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About IECalCruiser

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Inland Empire, CA
  • Interests
    Model Railroading, Daytrips
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  1. IECalCruiser

    Not Live from the Golden Princess - LA to Sydney

    10/10 This is the first of three sea days between Pago Pago and Auckland. We tried to relax today after the busy day in Pago Pago yesterday although we did attend an astronomy lecture and an interview with the Captain in the morning and watched a performance by Holly Frances, one of the two female Princess singers in the afternoon. She gave a very good performance and most of the rest of the cast was there to support her. Her great great uncle was Chick Henderson who had a million seller hit with Begin the Beguine. There was a second Pub Lunch in 12 sea days today but held separately in the Crown Grill as is typical on the Golden. It was the standard first Pub Lunch menu of Fish and Chips, Bangers and Mash, Steak and Kidney Pie, and Ploughman’s Lunch with Bread & Butter Pudding for dessert. There was a line of 20-30 people waiting to get in for almost all of the 90 minute lunch. When the first one was held in the MDR along with the regular lunch there were no lines and it seemed to be a better option. Update: I talked to the Maitre D' Carlos Serrano Da Rosa later in the cruise an he indicated that "corporate" wants as close to a "real" Pub experience as possible and prefers the Grown Grill. I refuse to wait in line for the Pub Lunch as it is not that big of a deal. About 6:30 this evening the Captain came on (not usually a good sign) and announced that we were diverting to Tonga for a medical evacuation. After we docked, an ambulance drove up the pier and appeared to actually drive into the ships hold. It then departed down the dock with the passenger. We departed Tonga at approximately 9:00. We should find out tomorrow if there will be any schedule impact. Our prayers are with the ill passenger. Update: The Captain cranked up the speed to over 22 knots and we made it to Auckland on time. In addition, we were informed the next day that the passenger was improving. It was lucky that rather than somewhere in the nowhere of much of the Pacific on this cruise, Tonga was less that an hour cruising time away. The port of Nuku Alofa appeared to be much bigger than I expected and this is a photo at 9:00pm at night.
  2. IECalCruiser

    Not Live from the Golden Princess - LA to Sydney

    10/08 This is the second of our two sea days between Moorea, French Tahiti and Pago Pago, Amerian Samoa. There are only 572 elites on board and laundry turn around has not been an issue. We sent out our last laundry just before dinner two days ago and it was back this morning and that has been typical. The port lecturer, Kay Taylor, is quite good and her lectures on each port have typically run the full hour. They have been well attended, often with standing room only in the Princess Theater, even the one for Auckland at 8:30 this morning. She joined the cruise in Hawaii and will continue on through to Sydney. Her port lectures include a lot of history and they could easily be subtitled "Captain Cook Was Here Before You!" There are about 120 passengers on board who did the 12 day Alaskan cruise RT from LA prior to this cruise. The muster drill must be attended at least once every 30 days so they had to attend another drill today.
  3. IECalCruiser

    Not Live from the Golden Princess - LA to Sydney

    I made notes on the remainder of the cruise after CC become unavailable for the few days. I will post them for those interested.
  4. IECalCruiser

    Not Live from the Golden Princess - LA to Sydney

    Thanks for the welcome Frank! I intentionally booked the trip this was to eliminate jet lag until we were home. We gradually adjusted for the time change dropping back one hour three times on the way to Hawaii, one hour between French Polynesia and American Samoa and two hours between New Zealand and Sydney. This way there was no jet lag from a flight from the US to Sydney. DW and I are still having problems adjusting to the six hour forward time change from Sydney to LAX and are having a hard time falling asleep at night.
  5. IECalCruiser

    Not Live from the Golden Princess - LA to Sydney

    I couldn't find a reasonable way to book business/first class all the way from Sydney to LAX so I used AA miles to book Hawaiian's lay-flat business seats from Sydney to Honolulu and United miles to book economy plus seats from Honolulu to LAX. I will have more discussions about our experiences in the Sydney and Honolulu airports later.
  6. IECalCruiser

    Shore excursions price aboard ship

    I agree with beg3yrs that excursion prices will be the lowest when initially released. As it gets closer to the cruise date prices may increase $10-$20 on many excursions while some stay unchanged. When Princess didn't require payment when booking excursions we would book any excursions we were interested in taking as soon as they were released. We take more private tours and DIY it more now but still book, and pay for, Princess excursions as soon as they are available.
  7. IECalCruiser


    With a side of Nutella Ice Cream 😊
  8. IECalCruiser

    Condition of Golden Princess

    We disembarked the Golden on 10/22 after a 28 day cruise. We were aft on Caribe deck. One day there was some water running from the ceiling down both walls a few cabins aft or ours but the issue was quickly corrected. There was also a leak from the ceiling in the Princess Theater that impacted about six seats for several days. The most significant leak was on Fiesta deck outside of the corridor used to access the window suites. It would come and go, but it seemed there was a fan in the main corridor in that area more often than not throughout the cruise. The second aft elevator used to access the aft MDR and Skywalkers was repaired with parts apparently delivered in Honolulu. Throughout the cruise, each of the three elevator banks would occasionally have one elevator out of service for a while but it was not always the same one. Other than the above which had little impact on our cruise, we had no issues with the condition of the Golden and even though we had TD in the aft MDR, those issues had little impact on our 28 days on the Golden.
  9. IECalCruiser

    Milk Based Hot Chocolate

    Having read threads discussing whether the hot chocolate was made with water or milk, I made it a point to notice. They used the same process on the Golden this month. When I asked the barista why he first added water to the several heaping scoops of powder, his answer was that it was easier to dissolve the powder in water. Steamed milk was then added to the dissolved powder mixture. There was Hershey’s syrup next to the powder but the hot chocolate made from powder tasted so good that I never tried it made with Hershey’s syrup. We had exchanged our mini bar for two coffee packages for our 28 day cruise and the hot chocolate, as well as Mighty Leaf teas and fresh brewed coffee were all included as complimentary.
  10. IECalCruiser

    Not Live from the Golden Princess - LA to Sydney

    We had the most traveled of all current Princess cruisers on this cruise. They had a total of 2,475 days (6.78 years!) at the start of the cruise and will pass 2,500 by the end. There were a lot of days between them and number 2 at 755 days and number 3 at 687 days. I didn't get all of the statistics but 947 were only doing one of the legs of the cruise so there was close to a 40% turnover in Auckland. At least surprising to me, there were 602 or more than 20% of the passengers doing this 28 days cruise as there first on Princess. You think you might want to check out Princess on a shorter cruise first. I was also a bit surprised that there were only 572 elite on board. Although of the 810 platinum starting the cruise, 120 became elite at the end of the cruise. That is all I have on the statistics front.
  11. IECalCruiser

    New Wine List Rolling out on the Golden

    I had a chance to see a copy of the new Vines wine list being rolled out in Sydney. The prices are in AUD but I have included prices in USD ($) if they are offered by the glass on the MDR wine list or on the old Vines wine list. It looks like the wines on the old Vines wine list are priced to sell and will be replaced by new wines when inventory is sold out. The two white wines not on either wine list are Australian and have probably been added for the Aussie market. The Verdelho is an interesting wine. In Portugal it is primarily used in Madeira but in Australia it is used to produce a white wine. We had an opportunity to try Verdelho on our Hunter Valley wine tasting tour. A nice, drinkable wine but I preferred the Semillon. Champagne & Sparkling Mionetto Prosecco Brut Gold - AUD 13 / $10 Nicolas Feuillatte Brut - AUD 15 Veuve Clicquot Brut - AUD 20 White Wines Verdelho, Briar Ridge - AUD 9 - not on either wine list S.A. Prum Essence Riesling Kabinett - AUD 14 / $11 “Anthilia White Blend, Donnafugata - AUD 9 / $8 - on old Vines wine list Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner - AUD 13 / $10 Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc - AUD 12 / $9 Chablis, Seigneurie de Tanlay - AUD 9 / $8 - on old Vines wine list Conundrum White - AUD 15 /$11 Shaw and Smith Chardonnay - AUD 15 - not on either wine list Attems Pinot Grigio - AUD 15 / $11 Rose Wines Charles & Charles Rose - AUD 12 / $8 Red Wines Babich Black Label Pinot Noir - AUD 15 Frescobaldi Chianti Rufina Nipozzano - AUD 15 / $11 d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz - AUD 14 / $11 Errazuriz Estate Carmenere - AUD 12 / $9 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon - AUD 16 / $12 ‘Embruix’ Vall Llach - AUD 11 / $10 - on old Vines wine list Ancient Peaks the Renegade - AUD 15 - not on either wine list Petite Sirah, Spellbound - AUD 9 / $8 - on old Vines wine list Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret - AUD 10 / $8 - on old Vines wine list Garnacha, Artazuri - AUD 9 / $8- on old Vines wine list
  12. IECalCruiser

    New Wine List Rolling out on the Golden

    I think that Karma (or the Secret Princess Passage Contract Enforcer) got me on this cruise. I had mixed one bottle of port with 21 bottles of wine. The alcohol table didn't check the bottles and after paying the $255 in corkage for 17 bottles (DW and I booked the cruise as a B2B and DD booked the cruise as one cruise so we were allowed 5 bottles with no corkage), we went to our cabin. The port and 4 bottles of wine were in a cloth wine carrier. As DW and I were trying to keep the door open while getting our carry on bags into the cabin, the bottles fell out of the carrier. Fortunately only one bottle broke, but it was the bottle of port The entire bottle of port spilled on the carpet, but fast action by our steward and other Princess staff were able to clean up the wine so that there was no evidence of the crime.
  13. IECalCruiser

    New Wine List Rolling out on the Golden

    I will repost when I can figure out how to reduce font size 😱
  14. IECalCruiser

    Not Live from the Golden Princess - LA to Sydney

    After a wonderful cruise and four beautiful days in Sydney, we arrived back in LAX a little before midnight on Friday and were home by 2:30. I am know dealing with my typical post cruise cold 🤧🤒 which started to hit me the day before we left Sydney. I didn’t figure out how to start posting again while we were away. I will post my impressions of the cruise in the next few days. However, my first report is that I boldly got on the scale this morning after 37 days and am pleased to report that I only gained 3.1 pounds 🙂 That is an accomplishment because I can gain that much on a 4 day cruise 🤔 I have been on a low carb diet and on board the Golden my primary exceptions were the 21 bottles of wine we brought on board and the Chocolate Journeys desserts. Gaining weight was one of my big concerns on this cruise but I appeared to manage my diet fairly well.
  15. IECalCruiser

    New Wine List Rolling out on the Golden

    The Bartender at Vines said the new Wine list was being rolled out fleet wide but didn’t have any timing. I will try to get some more time info over the next two weeks. We attended both the Maitre ‘d and Grapevine wine tasting. Most of the wines were from the old wine list although the Grapevine tasting included the Conundrum from the new wine list. Interestingly, the Maitre ‘d tasting had two Australian wines that were not on either list. Sent from my iPad using Forums