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Starting in June sailing from St. Maarten.     https://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/General_Info/ITK/CEL_JUNE_CARIBBEAN_COMEBACK_FOR_CELEBRITY_CRUISES_Press_Release_3-19-21.pdf  

I was never so close to booking my first Celebrity cruise as I was in the hour between this and the Adventure of the Seas announement.

I think we all have to realize that the CDC is, in fact, a government agency with all the inherent hesitance to action of any government agency. (At least in the US, I can't speak for other countries.

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21 hours ago, twangster said:

Something else is in the works for Celebrity, special travel agent call on Thursday.

That's fine as long as it doesn't interrupt my TA from booking Milllennium on any one of the sailings in June.😁 If you're thinking on booking Millennium as an RCL loylaist never having sailed Celebrity,  here are some thoughts. I've sailed Millenium 4x, the most recent was in Asia for a month B2B. I'm a smaller ship enthusiast so, Celebrity's Millennium Class ships are my cup of tea. I've sailed Jewel, a Radiance Class ship, once on a repositioning cruise - loved it. The two classes, as has been mentioned, are similar in size and flay-out.

When one speak's of "older' ships, Celebrity's maintenance standards almost make that term irrelevant. You might find a nick or two in a chair or cabinetry but for the most parts I've always found Celebrity's ships, no matter the class or age, spotless and everything I use regularly, functional.  If you find something amiss in your cabin, it will get fixed right away. The layout is easy to navigate - straight access fore and aft on most decks. Cabin size is average with a larger deck on what are called "hump cabins. If you can snag one of those, do it. Aft cabins also have a larger deck, forward facing cabins are a bit larger. I just don't like either of these cabins, have tried both and that's just me. 

Celebrity has pushed these "refrubishments" and cabin upgrades converting the Millennium class ships to offer more exclusivity. I'm not really in to paying a premium fares for special soaps and a shower head or being able to dine in an exclusive restaurant with, aside from maybe a specialty or two, the same food that's served in the main dining rooms. So, my advice is to skip these premium fares. Book an "obstructed" Veranda at the lowest price you can get. Obstructed is a misnomer. The only thing you'll find obstructed is looking straight down. Worst case you'll have the top 10th of a lifeboat in your view. No big deal. This advice varies but skip Tuscan Grill and whatever they are calling the others now (specialty dining venue names change regularly) but book Murano. It really is 5 star dining - or at least it has been for us on past sailings. Tuscan is OK, not great as one of the only 3 or 4 specialty dining options and I'm thinking these might be limited on start-up cruises.

If you favor what I call the glitz of the mega-ships, amusement park level activities and more dining options than you can take part on in a 7n cruise, Millennium will disappoint you. If you just want to sail, Celebrity cruise line is an excellent choice and Millennium a solid cruise ship. Before RCG acquired Celebirty, it was an independent luxury line. The X on the stacks of it's ships signified excellence. It's changed a bit in the 20y we've been cruising that line, almost exclusively, but not much.

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Would like to see an Edge class ship activated.  I was told by a Celeb agent they were a priority for re-start , but that was obviously bad info when Millennium was announced.   Nice Milli is leading restart and a surprise (to me).  Although "revolutionized" , it was a partial job, unless they've completed during the down time.  There was even scuttlebutt it was on the "sell" list a few months ago.

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17 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

Would like to see an Edge class ship activated.  I was told by a Celeb agent they were a priority for re-start , but that was obviously bad info when Millennium was announced.   Nice Milli is leading restart and a surprise (to me).  Although "revolutionized" , it was a partial job, unless they've completed during the down time.  There was even scuttlebutt it was on the "sell" list a few months ago.

I think that was stated in the days when we all thought Florida would be going by now.  

They've had to adapt and re-think the restart in a way that wasn't conceivable six months ago.

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11 hours ago, twangster said:

I think that was stated in the days when we all thought Florida would be going by now.  

They've had to adapt and re-think the restart in a way that wasn't conceivable six months ago.

We would need to see port of FLL or Miami open up to see US Edge class restart.  Doesn't look like that's happening anytime soon.  Maybe similar issue with Oasis class.

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12 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

We would need to see port of FLL or Miami open up to see US Edge class restart.  Doesn't look like that's happening anytime soon.  Maybe similar issue with Oasis class.

Just a month ago the CDC led the cruise lines to believe the technical instructions would be in hand any day now.

Got You Reaction GIF by Yevbel

I think the cruise lines have started to see the CDC's true colors.

All bets are off.

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Ask and you shall receive! (but not in the Caribbean) ... Athens.

 

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http://www.creative.rccl.com/e-lite/CEL/Common_Elements/bx.gif
 
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Someday IS HERE
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LET'S GO!
THE DEBUT OF 
CELEBRITY APEX IS HERE
 



I am overjoyed. As global travel quickly becomes a reality again, we can announce not only the redeployment of our revolutionized Celebrity Millennium to the Caribbean, but we can DEBUT our luxurious new Celebrity ApexSM as she takes her inaugural voyage starting June 19, 2021. 
 

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On March 30, 2021, your clients will be able to book Eastern Mediterranean itineraries of 6–8 nights beginning in Athens, Greece, visiting the Greek Isles, Cyprus, and Israel — complete with drinks, Wi-Fi, and tips Always IncludedSM*. 

We are so excited to say that new Celebrity Apex itineraries and more information on health and safety protocols will be released very soon! 
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14 hours ago, twangster said:

I think that was stated in the days when we all thought Florida would be going by now.  

They've had to adapt and re-think the restart in a way that wasn't conceivable six months ago.

We would need to see port of FLL or Miami open up to see US Edge class restart.  Doesn't look like that's happening anytime soon.  Maybe similar issue with Oasis class.

 

1 hour ago, twangster said:

Ask and you shall receive! (but not in the Caribbean) ... Athens.

 

  Access_TCC.gif
celebrity_no_tag_.gif
http://www.creative.rccl.com/e-lite/CEL/Common_Elements/bx.gif
 
bx.gif
Someday IS HERE
bx.gif
LET'S GO!
THE DEBUT OF 
CELEBRITY APEX IS HERE
 



I am overjoyed. As global travel quickly becomes a reality again, we can announce not only the redeployment of our revolutionized Celebrity Millennium to the Caribbean, but we can DEBUT our luxurious new Celebrity ApexSM as she takes her inaugural voyage starting June 19, 2021. 
 

headshot_DR_blue_.jpg
On March 30, 2021, your clients will be able to book Eastern Mediterranean itineraries of 6–8 nights beginning in Athens, Greece, visiting the Greek Isles, Cyprus, and Israel — complete with drinks, Wi-Fi, and tips Always IncludedSM*. 

We are so excited to say that new Celebrity Apex itineraries and more information on health and safety protocols will be released very soon! 

Apex goes, but from Greece and not western Europe.  That's very positive movement - get those ships in service where you can.  Drip, drip, drip...

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26 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

We would need to see port of FLL or Miami open up to see US Edge class restart.  Doesn't look like that's happening anytime soon.  Maybe similar issue with Oasis class.

I think RCG is really hoping that the CDC comes around.  Maybe not lifting the CSO but moving it forward.  The hope for 2021 Florida cruises is still very much alive so they don't want to cancel established cruises only to have the CDC suddenly wake up.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Millie is open for booking.

Retreat going fast on some dates.  Going, going... almost gone.

We got ours for 26 June 21. Retreat Royal Suite. Happy, happy, Joy Joy! Airfare to St. Marten is outrageous, though.

Benefit of a great TA.

Edited by rjweber3
Forgot to add line.
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54 minutes ago, rjweber3 said:

We got ours for 26 June 21. Retreat Royal Suite. Happy, happy, Joy Joy! Airfare to St. Marten is outrageous, though.

Benefit of a great TA.

Congrats.  When you get on-board, observe  if Tuscan and Luminae were updated.   When we sailed Milli after Revolution update ('19), they were not.  (as well as other public areas) (except Le Petit Chef).  Michaels was successfully converted to the Retreat lounge which is  a nice space.  Retreat lounge allowed 24h access to area which included access to a refrigerator with generous selection to "self help" beverages (adult and otherwise).  The lounge did not offer the same level of service at 3-4pm time frame for tea and sandwiches as when it was Michaels club.  It offered  a self service food station.  (Which will probably change back post-covid).  Suites all updated with new decor.   A sound absorption material was added to the walls so if you bring magnets, they'll only work on non-coated surfaces like doors.  Enjoy.

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After two days of detailed looks at available dates and itineraries for a 7n Millennium sailing out of St. Maartin, after searches using available engines for flights and accommodations pre-cruise, after having my TA put my first priority sail date and cabin on hold with Celebrity, we decided against booking the sailing.

Why you ask? The cruise was reasonable, so were the pre-cruise accommodations. In two days, economy airfares had gone from a low of $380, non-stop, R/T MIA, SXM (we've flown there before and that's the going fare, sometimes it's lower) to over $1K for that routing with decent times. You could still book flights for around $440 but routing/times were horrible.

To make those flights out of MIA we'd have to Uber to the airport at $100, one way, over an hour trip (nothing out of FLL). We've gotten spoiled living just North of PEV. It's a $35 20m ride to the port, easy on and easy off to get back home (we use Global Entry). The hassle of an expensive flight, managing and paying for COVID entrance requirements in St. Maartin and transportation to/from MIA was just too much.

I was watching cabin availability when the bookings went up at the Celebrity site for the 6/19 sailing. No OV or inside cabins were offered.  Retreat cabins were gone in about 24h. The good Vernadas in about 36h. Still there was good availability on all 4 of the Millennium sailings in June. Didn't track July.

The pricing for a Millennium Veranda, Cat 2C cabin came out at about $235pp/n. I try to target Celebrity Verandas between $130-160pp/n. Pre-pandemic, that was easy to find during off peak times and on less popular itineraries. During the early cruises we're going to pay a bit of a premium. That's to be expected and I don't have a problem with it.

 

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42 minutes ago, steverk said:

@JeffB I'm sorry you wont' be able to join us on the Millennium.

Yeah, it sucks. I was stoked and ready to roll. I'm also a bit compulsive. Fortunately, I have a wife who isn't. She pointed out the downsides that I simply dismissed.

Moreover, we have a sailing on Equinox out of PEV on June 13th. I'm hopeful but not optimistic. Not sure what I'll do with that booking, as it is fully paid, when it predictably gets cancelled.

Also have Reflection booked out of Amsterdam to Norway in July. Given what's' going on in Europe, I'm even less confident about that one. Final payment comes due in April. Before that happens I'll cancel it and try booking Apex out of Athens - I feel pretty good about that one. I've been tracking COVID in Greece the last couple of days and after Celebrity announced that Apex will sail the Greek isles, at a couple of COVID tracking sites I use. They, like the rest of the EU, are experiencing a rise in new case numbers. Deaths and hospitalizations are up but not at the same rate as new cases - that is good.

The Greek government has imposed some tougher restrictions and mobility has decreased by around 50% (cell phone data). What makes me believe vaccinated Americans will be welcome by June or July, as long as control of SARS2 - as measured by the amount of circulating virus (positivity) - can be reestablished, is based on 2 things: (1) The Greek government, compared to the US government, wants to restore tourism and believes risks of doing that are lower than the economic benefits to its citizens. (2) I'm almost certain Celebrity would not be planning to port Apex out of Athens without a clear picture of the public health situation, where Greek PH officials think things are headed and the support of the Greek government to port Apex there.     

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On 4/1/2021 at 4:32 PM, cruisellama said:

Where will be the next "cruise friendly" country embarkation port be?   (So far RC/Celeb has Bahamas, St. Maartin, Cyprus, Greece, UK, Bermuda, Barbados, Singapore)  Maybe Mexico, Australia?

I'm not sure.  St. Thomas comes to mind, but since that's a US territory they may have to abide by the CDC rules.  I'm thinking maybe Cozumel.

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