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About Gretchendz

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Interests
    Travel, reading, film
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Cunard
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. When all else fails, at the end of the cruise, buy jewelry!!!
  2. This should not be a big problem for anyone. The fares and experience are the same. Riveria will have the contact information for US travel agents who have completed the Riviera training available for referrals.
  3. I did a search and did not see this had been posted yet. Apologies if I missed it. For those of you with Amex cards (at least Platinum or Reserve, I'm not sure about other cards). You can receive $300 AMEX statement credit by using your AMEX for at least $1,000 on Uniworld or U River cruises. Log into your account, go to AMEX offers, filter for travel. It show up. Be sure to click to add the offer BEFORE you plunk down the money on your AMEX 🙂 Expires 3/1/20
  4. We did TA on Emerald last May FLL to Barcelona. We loved it. Pretty much the same or similar entertainment options as on a regular Princess cruise. Many activities (trivia, lessons, games, MUTS, etc.) throughout the day. We were never bored. Of course, we are happy reading on our balcony 🙂 Escape room is fun if the offer it. I was surprised how many people we spoke to do the same voyage every year. Also, we cruised back on the Queen Mary 2--which also had many many repeat cruisers.
  5. It is $500 per person. It is combinable with other offers. I don't know about refundability though.
  6. I'm not saying last minute deals are not there, because obviously they are. However, many lines are now offering their very best deals a year or more out. I think that the best last minute deals are slowly disappearing--especially for those wanting suites or mini suites (which can sell out quickly). We tend it to book far out as we can. Example, we decided to plan for Thanksgiving with the 2020 South America cruise (Eclipse!) on the Coral. We paid quite a bit less than the "book" rate. We used FCD to book so no more out-of-pocket for us to do this. We got $1,300 in OBC, not including the shareholder OBC I will add later. Also, free gratuities were included. Final payment is not due until July. In the meantime, I will watch the fares and if a better deal comes along, we'll switch to it. Last February, I took my sister on a short Mexico cruise. I booked early, watched the Black Friday sale and got the fare reduced. From then on the prices only rose--and the ship sailed full. If you really don't care which cruise you go on, it may not matter but we live in the Midwest and need to plan a little 🙂
  7. We took that cruise (well, backwards FLL to Barcelona) last spring..the Emerald was packed and the price only went up as time went by. We met many people on board who sail it every year and book it as soon as they can.
  8. Wow..the number of replies here shows what a problem this has become. We cruise often (not always, but usually Princess) and enjoy trivia very much. We have seen much of the behavior reported here. Like many of you, we like to play for the fun of it, not the coasters. I have heard rumor of websites where people track the Princess trivia questions and answers. I have not looked to see if it's true because I don't want to know. I wish the cruise staff running trivia would do a few simple things to help reduce this because it does ruin the fun for everyone else. 1) Announce at the start of each session that cheating won't be tolerated and that if anyone sees someone else using a book or device to cheat--they should report it. The crew may not like actually enforcing it, but perhaps the announcement would at least reduce the blatant cheating. They can do it humorously by talking about the crummy prizes. 2) There are zillions of sources of trivia questions--find some new ones cruise directors :) Lots of new ones. 3) On a recent Cunard cruise, they announced sternly at the start of each session--"No arguing, we are always right." People accepted it. In fact, on two different nights the same question came up and two different crew gave two different answers :) Folks were a bit miffed but laughed and accepted it. 4) I like to think if there was someone blatantly cheating (like with the book) I would have a conversation with the offenders. And, if that failed, bring it to the attention of the crew. P.S. You can tell we don't cheat because sometimes we get a question we had on a previous cruise and we still can't get it right :)
  9. I don't think so. You can order wine or other drinks, but I'm pretty sure they are regular prices.
  10. Congratulations! You will get a little card in your stateroom stating the location, dates (usually daily) and times--and menu of the snacks each night. The location will vary depending how many elites on board. Not guaranteed you can watch scenery as the location varies depending how many elite and platinums are on board.. When I was on one with half the ship being platinum or elite, it was in a big room with few windows. When on a short California coast cruise on the Ruby with few elites it was in Skywalkers--few people and great views. Agree the special drinks not what they used to be, but they are a reduced price.
  11. So, I have been on both the Coral and Emerald. Coral was about 5 years ago, prior to upgrades. Emerald twice in last two years. In terms of layout, they are actually fairly similar. Of course, the Coral is smaller with fewer venues. We like them both. We did the Machu Picchu two day tour in March 2018, leaving the Emerald for two days mid-cruise. While pricey, the tour was superior in every way. Charter flight to Cuzco, great hotel in Cuzco (JW Marriott), train and bus to MP. Great guide who stayed with us the whole time (they broke us down into groups of about 12-14 people.) If it is anything like the two day, I recommend it very highly. The train food was not great (not Princess's fault) but the hotel's was! We spent a half day on site (they now limit visit length)--that was sufficient time. Everyone we spoke too who took the tour said it was worth every penny and a major highlight.
  12. So good to learn that the Upgrade Fairy lives 🙂
  13. Princess press release..yes Tahiti, no mention of Cuba. Also, their 2020-21 program launch has no mention of Cuba. SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 15, 2019) – In 2020, Princess Cruises guests will enjoy the welcoming spirit and idyllic islands of French Polynesia when the cruise line returns to Tahiti with the intimate Pacific Princess, offering a series of roundtrip cruises for the first time since 2015. Tahiti and French Polynesia cruises open for sale on April 17, 2019. Guests will discover a trove of unspoiled treasures with sparkling lagoons and white-sand beaches available on five, 10-day Tahiti & French Polynesia departures, sailing roundtrip from Tahiti (Papeete). Every voyage includes overnight calls in Tahiti’s capital Papeete and romantic Bora Bora, as well as a late-night stay in Raiatea. Additional ports includes Huahine, Rangiroa, and Moorea. Cruise vacations begin Oct. 5, 15, 25 and Nov. 4 and 14, 2020 starting at $1,999. “Tahiti and French Polynesia lure travelers from all over the world ...
  14. Pretty sure that Princess does not have plans to sail Cuba.
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