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SHIP TRAVELER

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  1. Speaking as a Celebrity casino lover that has never gotten past the pearl (basic) level in the Blue Chip club: 1. NON SMOKING CASINO 2. Almost nightly casino promotions after the main show including free slot play, free fun slot tourneys,drawings for free poker tourney, free Black Jack with officers and so forth. Watch the daily planner for promotion information as they change. 3. On longer cruises as one other poster said bonus for buy ins. We usually watch cashier cage for buy in bonus and buy $500 slot play and get $75 bonus slot play. The buy in can be done with on board credit with no fee, we call this "laundering" OBC. When using this slot play you do not earn points and so we don't have much status regardless of how many times we re-buy but the bonus slot play certainly improves the dismal odds at 6/5 video poker. Recently, free drinks have been available to players on some evenings but since you have the drink package you can enjoy the casino bar anytime. I suggest you read the Blue Chip club information to learn more about perks if you will be doing much gambling. We are on the April 2021 Infinity trans Atlantic sailing and looking forward to visiting the casino daily for entertainment.
  2. How I hate the word "Elderly" and all the baggage that goes with it. I think you can guess why I hate the word.
  3. I have taken this cruise on the Millie prior to revolution. I just wanted to add a few comments to the wealth of info already shared here. We like the M class but be aware that regular balconies are smaller than Aqua and Conj balconies by a bit. It might be worthwhile to look for bargains on C class which can be a much better price than Aqua. There are a few extra perks with the C class. That said we sailed in a cat 4 OV at the front which it looks like you are considering. This was a very big cabin far forward. There was a large window that lined up with the seating area so that you could watch the ocean. Avoid the cat 4 cabins on the 6th floor because of noise from the theater during practices and shows. The front view Cat 4 look out over the front and our cabin on 9th floor looked out to the side. The square feet usually in the balcony was inside the room. You can look at the M class "sticky" at the top of this board to get cabin reviews by number. We were also able to find photos on line of the various cat 4 cabins which are similar on all M class ships. Since this is a colder weather cruise we did not miss having a balcony at all. In Russia, we explored on our own. It was a Sunday Mothers Day in Russia. Weather was unseasonably good and all the local families were out at the rocky beach. We like to DIY walked forever to a plan posted in the port board on CC. We stopped at a local basement bar for beers setting at the bar. Since it was early in the day, it was just us and the young bartender and he wanted to practice his English so we had a good cross cultural exchange about living in Russia and in the USA. It was a high light of this stop There was a long tender line to go back to the ship but we were among the last to leave. As to other island stops in Japan, we used "free walking tours by locals" in Murano and totally enjoyed her tour with lunch in addition to a later bus on our own to the star fort. I totally agree with the poster that said the time changes were tough. We did the progressive golf putting competition every sea day which kicked off about 10:00-11:00 AM and we struggled to get a cup of coffee and make it to the event. No golf experience required for this activity and a great way to meet people. At home we are always up 6:30ish so we are not usually late sleepers but on this cruise we could not seem to get to sleep until late and missed many morning activities. There was a very well attended Water Color class that was a big hit with both men and women. There was usually a afternoon shows in the in the theater by cast members or "fly in" entertainers that were an encore to their main shows. There were lectures but mostly in the mornings so we only made a few of them. Look for fun promotions (free slot play etc.) each evening after the show in the non-smoking casino in the daily planner. I think that the cruise critic roll call is one of the best ways to get together with other singles and couples that are not traveling with groups. People seem to want to mix more on the long cruises and we have enjoyed meeting many single travelers on our long crossing cruises.
  4. We are booked on the Infinity for the April 2021 TA to Rome. We lifted and shifted a Sky Suite from the 2020 Infinity TA that we booked at a great price. Honestly, I think the old Sky Suites photos look better than the revolutionized Sky Suites because of the seating area. We have sailed on the Summit post revolution and we liked the overall revolutionized style especially the new furnishings. We were not in a suite there. When sailing on the Millie before it was redone we noticed a few things that could have been fixed but after the first couple of days we did not notice the rusty spots etc. We like the M class layout and the fact that some suites are not under the buffet. We really hope they keep the Infinity in the fleet for a while. because we are looking forward to this sailing.
  5. It still seems "the chicken or the eggs" sort of thing. To take the test, wait to get results, and then get dropped at airport by Lyft, go through airport security and sit on a plane for over 3 hours to get to Alaska seems a bit iffy. It seems to me that you could certainly be exposed at some point after the test. Good thing Canada solved our dilemma by closing their ports.
  6. This kind of uncertainty is the reason we have duel reservations in April of 2021. We originally had a black Friday deal on a TA to Amsterdam on the Reflection in April 2021. When our April 2020 TA on the Infinity was cancelled, we lifted and shifted our sky suite to the Infinity TA to Rome. We are keeping the Reflection as a back up until final payment in case the Infinity disappears. In these uncertain days nothing is a sure thing.
  7. We love Luminae but sort of understand some of these comments. On a Reflection cruise we got to know two other couples in suites at Micheal's club and decided it would be fun for the six of us to sit together for dinner that night instead of visiting across the aisles. This caused more confusion that we expected because each couple usually sat at a two top table. One couple had a different waiter. We had to be moved to a six top that they created at the last minute after we arrived . The service was not bad, just not as good as usual, as a group we decided not to surprise them again. One of the things I liked about Luminae is that the service seemed more based on your one table as far as delivery of courses. When you eat with others who eat faster or slower or who order additional courses this is often an impact on service for a bigger group. This is a turn off in the MDR when even when seated at a two top, the waiter wants to serve the whole row of tables at the same time leaving you waiting on the slowest person. If I were you, I would definitely give them another chance to shine.
  8. We cruise quite a bit out of Galveston Texas and can attest to the size of the drive in cruise crowd using that port. We see people from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Louisiana in addition to Texans from the big metro areas. We live just north of Fort Worth, about a six hour drive one way. I am always amazed that anyone flies into Houston to sail from Galveston because that is a BIG hassle. There is always a long line (big crowd) to walk off with luggage on the last day because people want to get on the road home. I notice that Galveston is also high on Carnivals list of favored ports when they return to sailing.
  9. This is a great deal. We saw several of these rates but it is a temporary great deal. Usually a suite guarantee will get a price without perks and you will get a sky suite with out perks. The suite guarantee is usually not offered until after final payment. We have sailed in a Sky suite without perks before and it was fine for us. You can carry a wine from Micheals/retreat into Luminae for dinner. No drinks are free in Luminae if you don't have the package. It really depends how much you like to drink with during your meals. We are also Elite so we can have free drinks at other bars during happy hour for variety. To us tips and OBC are just dollar amounts in the bottom line price comparison. We don't even use the free internet we get with Elite on most cruises so that perk is not a biggie to us when on vacation.
  10. Received FCC today by e mail for a cruise cancelled by X in the last wave. The cruise was a TA on Infinity was to have sailed April 25th. Was happy to see it. Still waiting on Taxes and Fees to CC of course.
  11. We cancelled a Millie Alaska September 4th on March 18th and received the refund on $500 deposit (RFD) on April 24th the day after we contacted our CC to controvert. I am sure this was unrelated to the refund and we cancelled the complaint with CC immediately. Under usual circumstances a cancellation like this would have been refunded almost immediately but these are not usual times. Now we are still waiting on something from April 25th Infinity cruise that Celebrity cancelled. Hope everyone gets some relief soon.
  12. Princess and HAL do not have this requirement....only Celebrity, NCL and RCL as far as I know.
  13. Just a little more controversial thinking on this topic. 1.Cruises lines under the Carnival umbrella are not requiring this medical release. Many of them like HAL and Cunard have an "older cruiser" profile. They are members of the CLIA also but decided not to adopt this early suggestion when cruise lines were trying to keep sailing in the beginning. Why would Celebrity and RCL still have this requirement in the face of such competition. 2. My DH (a retired accountant) thinks Celebrity has finally found a way to insure a younger client base and fix the problem they have with the mushrooming group benefiting from perks under their loyalty program. There are more cruisers joining the Elite, Elite Plus and Zenith groups every day. Many of these top levels of loyalty are are over 70. Many of us over 70 have at least some medical concerns. Many Elites and above do not buy the drink packages because we get enough free drinks during happy hour. Many of us do not buy Celebrity shore excursions for whatever reason. Celebrity makes more money from the younger demographic. I hope he is wrong and that our loyalty means something but there it is.
  14. I would love to see seating in buffets by an attendant like in casinos where someone gets your table wear and drinks and your seat is not up for grabs. This way tables and chairs can be wiped and people are not touching dirty dishes to move them aside. There should be more tables for two and four and they should be further apart in both the buffet and dining room. I have seen buffet seating by an attendant on one ship (early Quantum or early Oasis?) and it worked great. The whole buffet process was much more civilized with out that food fight feeling. I also think that servers dishing up food will be a for sure change. People who cough should be required to wear a mask in public areas even if "it is just an allergy". Who among us has not had to change seats in the showroom because someone behind them was coughing on their neck. Hand sanitizer stations should be checked make sure they are in working order and have juice at all times. Menus should be disposable or at least plastic so that they can be wiped clean. It does no good to wash your hands before entering the MDR when you touch a menu and then touch a bread roll with your hand. Just some of my ideas that we will probably never see.
  15. I just read the post about 25% of RCL workers in the U.S. are being laid off. I guess the reality of this new world is that these workers are very motivated to sell and there by keep their job by justifying their existence on the payroll. I do not judge them too harshly, and I agree with another poster that it is not all bad to had the direct number of someone at Celebrity that you can call without being on hold for a long period of time. We have called our assigned agent on several occasions and have had no complaints about the service provided.
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