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Everything posted by moki'smommy

  1. Sounds something like the Oscars.....he who campaigns the most wins! On the other hand, we did find 2018 Princess much better than 2016 Princess.
  2. 30 DCL cruises, and we've never missed CC when it was scheduled....lots of September cruises as that's an off season and birthday time for us. Until a few years ago there was a guy on line tracking how often any of the ships missed CC and when. His numbers pretty consistently ran 1-3% of scheduled visits were missed. The 3% was when the island was wiped out by a hurricane and closed for repairs for several weeks.
  3. I've also seen it offered on port days when the ship didn't get into port till about noon. The morning schedule was essentially a sea day. You might want to check your arrival time.
  4. The bars generally stay open till midnight. There is no way to compare "apples to apples" between cruise lines. We're platinum on DCL, but started cruising Princess for different itineraries. We found Princess to be rather "beige" in all aspects until our cruise this year when we had the best food we've seen on any cruise line in the last 5+ years! The standard Princess cabins are tiny, but since we need an HA cabin, that's not an issue for us. We love DCL. The problem is that I can often get a suite on Princess for less than half of a balcony cabin on DCL. DCL prices have increased greatly over the last 10 years to the point that I can't justify the cost. They are better, but they aren't 4 times better than other lines! And we always find things that we like better on the other lines as well.
  5. My daughter liked the bunk, so we made sure we booked a room that would hold 4. No worries. Obviously this won't work if you book a *GT.
  6. In our case the pools opened as soon as the cleaning was finished, so we were able to have an hour or so before others boarded. There is also one food place open during that time....as if there isn't enough food already. You CAN choose to leave the terminal between cruises if you wish; in that case you will check in and re-board as if it weren't a B2B. We've done about half a dozen B2Bs on DCL. Each one was different--follow the instructions you'll get in the letter sent to your cabin.
  7. There is no formal night on a 5 night cruise. There is one night that will be designated "Dress Up, Optional." As to 5 night Navigators, all I can suggest is a google search--sorry.
  8. You will not miss the AP shows. You'll have one of the shows each night you are seated in AP. They will be run on Pirate night on a 6 night cruise...but the servers will be dressed in Pirate costumes. There are 3 signature menus, one in each restaurant, typically (but not always) served on the first night you eat in that restaurant. Then you'll have 3 theme menus, served in all restaurants on that night. One of those is the pirate menu/pirate night theme.
  9. To the person who asked about upgrades.....I've tried to post a response 5 times over the last 3 hours. I keep getting error messages. This system is a problem! The answer is that yes, sometimes *GT bookings get upgrades. However, they are more likely to give a complimentary upgrade to someone who booked at a "full price" rather than a discount, and place the *GT booking in the type they purchased. All available cabins are shown on the web site, but you have no way to know what inventory control will do with what is available.
  10. The fine print makes it clear that the promo is for the food only and that it is non-refundable. Use it or lose it. You can change the date and time that you'll be assigned (we did).
  11. I didn't see anything that implied they booked a hotel package thru Princess.
  12. When we used Air Canada in August, seats had to be ticketed before they could be assigned. This is not the case on many other airlines. On Delta, you are able to see your reservation on line before the tickets are purchased and can choose seats on the Delta web site any time after EZ Air makes your reservation. Yes, you get a confirmation number on EZ Air which you use to check in on the Delta web site. You DO want to go to the airline's site to enter your frequent flyer number, contact information etc. I'm guessing other airlines work the same way. EZ Air is not really good at notifying you of flight changes. After we give our e-mail to the airline, we get the communication directly from the airline well before EZ Air sends anything (if they ever do!)
  13. You might want to check the part of the boards that deals with embarkation ports. That said, your best bet from LAX to the hotel will be Uber. THere is a designated Uber pick up area at LAX (or at least there was in August, 2018). We just asked the information person where it was. Our wait was about 2 minutes--he got to us before the app said he would! There are lots of hotels near the cruise port that have shuttles. I'd suggest that you use a web site like hotels.com to narrow down your options based on dates and costs. We have no way to know what sort of hotel you like or which ones are full for your dates. The filters on the web site will allow you to specify any particular features you want, distance to port, etc. Then read the fine print to see which of the ones you like offer complimentary shuttles to cruise terminal. And finally, whether you get a name here or on line, call the hotel to be sure that they STILL offer that service.
  14. Diet Coke is available from the gun. It is the only sugar free soda that is available that way. There is no Problem if you don't like the available gun selections--you are able to bring on board as much soda as you wish.
  15. Keep in mind how many pictures you need to make these packages worthwhile. This is one area where you can save a lot of money by carrying your own camera. The character attendants (NOT the photographers) are happy to take family photos with your camera. They can be a good thing if you have kids, or a group cruising. (One person in the purchasing cabin has to be in the photo to have it on the package). For a couple cruising alone or with an infant...maybe not.
  16. As above, you have to specifically request that Princess ticket your flights early. This saves your current flex fare, but removes all the other flexible features (you can't cancel without penalty, take advantage of reduced fares if they happen, etc). But it does enable you to secure seats on those airlines that require purchased tickets first and allows you to deal directly with the airline for any issues such as changed flight times.
  17. The EZ Air fare is the fare + taxes, airport landing fees, etc. That's just like buying thru an airline or other web site; some show you the breakdown, some don't. The add ons it doesn't include are any fees for seat choices and luggage fees. Obviously if you are on an airline that charges for meals on board or snacks, those are not included.
  18. You DO have to ask them though--the default is to make it with water. That's where daughter was so unimpressed as I'd forgotten to mention the "ask for milk" tip. You know it is bad when a kid comes back to the room with "What a rip off."
  19. You purchase port transfers per "leg," so yes, you can cancel them from WDW to port but keep them from port to MCO after the cruise. In fact, we do this often because if you are on a participating airline you can use "on board airline check in" on the way home--put your luggage outside your door on the last night and see it again at your HOME airport, get your boarding passes in your cabin on the ship. It really makes the airport easy. There are several car rental companies on and near Disney property. One company (Avis?) is located at the Swan/Dolphin complex. That's on property. Two other companies, Budget and Hertz, are in the Good Neighbor hotels just off property--one is in the Hilton, the other in the Doubleday. They have limited hour shuttles where they would pick you up at your hotel and take you to the car place. Still other companies are just a little farther off property, like Enterprise. Please verify that these companies are still in operation where I've said they are as well as the hours of the shuttle; they were there a couple years ago, but I haven't rented a car at WDW recently. Also, I used to get the car the night before as a rental is good for 24 hours; WDW hotels now charge for overnight parking at the resort unless your are a DVC member at a DVC resort, so you might want to pick it up in the morning to avoid the parking charge. On the positive, all major car rental companies have drop off locations near the cruise terminals with complimentary shuttles back to the port. I know nothing about your cruising group, but one hint is for the driver to KEEP HIS/HER ID to get in and out of the terminal area. Drive to the port and drop off passengers and luggage, then return the car and shuttle back to the port. You may not have room to get a family of 4 + luggage onto the shuttle, but you can always get in one person with no luggage! It might save you needing to wait for the next shuttle run. Those dropped off can get in line and start the check in process; the driver can join them after the drop off. In the past, a CM has processed the check in for the absent driver, so they could bypass the line, have an ID photo done, and be thru the check in.
  20. Unless you are in a concierge suite, your fridge is empty. A 15% tip is added to any purchase designated as a "bar item," which includes some things that are not alcoholic beverages like the light up things that clip onto glasses for the kids! It also includes stuff like bottled water and canned sodas.
  21. There are two ways to get to the shopping center....you can take a bus to the Marketplace area of Downtown Disney, and from there walk down the row of "good neighbor" hotels (Hilton, Doubletree, etc). Cross the highway at the light at the end of the row and you are in the shopping center. There is a traffic light; crossing is no problem. Alternatively, you can take a bus from any of the parks to one of these hotels (they are NOT the Disney buses; just ask the transportation people where the stop is). Look at a map to determine which hotel is closest to the shopping center and hop over from there. I've walked it from Marketplace and it isn't bad....but it would feel like a long walk back if you are carrying much. To get to Disney Springs, just take one of the Disney buses that goes there. There is no charge for the Disney buses..in case this is your first trip and you don't know how the transportation system works. Another possibility, of course, would be to cancel your DCL transfers to the port and do a one way car rental. That way you could stop at a more reasonably priced liquor store on the way to the port!
  22. Exactly--it covers more than 95% of the alcoholic beverages sold on the ship.
  23. We were on a B2B to Alaska on the Golden in August. I was surprised at the difference in "most traveled" between the two weeks. The first week, the most traveled was 300 something, the second week she was 800 something.
  24. There is no location ON THE SHIP where you can check internet free. There is an internet cafe that you are welcome to use, but you need an internet package to get a log on code/password. Alternatively, you can use your cell phone while in port. If the port is a US state or territory, your cell plan should work. If not, there are many locations what offer free or low cost internet while in port (buy a beverage, get internet code good all day). The $12 is the menu price--the "before gratuity" price. There is no additional gratuity because the gratuity has already been added to the price of the package. You can get a drink that the menu shows is $12.00 on the package, but not one that is $12.01.
  25. It is much softer than my bed at home, but quite comfortable.
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