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Everything posted by h-sar

  1. As was mentioned earlier, you’ll be looking down into Le Mer’s outdoor seating. No one is EVER there. pic 1 shows the restaurant right below your cabin, a deck down from you pic 2 is a view from the restaurant’s outdoor seating to your deck pic 3 shows the seating outside the restaurant that you’d see from above pic 4 shows what you’ll see from your balcony (of course, my view is from much higher as I’m on 16 at the skyview walk.)
  2. Funny, the kids were just talking about it over dinner today. You don’t hear too much about it on the ship itself, but rather more on cruise critic. Apparently, it is sold out for the rest of the cruise. It is supposed to be on deck 18. I will try to see if I can get a picture. The princess website says some of it is digitally-based and there are over 700 possible solutions. Will try to get more info next sea day. It’s called Phantom Bridges. Apt name as no one’s even mentioned it on board 🤣.
  3. The International cafe is actually on deck 5 and has Specialty coffees and teas, as well as an assorted selection of pastries, donuts, and breakfast sandwiches in the morning, and then various desserts, quiches, salads, and sandwiches, including hot paninis, the rest of the day. It is open pretty much 24 hours a day. It has a bit of a cult like following by Princess lovers, including me, here on cruise critic. The Horizon Court is divided on the Sky into the World Fresh market place which is about 2/3’s of the back of the buffet and holds the majority of the entree dishes. The Horizon Bistro is the front 1/3 of the buffet and includes the pastry shop. I would say that the food in the bistro is more deli like during certain times of the day. at breakfast, it just has a smaller sampling of the items available in the larger backside of the buffet.
  4. Always room at the table for latecomers🙂. I’m glad that the Christmas decorations will up for this leg as well. Really adds a lovely, festive air. Been sailing during the Christmas break for so long that I can’t imagine sailing without Christmas decorations! Yes, the food on Princess is a definite draw for us. There've been a few misses this trip, but minor compared to all the great food we’ve had. Food is a huge factor in all my vacation planning and there’s a reason we keep coming back to Princess.
  5. Yes; Exactly the same as on Regal and Royal on 5.
  6. Lunch at Alfredo’s. Pretty sure my husband needs to join a seven step program for his addiction to these Calzones. My desserts from Intl Cafe Views from the Wakeview pool area on 16 and a pic of the corner aft deck 15 balcony. One day...
  7. It turned out to be a pretty great day, given that the water is somewhat choppy and there was a bit of wind this afternoon. Sun was out, though, and that’s all that counted. Man, it was exhausting with the non-stop eating all day and lounging about in a deck chair. Feel like I need a nap. 😁 Enjoying some quiet time by myself right now on our balcony. Between bouts of salty dog fries, chicken tacos that are still failing to live up to expectations, some grilled veggies from Horizon, I went to Alfredo’s with DH where he had a calzone made with chicken instead of ham and I had the Magro salad and the eggplant pasta dish. Everything was delicious, as always. Service up there around 1 PM was pretty quick and efficient. Had we come a bit earlier, I think it would’ve been much busier. Still have not seen them seating anyone outside, even when they are very busy inside. The afternoon movie today was Grease, the original, and Aladdin with Will Smith is currently playing. DD and I did afternoon tea in the deck six dining room (location has changed about three times these past two weeks due to certain events going on.) They had it every day last week and confirmed today that they will this week as well. Went into the casino for a few minutes for a walk-through late last night. It was wall-to-wall people, jampacked. I imagine it is like this most nights, but we really don’t go in there other than one or two walk-throughs during a cruise. Smoke was actually not too bad at all and I am hypersensitive to smoke. One thing I love about princess is that they do a fantastic job of keeping the smoke contained to certain parts of the ship. Beyond Churchill’s and the casino, the only other place with smoking is the very back of deck 17 just above the wakeview pool area. I walked through the Smoking section today and it was pretty busy, but there was very little smoking going on. Anytime I have been at the back of 16, just below it, I don’t smell any smoke either. The nice thing about the smoking area is that is kind of closed off from the left and the right sides of the ship. We went to Sabatini’s last night and I don’t think we will be repeating the experience on future cruises. The menu just does not do it for us. But, of course, taste is subjective and I’m sure there are people who absolutely love the menu. The complimentary hors d’oeuvres of freshly fried pastry dough, prosciutto, and rolls was very very good. The tomato and bell pepper sauce was delicious. My risotto was good, not great, and my Sole Piccata main was very oily - almost like it had been pan fried in cold oil. I only ate about a third of it. All of our dishes came out barely lukewarm and we should have said something but did not. In fact, my veggies were cold. Very surprising given that each dish is made per order. DD didn’t really enjoy her pork tenderloin, but that is just a preference thing on her part. I’m sure others would quite enjoy it. The veal Marsala was also just good, not great. We all had the gran Padana soup. Kind of reminded me of whipping cream that’s been liquified a bit and small mushroom bits added in. It was delicious, but being lukewarm really took away from the full enjoyment. Had we been hungrier or less tired, I probably would have said something to our server, so can’t really complain now. DD really enjoyed her carbonara. The Earl Grey Bigelow tea was fantastic and the dessert sampler we had was beyond amazing. Wait, did I just seriously forget about the burrata?! Food from the gods. Let me take back what I said earlier. I think I would go back just for the burrata, the deep-fried pastry, and the dessert. Yup, definitely would. Picture with the three little pots, which actually weren’t that small, was my son’s pasta dish. It had a small serving of lasagna, chicken Parmesan, and baked ziti. The two first dishes were sort of a deconstructed version. He said he really enjoyed the ziti, but the rest were just OK. The out of focus picture is my fish, followed by the veal Marsala, and the pork tenderloin. And the best for last, the desert sampler, with all four desserts. I would definitely recommend getting a sampler. If there is one thing you do not care for in the sampler, I’m sure they would give you double of something else that you would rather have instead.
  8. The irony is that I don’t actually eat breakfast. Yeah, one of those people. 🤷🏻‍♀️ So, unfortunately, cannot comment on any of the food. I know that everyone in my family loves the made to order omelettes as they can get them done as they wish.
  9. Sheila, not sure if you are seeing this during the cruise, but I also checked out some prices at a couple of the Dufry duty-free in the ports. Their prices were about five to $10 higher than that on board.
  10. If you want loud pool oarties, definitely not Princess. Am in the Sky right now on my 14th cruise on Princess since 2006. I have yet to see a loud pool party. In fact, they have even done away with, at least on the newer ships, with the low key pool games they used to do years ago. Princess has fantastic production shows, the Sky has a new jazz club, the band that plays in the piazza every night is high energy, but other than the nightclub, at least on this ship, things do shut down pretty much around 11 o’clock. I say with all sincerity that you might be happier with a different line. Happy cruising!
  11. Wow, did not realize what a crap load of pictures that was until they took 40 minutes to upload! There are two of the coffee and juice stations,, toward the middle of the buffet, on either side. Servers are also very good about immediately coming to your table to ask if you want something to drink. Not pictured is the fact that you can have a ready to made omelette, at your request, at one of the buffet lines. I find that a very pleasant place to have breakfast is outside at the very back of the buffet where the wakeview pool is. There is very comfortable seating out there and it is generally pretty quiet. Also a very nice place to hang out with family later at night. Have found, in the last two years, that the bands playing later at night in the piazza are getting way too loud. I don’t think it’s because I’m getting older and less able to tolerate noise. I’m an assistant principal at a junior high of over 700 kids. Noise is my life, LOL. I love listening to the music after dinner and watching other dance, but some nights the sound level has caused me to flee to where the music is more tolerable, but I can’t see much, such as into the Internet café. Having said that, the band Static is absolutely phenomenal. I think they might be my favourite princess band yet. Their level of energy is absolutely unmatched by any other I have seen in my 14 cruises with princess. One more cruise next year, and I will be elite.😜💃🏽. dry cleaning is the thing I’m looking forward to the most! The two singers of static have a way of energizing and engaging the audience. The female singer spends a lot of time wandering through and dancing with the passengers which is fantastic, and the make looks for anyone he can pull up onto the dance floor. They were both sweating buckets by the end of their performance. You can tell that the thing most important to them is audience engagement. They also do a lot of teaching of certain moves during the songs so that everyone on the dance floor feels like they’re in something together. Pic is from last night.
  12. Came out for a walk at around 6:40. Looking to turn into a magnificent sea day today. Right now, at 7:45, chair hogs are definitely out. Not many bodies in chairs, but a lot of towels. Disappointed at the vast number of people who are putting out towels in different locations so they can move about during the day. My curiosity got the better of me, so I thought I would see if anyone was booked into the sky suites for this week. Six people in the two different suites, with the same last name. Hope I am not violating anybody’s privacy, but I guess if they had been worried about that, they would’ve requested all information be erased from the iPad. I won’t mention their names, of course. As breakfast was completely set up when I first came out, and no one was around, thought it might be a good time to take some pictures of the breakfast buffet. I started at the very back end of the buffet and worked my way up, so what you see is what I saw on my walk to the front of the buffet closer to the pool area. Did not take pictures of any food item more than once, so if you see the very exact same items in a different picture, it just means the same foods were set up in exactly the same way in other parts of the buffet. So, the pictures capture the entirety of the breakfast buffet. Remember that the international cafe also has items. I have a tendency to dictate into my iPhone my posts rather than using my thumbs. Then I go back and do a quick edit. One day, I should post one of them pre-edit, because some of the stuff that gets translated from my mouth to the screen is pretty funny, some of it kind of obscene, LOL. Amazing what one says and what is understood.
  13. The best ever library I saw on sea was on a line I sailed once and and vowed not to sail again until I was at least 80. Holland America - it was one of the newer ships back about 10 years ago. Had a magnificent, old style library, with a coffee bar, comfortable seating, and was either right at the front of the ship or right at the back, so had magnificent, expensive views of the water. Pretty sure it was quite a bit bigger than Princess Live . Had an extensive collection of books.
  14. Great insights! We were on the Christmas cruise and stayed on for New Yrs. I’ve also been complaining on this board about how much football was played last week and continues to play this week. We had a doubleheader today with two football games. Having a hard time, like you, understanding why a holiday cruise with so many families has so much football going on in the open area when it could easily be done elsewhere. And, yes, the lemon meringue cheesecake is one of the best desserts I have ever had, land or sea! Am glad that I get to experience it all over again this week. Did not notice the lack of shopping junk mail getting off at the ports until you brought it up. You are so right and I am so grateful it is not a thing on the Sky. Like you, I also noticed the lack of the seafood buffet and the chocolate breakfast along with all the cakes at lunchtime the same day. Also, there were no theme nights in the buffet, such as German night, Mexican night or Indian night. Have been used to it on on the regal the last few years. having said all that, am having a fabulous time on the Sky and looking forward to what the next few days will bring. Can’t say enough good things about the band Static and their energy level!! Just left the piazza at 10 PM and it was hopping with wall to wall people on the dance floor and on deck six and seven. I have always enjoyed the princess bands, but this one is heads above all others when it comes to turning up the energy level. Thanks for providing your reflections on the cruise!
  15. Did I mention the doubleheader of football this late afternoon and tonight?!
  16. We’ve done a few tours in Saint Martin already, so the last few times, have gone to Orient beach, by the Bikini beach bar. We actually managed to reserve, a couple months back, loungers right in the first row by the water. Discovered last year when we were there that one could do this. No extra charge for this other than the cost of the chairs. And PS, in case you’re wondering, this is not the clothing optional side LOL. That’s on the other side of the beach. If you have not done a tour there before, you should really do it at least once. My stipulation with the family is that the first time we are on an island, we must do a historical/cultural tour; after that, the kids can pick a beach. The social teacher in me, I guess 😄.
  17. Dinner in the main dining room last night took a good half hour less than it did last week because then we were a party of eight and now we are a party of four. Managed to secure a table in Sunil’s section: corner next to the window. I think he’s really going to miss bugging the younger kids who are no longer with us! Pictured below, in assorted order: One of my favorite little desserts from the international coffee, pistachio pudding. Ate the strawberry or it would look a lot prettier.😄 Poolside pizza (where there is no longer a daily special - just in case I failed to mention that before) Salty Dog smoked hickory ? burger with bacon jam and provolone from yesterday. Really good. My grilled pineapple and melon appetizer at dinner yesterday, followed by the grouper fish in a mango salsa, very delicious, and another profiterole, this time with maple ice cream and a bit of a maple sauce. It was beyond delicious. My dessert plate from the buffet pastry shop after coming off the island this afternoon. Cupcake with the icing of the day, can’t remember what it was, but it was very good, mini Keylime tart, and a fruit tart. I shared the plate with others in the family, just in case you’re wondering LOL.
  18. And am totally wrong on this one. Should have checked first instead of going by assumptions. Also should’ve realized how many times I have seen the Hanukkah Service sign in front of Take Five for the past few evenings, LOL. Walked in to Take Five a few minutes ago to check out what the snack for the platinum/elite lounge was tonight. And walked in on a post service snack of potato pancakes and other assorted snacks. 😄. They looked yummy, but the line was way too long. Asked one of the servers about the elite lounge and he directed me to Vista at the book of 7. Came in here just now to discover that one of my favorite Princess snacks, the bruschetta, was being served tonight. Place is not full by any means as it is a huge venue, but there are at least 4 to 5 dozen people in here right now. Snacks were delicious! Not sure if this is a permanent lounge venue or just for the holiday cruises. Dates were sooooo good. Soft and fresh.
  19. Around 2:30, got back on the ship and finished a fantastic 2nd lunch of the day 🤣 at Alfredo’s. Having seen some of the pictures of the burnt pizzas, I had been a bit worried, but the pizza today and yesterday was absolutely fantastic. Ordered my usual Magro caprese style salad and a vegetarian pizza to share with my husband. He also had the minestrone soup which he said was very good. Last week, someone in our party had the minestrone and it was just lukewarm. When she mentioned it to the waiter, he laughed and said that due to the age demographics of most Princess cruises, they tend not to serve their soups overly hot. He said to always mention to the waiter that you want it piping hot. Late in the morning, the pod people arrived and interviewed with my view of the water and the ship.😆. If you, yourself, are a pod person, I bear you no ill will. We can still be friends. Just don’t know how people enjoy these clamshells which don’t allow for any breeze and actually often don’t allow for any shade inside of them either. One of the huts selling souvenirs. We tend to not take any cash to the island, but if you wish to buy any souvenirs or get some hair braiding done, ensure you have cash as your money goes straight to the vendors, not added to your cabin charges. Vendors are absolutely not aggressive and will never approach you. I’m sure they would not be allowed to work on princess cays if they behaved otherwise. Another reason why I really enjoy princess cays. Nobody wants me to pose with their monkey for a tip, or with a hat festooned with local fruit, or buy a woven friendship bracelet made in China. Drinks available at the Island buffet. The medallion items which can be purchased on deck 7 across from the Princess Live bar View as we tendered back to the ship. This is the smaller side of the beach which is over the bridge. Alredo’s lunch...with just the right amount of chili flakes 👍🏼
  20. Weirdly (and thankfully), not even a fly today. First time, in a dozen times at PC, I’ve not seen the desserts in the buffet completely covered in flies. Today, not one bug, not one fly, not even a bee. There was a bit of a pleasant breeze, so maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe the bug guy is just spraying the heck out of them 😆.
  21. And now at 10:45.... Im hovering over the fruit prep crew 😁. Want to get a plateful as soon as they get it set up. I have this aversion to flies on my food so like to be one of the first ones to get to the fruit and the barbeque LOL.
  22. Good morning! Am back at my happy place 🥳. Princess Cays As is the norm, my husband and I left on the very first tender at 9:15 AM and hightailed it to our favourite spot under the gazebos just prior to the picnic eating area. Gives great views of the water, the ship, close to bathrooms, the buffet, and the fruit stand. We always hit the right side of the tenders when facing the water, so don’t cross over the bridge to the other side. Definitely busier on our side, but I enjoy the people watching over here. Was utterly quiet and blissful when we first arrived and is getting a little bit busier at around 1040. Kids will be here around 11, as is their norm 😁. Have been used to free Wi-Fi on the island the last three years or so, but does not appear to be working today, unless one is logged into their own Internet minutes. So, below is what the island looked like at 9:30. We will get about 90 minutes of quiet time before the masses descend. LOL. Notice that some of the picnic benches have been covered for easy cleaning. There also seems to be a lot more paved sidewalks in the back areas. Picture of one of the crew spraying mosquito repellent. Last year, my body was covered in bug bites from the pesky no see-ums, like literally covered, because I forgot the bug spray in the cabin. This year, I have doused myself in spray. Picture of DH doing his typical inspection of vegetation. The bathroom that is usually right behind us, that we typically use, was destroyed in the fire they had here a while back and the area is slowly being rebuilt.
  23. Our hopes for a second opportunity for a proper Princess sailaway yesterday were dashed when an announcement was made around noon that it would be moved to the piazza. Sure enough, as we pulled away from PE, the heavens opened up .... for about 4 minutes. Timing is everything! DS got the haircut he wanted (a ‘fade’ which looked exactly like what he typically gets from his favourite place back home) after finding a barbershop (he refused to go to a hair salon) across the main street that runs in front of the Ross plaza. $23, not bad. Speaking of haircuts DD got hers chopped off two days ago at the on-board salon. She has (had I guess) super long hair that went to below the middle of her back. Got it cut into a very cute above the shoulder style. She’d planned to do a mid cruise cut a couple of months back and saw that there was a promo in the salon on the final sea day of the last leg. It was $69 for a scalp treatment and cut. Good deal and turned out fantastic. However, I’m pretty sure that DS’s $23 fade took more time and intricacy LOL. She let them know that she’d be donating it, so they cut it in the proper way. Now there’s a long ponytail sitting in our room 😲. I like the Sky’s tendering ticket system. On Regal, we had to go to the MDR and wait in there for a tender. Here, you go to Ocean Terrace on 7, get the number of tix you need (one person in the family can get them all), and wait anywhere in the piazza area on 5,6,7 for the announcement for your group. Way more relaxed. Adam, the CD, mentioned yesterday after the comedy show that some of the game shows in this leg are taking on a more adult twist. I’m not one for attending game shows, but will try to find out what those twists are. Dinner last night was much faster with 4 people rather than the 8 we had on the last leg. Found out that cute Sunil has a Croatian gf in the other MDR 😊. We were able to get a corner window table in his section for this leg. My sister, who left us for the Allure sailing today, iMessaged last night that her 12 yo started following Cptn Tuvo on instagram! His handle is Captain Bye-Bye, of course. Absolutely love him. Such a great mix of personable and professional. The other day, he stopped and chatted with my DS and his friends in the hot tub and before he left, gathered all the dirty dishes that were in the area 👍🏼. He just seems to have the leadership skills that others read books for, down pat. Looking forward to Princess Cays today!
  24. Sabatini’s menu. We will be going there for dinner tomorrow, so will report back. Was not overly impressed with it last year, so am hoping that I make better selections with my courses this time.
  25. Nice! There are some stunning pictures on there 👍🏼
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