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Arwen

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Everything posted by Arwen

  1. Just for info..Zumba instructors are "licensed". They have to have a license to teach it and all that is necessary is to take the Z workshop...only one. Anyone can purchase the license. However, whenever I have watched Zumba on the cruise ships it is always taught by a crew member with previous experience...like one of the dancers or a talented CD like we had on the Ruby. Certification is given to those who complete an in depth course to become a personal trainer, or group exercise instructor, or Yoga...or Pilates. I at one time had a group instructor certification, and then went on to pay a fee to get the license to teach Zumba (which I ended up not doing). To keep the license...the person teaching has to be a member and pay the fee monthly. On our very long 7 week South America Cruise on the Royal we had Zumba. The instructor was "Matt O", the Cruise Director who was a very talented guy. He was one of the best instructors I have ever watched. And then the assist CD took over on days Matt was not available. The cruise lines are also now offering line dancing...mostly happens in the evening, sometimes in the afternoons. We recently returned from an Alaska Cruise on the Ruby Princess and there was no Zumba. Likely there was a crew member but they were busy doing other required duties.
  2. Arwen

    Concerned

    hi...we just returned home a week ago from a cruise on the Ruby. We sailed from Seattle to Alaska for a week. We all enjoyed ourselves as we were with many family members this time around. The Ruby is a tired looking ship, but we found it to be clean and the crew and staff to be wonderful. 'Service was excellent and we have taken over 25 cruises, most on Princess. We found the food to be better than average. The entertainment better than average. And our granddaughter and her cousin loved the kid's program called "Discovery". Everything from embarkation to debarkation was so smooth What was different?: Well, our daughter, hubby, and DD had a mini-suite. It was tired looking and definitely not up to the new mini-suites like on the Royal. However, if you have a child, it is nice because the room has a type of divider that gives a bit of privacy and play area for the child. My DD and SIL liked that feature. The International Cafe was nice but they did not have the sugar free syrups that I like for my iced mochas (not a huge issue unless on a long cruise) The Horizon court is an older design and it is a bit more of a challenge to find a table. However, we always were able to. We made sure to secure a table first before getting our food. I would sail on the Ruby again for Alaska. I would rather be on the Royal for a longer cruise. We took a seven week cruise around South America on the Royal a couple of months ago.
  3. Good to know. Hubby has AT & T and I have the Google Project plan. So, we are hopefully covered both ways. We have not had problem with cell service at the airport, though.
  4. Indeed. I would like to order an SUV or even a limo. Hubby doesn't want to do that.....Sigh..But I am always the one that has to have the luggage "all over me"...Ha!
  5. Can you give me a general description of where the designated Uber pick up area is? And is there a way to order an Uber that can handle that much luggage? We have ordered used Uber before but often the person that shows up has a small vehicle and I get squished by my own luggage...;-)) I know at Sea-Tac has an area for ubers and they line up and you have to wait...and wait....but my big concern is getting a vehicle that can handle all of our stuff (49 day South America cruise here we come!)
  6. Being an anxious person (anxiety disorder) being packed into a van like that is horrible. The last time we took a shuttle, the slider door was blocked with luggage. UNSAFE. :-((
  7. We have been to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International airport numerous times. One thing...is that getting picked up from the airport is a crazy experience. One of the worst airports for that that I have ever been to. Now, that I have vented....which shuttle service would you recommend for easy pick up? Often it is a guessing game as to where to meet the shuttle...done that...been there, got the Tee shirt! So, which shuttle service is stellar...is not into overpacking their vans with humans and baggage (been there, too!) and can handle three pieces of luggage plus two carry-ons and two adults? We will be going from the airport to the Embassy Suites on 17th and Front St. Thank you all in advance. I am making last minute arrangements while pulling out my hair....;-))
  8. Sorry to have taken so long in getting back to thank all of you Cruise Critic members for the helpful advice! I have been consumed with getting ready for our big cruise with Princess for the 49 day South America itinerary. Packing has been stressful but I am almost done, thankfully. We leave next week. Right now we have our TA working on booking our staterooms before we leave for our big cruise. All of your suggestions were considered and it looks like we will go with a mini-suite for our daughter, SIL, and grandchild. Our second choice would be the deluxe balcony. Eva's parents likely will take along their own Pack N' Play because that is what "Eva" is used to sleeping in when she stays here with us. Eva does not take well at all to drastic changes. So the familiar is what we will go with. The other option we will consider is the inflatable toddler bed (Amazon.com) as suggested by one of the posters. Most important for Eva's parents, is for their stateroom to have a curtain/screen and we let our TA know that. Again, thank you all for your prompt and helpful responses!
  9. Sorry to have taken so long in getting back to thank all of you Cruise Critic members for the helpful advice! I have been consumed with getting ready for our big cruise with Princess for the 49 day South America itinerary. Packing has been stressful but I am almost done, thankfully. We leave next week. Right now we have our TA working on booking our staterooms before we leave for our big cruise. All of your suggestions were considered and it looks like we will go with a mini-suite for our daughter, SIL, and grandchild. Our second choice would be the deluxe balcony. Eva's parents likely will take along their own Pack N' Play because that is what "Eva" is used to sleeping in when she stays here with us. Eva does not take well at all to drastic changes. So the familiar is what we will go with. The other option we will consider is the inflatable toddler bed (Amazon.com) as suggested by one of the posters. Most important for Eva's parents, is for their stateroom to have a curtain/screen and we let our TA know that. Again, thank you all for your prompt and helpful responses!
  10. Thank you for the suggestion of a Deluxe Balcony. Right now we are working with our TA to get six staterooms booked for our family members. Our TA said that the mini-suites are in short supply for this cruise. So knowing about the Deluxe Balcony as another option is helpful.
  11. Hi All! We are planning on taking a family cruise to Alaska. Our granddaughter is 3.5 yrs old. Her mom and dad have not cruised before and we are trying to help them figure out the best sleeping arrangement for DD. DD is a fairly tall 3.5 yr old and her parents have now transitioned to a junior bed for her. Hubby found an inflatable junior bed on Amazon that is recommended for travel. It has good reviews, but wonder if that is the best option? I worry about it getting holes and deflating..:-(( This would be the option if the stateroom does not have a sofa/pull out, but we worry there would not be enough room. Do all categories of staterooms have dividing curtains? That is really necessary for their privacy and so she can sleep easily. So only a balcony or mini-suite should be booked? Grandpa thinks that a choice of a mini-suite would be the best option and then getting rails for the couch/bed. Thank you all so much in advance. I want to hear all of your suggestions. We are trying to keep the cost reasonable but also to make sure that "Eva" is going to sleep okay, too.
  12. If a parent is that irresponsible...well. Most parents know that hot water can burn small children. But do most parents know that sitting in the Piazza with a cup of coffee or hot tea and spilled accidentally on an infant or small child also causes burns? I used to work in a trauma hospital, on a burn unit. It was sad to see babies and toddlers brought in with serious burns requiring hospitalization due to pulling a hot cup of coffee down on themselves or mom holding baby and spilling it on them
  13. another account by a passenger witness said that was not the case at all as did one of the P& O officials. Highly unlikely
  14. We have done that very same cruise. You do get so many sea days and that is really nice. My disappointment had nothing to do with the ship or what Princess has to offer, but rather the weather going over and coming back. Unlike the Caribbean sailings, the days at sea are rather cool. At least it was for us. Pleasant but not like tropical. Quite frankly I was surprised, but my husband, the "egg head" explained it to me...about currents, blah blah. If you enjoy spending a fair amount indoors on the ship and the activities ...no problem. Would I do the trip again? Not likely. The port stops were okay. Our favorite on Maui was the Maui Ocean Center...however it took about a half hour to get there (I think) and we had about 2 hrs (my memory may not be correct). There is much to see and we actually did not get to see it all and enjoy the concessions, exhibits, etc. Of course if you end up there on a Sat or Sun it will be crowded. We also did the Hawaii and South Pacific Cruise nine years ago...and the South Pacific islands were AMAZING!!! Bora Bora and Moorea are incredibly exquisite and out of this world. That cruise of course was 33 days when we did it and I think now, it is offered as a 29 day? Anyways, my two cents is that I prefer the 10 day southern Caribbean cruises. The weather is warm for most of the cruising, and the ports are interesting and it is truly a tropical "feel".
  15. Same here! We were on a land tour for 16 days and flew home from Tel Aviv to Newark. Our flight from Tel Aviv was delayed on the tarmac by one hour! We had no idea that we had to go through security again and that included picking up our bags at the carousel and checking them back in!!!!! We missed our connecting flight from Newark to Seattle. No more flights that evening and we luckily found a hotel to stay in (last room available) Warning to anyone with a connecting flight....never accept a 90 minute layover, especially when it is international. And yes, it was a travel agent who did this (hubby ignored the time consideration). Two hours is a bare minimum for international
  16. Thank you to all who have given me advice! I so appreciate it! Well, checking prices for the Embassy Suites in Ft Lauderdale...it looks as though their prices have gone up!!! Looks like we may choose the Hyatt Place as the prices are around the same and the reviews are better overall. I would love to spring for a 4 star hotel, but doubt hubby will go for that. :-)
  17. Hi Howard! We also enjoy the longer cruises. We started out doing a few 7 day ones and quickly moved up to 10 days and then the longest one...a 33 day Hawaii & South Pacific. But hubby and I are also going to be going on the 49 day cruise on the Royal Princess next February of 2019. I assume that is the one you mention? So, here we are, hubby and I ready to "live" on a ship for that long. Hope it works out..not sure as it is an awfully long time to be away from home and family. Ideal time for me...a 14 day cruise, but always with a two night stay in a hotel before and if a long flight home...a one to two night stay after the cruise. Perfect!
  18. Hello All! It is time for me to book a reservation for two nights at a Ft. Lauderdale Hotel. We are now booked for a 49 day Caribbean and South America cruise on Feb 2nd of 2019, on the Royal Princess (YEAH!) Our favorite hotel to stay in Ft. Lauderdale has always been the Embassy Suites on 17th and Front Street. We love everything about it...the pool area, the big complimentary breakfast, and the manager's cocktail hour. It is also fairly close to a lot of shops. So, I am ready to make a reservation and before I do, I go check out the most recent reviews. I do this knowing that things "can change". To my disappointment, I find the most recent reviews gave the hotel bad marks. Apparently some found their rooms to be dirty and even some found that the sheets had not been changed or the room cleaned!! I have no idea if the manager for the ES has changed, but we have always enjoyed our stays there. Oh, the big worrisome mentioned by TripAdvisor's peeps is that there are often big parties held in the atrium area. Loud booming and rattling music until well past 11:30 p.m. that actually shook the window of the room of one reviewer. Another complained (on a different date) of not being able to sleep due to the atrium racket! I am looking for a hotel close to the cruise terminal and one that has enjoyable amenities. And have any of you been at the ES lately? Are these reviews just "exceptions" or the rule now? Thanks in advance! Arwen
  19. Jim, THANK YOU so much! I have a great TA for sure, and she kept telling me we were in the top mini-suite category but never mentioned Club Class. I take your word for it and will make sure that we take advantage of all it has to offer!!!! The Princess cruise website was not too clear (IMHO) on which Mini's are CC. We took a cruise on the Royal in Nov 2017 and had a nice mini-suite (Aloha 208), but no one ever said that we were CC and completely unaware if we were or were not. Do you know if the CC is marked on the documents or our key card (when we get them) or are we just supposed to "know"?
  20. Thank you! Our stateroom is midship on the Baja deck. Preferable location for us for sure. It would take a really sweet deal for us to want to give it up...
  21. Hi All! We are excited as we have already booked our mini-suite stateroom for a South America cruise leaving on Feb 2, 2019 (49 days) on the Royal Our TA told us that we are in the "highest category of mini-suites", an M-1. We see that we have a bit more real estate than some of the other mini's...but are there any other perks? We have been on the Royal before and booked our first Mini when we did a Carib cruise this past November. We LOVED it. I ask, because I still did not get it clear if other than the slightly extra real estate if we can look forward to anything else? (besides a fantastic trip that we have looked forward to for a long time) We also made sure our TA marked us for No Upgrade as we do not want to lose our prime location. We told our TA that we would consider an upsell, maybe. Anyone know what an upsell might be? Same category, different location or better than that? Thanks!
  22. Just as irritating and even more unsanitary are peeps going through the buffet line and eating and licking their fingers! I see this far too often and as a retired RN, have the urge to "slap them silly". Sigh. I wish the ships would post in the eating areas to not eat and lick fingers while in line.
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