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Specialty Groups on Princess Cruises - NOT Charters


voljeep
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Hello everyone.  I have been part of the Concerts At Sea group.  There were quite a few people whom we met while boarding in Fort Lauderdale who had no idea we were onboard for the week.  There were appox 900 people including the bands.  There were concert shows everyday in the theater; but the concerts were at times that did not interfere with any Princess show in the theater.  The cruise was on Caribbean Princess;  and the two venues which were used every night were: Club Fusion and Skywalkers.  Normally the oldies house band played every night in Club Fusion; and the DJ played in Skywalkers.  Other than that; I did not see that the group inconvenienced any passenger on the ship. There was a small desk which was manned by the tour; which was by the Piazza.  They were there to answer any questions from the group.  It was a great time and I would book another one just to see all the groups up close and personal.  I counted 12 other bars on this ship for people to socialize.  Any official Princess event like trivia, bingo, etc was not  cancelled or changed to a different venue.  Have a great day

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1 hour ago, AF-1 said:

Hello everyone.  I have been part of the Concerts At Sea group.  There were quite a few people whom we met while boarding in Fort Lauderdale who had no idea we were onboard for the week.  There were appox 900 people including the bands.  There were concert shows everyday in the theater; but the concerts were at times that did not interfere with any Princess show in the theater.  The cruise was on Caribbean Princess;  and the two venues which were used every night were: Club Fusion and Skywalkers.  Normally the oldies house band played every night in Club Fusion; and the DJ played in Skywalkers.  Other than that; I did not see that the group inconvenienced any passenger on the ship. There was a small desk which was manned by the tour; which was by the Piazza.  They were there to answer any questions from the group.  It was a great time and I would book another one just to see all the groups up close and personal.  I counted 12 other bars on this ship for people to socialize.  Any official Princess event like trivia, bingo, etc was not  cancelled or changed to a different venue.  Have a great day

Having slightly under 30% of passengers filling and closing Club Fusion & Skywalker's each evening is not a cruise I wish to be on. My experiences even with small groups is that they not only fill general public spaces they dominate other public activities. These are cruises we try to avoid. Believe the cruise line has an obligation to their guests to divulge when groups like the one you mention will be on board, because the group disrupts the normal cruise experience passengers expect to receive when on vacation.  

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12 minutes ago, skynight said:

. These are cruises we try to avoid. Believe the cruise line has an obligation to their guests to divulge when groups like the one you mention will be on board, because the group disrupts the normal cruise experience passengers expect to receive when on vacation.  

I'll email our PVP and ask about groups on our cruise ... but when I called Princess previously they stated the can't reveal that information for "privacy" reasons ...

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7 minutes ago, voljeep said:

I'll email our PVP and ask about groups on our cruise ... but when I called Princess previously they stated the can't reveal that information for "privacy" reasons ...

You have a tough decision.  The groups privacy is ok; but it's not ok for you to ask about it.  That stinks.  Have a nice week

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13 hours ago, Tucker in Texas said:

We ran into them on Celebrity back in 1999.

1997 for us. The winner was on the flight back to Dallas with us. She was screaming bloody murder because AA wouldn't allow her to bring the huge trophy on the plane with her. They made her check it as baggage. Flight was delayed while they sorted out her drama. 

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57 minutes ago, voljeep said:

I'll email our PVP and ask about groups on our cruise ... but when I called Princess previously they stated the can't reveal that information for "privacy" reasons ...

Just a note. Hotels that book large groups don't seem to have the same "privacy" issues.

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23 hours ago, voljeep said:

disagree

 

Chumley's Bear Cruises completely took over the aft pool and outrigger bar on our Halloween cruise 

 

 

 

We might have been on the same Oct Halloween cruise.  There were 300 Chumley Bear men on our cruise that took over the terrace pool.

 

I was on a ship that a motor cycle club that brought their bikes on board the ship.  At each port they unloaded their bikes and toured the island with a police escort.

Edited by phabric
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14 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:

 

Bummed that I missed out on that Steelers Cruise. 

Legends of the Steelers - Franco, Frenchy, Lambert and many others ( Bradshaw was NOT there )... they paid $$$ to go to autograph sessions, dinners, etc.

 

A great group of fans - a couple of times at a crowded bar, they would simply tell me to go to the front, no need to wait for all of them..

 

but, yeah, we had no idea, showed up way early to board, saw a couple of ladies in Steelers' jerseys ... then a couple more, and more ... finally asked a guy and he told me what was going on ...

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I've either been lucky, unlucky, or oblivious. I can't remember ever noticing a group on a cruise, other than small wedding parties that didn't impact anything. From what people have said, it looks like it would for sure be better to avoid a cruise where there's going to be a large group sailing.

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2 hours ago, AF-1 said:

You have a tough decision.  The groups privacy is ok; but it's not ok for you to ask about it.  That stinks.  Have a nice week

 

A good TA should be able to learn, through contacts at the cruise line, whether a cruise you're interested in has a large group booked.

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1 hour ago, voljeep said:

Legends of the Steelers - Franco, Frenchy, Lambert and many others.

 

I would pay good money to see Jack Lambert in shorts and a Tommy Bahama shirt, wearing flip-flops sipping a Mai-Tai with an umbrella in it!

Pittsburgh Steelers Jack Lambert. Sports Illustrated Cover Photograph by Sports Illustrated

Edited by JimmyVWine
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2 hours ago, john_galt said:

1997 for us. The winner was on the flight back to Dallas with us. She was screaming bloody murder because AA wouldn't allow her to bring the huge trophy on the plane with her. They made her check it as baggage. Flight was delayed while they sorted out her drama. 

I went to the theater armed with the daily planner with the "no saving seats" highlighted.  Picked a seat at the end of a prime row where 8 or more seats were being saved.  The woman came over and told me that the seat was occupied.  I looked around, seeing no one, produced the planner and told her that perhaps she had "overlooked" this directive.   She said they would all be there in a minute.  I told her if they came, in the next 10 minutes, I would gladly relinquish the seat.  Of course, they didn't--half the time the reserved seats would be empty the whole show unless someone was as "pushy" as I was (lol).  

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27 minutes ago, Tucker in Texas said:

I went to the theater armed with the daily planner with the "no saving seats" highlighted.  Picked a seat at the end of a prime row where 8 or more seats were being saved.  The woman came over and told me that the seat was occupied.  I looked around, seeing no one, produced the planner and told her that perhaps she had "overlooked" this directive.   She said they would all be there in a minute.  I told her if they came, in the next 10 minutes, I would gladly relinquish the seat.  Of course, they didn't--half the time the reserved seats would be empty the whole show unless someone was as "pushy" as I was (lol).  

Good for you! More people should be that "pushy."

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I was on a sailing with the chumleys bears as well on the emerald a few years ago.  They weren't too bad but did take over the aft pool as well. I did know about them in advance thanks to a post here on cruise critic had to look them up online since I had never heard of the group before.

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On another cruise ship company, a clothing MLM takes over the entire ship! I have heard stories of people not knowing their party cruise was their cruise and that was a bit much. Just think of an entire ship in crazy looking print clothing, getting their drinking on. Sounds fun for them, who did not pay for their cruise!  hahaha

 

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Even if there are not large groups that you might be able to find out about on some web sites, there are often smaller groups (anywhere from 20 to 2 or 3 hundred) on board most cruises.  Often organized by travel agents. Even though these groups are not large they can still impact the cruise.  On one Alaska Cruise a travel agents group of around 120  had private access to Sky Walkers during the time in Glacier Bay.

 

Medical continuing education groups are fairly common on Alaska cruises.  But they usually do not impact things much.

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On 9/1/2020 at 9:28 AM, voljeep said:

I'll email our PVP and ask about groups on our cruise ... but when I called Princess previously they stated the can't reveal that information for "privacy" reasons ...

response:

 

 

No way of knowing if there will be a “specialty group” on your cruise.

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9 hours ago, voljeep said:

response:

 

 

No way of knowing if there will be a “specialty group” on your cruise.

They know how to find out ... likely a quick call to the Groups Dept ... but staff likely know they would be fired or worse if they told clients

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On 9/1/2020 at 5:44 AM, AF-1 said:

Hello everyone.  I have been part of the Concerts At Sea group.  There were quite a few people whom we met while boarding in Fort Lauderdale who had no idea we were onboard for the week.  There were appox 900 people including the bands.  There were concert shows everyday in the theater; but the concerts were at times that did not interfere with any Princess show in the theater.  The cruise was on Caribbean Princess;  and the two venues which were used every night were: Club Fusion and Skywalkers.  Normally the oldies house band played every night in Club Fusion; and the DJ played in Skywalkers.  Other than that; I did not see that the group inconvenienced any passenger on the ship. There was a small desk which was manned by the tour; which was by the Piazza.  They were there to answer any questions from the group.  It was a great time and I would book another one just to see all the groups up close and personal.  I counted 12 other bars on this ship for people to socialize.  Any official Princess event like trivia, bingo, etc was not  cancelled or changed to a different venue.  Have a great day

 

Being denied the use of Club Fusion AND Skywalkers for EVERY night of the cruise is not what I would call a minor inconvenience.  I paid good money for the privilege of using those venues.  I am glad for the people that play bingo and trivia that they were not inconvenienced but I definitely do not cruise to participate in either of those activities.  It is obvious why the cruise companies make it very difficult for the rest of us to find out what groups will be taking over the ships that we will be on as most of us would never take such a cruise.  It will never happen but cruise companies should be required to inform us of the names and numbers of participants of every group that has done a mass booking on the ship.

 

DON

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39 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

Being denied the use of Club Fusion AND Skywalkers for EVERY night of the cruise is not what I would call a minor inconvenience.  I paid good money for the privilege of using those venues.  I am glad for the people that play bingo and trivia that they were not inconvenienced but I definitely do not cruise to participate in either of those activities.  It is obvious why the cruise companies make it very difficult for the rest of us to find out what groups will be taking over the ships that we will be on as most of us would never take such a cruise.  It will never happen but cruise companies should be required to inform us of the names and numbers of participants of every group that has done a mass booking on the ship.

 

DON

Don, this is especially necessary if the ship is giving these groups exclusive use of any venues that would otherwise be available to the rest of us.  

 

If a dozen zither players happen to take seats in a lounge and start to play their zithers, but the lounge is otherwise available for use by those passengers who do not mind zither music (I am now listening to a Vivaldi piece on a zither, thanks to google!), that is probably ok with me.  But if the ship gives these zither players exclusive rights to the lounge, well, that is infringing on my right to use it.  And therefore the presence of this privileged group which will be interfering with my rights should be disclosed by the cruise line in advance.

 

(This zither music is very restful, by the way.)

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I guess you could email the Concerts At Sea promoter and ask them how they can secure exclusive rights to the lounges.  I assume Princess allows them to use these lounges; because they are paying Princess money to use them.  Princess probably talks with the promoter and says we have 12 bars on a certain ship and we would be willing to let you use two of the twelve lounges; but it will cost you to use them.  I will correct one of my past statements.  Skywalkers was used; but only half of Skywalkers was used by the Concert people.  The other half was open to guests.  When I was there the reserved side was full; but the other side; never saw more than maybe five people.  Come to think of it;  I rarely saw many people in Skywalkers on my Alaska cruise either.  Went up there several times at night;  it was empty.  Even one night I asked the Disc Jockey why was it so quiet.  He said some cruises they have lots of people; and other cruises it's just like this;  nobody.  

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"I assume Princess allows them to use these lounges; because they are paying Princess money to use them."

Passengers that are not part of the group are also paying to use all the lounges, but are denied access during certain times some of those being peak use times. Princess needs full disclosure to all passengers when booking. It's only a privacy issue if they disclose passenger's names.

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