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Dani24

First time in a suite! How do we maximize the experience?

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40 minutes ago, Ep010835 said:

 

And be aware the RS will refresh upon request

 

That last part is important. They won’t do it unless you ask. You can specify what you want.   We load up on strawberries.  

 

After a few days the sprig of vanda orchids typically left in the bathroom will begin to wilt. You can ask to have them replaced if you wish. 


Really good to know that we can specify what we would like in the fruit basket. My daughter will probably lay fast claim to that!

What kind of fruit does it typically come with? I've seen some pictures that show apples, bananas, oranges, grapes and a few strawberries? Is that about right, or is there anything else that's sometimes offered? The suite perks flyer referred to "exotic fruit" but none of that is exactly exotic, so maybe I'm missing something?

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8 minutes ago, Dani24 said:


Really good to know that we can specify what we would like in the fruit basket. My daughter will probably lay fast claim to that!

What kind of fruit does it typically come with? I've seen some pictures that show apples, bananas, oranges, grapes and a few strawberries? Is that about right, or is there anything else that's sometimes offered? The suite perks flyer referred to "exotic fruit" but none of that is exactly exotic, so maybe I'm missing something?

 

The strawberries mold very quickly.  There pears and kiwi too.  

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13 minutes ago, Dani24 said:


Really good to know that we can specify what we would like in the fruit basket. My daughter will probably lay fast claim to that!

What kind of fruit does it typically come with? I've seen some pictures that show apples, bananas, oranges, grapes and a few strawberries? Is that about right, or is there anything else that's sometimes offered? The suite perks flyer referred to "exotic fruit" but none of that is exactly exotic, so maybe I'm missing something?

 

You are certainly right about their use of the word “exotic”.

 

The humble Kiwi is about as exotic as I’ve seen it get. 

 

Expect to to start with a couple of oranges, apples, bananas, pears and kiwis. Then some red and green grapes. Then a few strawberries. 

 

When youve exhusted the start up basket, be as selective as you wish. We refresh, especially the strawberries, every couple of days. The RS is your friend here!

 

A very nice perk! Enjoy. 

Edited by Ep010835

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57 minutes ago, cr8tiv1 said:

 

The strawberries mold very quickly.  There pears and kiwi too.  


I doubt the strawberries will last that long! 🙂 But good to know in any case. We'll try to only order what we'll eat up quickly.

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12 minutes ago, Dani24 said:


I doubt the strawberries will last that long! 🙂 But good to know in any case. We'll try to only order what we'll eat up quickly.

 

They don’t.   We see to that!

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6 hours ago, AF-1 said:

Good advice except this OP is in a window suite without a balcony or furniture; but your other info is beneficial

My bad.  I forgot.  Thanks.

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10 hours ago, jagoffee said:

You stated that you are well aware of the standard documented benefits of a suite, so I will list a few things that are not as obvious.

 

Yes, I think you will most likely wish to leave the Speciality breakfast staff an additional gratuity.  If you are having in-suite dining, you will likely wish to provide an additional gratuity.

 

The room service breakfast on the last morning is a great way to avoid the crowded last morning breakfast.  

 

Do do not forget to ask for the two bottles of water daily if you do not receive them.  Print out a copy of the suite benefits document, just in case you need it.

 

If you do not have the drink package, I would swap out the individual items for the items that you will drink.  I switch to all scotch for the liquor and Diet soda.  

 

The priority check in, boarding, and tendering is a little disappointing, because a lot of people with status have the same priority.  Therefore it is not much of a priority depending on the passenger mix.  Just do not be too disappointed.

 

The Balcony and balcony  furniture are super nice and I suspect you will want to spend a lot of time on your balcony.

 

While enjoying your Club Dining, you can enjoy the pasta dish prepared in your dining room as an appetizer.  We found that we liked most of these dishes.

 

Enjoy you full suite experience.

 

You forgot to add:

Invite a bunch of the people from your roll call to visit your suite to chat and, of course, offer them snacks which MUST include Peanut M&Ms. (Hey! It's the only time I've ever even been in a suite and I enjoyed the company and eating your snacks. See what makes an impression on a 28 day cruise? 😄 )

Edited by Thrak

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2 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

You forgot to add:

Invite a bunch of the people from your roll call to visit your suite to chat and, of course, offer them snacks which MUST include Peanut M&Ms. (Hey! It's the only time I've ever even been in a suite and I enjoyed the company and eating your snacks. See what makes an impression on a 28 day cruise? 😄 )

Yes, I think of that every time that I read a post from you.  It was a lot of fun and I was happy to share.

 

I am glad you are feeling better.

 

I heading out on a 12 day Caribbean cruise with Celebrity on Sunday.  Assuming I can get out of Chicago on Saturday.

Always good to hear from you.

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15 hours ago, Dani24 said:

Thank you all! In case it's helpful, our daughter will have just turned 7 a week prior to the cruise. She's really looking forward to hanging out with other kids in the kid's club.

For the afternoon tea in suite, how does it compare to the tea in the MDR? That has been one of our favorite things to enjoy on prior cruises.

Good to know that the laundry service may have some potential pitfalls. I was ready to just bring my entire laundry basket from home, since we live near the port, and let them do all my laundry for me! Kidding... kind of... But I will think twice about what I send to them for cleaning.

We'll likely swap out the mini bar, but I'm not sure how yet. We aren't big drinkers, and we don't drink soda at all. We're fine with the ship's water. And we don't drink coffee either! Can the coffee card be used for hot cocoa or tea? Though I had thought about just bringing my own tea and cocoa packets and asking for hot water. So, maybe a bottle of wine? But my husband isn't a big wine drinker. Decisions, decisions!

Also, is there another option besides the champagne at embarkation? Neither of us are fans. 🙂

Hi Dani24, The suite afternoon tea gives you the works. Sandwiches, cakes, scones, cream and jam, pots of tea or coffee if you prefer. It's not to be missed if you enjoy afternoon teas.  Oh also just remembered, you get complimentary access to the Thermal Suite on Grand Class Ships but not Royal Class.  Just go to the spa and show them your cruise card and they put you on the list for free access. Sometimes they give you a sticker for your cruise card. Enjoy.

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One thing I have not seen mentioned here are the canapes  that you can order every evening.  Are they worth it?

 

On our upcoming cruise in March, it will also be our first time in a suite (window) so I am really enjoying this thread.

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2 hours ago, lives to cruise said:

One thing I have not seen mentioned here are the canapes  that you can order every evening.  Are they worth it?

 

On our upcoming cruise in March, it will also be our first time in a suite (window) so I am really enjoying this thread.

In my opinion, no. They have a few my sister in law likes.

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2 hours ago, lives to cruise said:

One thing I have not seen mentioned here are the canapes  that you can order every evening.  Are they worth it?

 

Would I pay separately for them, NO. 

But what the heck. Since in a real way you ARE paying for them, go for it!

You may really like them. Or not.

Whatever the case, it’s always kinda fun to find a “surprise” waiting when returning to the cabin. 

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IMHO the canapes are not worth it, however you should order them at least once and try them.

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2 hours ago, Ep010835 said:

 

Would I pay separately for them, NO. 

But what the heck. Since in a real way you ARE paying for them, go for it!

You may really like them. Or not.

Whatever the case, it’s always kinda fun to find a “surprise” waiting when returning to the cabin. 

That was the way I was thinking.  What can it hurt and it will be just one more fun experience.  🙂

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5 hours ago, Ep010835 said:

 

Would I pay separately for them, NO. 

But what the heck. Since in a real way you ARE paying for them, go for it!

You may really like them. Or not.

Whatever the case, it’s always kinda fun to find a “surprise” waiting when returning to the cabin. 


I definitely plan to try them all at least once. Can't know if I like them if I don't try them!

Tastes can be so varied anyway. Some people might say a food is "nasty" while someone else finds it completely delectable. Unless there's something specific and less subjectively wrong with it (e.g. extremely salty, undercooked, soggy when it should be crisp, etc.). I've seen people complain about foods that I have found to be great before. Or people complaining that the menus on Princess look awful, when I think they look great (and have always really enjoyed the food on Princess). So for sure, people should try it and see for themselves.

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I'm also in a Window Suite for the first time in April (on the Grand) and we plan on doing Ultimate Balcony Dining.  We've done it before in a regular balcony room (my avatar) and the food is so much better than in the MDR, in my opinion.  The amount of food you get can easily feed 4 people.  Although there's no balcony in the Suite, there's a lot more room to enjoy the meal and you don't need to worry if the weather is bad outside!

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I know you already know about this, but don’t miss breakfast in Crown Grill/Sabatinis, wherever it is! It’s the best!!! You can order off menu there, too. Just tell them what you want. Cappuccinos and freshly squeezed OJ are included in breakfast there. That’s the perk I miss most from our one time experience in a window suite. Suite sailing to you!

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What sparkling wine is served at the Specialty Breakfast?  Korbel (I can hope)?

 

Can anyone tell more about the Conceirge Lounge?

 

For the ships that don't include the thermal spa access, is something else subsituted?

 

Can anyone share the expanded room service menu?

 

Thanks for all the helpful information.

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Hi Dani:

 

We've chatted about Window Suites elsewhere so I'll not reiterate any of that here.  One small benefit that I didn't notice anyone else mention is the fruit basket.  Everyone get's one.  A couple apples, a couple oranges, bananas, kiwi, grapes are usual.  What I learned only recently is that room service will refill this upon request at no charge and they are more than happy to deliver only the items you enjoy.  My wife is crazy for grapes and she had them deliver something like 4 bowls our last trip on Grand.  Could be that this is a useful benefit for your little one.

 

Regarding additional tipping.  I do feel uncomfortable NOT offering a bit more to the breakfast staff in Crown Grill (in the case of Grand).  They folks work so hard, especially if you're going off menu, I think they deserve something.  I know they're in the general gratuities pool, but I've not been able to convince myself to ignore their over the top service.  But that's a personal thing and I respect those who will say they feel they've already paid and don't want to pay twice.  

 

In the case of my cabin steward I let performance guide me usual performance doesn't merit anything extra, some special service can sway me in the direction of a few extra bucks. 

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On 1/16/2019 at 9:26 AM, Dani24 said:

We booked a window suite in our upcoming 10 day RT Alaska cruise on the Grand. We have the smallest one (F301), as it was the last one left. I'll have at least $3900 in rewards from my Princess Visa to apply towards the cruise, and we originally planned to try a mini suite (we've previously had oceanview or balcony, but now we have a kid in tow and would like a bit more room too). Then I saw it was only $150 more to get F301 so we jumped on the opportunity.

It's likely we won't get a suite again, unless we someday wind up with a similar deal or get upgraded. So we'd like to enjoy the suite life as fully as possible over the 10 days.

I've already read over the official Princess list of suite perks. But what else should I know that's not listed in their flyer? What creative ways do you enjoy suite perks that aren't well advertised (for instance, I read yesterday about trading the mini bar for coffee cards or wine). Any other tips for maximizing this opportunity?

Also, I know that we pay higher tips for being in a suite. But do we need to factor in additional tips for any of the suite amenities (e.g. laundry, breakfast in Crown Grill, etc.) or is that included in that $15.50/pp/day? I want to be prepared with enough cash for any extra tips (beyond what we're used to from our prior cruises). 
 

My wife and I have done suites twice in a row, so far, with one more booked for next year.  After the first time, which was something of a reward cruise for paying off the house, we realized we would never cruise lower than that again.  Ok, strong words, but it's hard to imaging cruising any other way, possibly a mini-suite, but we'd rather save up.  It also meant that we probably wouldn't cruise that often, either.  Once you have a suite, you are unlikely to go back, unless your motivation for cruising is to be traveling and on the water, and accommodation type and "perks" don't matter much.

 

Princess is pretty good at detailing what you get with a suite.  There isn't a "secret recipe" or "hidden menu items", like a fast food joint or coffee place.  There are a couple things I've noticed when booked in a suite.  I've always been impressed with our cabin steward in suites.  This isn't to say that the cabin stewards I've had in non-suite cabins haven't worked hard and done a good job, but I've found that the cabin stewards assigned to suites are, how do I say this, more personable, generally have a long tenure with Princess, really work hard to do everything they can for you.  It's impressive.

 

Take full advantage of laundry service.  It also includes dry cleaning.  We typically build a laundry bag on embarkation day with the clothes we have worn during our travel days and any extra days we spent in the port city prior to embarking.  Your steward will take all those dirties and get them to the laundry that day.  You'll see that clothing again, generally morning of your 2nd day on board, sometimes the next day, depending on how busy the passenger laundry is.

 

Lots of perks you have to ask for. You'll have a fruit basket and flower arrangement in your room at embarkation.  You can get your fruit refreshed each day if you want.  We typically move from the variety basket they provide on embarkation and move toward strawberries and bananas for subsequent days.  Do try the evening canapes.  Some are excellent, others are ok.  It's personal taste.  If you find one you really like you can order a plate of just one or two types each day.  The chocolate covered strawberries are also excellent.

 

You'll get an invitation card to the "captain's evening reception", which is held every night, frequently in Skywalkers, or another fairly large bar space.  The reception is for elite and suite passengers.  Depending on the sailing and the food and beverage staff, the snacks can range from pedestrian to excellent.  They can really ruin your appetite for dinner.  There is usually a drink special there also.  I've never seen the captain at the evening reception.  The invite will usually specify the snack for the evening.  It's worth dropping by and seeing what is up prior to heading to dinner, even if you don't like the food offering or drink special.

 

Don't be afraid to ask for all MDR menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You can get all MDR meals delivered to your room during that dining room's normal service hours.  If you do take advantage of room service, although a tip is not asked for, you can choose to tip on the order receipt or you can hand the room service attendant a couple bucks when they arrive.  If you are going to carry extra cash for tips, this is a good reason to do so.  I typically hand room service staff a couple bucks with each delivery, and a 5 if they bring MDR dinner to us (there are a lot of plates and dishes and they do a little setup on your coffee table to try to make it accommodating and attractive).

 

Breakfast in Sabatini's or another specialty restaurant is a nice experience. It is very low key, you have a dedicated wait staff there and they offer a lot of flexibility in what they can put up for breakfast.  They have some special breakfast items available on the menu, and they can "short order" just about anything else you want for breakfast.  Because there are so few suite passengers relative to the size of the ship, you may only be having breakfast with a handfull of other passengers.  On all of our previous cruises we got a little breakfast club of suite passengers.  We saw each other at breakfast every morning, traded stories, talked about ports, talked about home.  It was delightful.  We had the same waitstaff every morning, and they got used to us and often would ask if they could put up the same breakfast as the previous day, get us the same coffee as the previous day.  You also get espresso drinks with suite breakfast at not additional charge.  Oh, and I think Mimosas are also included with suite breakfast.

 

Most Princess ships have some kind of on-demand video now, and the Medallion equipped ships have all had their in-room entertainment upgraded, but if you are on a ship which hasn't been upgraded, your suite will have a DVD player (yes, not Blu-ray, at least not the last time I sailed) and you have access to a catalog of movies on disc.  All you have to do is let your cabin steward know the movies you want and they will go get those for you.  They will generally allow two movies checked out at once, and they typically they want the disc returned the next day to put back in the library and make available to other suite passengers.

 

If your ship has a thermal suite in the spa, you can head to the spa reception desk and get a sticker put on your cruise card which gives you a free pass to the thermal suite for the entire cruise.  If you were paying for it directly, a daily pass could get expensive.  That is about the only perk you get in the spa.

 

Suites are included in Club Class dining.  I really enjoy Club Class.  Its anytime dining, but you never wait for a table, and they have a couple of extra "off menu" or "fresh sheet" items each night.  They also do some table side preparation of some dishes.  It's pretty nice.

 

Tender tickets are a great perk, if you have tender ports.  Those will arrive in your cabin, either at the beginning of the cruise or the day before your tender port day.  No waiting in a dining room for your time to board a tender.  You just grab your tender tickets and head to the tender service dining room, the coordinator there will see them and put you on the next available tender.  The only port in Alaska that would require a tender would be Sitka.  Princess doesn't have Sitka on most of their Alaska itineraries.  In Alaska, the only other way you'd be tendering is if Princess didn't have dock access in the other ports, which I'm not aware of them ever being demoted from accessing a dock in places like Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, etc.

 

Next time we do a suite I'm trading out the mini-bar for something else.  I can't drink all the booze they place there even though they are small bottles. You'll also have some beers and pop in the fridge.  If you want different flavors don't be afraid to have the Dine Line swap things out.  Upon embarkation you can look in your fridge and see what they have stocked and then ask the Dine Line to make changes.  They will come around and make the swap some time on embarkation day.

 

Can't think of anything else to add, right now.

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Passenger services desk has a special section for elites and suites so that you do not have to wait.  We needed more luggage tags for the Port Valet service for disembarkation and I was able to get them in under two minutes that way.

 

Priority boarding.  Priority disembarkation.

 

Robes and slippers (I brought my slippers home and am wearing them as I type this).  If you want to keep the robe, it will be a charge of $75 but free for unlimited wearing while on board.

 

Jondfk and Jeromep did a great job covering the details but thought I would add those in.

 

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Jeromep I think you have sum it up well

 

6 hours ago, jeromep said:

 After the first time, which was something of a reward cruise for paying off the house, we realized we would never cruise lower than that again.  Ok, strong words, but it's hard to imaging cruising any other way,

 

 

 

 

I totally agreed all our cruises have been in suites on princess.....   and it just makes the difference.... we do use our cabin a lot..

 

and love the extra space..... one thing I will add about the fruit we take a small knife under the size 2.5 inch length and 0,5inch wide to cut up the fruit....

 

Cheers Don  only 170 days till 26 days in a suite again 

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5 hours ago, getting older slowly said:

one thing I will add about the fruit we take a small knife under the size 2.5 inch length and 0,5inch wide to cut up the fruit....

 

Interesting. We always seem to have a Princess provided knife in our suite. It’s within the folded napkin that’s left on the table with the fruit. 

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1 hour ago, Ep010835 said:

 

Interesting. We always seem to have a Princess provided knife in our suite. It’s within the folded napkin that’s left on the table with the fruit.  

 

Generally want something sharp particularly for kiwi fruit....... yes a plate with a napkin and a blunt knife is with the fruit......

 

cheers Don

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2 hours ago, getting older slowly said:

 

Generally want something sharp particularly for kiwi fruit....... yes a plate with a napkin and a blunt knife is with the fruit......

 

cheers Don

 

Guess I’ve been lucky. The “included knife” powers its way through whatever I ask it to. Kiwi included.  😃

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