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Cruising Forever!

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  1. I called Princess with some questions I had, but I was told to call back during Lotus Spa support hours (6am-6pm Pacific time). I wasn't given a time or day choice. It merely showed my embarkation day and a time of 12:15pm. My sister and her hubby signed up (same cruise) and they showed embarkation day and a time of 12:30pm. She was concerned that the time meant you had to visit the Enclave at that time daily (I sincerely doubt that-lol), but I think that time is one of two things: your cruise begins (and therefore your Enclave membership) on that date, and they'd like us to visit them around that time for a tour and perhaps to show us how everything works. As I said in my original post here, we were brand new to Princess and we loved our Royal Princess cruise so much that we did the unheard of and canceled our much anticipated Celebrity Edge cruise in favor of the upcoming Sky Princess! We didn't know anything about the Lotus Spa or Enclave, but being extremely seasoned cruisers (see my review page) we knew that booking spa services was a "first thing after lunch" on embarkation day. The Lotus Spa was busy that day, but I felt like they had many openings for the Enclave. After just a few minutes of he tour, we were sold. (I think it was about $150/person for the week. They didn't mention a "Couples" option at the time) The Princess rep I spoke with told me that the online Enclave booking option was brand new (Talk about timing... I got an email to book Lotus stuff that day, but it didn't mention Enclave... I was just lucky!) so it's possible that the kinks are still being worked out with dates/times/etc. I'm going to try and call them today and see if there's any caveats to booking like this, but I can't think of what they'd be.
  2. I was happy to discover that we could book The Enclave for our Sky Princess cruise next year ONLINE! I don't think this was possible in the past, but we're still new to Princess. We cruised aboard the Royal Princess last Spring and fell in love with that ship. We couldn't get enough of the Enclave... especially since it was cool weather on our Mexican coast cruise. We felt it was worth every penny. You are allowed to book as a Single or as a Couple (with some savings) in the Enclave. I took the couple booking as we both use it... hoping we don't have to always use the area at the same time since we're booked as a "couple" (LOL! Can't see that this would be the case). Can't wait till our Sky sailing!!!
  3. We love Celebrity and have cruised on Silhouette, Equinox and the Solstice. We just sailed on our first Princess cruise last Spring aboard the beautiful Royal Princess! We were so impressed by the Royal Princess, that we cancelled our cruise (that we'd been waiting for years to do) aboard Celebrity Edge (reviews aren't very pleasing yet) and booked on the Sky Princess instead in 2020. How does Princess compare to Celebrity? Food- the buffet (at least on Royal) was as superb in quality but with FAR more choices than Celebrity Solstice class ships... we were totally blown away by the buffet on Royal. Alfredo's Pizzeria became a favorite place for us as well (nothing to compare on Celebrity). Main Dining room food was not up to Celebrity's main dining room food quality... here I thought that the main dining room on Royal Princess was more reminiscent of Royal Caribbean. In other words good food but not great as on Celebrity. As for Royal Princess' specialty restaurants, we LOVED Sabatini's, but we weren't very impressed with the steak house. All of Royal Princess' pools were excellent... on par with or exceeding what Celebrity Solstice class ships have... but no one can touch the amazing Solariums on Celebrity Solstice class. The "adult" pool on Royal Princess was not covered, but it was nice. Entertainment on Princess was superb with a stronger focus on singers than pomp. We enjoyed their shows at least as much as we do on Celebrity. What no one can touch, if your Princess ship has it, is the Medallion Service... it's AWESOME! We had a mini Suite- LOVED IT! So, would a Celebrity cruiser feel at home on Princess? Absolutely! We did!
  4. Exactly. This all sooo reminds me of all the "M" class people that HATED the "S" class when they debuted. As I stated a while back with regards to the IVs and future "E" class ships (Edge and Apex could be retrofitted later)... 1) Remove the folding doors... they serve NO purpose. 2) If keeping the folding doors (why? it's supposed to be an "infinite veranda") then put curtains on them and make them air-tight. (I like the idea proposed here by another poster that they put curtains inside the glass!) Also, allow these folding doors to control the AC/Heat off/on state (this HAS to be what was originally envisioned... else the IV folding doors are a BIG stupid design blunder) 3) Also, put smaller Queen size beds in the IVs if they are, as some have said, King size beds. The cabins are too small for a King size bed. (I'm not a huge person, but the space between the foot of the beds and the wall opposite looks very tight indeed) If they are actually Queen size beds that are standard in all Celebrity ships, then the IVs must be incredibly narrow? (perhaps to support the Window mechanism and size of the Window?) All of these fixes would be easy, or could be done in easy steps if not all at once. Removing the folding doors would be my favorite option. But if they put light blocking curtains on them instead, that solves a problem immediately. (A cottage industry could probably sell cheap flat light blocking material that would hook up magnetically assuming the folding doors are metal that's magnetic...) If future "E" class ships did this, Celebrity could completely do away with the slow moving shade and its mechanism. Less breakdown potential (can you imagine how "fun" your IV would be with that shade stuck closed?). I'm still planning to sail on Edge next year... and I'm sure we will love our IV cabin (I WISH we could afford the Aqua-Class IV though!!!) since all of you here (both those who hate them and those who love them) have given me even more to go on.
  5. I don't think random sewage odors are unique to Edge... in fact, I think I've noticed it walking down some hallways on any ship from any line. Quite often, it's gone later. I think it's just one of those things about a self-contained city floating around. Of course, those unfortunates years ago (I thankfully was not amongst them) stuck on the Carnival Triumph where it was reported that sewage was running down the walls... that's a different story. (I can't imagine ever considering that ship... even as a free cruise! I'd never be able to believe it was clean enough!)
  6. On this Captain closing the window of IVs for what I'm sure are very necessary reasons and not to annoy passengers to no end , I do have a question about this. Is there some sort of warning chime or announcement made before this happens? I can certainly envision leaning on the "rail" created (yes, I KNOW there's not a rail there) by the lower glass and the lowered glass and possibly getting injured (lawsuit time) if the glass were to start sliding up unannounced (even if it does so in a slow as molasses speed)! Maybe it doesn't close if it senses that there's weight on it?
  7. Having been in many outside or oceanview cabins, I'm going to have to disagree with labeling the IVs as just another oceanview cabin. You can NEVER (at least on the cruise ships I've been on... not talking river ships or whatever) open an outside cabin window. Also, all of the balcony cabins I've ever been in have had an open above part and a glass below part on the balcony... just like these. About the only real difference here is that you can't have open balcony partitions (we've never wanted these even with friends/family adjacent, but ymmv) and you can't see people adjacent- an idea I love. Privacy! The idea that it's to create the "illusion" of a balcony space is silly, too, if in fact that was the intention. It doesn't make sense from the "infinite" veranda concept! In fact, the folding doors make it a very "finite" veranda and switch us back to the old concept of a balcony and cabin partition again. I think I may be right here... I think the original concept was probably that these folding doors would be air tight and would probably control the AC/heat in the cabin so that if someone did want to go "out" they could sit there and someone in the cabin could have AC on. I'm betting that a decision made later for whatever reason (cost effectiveness?) changed it to what we see now. It's VERY common for designers to make assumptions on costs and concepts that can't be realized in the real world construction. This is true on everything you buy. (always look on that crock pot box that says, "artwork may be different from actual product") Btw- getting back to the Youtube videos showing you how to use the IV were often unintentionally funny... "first open the folding doors. next slide the chairs back..." Seriously, someone missed the original point on those folding doors during construction, imo. Whether customers love or hate the IV cabins, the fact is inescapable that the folding doors are absolutely a stupid idea for an infinite veranda. Infinite Veranda means your cabin is one giant veranda. That's how it's being marketed and that's what they delivered. I know MANY of you want to see the IV go away on future Edge class ships... btw, not gonna happen... but what Celebrity should really do is one of two things: a) remove the ponderous and useless folding doors or b) put light blocking curtains on them. (Certainly for Edge and probably Apex, the smart thing would be ugly gray light blocking drapes on the folding doors... I HATE gray but at least it would match the modern blah "color" scheme so oversold by "designers" everywhere! LOL) Maybe for Celebrity Beyond (oh for Heaven's sake... what a dopey name) they can rig the folding doors with light blocking curtains and AC control as in "as long as the folding doors -or- the veranda "window" is closed, the AC/Heat stays on." (Also, Celebrity would save a ton of money, and future headaches, if they put light blocking curtains on the folding doors... it would make the electronic shade unnecessary.) As I said, I'm definitely leaving the folding doors OPEN during our Edge cruise in 2020. (I hope our cabin steward isn't trained to helpfully close them every few hours! LOL)
  8. I've taken a view of several YoutTube videos from travelers in IV cabins on Edge, and I've begun to think about something in general about the IV cabins: what's the point of the folding (French) doors? They don't block light... they aren't airtight (according to a post on this thread). And apparently, opening and closing them means moving the balcony chairs. Why would anyone ever close them? Since the point, as I see it, is that the entire IV cabin is a veranda rather than a cabin space with a dedicated balcony space, why would you want to cut it down (space-wise) with these doors? I wonder if the original design concept called for these to be airtight to allow the AC/heat to be on? I'm surprised this never occurred to me in all the years of watching the pre-build presentations. I know when we sail aboard Edge next year, my wife and I will open these folding doors once and forget about them. As for the IV "window" being open or closed, I know at night we will always want it closed. Even in regular balcony cabins, we never sleep with the balcony door open. I do like the greater privacy in the IVs... I hate those rude people that pop their head around to look into your balcony. One more thought... I wonder how good the mechanism is that opens and closes the "window" and the blind? To me, that's just one more thing to break. I'd hate it if I was in an IV and either was broken... eek!
  9. I'm not sure if there's been any information on exactly what changes Celebrity will make when they remake the Solstice class ships in the Edge image. Has anyone seen any real information or is it all just speculation at this point? With absolutely no ideas or info, here's what I'm dreading might happen (remember- PURE SPECULATION ON MY PART): 1- Sky Lounge eliminated for more suite space and for a club dedicated space for suite guests only! (NOOOO!) 2- The warm and inviting colors of S-class cabins replaced with the vapid all gray cabin interiors of Edge! (for the love of... ugh) 3- The Persian Gardens replaced with - oh, who cares?! Don't touch the Persian Gardens, Celebrity (shaking my fist- lol) 4- Lawn Club removed and replaced with Rooftop Garden. Yes, PLEASE! 5- Solarium partitioned into two spaces... one side for suite guests only. (Hmph!) Don't touch my Solarium! LOL 6- Martini Bar frozen top completely removed to match Edge! (NOOOOOOO! silly, but this is mostly tongue-in-cheek stuff here) 7- Since Infinite Verandas are "WILDLY POPULAR", all balconies converted to IV format. (This will never happen) Ok, most of this is just me thinking about point #1 above. I'd hate that! I can't wait for my cruise aboard Edge next year (but I'm gonna need to find a way to get some color into those cold gray cabin interiors. people, gray is an UGLY color... it's not even a color. this isn't artistic at all. designers get over it.) and I'm sure I'm going to love it. But please, Celebrity, don't muck with the gorgeous Solstice class too much. I still haven't stepped aboard the Reflection simply because I read that the Sky Lounge was butchered into a smaller venue for more Suites. Ugh. Cheers, Paul
  10. On this topic, I've been on a few cruises or two where I WISHED they would be more obsessive about cleaning the cabin balcony glass or ports. Hope you enjoy your cruise!
  11. I found a few more pictures (why does this always happen after a review is posted) and stuck them in the review. Thank you for all the generous and kind words! Paul
  12. I wish I could remember the name of the exact cruise. It had a minor sight-seeing tour but was mostly a beach day.
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