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karatemom2

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Everything posted by karatemom2

  1. I think you can legitimately be critical of a product without being “disloyal”. We truly enjoyed our cruise in the Royal in May but I am so sympathetic to people who have had horrible experiences on the Crown. They have every right to be disappointed in Princess. I don’t blame them for being upset. We had a very bad experience with Princess a few years back and at that moment I swore I would never give them another penny. So we continued to try other lines, but eventually we came back to Princess because in general it has proven to be the best fit for us. It isn’t perfect but we still generally enjoy our cruises. That doesn’t mean blind loyalty, however, and we have also very much enjoyed our cruises on RCI, NCL, HAL and Carnival and will continue to branch out when price or itinerary are optimal.
  2. Our kids have traveled with us on cruises since they were little. They are adults now. We always picked up after them and were considerate. This seems like a bit of an unfair and judgmental comment regarding families on cruises. Most parents we have met on our cruises are very considerate and engaged and no more cause for concern from a room steward then any other passenger. Not sure what you are implying with this observation. Plus, the steward receives additional gratuities for each person in the room, including children, so a room with four people is much more lucrative and likely not that much more work. Perhaps a cabin steward with many children in his or her section would be thrilled as they will be receiving higher compensation.
  3. I personally love turn down service. I don't go on a cruise to feel like I'm at home. Part of what you are choosing in a cruise vacation is a certain level of pampering and coming back to your room in the evening to find your bed nicely turned down and room and bathroom freshened is part of the pleasure of the experience. I don't need it to feel special - I just enjoy that extra level of service which I have come to expect as part of the cruising experience. Also, we often travel with family and use the pull down bunk or fold out couch. Those are things that require a certain level of service - putting them up and pulling them out each morning and evening. On our last cruise on the Royal in May, our Steward let us know the first day that turndown service was optional and asked if we wanted it - we confirmed that we did. It may not be for everyone, and if you don't need or want it, by all means skip it. But there is nothing wrong with those who enjoy it still receiving it if it is offered. And yes, I miss the chocolates too.
  4. I believe this is the case for all northbound and southbound Alaska cruises. This was not a requirement when we sailed from Vancouver on May 2, but has since been initiated for those itineraries. I'm assuming that's still in place, but would be curious if it is really being enforced.
  5. This must be the case. I know for a fact that fellow passengers who we met and talked with personally boarded in Hilo and Princess handled all of the arrangements. So there must be a way to make it happen. Maybe Princess pays whatever fine is involved. But it does happen.
  6. In all honesty, any travel right now puts you at risk for COVID, whether it be by airplane or cruise ship. You are just as likely to be exposed onboard as on an excursion. Most people are no longer wearing masks. Even on ship excursions where it is supposed to be required on shuttles and buses, based on our experience it is not enforced. We came home from our Alaska cruise and tested positive two days later, although in retrospect my throat started feeling a little scratchy the last full day, so I was probably already coming down with it even though I tested negative for our flight home. We could have been exposed on the ship or on an excursion - we will never know. It was rampant on the ship as it turns out though, so it was likely onboard. About 75 percent of our roll call ended up positive after the cruise. It's just a reality we have to face if we choose to travel right now, unfortunately. But, there is no required testing for excursions or even flying home now, so you really don't need to worry about that.
  7. Seems like the main reason I have seen for people sticking with Crown is that the itinerary includes Glacier Bay, which I understand because it is something not to be missed. But given the current situation, I don't think even Glacier Bay would convince me to stick. I would move over and enjoy Tracy Arm Fjord or Endicott instead.
  8. See my reply above. I'm no expert - but I do speak from experience. Passengers that we have personally known and with whom we interacted were able to board in Hawaii and complete the trip. As I said, maybe it is because Ensenada would be a far foreign port for what essentially had become a Hawaii to LA itinerary for them. Regardless, it can and has been done. This would be true for SF as well as those cruises stop in Ensenada too. Princess has figured out a way to make it possible. That is all I'm pointing out.
  9. Interesting - well it's true, it isn't far from LA, but it is far from Hawaii, so maybe that is how they get around it for people who end up boarding there and in essence doing a Hawaii to LA cruise. I just know on at least three of our Hawaii cruises we met passengers who either boarded or had family board in Hawaii. We always traveled at Christmas, so weather was always an issue. The one family I referenced was doing a huge extended family trip and only one family who was from CA made it onboard. The rest were all traveling from Canada and missed the ship, even though the Captain held up departure as long as possible because so many travelers were delayed. We got to know them quite well on the 5 days over - they were so happy to get to Hilo and have the rest of the family get on the ship - it was actually Christmas day. I will never forget walking through the terminal where you exit at Hilo and seeing the long line of people with their bags waiting to board the ship. So whatever the mechanism or allowance, at least for Hawaii cruises I know for a fact it can be done. And there were no financial penalties for the passengers. In fact, Princess flew them to Hilo and paid for their hotel which I thought was really wonderful.
  10. Not a violation - the foreign port for West Coast Hawaii cruises is Ensenada which Is generally the last day so passengers can board in Hawaii without being in violation. We saw this several times on our Hawaii cruises. Once a whole group traveling from Canada boarded in Hilo because they missed flights due to bad weather.
  11. Once again, to clarify, we were on a round trip cruise from Vancouver. And we were booked through EZAir. So in our case I believe we would have been allowed to board in Juneau. Our itinerary still included two foreign ports following Juneau - Victoria and Vancouver - so the PVSA ( I stand firmly corrected by @beg3yrs) would not have been an issue for us had we missed our flight. Given the current situation the advice to fly into your departure port early is sound. We are traveling to London 5 days in advance of our British Isles cruise in August and I’m very glad we set it up that way. Also, just a note on the Hawaii cruises, that depends on your itinerary. We cruised multiple times out of LA to Hawaii and the foreign port stop was Ensenada at the end of the cruise. So passengers could absolutely board in Hawaii. We saw it multiple times.
  12. We did a round trip on the Royal at Vancouver and were required to refresh our ArriveCAN and provide proof to our room steward before visiting Victoria.
  13. We did a trip on the Encore in Alaska last year and really enjoyed it. Great ship. Lots of fun extras.
  14. Good to know this. We have been wanting to try Celebrity and also like sailing out if LA which is driving distance for us. I will have to check out the itineraries.
  15. We were booked round trip. It was the first cruise of the season on Royal. 12 days round trip Vancouver - it also included Victoria. So Jones Act would not have been an issue for us.
  16. I was just wondering if anyone had any recent experience with this, especially given the airline challenges right now. We almost missed our flight to Vancouver onour recent cruise in May - I won't go into the long story. But we were able to make it and all was well. However, we assumed at the time that had we missed, Princess would have allowed us to board a couple of days late in Juneau. We did see some people coming on that day through Sabatinis. But, on the other hand, with current testing requirements before boarding we weren't sure if we would have been allowed to join late at another port, even though we had proof of negative tests. Fortunately, we didn't have to find out, but as I read all the airline horror stories, I was just curious if anyone knew what the policy was or if this has happened to anyone recently.
  17. karatemom2

    Packing?

    My suggestions would include a hat for when it's raining, comfy socks and good reliable walking/hiking shoes, and bug spray. Like LindaD22, we like to do a lot of hiking.
  18. I don't think anyone is disputing how hard the staff and crew work or how privileged we are to take cruises. But what you outline here is true of EVERY cruise line - there is nothing in what you describe that brands Princess or sets it apart. So as a company, when you start touting the Princess Treatment, it better denote something extraordinary or above and beyond. And you should be able to back it up. Look, I love Princess. But there is no doubt they are still struggling to even achieve pre-pandemic service levels, as are most cruise lines and definitely the airlines. Given that these transitional pains and problems may still take time to iron out, I think the idea of choosing that slogan was unwise and sets the company up for ridicule at a moment when they really need to be focused on elevating their product and considering what the extra special Princess Treatment even means because it feels like they are just throwing out a superlative when the current product might not be quite there yet. Just not a smart choice in my estimation. And that is from a loyal Princess customer who has every intention of continuing to cruise with them. But am I also branching out to other lines? You bet!
  19. Apparently Marketing Dept and Customer Service don’t communicate. I work in Marketing and PR and the last kind of slogan you want is one that invites snark. It’s a poor choice. I would have stuck with a refresh or renewal message after the last two years like come back new 2.0 - “starting new together”. Or another option could have been “let us take you back to the world” branding theme. But they didn’t ask me.
  20. Does anyone have any personal experience in bringing a drone along on your cruise? We have an upcoming cruise on the Bliss and my daughter’s boyfriend would like to bring his drone to do some filming in the ports. Definitely would not be using it on the ship of course and he would be happy to have them hold it at guest services between ports if that’s required. Any advice is appreciated!
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