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dst87

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dst87 last won the day on February 22 2015

dst87 had the most liked content!

About dst87

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  • Birthday 07/14/1987

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    http://duncanwrites.co.uk

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    Falkirk
  • Interests
    Cruising, Technology, Board Gaming

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  1. dst87

    What the hell, MSC?

    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. dst87

    What the hell, MSC?

    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 worth worrying about. It certainly wouldn't have stopped me booking. The question, then, is how often customers who have booked a specific stateroom get moved in line with this condition. I'd say if I was exceptionally unlucky, then the condition if fare. If what happen to me is common on MSC, then the conditions are misleading and the entire process should be revisited.
  3. dst87

    What the hell, MSC?

    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. dst87

    What the hell, MSC?

    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't decide this before I booked, and why they haven't automatically offered some sort of compensation or 'good will gesture' (I hate that term). Totally unacceptable, and something I've yet to experience with any other cruise line. I shall await an update from the TA, but safe to say that I'm pretty seething right now
  5. dst87

    A Month Down The Line... QM2 Remastering

    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 experience. I'm not saying don't book a mini-cruise, but just be aware that if you find aspect unappealing then it's not necessarily a good reflection of Celebrity. Personally, I think cruise lines should stop these mini-breaks if they are unable to give a true taste of what it's all about. New cruisers who enjoy the more rowdy environment might be disappointed when they try a longer cruise with Celebrity, and Celebrity regulars will have an experience that doesn't meet their expectations.
  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 railing of the balcony, so you could still stand on the balcony and see out. It was mostly the view down which was obstructed. I imagine if you enjoy sitting out on the balcony then you might have a view from a seated position obstructed by this sort of cabin. It depends on what you use a balcony for and what the obstruction will prevent you doing. If you want to save some money to allow another cruise, you might find that booking an oceanview (non-balcony) stateroom offers much larger a saving. We had an oceanview stateroom on Celebrity Infinity and I was really surprised at how much it didn't bother me. I still prefer to book a balcony, but if it was the choice between a balcony and a second cruise I think the latter might win.
  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 which is primarily of the mind. They use five categories to define sports: Primarily physical (e.g. rugby or athletics) Primarily mind (e.g. chess or go) Primarily motorised (e.g. F1 or power boating) Primarily coordination (e.g. billiards) Primarily animal-supported (e.g. equestrianism) There you have it... an answer from a somewhat authoritative source. That said, etymologically, the word comes from the Old French despot, meaning "leisure". The oldest definition in English from around 1,300 is "anything humans find amusing or entertaining"... so perhaps 700 years go bingo might have been considered a sport! You gotta love Wikipedia, huh?
  10. dst87

    Will Brexit have any impact on cruising?

    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. dst87

    1st cruise

    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 that might help formulate the sorts of things you'd like to see on a cruise and the aspects that you'd like to avoid.
  12. dst87

    Cruise homeworking job with no experience

    I've sent you a PM.
  13. dst87

    GRATUITIES

    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 contact with.
  14. dst87

    GRATUITIES

    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 cruise line's profits. They have a duty to their shareholders and would simply include what you pay now in the fare. I suppose in theory it could be slightly lower, because they wouldn't have to account for those who don't feel that service is worth paying for. Either way you're going to pay for service.
  15. dst87

    GRATUITIES

    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)
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