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About MarLieb

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  1. You obviously haven't looked at a DCL Caribbean itinerary lately. DCL very rarely changes Caribbean ports. After two cruises, it gets super boring. We sailed Summit last Christmas week and are sailing again this year the very same week. Except for one port, it's an entirely different cruise (ABC's this year). Please don't stereotype children. There are plenty of children out there who cannot handle the noise, chaos and overstimulation of megaships and really do much better in quieter atmosphere like X.
  2. I can only speak to why we sail with our 12-year old son on Celebrity. Our son detests chaos and noise, so Celebrity is really up his alley. His ideal day is having hot chocolate and a muffin at Cafe al Bacio, doing a half-day shore excursion, returning to the ship for lunch (Sushi on 5 is his favorite), playing basketball (on our last cruise there were a ton of teens and adults playing pick-up games), maybe lounging by the pool, dinner, then an evening in the small kids club. We've sailed DCL 7 times and age 7 was really the sweet spot for him on that line. On our last DCL cruise, when he was 11, he went to their kids club for exactly 2 hours while my husband and I went to one of their adults-only restaurants. After dinner, we found him in the club playing chess with one of the counselors and, once that game was over, he wanted to leave immediately. We sailed over Christmas week last year on Summit and the ship really was not overrun by children and, the ones that were there, were quite well-behaved in my opinion. We have never sailed under KSF, so it hasn't been an incentive thus far. I find, all-in, Celebrity offers a pretty good bang-for-your-buck for a major cruise line and always prices out less than DCL and RCCL for comparable staterooms. I will say, in the mommy circles I run in, Celebrity is not on the radar at all. I think the go-to cruise lines for families continue to be DCL, RCCL and Carnival.
  3. I always purchase third party insurance to make sure every component of our trip is covered (cruise, flights, pre- or post-cruise hotel stays, etc.).
  4. I'm not in favor of this policy at all. If guests are sailing in PH or RS and want friends or family to have suite perks, those friends and family should book suites. Problem solved.
  5. If you want an immersive Disney experience and you like the itinerary, yes, I would do it without kids. If you are simply looking for a nice ship, comfortable, well-designed stateroom, good food and entertainment, no, I wouldn't do it. You are paying a significant up charge to be surrounded by Disney 24/7 on a DCL cruise and you can find equally lovely ships with, IMHO, better itineraries, on other lines. I'm a huge Disney fan (40+ trips to WDW, several DL trips and 7 DCL cruises) and my husband and I would never sail DCL on our own. He is absolutely bored stiff at night on DCL as he has no interest in the Disney productions and there is no casino on board. For major cruise lines, we have switched over to X (nice, smaller kids club for our son and shows and casino for us in the evenings). We have also now sailed on Lindblad and Paul Gauguin and will probably be doing a Crystal cruise within the next year or so.
  6. This is awesome info - thank you! The silent disco sounds like a lot of fun! We did the camp out last year on the Summit and enjoyed that a lot. I was really impressed by that event, actually. Like you said, they definitely put a lot of though into it. I'm so looking forward to our cruise! Thank you!
  7. Wow! That's awesome! We will be on the Summit again this upcoming December, so look forward to seeing what changes they made in the programming. Thank you for the update!
  8. We sailed on the Summit with our then 11-year old last December. We have also sailed DCL and NCL numerous times (plus Paul Gauguin and Lindblad). If your children like smaller groups and quieter activities, Fun Factory is lovely. The DCL kids clubs became quite overwhelming to my son, so Fun Factory was right up his alley. Other than Fun Factory, there really is no family-specific programming throughout the ship. In addition to Fun Factory, my son enjoyed playing basketball on the sports deck, swimming and hanging out playing games and watching movies in our stateroom. If you have a lot of sea days and your children do not like Fun Factory, you are going to have a lot of time on your hands to fill up, on your own, with children's activities.
  9. Thank you so much everyone! The onboard perks look great right now - wouldn't mind having some extra OBC!!! I will take your advice and book now and then re-shop once we get onboard. Thank you!
  10. Hi everyone! We are sailing on the Summit in December 2019 and I'm currently eyeing another cruise on the Summit in mid-June 2020. I'm debating whether to put a deposit down now (I would opt for a refundable deposit option) or if I should wait to book onboard. Currently, with the refundable deposit option (I would book a Celebrity Suite), I would get the 4 perks included and could choose a stateroom that appeals to us (a little further from the mid-ship stairwell). Just curious if waiting to book onboard would offer us anything of value - OBC or a possible discount? Thanks!
  11. I can't speak to the 12-night, but we did the 7-night holiday cruise during Christmas week on the Summit last year and we are doing it again this year. Although we travel with our son (he will be 12 on our upcoming cruise), we, too, aren't interested in being disturbed by hordes of rowdy children (and neither is my son!). It's one reason we tried X over doing DCL or NCL again or trying RCCL. There really weren't that many young children on board and those that were onboard were very well behaved. Most kids seemed to be in the tween/teen years. We didn't see any roving bands. My son went to Fun Factory every evening and there were, maybe, 40 kids in the 12 and younger area. About the same in the teen area. We saw no children at the shows. We also saw very few children at the pools and those that were there were well behaved and well supervised. It was such a great change of pace after experiencing "people soup" on our DCL cruises and "Drunk One" and "Drunk Two" t-shirts on NCL! Obviously, one bad apple can spoil many aspects of a cruise, but if the 12-night was anything like our 7-night, there is hope!
  12. Thank you both! It sounds like the Retreat is the perfect place to pick up some waters and sodas. This is great - thank you!
  13. We are in a Celebrity Suite on our upcoming cruise and I know the items in our mini-fridge will not be included in our cruise cost as they were when we last sailed in a Royal Suite. Two out of three of us in our stateroom will have the premium beverage package (I may add a non-alcoholic package for my son, but not sure yet. It may be cheaper to pay for his drinks as we go). May I ask our butler or room attendant to empty our mini-fridge? Can I do that pre-cruise or do I wait until we board? To then "stock" our mini-fridge - is there a limit as to how many sodas or waters we can ask for at each bar or beverage area with our stateroom cards? I'm assuming one per stateroom card (for me and my husband). Can we then go to another beverage area and ask for more? Or is there a window of time we have to wait to get additional beverages? Just looking for best strategies to do this - we will only be asking for waters and sodas. Thank you.
  14. We did the Galapagos in June/July on another line and, yes, the water is cold. I purchased full dive skins for each of us. I got a lycra one for my husband and neoprene ones for myself and my son. After dealing with each of these suits and the wetsuits, I would recommend purchasing full, lycra skin suits. While they don't add a ton of warmth, they are easy to get on, easy to get the wetsuits over and provide UV protection over your entire body, except your face. The neoprene dive skin ended up being very bulky and my son actually had an allergic reaction to it (he is allergic to latex). The lycra skin suits look like this: https://www.leisurepro.com/p-blrlm/neosport-unisex-lycra-spandex-skin-suit I also purchased neoprene dive socks to wear under my fins and I really loved those - easy to get my fins on and off and added some warmth to my feet. For better warmth, you could purchase your own 5mm, full wetsuits, but they are fairly expensive and bulky to pack. I am not fond of swimming in cold water, but found I got used to it fairly quickly.
  15. I had the same experience you had, but was finally able to get into my account and book the discounted shore excursions about an hour after first receiving the e-mail. It took a lot of switching browsers, trying Incognito mode, etc., but it finally worked. Yes, very frustrating and I felt like X was playing with me - hey, here's a discount, but you can't access it and it will probably expire before we fix it! That didn't happen in the end, but still not fun. The shore excursions I wanted were only discounted by 5%, so wasn't a huge savings anyway 😞
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