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Reina del Mar

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Everything posted by Reina del Mar

  1. We used Lab Doctor in March. They were wonderful. Arrived for opening at 8.30 am. Short walk from our hotel. Had help filling in online form (They realised we might not have internet, being from GB). Test by gentle technician. Paper copy of result within 15 mins. Cost $49 per person. Not sure whether still open, but possibly as they offered non Covid tests too. Might be worth ringing/ checking on line they are still operating.
  2. We have two ‘transaction free’ cards that we use just for holidays…. Santander Zero and Halifax Clarity cards… there are others available but we are happy with these. Depending on where you are travelling, you need to consider what cash to take…USD for Caribbean/USA, Australian Dollars for Australia Euros for Europe etc. For South America, we took small amounts (£100 equivalent) of the currency for each port to be visited. The amount you need depends on your plans for each port and whether you are doing ship or private excursions or doing your own thing just wandering around the port, taxis, cafes (restaurants usually take cards)…so many variables. Always make card purchases in the currency of the port…as long as you have a ‘transaction free’ card. Their rates are more generous than others offered.
  3. I would be tempted to use Princess EZ Air if you are at all concerned the cruise you are looking at might be cancelled.
  4. We have found it is sometimes cheaper top book it yourself and other times Easy Air is cheaper…worth doing some research. In these post? Covid times might be easier to have a package, especially with airport chaos.
  5. We have taken a disembarkation tour so our luggage travels with us and remains on the coach until we are dropped at the airport..FLL. Tours tend not to show up until you are onboard. Others recommend hiring a car..but we have read of cars being broken into with luggage on view. Possibly stay an extra night in an hotel in port. We have also booked a room for ‘day use’..ours was in Barcelona but am sure www.dayuse.com can offer something…if you don’t mind them bombarding you with emails to book another, after the occasion..I really should unsubscribe!
  6. We looked into this a few years ago..at the time several people mentioned having hire cars broken into when their luggage was on view!! We decided to go with the disembarkation tour, so we and our luggage were safely delivered to the airport. We were there slightly earlier than we would have liked, but no mishaps. Another time we used the luggage transfer to the airport where we only needed our hand luggage..this only worked…at the time..for domestic flights. Our luggage arrived safely in Phoenix where we continued our holiday. If we had knee flying home to UK, service is not available, unfortunately.
  7. We once pranked D and family by telling them we had booked the wrong date and were disembarking the day they boarded. Then as they boarded texted them to say we had left a gift with passengers in cabin xxx, next door to them, and would they collect it as soon as they boarded so their neighbours could hand it over. We had booked a B2B and they joined us for the second week…of course we were the ‘neighbours’.
  8. A chair hog is someone who leaves possessions on a chair, then leaves. The chair is not available to others, because your possessions are ‘hogging’ it !
  9. Be careful you are not taken for a chair hog if you wander too far. !!!!!
  10. Hopefully not..you can use their check in though !! Many people have spent a huge amount of money to gain Platinum status and should not have to wait for those who haven’t. If everyone who is P/E took friends through with them, no wonder it is a long line..please don’t make it longer !!!!!!!!!!! However, sometimes the non Platinum/ Elite line is shorter than the P/E line.
  11. I think that may be because Princess has charged you an inflated currency conversion rate. Try getting a credit card which does not carry a transaction fee and pay in the currency of the ship (USA Dollars) in this case. Some credit cards which do not charge transaction fees include: - Santander Zero card, Halifax Clarity Card, Post Office ( this may have changed), Monzo (don’t know anything about this one).. Look on Martin Lewis site for further information.
  12. I would think the majority would seek out the dress code before deciding what they need to pack.
  13. I am presuming you mean 2023. ??? We fly to Fort Lauderdale and manage to pack everything we need for a cruise and a few days pre and post cruise in 23kg hold suitcase each and carry on bag each. Be aware Princess has self service laundromats on each deck. Some will tell you to pack for 7 days and use those. As a serial over packer I manage. We did East/ West Caribbean -14 nights this year.(Emerald Princess) The three formal nights were formal, with most people wearing a suit or cocktail dress. The very least was long trousers and long sleeved shirt for men and possibly black trousers and sparkly top for ladies. We chose not to ‘dress’ for the third formal night and felt under dressed. (Not enough to go back to change but enough to take ourselves to the buffet.) The smart casual nights were anything from casual to smart with men even being allowed into the MDR (Main Dining Room) in shorts..which is not what Princess’ policy says. We have been on other Princess cruises in the Caribbean where men wearing shorts have been refused entry. (Caribbean Princess) Ladies tended to wear summer dresses. Although Princess posts a ‘suggested’ dress code, it is not uniformly enforced..depends on the ship and either the hostess /Maitre D’ who is sitting you. Many people will tell you it’s your holiday, you have paid for it so wear what you want.I personally think if there is a printed dress code, the cruiseline should enforce it, but that is not what happens in reality.
  14. Might worry that mobile phones may not synch with ship’s time..especially where ports have different time zones. You could always use the old fashioned way of taking a travel clock if not happy to use cabin phone and wake up call. We use alarm feature on mobile and hope time zones align.
  15. Don’t do many shows or participate in the entertainment. If CD wasn’t there, we wouldn’t notice. Might be more room available in the buffet if CD and entertainment staff ate in crew quarters.
  16. If you say where you are sailing from, someone might be able to suggest a local test centre.
  17. `Seems you don’t need a test to fly into US but do need one to board cruise ship.
  18. We were on Emerald Princess on the Caribbean East/West cruise prior to the Transatlantic. Unfortunately many passengers were not wearing masks then either. I mentioned almost daily about the recommended number of six people in lifts several times and needed to get out myself on a couple of occasions, as not everyone wanted to stick to the recommendation. Some sheepishly withdrew. We were fortunate not to catch Covid and did not know anyone who did. However, reading these boards since returning, it seems there were quite a few cases on our cruise and those which followed. Cruising, like life, is a risk in these Covid times. You can be lucky..or not !!!
  19. Sorry to say but I am under the impression that in UK , we are only allowed to make one change to bookings, even with the £100 admin fee. Good luck with whatever you decide. Would be interested to know if you are able to make additional changes.
  20. Recently returned from a RC cruise (Wonder in the Med)and did a Princess (Emerald in the Caribbean) one at Easter. Not quite comparing apples with apples because RC was a Junior Suite and Princess was a deluxe Balcony. These are our observations.- we made a list out of curiosity while still on the ship. RC better for cabin, soaps, shampoo, lotions, gowns, wardrobe, choice in buffet, in room coffee, number of sockets, balcony size, bathroom light, number of lifts available. Ice show, entertainment in general, Coastal Kitchen. Princess won on cabin and pool towels, pool/deck area, Princess Plus- Drinks, wi fi, tipping package, space in both buffet and MDR, library, laundry rooms. Both were equal regarding staff professionalism, fridges, food in general, steward service in cabin and around ship. If travelling as a couple I would probably go with Princess but as an extended family with young adults and children would choose RC. Everything is subjective and depends what you are looking for.
  21. Absolutely horrendous queues (1.5-2 hr) to get through passport control when arriving from UK into Barcelona…obviously due to the UK passports rather than European passports. Almost lost our pre booked mini bus as he had waited almost an hour and a half after our booked time. First couple from party were eventually allowed through European passports due to being unable to stand any longer and were able to catch minibus driver and persuade him to wait longer until others came through. On return much easier although still needed an extra layer of Passport control as we hold UK passports. We had booked a Day Use hotel and wandered Las Ramblas as flight was early evening. There was a change of carrier from BA to Iberia (Code share) and then technical issues which resulted in a two hour delay. However, we realise this was nothing compared with the problems faced by many other travellers.
  22. Just another issue where T&Cs are different for UK passengers. Sorry to say, I moan about this at every opportunity, in the hope someone from the cruise line eventually takes notice!!!!!
  23. If you don’t tell anyone, how will they know to refund the taxes/ Fees ?
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