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What are peoples thoughts on Always INcluded?


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2 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

I did not, but stay tuned...

Well how do you like that, easy peasy (for low tech me) to find on Celebrity website after just 24 simple clicks.  THANKS davekathy!

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2 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

Well how do you like that, easy peasy (for low tech me) to find on Celebrity website after just 24 simple clicks.  THANKS davekathy!

All CP purchases will show up in your CP calendar. Even if you select SD which is at no cost. 

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1 hour ago, LGW59 said:

So I decided to go into my planner and book a few excursions just a few minutes ago.  My OBC $ was applied (deducted) but the excursions are not showing up in the planner.  Do you know how long it takes for that to happen?  I've never used ship excursions but just in case, wanted to be able to have something booked if needed, even in August.

I only booked specialty restaurant meals....no excursions yet...not many available....but will book them through X as they may be the only allowable ones and will fill up quickly (I think). The dinners appeared right away with a confirmation email from X.   I find everything accessing the 'Full Calendar'.

Edited by Oceangoer2
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8 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

 Now we can use OBC on other items, right?

 

Use the OBC for WiFi?  Nope, they forced you to pay cash.  Use OBC for the classic liquor package?  Nope, they forced you to pay cash. Use the OBC for gratuities? Nope, they forced you to pay cash. 

Buy overpriced stuff in the shops that you don't need or want just to burn off the OBC?  Ding, ding, ding, ding.

 

The WiFi I used to get as an Elite perk was enough. I didn't need to buy more. It used to be easy to get a classic drinks or gratuity perk at no extra charge as an incentive to book.  That's gone. So now it's a price comparison against the premium and real luxury lines.  Now XX will need to compete on Itinerary, service and food quality for value.

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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11 minutes ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 

Use the OBC for WiFi?  Nope, they forced you to pay cash.  Use OBC for the classic liquor package?  Nope, they forced you to pay cash. Use the OBC for gratuities? Nope, they forced you to pay cash. 

Buy overpriced stuff in the shops that you don't need or want just to burn off the OBC?  Ding, ding, ding, ding.

 

The WiFi I used to get as an Elite perk was enough. I didn't need to buy more. It used to be easy to get a classic drinks or gratuity perk at no extra charge as an incentive to book.  That's gone. So now it's a price comparison against the premium and real luxury lines.  Now XX will need to compete on Itinerary, service and food quality for value.

Exactly correct 

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17 minutes ago, ChucktownSteve said:

Buy overpriced stuff in the shops that you don't need or want just to burn off the OBC?  Ding, ding, ding, ding.

Only thing I've ever purchased in onboard shops is some duty free alcohol and even that is dependent on pricing, although they do price match the port prices.  As far as any costume jewelry, handbags etc. I can do better at home. 

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3 minutes ago, drakes2 said:

Only thing I've ever purchased in onboard shops is some duty free alcohol and even that is dependent on pricing, although they do price match the port prices.  As far as any costume jewelry, handbags etc. I can do better at home. 

 

I was able to get the liquor price matched after the shop worker had to go speak with two different level managers to validate the price match.  It took over 45 minutes. They didn't want to do it.  I finally proved it with a picture of a sidewalk board sign showing the price of a Johnny Walker Blue bottle at $99 plus I had my my receipt from the store in St. Maartin. The receipt didn't show the size bottle. Luckily for some reason they didn't confiscate the bottles I bought ashore as I boarded. The Manager made me go to the cabin and prove the size of the bottle.  Talk about jumping through hoops.

 

I used my FREE promo perk OBC to buy the last four bottles of Blue they had.  That was the best OBC usage of my cruising life.

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49 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

When comparing booking a sky suite on Celebrity with the AI options, does anyone have an opinion on what other major cruise lines and the associated category would be a fair price/pp/day comparison? 

 

Doesn't the sky suite include the AI four perks?

 

What itinerary and sky suite category are you looking at?

 

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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27 minutes ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 

I was able to get the liquor price matched after the shop worker had to go speak with two different level managers to validate the price match.  It took over 45 minutes. They didn't want to do it.  I finally proved it with a picture of a sidewalk board sign showing the price of a Johnny Walker Blue bottle at $99 plus I had my my receipt from the store in St. Maartin. The receipt didn't show the size bottle. Luckily for some reason they didn't confiscate the bottles I bought ashore as I boarded. The Manager made me go to the cabin and prove the size of the bottle.  Talk about jumping through hoops.

 

I used my FREE promo perk OBC to buy the last four bottles of Blue they had.  That was the best OBC usage of my cruising life.

I usually take a picture of the actual bottle with price sticker and size displayed below but even that has become increasingly more difficult as the port shops have caught on.  Really can't blame them as they need the sales. If the prices are good offshore I'll just purchase there and have it delivered to the ship.  I think the duty free onboard has to get a manager or someone of authority to approve any price matching which can be a hassle and waste of time. 

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39 minutes ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 

Doesn't the sky suite include the AI four perks?

 

What itinerary and sky suite category are you looking at?

 

suite comes with Premium Beverage package, streaming wi-fi, gratuities and OBC

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1 hour ago, ChucktownSteve said:

Doesn't the sky suite include the AI four perks?

 

What itinerary and sky suite category are you looking at?

I guess I could have worded my question a little better. My issue is when comparing a Celebrity Sky Suite, along with all of its associated Retreat perks, neither HAL with their Neptune suite, Princess with their Vista Suite, nor NCL with their Haven balcony suite, and all of their respective perks, come anywhere close to what Celebrity offers.

 

So the next step up would be an Oceania, Azamara, Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea or Regent penthouse suite and the huge "small ship" price increases that go along with those "luxury" cruise line bookings. 

 

I will say, though, Crystal by far has the best enrichment program of any cruise line out there. But, minus that IMHO, Celebrity's suite class offerings dollar for dollar are very much competitive with most of the "small ship" luxury cruise lines, except for one thing. Celebrity doesn't have any small ships, which is fine with us as we have found small ships are just too "relaxing" for us.

 

Now, I will say the $500 pp/day prices we're now seeing with a lot of sky suites isn't cheap by any means! But, they kind of are when you start comparing them to similar cabin offerings on the luxury cruise lines.

 

Anyway, that's pretty much what I was thinking when I asked the question. ☺️

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58 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

I guess I could have worded my question a little better. My issue is when comparing a Celebrity Sky Suite, along with all of its associated Retreat perks, neither HAL with their Neptune suite, Princess with their Vista Suite, nor NCL with their Haven balcony suite, and all of their respective perks, come anywhere close to what Celebrity offers.

 

So the next step up would be an Oceania, Azamara, Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea or Regent penthouse suite and the huge "small ship" price increases that go along with those "luxury" cruise line bookings. 

 

I will say, though, Crystal by far has the best enrichment program of any cruise line out there. But, minus that IMHO, Celebrity's suite class offerings dollar for dollar are very much competitive with most of the "small ship" luxury cruise lines, except for one thing. Celebrity doesn't have any small ships, which is fine with us as we have found small ships are just too "relaxing" for us.

 

Now, I will say the $500 pp/day prices we're now seeing with a lot of sky suites isn't cheap by any means! But, they kind of are when you start comparing them to similar cabin offerings on the luxury cruise lines.

 

Anyway, that's pretty much what I was thinking when I asked the question. ☺️

The only one of the other lines we have been on was Azamara.  The suite experience of Azamara  is nothing like on Celebrity.  There is no separate dining room or lounge.  You do get complimentary dining in the 2  speciality restaurants but you have no priority and can’t make reservations until you board.  No priority for seating in the MDR or anything else except embarkation &  debarkation. The included beverages (brands) are below those on Classic beverage package. To get comparable beverages  you need to upgrade to the Ultimate package $21.95 pp per day.  The suite inclusion are minimal, Butler, 1 free bag of laundry per suite every 7 days, 120 internet minutes.

 

Thats not to say there is nothing to like there is, staff is great, White Night and Azamazing evening are both great, they have some wonderful itineraries.  We have a Azamara cruise booked for next year for a itinerary X doesn’t offer.  Bottom line for us Celebrity for the on-board experience, especially the “suite life” but if the itinerary we  want isn’t offered on X we go to Azamara.

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10 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

I guess I could have worded my question a little better. My issue is when comparing a Celebrity Sky Suite, along with all of its associated Retreat perks, neither HAL with their Neptune suite, Princess with their Vista Suite, nor NCL with their Haven balcony suite, and all of their respective perks, come anywhere close to what Celebrity offers.

 

So the next step up would be an Oceania, Azamara, Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea or Regent penthouse suite and the huge "small ship" price increases that go along with those "luxury" cruise line bookings. 

 

I will say, though, Crystal by far has the best enrichment program of any cruise line out there. But, minus that IMHO, Celebrity's suite class offerings dollar for dollar are very much competitive with most of the "small ship" luxury cruise lines, except for one thing. Celebrity doesn't have any small ships, which is fine with us as we have found small ships are just too "relaxing" for us.

 

Now, I will say the $500 pp/day prices we're now seeing with a lot of sky suites isn't cheap by any means! But, they kind of are when you start comparing them to similar cabin offerings on the luxury cruise lines.

 

Anyway, that's pretty much what I was thinking when I asked the question. ☺️

 

You don't have to go up to Penthouse on Regent for a true comparison.  When comparing it depends upon the SF of the cabin, which ships are being compared and whether having a butler is the most important thing?

 

I found the Concierge suites on Regent more than comparable with the Sky Suite especially since Regent has a two category free upgrade right now. The reason I selected Concierge is it includes a five star hotel night pre-cruise, all transfers, excursions in all ports, air fare and all of the specialty restaurants. I'm not only getting the premium liquor but they also include a bar set up in the suite.

 

I looked at the menus which really sealed the deal for me.  I can order lobster, Alaskan King crab, USDA Prime cuts of beef every day if I want plus the other specialty dishes.

 

The only thing the Concierge suite doesn't have is the butler; which I don't particularly need. One of my cruises I'm paying $493pp/pd on a 15 day in Concierge from Miami to Montreal. All Inclusive.

 

If you fly to your port, stay one night in a five star hotel, pay for transportation airport to hotel, hotel to ship and ship to airport, pay for excursions in every port and pay for specialty restaurants; add those costs to the costs of a Celebrity Sky Suite.  Then you'll get a more accurate comparable price with Regent IMO.

 

EXP Chartreuse Example Menu Dinner.pdf Prime7Menu.pdf

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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Not a fan as we really don't drink much--if I have 3 glasses of wine a year, that's normal.  So, we are paying for a perk we would not need.  I guess if it was included and there was no other choice we might have a pop or two or some other drink, but on over 35 cruises, have never bought or wanted an alcoholic drin, or even pop.

 

I'd rather be able to pick and choose our perks and have the price adjusted.  Included drinks have to be the most expensive of the perks. 

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2 hours ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 

You don't have to go up to Penthouse on Regent for a true comparison.  When comparing it depends upon the SF of the cabin, which ships are being compared and whether having a butler is the most important thing?

 

I found the Concierge suites on Regent more than comparable with the Sky Suite especially since Regent has a two category free upgrade right now. The reason I selected Concierge is it includes a five star hotel night pre-cruise, all transfers, excursions in all ports, air fare and all of the specialty restaurants. I'm not only getting the premium liquor but they also include a bar set up in the suite.

 

I looked at the menus which really sealed the deal for me.  I can order lobster, Alaskan King crab, USDA Prime cuts of beef every day if I want plus the other specialty dishes.

 

The only thing the Concierge suite doesn't have is the butler; which I don't particularly need. One of my cruises I'm paying $493pp/pd on a 15 day in Concierge from Miami to Montreal. All Inclusive.

 

If you fly to your port, stay one night in a five star hotel, pay for transportation airport to hotel, hotel to ship and ship to airport, pay for excursions in every port and pay for specialty restaurants; add those costs to the costs of a Celebrity Sky Suite.  Then you'll get a more accurate comparable price with Regent IMO.

 

EXP Chartreuse Example Menu Dinner.pdf 149.26 kB · 5 downloads Prime7Menu.pdf 451.23 kB · 3 downloads

I have to admit that's a great price for a 15 day all-inclusive Regent cruise. No denying that! We will definitely start looking at Regent if their other cruises come even close to those prices.

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40 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

I have to admit that's a great price for a 15 day all-inclusive Regent cruise. No denying that! We will definitely start looking at Regent if their other cruises come even close to those prices.

 

They raise their prices every month as XX does however the current two suite upgrade promo ends the end of February.  I snapped my deals up under that promotion. Plus my TA is giving me a $1200 + $400 OBC on that one, a $1500 cash rebate on another cruises and a $1500 rebate with $600 OBC.on a third one.

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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23 minutes ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 

They raise their prices every month as XX does however the current two suite upgrade promo ends the end of February.  I snapped my deals up under that promotion. Plus my TA is giving me a $1200 + $400 OBC on that one, a $1500 cash rebate on another cruises and a $1500 rebate with $600 OBC.on a third one.

Cool! Is the 2 category upgrade within the concierge meta category only or does it apply across them if, for example, the 2 category upgrade takes you into the penthouse category?

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11 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Cool! Is the 2 category upgrade within the concierge meta category only or does it apply across them if, for example, the 2 category upgrade takes you into the penthouse category?

 Two category upgrade across all categories.  Depending upon ship; on Splendor, Voyager, Explorer and Mariner it's a Penthouse C for the Concierge E rate.  On Navigator its a Penthouse C for the Deluxe Veranda Suite - E rate.

 

The price I quoted earlier was on our Navigator cruise.

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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8 minutes ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 Two category upgrade across all categories.  Depending upon ship; on Splendor, Voyager, Explorer and Mariner it's a Penthouse C for the Concierge E rate.  On Navigator its a Penthouse C for the Deluxe Veranda Suite - E rate.

 

The price I quoted earlier was on our Navigator cruise.

Cool! On most cruise lines, including X, the free category jump is only within the applicable meta category.

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19 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Cool! On most cruise lines, including X, the free category jump is only within the applicable meta category.

 

The free category on XX does not include Suites. Only up to Aqua.

 

The Splendor has seven restaurants included in the fare.  No surcharge restaurants. The Apex has four restaurants included and Blu/Luminae if Aqua or Suite plus . The other five restaurants have surcharges to eat there.

 

The Splendor has 540 crew to 750 passengers while the Apex has 1320 crew to 2,910 passengers.The Apex ration is 2.2:1 vs. 1.4:1  Guess which one should give you better overall quality service?

 

So it's Always Included vs. All Inclusive.

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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ChucktownSteve is absolutely correct  in his various posts concerning the Regent experience.  My last cruise before the shutdown was a 14 day cruise on the Regent Explorer.  The quality and variety of food was just outstanding.  I cannot imagine that it could be any better. The excellent include Specialty dining options are also outstanding.  My wife and I also enjoyed the poolside outdoor buffet/individual order area.

 

If the price is close to the Sky Suite or Celebrity Suite price, it would be a much better experience.  It is truly All inclusive.  We used our OBC for a couple purchases in the gift shop.  Our TA OBC was a rebated as there is no place to spend the money.

 

We did feel having excursions included is not much of a value for us. The free hotel (concierge suites and above) was nice and we took the air credit (included as part of the All Inclusive).
 

Given a choice (assuming the price is close), we would still prefer the Royal Suite or higher on Celebrity, due to Luminae, Specialty restaurants, and retreat areas. Also in our opinion the Premium drink package on Celebrity is better than what is included on the Regent.  And you have to pay the full price is you want something over the Regent price limit. I just refused to do it.  

 

The bottom line is that the Regent experience is All Inclusive.  It is a great example as to why the Celebrity’s  AI (Always Included) is not All Inclusive.  If you can find a Regent cruise at most cabin level that is even close to the Celebrity price (all factors considered)  it is certainly a superior experience.  If you try it, you will not be disappointed.  

 

 

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15 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

ChucktownSteve is absolutely correct  in his various posts concerning the Regent experience.  My last cruise before the shutdown was a 14 day cruise on the Regent Explorer.  The quality and variety of food was just outstanding.  I cannot imagine that it could be any better. The excellent include Specialty dining options are also outstanding.  My wife and I also enjoyed the poolside outdoor buffet/individual order area.

 

If the price is close to the Sky Suite or Celebrity Suite price, it would be a much better experience.  It is truly All inclusive.  We used our OBC for a couple purchases in the gift shop.  Our TA OBC was a rebated as there is no place to spend the money.

 

We did feel having excursions included is not much of a value for us. The free hotel (concierge suites and above) was nice and we took the air credit (included as part of the All Inclusive).
 

Given a choice (assuming the price is close), we would still prefer the Royal Suite or higher on Celebrity, due to Luminae, Specialty restaurants, and retreat areas. Also in our opinion the Premium drink package on Celebrity is better than what is included on the Regent.  And you have to pay the full price is you want something over the Regent price limit. I just refused to do it.  

 

The bottom line is that the Regent experience is All Inclusive.  It is a great example as to why the Celebrity’s  AI (Always Included) is not All Inclusive.  If you can find a Regent cruise at most cabin level that is even close to the Celebrity price (all factors considered)  it is certainly a superior experience.  If you try it, you will not be disappointed. 

 

Jagoffee, Some good points. I could also go back and forth between the two depending upon the value proposition/price of either with the itinerary I want. I also like to include Azamara in the comparisons too.

 

All of my Suite opinions so far have been formed from research.  I have an S1 Sky Suite on Apex and Regency Concierge/Penthouse suites booked over the next 1.5 years.  I had to keep moving them for obvious reasons.  My views may change once I can actually compare experiences. 

 

The liquor list on Regent had the everyday brands I like especially since I have reduced my consumption over the last few years.  So it's not a major factor for me.  However the food is.

 

I looked at the two cruise line package brands and didn't see too much difference.  XX certainly has the advantage if you want really top shelf since you only pay the difference.

 

The bottom line is everyone mileage will vary based upon their personal preferences.

Celebrity beverage-package-flyer.pdf Regent Bar Menu 08.15.19.pdf

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