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Everything posted by isisdave

  1. We've just boarded Golden Princess in San Francisco and attended the first special event for Elite, Suite, and Platinum guests. We're Platinum. As you know, Princess usually has either a nice lounge for a free drink or three in the evening, or equivalent coupons to use around the ship. Now the party is in the Vista Lounge, and the only free thing is special appetizers. The "special" drinks offered -- about eight cocktails, which aren't of interest to us -- were a "special" price of $6.50 and everything else was regular price. Last trip on Princess for us. Unless of course Celebrity, RCI, and HAL do the same. Another silly thing to have to check before booking.
  2. We pre-tip on day three, usually. My wife is a late sleeper, we have anytime dining, and so are generally a pain to the cabin steward. And I give it to him/her personally and say why. Also, if the ship is on a recurring cruise, I'll usually give leftover non-standard currency like kroner to the steward, as he or his colleagues will be able to use it in the future.
  3. We just returned from a Baltic cruise. Except for Russia, none of these places ordinarily welcome US currency, and if they accept it will give you a poor exchange rate. There are pay toilets in some of these ports. Some just have a plate to leave money on, but others have turnstiles that expect local coinage. BTW it looked to me like the Swedish and Danish coins were identical in size but not inscription. Although most places take credit cards, your US non-PIN card will require you to sign the receipt. This of course slows down the transaction and negates the purpose of accepting cards. And I feel stupid offering a credit card for a 15-kroner pair of postcards. BTW, you will not believe the prices in Copenhagen. Really, postcards 9DKK, about $1.50; lunch at Burger King for one $12. Why Burger King? Because in a tourist restaurant you'll be signing up for 150DKK = $25 without drink. OK for one day, but we were there four. Notes for Russia: * If you have a visa so you can wander by yourself, you'll need roubles as most places can only accept roubles * If you're on a tour, you'll be taken to an overpriced souvenir store that accepts dollars and euros as well as credit cards * If you use a credit card in Russia, use one of your "extra" ones -- not the one you have 15 automatic monthly payments set up on. If it's lost, stolen, or hacked, there's much less mess to clean up. Remember to advise bank before travel. * At our dock in St Petersburg, there was a souvenir shop with a big sign "25% less than other places" and this, amazingly, turned out to be true. * You can tip your tour guide in dollars, euros, or roubles.
  4. The UK version (https://www.celebritycruises.co.uk/terms-and-conditions/booking-conditions/) of prohibited items lists "electrical extension cords" twice. It doesn't specifically mention "power strips" or "surge suppressors." I think you'll be OK with something like https://smile.amazon.com/UPWADE-Protector-Charging-Multi-Port-Portable/dp/B06XFZPQSM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1532073591&sr=8-3&keywords=travel+extension+cord and even better if it's just like https://smile.amazon.com/Monster-MP-OTG400-BK-Outlets/dp/B000F9YN2M/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&qid=1532073755&sr=8-25&keywords=travel+extension+cord. I have one of these, but it's getting hard to find one without USB ports nowadays. Typically, there is one 110v and one 220v outlet, and we want to connect the multi-port charger and the laptop. An alternative, if you only need two, is to bring the continental adapter you got for use in Europe. If you didn't bring one, you can buy one for €1 at any convenience store.
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