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justafem

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About justafem

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  1. Hubby and I had never done an Alaskan, we wanted to, but the prices! Last year, I was offered a casino rate on a 7 day Alaskan roundtrip from Seattle. We jumped on it, did our "dream" vacation and will probably never go back. For me, 7 days is not long enough. There's that and I've been disappointed going north. We were on the first northern CA coastal and for us, ehhh. I'm a business owner and you can bet that if I had 3000 people coming into town, I'd have extra help, open early and do everything I possibly could to get those tourist dollars into my hands. The shops had "cute" little signs saying "we're open when we're open" type. Passengers were let off the ship at 7 AM, most shops didn't open until 10-11. Sure, I could have headed over to walmart, but I can go to walmart anywhere. I wanted the cute shops, the ecliptic, something that said NORTH. Disappointed, we headed back to the ship in every port and saved our money. I don't think we spent more than the cost of transportation in any port on that entire trip. We normally leave from SanFran, 4ish hour drive (hubby does NOT fly), so do the same itinerary multiple times. And we don't mind. Alaska was almost the same as the NorCal trip. We wandered the towns, enjoyed the scenery and didn't spend more than the cost of a couple of cups of coffee. The BIG tourist stores were open, well staffed and completely boring. So, we've done Alaska.
  2. Our local casino tried to go nonsmoking when they remodeled many years ago. Their revenues fell so fast, the casino backtracked and reopened the smoking sections. Several cruise lines have tried the nonsmoking ships, they couldn't fill the rooms, the casino income fell. And we all know what happened, smoking allowed again. I AM a smoker. I smoke where I am allowed and nowhere else. We have less than 5% of the ship to smoke. I'm not going to apologize for smoking and expect the same from the nonsmokers. Rant over!
  3. Anyone willing to give up the B1G1 free for the specialty dining? We sail in 2 1/2 weeks and would LOVE to go to dinner.
  4. I am looking forward to other lines finally coming to SanFran after the 5 year exclusive contract with Princess. It's going to drop the fares considerably and we'll finally have some shorter round trips cruises available. Nice thing about being a couple hours driving distance of a decent cruise port! I'm seeing Carnival and another line (starts with *N*, tired) that will regularly be offering the closed loops. I will miss the grand though, the star ehhhh and ruby another ehhh.
  5. I've weighed the differences in cost between getting the coffee card and soda and more package, with the Premium Coffee and Soda package. Cost of a coffee card is $36.xx, cost of soda and more is $14.xx per day. Cost of Premium Coffee and Soda package $28.xx per day. All of these prices are with the 18% grat added. So for us on a 15 day cruise the cost would be $418 per person for the Premium Coffee and Soda package. The cost for the soda and more and a coffee card would be ($208 plus $36) $244 per person. Saving us $173 per person for the same drinks. Granted, we don't get unlimited specialty coffees our way, but for a $350 difference, I can buy more specialty coffees if I want. That difference also pays for 7 (SEVEN!!) specialty dining(s)! A HUGE savings. And the truth is, since they raised the prices so much on the soda and more package. I've chosen not to get it anymore *I don't drink soda*. I normally have a glass or two of juice and a mocktail each day. At the old prices, I was breaking even, at the new prices it's cheaper for me to forgo the mocktail and use a specialty coffee instead, then grabbing a juice in the morning, calling room service or just paying for the juice. Princess has lost money on me because of their new pricing. AND I'm using ALL my "punches" on the coffee card now, where before I was only using 1 or 2.
  6. We choose any time. Never know if we're going to be hungry early or late. Never know if we're going to see an early show or late. Never know if we're going to skip the dining room all together and go specialty or if we'll hit Alfredo's or the buffet. Also with the platinum lounge, if there are certain items we want to nosh on, it makes dinner later. We are slow eaters, so sharing a table was hard on the rest of the diners as they had to wait or on us as we had to inhale our food. We choose to wait for a 2 top. If there's a wait, we grab a drink, which takes about the time we have to wait or go window shopping. Very casual people, so we're willing to go with the flow. I don't want to be locked into a dining time.
  7. We booked the cheapest inside guarantee for our next 15 day Hawaiian cruise. Considering we knew the insides were sold out at the front of the ship, we knew we'd be getting an upgrade. Ended up with an inside midship. Got an "upsell" at the rate of $599 per person to upgrade to a balcony, so $1198 for the two of us. I chose not to take them up on their offer as it would have doubled the cost. Another time, we were in a premium view for a 10 day cruise and received an upsell of $99 TOTAL for a suite. We JUMPED on that! So I've taken upsells and chosen not to take upsells. Depends on the value to us.
  8. I booked a guarantee, cheapest inside forward. Just received our room assignment. Still inside, but mid-ship with passenger decks above and below. And NO pullmans! Hubby and I discussed it, if we had ended up with our paid for room, we'd be happy and if we received an upgrade, we'd be happy. We are happy.
  9. Hey, where's my blended teas? Ok, the black forest freeze is still there, I'll cope (GRINS)
  10. There's stuff in front of the window, https://sites.google.com/site/cabinviewbyrenmar/golden-grand-star-princess/cabins-701--729
  11. I couldn't get it to book rooms either a couple weeks ago. Tried different browsers, tried clearing cashe, tried banging the computer on the side (worked for the TV as a kid). Nothing worked, kept getting an error. Finally booked through an online TA, they were able to do the booking and even discounted a couple hundred bucks. I win! Now that the particular sailing date we wanted has gone up about $400 per person, I can book all day long. Go figure!
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