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Everything posted by HeddaGarbled

  1. In fairness, that’s the size of chair that there’s always been in the standard M class balcony cabins - it’s only Aqua & Concierge that had sofas. Also, am I right in thinking that Kelly Hoppen only designed the suites, not the other cabins, so isn’t responsible for these issues?
  2. That’s useful thank you. I’m glad I asked on here - you’re very helpful.
  3. Thank you both for your very helpful replies 🙂
  4. We have a port stop in Athens in September. Our number one must-see is the Acropolis but we would also really like to visit the National Archeological Museum, which I understand is a long way away from all the other attractions. I have been researching organised excursions and have not been able to find one which does both the Acropolis and the Archeological Museum, so I think we’ll have to do this independently. Does anyone have any advice about the best way to do this? Are the hop-on-hop-off buses any good? Are there massive queues at Piraeus to get on the HOHOs? I would be grateful for any advice.
  5. You can turn up any time within the dining room opening hours. Sometimes you’ll be seated immediately. At peak times, you may have to wait: they’ll give you a buzzer so you can go to a bar nearby while you wait. The first two nights tend to be very busy. At peak times there can be a long queue to request a table and then a wait for the table as well. After that, it settles down and you can often get in immediately. You can can request a table for two or a table with others. Often, if you request a table with others, you’ll get seated more quickly, as most people on Select Dining prefer not to share with strangers. The tables for two are very close together, so you are effectively eating with others anyway. Sometimes your neighbours are willing to be sociable, sometimes not.
  6. With the CBP, you can get a bottle of water (unbranded) alongside another drink, so we got in the habit of asking for water every time we got a coffee or alcoholic drink, for each of us, and stockpiled as suggested above. Also, we would get a couple of bottles (one per person) whenever we were passing a bar. My husband (who gets migraines so needs to drink a lot of water) would nip up to the pool bar with my card as well as his a few times a day and stock up. Most servers were happy to give him 3 or 4 bottles on the 2 cards when he wasn’t getting anything else. If you’ve completely run out, water and ice are dispensed from machines in the buffet in plastic tumblers that can be taken back to your cabin, or carried about the ship.
  7. On Connie a year ago, Select Dining was on the lower floor. It is a very big room and crowded, so you won’t necessarily be anywhere near the big windows. We didn’t bother making any reservations. When you go to enter the dining room, there are two queues, one for people who’ve made reservations and one for those without. On the first two nights, both queues were long at peak times (approx 7.00-8.30). People without reservations were sent away with a buzzer until a table came free. This isn’t a problem as the Rendezvous Lounge is right next to the dining room. If you’re prepared to share a table, you’re more likely to get seated quickly, but we preferred to wait for a table for two. By the way, the tables for two are very close to their neighbours. After the first two nights, things settled down and we were able to get tables immediately, whatever time we wandered in.
  8. 30 minutes might be a bit early but 15-20 is good. Once there is a bus full of people for each excursion, your number will be called and you’ll be on your way, so you can get away early by arriving early.
  9. No, I don’t think you stand a chance of making a 7.00pm show with that dining time. How about just choosing a few shows that you really want to see, and then eating in the buffet those nights? Then on your non-show nights you can enjoy a leisurely dinner. There will be entertainment in bars and lounges in the evening so you could do that after dinner instead of the theatre show.
  10. I’m going to have a massage and H is going to do the behind the scenes ship tour with visit to bridge and engine room.
  11. Yes, it’s costly. Yes, it’s worth it.
  12. I booked a Celebrity tour in advance (Dubrovnik, I think it was) and later received an email to inform me it included a stop at a diamond shop. So I cancelled and booked a different one. I wonder what prompted them to email - perhaps complaints?
  13. Is it just so that the bed is far enough away from the wardrobe for you to be able to open the doors?
  14. We were on Constellation in September 2018 in the Med. We had an absolutely brilliant time. I think the ship is a bit dated. Carpets and upholstery aren’t modern and some of the venues are a bit gloomy. In the cabins, there are scuffs, chips and worn bits. But stuff like that doesn’t bother me unduly, so long as it’s clean and comfortable, which it was. On this port-intensive cruise, there was very little in the way of classes and talks. A talk about the ship’s navigation and a dance class were no charge. But a lot of the scheduled activities were really sales pitches by the art gallery, shops, spa etc. I’ve seen a lot of reviews which complain about being constantly badgered to buy drinks packages etc. I was asked once on the first day. We only had one sea day, so the ports were more important than the ship, for us. On the sea day, the outside pool area was too noisy and busy for me, but the indoor thalassotherapy pool is lovely. Food in the MDR was hit and miss. The buffet was good. Service everywhere was excellent. I hope this helps, and if you have any specific questions, I’m happy to answer.
  15. The first two nights tend to be busy and chaotic, especially the first night. If you walk in without a reservation you may get sent away with a buzzer for 20-30 minutes. On the first night, unless you’ve struck lucky with your timing and there’s no queue, I wouldn’t go back to the desk to ask for a different seat, but just go with the flow for the one night. After the the first two nights, it all settles down and you can usually walk in without reservations and get seated straight away.
  16. We stick to MDR and buffet, because the additional fees for the specialty restaurants seem so high to us. But plenty of people do pay the additional fee, and the obvious reason why is because the food and general experience is better. You can tell that from the photos people upload and the reviews/comments that people post. I think that the food in both the MDR and buffet is fine - sometimes really nice, sometimes mediocre. The MDR is noisy and crowded, the tables for two are too close to the next door tables, if you are doing Select Dining you have to queue to get a table and sometimes get sent away with a buzzer. The buffet is self-service and doesn’t have a restaurant ambiance. If these things are a big deal for you, then maybe you should treat yourself to the specialty experience, but if you can accept the inevitable compromises of mass dining, then you can save your money.
  17. We found the People Mover really easy to use with a rolling case and carry on each but we were staying very near Piazza Roma so only had 2 bridges to manage, one of which had ramps, so only one we actually needed to carry our suitcases over.
  18. I can give you two examples from my recent Constellation Mediterranean cruise: In Kotor, which was a tender port, we were stopped by the staff member controlling the queue for getting on the tender to go back to the ship, to allow priority passengers through first. We still got on the same tender though so they didn’t really gain anything except standing in a queue for less time than they sat on the tender waiting for it to fill. In another port (can’t remember which - may have been Valletta), there was more of a queue than usual to reboard (maybe 20 people in front of us). A man asked the queue controller if there was a separate queue for suite passengers. The queue controller said no because there was only one gangway. The passenger looked a bit put out but only had to wait another few minutes before he was on the ship.
  19. We are really only just becoming aware of how serious an environmental hazard plastic waste in our oceans is.
  20. In the MDR, they will fill up a glass with iced water from a jug but then take the jug away.
  21. Classic drinks package gets bottled water just not well known brands like Evian. You have to show your card to get a bottle and can only get one bottle at a time. Without a package, you can use the water dispensers in the buffet to fill the plastic cups provided. Ice dispensers are alongside. Or you can pay per bottle at all bars and from the mini-bar in the cabin.
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