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LIVE-ish: A 'Royal' Riviera Ride (Royal Princess Live Blog, January 2020)


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6 hours ago, snoozecrooze said:

hey @Vexorg, I was browsing through the roll call for 1/25 and yeah, I feel a bit sad about the port time for Cabo. Hope you all can still have a good vacation as it's expensive regardless and changes can frustrate things. We shall see if the cruise is overbooked next week, but the cruise is officially marked as "sold out" on the website already.

 

The Royal cruises doing the Mexican Riviera runs are indeed, really popular; we've been essentially at capacity so far and this itinerary is basically the West Coast version of the 7-day Caribbean runs. Families very much gravitate towards these trips.

 

If there's anything I can help you with about the Royal, just let me know! Thank you for reading!

It will be interesting to see how the Mexican Riviera itinerary compares to the Caribbean.  I really enjoyed the Caribbean cruises I've been on (my favorites would be the Southern Caribbean itineraries that go to the ABC Islands) but traveling between Fort Lauderdale and Seattle is just a huge pain most of the time.  Most of the outbound flights are redeyes with at least one layover and at least six hours in the air.  My inability to sleep on airplanes means that I usually end up going 36 hours with no sleep on the travel day so I'm completely wiped out when I get there.  A lot of the time we also have to stay an extra day after disembarkation in order to get a reasonable return flight (since most of them are too early in the day to catch them after disembarking.)  By contrast, there's an airport 20 minutes from my house with nonstop flights to LAX or SNA where I can go from the curb to the gate in ten minutes.  Oh, and there's also Alaska cruises out of Seattle that I don't need to fly at all for, but unfortunately those cruises tend to have the type of weather that we travel to get away from.

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Welcome to a sunny Mazatlan! 

The weather on this sailing has so far been great. 

 

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For those who have never been to Mazatlan, you need to take a 2-minute ride aboard a shoreside tram to the cruise terminal itself, which is like another bustling hub full of shops, bars, and other activities. The trams are free and are not bad at all! Kind of fun, actually - you don't normally get driven on a tram through a port.

 

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Today (and every Mazatlan day thus far), there was a crew drill from 9:45 to about 10:45. This does include full emergency signal blasting and crew alert signals so it does you good to get out of the room anyways because you won't sleep in much after those blaring sounds.

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On 1/21/2020 at 2:04 AM, snoozecrooze said:

Hey @PCWalton1! I noticed your history of live reports and am making a guess that this might be your first Princess cruise? (or at least your first in a while?) Anyways, welcome (or welcome back!) -- I'm hopeful you will enjoy and love the Royal as much as I am. If you have any questions, please let me know! Thank you for reading and I hope you have an amazing cruise in May!

We took a one day Seattle to Vancouver so this will essentially be our first Princess cruise. Loving the pictures, that bowl of rambutan got my mouth watering. Haven't had any of them since Hawaii

 

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Thank you for all the great info!

 

 I do have a question about the beds though, I've been reading on other threads that most all of the beds are the new Princess luxury line now, however you mentioned that yours was not.

  I have an upcoming cruise in a couple of weeks and I am concerned now that is still the old bed.  Booked a balcony.

The old ones were brutal on my back!  Any clarification on this would be fantastic!!

Thank you!

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On 1/23/2020 at 9:20 PM, red4u2 said:

Thank you for all the great info!

 

 I do have a question about the beds though, I've been reading on other threads that most all of the beds are the new Princess luxury line now, however you mentioned that yours was not.

  I have an upcoming cruise in a couple of weeks and I am concerned now that is still the old bed.  Booked a balcony.

The old ones were brutal on my back!  Any clarification on this would be fantastic!!

Thank you!

Hey @red4u2!

So I asked my steward about this, because I was honestly confused about it all. Apparently, the new beds were all installed during the wet-dock about a year ago (I think December 2018?). However, it just doesn't have that "sinking into it" feeling that I've had on all of the other luxury beds. This is the first ship I've been on where they add a mattress topper/pad thing on top of the mattress (that they then put a sheet over). The whole bed feels just the slightest bit firmer (and maybe the slightest bit bulkier) overall. However, I've slept pretty well and you can always get a feel for the bed, and then probably tell your steward if you want the pad taken off, or what not.

 

Also, I think having a queen set-up and a twins set-up does incur different bedding options, but it was a little unclear to me and I didn't want to keep asking my steward more questions because he was pretty busy. But definitely get a feel for it first before making any decisions and then chat with your steward. They have been very accommodating throughout our time. Regardless of what happens, I really hope you have a wonderful cruise and wish you the best! Please let me know if you have any additional questions of the Royal Princess!

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Thanks for the great posts, I'm looking forward to coming aboard on Feb 10th, sadly it looks like we will miss you.

I did have a question though.  Do you happen to know what time they typically start boarding in San Pedro?  We wanted to book a few items that you can only book onboard so the DW wants to make sure we board as early as we can.

 

Thanks!
 

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20 minutes ago, Sameron said:

Thanks for the great posts, I'm looking forward to coming aboard on Feb 10th, sadly it looks like we will miss you.

I did have a question though.  Do you happen to know what time they typically start boarding in San Pedro?  We wanted to book a few items that you can only book onboard so the DW wants to make sure we board as early as we can.

 

Thanks!
 

Hey @Sameron! It depends on your loyalty level. But from what I can remember when I first boarded the ship, Platinum and Elites were given boarding permission pretty early, at about 11AM (assuming nothing goes wrong). That should be early enough for booking the Sanctuary and other things. 

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22 minutes ago, CarelessAndConfused said:

I do have one question about Mazatlan.  If you left the ship on your own using the small bus carts or whatever they are, where exact does that drop you off?

Those trams you're talking about, right? The trams will drop you off at the Mazatlan Cruise Terminal, where all cruise guests will be bussed to if you're taking an independent excursion or getting off at your leisure. You can't walk off to the cruise terminal because it's a freight pier. If you're using a Princess excursion, a bus will be right at the gangway, there to take you away, so you won't need to take a tram.

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2 minutes ago, snoozecrooze said:

Those trams you're talking about, right? The trams will drop you off at the Mazatlan Cruise Terminal, where all cruise guests will be bussed to if you're taking an independent excursion or getting off at your leisure. You can't walk off to the cruise terminal because it's a freight pier. If you're using a Princess excursion, a bus will be right at the gangway, there to take you away, so you won't need to take a tram.

 

Yes, the trams.  Thanks!

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On 1/27/2020 at 2:29 PM, snoozecrooze said:

Hey @red4u2!

So I asked my steward about this, because I was honestly confused about it all. Apparently, the new beds were all installed during the wet-dock about a year ago (I think December 2018?). However, it just doesn't have that "sinking into it" feeling that I've had on all of the other luxury beds. This is the first ship I've been on where they add a mattress topper/pad thing on top of the mattress (that they then put a sheet over). The whole bed feels just the slightest bit firmer (and maybe the slightest bit bulkier) overall. However, I've slept pretty well and you can always get a feel for the bed, and then probably tell your steward if you want the pad taken off, or what not.

 

Also, I think having a queen set-up and a twins set-up does incur different bedding options, but it was a little unclear to me and I didn't want to keep asking my steward more questions because he was pretty busy. But definitely get a feel for it first before making any decisions and then chat with your steward. They have been very accommodating throughout our time. Regardless of what happens, I really hope you have a wonderful cruise and wish you the best! Please let me know if you have any additional questions of the Royal Princess!

Oh my gosh!!!   Thank you So very much!!! How very kind of you to go out of your way to ask!!!

 

Hoping the rest of your travels are fun and safe!😀

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Love seeing your pictures. Great sunsets. I'm enjoying your style of reporting. Love the Royal. Thank you for including names of staff. Is Rebecca, from the Phillipines, serving in the IC? I'm cruising on Royal in May. Hoping to find her. Maybe Hackett too? In the IC, serving up the food. ☺ Thank you in advance. We sailed from LA to Vancouver last year, and will repeat this year.

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12 hours ago, CruzeQueen2 said:

Love seeing your pictures. Great sunsets. I'm enjoying your style of reporting. Love the Royal. Thank you for including names of staff. Is Rebecca, from the Phillipines, serving in the IC? I'm cruising on Royal in May. Hoping to find her. Maybe Hackett too? In the IC, serving up the food. ☺ Thank you in advance. We sailed from LA to Vancouver last year, and will repeat this year.

Hi @CruzeQueen2! I plan to ask again later today, so if you see this before I do, please let me know your first name and what month you traveled (was it May 2019?) if they know you personally by your name, so perhaps I can jog their memory. I did ask someone at IC last night and they seemed a little confused by the names I mentioned, so I will be asking at a different time! Thank you! 🙂

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A break from catching up and here's an update of an actual LIVE update of the ship's officers and statistics from this (1/25/2020-2/1/2020 cruise):

 

Summary:

  • LEAVING: Captain Nick Nash, Captain's Circle Host Barbara Zanetti
  • LEAVING SOON: Asst. CDs Timur (leaving for Majestic Princess after his vacation) and Tarran (both come from the Matt O era and those of you who have cruised with Matt O will know they are the last remaining members of the Matt O team from summer 2019)
  • JOINED: Guest Services Director Carla Ramos (replaced Elke Pointecker) and new Captain's Circle Host (I will find his name soon)

Statistics of the 1/25-2/1 cruise:

(Marcus doesn't list the entire passenger stats list often but he did do this on the Wake Show this time)

  • 3580 total guests
  • 44 different countries represented
  • from Turkey, Switzerland, Sweden, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Jamaica, Iran, Haiti, Guatemala, Egypt, Netherlands
    Cuba, Belgium
  • from Spain, Russia, Portugal, Cambodia, Hungary, Hong Kong, Finland, Colombia, Austria
  • from Poland, Peru, Ireland, Brazil
  • from Japan
  • from Malaysia, Italy
  • from India, Germany
  • from Australia
  • from Philippines, New Zealand
  • 11 from France
  • 14 from Mexico
  • 17 from Taiwan, South Korea
  • 57 from China, United Kingdom
  • 508 from Canada
  • 2806 from United States

960252498_OfficersUpdated.thumb.jpg.50b329dcff4c61c034751de71dc24710.jpg

Edited by snoozecrooze
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46 minutes ago, snoozecrooze said:

A break from catching up and here's an update of an actual LIVE update of the ship's officers and statistics from this (1/25/2020-2/1/2020 cruise):

 

Summary:

  • LEAVING: Captain Nick Nash, Captain's Circle Host Barbara Zanetti
  • LEAVING SOON: Asst. CDs Timur (leaving for Majestic Princess after his vacation) and Tarran (both come from the Matt O era and those of you who have cruised with Matt O will know they are the last remaining members of the Matt O team from summer 2019)
  • JOINED: Guest Services Director Carla Ramos (replaced Elke Pointecker) and new Captain's Circle Host (I will find his name soon)

Statistics of the 1/25-2/1 cruise:

(Marcus doesn't list the entire passenger stats list often but he did do this on the Wake Show this time)

  • 3580 total guests
  • 44 different countries represented
  • from Turkey, Switzerland, Sweden, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Jamaica, Iran, Haiti, Guatemala, Egypt, Netherlands
    Cuba, Belgium
  • from Spain, Russia, Portugal, Cambodia, Hungary, Hong Kong, Finland, Colombia, Austria
  • from Poland, Peru, Ireland, Brazil
  • from Japan
  • from Malaysia, Italy
  • from India, Germany
  • from Australia
  • from Philippines, New Zealand
  • 11 from France
  • 14 from Mexico
  • 17 from Taiwan, South Korea
  • 57 from China, United Kingdom
  • 508 from Canada
  • 2806 from United States

960252498_OfficersUpdated.thumb.jpg.50b329dcff4c61c034751de71dc24710.jpg

Thank you for the update. I think your new captain is Craig Street. Joined in PV.

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16 minutes ago, CruiseKing said:

Thank you for the update. I think your new captain is Craig Street. Joined in PV.

Yes, I've been thinking it might be Captain Craig Street as the Majestic changed with Tony joining. How did you find out he was in PV?

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9 minutes ago, snoozecrooze said:

Yes, I've been thinking it might be Captain Craig Street as the Majestic changed with Tony joining. How did you find out he was in PV?

As with several of the staff pictured and many years cruising with Princess we've made some life long friends Like Capt. Street. Met him when he was  Staff Capt. back in 2005 Caribbean Princess.

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4 hours ago, snoozecrooze said:

Hi @CruzeQueen2! I plan to ask again later today, so if you see this before I do, please let me know your first name and what month you traveled (was it May 2019?) if they know you personally by your name, so perhaps I can jog their memory. I did ask someone at IC last night and they seemed a little confused by the names I mentioned, so I will be asking at a different time! Thank you! 🙂

Hi again, My sister and I cruised on Royal in May 2019. We are two sisters from Vancouver. Donna and Chrissy know Rebecca who joined last September. We heard from her at that time. We met her on Star in 2017! Hackett was there last May

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6 hours ago, snoozecrooze said:

Yes, I've been thinking it might be Captain Craig Street as the Majestic changed with Tony joining. How did you find out he was in PV?

Oh yes would love to know who the new Captain is!  Sailing soon!    Thank you!

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Some other random things I've learned recently that some people might want to know:

Craig Street is definitely the one officially taking the helm this coming Saturday. He is from the UK, just like Nick Nash.

The theater backstage tour mentioned Rock Opera is coming to Emerald Princess this year and come to find out, today's the day it has premiered on that ship. The tour is nice, by the way, and it isn't really guided because it's not that big of a space that it needs a tour guide, but it gives you ample time to ask individual questions with cast and production team members and what not.

Also, if you're interested in the production cast (dancers and singers), they're roughly on 6 month contracts, so this current cast will be on until March. There are a total of 17 performers, with 13 dancers and 4 vocalists.

Generoso Mazzone, the highly-esteemed maitre d'hotel who was on the Royal Princess, has moved onto the Sky Princess and should be taking over for Giuseppe Gelmini eventually (this doesn't mean it's his permanent post but that he'll show up there soon).

The new Captain's Circle Host is named Jua-Jacq (I think that's just his first name?). It is pronounced like "ju-ah jahk" if that makes sense. He is from South Africa. You will meet him onboard. This is his first contract with Princess (or at least I interpreted it this way because CD Marcus mentioned it was his first ever Captain's Circle P/E Party) and it was evident when he hosted the party but there's no need to underestimate him or give him a hard time. The party still went off without a hitch and I'm sure he will be fine as the CC Host. Barbara (outgoing host) has been helping him the past two weeks and Melissa, the future cruise rep, has been helping transition as well.

Our itinerary also had a modification about two months ago, which meant that today's Cabo day was from 6am to 1pm. So we had at least 8-10 people not arrive back on time and most (either 4 per the captain or 6 per the CD) are now finding their own way home😢

Edited by snoozecrooze
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On 1/30/2020 at 2:36 PM, CruzeQueen2 said:

Hi again, My sister and I cruised on Royal in May 2019. We are two sisters from Vancouver. Donna and Chrissy know Rebecca who joined last September. We heard from her at that time. We met her on Star in 2017! Hackett was there last May

Hello! I am happy to report that Rebecca is still onboard but I wasn't able to find out when her contract ends. As for Hackett, he left in November and has an extended (or filed for one) break for personal reasons. Hope this helps!

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