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About fishywood

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  1. Sounds like you are planning to use a debit card attached to your bank account rather than a revolving-charge credit card. You are strongly advised not to. The ship will place multiple holds on your account that may not come off until well after the grand total has be determined and debited. The final charge will be processed as a purchase, not as a payment, under the terms of Visa or Mastercard or whichever logo is on the card. If there is no such company logo that allows the transaction to be processed as a purchase rather than a payment your card will probably not be accepted.
  2. fishywood

    Have to Cancel Cruise

    If the injury occurred a month before sailing they are in the 75% cancellation penalty period; if it still more than 29 days before they are only in the 50% penalty. Which means half the fare--plus all the Government Taxes and Fees--will be refunded, the rest reimbursed by insurance. But if they no-show at the dock they will be in the 100% cancellation period. And when the insurance carrier sees the claim where the injury occurred prior to the 100% window there is no way you can expect a full payout. More likely they will assume the doctor's report is fraudulently backdated. All insurance coverage is contingent on timely filing of claims. So put the idea of just doing a no-show out of your head immediately. Have that couple call Princes ASAP.
  3. fishywood

    What’s been your fav?

    I've not been to every corner of the cruising world but my all time favorite port is Funchal, Madeira Islands off the coast of Portugal. Found on Transatlantics or some Canary Island itineraries. Sticking to the western hemisphere Alaska is a must if you haven't been there yet. Be sure to take an open jaw sailing that includes Glacier Bay and College Fjord. Following that it is a toss up between an Around Cape Horn sailing (the earlier in the season the better the wildlife) or a Canada/New England sailing on a (relatively) smaller ship that can call at Saguenay, Gaspe, and Prince Edward Island as well as the usual ports in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine. Can't go wrong with either, you are only limited by your own sense of adventure--which is why other people's "faves" really don't matter when its your tastes (and wallet) in play.
  4. fishywood

    Hubbard Glacier & Wilderness Exploration

    Hubbard Glacier is not a "port of call" it is a day the ship spends doing glacier cruising. As will be the next day in Glacier Bay. Does Princess "mark up" the cost of the tour as compared to the cost to a theoretical "walk up" customer to the tour operator who spends their summer stationed at the tiny Yakutat Village which is in the middle of nowhere even by Alaska standards? Yeah sure. If that fact offends you to the core enough to come up with the above rant, perhaps your shore excursion money would be better spent the day before prior to sailaway with one of the several providers of small boat glacier cruises based in Whittier. Will likely be less costly than the Princess Hubbard Glacier small boat excursion (which you declined to give the actual price of) and more likely more varied in the first place as Hubbard Glacier is probably the least interesting one in Alaska--just a giant monolithic sheet of ice. In my opinion it probably looks better from a distance than close up, but if you still want opinions on the worthiness of a small boat excursion there you are far more likely to find answers on the Alaska board than here. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/33-alaska/
  5. fishywood

    Where is Funch?

    OK when I narrowed my Google search it did find his personal website rather than several pages of single-entendres. http://www.funchmusic.com/page6.php As you can see the-artist-known-as-Funch is currently on Regal Princess through February 10, and then will board Island Princess on March 30. Sorry no mention of Emerald; guest entertainers on Princess seem to jump ship more than on other lines. (But most all will post their schedules on their own sites).
  6. fishywood

    Hawaii on Emerald Princess

    I think the OPs remark of "no daily newsletter" refers not to the Princess Patter but the printout of news headlines that Princess long ago discontinued. The only mainstream cruise line I know of that still offers them is Holland America. Which may also be the source of the OP's expectation of a sofa in a standard balcony cabin. Princess always provides a voucher that is in your cabin upon embarkation for any perk whether purchased, part of the booking, or gifted from either a TA or family/friends not sailing. It is for everyone's protection that it must be produced when redeeming. And it is more than reasonable that the photo gift is just for candid shots from the ship's photographers and not formal portraits. Which remained a sore point even when the photo department acquiesced and made an exception. Would it be better off if they hadn't? I know this review was generally positive but the fact that nearly 50% of the post was spent rehashing a simple misunderstanding that while it may have turned into an Alphonse-and-Gaston routine in the OP's eyes should have been forgotten the moment it was over is quite telling. Being new to Cruise Critic I don't know what their past cruising experience entails but it seems their expectations of Princess were not founded in the normal planning done when sailing a ship or line for the first time. The "cons" listed above certainly lead to the conclusion that other lines may be better for them.
  7. fishywood

    Star Princess Saunas and Lap Pool

    Even though the deck plans make the Lap Pool appear to be within the confines of the Lotus Spa it is not and is open to all, though nominally adults only. And while use of the Thermal Suite on Star Princess does require either purchase of a cruise-long pass or a spa treatment that allows use for the remainder of the day, as mentioned above the saunas in the locker rooms are free to all. Though no guarantee they will issue you a locker key if you have not purchased one of the above amenities, so just show up in bathing suite and/or robe.
  8. fishywood

    Upsell-seems like a bad deal

    Is that $289 in US or Canadian dollars? If the latter that comes to $218 in US$ which only a bit higher than most recent seven-night upsells. If enough people ignore it you may get a lower second offer right before sailing (I did this summer on Island Princess in Alaska) but without knowing time and region of your cruise it is hard to say if there will be few takers--if a Caribbean cruise during the February/March peak there may be enough Princess newbies who bite. But even $31/pp/pd if converted to USD is admittedly no bargain and better spent on other amenities on your cruise than just a sofa, bathtub and second TV (and two glasses of "unpacking juice").
  9. fishywood

    Miami Airport Immigration

    The shutdown has not affected ICE as badly as it has TSA. Most DHS employees are actually getting paid, though still subject to being furloughed. If arriving at the South Terminal on an international flight (unless coming from Europe or a non pre-cleared Caribbean flight that is where you will be directed for clearance) you go through Immigration first, then you claim your bags. Allow one hour minimum for that first step even if they are fully staffed, especially if in the morning hours. After which your bags should be waiting for you on the carousel, where they do check you have been processed in but that should not take more than a few minutes. Safe time to give your driver is probably 90 minutes after scheduled arrival as a good amount of walking is necessary and there will probably be lines at the restrooms should you need to stop there.
  10. fishywood

    Deposited cash into your onboard account

    Princess is certainly free to place whatever restrictions they wish on players who use OBC rather than cash as their buy-in. Such as only allowing to cash out winnings--not the amount of the buy-in--until the last day of the cruise. I would bet the farm that that idea has already crosses their minds.
  11. fishywood

    Different ship taking Grand Princess place?

    People have posted being told the same thing by a ship's officer about Caribbean Princess and at least one of the Panamax ships (Island or Coral) as well. I think it is just the company line to hype the new builds which are coming fast and furious: in the early part of the '00s there were five ships launched in rapid succession (Caribbean, Diamond, Sapphire, Coral and Island) and after a decade-plus of only three more, Princess will have seven new builds between 2013 and 2023. Unless they plan to elevate to Carnival or RCI-level berth capacity then more ships will be leaving, no question. Will Princess save a "smaller" ship to homeport in non-megaship cities (only one Princess currently does is San Francisco), or to be able to visit smaller ports in the South Pacific or Eastern Med? For now we can only guess if any ships older than the Crown/Emerald/Ruby triplets will be in the fleet five years from now.
  12. fishywood

    Grand Princess Deck Plans

    A four year old plus version of the deck plans will almost certainly have out of date cabin classifications as Princess makes changes in those on an almost annual basis. The version linked to in post #3 is from the current Princess cruise atlas. Nice to know that an online version can be downloaded for those who can find it on Princess' TA booking site. The version in post #1 is clearly a clone, in an unfamiliar font and not organized in the same format at the atlas version. And the link is to a third party site; the fact that it passingly resembles the version found on the Princess TA site does not make it quack less like a duck. Why even ask if it is out of date when you found the link to the current one in the time it takes to write a response?
  13. fishywood

    Deposited cash into your onboard account

    Sorry but that is not how the system works. Yes it is your money but you used that money to purchase a commodity--On Board Credits. So that is the form it must be consumed in. If you fail to consume the OBC in its entirety you are mailed a check for the balance. At the company's leisure. ...and one day Princess is going to get wise to the cashing-out-of-OBC-in-the-Casino workaround. Do you want to be one of the first caught when they do?
  14. fishywood

    Different ship taking Grand Princess place?

    Your source of this information is??? As mentioned above Princess has officially announced both Golden and Star Princess are being transferred to P&O Australia. Golden was supposed to go in early/mid 2020 but will now be in Los Angeles thru July of that year. Grand is going to drydock this spring to do significant backroom repairs just a fairly short time from the previous one. Could be simply necessity for a 21 year old ship--or a prerequisite for meeting terms of sale? Not likely given the two sister ships leaving, but rumors must be mongered... In an earlier thread on this oft-repeated topic someone claiming to have access to this info stated that Princess' plans are to no longer have a ship based in San Francisco year-round; possibly they will have a ship that spends the rest of the year in the South Pacific do a short r/t SF to Alaska season only (as was done by Sea Princess prior to Grand being deployed year-round there). Probably not what the OP wants to hear--but again this particular topic can only be answered with gossip, at least until Fall/Winter 2020/21 is released in three or four months. Though some known movements among the fleet do bode for a second Royal-class ship going to the west coast sometime in 2021, probably resulting in a further cascade of re-deployments even beyond Golden and Star departing. So stay tuned for the next installment of "As Grand Princess Turns"
  15. fishywood

    Cheap hotel near FLL

    Either the Ft Pierce or Port St Lucie exits will have several of the lower priced chains. But during the season they fill up quite early in the day so a reservation is still essential. Will put you 1:45 to 1:30 north of Port Everglades. To be just shy of an hour from the port you can stay right near PBI airport where the mid-priced options will be about $50 less than the Port Everglades area hotels on SE 17 St in Ft Lauderdale. Meaning during peak season you will pay about $200 for a Courtyard/Doubletree/Springhill rather than the $250+ in FLL.