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About niborHS

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  1. We were on the Eclipse in Alaska in June. This was our first time where Luminae was an option, although definitely not our first suite. The Luminae experience over-all was excellent, food quite good. We do not feel that spending $50 or so per person to dine in any of the specialty restaurants was worth it. When we go out for dinner at home, at our typical high end restaurant in the NY Metro area, other than at the tip steak houses, dinner entrees are in the $30-$35 range, Appetizers $15-$20, and although you get 3 courses in a specialty restaurant, we rarely have 3 courses per person at home, so I don't see justifying that cost at all, as the restaurants that we have at home are far superior.
  2. Vulcan, I know that is their policy, but it seems that many now have a sense of entitlement when it comes to what they wear. It's as if they are saying, "I'm the paying guest, so they can't tell me what to wear.". And, there were some who wore shorts, t-shirts and flip flops at dinner. I was on an Alaska cruise, and some say that is more casual. As far as their dressy nights, which they are not calling formal nights any more, I saw a handful of people only in dressy clothes, no tuxedos, and nothing special worn for dinner. Coincidentally today on a restaurant Facebook page that I am on locally, there were almost 400 posts about the fact that someone felt that even yesterday, in the 95 degree heat, it was not appropriate for people to wear shorts and flip flops to eat dinner at Capital Grille. All that being said, I am sure that management has directed the Maitre D's not to turn people away at dinner.
  3. I am not an idiot, but maybe my husband is. As I said, he forgot to turn it off. As far as phone calls, if you want to pay for those calls in international waters, then be my guest. You can get texts from the ship wi-fi, and when you are in port in Alaska put your cell service back on. We had Unlimited wi-fi as a suite perk. Stupidly some of the data charges were when my husband and I were texting back and forth, so it would have gone through with the ship wi-fi. We both get the unlimited wi-fi on the ship.
  4. It's not even the perks as much as the space. I always say that the only people who say that they don't want to waste the money on a suite because you don't spend that much time in your cabin are the people who have never cruised in a suite. Which leads you to the problem that once you have cruised in a suite, it is hard to go back. As far as the perks go, the best one honestly is dining in Luminae. No need to go to specialty restaurants, unless you don't have anyplace good to eat out at home, then you might want to try them. Michael's, although dark and pub-like, is a nice quiet place to relax, and the concierge there is great. If you are not on an excursion, they will get you off the ship early. We needed early debarkation because of an early flight, he cut us in the line to get off as soon as we were ready. Check in as a suite guest is a breeze. Premium beverage is a great perk. There were glasses of wine we paid the overage on, but in Luminae the sommelier charged us only for 1 glass of upcharge when he poured us more. The butler was certainly nice, but nothing that I could have lived without. We did ask for a plate of cut up fruit to be brought to the room each afternoon, which he did. If you are interested in things like a better seat in the theater, they will do that for you to, but I had no interest in that, I always wanted to sit in the back in case I wanted to leave.
  5. Warning, if you are using either a Smart Phone or tablet with cellular, make sure your cellular is turned off. We were on an Alaskan cruise a few weeks ago. I got my bill today. My husband forgot to turn off his cellular service, and we were charged $168 for things that must have downloaded when we were in international waters. Our AT&T service includes Canada, so it wasn't when we were in Vancouver, but there were plenty while we were outside of range of Canada and Alaska.
  6. That's like asking whether you would notice a difference between driving a Chevy Malibu and a Cadillac.
  7. Just as an FYI, Michael's was the name Celebrity gave on other ships to the Cigar Bar. I was not on the Eclipse before, but on their other ships that was what it was. It was dark, but the Concierge there was excellent, as were the others who worked there. If you were on July 4th week, and had breakfast in Luminae, and say the service was great, it means that they took to heart the various things we mentioned to them that we had issues with on the sailing on the 16th. I think one of the reasons that people might be more casual on Alaskan cruises is because of the times that you are in port. Icy Straight Point and Ketchikan were a late arrival, departing late, and even Juneau was an 8:00 departure. We did not have L'Occitane in our suite, but did have another high end brand that I don't remember the name of, definitely not Bigelow's because that was founded by my friend's grandfather, and her brother runs the company now, so I would have remembered. The ship itself was in excellent shape. I think age of those on board is definitely going to be older than RCCL and Carnival, but not as old as HAL. It did seem that if the kids wanted to take part in the programs, they had to seek them out, which happened when we used to cruise with our sons when they were that age. It is just how the line operates, and if you were given a different impression, you were misled. Not sure who the comedian was on your sailing, the one we had was very funny, but the other shows were very mediocre. Although some people thought they were great, so I guess it depends on where your bar is set. Admittedly being a NY'er mine is high.
  8. We have been back since August 23rd, and one of the best parts of the cruise was being able to dine in Luminae. We never had to wait, however I will say that the service at breakfast was far below the standard of what it should have been. It seemed like we were always waiting for something that was being brought to another table, coffee and pastries in particular. If someone has a carafe or a tray, they should at least glance around and see if someone was trying to get their attention. It seemed as though their focus was only on bringing whatever it was to the person they were serving at that moment, then leaving the room. The only thing that becomes somewhat bothersome at times is that many families travel in suites to be a way to get a really nice room and pay very little to add your children. Of course they are welcome in Luminae, but I find that childrens' voices are adorable, as long as they are your own children and you are in the parent zone, possibly the grandparent, but we are not quite there yet, so to me, that cute constant chatter is sometimes annoying.
  9. Definitely cheap, did it say how long either was, or describe it. Although St. Maarten is a small island, it still takes quite a while to drive around the whole island. I think the beaches in Antigua are beautiful, and we are not really beach people, but usually just get a taxi to take us to a beach that has a restaurant by it so we can have lunch.
  10. We still laugh about something that we did about 20 years ago or more. We stopped in San Juan, did not book an excursion in advance, and we went with they guy who had a sign, "Rain Forest, No Shopping". Unfortunately some kind of shopping is associated with most shore excursions. Many of them not like described. We took one from HAL in the Caribbean that said it was a hands on cooking class, but when we got on the bus they said we were going to watch the woman prepare a dish.
  11. We were on the June 16th sailing of the Eclipse. The itinerary is slightly different, we stopped at Icy Straight Point instead of Sitka. I felt that arrival by taxi at Canada Place was simple, we were routed by someone to the correct area, easily unloaded our luggage and walked in. We were told to arrive any time after 11 am. We arrived at 11, but were in a suite, so we basically had no line to check in, and we were able to walk right on board. The other advantage of a suite is having access to Luminae as a dining room, which was very good. We only ate in the buffet once, for lunch. I was on the NCL Jade early this year, and the buffet set ups are very similar, different from the cafeteria style of years gone by, but the food on the Eclipse was definitely more varied, and was very good, lots of choices for everyone. My response is mostly for Harley, what I was most disappointed in was the scenery. Other than Hubbard Glacier, staying along the coast, it was not that special. I have spent a week driving around Nova Scotia, including doing tidal bore rafting, and whale watching. I have also been to the Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone & the Grand Tetons int he US, which I felt all had better viewing of wildlife. We took the Deadliest Catch excursion, which is rather expensive, which was highly recommended, we found it good, and the 30 odd bald eagles flying around at one point where they threw bait into the water was great. We chose not to do things like the helicopter to the glacier ($629 per person), or excursions like canoeing or kayaking. There is a very good museum on Alaska in Juneau, which we visited, along with the Juneau city museum, in the morning, then had a driver ($70 per hour for as many people as can fit in his van) to take us to Mendenhall Glacier and around other places, along with his commentary and history. We did see a bear on the road towards the glacier. As far as the cruise director, I did not see her at all other than a few of the nights at the shows, she was not even there all nights. Rondell Sheridan was also the comedian for the 2nd half of our cruise, he did 2 shows, I thought they were both great. I'm from the NYC area, so I have a much higher bar as far as the productions shows go, and they were OK. We also had another comedian the first night, definitely not as good as Rondell. We did the walk off with our luggage, but had the benefit of having the suite concierge walk us to the front of the line to walk off. We had an early flight, so needed that. Not sure what would happen if I wanted to walk off and waited longer. We did not have a problem getting a cab back to the airport.
  12. We just returned from our cruise, and after many sailings on Celebrity ships all in suites except for 1 that was a music specialty charter, the addition of Luminae ranks high on my list of great additions by Celebrity. I know people like the specialty restaurants, but in my opinion paying $50 or $55 extra for specialty dining is just not worth it. I agree that not every dish was quite as great, overall we had much better food, and served in a much better atmosphere, than we have had during any other cruise. We ate all our breakfasts there as well. If service was off, it was only at breakfast, and we were sorry that we didn't comment about that until the end of the cruise, as I know that they did take our suggestions to heart. My biggest complaint was that I would see a particular waiter walking around with a coffee pot to fill another diners cup, but didn't check with other tables, and of course I was always waiting for coffee. Same with the tray of pastries. Of course they probably did me a big favor not offering me pastry, as I way over-ate on this cruise.
  13. We just got back from a cruise, I was pretty surprised that they let someone in to Luminae with not only shorts, but a t-shirt and flip flops. Personally, I think this is disrespectful to other diners. As far as teenagers go, we cruised with our 2 sons from the time they were 5 & 8, until the graduated from high school. Back in those days everyone dressed for formal night, and there were absolutely no shorts or jeans allowed in the dining room. They grew up learning that there are times when you have to dress appropriately for an occasion. They are now in their 30's, and although it has become fashionable to wear jeans to almost any high end restaurant (they both live in Manhattan), in all the years they have never complained about the right way to dress, and if anything they tend to go on the dressier side.
  14. We did this quite a number of years ago, and if they still give you either the glasses, or a voucher for glasses, definitely worth it. We are big wine drinkers, and have even brought a case of mixed wines with us on ships and paid the corkage. We just returned from a cruise, and with the premium beverage package we still paid extra for better glasses of wine on many days. That being said, I was previously very skeptical about the idea that wines taste different when drunk from different shaped glasses. I got a real education from this class, it positively makes a difference.
  15. We have AT&T, and our service includes Canada and Mexico.
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