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About LarryL

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    Cool Cruiser

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    St Paul, MN
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    Princess and Royal Caribbean
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  1. If you have a choice I would also go for the Caribe deck. The baloneys are larger and partially covered. As others have said, either side would be good.
  2. I think Shooters Bar on deck 6 between the casino and the theater is for smokers and there were smokers towards starboard/aft outside on the Promenade deck 7 when we last cruised the Star..
  3. You only get one first cruise so take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Sit done with your family and form some questions to ask and bring them to this forum. There are many, extremely and helpful, people on these boards who love to help. Prepare to be a little nervous, excited, and curious. The night before you leave, you will not sleep much. Unless you are really compelled, keep your excursions to one a port stop. We did 2 each port and were exhausted before our first cruise was complete. Give yourselves some time to explore the ports and the surrounding areas. Also, you may want to allow your kids some ship time because they will find so many things to do. They have age appropriate youth and teen activities so your kids can meet others their ages. Give yourselves some time for a couples massage or other special treat for yourselves. In Juneau, you will probably have time to take a morning excursion and then take the Mount Roberts Tram for some nice views and exploration. Skagway has a whole variety of excursions. When you sail out that evening, be sure to get up to the top decks for some spectacular scenery and a sunset you will never forget. I hope you have a wonderful first cruise.
  4. Our stewards have been very accommodating when asking for distilled water and have gone as far as assuring we had a cord to use if needed. As an additional precaution, you may want to let your husband know to bring and extra filter, mask, or tube just to be on the safe side. I had a tube failure (fitting) on a cruise once and there is no place to get a new one. Also, you may already know, but he can carry his CPAP on the airplane as a medical device in addition to his normal carry-on at no expense or question. Have a nice cruise.
  5. Pick up games can happen, for sure. I've seen the courts open pretty late. There are lots of things to do on these ships. You may want to consider joining the roll call for this sailing. You can get some good ideas and make connections before you go.
  6. Hopefully, you got a "Booking Confirmation - Guest Copy" sent to you. In the Guest Information section, you should see a Dining row. That will show you your dining choice. I couldn't find our upcoming dining time in the calendar either. For a first cruise I don't know if it matters how many days it is. You may feel yourself resisting the disembarking process. If you do, you'll need to book another cruise, and maybe one with more days. Cruising can be habit forming. Have fun!!!
  7. While we can't pretend to know what they do, or don't, know; I see your point about the tip issue.
  8. I carry a power conversion kit with a cord (with case) in my carry-on. I've never been stopped. It does not have a surge protector. I'm sure the cabin stewards give it a "once over" to be sure it's legal. We bought it for our land vacations in Europe and it works well for European style outlets on the ship for our additional power needs.
  9. Our driver took us right outside the terminal door. Very easy. I should add our driver said she has always been able to drive straight to the ship. We were coming from a transfer and excursion from Rome so we boarded around 1 PM. Those who we met that boarded earlier said the process was fast for them.
  10. FWIW we were on the transatlantic TA last December and were next door in 8069. We had no problems with the WIFI connections. For this cruise we were only using Apple IPhones and IPads. I don't know if that makes a difference, but we had no problems where we used it on the ship.
  11. We always went to the International Café on the Plaza Deck (5) which is The Piazza. Starboard side.
  12. Easy ship to figure out. Entertainment and activities forward; food aft. You can get from the dining room (aft on deck 5 to the Pacific Lounge (forward on deck 10) in minutes. Easy to overshoot the forward and aft stairwells at first. Very laid back with great service.
  13. I think Captain Tuvo would make a rowboat cruise fun somehow. We had him on the Star (Hawaiian cruise) a couple years ago and we hated to say Bye-Bye as well. That was the only cruise we've been on where people actually stopped what they were doing to hear his announcements.
  14. First, I want to thank Steelers36. Your insightful information on this, and the Island Princess, thread. I think, while change may be uncomfortable for some, there is always a silver lining somewhere. Your information was nicely prepared. We have sailed on the Coral and enjoyed the ship although she was not our favorite. We tend to gravitate towards the Grand Class. I don't think we even knew of the Caribe aft viewing area and didn't go into the Universal Lounge that much. Although I think the public areas provide more opportunities for entertainment it would not be a deal breaker for me. The Fitness center being on the lower and in the middle section of the ship may just be a blessing in disguise. In spite of the loss of beautiful views, the workout area should be far more stable for those on the treadmill (I've rocked a few times on them) as well as those involved in Yoga or other classes. While we really enjoyed our transatlantic cruise on the Pacific last December, we had to think seriously if we would want to spend 111 days on such a small ship. We walk a lot and exercise but the space to do so on that ship was limited. For the first time in many cruises, I gained 8 pounds during our 17 days onboard. Even with the loss of the wraparound Promenade we could make due, plus there are more stairs to climb. When we left the ship we looked into different ways to complete our circumnavigation by taking different cruises. It's doable but requires 3 months in Australia or New Zealand. I think I would reconsider the WC now that the Island is in play.
  15. If you can arrive in Barcelona a few days earlier there is so much to see. The best location to stay would be somewhere close to La Rambla. From that area, there will be many tours to connect to and the subway system is easy to navigate. We spent two days seeing mostly Gaudi sites. Before you go, be sure to check the review sites for restaurants and hotels. I think most restaurants and tapas bars are good to excellent but some are flat out terrible. Cartagena is a delight to just walk from the ship. We had a leisurely breakfast and walked to the Castillo de la Concepcion we relative ease and followed our tour from there to the Roman Amphitheater. After we walked down to the plaza where you can grab a bite or shop. Our stop in Malaga was a CC Roll Call organized bus tour to the Alhambra where we spent the day touring the ancient site. After, we walked down to Granada and stopped at the Bar Las Diamantes and enjoyed some tapas and good wine, followed by a walking tour of that part of the city. The only other port we visited on your itinerary was Santa Cruz de Tenerife where, both our stops we either stayed on the ship or walked into the downtown area. Many people on our cruises both took the tour to the Teide National Park. We've only done two transatlantic cruises but enjoyed them both immensely. We did progressive trivia on both and enjoyed the friendly competition very much. There are so many things to do, you will not be bored. I hope you enjoy your cruise.
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