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About blondee419

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Reston, VA
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    yes :)

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  1. So, I'm late to the party, but on my Panama Canal cruise this past April a trivia team calling themselves "The Island Hoppers" not only did the same thing, but they also resorted to pulling out their phones on the last few days AND accused other teams of cheating. On my Hawaii cruise, one team kept winning but my team kicked their ass on the very last trivia of the cruise. We had an advantage in that my sister and I knew the last dozen or so name that tune questions that were from the 90s/00s, and their team included the most travelled couple on the ship (so, skewing older). That was the sweetest victory ever. The thing in common? These people tend to not only be sore losers, they're cocky winners who suck the life out of every trivia by taking themselves so seriously. (My opinion, like noses, etc.) I also do competitive online trivia, but cheez-its people! it's bilge water champagne and cheap coasters you're playing for! This ain't Jeopardy! tournaments here!
  2. All of the opinions are my own..... We did the island without knowing much about it, and because we wanted to transit the old locks. We went thru this past April 2019. My $0.02? Do not sail on the island. The coral is wonderful! we've sailed her to Alaska, and would sail her again. The island got crowded when the weather was bad, and everyone was stuck inside with less public space. They increased the number of cabins (and thus the number of passengers), but did not increase the number of crew. I've never met a more demoralized crew. Also, DuVal is the cruise director, and I found him even more irritating now that he's in charge, more-so than when he was just on the cd staff on the Star a few years back. Again. My opinion.
  3. Panama Canal full transit, 15 days, April 2019 Ship - Island Princess Class - Coral class Deck - 11 Cabin # - B740 Category - BD Port/Starboard/Bow/Stern - Stern, all the way aft Connects With Cabin # - n/a Accessible - nope Quiet - yes Balcony Size - normal View - 180* Privacy Issues - none Wind - none Soot - none Problems - * Bathroom issues - the shower would not drain the first day, but our steward notified the engineers and they snaked the drain and it worked fine from then on. Toilet needed to be serviced twice. Not sure if it's related to the drainage issue in the shower? * Balcony can get very warm, since it's almost entirely enclosed, but the view is fantastic when traversing the canal. This is one of the added cabins from the retrofit of Island. There are no footstools on the balconies, and this was our only real complaint. * TV satellite was out for several days, not sure if it was due to our location or other issues. Comments - * Everything was new! TV, Fridge, etc., all worked well. * Beds were comfortable, in the 2 twin bed configuration. Lots of storage space underneath. * No barrel chairs, for you barrel chair fans, but the round table was in the room. We moved it into the closet for the duration of our cruise. * Laundry rooms are nearby. * You will get your steps in each day, with the location of the cabin all the way aft, especially if you eat at the buffet! * the hallway carpet trick still works; When facing the bow of the ship, red border on the left (port), green border on the right (starboard)
  4. tl;dr: CDC recommends Hep A, typhoid & malaria. It's up to you if you want to pay for them since not all is covered by insurance. Hi Teacher, I just finished FLL-LA on Island through the Canal. I got Hep A, Typhoid, and Malaria. Typhoid and Malaria are NOT generally covered by insurance, so be forewarned. The bugs weren't horrible, though when we were in the canal and for the day in Panama, there was a specific request to keep the doors closed so that insects didn't fly inside. I don't know that the insects were that bad (it was April), so maybe see what the bug situation is before you commit. You do need to go ahead and do the Typhoid (course of 3 live vaccine pills) pretty soon if you decide to do that - i think you need to take it about 2 months in advance? The Malarial drug started 1 week before exposure, through the time in the affected area, and continue about 1 week after (21-28 day course of pills, depending on what your doctor says). I will note my mom was a public health nurse and insisted I do the minimal CDC recommendations (The above three) and my doctor concurred. That was all that was recommended. Nothing was actually *required*. Anywho - enjoy your cruise! ~Blondee419
  5. On the contrary - I did enjoy my cruise. I'm sorry that I didn't make that more clear! However, of the cruises i've been on, this was not the most exciting one. The pax were (as to be expected) those who have the money and free time to be able to take off that long, or, older. (I'm fortunate to have a job where I can take off 3 weeks at a time at my age.) That also contributed to the overall quiet vibe, IMO. I thought that Island added 200 cabins, which is about 400 pax, and that is not insignificant when the crew is not proportionally increased. On the last 2 days, with the weather, there was much more crowding in the public areas than the previous 13 days. Additionally, there were about 100 staff who were down for the count in the food service areas by the end of the cruise (there was some bug going around - both mom and I got it, and the medical centre was definitely over flowing), which can't be controlled. ~Blondee
  6. Just got off Island this week after a full Panama Canal transit. The views below are entirely my own 🙂 If you have any other questions, please let me know and I'm happy to answer them! * She is incredibly understaffed! I can not stress this enough. We were talking to one of the buffet stewards who is only a month away from getting off the ship. She said that they didn't add any crew space with the last overhaul AND they're down about 100 people. It showed. A ship intended to have about 1600 now carries 2000+, with the same 900 crew. * The last 2 days from Puerto Vallarta to LA were extremely windy and cold, so people were driven inside. The loss of public areas meant that there was crowding. Oh, so much crowding. Tempers ran high, and activities were not as much fun. * The staff (excluding entertainment staff) do the best that they can. You can tell how stressed they are 😞 * The entertainment staff: DuVal was nowhere to be seen (Unless a LOT of people would see him) and I never heard him do most announcements. Olivia was a typical 23 year old drunk kid, and by the end of the cruise was on my last nerve. DJ Chris, Yris, Trewlawney, and the new addition Kristoff were awesome, and did the best they could. The productions I saw were quite solid, and for the most part on-board activities were as well. Nothing spectacular one way or the other. The enrichment talks were actually quite interesting as well. * The captain was not visible at all, minus the welcome speech at the champagne waterfall. The rest of the crew (especially the italians) were so much more fun and outgoing. Captain of the watch gave noon announcements, and a few other Italians were running disembarkations in ports each day were especially helpful and entertaining! ~Blondee
  7. Just going to point out the obvious here... The "customer base" is getting older.... and dying off. If they don't attract a younger audience, the cruise line will also die off. I'm 39, btw, and I love Princess. I also enjoy the more laid back "old people" excursions - not the ziplines and such. ~Blondee419
  8. Last cruise Captain Tuvo was **literally** chasing my sister around the ship. Figured out our mini-suite and everything to call her....
  9. My boss was scheduled to be on this cruise, from LA - FLL. He was offered re-booking for an April cruise, and $150/OBC. PLUS, the April cruise was cheaper. I think I did read somewhere Pacific Princess was going to be sold.
  10. For sure! Our next one is April 2019, full Panama Canal transit - Ft. Lauderdale to LA. My mom says Hi!!!
  11. She's 2 years younger than I, and we probably brought the average age down to about 82. ;p
  12. LOL. I know a lot of people do take cruises for him! Love the family thing - He also made quite the impression last February over Valentiene's Day on my Hawaii Cruise with my mom and my sister. Especially my sister :cool::cool:
  13. Slept on a sofa bed in our mini-suite, pulled out on a 15 night to Hawaii last year. Was totally fine/comfortable! Edit: It's not like a futon. It's a regular pull out couch type.
  14. I am 39, my sister is 37. We were on a Hawaiian cruise last year with mom and it was fine. My sister is not going on the Panama canal next year because she "doesn't want to be surrounded by old people." In my experience, that's the nature of longer cruises. She made friends with the CD staff, and stayed in Skywalkers till it closed down though. Even the el Capitan knew her by name (and figured out our stateroom number, but that's another thread entirely). I enjoyed the daytime activities, and am happy reading on our balcony. I'm not particularly a partier, but I was able to hit every BOGO as needed for my booze. Princess is in my experience younger than Celebrity, and less rowdy/drunk/party-centric than Carnival, the other two lines I've been on. Bottom line, the cruise is what you make of it.... Unless you need to have a belly flop contest and go skydiving. Then you need Carnival or RCCL, respectively :)
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