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Everything posted by bobnsandi

  1. We are on the Sirena, heading for Amazon. We wrote a "butler letter", and received wonderful positive feedback from him. He was so happy to learn about us, including our needs and pet peeves. We believe that this is one of the best ways to work with a butler (when you have one, as in PH cabin). thanks for everyone who made this suggestion!
  2. Used Luggage Forward in 2016. Very satisfied. I was unable to lift, after a surgery. Yes, it cost a bit, but was very smooth. We last saw the bag as they picked it up from our RV park location in Arizona. Next time we saw the bag, it was in our Maasdam cabin in Seattle after boarding. (Delivered to the room sooner than the dockside loaded luggage.)
  3. They could decide to go upstream a "little bit", and not all the way to Manaus. Plenty to see. I agree that this is a big "unknown". (My DW suggests that the ship divert to Rio for pre-carnival activities...) We are embroiled in issues regarding Oceania Air options, etc. Things certainly do get complicated quickly.
  4. DW does not like chocolate (MORE for me, yay), so it works out great when there are several choices, including non-choco. Recently on another cruise line where there was one choice a day, changed from day to day. Nope. PS: loved the sticky buns on previous O cruises.
  5. Indeed, to us, planning is as much a part as the actual travel. I see from your signature, that you are booked on the Insignia from New York next year. We booked the entire cruise in 2019, planning for summer of 2020. Then canceled. Then booked for 2021; cancel; 2022; cancel. Didn't even try for 2023. We have been on the Holland "Voyage of the Vikings", and loved the itinerary, but were disappointed with the rest (the cruise line, ship and service were just awful). That experience had us looking forward to a similar itinerary with Oceania. Hope you enjoy those segments. We found Iceland to be wonderful.
  6. Sorry in advance, a little off-topic. We lived on Maui for 10 years, and have many, many very dear friends there. Have not been able to make contact since the disaster. Our hearts do go out to everyone on Maui.
  7. We learned some "life lessons" early in our marriage. We both liked travel, so have always been OK with cruising, etc, and open to travel ideas. The trouble started when we had several "good friend" couples who up and said things like "let's rent a cabin in Big Bear together", or "let's drive up to San Francisco and spend a long weekend sight-seeing." THEN we found out that people that we enjoyed socializing with, weren't always the best travel companions. Most of these schemes ended in disaster. The lesson was to treat good travel companions like diamonds, really really precious (that includes my wife of 45 years). People we met while boating, RV'ing and on cruises, on the other hand, were generally already primed to deal with the ins and outs and ups and downs of travel. We learned a lot from them, and deeply value their friendship. We do plan and study, but we always allow for serendipity to lead to new experiences. Thanks for your thoughts and experiences. PS: One RV story really got to us. We met a couple who booked up their RV park reservations a year in advance(!) They knew exactly where they would drive, where they would stay, etc. Needless to say, we didn't do that, often "following our nose". When we met them, they were dealing with a minor scheduling glitch, and it required them to cancel ALL of the year-ahead reservations, and re-book ALL of them, so that they would be exactly on schedule. Nope. Not for us.
  8. We have been on one of the "R" ships (Regatta). There is no concierge lounge on those class of ships, sorry to say. There are "office hours" for a real, live, concierge, and in our case, they were very helpful. For instance, we really wanted to re-visit a certain specialty restaurant, but could not get reservations. Concierge got them in an eye-blink. We later took the Riviera, and they have the Concierge Lounge, which was often a nice place to relax and have a beverage. Again, the onsite concierge was extremely helpful, getting us reservations for the special private dining room (between steak and italian, if I recall correctly). (added: on certain days and times, the Concierge Lounge got very crowded, so be aware that it might not always be quiet.) Oh yes, thanks "ORV" for pointing out the spa. For us, it was a super experience. We often spent time in the spa during port days. Didn't see another passenger there.
  9. >> We booked our cruise prior to "Simply More" so we >> had a choice of one of three amenities. I choose >> the $600.00 On-Board-Credit for each cabin. >> Then I purchased the >> "Prestige Unlimited Drink Package" I still don't understand the whole "simply more" system. We just booked, so it appears that we have no choice(s). We do get some booze with our PH1 cabin. Adding to the humor a little, we both stopped the alcohol a couple of years ago, but fell off the wagon on our most recent Princess cruise. (Maybe having dinner with my inlaws may have triggered a new need to drink...at least before dinner.) Loved your detailed description of the planning process.
  10. I agree. We almost reached a point where we brought our own tissues onboard. Attached is an all-passenger message from our World Cruise in 2018. The ship left Florida nearly out of toilet paper. In Panama, the crew filled a tender with locally-purchased toilet paper in order to restock. The passengers were dismayed by the "quality" of the local product. Hence the missive.
  11. I'm a bit confused by this new green/blue/mauve/orange/black boarding system. There used to be a line for "Suite and Elite" during checkin. (This March, we hit the twofer.) Anyway, I cannot find the announcement where Princess says that they no longer have expedited checkin for Elite. Have they junked that perk for Elite, with this new system? We DO love the laundry deal, and are OK with the 50% off internet deals. Also, we often attended the special pupus in Skywalker for Elite, and were very happy with the debarkation lounge and priority. Unlike some folks who've posted here, we actually benefited several times with tender priority. (On another cruise line that will remain nameless, we are 5-star. On our 2018 World Cruise, they said that 5-star was worthless, and everyone had to stand in line for tenders anyway. Not pleased about that.)
  12. Sorry for not being specific. We sail August 14 from New York. It is obvious that everything is changing, and it is also obvious that IT is not keeping up at all. Much conflicting information between the 3 formats (APP, Web on computer, Web on phone). It's as if there are 3 separate databases that aren't talking to one another. Just an aside, we are Elite and used to have our own checkin line. Unclear what we'll see at the port on the 14th. Thanks for suggesting that we wait for the 11 day advance of the voyage. (I wonder where they mention that on the princess website? I was not aware of that time window.)
  13. Regarding the APP, some of the information on princess web indicates that we can speed up boarding if we have a QR code for our reservation. I've looked around the APP, and I cannot see where you get such a code. We were on a March cruise on Princess, and noticed that some of the passengers getting into line were waving their phones around, and being scanned by shore personnel. I have to assume they had some QR code. Of course, we didn't. Now, the different "lines" (green, blue, puce, black, etc) have changed again, and we are getting conflicting information about them. Anyway, someone familiar with the QR codes from the APP for checkin purposes?
  14. bobnsandi


    Made final payment. We will be on this cruise. BobNSandi Some photos from 2014 at: http://swansonphotos.com/greenland/index.html
  15. Many thanks for the links. I also did a little "search engine" work, and found that the Polaris is delayed in construction. Hope she is ready in December.
  16. Sorry to impose here, but is there any "roll-call" or other general discussion on the Viking Expedition ships, such as the Polaris? I don't see any menu items on CruiseCritic.
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