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foggyphils

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About foggyphils

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    Texas
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    Tortola

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  1. May/ Early June Northbound and Southbound cruises have the best prices 30-45 days out. That’s what we did this year. Deluxe balcony on Princess was ~$750 and HAL had suites at $899. Celebrity was $599 for a balcony the week we were looking at. Here’s a screenshot of prices I took April 12 for May cruises.
  2. Anyone had success with trying to get the parking package when staying at the hotel at the end of the cruise? We drive up and depart Saturday but would like to stay a night at the end of the cruise. Specifically looking at Tremont or Galvez but will consider others. (Called Galvez but said I needed to call back tomorrow when a more knowledgeable person is there.)
  3. If your first stop off the ship is Anchorage (and perhaps those being picked up from the airport to start their land portion first), they don’t drop you off at your hotel. They drop you off at their hospitality center where you can check in carry ons. There will be a line and a bunch of people. We had planned to drop off our stuff at Captain cook Hotel and take the free shuttle to the Native Heritage Center. (It stops right in front of the hotel). Instead, they expect you to mill around for a couple hours and then be back at 3:45 for the shuttle to the hotel. Fortunately, the hotel isn’t too far away so we skipped all that nonsense. So instead, we made a couple back and forth trips to the hospitality center then walked with our carry ons to the hotel. Everything turned out fine, but we should of been able to just drop our stuff off at Captain Cook. It’s a huge hotel. None of this was communicated until we arrived in Anchorage. Everyone was a bit confused. Especially the ESL and non English speakers. I saw them on the train the next day so I guess they figured it out 😉
  4. Another thing about luggage, it was never “ready in our room” except in Fairbanks. Not In Anchorage or Denali. We had an excursion in Denali (ATVs) a couple hours after our train arrived. But no luggage so we had to wear our traveling clothes. Not ideal but we made it work. So if you have an excursion planned soon after arrival, bring appropriate clothing on the bus/train with you.
  5. Transfers: If you buy a Princess Cruisetour (Vancouver to FB), you very likely bought transfers as well. Trust me, check your receipt or personalizer. It’s automatic through Princess and most travel agents. Some agents know better and take them off but they seem to be a rarity. It’s an $86per person charge. You CAN get this refunded and in most cases, should. Unless you just like throwing money away, like getting to and from the airport at crazy times, and putting luggage out the night before so you can carry dirty clothes in your carry on the next morning. Ok, I guess some people might like the luggage service part of it. I’ll give you that, but there are better options in my opinion. (FYI - If you do not contact Princess, you lose the money. They will not credit you afterwards. ) They only offer transfers on the day of embarkation (for a NB Cruise) so if you arrive a day or more earlier, no transfer for you! Which is fine because a taxi to anywhere you likely want to go is about $40CAD ($30ish USD). Heck, you could hire a limo driver to do everything for you and come out ahead of paying Princess. Y’all (I’m from TX), I could spit and hit the airport from the Fairbanks Princess Lodge. That’s how close it is. I looked up how much an Uber would cost when I got up (to gage how much a middle of the night Uber would be). $10+tip. Which leads me to.... For some ungodly reason, if you have a flight at 5:30am at the Fairbanks airport, Princess has you take their 3:10am shuttle! 🙄There is no other option. This isn’t O’Hare folks! It’s got 2 terminals, 6 gates, a bar, and a starbucks! Even the Aussies were out of the checkin line by 3:45. You can’t even go through security until 4am. There is NOONE there! 🤪Except for the bartender 😉 Bottom line, for ~$50 and more control, you can have better options. Or, you can pay Princess $172 for subpar transfers. Lost Luggage: I am one of the “super rare🙄” guests whose luggage didn’t make it off the ship to the land part of my (Princess) cruisetour. Late the first night on land in Anchorage, and once everyone stops saying, “We are still taking luggage to rooms. Come back later”, they had me fill out a triplicate paper form. There was no apology. Really nothing other than saying, “We always find the bag. We have a great system in place. Keep checking with us.” So on to Denali we go the next day. I ask about the luggage at front desk and go through the whole thing again. At this point, I’m getting a bit annoyed because there is no real explanation or apology. And really, this should be in the computer. After the third night, I’m asking more questions on the process of baggage tracking and getting very short, when the manager says, “I’ll just issue you another $50 certificate!” I say, “I’ve never received a first one. No one has ever mentioned this policy to me.” Then she says she’ll send me a $100 certificate. So if they don’t have your luggage, they will issue you at least a $50 delayed baggage certificate. You can use these at any princess store or restaurant and they will give you cash as change. So you spend $5 on a coke, they will give you the rest back in cash. I never really figured out if they are suppose to issue you these for each night, each hotel, or if it’s just a willy nilly thing on who complains loudest. I also received a $50 certificate in Fairbanks. Because as you may of guessed, my bags didn’t show up there either. 😉So $150 for 5 nights of delayed baggage. So, lessons learned... Have a really strong luggage tag with your name, address, and phone# Split your belongings between luggage with your spouse or cabin mate (we did this inadvertently, but will do it on purpose next time!) I will no longer put baggage out unattended. In Denali and Fairbanks, I waited until they knocked on the door and then took their names. Alternatively, I will just be one of those annoying people who bring their baggage on the bus. There is room underneath despite what they tell you and several people did it on my cruisetour. Glad I got the insurance. I got a pretty cheap policy but it pays $200 for delayed baggage and up to $1000 for lost. I haven’t filed yet, so I’ll see how it goes. So the kicker..Guess who calls the night I get home? Yep, Princess. They found my bag. 🤷🏻‍♀️Apparently, the tags had ALL been torn off. BUT, it was suppose to be delivered today according to Fedex tracking. But is it here? Nope. It’s somewhere in Memphis, TN. Been sitting there since Sunday. Me thinks the bag is jinxed. I have more tips. I’ll add as I think of them.
  6. Good to hear and thanks for the quick reply. After today’s roller coaster experience, I’m hoping for a smoother ride on the ship.
  7. Deb - have they mentioned anything about the gale warning around Vancouver? Just curious how bumpy the ride gets tonight. We were trying to get to Victoria today and it got so choppy on our ferry/catamaran, we had to turn around and go back to Vancouver. I know a cruise ship can handle much more than a ferry, but they said it’s the first time this had happened. We board Royal tomorrow.
  8. Got it. So did the total price change by $86 too? Or maybe this was before final payment. I guess what I’m saying is if that transfer was on there along with the $86 line item. And then that disappeared, but my total was the same, I’d be kinda ticked. Either way, have fun on your trip. Looks like you get to leave tomorrow!
  9. We booked 45 days out so the cancel fee would of been outrageous no matter where we booked. I think NB/SB Alaska cruises are a bit of an anomaly. They drop dramatically the month before sailing. I noticed the round trips seemed to go up for the most part. It is really hard for me to have to do things through the TA. I don’t like to inconvenience people so I’m already going into it from a place of settling for good enough when I’d like to plan or change something.
  10. So you have the same $86 charge. Yet, it’s not showing up with a transfer. That’s really perplexing!
  11. That’s smart. I didn’t know that was an option. I only go on a cruise every couple of years. On this one, we booked flights (AA using points that let you have some flexibility on changing dates) in June 2018 and then booked the cruise about 45 days out. I tracked one way Alaska cruises last year so knew they would drop close to sailing. So so did you get the connoisseur tour when they had them all the same price no matter the length? I almost jumped on that but chickened out!
  12. I hear ya. I prefer to do my own stuff, but the cruise line wanted $800 more for the exact same booking. Even if I couldn’t get the transfers taken care of, it’s a big enough amount to deal with the headache.
  13. Interesting...I’m really surprised it’s not still on yours. Every cruisetour I looked at had that transfer fee. It’s also on my invoice I got from the agent. I was able to get a $65 credit back to my card for Vancouver today. Still have Fairbanks transfer which is next to the airport and offers free shuttle service. 🙄
  14. I’m thinking the control part might make more sense. As I imagine I’m part of a good percentage of calls into princess looking to do something and being told to go back through the TA. And Princess is paying those people to reroute us. Then the TA calls a different person that Princess is also paying to actually get it done. But I got the impression from my TA (not in a rude way or anything) they’d prefer me to be on hold and just do it myself. 😉
  15. It’s the same cruisetour, but they give you the option to upgrade one of the excursions to a longer one for $70. But you have to do it through your TA. 🤷🏻‍♀️ You actually book the land excursions the same way as the cruise excursions. It’s all on the same list of “ports”.
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