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Am I stupid, or what?


barante
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Posted (edited)

   I have these Princess FCCs from a canceled South America cruise. With a deadline to meet, I began weighing my options: I wanted a trans-Atlantic  in October, 2022, that includes Lisbon. And since my partner has mobility challenges, I wanted everything to be simple. Lots of sea days; a mini-suite with a big balcony. Departure from a city with predictable and decent business class (or premium economy) airfares.

 

   Princess cruises departing Rome were out because of air and transportation costs and complications. Air is one example. It's not only about the fare in premium economy but the near-impossibility of finding flights that offer premium economy all the way. We are too big for regular economy.

 

That left Sky Princess , out of Southampton. We could get a good premium economy flight on Virgin out of IAD. But the more we looked at Sky Princess options, the less we liked it. Mini-suite balconies were miserly small and shallow and my partner vetoed the bathtub/shower combo as too difficult to navigate. She wanted a shower. But all handicapped cabins were taken, all six of them. Yes, regular balcony cabins have showers but we felt the cabins themselves were not big enough, again with miserly balconies. We spend so much time on balcony, Sky didn't make us comfortable.

 

   Out of curiosity I expanded my search. Looked at HAL, but Rome was again problematic.

 

   I haven't made any final decision but I am thinking of swallowing hard and chucking my Princess FCCs, and book a Carnival TA with my own dough. For little money I can get an extended balcony  with a shower and a comfortable, big balcony. And since Lisbon is the departure port, we can spend some leisurely time in that wonderful, hilly city. I want to go listen to fado, a night-time offering that is difficult to schedule due to a ship's departure time.

 

   So this one cruiser's tale. 

 

   Princess's FCC deadline is not the only deadline I face--I also know that this will be one of my final cruises. I just want to be comfortable, and disregard the service level difference between Princess and Carnival.

 

    Am I stupid, or what?

 

   

 

   

Edited by barante
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I do believe that if you do not use the Princess FCC by the date specified, it is returned to you in the form of original payment (minus any bonus amount gained beyond what was originally paid to Princess.)  So if you don't use it - I don't think you really lose anything.

 

Don

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Posted (edited)

What is your expiry date and future travel dates?

 

you can call Princess and ask for an extension re: FCC. I have done this 

 

the Sky Princess is a beauty. I was on her Dec 2019 in a midship extended balcony. Large enough but next time I am getting a deluxe balcony which also has the sofa. 
 

If you want large but step in shower  you will need to move up to a suite. 
 

good luck

air Canada has nice premium economy seats. 
 

your title drew me in.  

Edited by dog
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"air Canada has nice premium economy seats."

Yes, but we have to make it to Canada first. And all feeder flights from BWI/IAD are in extremely tight commuter economy, which is undoable for us.

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13 minutes ago, barante said:

"air Canada has nice premium economy seats."

Yes, but we have to make it to Canada first. And all feeder flights from BWI/IAD are in extremely tight commuter economy, which is undoable for us.

Sorry I didn’t see where you are flying from. 

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Posted (edited)

Have you looked at Holland America?

They are definitely mobility friendly and are closer to Princess.

They have some cabins with extra large balconies.

Edited by Jadn13
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You are not stupid.  You have additional needs, but that is why you posted your question. Which is smart IMHO.  Regarding your South America itinerary, we loved the one we took, but the flight from LA to Santiago was arduous. If you have additional needs, it might have spoiled it for you. Sometimes things work out for the best.

Also, I just checked our FCC's and Princess has extended them.  Have a look at yours. You might be pleasantly suprised.

Hope you are able to cruise for a long time to come. We're retired and stopped flying. We just cruise RT out of LA. Our next will use up substantial FCC and OBC.  As an alternative to Carnival, you might consider one of several RTs out of New York. But don't let your Princess FCC expire!

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Confused if you are referring to FCC (Future Cruise Credits/from a cancelled cruise) or FCD (Future Cruise Deposit).

 

I understand that both can be extended.  You will not lose your basic fare or deposit if you ask for it to be returned.  If it is a FCC, you will lose any bonus good will credit for a cancelled cruise.

 

I understand your concerns regarding a Royal Class ship.  Me too.  How about staying local?  Take a New England Cruise on the East Coast in a Window Suite on the Caribbean Princess.  This category doesn't have a balcony, but location, location, location with Full Suite benefits.  They have one accessible stateroom in this category, but usually gets booked the first week it is open for reservations.

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6 hours ago, barante said:

I also know that this will be one of my final cruises. I just want to be comfortable, and disregard the service level difference between Princess and Carnival.

 

    Am I stupid, or what?

 

 

No, you most assuredly are not stupid!  

 

Your situation as to wanting "one more cruise", at least, is exactly my situation.  If it is to be, I am going to spend whatever I need to spend to attempt to obtain the maximum enjoyment from that cruise experience.  Silverseas and Seabourn are on my radar as well as another Yacht Club experience on MSC.  As much as I have enjoyed being on a "-dam" ship and a "Princess" ship as well as on 4 Carnival ships, it's time for an "upgrade" for me.  

 

I can offer no advice as to FCC.  I have none and I am thankful that I don't.  If I did, what to do with such would be a source of stress for me.  

 

Best wishes for a decision that will be the most appropriate for you!

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5 hours ago, barante said:

"air Canada has nice premium economy seats."

Yes, but we have to make it to Canada first. And all feeder flights from BWI/IAD are in extremely tight commuter economy, which is undoable for us.

You may want to look at BA.    We are going on BA in premium economy and the reviews were good, with a better price than AC.

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Not sure about all of your requirements, but on the Sky Princess, if you look at deck 9, both Forward and Aft, there are balcony cabins with larger balconies. The Premium Deluxe ones have a loveseat and are a little larger than a standard balcony. Check out the Deck Plans on the Princess site. Shower is the standard size, but you don't have to manipulate a tub since that sounded like an issue.

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I took a Carnival cruise and was happily surprised by it.

 

It was out of NYC and went up to Canda. It was mostly 3 generation families cruising together.

 

Table linens not as nice. Relaxed atmosphere but not party hard.

 

Loved the music as it was mostly 60s!

 

So cruise atmosphere depends a lot on what type of passengers that itinerary attracts.

 

Too few HA cabins!

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The Carnival atmosphere on their run of the mill Caribbean cruises will be very different than on a TA. One of my frequent cruiser friends did a TA on Carnival and said that it was like sailing on a completely different cruise line. 
 

With that said, no Carnival ship will

match Sky Princess, specially their older ones which tend to be a bit (or a lot) on the gaudy side, but if accommodations are your primary concern, and Carnival provides what you need, it may be the right choice. 

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When I booked our EZair tickets, first class was actually less expensive and had more options than premium economy.  Flights are usually available about 330 days before the return flight date, so flights for an Oct 22 trip won't be available for a long time.

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15 hours ago, barante said:

 Departure from a city with predictable and decent business class (or premium economy) airfares.

 

 

 

Are you looking at flights booked directly with the airline or are you looking at Princess Air prices.

 

Princess air pricing on flights across the ocean are usually significantly lower than prices if you book directly with an airline.

 

Of course an October, 2022 cruise will not have airfares available yet, either from an airline or from Princess.

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You don't have to book a trans Atlantic to get lots of sea days. Book a Caribbean cruise and just stay on board with so many others. We find port days on board very pleasant. 2022/2023 winter season schedules will be available next week. Look early and you can probably get a HCP cabin. For the mini suite tub issue you can request a tub seat if that would help.

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You also sound like the perfect "match" for an accessible cabin. This would provide a "roll in shower" and more space to maneuver.  I have not seen photos of the accessible cabins on the Sky, but I would assume everything is zero entry. 

 

Good luck in your planning! Keep us posted. 

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One other option would be to talk with your agent or directly with Princess to see if they would wait-list you for the accessible cabin. This far out there could easily be a cancellation or they may have another solution for the perfect cabin.

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Consider a obstructed deluxe balcony cabin. Some have larger balconies.  Cabins E407 and E110 are available. E407 has no obstruction. E110 has metal instead of glass for the balcony edge.

Regular deluxe balcony cabins D407 and D409 are available.

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