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XBGuy

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About XBGuy

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Diamond Bar, CA
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    Fermented Grape Juice, Motorsports. Western Civilization Art Music

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  1. XBGuy

    Meals on PRINCESS ..(ROYAL)

    rka, I think that you and I are, pretty much, on the same page. It's the only conclusion I can draw that explains the inconsistency of the Princess dining venues. My big disappointment is any lack of attention to detail. Here is one example from our cruise last spring on the Emerald Princess. We will, generally, dine in the Crown Grill two or three evenings per cruise. I like red meat as much as the next guy, and my wife absolutely loves the Mussel Pot. Now, in all honesty, I don't think there is anything particularly special about the Crown Grill steaks. I know that I can buy a steak at the local grocery store, grill it in my back yard, and it is better than anything I have ever had in the Crown Grill. I have also learned that I'd better be very clear on how I want my steak prepared. I like my steaks rare. It took a while of accepting "pink" steaks before I learned that when the server asks me how I want my steak prepared, I'd better look him in the eye to make sure that he is really listening, and state very seriously, "Rare, and by rare, I mean blood rare." So that is what I did when I ordered a Porterhouse on the Emerald Princess. The meal progressed very nicely. Here come our entrees. After placing the steak in front of me the server asked me to check the preparation. I sliced it and was, frankly, disappointed to see pink, not red. The chef had followed the server out to the dining room and was standing behind him. Apparently, the look on my face was easy for him to read, and, so, he jumped in. "If this is not acceptable, we will prepare another steak for you, sir." "Thank you, I would appreciate that, very much." The second attempt was excellent. Continuing on I did, in fact, take the Ultimate Ship's Tour towards the end of that cruise. Guess who made the galley presentation: the Crown Grill Chef. I was very pleased to see him and was able to shake his hand at the end of his presentation and thank him for my excellent experience in his room.
  2. Not exactly your cabin, but we have cruised on various Princess ships in cabin A201, also once in A202 and once in C202. We actually get a kick out of waving to the bridge crew when they are visible. The fact of the matter is that they are rarely on the extremes of the bridge--mostly, when entering or leaving a port. On our last cruise (Emerald Princess) I took the Ultimate Ship's Tour which is a three-hour behind-the-scenes tour. One of the highlights was actually visiting the bridge. As we entered we were herded to the starboard wing of the bridge. Cool. I can look down and see our balcony (A201). Not only was I able to do so, my wife was on the balcony and just happened to look up and see me. So, we were able to wave to each other. Now, I can assure you that people on the bridge can not see into your cabin. Balcony dividers block the sight line to the sliding door.
  3. XBGuy

    New Wine List Rolling out on the Golden

    That is consistent with my findings. There is a very stiff g-factor for the lower priced wines. The Princess pricing on the higher end wines (Petrus notwithstanding) is very reasonable.
  4. XBGuy

    Meals on PRINCESS ..(ROYAL)

    OP, it is great to hear that you enjoyed your meals. Thanks for posting. Being a foodie kinda guy, I love hearing that news. I might quibble with you, a bit, on the importance of the chef. I personally find a lot of inconsistency in the various Princess venues. I might enjoy multiple meals in the Crown Grill on a cruise. Then, on the next cruise on the very same ship I may find the Crown Grill meals to be disappointing. I put this on the chef--and, specifically, the ship's Executive Chef. He is the person who sets the standard. If he has high expectations, then he will demand that of all the room chefs, sous chefs and line chefs. If he does not demand that out of his staff, well, you know which way that attitude trickles. Now, that being said, I've never sought to identify the chef in, say, the buffet or in any of the specialty restaurants. I have the same opinion regarding servers. If the Maitre d' and the headwaiters demand the highest service, that attitude is apparent in the performance of the servers and the runners. If not, well, you know. I have my first cruise on the Royal Princess booked for next September. I truly hope that I enjoy it as much as you did.
  5. Well, I certainly can't dispute your devious logic. I might suggest, however, that such a caper might find it's way into a future episode of "Stupid Criminal Tricks." Let's suppose he does find my medallion that I dropped in Skywalkers, and started walking up and down the corridors of the decks that had cabins. Let us also assume that he found my cabin before I discovered my loss and reported it to the Passenger Services desk, and, so, he discovered an open cabin door. Just for the sake of discussion, let us further assume that there were no stewards working in the area who had see me walking in and out of that cabin for the last few days, and, so, would not be suspicious of him. Pay Dirt. He rifles through the room and finds my red Fruit-of-the-Loom underwear. SCORE. He grabs them and hustles out. Remember, the Orwellian tracking capability? Remember those thousands of sensors that are pinging all the medallions? Even "disabled" medallions will respond to those pings. He better have tossed that medallion in the my cabin before he left. If not, a Princess security guy is going to be knocking on his cabin door asking about the suspicious red Fruit-of-the-Loom underwear laying on his bed.
  6. XBGuy

    Grand Princess..couple of questions

    That may very well be the case. I just thought it was more than coincidental that the room service pizza menu was the same as the lido deck menu. Now that I think of it, though, this may be a good thing. My understanding is that on the Ruby Princess the Lido deck pizzeria was rebranded--I think it is now called "Slices" instead of "Prego"--recently, and it's menu has changed a bit. Apparently, they no longer offer pepperoni pizza. I wonder if room service offers pepperoni. In a few weeks, I'll be able to check it out.
  7. Which is exactly the same thing as if you lost a card key. As a couple posters have indicated, the medallion does not have a cabin number on it--just like the card key. Also, if a passenger was to lose a medallion, the remedy is exactly the same as if he/she had lost a card key. Go to the Passenger Services Desk and report the loss. The desk agent will provide the passenger with a replacement medallion. This replacement medallion will not be identical to the lost one. It will have different encoding. The lost medallion will be reported to the ship's on-board system and will be disabled--once again, just like in the card key environment.
  8. XBGuy

    Off the Ruby on Nov 10, 2018

    Can you expand a bit on your comment that I have highlighted above? Are you saying that a number of wines were listed on the wine list, but, when you ordered them, you were told that they were not in the ship's inventory? Was this specific to Vines, or did it happen in other venues? Just from your comment above, I'm inclined to think that the new wine list has not been deployed on the Ruby Princess, and they are trying to deplete their inventory from the old list. This is purely speculative on my part. Did they have the new wine list on your cruise? Like Babybusser, we will be on the Dec. 1 cruise. As usual, I will be bringing a stash of my own wine, but I always like to keep up to date on the ship's offerings. As often as not, if I bring a red wine to dinner, Mrs. XBGuy will order a white off their list.
  9. XBGuy

    Grand Princess..couple of questions

    You did not ask this, but an interesting tidbit that I learned on our last cruise (on the Emerald Princess). We ordered two pizzas from room service one evening--a pepperoni and a margherita. These, of course, came from the Lido deck facility. We were charge only one $3 service charge. So, I guess they only charge for somebody to make one trip to the Lido deck, not how many boxes they have to carry.
  10. Yes, and the stupid thing disappears after a few minutes. I just tested. It's next to the "Quote" link at the bottom.
  11. I've enjoyed reading your reports, Charles. You've put a lot of effort in it for our benefit. Thank you, very much. Now, I'm going to pull your chain a bit. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is informally known as "The Punchbowl." A "bowl" is way different from a "bowel." A very wise manager once taught me that the only people who don't make mistakes are the ones who aren't doing anything. Again, thank you for your hard work. I hope my ribbing caused you to chuckle.
  12. XBGuy

    Crown Princess

    I will also compliment Caribill on his excellent comparison--with this one addition. The Crown Princess does not have an Alfredo's Pizzeria which we enjoy as a nice dining alternative on the Grand Princess.
  13. We tried the Sabatini's Italian Tratoria menu for the first time a little over a year ago on the Grand Princess. We, very much, enjoyed all the courses. However, similar to Abbey's report above, laying in bed a couple hours after our meal, I thought my stomach was going to explode. That surprised me, a bit, because I really didn't think that I ate that much. Then, I realized what the culprit was. The first course on the menu is "Appertivo." This just comes out of the kitchen and is presented on your table. Here is the description from the menu: Stuzzichino Della Casa* warm rustic whole-wheat loaf, tuscan zonzelle with roasted tomato & bell pepper passata, prosciutto crudo, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar What you have to watch out for is the Zonzelle. These are deep-fried balls of dough (and, I would imagine, cheese). They are awsomely tasty, and a serving for two is five or six of these. I powered through them. I am pretty sure that if you look up "gastric grenade" in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Zonzelles. Of course we had to test my theory, and, so, we went back to Sabatini's later in the cruise for a second evening. This time we limited ourselves to a single zonzelle each. Believe me, it was hard to resist having more. It worked. We had another nice meal at Sabatini's and there was no gastric distress later.
  14. XBGuy

    New Wine List Rolling out on the Golden

    Quite a few cruises ago Mrs. XBGuy and I went down to the dining room for dinner on the first evening of a Hawaii cruise. We ordered a bottle of white wine and started on that with the "starters" portion of our meal. I'd ordered red meat for my entree, and, so, I wanted to have a glass of red wine with that. When I asked the waiter for the glass of red wine, he suggested that I order a bottle. Whatever I did not drink that evening would be saved for subsequent evenings on the two-week cruise. His logic was inescapable. If you figure that Princess pours five single-glass servings from a bottle, it is easy to see that buying one bottle is less expensive than buying five glasses. Since that trip, it is easy to spot the XBGuys table while they are dining. They are the ones at the two-top with two bottles of open wine.
  15. This thread has just been brought to my attention. Thank you, very much, OP, for taking the time and effort. I know that everybody has old favorites and those may or may not be on this list, but I have to say that, overall, this new list is a substantial improvement. I also believe that Mrs. XBGuy will be quite pleased. I am very surprised that they are including the vintage years on this list. It seems to me that as the ship's inventory of one vintage is depleted and replaced with the subsequent year, the wine list becomes out of date. I really doubt that many people would send back a 2015 vintage that was presented to them after they ordered the 2014 vintage from the list. However, yes, some will. Really no big deal until they come on to Cruise Critic and whine about how Princess tried to bait and switch them.
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