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Aussie Gal

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  1. We too are hoping to do the Diamond repo cruise in Sept 2024. We were originally going to do the return cruise to Tokyo from Aust as it would be cherry blossom time but we had already booked another cruise plus you would be going into cold weather. The September cruise from Tokyo starts off warm and hopefully stsys warm at least to Qld. Also we can finish in Melbourne which is a big plus for us.

  2. 1 minute ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

    I'm trying to figure out how many cases of wine we'll need to take onboard for the world cruise next year. We did get the Plus fare at $40pp per day for that so will leave it in place for the internet, coffees, bottled water and cocktails, plus the 25% discount on some of the better wines by the bottle (there are a few), but we'll need to take some on with us. 

    It depends on how many bottles you drink in a week. A bottle of wine usually lasts us 2 nights so for a week that would be 3.5 bottles a week. I am sure you can bring on wine at the various ports that you visit, as long as you pay the corkage.


  3. 2 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:


    The price of some wines have gone up to ridiculous levels. It really irritates me when it costs more than double the retail bottle price for a single glass of very vin ordinaire.


    I agree about the coffee package. We rarely drink sodas but like espresso coffees. Under the old coffee card system we even saved a tiny amount on those coffees so always bought coffee cards. Since the Plus package has increased in price it is now very borderline for us due to the poor quality of most of the wines offered under the package. We ended up buying four bottles of wine on our recent 10 night cruise even though we had the Plus package.

    We too are bringing on board our own wines as we appreciate good wine and would prefer to pay the corkage than pay Princess the exhorbitant prices they want for inferior wine. 

  4. 1 hour ago, Ondine said:

    Re Mini bars:  We had no trouble changing the items to whatever we wanted in March cruises.  Just call room service for it now.  Feb we had a strange mixture of wine and other drinks due to some items not being available.


    However between our Feb and our March cruise they changed the ability to convert mini bar to coffee cards.  No warning or information.  Coffee cards no longer exist and I was advised to buy a soft drink package which would include coffee.  Not for me at $40 pd. Also the cost of my coffee from the International Cafe had gone up from $4.50 to $6.00.  Not happy Jan.  No price list at the Cafe.  Everyone seemed to be surprised at the speed of change.  


    On the plus side:  Son noticed on the Princess Patter that the drink price allowance on the Plus package had changed from $16 to $22 and I think on the Premier package up to $30.  The price of drinks has also gone up.


    Hopefully some time in the future they will reintroduce a coffee card for those of us who like coffee.  Coffee and sodas are not the same!!!!!

    I so agree. We like to have a coffee once a day at the International Cafe with our lunch and now at $6 x 2 =$12 x 17 days = $204 which is a lot to pay. We don't drink"sodas" so buying that card at $40 a day x 2 = $80 x 17 dsys is out of the question.  Especially as the coffee is nowhere near as good as here at home in Melbourne. We will just have to resort to drinking tea at lunch. 

    • Like 1
  5. 45 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

    The OP is asking about accommodation after their cruise and before flying to San Francisco. They want a hotel that can be used a a base for sightseeing before they fly home.

    I understood he was looking for an hotel near the airport and cruise terminal so therefore my answer was correct being the nearest and best hotel to both!  

    Otherwise if he wants to be near the city then he needs to ask about a city hotel.

    You cannot have both as the airport is not near the city.

  6. 3 hours ago, sfjakey said:

    Looking for hotel near ship terminal and airport for 2 nights (Oct. 29 -31, 2023) in Brisbane before flight back to SFO. Also, one that will work to see some of the area.  Have  been looking but nothing. 

    Thanks, your help is greatly appreciated

    We spent a night at the Pullman at Brisbane airport and then took a taxi next morning to the port. We were able to walk to the hotel from the airport, going first of all through the carpark and following the footpath. It is a very comfortable hotel and we enjoyed our stay there even though it was still just starting to open up after coming out of lockdown. This was last July   The taxi from the hotel to the port cost us around $45 and it is the nearest hotel to the Port. 

  7. 15 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

    We were booked on a Sydney to Tokyo cruise until Covid wiped it out and had scored

    a very cheap one way business class airfare on China Airlines via Taiwan through Princess but, of course, never got to do it.

    We were also booked on the little Pacific Princess, Sydney to Tokyo, until Covid reared its ugly head so that Princess in the end decided to sell the ship.  We are going to book the Tokyo to Melbourne cruise on the Diamond for September next year.  We have been to Japan twice before though this time the Diamond does go to a few new ports which is always a bonus. 

    • Like 1
  8. 8 minutes ago, Ondine said:


    Not sure what's going on because they have now pulled the bookings for Melbourne after mid December 2024 for Princess.  According to Melb Ports.  Diamond goes to Brisbane.  Are we not going to have any Princess ships here?  

    Obviously Princess doesn't count the 5 million people who live here enough to give us a ship for the whole of summer. I don't understand why Brisbane with their awful port get the best of everything. 

    • Like 1
  9. 53 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

    Crown is one of the four Grand Class ships that they built with an extra deck of cabins but with no extra public space. The others are Ruby, Emerald, and Caribbean. We went on Ruby in 2019. Never again! 


    I would be interested to hear exactly what Princess thinks makes Crown better than all the other ships that have cruised this region. Bigger isn't always better IMHO!

    Princess also enlarged the ship from 2670 guests to over 3080 guests. I believe they ruined the ship when they did this.

  10. 15 minutes ago, springaussie said:

    To buy Princess from a USA agent living in Oz isn’t opened to everyone.

    I am under the impression you had to be an existing Princess customer before the rules got changed about 10 years ago.

    Is this still the case?

    Or have misinterpreted the rules?

    I believe that is the case. In fact I think you had to be a customer of a U.S. Agent for longer than 10 years. I can buy from my U.S. agent as I have the history of using her long before the rules were changed but as our dollar is so low, I haven't bothered booking with her for a few years as the amount you save is lost when it is converted back to our money. Also, when booking just Australian cruises, it is cheaper to buy here than what she could offer me.

    • Like 1
  11. 1 minute ago, aussiecruiser66 said:

    We are looking at the 113 day SYD- SYD option.Just a couple of questions.

    1. Does the cruise include gratuities because it starts and finishes in Sydney?

    2. Is on board currency in AU$?

    3. Does the ANZ credit card complimentary travel insurance cover you for the whole cruise, especially for the US portion, which is only 3 days in port?

    Looking at the itinerary it shows Easter Island as a black dot which usually indicates a port/ tender stop, but the actual itinerary says scenic cruising for that particular day. If EI is not offered as a port stop then that could be a deal breaker for us as to whether we book or not,


    Thanks in advance for any input.



    We have passed by Easter Island three times and each time it was too windy to go ashore. It is a tender port and quite rocky so the weather plays a huge part in whether you get to go ashore.  If that is going to be the deal breaker then forget it as more ships miss it than those who manage to anchor there. It is a gamble and each time we didn't know whether we would get ashore until we had arrived at the island and then it is up to the Captain and  the weather bureau on Easter Island.

  12. 2 hours ago, arxcards said:

    We are now looking at the scandalous insurance instead and doing some homework for the London to Sydney half. Barb has family in England, so it is looking like a UK holiday followed by a cruise home via the Norwegian fjords, Iceland, US, Machu Picchu (another expensive part) and Panama Canal.

    It is a great itinerary.  If  you can get to Machu Picchu for a day or so, it will be well worth it. We did a side trip back in 2006 for five days and loved that part of Peru, especially Cusco and the Sacred Valley. 

    • Like 1
  13. 8 minutes ago, Kellyansapansa said:

    Thanks to everyone who shared the itineraries and brochures. We're very excited about the 29 night Yokohama to Adelaide itinerary and the opportunity to have our favourite ship bring us from one of our most beloved destinations, right to our doorstep. 🙏

    We too are going to be on this cruise. We will be disembarking in Melbourne. We have been on the Diamond before and especially love the toilets!

    • Like 1
  14. 8 minutes ago, Busy Mum said:

    Totally agree, these itineraries are boring! Same old, same old. I do wonder if they are going to be selling the Coral. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🙁

    We have been to N.Z. countless times and were hoping for cruises to the islands, ie. Vanuatu and New Caledonia. We loved the little ships and they were sold, then the Sun and Sea went and now it looks as though the lovely Coral is going. We deserve better from Princess. We are loyal Princess cruisers but I can see us moving on in the future.

    • Like 2
  15. 3 minutes ago, zalusky said:


    We also were only on the Bali to Sydney leg and di not experience the issues on the first leg but as I mentioned I am curious of experience on other Oceania cruises of examples showing why Oceania is so loved.  Was this a complete anomaly or normal for Post Covid.  I know the shore excursion people talked a lot about losing a lot of tour operators post covid so I won't fault them there.  I am more curious about food differences pre and post Covid and whaqt they did for trip interruptions on other sailings.

    As I mentioned in my post above (113), we were on an earlier sailing and we were disappointed with the food. In fact when I filled out the comments form after 10 days of cruising, I mentioned this and the Head Chef came to see me.  First of all we found the menus were very limited so different to pre Covid and then the actual food was nothing like we were used to on cruises before Covid. Polo was still good but after our first night in Toscano, we cancelled our other bookings. We did not eat up on the Terrace so cannot comment on that. We found the food was over salted on a number of occasions and twice I just couldn't eat my main course. I am not a picky eater and usually enjoy all my meals. We have always held up Oceania as the best food we have eaten while cruising but we have changed our minds since this cruise and after cruising with Princess in July we feel that their food was just as tasty plus their fares are so much more competitive.  We are trying Regent next and are hoping for an happier outcome.

    • Like 2
  16. We were on the cruise from Singapore to Sydney that left on November 19th.  We were told at boarding that we were going to miss two ports - Semerang and Surabaya and were to have an overnight in Singapore instead.  No refunds or free drinks, we just had to swallow it.  We could never find out the reason why they were cancelled.  We heard rumours of course such as Covid and the earthquake but nothing substantial. 


    We had previously been on the Regatta in 2017/2018 on the Round Australia cruise and we missed three ports on that cruise.  Again no compensation or apologies. 


    This time we were very disappointed with Oceania - it was our 6th cruise with them out of 38 cruises  - as we found the food not up to its usual excellent standard and the entertainment also not as it used to be so we have decided to move on.  We also think the Regatta seems to have a problem with cancelling ports.  When we have cruised on Oceania's other ships, we have never had a problem. 

    • Like 2
  17. Thanks for all your helpful information.  We are sailing on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth in February and yesterday I followed your advice and sent off an email to the Cunard address for Carnival Shares OBC.  This morning there was an email from Cunard stating that the Share OBC has gone into our account.  Just so easy and well worth the small amount we paid out for the shares.


    • Like 1
  18. 7 hours ago, ORV said:

    Just how long is this cruise?

    Our cruise is 21 days and is from Singapore to Sydney.  We normally have a PH on Oceania but when we booked this cruise in January, they were all taken.  We moved it over at the beginning of the year from the Marina Transatlantic Rome to Miami.   We were worried about Covid at the time and decided to stay closer to home.  

    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I will try and make sure that i go online just as the 60 days ticks over.  I believe Oceania is in Miami, so I will work on Florida time.  It will be around 3pm our time and also we are a day ahead,  though we will be in Daylight Savings so I will have to adjust for that. 

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