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LMaxwell

Little Touches above Royal Caribbean?

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9 hours ago, coaster said:

Have not been on Celebrity for awhile either, but booked for November 2020.  Do they still have trays in the buffet? I thought that was a nice touch.

 

Sadly, the trays are long gone, eliminated as part of the cutbacks.

We will still go to the buffet for snacks, but no longer find the ambience there appealing or conducive to the enjoyment of a complete meal. 

 

It is really a shame as they provide some very nice food selections there.

 

Previously it was easy to gather up your cutlery, food and beverages on a tray in one pass through,   then sit down and enjoy  your meal.

 

Now the buffet area is totally chaotic and congested at meal times as people constantly need  to keep jumping up and down, making multiple passes  back and forth just to complete one meal.

 

But think about how much money they are saving by not needing to buy, wash and maintain all those trays.

                           

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9 hours ago, Luvcrusn said:

You'll be  welcomed aboard on embarkation with a welcome glass of bubbly or a mimosa.  When returning to the ship in hot weather ports you will be welcomed back with and iced cloth and a cold drink and in cold ports with a hot drink. You'll find real cloth towels in the restrooms. You didn't mention what ship you'll be sailing on, so it's hard to be specific, but most are similar. There is no smoking anywhere indoors on X ships, including in the casino. There is only one daily announcement at about 10 AM daily. Sometimes cold towels and sorbet are brought around the pool. No pool towel check out. Beach towels will be delivered to your room the night before a port visit if that port might have you needing them. Just bring them back and leave them in your room and the stateroom attendant will collect and replace them as needed. There is an evening cocktail party for Elite and over Captains Club levels each evening except embarkation and night of the Senior Officers Event from 5-7. You'll get a note from Captains Club in your cabin on embarkation day stating all of your benefits. You can also get Captains Club Menu drinks at any bar during that time period. You can't get wine in the MDR or restaurants with that benefit, but you can bring a glass you've gotten with you into the MDR. Elite members get 1 bag of free laundry each (wash and fold). They also each get either 90 free WIFI minutes or 30% off a package. If you take the free minutes they do not have to be used consecutively so make sure to log out when you're done or your time will continue to run. If you're both Elite you don't both have to make the same choice.

 

There is also much better sommelier  service available on X than Royal. There are also, on most sailings, far less families with children.

This is my favorite upgrade, theses are bigger more plush towels that are around the pool and way nicer than any towels on RCCL.

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8 hours ago, fleckle said:

 

Sadly, the trays are long gone, eliminated as part of the cutbacks.

We will still go to the buffet for snacks, but no longer find the ambience there appealing or conducive to the enjoyment of a complete meal. 

 

It is really a shame as they provide some very nice food selections there.

 

Previously it was easy to gather up your cutlery, food and beverages on a tray in one pass through,   then sit down and enjoy  your meal.

 

Now the buffet area is totally chaotic and congested at meal times as people constantly need  to keep jumping up and down, making multiple passes  back and forth just to complete one meal.

 

But think about how much money they are saving by not needing to buy, wash and maintain all those trays.

                           

Hmmm... interesting that you see the removal of trays as a result of cost cutting measures... I see it more from an efficiency standpoint. 1) trays require both hands, therefore, one would need a place to set down the tray in order to place more food items on their plate. 2) If a place is needed to set down the tray, the stations would require those tray rails. 3) if tray rails are present, fewer people can access the various food options. Additionally, the size of the plates are quite large... plenty big for one to fill up!

 

I don't visit buffets in the "real world" often... but when I have, I can't recall in recent time that there have actually been trays. Especially at more "upscale" buffets.  In my personal and very humble opinion - I find the removal of the trays a plus... they are tacky and unnecessary. Again, just my .02.

Edited by bhughey

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3 minutes ago, bhughey said:

Hmmm... interesting that you see the removal of trays as a result of cost cutting measures... I see it more from an efficiency standpoint. 1) trays require both hands, therefore, one would need a place to set down the tray in order to place more food items on their plate. 2) If a place is needed to set down the tray, the stations would require those tray rails. 3) if tray rails are present, fewer people can access the various food options.

 

I don't visit buffets in the "real world" often... but when I have, I can't recall in recent time that there have actually been trays. Especially at more "upscale" buffets.  In my personal and very humble opinion - I find the removal of the trays a plus... they are tacking and unnecessary. Again, just my .02.

Completely agree, I do remember when there were trays and seeing people who had 3 or more plates of food for themselves.  Then they didnt even eat half of it.  I also look at it this way, some may disagree, but I prefer having hot/warm food, with getting a dinner and having a soup and salad app then the main course will get cold or cool down if it is picked up at same time.  Trays are inefficient and I see them more as a hindrance  Plus on my last few cruises with Celebrity the waiters/station attendants are more than happy to help anyone carry the food back to the tables for you.  It is all preference here. 

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I remember the days when Celebrity had trays in the buffet and the staff would take them from you and bring trays to your table.   That was a nice but unnecessary touch.  However, trays are not needed as they just made a busy area more congested.  I don't mind getting up and making a second trip to get my beverage or dessert.  

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19 hours ago, coaster said:

Have not been on Celebrity for awhile either, but booked for November 2020.  Do they still have trays in the buffet? I thought that was a nice touch.

No trays, but if you need assistance one of the waiters will help you with your food to your table

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As for the Oceanview buffet, Celebrity has real ice cream- no charge.  Or you can get gelato at Cafe al Baccio for a fee.  You can also get steak, chicken and fish cooked to order at the back of the buffet on Celebrity and near that area is a poached egg station.  All nice touches over the Windjammer on RC.  We prefer the Celebrity pizza in the buffet over the pizza in Sorrento's on RC.  I'm sure that is subjective.  But we do miss the grand promenade on RC when we sail Celebrity.  On RC the Diamond Lounge has much better nightly appetizers than what is served at the Elite cocktail event on Celebrity.  On Celebrity free burgers and hot dogs served by the pool at the Mast Grill/Pool Grill. 

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The trays were removed from around 2010, as the Millennium class was "So'sticised" as they called it.

 

Solstice class was not built with trays, and they decided to use the same approach to Millennium class and converted those.

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22 hours ago, 39august said:

Funny! I never even thought of the towel thing. We are Pinnacle on RCI and will probably never go back as we have been doing Celebrity multiple times in the past two years. To us the clientele, ship decor, service, and food all are more to our taste than RCI. The only thing we think RCI does better is the dreaded muster drill. RCI doesn't show that ridiculous "spy" movie at muster (or didn't that last 3 or 4 times we were on) and gets the drill over quickly.  There is obviously more and different entertainment on RCI, but we enjoy the live music all over the ships on X. 

Was on Equinox sailing Nov.16-23. The spy movie was not played during the muster drill. 

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4 hours ago, cruise47 said:

You are going to miss the Diamond Lounge . IMO.

 

Not sure about that one, overcrowded in the main whilst generally lots of room in CC. The senior crew are noticeable more often and approachable in the public areas.

 

For us the lack of queues at customer services was one of the most important differences suggesting happier cruisers.

 

Very much happier staff. 

 

bar staff generally stay at the same bar throughout the ship.

 

We were able to take part in the drill indoors

 

Edited by Redrobo

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5 hours ago, cruise47 said:

You are going to miss the Diamond Lounge . IMO.

 

Not sure.  Royal is moving Diamond Lounges into undesirable locations without any views.  Since our booking includes the classic bev package, and reciprocity to Elite includes a coffee lounge, I think we have more options on Celeb.  We have been spending less time in DL's s Royal makes them less attractive

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Have done multiple Royal cruises and our first Celeb last May. The biggest differences for us were the food was FAR better in Eclipse than any Royal ship we have ever been on. The atmosphere is much more chill on Celebrity as well. Hardly any kids on board just made the entire ship quieter. Not saying that is necessarily a good thing as on our cruise the ship was dead by 10:30 PM. But it was a nice relaxing cruise. Entertainment and nightlife are far better on Royal. Cafe El Bacio is fantastic on Celeb. One big negative to Celeb is their late night dining choices. After 10 PM you get pizza, pasta and a few desserts. That is it if you are a late night munchies person. We will cruise both lines again in the future and have a Celeb 11 nighter booked for next Oct. But they are definitely very different experiences in our opinion.

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13 hours ago, fleckle said:

 

Sadly, the trays are long gone, eliminated as part of the cutbacks.

We will still go to the buffet for snacks, but no longer find the ambience there appealing or conducive to the enjoyment of a complete meal. 

 

It is really a shame as they provide some very nice food selections there.

 

Previously it was easy to gather up your cutlery, food and beverages on a tray in one pass through,   then sit down and enjoy  your meal.

 

Now the buffet area is totally chaotic and congested at meal times as people constantly need  to keep jumping up and down, making multiple passes  back and forth just to complete one meal.

 

But think about how much money they are saving by not needing to buy, wash and maintain all those trays.

                           

I think it was all about food waste. People's eyes are bigger than their stomachs (for the most part) and many would load up those trays with enough food to keep a 17 year old linebacker happy, then leave over half of it behind. By eliminating the trays, they cut down on the waste and likely save a ton of money that way. But the plates on Celebrity are larger than those on RCI (X have two sizes).

7 hours ago, cruise47 said:

You are going to miss the Diamond Lounge . IMO.

I don't miss the lounges at all when we're on X. There is an Elite Happy Hour, but we seldom attend. We get a drink package as a perk, paying less than if we booked in onboard, upgrade to the premium once we're onboard and happily bar hop our way around the ship. If you don't want a package, you get 3 drinks loaded on to your card for the house stuff (which is better than on RCI, at least the wine is).

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Does the MDR open for lunch on embarkation day? I can't remember back from 18 years ago on Zenith...

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8 minutes ago, coaster said:

Does the MDR open for lunch on embarkation day? I can't remember back from 18 years ago on Zenith...

Only for  those doing a B2B cruise, those staying in concierge class and I believe zenith members also.  

Edited by davekathy

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39 minutes ago, critterchick said:

I think it was all about food waste. People's eyes are bigger than their stomachs (for the most part) and many would load up those trays with enough food to keep a 17 year old linebacker happy, then leave over half of it behind. By eliminating the trays, they cut down on the waste and likely save a ton of money that way. But the plates on Celebrity are larger than those on RCI (X have two sizes).

I don't miss the lounges at all when we're on X. There is an Elite Happy Hour, but we seldom attend. We get a drink package as a perk, paying less than if we booked in onboard, upgrade to the premium once we're onboard and happily bar hop our way around the ship. If you don't want a package, you get 3 drinks loaded on to your card for the house stuff (which is better than on RCI, at least the wine is).

As of February 2019 the CC now loads unlimited drinks on your Sea Pass card to enjoy in other bars/lounges during the CC HH. 

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1 minute ago, davekathy said:

Only for  those doing a B2B cruise, those staying in concierge class and I believe zenith members also.  

 

Ok.  Thank you. I will wait to board later like Royal to avoid the crowd in the buffet then.

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3 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

 

Not sure.  Royal is moving Diamond Lounges into undesirable locations without any views.  Since our booking includes the classic bev package, and reciprocity to Elite includes a coffee lounge, I think we have more options on Celeb.  We have been spending less time in DL's s Royal makes them less attractive

The reciprocity to Elite includes a coffe house type breakfast, ususlly held in Tuscan restaurant. It is a continental type breakfast sometimes buffet, sometimes plated and includes cappuccino,  Bloody Marys, mimosas. The X terminology for it is confusing. It isn't a coffee lounge. Your beverage package does include many specialty coffees and teas at Cafe al Baccio however.

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On 12/24/2019 at 10:42 AM, Redrobo said:

Not sure about that one, overcrowded in the main whilst generally lots of room in CC. The senior crew are noticeable more often and approachable in the public areas.

 

For us the lack of queues at customer services was one of the most important differences suggesting happier cruisers.

Possibly but you would never know it from some of the posts here!  I do like it that on Celebrity when there is a lot of people in line at Guest Relations they send out staff to "triage" the issues in the lines and help those with easy requests.

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It looks like there is some type of Spa breakfast bar as well; is this the case and is it included or an upcharge?  

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Is there still a fancy brunch offered in the main dining room on sea days? Someone said chocolates on the pillows. Is that true? I thought all the lines had eliminated those! Are robes for use while on board offered to all, or only suite guests and or Captain's Club members? 

 

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Breakfast and lunch at the Spa Cafe are no charge. Robes are available to all class staterooms as is the option to order from the MDR during open hours for room service. 

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