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Posts posted by Qcruise

  1. We live in Long Beach.....you have so many choices here.   But you will need to pay for your own transportation from LAX it's not close.  There is a Marriott Residence Inn walking distance to the Carnival terminal or you could stay aboard the Queen Mary as well.  On the mainland across the bridge is Weston,  Hyatt,  Hilton,  Renaisance......many more.  The Hotel Maya is nice too very close to terminal.

  2. Not true per our experiences.....have done numerous Cali coastals with no issues.......usually in October.  We're doing the Star out of Seattle next weekend.   We had beautiful weather two years ago in October in San Francisco,  Monterey,  Santa Barbara,  Catalina and Ensenada......loved it.

  3. You are able to purchase bottles of booze and mixers thru the website prior to cruise.  Also through room service while on board......a 350ml bottle of most is around $18 bucks.  You will have a statement in your cabin when you arrive and must call room service to receive it.

  4. Please don't flame a smoking debate on me......but.....we are aboard the Star next Sunday for an Alaska season coastal.  Never been on her but I do see the smoking lounge is the kind we enjoyed on the Sapphire years ago between the front theater and the casino.  The one on the Sapphire was large with great ventilation and had it's own bar in there.  It had a pool table top up on the ceiling.....we really liked it in there as it was so much better than the "speakeasy" next to the casino on the Ruby,  Crown and such.  Has anyone been in there lately that could tell us if it's like this......?  I enjoy a cigar in there ......thank you

  5. We've been on RCI, Carnival, Celebrity and Princess using the later the most.  Princess loyalty program allows for the quickest way to Elite status (15 cruises) with Platinum only requiring six and gets you most of the benefits.  I do know that Carnival has done away with table clothes other than for formal nights......cafeteria tables.  While Princess has cut back on many cruise luxuries they still are more refined.  Can't comment on Norwegian but do know their ships cater to families and children, aka go-cart tracks.....we are past that now with adult children so Princess works well for us.  

  6. Our last Mexican riviera run back in April aboard the Royal,  we were the last ship to arrive that morning around 10:30am with a total of three in all.  We chose to stay aboard and enjoy the ship sans crowds around the pool that day.  Turned out to be a very good choice on our part.  While it's true each ship has it's own tenders along with the local ones contracted,  the tender loading/unloading area is going to be very congested.  

  7. So we board the Star in two weeks in Seattle for a Coastal cruise and have a question about booking  a specialty restaurant prior to online.  We have OBC for this cruise and are wanting to eat in Sabatini's the first night due to the mess that is anytime dining on embarkation night.  I believe I have heard that if I book my reservation on line I will need to pay for it via credit card at that time.  Am I able to change that on board to use my OBC after the fact.....?   Can I assume when we board I can get a reservation easy enough and use our OBC then....?   Thanks for any help ......

  8. My question was really only about our options to stay in Vancouver for a night or two ......OR to just get off the one ship and get on the next ship to transit into Seattle overnight.   I'm assuming it's "legal" ......they are two different countries thus satisfying the foreign port  requirement.   Princess has them all the time but we've never had an opportunity to take one.

  9. Oh what to do.....?   My wife and I are "trying out" HAL next April aboard the Kontingsdam just a quick San Diego to Vancouver 4 night as they move the ships into Alaska season.  We have children living in the PNW so our first thought was to book a night or two at a hotel close to Canada Place we could walk to and enjoy the city,  then take the train down to visit the kids.  We have found an overnight sailing jumping on the Osterdam to get to Seattle thus utilizing the ship for our transportation to see the kids as well.  We've never done an overnight and are not sure how it might be.  We hear the crew are not really stoked to do these as it's more work for them.....understood.  Has anyone done one of these and can give us any advise....?   If we just get an interior it kind of makes sense.  Thanks in advance.

  10. Oh if you walk into town from the ship (only 20 minutes) across the bridge you'll come to so many vendors it will make your head spin.  Take your time and haggle with them until you get what you want.   I can tell you great food/margaritas at El Corralito on the main drag.

  11. We've been to Santa Barbara numerous times over the years,  the last time being this past February as we live in Long Beach and love to take the easy local 4 nighters.  Honestly I do remember there are many local people helping as you walk off the pier but it was raining this last time and it was scaled down.  We've only walked up state street and around when we go so I can't speak to tours.  I would search wine tours Santa Barbara and find out for yourself.  The city does a nice job when a ship is in town.  The Ronald Reagan Ranch museum is just up State Street on the left and makes a fun and interesting stop.

  12. Not sure what your mean by "that much better"...?  The only benefit might be knowing when you're dining each night in advance and having the same servers.  You can ask for a table for two your first night and see what happens.  We have been able to request the same table/ servers in anytime dining in the past,  if you really enjoy them......just ask. 

  13. As others have said.....the first night is the worst....we have made alternative dining reservations to avoid the mess.  From that point forward however one can call the dining line after 8am each morning and get a reservation for that night.  The problem is they will only give you 5-530pm or 730pm......if you think about it,  the dining room fills up at the beginning then until tables open up when folks are finished they can't take anyone else.  After 730pm people start leaving and it's easier to get a table.  We had times when they would give us a pager and we waited a while at a bar/lounge.

  14. The only Medallion cruise we've done so far was the Royal this year and it was not fully completed.  We were issued both the cards and the medallions.......one needed to use both during our cruise.  Most cruise companies use the cards at present.  One gives up some privacies with the new system,  as you are tracked as to your location wearing the device.  For instance,  if your spouse leaves the cabin to get you both coffee and takes your medallion,  the steward could in theory enter your cabin as he thinks you're both away.  

  15. We'll be aboard the Star in a few weeks for an Alaska turn around coastal out of Seattle.   I feel it will be nice to only have our key cards and not deal with all the extra stuff......call us traditional but I think we're fine with that.  Until they get everything ironed out.....just a pita IMO......

  16. Apples and Oranges here IMO......the Epic is geared way more for families with children......personally I don't go on a cruise anymore to climb rock walls,  ice scate,  ride go carts,  waterparks......until we have grandchildren I'll take a Princess cruise.....it depends on what you need in your cruise.

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