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Everything posted by LeeW

  1. Dining room doors should open at 5:15, and doors close either 15 minutes or 1/2 hour later, depending on ship. Crowd will gather before. Helps if you know where your table is.
  2. Technically most ports don't allow food or drink from the ship onshore and you will see this in the app and printed Cruise Compass. I've never seen port officials someone for any kind of drink. Most restrictive port we have seen was Cozumel - they use dogs to check for food.
  3. We did this for years before retiring. Our retirement plan allowed picking specific stocks and it worked great. After retirement could have left it there, but had to either move all funds or none to external account and their 401 never did all that well for the employees so I sold, moved it all to an external 401 and rebought. Unfortunately none of the cruise stocks pay dividends any more. We really enjoyed getting onboard credit and 50 cents a share quarterly.
  4. Avis is across 17th in the Hilton (this is called the Port Everglades location on their website). Budget is in the shopping center across 17th from the port entrance. Both easy walk to the ship if it is in the normal berth.
  5. The only share is through stocks - own 100 shares of CCL and you get onboard credit on any of the Carnival family lines.
  6. Not sure what level is minmum, but when they first brought this out Elite could make reservations early. I've been able to make Anytime dining reservations (now Dine Your Way) as soon as I have booked the last two cruises. You do have to use the app or the web version of the app.
  7. I used to call to do this (typically flower delivery). Online the gift is at the bottom of the princess.com page - "Give a Guest a Gift" link. You just enter some information about who you are giving something to and then it is a normal purchase. I don't see a gift of a specialty dining package on these pages. All I see are balcony dining on that link. Closest I can see is giving someone some onboard credit, which is easy to do and better than egift cards (they will get a card in their cabin saying you gave them a gift). The other option: Specialty dining is done now through the princess app, so you need to log onto that. Try this login and use their booking number and birthdate: https://oceanready-personalinfo-ui.prod.ocean.com/ On the next page select Dine My Way and then specialty restaurants. But at that point you need to select a specific time and restaurant, so it doesn't fit what you want to do (although your mom could change the reservation once onboard). Problem of this approach is that if she has existing reservations this process will cancel the one for that night.
  8. Bellmen don't use the tunnel at Fairmont and don't seem to mind the steep ramp down to the port. But we do use the tunnel. Has an escalator at Pan Pacific end that sometimes isn't working.
  9. Not exactly. Princess says this but Stockperks won't process anything after July 31 until May.
  10. OP - if you are going to cancel then cancel any cruise planner purchases first. Processing the refund is far faster for this than the processing after you cancel.
  11. Alaska gift shops have tons of blankets for sale (go in September for best prices). Note that these are not super heavy, just two layer fleece that are similar to ones we have gotten on casino giveaways. We do use them a lot, though.
  12. Not sure I have ever seen free escape room on Royal, but think we paid $19 on Navigator before the shutdown. More concerned that they have a 12 year old limit - our 9 year old granddaughter loves escape rooms and has done at least 10 since she was 6. And she solves puzzles the rest of the family can't figure out.
  13. Just watch out for the Bottomline envelope - it looks like junk mail.
  14. And that desk wants to collect $3 for each mini bottle from your minibar if you take them home, even if flying out the same day.
  15. We have used this both at Fairmont Waterfront and Pan Pacific. Note that Fairmont access tunnel doesn't have elevators, so wouldn't work with wheelchair. And entry ramp to the port is steep, so you need to go inside the Pan Pacific to access the port elevator (look for the spa entrance - two elevator banks but the spa entrance markings are better than the port markings and the spa is down in the port area).
  16. Largest group we saw last summer was Juneau, up north by the pier the whale watching tours go out of (we use Alaska Shore Tours). Counted 27 in the trees around the marina. The other great place is the Alaska Eagle Preserve float trip out of Haines. This is a fairly expensive trip from Skagway with high speed ferry to Haines so we usually have to book it through the ship. If ship is running tours you might be able to book direct for less (everyone uses the same ferry).
  17. Yes, but I can cruise 5-6 times a year for the price of 2 cruises in suites, so we just get balconies.
  18. They do check out blankets at the towel station on the pool deck. Fairly small, similar to a lightweight checked Pendleton. We didn't have any in room last two trips Aug/Sept 2023 on Radiance.
  19. The Carolina area north of the airport has a much better beach than Condado (protected by outer reef), and is often far less expensive. More restaurants, Walgreens, grocery. Cab to port is easy and around $22. We prefer Embassy but lots of folks like the bigger beach hotels there.
  20. At D+ level have been invited to backstage maybe 5 times in 17 cruises post restart. Usually at a time we are doing something else. Pretty good if you have worked stage crew. Lately it seems like a lot of these are forums in the theater with entertainment staff, not tours. If you are in a suite, ask the suite concierge if he/she can arrange a bridge tour. They have regular hours in the lounge. You might also wrangle an invite to watch a sailaway from the heliport. We have had a few of these since restart and mostly didn't even have to ask.
  21. Pretty similar to Island or Coral Princess if you have been on the smaller Princess ships. Cabins near the Centrum can be a bit noisy - a lot of the entertainment is done there. And a lot of the entertainment is by crew members, not hired entertainers. Used to be fairly cheap to fly to San Juan, so we have done a bunch of cruises out of there. Great to be able to hit the ABCs in one 7 day cruise and the farther eastern Caribbean islands like Barbados on a second cruise. Typically we stay in the Carolina area north of the airport (Embassy) - nice beach and the normal fast food restaurants we usually go to. Costs $22 to get to the ship from there. If you come in a day or two early the city buses can take you to Old San Juan. Actually the airport hotel is a pretty good place to stay if your flight gets in late. Basic (think IKEA), but very quiet. Decent breakfast. By the way, you start at one cruise a year, then two, ..., and get to 5-6 pretty quickly.
  22. All the towers I have seen have had marbles in the glasses to reduce the volume.
  23. And lately the Windjammer seems to be closing at around 2:30, so we often don't have much choice of a snack after going onshore. Check the hours on a current sailing of the ship you are going on.
  24. In the past I've switched cruises on the app, then back. This reloads the sailing I am trying to check in on.
  25. No, but if you can find a ship sailing over that weekend you can select it on the app and look at the menu. The app usually populates about two weeks before but if this doesn't work try looking at a different ship.
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