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Times Prince

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About Times Prince

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Central Texas
  • Interests
    music - playing guitar
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess Cruises
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. It is after 15 cruise credits are achieved. The exception may be if one has booked what is normally 2 back to back cruises as a single cruise and your 15th cruise is in the first leg. Then the Elite status is after the end of the booked cruise. If you are in that case, then talk to the Captain's Circle representative onboard and he/she may change your status for the 2nd leg to Elite.
  2. The pre-pandemic timing shown above defined the problem. All the dining rooms pretty much filled @5 -5:30, and tables or sections didn't open up until 7:30. Our preferred dining time was about 7:00-7:15 and we were always given a pager and told to wait until 7:30, at which time we were directed to the dining room on deck 6, which was just finishing the Traditional early seating. When we turned in our pager there was always a large line waiting for ATD. On Royal Princess we found the Horizon Court dining to be very good. The food was almost always hot and tasty. Alfredo's was a good dining alternate and never had a wait.
  3. The problem with some brokerage statements is they have you full name on one page and just the account number on another showing your holdings. This was insufficient for CCL/Princess the last time we sailed, and we had to get a letter from our broker. This is a good reason for not waiting until the last minute to submit your request for shareholder benefit.
  4. Also I have found that any Princess Cruises special offer that has a non-refundable deposit says this clearly in the offer details. When actually booking online it will also ask if you are aware it is non-refundable. Without these notifications, the deposit is refundable.
  5. In addition I have also found that booking direct with airlines can beat the "best" prices offered by booking engines. When going to a new destination I will check those booking engines to find what airline offers the best fares, and then will go to the airline site to get the flight less expensive.
  6. What you describe is often called an "open jaw" flight. What I've found is that Princess EZAir beats the airline costs in almost every case because the airlines book it as two costly one-way fares and EZAir books it more like a round trip. In every case I have booked Princess EZAir. We have also found that once the booking is confirmed and you get an airline record locator code it is easy to go to the airline's websites and to reserve a seat. I've done this with United, American, Jet Blue, and Delta. The only time I've had an issue was when the airline changed aircraft type sometime after booking. Keeping yourself informed by signing up on the airline sites for email/text notifications for changes is highly recommended.
  7. I may be out of date on news, but the last I heard of countries refusing to repatriate was when the crew would have had to pass through a port, then through an airport to get to chartered flights to get back to the countries. In a time of global fear of further spread of the pandemic the amount of travel from the quarantine ship environment to the country provided too much uncertainty concerning re-contamination. This, combined with uncertainty about how the highly infectious virus is spread, meant that countries acted with an excess of caution, and also presented unreasonable roadblocks to repatriation. For instance the USA requires that Princess Cruises corporate physician certify the health of the crew member, despite that person never having had direct contact with the crew, with that certification also disregarding the assessment of the Ship's Doctor who could provide accurate input. In short, the government only trusts their own citizen who they could prosecute should the virus actually be carried by a crew member. That requirement was rejected by Princess. I agree that cruising will not start without the blessing of the CDC. Cruising by the public will likely not be a truly safe option until an anti-virus is available or that Covid-19 has mysteriously disappeared for more than a year. Unfortunately that also means our personal cruising days are over. Stay well.
  8. The Princess crew still onboard are long past the incubation period for Covid-19. With them able to use the beach facilities (and probably being restricted from contact with island residents) you have a situation where it is a clean environment, avoiding re-contamination. And this is the problem with the proposal that paying passengers be allowed to cruise. They are not from a clean environment. Any one of them could be an unwitting asymptomatic carrier. We know that the cruise lines deep clean after a norovirus outbreak, yet days into a subsequent cruise the norovirus is back. That's because the new passengers bring it onboard with them, having acquired it during a flight, at a hotel, at a restaurant, or wherever. But unlike noro with a brief 12-48 hour incubation period (ref. CDC data) Covid-19 appears to have an incubation period of 5-6 days to 14 days (again ref CDC) before symptoms it is likely that a new passenger will not only spread to others during their voyage, but any crew that contracts it would inadvertently carry it on to the next cruise. This is what happened with Grand Princess, where the original carrier was on the cruise BEFORE the one that became fully quarantined. So starting "Beach cruises" is a bad idea. Unless you strictly quarantine passengers for over 2 weeks prior to boarding and isolate them from their quarantine hotel to the cruise ship. I'm pretty sure no one will buy that solution.
  9. Some clarification is needed. Many of us have FCC's that have a 2 year expiration date, after which our $100 deposit money is automatically returned. Then there are people who have been given some sort of Cruise Credit in lieu of cancelled cruises. They need to look at the terms of the agreement to see if there are clauses related to time and/or return of cash.
  10. With some of the new health restrictions in the near future, that might be our vacation option as well. It does make one wonder if we should be investing in an RV company...
  11. I suggest that when you research hotels, you also research restaurants. I nothing else go to the map app of your choice with aerial view and see how far the restaurant is from the hotel. Also talk to the hotel directly. We've booked the Renaissance twice looking at their website that promises a restaurant in the building to find when we arrive, it is closed for renovations or just plain closed - no reason given. The only other in-hotel options were pub grub in the bar, or order delivery from an Italian restaurant or pizza place.
  12. Allowing more time for disinfection between cruises makes sense, but that could also be accomplished by increasing the number of stateroom stewards - they have been given more cabins to clean almost every cruise, making them potentially less thorough. Increasing service at the buffet area is helpful and is currently in use when Norovirus has been imported to the ship by passengers. I disagree with the "do away with the buffet" concept as the buffet is a vital service, especially to passengers with diabetes who cannot wait for hours before eating in a more formal or regimented setting. Now if we want to think outside the box, then let's require all cabins to have direct access to outside air (via balcony or openable window.). Or allow "at risk" passengers with a history of pulmonary issues to book balcony cabins at inside prices. Or a tech solution - change the Ocean Medallion to communicate with elevators - 1 tap on the medallion to go to the floor of your cabin, 2 taps to the deck of your dining room, 3 to Lido, 4 to Promenade.
  13. This article shows a complete lack of knowledge of the sources of norovirus, the "outbreaks" cited as pre-existing. Yes, the Princess Cruises ships regularly score 100% in the CDC inspections (with few exceptions), but those inspections do not inspect the PASSENGERS who regularly bring norovirus onboard with them or further spread it to others once onboard.
  14. I heard some of the same arguments about the cruise industry being in trouble after 9/11. We cruised then despite fears of terrorism. This time will be more serious and how the world handles the debt problem is a real question. Chapter 11 reorganization may be probable where the debt is significantly reduced. There will be some hard decisions by corporations concerning how to come through this problem, and I don't know that anyone knows what those decisions might be. As far as cruising, and even air travel I believe there will be an ongoing need, although it may be at reduced levels. Anyone who has traveled on ships with Noro know that it is possible to do this with a degree of safety. Coronavirus however needs to have a functional anti-virus before it is truly within the realm of safety to travel anywhere, land, sea, or air. Without that passengers with pre-existing health issues might be highly reluctant to cruise.
  15. We'll sail on Princess again if there is a safe way to get to the port. And the post above about rust - there was rust on ships in the first year at sea. Salt water is brutal on ship upkeep.
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