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Cruise Raider

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About Cruise Raider

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About Me

  • Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
  • Interests
    Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska

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  1. We are flying into and out of LGB as well. We have no worries about waiting for Uber at the airport to get to the port as our flight time gives us plenty of extra time. However, on the way out, our flight leaves at 11:30 .... We plan on requesting early walk off and hopefully, will have no luggage to check. We've been told we'd probably be ok if we got to the airport by 10 AM. We are planning on Uber / Lyft and hoping that is not cutting it too close. Others have chimed in and stated we should be fine. I am hoping waiting for an Uber is not going to hold us up.
  2. We are elite on Celebrity, diamond on Royal Caribbean and elite on Princess, with most of our sailings being on Princess. Although, we've not ever sailed on the new Royal class, we do have one booked for next month. Celebrity is by far my favorite cruise line, and keep in mind, all my sailings on Princess are on the older ships in the fleet. Princess, in general, does some things very well, though: - their new beds are heavenly ...they really beat that slab of stone on RCCL - the specialty restaurants are so much less expensive, however, there are usually no discounts for these restaurants as they have on Celebrity. The Crown Grill is my personal favorite ... not quite as good or eloquent as Murano but still a very nice meal. - the Pub Lunch is also another of my favorites. If there are two of them, the second one is actually better (shrimp and chips vs fish and chips). Oftentimes, there is a very long line for this event. - their drinks are also less expensive and sometimes, you will find a pop up happy hour (they used to have it all the time, then canceled them all but ask your server about specials....sometimes, it is a well kept secret, such as two for one glasses of wine during the evening shows) - If you don't have the beverage package, on cruises 10 days and over, they have a wine package for purchase and their new wine list is great ... and pretty reasonable, too. Too bad this can't be purchased ahead of time; it has to be booked onboard. - there is a embarkation lunch in one of the MDRs ... again, a very well kept secret and only open until 1:30 PM - there is a movie screen out on one of the upper deck (MUTS ... Movies under the Stars). They provided blankets and popcorn ... although you may have to go fetch your own. We've found that they have an expanded menu up at the Trident Grill at dinner time as well. We even got crab cakes, onion rings, ribs, chicken wings, etc up at the grill while up in Alaska last year. And, with the blankets and if you can find a seat that is blocked by the wind, it is actually quite comfortable ... yes, even in Alaska. In addition to rather new releases, they also show professional sporting events on MUTS. They used to show some movies during the day but haven't seen that in quite some time. Now, during the day, they have concerts, show some beautiful scenery, trivia games, etc. - you can stack your perks on Princess whereas Celebrity and RCCL are very restrictive. If you are military (past or present), a stockholder of at least 100 shares of CCL stock, loyalty credit, future cruise deposit credit ... all those OBC credits are added regardless of the promo under which you booked. - Princess has some awesome itineraries and even have a ship home ported in San Francisco. For Alaska, they are one of few lines that is able to sail into Glacier Bay (a real treat!). - they recommend a boarding time, but you should be able to board in order of priority once you arrive. Special Parties (wedding parties, employee appreciation events), Bon Voyage Experience folks and Suites first, followed by Elite, Platinum, etc, etc. We usually get to the pier around 10:30 and have rarely had to wait after going through security and checking in. They usually have adequate seating in LA if you are not yet allowed to board. - the Royal now has the new MedallionNet internet and it is supposedly great and priced very well as compared to the pricing that is available on Celebrity if not included in your booking perks These are all general descriptions by cruiseline and not ship specific. Am really looking forward to sailing on the Royal. -I'd be a better judge in comparing apples to apples as the maintenance of their older ships on Princess is lacking. -The specialty coffee at Cafe Al Bacio is incredible compared to those at the International Cafe .... but if you get it in a real cup vs to go, it is then pretty good. -I also have had some long wait times or inflexibility with anytime dining and even specialty restaurant dining on Princess. If your preferred dining time is between 6:15 and 6:30 PM in the MDR, you may have trouble getting a table. They have reservations available but they will not allow reservations for those dining times ... not in my experience anyway. -The show rooms and lounges they have / use don't hold an adequate number of passengers, so we've been skunked out of seeing shows we wanted to see because we didn't get there early enough to grab a seat. - Even though they allow that stacking of OBC, the free perks they offer are nowhere near as generous as on Celebrity. The positives always far outweigh any negatives on any cruise. Please check back in and let us know how you like it.
  3. Yes, the specialty coffee / tea is included in the beverage package. The alcoholic drinks are limited to 15 per day but that limit does not apply for non-alcoholic beverages.
  4. Is there a designated meeting place for the ride sharing services? I think we are using berth 93 on an upcoming cruise.
  5. Thanks everyone!!! I was worried about the flight time out of Long Beach but it's probably equivalent to the time it takes to go to LAX through traffic and then their security lines. I've flown out of Long Beach before and absolutely love that airport. The price of the flights is identical and we are actually flying into Long Beach. So, if 11:30 isn't too early ... I'm going to go for it! I will plan on getting an early walk off first thing from guest services after we board. Once, we waited and we couldn't do it. Who knows, we might even just do carry on luggage. Thanks again! I dread LAX ... so this will make my trip more pleasurable.
  6. I have a choice to fly out of Long Beach airport (LGB) at 11:30 AM or LAX at 12:50 PM after my cruise next month on a Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). This is on the Royal and we will be disembarking in San Pedro. I did a search on the West Coast Departures page to no avail ... nothing recent anyway. I am now posting on here because I know there are some avid Princess cruisers that live in the area and can give me advice on which on those flights to choose. We plan on taking Uber from the dock to the port and will be asking for walk off disembarkation. The recommended Princess time for the earliest flight is 12:30 PM out of LAX. We may have one bag to check and don't have TSA pre-check, although, oftentimes, it is given to us ... it's just not guaranteed. Which flight would you all choose?
  7. Got it ...thanks so much!! Now, that makes sense. PS -- just signed up to have my medallion sent to my home for my cruise in a couple weeks.
  8. Hmmmm? I am not picturing this. I've been inserting my card into the machines in the casino in the past. Do they offer you a player's club card or is your play tracked via the Medallion? And, if the latter, do you have to have your smart phone for your transactions? Sorry about all the questions but am sailing on the first cruise with Medallions on the Royal in a few weeks .... trying to picture how this all works in the casino. thanks
  9. The terms usually state that you can't take any heating element of any sort without an automatic shut off.... I think curling irons are the only exception. My guess would be no. You can always order a thermal pot of hot water from room service if it is just the coffee you'd like to make on your own ... and then use a french press from there. But, my guess is that would defeat your purpose.
  10. Fire doors were all closed and locked up on the Grand last Sept. There was nowhere to check carry on luggage as far as we could tell ... but they did allow us to store it in one of the unused sections in the MDR for the duration of the embarkation lunch. Announcements that the rooms were ready were made around 1 PM. We were just finishing up lunch at the time and waited a little longer to avoid the crowds on the elevators. I like to unpack and then head to lunch ... but this worked out ok as well.
  11. Another vote for packing cubes. I got a couple of sets on Amazon and we loved them so much, we needed to get more. I saw some for a great price at one of those discount stores ... can't remember but some place like Marshalls, TJ Max ... some place like that. The newer ones are even better as they are a little sturdier .. made by Sharper Image. Well, needless to say, my DH has already snagged those ones for his packing needs. hahaha!! We find the two medium sizes to be the most useful. Needless to say, they make packing so much more organized and unpacking is also so much easier. If we do a pre or post cruise stay, those clothes can all be packed in a cube of their own, including undergarments, socks, pants, shirts ... just one day's worth of clothing so there is no digging through everything to get to what you need for that part of the trip. What is great is they keep the wrinkles to a minimum and are fairly flexible even when filled to the brim and squish into the small spaces in your suitcase. You can fit so much more into your bag as even the non compression ones seem to help pack everything pretty tightly. You can color code everything as they come in a multitude of colors, too. My thought is that if you buy one set, you will go back for a couple more. They are a packer's dream!! I won't travel without them now ... even just a short little trip to Vegas.
  12. You sure can't go wrong with either one, especially if you liked the Solstice. My advice would be the newer ship, the Eclipse, if I had to make a choice. But, it really depends on what you want more ... and cost and ease of travel, of course. Vancouver's port is right in the downtown area if you sail from Canada Place. We stayed at the Pan Pacific right there the night between cruises and it was amazing!! If you can swing it, spend a night or two in Vancouver if you choose that itinerary. If not, it's still a very scenic sail away. The one thing I like about the Solstice and Eclipse is they both have Cellar Masters ... I think! I like it much better than the Gastro Bar, which is on the Equinox. Icy Strait Point is actually one of my favorite ports of call. So much wildlife and nature right there. They have a small forest area with paths for a nice easy hike right off the ship. It is a little more commercialized since we first started going there but still has a quaintness about it if you get out of the shopping area. It also has some interesting museum pieces right there by the ship. There is a paved sidewalk that will take you all the way into town if you are up for a longer walk, or you can always take the bus. We liked the walk, took our time and stopped at a local brewery. The scenery along the way is stunning. Even saw a bald eagles nest with her baby popping up for his/her feeding. There's not a ton of things to do like in some of the other ports, yet, it is a great port of call in my opinion. There is great whale watching and even occasional bear sightings ... pricey tours for that but worth it!
  13. Personally, I wouldn't book any of the cabins they categorized as AQ as they can be plagued with noise from the public decks above. I purposely never book a cabin under (or over, if I can help it) a public deck. We've sailed in balcony cabins on the Infinity and the sitting room is just a small couch ... both cabins, the couch was next to the balcony door. We sailed with friends next door and same thing, the couch was by the balcony. The Persian Gardens is basically a large indoor room with a heated tile bench. Not sure I would even compare this to what you get on the S Class ships where you have a view out the floor to ceiling windows. Don't get me wrong, I love the Infinity and I love Aqua Class ... mainly for Blu. But Aqua Class on the S Class is better than it is on the M Class ships. I have no comparison to make for the Edge.
  14. That right there would be too icky for me unless I had my own little bowl, especially if I don't have to request it. I would think it would be much more sanitary if the guy with the pepper dowel also had a cruet of olive oil he could pour for you on your bread plate. I know it's a little more work for them but they already come by and fill your water, change out your silverware several times, dollop the dressing on your salad and come by with fresh pepper.
  15. I'd sure hope so but not what it sounded like. That's the only way I would even touch it ... unless I am the first one to dip. Yep ... I am OCD about proper hand hygiene .... and I've seen some cringe-worthy behavior on cruises. Or, if we agree to share a table, I also decline to shake hands at the dinner table after being seated. And someone starts coughing right next to me, I just ask to be moved to another table. It sounds rude but just trying to stay healthy. And yes, I don't use the salt or pepper. I even have hand sanitizer ready for just after handling the menu.
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