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Old 01-15-2014, 12:35 PM   #1
xwewhisper
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Valentine's Day Celebrity Cruise PTR

Hi all! With my Valentine's weekend cruise quickly approaching I wanted to get started on a PTR. I know a lot of us here are loyal to DCL, but since some of the ports I will be visiting will be similar, I thought it would be nice to share

The Why:
We had toyed with the idea of doing a short cruise out of Galveston, but Carnival would be our only option and there wasn't really nicely one over the weekend. However, I signed up for a travel agent newsletter for cruises to see if this ever changed. On Black Friday, I got a lovely email stating a bunch of cruise deals, and we happened to find an amazing deal for us! Not only do the dates work out perfectly, I get to go to a new port AND we get the beverage package included FOR FREE (hello $400 savings at least!) We were also able to get pretty great rates on a flight so it seemed like a done deal!

The When:
February 13-17, 2014

The Where:
Celebrity Constellation Bahamian cruise
Leaving Port Everglades (Fort Lauder dale)
Stops in Nassau & Key West

Up next: The cast!
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:41 PM   #2
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The Cast:

Me- 24 year old Disney loving freak! I LOVED my past Disney cruises but wasn't impressed with NCL so I'm a little hesitant to try this new cruise line. I've also always had a veranda stateroom so this will be a completely new experience for me I'm trying to plan enough so I don't get anxiety before the trip, but not so much I can't just enjoy the vacation! I'm hoping for some nice book-by-the-pool type weather but am excited for whatever onboard activities they have going on! But keep me away from those art auctions!



Cody- 23 year old dear boyfriend. He's a little on the nerdy side but appreciates my love for Disney, even if he doesn't love it himself (yet ) His family has cruised numerous times in the past and he liked NCL just fine and doesn't really have any concerns about this trip. He's very much "go-with-the-flow" which causes me some stress He'll also be looking forward to some relaxing reading, but he'll also probably spend some time at the casino and trying to get his money's worth of our free beverages!



And here we are together being all cute at Epcot (the reason I can get him to go back with me!)



We've been dating about 7 months now and have gone on numerous little vacations together. He's slowly moving into my apartment so we figure if we can survive a tiny little cruise cabin together we are probably going to be all set Hopefully there won't be any relationship-drama between now and then but I can't imagine there will, things have been pretty smooth sailing!

Up next: Wait, we booked what?!
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:24 PM   #3
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:17 PM   #4
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Great start. Hopefully you enjoy the cruise line. I've never cruised, but am planning on our next big trip being a Disney cruise so I'm trying to figure out the whole "cruise" thing.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:32 PM   #5
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Sounds like fun! Always interesting to read about different cruise lines, as I've only gone with DCL.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:01 PM   #6
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Great start! We've only cruised once on Disney's Wonder, so I'll be interested to hear all about your experiences with this cruise line.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:01 PM   #7
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:58 PM   #8
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Score on the free drink package. Sounds like a nice cruise. I'm sure the 2 of you will have a great time! My DH & I planned a trip to NYC after only a few months being together and people asked if I was nervous about planning ahead. Sure wasn't. All worked out and we've been married almost 8 years now.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:07 AM   #9
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:08 PM   #10
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chezp View Post
Great start!
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by stardust190 View Post
Great start. Hopefully you enjoy the cruise line. I've never cruised, but am planning on our next big trip being a Disney cruise so I'm trying to figure out the whole "cruise" thing.
Some people love it, some hate it! I prefer the structure and getting a little taste of a few places

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Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
Sounds like fun! Always interesting to read about different cruise lines, as I've only gone with DCL.
They are supposed to have some of the best food in the cruise industry, so hopefully it will be at least close to DCL!

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Originally Posted by Cam22 View Post
Great start! We've only cruised once on Disney's Wonder, so I'll be interested to hear all about your experiences with this cruise line.
Thanks! I'm going to detail a bit about what we've heard of this line on the next update!

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Great start!
Thanks!

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Score on the free drink package. Sounds like a nice cruise. I'm sure the 2 of you will have a great time! My DH & I planned a trip to NYC after only a few months being together and people asked if I was nervous about planning ahead. Sure wasn't. All worked out and we've been married almost 8 years now.
Aww that's great! We've also planned a May Disney trip together so I mean we are stuck together until at least then

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Great start!
Thanks!

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Great start!
Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:23 PM   #12
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Wait, we booked what?!

So being a "Black Friday" deal, the whole booking process was VERY whirlwind and we had paid the full amount for the cruise before we even really knew what hit us. Then, knowing it is a holiday weekend we only waited a few days for the flight. (We later realized that the free beverage package offer was extended...)

My travel agent is super nice at Vacations to Go, and because in the morning when we first looked up prices, and the afternoon when we had booked, the price had gone up $50, so we got that in an onboard credit He tried to talk us into a straight onboard credits and out of the free beverage package, but we know how we vacation, and that is with a lot of wine So he finally conceded and booked us a GTY Oceanview stateroom Cat 8- cheapest we could get and still get the free package!

So there's the first hiccup, am I going to be okay without the open veranda? I think so because it's still kind of winter on our trip so who knows how warm it will even be! When I did a spring break cruise on NCL in college, we left from NYC and it was downright COLD so we never even used it! (It was nice once we got to the Bahamas, but we were too busy anyway) It also made me nervous because Category 8 is allll the way down at the bottom of the ship, lower than I'd ever stayed. But really, for such a great deal I looked past all that!

The beverage package is unfortunately, not all inclusive. What it does include is beer up to $6, wine and mixed drinks up to $8, non-alcoholic beverages AND TIPS. That's where I think it will be a lifesaver! No tipping every time we head to a bar! We will probably splurge on a few specialty things, but the plan is to try to hit the fancy drinks in port, when we'd be paying anyway! I'm hoping we can still get basic well drinks and house wines at this price point, as it doesn't seem like a lot. The savings should still be more than the other offers overall - just the one little concern there! It worked out to $400 savings since it was free, but I think on a 4 night cruise we could both easily drink $50 in drinks a day, because when you think about it $8 drink + $1 tip = 6ish drinks each a day to have made that the best deal picked. I like mimosas with breakfast and have no shame drinking all day, and we can easily have 3 drinks each with dinner. So easy peasy! I'm hoping to keep track and see how much we really save, but we will see if that's possible

So once we were booked, THEN we did the real research on Celebrity. We had done enough to know they weren't on Carnival's level, and that was enough for the price for a winter escape (it's been surprisingly cold here in Texas!) It's a cruise line geared towards the older crowd, no spring breakers or families here. Maybe not great for us all the time, but for a romantic Valentine's Day trip? Should be just fine. They were bought out by Royal Caribbean, which made me feel better almost instantly since I've heard that RCL is about the best outside of Disney The ship we are going on was also re-fitted to be more in line with the newer ones, so should be solid there!

What really has us both excited, is the food! We have found that they are supposed to have some of the best food on the seas! We love to eat, and eat well, so this is enough for us! We signed up for Main Dining and requested a table with others. I'm on the shy side but Cody loves to chat it up and that's one of my favorite things about cruising, getting to know others and their experiences! I'm hoping that the line is good about matching like groups up, as it will make it easier for conversation to flow!

Up next: What can I plan!?
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:17 PM   #13
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Interesting that Celebrity is aimed at an older crowd, as I always had the perception (don't ask me why) that they were very much aimed at a young crowd, so that's interesting to know...

I'll be interested to see what you make of the food on board, as we're real foodies too!
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:29 PM   #14
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Sounds like a pretty good deal on the beverage service! I have a friend who sailed Celebrity last year and enjoyed it - they were with a large group of couples! For that short of a trip I wouldn't fret over not having a balcony - sounds like you two will be enjoying the ship anyway!
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:48 PM   #15
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That's what I've always heard about Celebrity-- great food! And yes, they are geared to an older crowd, but I think it depends a lot on the itinerary who actually books with them. I think you'll see a mix of young couples and quite a few older ones. Not large groups of singles, and not lots of kids, as you say. It sounds like you got a great deal, and the cabin should be fine for a short cruise.
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