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japlanet

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About japlanet

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Vancouver, BC

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  1. Only thing we can do at this point is wait to hear from Princess what their plans are. We are booked on an Alaska cruise leaving Whittier 06/27 - arriving in Vancouver July 4th . . . final payment is due next week. Hoping there is some messaging from Princess before then. Hesitant to make final payment on a cruise in the apparent grey zone like that.
  2. Can anyone with experience using the PBP on Princess confirm the details? From what I understand, it covers ?everything up to $12 per serving? If you want something which costs more than $12 (say a fancy cocktail/glass of wine) do you have to pay the full price or just top up the difference? On Celebrity if you wanted something which cost more than $15, say a $20 glass of wine, you just paid the $5 difference with the beverage package. Does the same thing apply on Princess? Our TA has offered us the $25 pp/day add on for the PBP and wifi, trying to figure out if it is worthwhile. We usually have 1 fancy coffee/tea each per day plus 1-2 glasses of wine or cocktails before/after dinner. Plus I enjoy getting sparkling water as part of a beverage package but usually wouldn't pay for it separately. Thanks for any insights.
  3. I have been reading a lot about the central staircase on the Grand Princess not be accessible for the whole height of the ship. I am looking at booking a cruise on this ship in 2020 and from the deck plans it is not clear to me if it is still the case that you cannot access the central staircase above deck 7. This will definitely influence my choice of cabin because I usually would choose a central cabin on deck 9/Dolphin, but if we are going to have to walk up and down half the length of the ship constantly to use the stairs I will rethink this. We are 100% stairs users (even on embarkation with our carry-ons) and elevator use is not an option. All the information I have found regarding the staircase issue dates to before the March 2019 dry dock so I was just wondering if anyone who has been on the ship since then can let me know - can you use the central staircase between decks 7 and 14 or not? Thanks!
  4. Sure, if you want to sit at an empty bar on bar stools with your coffee in a paper cup. There are no tables/chairs in the World class bar area, just bar height chairs/stools. The al Bacio staff refused to give drinks in ‘proper’ glassware unless you sat at a table and ordered with the waitstaff. If you ordered at the bar you got a paper cup.
  5. We just got off the Reflection as well and even though the weather was nice for the whole cruise, al Bacio was always crowded and they didn't have any overflow. Very frustrating. The table service was also very slow - I waited 20+ minutes once just to get a tea. The Cafe experience and the fact that the whole ship was too warm (24-26 Degrees C, warmer in some sections of the MDR) the whole time were my two main complaints about the cruise. Otherwise we had a great time.
  6. We are planning to rent a car as per Roger's instructions, drive to Caves of Drach and then back into Palma in the afternoon. Any recommendations on parking for a few hours in Palma while we explore on foot? It looked like parking at a mall such as the large El Corte Ingles might work . . . any other ideas? We'd then plan to drive up to Castell De Bellver before heading back to port.
  7. We went to the Vasa and Skansen on our own and both were great! We just took the hopon-hopoff boat from the cruise terminal which was great. Went to the museum island first and then to downtown, then back to the ship. Very easy to DIY.
  8. Definitely just rent a car (actually probably a van for all the luggage). Much more flexibility and will be significantly cheaper than any sort of organized tour for 4 people. Driving in Vancouver is very easy, just plan in advance what sights you want to hit up. You can rent a car from Canada Place and depending on how you plot out your day, either return it to the airport or return back to Canada Place then grab the skytrain from there to the airport.
  9. We are Canadian and the last time we made the mistake of agreeing to sit at shared table (I think for breakfast), the Americans at the table once finding out that I was a doctor would simply not give up talking about how the US healthcare system was so obviously superior to the Canadian one and how they can’t believe I would practice medicine in Canada when I could make so much more money in the US and blah blah blah. We only take tables for two now (or four if we are travelling with friends).
  10. Skytrain remains the fastest way to get from Canada Place to YVR. It requires walking about 200m from Canada place to the entrance to the station on Howe St and then navigating to the Canada Line Train. Under 10 minutes total walking, even walking slowly with kids and luggage, from Canada place to the train. Trains leave every 7 minutes, and it takes 26 minutes on the skytrain to YVR. The station is 150m from the terminal. Driving from Canada Place to YVR, if you walked straight off the ship into a waiting car, theoretically takes 20 minutes. In reality it takes 40-55 minutes especially on a cruise day when the traffic downtown and around the port is just gross. So I still personally come down on the side of Skytrain, even if speed is your only measure.
  11. I don't doubt your story but I find it mind-boggling to believe that they would be able to do this. 1. They have a way to type and cross match blood on board? It's more than just ABO and Rh (+/-) testing, there are lots of other antigens that if not properly crossmatched can cause life threatening reactions. 2. They have the equipment to remove blood from one person and transfuse it into another? You have to keep fresh blood warm and constantly moving as you take it out from a person, lest it clot. 3. They would have had to transfuse whole blood (i.e. with all the antibodies and white cells etc) which is much more risky than just transfusing red blood cells as is done in modern medicine. Not to mention it would not be screened for diseases like HIV, hepatitis, etc. This is a terrifying thing for me to contemplate as a physician, this passenger must have been in truly dire straits for on-board medical to think that a direct unscreened blood transfusion was their best option. That they received the transfusion and then were 'stable' for transfer to hospital . . . I just can't think of a scenario where that would happen but ???
  12. I just booked for April 2021 (!) and was assured by the Oceania agent that by paying the $750 per person deposit, I was locking in the current pricing. He also mentioned that prices were scheduled to rise at the end of the month.
  13. If you really want to buy and consume >15 drinks in a 24h period, it seems the best way would be for one lighter/non drinker to forgo the Cheers package and serve as the 'buyer' for any beverages others want to purchase outside of the Cheers package.
  14. I can’t believe that Celebrity would allow people with oxygen tanks to smoke. When you get an oxygen tank you have to sign something saying you know you shouldn’t smoke due to the not insignificant risk of explosion/fire. Fire of course is the biggest fear on a cruise ship. If I was in charge of safety on a ship I would absolutely prohibit oxygen tanks anywhere near a smoking area and throw people off the ship if they did so.
  15. You can do this no problem. I routinely leave my apt in Vancouver, walk 10-12 minutes to the skytrain, skytrain for 30 minutes to YVR, drop luggage, and clear security and US customs in under an hour. I generally leave my apt for a flight 2-2.5 hours before the scheduled boarding time and have never had less than an hour to chill in the lounge. If you are off the ship by 9am you will be fine for a 11:40am flight.
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