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Mud_Shark

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Everything posted by Mud_Shark

  1. Hmm - is there no sale at all if not booking Princess Plus?
  2. This is only true for those from Australia/NZ. You have to book through the Princess Australia site for this to apply. Us North Americans book through the US Princess site and still pay the daily gratuity.
  3. Unique to Alaska, I often notice significant price reductions last minute (2 months out or so), but they usually only involve inside cabins (maybe some obstructed oceanviews). It seems the demand for balcony and above for Alaska is higher and I have rarely seen those room categories or above discounted. So, if you are okay with an inside, there can be some very inviting last minute deals.
  4. I certainly hope not! Otherwise steer clear of gifting yourself or anyone else OBC that you actually pay for - you would never get it refunded if not used, unless you don't spend all the non refundable OBC as well. That would make no sense.
  5. If they are stopping in Bonaire, I highly recommend renting a golf cart and doing the two circuits of the island. You can do each loop in a few hours (depends how many times and for how long you stop). We did the southern loop in the morning, with stops at the salt flats, stop to snorkel with turtles, stop on the rugged coastline side, and one other stop (can't recall where). Came back to the ship, ate lunch, then headed out for the northern loop (stopped at the 1000 steps, took a detour out to a lookout (just us and hundreds of lizards), stopped at a church in a small town). We were back in plenty of time. Was a great day. Private excursion. (You can google Bonaire cruisers for rates and reservations, but this does fill up) Curacao - Another kind of D-I-Y plan. Rent a car from advantage auto rentals (google them). Good company and they meet you right at the gate to the port with your car. We went to Hato caves (saves lots of money to pay the entrance fee yourself over a ship excursion), then we went out to one of the beaches to snorkel with turtles. Then we went to Playa Santa Cruz (I think) and booked the private excursion out to snorkel the blue room - You won't regret this if you are a decent swimmer. Captain Goodlife runs a very reasonable excursion out there. Finally we drove over to the Shete Boca National park to see the rugged waves crashing the shore (they were closing - it was around 330pm - just means park outside the parking lot gate and walk an extra 50 paces - and not have to pay the entrance fee). Very worthwhile. This itinerary was perhaps the best single day we have ever spent in the Caribbean.
  6. You will be charged the daily gratuity just as if you were sailing in North America. Only Australians, who pay a higher cruise fare, are not charged the daily gratuity (it is baked in for them). Not sure there is "free" coffee/tea in the morning at the International cafe, but there is free coffee and tea in the Horizon court anytime is it open (which is pretty much all day long from 6am till later in the evening). I thought there was a charge for coffee in the International cafe, but I only order specialty coffees there so am not 100% certain.
  7. Luckily, we found 3 ducks on the Enchanted Princess in March of this year. We were travelling with our 3 grandchildren. It looked dicey for a moment, as the 4 year old found one, and the two year old girl found one, leaving just the two year old boy without one, and with a pout! But then Mom helped him find a blue one, and he was thrilled with his "boy" duckie.
  8. Was there in April with the package. Cans of soda only, but no charge. Also, 9 times out of 10, when we asked for a cola at a bar onboard, we were given a can and a glass of ice. Never charged.
  9. I have noticed many of the Princess excursions have added either an upper age limit or weight limit in the past year (these limits were not posted previous to that, even though the exact same excursions were offered. We booked a few last year (almost a year in advance - the restrictions were definitely not there), but before we sailed, I noticed them. We are still in our 60s, so the 70 age limit did not effect us, but the weight limit did for me. I cancelled one excursion when the limit was 10lbs under what my weight was. I went on two others that had limits right were I am at on a good day. One of those excursions weighed me in and did not blink at the result, so they may have a small fudge factor for clothes and shoes built in. The other one did not weigh any of us and nothing was mentioned. Don't know if they check age any closer.
  10. Good read -- As far as some people bringing on their own toilet paper - well I would normally laugh at that situation. But Princess has the only toilet paper I have ever seen that actually crinkles when you scrunch it up. I love cruising - but that toilet paper...
  11. If you are booking as a single 20 day voyage, there will be a larger supply of rooms, including suites, that are held for 10 day bookings of the same sailing.
  12. Our grandchildren - 2 year old twins, both got medallions on the Enchanted in March, Their mom wore all the family medallions around her neck when the family got on and off - 5 medallions all swinging in the wind on lanyards. Maybe because they are not infants they got them.
  13. That works for eilte. And even if you booked one cabin all the way through in one booking, you would still need to get off the ship in between legs so they can zero out the count. They wait until all other guests have disembarked, then they walk you off the ship and right back on before any of the new cruisers board for the coming voyage. Of course, you can choose to head out into the city for a while, but you must then wait until the official new boarding begins to get back on - but you can bypass the check in with your in-transit card (they will supply).
  14. Made a booking on Oct 15th Star, but summary does not show Premier package - just a regular booking. But still, if it works - a good deal. And we don't use casino. My guess for Star Princess - this is kind of an attempt to mitigate the press disaster of the Sun Princess, as it had to cancel some of its early cruises and even when it sailed, half the venues were not up and operating, nor was all the entertainment operating. I guess this way if the ship is not fully operating, people can't really complain with the price being offered.
  15. Yes, It's been the "new way" or about a year now. When you cancel any excursion - the first form of "refund" is any OBC you may have begun with. So if you booked 3 excursions, and used up $100 OBC and then paid $200 cash, if you cancel one of them, you will get your OBC refunded to your account - not your cash.
  16. Ship is in good condition - not perfect, but good. We sailed three times on her in the last 6 months for over 40 days. Would choose the Royal over the Grand in a heartbeat if the price was close. We just got off the Enchanted and it has more "spit and polish" or newness to it than the Royal. The Royal is just a little worn in places but otherwise fine. No idea on your cabin selection.
  17. we did the princess excursion to Rendezvous Cay a couple weeks ago. Agree with Elizabeth about the beauty of the island, but, as she indicated, the snorkel groups are too crowded and we got turned off with that part. Anytime you were in the group, you were getting hit by someone kicking, or you were the one kicking someone else. We just lagged behind our group, but our guide kept calling us to catch up, and we would, only to get kicked and then fall back again. In truth, the snorkeling from the shore at Tabayana in Roatan the next day was far better than what we experienced on Rendezvous Cay.
  18. We loved the cave tubing, but you are right - the drive there and back eats up much of your day. You will have to decide if it is worth it to you. The actual cave tubing portion is so enjoyable though.
  19. Most who desire beach or snorkel time take an excursion out to one of the many islands on the barrier reef. There are many venders at the port selling such excursions and others pre-sell online. Usually it is about 45 minute boat ride out to the islands. Some have chairs. few have umbrellas. But the islands themselves are right out of a tourist brochure.
  20. for a 6pm departure, Princess will usually have a last tender departure at 5:30pm. If you can actually get on the 3:30pm water taxi, you would be fine to catch one of the later tenders back to your ship. It's just the uncertainty of something going wrong. I am too nervous about such things to actually enjoy my time on a venture like this. So ourselves, we will just take a ship excursion out to Caye Caulker, though that includes snorkeling and not a lot of free time on the island - but that is what we prefer anyway. Hoe you enjoy your plan for the day.
  21. Tabayana beach (west Bay) - snorkeling -is A+ for the Caribbean Mahogany bay - Snorkeling near pier by cabanas - is C- (but I would still do it for a while if we were staying at the port for the day instead of heading out on an excursion.
  22. We were there last Thursday. Not one small piece of sargassum noted at Tabayana. Water was fantastic. I am sure they clean the beach shoreline in the morning if any accumulates during the night, but we saw nothing. In contrast, there was plenty on some Costa Maya Beaches same week. Not like an insane amount, but some piled up on the beach shore and pieces floating in the water every few feet. Some areas that had not been cleaned were thick with sargassum and stank.
  23. Just about ditto to the previous post. 24 cruises to date. Have not purchased any extra insurance or cancellation insurance. We have health and travel insurance through a government retirement policy and our travel credit card. Sometimes have to top off if out of the country longer than 40 days. Just felt that if we had to cancel for some reason or got delayed, we would just eat the cost and in the end it would not be more than the amount we would have paid if we had purchased cfar insurance for all these trips. To date, have not had anything major. But now, as the years pile up, the possibilities of problems is tending towards us being a little more cautious and protected.
  24. Another vote for "meh". For the right itinerary we would sail on her again, but definitely prefer the royal class. We are just getting off Caribbean princess on Saturday. Cruise was fine, but could list probably 20 minor things broken or warped or loose. Plus, there just is not enough seating in the horizon court, but that is more of a Caribbean princess problem alone. We cruised emerald right after the COVID restart, and they had not yet touched up maintenance on areas that had been left untouched for a year so maybe our perception is skewed.
  25. The only one we inquired about was the Everglades your without the flamingo park. That one gets back to port at 1230pm.
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