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reedprincess

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About reedprincess

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    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    St. Lucia, West Indies
  • Interests
    Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    anywhere on the ocean!

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  1. A Carnival Glory and Caribbean Princess ported in St Lucia yesterday and returned 219 nationals between them. Our returning nationals went straight into 14 quarantine. Both ships are making stops in various islands to return the nationals they have aboard, some of whom have been transferred from other ships over the last weeks. 8 others had been returned vis an NCL ship back on April 22 or so. They've since finished their quarantine and been released home. There's still about 2-300 or so aboard other ships right now, patiently (and it so patiently) waiting to get home, eventually. It's an unbelievable logistical nightmare trying to return crew to the numerous countries given the border closures, flight restrictions, etc. Most of my friends and family who've been aboard (or still are aboard) completely understand the situation - but they're sick to death of being in limbo and want to come home - understandably. And they all praise the various lines for doing what they've done so far for the crew - and would go back to work when things start up again...
  2. I'm going to presume you haven't actually read the info Princess has out out? It addresses many of your comments including buffet, santizing, menus, furniture, cleaning, screening and so on.. maybe give it a read? https://www.princess.com/news/notices_and_advisories/notices/coronavirus-update.html. The link to the PDF is there, 6-7 pages long with details, etc
  3. Nope, no one knows that except purchasing and provisioning for Princess. They haven't yet. Whether they will in the future, anyone's guess. No one here would know though..
  4. Which viator your was "perfect" - so we can help suggest other tour options. And the viator tours usually also do cruise ship pick-ups, as the port is in the north. If it's the Heritage Rum and chocolate one, yeah - won't run on a Saturday as the estate home is closed one weekends; the family needs some privacy! You can contact a couple different tour companies and see if they can out together a full day trip to the actual cocoa plantations down south! (Find Doux or Hotel Chocolat, etc). Plus see the iconic Pitons! Check Serenity TVL, Real St Lucia Experience, GemXcursions, etc to customize a day. I'd suggest heading straight to Soufriere, hit either Fond Doux or Hotel Chocolat for the chocolate making experience, lunch in the area, then back to the rum distillery and back to ship.. it'll be a full day, but you'll see a lot and enjoy lots of experiences.
  5. We've done both, and would be perfectly happy in either on Seaside As you've enjoyed the Aurea perks so much, you could stick with Aurea, and upgrade your drink package to Premium Plus, which would give you any drink aboard by the glass, and free room service food and drinks along with the mini bar, which is restocked free of charge - thus making it even closer to YC To be honest, even in YC on Seaside, we ate a fair few of our dinners in the Aurea section of the main dining room (better selection in our book, and surprisingly better service overall), and did our Diamond dinners for specialty dining, so we rarely ate dinner in the YC dining room (the last two cruises had surprisingly disjointed service, and the menus weren't all that appealing. Wine Service was excellent though).. We did thoroughly enjoy having some quiet space to escape to - the much less boisterous pool deck (although be prepared for chair hogs there also), the outdoor grill, the Top Sail (and the little snacks were great!).. But for $1000 price difference, we'd skip YC in a heartbeat and simply upgrade the Aurea Easy package to Premium (which would be equivalent to YC drink package) and enjoy all Aurea has to offer - the Top 19 sundeck and bar and thermal suite provide more than enough extra quiet space for us. So, while we've done YC nd Aurea, we have no problem doing Aurea again. Nor would we have any issues with going Bella balcony room, and adding on drink package, spa, etc - depends on pricing (and a Bella balcony cabin is same as an Aurea cabin, it's just the perks that are different)... Enjoy, whichever you choose. Seaside is a fab ship!!
  6. Absolutely not worth it, IMO We did not do the Connoisseur tour, and paid way way less for our food and drinks, and ate and drank all we wanted. We ate locally in McKinley and Denali - took the shuttle into Talkeetna and ate there, and Denali lodge has loads if restaurants and shoos right across the street. We only ate a few meals at the lodges, and they were standard hotel good, nothing remarkable really. But the local eats were fantastic. We didn't spend anywhere near the estimates above, BTW. Prices were similar to mid-range chain restaurants in any big city. We did dinner for 4 with drinks, apps and two desserts, and it came to around $200, including generous gratuity. Some dinners were less, none came out to more. Breakfasts we ate at the lodges, as we were on the go early, mainly hot chocolate and a breakfast sandwich or bagel and cream cheese, $10 or so for the two of us . If you are a full sit down breakfast, you'd be looking at higher cost, but we preferred something lighter that we could take on the bus. The only place we had to eat at the lodge for all emails was Copper River, as the "limo" to the local restaurant was out of commission. And we were glad we hadn't been eating at the lodges all along as we then had the variety to enjoy, rather than same old same old after 5 days. It was good, but standard food (same stuff at all the lodges).. the lodge meals were among our most expensive. You can see the menus right at the lodge website. You can then decide for yourselves.. Obviously, if you're going to eat three full meals a day, three courses at lunch and dinner each time, and don't mind being tied to the lodges for all your meals rather than exploring local - then the Connoisseur tour with meals would likely make sense. It most definitely didn't for us, at all, and we were super glad we didn't - we enjoyed some amazing local foods and drinks, at a lot less. Enjoy, whichever you choose.
  7. The water will be nice and warm, and the weather will be nice and hot We are quite far south, and our coolest water temps are generally high 70s/low 80s all year round. You'll have no problems comfortably getting in the water and enjoying it! And if you can take them down to Soufriere and snorkel all around the base of the Pitons, perfect! Enjoy .
  8. Yacht club Deluxe or Royal suite!! Obviously. Lol... If sticking to the rest of the Experiences, depends what you mean by "better". We prefer rooms with cabins all around it - not under pool deck or restaurants, etc. We were in an Aurea balcony on deck 9, that had the extra large extended balcony, it was great. Two full size loungers plus table and chairs, plenty of room. And one flight of stairs down to Aurea spa, atrium, buffet, etc. Super handy. However, it is partially open to all balconies above, so if privacy is a worry, then not for you.. we were more forward, over the spa, very quiet, etc.. Others like aft views. Still others prefer midship. Etc.. some like to be higher up (often feels a little more movement than lower decks), while others will only book lower decks. Where your cabin is located will partly depend on what Experience you book. Generally, Bella will be in what many consider"worse" locations - over/under noisier venues, all the way forward, maybe a partial obstruction, etc. Fantastica will be in somewhat better locations, and Aurea will be in what many consider "best" locations. Those are wildly subjective, as what is one person's best, is another's no thanks . The interior of the regular balcony cabins are pretty much identical, whatever Experience you book.. Hope you get one you enjoy.
  9. Leela - all beaches in St Lucia at public. Anyone can visit and enjoy any beach around the island. Some have hotels built around them, but the beach is still public. Some hotels, you can patronize the restaurant or bar, rent chairs from hotel, etc. Others are AI and you'd need a day pass to use hotel facilities (this includes restrooms). And some have beach bars or restaurants that are not hotel affiliated, which you can enjoy at will. While still many other beaches have no facilities of any kind on them, just natural beauty! Naked Fisherman by Cap Maison and the beach area is lovely. 35-45 minutes north of port, $35usd one way cab ride, and approximate 100 stairs down to the beach from the road. Be prepared. There's closer beaches, with no stairs, if you're just wanting a beach day. Vigie Beach is 10 minutes away, $10 cab ride or 20-30 minutes walk. Long long stretch of beach, chairs for rent (5 a chair), boardwalk with local restaurants and bars, clean bathrooms, etc Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay is very popular. Tons of restaurants and bars in the area, 2 chairs and umbrella for $20, splash water park, watersports, etc all available.. Pigeon Island beach (outside the national park), has local restaurants and bars, chairs and umbrellas, etc. Inside the national park, there's ruins, hiking, snuba, two restaurants and bars. Enjoy.
  10. You don't book entertainment prior to cruise on MSC. You book it aboard, for the newer ships where you need to (Meraviglia and newer mainly). You can do it via app, screens around ship, TV in stateroom, etc. You may be able to book Cirque show in advance, I'm not 100% on that, but I don't think so. Someone will come along and correct me if I'm wrong. Enjoy.
  11. Full price plus 15% gratuity. One workaround that many with Easy Package use it to order a virgin frozen drink, and a shot of whatever alcohol (rum, vodka, gin, etc - no tequila, not covered on Easy) and mix it yourself. The bartenders are very familiar with this workaround, and there's no restrictions such as one drink at a time, etc like other lines. Many times, they'll simply mix it themselves for you. If you want to upgrade, it's the difference in price between Easy and whichever package you're upgrading to. If you do it in advance, there's no service charge applied to the upgrade cost; if you do it aboard, you pay the 15% service charge on upgrade difference. Enjoy
  12. Glad you enjoyed, PI is pretty great. Happy sails for the rest of your cruise.
  13. Preziosa, the current ship sailing out of Fort-de-France, doing the non-USA itineraries, have been cancelled for the next three sailings. . I'm assuming/guessing mainly because most islands have bans on visitors from Italy, China, South Korea, etc, and being updated frequently - thus covering a major portion of cruisers.
  14. Most snorkeling is in the southwest of the island, a good 60-90 minutes from the cruise port. Starting at about Anse Cochon, where To Kaye is located and working your way down the coast through Soufriere and Choisel into Laborie. Taxis run $90usd one way to Soufriere (home of the iconic Pitons, volcano, mud baths, waterfalls, etc). I'd suggest Soufriere Beach Park, which has facilities, palapas, chairs, great snorkeling along the cliff side, bars and restaurants, etc If you want to stay up north, the only reefs are a small system right around Pigeon Island. An hour at most, if snorkelling. PI is great, with ruins, hikes, beach, restaurants and bars, etc. 30-45 minutes north (traffic can be tough), $35usd one way cab ride, $8 entrance fee (national park) All cab quotes are per car up to 4 people.
  15. The Ocean Cay drink package was discontinued many months ago, before the island even opened (or before it was slated to open either). Any drink Package you have aboard works on the island just the same. Or pay as you go ashore. Enjoy
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