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cynbar

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  1. I think you'll find that most people "clean up" for dinner. I think leggings will be fine in the outfits shown above, as long as they are clean and paired with a casual but nice top. Few diners will be as casual as wearing what they wore all day to tour in, or as rumpled. Now, would you be allowed in that way? Seems to be some variation from ship to ship. Only you know how comfortable you will be in you are dressed much more casually than most everyone else.
  2. I agree that you can probably eat in the MDR, it would be arranged through the Blu miatre d' because that is your assigned dining room. But keep in mind that the different dining options on Celebrity are capacity controlled, with x amount of diners assigned to early and late traditional seatings as well as anytime dining. There have been some reports here of guests being denied anytime because it was full and assigned to one of the traditional seatings (although they may well have been able to change once onboard.) Anyway, although they can probably work it out so an AQ guest can dine every night in the MDR, it seems much simpler to book a cabin that is designated for MDR dining.
  3. My suggestion is that you consider a suite for yourselves (maybe a Sky Suite? The rear corner S1s are very nice.) Then look at a non-suite cabin for the kids, maybe a balcony or an inside, nearby. You and your husband will get the suite perks. The kids can join you in Luminae, you will pay a fee if they are over 18 but it will likely feel like money well spent. You can also all eat together in the specialty restaurants. Four adults in the CS would be tight with little privacy, not the most relaxing of vacations. I imagine the kids would like a little space, too.
  4. Keep an eye on the Princess promotions over the next few months, you may find one that covers your cruise and makes the price of the Ruby more competitive. For instance, the last couple of years, Princess has offered a promotion roughly during August where select cruises for the following year include the beverage package. We grabbed that for our 12 day British Isles cruise and it was a big savings (and no, our cruise price wasn't higher than the non-promo price.) I've seen other sales that seemed to offer good savings, too. You can always rebook using a promotion up until final payment, even if you put down a deposit now (someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that is how it works!)
  5. Do a search and you can easily find the Luminae menus. Plus, as mentioned above, you can also order anything off that day's MDR menu. Food and service and ambiance in Luminae are definitely several cuts above eating in the MDR. Another option to consider is you can have your butler serve you dinner in your suite. I believe you can only order from the MDR menu for this (someone will correct me if I'm wrong!), but it's a nice experience. Your butler will set up a table for you and bring it course by course --- very nice, especially while in port or during sail away.
  6. I stopped wearing jewelry in ports years ago, as reports surfaced of high crime rates and even occasional tourist muggings. For a long time, I brought my engagement ring and a few other nice pieces to wear on formal nights, and led them in the safe. But, that was until we had a safe on a cruise ship that malfunctioned several times during the cruise --- our steward was able to open it quickly for us, which certainly made me think twice. Of course, formal nights are not nearly as formal as they used to be, but even if they were, my nice things stay home!
  7. Although this is a sweet story, I hope it doesn't convince readers that they don't need to buy insurance. Celebrity may not always be so understanding, and who decides which situations merit a refund or credit?
  8. I don't know which of your group are in the Royal Suite, but the ability to dine in Luminae is one of the main perks they are paying for. Have you talked to them about this, and whether they would mind forgoing Luminae to dine with the rest of you in the MDR? It is true that suite passengers can ask to bring guests to Luminae for a fee, but I don't think it's designed for that many extra people at once, even if you all are willing to pay. At least, I wouldn't count on it on a regular basis. Luminae isn't that big, it would likely make it more crowded for those who are in suites, or mean they would have to wait. Would the Royal Suite people be willing to downgrade their cabin for this trip? We have occasionally traveled with a group and gone along with the consensus, even though we usually take a nicer cabin or hotel room. I do agree with you that now is the time to figure this out.
  9. It does seem to cheapen the recognition levels if others can get them so easily. Do these people keep their newfound status level, or is it just for the cruise when they are sharing a cabin with an Elite ?
  10. I agree with the above posters, get the drink package. It covers all drinks, not just alcohol, and things like bottled water and specialty coffees and fresh squeezed juice do add up. Then figure in a cocktail, a glass of wine and an after dinner drink. I think you'll find it is more than you expect. Plus, we love the freedom of no checks to sign, and the chance to try some drinks or glasses of wine we would not if we were paying by the drink (I discovered mudslides this way!). It has an elegant feel to it, similar to the feeling of trying different foods on a cruise without thinking about a bill.
  11. Here's another vote for the Hotel Colon. We loved it, perfect for strolling the Gothic quarter and close to Las Ramblas, convenient to lots of restaurants. We did pay for a cathedral view room and weren't bothered by the bells at all, but I have to admit we were pretty tired after travel, sightseeing, etc. It was great to be able to look out at the old cathedral, especially lit up at night.
  12. This might only be me, but I ask for menu substitutions in moderation. I do often ask for gravy or sauce on the side because too much or the wrong taste can ruin a meal for me. This has always been done with a smile, by the way. But other things, such as a little more broccoli, I stay away from. I do believe the meals are produced in assembly line fashion and it is extra work to make changes. So if something is not likely to ruin my meal, I leave it as is.
  13. There seems to be no consensus on the shorts policy at dinner in the MDR. It is against Princess' stated policy, and almost all cruisers I've seen are good about following the dress code. There have been some reports on these boards about shorts being allowed, but also reports about cruisers in shorts being turned away. I would certainly plan to bring long pants for a man, capris or slacks or dresses for a lady. Then, if you find shorts are allowed, go for it! I should add that shorts are always fine at breakfast or lunch.
  14. The ship may well vary the direction it docks, because we were on the starboard side, and we faced the pier in Greenock. That was the place the piper played us in on a misty morning.
  15. We did the British Isles cruise a couple years back, and arranged our transfers to and from LHR with a private car, Smith's for Airports. Although we didn't tour Windsor (we've been there before), I remember that the car company offered to include tours of Windsor, Stonehenge and some other places. This might be worth looking into, it would certainly be a more personal experience and I'm guessing better organized, too.
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