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Live feed from the Grand Princess 9/25 and 9/30 cruises


Cruise Raider
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I was on the Majestic 7/25/21sailing and HaveDogWillTravel started a very helpful post about the first sailing out of the US for Princess in over 16 months.  

So, not quite a live feed yet but thought I would start a similar post for those that have questions about the initial sailings on the Grand Princess out of Los Angeles.  

My iPad is a bit wonky when posting to CC but will try to answer any questions you all may have about these sailings.  We, along with many others are doing a B2B (back to back) cruise starting on 9/25 and we will be continuing on until we disembark on 10/4.  I see a couple of others on our roll call stated they would jump in with answers to the questions you may have or even just post about their experiences.  

 

Precruise MC (Medallion Class) app experience:

Our MC app experience has been a little rocky for this sailing.  I'm not sure if it was related to doing a B2B so my Princess Cruise Vacation Planner tried unlinking them for me but, that didn't work.  She made several attempts but realized that the same thing was happening to others from our roll call.  We also encountered some further issues with the app, like not taking my credit card for both me and my DH that was keeping us from getting all our green check marks to hold.  I called the Navigator help line and they did fix this lickety split.  Of note, there were items we didn't have to enter back into the app after having just recently sailed on the Majestic.  That was nice!!  

The timeline for getting in that green lane status was slow but we finally got most everything situated on the MC app.  Still missing is anything listed in JourneyView.  I realize that for most shows and events, we probably won't need any reservations but I did want to book my spa appointments and such around things that I wanted to do or see onboard.  BTW, these can be scheduled on the personalizer ahead of time and it's really the way to go.  When we used the spa onboard the Majestic, it was hard getting a listing of their port day specials.  I realize that these don't come out of your OBC but, I'm sure we will find a way to spend that during the cruise.  Also, I noticed that the 10% elite status discount wasn't applied to those services onboard unless you asked for at the desk.  We didn't bother doing so with the photos or spa services but we did ask for it with an expensive tour we had booked.  I thought the discount would be automatic but, as of July, it wasn't.  

About 28 days prior to our sailing, we were able to reserve our dining times in the DMW (Dine My Way) link.  They had dining rooms to choose from and every time slot with 20 minute intervals were available.  About 4 or 5 days ago, those reservations for the first leg of our sailing, our dining reservations just disappeared.  No harm as we were able to reset them,  just not in the Michelangelo....so, the DaVinci it is!   Because this cruise appears to have a very limited capacity, we are curious as to whether or not this dining room will just not be used or it may be that they are using it only for those that want a more traditional style dining experience, even though that term no longer exists.  I found it interesting that Princess took into account if you wanted a shared or private table as that is now asked when you set up your dining reservations in the app.  They've obviously listened to those that want to meet new people when cruising.  

We were also able to reserve and pay for our special dining for the Crown Grill in the app.  Whatever credit card you have posted for your sailing is automatically charged.  Again, if you want to use your OBC to book the specialty dining, you will have to wait until you are onboard.  That hasn't changed.  

On day 11 before our cruise, we were finally able to choose our arrival time.  One day later, that disappeared.  I went back into the app and noticed that they had an earlier boarding time within Group A (it changed from noon to 11:30 AM) so, I choose that and got right back into the A group.  

Like I said, the only thing missing on the app now is the ability to see what shows and events are happening.  Life is all good, though!  

 

Testing mandates:

I booked this cruise immediately when I saw it was available through my PVP (or CVP).  I later thought that I may want to book the next sailing, as B2B sailings were then allowed.  At first, we were not able to get the same cabin but the one right next door.  While not optimal, we were happy enough with that.  We had also heard that B2Bs in different cabins weren't going to be allowed so, instead of chancing it, we were able to upgrade to another category in staying in the same room during the BOGO sale.  After that, the testing mandate within 2 days of the initial sailing and testing in between B2Bs was implemented.  

We were able to make an appointment at CVS for the rapid antigen test two days prior to our first leg of the cruise.  We were told that we will have to disembark the ship between sailings and get tested (compliments of Princess) and reboard only after getting a negative result.  We may consider taking home test kits with us just to know if we should pack up our items in between sailings.  We were assured the staff would pack up our belongings but it just seems safer for us to do it instead.  Given this added requirement, I would probably reconsider doing a B2B again while CoVid is still so active.  I did ask my PVP what would be done if we were asymptomatic and tested positive.  She assured us that Princess would take care of the necessary arrangements and costs to get us home as we'd not be able to fly on a commercial flight.  A car rental was mentioned and that sounded reasonable because it would just be from Los Angeles up to the SF Bay Area.  

As for others, I think the monitored home test kits that are now offered via a link on the Princess FAQs site, are a very popular option.  Many have noted their health insurance will reimburse them when submitting a claim.  The tests are $70 for a set of and can be found using this link ... CruiseHealth™ FAQ: Sailings from the United States - Princess Cruises

 

I almost forgot to mention, there seem to be a lot (I mean a lot) of cabins available on these cruises and it doesn't appear anybody is getting any upgrade or upsell offers.  On the Majestic, we had received an upsell offer and we turned it down because we already had the exact cabin we wanted.  Now, when we'd like a larger cabin  ... we'd really love to get one of these offers.  

 

Please feel free to chime in if you are on either of these initial sailings

.... or if you just have some questions that any of us might be able to answer for you.  

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Edited by Cruise Raider
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CABO 🙂

 

FYI - you can still reserve spa appointments (at least for this cruise) on the website.  You can no longer book dining there.  They do not show up in the Medallion planner however, so print receipts.  I had booked a specialty dining reservation when you still could book them on the site and the Medaillion was not working, and it is not showing up.

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Thanks very much for starting these live from threads.  We're sailing in January (to Hawaii we hope).  Looking forward to your updates and observations.  Grand is second only to Coral our favorite ship.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

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1 hour ago, fabby50 said:

CABO 🙂

 

FYI - you can still reserve spa appointments (at least for this cruise) on the website.  You can no longer book dining there.  They do not show up in the Medallion planner however, so print receipts.  I had booked a specialty dining reservation when you still could book them on the site and the Medaillion was not working, and it is not showing up.

 

Good to know.  I will check it while on the sailing.  

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As everyone knows, it depends on who you communicate with.  So here is my take on a b2b as of today, 9/17/21.

 

I am on a b2b next month.  I was told, repeatedly that b2bs were not allowed.  On one call, I connected with Jose at Princess.  He said b2bs in different cabins WAS okay...and we finalized the deal on the Grand (San Diego/Cabo).

 

I was able to use a complimentary voucher to book my dinner at the Crown Grill ($ 0), but could not do it for my cabin mate.  I will just bring her along to my reserved table and give them her voucher when we get there.  Have not had any success trying to modify this reservation.  Not going to fool with it.

 

Just spoke to Rain via Live Chat today.  She said:  I would NOT have to test b2b.  No getting off the ship to test.  Just the one test preboarding will do.  So will be very interested in how @Cruise Raider will be directed on turn around day.

 

She also said that any one of these Antigen tests will be accepted by Princess.  I am planning to get mine at a CVS.

 

Yes it is. Antigen tests include:
Rapid antigen test
Viral antigen test
Antigen Chromatographic Digital Immunoassay,
Antigen Chemiluminescence Immunoassay, or
Antigen Lateral Flow Fluorescence

 

I will be following your adventure.  Thank you for starting this thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@CruiseRaider  Thank you for starting this post!  

@cr8tiv1  We are also, leaving next month Oct 9 and  Oct 14 for b2b cruises.  We were told only test once.  We were also told different cabins okay until I spoke to someone at Princess about another cruise and she looked at this one and said I had to have the same cabin.  She was going to find out and get back to me .  That was a week ago.  We are trying a window suite for the first leg.  Two weeks later we decided to book the second leg.  We have NEVER had a complementary upgrade with Princess (have sailed 40 times with Princess) so I booked an inside cabin, to test since there are so many cabins available.  As of now we have NOT!

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I’m looking forward to this review. We are doing a B2B on the Grand starting October 23, 2021. I was able to book the same suite online without any issues. 🤷‍♀️ On the App it shows as one trip which is fine with me. Thanks for this thread! Enjoy your cruise. 

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I am sailing on the Sept 30 cruise. I did everything to preregister on the phone with the ocean navigator dept. I received my medallion in the mail. I also was called (thanks to my PVP following through) with my boarding time which was as requested the earliest group and got 11:30. I will go to guest services and get a regular cruise card, I keep them from every cruise. I may still use the medallion but I like to collect my cards. I have one for each of my cruises going back decades. I'm told the cruise cards will always be available because there are people who cannot use the medallion because of medical devises and need the card. 

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On 9/17/2021 at 4:31 PM, dskenn said:

@CruiseRaider  Thank you for starting this post!  

@cr8tiv1  We are also, leaving next month Oct 9 and  Oct 14 for b2b cruises.  We were told only test once.  We were also told different cabins okay until I spoke to someone at Princess about another cruise and she looked at this one and said I had to have the same cabin.  She was going to find out and get back to me .  That was a week ago.  We are trying a window suite for the first leg.  Two weeks later we decided to book the second leg.  We have NEVER had a complementary upgrade with Princess (have sailed 40 times with Princess) so I booked an inside cabin, to test since there are so many cabins available.  As of now we have NOT!

We are going on the Oct 14 sailing. So far no upgrade nor upset offers. I'm excited to follow this thread.

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Just read that B2Bs in different cabins is not allowed (time frame unknown).  Prom a few people, they’ve posted that their second leg of their B2B has been canceled by Princess.  Someone else mentioned they called Princess to confirm this.  While we are glad we have the same cabin, originally, we didn’t.  We were having to move one cabin away and I don’t think that was going to be a huge issue.  
 

BTW, that have just now started adding to the schedule of events on JourneyView.  There’s not much on there yet, but it’s a start.  

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7 hours ago, Cruise Raider said:

Just read that B2Bs in different cabins is not allowed (time frame unknown).  Prom a few people, they’ve posted that their second leg of their B2B has been canceled by Princess.  Someone else mentioned they called Princess to confirm this.  While we are glad we have the same cabin, originally, we didn’t.  We were having to move one cabin away and I don’t think that was going to be a huge issue.  
 

BTW, that have just now started adding to the schedule of events on JourneyView.  There’s not much on there yet, but it’s a start.  

Princess = Consistently inconsistent.

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So, there are a few more events added to JourneyView for the September 25th sailing.  There are still no theater shows listed as of yet, though.  And there are no events for the September 30th sailing.  
 

Of note, instead of ‘reserving’ events, shows and activities on JourneyView, you now ‘bookmark’ them instead.  It makes more sense to do it like this because some people thought you couldn’t show up if you hadn’t ‘reserved’ it, while many that did ‘reserve’ something didn’t show up for it.  
 

When you bookmark a series of events or shows, you can pull-up your personalized schedule in Journeyview without weeding through all the other scheduled activities.  This is much like highlighting what you want to do on the Patter.  Even though I’m not much of a cell phone person at home, I find it very convenient to carry around on a cruise now.  

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On 9/17/2021 at 4:31 PM, dskenn said:

We have NEVER had a complementary upgrade with Princess (have sailed 40 times with Princess)

That is really surprising.  We have cruised 52 times with Princess and we have received comp upgrades every 4 or 5 cruises.  Or at least we did pre-Covid.  Usually the upgrade was from a regular Balcony to a Deluxe Balcony or from a Deluxe Balcony to a Mini-Suite.  Hope your luck changes in the future!

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We will be on the Majestic out of LA on 10/16 so can't wait to hear how boarding and what not goes from LA on your sailing.  If you have time would love to know if they are doing embarkation photos out of LA...I know they are not doing them currently on the Alaska voyages....have a great time.

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