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Onthetweendeck

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  1. My bad on mixing up mini/jr suites, we go on more than dozen cruises on various lines each year, sort of like calling every cola a “Coke”. My advice is try some other lines before you commit to one in order to build perks.The room attendants and wait staff are universally great (some bad but not because of the cruise line) so their performance should not be a factor in repeating with a specific line.Not a fan of bathtubs in any cabin, of the four suites we did in the last six months only one had bath soaps/salts stocked. Had to really schedule time at the end of the cruise to use the tub just to say we did.
  2. Next up as far as suite category for us is a NCL Haven Full Suite. Watching all the other lines for reasonable prices to give them a try. All except Princess, gave them a fair shot to impress us on their “Suite Experience” after three tries. Also on any of our cruises with Princess we are tired of their warped take on “Customer Service”. We watched a fellow Elite plead for robe to get him through the first couple hours on board as the boat had lost his luggage, the Customer Service rep could not have cared less about his plight. As well now that we are Elite there is no reason to build more points on that brand.
  3. Last fall we got our entire cruise fare refunded at the end of the cruise. It was a Jr. Suite on a mid-size Princess ship, due to the room condition. I had the ship working on issues throughout our week, so that the next passengers would have a better experience. Maintenance admitted that they needed a dry dock bad to fix all their issues. However corporate keeps booking cruises out in to near future on that ship even though the beast needs drive train work as well. Hope you complained to RCI and got some compensation. Need to hold the individual ships accountable to the brands standards and norms.
  4. Just back from a Cruise on Harmony of the Seas staying in a Grand Suite, just before that a Jr. Suite on Adventure of the Seas. Will compare those experiences to Full Suites on Royal Princess, Caribbean Princess and Island Princess as well as Mini Suites on Caribbean Princess and Royal Princess. Mini/Jr. Suite category: The winner is Royal Caribbean for the double points and use of the Coastal Kitchen (dinner only if the boat has that venue). Full Suite category: The winner is Royal Caribbean for the Customer Service and for their Suite/Concierge Lounges. The Coastal Kitchen/Suite lounge was a beautiful venue overlooking the ship on the 17th deck on the Harmony. Specific differences Dining Princess: Club Class dining was in a corral to one corner of a main dining room on all three ships, special menu for Club and Suites is the addition of a selection or two the regular menu (sometimes a main course, but mostly a dessert or pasta dish). RC: Specific menu for that venue, best appetizers and mains we ever had aboard ship (desserts were just OK on the Harmony). As mentioned the location and view from the Coastal Kitchen was fabulous. Lounge Princess: on the two smaller boats you went to a regular lounge where the served free Canapés and you could buy drinks ( some at a discount). Royal had a dedicated lounge but same perks and the lounge is buried in the middle of the ship, so no view. Royal had a Concierge but only real function was to make reservations, had no power to fix issues. RC: lounge was other half of Coastal Kitchen with free alcohol and other drinks during set hours. Summary: A Full Suite on RC was everything we expected in a Suite experience and everything that Princess was not. As stated in my other posts Princess has no clue how to provide a Suite experience or Customer Service. Check out the Cruise Critic Awards just out and you will see they are mostly absent. Although Regal Princess made #6 and I will say if you think you need to cruise Princess this would be my first choice. Numerous couples told us on the Harmony cruise that they also disliked the vibe on Royal Princess as much as we did. Same platform as the Regal so it must be the management.
  5. Nah, just tired of people of thinking they must say something to every post, if you can’t add value to the original post please refrain from witty comments and write your own new topic to help people. Anyone with thousands of post is either working for the cruise line or a troll who needs a life. Sorry Milwaukee.
  6. By davekathy, you hijaked my post to talk about beer making and where in what I said did you read I was anti-Celebrity, just too expensive right now multiple cruises per year. I see how you got 10000 posts trolling from the confines of your den, those that are actually out there doing and reporting on it to help others. Please unfriend me.
  7. Yeah, the three Suites booked in a short time frame. Well my wife was jonesing to do a Suite and 1 became 3, but all super deals booked way ahead. The prices made it worth doing for the double points, walked off the last with our Elite status in hand. The bigger issue is I was chomping at the bit to get on Royal Princess, as we always seemed to get better deals on Regal. Well 1 became 3 weeks in a row. Not to ruffle feathers but we liked Regal better, they had better internet deals and were far in the process of rolling out Ocean Medalion. Our last room on Regal changed to it mid cruise and it was a nice bit of kit, just walk up to your cabin door and turn the handle if your Medalion is hanging high enough on your neck. Nice if you are carrying snacks/drinks. When we left Royal two weeks ago they were still installing the door boxes, don’t know if certain areas were up a running. Like the idea of the bath tub but don’t seem to get around to use it, one cruise though I caught a cold and the tub sure felt good then
  8. Is it me or does it seem the cruise lines are serving 3.2 beer in most brands on the boats, I know the labels say other wise but why do I find myself drinking more bottles on board. Royal Princess had Lagunitas, became my favorite last cruise. Forget what NCL boat we were on a couple years back but loved their adult only bar serving a nice selection of tap beer.
  9. Montana I can’t believe what Celebrity is asking for any cabin right now. I like them but not that much. Princess cruise fares are a steal in comparison.
  10. Still going to Sail Princess, main issue I have with the Brand is that Elite is the top level. Just feel any bulk points beyond that may be better used on another line to try new boats, ports and perspectives. Got Sky booked, waiting for Enchanted to open up for US bookings, something new. Princess does a lot of things right. On board credit for Military. Their internet benefit is generous at the Platinum and above level. I like the food better than any other line. Quite fond of the Pizza and Burger stands on the pool deck. Service is always great. I guess they are a victim of their high standards, how do you elevate to another level at a higher price point.
  11. We did a lot of cruising this past year, if I said the number of days no one would believe me, it was split between Royal Caribbean and Princess. It’s been awhile for many of the other cruise lines and we are at low status levels on those lines. I don’t know all of their benefits, other than reading their lists and part of my reason for this post was to see if I am missing out on other good experiences on other lines. For example the three drinks on your Sea Pass is buried in the small print would not have found it had I not lived it. Maxed out Princess so we are looking what other lines are treating their customers well to in order to mix it up. Will continue sailing RC but have hit all the ships available in the US and most every port within a couple weeks sailing of the US. Everyone has been helpful in this regard and I love beer so those posts are interesting as well. Princess does a couple things worth a shoutout. On board credit for military, send in your DD-214 and it’s automatically added to your sailing each time (Thank you Princess). As one poster mentioned their internet perk from Platinum on up is 150 minutes vs RC’s 24 hours.
  12. If you go in with low expectations of being wowed you may find value. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to experience a Suite. Some may want to treat themselves to the the luxury of the larger cabin or find it a necessity with a kids in tow. Others may find value in the double or triple points. We banged out three full suites over the last three months, for the treat and the double points, all on Princess (Island, Caribbean and Royal). All underwhelming experiences, dont expect anything more with regard to a premium experience than the execution of the stated benefits. This was the Princess experience and not a comprehensive listing. Two mini bottles of champagne will be delivered to the cabin day one. Canapés will be delivered first day, thereafter on your request. Fruit basket will be delivered and changed out at the room attendants discretion. Two bottles of water delivered to your cabin (most days, call Room service if they don’t show) Your one mini-bar set-up will be in the cabin, entitled to 2nd set up if Elite status as well. (See my post on Best Loyalty Program to see the pitfalls of Princess’s Mini-bar perk). Robes and slippers will be in cabin (last robes were three sizes too small and we are medium size, they brought us other robes from the spa) Unlimited laundry was nice but not a necessity for a 7 day cruise. Club class dining. This is truly an underwhelming experience in that it is not a noticeable upgrade from the usual quite lovely evening traditional dining experience on any ship on any line. Main beef is that they just put you off in a corner corral in the main dining room. Same entrance same experience. They do make a special dish or two each day just for Club class only but that one more choice from the standard menu does not elevate the experience. That all may sound appealing but before too long you will find yourself wondering if that was it, shouldn’t you feel special, refreshed and pampered. Well I’m afraid that is it, no personalized treatment, no Cinderella experience. Royal Princess had a dedicated concierge and a small canapés and coffee lounge but other than help with bookings not much else to that benefit. The other ships did not have either staff or room. Futher Princess can not guarantee the stated benefit of “Priority Boarding” (with the Elite guests from their waiting area) as the check in staff works for the port. We were three for three in getting roughed up by the port staff due to the fact that we were Platinum status at the time and not understanding Suite perks insisted we board with the Platinum guests. Was not pretty but we prevailed in getting to the right area and I have complained to Princess all three times that they can’t state a benefit if they can’t guarantee it. Mini-Suites being just a single point multiplier on Princess as opposed to Royal Caribbean is another misstep by Princess and just a bigger cabin. We have decided that since we are now Elite and don’t need anymore points on Princess we do not value the space or perks enough to justify the expense of a suite on their ships. We have two suites booked on Royal Caribbean this year, our first for that line and will see how they compare to Princess.
  13. We second John&LaLa’s post on the Kids Sail Free promotion, especially bad this Christmas. Seemed like people were bringing all their relatives kids and packing them in every corner of their cabin. Anyone understand this promotion. Is it any ship during the promotion booking window or only certain sailings. How would you know your sailing was affected if you book before or after the promotion ended. As your cruise was now doomed to the noise (inside your cabin as the vibration travels though the steel decks) of kids running everywhere/all the time, balcony tea parties with Grandma (there goes my reading on my balcony ) and rock concert decibel level screaming on the pool and sports deck.
  14. As Wordell1 and others have commented. I find it insane that points are not cumulative within the parent company brands Carnival/Princess or Royal Caribbean/Celebrity, etc. So corporate if you are watching in on CC you would have a better shot at company loyalty with multiple brands as enticement.
  15. Possibly if you have low expectations of being wowed by the experience. Some book a suite to treat themselves to the extra room, or out of necessity with extra people sharing the cabin. Others may be enticed by the double or triple points. After three full suites in three months our opinion is that those booking a suite for the experience only may be underwhelmed. All our recent suites were on Princess (Island, Caribbean & Royal). Have a full suite and a Jr. suite in the near future on Royal Caribbean, anxious to see if there is a difference in quality of the experience. This is the Princess experience. Two mini-bottles of Champagne were delivered and attendant was ready to serve them if we wanted. Canapés were brought to our cabin first day, thereafter on request. (Last thing we value on a cruise is extra food.) Fruit basket was delivered, midweek or room attendant had it replaced for fresh one. (same note as above) Robes and slippers were in the room (robes 3 sizes too small and we are not big, had to make sure nothing showing when answering door. Two bottles of still water (brought most days, had to call room service on others) Advertise free rental movies (this was true on a couple ships, but Royal has free movies on demand for all so no benefit for suites) Concierge and lounge on Royal/Regal not the older ships (concierge mostly for bookings, lounge coffee machine and canapés only) Club Class dining (They put you in a corral in the corner of the main dining room. You will have the same traditional dining service as everyone else on board but there will be an extra food offering or two per night.) The first day you will be like wow I love the extra room and we got this extra stuff. By day two shuffling in to the main dining room with everyone else and weighing what you got for what you spent and wondering if this is it, does it get better? (Yes and No in that order) You will be treated like any other guest onboard in dealings with officers and crew other than waiter/attendant staff (these are always nice). Officers should be trained to interact differently with Suite guests as part of the experience, hotels do this and sometimes have us wear something that alerts the staff to pour on their best customer service skills. Based on our experience we would not recommend a Suite on Princess for the experience alone. At the time we were banging out points to make the Elite level so it made some sense but don’t have a need or want to purchase a Suite cabin with them in the future.
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