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Jim_Iain

Live Blog – Silhouette Nov 3 – Beaches to Broadway – Pull up a seat and Join

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October 25th, 2018 - Thursday

Welcome all Cruise Critic’s - come along on another Celebrity Cruise aboard the beautiful Silhouette. 

 

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This will be our 9th TransAtlantic and selected this specific cruise due to it’s unusual itinerary.   I am starting the Blog a week before we leave on the cruise so I can be caught up by the time we board the ship.   All are welcome and feel free to shoot questions at me and/or jump in and chat about anything Celebrity.   

 

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First off a little background about us.   Iain and I have been together for 30 years.   We live in the Sunnyvale, CA which is in the middle of Silicon Valley, about 1 hour south of San Francisco.  We discovered cruising in 2001 with our first sailing on Celebrity Millennium.  At the time,  I was convinced I would hate cruising, but was instantly addicted.  

 

We qualified for Zenith a couple weeks ago, so this will also be our first cruising with the elevated status.   The free Premium Drink Package, Free Internet and unlimited free laundry are going to make us very happy.

  

Maybe it is where we live but I am hooked on technology and go into withdrawals when not connected to the internet.   Iain on the other hand is the polar opposite and enjoys listening to music and playing computer solitaire, poker etc.  We are now both retired, but I still do a bit of consulting work which is compatible with traveling (as long as we have internet).  

 

I will probably be posting a couple times a day and this post will have at least 20 pictures a day.   I try to fill all request and will be posting the Today Daily newsletters.   I also like to post information about our position and weather / temperatures.    I always find this helpful on other blogs to help plan my packing.   If you have any specific requests please feel free to ask and I will do my best to fulfill.

Edited by Jim_Iain
corrected formatting problems

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I’ll be following along in your travels Jim.  As we’ll be sailing on the Silhouette in February for the first time, I can't wait for your impressions and commentary. If you have any questions about things to do while in Boston I’d be happy to try answer. 

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14 minutes ago, Mr. Boston said:

I’ll be following along in your travels Jim.  As we’ll be sailing on the Silhouette in February for the first time, I can't wait for your impressions and commentary. If you have any questions about things to do while in Boston I’d be happy to try answer. 

Welcome aboard Mr Boston.  

 

I will also be interesting in seeing how Silhouette is faring.   We sailed her 2 years ago on a Transatlantic and loved her.   At that time she was in great condition and I expect she will be a little older but well maintained.   I'll be posting a bunch of pictures once aboard.

 

As for Boston would love to hear any advise on things to see or do.   I grew up in Longmeadow (Western Mass.) and visited Boston and The Cape quite often.   It has been 40+ years since I left that area of the country, so am sure nothing has changed....

😁

 

We haven't made any plans so far, but were thinking of doing the Hop on Hop off and just explore on our own.   If not that I was checking today and thought we might pick up an all day pass on the Subway and explore by Subway.

 

Jim

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Hi Jim,  I will be following as well! We are sailing in November on the Silhouette for the first time, and I am looking forward to your daily posts and pictures.  Have a great cruise!

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56 minutes ago, tml said:

Hi Jim,  I will be following as well! We are sailing in November on the Silhouette for the first time, and I am looking forward to your daily posts and pictures.  Have a great cruise!

 

Happy to have you along TML.    I hope you enjoy and be sure to ask if you want additional information.   Reading other live blogs always excite me about my next cruise.   

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Following along.  I guess I would have to say Silhouette is my favorite S class ship, as I have been on her 6 times!  Enjoy!

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Looking forward to keeping up with your travels!  We will be boarding Silhouette in March, our first time on S-class after 4 trips on the Summit!  

Enjoy every moment!

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Looking forward to your next adventure. Loved the b2b2b report... This will be a test of celebrity WiFi because wife and I will be boarding Reflection  on Nov 5 for 11 night carribean... Hope I can follow along... Hoping to do the ta next year.. Same itinerary as this year...

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  • Hi Jim.....Will be following every word and photo......I set sail on Silhouette December 9th.  I'll be spending most evenings in the Ensemble Lounge for the jazz.   Can you please try to find out if Ray Brown Jr and his group will still be onboard for Dec 9th.     Ella Fitzgerald was his mother.   Thanks, and I'm sure I'll have a few more questions for you.   It's a great itinerary with the day in Boston and overnight in New York.   I'm going now to check on next fall's repositioning cruises.

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49 minutes ago, ecslady said:

Following along.  I guess I would have to say Silhouette is my favorite S class ship, as I have been on her 6 times!  Enjoy!

 

Hi Nancy,    Trust you are well.  It's been a long time since we were on same cruise.   Let's wave at each other as I sail away on Silhouette while you are experiencing Edge December 9th.   This will be my first cruise in almost 10 years.   Would love for you to contact me at   hmw608 at aol dot com . 

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Hello Jim and Iain;

 

Scanditaly here hailing from the West part of San Jose.  Love the Il Postale restaurant in your area.  Thanks for doing the "live from"; have read a few of your reports and really enjoy them.  Your SA trip was wonderful to follow.

 

We have used the car rental tip twice now, picking up a car at SJC the day before, and driving ourselves up at our convenience for the SFO takeoff.  Thank you.  

 

Enjoy the continued excitement as you prepare for your journey. 

Lisa

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Hi Jim (and Iain) - Really looking forward to your blog as we love Silhouette and are looking forward to our 3rd sailing on her in November.  Would love to do a TA one day, but not certain about all those sea days.

Congratulations on your Zenith status!  Nice perks along with access to Michael's Club.  

Thank you for taking us along on your journey!

Patty

 

Edited by Zigster

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Hi, Jim (and Iain) we are sailing on this TA as well, our first! Looking forward to perhaps meeting you on board.

I do have a ? for an experienced TAer - what is the easiest way to know the ship's position (roughly) - is there a channel on the TV as on a long haul airline flight? Does the captain give the position in the morning announcement? Seems like a silly question, but we realized we had no idea how that worked.

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8 hours ago, signman said:

 

Hi Nancy,    Trust you are well.  It's been a long time since we were on same cruise.   Let's wave at each other as I sail away on Silhouette while you are experiencing Edge December 9th.   This will be my first cruise in almost 10 years.   Would love for you to contact me at   hmw608 at aol dot com . 

HI Glad to see you on the boards.  I saw your screen name and immediately recognized it.  I'll shoot you an email later today. And , yes I'm looking forward to experiencing the Edge!

Edited by ecslady

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1 hour ago, cangelmd said:

Hi, Jim (and Iain) we are sailing on this TA as well, our first! Looking forward to perhaps meeting you on board.

I do have a ? for an experienced TAer - what is the easiest way to know the ship's position (roughly) - is there a channel on the TV as on a long haul airline flight? Does the captain give the position in the morning announcement? Seems like a silly question, but we realized we had no idea how that worked.

Yes, turn on the TV.  There will be a nav channel showing where we are.  (I like to take periodic photos of the screen for later reference.) The Captain usually gives our position as well. 

 

See you you on board!

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Awesome Jim.  Looks like we'll pass in the Atlantic, albeit at different altitudes. I'm flying over on the 7th to catch the Eclipse on the 10th out of Barcelona.  This is only my third cruise and my first with Celebrity. Thoroughly enjoyed your last epic trip a few weeks back. 

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WOW, can/t wait for your live blog. I'm with effinaround will be on the Eclipse 11/10 and 11/23.

Thanks for your recommendations on restaurants in BA.

Please remember your passports.  Love the Silhouette.

Safe travels to Southhampton and the TA.

Norma

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Have a great time as a new Zenith. There should be quite a few Zeniths onboard to welcome you into the ranks. Thinking about that cruise for next November.

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13 hours ago, ecslady said:

Following along.  I guess I would have to say Silhouette is my favorite S class ship, as I have been on her 6 times!  Enjoy!

 

I'm looking forward to Silhouette again myself.   We haven't been on an S-Class in a couple years.    The last was Silhouette and I really enjoyed her.   

 

Are there any specific items that you can point to that makes her more special than her sisters or is it just a general feel.    I know I dislike Reflections due to the increased passenger load and especially the extra Sky Suites that makes Luminea very crazy. 

 

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3 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

Yes, turn on the TV.  There will be a nav channel showing where we are.  (I like to take periodic photos of the screen for later reference.) The Captain usually gives our position as well. 

 

See you you on board!

 

I do the same thing.   It really helps keeping my family informed as to where we are.   Especially when on a cruise with lots of sea days with no point of reference by other means.    

 

The bridge cam can also be a good reference to sea conditions and temperatures.  I also write down on a sheet of paper the channel number so I can quickly change to that channel to hear the Captains morning announcements.  

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12 hours ago, CruisersTimesThree said:

Looking forward to keeping up with your travels!  We will be boarding Silhouette in March, our first time on S-class after 4 trips on the Summit!  

Enjoy every moment!

 

I'll try to post enough pictures to help keep your excitement growing.   I think the main thing I will enjoy most is the number of specialty restaurants.   My favorite is Murano's which is a French style cuisine.    The M-Class use to have a French inspired restaurant (Olympic, Ocean Liner, etc) but swapped them out for Tuscan Grill.  

 

 

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12 hours ago, ryansmousehouse said:

Looking forward to your next adventure. Loved the b2b2b report... This will be a test of celebrity WiFi because wife and I will be boarding Reflection  on Nov 5 for 11 night carribean... Hope I can follow along... Hoping to do the ta next year.. Same itinerary as this year...

I think you will be pleasantly impressed with the Wifi.   While it is no way like being at home the speed is enough to comfortably browse the internet and CC.    Their can be a lag but you get used to it quickly.    

 

On the b2b2b cruise the internet was pretty good except in some ports the signal was being blocked.   The only problem I had was that on occasion I would have problems uploading all the pictures I had.   On CC the upload using the Tapatalk application it would time out before the picture was fully uploaded.   Anxious to see how the new software handles picture uploads. 

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12 hours ago, signman said:
  • Hi Jim.....Will be following every word and photo......I set sail on Silhouette December 9th.  I'll be spending most evenings in the Ensemble Lounge for the jazz.   Can you please try to find out if Ray Brown Jr and his group will still be onboard for Dec 9th.     Ella Fitzgerald was his mother.   Thanks, and I'm sure I'll have a few more questions for you.   It's a great itinerary with the day in Boston and overnight in New York.   I'm going now to check on next fall's repositioning cruises.

 

Sigman -   Glad to have you along again.  I'll certainly try to find out if Ray Brown Jr and his group will still be aboard.  If I forget please remind me.   Interesting to know that Ella Fitzgerald was his mother. 

 

I'm certainly interested in  visiting New York and Boston.    I grew up in the North East in and around New York and Massachusetts but have only been back a couple times in the past 50 years...

 

I joined Iain on a business trip to NYC a couple years  ago.   Our hotel was across the street from the World Trade Center and they were putting the last tower on the building the day we were there.   Was amazing to see.    We had the opportunity to visit the World Trade Center Memorial and really recommend it to others.   It is very impactful and moving.    Leaving with dry eyes is almost an impossibility.

 

 

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9 hours ago, scanditaly said:

Hello Jim and Iain;

 

Scanditaly here hailing from the West part of San Jose.  Love the Il Postale restaurant in your area.  Thanks for doing the "live from"; have read a few of your reports and really enjoy them.  Your SA trip was wonderful to follow.

 

We have used the car rental tip twice now, picking up a car at SJC the day before, and driving ourselves up at our convenience for the SFO takeoff.  Thank you.  

 

Enjoy the continued excitement as you prepare for your journey. 

Lisa

 

Hi Lisa -

Always wonderful to meet a neighbor.  I love Il Portale (the Post Office) but have to admit we haven't been there in quite some time.   Actually I don't think we have been there since they moved to their new location.

 

We use to rent local edition cars rental all the time but have started using Uber and Lyft in the last couple years.   I found out how inexpensive they can be on that trip where I forgot my Passport and had to quickly get home to retrieve it.   Do a mock trip and see how the rates compare from your area.   For me  the cost to SFO is $45-50 and San Jose $25.00

 

 

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6 hours ago, Zigster said:

Hi Jim (and Iain) - Really looking forward to your blog as we love Silhouette and are looking forward to our 3rd sailing on her in November.  Would love to do a TA one day, but not certain about all those sea days.

Congratulations on your Zenith status!  Nice perks along with access to Michael's Club.  

Thank you for taking us along on your journey!

Patty

 

Thanks Zigster 

I think the thought of all those sea days scares a lot of people but I love them.   The dynamics are definitely different.    The beauty is you can do as much or as little as you want.   Since you don't have to get up really early most days you can sleep in, stay up late and get to meet fellow passengers.   

Celebrity goes to great lengths to make sure there are multiple things gong on all day.

The enjoyable part of a west bound TA is that you gain 5 hours during the crossing. Having said that we may only have 4 this trip (just guessing) as U.S. DST Ends on our first night while Europe will be turning their clocks back this weekend.   

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4 hours ago, effinaround said:

Awesome Jim.  Looks like we'll pass in the Atlantic, albeit at different altitudes. I'm flying over on the 7th to catch the Eclipse on the 10th out of Barcelona.  This is only my third cruise and my first with Celebrity. Thoroughly enjoyed your last epic trip a few weeks back. 

 

I'll look up and wave as you fly over.   Enjoy Barcelona, it is one of our favorite cities.  The number of trips isn't important.  What is important is that you enjoyed yourself and appear to be on the tract to becoming addicted to cruising.   

 

Enjoy your cruise and have a great time. 

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4 hours ago, jimbri said:

Looking forward to your review.  I hope to someday take a TA!

 Like many others I was really worried about my first TA and had brought along far more books than I could have ever read.   As I mentioned on previous cruises I do a lot of walking as a means of burning off those extra calories.    Usually spend about 3-3.5 hours a day walking and listen to Murder Mystery Audio Books.   

 

This cruise is really going to be special with the two over-nights in New York and Bermuda.  I don't expect there to be a lot of early mornings … Yea...

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Looking forward to your review Jim, a TA is on our bucket list, but was wondering which is the best to do, west to east or the other way around.

I notice on your signature that you are sailing the Amalfi Coast and the Greek Islands on the Edge next October. We have that itinerary booked for early September so I may be  able to give you some tips......😉

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7 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

Thanks Zigster 

I think the thought of all those sea days scares a lot of people but I love them.   The dynamics are definitely different.    The beauty is you can do as much or as little as you want.   Since you don't have to get up really early most days you can sleep in, stay up late and get to meet fellow passengers.   

Celebrity goes to great lengths to make sure there are multiple things gong on all day.

The enjoyable part of a west bound TA is that you gain 5 hours during the crossing. Having said that we may only have 4 this trip (just guessing) as U.S. DST Ends on our first night while Europe will be turning their clocks back this weekend.   

LOL, Jim, we thrashed out the  end of DST consequences on the Roll Call a couple of weeks or so ago.  :classic_biggrin:

 

Here's what I think: normally, the UK is 5 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.  But British Summer Time (their DST) ends this Sunday, Oct. 28, which will mean the UK will turn their clocks back an hour and will only be 4 hours ahead of our East Coast, BUT only for one week, until DST ends in the U.S. on Nov. 4. 

 

We embark on Saturday, Nov. 3.  On Sunday, Nov. 4, the U.S. will end DST and turn the clocks back one hour, once again creating a 5-hour time difference between our East Coast and the UK.  Which means we still have to account for 5 hours and should have 5 time changes in our 6-day crossing to Boston.  Put another way, five 25-hour days.  Love the westbound crossings!

 

Hope we have the chance to meet,

 

Judith

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3 hours ago, h20cruzer said:

WOW, can/t wait for your live blog. I'm with effinaround will be on the Eclipse 11/10 and 11/23.

Thanks for your recommendations on restaurants in BA.

Please remember your passports.  Love the Silhouette.

Safe travels to Southhampton and the TA.

Norma

 

Hi Norma -   I'm excited for you and your upcoming trips to Buenos Aires.   If you have time in BA visit Palacio el Paz.    It is on old Estate build by a newspaper magnet and is a wonderful tour.   They have tours in English once a week but we went on a Spanish Language one.   While we don't speak Spanish fluently the guide was wonderful and spoke so clearly and expressively that we were really able to understand.    A couple of people on the tour helped a bit with translation also. 

 

Our highlight of the tour was one of the fellow guest (6 in all). She was an opera singer  and when she heard about the acoustics in the music room asked if she could sing for us.  What an incredible voice and delightful experience.

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3 hours ago, Orator said:

Have a great time as a new Zenith. There should be quite a few Zeniths onboard to welcome you into the ranks. Thinking about that cruise for next November.

I was expecting there to be quite a number of Zenith's aboard.   The repositioning cruises must really attract us.  

Hope to sail with you again.   

 

Jim 

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2 hours ago, kpark895 said:

Looking forward to this next review.  I so enjoyed your last one.

Thanks for joining in and your kind comments.   I'll do my best to keep it interesting and fun fill tips and tricks.

 

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5 minutes ago, Turtles06 said:

LOL, Jim, we thrashed out the  end of DST consequences on the Roll Call a couple of weeks or so ago.  :classic_biggrin:

 

Here's what I think: normally, the UK is 5 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.  But British Summer Time (their DST) ends this Sunday, Oct. 28, which will mean the UK will turn their clocks back an hour and will only be 4 hours ahead of our East Coast, BUT only for one week, until DST ends in the U.S. on Nov. 4. 

 

We embark on Saturday, Nov. 3.  On Sunday, Nov. 4, the U.S. will end DST and turn the clocks back one hour, once again creating a 5-hour time difference between our East Coast and the UK.  Which means we still have to account for 5 hours and should have 5 time changes in our 6-day crossing to Boston.  Put another way, five 25-hour days.  Love the westbound crossings!

 

Hope we have the chance to meet,

 

Judith

I must have missed the discussion of the time zone changes.   I'll take your suggested changes as I'm brain dead on figuring out the time change with the DST.  

 

I would have to agree with you on your calculation when I think of the logic you explained.   When retired one looses track of time regularly. 

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1 minute ago, Jim_Iain said:

I must have missed the discussion of the time zone changes.   I'll take your suggested changes as I'm brain dead on figuring out the time change with the DST.  

 

I would have to agree with you on your calculation when I think of the logic you explained.   When retired one looses track of time regularly. 

Agreed!  There are some weeks when I think it's been Wednesday for three days.  :classic_blink:

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October 26, 2018

 

Half of the fun of cruising is the pre-cruise planning.   I really enjoy arranging and planning cruises and have a tendency to check a couple sources daily.   The Cruise Fishy site is one of my favorites and I use it for both research as well as to send me alerts when it finds a price drop.

 

I booked this cruise the day it came on the Market close to 2 years ago.   My normal methodology is to book it myself and then reach out to a couple travel agents and ask them what they would offer to transfer the cruise to them.   Those refundable OBC’s ae always important to my cruise planning.   It is fairly easy to transfer the booking but has to be done within the first 60 days from booking.

For this cruise we booked a Celebrity Suite and paid $6,199 pp plus $392 tax and port charges.  My travel agent was kind enough to offer a $700 OBC.   Many don’t realize how much and how often the prices change so here is a summary of the price changes from when the cruise was first released until today.   I am also including a graph of the price movement. 

 

                                       636177090_PricesSilhouette.jpg.fb2e1a066443b745af55e48595d8f9aa.jpg

 

994826296_PricesSilhouetteGraph.jpg.a83604a6e3a42e230d6a32a40738a20b.jpg

 

 

Edited by Jim_Iain

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11 minutes ago, Turtles06 said:

Agreed!  There are some weeks when I think it's been Wednesday for three days.  :classic_blink:

 

No, when you're retired every day is Saturday!

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Hi, we are on this sailing with you - we love the TA's (this will be our fourth). We fly out of San Jose tomorrow to Paris. See you on board next week!

 

Dianne, Peter & Henrietta

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6 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

October 26, 2018

 

Half of the fun of cruising is the pre-cruise planning.   I really enjoy arranging and planning cruises and have a tendency to check a couple sources daily.   The Cruise Fishy site is one of my favorites and I use it for both research as well as to send me alerts when it finds a price drop.

 

I booked this cruise the day it came on the Market close to 2 years ago.   My normal methodology is to book it myself and then reach out to a couple travel agents and ask them what they would offer to transfer the cruise to them.   Those refundable OBC’s ae always important to my cruise planning.   It is fairly easy to transfer the booking but has to be done within the first 60 days from booking.

For this cruise we booked a Celebrity Suite and paid $6,199 pp plus $392 tax and port charges.  My travel agent was kind enough to offer a $700 OBC.   Many don’t realize how much and how often the prices change so here is a summary of the price changes from when the cruise was first released until today.   I am also including a graph of the price movement. 

 

                                       636177090_PricesSilhouette.jpg.fb2e1a066443b745af55e48595d8f9aa.jpg

 

994826296_PricesSilhouetteGraph.jpg.a83604a6e3a42e230d6a32a40738a20b.jpg

 

 

 

Unfortunately that site has become very flaky of late.  Notice that the most recent update on your cruise was over 6 weeks ago.  The same thing has happened as I try to follow hoped-for price decreases on my January Edge cruise – there had been nothing for months, then suddenly a price update 10-15, but again nothing since then.  So I'm back to checking the Celebrity website every day.

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