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Cruising Forever!

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  1. Silhouette is a WONDERFUL ship! I remember her fondly... On "S" class ships, I live in the Solarium! Also, the Persian Gardens are awesome! We did Aquaclass on our only sailing on Silly... maybe that's why she brings back so many great memories, too!
  2. If you do choose to cruise on Royal Caribbean again, I would recommend taking one of their specialty restaurant packages. The MDR aboard their ships are ok, just not SPECTACULAR as in the old days. Celebrity is best on MDR all around, imo. Princess MDR is a step above Royal Caribbean MDR, again, imo. We had a B2B on Allure of the Seas, and we ate in the MDR (again, it was ok...) the first week, and then took a f 5 or 6 night specialty restaurant package for the second week to avoid a repeat of menus. (Note, Allure treated us to a free lunch in Giovanni's Table... or whatever they call the Italian specialty restaurant in Central Park these days... between the two weeks just for doing the B2B sailing.)
  3. 😆😆😆 So, I'm not sure why you keep referring to "decades" in the way that you do... sorta sounds like a challenge. It's best to make sure you have your own facts straight before throwing down the gauntlet. Have YOU ever heard of the Celebrity ship "Horizon"? We sailed on her in 1995 and that was 26 years ago... certainly decades ago. In fact, we were sailing on Celebrity BEFORE Royal Caribbean bought or merged that company up. Celebrity's Horizon and her sister ship were sailing before the "M" class ships. As to your question with regards to the size of the buffets and selections, we have enjoyed the excellent buffets on Reflection's sister ships, Solstice, Silhouette and twice on Equinox. All of those sisters have the exact same size buffet. Royal Princess' was bigger and had more selections. Period. I can say that because I've experienced both fleet offerings. Btw, we are Diamond Plus on Royal (and of course, Elite on Celebrity), so that should tell you that we've had a lengthy sailing career, thank you very much. As to your 2nd question, generally speaking, the specialty restaurants are about $30pp on Royal Princess. Princess has added some new specialty restaurants on the newer Royal class ships. They might be slightly higher. Still cheaper than the Celebrity specialty locations. (We never miss the Tuscan on Solstice class ships... didn't care for Q'sine... I loved Murano, but no one else in our party liked it there. We like Silk Harvest, but it's not a can't miss for us) As to your 3rd "question" where you once again put "decades" into quotes in a feeble attempt at a challenge of my actual decades of sailing both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, was I aware that Celebrity has room service? Is this really a question on your part? 😆 Well, I should tell you that I would never eat dinner in my stateroom by choice on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Princess. We've done breakfast on the balcony, but I find that to be less wonderful than it's portrayed. I think your final paragraph... If the Royal Princess's buffet is really not better than that on "X" Solstice-class ships ... and/or ... if the RP will not deliver full MDR meals to staterooms, we doubt that we would be tempted to switch from Celebrity. ... is a bit odd, don't you? How would you know whether the Royal Princess buffet is better or not than that on Celebrity ships without trying it yourself? I never said it was better... I said at least as good (imo) and bigger. But it seems to me that you really aren't interested in switching from Celebrity at all. So why even bother considering it? PS- I don't do drinks packages as they are a rip-off in my opinion. I generally do Soda packages and they cost about the same across Princess and Celebrity, but Princess includes some other kinds of non-soda, non alcoholic drinks in their soda package. This is all easy enough to research on your own at the Princess site.
  4. They should just do it online like everything else. Then it's not up to any laws in Florida getting in the way. Just my 2c
  5. My online check in didn't ask for that at all. On the other hand, it said I couldn't complete the Health and Wellness section till the day before sailing.
  6. This was how I guessed they’d do it to get around Florida law saying they can’t ask. I’m perfectly willing to prove I got the vaccines. I just want to know how it’s done.
  7. I figured they'd ask in my check-in stuff online. I was all ready to present my vaccine card pictures there, but there was nothing about vaccine status there. I hope they aren't planning to wait till we get to the port for that info... that could lead to all sorts of dopey nonsense I don't want to be a part of...
  8. Princess. We have cruised Royal and Celebrity exclusively for decades, but in 2019, we did our first Princess cruise aboard the Royal Princess. We were in love immediately. The food in the buffet is at least as good as Celebrity buffets but with far more selections. The specialty restaurants are on par with Celebrity's but much less expensive. The main dining room is better than Royal Caribbean (which has gone way down hill in our opinion) but almost up to Celebrity's main dining rooms. Fellow passengers aboard Princess align with that found on Celebrity... more of an older, more sedate crowd. Princess ships are larger and gorgeous (and we consider Celebrity to have gorgeous ships as well). Shows are more traditional than that found on Celebrity ships. Live bands are in the theater on Princess. Pools and loungers are about the same across both fleets, but Celebrity ships have nicer adults only pools. Princess has their Medallion class ships (all now, I think) and the Medallion service is spectacular! You can summon drinks or food to you from your phone, or locate fellow passengers in your group, amongst other amazing things!
  9. Well, this makes four Princess cruises canceled for us over the past year. Of the first three, I can definitely agree that they needed to be canceled. But Princess pulling the plug on this one, just as everything seemed to be falling into place with all the CDC vs the industry vs FL Gov dramas, just doesn't make sense. I'm not sure what is behind this at all. Princess offered to switch us to the same ship/itinerary for next year, but the whole point of this cruise was to get on a ship this year. It didn't hurt that she was visiting locations we've never been to before. Bummer. I think after four cancelations and especially after this last one, I'm burned out on Princess for now. Going to look to Celebrity or maybe even Royal Caribbean instead. If all else fails, maybe Carnival. Cheers, Paul
  10. I have cruised on the Celebrity Solstice class of ships MANY times... it's actually our favorite class ship across all cruise lines. It has a smart, easy to follow layout. We LOVE the Persian Gardens, and you get that free as part of AquaClass. We did AquaClass once, and we loved that as well. Same cabin size as other balconies, just better placed and with better amenities. Awesome multi shower head in bathroom shower as well. The biggest plus is you get exclusive access to Blu, which is a fantastic restaurant. We've only cruised once with Princess, aboard Royal Princess in the Spring of 2019. We instantly fell in love with Princess! We found the Royal class to be just gorgeous, but it has some strange layout where getting to one of the main restaurants is concerned. We LOVED the Enclave! Comparing food: I would say that the main dining room meals on Celebrity are a step up from Princess' main dining room, but that shouldn't take away from Princess' offerings. Princess and Celebrity have the BEST buffets at sea, in my experience. But Princess' buffet (at least on Royal) are MUCH larger than Celebrity's buffets. Specialty restaurants on both lines are exquisite! Princess offers more free locations to eat than Celebrity does. As for cabins, Celebrity balcony staterooms are larger and more comfortable, but on Royal, we had a Mini-Suite (which included a tub!), so if you can swing it, I'd go that route on Princess. All the rest is the same on both Celebrity and Princess: great entertainment, similar excursions, great pool areas (the Solarium- Adults only pool - on Celebrity is second to none, though), awesome bars (Martini bar on Celebrity Solstice class ships is incredible), Casino... all you would expect. You can't lose!
  11. Well, finally, Princess cancelled our Alaska cruise (Alaska cruises aren’t happening this year... it’s silly that they keep acting like they are.) and now I don’t have to worry about the final payment drama next month. Hallelujah! My TA says Princess will move us to the same cruise next year. I will see what they offer us, but again, I really can’t plan a cruise in 2022. Hoping the CDC and cruise industry can salvage the Caribbean (which I predict can’t start till August at the earliest) cruise season for 2021.
  12. Some good news: I pointed out the Princess change to 60 days out for final payments to my TA. He called Princess, and apparently, Princess has been “quietly” updating people about this. So I now have till mid-April for my final payment! Thank you to all of you who pointed this change out! I still think it’s snarky for Princess to even expect a final payment on my Alaska cruise when they’ve decided to halt sales on it to everyone else who doesn’t have a deposit in already. Suspend final payments till you open this cruise back up, Princess. Also, CDC foot dragging is making any June 2021 cruises look unlikely. My luck will be that Princess does solve all of this fracas on Alaska cruises in 2021 (yay!) but then cancels my cruise anyway because the CDC didn’t get their guidelines/permissions for test cruises, etc, out fast enough for regular June cruises to start. (Booo!) At any rate, I will ride out another month and see what happens.
  13. Actually, when I told my TA I don’t want to be moved (arbitrarily in my opinion- I think Princess should ask first!) to a 2022 cruise, he told me it would be best to not make a final payment. I’m not sure when he gets his commission from Princess (I always thought it was after a completed cruise?) but his tactics were all based on me not losing out on a possible deal coming from Princess if they do (well, when they do... let’s be honest) cancel. I’ve seen the deals given to other Alaska cancels and it really didn’t impress me enough. But I think it’s a great thing when a TA makes sure all my bases are covered. I’m happy with him.
  14. So, no I didn’t say that at all. You just showed exactly what I said. It’s Princess that is looking to strike some deal with Canada or the US government (that could take all sorts of directions without Canada doing a thing. That’s the point that the cruise industry has been peddling for the past month. I think it’s just corporate bluster to keep money they desperately need). I never said anything about Canada needing to change its laws or rules or anything of the kind. I personally think Canada should stay closed as long as needed (apparently the government there isn’t ready to open its ports to cruises, and that’s just fine. The US hasn’t really done so either as I write this). Maybe you have some chip on your shoulder with the “Blame Canada” monicker, but I never did. Maybe Canada will get its vaccine roll out going (I hope so!) and decide to rescind its order. I want Canada to do what’s best for Canada. But my thread here has nothing to do with placing blame on Canada and everything to do with blaming Princess for pretty shoddy policies on this Alaska cruise final payment business.
  15. Except that it’s not pro-consumer for Princess to stop selling the cruise (they probably know it’s going to cancel if they halt sales) to others, but to expect a final payment from those who made a deposit and further, to tie up those funds for months and months and months if they do cancel. As I said, they should halt final payments until they know what’s going on with this cruise (and all their other Alaska cruises still supposedly going forward). I’d hang in there with them if they did that. But Princess handling things in this manner isn’t “being generous” at all.
  16. I’d only go on a cruise, this year, with Covid protocols on board.
  17. That’s interesting... my Princess paperwork says it’s due next week. Is this a new update?
  18. So, my final payment is due on our Seattle to Alaska RT 7 day cruise (scheduled for this June) in less than two weeks. Still no word from Princess if this cruise is really going forward or not. They haven't canceled it, but it's becoming obvious that they will probably have to do so. Setting aside Canada's port closures through Feb 2022, the CDC hasn't even given the go-ahead for "practice sailings" yet. Cruise lines have started canceling through June 1. I think it's pretty obvious that dates will probably slip back till July 1 for the end of the pause. And of course, there's still no word on whether Princess could strike some deal with the Canadian or US governments to make the Alaska cruise itineraries happen this Summer. And yet, Princess still expects us to make a final payment on a cruise that they probably know isn't going to happen. After all, they've stopped cruise sales on ALL of their Alaska sailings! If they are so sure our cruise will happen (or any Alaska cruise this Summer/Fall), why would they shut down sales for them? My TA is advising that I should go ahead with the final payment anyway since Princess will offer to put me on the same cruise in 2022 if mine does get canceled (plus a whopping 10% off FCC- wow). But I'm not able to make any plans for 2022 at all where cruises are concerned. So I'd basically be tying up funds to go on a cruise that will probably be canceled and then it will take 3 months to see those funds refunded. (if I'm lucky) I appreciate that Princess is in this between a rock and a hard place, too... but I'm not a billion dollar corporation. (Princess still owes me a $200 down payment on a cruise that got canceled last year. God only knows where that is.) I wish Princess would do something civil and allow us to float our final payment a few months or until at least a point at which they can say, "yes, this cruise is going to happen!". Since there's no sign that this will happen, I'm going to have to cancel this cruise (and probably lose another $200 deposit along the way) next week. Sucks.
  19. I think you missed the point where I said "wait and see". That's me saying that basically, that's what Princess is telling those of us who booked Alaska 2021 in their press release that I already mentioned. Wait and see is what Princess is implying in their wording. Btw, there is nothing there in that statement saying (as you state) that your cruise is cancelled if it is before March 1, 2022. I would be very happy if that was the case as I could get some idea of what to do next. From other sources I've read, Canada was going to decide on whether they'd extend the cruise pause on Feb 28, 2021. Instead, they surprised everyone by stating they've decided waiting a year is their best option, and they did it on Feb 4, instead (not a good sign at all)! The likelihood of Canada reversing this decision is practically nil, based on what's going on in Canada right now. (Btw, the US isn't out of the woods yet, either... the CDC guidance has been sketchy from what I've read. Some cruise ships have sent crew back home.) I also don't believe the US will lift or waive the maritime laws to allow Alaskan cruises this Summer. It would be extraordinary. Maybe the excuse would be that Covid is extraordinary, but because of the poor (and undeserved) reputation cruises have with Covid (I have many friends and family who think we are crazy to step foot on a cruise ship because they think cruise ships are just covid breeding grounds...), I'm guessing there will be overwhelming resistance in government to waiving the law. If by some crazy miracle, Princess and the rest planning Alaska cruises do somehow convince the government to waive this law, that could still keep me committed to our cruise (as long as the itinerary isn't impacted in a negative way, because obviously they'd have to figure something else out) So, if you carefully read the Princess release, it definitely implies that we all need to wait and see what the fallout of Canada's decision will be, and what the work about will be, if at all. What I was saying above (you might want to re-read it) is that it's pretty disingenuous on Princess' part to say that they are halting sales at the moment (missed that the last time I read it), while not sending out an email or update to those of us who are booked on their Alaska cruises, where we stand. I have a final payment to make next month. Why would I want to go through the entire exercise of making a final payment on a cruise that looks 99% likely to be cancelled? Further, we know it takes MONTHS for refunds to get back out to everyone. Saying I should "be a little patient" isn't really something you should say to me. If you read what I said above, I'd say my patience has been stellar. Princess already has one cruise deposit in limbo of mine, and if this Alaska cruise is cancelled, that will be another $200 deposit floating about. Now, on the other hand, were Princess to say that they are going to hold off final payments for a few months while they nail down what's going to happen, that would be a different story. I'd be more than happy to wait then (not like I have anything better to do) and see the outcome. That would be a very reasonable gesture on their part. I won't hold my breath, because yes, these things are automated. My TA said that the entire cruise industry has been on message that 2021 was going to be the BIG RETURN of cruising with Alaska starting up again. I'm sure the disappointment is real at the cruise company HQs around the world, and I do commiserate with them. But just because they are disappointed (and so are we), it doesn't mean we passengers should be kept in the dark, and go forward acting as if everything is on track (read that press release again- I'm glad you posted it here as there was even more "uh-oh" stuff in there that I missed the previous times reading it) for these cruises. If they are suspending sales of these cruises (which really says, "it ain't happening"), they should halt our final cruise payment progress as well!
  20. So we booked in 2019, while aboard Royal Princess, a trans-Atlantic cruise aboard Sky Princess for last year. Then the pandemic started and all cruises were paused. Then we booked Enchanted Princess for March 27 this year... and Princess extended their sailing pause till April 1. So then we booked Majestic Princess for Alaska for June 20, and now Canada has decided to close up shop till next year. Now, I'm not blaming this on anyone or anything other than the pandemic. I'm a grown-up. I know stuff beyond the cruise line's control can occur, and that's life. But it's become obvious that our sailing (and most likely all Alaska sailings) will be cancelled. So, I informed my TA that I think it's going to cancel (I follow many Vloggers on cruising, and they had word out before my TA heard), and that I'm fine with that. He sent me a letter that he got (later in the day) from Princess with regards to Alaska sailings. Basically it said that Princess was assessing the Alaska situation, and that they planned to keep their hotel partners operating in Alaska (nice) to help them thru this rough time, etc. I'd say the letter didn't really do anything to alleviate my concerns over my Alaska cruise other than to say, "wait and see". The thing I don't like is that my final payment comes in mid-March. Since Princess is assessing the situation with regards to their Alaska cruises, I take it this can only mean that they are hoping for some sort of blanket waiver of the Jones Act to save the Alaska tourism more losses. If they get waivers for these cruises, that would mean a modified itinerary. I'm not sure if I want to go forward with that or not, btw. In other words, if Princess hasn't made a firm go, or no-go on Alaska sailings by mid-March, I really don't want to make that final down payment only to have them cancel the cruise later and see my money tied up for 3 or four months while they try to figure out refunds. Another annoying thing is that I now have two $200 deposits bouncing around: the first was for my original Sky Princess TA that got cancelled. Princess holds these for you for two years, and then refunds them, apparently, if unused. I had Princess apply this deposit to Enchanted when Sky was cancelled after all the refunds went out (cruise was cancelled in March, and we got our refunds in July). So when Enchanted got cancelled, I guessed it would be a piece of cake to have my travel agent move that deposit to the Majestic sailing. Unfortunately, this was a nope, can't happen, because that deposit and all of the cancelled Enchanted stuff had to be processed first (again, took months). So I had to shell out another $200 to make the deposit for Majestic happen. The Enchanted deposit did finally appear in my Princess dashboard for a few days... and then it disappeared. I'm not sure where that $200 is now. I've asked my TA about this, and he said to hang in there and wait and see how things develop. He said it's possible that Princess will put that floating $200 deposit into an OBC, or they will refund it to me. This is all new for the industry. But long story short, I'd like a thumbs up or thumbs down ASAP on the Alaska cruise status from Princess. If its STILL unknown by mid-March, when my final payment is due, I'm going to cancel and demand that they return both deposits. I won't book another cruise till I see ships loading people aboard and sailing away for a few months. Cheers, Paul
  21. You beat me to it! 🙂 I just got the email from Princess! HOORAY! This is GREAT news! We love Medallion Class... and it's made for hands free cruising!
  22. We were scheduled for last April's Sky Princess Trans-Atlantic which we were thoroughly looking forward to as we'd never done a TA cruise... but then, Covid cancelled everything. (Our first Princess cruise was aboard the gorgeous Royal Princess back in May 2019... we fell in love with the Royal class, and booked Sky while aboard). Last Summer, when I thought it would probably be far enough in the future to book safely, we booked the Enchanted Princess (even newer than Sky!) for this March. Once again, the new normal caused that cruise to disappear. We had our eye on the Sky's New England-Canada sailings for the Fall of 2021... and even last month we were discussing possibly trying to book one of those, but now I've read this. Boo... and sorry to those of you who are sad about this... I know the feeling! We did book Majestic for next Summer. Not gonna hold my breath... it's just the new normal, right? Book a cruise and it's a "maybe we're going". My only annoyance here is that my Sky deposit bounced into a "future cruise deposit" (whatever happened to "refundable") and so we applied it to Enchanted. When I booked Majestic, I wanted to transfer that future cruise deposit from Enchanted... but I couldn't as it's still in the "your cruise is cancelled" processing limbo. So I had to shell out a new deposit. Once all this shakes out, I'm going to call Princess and insist they refund one of those deposits. One other note: the Caribbean Princess sailings to NE-Canada might be at the mercy of Canada reopening their borders. This could effect my cruise on Majestic as well. If Canada's ports are closed, those cruises can't proceed without a foreign port, right? I just read that Canada might not open up again to the US till Summer of 2021 or even as late as Jan 2022! Ugh... we might be headed towards cancellation #3. I think that would be it for us.
  23. All of the sudden, Majestic sailings for May are coming up "Medallion Class" where they were only listed as "Medallion Wifi" (meaning it wasn't upgraded yet) a few days ago! Hopefully this means she's being upgraded soon! I hope this isn't some webpage glitch! Very happy to see this!
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