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ghstudio

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  1. If you have a drink package, just order one 🙂 skip the videotaped presentation....
  2. We have often seen the on-board offer include an extra perk if you book concierge or above....but of course, offers change so check to see what your cruise is offering. A couple of important notes: 1) If you don't ask, they will assign the booking to the travel agent that booked you on your current cruise. You can ask that Celebrity hold the reservation and you will be asked to sign a form. Just sign it...it only tells the TA that you decided not to rebook with them....net..it protects celebrity...no risk to you at all. 2) Understand if you are booking a refundable or non-refundable fare. See 3 below 3) Once you have made a reservation on-board, you can change that reservation to another ship, different time and keep the same reservation number. That's important because the on-board OBC offer stays and you will still get the additional OBC. If you change a non-refundable booking, you will be charged the change penalty. Go through all that with the on-board TA. 3a) if you book a longer or shorter cruise, the on-board OBC offer $'s may change either up or down because the OBC is based on the number of days in the cruise you finally take. 3b) Be careful with Travel insurance if you change the trip....if you have a pre-existing condition and want that waived, your purchase date is the date you pay on board...not the day you book the new trip. OTOH, check other posts to understand if you really do have a pre-existing condition AS DEFINED IN THE POLICY.
  3. On our last cruise, I attended the Novo Fogo tasting mainly because I never had cachaca so why not try it. The tasting was held at the martini bar with seven participants. The presentation was on video....the bartender just gave us the materials so we could mix our own and turned the video on/off at the appropriate times. We did get to drink some nice drinks during the presentation and they gave us a "kit" to make one more drink at home. I enjoyed it, but was a bit disappointed that I was paying to watch a video....but then I realized it had drinks included so I didn't feel gypped, just disappointed. On a previous cruise, that tasting was supposed to be at the world class bar and would have been given by the wonderful lady bartender. I was the only one who showed up, so we didn't do the formal mixed drink tasting....she just gave me some (healthy sized) tastes of the three cachacas they had, we chatted about Cachaca...and she just covered the whole thing in my drink package.
  4. The roll call tool is, once again, broken. I have tried to add a roll call twice....contacted CC as directed if you have a problem and the response after three notes is that there is a problem adding new roll calls to the roll call finder and they are working on it.
  5. I want to congratulate Bruin Steve on taking the time to actually understand the different offers and the (please insert a word that's more politically correct than stupidity). Truth is, many (I'm being kind) folks don't do the math...or even think about the deals......they take the one that feels good. Yes, why would you pay more than $300 for a $300 OBC...etc. 🙂 Truthfully, I don't think many think about the value of the classic drink package TO THEM! They just take it because it looks like the best deal. (note: I fall into that group...my wife doesn't even drink....but at least I know what I'm doing (and yes insert that word here as well). Figure out the best deal FOR YOU and go with it......
  6. Please check and compare the coverage limits on the different policies. I think many/most would think that $10,000 of medical insurance and $25,000 of evacuation insurance is woefully inadequate....(those are the celebrity limits) Those who buy the policy are drawn to it by the "cancel any time" provision", the cost and the false belief that Celebrity has chosen the policy you need. An antiques auction auctioneer once said "cheap ain't good and good ain't cheap". That's stuck with me and it's good advice. Do not believe that Celebrity is looking after you and has selected the best policy. It's better than nothing, but if you have a serious problem, you are going to realize that maybe you should have focused on those limits. One might look at the Celebrity policy and realize that the limits cover the shipboard doctor's bill and at least part of the evacuation costs. I say part, because your largest evacuation cost may be getting from that hospital in f(fill in your remote city) to your home with medical assistance sitting next to you and medical gear.....no possible way that $25K will cover that sort of problem. Sorry....but those internet travel insurance sales sites really do have better policies (most sell the same policies) and they do understand insurance, unlike your travel agent, Celebrity or your friend next door. You (that's the generic you) are...and forgive my being blunt....a fool if you don't look at other policies and talk to someone who knows travel insurance. (I have no affiliation with anyone...in fact I've used all three internet insurance companies just to see if there really is a difference and from my perspective, they all give good accurate information.)
  7. We'll be going on a cruise in a few weeks and I'd like to take $1000 just in case I'd like to play in the casino. I'd rather not carry that much in cash. Is there a way to deposit that money in advance into some on-board account and have it fully refundable if I don't use it? I also don't want to be charged for taking out my own money to play or have to take promotional chips.
  8. Not to belabor the point, but do you have a pre-existing condition AS DEFINED IN THE POLICY or is it something that's stable and you've just had for a long time. Many who assume they have a pre-existing condition actually dont AS DEFINED IN THE POLICY.
  9. One more caveat on the waiving of preexisting conditions. There are some gray areas where even if you buy it when you book, you may not be covered. 1)If you have a life ending disease....xx months to live and you go on a cruise; 2) mom/dad are in the last stages of something and you go on the cruise...they pass away and you want the insurance company to pay your way home or an immediate family member in a hospice dies while you are on the cruise. Lots of similar scenarios.. If you fall into any of these....talk with the insurance company or at least someone at one of the quality travel insurance internet companies....squaremouth, insuremytrip, tripinsurancestore,.... Do not assume anything...and that definitely includes assuming that your cruise company and/or TA understand travel insurance....and don't rely on me either. It's important....talk to someone who knows.
  10. If you by at duty free on the ship, they keep the bottle until the end of the cruise. If you buy off the ship, they confiscate it and hold it until the end of the trip. (note: your mileage may vary....but those are the rules). There is no doubt that Celebrity makes a great deal of money on drinks....no one really drinks $69 worth of liquor in a day if you use your home liquor store prices (I'm speaking about US passengers here). That would be a 5th or pretty good bourbon for me and I can assure you that if I drank 750ml in day, I'd be dead. You are on the ship...you are captive....so you get to choose the brands celebrity offers and you pay, either with the package or by the drink. If you want a good choice of liquors, drink scotch or vodka (maybe gin...I'm not a gin drinker). Bourbon selection (my drink of choice) isn't great...and I can't speak to rum/tequila's. As I said in previous post(s), when cruising, I tend to lean towards mixed drinks because the underlying alcohol quality isn't as important (can anyone actually taste the difference between a Ketel One bloody mary or one mixed with Skol?).
  11. You should expect a very nice cruise with much time at sea where you can read, relax, etc. Celebrity has cut back on all it's during the day events....many are now run by the shops/services...but that's across all ships. No one can predict the weather, the seas. The ports are the ports.....not overly exciting, but every port is worth visiting at least once. We have been on almost all the M and S class ships and from our point of view, we select based on itinerary, not ship. If the cruise and time at sea appeal to you....enjoy the cruise.
  12. Lost of discussion on insurance....and everyone's situation is different so there is no right answer. If you have a new medical condition or one that has changed in the past 90-120 days (the lookback period which differs by policy) then your decision is probably easier....buy it when you book so you will be covered (there are some exceptions). If not, you have choices. I would strongly suggest looking at independent travel policies and not those sold by Celebrity or your TA. I'd suggest a very recent thread: or look at the travel insurance section on cruisecritic.
  13. Just to add clarity to why you might want to consider MedJet in addition to your travel policy. The key questions are who has to approve your transport and what they have to approve. MedJet requires only three things. 1) you are currently in a hospital over 150 miles from home and continue to need hospitalization; 2) your request to be transported to another hospital of your choosing; 3) the medical staff at the hospital you are in (and I think MedJet) has to agree that you are medically stable enough to be transported. Why does this matter. You find yourself in a hospital in (pick your city) with a heart problem complicated by some other chronic condition. Dakar hospital says they can treat you....but you suspect (know) they don't have the latest treatments, etc. but your insurance company says okay, they can treat you so you will stay in Dakar. Contrast that with MedJet flying you home with a doctor/medical team, if necessary, so you can get the latest advanced medical help. Many scenarios. Do you want your insurance company representative and the remote doctor to decide where you will get your medical treatment? where your family will stay while you are being treated? etc?
  14. One of the reasons I don't generally upgrade to the premium package is the lack of good bourbons. I do like woodford, actually I prefer the double oak, but I haven't actually found that on a celebrity ship recently. As someone else said, the bourbons they do carry are good in an old fashion or Manhattan and I don't need a premium bourbon in those. If I'm desperate, I'll pay the upgrade charge for a woodfords once or twice. Generally, I switch over to dirty martini's or vodka on the rocks requesting Titos which is really a very good vodka....certainly the equivalent of Kettel One which is on the premium package. The Scotch selection is much better...and if I were still a Scotch drinker, i'd upgrade to Premium because Celebrity's choice is better. I am a bit surprised at Celebrity's lack of understanding their target customers. For the US, bourbon has become the "hot" drink...not scotch. Celebrity marketing hasn't figured that one out yet.
  15. I am not suggesting anyone gamble. Our decision has been that if something happens before the final payment date, we'll probably cancel the cruise anyway. In our case, we do have $50K of non-USA medical without cruise insurance...and we have an annual MedJet policy and those factor into our decision to delay buying the insurance. Everyone has to assess their own situation...the biggest risks are flights home and medical costs. Evacuation from ship to hospital is, in most cases, is no cost (a worldwide agreement in place to assure that injured folks on any type of ship can get emergency medical help)....for example, the US Coast Guard does not charge for emergency evacuations from a ship. There are, of course, exceptions. The real message is that everyone should talk to a travel insurance expert....that does not include your travel agent or the cruise line. If you have no other insurance, my opinion is that the insurance offered by celebrity and it's competition is inadequate in some areas, should you have a serious problem. Others will disagree. But whatever you decide to do....read the policy to understand what you are buying. BTW, I do have one of those "pre-existing" conditions you mentioned...it's just been very stable for many years.
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