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About XBGuy

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Diamond Bar, CA
  • Interests
    Fermented Grape Juice, Motorsports. Western Civilization Art Music

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  1. It sounds like you you are an experienced Princess cruiser You're going to have a great cruise and a great anniversary. Of course, I have to tell another story. Our very first UBD was on our second Hawaii cruise--the first full sea day after visiting the islands. It turned out that was one of the formal nights for that cruise. As we were preparing for the evening, we decided, "What the heck? Let's wear our formal clothes, this evening." When the server arrived, she was completely blown away that we were all dressed up. She was a lovely Brazilian and was absolutely charming. She made us feel so special--which is the number one reason we enjoy the UBD. I have to admit, though, that we could do without the photographer. We're ready to enjoy the evening, and, to us, posing is not, particularly, enjoyable. It doesn't really bother us when the photographers troll the restaurants taking pictures. You smile, they take one shot, and they're gone. With the UBD, though, they take multiple shots of you as a couple, then they take multiple individual shots. I know, I'm a snowflake. Waiting ten minutes for my glass of Champagne is not exactly torture. {Note to JF: I double-checked to make sure my typing was better, this time. 😉)
  2. You're right. Color me embarrassed. 🤔
  3. On the Ruby Princess cruise, which, by the way, was to the Mexican Riviera, we ordered the Ultimate Balcony Btreakfast on a sea day headed back to Los Angeles. I enjoy the UBB, but in the morning the sun is fairly low, and, so, it was starting to get pretty warm sitting there. The good news, for us, was that after about 20 minutes or so, in direct sunlight, it clouded up significantly and the temperature dropped to a very comfortable level. As we were departing Puerta Vallarta, we had the Ultimate Balcony Dinner at that balcony table. It was truly excellent. UBB dessert:
  4. Thanks to Cruiserkenn for helping out, there. 👍👍👍 We were on Deck 10, and, specifically, cabin C749. It is, in fact covered. Maybe this pic will help you out. In further support of Cruiserkenn's comments, about a year previous, we were also in cabin C749 on the Ruby Princess, and it was, essentially, identical.
  5. Sorry, folks, I have to tell a story. Our last cruise was the Los Angeles-Hawaii roundtrip this past January. We had a terrific aft-facing suite on the Star Princess. Another sweet suite benefit is a complimentary specialty restaurant dinner on the first evening of the cruise. We called the DINE line and booked a table at Sabatini's. Dinner was terrific, but equally enjoyable was the rapport that we quickly established with the headwaiter and several of the front of the room staff. As we were leaving, the headwaiter asked if we would be back for the suite breakfast the next day. We gave a very noncommital response and bade everybody a good evening. My wife is a late sleeper--not just on cruises, that is her normal routine, Prior to the quarantine, my regular routine was to get up in the morning and head to the local coffee shop, meet my buddy and solve the world's problems. Now I get up, go downstairs make my own coffee and the world has to solve its own problems. On a cruise, my regular routine is to get up and head either to the buffet or to the dining room. I like chatting with people and, so, in the dining room I would tell the hostess that I would be happy to share or in the buffet, I will often invite myself to take an empty seat at a one of the larger tables. My previous experiences with the suite breakfast was when I walked in, I would be seated alone at a table. Not the worst thing in the world. Anyway, back to the January Hawaii cruise, over the course of the cruise, we had dinner at Sabatini's five times. More than once somebody would ask, "Will we see you for breakfast, tomorrow?" Towards the end of the cruise, after getting the question, again, I said to the headwaiter, "If I come in for breakfast by myself because Mrs. XBGuy is sleeping late, you're going to seat me at a table by myself, aren't you." He agreed that, sure enough, that would happen. Regardless, on the very last day of the cruise, I decided to have breakfast at Sabatini's. Interestingly, the breakfast headwaiter was not the same as the dinner headwaiter. Instead it was the headwaiter from Crown Grill. We had also made multiple visits to Crown Grill, and he recognized me, immediately. I had blown away him and several Crown Grill servers by sharing an outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon on our first visit. As expected, I was seated alone at a table. It was apparent that each of the parties at the other tables were regulars and they had their routines. When the waitress--a strikingly beautiful charmer from Mexico--asked what I would like to drink I told her I would like an orange juice and coffee. She had the most quizzical look on her face, and she asked, "What kind of coffee?" Now, I'm sure that I had the quizzical look on my face. "Black?" She scurried of and retrieved a cup of coffee for me. Again, I had enjoyed the suite breakfast in the past, and I did know that some people order Mimosas with their suite breakfast, but it wasn't until that occurrence that I realized that a majority of coffee drinkers order specialty coffees. So, if you do order black coffee with your suite breakfast, they will be able to accommodate you. My guess, and this is only a guess, is that they can also provide decaf if requested,
  6. To reiterate what a few others have reported, our laundry turnaround when we had a suite has always been excellent. Like others, we would leave bags of laundry for the steward when we left for dinner in the evening. (We are never out of bed by 9:00 in the morning.) It was always returned sometime between 4:00 and 6:00 the next day. I'm not sure, but I would not be surprised if suite passengers received priority over elite passengers. So, we have never experienced a multi-day turnaround. One thing I will recommend is that if you are sending out clothes for both laundry and for cleaning is to separate them into two bags. They really can't figure out which is which if you put them all in one bag. Lesson learned. Also, if I can make a recommendation, the Ultimate Balcony Dinner is an excellent way to celebrate your anniversary. It is not a suite benefit, and it costs $100 per couple, but it is a truly excellent dining experience. The thing we love about it is that the service is so attentive. Two servers are dedicated just to you. If it is too cold to use your balcony, there is plenty of room in your suite. In five UBDs that we have enjoyed, three of them have been inside, Congratulations on your anniversary.
  7. Anybody who carries a cellphone is "being tracked," today. It is a basic function of the cellphone to communicate with nearby cell towers. Interestingly, the cellphone numbers are transmitted by the towers to the network operator and recorded. Those records can be subpoenaed by the authorities. I am aware of at least one person who went to jail because he could not explain how his cellphone was communicating to a specfic cell tower while he was allegedly asleep at his home miles away. I have heard of these COVID-tracking apps. They are supposed to be anonymous, and, maybe, they are. I would think that being anonymous may get them around the supoena requirement in the United States.
  8. Super Tuscan Dinner served in Sabatini's on the Royal Princess last September. Terrific Italian food accompanied by some outstanding wines. Tie among about a dozen visits to SHARE on the Ruby Princess and the Emerald Princess. I was looking forward to visiting SHARE, again, on the Emerald Princess in December, but, unfortunately, I doubt that will happen. Tie among four or five Ultimate Balcony Dinners on various ships. Outstanding meal and two servers dedicated to pampering me. A consistently excellent experience regardless of the ship. To the poster who asked about arranging the Ultimate Balcony Dinner for two couples, we have never done that, but I have read multiple reports, here on Cruise Critic, of people who have done so. I believe the price is $100 per couple.
  9. I have had no problem keeping my cellar stocked. Since March my email in-box has been flooded with offers from wineries offering some pretty good discounts--including library wines--or free shipping. I have not been in a wine store since early March. OK, I did go to Costco, last week, to pick up some prescriptions, and, as long as I was there, I grabbed seven or eight cellar defenders. I have often said that my goal is to leave no bottles of wine to my estate. That means I have to drink more than I buy. My wife and I drink wine with dinner every night. However, my inventory has grown since March. I am going to have to live longer. I know, I know. First World problems. Since I might be accused of thread hijacking, I, too, would love to return to cruising. We do have one booked in December, but I don't see any way will will get on that ship.
  10. Where did you get that number? A 99.8% survival rate implies a 0.2% death rate among COVID-19 cases. Those numbers do not seem to be related to reality. According to today's statistics: Worldwide, There have been 8,063,195 reported cases of COVID-19. There have been 437,176 reported COVID-19 deaths. Simple arithmetic shows the death rate to be 5.42%, or 27.1 times higher than your reported number. I agree that the death rate that I have calculated may not be totally accurate. It assumes that everybody who currently has COVID-19 will recover. I find that highly unlikely. So, the 5.42% death rate is, actually, a best case scenario. The numbers for the United States are comparable, 2.171.679 reported cases. 118,042 reported deaths. 5.44% death rate. Using your number, if 1,000 people contract COVID-19, only two of them will die. Worldwide statistics show that for every 1,000 people who have contracted COVID-19, fifty-four of them have died.
  11. XBGuy


    We had two FCDs with May 2020 expiration dates. My plan was to look for attractive pricing this spring for an Alaska cruise. Well, you know that did not work out. So, I figured I would just see what happened. I was quite surprised on last Saturday when I saw that Princess had credited the $200 to my AMEX account.
  12. Of course not, it'll be the mess hall. 🤣
  13. If the OP's forward suite is similar to the one we had on the Royal Princess, and I believe they are sister ships, the balcony is not front-facing. It is off to the side--i.e., it is port- or starboard-facing. That being said, all the balconies on the Royal Princess are fairly small. However, it worked for us. We were able to walk out onto it anytime we wanted. I mentioned that on our AK cruise on the Royal Princess my wife really enjoyed looking out the suite's front-facing windows in the comfort of our cabin searching for wildlife.
  14. XBGuy

    Roll Call

    I have found that Roll Call activity for all my cruises in the last two years to be pretty light. I am on only one, right now--December cruise--and it is very slow. I joined in, I think, November. By March I don't think there were more than a half dozen members. Since March, I think there have been two posts. The second was by me welcoming somebody who had just joined. I think there is a certain amount of "Roll Call Fatigue" that is contributing to declining participation.
  15. My opinion doesn't count because neither my wife nor I are particularly sensitive to motion. The fact of the matter is we like the motion. We want to feel like we are at sea. As a result we almost always book a cabin as far forward or as far aft as possible. More than once, Princess has tried to upgrade us to a mid-ship cabin, and we have declined as quickly as possible. I want to add, also, that last September we booked a forward-facing suite on the B Deck on the Royal Princess on an Alaska cruise. My wife absolutely loved looking out the forward windows. She was able to scour for wildlife and be warm and toasty at the same time.
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