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LeeW

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  1. United normally does participate in EZCheck and it would be great for you. The Fort Lauderdale airport won't let you check bags until 4 hours before your flight, so when EZCheck isn't working I have to store bags ($10 each, and they search them) a half level down from right end of the ticketing desks. Then we go in to the United lounge until I can check luggage in. I leave the lounge, get the baggage tags, get the bags, drop them off and reenter security. Have had two cruises recently where the luggage handling wasn't available, but we ALWAYS use it if it is. Ask at Guest Services early in the cruise for the form. If it isn't available, you might want to rent a car for the day. Avis and Budget are just across 17th from the north port entrance, within walking distance if your ship is at the usual terminal. When you make your reservation specify airport dropoff. No dropoff charges in Florida.
  2. On Sky last year think steak was only a few days (filet for upcharge) but many meals had a decent beef cut, like medallions. But many nights we wandered up to the buffet for desserts and they were cooking steak to order up there. And they looked much better that those in the dining room.
  3. Also check AlaskaShoreTours. Lots of offerings in many ports and we have used them many times. DyeaDave also great in Skagway (and they can book car/train combinations into Canada).
  4. We've only booked pre/post cruise hotels through Princess a couple of times, and all transportation was included. HOWEVER, hotel price is roughly rack rate per person, so they have a lot of your money to pay for that. Several times we were supposed to put bags in hall and be downstairs by 9 AM, only to find out the bus wouldn't come until 2 PM. Have seen a couple of times in Ft Lauderdale where people from ship would arrive at Embassy post-cruise at 9 and not be able to get into their rooms until 4 (pretty typical at that hotel even when not going through cruise line). In London got into airport 7 hours late and transfers to hotel worked very well, so there can be some advantages to booking through the cruise line. Traffic was nasty, but small vans did a great job and unloaded us in the hotel courtyard. Bus to ship was big bus that loaded on street for trip down to Southampton. Didn't get to that ship until after 3, though.
  5. Bring an inflatable noodle or even floating lounger - start at around $8 on Amazon. Only place we can't use these is on Disney cruise. Turn right when you get off the tender. Fewer people and more trees. The clamshells are over there as well, although lots of folks quit using them due to lack of air circulation out in the sun. Buffet and bar less crowded as well. Snorkeling gets pretty murky after a few hours, especially near the pavilion. Less traffic to right of the harbor so it stays clear longer. WATER SHOES, WATER SHOES, WATER SHOES. Highly recommend taking your ID and going out to the vendors outside the fence. Lots of fun crafted items and some local food. Cash required (US$). Most vendors inside the compound except hair braiding use your cruise account.
  6. Denali Lodge has a strip of stores across the highway. Several restaurants. Subway was $8 for a half sub 10 years ago first time we went. We used this for our lunch, although the box on the bus wasn't bad for me. The longer Tundra Wilderness tour into the park is not running this season - landslide isn't fixed at Mile 43 Hotel bar had great burgers/fries, large enough to share. Other lodges are out in the woods by many miles. About 45 minutes to Talkeetna from McKinley Lodge and bus costs after one trip. Not that Talkeetna has much there - shopping is more like a fishing lodge at a lake. All the hotels have gift shops with some snacks. Most longer Princess excursions do supply some kind of food (might be only granola bar, reindeer sausage and a soda).
  7. The Hampton Blue Lagoon shuttle picks up just after the hour at MIA. Lots of restaurants around that hotel and decent breakfast with waffles. We have also stayed at the Embassy just NE of the airport. Both are easy to get to the pier either by shuttle or cab. Downtown locations are more expensive, and you will need transportation both to hotel and pier. Technically hotels in Brickell area can be reached by the metro, but you will need to haul bags to rental car center on free train, then switch to paid train for trip downtown.
  8. You shouldn't need to call to get your Crown & Anchor number. Just log in to the Royal site with your email and Captain's Club password and you will see your status on Royal. Note the C&A number and try a mock booking with entering that number. Will show any balcony discount (assuming that the existing promotion doesn't exclude the balcony discount). You are likely Diamond on Royal, so you get the 4 drinks each day automatically at most bars or dining room. Good for cans of soda, water as well. Note that on Royal if you buy the soda package it doesn't include cans, just fountain. You may not get casino offers right away, but you can sign up for them at https://www.clubroyaleoffers.com/NotGettingMyOffers.asp You will also get instant offers for future cruises onboard when you hit various number of points.
  9. Foreign port is required for cruise to sail from US. Likely Nassau or Coco Cay.
  10. This cruise stops in Bahamas, USVI, St Maarten, St Lucia and Barbados before getting to Puerto Rico. It is NOT direct travel to either St Thomas or Puerto Rico. Passport is definitely required. Flying directly to either St Thomas or Puerto Rico can be done with a driver's license. But open loop cruises always require a passport. Closed loop cruises out of US ports generally allow travel on birth certificates. There are a few countries that require passports - Martinique and Colombia, for example. None of the ports the OP is hitting require passports at all for cruise entry, so expiration date shouldn't matter. Our experience has been the port folks don't even look at expiration date, but the most likely response would be to remind them to renew when they get back.
  11. Log into your account, either on computer or app. App will show a checkin link either at the bottom of the page or your profile page. Computer will show checkin where you see the cruise list. On the app you can select the arrival time without filling in the other information. Computer requires you to fill in info listed in other post first. Easier to do the passport and other information on a desktop. We have used the same photos for years (although you can resize them when you upload them). Same with passport image - saved on computer. You can fill in the information for your entire party. In theory checkin opens at 9 your time but don't be surprised if it runs a few minutes late. If app isn't letting you check in, try refreshing or select another cruise (can be the same one). This reloads the cruise you are trying to check in on. Most folks do the midnight checkin to get an early arrival time. You don't really need to do that unless you are trying to get the earliest time. On many cruises I have checked in 12 hours late and still gotten the second arrival group. And they often don't check what group you are in at the terminal anyway. Once done, the cruise documents and boarding pass will show up roughly 30 days before the cruise.
  12. Luggage transfers will be fine but the "guarantee" doesn't work for Alaska one way cruises to Whittier. If you miss the ship in Vancouver and the next stop is a US port you can't get on in any port due to PVSA rules. Not allowed to travel from one US port to another on Alaska routes. So don't miss sailing!
  13. You can either buy a large cake (arrange with a headwaiter a day in advance) or just tell the waiters. The latter will get you a small piece of cake to share, candle, and singing for free. Or you could book them a dinner in a specialty restaurant.
  14. We like Equinox and tried Beyond just after Christmas (not in Infinite Suite). If you like specialty dining Edge-class ships are great. All interior (and a lot of exterior) space seems to be devoted to specialty dining venues. If you are not into that, ship is pretty blah (although beautiful).
  15. OP, your status should have automatically updated on Celebrity since their accounts are closely connected with Royal. Try logging in, deleting your Captains Circle number and then re-enter it and saving again. Should update the system. If it doesn't, call Captains Circle and they will fix it.
  16. You don't even need the booking number. Call with sailing and name of person in cabin and they can look it up. Buying her a Refreshment Package only works if she hasn't already bought one, but the phone folks can see this if it happened.
  17. Last trip with flight to US had 915 departure group and got to airport around 1115. Last batch of Princess buses. They had earlier ones at 715 but we didn't need that early. While we like taking Aquacar, they still have to drive the same roads as a bus and bus is slightly cheaper. Thanks swjumbo. The key is where all the passport/customs stuff is. For a US flight you get it at both ends.
  18. Thanks John. Sounds like US domestic travel - two hours before flight is about right. What we really hate about European airports is that they don't seem to tell you your gate until a half hour before the flight and there is very little seating at the gate. US assigns gates early and rarely changes them, so you can go to the gate more than an hour before the flight. Gate seating is open here, so if there isn't room you just sit at a different gate. And you drop your bags immediately on getting to the airport.
  19. Lots of assumptions here, but no real answers yet except john1970. We are NOT flying to the US. We are flying from Heathrow to Amsterdam, so considered domestic (and out of Terminal 5, without the extensive security issues of a US flight). Would like to get into Amsterdam as early as possible and the main nonstops are in the 1230 or 1430 timeframe. We've done the Princess transfers for a US flight multiple times and are familiar with how long that takes - looking for folks with experience flying to Europe from Heathrow. Flying out of SOU means sitting in that airport until 1720 and not getting into Amsterdam city until almost 2100. Same problem flying out of Gatwick (except Easyjet). Was hoping to do Eurostar, but timing just doesn't work for that, either. John1970, that should work. We can live with separate seats for a 1 1/2 hour flight since you don't get a seat assignment on BA until checkin. Any idea how long it actually takes at Terminal 5 with Brexit? In the US you usually need to be at the airport 2 hours before domestic flights.
  20. You do know that cost is bid x 2, regardless of how many people are in the cabin.
  21. Regal arrives in Southampton at 7 (in theory) on a Monday. Need to book flights out of Southampton to Amsterdam and think that 12:30 flight should be safe, even with a ship transfer. Goal is to get to Amsterdam reasonably early in day, so flights out of SOU are out. Is a 12:30 flight OK or should I book later?
  22. I've seen the notice about limited access to Mendenhall for year but always see lots of buses running in late August. Supposedly they run out of permits in the summer. More photos from two trips in the Eagle Preserve. Late August was hot! Didn't see this one, but they are around. Tracks near put-out spot where we ate. Fewer eagles in late August, but still there. Not sure if Tom Lang is still guiding. We got an autographed copy of his Tales from Alaska from him. Little books, very funny. See https://www.boudelang.com/
  23. We have been using Alaska Shore Tours for years. In Juneau they use the jet boats that used to be owned by Orca Enterprises. Roomy and far better than ship tours. You can also book this with visits to the glacier (they run one of the bus lines up there): https://alaskashoretours.com/excursions/juneau/whale-watching-tour/ It is incredibly easy to get to the Mendenhall Glacier - you don't need a tour. Buses from about 5 companies run from the parking lot under the cable car and you buy your tickets at a kiosk there. Used to be $8 a trip but these days it is $40 or so and includes visitor center access, even if you have a national park pass. Trails do NOT require a pass. If the ship tour is less than the bus fare it can be a good deal, but your time at the glacier will be limited. If you can afford it, the Neets Bay floatplanes out of Ketchikan are amazing. Have only done that once due to price. This can get cancelled for weather. Haines/Skagway we prefer the Eagle Preserve raft trip, but yours is also a good one. Independent is cheaper, and you will take the same ferry and buses the cruise line uses if your ship docks in Skagway. Gentle raft trip with lunch and great staff, many who have been there for years. Again, expensive.
  24. Mine shows up in the payments section of the cruise planner and is automatic for each cruise now (long expiration date shows, like yours). When they switched to a shorter expiration date I did have to resubmit. If yours isn't showing up you need to contact Princess. Given your date you shouldn't need to resend the DD254. Current cruise shows this on Payments tab: Onboard Credits for this BookingCredits are in U.S. Dollars (USD) me DW Total Booking Total Onboard Credits $230.00 $330.00 $560.00 Booking Promotions* $100.00 $200.00 $300.00 Travel Agent Grp Promotion* $30.00 $30.00 $60.00 Military Benefits* $100.00 $0.00 $100.00 Shareholders Benefits* $0.00 $100.00 $100.00
  25. Iceland/Greenland route had 40 degrees and 40 kt winds. Large Princess ship had quite a bit of movement at 20 kt cruising speed between Iceland and Greenland. Small Princess ship (300 passenger) was ahead of us and only able to do 7 kt since they didn't have stabilizers. In our case the Captain wasn't sure we could visit Nanatorlik and was looking at getting permission to sail through a Greenland fjord. We did miss a port in Canada because the winds across the port entrance made it impossible to sail in. Moral - expect rough seas and bring bonine if you need it. And be prepared for a variety of weather. Still worth it to visit places we never would have otherwise.
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