Celebrity insides, but he perks of the Yacht Club are very impressive. Enjoy! Kel
  13. TP, Good point! I would love to try one of the O class ships. Larger and faster ships (65,000 tons).
  14. After 80 cruises (33 on Celebrity), here is my ratings: Celebrity -- 8.6 experience; $$ cost (Still the best bang for your buck in cruising) Holland America -- 8.3 experience; $1/2 cost. (Next to Celebrity, the best deal) NCL -- 8.0 experience; $$ cost. (Looks cheap, but many "add-on" costs) RCL -- 8.0 experience; $$ cost. (Basic, but solid) Cunard -- 8.4 experience; $$ cost. (Very formal and British; best deal for World Cruises) Princess -- 7.2 experience; $1/2 cost. (Very overrated, basic w/small showers) MSC -- 7.6 experience; $ cost. (Great deal if you can score an inside cabin in the Yacht Club) Azamara -- 8.8 experience; $$$ cost. (Small slow ships; great food) Oceania -- 9.0 experience; $$$ cost. (Older ships small and slow; excellent food) Crystal -- 9.2 experience; $$$1/2 cost. (Old ships, but the best food and excellent entertainment) This is a moving target and ratings/costs will change year to year. Mileage may vary.😉
  15. Does not seem like a good idea. I have eight cruises booked out of Florida, and if it's going to be a free-for-all, of non-vaccinated passengers, I will cancel all eight cruises. I'm okay with the 95% vaccinated, which leaves room for a few kids, but more than that is a no-go for me. Testing the non-vaccinated is not a great alternative. Kel
  16. To me, the IV is more like a large window cabin, with a glass wall at one end. Yes, you can open the top of the window, but just having that entire wall made of glass is very cool. We loved everything about this cabin. It's very private, and we really never spent much time outside in the traditional balcony cabins. Enjoy! Kel😄
  17. Good news! We are experienced cruisers, but we are taking our first Carnival cruise in Sept. If they don't require vaccines, we will probably cancel as it makes no sense at this point. Since kids will be in school by the time we cruise, I'm not sure it will be that much of a problem. Enjoy! Kel
  18. Good point EC, However, at $2,257, it is still more expensive compared to Celebrity. NCL is not close to being in the same league as Celebrity (IMO). In the past, Thanksgiving cruises didn't seem to garner an uncharge, but this past year is sans normal. Everyone is looking to squeeze in a cruise where they can. A note to graphicguy -- My wife and I eat every evening meal in the alternative restaurants of NCL. They are pretty good, and the MDR is not that great. It's an additional cost we pay when cruising NCL, but worth it. We do eat lunch in the MDR and it's fine. We have cruised NCL eight times and Celebrity 33 times. Enjoy! Kel
  19. NCL is very smart, and I'm not sure how they get away with. A recent article points to the fact that NCL is the most profitable of the large cruise line companies. I've noticed it with my bookings over the past five years. Their cruises are very expensive! My wife and I are doing several cruises during the winter months of 2021 -- 2022. Since we are "volume" cruisers, we do try to keep our costs way down. Here are the costs of three of our cruises November, through December 2021: NCL Joy -- 20 Nov 2021. 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise. IA inside cabin total cost for two people = $2,509.78 (includes $15.80 gratuities for two nights alternative dining; $138.60 gratuities for drink package; $411.80 taxes/fees). We must pay staff gratuities onboard. Celebrity Apex -- Nov 27 2021. 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise. 07 Ocean View Cabin total cost two people = $2,200.54 (includes Always Included -- drink package, all gratuities, and free internet + $286.54 in taxes/fees) MSC Seashore -- Dec 04 2021. 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise. YIN inside Yacht Club cabin total cost for two people = $2,810.00 (includes all the perks of being in the Yacht Club, including butler service, drinks, a special dining room and lounge..., + $360.32 taxes/fees). In addition, we get $200 OBC. The only reason we are doing the Joy is the really great itinerary. Is NCL's smoke and mirrors the best in the industry? Why do people cruise NCL?
  20. Hello cruisers, I'm not sure Celebrity's prices are out of whack with the rest of the industry. For example, we are doing several cruises during the fall and winter of 2021/2022, some with Celebrity and some with other cruise lines. We board the NCL Joy 11/20/2021 in an inside cabin -- the total cost is $2,509.78 (includes drink package + NCL's up charge, a two night alternative restaurant pkg + NCL's up charge, for two people) On 11/27/2021 we will board Celebrity's Apex, in a CAT 9 inside -- the cost is $2,200.54 (includes drink package + gratuities + a WiFi package). We really like the Joy's itinerary, but NCL is not in the same class as Celebrity, yet they consistently charge more when you include their drink/dining packages. HAL has some great prices, but they don't offer many perks. We are doing a week on MSC's Seashore, in the Yacht Club (yes, inside cabin), for $600 more than our Joy cruise. The Joy's cheapest Haven cabin is $7,530.38 total for two people. IMO -- Celebrity still remains the best "bang for the buck" in the cruise industry. Enjoy! Kel
  21. I think Texas is in the bottom 1/3 of the US in Vaccine distribution? https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/01/28/960901166/how-is-the-covid-19-vaccination-campaign-going-in-your-state
  22. As of today, 26% of the people in my state are fully vaccinated, and 41% have at least one dose. We are administering 90% of the vaccine that passes into the state. New cases have stabilized to levels last seen in September. Not all tunnels are equal.
  23. As I'm headed out the door to get my second Pfizer vaccine shot, this caught my eye: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/01/28/960901166/how-is-the-covid-19-vaccination-campaign-going-in-your-state?utm_term=nprnews&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=npr&fbclid=IwAR3EhFGj2NSvdIN08-XvQOxl12cw05o4z-yIbCaie6f08UJ_hxY2VWpj5ms Apparently, my state is number one in vaccine distribution, which is great, as we are very rarely number one in anything.😉 We've received 1,337,435 doses and have administered 1,239,316, which is 93%. So 37.5% have received at least one jab, and 23.1% are fully vaccinated. Kel
  24. I've come to believe that even with Celebrity's AI, it's still cheaper than NCL's promotion cruises. We have several BtoB cruises coming up next fall and here is an example (two adults): 11/20/2021 7-night cruise on NCL's Joy comes in at $2,510 for their best inside cabin. This includes the drink pkg, but you must add over $100 in drink gratuities paid up front; two free visits to their alternative restaurants + $15.80 in gratuities up front; $50 credit on shore excursions; choice WiFi package. 11/27/2021 7- night cruise on Celebrity's newest ship the Apex at $2,201 for a CAT 9 inside cabin. This includes the Drink Pkg, Free gratuities, and a WiFi package. HAL has some great prices these days, but still Celebrity remains our "go-to" cruise line. Enjoy! Kel😄
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