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JEDMELK

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About JEDMELK

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Rockland County, NY
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    currently Celebrity, Princess and Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean although French Polynesia is amazing

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  1. OK, for what its worth, here is my thinking. We are boarding the Reflection in early December and although I am confident we will enjoy ourselves, we will most likely not be happy with some changes. Such is life, you can't always have things your way (I learned that a long, long time ago). Now, a large portion of the changes have happened under the guidance of LLP who has been in her position since December of 2014 (I believe that is what her bio states) which means she will be reaching her 5 year mark as the "Big Cheese", "Big Kahuna" CEO or any other title you may wish to bestow. After working for some large corporations for quite a few years, what became apparent to me is that the CEO's take the position and work it for several years to put their mark on it. Then, after they have alienated a portion of the customer base (or employee base in some instances) they take their "Golden Parachute" package and move on to their next mission. My guess might be a Golden Parachute in the not too distant future with a new leader changing things to their liking. Just a thought Jed
  2. Thanks again for all the suggestions. Finally came to my senses and just booked a flight out of JFK instead of Newark. Although it is a bit longer ride, once we are in the car it really does not make much of a difference (especially on a Saturday morning). Just spend 15 or so more minutes getting to the airport as opposed to dealing with an extra 45+ minutes ride once we are off the plane. What ever in the world was I thinking! thanks again Jed
  3. Cruisestitch, have a great trip. I'm just following along-- we board December 9 but this will just make it a bit easier to be able to wait until then. I'll live vicariously through your trip for now. Thanks Jed
  4. Great........ Finally, a use for the small bit of duct tape (a few feet wrapped around a small core) I bring along on every cruise. I can tear a small piece off, double over one end and attach the other. Voila, a Handle! Thanks, my day is now complete 😊 OK, actually, this is good to see. We'll be on the Repo from San Juan to Bayonne and now look forward to Captain Matt. Of course that is along with the refurbished Summit itself. Jed
  5. Thanks Marco, skrufy and John, this is pretty much what I expected but had to ask. This also gave me some time to think this through and have found some alternatives which are probably a wiser choice even if it does mean leaving out of JFK instead of Newark. That gets the nuisance out of the way up front instead of after we land. Thanks again Jed
  6. Although I believe that my best option for landing at PBI and heading to Ft Lauderdale (17th St area) is probably UBER, I thought I might as well just ask to confirm my thoughts. Normally, we fly into FLL and just cab or Uber to hotel however the plan is to use points and right now, the amount is almost 50% less to fly into PBI. That much of a difference is hard to ignore. I know that there are shuttles to go from FLL to Miami but the only shuttle I found from PBI is super shuttle and their trip estimator is more than a one way rental car. Since we will not need a rental while in Ft Lauderdale, it is not worth the hassle of pick up and return. We have no issue using Uber, just wanted to see if there were any other options I may have missed? Thanks in advance for your suggestions or confirmation of my thoughts Jed
  7. Radio, thanks for taking the time out of your vacation to bring us all along with you so we can all share the trip and the new look and features of the Summit. From what I have seen, it looks great and now I really want to go back for another great trip. To that end (and to be a bit selfish) I was hoping that someone can confirm that the Sweet 16 cabins are still as they were in terms of balcony size. Although it is hard to beat the aft cabin balconies, these always seemed like a good option as well. Thanks again for your efforts Radio, it was a great ride along
  8. Just for the heck of it, looked at United and Jet Blue schedules- both offer non-stop service EWR-SJU and both appear to have late Friday flights on that route. Jet Blue approximate times of 4:45 PM and 8:15 PM and United approximate times of 8:15 PM and midnight. IMPORTANT NOTE: No schedules for late April 2020 yet but these do appear on schedules that are currently published. Besides, there is always something that much more relaxing about waking up in the departure city for a cruise and, San Juan is a nice place to spend the evening if you can get in early enough for a nice relaxing dinner. By the way, I am working on a way to convince someone else that we need to take the 2nd part of your B2B- did that once before and found that there is also something very enjoyable about getting off the ship and just having a not too long ride home after the cruise instead of dealing with air travel. Of course the bonus of being able to tell people that I took my wife on a pleasure cruise to Bayonne, NJ is also fun 😀 Hope this info helps- either way, go and have a great time Jed
  9. Of course the most popular dance song for the trip would have to be "Dancing Cheek to Cheek"
  10. Although we have bought pieces in several islands in years past (including Imperial Jewelers as mentioned) the bargains of years gone by are definitely not really there any longer. Either the store owners and/or the manufacturers have learned that they can and have increased prices quite a bit which really means that there are just very, very few real bargains. There is such a range of quality that can be used which makes things less valuable, period. If my wife and I were going to be doing this, we would go to our local jeweler and sit and talk through this to get exactly what we wanted. We have done this at home with great success. You can pick their brain, let them look around for ideas for you and go back to see what they can come up with. My guess is that you would get a much better value, get exactly what you want from a local business (which is always nice) and if you have an issue or a question, they will be there to answer you. All of the above plus, you may even have enough time to get these made before you leave so you can wear them throughout your cruise celebration. ONE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER, you want to be happy wearing these for the next 50 years! Congratulations and Happy Anniversary
  11. Although I am far from an expert, you seem to have missed quite a few Hilton properties that might suit your needs. At a quick glance, the Hampton Inn Downtown, Las Olas has rooms within your budget and all Hampton properties offer breakfast. There are quite a few restaurants in that area and they offer a shuttle for a fee to the port. There are also several other Hamptons, Hilton Garden Inns, Homewood Suites, etc in the Ft Lauderdale area. Do yourself a favor and go to Hilton.com and look again- if you have AAA membership or AARP they have discounted rates as well. I would also remember to look at the total bottom line cost including cabs and/or shuttles. Embassy Suites has rooms available and although the price may be a bit higher, they are very close to airport and pier so cabs are relatively inexpensive (Uber XL from FLL was about $17 on a Friday at 5 PM - and Sunday AM to pier was about $12- cabs have traditionally been a few dollars more) and there are many places in their area for dinner. The bottom line is, take a deep breath and go back and look again. You might surprise yourself after all. By the way, our experience in that area has only been at the Embassy Suites and although it can use a "freshening up" we have always had a clean and comfortable room with good service. Just remember to go and have a great cruise Jed
  12. Thanks for the great photos and information. We do not sail on Reflection again until December but its always good to receive first hand information. Please do come back and let us know how well the luggage valet program works too. To us, it sounds like a great deal, not having to hunt for bags in the terminal, find a porter to drag them through customs and to a cab. We are (as I am sure others are) very interested. Sorry that your trip must end but, at least you have a great welcome home greeter! thanks again, Jed and Melanie
  13. Recent First hand Experience: we arrived Ft Lauderdale on Dec 21 on Silhouette. There were a total of 7 ships in port (about 13400 passengers according to PE website). We requested an early/low number for departure (sorry but I refuse to drag my own luggage off ship, just not worth it) and our number was scheduled for 8:20AM. My guess is that we were one of the first ships docked that morning because they started disembarkation early. We were called at 7:40AM, found our luggage (must say that they did a great job- all 3 pieces were together on pier and no hunting), got a porter and then through customs to a cab. We arrived at airport, checked our bags and through security by 8:15 AM. Truly the fastest we have experienced in quite a few years. PLEASE NOTE: • although I do have the mobile passport app, it did not feel like working that morning but still had no delay • this was just our experience on this particular day and yours may vary • our flight was scheduled for 11:04 AM which may be a bit on the early side. When we booked, it was originally scheduled for 11:45 but United changed times - we opted not to ask for the later flight (around 2:00 PM because of previous experience we believed we would be OK) • your own experience may be very different and I am sure changes every day • bottom line is that I would be extremely comfortable with a noon flight that time of year If there are any questions I can answer, please ask away Jed
  14. We got off the Silhouette about 10 days ago and although we did not make use of the Elite Happy Hours (we had the premium beverage package) my recollection is that they loaded the drinks to your sea pass card so you could have them at any bar however, I believe they did have the happy hour in the sky lounge where they offered some appetizers. As I said, we did not make use of this mostly because it was too early for us to be dressed appropriately to join. As far as ships clocks, although we were in the eastern Caribbean, we did in fact change clocks so that ships time would be the same as island time. For our trip it was one change before first port and then a change after last port so not a big deal to make this change. Hopefully, someone that has done the same itinerary as you will be able to confirm time change as well. Either way, go and have a Great Cruise Jed
  15. Thank you to everyone for the information and answers. Looks like we will be booking while on board after all. We appreciate the assistance always offered by everyone on these boards Jed & Mel
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