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Jeremiah On a Cruise

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Everything posted by Jeremiah On a Cruise

  1. Sorry for being dense, but does this mean that we would get the Shareholder Credit if we purchased through a travel agent that gives us a rate lower than what is publicly posted?
  2. Do we know for sure if Chef's table is offered multiple nights? Like the OP, I'm happy to pay the fee, but I'm not open to doing it night one (which is the only option listed online). If there's a risk of not being able to pick a different night, we may opt to risk it, and just book on board.
  3. Seems like a valid, but minor and fixable issue. Glad you caught it. I'm sure that it will get resolved. I encourage you to not fret about it too much.
  4. For a seven day cruise, the amount I tip (and how I tip) vary based on the service provided. But: We never have gotten close to removing the automatic gratuity, but would do so in an extreeme case. We view this as part of the fare, and not part of the tipping. We set aside around $100 for extra tips. We have been close to $300 on some cruises and been close to $0 on other cruises. This is based exclusivley on service provided. Even though tips may be pooled, we always tip individuals based on service received in that area. Some cruises we leave $5 at the buffet table when we leave. Some cruises we tip at speciality resteraunts. Some cruises, we don't tip our room stewart or wait staff. It all varies based on service provided. When we tip, we always tip with money. I have no issues with people tipping using gifts, but have never felt drawn to do so. Tipping (beyond automatic gratuities) should never be a status symbol or stressor or source of judgement for us as guests. I don't think you should view tipping as an obligation or expectation. Tipping is a way that I get to show gratutitde and appreciation for how the service treated us, and as such, is something we always try and view as a positive rather than a negative. Once I start to view tips as something that I'm obligated to do, it is no longer an expression of my gratitude, but rather an act to avoid feeling negative - and that defeats the prupose for us.
  5. Ship Crown Princess Class Grand Deck Dolphin Stateroom # D417 Category M1 Port/Starboard/Bow/Stern Connects With Cabin # Accessible Right next to mid-ship elevators. Quiet Minor noise due to elevators dinging. It was never disruptive, but was noticeable if you listen for it. Thin walls also means that sound from neighboring cabins could occasionally be heard (things like coughing). Balcony Size Large. I don't know if the size is standard on the Crown, but it was one of the bigger balconies I've ever had. View Unobstructed. Privacy Issues The balcony is not at all private. The balcony sticks out relative to the decks above, meaning when we were sitting on the balcony, we could be viewed by around 100 other cabins. Wind Soot Problems Comments A very large cabin with plenty of storage and space. The room was fully functional without real issue, but was also a bit dated with lots of marks, carpet needing to be stretched, stained tiles/grout, etc (as of August '19). Bed was amazingly comfortable.
  6. You're on a cruise. Every hour is happy hour!
  7. I really enjoyed HAL, but specialty dining is the one area (for me) where Princess wipes the floor with HAL. The Pinnacle Grill (HAL steakhouse) was outstanding, but was also the only viable fee option in my opinion, and didn't have great revisitability due to the nature of their menu. The specialty restaurant that you're referring to on HAL is Canaletto where they barricade off a section of the buffet seating. In my view, Canaletto missed the mark on many levels. The ambiance is virtually non-existent, as you're just sitting in a section at the buffet. The service was attentive to the point of hovering, but that's probably because it's a fairly small space, with very few guests, and is not designed with server-flow in mind. Overall, in a word, I would describe eating there as awkward. We found the food in Canaletto to be fine, but nothing special... maybe slightly better than the MDR, but not in the same class as Sabatini's (or any other fee dining). We plan to cruise with HAL again, but even if it were offered for free, we would skip Canaletto.
  8. We have done a handful of cruises, but our first cruise with our kids (six and eight) is coming up in a few weeks for an Alaskan Cruise on the Eclipse - and we are running into a lot of questions but not a lot of information about cruising with kids. We plan to strongly encourage the Fun Factory early in the cruise, and then let them dictate where to go after that. I welcome any thoughts you have on these questions: 1 - What do we need to do in advance to get the kids enrolled in Fun Factory? Is that automatically done based on age? 2 - I'm pretty confused on Kids VIP pass. Is that basically a pass that lets you use the kids club without worrying about the hourly rate? Does it cover things like the slumber party? Is that purchased on board? 3 - Will the kids club facilitate the kids 6 and 8 going to the basketball court? The arcade? Shows? Pools? 4 - The X website cites "family events" such as archery tournaments, cupcake decorating, etc. Are these family events included in the patter? If so, does the patter call them out as a family event? Does the Fun Factory have their own schedule that is available? 5 - With the VIP pass and signing up in advance (or with additional charges), my read is that the Kids club is open 9:00 AM to 1:00 AM and is only closed 12-2 on sea days. Is this correct? 6- Our kids are social, but occasionally need some quiet time to draw or watch TV. Does the Fun Factory facilitate this, or should we pack drawing supplies/movies/etc? 7- Does the kids space have access to a balcony or railing? 8- Do you find any of the production shows inappropriate for young kids (6-8)? 9- What's the etiquette in the MDR? Our kids are normally good in restaurants, but we also pick kid-friendly restaurants at home. I don't think of MDRs as especially kid-friendly and it's very important to me that we not disrupt other passengers. If they start to get riled up, is leaving early and having the ordered food delivered to our room an option? 10 - Does the ship offer pool toys such as kick boards or anything like that? If not, is it common or accepted for us to bring them? On a related note, does Celebrity offer lifeguards at any of the pools? 11 - What else should I know, or can I do to help our kids have an awesome time? I've heard the first night is vital as an icebreaker, but anything else that we can do to help our kids have the time of their lives? Thanks in advance,
  9. Well, I meant swapping to a different Princess AK cruise that either did go E of Vancouver Island, but looking at the options, the Royal itinerary is 14 days meaning there aren't a ton of options to switch to.
  10. While expecting a lot of compensation for the re-routing is probably not reasonable, I think the OP has a legit gripe. The E side of Vancouver Island is one of the highlights of the cruise for us. It's incredibly scenic, calm, and probably the best chances to see orca anywhere on the cruise. I know that Princess is within their rights to take a route that is different from what was posted, and the info in the links/threads above makes me think it's not entirely their call and based largely on safety. But if I were booked on a Royal AK cruise this year (and I'm not), I'd be a bit grumpy - and would probably be asking to change to different option.
  11. The first few hours out of Seattle are actually pretty cool, and pretty underrated. But, by late that evening, you'll be in the open sea, and will remain there until early Monday. I expect for Sunday to be open ocean.
  12. The standard reply is that it doesn't really matter all that much. Because so much of this cruise is on the inside passage, you will get great views from either side. Once you're in open ocean heading into Whittier, I remember being far enough away from land that you could barely see it, and not really appreciate it. I do have a slight preference for the right side - just because we've had such great whale watching experience heading into Juneau on this itinerary. Logic would tell you that you would get similar viewing from the left side, but I'm not a fan of logic, so I stick with the right side. As a counter point to this, the land-side of the trip into/out of Skagway is one of my favorite (and probably the most underrated parts) of the cruise. Because you will be there so early, being on the left side would mean that you get some great views coming out of Skagway in the evening.
  13. I just booked through them a few days ago. All of the material provided, including the reviews and confirmations, make them seem legit.
  14. We have used them once, and will use them as our preferred option in the future. First - price is often better than prices booking directly. Second - the fact that it is refundable or editable (without added costs) is amazing! I'll always compare EZair to other options to ensure that my price and flight options are comparable. But so far, EZair is the winner.
  15. Now I'm confused: Can both refundable and nonrefundable OBC be used, and subsequently cashed out from the Casino? And, does the answer differ by ship/staff?
  16. We are planning a BI cruise this summer, and are having similar issues (in London August 5). In short, we have all-but given up on trying to get to London. The ship leaves at 5P, and it's late in our trip, so we will not be up at the crack of dawn. The odd immigration delay also threw a wrench in the mix. We figured that we would realistically have around four hours in London - enough to see a single site, and likely be stressed about it the entire time. And while there are some things I'd love to see in London (I've never been), we have all-but pulled the plug on it as an option for the day. Honestly, the Winchester recommendation above has just become our plan A. Seeing a smaller town, and an awesome cathedral are exactly what we are looking to do, and it's way closer than London.
  17. It depends largely on the ship's route. If the ship is taking the inside passage, going up between islands, the trip is amazing! Wonderful scenery, calm seas, and lots of whales (depending on the time of year). Sea days on the inside passage is probably my favorite vacation spot in the world. With that said, most sea days on SF-Alaska cruises seem to be in the open ocean (haven't been, but looking at maps). These days are pretty unremarkable. You're often too far out admire the land, and the seas can be choppy. You'll have a great cruise, and I'm adequately jealous. 🙂
  18. It's personal preference, and you can't go wrong. If you want a nice ship with top-end finishes, but don't plan to do a lot of outside viewing from the ship and only get outside at the ports, I'd lean heavily towards the Royal. If you plan to have the wind in your hair and binoculars in your hand from the ship, I'd go with another option. With any southbound trip, you will also need to travel into Anchorage the day prior to the cruise (and this is often a very long flight). If you do plan to spend a lot of time looking outside from the ship and want to get the best viewing, I would do one of the Grand cruises (I prefer southbound, but that's a small preference). If you want the most convenient option in terms of travel, go with the Ruby. You will likely miss a lot of inside passage, but the San Juans out of Seattle aren't a bad consolation prize. Depending on where you're coming in from, you can also save a full day by choosing this option.
  19. It's illogical, but I booked a guaranteed cabin for an upcoming cruise thinking that it would be more likely for a move-up offer, and that the location would be no worse than the options available when I booked. And, ever since then, I've been feeling a small amount of anxiety about the uncertainty of not having a cabin number.
  20. Yes. We just changed bookings from a ship that has a moderate smoking policy in the casino (slots, some smoke-free nights, inconsistently administered on HAL, Koningsdam) to a ship that has a fully smoke free casino (Celebrity).
  21. I thought all AQ rooms were deck 11 (this is what shows when I look at deck plans or available cabins). Do I have alternatives???
  22. It basically comes down to a question of Blu and the MRD. If you enjoy the MRD, I'd go Concierge. If you want a different experience, go Aqua.
  23. I kinda doubt it. The world is flush with cash right now and the economy looks pretty strong. I'm not seeing the recent pullback having much effect on spending, even discretionary spending like cruises.
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