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About satxdiver

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    San Antonio spaceship earth
  • Interests
    Backpacking, hiking, camping, diving, amateur radio
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. satxdiver

    Caribbean Princess - a pleasant surprise

    Thanks for the review. We were on the CB for the 14 day cruise earlier and we deboarded as you boarded. We always have a cabin near the aft elevator bank so we always have to walk through the WFM to get to the Lido pool areas. We try to use the side not serving at that time but when both are serving it cannot be avoided. We wash our hands in the cabin before going to any meal whether in the WFM or MDR. I use my knuckles to do the elevator buttons to keep from touching the buttons all the time. We frequented the noodle area in what was once the caribe and now steamers/planks as we loved being able to make our own dish and it was freshly prepared. On sea days we always use the MDR for lunch as well as breakfast. Port days we have room service which we ordered the night before from the cell phone using the app. All so very easy. Someone asked about the OM experience. It was really wonderful and spoiled us for when we go on our next cruise and it is not OM ready. We will have to remember the old way of using the cruise card to open the cabin. It was so easy just walking up and opening the door. Leaving the ship and reboarding was so very easy with just placing the OM on the reader which quickly recognized us and proceeding forward. We had TD and waiting for the doors to open we liked to play the game (don't remember its name) on the wall mounted displays where it asks three questions and lists several answers. One night we were not enthralled with the menu in the MDR so we went to planks. It actually was pretty good but not as good as we get here at home. However building a BBQ pit that uses wood is not an option on a ship. The price certainly was reasonable but suspect it was priced to attract pax. We walked right in without reservations and had no problem as it was not heavily used.
  2. satxdiver

    How quick to get off ship via tender?

    Last tender is usually 15 minutes or so before final boarding time but they frequently have to keep the tenders running due to the large influx of pax on the pier. Always take note of the posted time for the last tender. If as usual there will be a line to board the tenders near the time. Everyone in your party has to be present to get the boarding tickets which usually is given out in the deck 5 midship MDR where you wait until your number is called. Certainly be early to get the tickets like maybe 30 minutes or more.
  3. satxdiver

    Can I book this b2b?

    The OP not only can do it but we have done it. It makes for a nice cruise.
  4. satxdiver


    All good condition jeans are allowed in the MDR on non-formal nights and have been for years. It is all I wear and what is worn here in this part of the country all the time. The last few cruises I have worn my black jeans on formal nights and not had a problem.
  5. satxdiver

    Iguazu Falls with Princess or independent?

    We booked a private tour with Argentina for Less. We flew into Buenos Aires on EZAir, spent a night in BA and then flew to Iguazu on the private tour. We spent one day viewing the falls from the Argentina side and the next day from the Brazil side (requires Brazilian visa). The best view was from Brazil. The following day we flew back to BA for our cruise boarding the ship that afternoon which was spending an overnight in BA. We used the same tour company for Machu Picchu on a later cruise except then their name was Peru for less. Same company with different names and they had an agent in Dallas. I would recommend them as they were good.
  6. satxdiver

    Medallion - more nitty-gritty & timing questions

    I downloaded the app and filled it out a little over a week before we boarded the ship. I would say that once the app is filled out with the data, they get it almost immediately. As you said once you get to the Princess desk it is a simple here is our passports which they glanced at and gave us our OM and cruise card. They still have to be certain you have a valid passport but no longer need to scan it in like in the past. I had not considered using an avatar instead of our ugly mugs so I will change it before our next OM cruise. Everytime we came close to our cabin door the picture/avatar is displayed on the tablet mounted by the door. I believe the avatar is a much better solution. I did notice that the bar waiters were wandering around with tablet devices hanging from their belts but I never saw them use it. Perhaps now they have been trained and use it.
  7. satxdiver

    Medallion - more nitty-gritty & timing questions

    We were on the CB last month. I downloaded the OceanReady app on my droid and filled in the info about our passports and our pictures. When we arrived at the counter all we had to do was show them the app and they gave us our OM and cruise cards (now they send out the OM early I have heard). They did glance at the passports to make sure we had them. It was all so easy and fast. Our downloaded pics would appear on the pad near our cabin door when we approached depending on who it was. This eliminated the boarding document, taking info from our passports etc. We were given our OM (no time to mail them), cruise cards, lanyard and plastic pouches for both. The lanyard had a quick disconnect which I used as I do not like lanyards but Ms satxdiver liked and wore the lanyard. They had the watch bands and other jewelry for the OM displayed but not available yet with no prices. I do believe I would prefer the OM in my pocket which I could keep there when arriving at the cabin door. Deboarding, reboarding and buying anything in the shops required placing the OM on the small reader where the color would change as it recognized the OM. So much easier than using the cruise card and the bing of the reader.
  8. satxdiver

    Royal to Princess

    Each person decides whether they want to buy any of the beverage packages or none at all. The buffet (HC) is open from 5:30 PM to 11 PM and has a nice selection which usually changes by the day but lately on other ships we have been on that does not seem to be the case. Food offered in the HC is not the same as what is offered in the MDR but is good. The HC is open from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM changing what is offered according to the time of day (breakfast to lunch to snacks to dinner). Pizzeria by the slice is available near the pool on the Lido deck as is the grill for hamburgers, hot dogs etc. Soft serve ice cream station also near the pool. They are open 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM with the evening closing times sometimes changing a bit. International Cafe (IC) on deck 5 (plaza) is open 24 hours with changing offerings depending on the time of day. Afternoon and evening it offers a selection of premade sandwiches and some salads as well as sweet things. Generally easy to get a table in the HC but on busy times may have to share a table. There also are tables out around the pools on the sides available. We generally like the tables out around the pools. Keg beer is very limited and available mostly only on the Lido deck bars and the Wheelhouse bar (deck 7). It has been awhile since I have bought it but around $6 as I recall. Wine is available at $7 and up. There is a wine bar called Vines on the plaza deck with a great selection of wines. Unless the Emerald has updated their WiFi, it is s l o w not unlike the days of 9600 baud. The new WiFi on some ships is around 20 mbps but most likely not on Emerald yet. Onboard entertainment has a piano bar usually with the pianist singing, 5 piece band playing country to easy to rock, 2 piece band playing dance music or jazz, pianist playing more traditional music, some kind of entertainment in the piazza on deck 5 varies by time of day and the theater with different shows from production types to magicians to comedians depending on the day. If you want to go to the theater at night particularly the earlier show, you need to be there 30 minutes early to get a reasonable seat. After 10 pm up in Skywalker's is a disco with great views since it is on the highest deck. On deck 7 there is Wheelhouse bar, Explorer's lounge, Crooner's (piano) and Club Fusion. Deck 5 has the piazza with changing entertainment. Deck 16 Adiago with piano and deck 18 Skywalker's near the aft. Theater is in the bow on decks 6 and 7 (no balcony).
  9. satxdiver

    Upsell on the Crown- help with choices please!

    My pick would be C628. The balcony on the Caribe deck is larger than on the other higher decks. C628 is towards the aft but not almost on the aft as C722 is which is more likely to vibrations and noise from the engines. We usually book cabins around C628 near the aft elevator bank.
  10. satxdiver


    There will be a card in your cabin when you arrive for the gin. You will have to call room service to get the gin and be in the room when it is delivered to sign the card that it was received. I have done it several times on the day I boarded. However the earlier you call room service the chance of getting it that day increases. They cannot just leave it in the room as it has to be received by someone 21 or over. The few times I have thought about diet tonic, the answer has always been no. Bring your own if that it what you want to drink.
  11. Princess is more a competitor of Celebrity than RCCL. I picture Princess as more of an adult cruise than a younger cruise meaning the more athletic opportunities are not present like the climbing wall, ice rink etc and certainly no silly pool games. I have been on RCCL but not X so maybe I will have to give them a try sometime. One pet peeve about RCCL is the FCD policy which is no refund and OBC is not stackable. Princess sweetens the deal with a generous military OBC which is always applied once they receive a copy of your DD214.
  12. satxdiver

    Princess website still down?

    I just found that microsoft edge (new IE) works better on the Princess website than chrome and to my surprise has the old planner format. The new fancy planner format takes too long to load on my desktop maybe due to my slower internet speed (20+ mbps) and I can do without the graphics.
  13. satxdiver


    We were on the CB last month. We used the OM to board and exit the ship but they would take the cruise card reluctantly. It was so much quicker to use the OM. The crew member standing on the pier near the gangplank however wanted to see the cruise card so we never tried to only use the OM. On many ports when we entered the secure port area the local authorities did want to see the cruise card and some also wanted a photo ID. They gave us a lanyard with both a holder for the OM and one for the cruise card. The lanyard had a quick disconnect which I used and kept the two in my pocket. For me so much easier and I really do not like the lanyards.
  14. satxdiver

    Shareholder OBC Benefit Form?

    I too have never used the form. I just include the needed information along with proof I own the stock in a fax or snail mail to Princess. I have never had a problem. Yes the military OBC is simply wonderful and is refundable unlike other OBC.
  15. satxdiver

    Buying Liquor on the Personalizer

    I don't believe this is true. The advance price includes the gratuity. Once on board the price from room service will be the same after gratuity is added. Buckets of beer can be purchased from the lido pool bars but the price will be the same as from room service either onboard or pre-cruise. Only water which is not offered on the ship but must be pre-ordered gets a cost break. Onboard the water is sold by the bottle. We always order the water for taking ashore as it is easier to carry and dispose of the empty bottle. Sometimes we pre-order wine or liquor so we can get it the first day (call room service as soon as you get onboard).