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Thinking Reflection? If over 50, think carefully

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This is not a review, I'll be doing that later.

Just back from a B2B on Reflection, 11 day Med, followed by a 15 day TA. Hard to compare these 2 cruises, as the 1st was extremely port intensive, followed by the TA, with mostly sea days.

For the 1st cruise the CD was Richard Spacey, well-known from RCL, and I thought he did a fine job, with plenty to do on those few evenings when everyone wasn't worn out from another port visit. The second cruise, the TA, saw a replacement of the captain, CD, and house band, now "LAX". Now, for those of you that have not done a TA, these longer cruises always have the average guest age skewing older. My estimate on the Reflection, would be average age about 65.

It didn't take long on this cruise to realize that there wasn't much to do in the evenings that interested most guests. LAX, basically a college-age band, dominated the centrum area every night, and had one sound - bass thumping "club"music, every song, every night. When they took a break it was time for one of the two, yes, two, full-time DJs to blast out the same stuff.

OK, I realize that musical tastes are always evolving, but needing 2 DJs should be a warning. OK, what to do. I waited for the end of a set and spoke to one of the members of LAX, a very nice guy. I asked if it would be possible occasionally, or as a different set, to do some music that appealed to the predominate age group - something danceable, classic rock, etc. He said that he loved that stuff but was specifically told not to play it!

As for recorded music, a DJ played dance music from 5 to 6 the 1st few nights. Then comes first formal night, time for a pre-dinner dance! No, they used the space that night for a trivia game. Maybe up in the Sky Lounge? No, on almost every night it was dark, except for the "after party" at 11:30. Went up there late one night, almost no one there, asked the DJ to play some danceable music - I was told "no, this is a night club, I won't play that music" Why? He told me he had orders not to.

OK time to confront CD Alexander, the source of these orders. I cornered him after an event and asked about the music situation. He basically just blew me off, told me it was the job of assistant Jamie, and she would call me. Yeah, right, I'm still waiting.

I realize this post is sounding like one long whine, but I think that perspective Reflection guests should be aware that if Alexander is CD on their cruise, they should expect that his vision of every evening is to turn the Martini Bar, as well as other venues, into "happening clubs" where that annoying beat will go on for hours, making conversation impossible in most areas. Don't be looking for the Sky Lounge - empty, Theater - most events squeezed into the Celebrity Central room with too little seating. Kareoke - think they started it on day 11 of the 15 day cruise!?

Yes, there is a place for "club" music, but not to the exclusion of almost everything else. Additionally, I just don't expect to be told "no", or summarily dismissed. On Reflection, get used to it.

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We are elite plus.We sailed on the Reflection 18 months ago and decided it was our last Celebrity cruise.

We discussed the music situation at the cruise critic party and we were told by the rude CD

You are no longer our targeted demographic,we are trying to attract younger cruisers.

He told us to find another cruise line more suitable for our age.We are 60 and were the youngest people at the cc party.The hotel manager came up to us and apologized for the CD attitude and sent us a plate of strawberries and a bottle of wine.

This cruise was in March, most people were over 60,as younger people have school age kids and don't travel at that time of the year....

The Reflection is the loudest ship we have ever cruised,the music did not let up

Azamara and Oceania here we come.....

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We are elite plus.We sailed on the Reflection 18 months ago and decided it was our last Celebrity cruise.

We discussed the music situation at the cruise critic party and we were told by the rude CD

You are no longer our targeted demographic,we are trying to attract younger cruisers.

He told us to find another cruise line more suitable for our age.We are 60 and were the youngest people at the cc party.The hotel manager came up to us and apologized for the CD attitude and sent us a plate of strawberries and a bottle of wine.

This cruise was in March, most people were over 60,as younger people have school age kids and don't travel at that time of the year....

The Reflection is the loudest ship we have ever cruised,the music did not let up

Azamara and Oceania here we come.....

 

Please give us a comparison review once you try Azamara and/or Oceania. We may start looking for alternatives for 2017 and beyond and these two lines might work for us.

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Loud, party music, kinda goes with the evening chic vibe :D

 

I'm 46. I found the vibe on Reflection very low key. I have no idea who the CD was. A party vibe isn't the reason I cruise or how I select a ship, but for me, it would be nice. But then, I suppose I am the new target audience.

 

Does not excuse a rude hotel director though.

 

Had a very rude encounter with a hotel manager at the 4points Sheraton recently. Aren't these people supposed to be hospitality grads?

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Please give us a comparison review once you try Azamara and/or Oceania. We may start looking for alternatives for 2017 and beyond and these two lines might work for us.

 

I've been on Azamara quite a few times and Celebrity too. Azamara is my preferred by some way now, but there are things you get on a Celebrity S-Class ship that you won't get on Azamara like the Lawn Club and larger variety of dining venues. I miss the Martini Bar on Azamara and the standard cabins are smaller. The ships are very smart on X, but Azamara's ships are due heavy updating next year.

 

You seem to get loud music on Celebrity (I had it on Constellation in September) and there is an absence of it on Azamara. Bliss. Hang out on the Azamara board for a while to get the feel. I'm a bit confused about Celebrity at present. I still haven't worked out what Modern Luxury is and I don't think they have either!

 

Interestingly I remember Alexander Ypremian from one of my first Azamara cruises. He was Activities Manager there then.

 

Phil

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The sound really does vary by cruise director more than by corporate edict. Sometimes the CD or bartender hides behind "corporate sets the volumes and we can't change them" to try to get out of the line of fire, so to speak. Our recent cruises have been to more exotic ports...indonesia, vietnam, antarctica and even a couple of TA's....these are not young folks cruises (generalizing of course). We've been fortunate to have cruise directors who tailored the cruise towards the passengers on board not the ones corporate wishes were on board.

 

We'll be on the equinox to the Caribbean very soon and I expect loud music pretty much everywhere...and I expect many more (relatively) younger cruisers. I'm sure I'll miss the steel band (long gone) and I'll certainly avoid sitting around the pool where it will be max noise to build the corporate marketing focused vibe, but I'm expecting it and as long as the music is not at a deafening (seriously...high db levels really can hurt your ears permanently), I'll live with it and try to hear the wind and birds over the boom booms.

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Hoping Celebrity reads this (as they often do read these posts)--sounds like that CD needs to work on his people skills--and his programming.

ALL cruise lines need to be sure they have music for ALL demographics. It is VERY frustrating to find nothing to fit your taste. I realize no everyone is into country or hard rock, but different areas playing popular music from various decades would be appropriate.

I was surprised that there was still big band on our cruise a couple years ago--but there were a number of people dancing there every night! (my folks are 71 & they like 60s, 70s; Mom loves all music from 50s-today. Again, if you stick with top 40 music from the last 60 years you are bound to please most cruisers. Sorry to tell you Celebrity, but the demographic that likes that music is a LONG way from being your primary cruiser...maybe over spring break...

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The sound really does vary by cruise director more than by corporate edict. Sometimes the CD or bartender hides behind "corporate sets the volumes and we can't change them" to try to get out of the line of fire, so to speak. Our recent cruises have been to more exotic ports...indonesia, vietnam, antarctica and even a couple of TA's....these are not young folks cruises (generalizing of course). We've been fortunate to have cruise directors who tailored the cruise towards the passengers on board not the ones corporate wishes were on board.

 

We'll be on the equinox to the Caribbean very soon and I expect loud music pretty much everywhere...and I expect many more (relatively) younger cruisers. I'm sure I'll miss the steel band (long gone) and I'll certainly avoid sitting around the pool where it will be max noise to build the corporate marketing focused vibe, but I'm expecting it and as long as the music is not at a deafening (seriously...high db levels really can hurt your ears permanently), I'll live with it and try to hear the wind and birds over the boom booms.

 

Hi Ghstudio,

 

I'd so love to know who's making the decision. My guess is, it's Miami corporate (the entertainment dept ?), but we'll probably never know. FWIW, I've heard from several trusted sources, (the last time this happened) that it was Miami's decision. You could be right about hiding behind the corporate excuse - but I just cannot see why onboard folks would do that, especially when so many people were complaining at the time.

 

Wishing you a great cruise. Please let us know about your cruise, and if loud music is reasonable, or out of control. Look forward to your insights.

Edited by Host Andy

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Hi PSCruiser,

 

Thanks for sharing your insights with us. I hoped the loud music issue was gone, but with all the recent reports, it seems to be back again. Definitely not what we prefer - but it is what it is. Along with changes like evening chic, there's little doubt that Celebrity is transitioning into a product focused on younger cruisers - which is bizarre, as they currently tend to skew towards older guests. I'm all for them wanting to *add* younger cruisers to the mix. That makes strong business sense. However - Why they feel a need to do a 180 degree turn in their mindset, is puzzling.

 

When it comes to entertainment - I wish Celebrity would figure out a way to cater to everyone. Believe me, it can be done ! We just sailed on Royal Princess, and their entertainment is miles ahead of Celebrity, as they have a huge (and wonderful) entertainment presence, with something for everyone. Their strategy makes perfect sense to me. We enjoyed the entertainment so much, that we booked another sailing at the last minute, and are returning to Royal Princess next week. My plan was to sail on Equinox, but we couldn't make it happen. While I'm very disappointed not to be sailing with Celebrity, we enjoyed our last Princess sailing, and looking forward to sailing on Royal Princess again.

 

Who knows ? Maybe Celebrity's strategy will work, maybe it wont - but with everything going on in the world economically and otherwise, If I were President for a day ? I'd never be willing to take such a big risk at this point in time. I sincerely hope Celebrity knows what they are doing, and it works out in their favor.

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Loud, party music, kinda goes with the evening chic vibe :D

 

I'm 46. I found the vibe on Reflection very low key. I have no idea who the CD was. A party vibe isn't the reason I cruise or how I select a ship, but for me, it would be nice. But then, I suppose I am the new target audience.

 

Does not excuse a rude hotel director though.

 

Had a very rude encounter with a hotel manager at the 4points Sheraton recently. Aren't these people supposed to be hospitality grads?

 

I also was on the Reflection transatlantic and the loud music did not bother me a bit.

 

But, I am deaf.

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We were on Reflection in Feb 2015 when Alexander was the CD and were not impressed with him either. We did enjoy the music at the time, which was a good mix of rock from the last 40 or 50 years. I don't understand on the TA, though. If people are asking for older music, and plenty are complaining, why not offer what people WANT?

 

 

Did you email corporate yet?

 

What is their target audience now?

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We were on reflection in September when Richard was CD and didn't experience anything like this. We felt Richard was an outstanding CD and can see why all the royal Caribbean cruisers were so sad to see him go. We actually did most of our evening drinking at the passport bar but the music there was the amazing house bad (can't remember their name but were British with a female lead singer). Having experienced that loud thumping music on other celebrity shops we were pleasantly surprised. Sounds like they've made a poor choice of replacement CD when Richard Spacey isn't onboard

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Husband just talked to someone in their office who is going on her first cruise EVER next week, guess which one...Celebrity Reflection. Did not say a word to her about the music, want to see what her unbiased impressions are when they get home. She's early 50's.

Edited by warmwinds

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We had a similar negative opinion on our Reflection cruise....aside from not liking the layout as much as other S class ships, and the sophmoric dj and sidekick; the loud music and DJ ruined the main area for us, and the aft bar was definitely for the heavy drinkers!

 

We still had a nice time enjoyed BLU, other dining, most ports, etc. We enjoyed the jazz ensemble and other lively but not loud in your face places...the nightlife not as good as it could be with more variety and better quality...main atrium unsuited for loud music,the Club upstairs would be a better location yet under utilized!

 

REFLECTION seems to be Celebrity's Miami party ship....not planning to return...By contrast, our Connie cruise was nothing like it...they did have a DJ and loud music sometimes but a much greater variety to please all guests! No complaints, good CD etc...

 

We will judge continuation with X cruises on our next few.....Equinox (2) and Infinity (1). Also trying Princess...they still want us!

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We were on the recent Reflection TA and are both in the 55-65 age bracket.

 

I can certainly understand the OP's frustration but there were other groups of musicians on board who played some excellent music that was a million miles from what LAX were playing.

 

There was a very good jazz quartet called Capricorn and a female duo called Ear Candy who played a very 'middle of the road' style of music, as well as the excellent Orchestra who played outside the Theatre on a few occasions.

 

Personally, we liked LAX, although I also asked them to play more 'classic rock'. in fairness they did play the Creedence Classic Bad Moon Rising almost every set, and the country staple Folsom Prison Blues on a few occasions. Bear in mind, it was their first cruise and they will hopefully learn to play to the audience on future cruises. bands are generally very good at that, but maybe Alexander did place constraints. Which would disappoint me.

 

I am not a fan of DJ's but I felt what little I saw/ heard was fairly ok. Plenty of older material and a fair bit of Sinatra. thank God they didn't start on the gangster rap !!

 

The biggest problem is the lack of a night club meaning that the Grand Foyer was in use for live music till after 10 every night. Not ideal if you are in the library or games room.

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We were on the recent Reflection TA and are both in the 55-65 age bracket.

 

I can certainly understand the OP's frustration but there were other groups of musicians on board who played some excellent music that was a million miles from what LAX were playing.

 

There was a very good jazz quartet called Capricorn and a female duo called Ear Candy who played a very 'middle of the road' style of music, as well as the excellent Orchestra who played outside the Theatre on a few occasions.

 

Personally, we liked LAX, although I also asked them to play more 'classic rock'. in fairness they did play the Creedence Classic Bad Moon Rising almost every set, and the country staple Folsom Prison Blues on a few occasions. Bear in mind, it was their first cruise and they will hopefully learn to play to the audience on future cruises. bands are generally very good at that, but maybe Alexander did place constraints. Which would disappoint me.

 

I am not a fan of DJ's but I felt what little I saw/ heard was fairly ok. Plenty of older material and a fair bit of Sinatra. thank God they didn't start on the gangster rap !!

 

The biggest problem is the lack of a night club meaning that the Grand Foyer was in use for live music till after 10 every night. Not ideal if you are in the library or games room.

 

The actual nightclub is upstairs...truncated so they could put in suites...greatly under-utilized.

I believe the area of the other club (Quasar) was turned into a Conference center!

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Hi All. Was on reflection last year in January. Always found some nightly music to my liking but yes, the DJ's, nearly across the board (I've cruised Carnival, NCL, RCL, Celebrity and a couple of river cruise companies) suck like Hoovers. Was on a Caribbean NCL a couple of years ago, show band played and everyone was dancing and I mean from 8-80. And all cultures, black, white, Asian and every variation. We were having a blast and the place was rocking. DJ shows up (it's only 11 PM) and the place emptied in 3 songs. By 11:20 this guy was playing to empty seats and servers. Even the servers hated this guy, no people = no booze sold = no tips. I had a nice chat with hotel director (always talk to them, CD's are notoriously fatuous, HD's are career employees). I did math on his notepad right on his desk. 250 people reduced to 0 in 20 minutes. Most of us would have stayed til 1AM. 2 hours x 3 drinks pp @ $8 per drink = $6,000 in lost revenue to the ship and (@18%) $1,080 in lost tips to staff. All night, every night. It is worth noting that the "fashionable chic" crowd they are tripping over themselves to endear all walked out as well. Being young doesn't mean you're a "raver".

Next night, first song was Old Time Rock and Roll, next up was Satisfaction, then some Kanye, and going forward a mix. Surprise! A good crowd stayed until 1 AM.

 

So, my question, does NCL owe me a commission?

 

And if that tool of a CD is still on board come January let's make his life a living hell of complaints, snide remarks and rudeness. Two can play at that game.

 

Cheers,

HTP

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And if that tool of a CD is still on board come January let's make his life a living hell of complaints, snide remarks and rudeness. Two can play at that game.

 

Cheers,

HTP

 

We'll be on Reflection Saturday. I'll let you know how he is.

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Hi Ghstudio

 

We are also on the Equinox in the Spring. When do you leave? We almost cancelled when Celebrity added the overnight (not a fan); however we couldn't pass up the 123Go offer. We are also concerned about loud music as well, so we are very interested in your review.

 

Alimack

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I was on the same TA Reflection. We thought the LAX band was horrible...so off key they grated on my teeth . I have mentioned this on my post cruise survey. As for the DJ, I liked the music he played. A question of taste. But definitely an improvement from the LOUD electro music that usually plays in the Martini bar.

Edited by Ceeborne

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Loud, party music, kinda goes with the evening chic vibe :D

 

I'm 46. I found the vibe on Reflection very low key. I have no idea who the CD was. A party vibe isn't the reason I cruise or how I select a ship, but for me, it would be nice. But then, I suppose I am the new target audience.

 

 

Hmmmm... I don't know Queen, I am the same age as you (but maybe more of a fuddy duddy already:D) and I felt like I was maybe a decade or two older than who they wanted on my last X cruise.

 

I did the clubbing thing in my twenties, but then again I was pretty poor back then and certainly did not have the means to vacation three or four times a year as I do now. I'm not really sure who Celebrity is trying to attract??

 

I have several friends who never would have cruised if it weren't for me saying how wonderful it was with Celebrity. I think they are cutting off their nose to spite their face by alienating their current loyal customer base in the hopes that their new desired demographic will magically fill the void.

 

I was always taught that it costs more to get a new customer than to keep an old one, but maybe with the new math that isn't true anymore!

 

Is it really that difficult to provide a variety of styles and volumes? I think that is all people really want.

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You seem to get loud music on Celebrity (I had it on Constellation in September) and there is an absence of it on Azamara.

 

Phil

 

We did B2B on the Constellation in August/September and the loud (usually awful to my ears) music was the main negative for me. Otherwise loved Celebrity. We did a Princess cruise in May and was fine with the music.

 

Mrs Goggins (once also a Harpenden resident for many years!)

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When it comes to entertainment - I wish Celebrity would figure out a way to cater to everyone. Believe me, it can be done ! We just sailed on Royal Princess, and their entertainment is miles ahead of Celebrity, as they have a huge (and wonderful) entertainment presence, with something for everyone. Their strategy makes perfect sense to me. We enjoyed the entertainment so much, that we booked another sailing at the last minute, and are returning to Royal Princess next week. My plan was to sail on Equinox, but we couldn't make it happen. While I'm very disappointed not to be sailing with Celebrity, we enjoyed our last Princess sailing, and looking forward to sailing on Royal Princess again. .

 

Hi Andy-

 

Thanks for your thoughts.....we also are just off the Regal Princes(Royal's sister ship) and the one thing we kept seeing was the wide array of entertainment. There were other things that weren't up to Celebrity's standards....for instance their version of Select Dining was not good...but the entertainment was SO MUCH BETTER!! We tried Princess because they offer some different itineraries from X and suspect we will sail them again because of that....

 

This thread is disturbing...because we are booked on the Reflection Spring TA and certainly hope the current CD is gone by that time if what is being said about him is true....we had such fun on the Eclipse this past April...hoping we can equal that on the Reflection...

Edited by Gracie115

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This is not a review, I'll be doing that later.

Just back from a B2B on Reflection, 11 day Med, followed by a 15 day TA. Hard to compare these 2 cruises, as the 1st was extremely port intensive, followed by the TA, with mostly sea days.

For the 1st cruise the CD was Richard Spacey, well-known from RCL, and I thought he did a fine job, with plenty to do on those few evenings when everyone wasn't worn out from another port visit. The second cruise, the TA, saw a replacement of the captain, CD, and house band, now "LAX". Now, for those of you that have not done a TA, these longer cruises always have the average guest age skewing older. My estimate on the Reflection, would be average age about 65.

It didn't take long on this cruise to realize that there wasn't much to do in the evenings that interested most guests. LAX, basically a college-age band, dominated the centrum area every night, and had one sound - bass thumping "club"music, every song, every night. When they took a break it was time for one of the two, yes, two, full-time DJs to blast out the same stuff.

OK, I realize that musical tastes are always evolving, but needing 2 DJs should be a warning. OK, what to do. I waited for the end of a set and spoke to one of the members of LAX, a very nice guy. I asked if it would be possible occasionally, or as a different set, to do some music that appealed to the predominate age group - something danceable, classic rock, etc. He said that he loved that stuff but was specifically told not to play it!

As for recorded music, a DJ played dance music from 5 to 6 the 1st few nights. Then comes first formal night, time for a pre-dinner dance! No, they used the space that night for a trivia game. Maybe up in the Sky Lounge? No, on almost every night it was dark, except for the "after party" at 11:30. Went up there late one night, almost no one there, asked the DJ to play some danceable music - I was told "no, this is a night club, I won't play that music" Why? He told me he had orders not to.

OK time to confront CD Alexander, the source of these orders. I cornered him after an event and asked about the music situation. He basically just blew me off, told me it was the job of assistant Jamie, and she would call me. Yeah, right, I'm still waiting.

I realize this post is sounding like one long whine, but I think that perspective Reflection guests should be aware that if Alexander is CD on their cruise, they should expect that his vision of every evening is to turn the Martini Bar, as well as other venues, into "happening clubs" where that annoying beat will go on for hours, making conversation impossible in most areas. Don't be looking for the Sky Lounge - empty, Theater - most events squeezed into the Celebrity Central room with too little seating. Kareoke - think they started it on day 11 of the 15 day cruise!?

Yes, there is a place for "club" music, but not to the exclusion of almost everything else. Additionally, I just don't expect to be told "no", or summarily dismissed. On Reflection, get used to it.

 

PS Cruiser - while quite disturbing, thank you for your posting. My DH & I ( 62 & 72) are sailing for the 3rd time on the Reflection in December. Our first cruise with them had the band D' Revelation who were FANTASTIC and had EVERY age group on the dance floor in both the Grand Foyer & the Sky Lounge. It was down hill with the music for our 2nd Reflection sailing and we too had Alexander as CD. What an awful experience. We & others spoke with him about the music and he told us we should move over to HAL as Celebrity was looking to attract a younger demographic. Quite an obnoxious gentleman!! The band at the time said the same thing to us - I would love to play different music but this is what we am told to play. How sad, here we are 2 years later and trying Reflection once again - perhaps shame on us!!! Based on this thread, and many other posts relating to the music & Alexander, it appears Celebrity truly does not care!!!!

 

Thank you Host Andy for your Regal Princess review. I agree that most of the cruise lines are very good at catering to everyone and their music & dancing tastes. We actually did HAL last year, had an amazing time & danced till well past midnight!! We were on the Oasis for the 2nd time this past July & well their entertainment can't be beat. As to dancing and great music - we had a lot of fun - as did so many a whole lot younger. Good Music gets everyone up on the dance floor!!

 

My DH and I were trying to be optimistic about the music for our upcoming sailing on Reflection. Doesn't sound that way. Hopefully we will have good weather and will enjoy what will probably be our last Celebrity sailing. Have Silhouette booked for next December but it may be time to try Princess.

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