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Redtravel

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  1. Skip the suite on Celebrity. Try Azamara. It may or may not cost more. If you watch for Azamara promotions, you can get a cruise for not much more than a similar Celebrity cruise. Until you try it, you won’t understand why it is worth it. Azamara is much better than Celebrity. Better service, better food, and really friendly crew. Azamara cabins are small, but nicely appointed. Never crowds. The fare includes tips, beverages, and an Azamazing event. On one night during the cruise, the ship has an event for all guests. They try to find an event that will amaze you. My most recent was a private reception and tour at the Chihully Museum. The venue was gorgeous. The food and drink were exquisite. Add to that live music. It was fabulous. Another really fantastic event was at a chateaux in Bordeaux. There was a tour of the winery, music, good food, great entertainment, and the best wine that I have ever drunk. We also like Oceania and Windstar. They are more expensive than Celebrity and worth the price. For many years, we sailed mass market. Had a good time and were put off by higher prices on other cruise lines. While we liked most cruises on Celebrity, we like our cruises on Azamara, Oceania, and a Windstar more.
  2. Looks like the packages sold on Azamara. Azamara packages include beverages and priced correctly. Celebrity packages are priced too high.
  3. Excellent choice. Blu is nice. Less crowded with excellent service. It is also much quieter. On most ships, you can order from the Blu menu or the main dining room menu. Enjoy!
  4. Doing laundry on vacation is not my thing. I prefer to have the ship laundry wash my dirty clothes. It isn’t that expensive. When you spend so much for a vacation to relax, spending money to have your laundry done is worth it. If you have On Board Credit, you can use it for laundry. I like that Celebrity does not have self serve laundry rooms. On ships that have laundry facilities for guests, I have wasted my time doing the wash. The extra cost of bringing more clothing isn’t worth it. The usual luggage fees are $25-30 per bag. Double that to take luggage home. $50-60 spent on laundry is well worth it. The less you take, the better. Depending on the length of the cruise, you may be able to just bring a carryon. If you want to wash a few things in the cabin sink, you can use the shampoo to wash them. Some ships have a clothes line in the shower. Bring clips.
  5. Be happy with any benefits. They are free.
  6. The captains club benefits are good. Azamara matches your status level in Le Club Voyage. Azamara used to match the free WiFi and laundry benefits. That changed. However, Azamara has decreased their club benefits. As elite plus/discoverer plus, I was surprised when I got 120 WiFi minutes on Azamara instead of 240 on Celebrity. I also got one free small bag of laundry per cabin per week. On Celebrity, my spouse and I both each get 2 free bags of laundry up to 30 items per cruise. With all the changes and cutbacks, be happy with the Captains Club benefits.
  7. I never got a thank you or $ offer toward a future cruise. I have received letters from Oceania and Windstar thanking us for traveling. Oceania included $200 toward a cruise booked within 2 months of disembarkation. Windstar always offers 5% extra if you book within 60 days of disembarkation. Getting a thank you letter is nice. Celebrity doesn't seem to care about your cruise experience. The online survey is a silable only a week after the cruise. If they really cared, the survey would not disappear. The message is over and done.
  8. Flexoline is a braided cord that can be used to hang clothes to dry. I don't want to spend $$$ for sunscreen. However, if I run out or forget it, I would buy it. Burned skin is to be avoided at any cost. I wear sunscreen on my face, neck, and hands daily. I cruise in warm and cold areas. I always wear pants on a plane and in the dining room at night. In warmer climates, you need shorts and long pants. I like zipoff pants. They are great especially when you travel between hot and cold places.
  9. Thanks for the info. My spouse can do stairs slowly. On some planes, they use the food lift to get people on and off planes.
  10. Lourdest I agree with you. Oceanview on Oceania is better than anything on Celebrity. After sailing on Oceania, we went on Celebrity twice. Precooked before trying Oceania. Once in aqua, other in regular veranda. Aqua class Blu was nice. Better than the MDR. However, we kept comparing our celebrity experience to Oceania. Oceania was so much better. We also like Azamara. After our last Celebrity cruise, we hesitate to book another Celebrity cruise. We just sailed on Azamara in July. Had a great time. Our future cruises are on Oceania and Windstar. No more Celebrity for us.
  11. I like Azamara. I love the small ship and less crowded venues. The mass market ships are too crowded. Azamara is more expensive sometimes. If you shop prices during sales, you may get a good price. Also, look at quarterly savings cruises. Got an extra 10% off my last Azamara cruise. Booked during a sale, “ veranda for the price of an inside.” Paying attention to sales can save you money. Azamara does a good cruise. It is more relaxed and has better food than those big ships. The basic Az cruise fare includes gratuity, some liquor, and a special evening event. Azamara does not have casino. Az doesn’t restrict kids. However, there are no kid activities. You seldom get many kids on Az. Try Azamara. I also sail on Oceania. Both cruise lines attract the same group of people.
  12. I try to pack as little as really necessary. You should ask yourself with each item if it is a necessity. I love my hairdryer. I don’t bring it. The one on the cruise isn’t great, but it works. I often just let my hair air dry. I bring my own toiletries including soap. Bring a soap container too. Last Celebrity cruise had awful soap. I never just assume that anyplace will have the same toiletries as they had previously. Celebrity changes shampoos often. don’t like wall mounted soaps, etc. last Celebrity cruise, I had to beg for a shower cap. I got it after much to do. I bring my own travel pillow, water bottle with carrier, chair clips, camera, kindle, iPad, cellphone, chargers, electrical multi plug, flashlight, 2 plastic hangers, flexoline, snacks for plane and late night, sports sac bag, umbrella, binoculars( one in cabin is a toy), plastic ziplock bags, sunglasses, magnifying mirror, sunscreen, bug repellant, benedryl, sewing kit, scissors, tape, earplugs, pocket tissues. Of course I bring clothing. I try to pack 2-3 of most items and about 6 tops. Bring old clothing that can be sent to ship laundry or rinsed out in the cabin sink. Bring clothing from 1 or 2 colors. Black pants in 3 lengths. 3 pairs of shoes. Leave the high heels home. Bring Flip flops or swim sneakers. I make a list before packing. I also make notes after the trip. If you don’t use it, don’t take it on the next trip. Unless you are going to a 3rd world country, you can buy most things.
  13. We have looked at Tahiti cruise many times. My spouse needs a ship with a lift. We never book on the 2 smaller Windstar ships. We were hoping that someday Windstar would sail the Star ships in that area.
  14. First time I sailed Alaska was 22 years ago. Booked shore excursions in every port. Great tours that were costly. The internet wasn’t good for finding private tours then. Just sailed Alaska in July. There are lots of options. Ship excursions full? Not a problem. Look on the internet for things to do. There are lots of private tours. Leave yourself some time to relax, stroll through town, talk to locals, and enjoy the scenery. Some ports run shuttles that are good. While many people walk, there are good public transport in many towns. Skagway $5. Ride all day. Sitka had small vans too. Mount Roberts tram is right at the dock in Juneau. Get out of town to see wildlife. Whitepass railroad is a great trip. Have fun.
  15. More and more places on the ship are off limits to non suite guests. Each time I sail on X, there is loss for me.
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