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About XBGuy

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Diamond Bar, CA
  • Interests
    Fermented Grape Juice, Motorsports. Western Civilization Art Music

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  1. This is disgusting. I am not a pet person, at all, but my understanding is that a service dog will not bark or snap at people, nor will it relieve itself in an inappropriate place. I suspect that the "little to medium" dog that you encountered was not a service dog but, rather, an "emotional comfort animal." Thank you for the otherwise entertaining report. Interestingly, another Cruise Critic contributor has also posted a mostly positive report on this same cruise. We took the 10-day Sea of Cortez cruise a couple years ago and felt that the Loreto stop was the highlight. We are looking forward to doing it, again, next year.
  2. We were on a 12-day Los Angeles-Alaska round trip cruise that departed on April 23. So, technically, that was more an April cruise than a May cruise, and, as you indicate may or may not be useful for future predictions, but we needed lots of sun block on our cruise. It wasn't necessarily hot--a jacket and a hat were adequate, most days--but you definitely had to take care of unprotected skin, and sunglasses were VERY helpful. We took the same cruise in 2018, and it was much chillier and, mostly, overcast. As previous posters have indicated, be prepared for anything.
  3. Be careful what you wish for. Princess' idea of an upgrade may or may not be in line with yours. Been there and done that. If you do receive a "Congratulations, You've Been Upgraded" e-mail, and you find that you do disagree with their idea of an upgrade, you have 24 hours to call them and get reinstated back in your old cabin. 😉
  4. I can tell you that it happened on the past September 17. Like you we received the email a few weeks prior advising that the ship (Royal Princess) would be late arriving from Vancouver because of the speed limit in the marine reserve, and, as I recall, that e-mail suggested that boarding would not start until 2:00 pm. Then the ship's Vancouver departure was delayed. Instead of leaving at 4:00 pm, they did not leave until 9:30 or 10:00 pm. So, the 15th, we received another update that the ship boarding would not start until 4:30 pm. That wasn't the end of it. On the 16th we received notification that boarding would not start until 6:30 pm. A lot of people were in a tough spot. People who were spending the night of the 16th in local hotels, had to check out of their rooms. Other people who had arranged ground transportation to the port had to try to adjust their schedules. I called our driver three times in the days prior. People who arrived at the port found that, in fact, they could not get into the terminal. I met one person on the cruise who say that he spent the day in Long Beach rather that sit at the curb in San Pedro. I think they were able to check their bags. So, that is good, One person on our Roll Call reported that he planned to hang out at a local restaurant. I arrived at about 4:30 and it appeared that they had just started the boarding process for our cruise. There were some long lines snaking out of and through the terminal, but they seemed to move as quickly as I could expect. It was a somewhat warm day, and they were only letting a few people at a time enter the gangway to board. It was VERY warm in the gangway. We left San Pedro at about 9:30 pm and had a great cruise. Now, in your case, OP, I think I would just take Princess' recommendation seriously, and postpone my arrival time to early afternoon. The delay that our ship encountered in Vancouver was a complete fluke and that will not happen to your ship.
  5. Princess had a similar program. We submitted a form to the Passenger Services Desk; and it was charged to our account. As usual by the end of our cruise there was no unused OBC. I often have wondered how people go on a cruise and have leftover OBC. It's never happened to us.
  6. OP, a couple things. For those in your party that are looking for seafood, I ordered the Lobster Tails once and was not impressed. On the other hand I think the Sea Bass entree is excellent. and the Mussel Pot is Mrs. XBGuy's favorite. Also, Mrs. XBGuy does not care for any of the "Starters" on the Crown Grill menu. So, she will order the "Garlic Fries" which is listed as one of the entree side dishes. Invariably, the server will give her a double take, but, then, her fries appear on our table when my appetizer dish arrives. A side benefit is that she does not eat all the fries, and, so, I get to snag a few. I have to agree with posters who have had difficulty getting the preparation for beef or lamb dishes to their specification. However, I have the opposite problem to what has been reported. I like my beef or lamb to be rare. Invariably, it came pink. I have learned, now, that when I order and the server asks how I want it prepared, I pause for effect, look him or her in the eye and say, "Rare. Blood rare, please." To be honest, I can't say that always works, either.
  7. Cabin B101. Easily the best cabin we've ever had on a cruise. Yes, I'm sure that B102 is just as nice. 😁
  8. Number of cruises? It's weird. That is the question that I always fudge on. I have no idea why, but my standard answer has become, "A dozen, or so."
  9. Strikes, welcome to Cruise Critic. I hope you find the information you get here to be useful. Sadly, often, requests such as yours result in information overload. I'm sure, however, that you understand that people are just trying to be helpful. By the "Princess Wine Country Cruise" I assume you mean the 7-day cruise from Vancouver, BC to Los Angeles. I have no experience with that cruise, but the highlights to me would be the stops in Astoria and San Francisco. I have taken three Princess "California Coastal" seven-day cruises and six Alaska cruises (on two different lines) ranging from seven to twelve days. Most recently (two weeks ago) we were on the same Royal Princess on a 12-day round trip Alaska cruise out of Los Angeles. I would strongly recommend that you consider an Alaska cruise first. Alaska has tremendous natural beauty. I really don't think that the other itinerary has anything like it. Consider your mums. (Are you English?) At your age, you have plenty of time to get to Alaska, but, at their age, they might not be inclined or able to take an Alaska cruise in the future. You may or may not find this to be helpful. I am one of the few people who do not feel that you life will be incomplete if you pick an itinerary that does not include Glacier Bay. As I indicated, Alaska has tremendous natural beauty regardless of which itinerary you pick. My best advice is to pick the cruise that best fits your schedule and your budget. I will add another comment that might complicate the decision for you. It rains in Alaska. In my six AK cruises--one in August, two in late-April/early-May and three in September--we encountered rain at some point in every one of them. If your cruise is going to be "ruined" by one or more rains, then, I agree, that perhaps you shouldn't consider an Alaska cruise. Feel free to come back and ask more questions.
  10. Some of the above responses are quite interesting. I don't think I have ever been asked an embarrassing or inappropriate question. Maybe I don't get out enough. On the first full day of a recent cruise, I walked to the dining room for breakfast alone while my wife slept in. I was escorted to an eight-top table at which seven people were already seated. As I was seating myself, I announced to the table, "I'll bet that at least five of you are neighbors of mine." The couple to first respond announced that they were from Phoenix, AZ. "OK, across a state line, you're not a neighbor." The other five people all lived within a one hour drive of where I live. My prediction was not, really, that bold. The ship sailed out of San Pedro. Cruises out of San Pedro draw a lot of Southern Californians, So, not only am I perfectly happy to respond to the "Where are you from?" question. More often than not, I am the one asking it. Similarly, I am happy to respond to the "What do you do?" question. When I respond that I am retired, I am happy to respond to the "What did you do?" question that follows. It's pretty boring, and, generally, does not stimulate more conversation. So, we then, generally, move on to the "How are you enjoying the cruise?" and "What are you doing at the next port?" questions.
  11. Bon Voyage. We will be cruising to Hawaii in January, Mrs. XBGuy has indicated that she would like to do another UBD. 🙂
  12. OP, not only do they bring the table, if the weather or sea conditions are inclement, you can, comfortably, sit at the table inside your balcony cabin. We've done that on three of the four UBDs. that we have enjoyed. As usual, we are the outliers and prefer to have the UBD at sea instead of in port. Also, I have never had a chocolate cake dessert in four UBDs. Maybe they provide it on request. This is the "default" dessert: It is awesome.
  13. XBGuy


    It's possible that a travel agent has booked a giant block of cabins. Two years ago we took the Grand Princess on a round trip AK cruise from San Francisco, Over 600 of the passengers were booked through a single Sacramento travel agent. There was a desk set up off the atrium for these passengers to pick up information or ask questions. I met quite a few of them--they all wore the same lanyard, and, so, they were easy to spot--but they did not take over any of the venues on the ship. On another cruise there was a group of, I'm going to say, less than 100 ballroom dancers. A couple afternoons they commandeered the dance floor at Skywalkers to practice. That was a bit annoying to annoying when I was trying to read, but it was easy enough to find a new spot.
  14. Pose for the picture that one of the security guys/gals wants to take of me.
  15. On a cruise?????? I have been cruising for over 40 years, and my experience is that there is always something else to do.
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