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Everything posted by Orator

  1. You first need to decide what risks you want covered. Some credit cards cover Trip Cancellation, many do not. If you pay with a card that already has cancellation insurance do you want to purchase a policy that is a duplicate? Check: insuremytrip.com to compare coverage and rates. You might save money and obtain better coverage if you shop around. I've seen the same companies that the cruise lines use at considerable savings from what the cruise lines charge. Insurance is most certainly not one size fits all type of things. There are many, many variables to consider such as age, pre existing conditions, location, etc. Personally I buy a yearly policy from Geo Blue that covers only evacuation and medical. Fine for me, but might not be what you want.
  2. Will be credited back to your card if it is refundable credit (OBR). You lose it if non refundable (OBN). Check your account if you are on a ship to see the code. Guest Relations can answer any questions. If you are not on a ship call Celebrity and have your folio number handy. You'll find this on your Seapass card or you can go to My Celebrity to get it.
  3. Eliminating the Card Room will only create more problems finding seats in Al Bacio and other venues. It really sounds like the airlines when they wanted to squeeze more passengers in Coach to increase profit margins. How has that worked out for the less than Business Class passenger?
  4. Will take the "Unrevolutionized" ships as long as I can. Really hate that they are expanding cabins and therfore numbers of passengers and reducing public space, like Sky Lounge. Crystal did just the opposite with Serenity. I see more passenger rudeness and a downturn in service as real possibilities. I hope I'm wrong!
  5. I collect the acrylic and crystal models of ships I have cruised. First time in Serenity in November and wonder if a model is available on the ship.
  6. Orator


    Correct, it covers travel outside US. However, if you have Medicare or good private insurance it's worth a look. You are also correct that no insurance is one size that fits all. You need to find a policy that covers what risks you are not willing to take.
  7. Your choice to do what you think will work for you.No one posting on this board can predict with certainty if the Agent to whom you ultimately present a Passport Card will or won't allow you to board. I would guess they would, but I'm not them and can't say for sure. On the other hand I can say with certainty that a US Passport would be accepted. I would purchase Passports and look forward to ten years of travel. Passport prices have been trending up and should continue to increase. So the expensive dollars you pay now might be a real bargain in the future. Choice is entirely yours!
  8. Orator


    If you frequently travel and are fine with medical and evacuation coverage check GeoBlue. It's a Blue Cross/Blue Shield company. At 76 I paid $265 for the annual Trekker policy that cover DW and I. Covers up to $50,000 in medical and 1 million in evacuation.If under 70 the price would cover $100,000 in medical. Some credit card cover trip cancellation and lost luggage. Costco Visa did this until very recently.
  9. Check Rome Cabs for tour prices. Might actually be less than Celebrity. The company is highly reliable.
  10. Risky yes. Check the train schedule. The train station is within walking distance of the port. They usually offer transportation to the airport which includes a tour. You can ask about that option. They will take you to Rome and then to the airport to leave departing passengers off. They then stay for new passengers and take bus back to ship. They sometimes offer special tours for B2B passengers and you can ask about that option once on the ship.
  11. Given a similar timeline in April I boarded the ship before 12:00 PM. I believe that the ship leaves at 4:30pm and boarding should open by 11:00AM. Of course things depend of the time of arrival of your flight.
  12. In the past Celebrity ships have been chartered by banks, businesses, and private interest groups. I know of one case where an individual chartered the Century and shared the ship with friends. The person or company, or group that charters controls the ship. Celebrity rules usually don't apply. They sign a contract indicating what they get and the price. The VP whose department control charters told me that they won't charter if more than 25% of the ship is booked. The company that charters usually pays any compensation to bumped passengers.
  13. Smell can influence buying. That's why some mall stores use various aromas to lure you in. The elimination of the aroma from baking waffle cones may actually reduce sales by removing sensory suggestion. My guess is that the waffle cones will be back if it reduces sales, Then again Celebrity might just spray a "baking waffle cone" aroma in the area to stimulate melting sales.
  14. I must agree with most of your observations. Saber was also a Retreat Concierge and I basically saw him and Alexandra. They appear to rotate responsibilities. I waited for over 15 minutes for table service and I was one on three in the room at that time. I must say that the servers once they got to know me were very friendly. My DW said to me that there appears to be no need for Butlers since everything is self serve in the Retreat. The tea was well attended the one time I was there. The room was empty, but many times I observed fairly good crowds. The timing of our visits account for differences in observations.
  15. My recent Equinox cruise was excellent! The meals served in the MDR were way above the average that I've recently experienced. The Corporate Pastry Chef was onboard and the baked goods were very appealing to both sight and taste. Flavio, The Restaurant Manager and F&B Martin were great! Every cruise is different, even a B2B on the same ship.
  16. What a tragedy! Went for my scoop of Gelato on Equinox last Thursday and was told by the server that they will no longer make the waffle cones. Loved the small of the freshly baking cones. Hope that this is only a "one off" on Equinox and they will be available on SIL TA.
  17. Just returned from 9/7 cruise and experienced the Retreat Lounge. While I thought it was a real improvement in terms of design and enjoyed the self service fridge and placement of snacks I did see a few problems. There was no desk for the Concierge. They were forced to conduct business from behind a lecturn. This forced them to stand for extended times. Told the Captain about this and he spoke to the Concierge who confirmed the problem. Watch out for the small marble tables as they have sharp edges. I saw more than one person bump into them. I don't like the name change to The Retreat. Micheal's Club was named for Michael Chandris, the son of the founder of the company. The name change further separates Celebrity from its roots.
  18. Orator


    You might want to check: insuremytrip.com Usually costs less than cruise lines and they use some of the same insurers.
  19. This time it was Equinox, but it has also been Solstice, Silhouette and other Celebrity ships in a number of disasters. The crews are composed of people who really care about others and they show this to us everytime we're on a cruise! I was on Silhouette when a group of crew members using their own resources when to a town that was devastated in Haiti and brought Christmas to the children. I learned later that the event was organized by the Michael's Club Concierge.
  20. Shelter Box International, a project of Rotary International provides tents and supplies for temporary housing. Each tent can hold up to 10 people and supplies that are disaster specific. These were used in Haiti and delivered in part by Celebrity. I met the President of the Southern US Chapter of Shelter Box and he told me that the first call he received was from then Celebrity CEO Dan Hanrahan.My son's SIL is a MD who volunteers to go to disaster areas and in Haiti Shelter Box tents were used a hospitals. RCL and Celebrity along with other lines are showing that they are responsible citizens of the world.
  21. You can have a car waiting for you outside the terminal and the ride to FCO is about 1 1/2 hours. I've experienced long lines at FCO and usually give myself 2 to 3 hours to get to my flight. I once had a flight at 11:30 am and made it in plenty of time, but that was unusual. Much would depend on when the ship was cleared for debarkation. Why end a relaxing cruise by stressing on the last day, if not the day before? I would look at flights after 12:00 pm. You should always have a Plan B.
  22. I board tomorrow. Anyone know if they are accepting contributions on the ship?
  23. Often I need to contact the Shoreside Concierge. Contacted the shoreside Concierge last week for my Sept. 7th cruise and received a nice response. Use this address: concierge (name)@celebrity.com. If you don't know the name of the one for your ship just fill in any concierge's name and tell them what you need and ask them to tell the proper Concierge. It has worked for me very time.
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