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About JC13

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    Reading, cruising, visiting museums, and playing with our cat
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Mexico, Barcelona

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  1. Yippee! Had our booked cruise re-fared and was able to book under the 3Fs, now less for the cruise, upgraded to a mid-cabin area, free grats, and $$. Love that!
  2. Actually no, I did do my research, as Elite on Princess I have done 3-4 day cruises out of LA and 1 day out of Seattle and Vancouver on Princess ( and more) plus multiple cruises on the Celebrity Century, which was OLD, and nothing like what was happening on the so called Fun Ship occurred on Princess. Pricing is about the same on Princess as it is on Carnival, but service levels are way off, elite or not, just sayin'......
  3. Long time Princess cruiser here, but decided to do a 4 day CA to Ensenada cruise, which I am in Ensenada now. I will sum it up by saying never again! The plus, easy covered parking in structure, easy checkin based on pre scheduled times , easy boarding and very friendly boarding staff. Cabin was nice, inside, with a larger bathroom and shower than Princess. Good pizza. Now the down side. Requested king bed setup, got twins and had to wait for staff to make change when they had time no frig in cabin, in cabin safe was not operational and required staff to come out to change the batteries. The staff also failed to mention only the first cabin key used on the safe will work during the cruise. There is no notes/documentation of this. While the shower is larger water goes everywhere in the bathroom. No in cabin lighting in closet area, over bed lights not useful for anything but a night light the tv is the size of a computer monitor at about 18". Air controls are in the ceiling, walls are not magnetic, and your cabin key is left on the cabin room sign when you first come in. In cabin dining comes at a fee for certain items. Dining in general is a mess 1.5 hrs wait time for your time dining, lots of overly drunk passengers, the serenity area was dirty seating areas unclean, lots of uncaring peronnel, eager to tell you policy but not open to "How can I help you?. On the ship it is difficult to find a quiet area, it clearly is a party ship, but not in a good way. Cabin next door had yelling and fighting all last night, had to call security. But live and learn, stay with what you know, even if the product comes from the same corporation. They clearly have different markets in mind.
  4. Greetings to all, First time on Carnival and first time requesting stockholder OBC. I have submitted paperwork requesting the credit and now wonder where does one check to see if the credit has been given? Does Carnival notify you of granted OBC or does it post on your log-in account on the Carnival website? Any insight would be helpful. Happy sailing
  5. On the issue of the price going down and losing your OBC. It is something one has to consider. We did just that prior to final payment we re-fared our cruise since the price had decreased considerably. We did lose OBC, and gratuities, however even with the loss we came out $500 ahead, even after deducting the gratuitites, not in OBC but in savings which to us is the same as OBC as we can use our savings just like OBC. I would say to anyone considering refaring and losing OBC, the savings is your OBC and really not a loss. Think of it as a win win. BTW, how did this post go from an OBC pricing issue to a passport problem?
  6. I enjoy my 45 minute drive to the port, parking, then boarding what I already know. No airport hassles, no mess, no fuss. Then upon return, taking my wheelie out to the parking lot and driving home with wonderful Princess memories.
  7. I would make it a point of doing this sooner than later. A cruise mate will walk one through the process of lounge selection. Usually one will save a bit by booking the entire cruise, including boarding day.
  8. I always thought it was great to receive a beverage package, whatever it maybe called, until I started pricing it out in relation to the overall cruise price. For example. Pricing out a cruise with my TA, a cruise out of Barcelona to Rome, July 2019, a balcony cabin is priced out at 3478. If the drink package is desired, the price is then 4198.00. So the free included package costs for 2 is 720.00. That is alot of drinks on a 7 day cruise, at least five $10 drinks per day. Yes I know it includes water, speciality coffee, and other beverages but I would think purchasing those individually, using drink specials, ordering water in advance, and a coffee card that provides free pots of tea and perked coffee would be a better use of money. Nothing is for free, everything comes with a price. I prefer to use any OBC to purchase a coffee card, pay for gratuities, and to use it for drinks at Vines or during dinner. On the other hand if I have the need to constantly have a beverage in hand, then yes a beverage package is the way to go with no second thoughts.
  9. I would love to fill you in but then it would make it more difficult to book. One has to experience it. Book 1/2 day and try it. I did this figuring it was 2 less t-shirts to buy. during the on board $10 sale. In all seriousness, you get a comfy lounge, yes I know you get that around the decks, (along with all the noise), attentive service, tea time, and best of all your lounge is reserved for you and you alone during the time you booked. Twenty bucks and you too can experience it for 1/2 day.
  10. My thoughts, observations, hints, and reflections of recent Med cruise, 6/30/2018 - 7/14/2018. EZ Flights used for this cruise. The flights were in business class and were great. The return however had a tight connection, of 45 minutes which required running to the connecting terminal to board. Lucky for us the outbound return flight was delayed. We booked our own hotel in Rome, choosing to stay at the FCO Hilton for two nights prior to the cruise date. This hotel is connected to the airport via moving walkways which take one directly to the hotel which is then a short elevator ride to the main doors of the Hilton. I have read about how far the walk is and many have posted anywhere from 20-30 minutes. I can tell you that at a normal pace, with wheeled luggage, it took under 10 minutes to the front desk. Again the walk has lighting, people use it to get to the parking structures along the way. There are moving walkways, which may appear to not be in operation, but will automatically begin running as you approach. It is not isolated, dark, or scary. The FCO Hilton has a free bus shuttle that takes one to the center of Rome. It begins service from the hotel at 8am. Then returns for the next pickup/drop off at 10am. This goes on all day long until about 11pm. A great deal if one has limited time in Rome and chooses to stay near the airport. As a tip, if you are one of the hundreds using this free service, be aware that all of these people will want seats on the return shuttles, so it is unlikely you will get a seat on the last one or two shuttles of the day. Best to plan for a mid afternoon return to avoid seeking other transport back to the hotel. If one is worried about where to eat, the airport is just minutes away and has a number of wonderful places to dine. Boarding in Rome was easy, we used Princess transfers, going again from the hotel via the walkway to Terminal 3 to pick up the shuttle. We had the first shuttle out of FCO, about 9:30am, and we arrived at the port around 10:30 am. We were checked in and in the VIP lounge when we were called to board. We literally had about 5 minutes in the lounge area prior to boarding. Our cabin was ready. We were on deck 10 aft balcony of the Crown Princess. We had booked with a Sip and Sail package so we did not have to lug around water or wine when boarding. We have cruised on the Crown a number of times and she did not disappoint. Beautiful new carpets had been placed in all the common area hallways weeks prior. I know many critics note the aging metal, chipping paint, carpets, and her condition, but frankly I was on holiday and those things are not critical in cruising, it’s all about the venues, ports, and service. In those areas the Crown did not disappoint. We were in a different port almost everyday. I missed sea days, but at the same time the itinerary provided views into cities I would never have visited. We did book 3 excursions. The Athens Acropolis, Salerno, and the Pompeii tour. All were well managed. The Acropolis does require extensive walking and climbing. The slope of many of the stairways makes this very dangerous for those not using typical walking shoes, like sandals, flip-flops, wedges, heels, etc. This tour, for me was exhausting. It was very hot, crowded, almost impossible to move from sight to sight, and even more difficult to exit the sight due to the number of visitors trying to leave at the same time. One factor impacting the Acropolis are the number of people with selfie sticks just stopping and popping in front of walkers to take pictures. It became a battle of the selfie sticks and ones own safety. One highlight was the buffet lunch provided after the tour. The lunch was traditional Greek food. Every item I tried was delicious. One could eat as much or as little as they wanted, and wine was included with the lunch. On our tour at the Acropolis a gentleman slipped and fell, breaking his leg in the course of the fall. We saw an ambulance leaving the Acropolis about an hour after the initial fall. We heard later that his wife and luggage were moved from the ship. In a nutshell, our cruise was wonderful, our cabin attendant was very attentive to our needs, the room service people were spot on, and all our servers and wait staff throughout the ship were amazing. General observations: Not certain what was happening with how we look when we travel. It seems we have just given up and no longer care. Lots of torn t-shirts, with inappropriate social sayings, torn shorts, daisy duke type shorts exposing more skin than needed. Pretty sloppy wear, but interesting enough most had huge bags/luggage brought on board, which leads me to thinking how t-shirts and cut off shorts could take up so much luggage space? There were Kids running around unsupervised in the cabin hallways and on decks in general. Lots of kids under 16 in the hot tubs, babies with diapers in the pools, young teens in the hot tubs doing what they shouldn’t be doing (they were doing this in front of the Sky Lounge during the Elite happy hour.) Lots of unattended lounge chairs with towels left for hours. MUTS movies being repeated during a 14 day cruise. It was also disappointing to see room service trays out in the cabin hallways. Not certain why cruisers can’t leave them in their cabin or call for pickup rather than placing them in the hallway. The trays are not even in front of the door, but they were physically in the hallway. Many rude cruisers being unkind to staff. On the Sip and Sail. I can honestly tell you that we tried our best to drink and then drink some more in order to capitalize on our package. It was difficult and we failed. We would have a morning select coffee, bottled water, a morning bloody mary or mimosa, an afternoon cocktail, and a glass of wine in Vines. If attending the Elite event we would have a cocktail there, and a glass of wine at dinner. At most we would have 4 or 5 drinks. Drinks we never finished. Our conclusion was to avoid the package on future cruises and just drink what we want when we want it and we will come out ahead of a package. For us it was not worth it, nor is it worth the price difference to obtain a package. For example on one of our recent future bookings the price difference between having a package and not having a package is close to $700 per person. We would never drink $1400 worth of beverages, even water, juice, or coffee. (Our big box store travel agency now gives an option of booking with a sip and sail package at an increased price or a lower price without the package) I hope this was helpful, we have already booked a Nov. 2018 Cabo Cruise, a 2019 Summer Med cruise along with a cruise on the Sky in December of 2019. We just might sneak in an Asian cruise on the Diamond and a Mexico cruise for Dec. 2018. All without a sip and sail package. Thank you for reading and keep on cruising.
  11. For our 6/30 sailing we were boarding by 11am. Didn't even have time to have a cup of coffee from the Elite VIP area.
  12. Had room service breakfast for most of our recent 14 cruise. Always delivered within the window. One morning it was late, had to call the service desk only to find out we forgot to change our clocks. We were early, they were on time. I also found it easy to order breakfast on line rather than using the door hangers.
  13. Just back from a 14 day cruise in Europe and had a difficult time getting an Uber ride. Two cars cancelled on us, this process took over an hour as Uber drivers must wait in the designated area outside LAX. My vote is to go with Princess transfers, price difference is almost none plus you will know exactly what you are getting. SuperShuttle Executive Car also cancelled on us, they were unable to find a car for us, even though we reserved the service over 2 weeks prior. They charged us, then wanted us to wait for a supervisor to show up at the Bradley Terminal to issue a voucher for a taxi. However, the catch was an ETA for the supervisor was unknown. It took several calls to finally obtain a refund for the charges. Go with what is known, Princess, they will get you there, and if delayed the ship is held until you get there. Yes I know, the port is near by, but an accident or mechanical problem can cause one to be delayed.
  14. We were on the 14 day Med Crown cruise and had no problem any night having multiple main courses in the dining rooms, Often time the waiter brought us the extra main after having trouble making a choice. Lobster also we enjoyed two lobsters, again brought on by the waiter.
  15. Well, well, the S & S did not come up on a cruise I wanted to rebook, however I was able to rebook at a savings of over $800.00, While I did lose some OBC, which if I kept the original cruise price I was basically paying myself my own OBC so this was an easy decision. I received a lower price, dining for 2, OBC, and a great midship balcony cabin. My FCC moved right over, covered the new deposit, and now I am a more than delighted cruiser! Just have to keep in mind that a lower price for me is much better than increased OBC since often so many times we end up paying for our own OBC.
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