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About ghstudio

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  1. Most ports have a shopping area you pass through to get out of the port....and they often have ATM's. Be careful...very few of those are bank ATM's...they have been set up by money exchange companies or private individuals who charge (much) more than using a bank ATM. However, once you get out of the port and walk around (or get off the shuttle bus), you will almost always find a bank ATM. There are a few exceptions, but if you are in the EU (spain/portugal/....) travelling to EU ports you will have the chance to change money at your arrival airport. Even at the airport, you have to be careful that you are using a bank ATM....if you aren't sure, ask someone. If you are arriving in the EU from a non EU port...eg. Southampton..then you can just use an ATM at the first EU port. BTW...if you are from the US passing through England for a few days and have pounds left over when you get on the ship....do not change them to Euros on the ship....change them back to $'s and then use an ATM as described above. The ship charges about 8% to convert from pounds to dollars and then charges another roughly 8% to convert those dollars to euros. Your $100 worth of pounds gets you $85 worth of euros.
  2. How do you feel about flying on a 20-30 year old airplane....have you flown on a 757 recently A330 and many more?
  3. it's really 8 days on the infinity....hard to count the changeover day as a real cruise day. Without knowing the itineraries, it's hard to recommend one over the other.
  4. When I unpacked my bags a couple of days ago, a few bars of that hand/shower soap mysteriously appeared. No idea how they got there 🙄
  5. Price matching is "marketing" in most cases. It's been around in the appliance/entertainment space for a very long time and the manufacturers create a special model number for a chain of stores so you can't price match. Try to match best buy to local discount chain...different model numbers for the exact same product. Want to match Celebrity's prices....they match the base price without the perks and they are the same everywhere....except for groups, but celebrity won't match to group prices...even if they post the group price on their web page when you price a cruise (yes, they've done that...posted a "travel agent only" rate and refused to match it).
  6. I think they tried that...MDR food really went downhill for a short while...and surprisingly, it has improved quite a bit. Many of us join you in dreaming of going to Murano.....it's been replaced on most if not all the ships with Tuscan Grill....the Specialty Restaurant where, after spending your $50 or so, you can then spend another $10 to get better meat. No cooking at the table, etc. Murano must have cost celebrity too much.
  7. FogFog...listen to you DH 🙂 Your only price protection is that you can cancel and rebook your cruise, subject to any penalties you might have. Celebrity doesn't do any price matching/price adjustments after final payment is due.
  8. Celebrity has an application that has built in communications between passengers...but there's a big but.... As implemented today, there is no sound when a new message arrives....so unless you look at your phone, you don't know you've received a message. Seems like a major flaw to me....
  9. I think many are enthralled with the concept of being on a small yacht exploring the islands...it sounds so impressive and romantic. Reality is that the waters in the Galapagos can be very choppy to even a bit rough at times....for some reason not mentioned when you are booking that small ship cruise. A small ship doesn't have the same amenities...return to your air conditioned ship, choice of liquors, choice of meals and so on. Are you a vegetarian, don't like fish, etc....maybe a bit more of a choice for dinner is a good option. Can your small ship handle folks who want to do different things...or have different physical capabilities because no one is allowed on shore without a naturalist (who by law can only have a max of 15 people with them)....how many naturalists are on that small ship? As Sippican said, the Xpedition was always close to shore...the galapagos are volcanic islands and the waters around the islands are not shallow....The zodiac rides were always quite short (except in Baltra and San Cristobal). I could go on... To put this in perspective, we prefer private tours...on land or on a cruise. I was very apprehensive about taking a larger ship in the Galapagos...the small ship adventure sounded so good....but then my DW suggested that if I wanted her to join me, it would be on a larger ship. It turned out to be the best cruise of my life....the small ship/naturalist guide shore excursion experience with the comforts of a larger ship.
  10. I love that "gritty" soap.....it was the only toiletry I liked.
  11. The VAT will only be applied if all of your cruise ports are in the EU. We just returned from a Mediterranean B2B....the first had a non EU port, the second was all EU. I'm not sure if VAT is charged on laundry.....it was not charged on specialty dining purchased on the second cruise, but was added to any purchases in the stores and the liquor shop was closed the entire second cruise.
  12. It would be nice if that was standard, but alas we were just B2B and no such offer. There was a $49 a bag offer, at least on the first cruise....I didn't notice if they did that again on the 2nd cruise. Note though, Celebrity usually gives B2B passengers $50/$100 which appears as a discount on one of your cruises or as an OBC but you often have to ask your TA or Celebrity for that discount...for some reason it's not always automatic.
  13. AC Hotel Venezia by Marriott... Very convenient to Vaparetto, people mover, very clean (recently renovated) and some good restaurants within easy walking distance. Also incredibly easy to get to from the airport bus or a taxi...it's right where they drop you off. Highly recommended. If you are staying in Venice for a couple (or more) days, buy the multiday Vaparetto ticket right at the Vaparetto stop. Note...our one annoyance with the hotel was that we asked the cost of a taxi from the hotel to the ship (before we knew how easy the people mover was) and they insisted it was 40 Euro...there is a taxi stand on the other side of the parking lot...about a 2 minute easy walk with a fixed price of 20 Euro. If I recall, the People Mover was 1.50 Eu per person and that ticket is good for an hour or so....we decided to do a dry run on the people mover the day before the cruise to see how far the ship was, etc or should we take a taxi. Great deal...As long as you are within that hour or however long the ticket is good for, you can return on the same ticket. It's cash only....there is no ticket agent...just put your coins in an easy to use ticket machine.
  14. Wow....that's one heck of a great exchange rate 🙂
  15. As I recall from a few weeks ago, we boarded even before 11...about 10:30-10:45. Very quick check in. We used the people mover to get to the pier from our hotel....also very easy and inexpensive 🙂
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