Moving on...the Celebrity Equinox awaits us...Perks of an upgrade to Concierge Class...

It hot and humid here in Boca Raton, Florida, so humid that my clothes are sticking to me.  It rained all night, pouring pelting rain.  Tossing and turning all night, kicking off the covers from time to time, I awoke exhausted this morning feeling as if I hadn't slept a wink.

Both of us have bad right shoulders, different issues, similar discomfort.  We hurt today in the dampness, both taking two Aleve, know the hauling of bags into our friend's SUV was yet ahead of us.  Its almost 10 am and we can't leave here until noon since we can't board the new ship until 1:00 PM.

This time on the Celebrity Equinox we booked a Concierge Class balcony, an upgrade we elected when booking the 11 day cruise from which we'll embark three days early by the "tender" (smaller boat) in Belize.

We'll live in the small peninsula community of Placencia, a four hour drive from Belize City, for more than two months, moving to Ambergris Caye for an additional almost two weeks in yet another beach house. 

The Concierge Class upgrade was a bonus feature of the balcony cabin we selected at the time of booking.

Concierge Class includes:

Services
  • Priority check-in
  • Express luggage delivery
  • Personalized Concierge service
  • Priority disembarkation based on travel needs
  • Complimentary shoeshine service
  • Access to the exclusive Concierge Class Pre-departure Lounge
Dining
  • Main and specialty restaurant seating time preferences
  • Expanded room service menu
Amenities
  • Welcome Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine with a commemorative label featuring exclusive art work from the ArtCenter/South Florida artists
  • Pillow menu to suit sleeping preferences
  • Daily delivery of Afternoon Savories (appetizers, most of which I can't eat)
  • Plush Frette® bathrobes
  • Fresh fruit (we don't eat fruit)
  • Fresh flowers
  • Custom-blended bath amenities
  • Personalized stationery
  • Use of binoculars and golf umbrella
  • Over sized 100% cotton bath towels
  • Extra handheld hair dryer
  • Celebrity tote bag
Stateroom Features
  • Hansgrohe® massaging shower head

Hopefully, this express check-in feature will serve us as well as the seamless check-in we experienced leaving San Diego on January 3rd when we boarded the Celebrity Century for our 15 day Panama Canal Cruise.  Now, after three days in Florida, we are excited to board the new ship. 

Packing carefully, we'll
only have to open a few of our bags aboard the Equinox, hiding the remainder behind the curtains as Tom so cleverly managed to accomplish on the last cruise.  Hopefully, by dinner time tonight, we'll be unpacked and ready to enjoy another fabulous evening dining with amazing food and meeting other passengers.


Last night, we finally booked our airfare for June 3, 2013 getting us back to Barcelona after our 15 night cruise and two week stay in Dubai.  We struggled when deciding on the airline and the flight time. 

Hoping to get a great price and handling of our excess luggage (two bags over the limit), we finally decided to go for the shortest non-stop flight (7 hours 55 minutes from Dubai to Barcelona) of which there was only one, at $700 per person with an allowance of two large bags plus one carry-on each. 

This flight was almost twice as much as the 11 hour, two stops, separate airlines, changing planes, layover flights offered.  We'll store our two extra bags in a storage facility we found near the pier avoiding $100 in extra charges.

We decided that the 8:15 am flight on luxurious Emirates Air with many amenities was worth the extra expense including service of gourmet meals.  We don't enjoy flying. Simplifying the process makes it a more pleasant experience leaving us comfortable with our decision.  I had budgeted $1500 for this particular flight.  We'll have the extra $100 for tips and gum. 

Now, we must find a hotel for the one night we'll stay in Barcelona until our cruise a day later, departing from Barcelona to explore the Mediterranean.  While on board the Equinox we'll research and book the one night plus another night we'll need a few months later, which we'll describe in a future post.

Here we go once again, boarding our second Celebrity ship which placed us into the "Captain's Club" providing some cocktail parties and extra perks which we'll report on as we experience them.  That combined with the Concierge Class upgrade should make this an extra special experience.  After reading many reviews online, some cruisers didn't see any added value for the two upgrades but we shall see how it works for us.  We're easy to please and we appreciate even the slightest extra amenity.

Special thanks to our friend Carol in Boca Raton for putting up with us for three days, for the comfortable accommodations, the fun dinner party meeting her friends and for the bothersome drive to and from the Fort Lauderdale Pier.

Back in touch soon with updates, pricing and comments on the Celebrity Equinox and the journey to Belize.  Stay well.

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