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satxdiver

Live from the CB 11/11-25/2018

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20 hours ago, MusicalCruiser said:

I don't think that #3 was correct because iPhones and iPads use the same iOS. OR is on both our phones and I just installed it on our iPad.

I agree, I checked the details on the app and it is for IOS 10.3 or later. My first generation iPad mini is now maxes out at iOs 9.2 or 3. Thanks for the "heads up"

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Saturday

Some observations.  There are dual hand washing stations at all four entrances to the WFM (new HC) and quite a number of pax are using them.  The TV in the cabin is a 40 inch LG (I found my measuring device).  For the last 3 nights a 20 something male sitting at a table near ours has been wearing shorts and tonight a plain tshirt.  It appears that they indeed are allowing shorts in the MDR for dinner as previously reported.  I continue having problems with my droid smart phone staying attached and sometimes it cannot attach.  I have noticed that quite a few cabins are empty.   The Captain’s Circle lady reported 2780 aboard.  I have seen less than 20 children aboard.  We are getting 2 day laundry service so far.

 

Show tonight was Born to be Wild.  MUTS was The Greatest Showman and the comedian Gary DeLena gave an adults only show in Club Fusion without any vulgarities or other blue language.  He was funny once again.  

 

Today Mrs Diver chose to take the ship’s excursion to the Balata Botanical Garden.  As I had mentioned before Princess had raised the price $10/ticket.  Since she has trouble walking, the trails were all paved through the garden.  The flowers were beautiful and the trees, mostly palm species, were really nice.  There was a swinging overhead bridge to see the canopy and many including me gave it a try.  We were on a regular tour bus and the roads here on the island are narrow.  The driver was very good getting the bus in very tight spaces and avoiding oncoming traffic.  The guide was from the French side of St Marteen and spoke very plain American English as well as French and Dutch.  It rained off and on the entire day similar to what happened in St Kitts.  We all got wet several times but luckily the rain was very light.

 

Tonight was the Captain’s Circle Party in Club Fusion.  The 1st most traveled at 1441 days was from Houston and single lady.  The 2cd was fairly young lady from Ontario, Canada with 1176 days.  Now we know where she spends her winter.  The 3rd single lady was from Henderson, NV with 986 days at sea.  I had thought there were more elite on board but the reported number was 507.  Platinum pax is 760 and surprisingly the blue card holders numbered 756.  There was a special certificate given to a couple that now have 500 days aboard Princess. 

 

The captain reported that the Sky Princess will be coming online next year, the Enchanted Princess in 2020 and a new yet named ship in 2021.  The Sky will be coming to the Caribbean next fall.  This will make 6 royal class ships.

 

Tomorrow is Barbados where we will be on a private excursion

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On 11/17/2018 at 11:32 PM, satxdiver said:

Saturday

Some observations.  There are dual hand washing stations at all four entrances to the WFM (new HC) and quite a number of pax are using them.  The TV in the cabin is a 40 inch LG (I found my measuring device). 

The back of the TV says 43 inches. 

For the last 3 nights a 20 something male sitting at a table near ours has been wearing shorts and tonight a plain tshirt.  It appears that they indeed are allowing shorts in the MDR for dinner as previously reported. 

My DH hasn't had any questions about his shorts on casual evenings yet in the DR although most nights there aren't that many to be seen. I suppose they just gave up rejecting people & joined the rest of the cruise lines as far as a dress code. 

I continue having problems with my droid smart phone staying attached and sometimes it cannot attach.  I have noticed that quite a few cabins are empty.   The Captain’s Circle lady reported 2780 aboard.  I have seen less than 20 children aboard.  We are getting 2 day laundry service so far.

 

Show tonight was Born to be Wild.  MUTS was The Greatest Showman and the comedian Gary DeLena gave an adults only show in Club Fusion without any vulgarities or other blue language.  He was funny once again.  

I only wish he would update his material. It's getting a little stale after 15 years of repeating the same old jokes. 

 

Today Mrs Diver chose to take the ship’s excursion to the Balata Botanical Garden.  As I had mentioned before Princess had raised the price $10/ticket.  Since she has trouble walking, the trails were all paved through the garden.  The flowers were beautiful and the trees, mostly palm species, were really nice.  There was a swinging overhead bridge to see the canopy and many including me gave it a try.  We were on a regular tour bus and the roads here on the island are narrow.  The driver was very good getting the bus in very tight spaces and avoiding oncoming traffic.  The guide was from the French side of St Marteen and spoke very plain American English as well as French and Dutch.  It rained off and on the entire day similar to what happened in St Kitts.  We all got wet several times but luckily the rain was very light.

 

Tonight was the Captain’s Circle Party in Club Fusion.  The 1st most traveled at 1441 days was from Houston and single lady.  The 2cd was fairly young lady from Ontario, Canada with 1176 days.  Now we know where she spends her winter.  The 3rd single lady was from Henderson, NV with 986 days at sea.  I had thought there were more elite on board but the reported number was 507.  Platinum pax is 760 and surprisingly the blue card holders numbered 756.  There was a special certificate given to a couple that now have 500 days aboard Princess. 

The cutoff for the cocktail party was about 405 days. The food wasn't all they great but the drinks kept flowing. :classic_wacko:

 

The captain reported that the Sky Princess will be coming online next year, the Enchanted Princess in 2020 and a new yet named ship in 2021.  The Sky will be coming to the Caribbean next fall.  This will make 6 royal class ships.

 

Tomorrow is Barbados where we will be on a private excursion

Finally, it doesn't look like it'll rain today. 

See above. 

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On 11/15/2018 at 10:13 PM, compozer said:

Does anyone remember the name of the huge yacht that was docked across from us in St Thomas?

 

On 11/15/2018 at 10:13 PM, compozer said:

Does anyone remember the name of the huge yacht that was docked across from us in St Thomas?

If you mean this one, it was Rising Sun...

IMG_8285.JPG

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Thanks so much of posting the picture and telling me the name.  It is an unusual yacht.   Not a lot of decks but at 453 feet long, there is plenty of space.   It is owned by David Geffen, an American record executive.  The yacht is worth $300,000,000.

thanks again - it is always fun to check them out.  People standing around as we left port figured it was a charter but it is not.

 

Thanks again.

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Sunday

It did not rain today finally.  It started out blue sky and then became overcast but NO RAIN!

 

I noticed today that there are dual hand washing sinks at the entrance to steamers and planks BBQ.   Once again we visited the ramen station in steamers/planks for lunch.  So far it is not very utilized by the pax which makes it nice.  I have found that using Firefox on my android phone is more successful than using Chrome.  It appears to be a lot more stable but I still am getting frequent loss of signal.  I never had this problem on the older technology.  Bar servers continue to either take my older sea card or OM when I make an order and then return it when they bring the drinks although they all are carrying tablets from their belts.  I am not sure when they will start using them instead of just carrying them around.  Using the OM when exiting the ship and reboarding is working well.  I am still getting used to just walking up to our cabin door and turning the handle to open it.  There was no movie on MUTS tonight.

 

Today we were in Barbados where we had a private tour of the island.  We met the driver/guide at the terminal next to where Princess was loading their excursions.  This is our third trip to the island so we settled for just a general island tour minus the rum distilleries.  I was sitting in the second row opposite the driver and could see the road ahead.  I am amazed at how they are able to drive and not have a wreck on the narrow and winding roads.  I did find out that the government requires the tour operators to replace their vehicles every 6 years.  The driver/guide talked about the universal health coverage and free education up through college and that all buildings on the island are smoke free.  Nice part of the smaller private tours is the interaction between the pax and the driver/guide and the ability to ask questions.  After the four hour tour and a little bit of shopping by Ms Diver in the terminal we returned to the ship.  Shuttle busses were provided from the ship to the terminal. 

 

Tonight we went to the comedy show featuring Jeff Burghart who also did impressions of other comedians.  His impression of Rodney Dangerfield was good.  The first show at 6:45 pm was telecast in the Explorer Lounge again so we decided to watch it there.  It turned out to work very well with less crowding.  The ship has started telecasting the first show in the lounge and I hope they keep it up.  After looking at the menu in the MDR we decided to try Planks BBQ instead.  Warning here for those that believe BBQ must contain a certain animal that goes moo, you will be disappointed.  The BBQ was very good surprisingly with different cuts of pork and chicken legs.  You can select four different meat cuts or all one cut.  We decided to try all 6 along with both appetizers and desserts.  The chocolate cake which was more like a brownie was quite delicious.  It was more than we could eat which seems to be the theme of the specialty restaurants.  As we were finishing our meal, in walked the captain with three female and one male crew members for dinner occupying the table immediately behind us.  Even the captain likes the food.  The waiter did come by to ask if the “spicy” BBQ sauce was too much because they had had complaints.  We thought they had not given us the spicy sauce as it was barely spicy.  Come to San Antonio and we will teach what spicy actually tastes like.

 

I have been able to stay within our free time limit as I have done on every cruise.  More time and I would spend way too much time online instead of in the venues enjoying the music.

 

Tomorrow is Trinidad where we have a ship tour.  Private tours are very hard to find and the US State Department has tourist warnings out for Trinidad.  We decided to play it safe. 

 

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On 11/13/2018 at 3:41 AM, satxdiver said:

I am on the CB right now and will post some things I am seeing.  First the important officers:  Captain Mario Ciruzzi (Italian), CD Michael Reitano (Aussie), Maitre’d Guido Ascolani and CSD Elke Pointecker. 

Formal nights: Monday, 11/12 (at sea), Tuesday 11/20 (at sea) and Friday 11/23 (at sea). 

TD dinner 5:15, 5:30 and 7:45 - we are doing 2nd seating

Theater shows: 6:45 for late seating and 8:45 for early seating.

Since the Regal was in port, CB boarded from slip 4 located next door.

We advanced the clocks at 2:00 AM Monday.

CD announced at the show Sunday night that there were about 1100 US, 500+ Canadians and 500+ UK aboard and that there were over 30 countries represented by the pax.

We pre-booked 3 ship excursions last spring.  I noticed that of the 3, one now is $20 more, one $15 more and one was the same price. 

Internet speed test from cabin near aft.  upload 2.12 Mbps download 26.31 Mbps

Questions?

 

 

Regarding dining, which is the allocated dining room for ATD if we went at 7pm? Only asking as I’m getting confused since the ‘new’ times have been introduced. I’ve received an email today from Princess stating the fixed, main dining is now 5pm and 7.15pm for our sailing - which is obviously contrary to your current experience 🤔. TIA.

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Liked your comments about the BBQ. Living in the Austin area DH declares he’s not paying money to eat BBQ on a ship. We’ve decided were just going to stick with our Elite internet package. We have T-Mobile so unlimited data in every port. Plus, if we need additional for those last two days at sea we’ll just pay the $9.99. 

 

Have they upgraded the hair dryers in the cabins or are they still the ones where you have to hold down the button the whole time and they barely work?

 

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, villauk said:

 

 

Regarding dining, which is the allocated dining room for ATD if we went at 7pm? Only asking as I’m getting confused since the ‘new’ times have been introduced. I’ve received an email today from Princess stating the fixed, main dining is now 5pm and 7.15pm for our sailing - which is obviously contrary to your current experience 🤔. TIA.

AT has always been in one of the mid-ship DR's and the aft DR has always been TD all evening.

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31 minutes ago, steelers36 said:

AT has always been in one of the mid-ship DR's and the aft DR has always been TD all evening.

 

 

Thanks 😉. Was just wondering if anything was altering after the new dining times had been put in place.

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8 minutes ago, villauk said:

 

 

Thanks 😉. Was just wondering if anything was altering after the new dining times had been put in place.

My early thinking is that we all know the old offered dining times when booking a cruise have been "fake" for several years now and when on board most ships, both early and late TD times were earlier than 6pm and 8:15pm.  Now that they have backed up offered choices by a full hour, perhaps we will find that on board, the real times will now be LATER than when booking and the new real dining times on board will turn out to be the same as the old real dining times on board.  LOL.

 

A half hour later than one hour earlier is the same thing as a half hour earlier than one hour later.

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2 minutes ago, steelers36 said:

My early thinking is that we all know the old offered dining times when booking a cruise have been "fake" for several years now and when on board most ships, both early and late TD times were earlier than 6pm and 8:15pm.  Now that they have backed up offered choices by a full hour, perhaps we will find that on board, the real times will now be LATER than when booking and the new real dining times on board will turn out to be the same as the old real dining times on board.  LOL.

 

A half hour later than one hour earlier is the same thing as a half hour earlier than one hour later.

 

 

After reading that, think we’ll just stick to the AD we’ve booked :classic_biggrin:, which should be in the mid ship dining rooms then 😉.

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16 hours ago, satxdiver said:

Sunday

It did not rain today finally.  It started out blue sky and then became overcast but NO RAIN!

 

I noticed today that there are dual hand washing sinks at the entrance to steamers and planks BBQ.   Once again we visited the ramen station in steamers/planks for lunch.  So far it is not very utilized by the pax which makes it nice.  I have found that using Firefox on my android phone is more successful than using Chrome.  It appears to be a lot more stable but I still am getting frequent loss of signal.  I never had this problem on the older technology.  Bar servers continue to either take my older sea card or OM when I make an order and then return it when they bring the drinks although they all are carrying tablets from their belts.  I am not sure when they will start using them instead of just carrying them around.  Using the OM when exiting the ship and reboarding is working well.  I am still getting used to just walking up to our cabin door and turning the handle to open it.  There was no movie on MUTS tonight.

 

Today we were in Barbados where we had a private tour of the island.  We met the driver/guide at the terminal next to where Princess was loading their excursions.  This is our third trip to the island so we settled for just a general island tour minus the rum distilleries.  I was sitting in the second row opposite the driver and could see the road ahead.  I am amazed at how they are able to drive and not have a wreck on the narrow and winding roads.  I did find out that the government requires the tour operators to replace their vehicles every 6 years.  The driver/guide talked about the universal health coverage and free education up through college and that all buildings on the island are smoke free.  Nice part of the smaller private tours is the interaction between the pax and the driver/guide and the ability to ask questions.  After the four hour tour and a little bit of shopping by Ms Diver in the terminal we returned to the ship.  Shuttle busses were provided from the ship to the terminal. 

 

Tonight we went to the comedy show featuring Jeff Burghart who also did impressions of other comedians.  His impression of Rodney Dangerfield was good.  The first show at 6:45 pm was telecast in the Explorer Lounge again so we decided to watch it there.  It turned out to work very well with less crowding.  The ship has started telecasting the first show in the lounge and I hope they keep it up.  After looking at the menu in the MDR we decided to try Planks BBQ instead.  Warning here for those that believe BBQ must contain a certain animal that goes moo, you will be disappointed.  The BBQ was very good surprisingly with different cuts of pork and chicken legs.  You can select four different meat cuts or all one cut.  We decided to try all 6 along with both appetizers and desserts.  The chocolate cake which was more like a brownie was quite delicious.  It was more than we could eat which seems to be the theme of the specialty restaurants.  As we were finishing our meal, in walked the captain with three female and one male crew members for dinner occupying the table immediately behind us.  Even the captain likes the food.  The waiter did come by to ask if the “spicy” BBQ sauce was too much because they had had complaints.  We thought they had not given us the spicy sauce as it was barely spicy.  Come to San Antonio and we will teach what spicy actually tastes like.

 

I have been able to stay within our free time limit as I have done on every cruise.  More time and I would spend way too much time online instead of in the venues enjoying the music.

 

Tomorrow is Trinidad where we have a ship tour.  Private tours are very hard to find and the US State Department has tourist warnings out for Trinidad.  We decided to play it safe. 

 

How is Trinidad?.  Two weeks ago, we took the Princess Beach Tour in Trinidad.   The beach we went to was covered with garbage and the water was brown with sewage.  The worst beach we have ever seen.   When we got back to the ship, a lot of us asked and  received a refund.  Outside of the cesspool, crime ridden Trinidad Port , our Caribbean Princess cruise was one of the best cruises we have ever had.

Edited by chewap

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2 hours ago, chewap said:

How is Trinidad?.  Two weeks ago, we took the Princess Beach Tour in Trinidad.   The beach we went to was covered with garbage and the water was brown with sewage.  The worst beach we have ever seen.   When we got back to the ship, a lot of us asked and  received a refund.  Outside of the cesspool, crime ridden Trinidad Port , our Caribbean Princess cruise was one of the best cruises we have ever had.

Not sure why Princess still stops there. It is disgusting.  

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So disappointed to read about Trinidad. It's the only "first time" port for us in January and I was looking forward to it. :classic_sad:

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Monday

Observations.  You can hold your cruise card up to the tablet beside your door and it will unlock the door in lieu of the OM.  I have not found out how to remove our names from the tablet but it does not bother us to have our names there.  Backgrounds for in the 2”x3” plastic case containing the OM are $2.50 and come in the different color levels (e.g. platinum etc).  Other jewelry such as arm bands to hold the OM are also for sale up to $60.  My android phone decided that the ship app was trying to hack my cell phone and locked it out.  Thirty minutes at the Internet Café fixed the problem.  While I was there another pax came by with a similar problem.  Perhaps the OM app does not play well with Samsung android cell phones and only likes iPhones.  I have an S9 with the latest software loaded. 

 

Because of Ms diver’s problems with walking we took the Trinidad Highlights and Scenic Drive tour.  Turns out 300 of our fellow pax also picked the same tour.  Luckily we were put in 21 seat minibuses.  Given the narrow roads it probably was a good decision.  The CB was the only cruise ship in port.  We were told the island gets 80 some visits a year.  Our guide told us as we exited to only walk down the main shopping street near the terminal and not go on any side streets plus stay in tourist areas only.   The terminal had the normal assortment of shops as well.  We just contained our window shopping to the terminal prior to reboarding the ship. 

 

Tonight Magician Michael Barron was in the theater and once again the 6:45 pm show was simulcast in the Explorer Lounge.  MUTS had Ant-Man and the Wasp.  Neither of which we watched.  Skywalkers had the British Invasion at 10 pm which I did attend.   At 10:30 pm there was the Caribbean Nights Festival in the piazza with prizes for the best island shirt. Tonight I decided to try out the shorts in the MDR theory and when I entered the second seating, no one even batted an eye. 

 

Tomorrow is finally a sea day after hitting 6 ports in a row.  It will be nice to relax for a day before hitting the last two ports. 

 

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19 hours ago, MissP22 said:

How are you finding the air conditioning in your cabin? Is it cool enough? 

 

We are in a cabin on the Emerald deck near the aft elevator bank and find the a/c to be fine.  However we are accustomed to hot weather and like it around 75.  Others from colder climates may find it not cold enough.   We came back to the room tonight and had to raise the temperature as it was too cold in the cabin.

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On our tour we went to Maracas Bay beach and the beach was clean, two lifeguard stations manned and several food venues although we never eat food off the ship and drink only bottled drinks (mostly beer) from the bottle.  We are not beach bunnies but it did look semi-inviting.   We were glad to be able to visit Trinidad but  one has to be very careful here.  Stay with a ship tour and you will be safe.  

 

We have the second seating in the aft MDR on deck 6.  The food has been as good as we have had before but they have changed the menu a bit for the better.  Our waiters quickly learned our names and what we like to eat and drink.  

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On 11/19/2018 at 11:37 PM, satxdiver said:

On our tour we went to Maracas Bay beach and the beach was clean, two lifeguard stations manned and several food venues although we never eat food off the ship and drink only bottled drinks (mostly beer) from the bottle.  We are not beach bunnies but it did look semi-inviting.   We were glad to be able to visit Trinidad but  one has to be very careful here.  Stay with a ship tour and you will be safe.  

 

We have the second seating in the aft MDR on deck 6.  The food has been as good as we have had before but they have changed the menu a bit for the better.  Our waiters quickly learned our names and what we like to eat and drink.  

We both had the steak Diane offered the other night in DR and I doubt there's a knife offered that's sharp enough to cut it.

We both sent it back for something else. It was the first meal that was completely uneatable. 

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On 11/19/2018 at 11:25 PM, satxdiver said:

 

Tonight I decided to try out the shorts in the MDR theory and when I entered the second seating, no one even batted an eye. 

 

 

:classic_smile::classic_smile::classic_smile: Maybe the other ships will join the CB shortly. 

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On 11/13/2018 at 1:18 PM, Ep010835 said:

 

I recently set up our OR account. It accepted the reservation number of our cruise leaving later this month. However, when I attempted to enter the reservation number for another cruise leaving in 2020, the system told me it could not find the reservation. My assumption is that since final payment has not yet been made for the 2020 cruise, the system will not accept and display that reservation. Just a guess. 

When I search the App Store for "Ocean Compass", it takes me to "Ocean Ready". Seems they are one in the same. 

Nevermind, I see you had already answered my question re: the OR app.  I will just have to keep trying to input my booking for next March.

Edited by lives to cruise

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We will be doing this itinerary in January on the Caribbean Princess.

 

Any non-Princess tours / tour operators you recommend in any of the ports? 

Can you tell how anytime dining is going with the new changes in dining times? Wondering if ATD is more crowded.

 

Thank you for your postings. I have been enjoying following your posts.

Edited by vmom

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Tuesday – Sea Day

The production show tonight was Fantastic Journey and was SRO attendance.  The performances were 7:45 and 9:45 PM.  We had decided to forgo the formal night MDR to go to the first performance.  We entered the theater as soon as it opened 45 minutes early and by 30 minutes before the performance the theater was SRO so it was a sellout crowd.  It was a great show and glad we had gone.  The reports on cc about the performance was correct.  At the end the CD announced that the ship singer and dancer troupe would be leaving the ship on Sunday.  They had trained for 2 months in CA and had spent the last 10 months on the CB.  The way the CD indicated that they would be moving on to other endeavors.  We later learned that the band Topaz would be leaving the ship after the next cruise.  We had heard Topaz on prior cruises on other Princess ships and they are good.

 

We attended the wine tasting event that is free to elite pax.  The wines were really good as was the presentation which thankfully was timely.  Since we did not go to the MDR, we went to the WFM for the first time after the performance.  The selection of food was good but it will be back to the MDR from now on. 

 

The internet speed has dropped to 0.9 Mb download and 1.2 Mb upload.

 

Tomorrow we will be in Curacao where we have a private tour.

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