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Everything posted by dst87

  1. Well, we're booked in the Yacht Club, so there's not really a higher fare category! It seems the terms apply to everyone. MSC have offered an additional £50 OBC per person (taking our stateroom total to £600) as a good will gesture. Better than nothing, and given it's in their terms there's not much I could have expected. Counting down the days now - I'm so excited!
  2. Totally agree that it's worth reading the T&C, though in this case with a cruise booking the cost to me is negligible (other than a mild disappointed). Insurance etc. is more necessary as you are relying on them to get you out of potential bankruptcy if you don't arrange everything properly. Frankly, though, even if I had read the T&C I still would have been disappointed. It's presumably a very rare thing to happen (otherwise why let customers book specific staterooms at all) so the item in the booking conditions would have been seen by me (and many) as being a catch-all and not
  3. It definitely does seem like part of the booking conditions, which I wasn't aware of (and which Bolsover didn't make me aware of either, which is surprising given it stands out as being different from any other cruise line). Anyway I'm not too bothered, and I'll have a great cruise no matter what, but I think this is something MSC could change to avoid customer being disappointed before they even set foot on the ship!
  4. I just had a call telling me that MSC have decided that the stateroom we booked for our forthcoming cruise (15002) is no longer available, and asking me to select an alternative (15027 or 16028). What the hell? I didn't book a GTY. I booked a specific cabin, and I booked it for specific features that others don't have (extra width, and a more spacious feel). MSC have decided that this stateroom will be allocated to the overlapping Hamburg - Hamburg cruise, rather than the Southampton - Southampton cruise that we're book on. I really want an answer from MSC as to why on earth they didn'
  5. I was on Queen Mary 2 for 4 nights as part of a forum get-together and wrote a daily blog on board. There are a few photos and comments about the ship (I especially loved the new Carinthia Lounge). Mixed in with that is stuff about what we did on board as a group and what I did in Hamburg, but you're welcome to have a look and see if it helps. Highly recommended, though. It's a fantastic ship post-remastering. You can read it on my blog.
  6. The drinks package is the 'Standard' drinks package, which is not one of the ones normally available/advertised and is very limited. I had a this included on my 2-night cruise, and the cost to upgrade to a 'Classic' or 'Premium' package was astronomical (higher than normal). Most cruises with celebrity that come with a drinks package include the 'Classic' package, details for which are readily available online. From what I remember there are a few spirits, beers, and a house white/red available. Details (though sparse) are available on this page of the Celebrity website.
  7. I love Celebrity, and the Eclipse is a beautiful ship. We did a B2B this year of the 8-night Fjord cruise, then the 2-night 'Taste of Modern Luxury' cruise to Le Havre. Give it a go, but don't expect it to be representative of the Celebrity experience on the whole. We found that behaviour was much worse, lots of first-time cruisers, dining room organisation was a disaster because many people just walked in and sat down leaving the maître d' struggling. We were taken to a table that was occupied. It was very much a booze cruise, and quite different from a 'normal' Celebrity experien
  8. I can only mirror most of the other advice on here. Obstructions can vary quite a bit. We had an obstructed balcony on our first cruise on Queen Mary 2, and the obstruction was significant - lifeboats right outside the balcony, and you couldn't see anything. It was still nice to have, though, as part of what I like about a balcony is being able to open the doors and let in fresh air. We had another obstructed view balcony on Celebrity Eclipse (or did we just research it first, I forget), but this was minimal - the roof of one of the lifeboats came somewhere in the vicinity of the railin
  9. Instinctively I would not class bingo as a sport. SportAccord is the umbrella organisation for all international sports federations, and they offer a definition of sport that I believe is fair. According to them, a sport should (1) Have an element of competition, (2) be in no way harmful to any living creature, (3) not rely on equipment provided by a single supplier, and (4) not reply on any 'luck' element specifically designed into the sport. (4) would quickly rule out Bingo. They recognise that sport can take many forms, and allow for games such as chess to be included as a sport w
  10. I would be surprised if anything of any consequence changed, other than the cost in the short term. Things are more expensive as the GBP is weakened, but I suspect (and hope) that this will be a short-term reaction to the uncertainty. I guess we can only wait and see. There are no answers right now.
  11. I have to agree with Land Ahoy. What aspect of cruising has attracted you to it? What sort of experience do you hope for? There's a wide range of options available and without knowing your tastes it would be very difficult to make a recommendation. If you want some reading, I've written a daily blog on Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Infinity, Splendour of the Seas, and Anthem of the Seas. You can read them by clicking on each ship name. I try to just tell it like I see it and there are loads of photos to illustrate the blogs. It might give you an idea of what those lines offer, and
  12. I can only go by what the cruise line website says, but it's fairly clear from their guides that the money is distributed to people behind the scenes. Celebrity: Cunard: Princess: I'd say they all claim a broad distribution of the money. Bear in mind the housekeeping staff isn't just that one guy who you meet on day 1; he normally has an assistant, and the team in laundry are also part of the housekeeping staff. In the restaurants, there are support staff running plates back and forth (etc) in addition to the waiter and assistant waiter you actually come into contac
  13. I've heard so many people assume that gratuities just line cruise companies' pockets. In actual fact, they go to pay the salary of the hard working staff that makes your holiday awesome. The service you receive has to be paid for. Most cruise lines choose to charge you for service separately (following the USA model, where tipping is a necessary part of eating out) - some people like to call this tipping, but it's simply paying for service. If they didn't charge separately for service it would be included in the cruise fare. Don't be naïve and believe that this would come out of the cr
  14. Such a shame you feel this way, as it's pretty common knowledge that gratuities are split between more than just the people you have a first point of contact with. There are other people behind the scenes that work really hard to make your cruise awesome, but you leave them out entirely. I'd love for cruise lines to simply make the daily service charge compulsory (and eventually part of the cruise fare - obviously this would result in slightly increased fares but at least the staff would get paid for their work)
  15. You might have to wait a little while for reviews, as the ship only started sailing this month. I sailed on her when she was part of Royal Caribbean's fleet, and named Splendour of the Seas.
  16. I don't need to know who someone is to be horrified at their brutal murder. It's a sad event. Gun crime is exceptionally rare in the UK, so when something like this happens it's bound to result in massive media coverage as well as an outpouring of public sympathy. Quite right - I'm glad these events are so rare that we have such a strong reaction to them. People naturally want to act when something like that happens, but in reality there is very little anyone can do to affect change. Coming together like this is a great way to show support for the victim's friends and family.
  17. I think your comment is an "I'm alright Jack" attitude. The staff on cruise ships are working very very long hours away from their family to try and provide. They work contracts so are not employed full time (so the money they earn has to keep them while they're off contract too) and frankly people who pay for cruises can afford to pay the staff serving them a decent wage, so why shouldn't we? We can help people attain a better standard of living than perhaps they're used to. As for my comment about gratuities being charged to toddlers: I don't think that's selfish at all. It's up to
  18. If you go to a hotel in the UK, I'd imagine the staff is paid far more handsomely than those on board your favourite cruise ship. Paying separately for service (let's not call them tips; even most of the cruise lines have stopped that) is part of the cruising way of doing things, which is largely modeled on the North American way of doing things. You don't stuff your waiter on his/her tip in a US restaurant, just as you don't stuff the staff who serve you at sea. Stay in a hotel in the US and you'll tip the waiter in the restaurant, the maid who cleans your room and turns it down in the
  19. I couldn't care less if toddlers were to be charged gratuities by the cruise line. It's up to the cruise lines what they want to do. As Twomagpies rightly states, as long as information about who the daily service charge applies to and how much it is is freely available I don't have any problem. I doubt the cruise lines would start charging toddlers because parents would have a riot. But if they did? Well, parents can vote with their feet, or pay up.
  20. I don't think it matters too much. So what if someone puts their knife in their mouth. Is that harming you? I was raised with excellent table manners, and I'll admit finding it mildly infuriating when I see someone not holding cutlery in the traditional way, licking their knife, or eating with their mouth open. But I rein it in because it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't make them any less interesting to talk to, or make them any less valuable as a human being. Who cares? I'll admit to being driven up the wall by the open-mouth chewing - I find those so
  21. Oh... giving up cruising, are we?
  22. Do those children get served food and drink? Do they have their beds made by the room steward? Yes, I think it's fair that all passengers should pay the service charge if they receive the service.
  23. You're very welcome. We chose it after extensive research with input from many people on this and other forums. We were delighted, but they only have a handful of rooms so if you fancy it, it may be best to book. If you have the time/money to stay for a few days before sailing I'd thoroughly recommend the New Forest generally (and Hotel Terravina as a base for your explorations). Alex and I had never been before despite sailing from Southampton several times. It's definitely somewhere I'd love to return for a slightly longer visit.
  24. Happy Aniversary! Cheap pub lunch and football? The present better have been great!
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