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Old November 11th, 2006, 04:11 PM
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Default HOWD from onboard the Century 2 day preview

I’m onboard the 2 day TA/Media preview of the Century. I boarded around noon, along with the entourage I had to hire to help me with all my luggage.

The ship is fabulous, and I saw some of the open show suites, including the Penthouse Nancy has for the NYPC. WOW!

I’m in a Concierge Class cabin, and though a bit small, they are beautifully decorated, with tons of storage. Anyone with CC cabins for the NYPC will be delighted I’m sure.

I wasn’t able to see the Sunset Verandah cabins, as none were open. I’ll try to see one tomorrow. But I did take pictures of their balconies; really nice!!

Later tonight, after an evening onboard, I’ll try and post more thoughts.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 06:01 PM
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Great news Kuki. As I just stated in another post, the lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) and I just can't imagine how the Century can get any better than it always has been! She has always been our favorite ship, and from the sound of your post, will continue to be. We can't wait to board for the Cruise of the Century.

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Old November 11th, 2006, 11:15 PM
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Kuki, nice to hear the Concierge Class cabin is nice. We're looking forward to ours! Don't forget to please check out the area/activities for teens onboard.
Also, could you put my name on a deck chair by the pool for Dec. 30th?

donna
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Old November 12th, 2006, 01:23 AM
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Kuki - thanks for the report. If you can, please check out how they'll handle a back-to-back as to getting off and back on. Thanks.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 02:11 AM
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I’ve just returned to the cabin after my first night onboard. A VERY late night at that. We had late seating dinner at 8:30 PM in the Grand Restaurant. The Grand is an amazingly elegant dining room. In my “favorites article? this dining room was on the top of my list, and with the refurbishment of the ship, I think it’s once again one of the classics.

We were seated on the upper level and off to the side, and I did find it quite loud, so difficult to carry on a conversation across a round table of only 8. However, that could have been due to the fact we’ve got a ship load of travel agents and media who’ve been given free liquor all day and evening

I was delighted to see my favorite Celebrity appetizer, mushrooms in a puff pastry on the menu, and once again it didn’t disappoint. The rest of the meal was delightful, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Veal Picata I chose.

After dinner I was going to stop in the casino for a bit, but the place was packed!! Again likely due to alcohol induced gamblers. But with the ship doing its normal 4 and 5 day itineraries, I think the casino will most likely always be busy, as on short cruises people tend to gamble more.

As I couldn’t find a blackjack table to play at I headed to the Theatre to see Scott Record’s show. This fellow is a singing comedy impressionist, and to my surprise (don’t know why I was surprised) he was very, very good.

I then returned to the casino, and the crowd had thinned some, so I played some blackjack until it was time to go to the late night comedy show by Noodles Levenstein; a comedian I’ve seen before and really enjoy!

Tomorrow morning there’s a fashion show with Celebrity introducing a new line of clothing- called the Blue Collection. And afterwards they are inaugurating a new shop called Boutique C (would you ever guess the C stands for Celebrity? )

I spent more time wandering the ship, and I really do love the ship. The “Ice Bar? is a unique atmosphere, and was jammed. Of course that can happen when no one needs to hand over a “sail & sign card?. As nice as this bar is it is also a bit undersized, considering how popular a gathering spot I believe this will be.

I promise to get up to the teen club tomorrow, and also find my way into the Sunset Verandah cabins. Those cabins balconies are not really visible from the Sunset Bar below, because of a canopy above the bar, but they are open to viewing from Deck 12 above. However it doesn’t seem that there would be much traffic above because there’s not much up there. The balconies on those cabins are a nice size.

The other aft cabins on lower decks are at least partially open to above, but do have a small area covered by the overhang.


The Concierge Class balconies, though somewhat smaller, are still a nice size. And all the NYPC cruisers should enjoy them. The table on these balconies is a “normal height?, with two chairs, so you’ll easily be able to enjoy coffee, and even a meal on them if you choose.

The décor and furnishings on this ship are first rate, and elegant. I only hope that she doesn’t get too beat up doing the shorter cruises.

A busy day on tap for tomorrow, and a press Q & A forum with Celeb’s President, Dan Hanrahan. So, if you have any questions you’d like me to direct at him, post them quick.

We’re dining in Murano tomorrow night, so I’ll be able to offer a full report on that too.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 02:14 AM
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I almost forgot..

At the blackjack table I was talking to the fellow next to me. He told me he works for United Airlines. Boy was he sorry he told me that!

The best part of that story is he also said he flew down from Rochester NY on Jet Blue. I swear it's true
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Old November 12th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Default HowD from onboard the Century 2-Day Cruise

Kuki, I, too, would appreciate it if you could find out how Celebrity plans to handle the back-to-back for those of us going on the two-day. Especially, what happens to the luggage. Do they simply move it to the next cabin, or do we have to reclaim it?

Thanks!

Judy
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Old November 12th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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It’s our second and last day onboard. Very weird!

This morning I attended the fashion show for the introduction of the Blue collection. All the shoppers will enjoy the variety of casual wear that they’ll be selling from this line in the shops on Celebrity.

Following that we attended the opening of the Boutique C, which is a high end jewelry shop, with outstanding high end goods from Leon’s of Beverly Hills. Funny, because at home Leon’s is a cheap furniture shop.

I then spent the morning touring the ship, and checked out X-treme, the teen area. It’s actually a rather small spot, on the bow, on the opposite side of the ship from the Hemisphere Lounge/disco. There’s a separate lounging area with a couple of smaller nooks and crannies included, and then another separate area that is the games arcade.

The new aqua spa and work out facilities looked great, and well equipped. They Persian Garden is located in the same area. Celebrity fans will be disappointed to see that with all the changes the Thallasotherapy Pool is no longer present.

I spoke with Murano about booking the entire dining room for one night during the New Year’s Party of the Century cruise, and I should know later this evening if we can reserve the restaurant.

Off to the press Q & A session with the Celebrity execs now. More later……I
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Old November 12th, 2006, 03:47 PM
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Kuki - I sure hope the group can reserve the restaurant for one night!
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Old November 12th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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This afternoon’s “press meeting? was very interesting, and I think the trip, along with news from this meeting will make a good article about Celebrity, the Century… and along the way should increase the anticipation for everyone going on the CruiseMates New Year’s Party of the Century Group Cruise.

The news for now is that it does appear we’ll be able to pre-book Murano’s alternate restaurant for the group. If demand is high enough we’ll be allowed to pre-book the entire restaurant for 2 nights (One of the nice perks of booking a CM group cruise - we try to get extras for the group because of our relationship with the cruise lines).

Murano’s dinner will cost each person $30 extra, and the restaurant only holds 50 people. Therefore the first 50 people to express an interest will get confirmed for one night, and if there’s another 50 we’ll get it booked for a second night.

I’ll start a thread on the Century Group Cruise message board, where you can post your interest, and we can keep a tally. FYI I’m aiming for Jan 1 & 2 to book the restaurant.

I’m dining in Murano’s tonight, so I’ll fill in details later or when I get home.

In my view one of the most delightful things I learned at today’s meeting is that the wandering acapella singing groups, which used to be a mainstay on Celebrity ships, will be returning to all Celebrity ships, and they’re going to begin including some other different roving entertainment. One new one will be wandering “close up? magic acts, and even fortune tellers.

You’ll have to wait for the full article to hear the rest of the gossip!!
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Old November 12th, 2006, 06:35 PM
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Thanks Kuki,
Sounds absolutely wonderful, now you'll keep us in suspense for the rest of the news, huh?
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Old November 12th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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Kuki--keep us informed to where, when and how we can express our desires to attend the Murano event.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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Ray - go over the Party of the Century board and post on his thread over there.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for all the info, Kuki, sounds wonderful! I cannot wait for this cruise to begin!

I'm thinking the back to back process should be pretty smooth although we aren't changing cabins, not sure how that would work.

I would hope you'd just pack and they'd move the bags for you to the next cabin. I wouldn't think the bags would have to go off the ship, somehow that doesn't make sense. Hopefully Kuki will have the answer!
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Old November 12th, 2006, 11:19 PM
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Glad to hear your enjoying your Preview--- I just hope what Celebrity is showing you is the same thing we'll be getting---
I was on an inaugral cruise and right after there too was a big TA/Media 2 day cruise to nowhere--- my TA was on it------ well we compaired notes---my 17 day cruise to her 2 day cruise------- and you would have thought we were on 2 entirely different ships---- she told me it was nice to know what the actual product was----and not what they were giving away to all the TA and such-----------
but then again New Years is special---- no matter what and where
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Old November 12th, 2006, 11:49 PM
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Now I'm even more excited for our New Years cruise Kuki, if that's possible!
Can't wait to see your pics and hear what more news you may have for us!

donna
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Old November 13th, 2006, 12:22 AM
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The last night .. Sigh !! : (

About 5 PM I got a call from the Maitre D of Murano’s. Our scheduled evening reservation for dinner at Murano’s had to be cancelled. The restaurant is closed due to “technical difficulties? in the galley.

Rumor has it, from discussions with other passengers, that the smell of smoke attracted their attention when they were going by Muranos on Deck 5 this afternoon. And that when the doors were opened smoke billowed out of the area, and fire extinguishers were seen going in. I couldn’t get this “rumor? confirmed, but we dined back in the Grand Restaurant instead.

IF there was a fire it was handled immediately, and didn’t impact any of the events on the ship, other than the closing of the restaurant.

Instead we were invited to a cocktail party with top Celeb execs, and top producing agents; our Century agent- Nancy Bogert was present, and she and I got to visit for awhile.
They obviously really want to take care of their travel agent base, as the food offered was quite incredible, with all kinds of choices. I just stood at the Crepe Susette station and devoured.

I could have skipped dinner after this, but why would I? Dinner was excellent. With the high demands put on the staff for an event such as this - with a fairly demanding group onboard, servers did appear somewhat rushed at times, but the end result was still more than satisfying.

After dinner tonight I headed to the casino for a visit, rather than attending the production show. While playing some blackjack I was talking to some people at the table who work for Harrah’s Casinos. I learned they were on the ship because Harrah’s is entering into an agreement with RCI and Celebrity to work on their Casino Players Program.
I also learned that the casino had a record night last night. That means more people lost than won, which is pretty normal in a casino. Thankfully, I was lucky, and wasn’t on the losing side of the ledger.

Celebrity is expecting the 4 and 5 day itineraries of Century to increase the per diem profits of the casino, above the norm of their ships doing longer cruises.

For those booked on the 2 day following the NYPC, I thought I had already mentioned this, but it may have got lost in cyberspace……
You most likely won’t have to leave the ship on turnaround day back in Miami. You should be able to stay onboard and relax, and the staff will assist anyone who has to move cabins. I’m told this could change on the whim of Customs & Immigration, however they don’t anticipate this being the case. The entire process should be able to be handled for you onboard.
I’m off the ship tomorrow and headed for what is hopefully a less adventurous flight home than I had coming. But… it was worth the hassle to see the New Century. She is stunning.

Oh.. And I was talking to Captain Pagonis today, who I sailed with on this ship in the Baltic last year, and he can’t wait to meet the CruiseMates gang. His wife and daughter are joining him on the ship for the holidays, and they’re hoping they can join us all at the CruiseMates cocktail party.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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I'm sitting in a lounge at MIA, waiting for my afternoon flight. Because this cruise as a cruise to nowhere there was no immigration to deal with. 8 AM they annouced the ship was cleared for debarkation. I took my time, and simply walked off the ship with my luggage. No lines, no chaos... seemed no one was in a hurry.

I was at MIA by 9 AM. Unfortunately lots of time to kill until my 1:05 flight. When checking in my boarding pass got the dreaded "ssss" notation for more complete random security checks. So when I go through security to the gates, I'll be getting "extra attention". With my travel luck this trip I'll probably end up getting the full "cavity" check

I loved the new Century. She's a strikingly beautiful ship inside. Impossible to do a full review from a 2 day "special" sailing, but ignoring the cruise experience, I can't see how anyone who's sailing her won't love the looks and feel of the ship.

And they are now forewarned about the coming arrival of the CruiseMates New Year's Party of the Century cruisers
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Old November 13th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Kuki: After reading your reports, I cannot wait for this cruise. Of course, I always say that...but this time I REALLY need a cruise.....of course, I always say that! I've been putting in tons of overtime at work (52 hours over the last two weeks)...so I really need a cruise. Hope you have an uneventful journey home.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:06 PM
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Thanks for the reports, Kuki and the Century does sound great, I can't wait for this cruise to begin!

I've been working long hours, too and always a 40 hr. week and taking its toll on me. This is a case of be careful what you wish for, I was always complaining about not enough hours, now this year I've had too many!!!

Come on Century Cruise, we're all ready!!! :-)
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Old November 14th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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I'm home but I want to go back NOW!!

Can't believe it was only 2 days on the ship. Liked the ship so much even 5 days is going to be nowhere near enough.

From the over 1800 people onboard, I didn't hear one negative comment about the ship. This one is a HIT!!
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