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About Me

  • Location
    Durham, North Carolina
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Disney and Princess
  1. Ah, but then you miss out on the bartenders being able to call to you by name like it's an old episode of Cheers. I liked it!
  2. A couple of minor contributions: 1) The freestanding machine still exists next to the Guest Services line. Just one machine and the print was cut off on one side when I used it last week. 2) When working (it was hit/miss), the "folio" or "statement" (both terms used interchangeably best I could tell) could be accessed via the App. 3) The MedallionClass TV Interface has a screen for the statement but it now directs you to the App.
  3. On the August 1 sailing, "Traditional" still existed but it did not have that label. The MedallionClass app permitted a user to either (i) reserve a dining time and place for one evening at a time; or (ii) for the entire cruise. If you chose (ii), you would have a "Traditional" dining experience -- same MDR each night with the same waitstaff.
  4. Note: the listed blackjack "con" was certainly not a primary concern of my "letter,"... I come at this from a different angle than others. Cruise ships do not need casinos. Many do not include them. Instead, where they do exist they are presented as another featured recreation - like the pools, the shows, the trivia, the naturalists, or ... the fruit carving demonstrations. 😉 While the elimination of a house edge in Blackjack or Roulette would likely make these games strange (no green 0s?), I personally find it distasteful that a cruise line like Princess would move the traditional game rules against their passengers, further reducing their chances of success, and thus their fun. With thousands upon thousands spent by each stateroom, is messing up traditional Blackjack worth it? If there is ever a place where a player could find good odds - it should be on a cruise ship. Goodness knows, the cover charge to get into a cruise casino is something of which Vegas could only dream.
  5. I promised a review and here it is! Great location. Would choose it again.
  6. Traditional Vegas Blackjack pays 3:2 to the guest when the guest makes blackjack (21 on the first two cards). The House rule can be either that the dealer stands or hits on a soft 17 (ie an Ace plus another card or cards that total 17). By forcing a hit, the House edge is again increased. These two rule changes alone move the House edge from just under 0.5% to about 1.7%. Per earlier CC posts, Princess previously used traditional rules of 3:2 and Dealer Stands on Soft 17.
  7. In part because app ordering does not work reliably (less than a 50% shot that your drink/food will be ordered unless you order from your stateroom. Hopefully this will improve but it will require more crew allocation given the massively inefficient demand it creates). In part because the clientele of Princess (by my observation) were older and thus more interested in ordering as Americans have since the dawn of civilization, rather than by a multi-screen interface or boolean searching.
  8. Dear Princess: Thank you for your herculean effort to return to the seas in time for the end of the Alaska cruising season. As no single Board topic can capture all our thoughts on Majestic Princess in this new era of cruising, we thought we would jot down some pros and cons down here. While the "cons" may be numerous, we are confident that many of these are symptoms of a period of adjustment. Pro: A crew that seemed genuinely happy to have returned to work. We met many members of the crew in various roles. Their cheerfulness and openness was a pleasure. Con: Changing protocols in the Marketplace meant there was insufficient staffing to crew to the new duties required to manage this new take on a "buffet." Large sections of the buffet line were unstaffed at times. Too few crew were working the floor to provide silverware or drinks. (A short-handed crew may explain many "cons" noted below.) Pro: The offerings in the Marketplace always included some adventurous surprises. Con: In 2021, there's no excuse for a buffet that cannot manage food temperature and holding times. Cold + dried is not a good combination. Pro: The MDR menus were a sight to behold. Few land-based restaurants could rival the varied and appetizing descriptions presented in the posted menus. Con: The under-seasoning across all main dishes was no longer shocking after Day 2. And the "Trout Amondine" delivered to the table was salmon sporting a garnish of one slivered almond? 😉 Pro: The quality of the execution of dishes in the Specialty Dining Restaurants was all very good to excellent. Con: Crown Grill and Sur La Mer present as "fine dining" meets "food court." The architect was sleeping when layouts of these restaurants were set without consideration to walls. Pro: Adding additional casual offerings to the Lido Deck like hot dogs, burgers, and fish tacos. Con: Has COVID triggered a condiment famine? Good luck finding ketchup in the Marketplace. (One bottle set at a corner of the buffet line?) The Classic Hot Dog with "choice of toppings" on Lido Deck meant a crew member would offer you a "choice" of a squirt of yellow mustard, mayo, or ketchup. Relish? Onion? Brown Mustard? Kraut? Nope. Pro: The Majestic Princess projects a real attention to art - particularly prints and paintings. Con: There were numerous empty display cases throughout the ship indicating that art has been removed and not replaced. Pro: Sit-down breakfast in Concerto was a delight. The food was well-prepared and the speed of service was such that breakfast could be faster there than in the Marketplace. Con: Marketplace scrambled eggs. Those things were criminal. How did the chef let those out of the kitchen day after day? Pro: The skill and engagement of the bartenders was top notch throughout the ship. Con: There is not enough staffing to manage orders from passengers in the Hollywood Conservatory or Lido Deck. While dirty tables were bussed immediately, it could be an hour or more before anyone might pass by to take a drink order. Pro: The Guest Services and Excursions desks are staffed with some of the most patient and helpful people I've ever met in customer service. Con: For the love of all things holy, please tone down the pressure from roving photographers. These folks must be taking marketing advice from the panhandlers of Seattle's streets. Pro: The MedallionApp is an incredible concept for onboard ordering and remote service that promises to some day offer an incredible experience. Con: Despite testing the app throughout the cruise, we are still waiting on an IPA, two orders of shrimp cocktail, two hot chocolates, and one order of chips and guac. (We did once receive a pepperoni pizza nearly two hours after placing the order.) Pro: The onboard musicians, singers, naturalist, dancers, etc. were elegant, varied, and wisely targeted to the diverse crowd on the ship. Con: 6:5 Blackjack tables with Dealer Hitting Soft 17 is the very opposite of "elegant." No wonder those tables stayed empty. Pro: The MedallionApp is an incredible concept for making dining reservations that promises to one day offer an incredible experience. Con: The app worked only two of our seven nights. For the other five, we simply had to walk up to a dining room. This was not an isolated problem and likely added to the stresses on an already taxed MDR and kitchen. Thank you for a memorable week. Alaska was a "bucket list" item for our family. We owe much to the crew and officers of Majestic Princess.
  9. Ship: Majestic Princess Class: Royal Class Deck: Dolphin Cabin #: D729 Category: D4 - Premium Deluxe Balcony Stateroom Port/Starboard/Bow/Stern: Stern Connects With Cabin #: N/A Accessible: No Quiet: Yes Balcony Size: Oversized with partial covering (a great feature in rainy Alaska). View: Beautiful wake views from nearly dead astern. Privacy Issues: None. Wind: None (unless the captain is backing up!) Soot: Normal for an aft balcony. Problems: Couch needs to be repaired. It is missing a foot and wobbles. Comments: Wonderfully quiet room with the views that "aft people" will love.
  10. One rookie Princess cruiser's experience with "Dine My Way": Our family knew before the cruise that we wanted flexibility in our evening dining times. "Dine My Way" was the only option offered in our booking ("Traditional" was blocked out) so we were off to a good start. For our August 1 cruise, we had zero luck reserving a dining time for the first evening until the app was updated in mid-July(?). Once updated, we were able to book a room in Allegro for 7:00. That evening we showed up and were seated immediately. Great! On August 2, we tried to book a dining time on board but at final click we would receive an error message. We had the same result using any of our phones or the stateroom TV. Different error messages but never a successful booking. Solution? We dressed for formal night and walked down to Symphony. We were seated immediately. August 3, 4, and 6 were the same: we tried to book, failed, and then just walked downstairs to a dining room as a walk-up. While I could sometimes detect the maître-d was not entire thrilled, we were always seated with a smile within moments. On August 5, we booked dinner at the Crown Grill. This required regular refreshing of the app that day (as no times were available). Luckily my wife got lucky once and a 5:20 time popped up. We grabbed it. (Oddly, that evening we noticed the Crown Grill had numerous empty tables during our meal.) On the 7th, we just walked into Alfredo's! 😉 TL:DR. For us, dining our way worked fine once we abandoned "Dine My Way."
  11. Thank you to all the great people we met on this cruise. While our family of three may not be the biggest fans of cruising in general (we have plenty of gripes), the people we met were some of the greatest. Whether you are a solo or in a crowd, I encourage you to press outside your comfort zone to say Hi to a stranger on the Majestic. You'll be amazed how well it pays off. Note: This advice extends to young adults on our cruise. The teenagers on the Aug 1 cruise who registered with the "Beach House" (or "Lounge" as the teens called it) bonded pretty tightly. (You may have seen their roving "gangs." Our daughter counts this as the best of her three cruises -- and the two prior cruises were with DCL!)
  12. Nothing to contribute here except to note that we are in D729 on August 1, 2021 on Regal's sister, the Majestic. We will report back. We are aft-stateroom people. Soot (and being tossed about) is a possibility but it doesn't bother us. On the Disney Fantasy, the steward knew it could be an issue depending upon weather. We caught him a few times brushing things off throughout the day just to be sure. On her sister ship, the Dream, we never noticed much soot (or anyone making special effort to keep the aft balconies clean).
  13. As a cruising newbie, this is such an interesting thread. With thousands of people on a ship, how can a particular CD or ED make a meaningful difference to your experiences? Doesn't Princess program the entertainment and activities pretty consistently across the fleet? Educate me!
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