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Posts posted by MishelleMcc

  1. I don't think I posted to this thread after our last cruise in December but I want to say that my Wife and I had the BEST experience on the Grand Princess last December 3rd!  I agree that it's probably not a reflection of the cruise line brand but maybe more to do with the demographic that a particular cruise attracts.  Our cruise was a 15 night Hawaiian cruise out of San Fransisco and I think that the Embarkation port and length of cruise may have been the contributing factors.  We had 26 in our Group!  We met every night for 15 nights in the Wheelhouse bar!  One night we all had lobster dinner (reserved in the "anytime" dinning room!)  Sue & I are still in regular contact with two gay couples and another lesbian from that cruise!!!!  They ALL were amazing!!!  And as you all probably know, the crew love the gays & lesbians...  So we were treated like royalty!!  So I recommend a longer cruise out of a more gay-populated port.  It was magical!!!  ... can you tell, we miss cruising right now... Stay safe everyone!  We will all cruise again!!!

  2. I am sorry for your experience.  We've experienced similar questions in the past but not recently.  It sounds like you two handled her well.  Sometimes, I have to remind myself that I may be the only openly gay person some people will meet so I try to be open, honest and kind.  It sounds like you were all of those things.  Her son may be the beneficiary of her experience with you leading to a better understanding (or not) of him.  So good for you! 

  3. Good Morning fellow land locked cruisers!  I think I've be subscribed to this thread for years and it is indeed a long one!  I think I've posted here years ago...


    But I wanted to post this morning about our wonderful experience on Grand Princess in December!  It was a 15 night Hawaiian Cruise out of San Fransisco. 


    The FOD meetings are now referred to as LGBT gatherings in the daily planner.  (On Princess - "Patter")  We had a Group of about 25 meet up EVERY night in the Wheelhouse Bar.  We also all went to dinner together on one of the formal nights!  If any of us saw other "family" during the day we'd invite them to the group and we grew as the days passed.


    There were 3 women and the rest were men and they all were wonderful!  I am old enough (60) that I still crave "community" and my wife and I were welcomed with open arms!  I don't recall any political talk but rather the usual cruise "banter"...  what each of us did that day... the wonderful food we had ...  where we were from.... 


    This was my 8th cruise and the BEST cruise!  I am still friends with 4 of the gentlemen from the cruise!  We are missing one of the others that had stayed in touch with us and fear they've been taken by the COVID19. 


    As one of them said "We are sad to think we may have lost one of our Sea Family"


    So even if you don't think you "need" community, Please don't pass up an opportunity to meet up with amazing people that you may not have otherwise met! 


    Mishelle & Sue

  4. On 10/22/2019 at 6:45 AM, timandjudy said:

    I smoke premium (high end cuban) cigars - typically one or two / day. I don't inhale them. I smoke them for the pure enjoyment of them. They are NOT like cigarettes - there's only ONE ingredient. They are like wine - they can age and flavours develop. I have cigars that are 40 years old.


    Now I ALWAYS follow the rules.


    I was on saphire, and found the outdoor smoking section. Now, saphire ALSO has a "churchill lounge - (the nicest one I've seen).


    Anyways, I sat down in the smoking area and fired up a cigar (people all around me smoking cigarettes).  A staff member came to me and said I could NOT smoke cigars there.  WHAT??    I'm outside, in the middle of tobacco smoke!


    I told the staff member to get their manager. I told the manager that if he were to go down to churchill's,  and remove ALL the cigarette smokers then I would be glad to go there. He then said, ok - you can smoke here so long as no one complains. No one ever did.


    The churchills on my alaskan cruise was small, and always full of people chain-smoking cigarettes.  I totally avoided it, and kept my smoking to outdoors - as did all the cigar smokers I encountered.


    When we were on the Grand Princess Hawaiian Cruise December 3rd, I told all the Cigar smokers to sit by me (a cigarette smoker) because I LOVE the smell of cigars!  They always remind me of my Great Gandpep who always smoked cigars!  He had a permanent dip in his lower lip from where he held his stogie!  We had about five cigar smokers on that cruise and they were always welcome in the aft outdoor smoking area on starboard side of Sun deck!!!  I will always fight for your right to smoke outdoors with us!!  NO ONE in our substantial smoking family on that cruise objected!!  We also had bar service there since there were so many of us!  Enjoy yuor cruises!!!

  5. 1 hour ago, marden1970 said:

    Hi Mishelle,

    We just returned from the 11/3 sailing to Hawaii on the Grand.  We had free play awarded from a previous cruise but the Grand machines are not set up for free play so they give you the cash instead.  The machines there will accept cash.

    I can't answer the other questions but the casino host was Jovan Sesic on our cruise.  The phone number to book a new cruise with the casino is 1-888-772-6697.  They might be able to answer your questions or direct you to the right area.

    I hope you have a wonderful time, I know we did!


    Thank you so much for the information!  I know we will have a great time even though it is looking like it will rain most of the time!  Ha!  I am so glad to hear that you also had a great time!  Anticipation of a cruise and the memories afterward are always exciting for me!! 


    Thank you again!!!


  6. On 10/1/2019 at 6:01 PM, keithm said:

    My spouse & I will be on the Star Princess on Jan.28 for a 15 night Hawaii cruise. We were originally booked on a Oceania cruise on the Riviera, but Richard wanted something different. Myself well, I'll miss the great food & ambience, but oh well! Wondering if anyone else is on that cruise. If you've been on this ship any details would be great. We did one Princess trip on the Regal in 2016. The first week was really trashy due to Super bowl Week.

    Never saw so many drunk pax! The second week, most of these pax were gone & the second leg(Back to back cruise)were what I normally see on a cruise.


    Hi Keith!  We are not on this cruise but we are going on the Hawaiian Cruise out of San Fransisco on Dec 3, 2019 (Grand Princess)  We've never sailed Princess and never a 15 day cruise and never Hawaii!  Ha!  So I will try to remember to check back here and update you as to our experience.  If I forget...  Just have a wonderful Cruise!  I think it's going to be amazing!  I've been following Roll Calls for ours and Star Princess for tidbits about a long cruises and Hawaii.  Check and see if there is one for your sail date...  Happy Sailing!!

  7. 1 hour ago, PekingeseLady said:

    If you play a $5 dollar machine it will be $5 X 3 for max.bet = $15 X 4 pulls would be $60 per person, or

                                                                            $5 X 5 for max.bet = $25 X 4 pulls for $100

    You want to play a $1 machine with 3 or 5 max bet, depending on the lines, 3 or 5

    So $1 X 3 max = $3 per pull X 6 pulls for $18, or 7 pulls for $21 per person.  Or a 5 line machine which is

        $1 X 5 max = $5 per pull X 4 pulls for $20


    The wheel of fortune has both $1 and $5 machines, with either 3 or 5 max coins for bonus play, depending on how many lines spin to win.  jAnd depending which type they have on the ship.  I was on the Grand last and they had both 3 and 5 on the $1 machines, I didnt look at the $5 dollar slots, LOL  To rich for me, LOL


    Hope this makes sense. Your instructions said you were going to play a $5 machine, so I was confused.


    Thank you!!!  We are going to be on the Grand Dec 3rd!!!  🥰

  8. So for all those who helped me put this together, THANK YOU!  For all those who stumble on this thread, here is what I put together!  Good luck with your event!!  A spread sheet is attached.


    The cost is $20 cash per person.  Couples may choose to “share” a seat, dividing the set number of spins as they see fit.


    Please Note: Others are welcome to join in the day of the Slot Pull even if they did not sign-up online, but a minimum of 10 players in advance are needed to go forward.  No sign ups allowed after the event begins.


    I will have a sign-up sheet available at the Meet & Greet for anyone wanting to join the event at that time. 


    Day and time to be announced at the Meet & Greet.  (If we have 10 players signed up in advance of the cruise, I will meet with Casino Manager on Embarkation day)


    Minimum of 10 players needed to play the Slot Pull.  Maximum number of players will be 50. (If more than 50, then a 2nd team will be created.)


    Money will be collected, noted on a spreadsheet and entered into the chosen machine directly before commencement of play.  Once all monies are in, the play will begin with the players turn in order of the sign-in sheet.  The sign in sheet will list names of players and cabin numbers. I ask for cabin numbers in case we need to call with any changes.  (We may be able to use the Princess@Sea feature for this but am not sure)


    We will be using a $5 machine (if more than 20 players then we may use 2 machines).


    We will feed all of the money into the machine(s) all at once.


    We will play on a slot machine at max bet, usually a video slot, with an interesting bonus feature and a jackpot potential of at least $2,000 and inclusive of a progressive jackpot feature. We each take 4 spins - if a $5 max bet, 5 spins - if a $4 max bet. Wheel Of fortune has been suggested but not mandatory.


    All money and spins will be tracked on a spread sheet along with tallied wins.


    For security and tax purposes a single S&S card will be used to track play on a win/loss statement.


    If a large enough jackpot is won and all participants agree - play may be halted at that point even if everyone has not had a chance to take their spins. All must agree otherwise we will continue to spin until all have had their equal chance to increase the winnings.


    If no jackpot is won and time allows, the group can elect to have another round of play.  (majority vote) after each player has had at least 1 round of play to hold a second round of spins, the number of spins will depend on the remaining credit balance on the machine.


    End of Game Payout: After all have spun, the credits left on the machine will be divided to the nearest dollar and paid out back to each player as immediately as is possible after end of play.  The Casino Bar would be a good meeting place to complete this.  Each player will sign the spreadsheet acknowledging their receipt of these funds. The uneven remainder (if any) will be awarded to the player who gets the group the highest amount on their slot pulls. Each person’s winnings will be recorded at the time of their pulls so we know who will get the side pot of the money after the even dollar pay-out.


    TAXES: In the event that any single winning pull results in a credit payout exceeding $1,199 (USD) the casino will issue a hand payout in the form of a check (cashable at the casino cage) and fill-out a 1099-G form reporting the win to a single SS# to the IRS. So as to not wipe out one person’s share of the overall winnings, a percentage (Determined by Princess Cruise line) sufficient to satisfy IRS requirements of the hand payout amount, less the group buy-in, will be taken off the top of the community pot and given to the “winner of record” (the person accepting the IRS paperwork) to cover the additional income tax burden.


    Door Prizes: There is no Casino Liaison at Princess (that I am aware of) prior to our Cruise, so once on board, I will meet with the Casino Manager to schedule our event (Usually the 1st or 2nd  sea day of the cruise)  I will also ask if they would be willing to provide some sort of door prize(s).  Since this is a courtesy, I cannot guarantee what - if any - prize(s) will be supplied, but if given, these are usually things presented to winners at ship sanctioned activities like a bottle of house wine or shirt. If prizes are provided, they will be available for selection at the end of the slot pull by the highest winner first, then the second highest winner, then the third highest winner, and so forth, until all gifts are claimed.


    From my research, this is always a fun event with everyone cheering the others on!  Join us if this sounds fun to you!!


    If you want to sign up, just let us know here, or email me at mishellemccormick@hotmail.com. 


    Also, If anyone else would like to help or take over this event,  Just let me know!"

    Slot Pull.xlsx

  9. 2 hours ago, PekingeseLady said:

    Glad I could help.  It seems some folks seem to make this a lot more complicated then it has to be, LOL    This activity is a ton of fun.  Everyone helps count down each others pulls, the excitement is crazy.  Pick a machine with plenty of room around it so everyone can watch.  I normally played the Wheel of Fortune 3 max, everyone brought $21 for 7 pulls.  If it happened to be a 5 max. we would play 5 max for 4 plays for $20.  Your spread sheet is just fine.  I'm not tech savy so all my slot pulls were done by hand, LOL  Great job!  Have a fantastic cruise, and Good Luck on your slot pull, hope you all win BIG!


    Thank you so much!!!!

  10. 4 hours ago, PekingeseLady said:

    I've done a few Slot Pulls.  A couple of things I do different.  I don't collect money in advance.  Everyone puts their money in when I call them from a list we made on our roll call.  I just don't want to be responsible for everyones money.  Sometimes things come up and someone can't make it.  I always got there early so others could signup before we start.  I kept Track of who won what so the player with the highest earnings got the bonus, after everyone played the total on the machine would be divided and rounded to the lowest whole dollar.  Bonus being the left overs.  I have been party to Slot Pulls where the extra were donated to St. Judes also.  Another roll call member would help me with the list and keeping track of winnings.  I like to divide the money right then and there, because it takes to much time to have yet another get together to give everyone their money.  The cage is always very helpful.

    And yes the Casino Manager will give you gifts.  TShirts, Cards, Dice, Hats etc.  I always meet up with the casino manager on the first day/night and they have always went and got me a few prizes.  These I put out and let high winners come up and pick out the gift they wany.  Highest winner first.


    Wow!  Thank you!  You make several of these steps so much easier!! I've incorporated them into the "Rules of Play" that I am getting ready to submit to our roll call!!  Thank you so much! 


    I've made a simple spreadsheet (attached) but wonder if I've left anything out.  If you have any suggestions or corrections, just let me know!


    Thank you again! 


    Slot Pull.xlsx

  11. On 4/12/2018 at 9:21 PM, CruisinLow said:


    Thank you so much Tom for the kudos. I really do like some of your ideas that you have as to how to collect all the money and the fact that you have a slot for flyer.

    Enjoy your pending cruise and I will be emailing you for a copy of the flyer.

    Bon Voyage


    Hi Ann & trbarton and everyone else who has contributed to this thread!  I've been studying various threads on Slot Pulls and this one has been invaluable!!!  Thank You! 


    If you or anyone else can share the slot pull spread sheet, I would be extremely thankful!  I am hosting a Slot Pull on the Princess Grand during the Dec 3, 2019 Cruise to Hawaii. 


    Again, Thank you!!  I hope we have as much fun as you all were able to create!!


    Mishelle   mishellemccormick@hotmail.com

  12. 2 minutes ago, CaneDawg said:

    It was more of a joke...

    The wheels are nice because everyone can see them spin when you hit a bonus but I have had no luck hitting anything on them. I like playing slots that are tied to a

    just in case it hits, usually a bank of 5-10 machines tied to one jackpot.


    Oh, Okay...  I have never had much luck on them either!  Ha! 

    Progressive jackpot options is an excellent idea! 

    Thank you!!


    I have not posted an updated "Slot Pull Information" on our Roll Call yet.  I am incorporating advise into the body of it before I do.  I am open to edit or correction!


    This is what I wrote for the machine choice:  " We will play on a slot machine at max bet, usually a video slot, with an interesting bonus feature and a jackpot potential of at least $2,000 and inclusive of a progressive jackpot feature. We each take will take 4 spins if a $5 max bet, 5 spins if a $4 max bet, or 8 spins if a $2.50 max bet. "


    I also amended the donation portion:  " End of Game Payout: After all have spun, the credits left on the machine will be divided to the nearest dollar and paid out back to each player at a predesignated time in the Casino bar. The uneven remainder (if any) will be donated to the St Jude fundraiser which is currently the charity that Princess Cruise Lines is promoting on this particular cruise."


    In fact, I will post here, the entire intended Update for possible last minute edits or corrections before I post it in our Roll call!  I just want to be as correct as possible and I consider you folks the experts!


    Thank you!!

  13. 1 hour ago, CaneDawg said:

    The organizer usually does good and ends up with free drinks with their card in the machine. We has a couple hundred participate on the Horizon the first sea day and hit nothing big. It took about 3 hours and there was a meet up later at the casino bar if you wanted your $11 back. If you chose not to come it was donated to the St Jude fundraiser they have on most ships. I thought that was a good idea. Also pick a machine near a hallway to easily line up if there is a good turn out. I have done a pull on every cruise that offered one and they all picked wheel machines. My advice, pick another machine, not one has been profitable.



    Thank you CaneDawg!!  Great advise! 


    We will have a drink package so maybe the free drink could be passed on to another in the group. 


    I can see that I might want to designate a later time to dispense the "winnings" as some of the folks may not want to waste valuable ship time waiting around for us to spit up the funds!  Good call!


    As a rookie gambler, I am curious why you recommend choosing a different machine.  Can you explain?

  14. 3 hours ago, kskelley40 said:

    I have done several....all of the posts have great information already.  My biggest tip would be to bring change, i.e. ones, fives and tens.  I have run across several ships that were very stingy with their change.  Especially at the start of the cruise.  

    I check out the machines the night before, usually a Wheel of Fortune.  About 30 minutes before the schedule pull time, my husband will sit and play at the machine to "hold" it for us.  We always had ours right after the Meet & Mingle.  Made it easy to just go from the meet to the casino.

    We even schedule a second one later in the cruise if it is a longer cruise.

    Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.


    Wow!  Thank you!!  We bring change for tips, etc., but will remember to bring more for the slot pull!  I've read a couple of times about the Wheel of fortune so will zone in on one of those.  Is there a reason why it's favored?  Thank you again!!

  15. Hi everyone!  I am coordinating a Slot Pull for our Grand Princess cruise San Fransisco to Hawaii (RT) on 12-3-19.  I searched these forums and have found fantastic information and have put together a detailed event program.  (Thank you!!!)


    I Just have a couple of questions:


    1)  Does Princess Cruise line slot machines still accept cash?  We used our cruise card on past cruises so never looked!  Ha!

    2)  Does any one have a suggestion as to who to contact at Princess prior to the cruise about our event?  (Or do I have to wait to make contact with the Casino Manager once on board?

    3)  Do you have any tips or advice?  I am teachable!!

    4)  Does anyone have a Slot Pull Spreadsheet they'd be willing to share?





  16. On 11/3/2019 at 8:18 PM, Fincherson said:

    We just booked out first Princess Cruise (Sun Princess) after having previously sailed only Carnival and NCL. I was excited to get on Cruise Critic and join in on the fun/discussion on a new board, only to find it’s mainly negativity, rudeness and complaining. Am I missing something? Does Princess suck or are people generally more persnickety? Maybe I’m just reading the wrong threads? I’m kind of afraid to post this but I really want to know if I made a mistake giving Princess a try. Is it as mediocre as these posts make it sound?


    As with all the CC cruise line threads, there are some negative Nellie's...  You must have just happened upon a couple of particularly snarky ones (as I have) 


    One time, I ended a comment (Costa Cruise line, I think) with a:  "...No bad days cruising!"  And someone ripped me for such a "irresponsible" comment and that indeed, there are bad days cruising.  I get his point, of course, but really?  I was being light hearted and optimistic!!  I consider myself lucky to even be able to cruise!


    So my advise is to keep reading the topics and you will get a "feel" for which contributors are genuine and ignore the haters. 


    and...  No bad days cruising!  Ha! 



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