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nattie

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Posts posted by nattie

  1. On 2/6/2019 at 8:03 PM, Colo Cruiser said:

    So that was the bruhaha about? We only use desk chair and to pile on clothes at that. I would rather have them completely remove stupid round table that always ends up in the closet.

    Cant really tell you about the "barrel" chair as I frankly dont remember if we had one (balcony room). Wouldnt have missed it anyways.

    On the other hand, we do not take 20+ day cruises with lots of sea days either, so not really paying attention to "in cabin amenities" so to speak.

    FWIW, from my recent cruise on Royal (Dec18-Jan19) - we have enjoyed MDR food nightly and offerings were good with plenty of variety. I like Royal class buffet so much, we are hesitant to book on other class ship now. Recently booked (thank you whomever tipped off Princess boards about Europe sale) 11 day Baltic on Regal (my fave ship so far) and looking forward to it!

  2. You will get a schedule in your room ONCE on embarkation day. If you loose it, it is not easy to obtain extras (at least in my experience). We normally use the schedule to plan ahead when DS wants to go based on activities.

    I second the suggestion of going on embarkation day for meet and greet. Each ship is a bit different in terms of policies for sign in/sign out (some still require you to bring ID) and it is a great way to meet other kids.

    6 yo will probably be bored in the younger group (it is 3-7 group), but it will depend on how many 3-4 yo will be there. For younger group you will get a pager in case of emergency while your kid is in the center, for older group kids have self sign-in/out option.

    The kids club is open 9 to noon, 1 to 5 pm and 7 to 10 pm on sea days (timing is approx, I might be off for the mid day segment). On port days it is open while the ship is in port BUT you have to preregister the night before if you are planning to attend. Given that this is spring break cruise, this rule will be strictly enforced (lots of kids on board). After ship leaves port, regular programming resumes.

    If you have any additional questions, ask. We have been cruising with DS on Princess since he was a baby, he is 10 and Elite now :)

  3. I actually prefer "beige and boring" Princess decor to garish Carnival. To each its own :)

    My Ds (9) is elite on Princess (no benefits, but listed as such) and quite loves it. While he wishes that Princess would have a water slide (please dont!), there are enough other things on every cruise to make him happy, occupied and not wanting to leave the ship at the end. On our last (14day B2B) he went to kids club a lot during the first week and only twice during second week because he found friends to hang out at the pool and sports deck with.

    Please be mindful that your kids will be in separate groups in kids club with younger one in 3-7 group and older in 8-12. There are a good amount of "discovery at sea" activities and even guest lecturers (more of an adult orientation though).

    Service is outstanding throughout the ship, in recent year Princess really upgraded their shore excursion program to the point that I now rarely buy independent tours. And what I personally like the best is no "hard sells" and "nickel and diming" - you want to go to bingo, sure but we are not yelling about it every opportunity; you want a massage - I'll tell you products that might be good, but one "no thank you" is enough, etc. Plus, no "activity" announcements in your room, ie constant invites to go to art auctions, sales, etc.

    What is funny is how many "little things" that I have always loved about Princess are now being parroted by other lines: cold cloths and water stations on the way back from hot Caribbean islands, every ship worth their salt now has a version of MUTS, "partnerships" with chefs/networks, etc.

  4. Thank you all for responses!

    I have not priced airfare for my dates yet, what I have seen looks comparable to mock booking I did for other potential dates. I am keeping roundtrip cruise in mind, BUT I really want the "train experience" in Alaska too. Besides, we have been to Vancouver numerous times when my DH used to collaborate with university there. I dont think Seattle route is that good either.

    So based on above and some additional info I am thinking Vancouver to Whittier cruise, do a ship excursion of 26 Glaciers on disembark day which includes transfer to Anchorage. Stay extra full day in Anchorage and do a train day trip with Alaska railroad or car day trip. Fly out next day.

    Wish me luck!

     

  5. My boys (DH and DS) finally convinced me to do Alaska cruise. I HATE cold, so have been resisting for years. 

    I was originally looking for cruisetour (Princess cruises), but the are $$$ and dont really include much except for transportation and lodging?

    How doable is it to disembark in Whittier and do a day trip via train and than go to Anchorage to fly out? I dont want to stay in a lodge, etc. Just a nice scenic day trip to glacier may be?

    Or should I just plan to go from Whittier to Anchorage, stay there and do a day trip from Anchorage? Alaska railroad seems to have a ton day trips!

    Any recommendations? Generally I am not planning to stay more than extra day or two in AK after cruise ends. 

  6. Thank you so much for through and informative review! We are doing B2B over Xmas and NYE, so picking up tips :) 

    Our last cruise was on Regal in April 18 and I loved unlimited internet, kind of bummed they dont have it on Royal, but oh well.

    Question, what is power bank? I normally bring an extension cord and multicharger (5 usb ports) and have never had an issue?

    I am sorry about attendance for CC event, we dont normally sign up since we rarely manager to attend, just to avoid "no shows" embarrassment for organizers. 

  7. 40 minutes ago, neverbeenhere said:

    We were on the Regal in early November and as far as the dining in the anytime MDR, we would agree that the service level was not up to the Princess norm. We found one waiter who provided great service and referred him others we know who cruised later in the month and still others who are currently on the ship. His name is Shean or it could be spelled Shaen. 

    Many of the menu items in the MDR were clearly using lesser quality products with sauces and umami favorings to try to mask the lesser quality. 

    I will add that much of the food in the buffet that was supposed to be hot was not hot. 

     

    I remember bear Shean from our cruise in April, he was wonderful! On the salt front, I have always thought Princess food was underseasoned :) On our last cruise in April, it was correctly salted, so may be to each its own?

    The Port Everglades agents could be delightful or horrible (have had both types), but there is not much Princess can do about them.

     

     

  8. On 12/8/2018 at 7:06 PM, toeloop said:

    As Christmas is an international holiday, there is a "traditional" holiday offering on the menu on Christmas Day.  You will find that the majority of the crew celebrates Christmas.  So, get your Merry Christmas greeting ready.  Every time you interact, or it seems even make eye contact with a crew member, they will wish you a Merry Christmas.  I have learned this having been on 10 Christmas time cruises.  I will be spending this Christmas aboard the Royal.

    We will be there with you!

  9. kitkat,

    I think it is a very fine line on the kids club. We have been cruising almost exclusively Princess with our DS (9 now, started cruising at 6 mo). From my observations, on Princess kids tend to be generally way better behaved than any other cruiseline we have tried with DS (Carnival, NCL). Personally, I think this is because time at kids club is somewhat limited and parents end up actually actively supervising kids for big part of the day vs. dropping them off and getting plastered by the pool (you all know which line I am thinking of). Plus, Princess attracts different type of passenger/family - my DS actually enjoys all Discovery channel activities/excursion Princess offers and could care less about waterslide on the ship.

    We have sailed ships full of kids (sping break/easter) and almost no kids (total of 32 on the whole Ruby one year) and to me there was not much difference from behavioral standpoint. Unless you are actively looking to be annoyed at youngsters, they were all very well behaved. Plus the tone parents/grandparents set for the vacation and how they behave themselves towards fellow passengers translates to how polite and behaved kids are.

    Princess does offer supervised meals for kids, BTW. They do lunch on port days and "kids only" dinner on fancy nights.

     

  10. We are "younger" (early forties, 9yo) Princess fans. We have cruised many lines (Carnival, RCCL, NCL and Holland) and prefer Princess for what it is - a refined experience. No gimmicks, excellent service, great food, tasteful decor and well behaved younger passengers. Personally, all the changes Princess did lately techwise (medallion, interactive TVs, etc) were needed just to catch up woith other lines.

    I have actually complained in the past that Princess was ignoring our demographic with focusing more on longer cruises that are hard to do for working families. I am glad there are more options for everyone to enjoy. 

  11. How were your shore excursions charged on the onboard account? I think thats were the confusion is. I am not an expert, but to me it seems that the issue is that they took $200 credit portion that was left unpaid for shorex from your $758 refundable credit instead of using your $200 unrefundable credit first.

    Do you have a printout of your personalizer pre-cruise that shows how you prepaid for shorex? Ie, that says you paid $299.75 AND $200 credit was already applied. You will need a supervisor to sort it out though.

  12. JF,

    We did not get off the ship on B2B through Port Everglades (2016). We did have to go to a lounge area with other B2B guests. That area is designated temporary "customs/no man" zone by customs officials working with Princess, because Princess is required to bring the ship to zero passenger count between the cruises. Once everyone is gathered and there are no passengers left outside designated area (in our case took 2 hours because of some inconsiderate jerks), customs officials take a quick look at your passport and let you go about your day around the ship.

    Granted, we didnt get off the ship at all, so I dont know what happens when you want to go explore the city? Also our original cruise cards worked for second cruise, we didnt need to change anything. We didnt change rooms, so dont know how that works.

  13. Enclave all the way for us. I dont really see the point of Sanctuary on Regal and Royal. Adult pool is well separated and has lounge areas that you dont have to shell out $ for as well as dedicated bar. TBH we never even ventured to the adult only area during last cruise, but we did visit Enclave daily.

  14. We have tried pretty much all mass market lines, but lately have been strictly Princess. I do shop around for almost every cruise and after comparing ALL costs (not just listed pp fair, but entire cost of cabin plus flights) Princess is normally cheapest or next up. Granted I have excluded Carnival from my calcs all together (never again!).

    We are about to hit Elite after last set of B2B cant wait!

  15. Interesting thread. 3-4 years ago I remember receiving a survey from Princess post cruise that asked the same question. "What shops would you like to see on Princess and why?"

    I am one of the guilty people, as we do buy things in shops every cruise. Has to be a good deal, so NEVER bought EFFY. Over the years we did get diamond ring (I LOVE it and wear it daily), Tag Hauer watch (less than amazon price for the same one, I looked it up right there) and some art (cant explain that one, but we do love our Karsnyansky piece).

    As for what shops, I would like to see something kid oriented with puzzles, books, toys and rotating selection. They do have some items in the "general" store but they NEVER change and are of poor quality. At this point we own 3 identical Captain Bears :) Childrens clothing would also be nice, dont have to be a lot.

  16. Booked yesterday :)

    Thank you all for replies.

    I heard there is no cross in the Princess theater on Royal, so if you enter on port side, you are stuck there, cant switch to starboard side?

    Thank you for amazing pic resource JF!

    We ended up with E437 and E433, which are smaller than my original choices (Deluxe obstructed) in size, BUT have much better views

  17. So in preparation to our grand adventure next year to Australia (cant wait!!!), we need to knock out 2 trips for the coveted "Elite" status. I was thinking about doing a regular 7 day caribbean in suite, BUT came up with a better idea of B2B holiday cruises. For the price of 6 vacation days I get 2 weeks of cruising with no cooking or party hosting or presents buying!

     

    Here comes the dilemma. There are 2 sets of cruises available on Royal and Regal Princess. Royal Princess Sat-Sat-Sat with Western first and Eastern second and Regal Sun-Sun-Sun with Eastern first and Western second. Eastern itinerary is the same, Western is superior (in my opinion) on Royal. Besides,we just did the Western on Regal in April.

     

    I LOVED Regal, even though I though that I wouldnt being a huge fan of Grand Class ships before. Is inferior itinerary on part of the cruise worth not dealing with "deficiencies" of Royal? I am most worried about theater seating. We didnt use aft pool on Regal, but with less pools overall will main pool area be even more crowded?

     

    Second dilemma. We need 2 cabins next door to each other. I am currently looking at obstructed balconies on Emerald. How bad are they in terms of obstructions? It looks like that the only view blocked is view down?

     

    Please help me decide!

  18. The water taxi would be a good option. It is a short walk' date=' just under the bridge. It is a hop-on-hop-off affair with lots of dining/shopping options along with great sights.[/quote']

     

    Thank you for great suggestion! I think we might do just that - drop off the bags to the porters and go take a water taxi ride. We are Platinum, but our flight is arriving at 9 am to FLL, normally all said and done we would be at port at 11 am (IMHO perfect boarding time). So if we drop off the luggage and come back after 2 pm to complete boarding process, we should be all good.

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