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CTOM

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  1. Thank you both. Great to learn from your experiences.
  2. We will definitely book with Princess for that reason. Missing an excursion and having to stay on the ship is not good, but I can live with that. Our MAIN concern is not being able to embark in Tokyo or getting kicked off the ship (like in the article link I posted above).
  3. Sorry. I also forgot to include this image. It's a message from Princess when i log into my itinerary. The way i read this message, I will not need a visa at all. But I don't know how much to trust this message!
  4. Yes, I was concerned about that. Two different stops in China (with one At Sea day in between) seems to throw me off.
  5. Our Princess cruise in 2020 begins in Tokyo and stops in Shanghai for a day (7 am to 9 pm) and then later in Xiamen for (7am to 3 pm). It then ends in Hong Kong and we fly home. (U.S.) I've been researching visa requirements, and it's become frustrating because Princess representatives seem to not know, and/or they contradict each other when we call. After reading this thread and several calls with Princess, here is what I believe. Can anyone please verify these points? 1. When he embark in Tokyo, we will not need a Chinese visa. 2. If we stay on the ship in Shanghai and Xiamen, we do not need a visa. 3. If we purchase an excursion directly with Princess's own excursions, they take care of our visa so we don't need one as long as we stay with a Princess official excursion. 4. If we want to explore Shanghai and Xiamen on our own, then we DO need a visa in advance. 5. When we disembark in Hong Kong, we plan to go straight to the airport, so we don't need a visa. After my research, I was pretty sure that those points were accurate. However, we recently found this article about a couple who had no visa: https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/elderly-couple-kicked-off-cruise-ship-for-lack-of-necessary-visas/ar-BBQfj35 So now we are back to being unsure...
  6. Thank you. Good to know. We also don't drink too much, and I'll keep my eyes open for 3 for Free.
  7. So I had a 2020 cruise booked without a drink package. When I saw the Sip n Sail promo, I called my TA. She said they cannot simply apply the SnS to my existing reservation. Instead, they have to cancel it and re-book. I was prepared for this, since a lot of folks here on Cruitse Critic said that's how they do it. But... the price of my suite has gone up $400 per person since we booked. So if I rebook with SnS, it's an extra $800. If I leave my current reservation and just add the drink package, it's about $900. Either way, it's a lot of extra money for a "free" promo. Dumb question, but I'm new to cruises.... Might the prices drop before SnS ends? Any tips? Thank you!
  8. How long do you folks typically wait when calling Holland America? My hold time seems to get worse each time I call. 9 minutes and counting as of me writing this...
  9. Thank you all. Those are some very helpful experiences and gives us something to look forward to !
  10. To @twodjs (and anyone else who can give an opinion)... Wife and I have a pinnacle suite on Westerdam next year. We are both fairly reserved and quiet and stick to ourselves. We are the type to get embarrassed over extra attention, not those who seek it. We always request a table for two on cruises. We booked it mainly for a once-in-lifetime experience for the extra space and balcony tub, not for the extra attention from the staff. So my question is...does the staff make a big deal over you? Like when we first check in, can we just quietly go to our room by ourselves, or does a porter walk with you and show you around, etc.? If we get a room service meal, will they just drop it off as usual? Just trying to get an idea... Thanks !
  11. It's gonna be cold outside, so the hot tub will be especially nice. I suppose your wore a bathing suit?...I'm just wondering how private it is when you (didn't) use any bubble bath.
  12. Last year on the Noordham, our room had a coupon booklet in it with stuff like 2-for-1 coffees in the Explorer Lounge, 25% of manicures, etc etc. We actually used many of the offers. I think there may have even been two of them, one for me and one for wife. This year on the Zuiderdam, we got no booklet, coupons, or offers. For you frequent HAL cruisers, are these little booklets standard for HAL or only some itineraries? Thanks !
  13. Thank you. I saw the one excursion listed for Shanghai, and thought I was missing something. Guess I'll wait a while for more to be listed.
  14. Hello. We’re on the Princess diamond cruise in December 2020 from Tokyo to Hong Kong, with ports in Shanghai and Xiamen, China. Because it’s still 19 months away, Princess has no excursions listed yet. I’m trying to see what excursions they might have for Shanghai and Xiamen. So I tried Princess’s site to look at 2019 cruises just to view the excursions, but it’s asking me to enter my cruise booking info. Any ideas where to look? Am I missing something ? I know what they offer in the past and in 2019 might not be offered on my 2020 cruise, but it will give me an idea.
  15. We booked the Red Square cruise via HAL, so we did NOT need the visa. When you get off the boat and go to customs, the customs officers will know you are with a HAL tour and will not ask for your visa. It was simple. We were worried too, but if you book through HAL, you are fine. With Guide Guru and others, you may need the paid visa additional cost. Also...because we booked with HAL and we began at 7:00 am, we were guaranteed to be the very first people off the ship. Guide Guru customers won't get special clearance off the ship.
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