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About live2skide

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    Sussex Co. Delaware
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    Quilter, former skier, Travel,Cruise, Read
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  1. Oh my goodness you had me rolling with the comment about the Irish Spring. You had a "real" mountain man running your trip. I do hope that you filled in a report for Princess. They convey the comments back to the tour operator. I really enjoy your detailed trip reviews. You have such a positive spin on things. You have turned your review into a great travel journal; and it has been fun to read. I have to agree, there is that terrible 1% who feel entitled to make a mess and think nothing of others having to encounter it until the crew comes along. I've been on Princess a "couple of times" and always appreciate those deck hands and attendants who tidy the lobbies and elevators etc. Your cabin steward sounds like he enjoys his job! My sister is a "local beer" lover and I will make sure she knows to get to Skagway Brewing Co EARLY ! Thanks for the reviews!! Mary/live2skide
  2. Thanks for such detailed posts Scott and Melissa!! We are on the Aug 24 sailing and so looking forward to the trip. Mary / live2skide
  3. Thanks for your observations. My understanding was the ice cream in the dining room was made on board. Pub Lunch is an all time favorite of mine!! Watch for it on your next sea day. Usually they have it twice on a 10 day voyage. Talk to your waiter or the supervisor in the dining room about the lukewarm food . It could be a problem with the guy's running the plates from the galley to the dining room. Food safety is always a concern and that should be resolved quickly. I'm a loyal Princess traveler and this is # 3 for me this year. They WANT to get it right; and in order to do so, you must tell them what is wrong. The Princess Theater ALWAYS fills up early. You have to get there early; grab a cocktail; bring your book or your i-pad or a deck of cards and entertain and relax before the show. :) It makes for a much better experience. Enjoy! Thanks for the Patters photos!!
  4. Oh gosh...well that table could make or break you. Keep poking the Maitre'D-- perhaps $$ to urge him to find you a better seating situation. Remind him your goal is a relaxing dinner with quiet conversation. They do want you to be happy after all! If all else fails; bail on the designated table and show up for anytime dining....they won't send you away; but you may have to wait. You can "reserve" a table on the DINE line I believe. We have a "shared" table at 5 pm; and I really dislike the early dining. Thanks for your detailed posts; save your internet minutes! :) Enjoy those desserts! Good luck!! Enjoying your posts!!
  5. Oh Dear - it sounds like some improvement is in order. I honestly think "turnaround" day are the worst on any cruise I have been on. Even if you do a back to back there is always some kind of chaos. 2 years ago Princess undertook a huge menu change and the results have been interesting; some good, some not. I think the waitstaff makes the dinner; and I hope they were quick to resolve or replace what you did not care for or what was not hot. Good luck with the regular table and robes. (Similar thing happened to me when I pre-purchased wine & soda package....in Dec, in Jan and in March; on the Crown and the Regal).
  6. Enjoy!!! I guess between the "corkage" and purchase price vs the minimum $40/bottle on board you are still ahead! I will bring 2 bottles for my roommate & myself; because I can't carry much more; then stick to the bottle of vodka I pre-ordered and the mini bar. I remember bringing wine home from a European cruise in the days where nobody cared how much liquid was in your carry-on. I got nailed in Venice on overweight "carry on" charges (>22#) and had to check the bag. Wasn't happy about the 150EU I had to spend to bring home my cheap wine! HA!! I also remember in Europe that Princess never checked how much wine you brought on board! We would stock up in every port, and drank it all the way across the Atlantic! Have corkscrew and stopper already packed for this trip! Thanks for the UBER info and the early boarding! :) We are aft on Dolphin next cruise, close to the elevator as well, and look forward to that quick trip up to the pool area and horizon court for breakfast. Happy sailing!! Will enjoy your posts for the next 10 days!!
  7. Guessing you brought on board more than 1 bottle each?? Is the $150 a corkage charge??
  8. Happy sailing. I am on the Aug 24th sailing and wondered how "close" did they allow the UBER driver to get to drop off??? Enjoy your trip!
  9. Theresa - this is going to be a fun roll call to follow along on while we wait for our sailing on Aug 24. Interesting that they were allowed to board early. I am coming from a SFO airport hotel that morning; and was going to be "good" and wait for the 1:30; but now I am re-thinking!
  10. Hi Keith - Realized after posting I hit the "wrong" board, but with this new format on CC I can't figure out how to "move" my topic or remove it. So, here it is. I sailed on Dec 9 on Regal, and will be sailing again on Jan 27th. I thought I had the review up on the Jan 27 roll call for the Regal. I have since "reposted" there. Merry Christmas
  11. Hi everyone, I joined this roll call for the Jan 27 Regal sailing a few days before we departed for Florida for a Dec 9 Regal sailing. We are home once again and I wanted to share a few comments. When we checked in at Port Everglades to board, we were given a cruise card and the new Medallion. They both were affixed to a "Medallion Lanyard". The cruise card was in a plastic sleeve, and the Medallion was encased in a hard plastic case. (Photo attached) Boarding, they were "both" used. Security did the usual photo with the cruise card using a long time very functional scanner. Medallion reps scanned the medallion and also did a photo. When you approach your cabin door, the medallion DOES unlock your door as it senses your proximity. Gone are the plastic "mail boxes" and name tags at the door, replaced with what looks like an IPAD in the same general location. (No more checking doors for names/cruise status (ELITE/Ruby/platinum etc)). I LOVED not fiddling with the cruise card for opening the door. Watch either the screen for the "door is unlocked" or the green light on the actual door handle. We had a "soda" package, purchased in advance of sailing. It was apparent right away that the Medallions were NOT working at the bars. Every time during the first 3 days that we asked for a soda, they simply asked "did we have a package". Only waiters took our cards to the bar. Only a few of the bartenders were interested in checking our cards during that time. They were not asking for the Medallion. By day 4, the Medallion "scanners" were up on the bar and in use. So, if you are a walk up customer, look for the scanner box near the register. YOU scan your Medallion or you hand it off to the waiter/bartender. The entire week, waiters were using cruise cards to bring drink orders. Previous cruises I have always had a sticker on my card indicating soda package and never had to pass the card off to the waiter or bartender. I did notice that once the bartenders started using the Medallion, that your photo showed up on the screen when you put your device on the reader. Getting off the ship at Princess Cays on the day after sailing, we used our cruise card with security. Special note - Sometime during my arrival at the dining room for the tender and a quick trip to the bar for a soda, I discovered my Medallion "case" (clear hard plastic) was empty. I found the blue "paper" that surrounded the Medallion on the floor where we were seated in the dining room, but never found the Medallion. I did not search long as we were leaving for the tender. I dashed over to the Guest Services desk and reported it and was "brushed off" and told to talk to the Medallion Desk at 4 pm. I was shocked that the staff at Guest Services did not even jot down my name, and did not like the response when I asked them to put a FREEZE on the device. My concern, of course, was it would be found and used, but that did not happen. (It felt like losing your credit card, and I got bad vibes at the desk like "not our problem".) On our return from the beach at Princess Cays, I went straight to the Medallion desk (located next to the photo's on Deck 6). The area was "under construction" with plastic sheeting hiding the Medallion Desk, and I actually had to find a security person to get me to the right location. The technician was working out of the photo desk while the area was being worked on. They were VERY helpful and within an hour, a new Medallion was hand delivered to my cabin by the same technician. You will notice that your name and sailing date are imprinted on the device in tiny little print. Thankfully no charges appeared during the time my device went missing. (It is at that Medallion Desk/department where you can buy the fancy jewelry to wear with your device. ) Anyway, once I had the new device, I dug out my roll of clear packing tape, and made a quick job of sealing the device into the plastic case, and did the same with my husbands. We also "unclipped our cruise card" plastic sleeve and rotated it so the opening was a the top, and reclipped it on the provided lanyard. Several people I spoke to had their cruise cards "sliding out" of the sideways sleeve by the end of the first day, and were "reattaching" the sleeve . We did not use our Medallion anywhere else on the ship, only the bars and for room entry. (I can't speak about any shopping or casino, because we did neither) There are NO key card slots on the door handles. This was my first trip on the Regal, and I was impressed with the scale of the Piazza, and how much seating there was on deck 5, and deck 6 & 7. (Photo attached) Honestly, we never had a problem finding empty seats to watch activities in the Piazza. The usual "debarkation" day hunt for a seat did not happen. We saw lots of open seats in public areas. (We had an 8:15 debarkation, so that may be part of the reason). The LIDO deck (16) had tons of seating. Lots of tables and chairs, and lovely "patio" type couches and chairs, besides the usual loungers and tables. My absolute favorite place was the aft of deck 16 where there were two "patio" type groupings of couches and chairs. I failed to get good photos of that area. Seating in the Princess Theater seemed adequate for the shows we attended. We arrived "late" once and found seats, and "early" on 2 other occasions. The seating in Princess Live is the WORST. CRUMMY CHAIRS, hard to get to the end far end of rows, and not enough. POOR design. Got there early, took end of row seats and had to exit the row to let others come in when they arrived. Really tacky set up in any event. Poor replacement for Explorers lounge. Cabin - Caribe 330 - Mini Suite. GREAT Space, good storage, didn't use all the drawers. Nice to have the larger bathroom with tub and never felt cramped for space, except on the balcony. The scale of the table on the balcony and the scale of the coffee table in the suite did suit the space. We used both spaces a lot, and that is my only complaint. (I usually travel "inside cabin" with my sister, but this trip I took the husband and the mini suite is the only way to go with him!) We did pop in and look at an inside cabin (C328)on departure day when our cabin steward was making beds, so I can anticipate the space for the Jan 27 trip. We will be on Emerald, and the layout is not the same. :( FOOD - We did not eat in the dining room. My husband likes really plain simple food, and he got his fill of burgers from the Grill on Deck 16. You can ask for them to be cooked the way you like (medium rare in his case) and ask for a "DOUBLE". I found the Horizon court to be well laid out in contrast to other ships. GREAT SEATING ! Things were spread out into different areas, and the seating was terrific. The food was pretty blah......seemed like the same food every day. The carving station was heavy on the roast pork, and only had beef twice. The sides the same every day. I usually take an entire tour before I pick up a plate. The set up is better, as the staff had enclosed areas to restock from and made more room for those filling a salad plate etc. Note - Lunch time...there was a TACO bar set up, plenty of Guac, salsa, chips, hard and soft tortilla, ground meat, etc. We ate at Alfredo's Pizzaria on Deck 6 once for dinner and it was nice to be waited on. Pizza and Calzone were delicious. Husband said the pizza was the "same" as on Deck 16. I thought it was better. Tiramisu for dessert was good. We had a birthday celebration and that Princess cake with the chocolate is divine. SO much better than any other chocolate cakes in the buffet Pastry area. We also did the CRAB SHACK on our last night and selected the King Crab/Shrimp and found that it was wonderful. They split the crab legs for you, so little need to use the crab tools other than the picks. The fried shrimp in the appetizer basket with the hush puppies was great, much better than the fried shrimp in the buffet. They were more like PRAWNS than shrimp. Desserts were just "ok". Now, that said, it could be I was bored with the food. I much prefer the dining room and look forward to dinner on the January 27 trip. We have 5pm dining (which seems terribly early), but I enjoy not standing in the anytime dining line, and like to be waited on! I like my food HOT when it arrives at the table and that is part of my objection to the Horizon Court. I'm known to eat breakfast & lunch in the dining room if time permits. INTERNET - As a "Platinum" I get 150 free minutes of internet. You can now "pre-pay" for 7 days of UNLIMITED for $9.99 per day. This was available ON BOARD the first day also. This now makes my "platinum perk" seek irrelevant. Make sure you type LOGOUT.com in your browser when you finish if you are on a timed plan. (After the first day it was $19.99 per day). I had to "pace myself" on board with internet during the week to ensure I had time left to check in for my flight etc. But honestly, I left minutes behind the last day.\ and don't tend to stay online other than to check in quickly with family. EXPRESS BAGS - something new to me was an option to pay a small fee (about $25 per person) to have your baggage go directly to the airport and be put through with the airline, and not have to claim them on your return in the Port building for going through US Customs. I figure it might be worth it if you use porters at the port or the airport or don't want to struggle with bags. NEW to me also was Customs & Border protection MOBILE PASSPORT App for smart phones. I downloaded the app, scanned my passport, took the required photo, and filled in the information for our trip. When we went went into the Customs area, I didn't see a sign as had been indicated on the Princess disembarkation paper. I asked the person directing the lines and they "opened" a rope and sent us directly to the counter. The CBP agent didn't use the app, still looked at our passports, but it saved us 15 minutes of standing in line, so it was worth the effort on the phone! You MUST download the MOBILE PASSPORT App before you get into the port building, and I would recommend you do it prior to going on the trip. I will cross post this on CC "reviews" but thought sharing it on this roll call might help those on the Jan 27 sailing. Mary (ps...can anybody tell me where to find the area to change my signature here on CC? I haven't figured out this latest update of CC yet!)
  12. Beads are packed! We will see you on-board. Maybe between those of us on this next sailing we can get some decent photo's of the menu's to share on our return, along with a bit of a review!
  13. I love the food experience on a cruise, tasting things I might otherwise not encounter at home. My hubby is bored by the whole business and would much rather have a hamburger or a steak and potatoes. I leave him at home and travel with my sister instead! By our waistlines, you can tell we LOVE food! Seriously, sense of humor aside, it certainly takes it out of the elegant dining category when you start serving up fried chicken and burgers & fries, and other food that you use your fingers to eat instead of a knife & fork. :confused:Paper plates & paper napkins next in the MDR?? :eek:
  14. THANK YOU for the great post. My sister & I board for a 10 Day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez run on the Ruby on Saturday. Glad to have the menu changes planted in my head. Will make sure I read carefully. Always trying to "upcharge" for something tho......We have set dining at 5:30 (which is too darn early for me), but we could not get late dining, and I am sick to death of the anytime lines. Our last 3 or 4 cruises we did anytime and getting a reservation was challenging at best. I will TRY to get pictures of the menus each day and post them thru a link to my FLICKR photo's when I get back. (Wait until after April 30th, as I will be doing some additional travel on debarkation). Question for Platinum and Elite - are they still doing the cocktail party nightly? Where? (SKYWALKERS I hope. ) Thanks for starting this thread. Will check back in AFTER the cruise.
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