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Everything posted by darnoc23

  1. Finally got a person that REALLY knew what she was doing. Took about 10 minutes to add in the gift card to the booking. The wait time was still long however to get someone. I tried the call back feature also. My experience on the call back is that it doesn't get routed to the rep, so therefore it hangs up and now you have to dial again and put yourself back on queue. Anyways, here was the process for anyone's reference, the challenge really is getting someone that's familiar with it: 1. Purchase the gift card at AARP. You should get a digital gift card in less than 30 minutes via email. The gift card has the card number and PIN. NO EXPIRATION DATE is needed. 2. Call 1-800-774-6237 choose 2, then 1. For me it was an existing booking to add the gift card as onboard credits. 3. Cross your fingers you get a rep that's familiar with the process. Tell them you would like to use a gift card for this booking for onboard credit. They'll take your card info and email you a confirmation of the onboard credit purchase.
  2. AARP, confirmed no expiration date and referred me to the terms and conditions which states no expiration date. Frustrating to keep calling Princess in hope to get a rep that knows what to do. Princess rep kept saying she processes gift cards all the time and requires an expiration date. I'll try again tommorow, otherwise, I hope there's no issues with processing these credits onboard.
  3. Hi, I finally got someone on the call that was taking the gift cards. However, my digital gift cards did not come with an expiration date. Only the gift card numbers and PIN. The person I was on the call with stated the expiration date should've been included in the email. I contacted AARP and they stated there's no expiration date? Can someone confirm if the expiration date is in their gift card?
  4. Hi Jimmy, what was the number you called? I tried the 800-774-6237 number a couple of times and get different answers. I've been transferred to their sales and gift card department and was told to call guest services, which was the department that transferred me to them. Chat does say they're not able to accept any payments due to security reasons. One person said I just need to give them the gift cards and they can "slide" the card upon check in. Which I mentioned that the gift card is digital. If you can give me the number and department you talked to, that would be great. Thanks.
  5. Hello, I purchased the AARP e-gift card and received it in my email within 5 minutes. I don't see a place to add the e-gift card on my existing booking through cruise personalizer or the medallion app. Do I just add gift cards at the cruise? Would love to do it before so everything is on my account. TIA.
  6. That's correct, everyone in your party can join you.
  7. One thing I forgot to mention also was that you would use a tender in Skagway due to the falling rock hazard on the original port. Unless you have a princess excursion or platinum/elite member you would need to get a ticket and wait for them to call your number. We returned late, close to all aboard time and the line to tender back to the ship was long. It was efficient, about 45 minutes but there is a wait time and I take it it's because everyone was coming back close to boarding time.
  8. That's a good point and noted on my response to catskier. If I recall on my online check-in we were only given time slot choices between 12pm -2pm. Checkin earlier would be the best bet.
  9. I think everyone shows up regardless of there arrival time as well as the 12pm - 1pm window being prime. I was suprised that a lot of people did not even fill out the online check in as well as the amount of people waiting to pickup their medallions. If you're able to, I would check in outside those prime hours.
  10. There were no token machines. Detergent and dryer fabric were all free also. They're just on the shelf for you to use.
  11. Hi All, Just got back from the Discovery Princess Inside Passage Cruise. Bottom line, was one of the best cruises I had. I didn't even feel the boat at all. Here's what we did, which may help some of the future cruisers: Embarkation - There was a LONG line in Seattle and cruisers that stated they waited over 2 hours was probably correct. However, for us it took us less than 30 minutes. Here's what happened, we stood in line with the others and asked a rep if there's a separate line for platinum/elite. We were told we had to wait in line. Another rep was walking around and told us we didn't have to wait in line since we had our medallions and checked in already. So we were told to go inside. The next line was for folks to pickup their medallion and wait in line for the escalator to go to security. The elevator was empty so we tried it and bypassed the line. Security line took the longest and went by pretty quick. I'd say 15 minutes. After security is another check in to show your vaccination, covid test, and passports. That line was pretty long also but there was a separate line for elite members. We went to that line, and someone stopped us and said we had to go to the long line and just because our medaillion is colored platinum doesn't mean we were platinum/elite members (huh?). So we waited in line like the rest and someone noticed our medallions and told us to go to the elite/platinum line. Once we were checked in, we were onboard the ship in 5 minutes. So, if you're an elite/platinum there are separate lines although there was inconsistency with the reps. Also, make sure you checkin online and preorder your medallions. Ketchikan - It's a very small city so there wasn't really much to do. We took the duck tour which was great for the kids, but since it was a small city there really wasn't much to tour around. Creek street was nice to watch the salmons and see some seals enjoying them. Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier - The scenic cruise was beyond spectacular. However, for those expecting to go close to the glacier, you would need to take a separate excursion. The last time we were at an Alaskan cruise, we went close to the glacier which was a great experience. We were disappointed that we didn't get to see it up close, but we were fortunate to at least see it from afar. From what we heard, the last cruise changed courses due to weather. Juneau - We decided to try touring on our own. I rented a car through Turo which is a car sharing company. The car was cheaper than renting through a car company and much cheaper than purchasing a tour from Princess. We were able to mimic a Princess tour by going to the salmon hatchery, Mendenhall Gardens, Steep Creek, Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. We were able to take our time on the hikes and watch the bears at Steep Creek. It was a full schedule and wish we had more time in Juneau. Didn't get to try Tracys Crab which was recommended by the locals. Skagway - We had rented a car through Avis to drive up to Emerald Lake. Unfortunately, there was an issue with our passports so we left late. Avis was kind enough to cancel our booking with no charge. Luckily, we found Frontier Excursions and they had a tour to drive up to the summit (not crossing the canadian border though). It was a 3 hour tour and covered much of the places we flagged in Murray's guide. Only thing was that we didn't see any bears but lots of beautiful waterfalls. Based on Murray's guide, mile 25 from the Canada side is the best for bear viewing. Victoria - It's interesting that we only had 7pm - 11:45pm in Victoria, but we made the best of it. We walked around downtown and took a horse carriage ride from Tally Ho. Most shops start closing at 8pm so if you want to do some shopping, do that first. We also took a pedi cab to downtown and learned an important lesson. Ask for the canadian price! We were quoted $70 but forgot the quote was canadian dollars so we paid $70USD. It was $50 canadian after conversion, 10 minute ride. The taxis is only $10 port to downtown. 25 minute walk from the port to downtown. Disembarkation - If you have a chance to do the Princess checkin (I forget the term) do it. Princess offers to take your luggage and checkin for you. The next time you see your luggage is in the baggage claim on your destination. This allowed us to take a small taxi to the airport instead of waiting for a taxi van when we arrived in Seattle. Seattle Security - The line is LONG so do get there 2 hours prior to your flight. However, their system is pretty efficient, so despite the long line we were constantly moving. Transportation - Surprisingly taxi's are much cheaper in Seattle than Uber. Uber was much cleaner however. The taxis we took had to clean the front with all the trash they had piled up (maybe that's why we got covid). Taxi to/from airport to downtown was $55 flat. Calling for a taxi in downtown took much longer so we decided to use uber. Buffet - Buffet is self serving now. There's someone at the entry way to ask you to wash or alchol your hand at entry, but from my observation some folks bypass it. There's been several instances where I saw folks eating while waiting in line then licking their fingers and touching the serving spoons (gross!). Forget Covid, Norovirus! So once you get your food, I recommend washing your hands again before eating. Hotel - We stayed at the Moore Hotel. It's rated as a two star hotel, no air condition, but we loved it! Location, couldn't ask for anything better. 5 minutes from Pikes Market, 5 minutes to take the monorail to get to the Space Needle. Wifi was good to get some work in. It was HOT in Seattle when we went, but the fans they provided in the hotel were sufficient. All of the workers that we met at the hotel were very friendly. The room we got was a joining room. One room was already huge so as my kids would say we had a suite for the perfect price point. Enclave - We LOVE the enclave. We usually get the couples price at $220, but when we checked in embarkation day they only had the singles at $149 each. HOWEVER, we met some couples who said they got the couples price at embarkation day. I don't know how it works, if its commision based but would hurt to try if another representative didn't give you the couples price. Although there's set reservations for sea days, it wasn't enforced, so our cruise I believe was close to full capacity and the enclave got pretty crowded. We started going closer to dinner time which was less crowded. Room - We went for the cheaper route going to the back of the ship right accross the laundry at the 15th floor. For Alaskan cruises, this was perfect! We usually get midship, since there's less rocking for kids as they tend to get seasick. For Alaska, maybe it's because we're in the inside passage at less speed, we did not feel the boat at all! We were iify on getting a room across the laundry, but it was actually a benefit. You do not hear any noise from the laundry and even the laundry doors of passengers coming and going. The laundry is FREE!! If we knew that I would've packed lighter. The 15th floor was perfect, one floor to the buffet, two floors to the gym, 3 floors to the kids club. 🙂 Hope this helps someone and let me know if there's any questions.
  12. Hi, Anyone cruising to Alaska next month get any notification of itinerary changes? I just saw in the news as well as some articles that the Skagway port is being cancelled and alternatives are still being decided. I cruise in 2 weeks and have not received any notifications.
  13. Thank you so much, appreciate all the advice! I found out Verizon rents out satellite phones, so will get that just in case. 🙂 Thanks again.
  14. Thank you! Advice well taken. I booked a car at Turo for Juneau. I was looking at the maps and it appears the farthest point we'll go is at the Shrine of St. Therese which is 23 miles from the port (stops at Mendenhall Glacier and gardens 1st). For Skagway, I was able to reserve a car at Avis. Our goal is to drive to Emerald Lake, but wasn't aware of the no cell service. How is the drive to Emerald Lake, any hazards? Is it a busy highway that if I do break down I can have someone call for help? I will have kids with me and now contemplating whether I should change my itinerary. Is Emerald Lake worth the drive and risk? Thanks.
  15. Hello, Anyone use Turo? Looks like the rental cars are sold out for my upcoming cruise and while looking at Expedia, it bought me to a link for Turo. Looks like it's an airbnb type of service but for cars. Any experience good and bad is appreciated. Thanks.
  16. Hi, what was the car you got and price? We're there from 6am - 5:15pm, any concerns with the timeline? Thanks!
  17. Hi, any recommendations for a car rental close to the port in Juneau? Thinking about just renting a car and going to the glacier and hatchery ourselves. TIA.
  18. Thanks! I narrowed it down to Courtyard and Moore Hotel in downtown. Prices were under $200, so not bad for the day lost checking in at 1am Saturday morning. Then probably be back at the hotel late Saturday after a days worth of touring.
  19. Hello, I'm looking for hotel recommendations for Seattle. I'll be flying into Seattle 1am Saturday morning (Cruise is on Sunday) and wanted to take the day to tour around Seattle downtown (Space Needle, Pikes Place, Gum Wall). Looking at the prices for downtown hotels I'm trying to balance price vs convenience. Average is about $300 a night and will be charged for Friday although I'm checking at 1am. However, I will have a 9 and 8 year old with me, so I'm balancing the convenience of a downtown hotel vs public transportation. If I stay at a Seatac hotel or Bellevue, will cost less. Seatac looks like I can take the train to downtown. Bellevue is 10 miles away but would need to take a taxi or uber. Thoughts? TIA.
  20. Hello, From what I'm reading Seattle and Alaska have some really good seafood restaurants. Would like to get recommendations on the restaurants for each port: Seattle, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. TIA.
  21. Oh no, I was about to book with them and see the website was still active. It was $350 for the jeep. Did they reimburse for an Avis pricing? They say the tour is 85 miles with stops. How's the traffic, any risk on doing this the full day or just take half the tour and back?
  22. My Alaska cruise is in a couple of weeks and have been monitoring the dine my way reservations. I booked the dining earlier on and they never had a full table for a party of 4, except the party split across multiple tables. Are the Alaskan cruises getting fully booked and what's the chance of us all seating at the same table? Last cruise I went to for the Pacific Northwest the cruise was less than half full. Princess is not able to tell me the capacity for my sailing. Thanks.
  23. Just tried following up for my OBC submitted on June 1st. I originally sent it through benefits@princesscruises.co.uk. Followed up each week and was informed to follow up again after a week due to their backlog (each rep confirming email I used was correct). This time around, I'm informed I should've sent the request to sbpcl@princesscruises.com and to call back again in 14 days if I don't see my OBC. 😐 My cruise is in a couple of weeks! What's the average turnaround time for OBC?
  24. Thank you!! This is perfect!
  25. Hello, We're going on the Seattle roundtrip Alaska in July and wanted some recommendations on the excursion. In particular, we wanted to watch the Salmon run and hopefully see some bears. We booked in July hearing that's the best time to go to see the Salmon run but can't seem to find any in Princess and outside. TIA.
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