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About misterkevin

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Pembroke Welsh Corgis, fitness & teaching spin classes, traveling, live music
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  1. We had a similar disembarkation experience in August from a Celebrity Suite on the Equinox at T25. We met at the lounge and were told to wait until the end for the best experience. The concierge suddenly got a call and told us we all had to leave. They let us out the back of the lounge directly off the ship to long lines of people waiting on the ramps. It was a bad experience, and total disconnect from the amazing attention we had otherwise on the cruise. It doesn't make a very good last impression.
  2. Three points: 1. I wouldn't agree that the average value per passenger is a worthless statistic. However, I do agree that how the number is calculated is based on multiple factors with length of cruise driving heavily into the equation. It's true that the ultra-premium lines tend to only offer longer cruises or they tend to have cruisers who book b2b fares which drives up revenue per passenger. However, the average acts as a proxy for cost of entry. 2. Value is completely subjective. What's included for the higher cost lines like premium beverages, specialty restaurant reservations, butlers, shore excursions, and transportation drives up those costs. But what's valuable to one isn't to another. One of the reasons I'm disinclined to book the higher end lines is because the entertainment which for me includes music, trivia, and shows is either lacking or classical music focused. Other people want ice rinks, roller coasters, and water parks which are lost on me. 3. I want to know how you got on Seabourn for less than Celebrity. Did you only ever cruise Celebrity in suites?
  3. I found it at Wikipedia , downloaded it into Excel, and did a few calculations. Other than the obvious correlation of the top revenue lines being most associated with the ultra-premium category, while the lowest are certainly more discount and family oriented, I have no hypothesis about quality. I've only ever cruised Carnival, Princess , and Celebrity. Celebrity has been my favorite, but even in the past three years I've been with them, I've seen a stark erosion of value for the dollar spent for the same services. I still like Celebrity, but I'm looking more and more to other lines like Oceania, Silversea, or Azamara to see how they compare for future cruises. Here's the data source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_cruise_lines
  4. I couldn't agree more! Celebrity and NCL are not in the same tier of cruising. It's not an apples to apples comparison. I compared average revenue per cruiser based on 2018 data to understand the cruising tiers. Average revenue for Norwegian Cruise line is $1700 per passenger; for Celebrity, it's $2700. Revenue-wise, Celebrity competes most closely with Holland America ($3100) and Princess ($2550). On the top, its Crystal ($14000), Regent ($12750), Seabourn ($11050), Silversea ($8450), Oceania ($8000), Azamara ($6200), and Cunard ($4850). On the bottom are Carnival ($750), P&O ($1100), Pullmantur ($1250), Royal Caribbean ($1300), and Costa ($1450).
  5. Be aware that the suite entrance at T25 in Port Everglades is to the left of the main entrance with the large windows and two story escalators. It is a separate entrance just next to the main one. There will be bell captains to confirm you are a suite guest on the sailing, and you go down a long hall to a private elevator to take you to the lounge.
  6. I agree. Celebrity and Royal are different tiers. Seabourn is yet another tier above.
  7. They're owned by the same parent company, but two completely different animals. Just like Azamara or Silversea owned by RCL, you won't have the same experience on these ships. That's like saying, I didn't like Carnival so I won't like Seabourn!
  8. They are comparable, but I would give the edge to Celebrity between the two. Celebrity and Princess are close on service and accommodation. Princess probably has an advantage for entertainment and activities during the day. However, Celebrity is just a more gay-friendly brand. The ships are hipper and more contemporary. They're filled with interesting and whimsical art. The food is also better on Celebrity. But more importantly, we found the LGBT gatherings which typically happen after dinner in the martini bar to be much better attended on Celebrity. They'll advertise it the first night, and then folk will just come every night around then. I've also found the non-LGBT passengers on Celebrity to be more accepting and less conservative than on Princess. We were on Princess for Alaska in summer '17, and the gatherings on the Ruby were in a lounge every night where only one other couple attended. Your mileage may vary.
  9. Thank you so much for these pictures of the amazing art around the Edge! Truth be told, it's the art and the music around the fleet that sealed the deal to set Celebrity as my line of choice. It has a truly contemporary and provocative edge which fits the modern luxury branding, and me! 😍
  10. The menus in Luminae do not do the dishes justice. You can't judge the quality of the food in the restaurant by their minimal descriptions. After our Luminae experience this month on the Equinox, I can attest to this. Breakfast entrees come with fingerling potato sides, both green and white asparagus, and sauteed wild mushrooms. The smoked salmon plate comes with caviar. The pastry dish at breakfast had the most amazing cherry cheese danish with candied cherries and puff pastry as well as chocolate and plain croissants, and muffins. For dinner, the bread plate had a rotating selection of lavash (flatbread) with interesting spices. The seafood veloute has poached oysters in it. The Daniel Boulud Moroccan chicken dish sounds boring and tastes heavenly; same with his cold carrot ginger soup. Every meal in Luminae begins with an amuse bouche, there is a fresh sorbet palate cleanser before dessert, and in addition to dessert, there's a mignardise cart (see below) with the most delectable sweet bites I've ever seen. We had the option to order what turned out to be more mundane offerings from the MDR menu, and they were just that, rather plain and not nearly as interesting. Luminae is unquestionably better than MDR and Blu, in my opinion.
  11. Class perks are not new to Celebrity, or to travel in general from airlines, to trains, to hotels. While it feels like something is being taken away from you based on how much money you spend for your vacation, the truth is that there are plenty of other places on the ships which are equally as private and quiet as this sundeck. I will direct you to them if you're not aware of them. All leisure companies are trying to attract the highest spending customers who are more valuable to them because they tend to spend at least twice as much for a cabin. Luminae, the private dining room, has been available for years, as well as Michael's club, now the Retreat Lounge. Most cruise lines offer separate embarkation lounges for suite guests as well. Issues around premium branding have been going on for decades as well. Years ago, nobody thought about asking for a specific brand for their highball or screwdriver, and now with the proliferation of brands, there are 15 kinds of vodka and 50 kinds of whiskey, not to mention the water tiers. All Celebrity is doing is giving their customers choice. For many people, vacations are an indulgence, a splurge. They use the cruise to sample and live like they can't while they're working and saving for their next cruise. The only person aware of the class distinction is you. Nobody knows where your cabin is or how much you spent when you grab a seat at one of the many bars or lounges or when you're grabbing a snack at the Ocean View Cafe. Plenty of suite passengers mingle with the rest of the ship as evidenced by how few of them find themselves in the special areas reserved for them. However, these differentiators help keep Celebrity competitive in the travel market and profitable as a company. Celebrity is neither a charity or a social experiment. It's a business and has to account to its shareholders while keeping all of the customers happy. There's no reason you can't enjoy yourself if you're not in a suite!
  12. You can't know what rooms are available per Glendakayself's post above because the MoveUp process is like a Chinese tile puzzle of revenue generation for Celebrity. If someone already booked in a cabin cancels or wins a MoveUp bid, that frees up a line of cabins below them with pending bids which already show as booked. Plus, Celebrity blocks some cabins as booked to keep in inventory for last minute VIP bookings which never show as available. Secondly, how much you bid is up to you, but whether you get it is most likely based on how much you've already paid for your existing cabin plus your bid and how closely that fits within what Celebrity has charged for your desired cabin class on your sailing. You can get a rough idea about that at *****. Lastly, if you've never been in a suite, I highly recommend it. We won a MoveUp bid on our last cruise to get a suite for the first time. The perks from embarkation lounge, Retreat Lounge, Retreat Sundeck, Luminae, exclusive invitations, officers meet and greets in the lounge, plus the butler are much nicer than Aqua class, and this is coming from someone who only cruised on Celebrity in Aqua class before. The entire suite experience is elevated.
  13. I was on the Equinox 7/27-8/3 with the premium package, and pressed juices from the Aqua Spa Cafe were included. Either this is a very recent change, or it's inconsistent across ships.
  14. No, I can't find the exact date, nor could I google it. Maybe somebody else here knows? I wouldn't cancel due to this, unless you're used to a smaller ship where it's easier to find a lounger. The caribbean isn't quite as hot in March as it is in July/August, and the other benefits are so worthwhile in my opinion, it wasn't a dealbreaker, just unfortunate.
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