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Everything posted by Loreni

  1. Any advice is appreciated. We have a morning tour which will either return us to the tender dock at noon or drop us off at Tipaniers hotel for lunch and to enjoy the beach. I think it would be a shame to go back onboard when we don’t sail until 6 pm, but DH worries that we won’t be able to get a cab back to the ship because the island will be overwhelmed by our fellow passengers. I think it would be nice to spend few hours at the beach. The hotel appears to be a 10 minute ride from the harbor. Does anyone have experience with this situation or have a recommendation for something else we could do after our morning tour?
  2. If you don’t care about missing Ketchikan, Royal is the ship for you!
  3. This is very interesting. We were discussing NCL Bliss or a Princess Alaska cruise. We had already specifically ruled out the Royal Princess because Princess did not see fit to provide forward viewing for the majority of its passengers. It also did not see fit to provide a traditional outdoor promenade deck. NCL Bliss has enough regard for all its passengers to provide them with forward viewing AND a lovely outdoor promenade deck...two promenade decks actually (and the worst one still beats Royal Princess’ so-called promenade deck.). I don’t want to go all the way to Glacier Bay and have to struggle to view it clearly! Now I see there are even potentially more serious problems with the Royal in Alaska. It looks like we’d need to be prepared to skip Ketchikan. This report raises so many questions. Why did Princess feel the need for a non-disclosure agreement, when the other cruise lines did not? This is a troubling question. Does the pilots’ report create liability for Princess if they take Royal to Alaska and an incident occurs? In light of any potential liability, would Princess voluntarily decide not to sail Royal in Alaska? Will scheduled cruises be canceled?
  4. NCL, with Bliss and her sisters, has found a way to provide forward viewing to all while still having the ship within a ship concept. Perhaps Princess will also show this level of respect for all her passengers on their new ships.
  5. This is sad, sickening, and stupid. The cruise industry is desperately trying to attract younger cruisers...even to the point of alienating their base. Many young adults care deeply about the environment and many young adults strive to do business with corporations that reflect their values. This will be a deal breaker for many. Unless CCL is losing money and on the brink of bankruptcy and thus desperate to stay afloat, there is simply no excuse. Last I checked, they were profitable. So to wring a bit more profit from the company, they pollute to ocean?
  6. Thank you for the feedback. I am considering the Bliss for a number of reasons. One of my traveling companions no longer leaves the ship. She is also short,, cannot stand for long periods of time, and has asthma. She wants to see Glacier Bay. Also, the IC is her favorite place to spend time on a Princess cruise. I fear desirable viewing space is very limited on some Princess ships and if people are lined up 2 or 3 deep, she won’t see. Coral might be OK for viewing, but’s she almost certainly will be unable to use the IC. The BLiss has a forward viewing lounge with light food...and no smoking and abundant seating. It also has two promenade decks that allow outdoor viewing...at least one of which allows forward viewing. I believe the buffet on Bliss allows forward viewing. It is nice, that unlike Princess, NCL permits non-suite passengers a forward view on its newer ships. It is also wonderful that NCL, unlike Princess, has found a way to provide a promenade on its newer ships. I think the Bliss casino is non smoking, but not sure. I Have never sailed NCL and expect a few trade offs though.
  7. We missed having the IC on the Island...we were on the last sailing before she was butchered and probably won’t sail that ship again. So I’m happy to find one on the Coral. But... I’m looking at the deck plans. It seems like the IC is half in and half out of the casino. Is there a glass wall or some other barrier or ventilation to keep smoke out of the food and away from the seating? This seems like a bad location when the majority no longer smoke. It also looks like one of the shops is in the casino...also a curious design choice. But sometimes the deck plans are not entirely accurate. I noticed there is also a Patisserie in the atrium. Does anyone know if some food is offered here like croissants or donuts. I’m glad the Coral escaped the Island’s fate, but I’m worried about sailing her. Trying to decide between Coral, another Princess ship, or NCL Bliss in Alaska. I ruled out the Royal Princess and the Pacific Princess due to no forward viewing area and questionable promenade decks.
  8. We had very good water pressure a few years back. It is still OK, but not as good. I think other mainstream cruise lines have better showers. For example they offer handheld showers and glass doors, not curtains.
  9. So are they taking the chairs from mini suites too, maybe for safety reasons. Or maybe those who book mini suites also like extra space. Or do those in mini suites still get the barrel chair? If so, why? Don’t they like space and safety? There has always been enough room in the balcony and ocean view cabins for the barrel chair before. Could it be that Princess wants more differentiation between the cabin classes (They certainly are proud of the new Sky Suites). There’s is only so much Princess can do to enhance the mini suites and suites. So to get greater differentiation between them, they may have decided to remove basic comfort features from the majority of the cabins. This will make those sailing in suites and mini suites feel more special.
  10. You do realize many innovative new ships, designed for the next generation, ARE offering promenade decks. if Princess doesn’t innovate it will be left behind.
  11. I think all of us, regardless of how much we budget for cruising, should make careful cost/benefit calculations. I did before I decided to cruise with Princess 15 years ago. After my initial substantial investment of time researching what each line offered, it was easy to stick with Princess because it made vacation planning less time consuming. If I’m being completely honest, the loyalty program probably influenced my behavior as well. It was easy to become complacent. Some lines that I had ruled out, like NCL and HAL, have changed in the last 15 years. In the case of NCL, I would think the onboard experience would be very different when school is in session. Carnival, NCL, and MSC have all been able to provide a promenade deck on their new-builds. Since they are family friendly lines, as in RC, they may have more comfortable rooms. I can schedule my travel when school is in session. I have so much research to do.
  12. IF this is the case, there is no way to justify Princess encouraging its passengers to request the chairs when they board.
  13. I like Crooners. So they are taking something away. Will we be able to sit in Le Mer during the day, when it isn’t serving dinner. Will there be another piano bar elsewhere?
  14. I am still hoping to hear from those who have had their request for a chair granted. I have a difficult time believing that Princess would encourage people to ask for a chair onboard if the never had any intention of granting this request. There still may be enough barrel chairs to distribute amongst the fleet so at least some of that those who want a chair can get one if they get onboard early enough to make the request.
  15. Just looked at some pictures of Rudi’s. It looks very nice. We often cruise from LA, but San Diego is certainly doable. I think the HAL ships in San Diego may be a better choice for us than the Royal Princess.
  16. I probably will be trying other cruise lines. And, as I said, the Royal class is not my first choice. But, my decisions in future cruises will be made after careful calculation and on a case by case basis. It will depend upon who I am traveling with and their needs and limitations as well as my own. I still find the announcement of the French restaurant intriguing. I like to see Princess innovating in positive ways rather than continuing to remove things.
  17. I’m in no hurry to sail Royal class ships because they lack a promenade deck for walking and viewing the sea. Many new builds have this problem, but a few innovative cruise lines have new builds with fantastic promenades. If DH and I are traveling alone, we won’t select a ship without a promenade, but if traveling with other family members, maybe. The new French restaurant looks intriguing. I like the decor. I have some concerns about the overall ambiance as it seems open to the Piazza and might be noisy. I am also curious how much quality will be lost, since the chef will not have access to farm fresh food from the French countryside. Still I would probably try it. If reports are favorable, it would be a real selling point for me.
  18. I also believe that this was done for profit, not for the passengers’ benefit. It seems a shame that something so petty and mean spirited would be done. But Princess campaign against cabin and balcony furniture has been going on for years. If this is the best plan management has to increase profits, Princess is no longer the innovator they once were. Of course Princess is not the only corporation trying to manipulate behavior, and thus spending, through furniture...or lack of furniture. Someone already noted how Disney has removed so many benches. Fast food restaurants are notorious for hard furniture and fast, loud music to make people east faster and leave. Some people will leave their cabins, thinking it was their own idea, and go forth and spend money in the public areas of the ship. Others will just leave. And maybe this suits Princess just fine. But it might have been wiser to wait until the medalions were fully deployed, so Princess would have data showing that those who spend more time in their cabins really do spend less onboard, and thus are undesirable and should be targeted for this unfavorable treatment. Or maybe they already have enough data from the early medalion rollout to make this call. Does anyone really believe the medallions are primarily for the passengers’ benefit and convenience, rather than for data mining.
  19. For those trying to decide if they should cancel, or thinking they should as a way to show their displeasure. There is another option. Take the trip and request the chair, then you can report back to us on whether the request was granted. Princess’ position is that very few people want the chair, but those that do have been encouraged to request it when they board. Princess would not encourage this behavior, if they will not be in a position to honor the request: that would be dishonest and very disrespectful to their passengers, especially those with pain issues. There should be a few chairs held in reserve on each ship, so that those requests can be granted. With a dry dock coming up, the chairs to be removed can be redistributed among the fleet, even to those ships without any chairs now. If the very request that Princess has encouraged is denied , hopefully you have your camping chair as a backup. Then be very careful with your onboard spending and use your savings to try another cruise line next time. For example, you do not need to buy a drink to enjoy the Elite snacks. You don’t have to spend any money for coffee or tea at the International Cafe, if you trade your mini bar in for a coffee card, or bing a thermos. This way Princess is not initially financially rewarded for taking the chair and being dishonest about your being able to get one when you board. Don’t forget: their profit comes from onboard spending. They would have preferred that you not sail, and that your cabin was booked by a new cruiser who would have spent more onboard. Your savings add up and will go a long way towards your experiment on a new cruise line. It is kinda fun and exciting to be learning about all the options we now have out there. In the end, when you leave for good, Princess will get what they want: your replacement with a more desirable passenger. But, at least you give them one more chance.
  20. Thanks, BirdTravels and SandandSeas.
  21. Thanks, it looks like a nice place!
  22. I found a menu showing a very nice breakfast at Margaritaville, but it was a few years old. Is is it still being served on all/any ships?
  23. Thank you. This is very helpful. I am going to ask about Margaritaville on a separate thread.
  24. I might bring my own chair. I also have seen others using camping chairs on their balconies. Can’t blame them after the furniture was changed in 2012. I used to bring my own mattress topper. Someone found a chair that folds to 18” x 6” x 3”, I believe. But... if I go through the effort of tracking down, buying, packing and carrying a chair onboard, then it is not much more trouble to: 1. Bring a small water bottle with a filter and some flavor drops, 2. Bring my preferred instant coffee, 3. Plan independent shore excursions, 4. Take my own pictures, and 5. Visit my own spa for services before and after the trip. i will also deduct the price of the chair from my specialty dining budget.
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