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Bwana Tom

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About Bwana Tom

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Stevensville, Montana
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  1. My wife and I just returned from a B2B 14 night cruise departing from Vancouver B.C. to Alaska on the Royal Princess. On that cruise we incurred 3 bogus charges on our account. Two of those were for drinks that we did not order and one was for 2 meals at the Crown Grill when we had a coupon to get one of the two free. Each time the ship was very cooperative and reversed those charges without a problem or argument at the customer service desk, but each time it required standing in line and spending some of our valuable cruise time. We only caught those charges by printing out our charges on a daily basis. One of those charges was for a bucket of beer and the other was for a single beer. When we asked why we were getting charged for those drinks we were told it was most likely the bartender was paying careful attention when selling a drink to a customer using the ship’s Ocean Medallion system. Doing so he was likely using his Ipad to record the sale to the person when we happen to walk past and our ID popped up on the his screen and he didn’t notice it. He hit the charge button and we got the bill. This seems to be a real glitch in the system, particularly if the bartender isn’t paying careful attention. Both times we were never inside the confines of the bar itself. We had simply walked past at the wrong time. For this reason I would recommend everyone review their charges on a routine basis. I don’t really want to pay for someone else’s drinks when I don’t even know them.
  2. While this doesn't apply to only Princess I think this tip is a great one for cruisers and all travelers in general. Clothes have a tendency to get wrinkled in a suitcase and I hate ironing them even though there are irons and an ironing board usually in the self-service laundromat aboard the Princess ships. I good alternate to smoothing out those wrinkles is using a little bit of Wrinkle Relief. Many stores carry this great product including Walmart. Unfortunately it usually comes in a "lifetime sized bottle", so I transfer a little into a small spray bottle and pack it in checked luggage. To use it I simply lay the garment out on the bed spray a little on the material and smooth out the wrinkles with my hand. It works great. Another tip when traveling: If you have problems with your liquids leaking in your checked baggage on the airlines you can use a couple layers of saran wrap placed around the mouth of the bottle then screw the cap down tightly. I've also started packing a small roll of plastic marking ribbon which can be purchased in most hardware stores which works equally well for the same purpose. This is the material that is used to mark trails with and that survivors use.
  3. The hop on hop off bus system is great. To see the entire city you should probably purchase a 2 day pass (if you have that much time). We were there in May of this year and purchased a day ticket and quickly decided a day wasn't enough time to see everything. The next morning we went back to the ticket booth and they gave us the discount price for 2 days and we were on the bus again. It is a great opportunity to see the entire city. If you need to get back on the ship you could easily do as much tour as time allows then jump on a bus heading back. You should take your ear buds with you. The tour guide is recorded and in I believe 11 different languages.They sometimes hand out ear buds, but not always. You'll really enjoy Barcelona. It is truly a beautiful city.
  4. That is exactly correct. While IF is usually forward cabins; they are the lowest classification by the cruse line's standards, which may not be the same as your standards or preferences. While the IF cabins are usually the lowest class, the IA are usually the highest class (again by their judgement) and are often mid ship. Bwana
  5. We booked a guaranteed 1F cabin on the Royal Princess for Alaska and received our cabin assignment 22 days before departure for a 1A cabin. On this particular cruise the 1F cabins were almost all far forward and the 1A that they assigned us was mid-ship.
  6. I completely agree. It is all about the benefits and no one really is impressed or should they be.
  7. All my problems have been occurring and my cruise is only 2 weeks out.
  8. I know your pain! I got the same message on my phone multiple times when I tried to enter the data. After many attempts I switched over to my wife's phone and was able to get all the info entered for both of us and remarkably FedEx indicates our Medallions were shipped. Hopefully they are right and both are on the way. The following day I attempted to log-in on my wife's phone and I got the same message on her phone indicating password doesn't match. VERY VERY FRUSTRATING!
  9. Good info. Thanks all' I appreciate it. Tom
  10. Okay, I understand that on the medallion cruises the stateroom doors unlock automatically when you approach, but what happens if you are simply strolling down the passageway and don't intend to enter your stateroom? Does the door lock again automatically as you get out of range?
  11. They usually at the customer service desk, such as they are. Not a lot of interest in them.
  12. Did anyone notice a difference in the speed and access of the internet on the Royal as the ship moved further south as compared to the upper reaches of Alaska? For example, was the speed better as you were getting closer to Vancouver as opposed to Anchorage?
  13. You will have a great time. There are far too many complainers on this site and others, always willing to spread their unhappiness to anyone willing to listen. My wife and I have been on many Princess cruises including the Ruby and have always thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I am very sure you will enjoy yourself as well. My best advice is to disregard the naysayers. The biggest problem (if it is a problem at all) is cruising is very addictive.
  14. We were on the Emerald Princess Tranatlantic in May of this year and they had the robs in the gift shop on board. I can't remember how much exactly they were, but I'm thinking $100 plus US. Tom
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