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Posts posted by nattie

  1. On 10/9/2020 at 9:56 PM, epixx said:


    Hmmm.  Are you sure you want to take a MS student on a cruise tour?  He/she might be the only person in that age group on the land portion.  Also, it's lots of travel time with not so much time at the destinations.  It also has an overnight at Princess McKinley Lodge, and there's not much to do there.  What would a MS student do to keep from being bored?  If you do the cruise tour, at least try to take the NPS shuttle to Eielson instead of the Natural History Tour in Denali, as the former will be free for an MS student and it will allow you to see much more of the Park.

    My MS student is generally unfazed by being the only kid in the group 🙂 He wants to do Alaska much more than I do.

    Thank you for suggestion about the tour!

    As for being bored, there are always video games, TV, etc. I am pretty sure they have wifi in Princess Lodge. 

  2. Thanks everyone!

    Nini, your original Barcelona to Rome was part of my original booked cruise. I loved the ports. Unfortunately, we need to travel during the summer (DS started MS, so cant skip school as easily)

    Thinking about all the uncertainty, I am actually leaning toward Alaska. I keep hearing how amazing the cruises are from a lot of people (including close friends), but being from Russia the thought of spending vacation time somewhere cold is something I have to get used to 🙂

    Cruisetour I am looking at is actually marketed by Costco Travel, so I am confident in booking. I am going to go look at excursions and see if I find something to jazz up my interest. 

  3. We had a cruise booked on Enchanted Princess from Barcelona to Rome to Athens in June/July 2021. I was really excited about the ports, picked the flights already (princess air) ... AND... Princess changes the itinerary on us. I dont want to do the replacement itinerary of b2b cruises both roundtrip Rome. Based on what I can see my original itinerary is offered again on Discovery Princess starting Nov 21. We cant travel in Nov, but can wait for summer 2022 for my chosen itinerary to be available.

    So the question is, what should we do for June/July 2021 cruise? At this point everyone in my family misses cruising terribly. As my DH puts it, you know you have a problem when you miss stateroom bathrooms :). The options are:

    1) Japan. 

    + LOVE Japan (we both lived there, different times though) and DS is very excited to go there

    + one of the available cruises stops at Vladivostok. I have not visited there since I was 7 

    - Not sure if cruising is the best way to visit Japan. I would rather do a week split between Tokyo/Kyoto with side trip to Hokkaido

    - older ship with no anytime dining

    - LONG flight (like 24 hours through Princess air)


    2) 14 day Spain/France/Portugal roundtrip London

    + shorter flight

    + can visit London (DS has not been yet)

    + newer ship (royal class)

    + and - ports are "meh" in terms of first Western Europe trip for DS. We actually like the ports. I would love to do this one after the original Med cruise we have planned


    3) Alaska cruisetour (12 day Denali explorer)

    + and - we have to do Alaska eventually (I just cant get motivated for it)

    + Coral princess has covered pool that could be used even in Alaska. We loved Coral through Panama Canal

    + can start or end in Seattle (cruise out Vancouver, but can actually fly to Seattle) and visit friends

    + kind of excited about train to Denali 


    Please help me decide! Price points are very similar for our chosen stateroom category on all of the above so evaluating purely on ship/itinerary merits.



  4. 5 hours ago, LHARTWICK said:

    So will Princess not contact us directly to inform us our cruise has been cancelled?  Thanks to the OP for this information.  We've received no notification from PCL - maybe we will receive something shortly.  We were on the Emerald to AK in September with a TON  of OBC/perks.  But honestly, I'm glad it's cancelled.  We were waffling as to what to do, but the decision has been made for us.  I was actually just as fearful of flying on a plane as I was boarding a ship.  We've been to AK several times, and she will be there for us when the time is right. 😢

    I was contacted directly, but we booked directly through Princess website originally. We were on Enchanted in August and I was actually thinking about extending it to b2b.

    As for demand being low, our cruise was sold out of the room type we booked and next cruise we were looking at had low availability of them. Anecdotal evidence, but I think some demand was still there. The flights were the killer. Our Princess Air flights were changed multiple times in just past week.

  5. So we have Aug cruise on Enchanted Princess scheduled. So far I am not planning to cancel and with new deals rolling out I was actually considering adding another one to make it B2B. Every time I try to price out the new cruise I get as far as choosing a cabin and than get "something went wrong, please use brochure and call us" message. Is it because they are in lockdown mode now?

  6. I am bit late, but we have been on both Gem and Crown. Aside from my obvious affinity for Princess (better food, more to my taste entertainment and no nickel and diming), I would hands down choose departure out of FL in winter. We have done several cruises out of NYC in winter and it is miserable for first 2 days down south and last day back up north. 

    Enjoy your cruise on the Crown!

  7. You can absolutely switch between devices. One device package means that only ONE device can be online at a time, no limit on how many devices can use it during the cruise. I have successfully switched between my phone, personal and work laptops.

    I normally buy 2 unlimited packages - one for me and one for DS, so we can both be online at the same time.

  8. On 11/17/2019 at 9:58 AM, Globehoppers said:


    Illogical.  A true service dog is trained to sense "events" before they occur and provide warning.  "Hubby" service person cannot do that.  Agree the dogs deserve "time off" but that its a human consideration.  Most dogs, service or otherwise, prefer the company of their humans over everything else, except maybe eating. 

    Speak of your own "hubby" service person! Mine is very well trained! (joking)

  9. On 11/15/2019 at 10:56 PM, Ombud said:

    Your link is for ESA letters yet the Princess site clearly states:



    My bad, Ombud! Thank you for correcting. However, there are similar links for full on service animals


    My point was that it is very easy to obtain "papers" for any dog and people are abusing the system.

  10. 10 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:

    The Princess policy has been clearly stated in this thread. Emotional support animals are not permitted. So why are you so certain that the people traveling with dogs did not have the proper paperwork? Do you really think that Princess is looking the other way and not enforcing its own policy?  Kind of a big risk to fly to a departure port with your non-qualifying pet  hoping that you could sneak the dog on board. The risk of being wrong is monumental. The dog would be denied boarding and so would the owner. No refund. Who would roll those dice? We’re not talking about having a pint of rum confiscated. The more likely scenario is that the dogs you are seeing are providing a service for a disability that you cannot see.  People showing up with dogs who are not qualified to board and putting their vacation worth thousands of dollars at risk? Doesn’t add up. 

    I am not sure how many times people have to say this NOT EVERYONE FLIES. Most "comfort" dogs are spotted on Caribbean itineraries, where most of them are probably going from retirement community directly to the cruiseship. 

    And I am sure the dogs in question have proper paperwork, which is not hard to obtain online. 


    You keep coming back with the same argument. Yes we all agree there are legitimate support animals that should be allowed everywhere their owner goes, NO the "pocket doggie" in the buffet line/pooping by the pool/barking at everything that moves are NOT legitimate support animals in a sense that they are not properly trained to be in the crowds.

  11. Hello all,

    We will be staying in Athens for 2 full days before our departure on a cruise and I am looking for suggestions of a tour company that can organize a private tour for us with licensed guide (I would like to have a guide inside the monuments with our group, not just driver talking in between visits). Ideally, the company should take care of all the tickets/entry fees in advance and have the "bypass the line" privileges (is this even a thing in Athens?). We have done similar tour in St. Petersburg and it was worth every penny of extra $$$ spent.

    Has anyone done something similar in Athens? I know it is pretty easy to DYI everything there (vs St. Petersburg for example), but we had such a great experience with no waiting lines (in June in St. Petersburg, unheard of!) and amazing guide that truly cared about her city and customized her tour to fit all of our interests, that I would rather spend extra and have similar experience in Athens.

    All the companies I can find on Tripadvisor offer only "driver" tours, ie driver doesnt go with you to the sites. Frankly I am not sure we need a driver since we are staying within 6 min walk of Acropolis entrance.

    Thank you for recommendations in advance!

  12. 5 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:

    We obviously have no way of knowing, though I suspect that most of the "purse dogs" fit into this category.  But given how inconvenient it is to take a larger dog on a cruise ship, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who is traveling with a lab who never makes a peep, is well-behaved and sits at the feet of its owner at all times.  Remember that whatever rules, laws or accommodations we are discussing here that arise from U.S. standards do not apply in foreign countries.  Cruising, by definition, involves foreign travel.  You can't just put your pet dog on a plane to Rome, hop on a Princess ship and take that dog to Greece, Montenegro and Croatia.  It is really, really, really hard to take a cruise with a dog and have that dog accompany you throughout the voyage.  While the effort might make sense for someone who truly needs the service of the dog, (and the paperwork that would accompany that need), I suspect that the red tape (and risk) involved is far too great  for someone to try to take Fifi along for the ride.  Once again, a Cruise Critic thread has run on and on addressing a problem that doesn't really exist.  Go ahead and start a thread called "Post Pictures of Dogs You Have Seen on Your Cruise Here!" and see what happens.  Crickets.  Honestly, I am "0 for cruising" in that category.  Have never seen a one.  Maybe a seeing eye dog once.

    I think it really depends on WHERE you cruise. As you have said, Med cruises or Asia cruises probably wouldn't have any pets. However, Caribbean cruises originating from FL or NY are different story. On my last four cruises in Caribbean I have seen five dogs (one had an "attention" dog that barked at everyone around him and a service dog that was superbly behaved). None were seen on the Baltic cruise we just did.

    It is super easy for resident of FL for example to just drive to the port with Fifi in tow.

  13. 21 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:


    No one said anything to the contrary.  But you seem to think that a dog that is trained to detect a diabetic incident is "real" and a dog that is trained to detect an anxiety incident is not.  I assure you that both are "real", and neither of them is a yuppie Yorkie that is along for the ride.  Please stop thinking that anxiety isn't a real issue or that there is no such thing as a dog that is trained to address the issue.  Nobody here is suggesting that "any old dog" counts.  Go back and see what I actually posted. ("The issue here is how does the cruise line differentiate between an actual emotional support dog that provides a real, tangible service, and a pet who gets on board because the person lies?)   I am talking about dogs that are specifically trained to deal with anxiety.  If you suffered from a social disorder that could be addressed either by a trained dog or pills 4 times a day, which would you select? 

    Since we are talking "personally" I would say pills, since tracking my dog everywhere is quite a hassle, but thats just me.


    If I cant tell the difference in the behaviors of "support" dog for anxiety and working dog than the issue is non existent. To me it becomes an issue when all sorts of "attention" dogs (thank you whomever posted this for the term) claim to be "support" dogs.


    And yes, I agree with you that there is no way for cruise line or airline to tell whether a person is lying or not when declaring an animal for travel. This is the true issue here with people abusing the system because of "me first" attitude. I am just thankful "support cats" are not a thing yet (I might be jinxing myself here).

  14. 14 minutes ago, Ombud said:

    First of all I love my dog. He's my avatar and can be incredibly soothing. BUT he would go nuts on vacation. It's not fair to him.  IMHO if people cannot leave their non-service ESA dogs / cats / ponies / rabbits / snakes / birds alone they should stay with them .... at home or in a pet allowed hotel.


    Just my 2c


    I have been meaning to say this, but have not had the chance (didnt want to hijack the topics), I ❤️❤️❤️ your avatar. He/she is the cutest puppy ever (well after mine of course).

  15. 59 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:


    See comments in red.

    I am sorry, but there is a HUGE difference between visually impaired person with seeing eye dog and little yuppy "support" yorkie. As pointed out by previous posters who actually had support animals, they are well trained working dogs that are not going to attack anyone or even come near you unless specifically permitted by handler/owner. 

    Anxiety is something you can treat with medication for crying out loud, it is not comparable to issues service dogs are for (that includes diabetic dogs etc.). Again, REAL service dogs are trained to be in public places and not be a nuisance to general public.


    And on a second subject, I feel anxious being away from my dog because he doesnt like being boarded, therefore I should be able to bring him on my 2 week cruise? 


    I have seen my share of the "companion" pets on cruises vs true working dogs. Believe me, people can tell the difference, even without a "working dog" harness.

  16. 38 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:


    I'm not ready to concede that "emotional support" and "comfort" are "nothing" or "not a service".  Mental health is a huge, developing field and we are only now just getting our heads around it. (Pun intended).  There are millions of people who go to therapists to talk about issues and they receive little more than emotional support.  But to suggest that the support they receive is "nothing" and that the therapist provides "no service" does an injustice to the entire field of mental health.  The old way of "Buck it up, buttercup" is a failing strategy.  I don't know if you are employed, but if you are, and you obtain health benefits from your employer, I'll bet that mental health and emotional support are real things that are now covered in some respects.  I can walk down one flight of stairs at my place of business and go into a clinic that provides massage therapy, mental health counseling, ergonomic advice, and all sorts of stuff that was unheard of 10 years ago.  


    So now let's tie that in to cruising.  Ships are crowded.  Crowds cause anxiety in some.  When anxious, people find comfort in emotional support.  It s irrational to think that people should travel with their therapist.  Emotional support animals are proven to ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and focus people who do need grounding.  The benefits are real, and not imagined.  So it stands to reason that people who get anxious in crowded environments would benefit from whatever coping strategies that help them, provided that the coping strategy is not disruptive.  For example, if someone says that their anxiety dissipates when they sit in the corner and light fires, well, I'm sorry, but that isn't going to work on a ship.  But holding a dog?  Why not?  Who cares?  The issue here is how does the cruise line differentiate between an actual emotional support dog that provides a real, tangible service, and a pet who gets on board because the person lies?  I don't think the issue is whether, as you phrased it, "Does an emotional animal provide a service?"  We are way past that in terms of proof.  The answer is an unqualified "yes".

    If a person has anxiety being in the crowds, may be cruising is not for them. 

    I LOVE my doggo, but would never think of bringing him to the buffet or anywhere he can cause real inconvenience to people with allergies or dog fears. I am severely allergic to cats for example and would not be able to be in next door cabin to passengers with a cat.

    Honestly, every pet is an emotional support animal for their owners. Should we all be able to bring the menagerie onboard?

  17. Just for the record, I ❤️ the title of your thread. I thought it would be another complaint thread about barrel chair or some such. Thank you for the smile 😄


    And yes, they do have prune juice for breakfast.

  18. Why all the hate for Princess Live? Shows there take away from people hogging the seats for early theater show, so you guys should say "thank you" (kidding about that). But seriously, many times we would rather go do a trivia or a game show in Princess live instead of seeing a comedian or magician in main theater, thus freeing up space to whomever wants to go. Plus all the trivia and gameshows that used to be in Vista Lounge are now in Princess live, freeing up space for whatever goes on in Vista lounge (bingo? Ballroom dancing? we only visit for platinum/elite party and disembarkation).

    Now to wish list:

    • change up 7 day Eastern/western Caribbean itinerary a bit
    • offer cruises from San Juan again (please!)
    • more NYC departures (probably wouldnt happen due to Celebrity/Carnival competition)
    • offer cruises from Baltimore (definitely wouldnt happen)
    • itinerary to just Bermuda 
    • make it easier to refare online if booked directly with Princess instead of calling an agent every time. Probably cheaper for Princess since they can reduce number of agents
    • I like the idea of covered pool on every ship. We enjoyed one on Coral even during Panama Canal cruise
    • hurry up and combine those apps for Medallion already
    • interactive TVs on every ship (i think someone already posted that)
  19. 16 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:
    • ...build Promenade Decks with full (or almost full) walkways, even if they have to incorporate $$$ venues into the planning, the way NCL has done with its "Waterfront".
    • ...put an "Alfredo's" on every ship, at which point being lied to about which MDR is open for lunch on Embarkation Day is a moot point. (Though to be honest, I haven't been confronted by "the lie" in many, many years.)
    • ...do some mock bookings of their own prior to announcing their latest "sale" to see if the "sale" that starts on Tuesday is really offering a better value than the pre-sale price being offered on Monday.
    • ...serve the Pub Lunch in the Wheelhouse
    • ...stop removing or minimizing the size of the Wheelhouse on new ships
    • ...bring back the Explorer's Club Lounge and realize that Princess Live is a failure. (They seem to have come to terms with the fact that the pool fountains were a flop, and that the Sea View Walkway was a waste of time.  Next thing on the list for retirement should be Princess Live.)
    • ...move one or more dining/entertainment venues to the top of the ship.  Love the placement of Sabatini's,/Share, Adagio and Skywalker's on the last of the Grand Class ships.  The Royal Class ships have nothing interesting up top which is pretty unusual in the cruising industry.  People love top-side venues.  A nightclub on the interior of Deck 6 is pretty lame. Especially when you put the number "5" in the name, as they did on Sky. Apologies to Dave Brubec

    We actually really like Princess Live and try to participate in a lot of shows there. Also could care less about Promenade deck (isnt it what Lido is?). Explorers club lounge was a waste of space IMHO, it was always empty. To each its own I guess

  20. 15 hours ago, VersaliusPrimus said:

    Hi all!


    My family is booked on the Enchanted Princess in Sept 2020 under the 3 for Free promotion.  When we called, our TA told us this air fare promotion is for new bookings only.  This brings up a couple questions:  Our cabin type is completely sold out on our cruise, so if we re-book are we at risk of losing that cabin?  If we re-book, do we lose our initial deposit and need to pay another for the new booking (assuming non-refundable deposit)? 


    This restriction is rather confusing to us since I see some here mention only having to re-fare instead of completely re-booking.  We were told by Princess (through our TA) that 3 for Free wasn't even available for another of our bookings because all cabins in that category were already booked. So, if we re-booked now we would lose 3 for Free and possibly risk losing the cabin just for some air credit - definitely not worth it.  If this air credit promotion is indeed for new bookings only (requiring a re-book), doesn't that discourage people from booking early unless their preferred cabin type is likely to sell out prior to the start of the promotion?


    Thanks all!          

    I booked directly with Princess and refared my Aug Enchanted cruise yesterday. We have received air credit, all promos and I was able to keep same cabin. I dont normally use TAs (unless Costco has outstanding deal), so not sure how to approach this. May be call Princess yourself?

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