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About CaliforniaDon

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Diego area (Escondido), CA
  • Interests
    Destination overview shore excursions.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    West Coast, USA , Caribbean
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
  1. CaliforniaDon

    CCL Shareholders stock

    Two suggestions for comparison: Put the money in the bank and get -- pennies per year interest. Buy Royal Caribbean stock and learn all the reasons why you CANNOT get the shareholder benefit each time you ask for it. Thank you Princess (Carnival Stock) for honoring what you said you would do! Each time (100%) that I get that on-board-credit (OBC) I feel like I got a special treat!
  2. Part 2 of a potential BTB (back to back cruises) has been showing as sold out for a while. Is there any chance of booking that second leg while on board during the first leg? Perhaps a last minute cancellation? And if it IS possible, will the cost be low?
  3. CaliforniaDon

    magnetic hooks

    While magnetized springy-clips are ok to hang Princess Patters and so forth, you can get similar LOOKING clips at Amazon with stronger magnets. They would hold 3 or 4 Patters without a problem. The thumb-pusher tab is a hook of sorts. Actual hooks can be found at Home Depot or Lowes type stores. They, as I recall, are in the over $5 a pair range, and have a very strong magnet and a single hook. Two of those on the ceiling will easily hold up a movie blanket or Pool towel to make a mini-room divider. My wife is pretty sure that even our strong hook was not enough to hold up a Princess bathrobe - it tended to slide down the wall. All in all, you will likely use any magnetic hooks (or clips) you take with you for some purpose. They are a great accessory.
  4. CaliforniaDon

    Bathroom Night Light

    One time I got an LED night light at a Mexico Walmart, and it burned out after a day or two, when used in the bathroom. I may have had it plugged in backwards, or it may have been a bad item. For the one day it was great. HALLOWEEN is coming. - We ended up getting a small orange square "thing" after the holiday last year. It runs on a couple of AA or AAA batteries and is used to light up the inside of a pumpkin. It works absolutely GREAT in the bathroom. Hmm. I tried to insert a picture of it, but it came out HUGE, so check it out here: http://beercruisers.com/hacks/index.htm
  5. CaliforniaDon

    Specialty dining and other exciting splurges

    Let me share my experience, for what it's worth. The first time we got a "special meal" as a gift, we felt like we knew it would be for a shore day, and whenever Princess wanted us to have it. Our certificate, in our cabin was for something like 4:30 pm on some shore day. The price was right, so we opened the place and had a nice EARLY dinner. The next time we got one, we went to Crown Grill the first evening, and asked if we could change from Sabatini's and double up with our travel buddies who also had a "free" meal. The"suit" at the Crown Grill was not in the least put off by this request, was very pleasant, and booked us for our preference without ANY fuss. When meal time came, they had messed up our travel buddy's reservations, but fixed it easily. All in all, it was great! The moral is, IN OUR CASE - we likely did NOT have to settle for mid-afternoon dinner that first time, and we could have changed venues most likely. I think that not pushing a request for prime dinner hour, etc, would help a lot. Of course, each ship will provide a different result, but ours ended up great!
  6. CaliforniaDon

    Posting ridiculous pictures...

    Now that all of the real issues are under control: BOOM! My redneck mini-suite maker!
  7. Most of our orders have come early - none ever arrived AFTER the window. We figure that if we point that out, we will have the already so-so mcMuffins just be cold. Solution: a cabin near the rear elevator, travel mugs that hook on your belt - and a very attentive waiter (me) - ends with a nice, hot meal. A second upside down plate serves the second person - and tools either grabbed the evening before, or stowed in a pocket.
  8. CaliforniaDon

    Princess shuttle LAX to San Pedro

    Much depends on your ability to fend-off ulcers. Traffic around LA is predictably bad. One time we spent 20 minutes on the off ramp to the Cruise Port. Other times, 0 minutes. I would come earlier, using a nearby hotel if necessary and leave the worries aside. Then again, no guts, no glory. Good luck, whatever you decide.
  9. CaliforniaDon

    Self service laundry

    Using the laundry is a nuisance, but great instead of over-packing. If, as we did, you get too many tokens, you can take them to the customer service desk and turn them in. I feel like they check to see that you bought them before trading the money back into your account. Those combo washer-soap and dryer fabric softener sheets save money and are easy to pack. You don't need to take a whole pack - just one or two. Plan ahead to avoid the logical laundry times - the few washers/dryers get busy - and plan to be back before your loads are done, otherwise, surprise.
  10. CaliforniaDon

    Star Princess Cabin question

    Agree. Deck 10, Caribe is best in our view - get it? "our view". These are big decks, and close to the sliding door, you are completely covered and private.(for a morning weather check in minimum attire) - step to the edge for sun and a full view of everyone below you. - Back near the rear elevators makes a quick ride or walk up to the buffet. Enjoy!
  11. CaliforniaDon

    Cabin size for family of four on Emerald Princess

    In the spirit of getting the most use from your space, here is my redneck mini-suite. Strong magnetic hooks from a hardware store and a movie blanket or towel (or two) - and the sleepers can sleep while the others do not.
  12. CaliforniaDon

    Dividend raised

    Great news about the dividend. I really have fun using a spreadsheet to log in every dividend and every on-board-credit that goes with the stock --along with the stock price sometimes going up as well. Even with the recent down swing, it is still doing better than my savings account!
  13. CaliforniaDon

    Happy Hour

    I sent a brief email of disapproval about the death of happy hour to customer services a few days ago, got my automated reply and then, today, a form email, as expected, saying F-U, but nicely. I suggest that cruisers start sharing info on shore experiences with cheap drinks. My best ever was in St Maarten on the boardwalk drinking $2 beers and watching the mini parade go by. This beats my customer service request that they stop the dumb policy of opening BOTH beers when delivered at happy hour. The ship staff said that it was corporate policy -- so customer services forwarded my complaint to-- the ship's staff.
  14. CaliforniaDon

    Princess "Secrets" 2018

    Hi - Princess does a great job in being honorable and truthful about the perks for Veterans and stockholders (shareholder benefit). Veterans: once they have your form DD214 or proof of service, you get the OBC (onboard credit) for each future cruise. - I think they store that info in your Captains Circle account. Stockholder: for each cruise, you have to fax your "proof" to their special department. In my case, a screen shot picture of the page on my brokerage monthly report, with the Carnival stock (parent company of Princess) circled. I feel like I have to wait until final payment is made to send this in. This last time, within hours, they had posted the credit to my account. You can get both of these credits (more credit for longer cruises) on all cruises regardless of other discounts and deals. Do NOT expect the same from Royal Caribbean, who, while trying to ride the coattails of Princess - uses stockholder credit as a reward only if they have not already given you some other discount - which is nearly always. While on board, make a $100 deposit /pp (per person) on a future cruise - and when you take that cruise later on, you will get an OBC, as well as getting to use that small amount as your deposit. I keep a couple of future cruise deposits on the books at all times - refundable if you don't end up booking within their time period (a couple of years, if I recall) -- the math on my next cruise: $200 paid to Princess last year (for the couple) $100 back in OBC, the $200 taken off the ticket price when we reserved-- but we lost interest from our savings account by having Princess hold our money - so deduct about 12 cents. --
  15. CaliforniaDon

    False advertising/pricing?!

    Hi -- When you see this on the Celebrity web page,what would you think? then the total -- I was able to get an agent at Celebrity to explain this to me. The two items in the image directly above here had nothing to do with each other. I had foolishly assumed that they were part of the same offer. Two free perks were ONE thing, or the starting price was something completely different. The same with the top picture. The banner and the price directly below it were not related -- go figure! The super-low California resident rate was at the bottom, and the free perks were just a different idea. You can have a hamburger with free lettuce and tomato for $1 -- only the bill is $2 - you can get the discounted hamburger for a $1 -- just like we said, only no lettuce and tomato. But, the $2 hamburger has free lettuce and tomato. See you on my next Princess Cruise!