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About XBGuy

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

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  1. We have had two truly exceptional Stewards in the last few years. I would love to encounter them again, but I know that they do move to different areas from cruise to cruise, finish a contract and go home. If they sign another contract, I have no reason to believe it would be on the same ship. We have stumbled on to favorite restaurant servers on different cruises. Sometimes in the same room. Sometimes in a different room.
  2. Thank you. I appreciate the info
  3. is Encore, the one that includes operatic arias? I'll be on the Royal Princess in September, and that might motivate me to catch one of the Princess Theater shows.
  4. People have reported seeing this intermittently, but on a dozen, or so, Princess cruises since 2011. I cannot recall ever seeing it.
  5. Certainly prudent advice, but I would recommend that you perform your first check two months prior to departure. If, in fact, you find that you have a problem (e.g., passport is expired or birth certificate can't be found) it's, probably, going to take more than two weeks to get replacements. Then, as Schoifmom suggests you can double-check two weeks prior to departure so that you can remember where you put them.
  6. That was in 2016. A Celebrity ship docking at Ketchikan under very windy conditions. There was very serious damage to the wharf. I think that any damage to the ship was cosmetic, only.
  7. It is not, exactly, accurate to describe the variance as being "from ship to ship." It seems to depend on the dining room management--i.e., the ship's Maitre d' and the headwaiters in the various rooms. Since the management changes regularly--contracts end, headwaiters' room assignments change on the ship between cruises--the truth also changes. Somebody's experience on the Regal Princess a year ago, or a month ago, or a week ago, may or may not predict what somebody else's experience will be for the very next cruise. All that notwithstanding, here's hoping that you have a great cruise on the Regal Princess.
  8. I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment. The Princess policy is that each adult can carry on one 750ml bottle of wine without incurring a corkage charge. The policy of some other cruise lines allows two bottles per cabin. If Princess meant two bottles per cabin, they could have written it, that way. To the OP I agree with the opinion that you should bring two bottles if you would like to bring two bottles. If you are asked to sign a chit for $15 prior to boarding, then go ahead and sign it. There have been reports here on Cruise Critic that people have arrived for boarding and the "wine table" has not been set up or staffed, yet, and, so, they just walked on the ship with their wine.
  9. Have a great cruise. Since you mentioned that your cruise is "soon" and on the Ruby Princess, I'm guessing that you are cruising to Alaska. You'll have a terrific experience. Since you are new to Cruise Critic, it might be helpful for you to know that there is a forum dedicated to questions about or reports on Princess. You might check it out to learn more about other Cruise Critic participants' experiences on various Princess ships: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/119-princess-cruises/ Another Cruise Critic resource is the Roll Call. These are forums for people on specific cruises to get together and chat about things like their port plans on their itinerary. Here is the link for the Ruby Princess Roll Calls: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/374-ruby-princess-roll-calls/ You may have to dredge around there, a bit, to find the Roll Call for your specific cruise. Bon Voyage.
  10. It appears that Princess has a 16-day R/T out of New York that includes three stops in Greenland along with stops in Canada. https://www.princess.com/cruise-search/details?voyageCode=B027
  11. For dinner we always dine at a two-top. I find it difficult to respond to your "your push comes to shove" scenario. I cannot recall a time in the last thirty years, or so, where we wanted to get "seated earlier" while on a cruise, We would either wait or go to another venue. One of the great things about cruising is that there is always another venue. In fact, I often wonder. if my wife had her way, would she order from room service every night?
  12. TimesPrince, I actually struggled, a bit, when I composed my essay. I tried to acknowledge that I am aware of the effort that the organizers put into these events. To me it is difficult and time consuming, and I'm not sure that the reward is commensurate with the effort. So, as I wrote above, I always make a point of thanking the organizers before I leave, and, invariably, I am one of the last to leave. I admire the effort that you have put into your events. If we ever cruise together, I will try to be there. I can't be definitive, because I would definitely be a no show on embarkation day. Mrs. XBGuy gets 100% of my attention on embarkation day. 😉 I understand your comment in the last paragraph. I agree, completely--mostly, because my hearing is not that great. What I found I've had to do is "Table Hop." It is not unlike a cocktail party. I feel no obligation to meet and chat with every single person, but I will walk up and introduce myself to multiple groups.
  13. The best M&Gs I have attended have been informal get togethers where somebody on the Cruise Critic Roll Call will just announce something like "We will be at such-and-such venue at such-and-such time. If you can make it, feel free to stop by and say, 'Hi.'" Invariably, other Roll Call participants will respond with comments such as, That sounds great. See you there Not sure I can make it, but, if it works out, I'll be there. Unfortunately, that does not work out for us. I hope we can meet on the next cruise. As somebody above has mentioned, I have found that there is a lack of social interaction in the more organized M&Gs. People find a seat in whatever lounge and wait for the organizer to tell them what to do next. When the organizer has finished with whatever program was planned, there seems to be a rush to leave. Very few people seem to want to hang around and chat. With the informal gatherings, it seems that people are more inclined to introduce themselves and start up conversations. However, I want to take a second to recognize the work that organizers do. Contacting Princess, inviting officers, rounding up prizes for raffles, bringing name tags is much more work than I care to take on. I do appreciate the effort, and I make sure that I thank them in person before I leave the gathering.
  14. That is very cool. The only times we've had flowers delivered on embarkation day were the times I pre-ordered them. We did receive a nice treat from our room steward on our seven-day cruise last December when, for the second time ever, we'd booked a full suite. Each Princess suite has a blooming Phalaenopsis Orchid in the sitting area. Orchids are particularly well-suited for a number of reasons: They are strikingly beautiful. The blooms last for weeks and, if you're lucky, even months. So, they don't have to be swapped out very often. They are odorless. Great for passengers who have allergies. When we arrived at our suite on embarkation day. I noticed that the orchid was looking a bit weary--down to its last two blooms. Sure enough, on the morning of day three, I noticed that the last bloom had dropped off. No big deal, We were having a great cruise, We were very pleasantly surprised, though, when we returned from dinner, that evening. Our steward had left a very beautiful arrangement of cut flowers for us.
  15. Keith, my wife and I are booked on the Star Princess sailing the 15-day Hawaiian itinerary out of Los Angeles on January 13. I'm afraid that my post cruise report will be too late for you to have any timely reliable information. I have followed many of your posts here on Cruise Critic the last few years, and I think we are on the same page as you regarding the food on Princess. In her working life, my wife was also a chef--although, not in a restaurant. She was the one who developed recipes used as marketing collateral for consumer food products--think, back labels, shelf tear-offs, neck hangers. Princess is our preferred cruise line, because it we can drive one hour to the port and board the ship. No airlines and no airports. We just enjoy the shipboard experience, and the itinerary is not terribly important, We do have an issue with the dining room environment, and I'm pretty sure it is not a Princess issue. We just don't care for that production environment. We want to dine, not eat. For our next two cruises--next month to Alaska and, then, the January one to Hawaii--we have booked a suite. So, I know that we will be ordering room service off the dining room menu and enjoying it, at our leisure, in our cabin--with our own wine. Since we live driving distance from the port, it is easy for me to carry my own wine on board. On the other hand, I have to agree that the recent upgrades to the Princess dining room wine list have made it more attractive. We will have a few meals in the specialty restaurants. I am not sure if the Star Princess has the old Sabatini's or the new Sabatini's Tratorria menu. People here on Cruise Critic seem to feel that it is the new one, but the Princess web site sure makes it look like it's the old one. We have had one cruise with the Tratorria menu on the Grand Princess, and we had dinner there two evenings. All in all, I think I liked that menu better than the old one. I have read that the Tratorria menu has been updated. So, that is another consideration. I know, and understand, your opinion on the Crown Grill proteins. My experience has been hit or miss. I have had some very good meals--nothing transcendental--and I have had some that are just meh. My wife's favorite Crown Grill entree is the Mussel Pot. She will have that at least once, and often, more per cruise. I have to say, the Sea Bass entree has been very good, I've ordered the Lobster Tails once. One and done. We have done the Chef's Table--I think it was on the Crown Princess. Again, one and done, The food was excellent--well-prepared and tasty. Unfortunately, we were just not comfortable in the group. We have consistently enjoyed the Ultimate Balcony Dinner on multiple Princess ships. Of course, we especially enjoy the attentive service. Two servers dedicated to us. How can it get better? I have to admit, however, that on one occasion my Filet Mignon was, again, meh--chewy and lacking in flavor. It is unfortunate that we do not have any cruises booked on a ship that has SHARE. In multiple cruises we have had 10, or so, meals in SHARE. We have tested all three iterations of the menu, and, while I certainly, have found menu items that I would not go back to, I honestly feel that every meal I have had there has been excellent. I honestly do not believe that you are going to find that the food has significantly improved, Keith. We try to make the cruise about us, not Princess. I should mention, however, that we are looking at an Oceania cruise in September 2020.
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