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Posts posted by Iluv4n6

  1. Thanks, Twangster!  I got through on the Captain's Club phone line this afternoon (844-418-6824), and Mr. Josh Gray with Celebrity (who said I should use his name on these boards) indicated the loyalty level match between CAS and Captains Club is not a one-time event. So if we cruise on Celebrity while Emerald in CAS, we will translate to Select Level on Celebrity on that cruise. But (in our case) after we do another cruise on Royal and are Diamond and then go back to Celebrity, we will translate to Elite Level for the next Celebrity cruise.  My concern was possibly having to build up from the bottom rung of Select Level and could only do so when cruising on Celebrity, because no future higher loyalty level on CAS would ever translate again to Captain's Club.

    Perhaps this clarification will help others interpret information they find on the reciprocity between CAS and Captains Club.   Of course, nothing is static in the cruise industry, so this would be worth confirming as future sail dates approach.

  2. Thanks, JL.  I am not positive if I can control of when the level match occurs.  I would like to delay the level match until after I am Diamond on Royal if I can.  I am concerned that if I sail my first time on Celebrity while I am at Emerald-Almost-Diamond on Royal this fall,  I will map over to Captain's Club at Select Level by default because they will simply transfer my C&A info at that time whether I request it or not.  I fully understand that mapping between systems is a one-time deal.  But I don't know if I could take one Celebrity cruise this fall and delay loyalty level matching until a second future Celebrity cruise by which time I would be Diamond in Royal's system. 

    If I can't delay the level match, that may affect my decision on the fall Celebrity cruise.  Wouldn't be happy dropping from almost Diamond on RC to Select on Celebrity and never realistically being able to climb back up the Celebrity loyalty ladder to ever enjoy their Elite level.  It would be like falling 50 rungs on an adjacent ladder if you can't climb up just one more rung on your current ladder first.    

    Was on hold with the Captain's Club number for while to ask about whether I have any control over when I level match from Royal, but hold times are lengthy these days...     

  3. We are currently booked on a Celebrity cruise for fall 2020 and will be Emerald in C&A by that time, which would translate to the Select Level in the Captain's Club.  We will be Diamond after another RC sailing in early 2021 which would translate to Elite Level in the Captain's Club with its significantly enhanced perks compared to Select Level.  Could we avoid mapping over into Celebrity's system at the Select level if we do not join the Captain's Club before or during our currently booked fall 2020 Celebrity cruise, and instead join the Captains Club at a later date and after we are Diamond in C&A?  

    I see no benefit mapping our Emerald/almost-Diamond status over to Celebrity this fall if I have an option not to.  I'd rather go with no added perks in Celebrity's system for one cruise than miss out on potentially multiple cruises at the Elite level.  

    Any experience with this?  


  4. Hi Fellow Cruisers -- We will fly into Baltimore the day before cruising on Grandeur in May and wanted check with you all on any hotel recommendations.   Probably any place in the Camden Yards area would work well.  Looks like we will be catching Grandeur during her last full year sailing out of Baltimore and before she is replaced by Empress in spring 2021.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  5. 1 hour ago, AshleyDillo said:

    It is a new practice and it's run by a third party.  They don't necessarily hold back rooms, but by setting up a blind bidding system they are able to capitalize when there are last minute cancellations.  The offer to bid has little to nothing to do with actual availability.  It's also a way for them to collect even more data as to what people would be willing to pay.

    Thanks!  Makes sense from what I can see on the website.   

  6. Hi -- Wife and I are excited to visit the ABC islands next week as part of the Freedom group cruise.  Based on the helpful info on these boards, we're planning:

    Curacao - RC Fascinating Curacao excursion -  hope we can get up on 1/1 for the 11:15 AM curacao tasting tour, LOL.  Hit Mambo beach area and group event.

    Aruba - Head up to the Eagle beach area--no formal excursion.  Group event in the evening.

    Bonaire - RC Mangrove and Beach excursion - looking forward to seeing lots of exotic (for us) sea birds and especially flamingos.  

    Besides the ABCs:

    St Martin - Taxi up to the French side and probably hang out at Grand Case beach.  Will also want to see how Orient Beach area might be recovering some.  We've visited this great island a couple times previously and will see about heading up to the French side along the east shore instead of the longer loop through Maho Beach/airport area.

    Also looking forward to meeting other bloggers!


  7. 3 minutes ago, twangster said:

    No double points for a balcony to suite upgrade obtained through RoyalUp.  If you really need those extra points call now and look into the cost to upgrade conventionally outside of RoyalUp.

    Thanks Twangster!  Did not see this in the fine print.  But we also have a JS booked in late spring so we will have the points covered to translate to Celebrity's loyalty program for fall 2020. Was thinking of potentially rejiggering our late spring cruise if we were successful with a RoyalUp on an earlier cruise and got double points sooner.  Based on various feedback on the program, it seems that weak bids, like ours, have a low probability of being successful.   Interesting that my TA didn't indicate this limitation to RoyalUp...I had mentioned RU as a means of doubling up on points with an upgrade...or I just missed the info.  

  8. We have a couple bids placed for two upcoming cruises to upgrade from balcony to JS, in part to move up the RC loyalty ladder before a Celebrity cruise in fall 2020.  We didn't bid much above the "weak" bid range on the Royal-Up-O-Meter, so I would be surprised if either bid is successful.   Though we would be in a different location, I would figure any JS location wouldn't be too bad...

  9. Lots of great ideas in this thread!  Here's a suggestion for something small that really enhanced our stateroom:  magnetic hooks.  


    It didn't dawn on me until reading these boards that the stateroom walls and ceiling are made of steel.  So you can place magnetic hooks just about anywhere.  They work great for hanging sunglasses, hats, lanyards, etc, or for making a hanging divider out of sheets to create sections in the room for a bit more privacy.

    Enjoy Harmony--it's an awesome ship!

  10. 6 hours ago, cruiser4406 said:

    They did not seem to offer the discounted drink package on Harmony as they have on the other ships. I am going on Symphony in March so I will be anxious to compare the two. 

    I would not expect any drink packages to be cheaper onboard on a per day basis compared to buying pre-cruise, but I was wondering if any bars began offering a "drink card" a few days into the cruise.   On some cruises I've seen them sell a drink card a few days into the cruise--with signage at the bar advertising when they do this--say, for ~$75 for 10 bar drinks.  Anyone in your group can use it, which is also nice plus.  Guessing you did not see this on your Harmony cruise, but thought I would double-check.

    And thanks, @cruiser4406 for the updates on your recent Harmony cruise about the adult pool and using Whatsapp with Vroom!

  11. @monctonguy we will be in St Maarten/Martin a week from today (😁) and should swing by Maho later in the day after we enjoy a couple beaches on the French side.  I would anticipate that you wouldn't have to wait long at Maho for a taxi back to Phillipsburg/cruise port.  But I can check out the taxi situation for you (cost/wait time...).   

    For our family group of 8, we decided to hire a van from Best Price Taxi service for our family group based on quite a few positive Trip Advisor reviews. 


    Pricing ($250/day) seems to be comparable with some other services and for Leo Brown's new van (which incidentally is reserved by another group from Harmony).  Bernards also looked good for a private itinerary for a few bucks more.  Andy Martina with Best Price got back to me quickly via email and confirmed we would be in their new white Toyota van.  Should have come pics and comments in a week or so!

  12. 31 minutes ago, cruiser4406 said:

    Just got back from Harmony cruise (awesome)! Whatsapp works with vroom, but other than that, if you did not purchase an internet package it didn't work.  Harmony did not support the Royal IQ app.

    Thanks for the feedback, @cruiser4406!  We will have a few Vroom codes to spread among our family, so I think Whatsapp should work for us.  Also good to know Royal IQ is no longer works on Harmony.

    By the way, did a drink card appear a few days into your cruise?  We opted against a drink package this time, but I have noticed more aggressive drink package pricing on CP over the last week or so for Harmony next week, which makes me think they may be behind a bit in their pre-sales.  

  13. Digital and Print photo packages are sold on a per stateroom basis only and photos are linked to staterooms based on the guests travelling in that stateroom. Photos of other guests not travelling in your stateroom will be linked to their own stateroom. The following are not included in print and/or digital photo packages: Photos of others in your party not travelling in your stateroom; Group, Wedding, Quinces, Private Studio photography and other special occasion photography; Generic photos of the ship, characters, ports of call, etc.; Any special printing or retouching requests.

    The fine print above is for the photo package we just purchased (20 photos on a memory stick).  It would appear that anyone in the stateroom of the person who bought the package would be included in the photo package.  We purchased the package in the name of our grand-daughter who is on our reservation with my wife and me, figuring she would be in the most photos.  We have three other cabins in our family group on an upcoming cruise.  So I think as long as my wife, me, or our grand-daughter (i.e., the "purchaser" of the package) are in a family photo, that photo would be included in the package.  

    Can anyone confirm this?  @Matt  you mentioned: 

    On 1/24/2019 at 1:43 PM, Matt said:

    I believe as long as whomever bought the photo package is in the photo, then it counts.

    Based on Matt's comment, I'm not sure if our grand-daughter would have to be in every photo of any family grouping for that photo to be included in the package, or as along as any of the 3 of us in the same stateroom that "bought" the package are in the photo then that photo would be in the package.

    Any comments or clarifications welcomed!  

  14. Sailing Harmony on Feb 3 with a larger family group.  We will have a few Vroom packages among the adults, so I would think using a web messenger might be a good way to go for us to communicate among our mix of iPhone and Android devices.  (We had some issues with the generic iPhone texting on our last cruise.)  Have not looked into the old Royal IQ app to see if there would be any advantage to going that route on Harmony...assuming it is still working OK.  

    @cruiser4406 would love to hear what app your family used to stay in touch during your Jan 20 Harmony cruise.

  15. Just now, tiny260 said:

    Reading your descriptions and expectations above, Bernard's would probably be your best bet. The Taxi queue at St. Maarten is frustrating and at times very confusing. They don't really care what you want, it's what fits their needs the best.

    We were just trying to get a taxi from the port to Maho beach, not to see the beach but to meet a family friend that is going to Medical school in St. Maarten, I wanted a private taxi and instead got thrown in a taxi with 12 other people. It was not a fun ride.

    This may sound strange to some, but the taxi queue at Cozumel is 100% more organized than St. Maarten.

    Thanks @tiny260 and @Gears for your comments!  We will reserve a taxi van for the day to avoid taxi lines at the port and the possibility of getting stuck at any of our preferred stops. We are contacting a couple taxi van/small bus services that popped up in a Trip Advisor search (Best Price and SXM Bus tours) and will also check Bernard's for our group of 8.  Will update for how they compare. 


  16. Thanks, @Gears.  What we would be looking for is not really a guided tour, so much as transportation to specific places we want to be sure to see during this visit.  Because we would want to stay an hour or 90 minutes at the prime spots (Grand Case and Le Galion Beaches), we probably would want to hire the same taxi van for the day so we wouldn't possibly get stuck at one of the beaches for too long before would would be able to move to the next spot.

    Game Plan:

    1) Grand Case Beach

    2) Lunch in Grand Case/Marigot

    3) Le Galion Beach 

    4) Maho Beach to see a plane come in

    5) Phillipsburg stop before heading back to the ship.  Could take water taxi from here instead, I think.   

    Sounds like there would be taxi vans available to hire for the day without necessarily reserving in advance.


  17. I appreciated @Chalker's recent informative and enthusiastic review of Bernard's Tours for a private group tour of St Maarten, but wanted to check with others on the availability of taxi vans after you walk off the ship in St Maarten.  We have a family group of 8 and want to focus our tour on the Grand Case and Le Galion beaches on the French side, including lunch on the French side, and finishing with with short stops at Maho Beach and Phillipsburg on our way back to the ship.  If we go with a tour company, we would probably need to reserve ahead.  At the same time, based on my one previous visit, St Maarten looked well-served with taxis--I just don't recall the prevalence of larger van taxis.  We would need something a notch bigger than a normal-sized family van with 7-person capacity.  

    Would appreciate any comments from the terrific RC Blogger community on group transportation for touring this awesome island!


  18. 9 hours ago, cruiselife said:

    Those plans sounds great to us. I talked with my wife about it last night and we would be happy to share the van with your family if you would like to. It sounds like a lot of fun. I completely understand if not, no pressure! I just sent you a private message with a little more information about us.

    You guys sound very flexible -- thanks for your willingness to share a visit to the island with our crew.  I also sent you a private message with more info on our group.  Might also be good to know what new van Leo's got to gauge if we would all comfortably all fit -- probably, but might be worth checking out anyway! 😁

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