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CravingaCruise last won the day on February 4 2023

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  1. What an amazing way to celebrate your daughter’s graduation! Thank you for taking us along on your adventures! Some a little scary, but most of them amazing! Safe travels! Look forward to your vacation after the vacation!
  2. I heard great things about Blu but we didn’t get a chance to try it.
  3. Of course! I wanted a real comparison to the amenities we get on Royal and had heard a lot about Retreat. I think the thing I learned in this endeavor is to do my homework in advance. I had heard about the Retreat and thought it would be the same level as SC on Royal, so when we saw the Retreat guarantee, I jumped on it...and then I did the homework. After we had booked and joined a Retreat Facebook group, I learned very quickly of the difference between the Retreat levels so I lowered my expectations. The additional increase up to that level was more than what we paid for the initial booking and it wasn't in our budget this time around because of two of our daughters getting married within a year of each other. I'm sure the invention of the bank was created by a parent who had just married off a daughter! My main objective was to be on a ship going to PDCC since that is one of my favorite places and they just opened up the new adult only space. We didn't pay a fortune for this cruise and it met the primary objective, so we weren't super upset when our butler didn't really buttle. I'm just glad we got the food thing figured out! Of course the few days we had working out the food kinks probably saved me another 5 pounds! All good in our minds...but we're probably going to stick to Royal SC in the future.
  4. @Lovetocruise2002 may have a different experience. It will be good to see the difference between basic retreat and upper retreat (Royal suite snd up). I’m kind of thinking they will end up more like Sky vs Star. But Celebrity has their Aqua class that has their own restaurant similar to retreat with fewer add-ons. Kind of like a souped-up Sea.
  5. I’m with you! Losing weight on a cruise means you’re doing something wrong!!!
  6. It’s official! We have just gone on our first cruise and lost weight!!!!! Well, Pop did anyway! He lost 2 pounds! I, on the other hand gained 3…but I didn’t care. Those Luminae dinner rolls did me in for sure, but they were worth every one! By the end of the cruise Victor had the bread guy trained to bring me a roll every time my bread plate was empty. This is Victor - our favorite person on board the Beyond!
  7. Home safe and sound back in Oregon where apparently summer has officially started. We might be able to keep our tans for a while if the sun decides to stick around. Thanks for following along everyone!
  8. Translation please? I’m feeling old reading this blog. First mid and now this.
  9. Great questions. We had a dedicated butler, if you want to call him that. The only thing he really did was refill our refrigerated water, but only after we had to remind him. Oh, and he brought our coffee order the first 2 days. Then we cancelled it. We told him the first day that we wanted priority disembarkation for Perfect Day and his response was to be on deck 2 aft at 7:45am. When we went down there they told us we weren’t supposed to be there and made us leave. He didn’t communicate to us what he could or couldn’t do, and gave us bad information. He was a terrible communicator and after a couple of days of asking for something and being told no, we stopped asking and behaved as though we didn’t have a butler. We also told him we were vegan and he didn’t help us navigate that at all. He didn’t steer us to the concierge team for anything, so I honestly don’t know what they could do for us. Oh, and they didn’t reach out in advance other than the questionnaire, which I believe wasn’t read because there wasn’t anything provided for POP’s CPAP machine as requested. I personally think the issue was Akash versus the services Celebrity provides though. We made sure to put all of this in our review…along with how much we loved the Luminae staff!!
  10. Final thoughts as we’re waiting an eternity for our flight. Room: We discovered 3 drawers in the bathroom yesterday! That’s where the hairdryer lives! There is only one US outlet at the bedside and it’s on the right side (looking at the bed) The drapes and lights controlled by the wall panel or app were very easy and appreciated. The deck/window washing seemed to happen more than once on our cruise and it left our balcony totally soaked for hours and unusable. The one time they showed up and we had to quickly close the drapes due to indecent exposure, we were getting ready to go sit out there (once dressed, of course). We ended up not being able to use it for the rest of the day because the chair and deck were so wet. There seemed to be a lot of storage space: -just inside the door is about 5’ of hanging space with the extra bar at the bottom. -On the other side of the bathroom door is a cabinet with 3 small drawers and 3 or 4 shelves, along with the safe. It’s about 1 1/2 - 2’ wide. -There are also three very large drawers next to the mini fridge. Pop and I unpacked into the closet and cabinet and then saw the three large drawers but didn’t bother moving anything. It worked for us. Ship: The Beyond is really a beautiful ship but we kept feeling like we were missing the promenade with the pizza and cafe center stage. There are a ton of staff dedicated to cleaning this ship and they did a great job!! Dining: You all know our dining adventure, so I won’t get too deep here, but something that I think could be positioned a little better on board is the pizza. It’s all the way at the aft of the ship and you have to walk through the buffet to get to it. I think you all know how much I avoid that place Coffee: They had the cafe onboard and this kind of had the feeling of a Starbucks. Which was okay but sometimes you just want to make your own coffee. There were a couple of mini coffee stations set up around the ship but they don’t have “other” creamer - just milk. Eden: This is a beautiful venue with gorgeous art views and we loved hanging out there. We found it a little ironic that the one venue that seemed to have more of a healthy feeling was right next to one of the smoking sections on the ship. Another favorite spot was just discovered yesterday right by Eden. The swinging chairs in the rain forest (sounds) Music: Several of the live club singers were super pitchy and it was always very loud. We found ourselves trying to get away from it often. Martini Bar: This was one of our favorite places on board for meeting others and just hanging out! The bartending team are a hoot and it’s an amazing people watching space. Staff I was very impressed with the staff I don’t think there was ever a staff member who wasn’t happy to be doing whatever they were doing. They were a true joy! Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise and the new friends we made along the way. We also made great use of our drink package and don’t feel the need to drink again until next year. Note to self for next time…book an earlier flight so we don’t have such a long, boring wait!
  11. I just learned that Celebrity will be offering reserved seating to all Retreat guests at every show starting today. Really?
  12. Haha! It’s a good thing you have more vacation to take a break from your vacation!
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