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  1. Thanks for the information everyone. twodaywonder...Welcome Home, Brother.
  2. I'm booked on the 29 March North Coast cruise on Grand out of SFO. I understand this will be her first Medallion Class sailing. Although I'm an experienced Princess cruiser (yes, black card), this will be my first Medallion Class venture. What is the procedure for securing your Medallion? Is it mailed to you or do you pick it up at check-in like the old days? I'm also a dinosaur and don't have a cell phone. Will this impact the usefulness of the Medallion? Technology...bah. Give me the old days of stone knives, bear skins, and a roaring fire at night.
  3. We're going to Mexico in a week on Grand and are wondering if any of the recent cruisers on Grand know who the current entertainer is in Crooner's Bar. We're hoping that it's a gentleman named Paul who only plays music by "dead people" (his joke)...Gershwin, Porter, Cahn, etc. Sailed with him on this same cruise last year and really enjoyed his music.
  4. I will be cruising solo in March 2021. Since I am cruising solo, I am paying double fare and get credit for 2 cruises. Those two cruises will be my 41st and 42nd cruises with Princess. What Loyalty OBC will I receive...$50 as my 41st cruise or $75 as my 42nd cruise? As usual, Princess rep doesn't have a clue and Customer Service puts me on perpetual hold.
  5. Things sure have changed at the Museum of Flight since I was there last. SAM 970 and the Concorde were both outside along with a B-47, the original 707,and a restoration in progress B-29. I always found it interesting that LBJ went to Dallas on SAM 970 but flew back to Washington on SAM 26000 as President.
  6. It's a crapshoot. I go in May every year (early...first cruise of season) and have been wet and freezing one year and getting sunburn in a t-shirt the next year. The majority of the time it's been decent but you can never tell. Prepare for the wet and if it's sunny...great!
  7. We sailed with both of these entertainers in January 2019 on Grand Princess out of SFO. I spoke with Paul about his schedule before we left and remember that he said he's going to be back on Grand out of SFO in January through March of next year (2020). Really looking forward to hearing him again. Love the fact that he says he only plays music by "people who are dead". One night he did make an exception and played a Steven Sondheim tune that he says he dearly loves ("Anyone Can Whistle"). David was such an accomplished pianist (and hill climber) and such a nice person. We both shared the love of Burt Bacharach music and he consistently played a few BB tunes during each set. Not sure what his schedule is but I'd love to hear him play again. Wish Princess had more entertainers like these two.
  8. We spent time talking with Matt about the absence of Voice of the Ocean. Because the singers/dancers just got on board, there wasn't going to be adequate rehearsal time available for the Voice finale...too much going on. Ditto for the lack of "British Invasion" production show as well. One thing that was superb on the cruise was a Princess Theater back stage tour on the final day as "Motor City" was being presented in the Vista Lounge. We were able to visit the dressing rooms with one of the dancers, had the back stage operations and equipment explained to us by the equipment gang, and had the "marks" on stage (which we can't see from the audience) explained to us by the choreographer. This is only the second time I've seen this tour available (no charge) and it was excellent.
  9. If Star follows the schedule of her sister, Grand, then the shows would be British Invasion, Motor City (in the Vista lounge), Stardust, and Born To Dance (my personal favorite).
  10. Wondering the same thing myself as we'll be on Star next week. If Princess follows it's normal schedule, we would at least have our Veteran's get together on that day which would be very nice.
  11. As you leave port, The City will be on your port (left) side. Alcatraz and Angel Island will be on your starboard (right) side so you may want to be able to shuffle back and forth for pix. Deck 14 is usually pretty crowded for sail away but you can usually find a good railing spot somewhere. You can always go up to Deck 15 or Deck 16 which tend to be a little less crowded but more exposed to the weather. Regardless of the weather, wear a jacket. It's probably going to be cool and very windy on the way to the bridge...nothing you can do about it. Sometimes we'll try and secure a spot behind one of the light blue plastic windbreaks to deflect the breeze. If you're coming up from LA and staying about 45 minutes from The City then I'm guessing you're going to be on the peninsula somewhere. Based on that assumption (yeah, I know, never ASS U ME anything) the best way to Pier 27 from there is to take I-280N and stay on it until it ends. It will literally drop you off on The Embarcadero and you can just follow that around to Pier 27. You'll drive right by AT&T Park (or whatever they're calling it now), Red's Java Hut (legendary SF dive and best burgers in The City), under the Bay Bridge and past the Ferry Building. I believe the garage at 80 Francisco is a block or two after you pass Pier 27. Caution: traffic can be heavy on The Embarcadero sometimes, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, so allow yourself adequate time for traffic delays.
  12. Sailing out of San Francisco is my favorite port of all time, not just because I live here in the Bay Area. I've left from Pier 27 many times and even from the old PIer 35 (yech!). Let's see if we can help you. Check in: Don't pay any attention to the boarding schedule that Princess sends you in your email. We usually arrive at Pier 27 around 10:30-10:45, drop our luggage with the porters, and proceed into the building. Security is usually a breeze as is getting your cruise card from the Princess desks at that time of the day. Then it's off to the waiting area which is reasonably comfortable, not great, but reasonable. Boarding usually commences some time between 11:00 and 11:45, depending on factors such as customs, cleaning, etc. On our January cruise to Mexico, we were ON BOARD at 11:00 (we're Elite, first group to board). You won't be able to get into your room until 13:00 but Grand will let you store your carry on luggage in Explorer's lounge so you don't have to schlep it around. Leaving port on time: This one is hit and miss. We've left on time, we've been delayed by 30-60 minutes, we've been delayed until 24:00...depends on many factors. I would plan on missing dinner in the MDR that night so that you can enjoy sail away. While you're docked (stern in), you'll have a great view of Treasure Island, the East Bay hills, the Ferrry Building, Coit Tower, The Embarcadero with all the classic street cars, and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. Getting to the bridge after you shove off takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on multiple factors. On the way you'll have a great view of Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, the SS Jerimiah O'Brian (one of only 2 functional Liberty Ships remaining from WWII), classic sailing vessels at Hyde St. Pier (especially The Balclutha, a 3 masted tall ship), Ft. Mason (embarkation point for troops headed to the Pacific Theater in WWII), The Cannery (old Del Monte factory), Ghiradelli Square, The Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, Ft. Point (under the GG Bridge) and then...the Golden Gate Bridge!!! The captain will sound the horn as you pass under and all the people up on the bridge will wave to you. Don't abandon your post after you've passed under the bridge. If you look toward the stern, you'll see the GG Bridge with the San Francisco skyline behind it...breathtaking. The waters outside the GG Bridge may very well be a bit choppy so be ready for it. That area is known as The Potato Patch and is notorious for a bumpy ride. Now you can go get something to eat. Traditional Dining: We had early dining time and it started at 17:00 as stated. I think late seating is now 19:15. We like traditional as we enjoy the same waiter and table mates for the entire cruise. There won't be any problem with your table if you miss the first night's dinner. We usually grab chow in the Horizon Court or Alfredo's on that sail away evening...want to see as much as we can up on deck. Parking: I've never used the garage but have driven by there on multiple occasions. It is a little bit of a walk from Pier 27 but certainly manageable. It's in a very safe area so you can take in the sights and sounds of The Embarcadero as you stroll towards your waiting adventure. You're going to have a ball. Take in all in and enjoy sailing from everyone's favorite City in the world...San Francisco.
  13. She was my very first cruise in 1997...roundtrip Vancouver to Alaska. The feeling of "I did it. I finally did it." as we passed under the Lion's Gate bridge was something I've always treasured. I remember the elevated floor in the MDR, that huge tiger in the Bengal Bar, and the incredible food sculptures at the midnight buffet (breads, cake, ice, pastries). Most importantly, I remember finding the "secret door" (Deck 10?) to the forward viewing area and that breathtaking first ride up Gasteneau Channel to Juneau. Although I'm an Army doggie, I can see how sailors fall in love with their first ship. Fair winds and calm seas....
  14. Just met Illene and her beau on our 3/30/19 Grand Princess cruise...what a sweetheart! She said that prior to embarkation, Inside Edition came on board and did a story on the two of them. She didn't know when that air time would be, though. Over 2,500 days at sea...wow!
  15. Dani 24...you don't even get the paper form any more. Just show your passport to the customs officer and you're done. Very quick process now.
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