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loge23

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About loge23

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Port St. Lucie, FL USA
  • Interests
    Playing and appreciating music, woodworking, food & wine appreciation, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Viking, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Aruba

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  1. Totally agree about the Sommelier - or at least a dedicated wine steward. They still provide this on Celebrity as I understand. The position should pay for itself with increased wine sales. The waiters and asst. waiters, in our experience, don't know the wines or the list - and frankly, don't have the time to learn nor service the wine properly.
  2. I see that the Caribbean Princess has a 10pm departure from St. Thomas. Has anyone ventured out to a nice restaurant there, reasonably close to the pier? I think a nice sunset dinner would be nice. Recommendations most welcome!
  3. Not to pile on, but let's not forget the Freya incident in 2016 where two crewmen were killed when the retractable bridge hit a bridge in Germany.
  4. I love the Scotch flights at the Wheelhouse. They pour three (3) different single-malts or blends and serve on a little plank. Very reasonable as well.
  5. loge23

    World Cruise

    We were segmenters on a recent WC and can assure you that there's very little difference, if any, in treatment. Yes, one day we did happen upon a closed event and saw one of our trivia partners there. We asked him later about what it was and it was indeed a WC get-together. Judging by the glasses of the house sparkling wine we noticed, we didn't miss anything. As for the passengers, there was absolutely no discrimination at all that we noticed. In fact, there were two couples that we became friendly with whom were going on for the WC - they were wonderful, warm, and completely at ease with WC's and segmenters alike. Instead, enjoy your time on a WC, even one that you are not completing. Frankly, there's no way we would want to do 4 months on one of those ships, as good as it was for the time we were there.
  6. We are long-time Princess cruisers mainly, but have had two very nice cruises on Celebrity - the last one just last year. The Elite perks on Princess are a big factor for us in choosing cruises, but we would like to get some time on Celebrity as well. A couple of things that we really liked on Celebrity were the specialty restaurants, particularly their Italian grill that we found refreshingly different from Sabbatini's on Princess. We also loved the wine service in the MDR from the Celebrity wine stewards which was far superior to the Princess model where we have to actually leave the MDR to get a decent glass of wine from the Vines (granted some times the Asst. Waiter will go for us, but not always). We liked the layout of the Celebrity Equinox and the top deck lawn. We found the overall food service fairly similar while the Lido deck buffet on Princess was superior to the Celebrity offerings. We wouldn't hesitate to book again on Celebrity and that's no knock on Princess at all.
  7. Yes, that has been our experience as well. I do wish however, that the good stuff would be available in the MDR. On some trips, the Asst. Waiter would do the running for us!
  8. Come in Viking Sun! Last week of the world cruise - is everyone still OK? How many are left? Best to Bill and Susan from SLC, UT and Andy and Ann from Washington state! Hope you guys are OK and looking forward to the next adventure!
  9. Good to see the praise for the ship's orchestra and other musicians. Princess does a very good job with their on board musicians.
  10. Go to Viator and book the Game of Thrones tour, even if you have never seen the show. We were there last year, missed our Giant's Causeway tour by one minute. They put us on the aforementioned tour gratis and it was amazing! It also included the Giant's Causeway with plenty of time. Highly recommend, the scenery is simply magnificent!
  11. Indeed an adventure! The incident, which I'm sure we are all thankful for the outcome, reminds me that cruising is still an adventure into the wild. Sure, we all expect the safest conditions humanly possible, but the fact is we're still in the wild. We all like nice weather for our cruises but if one is worried about being out at sea, then one should head to the Ritz. These folks on board the Sky are now tempest-tossed veteran sailors and the newest members of the King Neptune Society! I would only be upset if it was clearly negligence on the part of the Captain/Crew (I'm thinking Concordia here), but this incident does not appear to be so pending an investigation. The loss of the power seems to be the biggest culprit so we'll have to wait on that explanation. What an adventure but I'm not envious!
  12. Well, since you asked, we're one for one - one VO cruise and one missed port. Coincidentally with the recent news our missed port was due to a malfunctioning engine on the Sun.
  13. It can get a bit stale after a while depending on what your idea of fun is. Yes, there is plenty of great food and the lectures are quite good. Trivia, on sea days, is a lot of fun. It's the entertainment, or lack thereof, that we found thin. We don't go to casinos so that's a non-starter for us anyway, but we do appreciate a variety of live music and you generally won't find that on Viking. Viking tries very hard to present a refined, kind of elegant atmosphere on board which we found cloying. Classical music is ubiquitous throughout the ship. Their "late-night" club, Torchavn, will feature the ship's band - on our recent cruise this was a group of talented but somewhat limited musicians sort of what may find at a mid-stream wedding. Viking does bring on guest performers to varying degrees of enjoyable. We had a Billy Joel performer (meh), a clogging group (?!), and a really good Vegas-style performer (Savannah Smith) in addition to the local dance troupes in South America (very, very good btw). After 11 pm, the ship is essentially "closed". There is usually a solo musician - a guitarist and/or a pianist. On ours, the pianist was all classical and the guitarist, thankfully, played a wide range of popular, rock, folk, and jazz music during her daily gigs. If there's a lot of sea days and a long cruise, it can get a bit monotonous. I do recommend that you use the superb spa (inclusive) and fitness facilities if you are so inclined. On port days, don't expect much of the included tours - they're OK but the much better options are all the pay tours. We'll probably sail again on Viking Ocean - definitely on the River cruises - but will also look into other upscale small ship offerings.
  14. Was on the Regal 2/24 as well and shared your enthusiasm upon receiving the medallion package. That enthusiasm lasted until the first day on board. The medallions functioned primarily as a method of tracking embarkation and disembarkation. Mine had to be held against the icon outside our cabin door in order for the door to unlock, my spouse had to go down to the service desk (at a very inconvenient time) since her medallion didn't work at all (it was corrected, btw). I am aware that some medallions worked better than ours did. Drink orders were mostly taken by pen and pad with a signature or the wait staff would take your medallion to the bar area. No one, as far as I know, ever knew where I was - including the wait staff, whom often had to be flagged down for service. Inquiries went unanswered, suggesting that the training was not particularly comprehensive. Someone sold Princess a bill of goods with this system, but Princess - ever mindful of a away to cash in - now sells all kinds of crap to support the darn things: wristbands, necklaces, even the colored cardboard cards for the lanyards ($5 a pop) so everyone can easily spot what loyalty rank you have, if that's important to you. There's advertising for the system everywhere on board, including on the inside of the elevator doors. Maybe this will work as intended someday, but I felt the whole shebang was unnecessary and wasteful. I wonder how many staff positions were cut to implement this system?
  15. Beware of the small storefront on Harbor Drive opposite the cruise port entrance for tenders. It is called the RumStop. There are numerous warnings posted on the shop's windows for passengers of Disney, MSC, and several other cruise lines about how these cruise lines do not permit purchases from this shop - with good reason. Inside, there is a vast selection of just about anything you may want, but they are only props - you order at the desk and your order is delivered to the ship prior to departure. Of course, you won't see your order until the last night on most cruise ships. The prices are the lowest I have ever seen and therein lies the warning. If you Google the shop, you will see several 1 star reviews by people who have been scammed by this outfit. As for myself, my order was delivered half correct, with the bad half being a product far less costly than what I ordered. The attached receipt is correct to my order. Numerous attempts to contact them have been fruitless. I did stop payment on the CC and am awaiting the CC investigation results. There are many other places to purchase well-priced liquor where you will walk away with your purchase. AVOID RUMSTOP!
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