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davy jones

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  1. We are also Celebrity first timers. We booked Summit for the Newport/Bermuda itinerary. We have sailed NCL and RCI many times and are looking for more subdued and upscale experiences. We tried NCL Zuiderdam and were quite pleased. Others on this board said that Summit would be similar to Zuiderdam, so we booked. Besides, there is no such thing as a bad cruise. Truth be told though, NCL's standard cabin price with perks and the upcharges did not come near the Celebrity 4 perk price. In addition, Celebrity's perks are better than the similar NCL offerings. While others report good experiences, our embark/debark experiences at Cape Liberty on RCI have not been good. On embark, it has been over an hour to get from the Cape Liberty entrance to the baggage drop and terrible waits to get through customs at the end of the cruise. One of them was a partial cause of missing the bus home from the pier. (The other part was due to a bus company error.) We also lost a car that was flooded in the parking area during Hurricane Sandy. That was before they opened the parking deck. We just have bad luck there. Despite the luck, we are trying again. I'm hoping that the smaller ship and improvements have been made since our last trip through Cape Liberty two years ago.
  2. Is the daily menu posted on the cabin TV during the cruise?
  3. Thanks to all for the replies. We went ahead and booked the cruise and are looking forward to the experience.
  4. We are experienced cruisers who have never sailed Celebrity and considering a sailing on the Summit. Background: We are a couple nearing retirement and interested in a cruise with our adult (30ish) children. Most of our sailings over the last 15-20 years have been on the large mass market cruise lines. We were tiring of the mega ships and the crowds and decided to try other lines to "move up the food chain." We are looking for a less crowded, more relaxing environment and an upgrade from the mega ship cuisine, which we feel has declined. We are not foodies or party animals, but do like to have some evening shows and entertainment. It does not have to be the grand Broadway shows though. We took a cruise on the HAL Zuiderdam that we enjoyed greatly. It was our most relaxing cruise in a long time and it met our criteria, but we still want to try other lines to see how we like them. Based on that, do you think that we will like Celebrity, and why? By the way, we have never had a bad cruise, but a couple of sailings had some pretty bad weather.
  5. Thanks for the review. On the two posted dailies, I do not see Lincoln Center Stage. Is it still onboard and in use?
  6. Taxis are readily available when you arrive, faster, and inexpensive because it is a short ride. You will have to wait for the HAL bus to fill up before going.
  7. On a positive note, you will get through check in very quickly.
  8. Zuiderdam - because it is the only current HAL ship that we have sailed. It was a good size for us, rarely felt crowded, and had a wonderfully relaxed vibe. Hope to sail another HAL ship soon.
  9. I did see them using ground coffee in the lido. There could be a difference between the MDR brewers, or by length of time it is held between brewing and serving. I drink my coffee black and find the house brew to be fine. I will note that I am not a "coffee snob" and your tastes may differ.
  10. To answer the question on the listed topic. HAL would be foolish to not monitor CC and social media. That said, they are more in tune with listening to the shareholders. To answer the secondary question about entertainment is a bit more complicated for me. We recently completed our first HAL cruise in 30+ years on the Zuiderdam. For many years, we were cruising on the mass market lines and were looking for better because we are becoming tired of the crowds, noise, nickel and diming, etc. We loved the cruise and were very impressed by HAL. It was the most relaxing cruise that we have taken in many years. The service and dining were superior to the mainstream lines. It was definitely a step up. Our only reservations were about the main stage shows. They were OK, but we expected a bit more. HAL has "Carnivalized" the shows with the onboard performers with light boards as props and canned music adapted to the HAL demographic. We especially liked the fact that you did not have to show up 30 minutes ahead to get a seat and become a captive audience for endless sales pitches for punch boards, etc. However, I guess that it is very difficult to have it all. The music walk is better than the overall evening offerings on mainstream ships. During the daytime, we prefer to relax a bit so we did not miss the silly pool contests and games. Perhaps loyal long time HAL cruisers can see reductions, but HAL is still a step above the mass market lines.
  11. Zuiderdam does not have a Lido screen. There many movies (at least 100) available via the in room TV. Many are recent releases.
  12. We disembarked from the 10 day Canal cruise yesterday. WeI generally agree with your observations. Our first cruise was on HAL in 1982, so we were essentially new to HAL. We are about your age. We have many cruises on the mainstream lines, but were starting to feel that the mainstream ships are too big, too loud, and too crowded. The cutbacks and nickle and diming were also becoming quite noticeable. We decided to try HAL (and may try others like Princess and X). We chose this cruise because of itinerary (canal and new ports) and a good deal on an inside cabin. Three days before sailing we upgraded to a balcony GTY at a good price. Since it was a late upgrade, our cabin was very forward. We like to avoid forward cabins because of the extra motion, but that’s how the GTY thing goes. Weather and seas were good throughout so there were no motion issues. This was our most relaxing cruise ever. That may not work for everyone, but we loved it. It is clearly a step (or more) above the mass market lines. The dining and amenities were very good. The crew and service were outstanding. The onboard vibe was friendly and relaxed. The only noticeable crowds were during busy times at the buffet. Everyone’s “perfect” cruise is different, so no cruise can be perfect, but it was indeed excellent. We will be back.
  13. An upsell offer would be considered. Do they contact me directly or does it go through the TA?
  14. Since the cruise line make more $ through direct bookings, are they more likely to give "upgrades" on guarantee cabins to those who book directly through them?
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