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About SFCAcruiser

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  1. I agree with all 6 of your points. I was surprised how much your points resonated with me. As for #4, I would add that on cruises I generally do not awaken early enough to get to the MDR for breakfast. MDR closes at 9:00 as I recall, maybe 9:30 on some cruises; much too early for my cruise routine.
  2. For opera enthusiasts and those of us with just a passing interest - a clever video about the virus, sung to the melody of Nessun Dorma. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ-2N4W4Ldk
  3. I immediately identified with your experience. We are fellow San Franciscans and took the Grand in Feb. 2019 for the same reasons you did - proximity of port. We literally walked (little over a mile) to the port just so we could say we did it. Ours was a 10-day cruise and we had the same impression you did - staff and food was good, the layout of the ship was awful, and we will not be repeating a cruise on the same class of Princess ship. Particularly disliked the small buffet and the grossly undersized theatre. Happy cruising.
  4. Story appears to be in. the public domain now, via MSN https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/cruise-ships-set-sail-knowing-the-deadly-risk-to-passengers-and-crew/ar-BB13tPcs
  5. The two of us always book Select dining, and we never make a reservation. We show up when we want; making a reservation would negate the main benefit of Select dining for us. But we all have our own preferences, so you can chose whichever option works for you. Since we prefer to dine late (around 8:15 or later) we almost never encounter any wait. I have read on these boards, that arriving during the busy times of approx. 6:30 - 8:00 may increase your chances of having to wait for a table.
  6. This can be a source of confusion on roll calls for cruises that stop in Petropavlovsk. The visa situation is NOT the same as in St. Petersburg. No visa needed in Petropavlovsk, whether the passenger takes a tour or travels independently. Russia applies different requirements for St. P. and Petropavlosk, perhaps due to the latter's isolation.
  7. Perhaps you missed post #12 above re: taking drinks into the MDR.
  8. I am assuming your most recent visit was prior to May 2019. Things have changed for US citizens, among others,
  9. I had one on Millennium a few years ago and did not use it much. The itinerary was in cold weather, so the balcony held little attraction. For a warm weather cruise, I would consider a sweet sixteen balcony again. Did you ever try a sweet sixteen after your similar post four years ago?
  10. "Newark Liberty International" is the name of the airport, although most people simply refer to it as "Newark airport". Slidergirl provided good information in response to your question.
  11. The earlier poster is incorrect. Status is equal; points are individually earned.
  12. I agree with Micheleata"s response - the "all you can eat" offer is generally not publicized but is more of a discreet private arrangement. They will sometimes also offer a 30% discount as an alternative to the AYCE deal and we found this to be more economical for us. Even though we love sushi and the other menu items, we do not spend $60 for the two of us with the 30% discount. See which deal works best for you.
  13. On a different itinerary, I experienced Celebrity's poor performance regarding visa requirements; for example, they stated a visa requirement for Egypt when that country was not on our itinerary, other than we passed through the Suez Canal. So, dealing with Celebrity and required visas is frustrating. What have members of your roll call been reporting?
  14. This is a topic that comes up every so often and it results in divided responses (like most other topics on Cruise Critic). We tried it once on a 14-day cruise on Equinox and did not like it for a variety of reasons. On our cruise, the long walk became annoying during the second week when we had to return to the cabin because we forgot something. We did have a soot problem - could not lean on the railing or sit on the chairs without first wiping them down. The deck was not covered and we prefer to sit in the shade rather than the direct sun. Finally, on our deck 6 cabin, we were awoken every morning by the noise and vibration caused by the azipod (propellors) as the ship maneuvered into a port. Other posters will refute all of my objections and enthusiastically recommend a SV. So, as Fouremco mentioned, the OP should try it for him/herself.
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