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About wishIwascruising

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Roseville, CA
  • Interests
    Cruising, Gardening, Reading, Traveling
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  1. We just returned from the Regal on the last NE/Canadian Cruise of the season. It was only a 5 day and we all (4) agreed that was too short. We've done a similar cruise several years ago that was a 10 day. This was our first cruise on the Regal. This cruise was Sold Out. We were on Aloha deck, inside cabins. This was our first cruise at the Platinum Level. I had heard so many negative things about the Regal, yes I agree, I really miss a Promenade deck but we got our 10,000+ steps on her everyday. We tried to not use the elevators which was a good thing since that was the only place we ever saw a line. We thought the food was very good but I know that's a personal thing. We had Traditional dining every evening and usually only ate lunch & sometimes breakfast at the Horizon court. We ate in the Crown Grill on Formal Night since we didn't want to bring evening clothes. The dinner in the Crown Grill was excellent. Our waiter was Marko and he was exceptional. The food at the International Cafe is very good as well. I thought the wait staff in the Horizon Food Court was the friendliest and most helpful of anyone on the ship. We all remarked that our room steward was just average. He didn't do anything exceptional. Our bed configuration wasn't as we had requested on the Cruise Personalizer. Our daughter and her husband in the cabin next door mentioned the same thing. They asked for robes and it took several days to get them. I had to remind the room steward that I liked the ice bucket filled everyday. We aren't demanding people and have just always had better room stewards, even amazing on previous cruises. Our wait staff in the Allegro DR was also lackluster. We aren't wine or coffee drinkers yet every night we were asked if we wanted wine. Service was often slow and one evening I didn't receive an appetizer I ordered. I just went with the flow and when my entree came instead I just ate that. The waiter would list the special items of the day and if we didn't order what he suggested he always seemed annoyed. We didn't take advantage of any shows. This was a family cruise with our daughter & her husband and we were just happy to be together since we live on opposite coasts. We spent every evening playing games either in the library (smallest library on any ship I've ever seen and no game room) or in the Horizon court after the diners had left. The wait staff always brought us drinks and were so friendly. One perk of playing games in the library is enjoying the beautiful piano music coming from the bar at the Crown Grill. We did have massages and I was pleased that we weren't bombarded with purchasing their potions. They did offer them but I said "no, I don't think so" and that was that. The hot stone massage was great. We only had 2 ports, not including NYC. We had a wonderful tour in St John, NB with Go Fundy Tours. Our guide was Diane who works with Alexei. She met us 1 block from the ship at 10:00 AM and didn't return us until about 30 min before we needed to be back on board It was a great tour focusing on nature and the Fundy Trail area. She was so knowledgeable and made it a very enjoyable day. In Halifax we didn't get off the ship early since that's the day we had our morning massages. We just walked around the town. The Old Burying Ground Cemetery was so interesting. The first burial was in 1749. We also enjoyed the Public Gardens. We didn't go to the Citadel as we had done that on a previous cruise. We were pleased that even though it was late in the season, there was still some fall color in Halifax. Oh, I did enjoy the FREE Internet for Platinum guests. We also got Soda Plus cards. We are Cherry Coke drinkers and everyone else in our party enjoyed the Mocktails. My daughter and I also enjoyed the Afternoon Tea near the Internet Cafe with all the tasty treats although the scones were very hard but the little tea sandwiches & cream puffs were so delicious. All in all, we enjoyed our time on the Regal. It doesn't compare to our favorite ship, the Coral but that's like comparing apples and oranges. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them.
  2. wishIwascruising

    Dinner Reservations for Regal

    We are on the Regal leaving this week. I want to make reservations at the Crown Grill for formal night (packing light and don't want to dress up) and want to wait until we get onboard to use my onboard credit since it's not showing up yet in my cruise personalizer. I know if I call the dining line, no one is going to answer it the first day on board. Does anyone know where the office is where I go to make reservations in person? Should I just go to the Crown Grill? Can you confirm, no ties required for the Crown Grill even on formal night? Thanks.
  3. wishIwascruising

    International Cafe - recommendations

    On our last 2 cruises the Cronuts were not available at the IC. I asked and they seemed like they didn't even know what I was talking about. They weren't anywhere on the cruise, and I sure missed them.
  4. wishIwascruising

    Is there an minimum age for the Ultimate Ship Tour?

    On our last 15 day cruise we had about 16 people on our UST. They had so many sign ups, they actually had 2 UST's during our 15 day voyage. It is definitely worth the money and a highlight of our cruise. Go directly to the Passenger Services Deck as soon as you get onboard and sign up. You cannot sign up prior to boarding.
  5. wishIwascruising

    another newbie question

    We were recently on the Coral and found that laundry rooms on different decks had either more/less/same number of machines. I think Deck 10 if I remember correctly had about 8 but the deck above had only 4 or 5. I found that early morning around 7:00 AM was a great time to do laundry or around 10:00 PM at night. If you used the laundry on deck 10, you could load your machine and walk just a short distance to the back of the ship and sit on the loungers on the deck and watch the world go by, read or even snooze. I purchased a mesh folding laundry hamper that popped up ($7 Amazon). I kept it in the closet for loading and carried it by the handles to the laundry room. It folded flat when not in use and fit easily in luggage. It had pockets on the sides to carry laundry soaps or the all-in-one laundry sheets (soap/fabric softener/static control) which worked just fine. The Coral used tokens which you got by swiping your card.
  6. wishIwascruising

    Alska - multi-generation & 2 years old

    We have done a multi-generational cruise twice to Alaska. They were both great. The first time our family was 14 strong (children ages 2-11), the 2nd time we were 19 strong (children ages 3-17). One of the things we really enjoyed in Skagway was renting minivans and driving up to Emerald Lake. I don't think the train goes that far. We could stop when we wanted (lots of bear sightings and other wildlife along the way) take lots of pictures, stretch our legs, stop for ice cream cones etc. I honestly don't remember where we ate lunch. Its fun to stop and take a picture standing in front of the "You are entering the Yukon". Our family enjoyed this road trip so much. You can buy Murray Lundberg's guide for Highway 98. It cost $5 and you can download it. It was well worth the $ in our opinion. It's about a 70 mile trip each way I think. We did a little hiking, a little eating and a lot of laughing & picture taking of the majestic views & countryside. The car rental was a lot cheaper than many of the other excursions in Skagway. I know your trip will be memorable no matter what you decide to do.
  7. wishIwascruising

    Star versus Coral why is one better for Alaska

    One of the things we like most about the Star is Skywalkers Lounge. It's a great place to go during the day to read, play games, enjoy the majestic views, etc. We've been on both the Star & the Golden in Alaska and thoroughly enjoyed our time on both ships. The Kids Clubs are bigger on both those ships so perhaps more children & young families (that's why we chose those ships). The International Cafe is bigger on the Star! We recently sailed on the Coral in the Panama Canal (full transit) and fell in love with that ship too! You can't go wrong with either ship. A balcony cabin makes the trip to Alaska that much more enjoyable. It is absolutely breathtaking.
  8. wishIwascruising

    Dinner for 12 people

    We have done 2 cruises with our children/grandchildren. Our last family cruise (2014) included 9 children ages 3 - 16. We sat at 3 tables (Traditional Dining) grouped together in a corner. It was perfect for us. We learned quickly that we needed to have some type of food immediately on the table for the younger kiddies. The waiters were wonderful and always had some bread, fruit, fries etc. on the tables while we perused the menus. I made a trip to the Dollar Store before our cruise and got lots of little games they could play while they waited for our meals and desserts. They loved it because I had a different game for them every night. (You know the one where you have the little tiny metal ball that has to go in the hole)? No electronics allowed at the table, my rule. It was great and we didn't have a single meltdown during dinner. Another fun thing that we did that the kids still talk about is, every grandchild was presented with a crisp $10 bill. They were to purchase the BEST souvenir they could find and at the end of the cruise we would have a contest where they would present their purchase and why they liked it etc. Did you know there is a Salvation Army or is it a Goodwill in Ketchikan? One of our grandkids got a great wooden fire truck there. (It was meaningful because his Dad is a firefighter/medic). Another granddaughter bought a beautiful apothecary jar at an antique store in Juneau. You will have a wonderful time and create the BEST memories. Our grandchildren still talk about our cruises and ask "when is the next one?"
  9. wishIwascruising

    Ultimate Ship Tour Gifts

    We just did the UST on the Coral (Panama Canal full transit). It was on our last sea day I think. It was well worth the $ IMO. We (4 adults) signed up immediately upon boarding. We were at the bottom of the list and I thought our chances would not be good, but alas, we all got letters inviting us to participate. There were about 14-15 of us on the tour. It was fascinating, educational, enlightening etc. The tour was about 3 hours long. Adults only, must be able to do a lot of walking, standing & climbing (stairs). Our lovely parting gifts were as described earlier but we did NOT get a Chef's jacket. Would have loved that. I wear my Princess apron ALL the time, gave the robes to our daughter who has a pool and can use them and use the personalized pad next to my computer. Would I do it again, sure on a different class or newer ship. The bridge was fascinating but hands down, the area that got the most oohs & aaahs, the Laundry Room.
  10. wishIwascruising

    Odyssey Tours??

    We (4 adults) had a wonderful tour with Rob Chaves of Odyssey Tours & the driver. They went out of their way to accomodate us starting by driving to a local mercado to pick up some items we had forgotten for our cruise. Rob went inside with us to translate and make sure we found what we needed. Our tour began on time, we were met at the end of the pier. We were in a very comfortable a/c van. They provided cool drinks and binoculars to help us enjoy the day. We hit all the points on the 10 in 1 tour. Some highlights were: monkeys & birds in their natural habitat, crocodile river cruise, beach, lovely lunch, rainforest, resort, flowers, fruits & local artisans. A bonus was a visit to local craftsmen where I purchased a one of a kind Nativity carved out of Cedar (also available in Rosewood but more $). We appreciated that these were wonderful handmade crafts, not cheap ones often sold on the street. We also stopped for refreshing smoothies, made with fresh picked fruit. We really enjoyed our tour and the beauty and history of Costa Rica & their Pura Vida lifestyle. I would highly recommend Odyssey Tours.
  11. wishIwascruising

    What is the International Cafe

    [quote name='Wehwalt']The baked goods time seems to vary from ship to ship. On the Star last month, it was about 4:45 or so. The cronuts there were soggy and disappointing, though ...[/QUOTE] The Cronuts on the Coral (Nov. 2015) were very disappointing as well. They were so good on the Golden last summer, people waited in line. Our recent experience was the cronuts were dry and hard. We tried them at 4:00 AM & 6:00 AM.
  12. wishIwascruising

    Photos/Ships Photographers

    The question was asked to the Photography staff about that very thing and I think the response was that each picture would have an identifying number on it (perhaps your stateroom number). You would ONLY be viewing your photos from the TV in your stateroom. It would also include photos on & off the ship at Ports of Call etc.
  13. wishIwascruising

    Photos/Ships Photographers

    One thing I recently learned on the Ultimate Ship Tour (Nov. 2015) on the Coral was that in the near future (how soon?) the photos that the cruise photographers take (formal & informal) will be available to view in our rooms on our TV Screens. The passengers could then select the ones they want printed. That should reduce some costs, don't know if that will be passed on to the passengers but we could hope.
  14. wishIwascruising

    Coral Review Panama Canal - Nov. 7-22 2015

    The shows in the Princess Theater were usually at 7:45pm & 9:30 pm. The shows in the Universe Lounge were usually at 9:00 pm & 10:30 pm. The flea market in Aruba was fun. I think a multitude of women on the ship all bought the same dress there, different colors (including me). I used mine for a swimsuit coverup but others wore it around the ship. The vendors were very friendly and were just setting up when we got there. There is a high-end mall nearby as well but that didn't interest me, I can find that at home. I was looking for Dutch Chocolate and found it at the nearby market.
  15. We boarded in Ft. Lauderdale. Boarding took about 30-40 minutes and we were on the ship. We immediately went to the Passenger’s Service Desk to sign up for the Ultimate Ship’s Tour. More about the UST later. We checked out our room on the Caribe Deck Midship - Balcony, good location. Temperature - comfortable. View - perfect! We didn’t want to fight the crowds at the Buffet and had already missed the Dining Room lunch. We had a hotdog, fries and a coke for our first onboard meal from the Outdoor Grill. Gotta say I love their hotdogs & hamburgers. The first Patter lists all the entertainment for the week, formal nights, MUTS, etc. We downloaded the Princess@Sea App which is GREAT! We could message friends onboard, check daily activities & our daily charges. We had traditional dining (table of 4) in the Bordeaux @ 5:30. That worked for us. We thought the food was really good on this cruise with the exception of the fish/salmon dishes for some reason. They always seemed dry and flavorless. The beef on the other hand was delicious (which was a surprise to us because it was not good on our last Princess cruise). The desserts were very good, especially the special 50th Anniversary Norman Love chocolate desserts. We didn’t go to any specialty restaurants but did go to Crab Shack. We ate at the Bayou Café for the British Style Pub Lunches. It’s good! We had breakfast and many lunches at Horizon Food Court. We were disappointed in the Cronuts! They were not fresh no matter when we got them. I asked when they were put out in the AM. I was told 4:00 AM & 6:00 AM. They just didn’t live up to past Cronuts from previous cruises. The entertainment was hit & miss. The only production shows we really enjoyed were “Motor City & “On the Bayou“ We really enjoyed music in the Atrium, specifically the Fiore Duo. These 2 lovely young women entertained all the passengers were their beautiful music throughout the cruise. We also really enjoyed Guitar Melodies in the Atrium. You can hear it the music from the Atrium in the Game Room. Especially enjoyed shows of Travis Turpin and Karen Grainger. We saw them both twice! Also enjoyed Chris Contillo, pianist. He was very good. Less talking, more playing. We attended most of the onboard lectures about our destination ports of call. We didn‘t lay out by the pool so don‘t know about chair hogs etc., didn’t spend any time in the Casino. We spent time in the Game Room, playing cards many afternoons & evenings. Towards the end of the cruise it really smelled like cigar or cigarette smoke perhaps from the Churchill Lounge? The Card Room was a busy place. When there were no tables we often ended up in Wheelhouse during the afternoon and got to listen to the Princess Pop Choir rehearsal. (They were really good!) [U]Aruba[/U] - just walked around (hardly time to do much more, such a short stop). Enjoyed the beach and the flea market. [U]Cartagena[/U] - had a wonderful tour with [email]Dora@Cartegenatour.com[/email], Mercedes was our guide, exceptional! Roomy, a/c bus. Lots of street vendors that don’t understand “personal space”. I actually would have loved to shop but if you gave any interest, 10 others came up and tried to ply you with their items. Cartegena is a beautiful city rich with history. Panama Canal - Amazing! Make sure you take advantage of destination lectures and Panama Canal video presentations. Go forward on deck 10 & 11 for a better view, less crowded. [U]Puntarenas, Costa Rica[/U] - Booked a wonderful tour with Odyssey Tours “10 in 1” tour. Rob was our tour guide, private tour of 4. Pura Vida. It was perfect, saw monkeys, crocs, beaches, shopping, dining, rainforest, resorts, flowers, fruits, local artisans etc. [U]San[/U] [U]Juan del Sur, Nicaragua[/U] - Nicaragua was the biggest surprise. It was so beautiful. We booked the Amayo Hacienda Experience through Princess. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday! It was a highlight of our trip. [U]Cabo San Lucas[/U] - Glass Bottom Boat tour, just booked after we got off the Tender. The weather was PERFECTION. We only had about 5 minutes of light rain in Costa Rica and another 5 minutes of light rain during the Panama Canal. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Ultimate Ship Tour - it is worth the $150 charge. We had a behind the scenes tour of the ship. It was held on our last sea day. There were about 14 passengers included in the tour. The letter informing us we would be on the tour said “NO photographs“, so we didn’t take a camera. First stop, the Bridge. We met with the Captain and the Officers on the Bridge. It was fascinating. The Captain said “you may take photos, but no video.” So, we all got out our cellphones and snapped away. Another highlight was the laundry room. It’s amazing! Also saw backstage at the Princess Theater, Print Shop, Engineering Room, Medical Center, Kitchens & prep areas, Food Storage, Rubbish area, Crew areas, and much more. The parting gifts were: Waffle weave bathrobes, picture frames, Princess notepads, photos, and I can’t remember what else. They were brought to our rooms. We bought the Soda Cards and the Princess Soda Cups were in our room when we boarded. We didn’t use the cups but our kids like them. The ship was showing some wear but a wonderful home for 15 days nonetheless. We found the crew & staff to be very cheerful, pleasant & accommodating. The passengers seemed very cordial. It was an older demographic but it appeared as if most were having an enjoyable time. The Coral may be our new favorite ship.