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Everything posted by richmke

  1. I was doing some searching on Princess for Alaska cruises. My PVP called me the next day and offered some OBC and free gratuities. You might not have to wait for a sale.
  2. I bought at near the 52 week low. I figure the 4.4% dividend yield is safe and provides a lot of downside protection vs. a 1.60% 10 year treasury bond yield. The occasional $1/share OBC is a bonus. It takes a lot of cruises to make up for a $20/share drop in price form the 52 week high.
  3. From what I have read, since you are Platinum, you will get a better deal on board on the first day. The price you get will reflect the value of your free minutes that you won't need. The advance deal is the best one for anyone that does not get free minutes.
  4. Yes, normal. FYI: Don't worry about dealing with a person who called you until they ask for payment. With Princess, you can have the person book the reservation for you, and tell them you will pay the deposit on-line. Then you can login to your Princess account and make payment. They should give you at least 1 day to make a deposit to lock in the fare. If they don't, then tell them to have a nice day.
  5. Probably trying to save themselves some hassle of refunding any balance to the gift card. On my last cruise, I put a gift card onto my folio at the Passenger Service Desk. No problem. They paid for charges in the right order: 1) Non-refundable OBC 2) Gift card 3) Refundable OBC (purchased by cruise agent) If you only have non-refundable OBC, then you are better off waiting until you know the OBC is used up before you put the Gift Card onto your account. FYI: Use the Gift Card to purchase Future Cruise Deposits. Note: Do this before depositing to your account, since you can't use OBC to purchase FCD.
  6. Since CCL (including Princess) is not governed by NV law, there would be nothing "nefarious" about requesting a machine with a payout lower than 80%. I doubt that Princess is getting machines lower than 80% > The implication of posts on the forum were that somehow the slots of cruise ships are > worse payback than those in Nevada. I would argue that Princess slots are worse payback than those in Las Vegas. > That is not true (unless they are violating their rules) -- the slots are the same ones found in Nevada. Just because Nevada has an 80% minimum does not mean that all slots are at 80%. In fact, the reports indicate that slots are around 90-95%. So, Princess could be "worse payback" than those in Las Vegas, even if they are higher than the Nevada minimum. > I think the assumption that many make is that the cruise lines are out to screw us at any opportunity they can > so of course they would set them at 80% and not a percentage point more to make as much profit as possible > and also because their isn't competition casino across the street. I'm not saying that Princess sets them at 80%. Heck, they could set them at 90% and still be worse than most places in Las Vegas. You are naive if you think the lack of competition on a Cruise Ship would not affect payout rates. If there was only one place to gamble in Las Vegas, then they would probably be a lot closer to the 80% minimum. Because of competition, the casinos in Las Vegas have to raise their payout rates to attract customers. The LV airport is notorious for having low payouts. Captive audience (people waiting for their plane). I'm guessing that small towns are similar. I doubt that Princess has a payout ratio of 80%. If the cruise line gained a reputation for being really stingy, then real gamblers will cruise on other lines. My guess is that Princess has a payout a little less (3-5%?) than Las Vegas in order to keep gamblers happy enough. > The truth is we don't know what the payback is, but it is the same requirement as Nevada. The "requirement" is the minimum payout. The real issue is whether Princess is competitive to the average Las Vegas casino (which is way more than the minimum). That is where Princess is competing for the vacation $$$'s. > And based on my personal experience playing the casino slots it is a very similar experience to Vegas land based casinos. > I don't feel like I lose more and faster than I do in Vegas. You can set the odds of the slot so that "you don't feel like you lose more and faster". The odds could be the same as Las Vegas for the low payouts (not losing more and faster). If they set the jackpot really tight, then that can make a real difference to the Casino. They take your $100 over the course of the evening (lots of small wins to you to keep you entertained), and you are a happy camper. By rarely having to pay out the $10,000 big prize, they make a lot more money. You never notice it, because you don't expect to win the big prize.
  7. However, Cruise Ship Slots are not subject to competition from the Casino across the street. 80% payout is rather low. Typical slot payouts are 90-95% in Nevada.
  8. If you want a lot of hot chocolate for the Alaska Cruise.
  9. No. The Chef works for Princess/CCL. If he is not up to snuff, then it is up to Princess/CCL to replace him. The Chef could make a minor difference, but not a major one.
  10. The Casino is playing the long-term odds (over time, the house has the advantage - for example, out of 100 plays, the casino wins 51% of the time). That implies the individual should put down one big bet, and either win it all, or lose it all. Over the short-run, you can beat the house. Over the long run, the house beats you.
  11. Look for the classes to teach you card games, roulette, etc. Not only do you learn how to play the game, but you also get a coupon for $5 match play. For the Match Play: 1) The odds of the payout has to be 1:1 (Red/Black on the roulette wheel, but no single number) 2) You bet $5, and the Card is considered another $5 bet. 3) If you win, you get $10 plus your $5 back ($15). If you loose, you get $0. So, the Expected Value is in your favor for that bet.
  12. If you don't have them already, bring some Towel Clips. They clip the towel onto the deck chair. If you leave stuff discreetly on the balcony to dry during the day, make sure you bring them in at night, or they will get damp overnight.
  13. If you buy 1 device, you can use it on multiple devices, but only one can be logged in at at time. With the 4 device package, you can have 4 devices logged in at one time. You can't use OBC to buy in advance.
  14. Packages could change. Grab it now. If the price goes down, or a better package is offered, you can cancel and buy the new one. On my last cruise, I was thinking the same thing. Princess offered a $50 (approx) unlimited for 1 device. Then they switched to new pricing, and it went up to $70 for 1 device, but $105 for 4. The 4 device package worked better for us. But, I would have been kicking myself if I only needed 1 device.
  15. Yes, But .... They will all be logged into Ocean Concierge as the person with the Internet Package.
  16. The login credentials will also give you access to Ocean Concierge. That means anyone you login can view your account. Note: You have to login separately for each Ocean App, so the apps are not affected by who is logged in through Ocean Concierge.
  17. Not True. Assuming you have properly configured your home wifi (modern encryption, strong key, etc.), your home wifi is more secure than the Ship's. First of all, your non-https traffic is broadcast in the clear, and anyone can watch it. Second, HTTPS traffic is subject to a man-in-the-middle attack - even if you setup and use reasonable secure passwords and insure that you have an https handshake connection. Your https connection could be to the man-in-the-middle, not to the Bank. The man-in-the-middle intercepts your traffic, and connects to the bank with their https connection. An encrypted home wifi network significantly reduces the likelihood of either of the above.
  18. Do it when you check-in. If they can't give you a new medallion then, then ask at the Passenger Service Desk. They replace medallions all the time (lost, battery runs out, etc.).
  19. $300/person is not that much different from having booked it that way in the first place. So, no-go for me. I would only have accepted a free cruise, and they could have downgraded me to an inside.
  20. Assuming the EZ Air flight is the one you want, there is no downside. If you want a different airline, then you have to book it yourself. For me, it is Delta via EZ-Air, or Southwest on our own. Unless the EZ Air is significantly less, we go with Southwest for the free bags. The big positive about EZ Air is that if the flights get messed up, Princess has to make good. - Schedule change, and the flight arrives too late to make the cruise; flight is delayed and you miss embarkation; Debarkation is delayed and you miss your flight; etc.
  21. I prepaid when they raised the rates (May?). When we took the cruise in June, nothing showed up on the on-board statement (one way or the other).
  22. I got the Sports band. $12 onboard. While the Fitbit would have been cheaper, the sports band looks nicer, and I can use it on future cruises. Kind of quirky to put on, but kids will figure it out. The loose strap has to be tucked under. The Medallion only fits in through the bottom, so it can't fall out the top. The Band is magnetized, so the Medallion only fits in one direction. The only issue is when Shore Security need to read the name on the medallion. I wore the band backwards to it was easier for other people to read when you hold it up. Otherwise, your name is upside down. I wore it snorkling, and no issues. Note: The Princess person told me to wear it tight when swimming so the Medallion does not fall out the bottom. That was too tight. I wore it with a slight gap on the bottom, but not large enough for the Medallion to fall out. In any case, it is held in by magnets, so it would not only have to be pushed down, but also the band raised up so it could fall out the bottom. Not likely.
  23. Today, Alaska is cheaper. The cheapest 7-day Caribbean cruise on Princess is Dec 1, 2019 $569 inside, $699 balcony. The cheapest 7-day Alaska cruise is Aug 31, 2019 $427 inside, $607 ocean view. It is a matter of supply and demand. If you need a specific date, then book in advance, and hope for a sale. If you are flexible, then wait for last minute sales. I think $427 for Alaska is about as cheap as the Caribbean gets. FYI: Right now, May 2020 for Alaska is $659 interior, and Caribbean is $699 interior. So, you could say that the Caribbean is more expensive than Alaska. However, a balcony on those same dates is 50% more expensive in Alaska. The main reason for that is that people are willing to pay for the view on Alaska Cruises, and not Caribbean Cruises.
  24. We were on the Caribbean Princess, a Medallion Class ship, a few weeks ago. They still have the printed Patter. In fact, we prefer the printed version so much, that we asked the Cabin Steward to give us 2 copies every day. Each of us could mark up our own.
  25. That is because the VPN is trying to lookup the "logout.com" domain name. Once you disconnect from the VPN, you are back to Princess's DNS server. It redirects "logout.com" to their server to log you out. Note: In theory you could have a similar problem if you name your own DNS servers, and not the default ones of the connection. Not likely, unless you know what you are doing. In that instance, you know what to do.
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