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  1. We are Princess loyals, however when we did Alaska it was on Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas. This class of ship has so much glass, even an elevator that's glass runs up the side of the ship, so the ship was a great fit to see Alaska. The only other thing I'd add is to deffinately spend the money and get a balcony.....this is what they are for. Also we did the helicopter glacier landing.....all excursions are expensive in Alaska but if you're there then just do it.
  2. We live in Long Beach.....you have so many choices here. But you will need to pay for your own transportation from LAX it's not close. There is a Marriott Residence Inn walking distance to the Carnival terminal or you could stay aboard the Queen Mary as well. On the mainland across the bridge is Weston, Hyatt, Hilton, Renaisance......many more. The Hotel Maya is nice too very close to terminal.
  3. Not true per our experiences.....have done numerous Cali coastals with no issues.......usually in October. We're doing the Star out of Seattle next weekend. We had beautiful weather two years ago in October in San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Catalina and Ensenada......loved it.
  4. You are able to purchase bottles of booze and mixers thru the website prior to cruise. Also through room service while on board......a 350ml bottle of most is around $18 bucks. You will have a statement in your cabin when you arrive and must call room service to receive it.
  5. Please don't flame a smoking debate on me......but.....we are aboard the Star next Sunday for an Alaska season coastal. Never been on her but I do see the smoking lounge is the kind we enjoyed on the Sapphire years ago between the front theater and the casino. The one on the Sapphire was large with great ventilation and had it's own bar in there. It had a pool table top up on the ceiling.....we really liked it in there as it was so much better than the "speakeasy" next to the casino on the Ruby, Crown and such. Has anyone been in there lately that could tell us if it's like this......? I enjoy a cigar in there ......thank you
  6. We've seen them during an Alaska cruise in mid September off our balcony at midnight......it's a crapshoot but odds are better on this cruise
  7. There is a great restaurant walking distance North of you on Pacific called 13 coins......we enjoyed it a lot......but it looks like there is plenty around you.
  8. We've been on RCI, Carnival, Celebrity and Princess using the later the most. Princess loyalty program allows for the quickest way to Elite status (15 cruises) with Platinum only requiring six and gets you most of the benefits. I do know that Carnival has done away with table clothes other than for formal nights......cafeteria tables. While Princess has cut back on many cruise luxuries they still are more refined. Can't comment on Norwegian but do know their ships cater to families and children, aka go-cart tracks.....we are past that now with adult children so Princess works well for us.
  9. Our last Mexican riviera run back in April aboard the Royal, we were the last ship to arrive that morning around 10:30am with a total of three in all. We chose to stay aboard and enjoy the ship sans crowds around the pool that day. Turned out to be a very good choice on our part. While it's true each ship has it's own tenders along with the local ones contracted, the tender loading/unloading area is going to be very congested.
  10. So we board the Star in two weeks in Seattle for a Coastal cruise and have a question about booking a specialty restaurant prior to online. We have OBC for this cruise and are wanting to eat in Sabatini's the first night due to the mess that is anytime dining on embarkation night. I believe I have heard that if I book my reservation on line I will need to pay for it via credit card at that time. Am I able to change that on board to use my OBC after the fact.....? Can I assume when we board I can get a reservation easy enough and use our OBC then....? Thanks for any help ......
  11. My question was really only about our options to stay in Vancouver for a night or two ......OR to just get off the one ship and get on the next ship to transit into Seattle overnight. I'm assuming it's "legal" ......they are two different countries thus satisfying the foreign port requirement. Princess has them all the time but we've never had an opportunity to take one.
  12. Based on your title of the thread, I thought the ship was taking on water in Seattle.......wow......this is better....lol
  13. Oh what to do.....? My wife and I are "trying out" HAL next April aboard the Kontingsdam just a quick San Diego to Vancouver 4 night as they move the ships into Alaska season. We have children living in the PNW so our first thought was to book a night or two at a hotel close to Canada Place we could walk to and enjoy the city, then take the train down to visit the kids. We have found an overnight sailing jumping on the Osterdam to get to Seattle thus utilizing the ship for our transportation to see the kids as well. We've never done an overnight and are not sure how it might be. We hear the crew are not really stoked to do these as it's more work for them.....understood. Has anyone done one of these and can give us any advise....? If we just get an interior it kind of makes sense. Thanks in advance.
  14. Thanks to all the the great information.......it is appreciated.
  15. Oh if you walk into town from the ship (only 20 minutes) across the bridge you'll come to so many vendors it will make your head spin. Take your time and haggle with them until you get what you want. I can tell you great food/margaritas at El Corralito on the main drag.
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