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mdpa

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About mdpa

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    Maryland

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  1. Personally, I thought food quality was very good on my Celebrity Cruise in November. I've cruised on Silversea twice before so my expectations were pretty high. I don't remember ever having a bad meal...or even an average meal. My biggest disappointment was with the experience, trying to get drinks in lounge areas, using a card for drinks, crowded buffet, and Celebrity's lack of ability to solve problems, etc. In fact, one of the reasons my next cruise is on Oceania is the lack of customer service. I couldn't easily escalate concerns and intended to book a cruise with my parents on Celebrity leveraging the onboard benefits. Anyway, I've got a cruise to Bermuda in August on Oceania and it will be interesting to compare. Fast forward....I had a $200 per person certificate from Celebrity (they eventually solved an issue) and the rest of the cruise overall was decent for the price point. We have a 14-day Asian cruise booked on Celebrity in January. The price was good and it will allow me to reassess Celebrity from a different perspective. I'm looking forward to both cruises.
  2. I agree that most people can take private tours without real concern under most circumstances. Notice the disclaimers in my sentence. However, to say it is only a scare tactic is also not fair. Sometimes a private tour is a "one man operation". I've taken private tours with larger companies, but I have also done some great tours with a "person" holding a sign. Not much reputation risk. In other cases the private tour could be offsite or a "on your own experience". Taxi's, buses, traffic, or unforeseen circumstances can happen. Ever been late for a meeting? Ever been stuck in traffic? Hike took longer than planned? I've had these things happen in my own backyard so I think it is fair to say it can happen to others. When do I take ship tours? I am a time sensitive person and will always leave myself a cushion. I would be more inclined to take a ship tour when the time window is tighter than I would normally choose but the excursion is something that I wouldn't want to miss. A tight timeframe with a ship tour can help reduce stress vs the alternative.
  3. OK, when I was still working though issues with Celebrity customer service I booked a Cruise to Bermuda on Oceania with my parents. The pricing is not much different. Oceania $1,199 for a 7 day inside from NY to Bermuda. Compared to Celebrity: - Specialty restaurants included -Wifi included - 2 days in Hamilton and 2 days at St George (vs. less desirable 3-day dockyard with Celebrity) - Specialty coffee and smoothies, afternoon tea included in base rate Personally we needed a 3 person room and are paying for a deluxe ocean view. Still reasonable. That said I am also booked on a 14-day Asia trip with Celebrity in January 2020 with an Ocean View and it was very reasonable and the promo includes drinks and gratuities. About $5K for the 3 of us. https://www.oceaniacruises.com/Caribbean-cruises/new-york-to-new-york-INS200801/?sr=%2Fcruise-finder%2F%23search-result-anchor https://www.celebritycruises.com/itinerary-search?dates=2021-01&destinations=FAR.E
  4. If this is a big issue, I would encourage you to try Oceania. We are booked on them this Summer for a Bermuda cruise and my understanding is they serve all guests in the buffet.
  5. Here is an article from Penn State University to back up my concern about hand sanitizer: https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/10/22/does-hand-sanitizer-do-more-harm-than-good/
  6. I prefer the germs...that purel stuff kills all the fancy probiotics from my yogurt. 😀
  7. Suskies, Really appreciated the detailed review. Our family is booked on the Jan 4th 2020 cruise going the opposite direction and will certainly use this thread as a resource!
  8. Virgin is just too cool for me...tattoo shop, drag shows, etc. We are a boring married couple and already feel excluded on Celebrity; Virgin is evidently targeting only interesting people. 😉 My pet peeve is discrimination, categorization, and targeting. Our last Celebrity cruise had a LGBT session with the Captain, and I'm getting targeted ads featuring the same. I find it ironic that inclusiveness is exclusive. I don't want this to get off topic. This is not about discrimination. Virgin is making it clear they are not targeting my demographic.
  9. Mazza, really appreciate you sharing details about your cruise with this live blog. We'll be going on our first Asian cruise in January (Hong Kong - Singapore) on the Millie, so finding your story quite interesting!
  10. OK, question. We have a cruise that includes the classic package as a perk. When I log in it shows 30% off the premium package. Good news! However, when I book the premium package the price reflects $69 (with no upgrade price listed) and it also says the price reflects the discount. When I try to add the premium package (assuming it might recognize the difference when adding) it not only shows the higher price but also adds a service charge bringing the cost for one person to over $1,000 on a 14-day cruise. What is the best way to upgrade from Classic to Premium?
  11. Keep the ideas coming...looking forward to tea time! We enjoyed tea time on Silversea and missed it on Celebrity and pretty sure it will be a new experience for my parents. They've only been on one cruise with Carnival.
  12. Great detailed suggestions....really appreciate the guidance! Looking forward to both the cruise and the time in Bermuda.
  13. Thanks for the advice. I've been reading a book on Bermuda and will most likely buy the 4-day ferry/boat pass. Plan to do plenty of walking and swimming to offset all the food. 😉 I'll keep an eye out for Wahoo's.
  14. OK, good point. The Celebrity Cruise out of NJ only goes to King's Wharf for 3 days where Oceania stops at St George and Hamilton. I've got to admit the Oceania timeline makes it look like 5 days when it is only 4 days with a delineation for the 2-hour boat ride between the ports.
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