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frteach

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About frteach

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    St. Williams, Ont, Can
  • Interests
    scrapbooking, photography, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Mediterranean

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  1. Just got off the Reflection and there really isn't a dress code that is enforced at all. On evening chic nights we shared a table with a couple in yoga pants and hoodie (her), and jeans and collarless T-shirt (him). They were not the most dressed down in the MDR that night. We were in sparkly top and dress pants (me), and dress shirt and tie (husband). I'm certainly not going to say anything about it to them, and no one else is ready to either, I guess. They were a pleasant couple and we had an enjoyable dinner. It's a new normal, and it has changed very quickly since I started cruising. I'm getting used to it, and I will continue to dress as I please, as will everyone. I believe the code has become a suggestion only, and I guess I am OK with that.
  2. We have played many trivia games on board, and the best "quiz masters" make sure that there are no devices in sight, and that everyone exchanges papers with another team to check answers. Each question is read twice only, and they do not reread the questions at the end. You are allowed to make notes during the quiz. Winners are awarded tickets to be redeemed for trinkets on the last cruise day. If the trivia is not being run fairly, we won't bother going. Mistakes can be made, but we wouldn't make a big deal about them. We once had a activity host who insisted that the longest river in the world was the Amazon. Lots of Nova Scotian Canadians will be surprised to learn that Halifax is a country!
  3. Lots of good advice on here already, and my suggestion is just to immerse yourself in research on the ports then pick a cruise that visits a few of your favourites. As for thieves, I take precautions and haven't experienced problems, although I know many have. Get a quality cross-body handbag with zippered closure and a strap that cannot be cut easily. Make sure it is at the front of your body when walking in the larger cities. Do not interact with anyone, even a child, who wants to give you directions or tries to engage you in conversation. This is unfortunate, but distraction theft is common. That said, I agree that both Europe and the Baltic cruises are worth going on. I will never forget stepping out on the veranda at Santorini in the early morning. "Jaw-dropping", and I mean literally. Looking forward next month to seeing the statue of David, the Alhambra, Herculaneum, and Gibraltar. You can't do everything in one cruise for sure.
  4. I will be on the Reflection next month with a stop in Malaga, and the Al Alhambra has long been on my "must see" list. Celebrity doesn't offer this tour, although they must have in the past according to this thread, so I went ahead and joined one arranged on the Cruise Critic Roll Call through Spain Day Tours. It will be a long day, but I hope it is the highlight of my trip. It is the only "private" tour I have arranged for this cruise, but we will be doing some ports on our own. Less than a month until ship board! Hope the op can arrange something.
  5. Thanks, ClaudiaB for writing about the perks that the staff can get when positive comments are made during the cruise. I hadn't thought of the things that were mentioned, but I can appreciate how much those little benefits must mean to the hard-working staff. I am going to make the comments during my next cruise rather than waiting until the end. The tip amounts that have been mentioned in this thread are about the same as we give, and I always bring locally designed thank you cards.
  6. What a fun idea! Thanks for the effort you are making, and you are brightening my day! I will be following this. Today marks 50 days until I board the Reflection for a western Med cruise. Too many drinks for me to think of!
  7. We have done both a Celebrity tour of Rome the first time we visited, and arranged our own day the second time. The Eternal Rome tour was great, but do your research on the Sistine Chapel ahead of the tour so you will know the details that you want to pick out. Rick Steves has several pages of the guide to Rome devoted to it. There's a lot to see, and your time in there will be strictly controlled if it is as busy as it usually is. Groups were being let in with a guide for 20 minutes, then we were rounded up and had to leave to make way for another group. It was almost shoulder to shoulder in the chapel itself. It was a great tour, and don't let anybody tell you that cruise ship tours have to wait while privately arranged ones get priority entrance. We have never found that to be the case. Large groups with pre-bought tickets are usually let in as a group, whether from a cruise or privately arranged. We found the tour to be good overview of Rome, and the next time we visited we went on our own to the Pantheon, Palatine Hills, Spanish steps, etc.
  8. I'm looking forward to following this one, since we have this cruise planned for June 2020. I have never done the very popular Alaska cruise either, but it's been on my list for a while. Thought I'd better do before the glaciers have disappeared!
  9. We have always had traditional early dining in the MDR and if we are not with friends, we request a two person table. An uncomfortable experience with a larger group on a previous cruise led us to the request, and so far we have been able to get it. On embarkation day, we always check our assignment with the MD well before dinner time, which is usually a bit hectic on the first night. The tables are set close together, and it is certainly not private, but we enjoy talking to others around us, we just don't want to share a table with them.
  10. Since there is no way of testing the veracity of the original story, I remain skeptical that it ever occurred. Makes an good story to start a thread, and stimulate commentary. Louboutin shoes at poolside? Forgot that she was wearing shoes? Older person gets revenge on "entitled" young person? No consequences for her own inappropriate behaviour? There is a problem with seat saving, chair hogs, etc. but this is hardly an example of a way to deal with it, if indeed it ever happened.
  11. I have heard straws described as sippy cups for adults. I am trying not to use them at all, and I carry stainless steel ones in my purse for really foamy drinks. These are available in grocery stores, and I will definitely have a couple on my next cruise. We have to start somewhere on the environment, and I applaud Celebrity for their policy. Plastic and the ocean don't go well together. Never hugged a tree.
  12. We cancelled one on our last Hawaii cruise, after talking to people at dinner about it. They had done it on day 1 of an overnight, and we were scheduled to do it on day 2. It was about 12 hours until the tour was going to begin. We had heard that it was a bit too strenuous for us, with rocky stream crossings and slippery mud. There was no problem getting a refund.
  13. Wow. Seven pages and counting on this thread. I have heard straws described as "sippy cups for adults". I try to use only the metal ones, and keep them in a bag in my purse, but it is difficult to stop the servers from putting plastic ones in automatically. I also use the reusable cups when I am in our iconic Canadian coffee shop. Small changes!
  14. Cruisestitch is correct. I have never had anything better than the classic package, and the only drink they charged me an extra dollar for was a Drambuie in the Skylounge. A couple of times they didn't even charge that, they just smiled and poured. I am not a knowledgable liquor drinker, one brand of vodka tastes much the same as the others to me. I know that many people would prefer the premium brands.
  15. We were on the Silhouette cruise out of Amsterdam two years ago that only had one day in St. Petersburg. Yes, it was disappointing, but I was over it fairly quickly, because as others have reminded us, there are no guarantees on any ports, and safety has to be the priority. A 2-day Celebrity tour that we had planned on was cut to one day, and there was no attempt to reduce the time at each location and make up any of the missed sites, which unfortunately included the Peterhof. I had been so looking forward to those fountains. We did see the Hermitage, which was on my must see list. Those on the 2-day Moscow visit were very disappointed since they didn't get to do this at all. One half of the price of the tour was refunded to our account immediately. I did hear that some of those who had booked on their own with a tour company did a bit better, because they reduced the time at each location and made up a couple of the places that had been scheduled for the "lost" day. Maybe someone who was on one of these can report what happened to them. Also disappointing was the cancellation of the Russian Dance Troupe which was scheduled to perform on board for the between evening, and were left standing on the dock while we were pitching about in the Baltic. In any case, we made the best of it and learned that nothing is guaranteed, and there is no use yelling at the patient staff at Customer Relations as some were doing. I'd love to go back someday to see that palace!
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