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About janineallison

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Royal Caribbean, MSC
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  1. That would certainly be an amazing price! We are doing a 7 night Eastern Caribbean on the Equinox. Keep in mind there would be some price difference due to the (poor) exchange rate between CAD and USD as well.
  2. Minimum bid for inside to balcony was $195-200 CAD pp (usually $200 but I bid when I seen it drop to $195). I bid $215 CAD pp and we got it!
  3. We will be docking at Crown Bay on the Equinox next month. My husband wants to do the skyride to Paradise Point and I'd like to go to a beach. Unfortunately, it seems as if this would be much easier if we were docked at the other port. Does anyone have any recommendations on how we should go about doing this, which beach we should go to, and how much time we need to get back to our dock? We will be in port from 8am-5pm with three other ships (no mega ships, and one is small).
  4. My best friend is on this cruise and we will be doing an Eastern sailing on the Equinox in two weeks! Looking forward to following along!
  5. Ship: Equinox Length of Cruise: 7 Nights Eastern Caribbean Cruise Sail Date: 09/11/2019 Date email offer received: September (I think) Captain’s Club Tier: Preview (first Celebrity cruise) Booked through Celebrity Direct OR via TA: TA Current Cabin: 9312 Inside Bid? Yes/No: Yes If YES - Bidding Details: Cabin Category: Verandah Bid Offer: $215 CAD per person Notification Date: 24/10/2019 Accepted Minimum bid for an OV stateroom was $65 CAD pp, and we did not bid on that. Minimum bid for the balcony stateroom was generally $200 CAD pp but did drop to $195 CAD pp and that is when we placed our bid. Took us 5 days to find out that we had won our bid.
  6. We just won our bid from an inside to a balcony as well! Congrats! :)
  7. Just curious as to which room you had and what you were upgraded to? We are considering placing a bid to upgrade our inside to a balcony, however, not at the expense of losing the two perks we had when we booked (drink package, $300 OBC). In the FAQs, it says this: Q. What happens with the promotions I already have? A. You get to keep the promotions you already have. However, no additional promotions will be added to your reservation.
  8. According to the FAQ, no. Q. Does the upgrade include any additional promotions? A. The upgrade does not include any additional promotions. However, you get to keep whichever promotions you already have. Q. What happens with the promotions I already have? A. You get to keep the promotions you already have. However, no additional promotions will be added to your reservation.
  9. Hey there! Just wondering if anyone here has successfully won a move up bid from an inside to a balcony and if so, what the minimum bid was and what you bid? We paid approx. $2200 CAD for our inside room on a Celebrity Equinox 7 day Caribbean cruise when we booked, with two perks ($300 OBC and drink package). We were selected for the Move Up process with our minimum bids being $65pp for an OV and $200pp for a balcony. I'm not sure of the number of OV rooms available because I'm not even sure I want one of those BUT there are over 100 balcony rooms available according to the Celebrity website. To book those now, the price would be $3600 CAD with three perks instead of two, therefore, bidding would be a better deal than simply calling and asking for an upgrade. We booked this cruise as a second cruise on our honeymoon (our second cruise, on Harmony of the Seas, was our original honeymoon cruise) and didn't want to spend a lot of money (considering it is a second cruise, hah!), hence why we booked an inside. Though at the time, balcony rooms were significantly more expensive. Now insides are more expensive than OV rooms and only slightly cheaper than a balcony. We have only ever sailed in balcony rooms but I am okay with an inside as I would rather take the $400+ and spend it on food, excursions, shopping, etc. However, my husband is of the mind set that he would rather spend the $400+ to have a balcony room. Because there are still over 100 rooms available, I'm wondering if the minimum bid will be likely to decrease or not. Obviously there is no way of knowing this, but I have been checking every day. It did go down to $195pp one day but has since gone back to $200. I don't really have any desire to go in an OV due to their location (lower levels) but as someone who has travelled in insides and OV rooms, do you think it's worth it to try and upgrade to that as well?
  10. Day 4: Grand Cayman Early Rise We were up at 7am on our fourth morning as we planned to go ashore in Grand Cayman and wanted an early tender. For those who haven’t traveled to Grand Cayman via cruise, there is no pier to accommodate the ships. Therefore, the cruise ships anchor offshore and you are transported in via a tender boat. This was our second time in Grand Cayman and I was insistent on hitting up Seven Mile Beach this trip. On our last trip, we simply explored Georgetown and had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Georgetown is a nice port because it’s quite industrialized but also safe for walking around. We grabbed a quick breakfast in the buffet then headed near the sports bar to get our tender ticket. Anyone with an excursion booked through MSC will have a separate tender process (usually meeting at a set time) and Yacht Club members receive priority tendering. We were in group #13 and I think they were calling group #9-10 when we got in line. We didn’t have to wait very long and the entire process was relatively quick and easy. Initially, we were worried as we had heard nightmare stories of long wait times before we left, but we had no issues. Off To Seven Mile Beach After we arrived on land, we had no trouble finding someone advertising rides to Seven Mile Beach. We met another couple from South Carolina who were also planning to head in that direction and took a cab together. I believe the cab ride cost $4 per person and took about 5 minutes. Prior to our trip, I had researched many of the beach clubs on Seven Mile Beach. We decided to go to Royal Palms based on the reviews. The other couple was planning to go to the Ritz but opted to head to the Royal Palms with us. Royal Palms Beach Club We were some of the first people to arrive at the beach club and it was relatively deserted. There wasn’t a lot of shade so we grabbed two loungers that provided some shade. It cost $2 per person to enter the Royal Palms Beach Club, but the loungers cost $12 each. There is also an additional fee of $15 for an umbrella. View from our loungers We both ordered a drink, which cost extra of course. Jordan had a Beergarita ($14) and I had a Frosé ($10). The menu items looked delicious but we opted to save our money and skip lunch. Royal Palms Beach Club Menu My fancy frozen drink! The whole beach club was very clean, including the bathrooms. There is a small pool area and a gorgeous beach. The beach area isn’t huge but you can walk up and down in either direction. The water was really clear and warm so we spent a lot of time swimming there. We also went for a dip in the pool. Most people were at the beach and we had the pool to ourselves for the most part. It started to get really busy there around lunchtime and I was happy we arrived early. Living my best life! I will do a separate blog post specifically about the Royal Palms Beach Club in the future. Back On Board Around 2pm we decided to head back to the ship. We boarded a public bus this time – there are tons waiting outside the beach club. I think the cost was $2-3 per person. It was really warm and definitely not as nice as the cab ride. Once we got back on the ship, we had a late lunch at the buffet then showered and watched the sailaway from our balcony. We decided to have a drink at the Seaside Bar before heading to supper. I tried a Bloody Mary which I’ve never been a fan of in the past but it was quite good at this bar. Italian Night Menu Supper that night was Italian night and they had the dining room decorated in red, green and white. For supper Jordan had the Fried Calamari as a starter, while I chose the Eggplant Parmesan. Jordan had the Chicken Marsala for his main and I had the Risotto Mare e Monti. For dessert, Jordan had the Lemon Delight and I chose the Tiramisu. Jordan enjoyed his starter and main but wasn’t a big fan of the lemon dessert. I don’t think I totally finished anything on my plate that night. It wasn’t bad but not the best either! Fried Calamari Eggplant Parmesan Chicken Marsala Risotto Mare e Monti Lemon Delight Tiramisu White Party After supper, we went to Venchi then to the Shine Bar. On this night, they also had the White Party so most everyone was dressed in white. We watched the entertainment team perform in the lobby, then went up on deck to check out the real party. It seemed like a lot of fun but neither of us were in a partying mood. The crew members definitely tried to get everyone involved, though I thought they were a bit pushy at times. I feel like we would have been more inclined to dance and party if we had another couple with us! We got in bed that night and turned on the TV but alas, there was nothing on to watch. This was one minor issue we had with the Seaside. Granted, we don’t normally spend a lot of time watching TV on a cruise but the channel selections were very limited. There was maybe 6 english channels, one of which was sports and another which was kids.
  11. We’ve sailed on RC and NCL in the past and we had a comparable experience. The only downside of being Bella (for us) was the limited dining times. We had to decide between early which was 5:15/5:30pm or late, which I think was around 8pm. We opted for early but it wasn’t ideal, as we prefer to dine around 6:30pm when cruising. Otherwise, we had no complaints about the Bella experience!
  12. We visited the brewery during our last trip to Nassau. Not sure if you are into craft beer/breweries, but my boyfriend wants to head back there again on our next trip.
  13. Day 3: Ochos Rios, Jamaica Jamaica has some of the bluest water I've ever seen! Breakfast in the MDR We didn't book this cruise based on the itinerary. In fact, all of the cruises we've done so far have had a western itinerary. I have to book my holidays so far in advance and the week that I had chosen was, once again, a western itinerary sailing. Because of this, we really didn't care too much about rushing off the ship to explore the ports and decided to enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the main dining room. While waiting in line, we were asked if we would mind sharing a table with another group. While we were tempted to say yes, as we prefer to eat alone, we didn't want to sound rude. We ended up sharing a table with another couple from Florida. They were cruise agents checking out MSC for the first time. Apparently they had been told that this sailing was 65% North American, however, they were skeptical to believe it. For breakfast, I had a yummy smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel. I had to assemble it myself, which worked for me as I don't like a lot of smoked salmon on my bagel. My only complaint was the lack of capers! Jordan had a waffle with strawberry syrup. It was nothing great and apparently "super sweet". Service that morning was decent, not the best but not bad! Margaritaville Ochos Rios Loved the South Beach pool, especially on port days! After breakfast we decided to lounge by the adults-only pool on deck 7. As it was our first port day, the ship was practically deserted and we had no difficulty finding loungers poolside. It was scorching hot that day and we also had no trouble finding loungers in the shade. The pool was cool and refreshing. While I didn't go for a swim, I appreciated that one could swim in the pool due to the 6ft depth. Unlike other cruises where people just stand in the pool and drink all day, this one was actually functional. Finally we decided to head ashore for some wifi and a snack. We hadn't intended to go to Margaritaville after a bad experience at the Falmouth location, but ended up wandering there anyway. The wifi was good, the drinks were cold (and yummy!) and we split a calamari for lunch. Now this was a yummy drink! The Ochos Rios Margaritaville has a small pool with a slide as well as a beach area. I would have liked to stayed and gone for a swim but we wasted a lot of time eating/browsing our phones so we decided to head back to the ship. View of the MSC Seaside from Margaritaville A fellow Canadian actually spotted my "Eh Team" shirt & asked where we are from! Back on Board Our view from the lunch buffet Once we got aboard, we were still a little hungry so we went to the buffet for hot dogs and salad. After lunch, we headed to Deck 16 and enjoyed a hot tub to ourselves, then found a lounger and read for a while. We then headed to Venchi for gelato before getting ready for supper that night. Buffet lunch What a view from the hot tub! Not Our Favourite Supper For supper, I had the Portobello au Gratin to start and Jordan had the Turkey Waldorf Salad. We both decided to order the Penne Pasta with Vodka for our main, despite the fact that neither of us are pasta lovers. It was okay, but we are definitely the worst people ever to review pasta. For dessert, I chose the Brownie Stack while Jordan had the Wild Berry Cobbler. Overall, this was one of my least favourite meals on the trip. The service that night was also poor, with a long wait for water and for our plates to be cleared. Portobello Au Gratin Turkey Waldorf Salad Penne Pasta with Vodka (we forgot to take a picture before we started eating, oops!) Chocolate Brownie Stack Wild Berry Cobbler After supper, I didn't feel too well. We headed back to the cabin where I curled up on the bed, took some pills, and had a little nap. The Wizard The perks of having an early supper is that you can have a nap afterwards & still have time to enjoy the evening! After I woke up, I was feeling much better so we headed down to the atrium for a drink. If I recall, I was drinking ginger ale that night! I wasn't seasick but obviously something that I ate that day didn't agree with me. We loved listening to the DJ in the atrium every night One thing I loved about the MSC Seaside was the chips! I'm a salty snacker but not a fan of nuts so I was all too happy to receive a little bowl of potato chips to munch on at night. The salt also seemed to help my stomach. We decided to check out the theatre show that night, titled The Wizard. I had read a lot about the shows on the MSC Seaside but I still wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. The show didn't really follow a storyline, it felt more like a variety show. However, the performers were very talented and it was fun to watch. It featured dancing, singing, aerobics, magic tricks and more. The Wizard After the show, we decided to grab a slice of pizza and relax on our balcony. That night, "The Proposal" was playing on TV so we watched a few minutes of that before falling asleep. Day 3 done and we are nearly halfway through our cruise!
  14. We originally booked with the free Drinks on Us package but then upgraded to the Classic drink package, so it was covered.
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