The second cruise we booked on Friday...


Red berries growing on a palm tree.
Its odd how we often book two cruises at once or I should say, Tom books two cruises at once.  I suppose  he decides to book two cruises when its related to the fact that a particular promotion is taking place at the time of booking.

Celebrity has a promotion at this time, called, "1, 2,3 Go!" which includes: one, cost of gratuities; two, value of an on board cabin credit; and three, which is the drink package for two ,valued at roughly $60 per person per day.   If one chooses the "concierge class" (an upgraded cabin and location), all three promos are included.  If you choose certain balcony classes, a traveler may choose one or two of the three options.
Celebrity Solstice which we sailed on our way to Honolulu in
October is the same ship for these two recently booked cruises.
We weren't able to choose the "1,2,3 Go!" package when booking the cruise we posted yesterday when it wasn't available for that particular sailing.

Tom always tries to make it work that we get all three when the cost differential is worthwhile since the upgraded cabins have a higher cost.  The big issue for us, is that I don't drink alcohol, juice or sugary beverages, making it redundant for me to end up with a "free" drink package.  How much included bottled water can one drink in a day?

Here's a link that further explains the "1, 2, 3 Go!" package.

Plus, Tom has to factor in that he only drinks a few cocktails each day.  Does having a "free" drink package make him drink more?  Perhaps.  It would be hard to resist for any cruise passenger.  Tom's fun when he drinks, never sloppy, never drunk or embarrassing, so I don't mind a bit.

As it turns out, based on Tom's calculations, it made sense to upgrade to the concierge class for the cruise described here today, as opposed to the cruise info we posted yesterday where it made no sense financially, although we did book a good balcony cabin in a good location at an increased price.

Below are the many features of the Celebrity Solstice, the ship for both of these two recently booked cruises:
   

 Ship Statistics 
Year Built2008
Tonnage122,000 tons
RegistryMalta
Length1,033 feet
Beam121 feet
Passenger Capacity2,850
Crew Size999
Total Inside Cabins102
Total Outside Cabins1,323
Cabins & Suites w/ verandas1,177
Suites56
Maximum Occupancy per room5
Age RestrictionsOne person must be 21 or older
Dinner Seatings2
Seating Assignments
in Main Dining Room
Assigned
Dining Hours6:15 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Dining Room Dress CodeDining
Tipping Recommended?Yes
Tipping GuidelinesAdded to onboard account. $12.00 per person, per day in staterooms, $12.50 per person, per day for Concierge/Aqua class, $15.50 per person, per day for Suites. 15% tip included on beverage orders.
Onboard CurrencyUS Dollar
   
Services & Amenities
Bars/Lounges14
Beauty Salon/Barber ShopYes
CasinoYes
ChapelNo
Disco/DancingYes
ElevatorsYes
Hot Tub10
Cell Phone ServiceYes
Internet CenterYes
Wireless Internet AccessYes
Note: Available in certain areas
Laundry/Dry CleaningYes
LibraryYes
Movie TheatreYes
Outdoor Movie ScreenNo
Onboard WeddingsYes
Self Serve LaundromatsNo
ShopsYes
ShowroomYes
SpaYes
Video ArcadeYes
Fitness & Sports Facilities
Basketball CourtYes
Fitness CenterYes
Golf Driving NetNo
Golf SimulatorNo
Ice Skating RinkNo
Jogging TrackYes
Mini-Golf CourseNo
Rock Climbing WallNo
Swimming Pool3
Tennis CourtNo
Water SlideNo
Water Sports PlatformNo
Cabin Features & Amenities
24-Hour Room ServiceYes
Hair DryerYes
SafeYes
TelephoneYes
TelevisionYes
Kids Facilities
BabysittingYes
Children's PlayroomYes
Kiddie PoolNo
Supervised Youth ProgramYes
Teen CenterYes
Special Needs & Requests
Adjoining Cabins
     (private connecting doors)
Yes
Kosher MealsYes
Single Occupancy CabinsNo
Single Share ProgramNo
Wheelchair-Accessible Cabins
 
Soon, we'll figure out where to live in the South Pacific during this gap in time.  While living in Kauai, we'll continue the process of figuring out where we'll spend this period of time.  The options are many based on our location at the time.

Our total cost for this cruise is $4820.36 which includes all taxes, gratuities and subsequent credits.  On top of this expense is the cost for the "bill" we receive at the end of the cruise including (if no drink package); alcoholic and other beverages, bottled water (tea and coffee are free),  the ship's WiFi fees (cost per minute), purchases in the shops, visits to the doctor and cost for spa services or any other services not included in the fare.

Here's the cruise information for this later cruise on the same ship, the Celebrity Solstice, three and a half months after the cruise we listed yesterday.  We continue to book all of our cruises with vacationstogo.com:

FastDeal
12360
12 nights departing March 1, 2017 on
Celebrity's Celebrity Solstice

Brochure Inside$3,398
Our Inside$1,699
You Save 50%
Brochure Oceanview$3,798
Our Oceanview$1,824
You Save 52%
Brochure Balcony$4,098
Our Balcony$1,949
You Save 52%
Brochure Suite$6,098
Our Suite$3,049
You Save 50%
$$$ Book select oceanview and balcony categories, and choose one of the following offers: a $300 per cabin onboard credit, FREE pre-paid gratuities (a per cabin value of $288), or a FREE beverage package for two, which includes select alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages onboard (a per cabin value of $1,176). Book select suite categories, and receive all 3 offers:  a $300 per cabin onboard credit plus the pre-paid gratuities (a per cabin value of $372) and beverage packages listed above.
Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.
The prices shown are US dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. They include port charges but do not include airfare or (where applicable) airport or government taxes or fees.
 
Important Note: Visas are required for this itinerary.
ITINERARY








DAY

DATE

PORT

ARRIVE

  DEPART
WedMar1Sydney, Australia 6:30pm
ThuMar2At Sea
FriMar3At Sea
SatMar4Noumea, New Caledonia 8:00am5:00pm
SunMar5Lifou, New Caledonia 8:00am5:00pm
MonMar6Mystery Island, Vanuatu 8:00am5:00pm
TueMar7At Sea
WedMar8Suva, Fiji 8:00am5:00pm
ThuMar9Lautoka, Fiji 7:00am4:00pm
FriMar10At Sea
SatMar11At Sea
SunMar12At Sea
MonMar13Sydney, Australia 6:30am
 
I'm a cheap date on a cruise and Tom doesn't charge more than his drinks.  My drinks are all free when I only drink iced tea and coffee and the ship's reverse osmosis purified water.  I don't care for massages or spa services and I rarely buy anything in the various overpriced shops.  I do use a fair amount of WiFi when writing our posts each day but then again so does Tom, helping with research and entertaining himself while I work on the photos and stories to post.

Considering all of the above, our usual bill at the end of each cruise for 14 days, runs around $1100, most of which is for WiFi.  Also, we always have XcomGlobal's MiFi with us when cruising, at an additional cost of About $400 per month with a limited amount of data per day only working on the days we're in port.  Out to sea, we have no option but to use the ship's Internet which is expensive and unreliable.

We won't book any additional cruises until after we purchase more "deposit vouchers" on board our next cruise this upcoming May enabling us to pay only $100 per person deposit as opposed to $450 per person deposit.  To purchase these, we don't have to have a specific cruise in mind and these vouchers have no end date.

Yesterday, we'd mentioned listing our five booked future cruises, costs, dates etc.  However, as lengthy as today's post proved to be, we'll wait and post these tomorrow.  We apologize for changing this plan last minute. 

Have a restful Sunday!
__________________________________________
 
Photo from one year ago today, January 11, 2014:

One year ago we posted this photo we took from the veranda in Marloth Park.  Oh, how we loved the visits from the gentle friendly zebra often arriving in all male herds.  For a funny zebra video and more, please click here.

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