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Everything posted by creativegenius

  1. Excellent review and travelogue. Please post a link to the VLOG when you have it up and running. Love your style. Have an awesome cruise!!
  2. From what we've read part of the grassy area will remain but it will be restricted to suite guests. This might have changed but it sounded like it was going to be a cabana type of area requiring a fee or suite admission, similar to the Sanctuary on Princess. Lawn Club Grill was our least favorite restaurant on the Reflection. Overpriced and not that great of quality for what you paid. We're sailing in Sept. after the "revolution" so it will be interesting to see how she has changed from when we sailed last year.
  3. That setting only has to do with your cellular service, nothing to do with WiFi which is what you'd be using onboard the ship. Turning off Data While Roaming will ensure your phone will not attempt to use any data services when cellular service appears at port. If that's turned off, then your cloud backup service would not attempt to do any backup because there'd be no connection. My issue was happening on board while connected to the WiFi. Once I turned off the cloud backup, everything worked as it should on the ship. Good luck finding your answer! For what it's worth, we switched to T-Mobile 2 years ago in part because we get free data service in 150 countries included with service. No additional fees. Since then we've been able to use our phones for email, texting and internet service at any port in the Caribbean, no extra charge. 25 cents per minute if we decide to make a call. Signal has been excellent in every Caribbean country.
  4. Thanks for the review. We were much more excited about this ship before it came out. Might consider a tour once the prices fall down to more normal range. I'll have to look online for those red slipper pics! Nicely done.
  5. For those booked on the November 7th sailing on Empress to Cuba, we noticed that the entire itinerary has been reversed and the Havana stop was shortened by about 3 hours. One of the reasons we booked this particular itinerary was the late sail away from Havana which was supposed to have been 8pm allowing us to grab an early dinner on shore. We didn't see the need to book an itinerary with an overnight stay in Havana. Obviously cruise lines can change an itinerary at will, but we never received any notifications from RC about the changes. We discovered it today when showing friends the cruise online, we realized all the stops have been reversed and the Havana stop shortened. Just an FYI for those booked on Empress on this particular Cuba cruise and you might want to check your itinerary online if you're sailing later this year to see if it's been changed too.
  6. Back to Back is what was recommended by the marketing department for the time being. Until they get the second ship, they'll probably stick to 5 day maximums. 4 ships total are on order.
  7. I heard back from the VP of Marketing at Virgin and she confirmed that the website uses an algorithm to pick what it feels are the best cabins based on your selection on the site. To pick a specific cabin you must call either Virgin Voyages or a First Mate travel agent.
  8. When looking through the site and going through the booking process, is the only option to allow Virgin Voyages to automatically select the cabin? They're saying they are selecting the best cabin for us in the category but it's not on the ship where we'd like to be. It's putting us in the middle when we prefer to be more aft. Anyone able to select the exact cabin to sail? Thanks!
  9. We have sailed only Solstice class ships and find their indoor Solarium pools the most relaxing of any at sea (we've sailed 7 cruise lines). As for the activities, there are quite a few, but you don't have rock climbing walls, water slides, mini golf and many of the 'fun activities' of so many other cruise lines. The activities are more adult oriented, though the Officers vs. Guests pool volleyball is one of my favorite games to watch on any cruise. The original shows in the Celebrity Theater are frankly among the worst at sea. They really make us feel bad for the performers because it's not their fault. They're given absolutely terrible material to work with. So we avoid those shows, but partake in the bands and dancing in the other spots at night. The World Class Bar on the Solstice class are the best bars I've come across at sea. We're on the Equinox in September which will have been "revolutionized" when we sail adding some new features.
  10. You need to keep up with latest information. This has been a huge issue. Thanks so much to the original poster for sharing that insight. Very helpful as we prep for our next X cruise.
  11. We have sailed on 7 cruise lines now. They are all great, they all have drawbacks. We tend to cruise now either for a specific trip we want to try (usually the Caribbean) or an itinerary we want to sail (Alaska / Europe). Don't go into Celebrity with expectations. Enjoy it for what it is and then decide for yourself if it's a cruise line you want to sail again. We love the Solarium on Celebrity the most of any cruise line indoor pool. I think the World Class Bar on the S class ships are the best bars at sea. But then the original stage shows are the worst at sea. So you take the good with the bad on any cruise line. Have a great time on your cruise!
  12. Some pricing hints can be found in this article that just came out today. Notably: "We’re seeking First Mates who sell premium and luxury land and cruise holidays. We’ve designed our experience to appeal to people looking for something different who may not have considered cruising with a more traditional product" I'm expecting pricing for the cabins to be double or triple what you would expect for a 'normal' 7 day Caribbean cruise because everything is more or less inclusive on these ships. By 'normal' I mean about $1500/pp for a balcony cabin. That's a pretty standard rate for Caribbean though you can get them as low as $800 or 900/pp. Disney cruise lines is often double the 'normal rate' and the Chief Executive did help launch Disney Cruise Lines. Just a few more weeks until we see what the rates are. Full article: http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/322570/big-interview-virgin-voyages-chief-executive-tom-mcalpin-and-vice-president-of-sales-stacy-shaw
  13. Here's a review I wrote about the Disney Fantasy from an adult's perspective. It's from a couple of years ago but it does address a few of your requests. http://whereswalter.tv/2016/10/11/disney-fantasy/ In short we will cruise Disney again when we can get a good deal, but as for kids being everywhere, it's not as bad as you might initially think.
  14. Blocks of rooms that are held for one reason or another are released at a predetermined date. Theme Cruise or a large group traveling that doesn't need the rooms, etc.. Good advice to keep looking at a cruise right up until sailing.
  15. Either follow ship crew members as they leave the ship or simply ask before you disembark. The crew absolutely knows all the best places to get WiFi in any port. Have fun!
  16. VERY soon to Havana at least. Virgin Voyages announced that as the first destination for their Scarlet Lady. Not sure about the other stops but looks like Havana will be able take in the larger ships by 2020. We're on the Empress this coming November and looking forward to it. Your review is absolutely fabulous to help us in our planning. Thanks so much for doing this.
  17. It's funny I thought the same thing. Everything is white or light beige. Colors that do not do well with thousands of people turning over every single week. I guess we'll see what it really looks like in September when we sail the "Revolutionized" Equinox.
  18. Yep, that's right in line with the Celebrity Edge interior staterooms, though Celebrity is not all inclusive with the food. The Edge for the Caribbean in late February is $1394/pp interior stateroom. So if that pricing is correct, it's actually a better deal than Celebrity and lower than I expected. Only a few more weeks till the actual pricing is revealed.
  19. Our good friends Sean and Stef have a fantastic travel VLOG on YouTube featuring many ships and the MSC Seaside is one ship they recently sailed. They VLOG each day so you get the full 7 day cruise with day 2 usually being the full ship tour. They have about a dozen ships and I believe they are going to be sailing 8 to 10 more in 2019.
  20. As of two years ago only 3 to 5% of all Americans have taken a cruise. I've been developing a new digital television series around cruising so I've done research on how many people actually cruise. All cruise lines are adapting ships in an attempt to appeal to those who say they will never take a cruise. That's the driver for these changes. Fortunately there are so many cruise lines and so many ships, there is something for everyone in every price range. Having sailed 6 different cruise lines now, we're not loyal to any one line and simply select our cruises based on the particular itinerary and ship. We have been leery about the Edge and having seen it in person, it's a beautiful ship from the outside, but there's nothing much about it that says we have to go sail on it so we won't. We're going back on Equinox in September, but in 2020 we'll be sailing the Virgin Scarlet Lady. That looks like a really fun ship and the restaurant selection is so far looking outstanding.
  21. Murano has been $65 and $75pp on our last few Celebrity Cruises on Reflection and Equinox. That was in the Caribbean.
  22. On our recent Princess cruise there were options in the MDR to order specialty items from the Crown Grill for an upcharge, but this was a part of the menu and mentioned by the servers as a matter of going over the menu each evening.
  23. Anything made with a mix on most any ship is not great. On Celebrity they have this annoying habit of putting the rum on the very top of the mixed drinks like dacquiris and coladas. It just sits there on top of the glass. Never understood that. But Crown Princess was just bad all around.
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