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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. Of course not, it'll be the mess hall. 🤣
  2. If the OP's forward suite is similar to the one we had on the Royal Princess, and I believe they are sister ships, the balcony is not front-facing. It is off to the side--i.e., it is port- or starboard-facing. That being said, all the balconies on the Royal Princess are fairly small. However, it worked for us. We were able to walk out onto it anytime we wanted. I mentioned that on our AK cruise on the Royal Princess my wife really enjoyed looking out the suite's front-facing windows in the comfort of our cabin searching for wildlife.
  3. XBGuy

    Roll Call

    I have found that Roll Call activity for all my cruises in the last two years to be pretty light. I am on only one, right now--December cruise--and it is very slow. I joined in, I think, November. By March I don't think there were more than a half dozen members. Since March, I think there have been two posts. The second was by me welcoming somebody who had just joined. I think there is a certain amount of "Roll Call Fatigue" that is contributing to declining participation.
  4. My opinion doesn't count because neither my wife nor I are particularly sensitive to motion. The fact of the matter is we like the motion. We want to feel like we are at sea. As a result we almost always book a cabin as far forward or as far aft as possible. More than once, Princess has tried to upgrade us to a mid-ship cabin, and we have declined as quickly as possible. I want to add, also, that last September we booked a forward-facing suite on the B Deck on the Royal Princess on an Alaska cruise. My wife absolutely loved looking out the forward windows. She was able to scour for wildlife and be warm and toasty at the same time.
  5. I'd like to take the opportunity to focus on this item. I am aware that many have already started this process. It appears that they are getting some sort of immediate credit to their account, but that seems to be conditional. I may be incorrect, there. Something has come up in my mind. Let's suppose that all these credit card holders call their credit card companies, make their claims, and get their money. Suppose further that the cruise line does declare bankrupcy and gets relief from their debts. It sounds to me that, now, the credit card companies are going to lose their money. Do they have any recourse? Is there a scenario where they can "claw back" the money from their customers?
  6. This morning my racing buddy sent me a text message saying that this afternoon's weather forecast for Darlington called for thunderstorms. 😟
  7. A couple things. We like sea days. On this cruise there are extra sea days v. a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise. The port stops at La Paz and Loreto are outstanding. While it is possible to find enclaves of Americans in both towns, they both seem more native Mexican that Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and, especially, Cabo San Lucas. The locals were consistently, very friendly. They do not get as many cruise ships visiting as those other ones do. So, their local economies and not as dependent on cruise ships. At La Paz the ship docks almost 20 miles away, and so, passengers have to take a bus ride into the town. I am not sure there are docking facilities for additional cruise ships. (There was a lot of construction going on in La Paz, when we were there. They may have been trying to make it easier for cruise ships to anchor off shore and tender passengers right into the downtown area.) Loreto is a tender port. Those two facts reduce the number of passengers who even visit those ports. Make no mistake, however, local business make it as easy as possible for tourists, but it is, definitely, a lower pressure sell. I completely endorse one particular activity in Loreto. There is a Princess excursion (I know. I know. The cool people never go on ship excursions. They book private tours that are better and less expensive. Bite me.) that is called a Beach Fiesta, or something like that. You are taxied to a local hotel across the street from the beach. A bunch of banquet tables are set up for the cruise guests. There is a stage area for musidians and a folklorico dance troupe, (Here is a tip. Get a seat near the hotel building. It is farther away from the stage, but it is covered and has overhead fans. There is a local fly that loves to dive bomb onto people's plates of food. Happily, the flies avoid the areas under the fans.) A buffet meal is offered. The centerpiece of this meal is local clams that are buried under the sand and covered with rocks. The rocks are, then, covered with a pile of a dried scrub bush which is, of course, set aflame. If anybody doesn't like clams, they won't go hungry. They grill a large fish of some sort. There is chicken, and all kinds of sides--a terrific vegetable medley, beans, rice, green salad, tortillas, and, of course, chips and salsa. Towards the end of the event, passengers get to whack a piñata.
  8. We have a 10-day Los Angeles-Mexico (Sea of Cortez) cruise scheduled for December on the Emerald Princess. I can't see any way it will be safe for us to be on that ship. So, I anticipate cancelling prior to final payment. We took this same itinerary a couple years ago, and it was outstanding. It will be disappointing to make that cancellation call.
  9. My brother joined a group of his high school classmates--I think there were about a dozen of them--for a 30th anniversary high school reunion on a 3-day Mexico cruise. I posted above about celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on a cruise. At the time I did not think about the fact that our very first cruise was on our honeymoon.
  10. I've told this story, previously, here on Cruise Critic, but I'm going to repeat it. A few months before our 40th wedding anniversary, I asked Mrs. XBGuy, "We have a big anniversary coming up. Do you have any ideas on how we should celebrate?" "Not really," came the reply. "Do you have any ideas?" I was ready for that. "Well, last month you mentioned that it had been quite a few years since we've taken a road trip to Northern California. Would you like to do that? Rent a house in Gualala for a few days. Do some wine country touring." "That sounds nice." OK, after multiple decades of marriage, I know that "That sounds nice," is not a ringing endorsement. I go to my backup plan, "Would you like to go on a cruise." "YES!" Now we're talking. Now, we have to decide what cruise. We enjoy cruising on Princess, and we are not crazy about airlines and airports. The other requirement was that the ship had to be underway on the exact day of our anniversary. We came up with two candidate cruises: a repositioning cruise from Vancouver, BC to Los Angeles on the Star Princess and a "California Coastal" roundtrip out of our local port of Los Angeles on the Ruby Princess. We felt we could "suck it up" and put up with a 2-hour, or so, airplane flight to Vancouver, especially at the front end of our trip. Then Mrs. XBGuy said, "You know, the official gemstone of the 40th anniversary is the ruby." Of course I did not know that. What dude knows that? It did resolve our question. Within the hour, we booked our favorite cabin, and we were on our way. Our anniversary was on the first sea day. We booked the Princess Ultimate Balcony Dinner, had a great anniversary celebration and a great cruise.
  11. I'm pretty sure you can. Since your e-mail did not work, you'll have to call them.
  12. Very interesting. Thank you for clarifying with your personal experience.
  13. If I'm not mistaken, that search for plasma from people who have tested positive for COVID-19 is, specifically, to test a hypothosis that the plasma from previously infected recovered individuals, whose blood, presumably, would contain antibodies, could be used to develop a treatment for currently ill patients infected with the virus. Just in case people read more into your post than you wrote. This is not to say that people who do not meet those criteria will not be able to donate blood or plasma. The need is great. Everybody who wants to donate, will be eagerly welcomed.
  14. Some here, have had better experiences with their Princess Personal Cruise Planner than I have. I am glad to hear that. It is clear that some are better than others. Over the last eight years, or so, three different PCPs have introduced themselves to me via e-mail or telephone. I cannot recall one instance where a PCP has provided any added value beyond the service that I would expect from any telephone agent. More than once, voice messages that I have left have been ignored. I have always booked our cruises from the Princess web site. Not once have I screwed that up. Like most, I have called Princess on multiple occasions and worked with whatever agent picked up the call. My questions or issues were successfully addressed every time.
  15. The only reason she said that is because she hasn't met me. 😁
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