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About GRAYTech

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. I always chuckle when a thread about connectivity shows up. So many quick to praise the unplugged and denounce those internet junkies that can't let it go. I will do neither. As a sole proprietor of a technology company, with hundreds of clients I support, I simply couldn't go anywhere if I didn't have internet access. At some point I will retire and join the hordes of the unplugged but for now unlimited internet would allow me to enjoy the cruise and check Email after I get an iMessage text alert instead of checking Email hourly.
  2. This will never happen, it makes WAY to much sense.
  3. Love the steak Tartare but did not see it at all in the PES lounge on a 14 day Caribbean on the Grand about 18 months ago. In the upper Midwest it's normally made from ground/chopped/minced high quality beef fillet, not ground chuck/hamburger. A small piece of rye, some raw onion, little bit of Tartare then salt/pepper, it's not for everyone but it's one of my favorites.
  4. We fell in love with the grand class aft Vista suite. Yes most of the suite "perks" are marketing fluff IMHO. The only ones that matter to us are MDR room service, Sabatinis breakfast (really good), specialty restaurant meal included, laundry and priority tendering. (We are 1 cruise away from Elite) We sailed with our 2 kids for years in an aft Vista suite. Big covered aft balcony, separate shower/tub and toilet. It is big enough for 4 in the cabin and usually cheaper than booking a CC mini and inside cabin. I totally agree the cost cutting Princess has done may make financial sense for the stock holders but the experience has tanked compared to 10+ years ago. If you never cruised Princess maybe you wouldn't know there used to be upscale apps at the PES happy hour and so on. Now they even recently eliminated the BOGO, upped the price and limited the PBP. Our cruise in March 2019 will be on Norwegian. No I would not book a Princess Window Full Suite especially if you are Elite or 2 in the cabin.
  5. Yeah it's not just cruising that brings out the "best" in people. Our first cruise, not NCL, woman was passed-out / sleeping next to shore security before boarding the ship. Ships staff didn't seem to care and prevented anyone trying to assist her. We could see her from our balcony and she was there for at least an hour on the ground before several staff members brought her onto the ship in a wheel chair.
  6. Make it a "Chairman of The Board" for me included with the PBP at the PES.
  7. I can't agree more with you. Had we figured out this was an option we would have walked off first thing. As you point out, even if it's just to go to Starbucks to have coffee or do some shopping for the second leg. Anything to avoid the group clearance thing. Will certainly keep this in mind if/when we do another B2B.
  8. Swim, sat by the pool and hogged 4 loungers. The bar was open and the buffet shortly thereafter. We have done both, get off and stay on board on a B2B. Either way it is kind of a "lost day". Yes you can make the best of it but as you noted not much going on and we have seen FLL numerous times. It's not a bad thing just not a sea day with activities or a bonified port stop.
  9. This was not an option for us at the time. Everyone on the B2B had to gather and once cleared you go out to FLL with an "intransit" card but everyone had to be cleared together first. We actually had the cards but decided to re-board and have lunch & drink instead of FLL. I also agree the theater is no Bueno. At least you have a seat and it's cool but not allowed to get up and at the mercy of the folks arriving late. There really should be a better way.
  10. That is VERY important. 300+ of us were walked into an empty port terminal being told as soon as we got off the ship and to the terminal we would walk right back on board, 5 minutes tops. Once couple was missing, took 45 minutes to find them. The terminal was hot, no chairs, no water, could not use the restroom because any minute we were leaving for the ship and everyone had to be accounted for. We were OK, late forties at the time, but this was incredibly bad for the elderly, mobility challenged and otherwise compromised pax. Seeing women in their 80's sitting and laying on the concrete terminal floor because they simply could not stand anymore. They were literally dropping like flies. Felt bad too for the couple, new to cruising. They just "didn't know" and for the second leg of the cruise they were singled out as "that couple" by some. Oh and yes Princess didn't really apologize, it was the fault of the missing pax but gave us each a drink ticket. Whoo Hoo. My comment card asked that they never allow something like this to happen again. Don't have a procedure in place that makes it even possible for it to happen. Next year we were in the theater for B2B clearance.
  11. I guess I will be stretching my legs occasionally. A bit OT but if I take both cruise cards I should I be able to get 4 drinks each time?
  12. We are booked on the Panama Canal transit LAX-MIA March 2019 in an aft penthouse with butler services. We plan to spend the day on the balcony going through the canal. In fact, we will spend most of the sea days on the balcony and would utilize the butler. Is it reasonable to expect the butler to serve us 2 or 3 meals on the balcony and bring drinks throughout the day? (booking included the bev package) Is this what they are supposed to do? Of course I will tip appropriately at the end of the cruise based on services rendered.
  13. Yes personal choices. There is no right or wrong here. You spend how much on a cruise? What's another $100 if it makes you feel good and hopefully, the servers feel appreciated. I'm always surprised how tipping turns into such a back-n-forth. I'm not tipping YOUR money, what possible difference could it make to you? Disclaimer - yes I leave the auto-tip on, I don't wave the cash around and I don't care if my $1 or $5 for that matter made my tip 22% instead of 20% on a round of drinks.
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