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Everything posted by intr3pid

  1. I don't really consider 'Black Friday' cruise deals actual deals. You see, most businesses create Black Friday savings by producing in bulk, knowing the consumer demand will be there in those dates. But, there is really no such opportunity for cruise lines - they can maybe discount some slow-moving excursions/packages or a last-minute sailing, but that's pretty much it. The best time to find cruise deals is in the first 3 or 4 months of the year when everyone is tapped out after their holiday spending - while the cruise lines still need the cash deposits to continue trickling in.
  2. All the main restaurant and shopping areas are by the beaches. If you want a safe area away from a beach, look up Barra da Tijuca. Hilton Barra is an example of a hotel in this location.
  3. Two words. Shower curtains. Can't imagine vacationing two weeks in a cabin with unhygienic, cheap curtains every day. Might give the new Sun / Star Princess a try.
  4. That was Equinox. Millennium and Summit were 'revolutionized' first, and they showcased those modern staterooms (plus all the re-done public areas). That created the marketing hype. You know, the 'luxury resort at sea' kind. Silhouette and Equinox got Celebrity's version of what RCL would call the 'amped-up' ships. They would redo the public areas but not touch the staterooms (other than maybe the TVs or phones). That expensive modern stateroom reno is exclusive to Millennium and Summit.
  5. Shrug. The discussion is about which ships got the 'marketed' revolution. Whether age or economics prevented the full/marketed version for others doesn't change the answer.
  6. Retreat sundeck and some additional staterooms don't make the 'revolution' that they marketed. Every one of Millennium's roughly 1000 staterooms, for example, was redone - to bring it on par with the modern look of the Edge series. Here is the new verandah stateroom on Millennium and Summit: https://www.nuvo360.com/3d-model/veranda/fullscreen/# And here is that verandah on Silhouette: https://www.nuvo360.com/3d-model/veranda-2/fullscreen/# Which is pretty much the same as that on Eclipse: https://www.nuvo360.com/3d-model/nuvo360-virtual-tours-celebrity-cruises-veranda-stateroom/fullscreen/# You can compare rooms across the fleet in this link: https://www.celebritycruises.com/ca/things-to-do-onboard/staterooms/veranda-stateroom
  7. Elsewhere I'd quote: https://www.who.int/europe/news/item/04-01-2023-no-level-of-alcohol-consumption-is-safe-for-our-health or: https://time.com/6248439/no-safe-amount-of-alcohol/ But, you should simply dismiss it. As a morally onerous RCL shareholder, I encourage everyone to get these drink packages. It's one of the best innovations to come out of the cruise industry.
  8. The flyer in this link will give you the specifics of the pros: http://www.cruisingpower.com/content/en_US/PDF/CEL_Passages_onboard_form_revised_8_2_13.pdf The con is the $100pp deposit you now have to make.
  9. Kauai would be great. Better than an extra stop on the big island or along the Pacific coast. Some of the Royal ships are now including a Napali Coast sail-by if they can't fit into the harbor.
  10. For us, drink packages = slow death sentence, and the included Wifi mostly unusable for anything beyond basic messaging. But, we love these packages for the reason I stated above.
  11. At $100 per day for a cabin of two, this would probably double the cruise fare for some cabins.
  12. TBH, the marketed 'Revolution' was only done to Millennium and Summit. Silhouette and Equinox got somewhere between a paint job and the marketing. And then the likes of Eclipse just a paint job. What they did to Millennium probably no longer passes the cost/benefit muster.
  13. This is great! Let the gullible keep splurging on these drinks packages and AI rates - and subsidize the cruise for the rest of us. 😁
  14. This is one of the several reasons why we steer clear of drinking the tap water on board most ships - but this would have been awful just to even look at. Thanks for reporting it here on the board!
  15. This should not be difficult to resolve. Big box TAs record all their calls, and we have had a few pulled in the past to make the cruise lines play ball. Stay on it.
  16. Not true. No issues transferring an OBB to a TA within 30 days and keeping all the perks.
  17. It was 12 months on our holiday Eclipse sailing a couple of months ago.
  18. Totally fine way to do this if you and your SO are sailing. I should note that open passages is less restrictive than an actual refundable booking. Open passages gives you a year to select your sailing (or lose OBC) at the end of which you can still switch to a refundable "dummy" booking if you want. So, it's at least as flexible as a refundable booking. Where open passages shines is the ability to assign it to someone else - say, to your family members or friends. It also allows you to carry it for a single $100 deposit - vs a 2x $100 deposit for an actual booking. Sure, you could book an actual room for just one person, but that increases the risk of losing the OBC if that one person can't travel.
  19. For us, alcohol packages = slow death sentence; yet we love their prices as the sales subsidize the rest of the ship. Similarly, zero proof package prices don't make much sense either - but they serve a greater purpose.😀 I imagine the soda package was one that actually made economic sense to buy, and hence they had to shelve it.
  20. We have a few bookings out all the way till 2025, and this is the script we tend to follow. - Book on board (no exceptions) to reduce your deposit down to just the change fee - Also keep 2-3 open passages in hand for booking new deals (or releases) in between your sailing dates - Book NRD for dates you are sure of (holiday seasons for us, or less than a year out) - Book refundable for speculative dates, and secure the cabin or category you want for a minimal deposit. The NRD fares hardly budge for dates longer than a year out. Or until the flights are released. The availability and OBC deals do though. If you book two years out, you still have a year or so to firm things up and switch from refundable to NRD. Or drop the booking altogether.
  21. Here is how we view Celebrity's restaurants on a food quality scale: Specialty restaurants >>>>>> Luminae/Blu >> MDRs Service in Blu is pretty good, but menus are quite repetitive from day to day. You will see versions of similar entrees, for example. On the longer cruises, we get bored. Same with Luminae. If the premium over Concierge is small, it works fine. Otherwise, you will have a much better dining experience if you book Concierge and use the extra money on a specialty dining package.and/or upgrade to sunset verandas.
  22. The maximum travel value you can get out of Ultimate Rewards is 1.5 cents per point. That's just a fraction of what you can get out of airline miles. We have redeemed airline miles for more than 12 cents per mile in many instances. We have also yet to pay more than economy prices for our business class seats. This is generally possible only if you build status with your main airline and then book directly.
  23. Pretty consistent so far. Haven't seen any drops. The ping is sometimes longer - as expected with satellite internet - but we have been able to do FaceTime/WhatsApp calls. The overall impression is that the speed is very much the 5G network speed when close to land and still pretty decent when in the middle of the ocean.
  24. So, this is on board the Eclipse in the middle of Tasman Sea using premium internet: Starlink on Eclipse: https://www.cruisemapper.com/news/11190-celebrity-eclipse-internet-spacex-starlink-satellite-network
  25. Mostly buy side here too - but have been involved in more than my share of private investments and the structuring that comes with it. CCL doesn't disclose the details of its swaps. That their net market value is very low suggests they have been issued more recently. Most of the fundraising this year has been to dispatch the maturing debt. The unsecured 10.375%, for instance, replaced the 10.5%-11.5% notes from 2020. So, investors are biting at a (slightly) lower yield against a higher benchmark rate. To be honest, CCL's equity raises have been the real problem. Unavoidable maybe, but awfully dilutive.
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