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icemountain561

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  1. Let me preface this by saying, you need to have a basic knowledge of celebrity to understand what I'm talking about. Day 5 and day 6.. Punta cana and sea day...... I think I already laid out an evaluation of Punta cana. But I will say, my cruise mate was looking forward to possibly docking in samana, Dr because it's whale mating season and they would of offered an excursion to see the whales. Dinner in mursno was long (3 hours) but we did order a lot of food. Plus all of my 3 entrees were prepared tableside. So that should tell you what I ordered. I think I pissed off the sommelier by not going with her suggestion and not liking what she poured. But that's the wine world and I like what I like. She only came back at the very end after we were done. Kinda like a you don't want anything else right? Move. The food in mursno is really tasty. However the quality still isn't great. The château is tender and good. But, it's not a prime grade piece of meat. Just like the lobster is still Florida/warm water lobster, not cold/Maine lobster. And in murano, for the up charge....the quality should be better. I also had the dover sole for the first time. It was good, not fishy and with the sauce it was decent. But I would still prefer a wild salmon, ahi tuna, or grouper fillet/steak to the sole. I think the menu is still from Jaques van stadden and just needs to be tweeked slightly. He came after chef Michelle Roux when celebrity was really trying to cut back. Day 6....sea day.... Today I took my time waking up and having breakfast. Celebrity wants everyone to have room service breakfast by 9:30 am and I say nay nay. So room service brings the food and I go back to sleep after. I eventually awoke to the ship rocking. Finally! I'm on a cruise ship and not a floating hotel. If you get Woosey or sea sick from mild rocking, stay on land and go to a Ritz or all inclusive. Ships move! Expect a moderate level of movement. Oh and just to throw her under the bus, the bartender at Slush today was aweful. She looked new and was very slow. I ordered the guava passion and she put so much cayenne pepper in it I couldn't drink it. If I had actually paid money for it, I would have been pissed. Today was also high tea, I belive my overview was summarized in a response. The indoor pool today was sloshing back and forth. It was fun watching the people in it getting pounded by the waves. The main outdoor pools were much calmer though. There appeared to be a kids pool and an adults outside pool today? Sunset from sky bar during the captains club party was really nice tonight. Dinner in the MDR was 2nd night evening chic/formal night. I ordered 3 entrées, screw you food police. The beef Wellington was horrible. The puff pastry wasn't fully cooked, the mushroom douxelle barley had a flavor. As I stated another day, it's not made with beef tenderloin anymore. Which actually wasn't a huge deal, but the "truffle sauce" was completely bland. I actually questioned if my taste buds were malfunctioning due to the wine or escargot. I ate a piece of the asparagus and it tasted like asparagus. So I knew it wasn't me. The lobster was ok, but the duck orange was really good and flavourful. It's not crispy, but come on, It's the MDR, you can't have everything. The adult show tonight was the wedding game show. It was neither adult nor very entertaining. This cruise director really is the pitts. He's from ncl and either gets the celebrity audience very well or not at all. To me it's not at all. I won't complain anymore about quasar or sky closing early bc well how many times can I do that? But I will say...sky closed early again, but quasar stayed open. However, the dj left early. Nsy, quit early and left everyone standing around like *****? I eventually asked the assistant bar manager to turn the music back on. He admitted the dj should not have left an attempted to turn the music back on but couldn't figure it out. That's it for now.
  2. Well you beat me to the high tea review. I don't think she helped the servers for the high tea today. But she didn't need to. There were at least 4 servers for maybe 20ish people. I couldn't keep up with the pastries they kept bringing. The food was good. But Their tea quality is seriously lacking though. And this coming from an American lol.
  3. This was a pic from yesterday at Secrets resort at cap cana Dominican Republic. It's really that beautiful, and I'm an aweful photographer. Captain K said it was the nicest day there she'd experienced. It was a private "our own excursion" trip. March 20th the pics were taken. There is a catch though. The taxi service is f"in expensive. To the resort it was $65 round-trip for a 10 minute ride each way. I had wanted to go to the Hard Rock all inclusive which was 35-45 min away from the tendering location and it was $115+ for a cab round trip. So after tendering in late, I didn't want to waste time driving. So we went to Secrets Cap Cana. There are two Secrets hotels in the country, so I need to differentiate. Secrets cap cana was $150 for a day pass. Hard Rock was $115 for a day pass. Both places passes are from 9am to 6pm. Neither are willing to lower the price for cruise passengers. Corporate is corporate. So try to arrive early and leave late to maximize value. There was a tent for taxis and a shuttle to the shopping mall. The shuttle to the mall was $15 I'm assuming round trip. Labor is extremely cheap in the dr, so someone is profiting hamsomely from the tourists. Price rant aside.... The resort was really that pretty. Service was better than celebrity, by a mile. (LLP should go to the resort and learn things to make celebrity better) From when you step out of the cab, there is someone to greet you, someone to help you with any bags you might have, they give you a welcoming drink... Top liquor and champagne depending on your preference...The champagne was better than on celebrity... They will escort you to your destination if you don't know where it is... They try to serve you as much as they can versus on celebrity where it's as little as they can. It might just be a feeling, but it's really an observable one. (I know celebrity is good, but this was better at least for the 3 hours I was there) You have all access to any of the restaurants. We went to the poolside seafood restaurant. The quality was probably slightly better than celebrity, but just by a hair. The selections did seem a lot more appitizing though. I had the calimari and coconut shrimp. When you enter the restaurant they give you a drink right off the bat that was like a sangria. The pools there were surpurb. Clean, not too cold, not too warm. There are nurmurius pool and beach waitresses walking around for your drink orders. Soooo much better than celebrity pool butlers and waitstaff. The hotel even had a cook going around the pool making crepes. And that's besides the beach grill and poolside bars and who knows the other buffets and While on celebrity you can feel the cost cutting, at this resort you couldn't. I will say that the beech, while looking a pretty shade of blue the water was really cloudy, a little Shelly, and there was a little seaweed.
  4. This was a pic from yesterday at Secrets resort at cap cana Dominican Republic. It's really that beautiful, and I'm an aweful photographer. Captain K said it was the nicest day there she'd experienced. It was a private "our own excursion" trip. March 20th the pics were taken. There is a catch though. The taxi service is f"in expensive. To the resort it was $65 round-trip for a 10 minute ride each way. I had wanted to go to the Hard Rock all inclusive which was 35-45 min away from the tendering location and it was $115+ for a cab round trip. So after tendering in late, I didn't want to waste time driving. So we went to Secrets Cap Cana. There are two Secrets hotels in the country, so I need to differentiate. Secrets cap cana was $150 for a day pass. Hard Rock was $115 for a day pass. Both places passes are from 9am to 6pm. Neither are willing to lower the price for cruise passengers. Corporate is corporate. So try to arrive early and leave late to maximize value. There was a tent for taxis and a shuttle to the shopping mall. The shuttle to the mall was $15 I'm assuming round trip. Labor is extremely cheap in the dr, so someone is profiting hamsomely from the tourists. Price rant aside.... The resort was really that pretty. Service was better than celebrity, by a mile. (LLP should go to the resort and learn things to make celebrity better) From when you step out of the cab, there is someone to greet you, someone to help you with any bags you might have, they give you a welcoming drink... Top liquor and champagne depending on your preference...The champagne was better than on celebrity... They will escort you to your destination if you don't know where it is... They try to serve you as much as they can versus on celebrity where it's as little as they can. It might just be a feeling, but it's really an observable one. (I know celebrity is good, but this was better at least for the 3 hours I was there) You have all access to any of the restaurants. We went to the poolside seafood restaurant. The quality was probably slightly better than celebrity, but just by a hair. The selections did seem a lot more appitizing though. I had the calimari and coconut shrimp. When you enter the restaurant they give you a drink right off the bat that was like a sangria. The pools there were surpurb. Clean, not too cold, not too warm. There are nurmurius pool and beach waitresses walking around for your drink orders. Soooo much better than celebrity pool butlers and waitstaff. The hotel even had a cook going around the pool making crepes. And that's besides the beach grill and poolside bars and who knows the other buffets and While on celebrity you can feel the cost cutting, at this resort you couldn't. I will say that the beech, while looking a pretty shade of blue the water was really cloudy, a little Shelly, and there was a little seaweed.
  5. Ugh, just a spent a long time talking about today But the ship wifi went out and I lost my review. I'll try to do it again tomorrow. Here are some pics to wet your appitize though...
  6. Yeah, I'm basically writing these after everything closes down and I'm bored. To get everything out and especially last night while having my "6th meal", kinda like taco bell 4th meal, but add 2 more meals, takes some time and that's when I finally hit send. 3 am ship time was probably when I hit submit. But, last night everything shut down at or before 1 am ship time. I just took my sweet ass time posting. That's how I made it to the buffet, and got food. But it's really unfortunate that the daily program lists sky bar and quasar as open until late. With no set time they close when they feel or at the very least start chasing people out of the bar when they feel. The Martini bar, a very hard working and kind bunch have to stay open until 1 am per the schedule. Unfortunately, when they close and you want to move to the next bar, on this sailing, there is no next bar to go to
  7. Yeah, the Pina colada there was watery and not that icy. It still tasted like a Pina colada though. Funny thing is, I has one today on the ship with Meyers rum and preferred it to the original. I think it's always better to hedge your bets in the MDR and get 2 entrees. Plus the servers know what's good and isn't. Listen to them. Food waste be dambed. It's already made anyways.
  8. As I write this I'm enjoying a nice pasta bolennese and pizza in front of guest relations. I had to make my own "to go box" to carry it all. Also was carrying a scorpio drink , small bottle of water, and large bottle of Evian. It was quite the sight. (I'm updating this section as I write) it's funny watching people walk around deck 4 and 5 looking for a place that is open. Late nights on this sailing do not exist. Girls just asked guest relations for a open bar and he had to tell them everywhere was closed. Day 4....Saint Thomas.... What can I say during the day regarding the ship? Getting off was a breeze, we we left at 11:30. Getting to downtown Saint Thomas is a test in patience. The taxi station will wait until your open air taxi is at least mostly full before they embark. Be it 2 min or 20 min. We were closer to 20 min. Shopper jewelry tip: haggle, negotiate, and don't be afraid to walk away to get a better price. There are so many jewelry stores here they all seem to be struggling. If your not getting at least a third off the original 'reduced' price, I'd just walk away. Gentleman, also make sure you get an alcoholic beverage while your wife is in the jewelry store. One, you can take it to go. Two, it makes the shopping experience better. The stores know it and offer it. My suggestion would be to ask for a bushwacker. But ask for whatever you prefer. Cab rides each way are $8 for 2 people. $5 for single riders. One couple on our ride, said they'd get him on the way back. The driver didn't even seem to care. The water on Saint Thomas is gorgeous. By shopping, I couldn't enjoy it. But if you can, it looks very inviting. Everyone had to be back on the ship by 4:30. It always bewilders me that the buffet is closed except for pizza and pasta at that time. You would think they would change the buffet hours to accommodate the influx of passengers returning on board and going to the buffet. But after getting a drink at the back bar and watching the sailway, the buffet reopens the dinner buffet an hour after leaving Port. I'll hold my thoughts on the selections, since I might be to "negative" about them. But to me nothing looked appetizing tonight. Tonight was also the night of the senior officers captains club party. So many aperent elites or higher. I was kinda surprised. I think I was still one of the younger people there, so clearly their efforts to get the younger audience is a work in progress. Or their relatively newish points scheme discriminates against younger people who can't afford suites and longer cruises to rack up points. Captain K did a little line dance with the officers on stage. It was kinda funny. The mdr dinner menu tonight..... Well the food tasted ok. The pork was surprisingly better then I would of thought. The Farro side was really good. The seafood medley entree was a medley of disappointment and success. The shrimp and muscles were good, the calimari was rubbery. I mean clearly they cut quality, but they are still trying or trying to try. Per the usual, I'll attach a menu somewhere. For those that ask what the bottle water brands are. There should also be a pic of Evian, and True premium drinking water (classic package water) reverse osmosis water attached. I tried to make it pretty with the flowers. The bottles are still plastic. But the ship did go to paper straws. So I better get a thank you from a sea turtle some day for putting up with mushy paper in my mouth. If I remember, I ask for two straws to try to avoid the mushy paper thing. There was an 80's dance party in sky tonight. Lots of people, which for a normal bar would be fantastic. But, of course celebrity would need to find a way to f that up also. The cruise director was hosting a weird game show style competition, that I don't think really mattered. The music was good though and no complaints there. If you like 80s music and they have it, you should check it out. But.... Buuttt, the bar service. I don't think I saw so many frustrated people since Trump got elected. People just gave up at the sky bar trying to get drinks. Myself included, and I really tried. The problem is, one they are slow, and two they have to leave the bar and go into the back to get the ingredients to make whatever drinks these passengers were ordering. I did meet a nice couple after at the martini bar who felt the same way. So I feel validated. If you're lucky or are patient, then it would be a great event. Oh, I also made sure to hang out on the port side of sky because the next time I am in her, that space will be gone. 😔 So far the ship itself has been smooth sailing, so clearly the autopilot is working well lol. Also, the captains club hostess presently on this boat (I know capitan K... It's a ship and Yada Yada Yada) is very sweet, friendly, and helpful . I'm sorry that I'm butchering the spelling of her name but it sounds like Elgin. She did something special for me yesterday, of which no other captains club hostess has done prior. And no, it wasn't sexual for you dirty minded folks. Ok that's it for now. Punta cana in the morning.
  9. Not trying to be negative, just trying to call a spade a spade. With that said let's continue.... Today I woke up again to an excessive amount of room service food. It came on time and hot. But can someone explain to me how to order the correct amount for 2 people. How do you mark the card? After that I skipped the sun, bc well living in Florida I don't need it and sleep was more important. Then it was time for the, for fee, wine and food pairing. I did this a while back and while I knew what to expect, I found this one very informative, educational, and interactive. I once talked to an officer or manager or someone like that and they said they strive to give value for the money. I'd say that the pairing for $25 plus gratuity was worth it. If it was priced higher, I'd say you really might want to think twice. But as is, if you want to know more about wine and how it pairs with different foods like sweet, spicy, savory, and salty it's worth a shot. Just keep in mind they didn't do refills. So drink or eat in small amounts as he/she goes though it or you will run dry. We did our event in about an hour 15 min. But you definitely have a chance to finish the wine/food if you want to take longer. It's 5 glasses of wine consisting today of a reisling, Sav blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernat savingnon. After that was sailing in to PR. We did the helipad sail in. It was really windy today and was wondering if we would wind up like the Epic. But luckily we didn't. Even though I think some people had a sad arrival. I'll leave that at that. Walking around pr was ok. I finally went to the birthplace of the Pina colada. I'll insert a pic with the name of the restaurant. While unique it wasn't amazing. More just a story thing. They have 6 slushi machines going with it and it just doesn't seem that special. But for $7 plus 10% state tax and 1% city tax it seemed worth it for the experience. Getting back on the ship was fine, a long walk though. I didn't see any carts or anything shuttling people. I wasn't expressly looking, but didn't notice any. So those with mobility issues might want to ask about that. The MDR menu wasn't, to me, the most desirable tonight, luckily I had a special day today and Amir, the maitre D, took very nice care of us. And again waiter Putu was great. Also ran into waiter Randy that remembered us from the previous cruise and was very friendly as well. Back in the day the menu was designed, on a regular night, as a 5 course dinner. Given, times have changed, but celebrity definitely doesn't encourage you to order multiple starter courses or entrees anymore. But they Also don't charge for a second entrée yet like HAL. If you want to know a detail, the pasta tonight was very bland. The cream sauce seemed like they mixed cream and corn starch together. I don't think they have any cooks in the back that are actually Italian. And I hesitate to say that bc I really don't know. But I can say say that I couldn't taste any love, or flavor, in the dish. Oh, apparently Celebrity corporate is testing new menus or just put forth new MDR menus. Not the change I was hoping for. I'll attach tonight's menu. After dinner I went to the martini bar. The bartenders work really hard, and they try to remember their frequent customers. There doesn't seem to be any consistency between the bartenders making your martini though. So if you like a particular tini, try different bartenders to see if you like or dislike one better. I heard the juggler performer at the show was being heckled by the kids on the ship, so who knows? Kids... For the crowd that stays up past 12..... Be wary. The sky bar tonight closed before the martini bar and casino bar. Quasar was "open" but there was no music. They only offered beer bc well... Just pop a top. But nightlife is definitely lacking on this ship. Not because of the guests, but because there are different venues open earlier, so people are scattered. But, when they close at their normal times, the sky bar before hand only has a few people and closes early as well. So no place to move on to. Quasar, martini, and casino bar staff all seemed shocked that sky was closed so early. People say that Celebrity is targeting a younger crowd. But I don't get it, because they seem to only cater to their older cliental. Even their "motown party" in the grand foyer with live band only lasted 45 minutes. If you're looking for a party boat, this sailing is not it. But I don't think it gets much better on other sailings. If you're really into party's and nightlife, I would strongly recommend a different line. Even in the carribean, we haven't had a pool/deck party at night. Also, people with late night hunger better make it to the pizza/pasta/cold cut buffet before 1am. Otherwise your stuck with paying for room service if you're not in a suite. On the 1am dot they are done. And if you go to the buffet later, you're stuck traversing an obstacle course of wet floors and vacuum cords. Clearly risk management staff goes to bed at 11pm. I have kept some tricks and secrets to myself for fear of getting shut down in the future. But I will say the key to Celebrity's success remains their crew. Staff and crew are separate and I purposely use the word crew. Also the more I learn of the new edgeication/edgeazation/refurb it seems really interesting. While they are cutting sky lounge in half and replacing it with suites, they are also taking away quasar and making it conference space. Just like reflection. But as mentioned above, they don't even use it late night anyways lol. So only a lost space for kareoke and earlier dancing. Hidden things being fixed is the martini ice bar top. But I was told it will remain an ice bar. Talking to a bartender on the ship, they were surprised the new edge wasn't an ice bar. That became a concern quick, but that individual thinks it's still going to remain ice.
  10. LlpAlright, sorry for the late update. But I was kinda hungover from the martini bar and sky last night. The room service breakfast was very much welcomed. Btw I'm in a regular cabin. I have to write in half my selections for breakfast. They try to accommodate. Mostly successful. Western omlette came as mushroom and ham. Moving on.... Today (day 2) was hit and miss. Apparently the hot glass class sold out at noon today. They are now on a waiting list, so if you want to sign up get there on day 1. Vase is $107 , bowl is $177. But the glass blowers are friendly. Lunch in MDR hasn't changed. Had double order of mozz sticks. The panini was Eh. Bread was too hard/toasty. Oh, beverage people at dinning times are much better than last year. But, I think they realized that people don't know to only order wine from the sommelier and pay water or liquor drinks from bar staff. Waiter, assistant waiter and sommelier seem to work as a team. For the good of the passenger. The bar server in the MDR seems to only show when they are bringing a drink. We have Putu as a waiter. Very good, but placed worst for servers in the MDR. So far from kitchen. Ekaterinna (or something like that), the assistant waitress is very nice and personable. Unfortunately, it was her first night working in the MDR, she just got promoted from the buffet, and from carrying the trays hurt her back. She was missed tonight, and if she stays with celebrity, I see her going far. Tonight was formal night /evening ***** #1. Historically, this has included beef tornados/ fillet mignon/beef tenderloin. Unfortunately, Celebrity has made the cooperate decision to replace it with sirloin steak and sauce. Clearly a cost saving and reduction in product. On the same subject, the beef Wellington now contains an inferior/cheaper cut then the beef tenderloin it once contained. So thank you llp. (raspberry sound)(sarcastic voice). Moving on... I'll be glad when captain Kate mccue moves on to the edge. I've grown tired of her, "I'm a woman and special and have to announce it to the world thing". Other noteworthy things..... On embarcation day we ate at sushi on 5. I had the spicy tuna roll. Didn't take a pic, but it was underwhelming. However, I also had the matcha tiramisu dessert. It was amazing! Everything else has been standard celebrity. The bars close early, food is decent, but with noticible quality reductions. The silent disco in sky had the most people I'd ever seen up there and they had to end it bc one of the djs had to go to quasar. The line clearly doesn't know how to read a crowd. But what else is new. Feel free to comment or ask questions. I'll probably be responding from the ice bar, the best bar, forget edge....so if it's mean I'll just curse you out.
  11. Should I do a live review starting on day 2 on the equinox 3.16.19? An honest American elite status review that has already found fault.
  12. Is this LLP? Or celebrity corporate? Just because there are a # of bars doesn't mean they are all created equal or open at the same time. If anyone has tried to get a drink after midnight knows there are only a handful of places open. Plus it's a small ship. Crew bunks are expensive and they only have a certain amount for bar staff. Meaning open bars are probably under staffed. Drink packages proved very profitable for celebrity, but came with a sacrifice of timeliness and service. All of which has been argued ad nauseum on here. There isn't a shortage of getting drinks, but there is a shortage of popular bars. P. S. For the haters... I've been sailing celebrity since white glove service and French menu descriptions were still a thing in the MDR. I still sail with them. I've just grown accustom to "modem luxury" (cough cough cutbacks). Wish they would go back to actual luxury with their new pricing.
  13. It seems odd that MSC wouldn't match loyalty programs apples to apples. Why would I leave a cruise line that I like and have better benefits with for a line I don't know and has very mixed reviews? I might have been able to convince my cruise partner to try msc if it had similar perks since she loves celebrity and is elite+. But now why take the risk?
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