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smdubowsky

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About smdubowsky

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    Tenafly, NJ, USA

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  1. To give you a background, my DW and I have taken 20 Celebrity cruises and have sailed on every ship in the current fleet except for the Eclipse and the Flora. We have also cruised on Princess, RCL, Azamara and most recently on MSC Yacht Club. Last week we were in the Western Caribbean on the Edge in Aqua Class. The ship is beautiful. The staff and crew were wonderful. The ship was in tiptop shape. The food in Blu was the best we have ever had in Blu. There were several small ideocyncracies that were different than other Celebrity vessels but there was one deal breaker and that was the "infinite veranda." As others have stated it's really just a cabin with a window that opens. When we first got into the cabin we noticed that there were just two tiny chairs and a very small table in the "verandah" part of the room. We asked for them to take them out and put in one regular lounger. It didn't quite fit (the size of the "veranda" is small than the real veranda on other Celebrity ships). At least we thought one of us could read out there. Our surprise came when we were in Costa Maya and it started to rain. The breeze was coming from the other side of the ship so no rain was entering our cabin but someone on the bridge decided to close the windows and all of a sudden the window just closed. This happened to us on several occasions and on the last sea day the window was shut tight by the bridge the entire time! Now I did enjoy the hi-tech influences on the ship even though it took me around ten minuted to figure out how to turn the shower on. The built in tablet that controls the temperature and lighting in the room worked well. We enjoyed the shows. The food was excellent including the OceanView and Il Bacio. WE dined at The Fine Cut specialty restaurant. It was nice but not worth the upcharge. BTW, if you want to dine in Fine Cut, book when you get on the ship or before. It fills up early. The shops were very upscale and no bargain. A bottle of coconut cream liquor that sells for $20.00 in Costco was $35.00 on the ship. You can buy a $20,000.00 Hublot watch but they don't sell a Celebrity windbreaker jacket. I will say that the retail shop staff were very nice. All in all the Edge measured up to the Celebrity experience that we like except for that darned window that they call a veranda. Celebrity. if you are reading this, think about it before you build more E class ships.
  2. Thanks for posting this. We have been stockholders for years but that had discontinued combining this with other OBC Years ago. We are on the Edge this Sunday so I quickly sent the necessary docs to RCCL on New Year’s eve and I already have the OBC credit! Often people complain here about the response from RCCL offices but they were great for me.
  3. We are Elite Plus on Celebrity but we did try MSC last January on the Seaside in Yacht Club. The cabins are wonderful. They are the size of a small Celebrity suite and very comfortable. The staff was excellent. The food was fair. Some hits and some misses. I learned to stay away from the seafood. Strangely there was a lack of chicken dishes which I found odd about an Italian kitchen. The lounge and pool area were nice. There was never a lack of available lounges on the pool deck. The price was not much more than an Aquaclass cabin. Having said that, we did not enjoy the rest of the ship and towards the end of the cruise we became a little claustrophobic about being stuck in the YC. The ambiance of Celebrity ships is much better. Part of that feeling is that the Seaside has 5500 passengers and when you venture out of the YC, you feel it. Next week we are taking the Summit to Bermuda, I will get back with further comparisons.
  4. Interesting responses and I actually agree with most of them. The one thing that I mentioned that no one commented on was the overall ship experience. I agree that the YC is a great experience and provides more exclusiveness than Celebrity but my point was that the S Class ships were smaller and we enjoyed experiencing the whole ship in contrast to a Mega ship like Seaside. We almost never experienced the "crowds" on Celebrity like we did on Seaside. Having said that it was a joy to go up to the pool and just pick out a chiar wherever you want. I have to disagree with those who have said that all of the fish is frozen on Celebrity. The seared tuna, for instance, on Celebrity was not frozen and was only offered at the beginning of the cruise. You are right about Blu only serving breakfast and dinners but the breakfasts were better and the the dinner dishes were not drowning in sauce like some of those on the YC. . Getting lunch was easy at the Oceanside or at the AquaSpa cafe although the AquaSpa did go downhill a bit. Comparing the two lines is like comparing apples to oranges. My DW and I are going on Celebrity this summer and back to MSC next year. Some of you did get a little defensive about MSC. My intention was just to point out my observations.
  5. My DW and I just cruised on the MSC Seaside and disembarked yesterday from an eastern Caribbean 7 day cruise. We are long time Elite Plus cruisers on Celebrity and this was our first time on MSC., so we are Black card members on MSC. First let me say that the experience on both lines is different. We usually travel Aqua class on Celebrity and we were in the Yacht Club on the Seaside. WE are not usually fans of mega ships. We were once on the RC Quantum and did not enjoy the experience. Booking in the Yacht Club partially solves the problem since it is a self contained portion of the ship and being in the Yacht Club affects many elements of the cruise from embarkation to disembarkation. Embarkation There's a white tent for Yacht Club guests. Once about eight of us were assembled we were led to a special lounge with Mimosas in hand. In another few minutes were onboard in the Yacht Club (YC). Our butler was very friendly and accommodating through out the cruise. Yacht Club The YC suites are excellent with plenty of room and storage space. Much bigger than an Aqua Class room on Celebrity. You would need a suite on Celebrity for this much room. The balcony was also bigger. One hint is you can ask the butler to add a chaise lounge to the balcony since there are normally only chairs. We picked a cabin on the lower deck (16027). It was super quiet and convenient. Going forward on 16 gets you to the Topsail Lounge for the Yacht Club. This is a very spacious and comfortable space with a bar and where light food selections are available all day and evening.They don't have included champagne anymore but the proseco was fairly dry. One deck up (18) (17 does not exist for some reason) is the restaurant. Yacht Club food Overall we found rhe food to be disappointing verses Celebrity. I'll go into detail for those interested. First of all, our experience with Celebrity has been in Blu. Breakfast in Blu was our favorite meal. The breakfast in the YC was fine but nothing out of the ordinary. The OJ was fresh. The omelettes were fine. I will say that the lox was better than Celebrity but still not like Fairway or Zabar's (for NY or NJ cruisers). Lunch in the YC dining room was more for the European market with heavier selections. We often ate at the grill on deck 19 by the pool. Again, the selections were heavier but there was always something else like burgers or pasta. BTW, the pasta on the ship was very good. Dinner Many of the dinners were disappointing. The food was often very salty. The fish dishes were often tough and drowned in sauce. My guess is that the fish was frozen. My DW's filet mignon had to be sent back. I will say that rhe staff was very accommodating. Our waiter, Drago, was excellent. I will say that the standard "every night" dishes like salmon and chicken were okay. We did have a dinner at "Butcher's Cut." The food there was at a higher standard. I had wild salmon which was excellent. As an aside, we did visit the regular buffet twice. The pizza was fine but not as good as a good NY/NJ pie. The main part of the ship I would not travel on this ship if it were not for YC. There was always just too much of a mass of humanity in the main part of the ship. Others may not mind it or maybe enjoy the "Times Square" like environment. 7000 passengers and crew is a lot! We rarely ventured out except to go to the shows. The entertainment was good and the performers were talented. The shows did get a bit redundant as time went on. As an aside I was shocked at the prices for liquor in the store. If you want to buy booze , go ashore. Itinerary The itinerary was awful. We didn't care but first time cruisers beware. The ship docked in San Juan at 5pm. St thomas was fine; a full day; St Marten was only til 1:30PM and we didn't dock in Nassau until 12PM. Even the crew did not know why the itinerary had been changed like that. If you want to go on Seaside. I would advise to go on the western Caribbean trip. To sum up, we did have a good time and would go on the Seaside again. We loved the Yacht Club and thought that except for the food, it was a very positive experience, but we also liked the ambiance of the entire ship better with the S class ships of Celebrity. The layout of the Seaside was very "choppy" and did not have the flow that we were used to on Celebrity. We missed the leisurely strolls we would have through the S class ships. Walking around the Seaside just seemed more like a challenge than a stroll. Disembarkation. Being on the Yacht Club mad it easy as the butler escorted us past all of the long lines. We were off the ship in about 15 minutes after the ship was finally cleared. To sum it up, Celebrity Aqua class and MSC Yacht Club are two different experiences. Both have their pluses and minuses and it's sort of a trade off. I've rambled on too long but would be happy to answer any questions.
  6. MY DW and I will be in YC on the Seaside next week. We look forward to your review. Let us know if you are impressed with any particular crew members and any special things you discover along the way
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