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nattie

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Posts posted by nattie

  1. Thank you so much for your through and thoughtful review! We are considering this cruise for Spring Break (in MD) with my 7yo DS and my 88 yo grandma. We love Princess and are platinum level (even my DS if they had levels for kids :)) and never had issues with passenger ages. Now I am a bit worried though... May be there will be more kids on spring break timing.

     

    Couple questions:

    - we have sailed on Caribbean, Ruby, Emerald, Crown and original Pacific Princesses (the one year round in Tahiti years ago). Which size is Coral?

    - Does Caribe deck on Coral have larger balconies?

    - Is there a difference from port to starboard for Canal viewing?

    - If anybody sailed similar itinerary with kids, please give feedback on the experience

  2. have you done cruise to Canada...our dollar sucks at the moment so your money will go far up here....we did one out of Boston which hit Bar Harbor etc. Was really good. Quebec for a 6 year old is just one step up from Epcot but will give a taste of anther culture.

     

    We might try it. There is a 5 day out of NY in Oct. My DS actually liked Canada A LOT when we went to Niagara :)

  3. Grandeur out of Baltimore is aging and has a limited choice of sailings. Carnival...never done it. Just booked Celebrity out of Jersey to Bermuda for about the same cost as Grandeur for 2 extra nights. I have flown to San Juan for a Southern Caribbean Cruise and it was my favorite cruise.

     

    We did Caribbean Princess out of San Juan about 7 years ago, one of my fav cruises! Celebrity out of Jersey sounds good, would I like it (given that I like Princess)?

    We did Carnival out of Baltimore and it was one of the worst cruises ever (demographics mostly).

  4. So why have you not considered the US west coast ports?

    From Seattle you can go to Alaska on a 7 day cruise.

    From San Francisco there's the California Coastal, a 7 day cruise.

    From Los Angeles there are 3 to 7 day Mexico cruises and California Coastal cruises.

     

    I am considering Seattle... Except I grew up in cold climate and HATE cold, so not too keen on Alaska. As for CA, may be... we have visited before, but never cruised.

  5. Lets start with that Princess is hands down my cruise line of choice. We have tried Royal, Carnival, NCL and they are just not on par (with NCL being the closest). We are almost elite (need 3 more cruises), but have seen out cruising options severely dwindle over past couple of years.

    We are middle aged couple who works for a living and has a kid (6 yo) and we are not willing to fly to Europe or Asia and cant take 10+ days vacations (yet at least). So this leaves us with East Coast ports, i.e. Ft. Lauderdale, as NY options are laughable. I am not going to go into another lament on "oh why Princess hates families/people that work/east coasters", it is just what it is...

    My question is what would you do in our situation? We just came back from a short B2B on Emerald (4 and 5 day, LOVED it) and I am looking to book next year's cruise. No options aside from tried and true eastern/western routes (been there done that, my DS doesnt even want to get off the ship in Princess Cays any more). I am seriously thinking of defecting to NCL for NY to San Juan cruise or trying something out of our home part (Baltimore). Thoughts?

  6. I got hooked on cruising as a child and absolutely loved the Kids' Clubs on Holland America and Princess, neither line being famous for catering to kids. What you get on these lines is very personalized, quality care from youth staff who are usually studying to be teachers.

     

    Agreed. The stuff in Princess kids clubs are wonderful and caring. There are not as many kids, so kiddos get truly personalized attention. MY DS have been sailing Princess since 3 yo (6.5 now and 4 cruises in) and there was not a cruise he didnt love.

  7. Good post, however most of these areas of concern would incur greater costs.

    Are you prepared to pay more for your cruises?

     

    I would pay premium to sail year round from NY/NJ/Baltimore - 10+ day cruise with no hassles of flying - awesome! They can reposition some of Alaska ships, they are equipped for colder weather anyway.

  8. Wish Princess would resume sailing out of San Juan. The 7 day cruises from there afford visiting southern Caribbean ports. Also the getting from the airport to the cruise terminal is so easy and the terminal it self is easy and efficient

    We LOVED that cruise! Add couple days in PR and it was such a relaxing vacation!

    Also, PLEASE add more cruises from NE (not Canada itineraries), any port NY/Baltimore/NJ will do. It could be Caribbean or Bermuda, dont care as long as we are not flying to FL.

  9. A few quick thoughts, may have more after I ponder this for awhile...

    - Expand the Sanctuary concept to include a section of cabins, located near/adjacent to the Sanctuary space. (similar in concept to the Haven or Spa categories on other lines)

    - Others mention a Crowsnest type of venue, simply relocate the Skywalkers forward and allow it to double as both daytime lounge environment and nighttime it becomes a dance venue.

    - Bring the Piazza up several levels, instead of relegated to decks 5/6/7 – move it up so it’s on 9/8/7 or so, leveraging deck 7 for a full promenade (or maybe multiple decks for promenade as on grand class).

    - Offer watersports from the ship, utilize space on lower deck to create a ‘sea platform’ where guests could use jet-skis, sailboats, etc while tendered or in ports.

    - Create a true outdoor BBQ venue on an upper deck, real wood smokers or charcoal grilling.

    - Figure a way to create a ‘moving walkway’ on one deck – maybe in segments. Simply a way to help those that are mobility challenged a method to traverse the length of the ship. Even I struggle with the thought of walking the entire length of the ship repeatedly at times.

    - USB charge ports in cabins at desk/counter space.

    - Audio/Visual interface on cabin TV's - USB, HDMI and analog ports for passengers to connect whatever.

    - AUX input in cabins to allow passengers to connect media players to play over the in-cabin speakers.

    - Mount the cabin phone on the wall - free up the desk/counterspace.

    - Wall sconces at bedside, free up the bedside tables.

    - Incorporate the wristband concept as RCI has. For everything from cabin access, charges/purchases and scanning on/off the ship when in port.

     

    Love these ideas! Some i wouldnt take advantage of, but some (USB, etc. ports and sconces) are great! I would love a wristband technology ala Disney (didnt know they have them on RCI) instead of cruisecard.

  10. I love this thread! I have posted on the other "little things" thread with some of my faves, but here we go:

    - cabin ready upon embarkation

    - cold towels when getting back on ship after hot Caribbean day

    - special attention my DS gets every time we sail from everyone on the crew (he is 6 now, so this might be diminishing soon)

    - no promo announcements in cabin (nothing like waking you up in am with some bingo promo)

    - confirmation cards for all reservations

    - tasteful decor

    - variety of entertainment. My DS loves listening to the live bands/singers.

    - mini suites. My fav cabins, enough space for 3 of us plus tub.

    - staff at kids club.

    - anytime dining. For all the whiners out there - just try Carnival/NCL and you'll understand.

    - generally relaxed feeling, not go-go-go or drink-drink-drink as other lines.

     

    Cant think of more now... I do have a gripe I posted about before and I dont think it will change anytime soon - IMHO Princess needs more ships on East Coast, not just FL and more variety in Caribbean.

     

    Next for us is first B2B in Feb and we are super excited!

  11. I would challenge this group to ask if all the "little" items are things anyone under 50 would want. This is the generation Princess has to attract to survive. I suspect this demographic never even considers picking a cruise for bridge, captain circle nibbles, on board florist etc. In fact they don't want traditional dinning, would rather go to a specialty restaurant or gastropub than sitting with the same people at the same time every day, etc. It's a different world out there for the good or bad, but this is the future and woe to those businesses who ignore it. Especially if this is the group that pays for the ancillary revenue generating activities, bars, casinos, specialty restaurants, excursions etc.

     

    This is an interesting observation. Princess is our preferred line (still Platinum on the way to Elite) and we have tried all the mass market ones except for Holland. I prefer Princess for small things that are offered/done that are not included elsewhere - for me they are cold washcloth on the way back from hot excursion, real ice cream, popcorn, tasteful entertainment, qualified kids club personnel, etc. I could care less about all the items listed by previous posters (I do agree it is a demographics thing, I am late thirties, DH forty something). However, we have been thinking about switching lines too, but for different reason - lack of cruises catering to still working crowd. We cant take off 2+ weeks at a time! I miss the days when they had a ship in San Juan and NY almost full time. The Southern itinerary was awesome... To me it feels like Princess caters to retiree crowd and according to posts here they are not doing so well...

  12. Absolutely go for mini suite with 10 yo. I have sailed in both Caribe balcony and mini on CB/EP/RP (same design) and as much as I LOVE large Caribe balconies, it makes much more sense to have mini with 3rd passenger in cabin. The major difference is that standard balcony cabin wouldnt have a couch, so the 3rd person will have to use pullman bed on top of you. Mini has a couch that folds out into a bed and a separate TV. Plus you get larger bathroom with actual tub, not small shower and more interior/storage space. We only sail in minis now since my DS is getting bigger and requires more space :)

    I think the overall footprint of the cabin+balcony is the same for mini and Caribe deck balcony, except extra space on balcony on Caribe is inside cabin space in mini.

    As for activities, my DS loves Princess club. They have a lot of things going on for kiddos daily in different age groups. I think your will be in middle group (mine is still in Pelicans) and they have larger room with foosball table/video games and great view of the wake from what I remember.

    Enjoy your cruise!

  13. I don't usually post but this is too tempting. Princess, please bring back the 9 day Caribbean to NYC or East Coast in general. More options, other than Canada, here would be great during the Spring, Summer and Fall months. Some of us can only sail during those times (as others have said) and we don't want to jump over to another cruise line...

    +3 on NYC/Baltimore departures (3 cruisers in our family)

  14. We will be on the same cruise with our 5yo boy. We have cruised with him every year since he was born. I dress him up for formal nights - suit, tie, vest, etc. But for regular nights he is in play clothes (shorts/t-shirt) at dinner. Never had problems being turned away from MDR.

     

    As he gets older we are planning to go a bit more formal (long pants and polos) but not yet.

     

    Enjoy your cruise!

  15. It really depends on the lenght of your itinerary if you are stricktly looking into Carribean. Also, you are not mentioning your age group or preferred demographic so it is hard to comp. In any case, we have sailed all the lines you mentioned and my thoughts are below:

    RCI - just not my cup of tea. Nothing really bad, but I found it always overpriced for the product offered. However, if you are a more adventurous type and might enjoy ice skating/surfboarding/bowling etc. at sea (all extra $) they are absolutely worth a try. I like to enjoy my book and dont be bothered much on vacation, so I sail Princess :)

    Carnival - too young and "party" for me. It is a budget line in a lot of aspects, i.e. I enjoy my cold washcloth after day in hot sun, fruit basket in room and ice cream bar... Also fellow passangers on the cruises I have been on were not the most respectful bunch

    Norwegian - budget extra $$$ for onboard spending and it is actually a nice line to try. Keep in mind that almost everything costs extra, BUT there are A LOT of choices. Also, very relaxed line - do what you want when you want. Last cruise we did was out of NYC and we enjoyed it, will definitely consider for future cruises. Their price point on Panama Canal is much better than Princess, so may be next year

    HAL - too many rules and older crowd. At least on the cruise I have been on. Will not consider again, unless something extraordinary pops up.

    Celebrity - havent done in long time. Was not impressed. To me it was similar to HAL.

    Again, all above is IMHO. Background - late thirties (me), DH big 50, DS 5, normally sail with 85 yo GM

  16. We are platinum Princess cruisers and have sailed multiple times on Carnival, Royal and NCL also. I am in late thrities, my DH is 50 and we have a 5yo DS, we also normally sail with my 85 yo GM, so all age groups are represented on our cruises :)

     

    As for overall crowd, I infinitely prefer more subdued Princess vs constant party atmosphere under 30 prevalence brings. As for median age, on our cruises (mostly Caribbean, shoulder season) I would put it in late 40s early fifties.

  17. In the past we always did Playa Mia, but it was never during Thanksgiving holiday. With kiddo starting school we are braving holoday cruising waters :)

    I am getting a bit overran with all the AI info here. Whats you recommendation for the best AI with the following recs:

    • Not too crowded during holiday cruise
    • Decent drinks
    • Kid activities (waterpark preferred)
    • good service

    We are not going to snorkel, so dont really care about that.

    Thank you for any info available!

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