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This is why you join Roll Calls!

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41 minutes ago, Denny01 said:

 

One Big difference is, instead of the snarky putdown posts you get on more than a few general threads, everyone is nice and assisting......going to meet face-face so those who enjoy the putdowns only do it when they can stay  anonymous. Very telling isn’t that.

 

Den

So true 

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10 hours ago, Denny01 said:

We ask those that would like to join to bring chocolate From their home area or from where they are traveling through prior to the cruise.

 


 

 

 

Love that idea. I'd be hoping for a lot of cruisers from Belgium or Switzerland to join that roll call! 

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Much like the other posters, over the years we have had many positive experiences with roll calls.

 

Besides being part of the roll calls for cruises we have taken, or will be taking - there is another great feature of roll calls in general that I like taking advantage of. That is, were I can review the roll calls of other similar cruises which will be visiting the areas we're planning on going to. I'm able to get great insight into do's & don'ts, plus advice on private tour options.

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17 hours ago, Denny01 said:

One caution: If you set up a private tour and roll call members want to join in, great. BUT (big ‘but’ on purpose) make sure you find a way of getting them to pay early. More than a few have signed up but then back out after getting onboard when it’s too late and you could be stuck. 

 

Very important caution !!! Sadly, It happens more often than not...

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23 minutes ago, dani negreanu said:

 

Very important caution !!! Sadly, It happens more often than not...

Agree. More than a few of my follow Roll Callers got stuck with the full price of a tour for 6+ and at least one other couple just didnt’ respond once on the ship or just said they changed their mind leaves the ‘organizer’ is responsible for the cost which is the same no matter how many are going on many private tours. 

 

On one private tour I set up I got very nervous when another couple didn’t respond once on board. But the day prior to the port and tour, they left a phone message saying “they are ready!”. Save us, but I was more than a bit nervous. I still set up private tours but now I get their email and set up payment prior to the cruise. Funny how when I did this, one couple then backed out even when I explained if we somehow didn’t make that port, I’d return their payment but it became obvious they wanted the option to just step away if they found a ‘better deal’ once on board. Ouch!

 

That’s the whole problem: more than a few want to see if they can get a “Better Deal” and don’t care if they stiff you. 

 

Den

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Now that I’ve beaten the private tour issue to death, the Roll Call is also very good idea to join because for many of us who enjoy talking with experienced Celebrity (or other Line) cruisers have a built in group. With the demise of the Celebrity Elite social get togethers on many of the cruises, the Roll Call group is a fun group to join in on cruising discussions. I enjoy talking cruising especially with people with more experiences......even though I Love to babble on....as you can see from my posts!!

 

Den

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Another benefit of the roll calls is meeting people who have been to places where we will go.

 

Last summer, we did two cruises in Europe: an Ireland/Iceland cruise in early June and a Med cruise in late June (we visited our daughter who was studying in Austria in between). the first cruise had a super active roll call, the second had the quietest roll call I've ever seen. A great benefit of the first roll call was speaking with people onboard the first cruise who had already done our second itinerary and advised us to get up early and go up to the top deck for the sail-in to Kotor on the second. We were so very glad we did: it was magnificent! 

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18 hours ago, chrismakris said:

Roll calls are also a great place for solo travellers to meet people. 
 

I went on a couple of cruises to the Mediterranean a couple of years back. With the help of the roll calls I was able to join people that had similar tastes in excursions as I did. 
 

I think because I was a solo they made sure I never felt like I was a solo cruiser. 
 

These two cruises were amazing. I met so many wonderful people and it wouldn’t have been possible without the roll calls. 

We were on that cruise with you, Chris! As I remember, you put together a couple great excursions that we joined. You're right it was a wonderful cruise on the Constellation. Here you are in Catania on our walking food tour. Remember Susie and her mom? And there's one of Dave and me on the boat ride out to Our Lady of the Rocks with Perast in the background. It remains one of our favorites.

IMGP5544.JPG

IMGP5241.JPG

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1 hour ago, Denny01 said:

Agree. More than a few of my follow Roll Callers got stuck with the full price of a tour for 6+ and at least one other couple just didnt’ respond once on the ship or just said they changed their mind leaves the ‘organizer’ is responsible for the cost which is the same no matter how many are going on many private tours. 

 

On one private tour I set up I got very nervous when another couple didn’t respond once on board. But the day prior to the port and tour, they left a phone message saying “they are ready!”. Save us, but I was more than a bit nervous. I still set up private tours but now I get their email and set up payment prior to the cruise. Funny how when I did this, one couple then backed out even when I explained if we somehow didn’t make that port, I’d return their payment but it became obvious they wanted the option to just step away if they found a ‘better deal’ once on board. Ouch!

 

That’s the whole problem: more than a few want to see if they can get a “Better Deal” and don’t care if they stiff you. 

 

Den

 

Many tour companies will let you set up a group tour but each person pays the tour company individually.  That's the way to go.  We had set up a tour in Scotland that way and one couple was a no show the morning of the tour.  Aside from the time lost trying to contact them, none of the rest of us lost any money as they had paid in advance.

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Agree with all the positives and cautions posted about Roll Calls thus far.

 

I am disappointed in the small # of participants on the roll call for our next cruise, especially since just DH & I are on this sailing without framily. On previous cruises we've sailed as a duo we've developed a ready-made group of friends before we even board, thanks to active roll calls with members who organize not just tours, but pre-cruise gatherings & shipboard activities, e.g. Murder Mystery at Sea (thanks, 4774Papa!). 

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2 hours ago, IWillGoAnywhere26 said:

We were on that cruise with you, Chris! As I remember, you put together a couple great excursions that we joined. You're right it was a wonderful cruise on the Constellation. Here you are in Catania on our walking food tour. Remember Susie and her mom? And there's one of Dave and me on the boat ride out to Our Lady of the Rocks with Perast in the background. It remains one of our favorites.

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I do remember. Those were two great tours.  I’m still looking for an arincini that rivals the one we had that day. 
 

 Its still the first cruise I bring up when people ask me about cruising. I do believe it was my favourite. 
 

I hope things are all well with you. 
 

Happy cruising!!!😄😄

Edited by chrismakris

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1 hour ago, chrismakris said:


I do remember. Those were two great tours.  I’m still looking for an arincini that rivals the one we had that day. 
 

 Its still the first cruise I bring up when people ask me about cruising. I do believe it was my favourite. 
 

I hope things are all well with you. 
 

Happy cruising!!!😄😄

Things are fine with us.  We continue to have great adventures and meet wonderful people while cruising. I love coming across people I know on these forums.  In December we finished a 30 day b2b cruise on Azamara from Singapore to Dubai that was unbelievable. You have many years of adventures ahead of you! Maybe we will meet again someday! 

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People, I love your comments! All of them. 

 

We discovered roll calls back in 2004 when we did our first Celebrity cruise on Infinity through the canal. It as a small group but we were traveling alone and it helped us meet people. A year later in 2005 we were taking a very short (6 say) Pacific Coastal from Vancouver to the Bay Area. We didn't think that we would have that big a roll call but it turned into the best thing we ever did. THE BEST! We met so many great people, started the Martini Mates and made our four closest friends. We have lost two of them since then but the rest of us (and in some cases others we have added since then) sail together. We have spent time at all their homes, they have spent time at ours. Two of our Martini Mates are from Leeds, England. They spent a week with us in the NW before an Alaskan cruise in 2017 and last summer we spent a week with them in Yorkshire. 

 

All our best friends in the world (other than our next door neighbors) we have met on roll calls. Don't know that I would cruise without them. One of the saddest things is that if you leave Celebrity the roll calls seem to be smaller and much less active. 

 

And we are sailing on Flora this summer in the Galapagos and there is no interest in a roll call at all. Just sad. 

 

You are all great and I look forward to being on a roll call with any and all of you. In fact I am right now with a few people on here.

 

Jim

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I am a believer in the roll calls that are handled properly.  Currently I am on four roll calls for upcoming cruises this year.  Three of roll calls are great but one has an over abundance chit chat between a group of people that know each other.  They produce posts that don't add to the general knowledge for the cruise and create clutter when trying to keep up with the roll call posts.  I finally just gave up reading the roll call.

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27 minutes ago, DrKoob said:

 

 

You are all great and I look forward to being on a roll call with any and all of you. In fact I am right now with a few people on here.

 

Jim

Also, you might just luck out and be on a roll call with someone who creates a great website for your cruise, complete with pictures of fellow cruisers (as has happened a few times for me) and you might get on a roll call with a nice guy named Jim who arranges a great group price at the Lawn Club Grill, sailing away from Iceland, when it's really cold, but still really, really fun.

 

 

Or something like that.

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8 minutes ago, MamaFej said:

Also, you might just luck out and be on a roll call with someone who creates a great website for your cruise, complete with pictures of fellow cruisers (as has happened a few times for me) and you might get on a roll call with a nice guy named Jim who arranges a great group price at the Lawn Club Grill, sailing away from Iceland, when it's really cold, but still really, really fun.

 

 

Or something like that.

 

Thanks Donna! I was thrilled to do it. I don't do it anymore (the websites) now that I am busy as a travel professional. But it is always fun planning that kind of stuff. We have met the best people on threads including you and Tim.

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15 minutes ago, tanzania2015 said:

I am a believer in the roll calls that are handled properly.  Currently I am on four roll calls for upcoming cruises this year.  Three of roll calls are great but one has an over abundance chit chat between a group of people that know each other.  They produce posts that don't add to the general knowledge for the cruise and create clutter when trying to keep up with the roll call posts.  I finally just gave up reading the roll call.

 

I agree with you that people who know each other already should not use a roll call to just talk about non-cruise topics. That's what texting and Facebook groups are for. But I do endorse social talking. We have been chastised on roll calls for talking about other topics other than the specific cruise we are on. But that's what roll calls are for. To make friends. People you might have dinner with onboard or meet to play cards or other games. Social talk is OK as long as everyone is included.

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On 1/15/2020 at 6:52 PM, Denny01 said:

One caution: If you set up a private tour and roll call members want to join in, great. BUT (big ‘but’ on purpose) make sure you find a way of getting them to pay early. More than a few have signed up but then back out after getting onboard when it’s too late and you could be stuck. 


On the flip side, my best friend was on a cruise with another friend one time and they agreed to join in a privately arranged tour, paid and did all that. Well, the rest of the Group was connected on another social media site as well - my friend and her friend were never clued into that group - and they decided they wanted to make changes to the itinerary (it was a DIY agenda tour and they presented it as one thing) without telling my friend and her friend until they were in the car and headed out and said to the driver “Oh! We wanted to do this instead!” And my friend and her friend were stuck with something that was NOT what they wanted or signed up for because they were already in the vehicle and moving, and they were only 2 in a group of about 8-10. She said the driver tried to ask if everyone had agreed on the change but also obviously did not want to jeopardize his tip so he didn’t push too hard.

 

So people joining can get screwed as well.

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On a 2014 cruise to Central America, I answered a post on the roll call from a couple that were looking for another couple to share in the cost of a couple private tours.  They sounded like they wanted to do the kind of things we wanted to do, and already had guides booked.  They replied on the roll call, and we agreed to share in the cost of these tours (though we did exchange info and take further conversation off-line).  We had a GREAT time together.  It was funny how we met on board.  I had emailed a picture of us before the cruise.  We were not able to connect before it was time to shut the cell phones down.  However, the 2nd night of the cruise, they recognized us in the MDR as they were sitting at the large table next to ours.  Ha!

 

Fast forward 6 years....we have stayed in touch, and made life-long friends!  Missed an attempt to get together when we were on the east coast due to illness on the day we planned.  But, we talk by phone several times a year, email numerous times, share holiday cards, Facebook friends, and share cruise travel advice and info.  We will definitely see each other again someday!  But, would never have had this if we did not join the roll call!

 

 

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An assortment of comments here ....

 

I live on my roll calls - I've made lifelong friends.  Some I just stay in touch with via email or facebook.  Others much better.  Some examples.

We met a couple from Seattle at a roll call meet up on a California coastal on Princess.  They were on a cruise a year later with us.  A year after that, we did a cruise with them, and a couple they knew from a different forum who lived near us (but also on our roll call).  The friends who lived (they've moved) near us are some of our closest friends.  When they come back to visit, we're the top of their list after family.  

 

I was visiting my sister in New York last summer, and she decided to have a debate watch party.  She invited a roll call couple friend of mine - now they are her friends.  

 

The list goes on.

 

I mostly book tours set up by my roll call.  Almost always they are perfect.  Although ...

 

About 10 years ago I set up a tour in Montevideo of a local winery.  I think we had 12 people, and the tour could take 15.  A couple of months before the cruise, I got an email from the winery asking if a couple who had contacted them directly could join us.  We said it was fine.  (We met them on the ship simply because quite accidentally, we had lunch together).  Come the morning of the tour, at 7 am I get a call from them saying they were sick and not coming.  Fortunately, the tour cost was combined with the winery tour/lunch, and transportation/city tour.  The winery graciously only charged us for their share of the city tour/transportation.    (Funny thing - 10 years later - next time I was in Montevideo - did the same tour, with 19 people.  Two days before I get a call from a group of 3 that they had to disembark in MV to get a flight home.  They covered most of their transportation cost, giving me cash). 

 

I'm also good at meeting roll call people in advance, either local to me, or if I'm traveling.  So, I'll start many cruises having met a couple of people.

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On 1/15/2020 at 4:52 PM, Denny01 said:

One caution: If you set up a private tour and roll call members want to join in, great. BUT (big ‘but’ on purpose) make sure you find a way of getting them to pay early. More than a few have signed up but then back out after getting onboard when it’s too late and you could be stuck. 

Love the roll calls - great resource for information and  for finding tour share partners. BUT, highly recommend heeding caution above.

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On 1/15/2020 at 5:23 PM, 4774Papa said:

As someone mentioned, when the price drops, someone on the roll call usually mentions it and you get the lower price.

On my March 2018 cruise I had booked an obstructed verandah. Someone on my roll call said the CC had dropped to same price so I was able to upgrade at no additional cost. Met same couple on March 2019 (not planned) cruise did a shore excursion with them and we still keep in contact regularly.  

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6 hours ago, drakes2 said:

On my March 2018 cruise I had booked an obstructed verandah. Someone on my roll call said the CC had dropped to same price so I was able to upgrade at no additional cost. Met same couple on March 2019 (not planned) cruise did a shore excursion with them and we still keep in contact regularly.  

We once upgraded from a Concierge to a sky suite because someone on the roll call pointed out a price drop.  (About 4 of us did that - and ended up becoming friends).

 

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27 minutes ago, abbydancer said:

We once upgraded from a Concierge to a sky suite because someone on the roll call pointed out a price drop.  (About 4 of us did that - and ended up becoming friends).

 

How lucky to have a sky suite. Best I've ever had is a SV and concierge class. On my upcoming Mediterranean just booked regular verandah as too port intensive and cant see us using it much. I've made friends and still keep in touch with many people from past cruises.

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17 minutes ago, drakes2 said:

How lucky to have a sky suite. Best I've ever had is a SV and concierge class. On my upcoming Mediterranean just booked regular verandah as too port intensive and cant see us using it much. I've made friends and still keep in touch with many people from past cruises.

Yeah - the only problem - it's a cruise I do every summer with my sister.  That one was the 2018 one.  In 2019, we did Aqua.  For 2020 she decided Aqua and Concierge were nice, but she now wants only the Sky Suite.

 

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