This new charging for everything reminds me of most resorts (except for inclusives where most of the included stuff is substandard anyway). Maybe this is why I'm leaning toward adventure cruising where everything except alcohol is included. There's no entertainment so they don't charge anything.
I am just off the 12/4/04 sailing on the Constellation where they "debuted" the Cirque. We paid $30 to attend the "Masquerade Ball". It was not well received by the guests. Many complaints and Celebrity ended up refunding everyone's money. Celebrity and Cirque have a lot of work ahead of themselves to make this work. Otherwise, the cruise was fantastic.
$30.00 seems a bargain. This is a very very good show. Seats are $75.00 at the Disney complex and every penny worth it. This show is unbelieveable. My husband and I have commented that we would pay again back to back it is so good. Go go and see the same show at Disney every time we are there and have never been dissappointed. Spread your wings and live a little. You're on vacation. Enjoy.... you can't take it with you and what you leave, people just fight over.
Would rather dance & have fun than watch some wierd gyrations to music that gets old quickly but that's just my opinion--I repsect that others may love it-- I hope though that they don't take our dance floor & live party music away.
Cathy100 - the show offered on the ship is NOTHING like the show that's presented at Disney. It's more of an interaction with the passengers than absolutely wonderful acrobatics (after all the ship is a moving stage - and can be a little tricky for them to do the acts they do on the ground).
There were reports on what you could expect on board but NEVER did they say it would be like the ones you are used to seeing.
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
On one of recent trips, the acrobatics act was fairly innovative using circles of light to go through. (not my cup of tea but differnet) At their final performance they had a big spill--even working on the ground without a net can be dangerous!
Im thinking they should move the show to the Helipad so people can enjoy it from the huge windows in the Navigator if they would like to. It could be like a peep show where you feed quarters into a box and the shade goes up and you have to keep feeding it quarters to continue to see the show. The anount of quarters collected will be a good indication to Celebrity of how interested people are in this little experiment of theirs.
Summit will be in Drydock for 2 weeks toward end of Jan for painiting and setting up Revelations to be the bar on the edge. C D S will be more of an experience than performance. On one night of the cruise..there will be a mask ball..charge ??? 30 or 35.
We were on Summit in March & the large lounge was never really full. We did enjoy the party band EVERY night after the show. I would have liked a difernet resolution of it though to fill the room. . We are not back on Summit til 06 so by then this will become a big hit or there will be the next new best thing. Guess we'll have to wait & see! Til then we hope to enjoy Mercury the way it is (& was) & try a Radiance class ship on Royal. Had to go cc to get old old cabin on Mercury !
We will be on Summit's 14 night San Diego to Alaska cruise May 2005....just hope they don't ruin the Revelations Lounge where so many of us hang out during the day while we're enjoying Hubbard Glacier and all the spectacular scenery. It was SRO when we took the same cruise last May while we were viewing the glacier. Don't care what they do after dark up there...although we really enjoyed the band and dancing to good music. It's just another way to push drinks as far as I'm concerned. Revelations is the place to be when there is wonderful scenery....
That $10.00 incuded the insulated cups, so it was worth it. I LOVE their hot chocolate. I have been reading the boards on Cruise Critic about Cirque du Soleil....this is really going to be horrible if Revelations turns into a glorified disco.
We were on the Constellation for the December 4 cruise, which was the first one with the Cirque du Soleil. It was a reunion cruise and the elite and select members of the Captain's Club were invited to a preview Masquerade Ball. Although, I knew it was NOT a show, and billed as an "experience", it was a sort of disappointment. The characters walking around had little inter-action with the guests and it was quite boring. There were several management people from RCI as well as Cirque du Soleil. They watched the reaction of those attending, as well as holding a forum for people attending the paid ($30) masquerade ball the next night. Because of the disappointment, the monies paid by the attendees was refunded, and many were invited to forums to give their opinions. Those who did attend received a $50 shipboard credit. Some of the suggestions made at the forums were implemented before the end of the cruise. I do think Celebrity is making every effort to have this become successful. It will take work, but the concept is great. As far as people complaining about the cost, you DON'T HAVE TO GO. The Bar at the edge of the earth is open nightly and there isn't any charge to go there. I guess I get so annoyed at the negative attitudes about things on cruises. I have been on many, and when I first started cruising prices were considerably higher than they are now. If you want "an all inclusive vacation", my suggestion is to avoid Celebrity, RCI, most major lines and pay the cost of Seabourn etc. The other choice is to go to a land based "all inclusive. I love going to the specialty restaurants and don't mind paying to go there. I may be naive, but I don't feel any of us are "entitled" to everything at no cost. If that were the case, the costs for use of the casino, the shore excursions, the alcohol, the spa etc. would be more than most of us could afford. So, why is there such a negative attitude regarding the Cirque du Soleil or the specialty restaurants. Because you don't have to pay for the things you don't use, we all get good prices. The choice is yours, but then again, that's just MHO.
This is not about getting everything at no cost. It is about the things that cost encroaching on the things that never did cost in the first place and its about closing public areas of the ship for any amount of time. If the cruise lines are not kept in check they will start charging for everything. Maybe they should just start charging for every meal. Or perhaps they could charge admission for every single entertainment venue on the ship. You may laugh at this now but the bottom line is the bottom doallar and they will take it as far as they can to make a buck. So my concern is not this one thing it is the totality of it. They are creeping right along and soon the cruise fare will be just like paying for a hotel room. All you get is a bed and a bathroom. Everything else will be pay as you go.
I also never expected a cruise to be all inclusive. I dont mind paing for my drinks I also dont mind paying the payroll subsidiy that Celebrity calls a gratuity. I obviously dont mind paying for shore excurions. I also dont mind paying for pictures on the ship. I really dont mind paying the port charges so the ship can pull in and out of port. I dont mind paying for the spa treatments every once in a while. I draw the line at entertainment. Thats rediculous and sets a dangerous precedent.
For $4000 or more per cruise I'd like some free space besides my balcony. Not all the traditional cruise aspects need improvement or to become Las "Vegasized." If we want Vegas we'll go there--just want a nice cruise, good music, nice views & excellent food. As for the hot choc, I agree it is great but the mugs were leftovers from the Baltic trip--we were in Canada! Anyhow--as long as the lounge is open in the daytime fro scenic views & there is aftre dinner dancing--the rest is OK with me..
> For $4000 or more per cruise I'd like some free space besides my balcony.
As a rule, I take all of the pictures on our cruises regardless of how many family or friends are travelling with us. As a momento for the others, I create a DVD of all of the experiences I record as stills and video.
Like most people, I'm off the boat all day when in port, and so I take the "around the ship" pictures on at-sea days when EVERYONE that will be on the boat is on the boat. When these DVD's are shown to anyone that hasn't cruised with us, they all ask "Where are all the people?" Apart from sunny days on the pool deck, it is positively AMAZING how much empty public space there is on a Celebrity ship, especially any of the Millennium class boats.
11 Forward is being modified on two ships -- the Constellation has already been refitted for the CdS performances, and the Summit will be handled while in dry dock next month. In neither case will the view for the Hubbard Glacier folks (nor equally important, the not-yet-mentioned passengers of the trans-Canal trips) be ruined by what is taking place. Relax on that note.
11 Forward has been and continues to be very underutilized space. It's similar to what has happened to Michael's -- and yes, I used to enjoy my cigars with a scotch there every evening, too, but when there were only 3 or 4 of us there on a typical evening, it no doubt became impossible for Celebrity to justify the square footage we were occupying against the meager revenue.
11 Forward is a massive and very open venue on all of the M-Class ships. Apart from those very few events where it tended to pack up (it's never truly SRO, even in Alaska, since the view is limited by those in front), I've never seen it more than 1/4 full, and even those times are fairly rare. In an effort to try to get better utilization of this space, Celebrity has decided to try something novel there. But think about this for a moment, folks -- if this space was previously nearly always underutilized, what does this actually say? It says that there is already a GREAT DEAL of public space per passenger on these ships, and that people have not felt a need to use that space in an effort to "spread out". There are evidently enough other venues for evening relaxation on the ship already. If anyone here has felt "cramped" (apparently not much of a problem!), there have always been areas of 11 Forward where you could sit entirely by yourself in the evenings -- just as is the case 24 hours a day aboard a Celebrity ship. My wife and I have always commented that if you ever want to get away by yourself in a public space, even on at-sea days, it's easily enough done on Celebrity's ships.
As to the specifics of the Cirque du Soleil performance itself....
To any who have not previously seen a Cirque performance (either live or televised, but especially in the former case), you will have no way to draw any comparisons between their stationary and road shows and what takes place on a Celebrity ship. Unfortunately, those who have only seen these shows in televised form have been left to the mercy of the cinematography and post-production staff. If you were to see one of these shows live, you would be aware that it is necessary to constantly be scanning beyond the center stage action -- there are always things happening in the periphery. Those are missed almost entirely in the videos you see on A&E or Bravo, and are one of the elements of a Cirque performance that make it what it is.
A traditional Cirque performance contains several elements:
1) Gymnastics -- be it a high wire act or a water ballet, the performers that Cirque hires have always seemed to me to make Olympic gymnasts look like a bunch of lightweights. I've seen certain things done on the Cirque stage that I didn't think human beings could do. Amazing stuff.
2) Music -- I believe that Cirque has been and remains the only live music show in Las Vegas. There is certainly something to be said for this, but the music itself, live or not, is a big element of that which is "Cirque". This style of music does not appeal to everyone, any more than any other style would do so. However, it is innovative without being atonal or outright strange. It's certainly more approachable than most of the impressionistic music from Europe of early in this century. Etheral at times? Yes -- but interesting.
3) Characters -- within any Cirque performance, there will be a set of fascinating characters that you will find enigmatic, funny, and dramatic. You'll not likely have time to develop any sort of association with any of them or attachment to them apart from the "clown" who will reappear from time to time, nor will you probably understand them. They are there to provide an experience and do not expect you to "relate". These aren't characters from a novel. Beware being seated at a Cirque show too close to the actual opening -- the show starts before the show starts, and you could be one of the actors!
4) Costumes -- as much as anything else, the Cirque shows are noted for the flights of fancy of the costume designers. Fanciful -- not a bad description at all. Within the confines of the set, the costumes set the visual stage for the performance.
Whether or not you decide you like the "real thing", if you focus solely upon #1, the gymnastic element, rest assured it's missing in 11 Forward. Even the slow motion human sculptures would likely be too difficult to perform were there any motion to the ship at all. Little else that Cirque does could even _fit_ in this venue.
What's left are the remaining items, 2, 3 and 4, and I believe Cirque is trying to create an atmosphere that incorporates them all in a smaller setting. Whether they have been successful in doing so seems to be part of the bone of contention at present, but this sort of venue is a true experiment for all concerned. There is no question that this is going to be an evolving process in sorting out how to bring the essence of Cirque to people without one of its key elements, and still keep it interesting.
As to the charges --
While I'm sure that Celebrity doesn't mind an increase in revenue if they can achieve it, I honestly believe that initially, the objective was to avoid a problem that in retrospect they didn't have. If there were no charges for the spa pool on the smaller ships, we'd all be elbow to elbow there. By charging, it keeps the crowd to a managable level. Ditto the specialty restaurant. If these dinners were free, no one that wasn't a Captain's Club member with advance booking privs would likely ever be able to get into them.
So the early Ball was a bust -- Celebrity and Cirque hasn't got this figure out yet, refunded ALL of the $30 charges whether one asked or not, and put together focus groups immediately to judge reaction and understand the effects of what they'd done with the objective of producing an experience that more passengers would enjoy. What more could anyone ask?