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  1. Definitely do the International Cafe, best desserts and no charge. On embarkation day, a Princess secret: go to Alfredo's for lunch instead of the very large crowds at Horizon Court. Oops the secret is out!
  2. Been on Princess, Celebrity as well as several other cruise brands. Overall liked Princess the best. Very little class distinction on Princess but Celebrity does have it and even in the main theatre. Biggest issue is the excursions. Princess takes care of you from beginning to end. They have you meet on the ship in the main theatre, by groups depending on your excursion, escorts you to the places where you board the buses, and has reps with signs showing which bus to board as well as ask questions. Celebrity leaves you on your own as in just go out to the pier and you can find the bus which happened to be in the pouring rain, no reps to direct you to which bus, you had to knock on each bus door trying to find the right one. We and about 10 other passengers where in the pouring rain and no help.
  3. For our Oct 23 coastal, I received a Princess email yesterday of overnight SF: ITINERARY CHANGE Please be advised that due to temporary local restrictions on cruise ships, Majestic Princess will no longer call to Santa Barbara, California on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. Instead, we will extend our call to San Francisco overnight, and will now depart at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, October 26. Additionally, arrival in San Diego will now be at 7:00 AM on Thursday, October 28, rather than 11:00 AM. Updated shore excursion information will be available in the Cruise Personalizer within the next two weeks.
  4. Regarding the 3 days vs 2 days: "Yes, on voyages sailing through September 12, 2021, ALL guests will be required to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) result taken within 3 days of their embarkation. On voyages sailing September 19, 2021 and after, in accordance with CDC directives, ALL guests will be required to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) result taken within 2 days of their embarkation. If sailing on Sunday, the test may be taken on Friday and Saturday, and as late as Sunday, if you are guaranteed to receive your results in time for check-in. Guests will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test along with proof of full vaccination upon arrival in the terminal and can then proceed on board."
  5. Regarding self test, it must be medically supervised: CruiseHealth™ FAQ: Sailings from the United States Updated September 2, 2021 "Vaccinated guests may use a medically observed self-test (sometimes referred to as home test) that meets the following criteria: The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Please note, antigen tests are accepted for fully vaccinated guests, but not for unvaccinated guests. The testing procedure must include a telehealth service affiliated with the manufacturer of the test that provides real-time supervision remotely through an audio and video connection. Some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription. The telehealth provider must confirm the person’s identity, observe the specimen collection and testing procedures, confirm the test result, and issue a report that meets the requirements of acceptable proof of a negative COVID-19 test."
  6. For Denali, upgrade the Princess wilderness excursion to the longer one. We many years ago had done the default one and later heard that the one which goes deeper into the wilderness park is worth doing.
  7. A big plus for Princess is its Direct-to-the-Wilderness Rail. You can board their train right from the pier and go inland. The route is spectacular and scenic. A cruisetour is the way to go to do both sailing along Alaska coast and ports and the interior. Combined with Princess Air and transfers, then you have the entire package with no fuss. Just relax and enjoy.
  8. Had an upgrade from inside to balcony and it was on the port side where it was especially great since we could see the Venice sailaway from it.
  9. Got email from Princess yesterday that: "ITINERARY CHANGE Please be advised that due to operational considerations, Grand Princess will no longer call to Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii on Sunday, January 9, 2022, and will instead call to Kahului on Wednesday, January 12 from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. To accommodate this change, the call to Hilo will now take place on Sunday, January 9 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Updated shore excursion information will be available in the Cruise Personalizer within the next two weeks" At first disappointed but when looked at best things to do in Lahaina vs Kahului, was OK with the change. If you haven't been to Lahaina, then not a good change. Having been there already and especially already did the Road to Hana, am good with change. I get to do the West Maui Circle Drive which some reviews say is well worth it. BTW, what is the real reason for the port change? Cost savings?
  10. Hopefully Princess is reading these postings and will respond what is their itinerary for the Antarctica cruise. We are booked on the January 2022 cruise which includes four days of Antarctica scenic cruising and the Falkland Island. Princess also has these cruises for 2023 as well. But the Polar Code does not allow big ships below 60 degree south latitude and the Falkland Island government says no ships over couple hundred PAX's. We were planning on seeing the ice and bergs of Antarctica and the Falkland Island penguins, a trip of a lifetime. 60 degree south is Elephant Island and it's 130 miles above the closest tip of Antarctica. Way too far to be a decent drive by. December 2021 is not do-able for us.
  11. Hopefully Princess is reading these posts. For me and many others the free limited internet minutes was the best perk. And the number of minutes was always more than enough. After all most folks are on a cruise to vacation, not to be on the computer, laptop, or cell phone.
  12. Big advantage of booking with EZ Air rather than directly with airlines is in case of flight delay of 1st flight that could mean missing connecting flight. We had a delayed departure from west coast to further east (mid-west or east coast) to connecting flight which would get us to Europe. Because Princess worked with the airline that we and several other PAX's would be greatly impacted, the pilot raced the plane, burning more fuel, to get us to the connecting flight. Normally the 1st flight would park at the domestic terminals but in this case an exception was made to park at the international terminals. Then an airport rep met us and the other PAX's who were on the international flight to the Princess cruise to lead us expeditiously to thru the airport in order to make our connecting flight on time.
  13. Even with these days of shutdown and businesses slowly opening up, the prices on Pride of America are still very high. About $400 per day for balcony. Also the included perk of free drinks has separate charge for tips based on the value of $99 per day of drinks. For Hawaii that is non-alcoholic drinks. That is a lot of drinking of sodas anytime and coffee only with meals. This is besides the usual service tips per day. With reluctance overall to cruise, the prices for other cruises are very good. Coastal round trip LA on Majesty Princess is about $100 per day. This is besides the usual service tips per day.
  14. I was considering and did book a land tour but the air portion had to be booked separately. With the risk of the land could be cancelled with little notice, I would be stuck with air that I would have to use sometime in the future but I may not want to travel to the destined location for future vacations for who knows when. I had inquired and the land portion folks say they don't know and to check again in a few months but the air has only 24 hours to cancel or you a stuck with it with possible change fees. With cruising and cruise air you are protected and all money back if the cruise is cancelled. I should note that I have already done a lot of cruising and visited many ports so if had to stay on ship with cruise to nowhere that would still work for me. But I understand we all have different priorities and that is good to keep all possible forms of travel being booked and be viable as future choices.
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