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  1. Questions 1,2, and 3 would best be answered on the HAL board as to their policies for back-to-back cruisers. Very likely you can leave the ship at your leisure as soon as it has been cleared--together with your disembarking family members if you choose--and then can reboard anytime after general boarding has commenced. You shouldn't have to stand in any check-in line, only go through security--but again that is up to HAL. There will be an Immigration (not Customs) inspection of your passport at the first Canadian port (and likewise at the first USA port of your return trip). Likely onboard the ship quite early in the morning, though no guarantees it would not be ashore which would take a lot more time. Customs procedures would only be done at your port of final disembarkation.
  2. A lot depends on how early you book. I am a fairly late booker and when I do elect Traditional Dining the option to select 2 for table size is usually not there anymore--just 4, 6, or 8. Princess only recently changed the 'default' times for traditional dining to 5:00 (early) and 7:15 (late). Until late last year most ships at time of booking listed either 5:45/8:00 or 6:00/8:15 (with an 'extra early' seating at 5:15 on those ships with three MDRs). But as so many people found after boarding the actual times were earlier Princess moved the default times to their earliest possible hours. So some ships still could be 7:30 or even 7:45 for late sitting once you board. But for Alaska and Panama Canal the first sitting usually stays at 5:00, thus 7:15 for late will be correct. Other parts of the world do vary. If you do not care for one or more of your table's size, location, service team or fellow occupants you can either request a different table at the same time, or to switch to Anytime. But you may only once change between Traditional and Anytime--no going back and forth. As table size is important to you it is essential for you to head to the dining room right after boarding to verify what you have been assigned (while table number is listed on your cruise card [or a card in your cabin if on a Medallion ship] table size is not). If unsatisfied at first glance you should go see the Maitre d' during his open availability (time and location listed in the Patter) before dinner that first night to see if he can better accommodate you.
  3. The Vancouver/Whittier route is labelled by Princess as Voyage of the Glaciers. Princess calls the round-trip Seattle/San Francisco/Los Angeles cruises Inside Passage when in reality they spend less time in that passage than the open-jaw route. Looking at the specific itineraries for the Royal Princess sailings none of the sea/glacier cruising dates state "inside passage" just the usual generic "scenic cruising". Nothing promised, nothing lost. If Princess is going to send a notification to you regarding a possible re-routing of that sea day it would be much closer to your sail date than two months out.
  4. The cruise under consideration concludes in New York. The "grand circle" route between the British Isles (last European port call is Cobh) and the Canadian Maritimes (fist port after TA portion is Halifax) is tailor made for fans of rough seas and blustery winds. In fact many of the experienced TA fans on that cruise would be disappointed by good weather. The cruise also embarks in Copenhagen, calls in Norway then circles Britain for ports in Scotland and Ireland. The Irish Sea in September is also not for fans of tropical cruises. Likely there will be some turnover in entertainment staff and the company of singers and dances either right before or after a repo cruise on Princess. The shows will go on, but the theatre may be closed for rehearsals during the day--which is normal all year just more noticeable on a cruise with a bunch of consecutive sea days. You may also see multiple (but different) shows from the guest entertainers as they cannot be swapped out mid-cruise as elsewhere. Menus will be different each day but some dishes will certainly repeat.
  5. Why is it so ridiculous that Princess would use a "just in time" (JIT) inventory replenishment formula for the Medallion? Especially as they need to somehow predict the separate demands for five different colors to reflect Captains Circle status. Remember that the Medallion is not a Princess program--the whole idea came straight from the top of Carnival Corporation (and all the glitches in the execution should eventually cost CEO Arnold Donald his job). Princess Cruises just drew the short straw to be the first guinea pig. And isn't the customer-facing implementation the responsibility of the newly-created ocean.com affiliate in the first place? Perhaps your humor has been misplaced from the getgo.
  6. You may want to take note of the dates on the posts that state all HAL ships have teak promenade decks. I am pretty sure that the new Pinnacle-class HAL ships (Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam) have the artificial rubberized surface for their promenades. This is pretty much the standard nowadays--but back when this thread was started the HAL claque wouldn't dare anticipate having new ships constructed to 21st century conventions.
  7. Yes that is what is done when there are a much larger than normal amount of Elites onboard. They have their own meeting area separate from the ticket waiting room and are called ahead of the others. But nowhere is waving your black card in the face of the others in line involved. ...and all this "wearing your Black card on a lanyard" will soon be moot. By the time the OP takes the cruise they are planning--their last as a Platinum in August 2020--more than half the fleet [every ship except the Sun & Sea, Island & Coral and Diamond & Sapphire] will be on the Medallion. Where by necessity everyone will have their status pinned to their chest, dangling from their beltloop, or otherwise prominently accessorized.
  8. All muster stations are on Deck 7 as that is where you would board the lifeboats should that ever become necessary. Have never been in a dining room for muster on any Princess cruise. This was not done when I boarded Golden Princess in Whittier last year. I was one of the very first to board but did not go to dinner until after muster and no one questioned me. From the reports I have read this may only be done on Coral and Island Princess as those ships have only two MDR rather than the three on the various Grand-class iterations.
  9. If they are still proffering tender tickets Elite members may join the line at the tender launch rather than go to the designated room to pick up a ticket and wait to be called. Emphasis on join the line--not cut to the front of it.
  10. Don't know if you are asking "are the Elite benefits really much different than the Platinum" or "are the Captain's Circle benefits in general really much different than ten years ago". (ETA: and now that I pasted them in, I feel the need to remind you that these Elite benefits begin the cruise after you reach fifteen cruise credits--you are aware you still be Platinum on your upcoming cruise, yes?) Either way here is the direct link to the list of benefits in the Captains Circle section of the website (found under the My Account tab, so you may have to be signed in to access): https://book.princess.com/captaincircle/membershipBenefits.page The benefits are cumulative through the four different levels; becoming Elite isn't so much "different" as simply adding on more. So you would have to scroll back to the Platinum benefits to review those regarding embarkation/disembarkation and internet minutes. All PLATINUM benefits plus: Exclusive Window to Preview and Book New Itineraries Elite Captain’s Circle members will have the opportunity to secure their booking before the general public. Priority Ship to Shore Tender Embarkation As a well-traveled guest with Princess, you, along with your family or guests that are traveling with you in the same stateroom have the opportunity to travel ashore quickly and without waiting in line in our tender ports. Priority Disembarkation If you have independent onward travel you may contact the Circle Host towards the end of your voyage to state your request to disembark with your preferred disembarkation group. If you'd like to linger onboard longer, we'll be more than happy to give you a later disembarkation group. If you'd like to be one of the first groups to disembark, we'll gladly accommodate - the choice is yours! Shoe Polishing Service Your shoes will be polished upon request - this service is complimentary. Complimentary Laundry and Professional Cleaning Services14 Upon request, your stateroom steward will organize your laundry to be cleaned - compliments of Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle! Complimentary Mini Bar Set Up15 Your stateroom will receive one mini bar set up consisting of a selection of liquors, soft drinks, beer, still and sparkling water. Once onboard you may contact Room Service to change your mini-bar selection. Certain restrictions apply. Drinks will be refilled upon request and you will only be charged for the additionally requested drinks consumed. Deluxe Canapes Selection Upon request you will receive a complimentary selection of deluxe canapés specially created by the Chef, delivered to your stateroom on formal nights (one order per Elite stateroom, each formal night). This benefit can be ordered by completing the card provided in your stateroom and hanging it outside your stateroom door by 10:00pm the night prior to the formal nights. Afternoon Tea Complimentary afternoon tea may be served in your stateroom, should you wish. You may request this via room service at least six hours prior to the desired delivery time. Upgraded Bathroom Amenities Regardless of your stateroom type, your stateroom bathroom will be stocked with the upgraded amenities normally reserved only for Suite guests. 10% Discount in the Shops of Princess The Shops of Princess are second to none for choice and gift selection. Now, as an Elite Member, take advantage of a 10% discount storewide to buy those extra gifts for all your family back home! Your Cruise Card (Ocean Medallion for MedallionClass™ ships) is your key to this wonderful benefit - simply show it when you make any purchase, and our staff in the shops will automatically deduct 10% from your purchase price. Complimentary Grapevine Wine Tasting16 Our Grapevine Wine Tasting Event is popular and many of our Members attend, so we have made arrangements to pick up the cover charge for you! Elite Member Recognition Pin When you return for your sixteenth Princess cruise or your first cruise after reaching 150 cruise days visit the Captain’s Circle Host to request your Elite Member pin and wear it proudly to show your loyalty status.
  11. There was no missed port. Royal Princess has been sending warnings to passengers that the ship may be rerouted to the west of Vancouver Island rather than through the Inside Passage between it and mainland British Columbia--but without the explanation that we here on Cruise Critic know: the issue is with the Southern Alaska Pilots Association as to speed and route approaching and leaving Ketchikan, which will have the knock-on effect to alter the sea day cruising between Ketchikan and Vancouver on the day after. . Expecting a refund for a deviation that advance warning was provided for does conjure up the infamous quote "...but other than that, how did you like the play Mrs. Lincoln?"
  12. You are aware that is an over-60 mile journey, assuming a Southampton hotel in the city center near the port. I would consider pre-reserving a private car essential as (1) black cabs have the right to refuse fares to destinations further than 20 miles from Heathrow given they are not licensed to pick up a return fare from outside Greater London; and (2) "minicabs" [private hire vehicles that are dispatched from the taxi ranks to waiting customers] are not metered and and you will be hard pressed to negotiate a fare lower than the cost of a much more comfortable private car service. The host of the Britain ports board has created a sticky thread with links to numerous recommendations of others as to transport to Southampton: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2662148-transfer-southampton—london-incl-lhrlgw-train-car-other/
  13. Princess' recommended flight times from FLL are at least 4.5 hours after scheduled arrival. Cutting it short by 15 minutes is fine. Though a few more details would be more reassuring: are you on a Royal-class ship arriving at Terminal 2? On a weekend? Which airline? And of course we are assuming FLL airport and not MIA.
  14. Crown Grill Bar on Deck 7 is in the same location as Wheelhouse Bar on the earlier Royal-class builds. Presumably they are simply going with just one name rather than two for this shared space (Crown Grill and Wheelhouse on Royal/Regal are essentially one big room with minimal division between bar and restaurant set-ups). And Take Five on Deck 6 is presumed to be the piano bar-type lounge. But all this is just speculation as with nearly four months to go before Sky leaves the shipyard it is very likely some functional decisions on these venues remain in limbo.
  15. There are no gaps in Island Princess sailing schedule in December 2019: Dec 6-16: 10 night Panama Canal Dec 16-20: 4 night Caribbean Getaway Dec 20-30: 10 night Panama Canal ...nor are there any gaps I could find in Fall 2019 (at end of Alaska season) or Winter/Spring 2020 (when Island will sail the full circle South America, then the Hawaii/Tahiti/Samoa before heading to Europe). I vaguely recall a post mentioning that there is a possible opening for a drydock sometime before the World Cruise which commences in January 2021; I will leave it to someone else to research her sailing schedule further. But obviously the person who maintains that typo-ridden questionable-on-facts fanpage the OP referred to is not keeping up with Princess' deployments.
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