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First Time on Princess - Any Secrets You Can Tell Me About?


tuggers

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Are there anythings I should know? Little freebies or extras that are only available if you know to ask?

 

I am on Sea Princess for 14 days sailing 12/31 and would appreciate any suggestions you can give me. I've done over 25 Celebrity cruises in the past two years and know the little tricks on that line but am clueless on Princess.

 

Please help!

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Free? Not often. How about discounts? If you want a spa service, book same day on a port day or the last full day at sea. They discount their services then, but don't book in advance for the last day. The full price will apply. Also, they hit you up to buy very expensive products when you are a pile of mush after a massage. The first thing out of your mouth at the end should be "no thank you." Repeat as necessary.Go to special receptions or the art auction. Free champagne there. It's cheap but it's free. Also, if you like well drinks, order a bottle of your liquor from room service and have a cocktail in your room each night before dressing. The price on liquor by the bottle is equal to or lower than land prices. The cost per drink drops from about $5 in a lounge, to about $1.50 in your room when you pour for yourself. If you are booked for traditional dining, you'll enjoy it. If you have Personal Choice, try to reserve in advance and always at the same time and with the same waiter. Establishing positive relationships with staff almost guarantees better service and a happier cruise.Get a plastic cup from the Horizon Court and you can take your drink from your room and walk around the ship. Bring your own bottles of wine too. There is a $10 cork fee in the dining rooms, but sometimes nice waiters don't remember to charge it. Especially if you tip in advance, or you sometimes do order wine off the wine list.Compare shore excursion prices on the internet before you book a tour through Princess. Sometimes, Princess has a good deal and you are guaranteed the ship will wait if your tour is late. But, often the Princess tours are much more expensive. Simple tours like rides to the beach, glass bottom boats, etc. are usually short and less expensive when booked at the pier with a local guide. Do this with caution though. Buyer beware.Most importantly, don't be stingy. Tip well, be appreciative of the staff, always say please, and smile when you ask for help. These little niceties will go a long way toward guaranteeing you a wonderful cruise, on any ship and with any cruise line. Kindness is free, and it always pays off.

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Tuggers there is all sorts of info on a "sticky" at the top of the page. It is called Princess members FAQ to other members or something like that. Alot of us have contirubted to that for a long time. Hope this helps.

 

marilyn

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Hello SeaTeacher

 

Thank you so much for your info on Princess - this is our first time on this line and greatly appreciate your input. Do you have any specifics on the April 8th/06 Sea Princess to the Grand Caribbean?

 

Best regards

 

Dollyone

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Thanks, Sea Teacher for the good info!

 

Any other Princess Experts out there? I leave Friday at 6am so I'm trying to get all the info I can.

 

Are deck chairs hard to come by? Are they comfy chairs? How is the library, current, good supply of new fiction? Do they make a LOT of annoucements (I'm used to X)? Is Bingo expensive? What is the average cost of a big martini? Does anyone have a wine list?:)

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Sailed with you and Donna (from Wisconsin) about two years ago on the Horizon. Here's a link to the Princess bar menus thanks to Sharkie2005: http://community.webshots.com/album/428124365tdTcvL

Don't have a link to the wine list. Not sure of the cost for BINGO, would have to ask my wife (Gail), but think it is $20 or $30 for the usual five pack with three to a card. Have fun, maybe we'll meet again on the Zenith someday.

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KK,

 

I remember you! Thanks for the link to the menus. Looks like Princess is quite a bit cheaper than what I'm used to on X!

 

Any other hints?

 

I am going to be doing Zenith heavy after she moves to Tampa the end of October. Some good iteniraries, too. Meeting Donna and Joe on Opera after I get off this ship!

 

Gail

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There are two places that probably won't be crowded on deck.

 

The first is the Promenade Deck which has lovely loungers on it.

 

The second is aft on Aloha deck which has a few loungers and a lovely view of the wake of the ship.

 

And you can easily go upstairs to the aft bar which is either one or two decks above.

 

Also, aft, there is a lovely small pool that not too many people know about. It is shaded so you don't have to broil in the sun.

 

My advice is to opt for traditional dining if you can. That way you can be guaranteed that you will have the same servers all of the time. Make friends with the head waiter for your table. He can make a huge difference in the level of service. I have food allergies and always work them out with the head waiters (We tip them well) and get super service.

 

On sea days, if you are planning to eat in the Horizon Court, go early. You get the best selection that way and face fewer competitors for seating.

 

Plan to eat in the pizzeria at least once. They make great pizzas (and I think, calzones) to order.

 

Let us know when you get back what you think of Princess vs. Celebrity.

 

Have a great time.

 

Roberta

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Sailed with you and Donna (from Wisconsin) about two years ago on the Horizon. Here's a link to the Princess bar menus thanks to Sharkie2005: http://community.webshots.com/album/428124365tdTcvL

Don't have a link to the wine list. Not sure of the cost for BINGO, would have to ask my wife (Gail), but think it is $20 or $30 for the usual five pack with three to a card. Have fun, maybe we'll meet again on the Zenith someday.

 

Why wait until the Zenith? We sailed with Gail again this past October and will be sailing with her right after she gets off her first Princess cruise and we get off the Century! Joe just asked where you had been hiding when we were in Mount Pleasant over the weekend! He was even responsible and stayed home while we girls took an hour off and hit Soaring Eagle!

 

Gail, are you packed yet? Remember laundry room on each floor so you do not have to pack triple!

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I think you should wait until you get on board so it’s all a big surprise! From what I understand, Princess is mostly comparable to X, so you should know the lay of the land fairly quickly.

Are deck chairs hard to come by? Are they comfy chairs? How is the library, current, good supply of new fiction? Do they make a LOT of annoucements (I'm used to X)? Is Bingo expensive? What is the average cost of a big martini? Does anyone have a wine list?

Deck chairs can be hard to come by – there are signs posted on Princess ships which indicate that passengers should not reserve deck chairs for more than 30 minutes – whether that works or not, I don’t know. Announcements depend on the CD – I’ve been on Princess ships where there are three to four a day and on other ships where there are none except for the noon position announcement from the bridge. I don’t play Bingo, but I guess whether or not it is expensive would depend on what you’re expecting. I would say the average cost of a martini (they don’t come in sizes) would be in the $5 to $8 range with tip. There is an extensive wine list on board.

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Pool bar is still the greatest! Since you are serious - Pizzaria an absolute must! Get your stuff settled in your cabin and head there for lunch. Great spot to watch everyone wandering the public areas below you. Joe could not finish the Calzone - need I say more? Absolute - Sterling Steak House! Not only the best steaks we have had on any cruise, but everything else including the creme brulee (and we know how I feel about that one)! Hoping that it will be set up outdoors overlooking the pool. Reservations required and make them early! Great dinner and worth every penny of extra cost! Do not miss the Champagne Fountain Celebration and skip a Martini or you will really be buzzed since it is very free flowing!

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Tuggers: I agree with Charliesmom, the aft pool is a great place if you don't want a lot of people around. Also, can't wait to hear about your MSC cruise, we've been looking at them maybe for next year.

 

donnaw: Can't go this year, we've got the canal on the Coral in February. Last year we did Hawaii on the Island. Was thinking of the Zenith for next year, it does the same itinerary as the Horizon did. Was at the Snoring Beagle a couple of weeks ago, Gail made enough to pay for her BINGO on the cruise. Next time in Mt Pleasant, give a holler, would like to hear about the Opera.

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Tuggers: Welcome to Princess! We have sailed on quite a few Princess ships, but have only sailed on the Century... so my comparison will be based on that cruise. The service was wonderful on the Celebrity Century & the service on Princess is good. The staff was friendlier & couldn't do enough for you on the Century. The staff on Princess tends to be more reserved, but still the service is good. The bar drinks on Princess are less expensive & they let you purchase liquor for in room consumption & allow passengers to bring wine on the ship. Celebrity charges more...so it's a trade off. The dining room food on the Century was excellent...on Princess I think it is comparable for dinner. Princess doesn't offer specialty items every day in the dining room for breakfast...(eggs benedict). On Princess the anytime dining is great, especially on port days. It allows you more freedom with your schedule...Celebrity dining is fixed & you really get to know your tablemates. We love both Celebrity & Princess for different reasons. We even have one cruise on each line booked for 2006. Enjoy your cruise!

:):):)

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