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Everything posted by carefreebee

  1. Love, love the fwd corner cabins! We are booked in our favorite on six of our seven booked cruses! It will be an excellent location for our cruise to Alaska next August.
  2. We love the Sky. We also love Regal Princess and have sailed on her 6 times. We were on the Sky Princess over the Holidays in 2019 and again in March when sailing stopped. We will return to the Sky this year in December. Of course the Piazza is great for people watching and we also found the open Princess Live space to be great for watching people as they pass during the day. In the evening I enjoyed the Crown Grill Bar area. The bar has nice live music in the evenings and I especially enjoyed people watching here on formal nights. Seeing all the lovely gowns on the ladies and surprisingly jazzy shoes on the gentlemen passing by as they head to and from dinner in the Cielo Dining Room was a real treat. You must walk around the open track on Deck 18 to see the lovely murals painted around the track. They are great for all those selfies I know you'll want to take. Deck 17 (Sun Deck) is great for some nice ocean vistas, cloud watching and sun sets. It also is a popular deck for sun worshipers so there's that element of people watching too. Like the Regal, Outriggers Bar at the back of the ship is a nice place to watch the wake. The bar in the Retreat pool area is a popular gathering spot for adults. The Sky has some great art and beautiful tile, marble and glass work that is worth a walk about to see. Don't forget the stairwells for some interesting art and like the Regal, passenger hallways have the beautiful photos taken on Princess cruises. I suggest you visit Deck and look for photos #268, #289 and #148! If Captain Tuvo is "driving the ship" (Captain will tell you..."driving the ship is easy, it's parking that is hard.") during your cruise you will cross paths with him in the early morning as he makes his daily ship tour, often with an Officer zipping around with him. He visits every deck and area of the ship, every day. It's like seeing a rock star as he is adored by passengers and loved by the crew. If you're lucky you'll see for yourself. Captain Laakkonen is also great captain to passengers and crew. He was our Captain when cruising stopped and returned us passengers safe and healthy to a world in distress. Before the shut-down the crew were outstanding and the Princess Theater shows top notch. I expect they will be just as good when Princess welcomes us back. The Sky Princess is a beautiful ship and you will enjoy sailing on her!
  3. This has happened to me two times. The online system defaults to the pay in full selection during on-line booking. I think it is a flaw in their online system. Both times I called immediately to confess my mistake. The first time I had to explain my error several times before I reached the correct department and then it took about a week or more to rectify. The second time was just a couple of weeks ago during the half price deposit promo. I instantly saw my error as I was hitting the enter button! I called the 800# and very quickly reached the Customer Relations Department who refunded the difference between the deposit & payment in full. It was processed through my Princess Visa account with-in 48 hours. I voiced my concern on the payment process with the nice lady in Customer Relations and I followed up with a brief email. I suggested a fix of either the system refrains from defaulting to full payment or adding an "are you sure?" question before the transaction is finalized. Something needs to be done because I feel it will happen to me again! I get so excited to complete the booking I just hit enter too quickly!
  4. Thank you birdmom. This is just what I was looking for.
  5. I thought I read somewhere that Princess is changing the required minimum deposit amount do. I seem to remember it being a sliding scale based on cabin category and possibly length of cruise? I think it was to go into effect on May 1st. Does anyone have the details?
  6. Even though this is slightly off topic I'll list what we have for an emergency situation. Ever since the Carnival Triumph was stuck out at sea we have backed a "grab bag" filled with the items we may need in an emergency. We pack: an extra 2+ weeks medications, copies of our passports & photo IDs, family contact info, a solar phone charger & extra charging sticks, a hand crank radio, headlamps, handheld torches, a little battery lantern & tea lights, a few extra batteries, dollar store rain ponchos, small umbrella, extra socks, first aid kit, packaged nuts & dried fruits, packaged peanut butter crackers, small juice boxes, sun hats (or winter hats & gloves), sun screen & SPF shirts, small amount of cash and a hand towel. For our last cruise I added N95 masks, sterile gloves, and disinfectant wipes. All this goes into a nylon backpack which surprisingly is not too heavy or a burden to carry. We store it with the life jackets. We were on the Sky princess in the Western Caribbean when Princess ceased operations. I had read the announcement on social media early in the morning (before the Captain's announcement to return to our cabins to listen to a message from Jan Swartz), that all ships were to return to port. I had also been following the Diamond Princess situation and the other ships' difficulty seeking safe harbor. We were a little concerned the Sky Princess would be caught up in the possibility the port would close, even though our ship had ZERO illness. We went to the Horizon Court and gathered a few apples & oranges, yogurts and such, just in case we were denied entry to Port Everglades. I don't know if this was widely reported but the Sky Princess had to make a special stop in Dominica Republic to pick up Covid-19 tests. The Captain said "authorities" requested a sampling of crew to verify zero Covid-19 infections. We met a pilot boat for a sail-by to receive the tests. We must have passed as the passengers were hustled off the ship early the next morning and were whisked away to an airport in turmoil. I was very glad we had masks & sanitizing wipes hanging out at the airport with 30,000+ cruise passengers trying to leave Florida. We plan to return to the Sky Princess in December 2021 and have high hopes the cruise industry will succeed in getting back to sea. This is a huge industry and I just can't see these requirements the CDC has laid out lasting once the vaccines change the infection spread.
  7. Princess may have changed the title of your saved cruise. That's is what I discovered with my saved cruises having the same message. I searched for them again and they were still available but with a different name. One was listed as "Western Caribbean" before and now it is titled "Caribbean with Mexico".
  8. I think they were!! I have a friend that we meet to cruise with. She is well under 5' and carries this little step with her to the MDR so her legs don't dangle! It fits perfectly in a nice little Vera Bradley bag.
  9. We went met a couple in our Roll Call group who were in L104 with the large balcony and solid railing wall. They had brought those bed risers and used them on the deck chairs to make them high enough to see over the railing. It worked perfectly. The light weight plastic riser cubes easily stacked together and took up very little space in their bags. I thought it was brilliant!
  10. We love the L107 & L108 mini suites. So much so we have been in them several times on the Regal Princess. We booked L108 again for our New Years B2B last year on the Sky Princess. We currently are booked in L108 on the Enchanted Princess in January 2022, the Majestic's Cali Coastal in April 2022 and in L107 on the Discovery Princess to Alaska in August 2022! My husband is an photographer and just loves the wide open balcony and sweeping views for his photo shots!
  11. I agree with Astro. We've had the pleasure of being on the Regal many times and just loved it. However we found the Sky Princess to be even better, if that's possible, during our 3 weeks on her in 2020. Love, love, the new Princess Live. Take Five is a perfect replacement for Crooners and even the Crown Grill Bar has an element of Crooners about it with the live music. The Royal and Regal have beautiful decor and some of the most unique and beautiful chairs of any of the Princess ships, however I found the deco on the Sky to be even more lovely. The detailed tile work and glass art make the Sky Princess stand out from her sisters. We found the production shows Rock Opera and 5Skies to be the best we've ever seen. The production and talent was out of this world. You can't sing the praises of the Sky Princess without mentioning her one of a kind Captain Tuvo or better known as Capt. Bye Bye. He is a ray of sunshine everywhere he goes. And Capt. Laakkonen was amazing to have as captain when operations were ceased last March. He kept passengers and crew well informed and was a calming leader before he returned us safe and healthy to a world in distress. We are booked on the Sky Princess in December and hope very much to sail on her then. We also are heading to the Enchanted, Majestic and Discovery in 2022, all in the same Lido cabin. We have become a fan of the Royal class ships.
  12. He is fun. I have thought Alex would make a great Brand Ambassador for Princess. Similar to John Heald with Carnival.
  13. I follow Alex on Instagram and have seen his post about his new cafe. I wish him and his young family well. He will be missed, one of the best!
  14. We've been cruising on Princess since 2006, most recently on the Sky Princess in March when sailing stopped. I don't know about the rest of you but during our cruises we tend to grow attached to some crew members we interact with around the ship and are often charmed by the Princess performers and the Cruise Director's staff too. We've had exceptional service from wait staff and bar servers that have been with Princess for many years and some maitre d's & head waiters have been with Princess for decades! It is not unusual to see crew from past sailings over the years on different ships as they continue their contracts with Princess again and again. We know one crew member who we've watched grow, step by step, from a vested Bar Steward to wearing whites with strips and managing Lido! I have been thinking of him and others often these past few months and wish to know they are doing well. During our time visiting with some wait staff at the bars and MDR we came to know that many had planned long career paths in their future with Princess. I'm concerned their plans are in jeopardy. Does anyone have a good understanding on what PCL has done to keep the "seasoned" crew positioned to return to the ships when cruising returns? Are some crew still under contract, while shore side waiting to be called back? Can we assume that most haven't found employment in other food, drink, or travel industries? How is PCL supporting them? The entertainers are just as important too. Are the dancers & singers currently under contract? Is Princess actively seeking talent for the production shows and the ship's bands too? The performers can't just arrive on the ship and start the show. Normally, the Princess theater troupe work together for months in California before they arrive on the ship and then they don't take the stage immediately. Dancing and singing have not returned to the entertainment industry in general and still may be months away. Oh and we can't forget the light & sound tech dudes!? This is a mind boggling challenge. Any insight to how Princess and other cruise lines may be planning to do to get this important element of cruising started back up? I wish the best to all the Princess crew and staff who make our cruises wonderful. We keep coming back again and again because the Princess family always gives their best efforts into making passengers happy. We currently have two cruises booked for the end of this year and three for 2022. We are very excited to cruise again and obviously support Princess Cruise Line 100%.
  15. Thanks dides. The photos really help. We went ahead and switched to the Premium Suite for the separate sleeping area.
  16. The Premium Suites have the separate sleeping area, correct? What about the Vista suites on the newer Royal class ships? Is the sleeping area separate? From the booking photo the Vista suites seem to be more open and only one TV. Is this the case? We are big fans of the Lido corner mini's ( we have 2 booked for 2022) and to me the Vista Suites seem similar in size but they have the fancy suite bath. However, the FWD corner mini's have a separate sleeping area and two TVs. We currently are booked in a Vista Suite on the Sky in December. I'm considering "moving down" several decks to a FWD Premium for the separated sleeping area & extra TV.
  17. https://www.princess.com/downloads/pdf/ships/PrincessSuite_eFlyer.pdf I fund this document very helpful.
  18. I lived on Carefree Dr. and my students called be Mrs. B. So Carefreebee it was! Plus it is a quick type.
  19. We sailed on the Sky Princess on a b2b over New Years Eve and again on the last sailing 3/7-3/14 and fell in love with the ship. The design improvements in the Vista Lounge and Princes Live venues made a big impression on us. I like the various seating areas that have been placed around the Lido deck by the pool and aft area. The Retreat pool on Sky Deck is a bit disappointing by not having a sea view and the wind can be outrageous but it has a handy bar! And the cabins that surround the pool have a cool window hall that makes the space feel unlike any other passenger cabin hall. Quick access to the adult pool or quick walk down to Lido makes Sky deck a great location for those who like to get out early to lounge and drink all day! The two new production shows Rock Opera & 5-SKIES were fantastic with outstanding singers and dancers. Excited to see those shows again! The crew during our times on the Sky were top notch with many being familiar to many of us seasoned cruisers. Both Captains are great with Captain Tivo being the most joyful jolly sailor you'd ever have the pleasure of cruising with and his quiet even keel counterpart Captain Laakkonen, who will always have my respect on how he handled the news that Princess ship's operations were pausing. His calm and comforting manner was reassuring to passengers and crew alike. We found the Elite/Plat lounge to be managed extremely well and popular with passengers. The Crown Grill bar is a nice place for drinks and good music in the evenings and is a perfect spot if you like to people watch. To me, it is more of the Crooners replacement spot. You don't get the shaking martini maneuvers but it does have a great bar staff. For fancy bar tricks visit Good Spirits overlooking the Piazza or Sea View bar on Lido. We liked our dinner at La Mer and found the decor there with the detailed tile & iron work exquisite. Take Five is a beautiful venue too and has a fun Gin Cart that you can order hand crafted tonic spirits from and of course jazz. Sabitini's has been retooled also, with an enhanced menu and a more modern Italian decor. Personally, I loved the new decor, the Lido & venue changes, the color pallet selected and design direction that the Sky Princess has taken. I found many things pleasing, making me very excited to sail on her again! We are currently booked on the Sky Princess for 10 days in March 2021 (fingers crossed) and again over Halloween 2021.
  20. It's been torn down? I thought it was fairly new when we sailed out last, in 2012. Not the most attractive port to sail from but the fog and Texas liquor laws made it a challenging port, for sure.
  21. I am a huge Princess fan. My husband and I have been cruising on Princess ships since 2007 and have made our way to Elite status. I usually spend my daydream time pondering, searching, and researching Princess Cruises, Princess Ships, excursions, menus, cabins.... just obsessed! In normal times I would have spent these last 80 days writing a big Sky Princess review, stalking price reductions, booking flights on Princess Air or during a Southwest promo and be hugely obsessing over the new Enchanted Princess. With everything that is happening in the world I miss my old Princess obsession. This is, what it is, today… This year we were fortunate to enjoy the Sky Princess over New Years and again in March. We were on the last cruise for the Sky Princess as the Covid-19 virus hit and cruising was halted. About 12 noon on March 12th the Captain came on over the ship wide PA with a special tone chime. The ship’s services stopped and a strange quiet came over the World Marketplace area where we were sitting. The buffet crew & wait staff came to a standstill and the galley crew come out into the open to listen. A slightly shaken Captain Laakkonen said some comforting and uplifting words before instructing passengers and crew to return to our cabins and listen to an urgent message from Jan Swartz. Passengers and crew, many with perplexed and worried faces, did as we were told and returned to our cabins where most heard for the first time the news: Princess Cruise Lines was pausing their worldwide operations and all ships were to “head home!” This was the beginning of the end of cruising as we know it. Thursday was a hard day for the crew and performers with the news from corporate and so many unanswered questions. The new Princess song & dance team, after months of practice and dedication, was taking over to open their first performance of the spectacular ROCK OPERA at 8pm that night but sadly, they closed their last show at the 10pm performance. All in the same day. They performed beautifully. At the end voices were cracking, tears were streaming, and hearts were breaking as the singers and dancers took in their last moments on stage. The retiring team stood at the back of the house cheering the loudest while crying the hardest. It was becoming real for these young people. It was heartbreaking. Disembarking from the Sky on March 14th we really had no way of knowing, that day, how wide reaching and catastrophic the pause in cruising would become and the horrific global spread of this virus. Tearfully, we said good-bye to cherished crew members and wished THEM a safe future. As we disembarked a large number of crew were in the Piazza under a huge banner with #WEWILLBE BACK #PRINCESSPROUD waving and clapping for us! I can't say enough about how fantastic this crew and officers were. I knew we would be okay, but I was and continue to be worried about the crew members we adore. One lovely young bar supervisor from India had his young family on board with him. He and every other crew person we encountered those last two days on board said with pride that Princess would take good care of them. I think from all reports that is proving true. After being a part of the great crew swap at sea, the Captains Circle Hostess just made it home to Brazil this week, happy and safe! My heart is sad for all the trials and challenges the crew and those who care for them have had to endured. Princess proud, indeed! As a Princess fans we always seemed to have cruises booked and currently have a string of them booked into 2022. Starting with the Enchanted Princess in early December of this year. It remains to be seen if the delay in completing the ship's build will affect the Enchanted's scheduled arrival in Fort Lauderdale. Nonetheless, due to our concerns over the virus, I'm sure we won't personally be ready to cruise again in 2020 and so we'll cancel this one before final payment. I will however find a way to be on her soon! We have three cruises booked for 2021. We're excited for our 10-day Sky cruise to the Southern Caribbean in March. It's a great itinerary, we're in our favorite cabin and our cruise buddies plan to be on board then too. I've really been looking forward to getting back on the Sky Princess after the great cruises we had on her over New Years and in March. She is a beautiful ship. This 2021 cruise may be in jeopardy though if a successful Covid-19 treatment is not available by early in 2021. I have my doubts there is enough time for this to happen. A second booking we may need to drop. This makes me sad. I'm a little more optimistic about the next booking on our Personalizer: August 2021, back to Alaska, this time on the Regal. We did Alaska in 2019 on the Ruby and loved it! We especially want to revisit the ports to enjoy more of the great excursions Princess offers. This also is our chance to sail on the Regal again before she heads off to Australia. We were lucky to have a run of cruises on her during 2016-2019 making the Regal Princess a favorite. We also have our favorite cabin again on this cruise! By the time this Alaska cruise's final payment is due I hope we see positive reports on Princess's efforts. And world's response to the virus is be working and we will feel confident in traveling again. My thinking is by June of next year science & medicine should have many successes in the treatment and control of this virus and people will have adjusted. By then we all will have a better picture on how the cruise & travel industries have adjusted to the new reality too. I believe cruise ships can establish an environment that is safe and sound. It is in Princess Cruise Lines best interest to be a leader in policy and practice addressing passenger health and safety. I am confident PCL can succeed and flourish once again. I’m also optimistic cruise lines will strive to keep most of the things passengers love but with a measured sound approach. With good testing, good hygiene, good medicines, and great science we’ll find that ‘happy spot’ where cruising can flourish. In the Fall of 2021, we're booked again on the Sky, this time over Halloween. This will be our third Halloween cruise and they are a blast! The crew really gets into the spirit of wearing costumes and lots of passengers do too! We nabbed a Window Suite for this cruise out of NYC to Canada and the North East coast ports. We're very excited to stay in the Window Suite after being in one on the Caribbean Princess several times. The Sky's Window Suites are forward on Sky deck and have floor to ceiling windows along the length of the room, truly spectacular. Forward Lido cabins have become a favorite location for us on Royal class ships because the views are awesome and Lido deck cabins put you close to daytime action on the ship. It's not uncommon for this itinerary to encounter snow this late in the season, not going to miss the balcony if that happens! One cruise we disembarked on 10/31 just as the snow started that morning. By the time our flight could get out of NYC eight hours later, it was a Nor'easter dubbed Frankenstorm! With little doubt, by October 2021 the world's brilliant scientists and heroic medical experts should have the reigns over this virus and the cruise lines and the travel industry in whole will have adjusted and evolved accordingly. I feel the most confident that we will be on this cruise. The last cruise we have on the books is on the new Discovery Princess when she's made her way to LA, in the Spring of 2022. We want to visit LA (never been) and cruise the California coast. This should be a fun itinerary and even though we only have minimal information about this new ship it should be just as exciting and beautiful as all the Princess ships. If it is completed, that is. I would not be surprised if Princess makes the decision to not go forward with Discovery and focus on the new Sphere class ship and speed up that timeline. This could be the “it” ship, that's designed with the new protocols in mind, putting Princess back on their innovated course of using technology and design to better the passenger experience. We really liked the Medallion usage on both the Regal and Sky Princess cruises we've been on. On the Sky Princess, being designed with this technology from the start, the crew used the Medallion system to their advantage. I can see how this technology will assist with new Health protocols. Let’s not forget how ordering room service and bar drinks from your balcony totally rocks! (and bath robes, extra hangers, and spa products!) Finding your shipmates was a dream. Having the ships patter schedule at your fingertips was so much better than what's left of the paper Patter, which has become nothing more an excel document. I get why it's less but if you’re going to keep printing it, make it better. Otherwise stop the presses! I know we will cruise again but three of my five cruises are in doubt and there is nothing ‘as good’ I can book as replacements. What I desperately want to do is book more cruises! I am waiting, not so patiently, for Princess to release the Enchanted & Sky Caribbean cruises for 2021-22-23 for me to obsess over. I know PCL folks are incredibly busy with all the refunds…believe me we all know how frustrating waiting is…and focused on getting crew back home. Moving those ships across the seas in such an unprecedented situation, must be a head exploding mammoth mission involving so many people, nations, and personnel! My craving new itineraries to daydream over can wait, they have more important things to do now. But I know; it all will soon be coming. With so many people carrying FCCs from canceled cruises, I'm sure they will be looking for cruises too. I think it would be helpful for Princess to release some more dates when they can and not wait for their traditional launch patterns/dates. Maybe shake it up and add another ship in the Caribbean over the summer months? I'm seeing polls that suggest people want to get back to traveling but indicating they prefer to stay in US or close. I think it could be well received for Princess to add the occasional visit to more US ports. Is there a way to… say…sail out of Port Everglades and visit Costa de Maya, New Orleans and back to Fla? How about Pt Everglades to Charleston with a stop at Princess Cays? Heck, I’d suffer sailing out of Houston if another Princess ship gets to cruise around the Caribbean and US Gulf ports. I'd love to sail out of NYC for Bermuda, how can we make that happen? Is there a reason cruise ships don't do the NYC to Canada itineraries in the summer? Does anyone think these are in Princess's idea box? This is where I'm at today. The world is in chaos and I'm dreaming of cruises, cruises from before, cruises that may or may not happen and itineraries that haven't even been created! ...what's a girl going to do?
  22. We had a complete opposite experience. We purchased over $6000 worth of cards during the 'buy $1000 get a $50 gift certificate for free' promo. For us that was $300. We also had received gift cards from Kroger from my mother. The final payment for our b2b on the Sky was due the next week. We had to supply the card number and assigned pin to have our balanced due paid with the gift cards. We were left with $150 in cards when we boarded the ship on 12/28/2019. At some point during our two weeks on board we went to the Customer Service desk with our paper work and cards and had the remaining three cards of $50 each applied to our on board account. Easy peasy! We'll do it again.
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