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Chewbecca

B2B experiences please

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Hi, we’re looking booking a B2B or B2B2B for next summer as X has just too many short cruises!

 

Having never done a B2B before, is there anything we should be aware of? For example, you don’t have to pack up and leave your room do you? (Assuming manage to book same room for all).

 

thanks in advance.

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As long as you are in the same cabin you do not need to pack up.  Depending on the port you might have to leave the ship which will be done as a group but after going through immigration you can reboard immediately. This is required in US ports but it is a quick process.  If you want to leave the ship to explore the port city you will get a transit pass that allows you to bypass the check in lines when you return.

 

Be sure to ask for the B2B discount if eligible in the UK.  It is not automatically offered.

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Just did this two weeks ago for first time, but to save words this thread will tell you a lot for sure.

 

Another Similar Recent B2B Question

 

My experience was similar to others in same room.  Was out of FLL and did not have to move anything and met at certain time on debarkation day and walked off as group, sat in a little area in terminal away from others, they handed out our new seapass card and we were led back on the ship.  Done and done.

Edited by poffles

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Thanks very much for that link, can’t believe I missed that thread, I was looking out for them too!

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Done it twice staying in same cabin both times.

 

First time in Harwich, super simple. They held a meeting the day before to tell us what to expect. On the turnover day they took on an excursion (free) to a nearby town, brought us back to ship. We had an express line and desk to check in again.

 

Second time a different story. Last April in Southhampton. We were never advised of the meeting, despite several inquiries. Our last inquiry we were told that the meeting already had occurred. We were told that that there would be a separate desk for check in in the terminal when we returned, so we did a self tour to Winchester. Upon return went to the designated desk and it seemed to be in a state of confusion. Ultimately made it back on board to find our sea pass wouldn't open our cabin door, and our beverage package hadn't been loaded onto the card. Three trips to guest service rectified everything. May have been the exception to the process.

 

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2 hours ago, Chewbecca said:

Hi, we’re looking booking a B2B or B2B2B for next summer as X has just too many short cruises!

 

Having never done a B2B before, is there anything we should be aware of? For example, you don’t have to pack up and leave your room do you? (Assuming manage to book same room for all).

 

thanks in advance.

Yes, you'll be hooked on B2B cruising. 😉Great way to do two different itineraries and stay on the ship on TAD when most are leaving. You will receive in your stateroom a day or two prior to TAD a detailed letter telling you where all the consecutive cruisers will need to meet, the time and what to bring with you. Piece of cake. All of our B2B cruises we also were invited to eat in the MDR on TAD. Once the TAD process is complete your free to do what you want. If you want to go back to your stateroom you can. The fire doors will be shut but not locked. You are allowed to open them to gain access to your stateroom. Just be sure to always close them behind you. 

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Thanks!

 

I was thinking of potential downsides but they’re not being flagged.

 

Repetitive entertainment, menus, trivia questions for example? Finding a new trivia team?! 

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Most of our cruises are B2B, B2B2B or B2B2B2B series as we fly to cruise ports.  With a few exceptions air fare is generally the same whether we are gone 14 nights or 42.  

 

There are no downsides -- at least for us.  The productions shows will be the same as they aren't changed for years.  The evening guest entertainers who do the 7 and 9 pm shows may or may not be repeats, but since so many of those guest entertainers do the Celebrity circuit a number of them we have seen before.  Menus repeat on a 14 night rotation, but again that hasn't been an issue with us.  If there is a particularly unappealing evening menu then we either go to the salad bar in the Ocean View or dine at Sushi on 5.

 

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9 minutes ago, Chewbecca said:

Thanks!

 

I was thinking of potential downsides but they’re not being flagged.

 

Repetitive entertainment, menus, trivia questions for example? Finding a new trivia team?! 

In our opinion no downside to doing a B2B cruise. Ships shows repeat. Most times different guest entertainers. The menus will be the same for the second leg as the first leg in the MDR. We have sat (not played)in during the trivia games occasionally and the questions have been repeated. We have seen second leg passenger play and win after losing the first leg trivia game. I guess that coveted key chain or other junk is worth it to some. 🙄 Also your on board account will be closed after the first leg. So all Celebrity OBC will be use or lose.  If you have any refundable OBC (from a TA) doesn't carry over either. Ours has always been credited back to out credit card. Each leg of a B2B cruise is considered two different cruises. 

Edited by davekathy

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No downside to B2Bs in our experience as well. Seems like Celebrity is missing a great marketing tool in not offering a small discount or cabin upgrade for B2B passengers. We did 25 days last year and got nothing from Celebrity, and we will be doing 45 days shortly and again, nothing. Such considerations might be a great incentive.

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27 minutes ago, missm said:

No downside to B2Bs in our experience as well. Seems like Celebrity is missing a great marketing tool in not offering a small discount or cabin upgrade for B2B passengers. We did 25 days last year and got nothing from Celebrity, and we will be doing 45 days shortly and again, nothing. Such considerations might be a great incentive.

Not even a B2B discount. We have always received that. Other than that, nothing. Don't forget to ask for your future B2B cruises. 

Edited by davekathy

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1 hour ago, missm said:

No downside to B2Bs in our experience as well. Seems like Celebrity is missing a great marketing tool in not offering a small discount or cabin upgrade for B2B passengers. We did 25 days last year and got nothing from Celebrity, and we will be doing 45 days shortly and again, nothing. Such considerations might be a great incentive.

 

Celebrity does offer a small B2B discount which is based on the length of the legs. The maximum amount if $100.  But either you or your travel agent will have to request it.  

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7 minutes ago, Northern Aurora said:

 

Celebrity does offer a small B2B discount which is based on the length of the legs. The maximum amount if $100.  But either you or your travel agent will have to request it.  

Thanks for that information. I must admit I'm starting to wonder about our TA and her lack of advocacy on our part. I seem to do all the research and she just does the bookings. Apparently she's just "too busy", but her agency does give generous OBCs so I probably shouldn't complain too loudly. Probably a zero-sum game as was discussed on another thread.

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We have only done 1 b2b. For myself was the same menus. The turn around day and the 2 sea days, one to get back to Fort Lauderdale and to get back down in the Caribbean are wasted days.  

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2 hours ago, missm said:

Thanks for that information. I must admit I'm starting to wonder about our TA and her lack of advocacy on our part. I seem to do all the research and she just does the bookings. Apparently she's just "too busy", but her agency does give generous OBCs so I probably shouldn't complain too loudly. Probably a zero-sum game as was discussed on another thread.

 

Missm:  I have the impression that the vast majority of folks who know about the B2B discount have learned about it from Cruise Critic -- I certainly did.  And I also find it interesting that so many folks have reported that when they learned about the discount on CC and then call their TA the TA tells them they didn't know about it either.  Seems to be somewhat of a secret unless you read CC.

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We’ve done back-to-backs in the same cabin before...and! Just a few weeks ago! Got off the Reflection after back-to-back 12-nighters...But, for various reasons, in different cabins this time.  With the change of cabins, we were told to pack most things, but to leave the items hanging in the closet...and no need to leave baggage outside the night before, of course.  Our old cabin steward and new cabin steward coordinated everything and moved our stuff in the morning, even hanging the clothes in the new closet.  And, we had access to our new cabin well before cabins were released for the new passengers.   

 

Just as in those back-to-backs with the same cabin, we did NOT have to leave the ship.  We were taken down to where the scanners were set up for the gangway and we scanned the old cards as checking out and then the new cards checking on.  As back-to-back guests, we were invited to lunch in the MDR (same as the Concierge class perk).

 

For next summer, we have booked back-to-back cruises! July 5 and 12 on Infinity...mostly because, though we prefer longer (14 night) cruises, they just don’t have many on the schedule...Doing those two back-to-back, there is only one repeat port—Kotor, Montenegro...We’d rather they stopped somewhere else on one of the itineraries...but, we do like Kotor (been there a couple of times before) and we’ll just try to find something different to do there each time...

 

And, yes, we’ve had lots of repeating shows and repeating menus on back-to-backs...Actually, on that most recent back-to-back, changing cabins alleviated that since we were in Concierge class the first cruise (MDR) and Aqua (Blu) the second...

 

Oh...one bit of advice:  Check in with the Guest Relations Desk and with your cabin steward and make sure everyone knows you are on back-to-backs...

Edited by Bruin Steve

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2 hours ago, Northern Aurora said:

 

Missm:  I have the impression that the vast majority of folks who know about the B2B discount have learned about it from Cruise Critic -- I certainly did.  And I also find it interesting that so many folks have reported that when they learned about the discount on CC and then call their TA the TA tells them they didn't know about it either.  Seems to be somewhat of a secret unless you read CC.

Mea culpa. I also wax and wane with being diligent about reading CC on a regular basis. Too often I cram before our next trip, but am easily distracted by too many other things especially politics. We are really looking forward to a vacation from all that at sea. Ahhh, quiet!!

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8 hours ago, missm said:

No downside to B2Bs in our experience as well. Seems like Celebrity is missing a great marketing tool in not offering a small discount or cabin upgrade for B2B passengers. We did 25 days last year and got nothing from Celebrity, and we will be doing 45 days shortly and again, nothing. Such considerations might be a great incentive.

Very good point

Edited by Nymich

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16 hours ago, Chewbecca said:

Thanks!

 

I was thinking of potential downsides but they’re not being flagged.

 

Repetitive entertainment, menus, trivia questions for example? Finding a new trivia team?! 

... and repetitive announcement content from Captain and CD.  Captain Kate does riddles each day to be answered the next day and they repeated second week as did some other jokes and sayings.  Cruise Director same thing, during his announcements there was one joke he made about his car and his mother (stood out to me for some reason) and it was told the second week same way.  I realize it must be hard to come up with different 'material' but perhaps have a three week cycle 🙂  Thought it was funny.

 

As others have said, shows menus and such are going to repeat.  I didn't care since the shows don't change much even over a 6 month or a year time frame and even without changing menus I eat more varied on a cruise ship than I do at home and there is always more than one option on them anyway so week 2 means choosing an alternative.

 

Happy sailing!

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miss and others,

 

Travel agents are not always knowledgeable to some of the hidden cruise benefits all lines offer. As you read on these boards, people look frequently at their  booked cruises for sales on excursions, drink packages and most importantly price drops. I personally have read on this site of a price drop and quickly called my ta to inform her and got the lower price.

Most frequent cruisers could do all of their own bookings, but it’s the ta that gives the perks that keep us with them.

Every cruise has numerous cruisers that are doing b2b or longer, and probably have been doing it routinely for a long time. Short cruises become extended by this booking process, but be your own advocate when booking to see if that cabin is available for your cruise duration or book and don’t be shy about juggling cabins till it’s right for you, that’s what a ta is good at(making you a happy cruiser).

 

Hal

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Also doing b2b for the first time this coming January (Edge - Fort Lauderdale). Have I got this right:

1. All passengers doing b2b will be gathered at specified place on the ship and then led off as a group?

2. Stateroom attendant will move our things to the new cabin

3. We are led off the ship and can then re-enter straight away? Or at a set time (involving long wait at terminal)?

 

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The exact B2B procedure on the changeover day seems to vary by port.  For San Juan in the past, the walk-off/walk-on was done immediately after meeting as a group in a lounge around 10 am in the morning.  However, in January 2019, the whole process was handled in the lounge and there was no walk-off/walk-on required.  Detailed instructions will be provided in your stateroom a day or two ahead of the changeover day.

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It seems to me that the B2B procedures vary by port.  In the US I have had to leave the ship in a group and get back on. In European ports we usually have not had to leave the ship.  Once in England the ship provided a fee excursion for those that wanted to take it.

 

Carolyn 

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To slightly expand on the answers by "Atwell" and "Doctor G" as someone who has done a number of B2B, B2B2B and periodic B2B2B2B cruises it seems to me that not only port regulations vary, the documentation officer in charge of the turnaround day process may have certain preferences in terms of how to handle the process.  For example, at Bayonne several years ago the B2B passengers had to go inside the terminal before immediately returning to the ship (for those who wanted to return).  A year later we just stood on an outside deck, went through the process and then immediately walked inside the ship.  Didn't have to go to the terminal at all.

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At our b2b meeting in March we were offered 2for price of 1 drink packages or drink package upgrades for second cruise. As we had already upgraded before we set off on first cruise we were refunded cost of one upgrade by guest services. 

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