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Everything posted by karatemom2

  1. We always book through our various casino offers and have not noticed any special casino pricing on the packages. Once in awhile they will include the package as part of offer, but that seems quite rare these days as Princess appears to be tightening up on their Casino perks. So we haven’t noticed a price discount on packages via casino pricing but we don’t purchase the packages, so it’s possible that maybe we just haven’t noticed? We get some of the benefits the packages provide onboard from our casino host generally - free drinks in casino, comped specialty meals, etc.
  2. Yes, agree. This has always been my understanding.
  3. Here is an entire thread on this topic. I think there is some unnecessary confusion here - per my understanding you can purchase the regular fully loaded Plus or Premier package onboard within the first day or two and this includes the full package with all benefits (drinks, Wi-Fi, gratuities, etc.) The advantage in waiting is that you can use OBC and it won’t impact your cruise fare or insurance costs. The downside is the price could go up and some have reported that they have “sold out” if Princess limits the number available - this is highly suspect as I am sure Princess will be happy to sell as many packages as they can. There are significant financial advantages to them as a corporate entity selling them in advance and collecting those dollars upfront though, which is likely why they push so hard to get people to wrap them with their cruise fare. But from all information shared here - you can wait and purchase the same packages onboard.
  4. Oh my gosh - lucky you!! We have tried to book one of those corner cabins but never had any luck because they go quickly. It will be amazing for you in Alaska. Our last trip in 2022 we had the two middle cabins right next door and we got to know our neighbors because we were literally always out on our balconies on cruising days. They said it was their favorite cabin they have ever had on a Princess ship. You are in for such a treat. Enjoy!!
  5. Thank you for the warning, but we are very familiar with forward facing balcony cabins on the Royal class ships and we seek them out when available for specific types of scenic cruises. We have had the absolute joy of having them in Alaska several times and also a couple of times on our Mexican Riviera cruises. So we know both the incredible advantages as well as some of the pitfalls. We are beyond thrilled to have snagged one of these cabins for sailing through the Norwegian fjords. The night I have in mind for our dinner we will be sailing out of Olden through Njordfjord so we will be in very protected waters and going slow - very similar to our Alaska scenic cruising, although likely even more protected. We used our balcony nonstop in Alaska - rain or shine. We will be exiting the fjord for several hours and so I’m really not that concerned about wind. Rain I know could potentially be a problem, but fingers crossed it will be a glorious June evening in Norway. The balconies are partially covered and we can always set up by or just inside the door if need be. I’m not worried - just really looking forward to giving my DH this wonderful surprise for his birthday!
  6. My suggestion would be to schedule your meet up in Take Five on deck 6. It’s a small lounge, bar area that is very quiet and gets very little use during the daytime hours. It’s a great spot in the evening to listen to music and enjoy a cocktail in a low key setting. But during midday it will likely be fairly deserted. You can check out the Sky Deck plan for exact location, but it is basically just across from the Princess theatre entrance at the back and opposite the Casino on deck 6.
  7. karatemom2

    What to wear!

    Layers are key so you can adjust throughout the day if the weather changes. My go to outfit is a warm fitted turtleneck, jeans, and a fleece pullover or jacket. I love my Patagonias. I have a pair of sturdy, but lightweight walking boots that I wear with warm socks because we walk and hike a lot so happy feet are important to me! If it is cold or rainy I wear a hat or beanie and gloves. I always carry disposable plastic hooded rain ponchos in my backpack for occasional rain showers. My DH generally wears similar garb with long sleeve henley shirt, jeans, pullover, and tennis shoes or boots.
  8. Yes, Uber and local taxis in Anchorage are absolutely fine to use. My son was just there in February to sit for the bar and used local taxis and Uber to get around for the week he spent there with no difficulty at all.
  9. Thank you so much for this fabulous review. I'm so jealous. We had looked at trying to book it with our last casino come back offer, but it was all sold out. No amount of trying seemed to be able to get us a room! We had friends onboard, a lady who has been cruising Princess since she was a teenager in the 70's. She has more days than I can even imagine and has done some amazing cruises, but she flat out said it was far and away the best cruise experience of her life. That is really saying something! So excited to hear they are adding O'Malley's Pub. And very happy to hear you enjoyed your 360 Experience - we did at New Year's and it was amazing. Thank you also for your great review of the UBD - I just booked it thanks to your recommendation and others for our upcoming cruise and am very excited after hearing all of your great comments and seeing your photos. Truly sounds like you all had the trip of a lifetime. I wish we had been more on top of it a long time ago when we had a chance to book a trip like this out of our home port. Oh well! Guess I'll have to keep an eye out for those 2026 Eclipse itineraries!
  10. Is a whale watching trip an important aspect of your trip? You will have a much better chance of seeing them on a whale watching trip then from the cruise ship, although we have never done a AK cruise where we didn't at least spot them a couple of times from the cruise ship, even in May. Your odds of seeing whales in Juneau is very high, even in May, but because it is very early in the season, it sounds like the vendor is just covering their bases in the event that you don't see whales. Personally, if it was important to me I would take the chance knowing that the opportunity to see whales is pretty high, but I would go in being ok with it on the off chance it didn't happen. It is more likely you will have success, so it depends on if you are willing to take the gamble of perhaps not being successful. You will see a lot of pretty scenery no matter what!
  11. If you look at the Excursion Detail on the Princess Excursion, the whale watching time on the boat is 2 hours and 40 minutes - so basically 3 hours which is comparable to Harv and Marv. The biggest difference is you will be on a larger vessel as opposed to smaller boat. We have done it both ways and enjoyed both our small boat tour and larger boat tour. We saw plenty of whales both ways. Personally, I really enjoy the salmon bake. It's a little touristy for sure, but the setting is absolutely beautiful with a short hike to a waterfall and some nice entertainment and great food, not just the salmon, but all the sides, dessert, and smores. I could see if you don't like salmon it wouldn't be worthwhile, but if you do like salmon, it's very tasty and a fun experience. It really is just a matter of preference - but either whale watching trip will give you plenty of time on the water and you will definitely see whales, so if you really think you would enjoy the salmon bake as well, the combo trip might be a good option for you. If that is not that important and you think you would prefer a more personal, small boat tour, you might be better off with Harv and Marv, or one of the other small boat vendors that get good reviews here.
  12. Looks like someone is listening, at least for the production shows. None of the other entertainment was scheduled for that time, but I do like your idea of extending it to other entertainers. It is nice to have options!
  13. We are on the June 15 sailing and our Ship Schedule under Journey view has been filling up over the past week at just a little over 60 days out. It’s a nice surprise to have so much detail this early. Since you are not traveling until August, I would imagine yours will start showing up sometime in June if our pattern holds up.
  14. Generally if you get it in before 9 a.m. it will be returned the afternoon/evening of the following day. That can slow down on a longer cruise as it gets further along, especially if there are a lot of Elite passengers on board, but from what I understand, suite passengers get priority so you should expect prompt service. It’s a great benefit and very helpful when packing for longer cruises or cold weather cruises like Alaska where you may be bringing heavier clothes.
  15. Our journey schedule for our summer cruise on the Sky is providing a nice preview of the entertainment schedule, and I was surprised to see at least two of the production shows - Rock Opera and Spotlight Bar - scheduled for a 4 p.m. time, as well as 8 and 10 p.m. I wonder if this is unique to Sky Princess, or if anyone has noticed this on other ships? I love that they are offering three shows which should help with crowding, but also really like the idea of having the option of going to a show before dinner. That hour is generally kind of down time for us - usually maybe hit trivia or go freshen up before dinner, so it’s nice to have the choice to see the show earlier and free up your after dinner time. DH won’t have to fret about not being there promptly to open up the craps table! 😁 Even though we have seen these shows, I always enjoy seeing them again and with different casts, so I welcome this added time option and hope to see it on other ships.
  16. What an amazing trip that will be for your lucky teens! And the Sun Princess appears to be a ship that really offers a lot of amenities for families. We have been cruising Princess with our kids since they were very young, all through their teen years and into adulthood. We are cruising mostly without them now that they are independent adults and I miss them! The kids clubs on Princess are free - included in the cost if your fare. Teens can come and go from the club as they please during open hours, no need for a parent to sign them in or out. They usually have a lot of fun social activities for the teens and our kids always made friends onboard. If you are traveling during school breaks you can count on plenty of kids onboard so they will not be lonely. As far as room advice, maybe someone who has been on the Sun will weigh in regarding the rooms. We cruised with our kids in every kind of configuration from all of us in an inside, ocean view, balcony, or mini suite or suite to booking two rooms - either side by side or across the hall. Budget and your own space and privacy requirements may dictate your decision. But we always had a great time even when we were all cozied up together in an inside room.
  17. I went ahead and booked and paid for it last night and had the confirmation sent to my work email so DH won’t see it. It was nice to find that they let you select for whom it is being purchased as a gift and write a short message. I’m wondering if there will be a card waiting in our stateroom when we arrive? I am ok with no photographer - I imagine they would charge for the photo anyway. I had to buy the photograph from our 360 dinner, which I didn’t mind because it was a really nice family photo, but after so many cruises we don’t usually do the whole photo thing anymore. I will probably follow@Astro Flyer’s idea and just ask our waiter to take a picture with my phone.
  18. Thanks so much for these helpful replies and photos! I’m definitely going to book it and see if I can keep it a surprise - at least until he gets onboard. He never really looks at our travel summary so I don’t think he will catch it if I reserve it in advance. I’m really excited - fingers crossed for a nice evening. I know the fjord will offer fairly protected cruising for a couple of hours when we sail away so it should work perfectly.
  19. I am considering surprising DH with the UBD on our upcoming Norwegian Fjords cruise. We have done the breakfast a few times on our scenic cruising days in Alaska a thoroughly enjoyed it. We are leaving Olden at 4 pm the day before his birthday and will have a long scenic trip out of the fjord that evening so I thought that might be the perfect night to do it. We have a forward facing balcony, so lots of room to spare. I would love to hear from those of you who have done it - what should I know, did you enjoy it, any special insights? I’ve watched a couple of videos and it looks lovely but just trying to wrap my head around how the service works in practice since the breakfast is quite different as they just set up the whole thing in one stop and leave as opposed to coming back and forth. It would be great to get a sense of how you found the actual experience and the food.
  20. Sorry to hear that. Hopefully it will start filling up soon!!
  21. Here is just a sample of one day - Day 2 of our cruise which is the first sea day. One thing I noted which is new to us is seeing a production show - Rock Opera- scheduled at 4 pm. We have never seen a show scheduled prior to dinner, but it’s a nice option and they are able to offer it at 3 times this way - at 4, 8, and 10 pm.
  22. Interesting. I was actually quite surprised how detailed our daily schedule already is for our Sky cruise at just over 60 days out. It is really nice to have such a good preview. I wonder if the level of detail and information varies from ship to ship depending on the Entertainment Director. Maybe some are just more proactive in getting the information loaded.
  23. That’s not necessarily the case. We are on the Sky departing June 15 and the entertainment schedule is already very well laid out even beyond production shows. It is showing a couple of comedians, hypnotist, and guest singers listed by name with dates and times for their performances.
  24. Check the Journey View on your Princess Medallion app. They usually start populating the schedule several weeks prior to your cruise. It’s already showing a lot of the daily schedule for our upcoming summer cruise on the Sky, including the production shows - dates and times.
  25. Your room steward can open your door for you. If he is not around you can always go to Guest Services so they can send him to open your door.
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