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About ChiGal1962

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Downers Grove, IL
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Yep, enjoyed it quite a bit. But when I took it, you got 4 glasses. Tried to treat them pretty carefully and mine lasted quite a while (still have 1!).
  2. I usually end up about the same. Any increase in consumption is offset by a significant increase in activity. I walk SO much more on a cruise than I do in real life. I love booking a sunset verandah not only because of the view, but because it's 250 steps (yes, I counted) just to get to the elevator bank. That alone multiple times a day adds up! 😁 Plus, often on a sea day, I'll just wander the ship's public decks - no matter how many times I've been on each, there's always something new to notice. And then port days are always on the go. My issue is when I get home. I don't eat sweets in general, but do indulge most every night on a cruise. So when I get home, that sugar craving is in full force. If I can get myself quickly back to "real life" eating when I get home, all is good! If not, it's a rough one.
  3. You'll have a great time!!
  4. Might have been a quirk of that particular cruise? Really wasn't a huge issue - I ended up checked in through the regular line pretty quickly, too. My understanding about debarkation is that assigned times are based on your flight, not your status, so you should be off the ship in plenty of time. If you are truly concerned about time, you can always self-debark as soon as the ship clears by carrying your own luggage.
  5. Glad to hear it was unusual! As I said, it was my first as Elite. And yes, it was regular embarkation out of the Port of Miami. The priority check-in line clearly stated Elite Plus and up. Wasn't a big deal, as I always get to the port super early, so the regular line was fairly short. Hopefully it will be different on my next one out of Southampton!
  6. I only sailed Princess once, but actually really liked it. I would make sure to go on one of the newer ships - I was on an older one and there were a few areas that needed some love. But I thought the food and service were similar to Celebrity.
  7. My last cruise was my first as Elite. I assumed there would be priority embarkation (that was one of my most looked-forward-to perks!). There was not. Only for suites and Elite Plus/Zenith. I asked a few times just because I thought I wasn't communicating right, but the lovely people in the Miami terminal snipped me to the regular line. So I'm guessing, "it depends". Debarkation wasn't done on a priority basis, but you did have a separate area (close-ish to the gangway) that you could wait in.
  8. I've had very hit or miss experience with the sommeliers in the MDR. Some have been absolutely fabulous with both the recommendations and service, some have been pretty good with the service but fairly clueless with recommendations (one just recommended Cab or Chardonnay, regardless of what I ordered), and some that were nonexistent. They have definitely cut back on the staff, which puts them all in a challenging position. And I agree - make that part of your comments after the fact - not sure if it actually makes a difference, but it can't hurt!
  9. I somewhat reluctantly booked a Celebrity cruise over spring break because my bff wanted to join with her family. Seriously, you would barely know it was spring break. Yes, there were a few more kids than usual, but really, not a big deal at all.
  10. If you really intend not eating in the MDR, it would be nice to either ask for select dining (where you wouldn't have an assigned seat), or let the Maitre d' know on boarding that you won't be there. Aside from the MDR team being able to juggle the wait staff table load, I mention this for selfish reasons 🙂 I travel solo and usually ask for traditional seating, as it's fun to get to know people over the course of a cruise. I did have one cruise where I was assigned a table of 8, and no one else showed up the first night. I figured people were either unpacking their luggage, getting a special discount on specialty restaurants, whatever - I had a nice meal by myself. Night #2 was evening chic, and again, I was the only person at my table of 8. I didn't even have to go talk to the maitre d' -- he came to my table during the meal asking me if I wanted to switch. I did, and ended up at a really fun table the rest of the cruise. And I noted that no one ever showed up at that original table. But if the other people had let the maitre d' know ahead of time, then I wouldn't have "wasted" the first two nights on my own.
  11. I understand your concern about private excursions as a solo female traveler, as that's how I travel. But I have to say, my tour to Ephesus using Ephesus Shuttle a few years ago was one of the top experiences I have had on a cruise. The destination was one I can only hope to return to one day, and they are continuously unearthing more and more there. The people running the shuttle, including and especially the male tour guide, were phenomenal. Their livelihoods depend on tourism - they will go out of their way to make sure it is a good experience for you. (I will say, the Virgin Mary's House after was more interesting than I thought it would be, but still not close to a highlight!) That said, if you aren't comfortable doing something like that, I'm sure the cruise to Norway would be fabulous as well (it's on my list of "I'll get there one day" places, too).
  12. I travel alone, and have had that happen to me. First night, ate by myself at a table for 6. No big deal, first night often has people either getting a specialty discount, or busy unpacking. Second night, formal night (pre-evening chic), all dressed up, and still alone at my table for 6. The people at the nearby tables were very nice, encouraging me to join them (even though there were no spare seats - they would have scooted over). The waiter was amazingly attentive. Before my entree got there, the maitre d' was at my table asking me if I wanted to relocate for the rest of the cruise. I did, and ended up at one of the best tables I've ever had on a cruise. I do traditional, because I like to sit with people and get to know them over the course of a cruise. Other than the experience above, I only had to request a table change one time. Rectangular table of 10 - two family groups at either end (not interested in talking to others) and me in the middle across the table from two Russian girls, who seemed nice, but didn't appear to speak a word of English.
  13. I booked a GTY once and completely lucked out. Booked verandah gty after final payment, about 6 weeks before the cruise. Was assigned a sunset verandah cabin, which was amazing on the 5 nights from San Diego to Hawaii.
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