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About zanderblue

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Florida and Scotland
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    Reading, golfing and travel
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  1. We too have experienced waits for sommelier service in MDR. On at least two separate occasions I have had a conversation with the maitre d and had good outcomes. On our last cruise on Reflection this past November, we had very good service. I also noticed there were additional drinks waiters in the MDR.
  2. Sorry to hear your mother is ill. I hope she gets well soon. Best advice I can give would be to talk to your travel insurer as soon as you can.
  3. Avis/Budget are very close to gate to the docks. Our experience is not so much proximity but rather getting space on the shuttle buses to take you to the rental car depot. On one occasion we waited for about an hour as several shuttles went through full, before we jumped in a cab to take us to depot. lately, we have been using Uber to take us to airport to collect our car. Last month it took 6 minutes for Uber to arrive and around 10 minutes to get to airport a a cost of $13.50. Uber pick up is immediately outside cruise terminal exit on the left.
  4. We were on same thanksgiving cruise and facial recognition was not used on disembarkation. I believe, that it is normally used, however the system failed that morning and CBP had to revert to the old fingerprint and photo process. I did post about it at the time, you should be able to find it if you can get the search function to work.
  5. Hi folks, looking for some advice please. My son and wife have booked first cruise with NCL for special occasion. They have booked cabin in Haven category. Cruise is in February and he is only now looking at making dining reservations and finding very limited availability. He has got a one night booked at reasonable time but the other nights are all very late at 9:00 pm. Any suggestions how best to manage this? Is there any access to priority booking or onshore concierge, given he’s in the Haven? thanks in advance
  6. Ah, ok, a system failure. Good to know that Friday morning experience is not typical. Our experience was similar to yours, but we were in group 15 and waited until called and then had to queue for what seemed ages both in line on the ship and then again in the terminal. We enjoyed our cruise and are now looking forward to next one on Edge.
  7. Mmmm, I suspect you may be right. I had thought this initially, but all but one of the booths were manned. Perhaps they need back office staff to be working for some of the newer technologies?? Reading the other posts, yesterday may not be a typical experience. We are back on Edge in 4 months, so can do it all over again 😊
  8. From some of the comments it would appear that there are various systems being used. Yesterday they weren’t using facial recognition, all the booths were using finger print scans. From what I could make out, there was no expedited process like GE or mobile passport available. It was a pretty frustrating experience all round, especially since it was so slick in the past.
  9. Initially they tried us with a replacement Carmenere which was not to our taste at all. We then tried an Argentinian Malbec. I can’t recall the name now but it it is a short 5 letter name in yellow coloured writing. This was on the classic beverage package.
  10. We disembarked from Reflection yesterday in Port Everglades at terminal 25. Pretty slow process and took us more than 2 hours from leaving ship to getting outside. Passengers were being streamed by nationality with priority given to US passport holders. I guess if that is how the authorities wish to manage these things, then so be it. It is their perogative. Not a problem of the cruise lines making, nevertheless, I feel that Celebrity should deal with consequences of this in a better manner. At the very least they need to let folks know what is going on. I heard several folks around me saying that they were less than happy with how they were being treated and would be considering not using the port again. I can only think there has been a recent change at the port or the terminal. I am a non US passport holder and have been visiting US 2 or 3 times a year for many years and have to say immigration and customs experiences have improved significantly over the years! And my experience yesterday is not representative of how my recent entries have gone. Anyone know what’s happening here?
  11. Just off the Reflection. They have discontinued some wines. We had a favourite Carmenere from Mont Gras, which we have been drinking for years. Asked for it first day onboard to be told it’s not available, despite being on the wine list. We did find a suitable replacement though. By chance we met the Hotel Services Director at a social event and mentioned to her that we were a little disappointed to see it’s gone. Her reply was that it’s a business decision to change out wines.
  12. I would say that the fact they have added you to wait list is encouraging. During a conversation with Celebrity agent whilst booking she advised that they normally limit numbers on wait list to less than 25. As she explained it to me, this was in order to help manage folks expectations. Ie, they don’t want a large number of folks on wait list, with no real chance of getting confirmed. Obviously, the inverse of that is, if you are on the wait list, there is a reasonable chance you will be successful.
  13. The OP has my full sympathy for his lost cruise days. We had something similar a few years back on Holland America and despite the offer of compensation made, we really would have just preferred to have had what we had paid for! From reading of OPs posts, I reckon this is the mindset he has. If so, no amount of compensation is going to make him feel totally happy. My advice to him would be to dump it all into the hands of his TA to try and resolve and then try to move on.
  14. Another vote to do the trip to HCMC. Like the others above, we had a private tour and had plenty of time to see the main attractions without feeling stressed about getting ack to ship on time. I also seem to recall Celebrity were offering a transport only excursion to the city. This would obviously give you the guarantee not to be left if returning late.
  15. Finny2, I get where you are coming from, but ultimately there are constraints about how many people can be accommodated at any time period. It’s less likely to be tables and more likely to be kitchen capacity or waiters. Just like any other restaurant. If they opened up more SD spaces, then they are going to have to spread that load out over a longer time period and hence the popular eating times are pre booked way early and the late bookers will be left with very early or very late times. They do hold back some times walk ups for popular times, but the same problem is still there, too many diners and not enough capacity. We look at SD, pretty much the same as cabin selection.... Book early and you have plenty choice, not only of SD, but also of specific popular times. Leave booking til later then there are likely to be less options. I hope you are able to get this resolved to your satisfaction.
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