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Discussion in 'Celebrity Cruises' started by SusyQ, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. SusyQ

    SusyQ Guest

    I will be taking my first cruise with Celebrity Mercury in August 2006 (Alaska) My husband and I are booked in stateroom 1201 which is concierge class-has anyone ever stayed in this room. The balconies look bigger on rooms 1200 and 1201 on this skydeck than the balconies on the other stateroom verandas on the penthouse deck. ??? Also for $200 more per person ($400) we can updgrade to SS. This is my third cruise (twice on Disney) My husband has resisted my efforts to get him on a cruise (states he would rather watch paint dry) However he has agreed to an Alaskan cruise, so I want it to be impressionable. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest


    You are correct in thinking that the balcony on 1201 is significantly larger than those on comparable CC rooms on the Penthouse deck. Having said that, understand that most of the balcony is observable from above, on the Sunrise deck. That may not be a problem for you, but it is for some people.

    My bigger concern about 1201 is that it is directly adjacent to the jogging track and upper pool deck area. You will have early morning joggers and walkers, and I am not sure whether you may hear them in your stateroom. I know for certain that you'll hear the band and games poolside in good weather. Again, it may not concern you at all, but it would concern me.

    Whether you upgrade to a Sky Suite or not is highly subjective, and various folks' opinions will vary greatly. The upgrade will basically get you two things. Your stateroom will be significantly larger, and you will get butler service. Some people find the butler to be overkill and of little value. We happen to enjoy the extra spoiling. If you can upgrade to a SS on the Sky Deck your balcony will nearly double in size from 1201, and it will be 4-5 times larger than the Penthouse Deck SS balconies. I would probably upgrade if I could get the deck 12 suite, but not for deck 10.

    Enjoy your cruise, and I hope you get hubby hooked on cruising!

  3. SusyQ

    SusyQ Guest

    Thanks Ted for the information on stateroom 1201, I did not know that we would be exposed to the upper deck. I guess I will take the compromise of more room-less privacy and hopefully there won't be to many early morning joggers. As my husband is afraid he is going to be trapped on the boat with nothing to do, I think I will spend the extra money (no upgrade to SS) on shore excursions. If you can recommend any let me know. Loves scenery and mountains. Thanks
  4. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest


    If DH loves scenery and mountains, Alaska will bowl him over. It's drop dead beautiful and it's scale will humble you. If you already own a small pair of binoculars, remember to pack them. You'll probably have a set in your stateroom -- but there are two of you! My favorite excursion was to fly out over the mountains and land on the glacier to walk around. Some folks go salmon fishing and others go dog sledding, but either appeal to me. Kuyakers swear about their enjoyment, but again that isn't for my wife and me.

    If you haven't done Alaska before, you will need to pack for layering, and by all means take a rain slicker. Alaska in August might be in the 80's, but it just as easily could be in the 60's. So layering is the key.

  5. SusyQ

    SusyQ Guest

    Thanks for all the great tips-I will have to start thinking "layering" so different than planning for tropical cruise. DO you or anyone out there have any pros or cons related to early or late dining?
  6. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    We prefer late seating on all cruises, but we eat late at home as well so it's a no brainer for us. There are benefits of both, and it is largely a matter of personal preference. The food is exactly the same, of course, and the service should be the same. Some say that the service at second seating is a little less hurried since thay do not have to clear, clean, and re-set the tables for another seating. If that benefit is indeed real, in my opinion, it may be offset by the fact that second seating foot will sit a little longer after cooking and before serving. So, it is largely a push.

    It is definitely true that most of the families with small kids and elderly passengers will choose the early seating on any cruise. An Alaska itinerary will have fewer kids but more seniors than a Caribbean cruise. So, if that makes a difference to you, it might influence your choice.

    It is also true that you will have more time after going ashore to prepare for dinner and chill out if you have second seating. But, you will have less time after dinner for activities before bed time. Again, it is a push. Remember, however, that it stays light in Alaska until very late (sunset at 11:00 PM or so). That affects some people's schedules and sleep cycles -- but never has been an issue for us.

  7. Susy,

    One thing to consider (as most don't) is the route of your cruise & your cabin location. Are you heading northbound or southbound? If it is a N or S cruise, you want to be on the side of the ship facing inland. That being said, we have always booked a Sky Suite & love it. The suite is MUCH larger than other cabins (even CC) as is the bathroom. We have never had any problems with onlookers on our balcony nor has there ever been a problem with joggers. For such a little difference in price, the Sky Suite is really a great value! I would not wait another minute, I would book the Sky Suite & enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! You will LOVE Celebrity, it truly is a premium line!
  8. SusyQ

    SusyQ Guest

    Thanks for the advice-I decided to splurge and booked Cabin 1208 a SS on the sky deck-What the heck, it's only $200 each extra and I figured with free use of the therapy pool -my DH loves expresso and I like Cappaccinnos so it will probably be worth it. I spend that much on shoes a year. I have a round trip from Seattle doing the inside passgae so I expect I will see everything once. Is the room service menu differrent for sky suites ? Maybe you can give me some tipping hints. I know that we can tip at the end of the cruise and there is a recommended amount for each person. Do I wait until then to tip the butler or do I have to tip him everytime I ask for something like an extra pillow or a Cappaccino or everytime he brings breakfast? If clothes need to be ironed is there a public laundry or do we have to pay for anything that needs to ironed do to packing.?
    Help! I am such a novice at this sorry for all the questions. have been on the Disney Magic only and they have a pay laundromat but free ironing boards and iron (you have to do your own).
  9. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    Congrats on your upgrade. I am very sure that you'll not regret it, and despite what you said earlier, getting a little further away from the pool and joggers makes me more comfortable. Wait until you see how big your balconey is. I bet you will end up eating breakfast on it more than once if the weather cooperates.

    When you order room service it is from the regular room service menu, or if it is meal time you may also order anything (or everything) on the regular restaurant menu. Your butler will serve it in courses, just as would occur in the restaurant, unless you prefer it all at once. If you like, you can also have a standing order with the butler for coffee, juice, danish, etc every morning. Or, you can have a standing order for an evening cocktail. It's all terribly ritzy and my wife and I love it. You tip the butler exactly as you would your cabin steward and waiter, at the very end of the cruise. And, they publish suggested amounts on the celebrity website, in the FAQ's. I believe, but you should check, they recommend $3.50 per person per day.

    If you need things pressed, there is a normal dry cleaners / laundry on board, but no self-service facility. There is a nominal fee, about what you would pay at home. Some people pack a travel iron, but we never do. Careful packing has been sufficient for us. By the way, the butler will also assist in unpacking if you desire.

    And SusyQ, don't get concerned about the number of questions you ask. It is the reason this board exists. And if people like us tired of them, we simply wouldn't answer.

  10. SusyQ

    SusyQ Guest

    I have booked SS 1208 on the Mercury. I picked that one as it looked like a full size balcony. After reading several posts I see that some of the balconies have a slight cut out facing either forward or to the back. There was a pic someone posted of one of these rooms and it looked like this type of balcony gave a better or wider view. Any opinions on this or anyone who has stayed in one?. I don't want to sacrifice too much balcony space but would like optimum vewing of scenery, glaciers etc. Thanks you guys!
  11. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    Don't worry. Your balcony is huge and you could have a cocktail party for 10 couples on it. I do not have a reference for 1208, but you can go to Cruiseclues and therafter to DChiang's Celebrity Cabin Photos and see the balcony on Mercury SS #1221, and also Galaxy (identical sister ship) SS #1206. When you see the size of these, I think you will realize that you are going to have more balcony space than you'll ever use.

  12. rbrighin

    rbrighin Guest

    I stayed in SS1221 on Mercury. It had a slight cut-out that allowed rear views. I absolutely loved that cutout and highly recommend them. These Sky Deck balconies are so huge, you don't miss the small square footage you lose to the cutout. In fact, it is my opinion that a fully-boxed size balcony such as 1208 can actually have a somewhat closed-in feeling, as both walls of the balcony extend right up to the railing, whereas the cut-outs have one balcony wall shorter than the other balcony wall, and this opens up the viewing space considerably.

    There's just something about standing right at that angle on the railing that really extends your view - be it forward or back toward the ship's wake.

    I would not, however, give up 1208 if there are no cut-out balconies available on Deck 12.

    And you were right on the money to upgrade from CC to SS. Get your butler to serve you at least one balcony dinner - course-by-course..... you will find yourselves going to that T-pool almost every day - it's to die for! Also, having a tub (with jets) in the bathroom is great...... afternoon tea served by the butler off a rolling cart is great..... ditto with evening hors d'oeurves and the unlimited expresso and capuccino.

    Last but not least, I just came from a sailing on the Century where my husband accompanied me for his first cruise (yes we had a sky suite) - he thought he'd be bored silly ..... well, he was bowled over! Acted like a little kid - loved being in a tux (rented) .... wound up tipping our waiter and the butler double the recommended amounts..... they both had spoiled him rotten. I bet your husband will have the time of his life, too!
  13. SusyQ

    SusyQ Guest

    I love this message board-I called my travel agent and she was able to get me into SS1212 on the Mercury. It has the small cutout facing forward. Question about the Tuxedo-is it expensive to rent on board and if does rental cover both formal nights?? Thanks
  14. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest


    Most folks who rent tuxedos find them reasonable, and yes the rental includes both formal nights (with
    two shirts). On a Celebrity ship, your husband will not feel uncomfortable in a dark suit on the formal nights, though I love the dress up personally and do a tux. You will find that the about 45% of adult men will be in a suit; about 45% will be in a tux; and, about 10% will be in "other". Other might include military dress uniforms, kilts, and a few who insist on coming casually.

    If your husband dresses in a tux, by all means get a picture of the two of you on formal night. They are keepers!

  15. rbrighin

    rbrighin Guest

    Suzy - congratulations. IMHO you made a wise move to 1212.

    To answer some of your other questions:

    I wouldn't pre-tip if I were you. And you certainly do not need to tip your butler during the course of the cruise for things he will provide for you. Certainly not for bringing breakfast or extra pillows. Wait until the night before the end of your cruise. I think you and your husband will come to realize that the minimum recommended amounts are far too low, and will most likely want to increase it ....

    There is no self-service laundry onboard Mercury. I keep the items I feel may need pressing on top of the suitcase (like my evening gowns for formal nights); then they're handy to give to the butler so they can be returned the next morning. Pressing costs are quite reasonable and well worth the charge. You can find a list of these charges on the Celebrity website (I think it's under FAQs). FYI it is prohibited to bring personal irons onboard ....

    Regarding shore excursions - having been to Alaska last season (on Mercury!) I have taken these trips and found them all well worth the money:

    Skagway: White Pass Railroad; Temsco helicopter ride w/ glacier landing
    Ketchikan: Island Wings floatplane to Misty Fjords (with Michele as pilot, who owns IW)
    Juneau: Capt. Larry's whale watching

    Yes, they're pricey, but well worth the cost. Keep in mind that the people who run these tours are limited to a very short tourist season (May-Sept.); in the case of Michele at Island Wings - she owns her own planes (as does Capt. Larry with his boat) - but I can say that they give you value for your money (and what the hell - when will you get the chance to visit again?)

    And if all this still hasn't convinced you, check out some photos of mine from the trip:


    Let me know what you think .....


    I also had booked cc 1201 for an alaskan cruise in july of 2006 and last week upgraded to ss 1203. Seeing this thread makes me think I made the right choice!!!
  17. Scoobysmith

    Scoobysmith Guest

    Hi Rbighin

    Thanks for the photos of your Mercury cruise. We have booked SS 1218 for May 2006 which is the cabin next door to yours. Your pictures were great!!!

    Can you tell me if we are on the right side of the ship to have great views of the glaciers as we sail through Hubard Glacier? We want to be able to sit out on our balcony to view the glaciers.

    Also my TA found out that you get all the amenities of the CC level along with all the amenities of the Sky Suite.

    Also, do people stay up late on the ship in the casino or at the disco etc. We are kind of late nighters and are hoping we won't be the only ones because I know the Alaska cruises are more subdued than other cruises.


  18. rbrighin

    rbrighin Guest

    Hi Lori,

    Actually 1218 is on starboard; identical to the one I occupied, but on the opposite side of the ship. The balcony configuration is the best, in my opinion. I'm sure you will love being out there!

    As for views of Hubbard Glacier - there is no bad side, because the Captain will actually go up as close as he can get and then slowly rotate the ship, so that people on all sides will get a chance to face the glacier. You will most likely spend a good 2 or 3 hours doing this, weather permitting.

    I held a "glacier viewing cocktail party" in my suite. My butler arranged to send invitations to several couples I'd become friendly with. He then supplied champagne glasses, took my 2 bottles of champagne (which I had brought onboard with me), and brought them back in ice-filled buckets. He also brought me a platter of cheeses, crackers and fruit to serve. If you'd like to do something similar, discuss it with him a couple of days in advance. My guests enjoyed themselves very much, and there was more than enough room for us all to enjoy the spectacular calving of the glacier - and in privacy - from this balcony. They also got a chance to check out the ample room inside the sky suites, and each of them vowed to take their next cruise in one.

    As for sky suites getting all of the CC amenities - I wouldn't set my heart on it. I never received fresh flowers; my bed was not a pillowtop; there were no alternating bathroom rugs and towels and, while I had requested a body pillow my first day I was told that none were available .... I've also read numerous threads from others along the same lines. Perhaps they are looking to change this; however, I suspect that Celebrity is trying to maintain certain distinctions between the two categories in order to make each appealing in its own way .... let us know how you make out.

    And lastly, I found that there was not much going on in either the casino or the disco (both of which I frequented nightly) after say, 12:30 or 1:00 a.m. But even though I, too, am a night owl, I found that I was always ready to go to bed around this time anyway, because it can be exhausting having this much fun on a cruise!
  19. Scoobysmith

    Scoobysmith Guest

    Hey there R,

    Thanks for the great info. I'm very happy to hear that you get to see the glaciers from either side of the ship. I hope we make some new friends on our cruises so that we can host a party in our room. That's sounds like alot of fun.

    I was thinking of bringing my own champage and wine on the cruise as well. Are you limited to a certain number of bottles and how did you pack it so it wouldn't break. Would hate to have it brake in my luggage and get all over my clothes.

    If we end up not getting all of the CC amenities it won't break my heart the room and the cruise itself sounds so awesome I not going to let something so small ruin my trip.

    We can't wait till next May to go a cruising!!!!!


  20. rbrighin

    rbrighin Guest

    Lori, you're really not limited to what you can carry-on. I wouldn't, however, attempt to haul an entire case of booze onboard . . .

    I had a somewhat empty backpack-on-wheels as a carry-on piece on my flight into San Francisco. I flew in the day before the cruise. After checking into my pre-cruise hotel, I went out and shopped for the champagne. Once back in my hotel, I wrapped each bottle in bubble-wrap (which I'd brought from home folded in the backpack); 3 bottles in total and they fit quite nicely inside this bag; then, when I embarked the following morning, I merely pulled it along onboard. No one gave it a second glance.

    There are numerous threads on these boards - and well as threads on other cruise sites - that describe a wide range of ways people have brought liquor onboard. It's been my experience that people are rarely stopped or had their stuff confiscated.

    I hope you enjoy Alaska as much as I did. I've already made plans to return myself in 2006.

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