TRAVEL THERE: THE SECOND MOST EXCITING DAY OF MY CRUISE
I’ve already told you about the most exciting day of my cruise. That’s when Jim and Melanie told me they had already booked their cabin. It was because we hadn’t and staterooms were filling fast. By the end of the day, we had our Deluxe Ocean View Staterooom 1B with Veranda #5578. The second most exciting day was when they assigned me to Concierge Class.
I may never know exactly what happened with Celebrity, but I’m guessing my upgrade to Concierge Class had more to do with CTC Travel than it did with my social media footprint. One day I was going to have to pay $100 per person not to look through an over-sized porthole and the next I had a free upgrade to Concierge Class. I tell everybody, all the time, DO NOT take a cruise without a travel agent. Let my upgrade to Concierge Class stand as evidence of my reasons.
I’m going to tell you a little secret though. It wasn’t that big of a deal. The Celebrity brochure promised “from the moment your Concierge greets you for priority check-in” I would be in for a treat. Only there was no Concierge to greet me and no one had any idea of where to go for my priority check-in. That wasn’t really a big deal, because I had the Celebrity App, which actually was a big deal and check-in was such a breeze that it might have well as been priority check-in with a Concierge.
My only interaction with said Concierge was a telephone call I got from him each day, where he’d give me the weather report for the next day (often inaccurate) and tell me the HOUR, yes the one hour, that he would be available the next day. It was never an hour that I would actually be available to talk to him. I was hoping said Concierge would help us out with dinner reservations, because we had found it particularly difficult to book shore excursions together, since the Bagley’s had booked with another travel agent. My brochure had assured me my “own dedicated Concierge” would be just steps away. HA! He was over the river and through the woods from our room, if he actually existed at all. We stood in line with everyone else to square away our dinner reservations and I’ll just say it didn’t go well.
But there was supposed be even more treats to come – like a destination seminar. Never a word about that on board. We were also supposed to “open our door to a beautiful array of fresh fruit and a chilled bottle of Blanc de Blancs.” Yeah, that was an exaggeration, too. The local Celebrity sales rep, who I’ve gotten to know through CTC, did send us some hors d’oeuvres, some flowers and a bottle of pinot noir. CTC gifted us with some chocolate-covered strawberries. But fruit from the Concierge? Nope.
We did get a bottle of champagne, but it was quite a challenge. On the first day, I told our room steward to go ahead and deliver it, because we had a frig and I could keep it cold. As it turned out, we got it on the last day, not chilled, to bring home in our suitcase. Not exactly as advertised.
They also promised afternoon delicacies, which they did deliver every afternoon. We’d come in after an all day shore excursion and voila, we’d have a four-sectioned, covered plate waiting for us. In each section would be a tiny sample of something odd. We could rarely tell exactly what it was, which was better than the days that we could. For instance, one day there was a teeny tiny little shrimp tooth-picked to a piece of bread. Only our covered plate was not on ice or refrigerated and we had no idea how long it had been sitting there. I’ve had food poisoning from seafood – no thank you very much. One thing I never need more of on a cruise is food.
There was a pillow menu, but the pillows on the bed suited me fine and I wasn’t going to chase down any others. The promised Hansgrohe massaging shower head was quite nice, however. No complaints there and I’m not even the showering sort. There was also a Welcome Luncheon for Concierge Class passengers which kept us from rubbing elbows with the likes of those who were staying in the Deluxe Ocean View Staterooom 1B with Veranda I’d first been assigned to and it was quite nice, but I’ll save the details about that until embarkation.
I guess I’ve fussed a little about about the short-comings of Concierge Class, but before they write about it in the brochure, they ought to do a little fact-checking. I loved my stateroom, but the not the mostly unavailable Concierge, his destination seminar, fresh fruit, chilled bottle and daily delicacies. As it was, I’d gotten a free upgrade, so who was I to complain.
Getting upgraded to Concierge Class proved to be more exciting than actually being in Concierge Class, and that’s too bad. However, we’re getting closer to our departure, so come back next week and let’s talk about the gown for my vow renewal.