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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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Default Terrific new Celebrity option

Celebrity Cruises is doing airline passengers a big service. With the new "Onboard Check-in and Luggage Valet" program passengers can now complete the dreaded airline and luggage check-in process for their flights home before they step off the ship. With the new service, passengers no longer have to locate their luggage, transport it to the airport or stand in long lines, saving up to two hours of waiting time. Celebrity's fee for the service ranges from $10 to $20 per person, depending on the port and service offering.

The service is being rolled out at ports across the United States, based on approval by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Patrol, as well as seaport, airport and airline security personnel. The "Onboard Check-in and Luggage Valet," is now available to Celebrity Cruises' passengers whose cruises conclude in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Miami; San Diego; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Seattle. Celebrity also offers the service for arrivals in Vancouver, British Columbia. To qualify, guests must fly to a U.S. city on an expanding list of airlines on the same day their cruise ends.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Hi Anne,

If you haven't already, you should read this:

http://cruisemates.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=545767

Doesn't seem that it's working very well!
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Old January 12th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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We are flying Air Trans for this cruise. I wonder if Celebrity will team up with Air Trans for this great new service. We did it last year and we flew US Air and didn't have any problems with it, I think they were testing the system and it was FREE. Our luggage arrived right on time back at our home airport of Buffalo, New York - what a pleasure.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 08:30 PM
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I guess it is like anything else...it will take a little time to work out the bugs. I'm just glad they are offering this service. I think it would be very beneficial to me.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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Do you know if this new service will be available out of Dover for Gatwick departures? Thanks
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Old January 13th, 2006, 08:53 PM
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Anne,

Celebrity Cruises is doing airline passengers a big service. With the new "Onboard Check-in and Luggage Valet" program passengers can now complete the dreaded airline and luggage check-in process for their flights home before they step off the ship. With the new service, passengers no longer have to locate their luggage, transport it to the airport or stand in long lines, saving up to two hours of waiting time. Celebrity's fee for the service ranges from $10 to $20 per person, depending on the port and service offering.

The service is being rolled out at ports across the United States, based on approval by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Patrol, as well as seaport, airport and airline security personnel. The "Onboard Check-in and Luggage Valet," is now available to Celebrity Cruises' passengers whose cruises conclude in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Miami; San Diego; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Seattle. Celebrity also offers the service for arrivals in Vancouver, British Columbia. To qualify, guests must fly to a U.S. city on an expanding list of airlines on the same day their cruise ends.


This service is not new. All of the cruise lines offered this service before the "9/11" attack, but it was free. Alas, the government allegedly banned it in response to the attack, though the airlines were still doing it in Alaska on my first Alaska cruise in 2002.

But now there's an extra charge for this service????? That's really obnoxious.

I usually wheel my suitcases onto and off of the vessel. Ill continue to wheel them to the transfer bus and from the transfer bus to the airline's check-in counter until the "nickel and dime" extra charge goes away.

Norm.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 11:40 PM
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What do you think about all the other extra nickel and dime charges. There are many others besides this.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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Big Apple,

What do you think about all the other extra nickel and dime charges. There are many others besides this.

Not much, but I just avoid paying them.

>> There's free coffee and tea 24x7 in the buffet area, including some very good specialty teas, so there's no need to pay for coffee and tea at the Cova Cafe di Milano.

>> The tap water aboard ship is significantly more pure than most bottled water. I don't pay for bottled water when I can get better water for free.

>> I also refuse to tip somebody whom one ordinarily does not meet at all during the curise (that is, the Assistant Chief Housekeeper), especialy when it is not "usual and customary" to do so. (I have asked the question on several boards where it's an appropriate topic, and NOBODY has identified another line that recommends a tip for the corresponding individual. Thus, it obviously is NOT "usual and customary" in the industry -- which means that Celebrity is out of line.)

>> When cruising on Princess ships (which charge extra for ice cream at the ice cream stand by the pool area), I had my ice cream at lunch or at dinner in the main dining room -- where there's no extra charge -- rather than in the dining room.

>> I also avoid eating anywhere that charges extra. The deep secret is that most cruise lines will serve exactly the same meal in the main dining room, without the surcharge, if you ask for it a day or two in advance.

There's always the story about the advertisement that promised to send the secret of success for $10.00. Those who sent in $10.00 received a small card with a fishhook attached below the words, "Fish for suckers." Alas, Celebrity seems to have found quite a few of them!

Norm.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 11:34 PM
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Celebrity is no different than any of the other main line cruise companies and for the most part they are better than the others. Will disagree with you on the charge for the alternative restaurant as it is well worth the extra charge in comparison to main dining room. You will not have a better dining experience than the Olympic on the Millinnium and I have tried many of the other cruise lines in this regard.Yes you can avoid most of these charges buy in some cases you are missing one of the highlights of a particular cruise..
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Old January 15th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Sounds like a good idea but recently we were victims of luggage not arriving at our departure port due to airline error. What happens with this servie when you land back home & your luggage does not-? -the cruiseline will blame the airline & vice versa---If we were allowed, I'd wheel my own luggage on & off & would gladly pay a personal porter fee for someone to asist me! That would be a great service & cut down on lost luggage anxiety.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 05:41 PM
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hcat,

If we were allowed, I'd wheel my own luggage on & off....

It's allowed. I have rolled my luggage on and off the ship on several cruises. Just be sure that you keep your luggage to what you can push, pull, or carry comfortably.

I usually bring two "roller back" suitecases, a brief case, and a small bakcpack. The briefcase and the backpack sit on top of the roller backs, so I can take all of it in one trip (one reoller back in each hand). I have occasionally had to tell terminal personnel who thought that they were being helpful by directing me to the baggage check-in at the terminal that I would take my own luggage aboard rather emphtically, but the only real grief that I have ever recieved was from agents at the terminal in Port Everglades who insisted that I use the elevator rather than the escalator in the terminal itself.

Norm.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 06:00 PM
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big apple,

Will disagree with you on the charge for the alternative restaurant as it is well worth the extra charge in comparison to main dining room. You will not have a better dining experience than the Olympic on the Millinnium and I have tried many of the other cruise lines in this regard.Yes you can avoid most of these charges buy in some cases you are missing one of the highlights of a particular cruise.

I have eaten in the specialty restaurants aboard GTS Infinity and GTS Millennium, and I do agree that it is a higher level of dining expericence. There are a few situations in which I would highly recommend it.

* It's a great educational experience for children who are old enough to recognize and to appreciate the difference.

* If one's tablemates decide to dine in the specialty restaurant as a group on one evening of the cruise, it's best to join the group there.

* If one wants to splurge to celebrate a special occasion, go for it!

And if you do decide to dine in the specialty restaurant, please have the courtesy to advise your waiter and your tablemates in advance that you are not coming to dinner in the dining room that evening. Etiquette demands that the table wait fifteen minutes for a late arriva, and it is not fair to others to leave them waiting in uncertainty when you have made other plans.

That said, I whould emphasize a point to which you allueded but did not state explicitly. When one dines at the specialty restaurant, one is not paying $30 per person for that fancy dinner. Rather, one is paying $30 per person above the cost of the meal that one is not eating in the main dining room. It's amazing how many people miss this distinction.

Norm.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 06:28 PM
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Will be on the Infinity in two weeks and we will go to the speciality restaurant for dinner. I believe the additional expense is well worth the total dining experience. I think food in all the Celebrity restaurants is exceptional but it is the service and presentation that is over and above the norm in their speciality restaurants. We ate in the speciality restaurant twice on our Summit cruise and once on Millie. It is our choice. We could pass on the additional expense and eat in the dining room....The cruise lines have found another way to make money AND people seem to like it!

Marketing is Marketing. If people are willing to pay extra for additional services on a cruise it is at their discression. I am the frugal cruiser and don't have much of a bill at the end of my cruises. If they gave a prize for the person who spends the least on a cruise I might win!

I would rather take several cruises a year than one expensive one and spend $$ by letting the cruise line nickel and dime me to death. Obviously they are doing a good job when I see how cruisers are forking out the $$ and not giving it a second thought.

We book inside cabins, I bring my own pop (diet/caffine free) and I don't drink alcohol. My husband might have a beer or a drink a day and we don't bother with the photos anymore, how many can you have? I usually book private excursions on the Internet before the cruise and charge very little to our shipboard account. I don't need another tee shirt with a ship name on the front, I don't wear the ones I already have.....Think my bill on our first cruise was $26! My husband charged a different credit card and I don't remember what his bill was.

I am eager to get on the Infinity in two weeks. That's all from me, the "frugal cruiser".
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Old January 16th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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As for taking luggage on--I have seen bag size enforcement every time I have checked in--they take the suitcases away---I am wondering though how they could stop you from getting off with your bags? --at that point very little alternative--may mull it over! The anxiety of getting off & the fiasco of bag searching when a flight is waiting is very unpleasant! Our next trip is 14 days to Hawaii so we may just have too much luggage to do it but on a 5 day or week long trip it seems possible!
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Old January 17th, 2006, 09:33 PM
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hcat,

As for taking luggage on--I have seen bag size enforcement every time I have checked in--they take the suitcases away...

If you insist, they will allow you to bring your own luggage aboard. I have done it several times...

Our next trip is 14 days to Hawaii so we may just have too much luggage to do it...

... including, most recently, on a 14-day tranatlatinc cruise from Civitavecchia to Galveston with a two-night precruise stay in Rome.

I posted my packing list for a fourteen-day cruise and an adaptation thereof for ladies in a recent thread titled "Packing for 14 day cruise" (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=546737) on the "Cruise Dress / Packing" discussioon board. The list should be suitable for a cruise to Hawai'i as posted, and in fact reflects what I will bring when I go to Hawai'i in October.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Norm:

Thanks for your packing list. I take out all the clothes that I THINK I will need and then leave 1/4 of them home. I do try to pack lighter each cruise. I bought my husband those light weight microfiber briefs for Xmas so he only has to bring 2 pairs and rinse each night, he likes them.

I roll all my clothes in large zip lock plastic bags that you can get in BJ's. I read about it on the boards and have been doing it since. Works great, you can get a lot into the luggage, no wrinkles and if you luggage gets opened at the airport the clothes don't fall out all over the place. You can see right through the bags and can find what you need quickly in an emergency.

The lip lock bags work like a charm. Don't want wrinkles in your clothes, give it a try. My husband doesn't use them, he does his own packing and I stay out of the way!
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Old May 20th, 2010, 03:50 PM
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These comments are from prior to 2005 when the service was just rolled out. I have never used Luggage Valet and had any of the experiences these people mentioned :-) Guess the kinks are gone!
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Old May 20th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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As far as I have experienced this is just normal luggage handling, P&O for instance check you in for the flight home from Barbados & your luggage disappears the night before & reappears at Gatwick.
As far as going on holiday & not spending any money.....not my idea of a good time, we like to have a drink or three, wine with dinner, have a spa treatment or two, go to speciality restaurants & take trips, inside cabins ....no chance!
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