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Posts posted by LrdNorman

  1. Hello, all!


    We are arriving in Grand Cayman on the Emerald Princess on Thanksgiving Day 2023 and my wife is on the hunt for cool shells (she would LOVE to find a Conch shell).  I've read that some boating companies may find conch shells and clean the innards and give out the conch shell.  Has anyone ever had luck collecting / finding a conch (or other cool shells)?  If so, any advice on where to go?


    Thank you to everyone -- I have learned so much from everyone's experience...

  2. One more dumb question (and yes, as a teacher, there are dumb questions)...


    Do you just go up and get your dessert / drink / fitness class with your medallion?  How does the actual process work?


    How do they check that you have the Plus? 

  3. 58 minutes ago, Sn0cruiser said:

    Remember that the 15 drink limit is only on alcoholic drinks.  Other drinks (specialty cocktails, bottled water, mocktails, gun soft drinks) are unlimited.  If your mother likes lattes, cappuccinos, mocktails, etc she may get some benefit beyond just gratuities.

    That's good information -- my wife loves the non-alcoholic versions, so that's a plus!

  4. 2 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:

    No.  He hands you the drink and says: "Here you go."  You say "Thank you."  End of transaction.

    If you order a $16 drink, the same thing happens.  Only, when you look at your billing statement, you will see a line item that shows the name of the venue where the drink was ordered, and you will see a charge of $1.18.  ($1 for the overage, plus the mandatory 18% gratuity.)


    As has been noted, the breakeven point for Plus is around 3 drinks per day, but that assumes that one is going to get value out of most of the other features of Plus.  A very conservative approach to Plus would look like this.


    • Wi-Fi (1 device per guest) -Value is $15 per day
    • Crew appreciation-varies, but assume $16 per day
    • Plus Beverage Package (drinks up to $15 each)
    • Unlimited juice bar-Assume that there is no value here to you, but the Princess price spread over 7 days is around  $4.50 per day 
    • Premium desserts (2 per day)-Assume that there is no value here to you, but the Princess price is $4.50 per day
    • Fitness classes (2 per cruise)-Assume that there is no value here to you, but the Princess price is $4.50 per day
    • NEW 2 casual dining meals per guest-Value spread over 7 days is about $4.50 per day 
    • NEW OceanNow® delivery-Assume that there is no real value here
    • NEW Room service delivery-Assume that there is no value here to you, but the Princess price is $2 per day

    Grand Total of everything major (Wi-fi, gratuities and casual dining) is $35.  So if you pay $60 per day, you are paying $25 per day for up to 15 drinks priced up to $15 per drink.  On the other hand, if you plan to use most if not all of the features of Plus, your total value climbs to $51 and your daily drink cost goes down to $9 per day.  So let's assume both a best and worst case scenario simultaneously.  Best case for you, worst case for your mother.  You are going to knock it out of the park and use everything that Plus provides.  You mother is not going to utilize a single feature other than pay her gratuities.  Two Plus packages will cost $120 per day.  You are going to use $51 per day in non-drink offerings and your mother is only going to use $16 (for her gratuity.)  That brings you to $67 per day in non-drink expenses.  If you drink $53 per day (roughly 5 drinks) you are in the break even range.  From this best/worst case scenario model, just subtract out of the $67 per day the things that you don't think you will use--desserts?  fitness classes?.  Every dollar that you subtract out gets added in to the "how much do I have to drink" total and you will have your answer.  Skip desserts and fitness classes and you move $9 per day into the drinks column raising it to $62.  You now have to drink 6 drinks per day to come out even.  Conversely, every item that your mother chooses to use will cause you to add money to the non-drink expenditures and decrease your drinks total.  So if she will go to 2 casual restaurants, then you move $4.50 into the total and you lower your drink total by half a drink. 


    Have fun doing the math! 😁 

    Incredibly beneficial -- thank you!

  5. So, after reading all of the discussions on Princess Plus / Premier, I now have a question:


    If you purchase the Princess Plus (or Premier for that matter), are the drinks free (up to $15 each)?  Or is it $15 / pp / per day?



  6. 3 hours ago, Rick&Jeannie said:

    We were on this same itinerary in February...and I just recently tossed the Patters! Sorry! Were you looking for something in particular? Perhaps I can help in that manner. 

    Oh, man!  Just what they offered on Sea Days....

  7. While reading several blogs on world cruises, I've come across many authors talking about the amenities their Cruise Agency provides.


    What Cruise Agency do you use? Is local or national better? For my family's cruises (which haven't been many), we didn't necessarily receive "perks" and I'm wondering if I'm missing out.


    Working on a world cruise in the near future...

  8. Hi all,


    We are doing a Rome ---> Venice cruise next September and I need a bit of advice. We have a port day and overnight on the ship in Venice and then we are staying an additional night after disembarking before we fly out of VCE.


    We are considering Murano for our overnight. We have reservations at a hotel near the Piazza Roma for convenience but the hotel we are looking at in Murano is $200 cheaper and much nicer. Would the cost savings be worth the extra hassle to get to Murano and then to the airport the next day? Would there be enough to see in Murano to fill most of a day?


    I've been googling around and can't find solid information on the availability of a 7am airport transfer either.




    Staying in Murano is difficult when you have a flight the following day, especially if you have lots of luggage. While the savings are warranted, I wouldn't do it. There is something about convenience on a travel day that is worth it.


    As far as things to do in Murano, my wife and I found the glass-blowing factories fascinating and we loved the San Pietro Martire church. We also found the cheapest bottled water of our entire trip at 36 cents!

  9. As a graduation from high school present, my mom and I went on a three day jaunt over to the Bahamas. We were having a great time spending time together before I went away to college.


    Since both my mom and I love to laugh, we went to the stand-up comedian's show one night. This man came out with quite an air of superiority (the "this joke is VERY funny" comments should have tipped us off that he would bomb...)


    Anyway, he starts into his set and he is bombing left and right. Nobody's laughing, except for a few chuckles here and there. You can imagine his frustration as he pleads with the crowd, "Ah, come on! These are hysterical! They killed at Vegas last week!"


    Much to his credit, he continued, but his jokes just weren't being received well. After about 25 minutes, he starts wiping his brow with his red handkerchief, he exclaims, "Man, you guys are a tough crowd. What is it going to take to make you guys laugh?"


    From far in the back you hear a man's voice bellow out, "Say something funny!"


    The place roared with laughter (except the comedian)....



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