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Everything posted by karatemom2

  1. It is delivered to your suite and you will need to order it from room service in advance for the day or days you prefer. It is not really served in the same way it is in the dining room with a waiter serving you, but all the components will be delivered to your suite - tea, sandwiches, scones, sweets, with all the accompaniments. They will bring a tablecloth to put on the table and get things set up and leave so you can serve yourself and enjoy. We enjoyed it on the couple of occasions we have had a suite, and as an Elite benefit. It is really nice to sit in your balcony with your full tea service and just feel very civilized and pampered!
  2. Oh my gosh!! That is awful! My DH had a similar situation on NCL when he took a boys trip with my son and son-in-law. The floor was similarly drenched - they came in and used water sucking vacuums and then the huge fans to try to dry it out. But even after they claimed it was all dry - they were still noticing damp areas on the floor and within a day, the room started to smell bad - like mildew. They really had to push, but they were able to finally get moved to a different cabin. I hope they can get this resolved for you as soon as possible. So sorry you are dealing with this - that must have been such a shock to come back to that mess!
  3. Thank you so much for sharing this. We were so fortunate to have done the LA to Hawaii cruise over the Christmas/New Year holidays for four years in a row when our kids were in middle school and high school. My parents had passed away in the previous couple of years, and for a few years, I just had a need to get away from home for the holidays with my little family and make some amazing memories. Those were some of our most memorable cruises, thanks in very large part to David Cole and Elua - Dave and Leialoha. Not only were the holiday activities magical, but the Hawaiian cultural program they brought to all of us made you feel the spirit of Aloha from the moment you stepped on board until the day you left - usually with a tear in your eye as you said goodbye. It was the reason we kept coming back year after year until I was finally ready to start celebrating holidays at home again. I remember someone I worked with asking me why we would spend 10 days cruising just to have 4 or 5 days in Hawaii, and it was hard to make her understand that it felt like you were in Hawaii from the beginning to the end, thanks to their wonderful enrichment and entertainment. Those lovely days at sea always flew by and I remember each and every trip with them with tremendous fondness and gratitude. They will be so missed, but what a wonderful legacy they leave behind that hopefully Princess will strive to continue.
  4. Maybe some have had better luck, but we have tried to waitlist on four different occasions for excursions and never had success. Your best option now that they have removed the waitlist is probably just to check as soon as you get on board to see if anything has opened up. Good luck!
  5. Oh, the Greek salad! I loved that. It’s very disappointing they have stopped serving the salads/side dishes.
  6. Seems like it is very inconsistent between ships as to when and how much gets posted in advance. Our cruise isn’t until June 15 and the schedule is already pretty complete, including shows and guest entertainers. I imagine this falls under the role of the Entertainment Director for each ship. Some may be a little more proactive about it than others, although it would be nice if it was more standard across all ships in terms of the timing.
  7. Haines is a very small and non touristy town. I wouldn’t count on picking up a tour at the dock. The few private tour operators there will no doubt be fully booked with a ship in town. If you can’t find a tour, the town is very walkable and you can enjoy a low key day there soaking up the local atmosphere and taking in some of the sites like Fort Seward. If you want to explore outside of town, it’s easy driving. There is a small Avis office located at the Hotel Halsingland that we have rented from on past visits. Lots of beautiful spots to visit outside of town including Chilkat Lake.
  8. When you open the app click on the ship icon on the bottom for journey view. It will bring up a tab for My Journey which has your dining reservations, and a second tab for Ship Schedule which should bring up your daily activity view when you click on it.
  9. I love the Grand Class ships in general, although I would agree the CB is probably my least favorite. The Emerald is a wonderful ship. We really enjoyed our British Isles cruise aboard her a couple years ago. If it is an itinerary you want, I would encourage you to give it a go. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed - I like the Royal Class ships, but the Grand Class really have a special charm and design that gives more of an old school cruising vibe that I actually really love, especially with the full promenade deck.
  10. The Love Long Beach Festival is that weekend. It’s a pretty big event. https://www.lovelongbeachfestival.com
  11. karatemom2


    We always enjoy catching them”Days of 98” show if we have time. It’s very entertaining and provides a fun take on Skagway’s history.
  12. Your mileage may vary depending on how busy your particular cruise is, when you arrive, how many fellow passengers fall into each category, port of departure, etc. We have picked up at port when we have had minimal wait time. On our Southampton departure last year it was pretty easy. However, we waited in a very long line in San Pedro for our NYE cruise while my daughter and her husband who had their medallions shipped walked right onboard. We spent over an hour in line and missed out on lunch in the MDR which we always enjoy as a way to begin our cruise. That was enough to convince us to have our medallions shipped from now on. They are already ordered for our two upcoming cruises this year. It’s a small price to pay for the potential of making our boarding process quick and easy.
  13. Agree that I have never seen whale watching excursions in either Ketchikan or Skagway. What I have noted in Ketchikan are what are referred to as scenic and wildlife boat tours that mention whale sightings as one of the possibilities - but definitely not a guarantee like in Juneau or ISP. More luck of the draw likely. But here is one that seems to be focused on whale watching: https://ketchikanfishfinder.com/ketchikan-whale-watching.html
  14. What a great idea! I love this!!
  15. You are a brave one taking on Marriage Match! Good for you - what a fun thing to do on such an epic cruise! We actually had a very similar experience at The Catch on the Sky this past September. We were very excited to try it and we were very disappointed. Like you, our service was painfully slow - our longest dinner ever clocking in at nearly 2 and half hours. The stretches between courses were so long that we bordered on asking if there was a problem. We really never complain so just didn’t say anything but by the time dessert finally arrived I just wanted to get going. I enjoy a leisurely meal but this was too long and the timing between courses was just off. I wasn’t wowed by the food either, which didn’t live up to the hype for us. But people rave about it so I’m planning to give it another try. We didn’t have anyplace to be, but generally if we do we try to let our wait team know that we need to be done by a certain time. Not sure if that would have helped in your situation. Also, if we leave before dessert we generally try to let our wait team know we are leaving and why. But regardless, there is no excuse for them confronting you like that. Absolutely unacceptable way to approach a paying customer.
  16. it’s not a difficult drive - the road is good with some minor curving, but nothing hair raising. Also, typically the worst conditions you are likely to experience are rain or fog. It’s not like you are driving in snow or ice. We have done the drive numerous times in rental cars and find it quite easy. That being said, the real advantage of letting someone else do the driving is so you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery. We are very comfortable driving rented vehicles in new places, but if you feel that might be stressful for you, by all means book a tour instead.
  17. Kona is also a great place to book a snorkeling trip to Kealakekua Bay, in my opinion one of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii. It is like swimming in an aquarium.
  18. None of the existing International Cafes on any Princess ships have been closed to my knowledge. Certainly that would have come up here had it happened. But there is one Princess ship - the Diamond - that does not have an IC. In terms of the offerings, they have cut back on a number of items. It is a little bit more simple offerings now, primarily sandwiches and desserts - they no longer offer the array of salads and daily soup that they used to. However, they definitely still offer the almond croissants, along with other pastries and muffins. Breakfast ordered via the hang card in your stateroom is still provided at no charge. If you call and place an order from Room Service via the phone there is a $5 fee.
  19. There are basically two options for sled dogs - one involves the fairly expensive helicopter tours that allow you to do the dog sled ride on actual snow. It sounds cool, but for many the price is prohibitive. Other options would be in Juneau and Skagway. Outside Juneau you can do a tour to Dog Sled Summer Camp and get a good look at how they raise, care for, and train the dogs as well as a sled ride on dirt. In Skagway, you have the option mentioned by gvgseg which I have heard great things about, and you can find a similar option at Caribou Crossing where you can hold the puppies and do a sled ride on dirt. Here is a link with information: https://www.wildadventureyukon.ca/
  20. Not that we have ever seen. Skagway is a tiny town. There is a local shuttle bus to get around town, but not taxis. Most vendors providing this drive will be private tour operators and would be booked out in advance.
  21. Here’s a good thread on the packages from late last year that breaks down costs and benefits that you might find helpful.
  22. Congratulations on your anniversary!! Even though you are doing a vow renewal, it sounds like one of the wedding packages may be more in line with what you are seeking, especially since you have guests. I’m sure they would offer vow renewal with these packages as well. https://www.princess.com/en-us/ships-and-experience/celebrations/romance/wedding-cruises
  23. Depending on how late in July you are traveling. If the salmon are running you can often spot black bears feeding at Herring Cove on the outskirts of Ketchikan. We have very good luck there.
  24. Princess excursions have become noticeably more expensive of late. If they do have a “sale” many have noted they raise the price first, only to reduce it via the “sale” to the original price. As time goes by and the cruise draws closer, the prices just seem to be going up exponentially. Excursion prices for our Norwegian fjords cruise this summer have gone up across the board, some substantially. My advice is always to book early if there is a particular excursion on which you have your heart set. I will say that our years of cruising in Alaska have provided a lot of experience with independent tours there. We much prefer them over ship tours unless it is something we really want to do and a ship excursion is the only option. Alsska is a very easy place to find exceptionally reliable private tours or even just to tour independently with a rental car for transportation. There is an excellent tour operator in Skagway that offers combined train and van tours called Chilkoot Charters as one example based on your interest in that excursion. Highly recommended and very well reviewed. I imagine this thread will get moved to the Alaska port board, but if not, I would encourage you to research there for lots of great advice and content for people planning Alaska cruises.
  25. Most native Californians find that term as a reference to our home state ridiculous and lazy. For example I would never refer to some other US states as “Flori”, “Ari”, “Washi” , “Virgi”, or “Monti”, just to rattle off a few examples to illustrate how silly it is. Just call it by its proper name like you would any other state. We live in California.
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