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About 5:00_Somewhere

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Boston, MA
  • Interests
    Besides cruising ...? :) Reading, SciFi, cooking, photography, world travel, and my 2 labs.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess & Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    French Polynesia, but the Caribbean is closer ;)

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  1. We're scheduled to board the Star on 3/28 for the Mex Riv/Sea of Cortez cruise. We have been SO looking forward to this cruise for well over a year for a whole host of reasons. But, I have to confess we're conflicted. I am not so worried about getting the virus, per se; but I have to confess I am a little concerned that ports will be closed to us; and more concerned that the virus will be detected and we'll be stuck in quarantine for 2 weeks afterward. That would be extremely problematic for us for many, many reasons. We're holding on for now, but .... 🤞🤞🤞
  2. We have a cruise on the Star at the end of this month, and I am very much looking forward to it. She's one of our very favorite designs. We understand she may be a little dated but, as much as I love the shiny new decor on the newer ships, I'm also a little nostalgic for those older aesthetica (seafoam green, anyone?) 😉 And any ship will need a bit of sprucing up here and there (which we understand she will be getting right after our cruise, in mid-April). Personally, I wouldn't worry and just enjoy. 👍
  3. We're booked on the Star the end of this month, and we are also not considering cancelling unless Princess does. We have discussed that we plan to be extra vigilent about cleanliness, as we have been on cruises when we've known Norovirus was prevelant, but do not plan to let it interfere with our vacation plans otherwise. Not to say we aren't "vigilent" normally - we are - but, just want to be extra conscious of taking steps to reduce exposure: always washing hands, using hand sanitizer, not touching elevator buttons or hand rails unless necessary, not shaking hands, avoid touchin
  4. I love CC, but I am once again left wondering whether there is any topic at all that will not devolve into stark polarization on these boards. Use a TA, don't use a TA. Whatever best satisfies your needs. It looks like lots of information has been presented here to help make a choice.
  5. I've done my best to answer your question, but I'm clearly not explaining in a way that is working for you. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. I was simply responding to the OP's question and relating my own experiences, which have apparently been almost the exact opposite of yours. Fine. Our experiences inform our actions and preferences. I've had a Princess consultant who DOES reach out to us to help us take advantage of price drops, and I've never saved enough money using a TA to make the difficulties I've encountered worth it ... for me. As I said above, I fully understand tha
  6. Sorry I haven't responded sooner, but I just saw your question posed to me. Not sure why there's a double post here, but it won't let me delete either one.
  7. Sorry I haven't responded sooner, but I just saw your question posed to me. I think others have addressed the control issue, but for me it's as others have said: I find it frustrating that, if I book with a TA I can only talk to the TA and the cruise line (or other vacation provider) won't talk to me. I've had issues with TAs being slow to act (causing us to lose or fear losing a preferred cabin or deal); being slow to respond to questions or when issues have arisen; getting something wrong and being slow (in my opinion) to remedy it; and, in one instance, almost missing our fina
  8. We also have booked directly with Princess for many years and have been very happy with our results. But, I must say out of the gate that we have discovered through experience that, while price is an important factor, control is even more important to us. We've used TAs for some vacations, including cruises - and even have friends who are TAs - but, while some of the experiences have been good, some have been very bad. We were contacted by an AMAZING Princess Vacation Planner after our 4th cruise, and we were hooked. He was eventually promoted, and we're now with another WONDERFUL Princess V
  9. You might be thinking of my review of Sky cabin D222, here: If you click on "5:00_Somewhere replied to a topic" you will be taken directly to my review, which includes several pictures. This has been a very important issue for me, as we LOVE the Caribe deck balconies on the Grand Class ships, and very much dislike the standard tiny balconies on the vast majority of the cabins on Royal Class ships. I researched this extensively, and can confirm that the cabins in our section of Dolphin Deck forward on the Sky are very much like those much-loved Grand Class Caribe Deck
  10. I concur with what the others have said, including the fact that it's not guaranteed. That said, however, we have nearly 30 cruises with Princess over the past 20 years and have been asking to be marked no upgrade since about the 3rd or 4th, and in all that time only once did we get the unhappy surprise of being "upgraded" anyway - to a cabin that we did NOT consider an upgrade and that was no longer connected with the 2 couples with whom we were traveling - and I was able to get it straightened out, but it was a real hassle. We've developed a good relationship with our Princess Cruise consult
  11. Another recommendation from travel companions who flew on embarkation day and used a cruiseline transfer from the airport to the ship: They recommended attaching the luggage tags before departing on their flight to help make things a little less hectic once they landed, but took along an extra set of luggage tags in their carry-on in case something happened to them in transit with the airline.
  12. I agree, the Medallion app is terrible. We were on the Sky in December and had nothing but problems with the app to the point that I quit using it altogether. I will say that on the Sky the Medallion itself worked very well. It was wonderful for opening our cabin door; in less crowded areas, we didn't even have to pull it out for a bartender or waiter to identify us; and in more crowded areas - such as pool deck bars or the Int'l Cafe in the morning - you simply had to tap your Medallion on a pay pad; and waitstaff and bartenders were always able to locate us. But, yeah, the app is terrible.
  13. I'm with grouchomarx and SeaLibrarian: I've sailed on the Coral and loved her; I've sailed on the Grand Class ships and love many things about them; I've sailed on the Royal Class ships and both like and dislike certain things about them, but if them all, the Sky was my absolute favorite. True, there is no promenade deck that goes all the way around the ship, but the Sky has many, many other features that are very nice, including features you won't find on the Coral or Island. I'd say give it a go; you'll never know if you like it unless you try. 😉 Good luck, and happy cruising. 👍
  14. I have no qualms about using the public restrooms on cruise ships. As others have said, they are typically very clean and are cleaned constantly. That said, no matter where I go, I always make sure to wash my hands thoroughly and repeatedly, especially before eating; and I try to avoid touching my mouth (though I am not obsessive about it). One thing I can say about using a public restroom is that it is highly (and disturbingly) educational with respect to other passengers' hand-washing habits. In my experience, the vast majority of passengers I see "washing their han
  15. As Astro Flyer said, taste is subjective, so please take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I agree that La Mer's location was not great. Not only was it a bit disconcerting to have people walking past and gawking at diners, but there was a lot of "noise" from the entertainment going on in the piazza. It was not an enjoyable experience. And, to be honest, although our service was great, I did not think the food was all that good. We have always enjoyed Sabatinis, and were excited for the new menu. Unfortunately, our service was very slow and poor, with multiple
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