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About AstoriaPreppy

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    Cool Cruiser

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    New York, NY
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    cooking, travel
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  1. We’re sailing on the Vista in a few weeks. Seven day, outside stateroom for $350 pp, which required a VIFP number to get the rate. The non past guest rates were all around $1000 and up… we jumped on it.
  2. If you're docked in La Spezia, Cinque Terre is *super easy* to get to on your own... no excursion or tour needed. (Livorno is much further and much more challenging). You take the port shuttle bus through the industrial area of the port to the exit. You walk about 15 minutes to the train station. You go into the tourist office to buy the the Cinque Terre train pass from a live person (NOT from the automatic ticket machines as they won't give you the all day on/off passes to see all five villages). Hop on the train and you're off! Speaking from experience, we loved Cinque Terre.
  3. We met Brittany from Canada who was activities manager on the Edge in 2019. At the time, Eddy Jenkins was the cruise director, and their banter was actually fantastic... much better than the usual "cheer if you don't like doing dishes because you're on vacation!" schtick that seems pervasive amongst CDs. Per her social media posts, she is back on the Edge, got fully-vaxed (by Celebrity in Galveston) and has just finished her 14 day quarantine.
  4. Crush is one of those weird spaces that defined, but now largely exists as overflow for the martini bar. I assume if you got one of the bartenders from the martini bar, they could open/serve any of the vodkas, but I don't know that I've ever seen this? On all of my recent Celebrity cruises, Crush was just set up with Martini Bar menus... there's no separate list of vodkas in the area that I've seen.
  5. I'm on the June 12th (Tortola, St. Lucia, Barbados) sailing of the Millennium, and noticed something odd. On updated itineraries people are receiving for the Millennium/Summit swap taking place in July, they've replaced St. Lucia with St. Kitts (in addition to moving Barbados earlier in the sailing). Additionally, the "while ashore" section of the cruising guidelines omits any mention of St. Lucia: "While visiting the Caribbean, on-your-own tours will be permitted in St. Maarten, Curacao, Aruba, and select approved on-your-own tours will be allowed in St. Kitts & Nevis. Howev
  6. Your hot take completely misses the mark. 👎 Very few passengers are upset with with changing protocols for COVID testing.... we're annoyed at how Celebrity has completely bungled the messaging. Take, for example, the 72 hour testing requirement: Celebrity slipped this in on their website on Memorial Day, and didn't update many passengers via email! I'm on the 12 June sailing and still haven't received updated boarding requirements other than the "no test required other than for St. Maarten" email! It's just dopey behavior from a company with a communications team whose job it is to craf
  7. I'm trying to figure out how to phrase this... but the Retreat is a bit more of an "old money" vibe. As we used to say in the non-profit fundraising world, New Money talks, Old Money listens. NCL is full of passengers (especially in the Haven) who seem to delight in boasting about how much they handsomely tip the service staff. NCL actively encourages this by excluding many of the Haven staff from the common gratuities pool, telling passengers this, and encouraging the staff to kinda beg for tips. It becomes a cycle of weirdness: NCL doesn't pay the staff well, foists that onto the pas
  8. I'm on the 12 June sailing, and we're scheduled to visit Tortola (BVI), Saint Lucia and Barbados. It appears the St Maarten travel requirements were updated yesterday, 2 June. The modified verbiage outlines the testing requirements more clearly, but one odd thing stuck out for me. From the "While Ashore" section (bolding mine): --- While visiting the Caribbean, on-your-own tours will be permitted in St. Maarten, Curacao, Aruba, and select approved on-your-own tours will be allowed in St. Kitts & Nevis. However, Celebrity Cruises curated tours will be required in Barbados and
  9. Who is the reporter?? I hope it's Caity Weaver, who famously covered the Celebrity Reflection Paula Deen cruise while writing for Gawker.
  10. Am I the only one who thinks some level of ship provisioning is happening in Barbados? It doesn’t make sense that the line would jump through hoops to stop there unless there was an underlying reason… getting stuff. Barbados is one of the few cruise ports in the Caribbean that acts as a home port for cruise ships in any capacity, so I guess I just always assumed that Celebrity would be bringing on supplies I when docked there. I think Royal Caribbean is doing the same thing in Freeport, which is why all of their Nassau itineraries stopped there. Complete speculation on
  11. A few thoughts on dining. First, The Haven Restaurant v. Luminae. The one (major) advantage about Celebrity's Luminae (and Blu for Aqua Class passengers) is that the menu changes every day, compared to the Haven's same for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the duration of the cruise. It feels a lot nicer and more upscale than having the same options in the Haven each day. Re: specialty dining. It's nice, but the good thing about Celebrity is that their MDRs are substantially better than other mass market lines, and exponentially better than the NCL MDRs. When we sail NCL, we make a
  12. This is why I can't figure out what exactly is going on a Celebrity HQ. Doing a rapid antigen test is a relatively easy process: results in 15 minutes or so, a relatively contained machine, etc. From what I knew, a PCR test is an entirely different beast, which is why they are traditionally sent to labs. A quick search turned up a few options online, including one startup... but does anyone with a testing/medical background know if quick PCR tests at the pier are even possible? Or is this another typo from Celebrity's crack guidelines copy team?
  13. I'm on the 12 June sailing, but my "vaccination policy" and "celebrity boarding requirements" email was received 28 May at 10 am. I have not received an updated email with the new PCR requirements that guests on the 5 June sailing have received.
  14. This seems like the same email that Celebrity sent guests on the 12 June sailing. Again, no mention of a 72 hour PCR test for boarding, which you have to click through to the website to discover.
  15. This is, to put it mildly, exasperating. As a passenger on the 12 June sailing, I'm waiting to see what happens on boarding of the first voyage. I'm also confused at the people on CC making excuses for Celebrity, or saying "what did you expect?" I certainly didn't expect Celebrity to bungle their own messaging or guidelines to this degree over the last 20 days. As the kids would say, "pick a lane." To be clear, these are *not* changing government regulations. This is entirely Celebrity's doing. First we needed tests, then we didn't. Then they inserted additional boarding requi
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