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Podie

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About Podie

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Sedona, AZ
  • Interests
    Hiking, kayaking, scuba diving
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity

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  1. I have sailed on 5 cruiselines including numerous cruises on RCCL and 2 cruises on NCL. We joke on RCCL that NCL stands for NCL and dime you. I feel like everything I want to do on NCL costs extra. I can't be in the sun for long, so the solariums on RCCL (and Celebrity) are my favorite hangout. The thermal suite on NCL, the closest thing to a solarium, costs extra. I'm perfectly happy in the MDR on RCCL, or even the buffet, but I find NCL tries to NCL and dime me by pushing me toward specialty restaurants. I've already paid and don't intend to do it again. There is a lot of noise and a general sense of chaos on board the large NCL ships that I've never experienced on RCCL. I'm not an entertainment person so can't speak for that, but the crewmembers on the large NCL ships seemed overworked and not happy. I've never encountered that on RCCL. You may wonder why I still go on NCL from time to time? The only reason is I moved from Florida to Arizona and only Princess and NCL go out of California. And I really disliked Princess.
  2. You're a great writer! I've only been on two NCL ships, Spirit and Getaway, and I also was mystified by all the things scheduled in the Atrium when the noise level is tremendous even without the shows. I remember literally screaming at the Guest Services agent because the desk was in the Atrium and no one could hear a thing. Every other cruiseline does it a lot better!
  3. Thanks for all the info. Not sure NCL is for me then.
  4. I'm sorry to post this question as I'm sure it's covered many times, but I can't get the search function to work. Is it true that a corkage fee will be charged for each bottle of wine brought on board even if you plan to consume it in your cabin? I've been on 5 other cruiselines and there is no corkage fee on them, but it seems the NCL site says it WILL be charged regardless of where you drink it? Is this correct?
  5. Yes, I liked the ship very much. I don't know anything about kids' stuff. There was an indoor pool and I did see kids in it - in fact, they were the only people I saw in it the entire cruise. I always went out on the promenade deck or up to the buffet area when I wanted to watch the water. I don't remember any large inside viewing areas other than the Horizon Court.
  6. Last week on Star Princess, the tenders pulled up to Fisherman's Wharf.
  7. I called Enterprise (for the first time) when I stepped foot onto Fisherman's Pier, where the tender docks. They picked me up in 5 minutes, the amount of time it took to walk the length of the dock. I did the HOHO in San Francisco and it was great. My Enterprise car rental in San Diego was only $36. In Monterey, there was a lot of traffic because one lane was closed for paving. So we decided against Big Sur and picnicked at Point Lobos. We had both done the 17 Mile Drive. Stopped in Carmel, which was also crowded. Went to Cannery Row.
  8. I rented from them last week. It's a tender port so I called them as soon as we were on Fisherman's Wharf, and they picked me up in 5 minutes.
  9. I was on Star Princess last week. Maybe 20 men in the dining room wore jackets on formal night. And perhaps half were wearing ties.
  10. This was my first Princess cruise. Prior to this I had 21 cruises, mostly on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, 2 each on Carnival and NCL, and one on MSC. So all of my comments are compared to those experiences. There were only a few "cons" on my pros and cons list, but the biggest one was the food. Aside from the pizza, which could be quite good, I was so disappointed in the food! The first night, it took 30 minutes to give our order in the MDR, and then everything we ate there was either too salty or overcooked. We tried the buffet twice and I was amazed at how small it was compared to all my other cruises. And that food was much worse than the MDR. Also, our dining room (Amalfi) was aft on deck 6, aft of the Positano DR, and you could only access it by 2 elevators or one set of stairs. Very inconvenient. This was the first ship I've been on that doesn't give you the chance to check your account, order room service, etc. from your cabin TV. Yes, you can access it from your phone, but several older people were clueless about that. I was also dismayed at the small number of restrooms and how the entry doors weren't automatic to prevent you having to touch them, as many ships have. The Celebrity restrooms have attendants in the restrooms several hours per day - constantly through the dinner hours - and are so much cleaner. On the "pro" side, the sea day lunches in the MDR were better than the dinners. I enjoyed my coffee "card" which was electronically loaded to my cruise card, and the people staffing the coffee bar were wonderful. Grace and Laura told me my drink balance every morning when I ordered my 2 espresso drinks. The Bingo pots were fantastic (even though I didn't win) and prices to play were cheaper than other ships. Our cabin had more charging outlets than any other ship I've been on. I'm a balcony cruiser, but the balcony cabins were so expensive that I went with a "sideways" inside cabin, A507 on deck 12. This was roomier than the typical inside cabin. Walk in, beds on the right, large new TV on cabinet to left, which created a decent sized dressing room on the way to the bathroom. The closets were also large, with normal hangers. The two shows I attended, Born to Dance and the British Invasion, were simply spectacular. I can't say Princess would ever be my first choice when I have so many perks on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, but if they manage to correct their food problems, I would consider them.
  11. I just returned from LA - SF - Monterey - San Diego - Ensenada - LA on Princess and rented cars from Enterprise in Monterey and San Diego. I was picked up at the pier and both rentals were less than $50 so I highly recommend them!
  12. I just returned from there. No, nothing is close, but I think the shuttle would take you to one if you asked. They're very accommodating. There is a little store at the marina next door but I'm not sure what they sell in there.
  13. Thank you for the review! I will board Star on Saturday for my first Princess cruise after 25 on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean so I'm hoping my experience is as good as yours!
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