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MishelleMcc

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Posts posted by MishelleMcc

  1. At the risk of angering some, I will tell you how we dress:  I wear a nice long gown with nice jewelry and my hair up.  My wife, who is "Butch" will wear a nice white shirt (she has two and one is a "tux" shirt, black pants and nice leather shoes.  If it's chilly, she will wear a jacket but that's only 50% of the time.  We both look very nice and we've never gotten "stares" or been asked to leave the MDR.  I think, if you make an effort to dress up - to what ever your degree of dress up is - you will be fine!  enjoy your cruise!!!

  2. My wife and I are going on the Grand in December 2019.  I've been researching ports and what to do and have some stuff lined out to do on our own... the cruise excursions are pretty expensive.

     

    Honolulu:  Pearl Harbor.  Park is FREE (but must schedule visit on line). Don’t do a paid tour take THE BUS for about $12 for 2.Bus:  “Circle island” bus.  Pay the $1.50 or so per person online for a fixed time slot  https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/233338 Map is 8 miles 18 min

    Waikiki Beach map 3.2 miles 16 min.

     

    Kauai: Tube the ditch, https://kauaibackcountry.com/tubing/

     

    Maui:  Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii, 192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793  $29.95

    Map is 23 min drive 14.5 miles. 

     

    Hilo: 

     

    How am I doing so far?  Any advise?  Have you guys Cruised Princess before?  This will be our first time with Princess...

     

    I've joined some Princess Facebook groups and learned a lot there...  Also the CC princess forum has been invaluable!  I think we will like Princess!

     

  3. It's been a while since I've read this and two more things come to mind: 

     

    1.  Costa DOES allow smoking on balconies.  It's the reason we tried them - we are smokers. (I know, I know...tsk tsk...)

    2.  The drink package INCLUDES Cappuccinos and there is an espresso machine at EVERY BAR!!!!  loved loved loved this!!!!  😎

  4. We have our first Princess cruise scheduled for December so I can't compare Costa to Princess yet and most of our previous cruises have been HAL but we did sail Costa Last year.  Here is my full trip report at the time:

     

    "Costa Deliziosa Jan 13 2018 10 day Caribbean Cruise

    Our travel documents said that we could begin boarding at 13:00.  We arrived at about 13:30 and it was a Zoo!!  It took over two hours to complete!  We were moved by group through three different rooms.  We waited the longest in the last room.  Only 2 crew members to check boarding tickets to board the ship was seriously inadequate.  Then once aboard, crew herded everyone to elevators to go to buffet.  I’ve never boarded a ship and not been allowed to navigate freely.   We were told the cabins weren’t available and an announcement would be made over the PA when they were, which never happened.  We took a chance and went up at about 16:30 and the room was ready and our luggage already delivered!

    We had to switch out our cards... as others have said, the previously purchased drink plan (Piu Gusto)   was not listed on them. We used the receipt that I printed off at home to obtain our first drinks.  The bartender said that my receipt showed a cost $30.00 pp higher than the schedule he had.  So we questioned the price at customer service when we went to exchange our cards and she first said she didn’t have the ability to adjust pricing for previously purchased services, and when I said that I would check with Corporate after the Cruise, she asked to look at my receipt again and then stated the bartender was wrong and that the schedule he had was $30.00 pp more than what we paid.  I think she was lying but since I didn’t see the schedule, I can’t prove it.

    Even though we knew in advance that the departure was at 23:00 the wait for Bon Voyage was agonizing!  Ha!  I did later confirm that this is done to allow for late flight arrivals from Europe.

    We originally booked an Aft Premium Balcony through Costa.  We later found through an online TA, a lower price for an Aft Mini Suite at a savings of $469 pp!  I called Costa to ask if they were okay with my cancelling the first booking to book through the TA and he was very encouraging and said that it was a regular travel partner of theirs and to feel confident in their services!  And that once new reservation was complete, to call Costa back with the new booking number and they would cancel the old booking and move my deposit over to the new booking!  This was accomplished easily and I realized afterward that they would have no problems re-renting the original cabin at a higher price so this was a win – win for both parties! 

    We loved our Mini Suite!  Although it does not have the amenities that full suites have, we were surprised that we indeed did have a coffee machine in our cabin!  The pods are $.50 ea so we opted not to use it.  We did not receive the mini-bar price list until the 3rd day but knew there would be a cost so didn’t use it either. The TV is not interactive and there are no game consoles.  In fact we were unable to retrieve messages and the TV would start flipping through channels on its own. There are no English speaking movie channels but two foreign speaking movie channels.  …About 3 or 4 English speaking news channels... cbs, abc, cnn Asia and another Asian documentary channel that we enjoyed. The cabin was spacious!  Although I’d previously read that the storage was inadequate, we found that for a 10 day cruise we had enough room for our clothes and belongings.  The Head is small but the glass shower stall is a nice upgrade.  The balcony was delightful!  It was not windy (as port or starboard balconies are) well shaded and the balcony chairs were quite comfortable! Our Cabin Steward was responsive and did a great job!

    Morning room service is very limited for “premium” cabins / mini suites. (the only benefits derived over “classic” cabins are this limited room service and ability to choose early or late dinner seating and maybe a better cabin location.  You would have to decide for yourself if these meager benefits are worth price difference) Full room service for breakfast $7:00 pp. premium or not. 

    Dinner experience (always something I look forward to on a cruise) was delightful! We chose 1st seating, upper deck.  We liked the variety and pacing of the courses.  Always managed to eat something great and usually ate too much!  Our waiter was excellent and prompt.  Never an empty glass!  We noticed that we consistently received our dishes before those on the main floor!  It may be because of the large dance group presence, but I was pleased to see most diners beautifully coiffed at dinner!

    Here is the dress code/themes:  Nights 1 & 2 – Informal.  Night 3 – Gala (formal).  Night 4 – Tropical.   Night 5 – Masquerade/Informal (wear Masks!).  Night 6 – White Night!  Night 7 – Casual. Night 8 – Formal.  Night 9 – Casual.  Night 10 – Green, White & Red!  (Italian night!).

    Key West: one ship in port. (Us!) It was cold and windy but we still enjoyed walking around and stopping for appetizers.  Everyone was friendly!  We even saw a newly married couple, in full bridal costume, returning to our ship!  They got married in Key West! What a wonderful memory for them!

    1st sea day:  Experienced a little rough Seas but that was the worst of the trip.  There were lots of activities on board.  Lunched at buffet. Octopus was inedible. Other foods were disappointing as well. We avoided the buffet after that.

    The great banana hunt! I was getting leg cramps and repeatedly asked buffet, room service and customer service for bananas. They all said they didn’t have bananas. Really? After another agonizing talk with customer service, we got two bananas. Low and behold, on fourth day, buffet had large bowls of bananas! And they were gone at 09:40 – both the bowls and bananas!  Three days later, we received 2 more!  Desperate times call for desperate measures!  I Started each morning with banana coladas (double the bananas NOT the liquor!)

    The Diario di Bordo. Comes late evenings for next day. Found out what time excursions are at that time. A bit concerning to me as there is no coffee available on board ship before 07:00. Had to call customer service as soon as I realized this and insist on 06:00 coffee service for following morning! Very upsetting to me as I did not expect the timing issue or the reluctance of customer service to help me. I did manage to get this done after raising my voice and insisting. Totally not necessary for them to allow the issue to escalate like that.  We later spoke with Ciara during “hospitality time” and she told us that the room service time adjusts depending on ship’s arrival time in port. So if reaching port at 08:00, then room service is available at 07:00. If ship arriving at 07:00 then room service available at 06:00. If arriving at 06:00 then room service at 05:00.  HOWEVER, we attempted to get 0600 coffee room service the morning we arrived in Roatan ( 07:00 arrival time).  Room service DID NOT deliver until 06:50. Also, we always ordered 2 coffees, 1 hot milk, 2 hot coco packages, 1 OJ and sometimes croissants each morning.  They had 9 mornings to get this right and they never did.  So my conclusion is that this department is not customer oriented and needs a robust overhaul!   (btw, we continued to tip the delivery person each morning in spite of this)

    Grand Cayman: Five ships in port. Very crowded. Turtle farm and rum cake factory tour. The turtle Farm was very crowded and I felt we didn’t get the full sea turtle experience I had on a previous cruise 15 yrs ago but it was still entertaining thanks to our guide! Made for an interesting trip and we made great acquaintance with our bus-mates!

    Sea day... warm and raining! Pool/hot tub pump problems...  We were aft deck 8 and that is where these pumps were located.  They opened the doors and the compartment was flooded and hot!  They managed to fix the problem that day.  The Next morning, they were going to perform an electrical system test.  Don’t know if it was related or not but The Diario di bordo stated that areas of the ship would be without electricity for several minutes.  This would effect elevators, air-conditioning, etc.  They even made an announcement 15 minutes prior to the scheduled test.  We made sure any electrical needs we had were out of the way prior to that.  Ultimately, the test was cancelled.  It was an ominous sign when the hall lights outside our door started flickering after the cancelled test!  Ha!  But that was rectified that day!  Ha!

    Roatan: one ship in port.(Us!)  It stormed all the previous night and it was truly torrential! Amazing experience! It’s been said that there are two kinds of people when it rains: some who get wet and some who FEEL the rain!!  The port was very nice.  It rained lightly through the morning and was cloudy during day. You don’t need to pre purchase “swing” tickets. They are same price ashore. It’s actually a ski lift. We took a lot of pictures on there. We really enjoyed the beach... walked to the end and had a nice spot to ourselves.  

    Sea Day:  Warm and beautiful!  We made acquaintance with many couples on this trip (4 of which we exchanged emails and addresses with!)  We very much enjoyed the mix of Europeans and a few Americans.  We socialized, gambled and napped.  It was a great day!

    Belize:   one ship in port.(Us!)  20 minute tender to shore. Diario di bordo warns of crime and to be vigilant. Sure enough... went to shops and restaurant in port. Ordered cocktail at entrance of a restaurant to the right.  Then went in for an appetizer and more. When we settled the bill, we walked out on dock for pictures and as we walked back, a restaurant worker said we still owed for the first drinks ordered at entrance. We knew that was b.s. but paid it with no extra tip. We had observed another table having problems with a credit card and one of the gentleman went back to ship for cash. In hindsight, we wonder now if there was another fleecing under way.

    Costa Maya: two ships in port. (HAL arrived at 12:30.) Very nice port area. Dolphins, flamingos, & parrots. Lots of shops and restaurants/bars. First one we ate at watered down the wine! Hope they used bottled water! Second one, down by the little beach wonderful spot! Started raining on way back to ship and we were drenched! Had to take off my glasses to see!

    Cozumel:  2 ships in port.  We docked at the “down town” port and walked throughout town with another couple we made acquaintance with on the ship.  The other couple had been there before and also to other areas in the vicinity. It was a sleepy Sunday and enjoyed the park and appetizers at a nearby restaurant.    We really did enjoy this port.  It had an “Old Mexico” feel.

    Sea Day:  Last day of the Cruise.  Seems like everyone was out and about the ship this day!  This was the most crowded we’d experienced even compared to the other two sea days.  It felt festive and busy!  We took lunch in the dining room.  Not many people chose to do this that day.  The food was COLD.  So sigh, another disappointing meal.  We missed dinner but met up with friends that evening!

    Disembarkation:  The ship arrives in Port Everglades at 06:00.  The airport is only a few miles from the port.  There is no room service this morning and they did remove the coffee machines. The Buffet is open 06:15 – 09:00.   If you desire to self-disembark, the earliest time would be 07:15 and you must manage your own luggage and transportation.  If you want to utilize this method, you must register with customer service the last 2-3 days of the cruise so that they can arrange your immigration clearance prior to the rest of the passengers.  General disembarkation starts (by color coded groups) at about 07:30 to 11:30.  Cabins must be vacated by 09:30.  As we were not flying out until the next day, we left at about 09:30.  Luckily we’d been assigned 08:30 so they let us go right away whilst there was a very long queue for the other groups of that time.  U.S. Immigration was about 30 minutes since there were so few of us.  The Europeans were not so lucky….  Their queue was horrendous and I have no idea how long they languished.

    Overall impressions:  We really did have a wonderful trip!  We spent 4 days in Lauderdale by the Sea prior to cruise just to relax and unwind and were ready for adventure when we boarded Costa Deliziosa!  The ship is bright and shiny!  The public areas (including restrooms) were very clean and well maintained.  Our cabin showed its age and desperately needs the mattresses and TV replaced.  We enjoyed the entertainment and music on board even though there is no way to experience it all.  The Piu Gusto drink package was a great bargain as it includes Cappuccinos and ice coffee – delicious as well as alcohol!!  I had 2-4 of those a day! I am going through caffeine withdrawals as I type!  Ha!  If you can, book an Aft balcony, it was wonderful!! Customer service and room service departments desperately need an overhaul.  It felt like they would find ways to say no before trying to find a way to say yes.

    Would we sail Costa again?  DW says no but I say Sure!  There are no bad days cruising!!  If you have any questions, just ask away!  Happy Sailing!!"

  5. 18 hours ago, Jezabel2924 said:

    I brought one once but it would not fit over the tub faucet.  😞

     Oh!  Well now I don't feel so silly for thinking about it!  Too bad it didn't work but thank you for trying!  and thank you for letting me know!😉

  6. 18 hours ago, Thrak said:

     

    That may well slip on your tub spout but unless you have a mini suite or higher there is no tub...

     Oh I would take off the existing shower head ...  extreme, I know...  and I certainly wouldn't let it ruin my cruise but this would be the first time with Princess and have always had one on our other cruises...  I am just too excited I think!  Ha!  I am over-thinking everything!  🤣

  7. Been wondering but too timid to ask... until now...  I have read many comments about how frustrating it is that there are not hand-held shower heads on some Princess ships...  (We have a Balcony cabin on Grand Princess in December)  Has anyone ever requested a hand held shower head in advance of a cruise?  I know they have them in Accessible cabins so wonder if they carry a supply they could resource.  Has anyone ever brought their own?  https://www.lowes.com/pd/danco-versa-spray-white-1-spray-handheld-shower/3435526?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-rpe-_-google-_-lia-_-208-_-faucetrepair-_-3435526-_-0&kpid&store_code=1785&k_clickID=go_1793722707_69617672392_346785651483_pla-378238830212_c_9033248&gclid=CjwKCAjw5dnmBRACEiwAmMYGOcYLAPFz_WvZitQ55UYfb2VMq_10ykR2fA6NaaR5nE-kPd-XsHLHwBoCJb4QAvD_BwE

     

    Thank you!

  8. Maybe we don't need "community" as much as we once did but I think we need to re-discover it.  Not just because of the times we are living in but for the young people coming behind us.  They still need us so lets be stewards for them.  If it's just a twink looking for a hook up, just let them be.  We may still have purpose for those coming behind us.  

  9. If you haven't passed your final payment date, I would call them and see if you can get the lower cost.   I was able to do that for our cruise last week. (Our final payment date isn't until Sept 2019 though...)  Good luck!  Let us know how it goes!  🤞

     

    As for the how or why I got the email?  I am pretty sure I signed up for their emails/ads when first researching Princess Cruises.  😊

  10. I spoke with my PCP yesterday (btw, December 2019 cruise prices dropped and still has the obc! If you haven't checked pricing for a while, now might be the time!) and she said Corporate handed out a memo on the matter stating (in effect) to reassure clients that they will do every thing asked of them to be in compliance with the judge's requests and that pax have nothing to worry about.  😉

  11. I believe I found your travelogue using the search tool and using the key word "Hawaii" in the Princess forum.  I "clicked" on the post because of the title. It sounded like it would be thorough. 

     

    I am so glad I found it!  As it is our first cruise with Princess AND a first to Hawaii, (I was in Honolulu for a week 42 years ago so no help there! And DW has never been) I gleaned copious amounts of information and have two lists as a result! 

     

    But probably the biggest take-away was the "feel" of the day to day life on board...  the activities available...  And the vivid descriptions of navigating the ports. The pictures brought my imaginings to life!  And your dry humor throughout it all - even when your disembarkation process derailed - added levity and charm!  

     

    Because, as we all know, Sh** happens!  But there are no bad days cruising!!

     

    Thank you again!!

  12. We will be sailing Princess for the first time in December so have no first hand experience but Found this in the "Cruise Answer Book" on Page 23. " Stateroom Amenities  The little extras you find in the best hotels — fresh fruit ( by request), evening bed turn-down, chocolates on your pillow, complimentary shampoo, conditioner and body lotion — are provided in every stateroom. Bathrobes are available upon request from your stateroom steward for your comfort and convenience ."

  13. Helen:  WOW!  Good to Know!  We are feeling really lucky with our cabin choice!  Thank your for offer with helping with questions!  I go have a couple quick questions:  I've read that the storage is tight in these balcony staterooms.  I always unpack everything and shove the cases under the bed.  Does that work on the Grand?  Also, this being a 15 day cruise, we plan on utilizing the laundry facilities.  We've never done that on a ship before.  Do you have any experience with that?

     

    Again, thank you for all your help!

  14. We are so Excited! 

     

    VictheParrot: I L-O-V-E Chocolate!!!!  I googled "Love Boat Dream"  Mmmmmm! It's now on my list of "Must dos"  ...btw, we already have Godiva chocolate liqueur in our "collection" at home! 😁

     

    KevintheIrishDJ:  We won't be able to buy shares at this time (have considered this before) but thank you for the reminder!  We did sign up for a Princess CC and intend to use that to process the payment and redeem the rewards for onboard credit!  btw, I am half Scottish so I am sure we are cousins!  Ha 😉

     

    Jwattle:  That is a creative way to use your "Adult" beverage package! We got "creative" with our last cruise/beverage package too!  I think the bartenders and servers enjoy helping us be creative!  😎  When we were researching this itinerary, I had read good things about the Hawaiian Ambassadors & the guest lecturers and intend to immerse ourselves in the culture before arriving in the islands...  I was in Honolulu 42 years ago so time to refresh and learn new!!

     

    Caribill:  You are correct about "fuming" in the cabin being acceptable.  I know most folks wouldn't think so but my DD does it in her home and car and there are NO lingering odors.  It's water vapor! 😊  probably the only reason it's banned on balconies is because non smokers may not know the difference and become alarmed.  🙄

     

    Thank you EVERYONE!!!! 

     

     

  15. Wow!  Thank you AF-1, Joy and Skynight for all of the input! 

     

    Yes, I was asking about the Adult beverage package  (Hee hee!)  Glad the specialty coffees are included!  I really do believe that having the package is going to work for us!

     

    Thank you for for the input regarding our cabin location too!  I was pretty sure that it would work but am confident now that we made a great choice!

     

    Now... On to the excursions!!!!  Yippee!!!!!

  16. We have booked the Princess Grand 12/3/2019 sailing!  I have been reading a lot of your posts and was sold on the Itinerary and love of the ship!!  The Refresh is just another bonus!  I struggled with the decision between the Balcony and Mini Suite (this will be the first time without a sofa) but decided that ultimately, we wouldn't be spending a lot of time in our cabin.  We've sailed HAL and Costa (Costa still allows smoking on balconies - sadly we are still smokers) But I've been sailing since the late '80's.  ...RCCL... Norwegian

     

    We booked A742 (BE).  We chose this cabin because it was close to the aft exit with only a couple of stair ways to the smoking area outside The One5 Lounge.  Can anyone help confirm that?  I've looked at copious pictures and think it would work, but would love feedback and suggestions!  We can always select a different Cabin!  Also, we will have a semi aft view which we loved on our last cruise 2 years ago...  Late at night during a torrential storm, listening to my music, I sat late at night on our balcony and it was an amazing experience!

     

    Question about drink packages:  We've considered them before on other cruises and determined that they were not economical but on Costa - a 10 day cruise - they were very reasonable!  They included specialty coffee since every bar has an espresso machine.  Also, I would order virgin banana coladas in the morning so as to get bananas!  How Does Princess drink packages fare? 

     

    For me, planning and anticipating a cruise is part of the Vacation vibe...  I will be researching and reading about this Hawaiian cruise for the next  9 months!  Any and ALL advise and input is greatly appreciated!

     

    What else should we be thinking about?

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