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cruisellama

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Posts posted by cruisellama

  1. On 2/1/2024 at 12:01 AM, RoyalGreek said:

    My wife and I are currently on Millennium and there is no wait staff at the bars to take orders at your seat. Also only one or two bartenders at the bars. This is our first Celebrity cruise. Is this the norm?  If so, not good at all. 

    Still see staffing shortages.   Initially due to labor pool shortages, now some of it is deliberate.   Trying to do more with less and it isn't working - its demonstrably less.

  2. On 4/21/2024 at 2:59 PM, SpicyCherry said:

    Ok so @twangster, @WAAAYTOOO, @USCG Teacher and anyone else out there….What about Azamara? I was eyeing them as well. Last time I looked, they were offering itineraries for the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Since my DH loves anything Fast &/or Furious…what say you cruising experts?

    Sailed Azamara just after the sale was announced and early post Covid.  Was pleased with the experience.  Small ship (Quest) with about 380 crew and around 600 guests, but we sailed with about 300..   Food and service was excellent.  Smaller number of people allowed them to be pretty creative in presentation and menu complexity.   Even had a mid-night chocolate buffet one night (but it was a holiday sailing).   You got to recognize / know much of the crew and even many of the guests.  Thought the food was above what was offered by Celebrity.  Entertainment venues more intimate.   The performers will engage more with the guests as they also carry on additional duties to help with on-board activities.   The cruise director and staff are also part of the talent pool.   Small ship is easily to get around.   Small boutique elevators.  Azamara is big on excursions and providing guests with lectures on various destinations.   Discussed history, politics etc of the destinations.   Offered classes such as water color and cooking classes (included).    Basic rates include a basic drink package.  No casino or toys.  Largest library that I've seen at sea.  On board self laundry is also available as many of the cruises are multiple weeks long.   Also had a BBQ on deck one night with  charcoal grills and real flames one night.   Not used to seeing that on a ship.  Command crew out and about and seen all the time.  Officers would help out in the buffet or outdoor activities - didn't see any egos - just wanted to make everyone happy.  Will sail them again.  I want to seen if it's still as pleasant as before being sold by RCL.  I thought the pricing with the offered perks of drinks and internet to be at a very attractive price point at the time.   Starting to research them again for something in 2026.   Early pricing is pretty good 2 yrs out.

  3. On 12/3/2023 at 9:22 PM, Doug_Texas said:

    We are in Texas and sail out of Galveston often.  The majority of sailings on RCL are Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Honduras.  There are a few variations on a theme like Progresso Mexico or sometimes a Grand Cayman but mostly limited ports.  NCL and Carnival have more variety.  We are retired and care a lot about ports which is why we’ve been flying elsewhere to get on RCL sailings.  Every time I make mention of desire for port variation out of Galveston I’m told either the ship is the destination or I need to go to Celebrity.  I would very much like more variety from Galveston from RCL - and it doesn’t need to be more Oasis sailings.  Love Freedom and Voyager class ships.  Agree Corpus and Mobile are non-starters.

    Agree with your observations. I think they've just optimized routes to maximize revenue, not necessarily guest preferences.   When they intersect - there's goodness on both sides.  But as a Texas resident, I too would like more RCL options from Galveston.  There is an occasional 8, 9, and 11 when meshing between rotations - but they're far and few between and difficult to plan for.

  4. The cabin upgrades were welcome and nice.  Many of the public areas and specially restaurants did not get a renovation.  Retreat upgrade from Michaels club isn't spectacular, as they really don't have the space to create the same experience as Edge class.   Matching color palette is fine for marketing, but didn't add to service experience.  

  5. On 5/25/2023 at 5:13 AM, twangster said:

    There have been rumors of "Project Discovery".  Royal likes to call new ship class developments a "project".  However that's all that been known.  

    Considering that Vision and Radiance class are all that can use the Panama Canal, it stands to reason that Royal would look to create a new class that could.  Mega ships are great but they are a PITA when deploying ships between the Atlantic and Pacific.  They need something that can.

    Without any proof or facts, I've always thought that taking the Edge class platform, the basic hull design, not an Edge class ship and painting a Royal name on it, they could leverage a successful hull design and save that engineering cost, and by using LNG engines, build on that hull design to create a new class for Royal.  

      

    Vision and Radiance class appear to intersect at the Millennium class for displacement and  passenger count.  I liked that the M class ships had 3 elevator locations (F, M, A) as opposed to 2 found on later designs.

  6. On 4/22/2024 at 4:10 PM, Doug_Texas said:

    I have seen some cruiser comments on other blogs that if you try Celebrity make sure it is an Edge class ship as the quality difference is huge.  Any commentary from frequent Celebrity cruisers?

    We've greatly enjoyed Edge class.  As with any cruise line, enhancement and experiences can be expanded with a larger and more up to date ships.  It's the nature of upgrading a fleet.  When Millennium was the only class, we enjoyed that, and following Solstice improved the experience over Millennium class.  But with each class, so has the passenger capacity increased;  so as the ships get bigger, so do the crowds.   At this point, as we sail suite class, and do not favor going back in ship class (M,S).   The legacy ship class Retreat experience is far inferior to what Edge class offers (by design) when sailing in a suite.  So to us, that's the most notable change that makes Edge class our new preference.

  7. On 4/26/2024 at 8:09 PM, ultimate_ed said:

    https://www.chron.com/gulf-coast/article/galveston-port-biggest-cruise-ships-19424517.php

    Galveston is always getting the hand me downs from Royal, but in this case, I'd be Ok with Icon coming.  I don't see any chance we'd get one of the new Icon class ships debuting in Galveston unless Carnival starts making a serious dent in the market with Jubilee.

    Would agree on the "hand-me downs".   But will take what ever we can get.....

  8. On 3/5/2024 at 10:34 AM, judgen said:

    Doing my first celeb cruise on May 26 out of NJ. Trying to find info like the RC blog but haven't had much luck. Anything out there?

    There are many Celebrity cruisers on this site.  You've found the right tab to ask a question.  There isn't a Celebrity roll call area like Royal roll calls  so if you're looking to join or follow a roll call there's FB, Cruise Critic, or Shipmate.   However, there's a good chance you can get informed answers to Celebrity questions here.

  9. On 1/26/2024 at 1:56 PM, CNA Jacksonville said:

    We recently completed a five day Mexico cruise on Mariner of the Seas.  When we booked we specified we wanted Early Dining (5:30pm) and that was reflected in the Cruise Booklet we received.  Once on board our Sail Passes said My Time Dining.  We stopped at the MDR reception deck and asked why the change.  The attendant could not offer a good explanation, instead saying that the "system" might not be updated yet.  We politely pressed the question as to who made those changes without our consent.  Again, no good answer except that we could come back later.  He continued to keystroke when we asked to speak to someone who could provide an answer.  After a minute he asked if we would be okay with Early Dining seated with other passengers.  We said that was totally acceptable.  He wrote out a Main Dining Room reservation card and said that it would be reflected on our Sail passes.  We stopped by Guest Services and lo and behold we had our MDR Early Dining specified.

    Has this happened to anyone else?  Does anyone know why these sort of dining arrangement changes are done without your approval or input?

    Happened to my son on Allure.

  10. 18 hours ago, StuckInOhio said:

    Hello more experience travelers. Our family of four (2 adult sized teenagers) will fly to Seattle for an Alaska cruise. Checked bags are $30 each way. We'll have 2 backpacks (counts as personal items for flying) for excursions. Should we take four carry-ons and two checked bags to save $120 (2 bags * $30 * 2 flights) for a total of six bags? Or should we just take use four checked bags and have less luggage to deal with? Is carry-on luggage treated any differently at embarkation? BTW, it's possible I'm my luggage math is off, I'm not yet sure how much we'll need to pack. I'd just like to hear some opinions on carry-on luggage with a trip like this I guess. Thanks!

    Not sure what airline you're using, but some offer 1 or 2 free bags if you sign up for their credit card..  Some cards are free others have a small fee.   Just so the math to see if it makes sense.  Alaska is tougher to pack because of the swings in weather.    Pack clothing you can layer.    You can save volume by getting light weight (roll able) rain slickers that you can wear other clothing underneath.  

  11. 1 hour ago, SPS said:

    FYI: I sent a DM to Royal Caribbean's Twitter/X account to ask about the availability (or rather, the lack) of the "Safety" icon and the Muster Station Map on the app. The reply stated that these features become available once on board.

    (Perhaps these features are only available on the ship's wi-fi?)

    They updated the app and you can see a few new options like "for you", "cruises" , "videos" - but the safety icon is not there (-yet).   It will show up closer to your cruise.

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