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Everything posted by NavyVeteran

  1. No, it's the headwaiter. There is only one maitre'd on the ship, and he's probably not in your dining room.
  2. Tell your waiter that you ordered from the headwaiter yesterday. It may also be useful to mention it when checking in at the front door to get your seat. You should always talk with a headwaiter - not a waiter - if you have food restrictions. This works even if you are eating in a different dining room, although you may have to explain the restrictions to a different headwaiter when ordering for the next day.
  3. If you have a special diet, then you don't order from the waiter anyway. You order from the headwaiter the day before. If you go to the same dining room, you can order from the same headwaiter. There is no reason you need to explain your special diet to the waiter. Just tell him you ordered yesterday from the headwaiter.
  4. The same thing happens if you book direct with Princess. My Cruise Personalizer under "Onboard Services", "Reservations & Purchases" shows "Premier Beverage Package including Service Charges" and "Wi-Fi Package" as "Compliments of PRINCESS CRUISES" and "Complimentary Gift" even though I paid extra for Princess Plus. These weren't complimentary gifts from anyone. Based on previous comments, it sounds like they have the same information with the name of the travel agency instead of "PRINCESS CRUISES" if you book through a travel agent. At least "Crew Incentive Pre-Payment" under "Payments" shows "Crew incentives paid for as part of the promotion". So when I paid for Princess Plus, I was paying only for gratuities. I wasn't paying for the beverage package or Wi-Fi - Princess was just giving them to me at no charge. This language of "Complimentary Gift" made more sense back when we were getting the beverage package as part of a Sip & Sail promotion. It doesn't make any sense when we are paying for Princess Plus.
  5. Food servers (including room service servers) are included in the pool receiving tips from the crew incentives automatically charged to your onboard account or included in Princess Plus. Bartenders are included in the pool receiving tips from the 18% service charge automatically added to the price of any purchased drinks or included in the Premier Beverage Package or in Princess Plus. If you want to tip extra for outstanding service, that is your decision. If so, the best way to provide an extra tip would be cash - but who carries cash in the pool area? Whether or not you want to tip extra is your own personal decision, but it is not expected or required, since the normal tip is included in the crew incentives or drink service charge you are already paying.
  6. The advice given to purchase as soon as you can because you can always refare if prices go down is correct (as long as you purchase with a refundable deposit), since OP is from the United States (Southport NC). It is especially important if you want cabins close together. Unfortunately, this advice is not applicable to cruises from other countries where you don't have this option.
  7. I just checked an upcoming cruise from LA and, as you said, the Transfers selection only says "TRANSFER AIRPORT TO SHIP" or "TRANSFER SHIP TO AIRPORT" without specifying the airport. However, the description of the "TRANSFER AIRPORT TO SHIP" on my Travel Summary (after I purchased the transfers) has the following information: "Transfers are valid only from LAX Airport". The description of "TRANSFER SHIP TO AIRPORT" did not specify an airport, but it did say "The transfer to the airport is approximately 50 minutes, subject to traffic." Based on this information, it does appear that transfers are available only from and to LAX. However, Princess really needs to clarify their descriptions and explicitly list this information. For comparison, a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale lists two options for transfers: "TRANSFER MIAMI AIRPORT TO SHIP" and "TRANSFER AIRPORT TO SHIP". The "TRANSFER AIRPORT TO SHIP" transfer clearly is for FLL, even though it doesn't explicitly say so. A British Isles cruise lists the transfer option "TRANSFER LHR/LGW AIRPORT TO SHIP", so your purchase the same transfer for either airport and it explicitly mentions the two airports. As usual, Princess is consistently inconsistent.
  8. If you are purchasing a post-cruise transfer while on the ship, it is handled the same as a debark tour or other shore excursion. However, post-cruise transfers (without tours) are not listed on the Excursions list on the Cruise Personalizer pre-cruise, and they cannot be purchased pre-cruise as a shore excursion using OBC. If you booked direct with Princess, then pre-cruise and post-cruise transfers (but no debark tours ending at the airport) can be purchased under Transfers on the Travel page of the Cruise Personalizer under Flights - and you cannot use OBC. If you booked through a travel agent, you cannot purchase transfers on the Cruise Personalizer - you must purchase them through your travel agent. However, you purchase debark tours yourself under Excursions on the Cruise Personalizer even if you booked through a travel agent.
  9. I had exactly the same experience. Personal planner at Princess made new booking on "equivalent" cruise with "equivalent" cabin. It showed deposit needed and no deposit paid. Later it was updated to transfer FCD and money paid to new cruise, but it showed balance owed since new one was much more expensive. A few weeks later it was updated to show paid in full - actually overpaid because I had paid for EZAir. Everything worked out perfectly. In my case, price protection worked great. I was booked in a Window Suite on the Grand. Replacement "equivalent" cruise was the exact same itinerary on the Crown a year later. Since the Crown does not have any Window Suites, my "equivalent" category was a Vista Suite - much more expensive than the Window Suite on the Grand. In this case, the price protection from Princess made a huge difference. Sometimes the Princess system works really well, and sometimes it doesn't - it depends on who you talk with. Apparently the Princess Vacation Planners are able to book the new cruise immediately and wait for everything to be transferred. When I had previously talked to a normal Princess reservation agent, she said she could do nothing until the booking was transferred. Another poster who had booked with a travel agent said that the agent couldn't do anything until the booking was transferred.
  10. You cannot use OBC to purchase transfers in advance, so you cannot use OBC to purchase pre-cruise transfers. You can use OBC to purchase post-cruise transfers onboard. You did not purchase a transfer pre-cruise - you purchased an excursion. Excursion SOU-960 - Stonehenge (Disembarking / Heathrow) is considered a shore excursion - not a transfer. Therefore you purchase it the same way you do other shore excursions, so you can use OBC in advance. A simple transfer between the ship and the airport is not considered a shore excursion and cannot be purchased in advance using OBC.
  11. Only problem is that you have to modify both directions. If one direction is less expensive but the other direction is more expensive or not available, you can't change just the one direction. I had this happen several times. The price went down or I could get a better connection in one direction, but my flights in the other direction were not available. This is one advantage of booking a back-to-back (B2B). You book one direction on each cruise, Then you can change one without changing the other.
  12. You can also get soft drinks as replacements for the alcohol. . . . Laundry usually has a one-day turnaround in a suite. The free laundry for Elites takes longer - sometimes several days if there any many Elites on the cruise. If they pick up the laundry early enough in the morning, you should get it back the same day. However, if you leave it on the bed for the steward to pick up, he may not get it there early enough for the same-day service. I usually leave my laundry on the bed for the steward to pick up when doing evening turn-down service where I'm at dinner. Then I almost always get it back the next day. I do this because we normally bathe and change clothes before dinner, so all of the laundry is ready then.
  13. The suite breakfast is one of the best things about sailing in a suite. They prepare everything to order in a small kitchen in the specialty restaurant instead of in the large kitchen for the dining room. You can order almost anything, including things not on the menu. If it's on the ship, they will probably fix it for you - not necessarily that morning but the next one after obtaining the supplies. You also can eat in Club Class dining in the main dining room. It often has an additional selection that isn't available to the rest of the dining room, but the main difference is the service. You don't have to worry about the Dine My Way app or waiting for a table - you go to the Club Class dining room and they will seat you. Even if you don't have the same waiter each meal, you will have the same head waiter and the same small group of waiters, so all of them will get to know you. You can eat in Club Class for dinner every day and for lunch on sea days (when the main dining room is open). You can also eat there for breakfast, but the suite breakfast is usually much better. The only time I eat breakfast in Club Class is on disembarkation day when the suite breakfast is usually closed.
  14. I was booked on a cancelled 2021 holiday cruise to Hawaii roundtrip Los Angeles in a Window Suite on the Grand Princess. The equivalent cruise was a 2022 holiday cruise to Hawaii roundtrip Los Angeles on the Crown Princess, so it was almost exactly the same cruise a year later. I was able to transfer to a Vista Suite on the Crown Princess at the same price as I had paid for the Window Suite on the Grand - even though the Vista Suite is much more expensive than the Window Suite. The Crown Princess does not have any Window Suites, and the Vista Suite was the lowest cost suite on the ship. Not only did I keep the same price, I also kept the promotions from the old cruise, including a Specialty Dining Promotion that was not available for current bookings. In addition, I received an Onboard Credit Promotion available for current bookings that was not on my old booking, so I have a little more onboard credit than I did on the cancelled cruise. That was the good news for me. However, I booked the last Vista Suite - and that is the only suite that Princess considered to be equivalent. Once all of the Vista Suites were booked, Princess no longer transferred people from Window Suites to suites - another poster mentioned that he was offered only a Club Class Mini-Suite on the Crown to replace his Window Suite on the Grand. In summary, the process seems to work very well for some people and not so well for others. A lot depends on availability of equivalent cruises and availability of equivalent cabins on the equivalent cruise. I suspect this may primarily be a problem for those in suites, since they are less likely to have a large supply of equivalent cabins.
  15. After you have selected your flights, it gives you the new price as well as the price for your current flights. At that time, you have the choice to proceed with the change or to keep your current flights. If you don't tell them to proceed with the change, you keep the current flights with no change. You do not change flights when you click the Change Flights button - only if you confirm the change after seeing both the new and old fares.
  16. A US river cruise will often cost more than a European river cruise. American Queen Steamboat Company, American Cruise Lines, and even Viking Cruise Lines for their US river cruises use US flag ships and US crews working under US labor laws. These are more expensive than the laws in most other places. This is the reason that an Alaska cruise on American Cruise Lines (US flag) is more expensive than one on Victory Cruise Lines (foreign flag subsidiary of American Queen Steamboat Company).
  17. Here or some pros and cons for Princess Vacation Protection (in my opinion): Pro: If you have Medicare and are traveling outside the US, it really doesn't matter that PVP is secondary. I have Medicare and Tricare for Life. Normally Tricare for Life is primary insurance when outside the US. However Tricare for Life is secondary to PVP (the US law stating Tricare for Life is secondary overrides the contract provision saying PVP is secondary. Why pay for "primary" insurance if the "secondary" insurance gives you exactly the same coverage? Con: PVP does not have as high medical coverage limits as some other policies. If you have no other medical insurance covering you (e.g., Medicare only and outside the US), these limits may not be enough. Since I have Tricare for Life which provides worldwide coverage (with deductibles and copayments), I do not need that high a medical coverage limit. Con: PVP does not have as high an evacuation limit as some other policies. If your cruise is in Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Western Europe, this may not be a problem. If your cruise is to a more remote location, PVP may not provide adequate coverage. One option would be to purchase an annual evacuation policy in addition to the individual trip insurance policies. Pro: PVP provides a Princess credit (100% for Platinum coverage) for cancellation not for a covered reason. If you will be cruising with Princess within the next year and just have a temporary reason for cancelling, this is great. Third party policies with cancel for any reason coverage are usually much more expensive. Pro (if you're not as young as you used to be - like me and a lot of other Princess cruisers) or Con (if you're a young kid): PVP is not age rated. It costs exactly the same for an 18-year old and for an 81-year old. For the 81-year old, it is probably much less expensive than a third-party policy. The 18-year old may be able to get a better deal elsewhere - I don't know for sure because it's been a long time since I priced a policy for a young kid.
  18. There is a difference between booking Princess Plus and booking the drink package separately if you need to cancel. If you book the drink package separately, then it can be cancelled for a full refund prior to the cruise. Since it is fully refundable, you don't need to insure it. If you book Princess Plus, then the cost is included in the cruise fare and is subject to the same cancellation penalties as the rest of the fare. If you cancel past final payment, then you will lose some or all of it (depending on when you cancel). Therefore it needs to be insured the same as any other nonrefundable cost.
  19. If you mean the federal no-call list, it does not apply to companies with whom you are doing business, such as Princess. I received an email and telephone call from a Princess Vacation Planner offering to help me with a cancelled Hawaii Christmas cruise this year. He was very helpful. He booked me on the replacement cruise next year - something that the normal Princess representatives were not able to do. The booking does not show the price protection yet, but it does have the cabin reserved. If I had not talked with the Vacation Planner, there may not have been any cabins available by the time they processed my replacement cruise - I got the last Vista suite available. I will be sailing in a Vista suite on the Crown Princess as a replacement for my cancelled cruise in a Window suite on the Grand Princess, so the price protection is extremely important. This is one time I appreciate them reaching out.
  20. Thank you. I hope you're correct. Since Sabatini's is aft it would be a fairly short walk from our aft cabin to the aft lifts to Sabatini's. The walk to the midship lifts for lunch and dinner will be a lot farther.
  21. I've been on the Grand several times, but I was asking about the Crown.
  22. Where is the suite breakfast on the Crown Princess - Sabatini's or Crown Grill? Also, which restaurant has Club Class on the Crown Princess? DW has some mobility issues, so I'm trying to see how far she will have to walk.
  23. You have to cover all non-refundable expenses - not all expenses. If you have Platinum PVP, then your cruise fare is refunded to you by Princess in cash (if covered reason) or in a voucher (if not covered). Note that the voucher refund is not insurance - it is a refund from Princess. Note that insurance will generally not pay for expenses that are refunded in a voucher - you can't get both the refund and the voucher. Since I will receive a voucher from Princess if I cancel, the cruise cost may not be considered a nonrefundable expense. I do not have any specific experience with this, and I haven't seen any posts specifically addressing this. Since this is a question about other insurance and not specifically about PVP, you are probably better asking it in the travel insurance forum instead of in the Princess forum.
  24. Everyone's situation is different. People on Medicare with no coverage outside the US may need more coverage than PVP. However, people with Tricare for Life or other insurance with coverage outside the US may find the PVP medical limits more than adequate. One big advantage of Princess PVP for some of us older people is that it is not age rated. Other insurance can be quite expensive for some of us who aren't as young as we used to be.
  25. I can't address your specific needs. I am speaking only of my own experience - I don't plan to be an expert. I'm also not going to comment on whether any specific plans would be suitable for your specific case. Tricare (for your husband) or TFL (for you), unlike Medicare, does cover you anywhere in the world. Normally, TFL is secondary to Medicare, but it becomes primary in places where Medicare provides no coverage. Either you or your husband would submit claims to Tricare for any medical expenses on the ship or on land outside the US. TFL and Medicare normally covers all medical expenses with no copayments or deductibles. Tricare (or TFL outside the US) normally provides coverage with copayments and deductibles. After I became eligible for Tricare but before I was eligible for Medicare, I had a Tricare supplement which covered the Tricare copayments and deductibles. Depending on your husband's specific Tricare coverage and Tricare supplement (if any), he may - or may not - have full medical coverage outside the US. Since you probably don't have a Tricare supplement (it doesn't make sense to have one with Medicare and TFL in the US), you would have to pay the copayments and deductibles. Tricare or TFL is secondary to any other medical insurance, except insurance specifically sold as a Tricare supplement. So Tricare or TFL would be secondary to PVP or other travel insurance, even though PVP and many other travel insurance policies say they are secondary. The US law making Tricare secondary overrides the policy details on the travel insurance. You could purchase a Tricare supplement which would be secondary to Tricare, but it probably doesn't make sense for one two-week trip. A Tricare supplement probably makes sense for someone on Medicare and TFL only if that person lived or travelled extensively outside the US. I normally get PVP when traveling overseas on Princess. I have had several minor medical claims - never anything major. I have never had any problem getting full reimbursement from PVP. Some people have said they need to get a denial from Medicare and/or from Tricare before submitting to PVP, since PVP is secondary. I have never had to do this. I just state in my submission that Medicare provides no coverage outside the US and that Tricare (according to US law) is secondary to all other insurance other than Tricare supplements. In my opinion, the combination of Tricare or TFL and PVP should cover most if not all medical expenses. Medical costs are lower in most other countries than they are in the US. Tricare will cover approximately 80%. If the PVP limits cover 20% of your expense, then you're fully covered. I believe you would submit first to PVP, and they would cover up to their limit. Then you would submit to Tricare and they should cover the rest (as long as PVP paid at least 20%. Note that this is hypothetical on my part, since I don't have any direct experience. All of my cruise medical expenses have been very small - much smaller than the PVP limits. I have no experience with medical evacuation coverage. Thank goodness, I have never needed it. Tricare does not provide any coverage for evacuation, so you would only have the PVP coverage. Whether or not you consider that adequate may depend on where you are traveling. For Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, or Caribbean cruises, I suspect it would be more than adequate. If you believe you have adequate medical coverage but you want more coverage for evacuation, you can purchase an annual policy that covers medical evacuation only. I purchased one a few years ago when I was planning a cruise to Antarctica and a land trip to India, since I thought I might need more coverage for those trips. I did not renew the coverage because all of my currently planned trips outside the US are to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean, and the British Isles. Instead of relying on my comments (which are based on my limited personal experience), I recommend you read the specific information on Tricare and TFL on their websites. If your husband has a specific version of Tricare, then he should read the coverage descriptions for that version. If he has a Tricare supplement, then he should also read the specific coverage information for that supplement.
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