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  1. If I were a first-timer, and didn't know how nice the onboard experience actually is, I would very likely give up and go elsewhere. As it is, I will often search for a similar itinerary on Princess and have "jumped ship" so to speak.
  2. Yes, that "non-cruiser." My chronic (not contagious) respiratory issues were particularly bad on a repositioning cruise with many sea days this spring. I watched far too much stateroom TV. A video about Edge was aired ad nauseam. The "non-cruiser" designer said something to the effect of: I've been on cruise ships. I know what is necessary. Yeah, I've been on an aircraft carrier, that doesn't make me qualified to decide what the Navy needs. I've been in theaters. That doesn't qualify me to direct a musical. Etc. It seems that Celebrity really dropped the ball by going with a form over function designer. Stuff that looks trendy but doesn't work well for the folks using it is a poor investment. It seems that they would do well to create cabin prototypes on land and have decision makers rotate through them a few days at a time, so that issues of functionality could be addressed before making the investment of building and purchasing stylish but uncomfortable furniture and dust-collecting tchotchkes that get in people's way.
  3. One thing to note is that you may find a wine sale in the buffet. Yes, the buffet. On our last three cruises, Celebrity was selling bottles of wine in the buffet for very reasonable prices. On two cruises, there were bottles for $20 or two for $35. They had a nice, crisp Sauvignon Blanc that I particularly enjoyed. On the Med cruise, the bottles were $25-$30, including a very nice French Bordeaux that sold for $55 in the dining room. The intention is that you drink the wine in the buffet or in your cabin. However, in practice, you can pour yourself a glass in your cabin and take it where you want to go. Since Celebrity allows the stewards to replenish the wine glasses in the cabin, they are certainly aware that people do this. There is no guarantee that this will happen on your sailing, but it might be worth looking, starting a few days in, even if you don't normally go to the buffet. Happy sailing!
  4. I wonder if the OP might have seen one or more Elite passengers demanding to be catered to? I've never seen it myself, but I have read threads on these boards about people brandishing their Elite cards and behaving in an entitled way; insisting on cutting the line at the bar or some such. Maybe crew members gave in to a few like that for the sake of keeping the peace? Yes, I know I shouldn't speculate... yet here I am, speculating.
  5. The captain of the ship didn't realize the tide was going to change?!?!? Near the Arctic Circle?!?!? Holy cow! Um, Captain, you might want to consider a career that doesn't involve the ocean if it doesn't occur to you that tides are a thing. ************* That said, thank you for the comparison. After going 23 years between cruises, we have gotten absolutely hooked on cruising in the last five years. We've only sailed Princess and Celebrity in those years (including Iceland on Celebrity in June - reembarking was a bit slow due to the steepness of the ramp, but not at all bothersome). I appreciate the opportunity to learn about other lines.
  6. Thank you. To your point about immersing ourselves in local cultures, I am grateful for overnights. We thoroughly enjoyed three of them in Iceland and Ireland in June. I hope that Celebrity will continue to add more of them. Yes, I realize that they may have been a function of tide times, and that port fees are a concern, but I would love to see more added.
  7. It's a bit of a mix. We are about to retire and have lots of stuff booked, including cruises from 5-18 days each, and B2B2Bs of up to 36 days from next month to April 2021. We lived below our means and saved and invested as much as possible in our 20s 30s and 40s so we can spend our 50s 60s and 70s (maybe beyond) traveling as much as possible. And, to keep it on topic, we do so with our stainless steel water flasks and minimizing waste whenever possible.
  8. I'd LOVE to see those added on cruise ships. They are so convenient, and are becoming increasingly popular in CA, especially at schools.
  9. Get up early and watch the sail-in into Kotor, it is stunningly beautiful! Watching the sunrise as we came in was an absolute delight. The sail-away was fantastic, as well, under different light.
  10. It's amazing how much more effective policies are when they are actually enforced. By the way, your hometown is one of my favorite places! I really like Denali Brewing Company, too.
  11. We were on the cruise as well. All services, including dining, ran as usual, OP, you'll be able to enjoy your dinner.The late departure time is due to tides. The Dublin port is up the Liffey river and there needs to be enough water to safely move the ship. This was a fantastic cruise, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
  12. You've been very lucky, indeed. It's always a problem on the Solstice class ships in my experience. It was so bad on the Reflection last month that we (and others) took to walking back and forth on the starboard side of Deck 5. We missed the nicer view up top, but we could breathe much more easily. I'm glad you've had better experiences.
  13. I agree that non-smokers generally have the choice to avoid the smoking areas, however, one of them is along the walking track. So people who are walking or jogging on the track to maintain or improve their health are forced to go through a cloud of carcinogens and irritants on every lap. I can't imagine what the ship designers were thinking.
  14. I would be THRILLED if Celebrity would sail more often out of LA! I know many people who would be as well.
  15. That's Morales. He's so fun! We just had him on Reflection in June, and we had him once before as well.
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