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Cruisin' Chick

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    In the Valley, CA

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  1. Cruisin' Chick

    Non-smoking cruise?

    No. It was originally built as a non-smoking ship and sailed on Caribbean itineraries. We were on the Paradise when it was pretty new and loved the experience. It was so pleasant to be on a ship and not have to worry about any clouds of smoke wafting one's way. No holes in the carpet from cigarette burns. Everyone on board was so pleasant. On the comment card, we put down to PLEASE send this ship to the west coast as so many there would appreciate a healthy type of cruise. Unfortunately, Carnival never did this but abandoned the experiment pretty quickly. I remember telling a TA about this ship and she didn't have a clue that there was a non-smoking ship. After our cruise, when we were staying in the Keys for a few days, we told some parents at the hotel pool about the cruise. So maybe part of the problem was lack of marketing as I would imagine many parents would have booked the Paradise.
  2. Cruisin' Chick

    Tips for Cruising with an Infant

    Just be prepared to be flexible. Our girl was 23 months of age on her first cruise...and we just did day trips via car before then. But some friends did fly with their son at 6 months of age (LA to NYC). That one post early on had a good list, but you won't need to worry about vaccinations as you're basically just going to US and Canadian ports (and unless things have changed in 21 years, you can't get your child vaccinated at 7 months of age). Bring everything you might need: including extra diapers just in case baby goes through a lot (you can't be assured of finding a specific size that easily in the small ports, and the ship's store probably won't carry diapers), any medications (again, you can't be guaranteed in finding baby Tylenol, etc.), toys and books, a portable bath, etc. Your baby will not be allowed in the swimming pools even if with swim diapers.
  3. Cruisin' Chick

    Walk Off In San Pedro

    I hope your flight isn't until late in the morning. January is in the middle of our so-called wet season, and traffic to LAX can be bad if it is raining...even on a Sunday. (hopefully not as we're going in the other direction on the 405 to get our girl back to her campus after winter break) Even if you get the earlier walk off time, if your ship gets the whole CBP treatment, you may not disembark as early as you want.
  4. Glad you decided to switch hotels. The area around LAX is not a great area.
  5. Cruisin' Chick

    11 hours in port-no ship offered tours

    We spent some time in SF a few years ago when our daughter was going to college her freshman year in Northern Cal. It was such an easy city to come up with things to do and see. You can walk from where your ship is docked to the Fisherman's Wharf, to the Exploratorium, to catch a cable car and go to plenty of other places.
  6. Columbus Day is really not one of the more popular holidays in California. Whether there's tapings or not on that day would depend on if the unions count that day (for double time, time and a half, etc.). I would be more concerned about finding a show that allows children that young, a show that has live audiences (some shows don't), and that you'll be able to even get tickets for. You can try, but I wouldn't hold my breath. And the more popular shows will be difficult to get tickets for a specific day. If you are in town for a limited time (a day or so) would you really want to spend that time standing in a line to get into a taping, and then the time sitting in the audience? There are so many other attractions in Southern California that will appeal to your children like the Long Beach Aquarium.
  7. Cruisin' Chick

    Cruise staff opinions on tipping??

    I suspect that most crew workers (at least the ones in the tipping pool) are kept busy to the point that any free time after their shifts are spent talking with family members (skyping or whatever means via computer that they can do), relaxing, sleeping. But not going on line to post on Cruise Critic or any other forum. The website the OP has mentioned is known for being run by an ambulance chasing type of lawyer, only one devoted to suing cruise lines. As someone suggested, a website to either ignore or take with a grain of salt and just view for the sake of entertainment. There's another website that lists various "incidents" at sea (one of the cruises we were on got mentioned because some kid fell off the gangway into the water while we were docked in Ensenada -- the toddler did get saved, but the mother should have been more careful). We started cruising before the auto-grats were instituted, and spent some time on the last day of those cruises stuffing tip envelopes with cash. The auto-grats made things easier on us as we left them in place, and then if the crew members gave excellent service (which is much of the time), we'll tip extra in cash on top of the auto-grats, and even fill out a "consummate host" card for these crew members.
  8. Cruisin' Chick

    Local wildlife

    you probably will want to avoid coming to Los Angeles. The black widow spiders here actually run toward you. Right now I have several bites on one of my feet and lower legs. We also have coyotes that roam the area I live in (people are advised to keep small pets and toddlers under watch if outside) -- not kidding. We also have bear sightings from time to time. And in the last couple of weeks, we have seen possum in our backyard. The lizards, on the other hand, are numerous, but run away from humans...they are very harmless.
  9. Cruisin' Chick

    Misleading Move Over Offer

    I too was lost during the OP. Too much irrelevant (about other cruises) info. IMO, if you didn't want the moreover offer unless your friend got the same offer, I would suggest just nicely saying, thanks but no thanks. Usually the offers, AFAIK, are targeted toward certain types of cabins, and only for the number needed. If someone declines, they go to the next person with the desired category cabin with the same or a better offer. Maybe if you declined, your friend would be the next to be called. Princess was under no obligation to make the same offer to your friend. Just remember, you can't just call Princess and tell them you want to be on the short list if the cruise is overbooked.
  10. Cruisin' Chick

    Community Contest June 1: Ship Tours

    On my first cruise in 1994 on the Jubilee, we went on a tour of the bridge, and then a separate tour of the galley to hear about how the kitchen runs. I know that Princess has a ship's tour, but it would be too pricey for us. Hubby and I did get invited to the Golden Princess bridge on our last cruise. We do try to explore on our own a ship that's new to us on the first afternoon.
  11. Cruisin' Chick

    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Excursions

    On our third RT cruise LA to Hawaii on Princess, we were in Hawaii during Christmas week. Usually on that itinerary (at least when we did it), Honolulu was the Tuesday port and Maui was the Thursday port, but probably because Christmas Day was on Tuesday that year, those two ports were switched. I think it's because Pearl Harbor, which is a popular place to see in Honolulu, is closed on Christmas Day. I would check anyway for the places we want to check in part to make sure they're open on that day (even for non-holidays). That time, we wanted to go to Whaler's Village, but its website didn't have info about holiday hours and closings when I was researching, so I asked on its Facebook page and was assured it would be open, other than the museum there. As it turned out, most of the stores were open as well as one of the restaurants and some of the food court.
  12. Cruisin' Chick

    MDR question

    Personally I find jeans to be bulkier than regular pants. I usually don't bring them on cruises, even though on my last cruise, I brought a pair of black skinny jeans, which looks a bit more dressier than blue denim.
  13. Cruisin' Chick

    Using self-serve laundry facilities onboard

    If you need milder detergent, bring your own. We have someone in my family who's allergic to regular detergent. If you don't like using pods, you can measure out a load's worth of powder into a ziplock bag. Put all those bags into a bigger ziplock bag just in case of breakage.
  14. Cruisin' Chick

    Cell phones on Royal Princess

    That's what I do. I just use it in port to call taxis if needed or to use as a spare camera if something goes wrong with my digital camera.
  15. Cruisin' Chick

    Medical Forms

    I think some people are confusing the form you fill in at the terminal when checking in (where you say that you're not sick right now), and that's for each passenger....with any special needs type of forms.
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