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About CaliforniaDon

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Diego area (Escondido), CA
  • Interests
    Destination overview shore excursions.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    West Coast, USA , Caribbean
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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  1. In March, 2019, on a back to back on the Regal I printed my two boarding passes but never needed them. In this case I boxed up a dozen bottles of wine and put a note inside the top that said 2 bottles for reservation XXXYYY, two bottles for reservation YYYZZZ and 8 bottles for corkage fee - along with my name and cabin #. I gave up the box along with my suitcases at the terminal. The suitcases showed up in a timely manner, and closer to 5 pm or so, the box was delivered. The rope handle and wrapping was cut off, the top was cut open on 3 sides and two new documents were on the top. One was a printed naughty note saying the box had been opened the illegal contents confiscated, and the other was a receipt for 8 x $15 In this case they accepted my math, billed me for the extras and put corkage stickers on 8 random bottles. No bottles were missing, and there was no indication that the procedure was improper. Next time I would specify WHICH bottles were to get the stickers. What will happen next time? Who knows, but not lugging around a HEAVY box of wine worked fine.
  2. NIGHTCLOCK is the app used here. I am sure others would work too. 3 or 4 of those extra strong magnet hooks come in handy for a lot of uses. I got mine at a Lowes, Depot hardware store.
  3. TIME CHECK! I am listing this item, not because it is so great, but because I was just sooooo pleased with myself at how well it did the job that I wanted done. I wake up in the night and need to know how tired I still am, so a peek at the clock will put me right. After a few marginal solutions, here is my best. This phone app hangs high from the ceiling, so both sleepers can see it - and it has a dimmer, so it would not be this bright at night. The phone is left on charger, since I hear it eats battery life. More on my hobby web page http://beercruisers.com/hacks/index.htm
  4. Agree! We booked the same thing this spring and specifically booked two legs separately. It worked fine for us - we did not need to notify anyone, (although we did make sure our cabin steward knew) and, sure enough, our mini-bar showed up for leg two. They DID, however, seem to know that we would not get our liquor purchase delivered to our cabin at the end of leg 1 as some people had been able to do in bygone days. They managed to solve that little "flaw" in their system. Sigh.
  5. Before going on our March 2019 back to back Caribbean cruise on the Regal, I had checked out the options for wine management by reading other posts. Here is what we did, and how it worked. We took a case of 12 assorted 750 ml bottles. We packed them in a Total Wine empty box that had flimsy dividers in it. I then tied some clothes-line type rope around to make provisions for a handle of sorts. I made sure that the box could not slip out of the rope and fall to the ground - even if being mis-handled a bit by the boarding process. I taped the box shut, and taped a couple of luggage tags on two sides, wrapping them over a corner, so they each could be seen from 2 side of the box. I took the other sides and Magic Marker-ed my last name and cabin #. I put a layer of bubble wrap on the bottom of the box before re-inserting the dividers. It made me FEEL like that was safer, anyhow. The box was super-heavy, and wrapping a rag around the "handle" rope helped, but just a little. I gave the box to the baggage handler at the dock, along with our 2 suitcases and $10. I asked him to guard the box carefully (being a wine box, he might have guessed what was in it.) What I had not seen on the Cruise Critic message board was -- I put a large sheet of paper in the top of the box, with big writing saying: 2 bottles for Booking XXXX, 2 bottles for Booking YYYY - 8 bottles for Corkage - and my name and cabin #. RESULT - Our luggage arrived promptly, but no wine. A few hours later, there was a door knock and we were handed the box - minus the rope, the tape was slit open on 3 sides and my paper was in there, along with 2 other things. One was a printed card that spoke of the screening that found excess bottles, etc etc. and the other was a receipt for 8 x $15. All of the wine was still there. TWO CONCLUSIONS: The system worked. They allowed my 4 freebies (for the two legs of the BTB) and they stickered 8 bottles and charged my account. What I failed to do was designate which bottles should have gotten stickers. I feel like I easily could have done that, so that the dining room staff did not end up swapping stickers so I could keep the odd wines in the cabin. The stickers do tend to self-destruct when re-assigned which might have been an issue if we had carried a bottle somewhere other than the main dining room. As with all Princess procedures, the next time might yield different results, but that time it worked as I had hoped.
  6. How often do you need to detach your medallion and hand it to staff? I have a great 3 foot expanding belt chain but no quick disconnect (yet)— so I order a beer at a bar, or on the ocean now app — can I complete the deal without unclipping? Are there other times that one needs to detach? What about people with wrist bands?
  7. We know that we could bring a case of wine aboard, (beyond the one per person) subject to the corkage fees. Does anyone have experience with the larger 1.5 liter bottles - (a case of 6 vs 12- 750 ml bottles)? Does Princess charge double corkage or have a fit etc? Has anyone brought one of those jumbo boxes of wine for possible corkage? I don't see THAT at the dinner table. Chateau Walmart works for us in our cabin, if it is allowed. Perhaps they will charge a "screw-toppage" or "plastic spigot" fee?
  8. Hi - If I pre-order a bucket of beer and have it delivered to my cabin on boarding, will I get hit for sales tax? As I recall, when I went to get one at the pool bar pre-departure, they were going to add the tax unless I waited an unspecified amount of time until their computers disabled the tax. This falls, for me, into the "adding insult to injury" category.
  9. CPAP management is part of the cruising adventure - with several good ways to get the job done. My own solution is to take a 3 foot little power strip (one without a surge protector feature) and put it in your checked luggage. Then I carry an 8 foot or so brown extension cord in my CPAP bag. I also pack a 3 way plug for the extension cord. That has covered all kinds of issues, including chargers with space-hogging wall warts, etc. The one time they abruptly decided that my surge protected power strip was too dangerous, they DID issue me a huge 20 foot extension cord - but they never have bothered my regular extension cord. On boarding day when our cabin steward checks in with us I have always asked for "distilled water for my breathing device" and the steward has never been surprised and always brought it by the end of the first evening. Laying the short power strip on the desk allows the CPAP to reach the bed easily. I leave it set up, but remove the hose each morning. By the way, I borrow a book from the library that is just the right height so the back of the CPAP rests on the lamp base, and the front is leveled by the book. I return the book at the end of the cruise. Sleep well!
  10. Hi - I did the pictures a while ago but - - when you get the page with the bubbles for different features, one is "Security Photo" and another says "Profile Photo" -- Each of those gives you an option to add a pic with your camera, or add an existing file. I hope that helps. Security is the photo for staff to ID you, and Profile is the avatar, or informal identifier. If it is unclear, I can try to take a picture of MY phone with my wife's, and include that here. This whole thing is best taken with a winky-face for now.
  11. Hi - The Ocean Ready app is, er, NOT ready. The ongoing issue where your reservation "cannot be found" - is a problem with the nature of the error message. What it really means is that either it cannot find it, or perhaps it is a cruise that is not a Medallion cruise, or, the cruise is too far in the future. The suggestion that we, as users, mis-typed it is probably the least likely reason for the error. The animated pic is your alter-ego. You enter your picture for identification, but if you would rather have a cartoon, or a simpler image show up as your ID on the screens around the ship, then you can add a second picture for that purpose. Apparently, if you walk up to a screen in a public area of the ship, your picture pops on the screen - whether it is your actual photo, or your alternate depends on whether you have submitted a second avatar type pic.
  12. If they are voting for best entertainment of 2019, the medallion has got to win. Today, I logged on, and was ME. For the last few weeks, my screen name and password logged me on as "hello Catherine" - It was a known issue with Apple (one of the lesser known phones), but, still, it kept happening. Today, I was "Hello Donald" -- I felt like, just maybe, I would scan in that the ship and not be seen as "Catherine" Maybe that part is now working right. The first time I punched the button on the app about mailing address for the medallions, I got the message: not necessary, you will get them at the pier. Then later, I got my home address and an option to change that. I did, since I will be in FLA before the cruise (This is mid-March, Regal) -- On the alternate address I put my last name, care of -- my relatives. Now I wonder WHOSE name will be on the medallion?? Suspense! AS of today, the app still has my shipping home address shown, as well as the alternate I picked. I look forward to tomorrow. Will I STILL be Donald, not Catherine? Will my shipping address vanish? And, as is the case, I am still not fully "completed", with the cruise personalizer circle not highlighted, even though I have looked at it, completed it and there is nothing left to do. And the exclamation point that is still there (meaning a problem) ? no clue as to what the problem is. This must be like the adrenaline rush that bomb squads experience. Who knows what will happen? This is fun,-- sort of like hugging a porcupine. If you see me on the ship, and we are in a bar, and I am following you VERY closely, I may just be trying to order a beer and get it put on your medallion! On a different note: the medallion size seems to be the same diameter as an AA coin (maybe not a coincidence) - Ebay has some nice AA medallion holders. Does anyone know if the AA holders would handle an Ocean Medallion, which is likely thicker?
  13. Of course, I could not find the posting about the medallion falling out of the little plastic holder thing. As I recall, it was back when there was chatter about how if you lost the medallion, then someone could pick it up, scan it to not only find your cabin number, but get directions to it. Anyhow, whomever said that it snaps into the hole in the center of the plastic piece - and had sproinged out. That could have been early versions of the equipment, or that person's could have not been fully snapped into place. Hopefully it was an exception - if not, I can sell pieces of tape on my upcoming cruise. $20 sounds about right.
  14. There has been a lot of talk about medallion management -- THIS set of messages does not mention an interesting item that was in different thread (series of messages on a topic) -- it suggested that their medallion spontaneously popped out of the holder more than once - Accordingly, we have added Scotch Tape to our "packing list" to wrap a strip around the whole thing.
  15. Wow h-sar! What a great write-up of this trip. On our trip this coming Spring, I will sound like a 5-timer with all that inside info you are sharing. Although there is about NOTHING to match your great insights - if you send me a mailing address, eh? I will send you a spare of a gift I got in the Christmas exchange a year ago. There were 3 in the pack, and they are 3 inch square LED lights that run on 3 AAA batteries and they are way brighter than night lights, AND they are motion activated, and stay on for a minute or so. They have a magnet on the back, so even that is a help. With luck, it will not turn on for bathroom stops, but when it is on, you can see fine. This might be a good thing for the hallway beyond the bathroom - as long as you keep moving, it should stay on. Send an email to D D a v i s F L A at A o L dot com. No spaces, of course (I am fooling the spammers) I will send it to you as a thanks for all the cool info and you can try it or pitch it, as you see fit. Thanks for sharing your experience. Great Review! For others, the label says URPOWER Motion Sensor LED Night LIght --
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