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  1. Elite + with Celebrity. Have all the same concerns you initially listed. After research and doing spreadsheet on costs, Viking Ocean has satisfied all our needs. Mets all your concerns short of any BIG entertainment. Look at there Spa features that are all included. Specialty restaurants included. Alcohol included. Very mature passengers.
  2. Have been enjoying all the entries in this travel blog. We pick you all up in Valparaiso for the LA run. Have a side bar question relating to the gym. We go every day and in the last 2 sailings on the Star, none of the TV screens on the treadmills offered any TV signal or movies. Is that true with the Sun also.????
  3. They will usually start accepting luggage around 9 am. So check out, drop off luggage and the enjoy the city until the lines are less. Once on board thou, you can NOT get off the ship.
  4. If this cruise has Senior Party or any other longer cruise has the Officer Party. drinks are available that night under your Elite benefits.
  5. I think the best marriage is the Reserve card for its benfits and then Chase Unlimited Freedom for everyday use. They transfer those points into Ultimate Rewards to get the upgrade value. Second using Geoblue for medical coverage.
  6. I would save the monies of Celebrity transfer and book with AVTO at the airport for shuttle transfers.
  7. Any reasonable tip if using the same server every day will greatly enhance your chance of ordering just about any drink within reason. ie If Cosmo is on menu and lemon drop certainly can be had. We also on last call at 7 pm ask for a water bottle, can of soda and Full wine glass each evening before going to dinner.


    My OBN is always cashed out with REAL chips. Just go to gaming table and ask for draw off your card. The tables have NO promotional chips. They will charge you 5% of the draw and sign slip and get REAL chips. Excused yourself and go to cage and cash out. Never had a problems for years doing this.
  9. Many sites to see …….. but one needs to budget accordingly.( Sydney is NOT a cheap city). Do you ever plan to go back.....that would help answer part of the question. Major out of city sites like Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains are a must. I would consider the Sydney city pass card for 2/3/4 days worth of city adventures.
  10. Had the Preferred card from years with benefits of points and cancellation. Being retired and traveling more, we elected for the Reserve card with more point value, Global/TSA, evacuation., and what we use a lot is the Priority pass card. Cost is 450 but the first 300 is a travel credit , so true cost is 150. We use 58 dollars every time we flight out of our local airport with the Priority card.
  11. Ditto. Have done 105 cruises and I bet the last 20 where booked after final payment.
  12. Status is a key work. We are IHG members who booked room under points. Showed card and was upgraded from City view to Harbor view. They even rush to provide early check in by 10 am.
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